Excerpt from Littell's Living Age, Vol. 126: July, August, September, 1875
Mr. Aubrey DE vere opens his pref ace to Alexander the Great, a Dramatic Poem, by informing us that in the last century it was thought philosophical to sneer at the Macedonian madman, and moral to declaim against him as a bandit. The ancients, he says, made no such mistake. He proceeds to pane gyrize Alexander as uniting the highest military genius with a statesmanship in stinctive and unerring. His intellect, he tells us, was at once vast and minute. His aim was to consolidate the whole world into a single empire, redeemed from barbarism and irradiated with Greek science and art; an empire such that its Citizens, from t/ze maul/z: of Me Ganges to t/zepz'l/ars of Hercules, should be qualified to learn from Plato and to take delight in Sophocles. It is not necessary to quote further from Mr. Aubrey de Vere. The above sufficiently shows what a picture he aims to hold up for our admiration, what impressions he desires his drama to leave on the minds of readers. In this article it is not pure posed to discuss its poetical merits, which must be left to another pen and time, but to enter into the historical questions whether Alexander the Great was a beneficent or a malignant star to Greece and to mankind, and what senti ments are just concerning him. But it may concisely be said at once that the present writer is intensely opposed to Mr. De Vere's avowed judgment.
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