Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/637

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stories, skillfully woven together into a consecutive narration, which has remained for centuries the unsurpassable model of all productions of a like character. In Greek literature we have Xenophon's Cyropædia, which gives an imaginary picture of the education of the elder Cyrus, in order to present the ideal of a prince whose moral and intellectual faculties have been developed according to the principles of the Socratic philosophy. Less worthy of note, and yet not devoid of significance, is the De dementia ad Neronem Cæsarem of Seneca, whose imperial pupil Nero does not redound to his credit as a tutor, and whose own conduct did not always exemplify his fine ethical maxims. In the sixteenth century Duke Julius, of Brunswick, began with his Deutscher Fürstenspiegel the fabrication of those moral mirrors in which princes are enabled to see themselves as others see them.

The Prince of Machiavelli is a different kind of production, being less a pedagogical than a political treatise—not so much an exposition of ethical principles as an enforcement of practical policy. It is the final, energetic effort of a sincere patriot to rescue his country from the demoralizing and disintegrating influences, aristocratic, democratic, and hierarchical, which made it the prey of factions from within and foreigners from without. If the remedy prescribed is drastic, the disease was also desperate.

Of all modern works belonging to the class under consideration, The Adventures of Telemachus, written by Fénelon for the instruction and guidance of the grandsons of Louis XIV, holds perhaps the highest place in literature. But the ideal of conduct, which the Archbishop of Cambrai here offers for imitation, is so pure and exalted, that the king regarded the book as a satire on his reign and forbade its publication. It was also the common opinion of his courtiers that Calypso was the Marquise de Montespan, Antiope the Duchesse de Bourgogne, and Sesostris no less a personage than the Grand Monarch himself. No one, nowadays, in reading Fénelon's masterpiece of fiction, thinks of the didactic purpose for which it was written; we are attracted solely by the charm of style and the perfection of artistic form which have made it classic.

Very different in this respect is the notorious Philosophical Catechism collaborated by King Ferdinand II and Monsignore Apuzzo, Archbishop of Sorrento, for the use of the Hereditary Prince and of the Most Faithful People of the Two Sicilies. This book, which appeared in 1850, was written to justify the perfidies and perjuries of King Bomba, and also, ad usum Delphini, to inculcate and perpetuate the principles of monarchical absolutism.

After the suppression of the Revolution of 1848, and the abrogation of the reforms which this movement had temporarily effected, the sovereign of the Two Sicilies began to manifest an