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CONSTITUTION OF FLORENCE.                       95
cal life gave a spring to all the forms of human activity ? The
strife, arising out of external relations at first, was thus not
an unmixed evil.
§ 193-
It may not be without advantage, if, at this point, we sum
Summary of re-  up, as briefly as possible, the leading particulars
suits in relation to              .                    ,                            11*
aristocracy.           relative to aristocracy, whether it appears as a
governing class in the state with recognized political rights,
or occupies more indefinite ground as a group of families in
possession of honors, and of the means of defending their
position against attacks without having a recognized consti-
tutional standing.
The origin of a species of aristocracy which is among the
very oldest, is that hereditary division and sepa-
Its origin.                    .                                                                    .                        ..                        _<.,
ration of employments which we call caste. I he
military class and the teachers of religion, if they become
hereditary, must engross the power of society in their hands,
as well the intelligence and power of combination as the
force. If both arc strong, and if they co-operate, they form
an upper class or upper classes which are strong in themselves
and .strong by the superadded help of religious obligations.
There must have been a time when these classes began to
exist, and a time during which they were comparatively
weak. The tendency to transmit everything acquired by
personal exertions in a hereditary line and, in the case of
the military class, the advantages furnished by their superior
means of acquisition would soon place them above those who
were once their equals. The rise of the Brahmin caste, which
is unknown to the earlier vedas, is due to the copious liturgies,
to the almost magical power attributed to prayer, and the
necessity which sprang up, at length, of a special education
for understanding the sacred books—causes which shut out
the greater part of the people from an active, independent
part in worship. Whether the tribes at Athens of prchistor-
ical origin, which continued until the time of Clisthenes (510
B.C.), and point by their names to diversity of occupation,
two of which were that of hoplites or guards, and perhaps that