... Athenians are addicted to innovation. They are daring beyond their judgment they toil on with little opportunity for enjoying, being ever engaged in getting, they were born into the world to take no rest themselves, and to give none to others.
Through the forest have I gone. But Athenian found I none, On whose eyes I might approve This flower's force in stirring love. Night and silence.--Who is here? Weeds of Athens he doth wear: This is he, my master said, Despised the Athenian maid; And here the maiden, sleeping sound, On the dank and dirty ground. Pretty soul! she durst not lie Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy. Churl, upon thy eyes I throw All the power this charm doth owe. When thou wakest, let love forbid Sleep his seat on thy eyelid: So awake when I am gone; For I... Read more »
The Parisian is to the French what the Athenian was to the Greeks: no one sleeps better than he, no one is more openly frivolous and idle, no one appears more heedless. But this is misleading. He is given to every kind of listlessness, but when there is glory to be won he may be inspired with every kind of fury. Give him a pike and he will enact the tenth of August, a musket and you have Austerlitz. He was the springboard of Napoleon and the mainstay of Danton. At the cry of "la patrie" he enrols, and at... Read more »
Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, he began at the moment that it broke out, believing that it would be a great war, and more memorable than any that had preceded it.
If the modern spirit, whatever that may be, is disinclined towards taking the Lord's word at its face value (as I hear is the case), we may observe that Isaiah's testimony to the character of the masses has strong collateral support from respectable Gentile authority. Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah's fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts.
Our society is falling back increasingly on rampant consumerism and self-promoting social media as a way for people to feel that their lives matter - self-centered means of numbing the questions of mattering. Culture has relapsed back into the self-aggrandizing, glorifying answers that the Athenians had presumed, which had Socrates railing against them until he got so annoying that they killed him.