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      "6. Who distribute in the German army hostile incitements or communications.MADAME LE BRUN ET SA FILLE


      of the world for me. I suppose that some day in the far future--And then night, the real night, transparently blue and luminous with stars, appeared above the last cloud that vanished with the last clap of thunder. Unspeakable freshness and peace reigned over nature, and in the limpid air the mountain-chains, the giant Himalayas, extended to infinity in tones of amethyst and sapphire. Nearer to us, lights sparkled out in the innumerable huts built even to the verge of the eternal snows, on every spot of arable ground or half-starved grass land.


      "A German officer came nearer, and, uncovering his head, said in a voice trembling with emotion: 'General, what you performed is admirable!' Evidently these words slightly comforted the defender of Lige, who before long was removed by motor-car to an ambulance in the town."graduated before beginning to write. He enclosed his reader's opinion.

      to concentrate with the blue sea before me and ships a-sailing by!

      "Ah, there comes Mister Tijd, and heWe perceive a precisely similar change of tone on comparing the two great historians who have respectively recorded the struggle of Greece against Persia, and the struggle of imperial Athens against Sparta and her allies. Though born within fifteen years of one another, Herodotus and Thucydides are virtually separated by an interval of two generations, for while the latter represents the most advanced thought of his time, the former lived among traditions inherited from the age preceding his own. Now, Herodotus is not more remarkable for the earnest piety than for the clear sense of justice which runs through his entire work. He draws no distinction between public and private morality. Whoever makes war on his neighbours without provocation, or rules without the consent of the governed, is, according to him, in the wrong, although he is well aware that such wrongs are constantly committed. Thucydides knows nothing74 of supernatural interference in human affairs. After relating the tragical end of Nicias, he observes, not without a sceptical tendency, that of all the Greeks then living, this unfortunate general least deserved such a fate, so far as piety and respectability of character went. If there are gods they hold their position by superior strength. That the strong should enslave the weak is a universal and necessary law of Nature. The Spartans, who among themselves are most scrupulous in observing traditional obligations, in their dealings with others most openly identify gain with honour, and expediency with right. Even if the historian himself did not share these opinions, it is evident that they were widely entertained by his contemporaries, and he expressly informs us that Greek political morality had deteriorated to a frightful extent in consequence of the civil discords fomented by the conflict between Athens and Sparta; while, in Athens at least, a similar corruption of private morality had begun with the great plague of 430, its chief symptom being a mad desire to extract the utmost possible enjoyment from life, for which purpose every means was considered legitimate. On this point Thucydides is confirmed and supplemented by the evidence of another contemporary authority. According to Aristophanes, the ancient discipline had in his time become very much relaxed. The rich were idle and extravagant; the poor mutinous; young men were growing more and more insolent to their elders; religion was derided; all classes were animated by a common desire to make money and to spend it on sensual enjoyment. Only, instead of tracing back this profound demoralisation to a change in the social environment, Aristophanes attributes it to demagogues, harassing informers, and popular poets, but above all to the new culture then coming into vogue. Physical science had brought in atheism; dialectic training had destroyed the sanctity of ethical restraints. When, however, the religious and virtuous Socrates is put forward as a type of both tend75encies, our confidence in the comic poets accuracy, if not in his good faith, becomes seriously shaken; and his whole tone so vividly recalls the analogous invectives now hurled from press and pulpit against every philosophic theory, every scientific discovery, every social reform at variance with traditional beliefs or threatening the sinister interests which have gathered round iniquitous institutions, that at first we feel tempted to follow Grote in rejecting his testimony altogether. So far, however, as the actual phenomena themselves are concerned, and apart from their generating antecedents, Aristophanes does but bring into more picturesque prominence what graver observers are content to indicate, and what Plato, writing a generation later, treats as an unquestionable reality. Nor is the fact of a lowered moral tone going along with accelerated mental activity either incredible or unparalleled. Modern history knows of at least two periods remarkable for such a conjunction, the Renaissance and the eighteenth century, the former stained with every imaginable crime, the latter impure throughout, and lapsing into blood-thirsty violence at its close. Moral progress, like every other mode of motion, has its appropriate rhythmits epochs of severe restraint followed by epochs of rebellious license. And when, as an aggravation of the reaction from which they periodically suffer, ethical principles have become associated with a mythology whose decay, at first retarded, is finally hastened by their activity, it is still easier to understand how they may share in its discredit, and only regain their ascendency by allying themselves with a purified form of the old religion, until they can be disentangled from the compromising support of all unverified theories whatever. We have every reason to believe that Greek life and thought did pass through such a crisis during the second half of the fifth century B.C., and we have now to deal with the speculative aspects of that crisis, so far as they are represented by the Sophists.


      II.

      They were in the habit of spending part of every summer at tioles, with M. le Normand, fermier gnral des postes, husband of Mme. de Pompadour, then the mistress of Louis XV. After one of these visits, when Flicit was about six years old, it having been decided to obtain for her and for one of her little cousins admission into the order of chanoinesses of the Noble Chapter of Alix; the two children with their mothers travelled in an immense travelling-carriage called a berline, to Lyon, where they were detained for a fortnight, during which the Comtes de Lyon examined the genealogical proofs of their noble descent. Finding them correct and sufficient for their admission into the order, they proceeded to Alix, at some distance from Lyon; where, with the huge abbey and church in the centre were, grouped, in the form of a semi-circle, the tiny houses, each with its [353] little garden, which were the dwellings of the chanoinesses.

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      That Plato put forward the ethical theory of the Protagoras in perfect good faith cannot, we think, be doubted; although in other writings he has repudiated hedonism with contemptuous aversion; and it seems equally evident that this was his earliest contribution to positive thought. Of all his theories it is the simplest and most Socratic; for Socrates, in endeavouring to reclaim the foolish or vicious, often spoke as if self-interest was the paramount principle of human nature; although, had his assumption been formulated as an abstract proposition, he too might have shrunk from it with something of the uneasiness attributed to Protagoras. And from internal evidence of another description we have reason to think that the Dialogue in question is a comparatively juvenile production, remembering always that the period of youth was much more189 protracted among the Greeks than among ourselves. One almost seems to recognise the hand of a boy just out of college, who delights in drawing caricatures of his teachers; and who, while he looks down on classical scholarship in comparison with more living and practical topics, is not sorry to show that he can discuss a difficult passage from Simonides better than the professors themselves.Perhaps so; but at this moment I am more than ever the wife of my husband.

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      Again, whatever harmony evolution may introduce into our conceptions, whatever hopes it may encourage with regard to the future of our race, one does not see precisely what sanction it gives to morality at presentthat is to say, how it makes self-sacrifice easier than before. Because certain forces have been unconsciously working towards a certain end through ages past, why should I consciously work towards the same end? If the perfection of humanity is predetermined, my conduct cannot prevent its consummation; if it in any way depends on me, the question returns, why should my particular interests be sacrificed to it? The man who does not already love his contemporaries whom he has seen is unlikely to love them the more for the sake of a remote posterity whom he will never see at all. Finally, it must be remembered that evolution is only half the cosmic process; it is partially conditioned at every stage by dissolution, to which in the long run it must entirely give way; and if, as Mr. Spencer observes, evolution is the more interesting of the two,105 this preference is itself due to the lifeward tendency of our thoughts; in other words, to those moral sentiments which it is sought to base on what, abstractedly considered, has all along been a creation of their own.

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