'On Liberty' and Harriet's Death 1854-1858
ALL his life Mill was a ' Greece-intoxicated man'. As a child, under his father's guidance, his whole being had thrilled to the adven- turous history of the Greek nation.
How short a history--barely two hundred years. Yet, he writes:
'The interest of it is unexhausted and inexhaustible . . . As a mere story, hardly any other portion of authentic history can compare with it. Its character, its situations, the very march of its incidents are epic. It is a heroic poem, of which the personages are people. It is also, of all histories of which we know so much, the most abounding in consequences to us who now live. The true ances- tors of the European nations (it has well been said) are not those from whose blood they are sprung, but those from whom they derive the richest portion of their inheritance. The battle of Mara- thon, even as an event in English history, is more important than the battle of Hastings. If the issue of that day had been different, the Britons and Saxons might still have been wandering in the woods.
'The Greeks are also the most remarkable people who have yet existed . . . It is . . . the powers and efforts required to make the achievement, that measure their greatness as a people. They were the beginners of nearly everything, Christianity excepted, of which the modern world makes its boast . . . They alone among