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D'URFEY, THOMAS, an English humorous poet and dramatist, of French descent, born at Exeter, Devonshire, in 1650; died in 1723. He was trained for the law, but abandoned the legal profession for literature. He wrote numerous dramatic pieces, ballads, songs, and sonnets, and was a court favorite during the reigns of Charles II., William and Mary, and Anne. Most of his works are of a very loose character. He published Laugh and Be Fat and Joy to Great Cæsar. He is best known through a collection of poems, only a part of which are by himself, entitled Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy.
Damon, let a friend advise you,
DURUY, JEAN VICTOR, a French historian and statesman, was born at Paris, September 11, 1811. He began his classical studies in 1823 at the Collége Rollin, then called Collége SainteBarbe; was admitted into the Normal School in 1830, was appointed to the class of history at the College of Rheims in 1833, and in the same year to a similar position in the College of Henry IV., in Paris, afterward called the Collége Napoleon. About this time he published anonymously various elementary historical works. In 1853 he took the degree of doctor “ès lettres;" after. ward became Inspector of the Academy of Paris, Master of the Conferences at the École Normale, Professor of History at the École Polytechnique, and by decree, June 23, 1863, was appointed Minister of Public Instruction, in which department he introduced many changes, chiefly in the direction of secularizing instruction, and rendering it gratuitous. On resigning the office of Minister of Public Instruction in July, 1869, he was appointed a Senator, and remained a member of the Senate until the Revolution of September 4, 1870. His principal works are : Géographie Politique de la République Romaine et de l'Empire (1838); Géographie Historique du Moyen Age (1839); Géographie de la France (1840); Atlas de Géographie Historique (1841); Histoire de la République Romaine (1843-44); Histoire de France (1852); Histoire de la Grèce ancienne (1862), a work “crowned” by the French Academy; Histoire moderne (1863); Histoire Populaire de la France (1863); Introduction Générale à l'Histoire de France (1865); Histoire des Romains depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à la mort de Théodose (1879-88); Histoire de la Grèce (1887-89). Professor Duruy is Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, Member of the Institute, and has received decorations from Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Turkey.
The Saturday Review, noting favorably the point and suggestiveness of M. Duruy's reflections on the general results of the conflicts between Rome and other nations, instances the following remarks on the destruction of Carthage:
THE FALL OF CARTHAGE.
If the historic circumstance were such that one of the two cities must perish, we ought not to regret that Rome was victorious. What progress does humanity owe to Carthage ? If there had been left to us of Rome nothing but the inscriptions on her tombs, we should have been able from them to reconstruct her civil and military organization, her philosophy and her religion, while the funeral columns of Carthage reveal nothing but a sterile devotion. The heritage left to the world by Carthage is this : the memory of a brilliant commercial success, of a cruel religion, of some bold explorations, a few fragments of voyages, a few agricultural precepts, of which the Latins had no need ; and, lastly, the honor of having for a century retarded the destinies of Rüme, with the generous example, at their last hour, of an entire people refusing to survive their country. From The History of Rome, DICKSON's Translation.
HOW HE BEGAN TO WRITE THE HISTORY OF FRANCE.
While a student of the third year in the École normale I had resolved—with the ambition characteristic of that age-to devote my life to the writing of a History of France in eight or ten volumes. On becoming a professor I began the work; but as I dug into the old Gallic soil I came upon Roman foundations, and that I might properly understand them I went to Rome. In Rome I became aware of the mighty influence that Greece had exerted upon Roman civilization ; one must go farther back and explore Athens.
Chroniclers tell us that whenever Godfrey de Bouillon entered a church splendid with painted glass and beautiful carvings, he would stand for hours gazing at the saintly figures and-however urgent his affairs might be—unmindful of the passage of time, while reading the sacred legends and causing the histories of the saints to be recounted to him. He looked, he listened, and he could not tear himself away. Such was my own case in the two cities, each of which in its turn was the metropolis of genius. I remained so long contemplating all their grandeur and all their beauty that the work which was to have been preliminary study became the occupation of a lifetime. The two prefaces are two works—the History of Rome and the History of Greece. -From History of Greece, Ripley's Translation.
RELIGION OF THE EARLIER GREEKS. The most complete, but rarest, sacrifice was the holacaust, where the victim, reserved for the god alone, was entirely consumed ; the most solemn was the hecatomb ; the most efficacious, that in which the most precious blood was shed, as in the case of Iphigenia, a virgin daughter of the “ king of men." The poor man, who could not give a living creature, offered little figures of paste, and the sacrifice was not unacceptable. Apollo especially exercised a moral influence over his worshippers. A rich Thessalian sacrifices at Delphi a hundred bulls with gilded horns, while a poor citizen of Hermoine comes up to the altar and throws upon it a handful of flour. “Of these two sacrifices,” says the Pythia, “the latter is the more agreeable to the god." The philosophers of the later times spoke in the same way, having no respect for the ostentation of costly sacrifices. But before their time Euripides had written : "Some men bring trivial offerings to the temples, and yet are perhaps more religious than those who offer fatted animals." Greece, which in its earliest period believed that only the great could be heard of the gods, in its maturity opened the temples and heaven itself to the poor and insignificant. This moral revolution was the counterpart to that political revolution which gave rights to those who, in the earliest days, had none.
The offerings must be pure, the victims perfect, the priest must be without personal blemish, the suppliant without an evil thought in his mind ; and no man approached an altar without having been purified by water -a symbol of moral purification. At the entrance to the temple stood a priest, who poured lustral water upon the hands and head of the faithful ; sometimes, even, a sort of baptism by immersion was considered necessary. In all religions purification is the essential in approaching a god. “But," says the Pythia, " while a drop of water is enough to purify the upright man, for the wicked all the waters of the ocean do not suffice ;" and the priests of Asklepeios at Epidauros had written upon his temple: “True purity is made by holy thoughts.”—From the History of Greece.