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Her despair is but the inverted image of Platos hope, the return to a purer state of being where knowledge will no longer be obscured by passing through the perturbing medium of sight and touch. Again, modern apologists for the injustice and misery of the present system144 argue that its inequalities will be redressed in a future state. Plato conversely regarded the sufferings of good men as a retribution for former sin, or as the result of a forgotten choice. The authority of Pindar and of ancient tradition generally may have influenced his belief, but it had a deeper ground in the logic of a spiritualistic philosophy. The dualism of soul and body is only one form of his fundamental antithesis between the changeless essence and the transitory manifestations of existence. A pantheism like Spinozas was the natural outcome of such a system; but his practical genius or his ardent imagination kept Plato from carrying it so far. Nor in the interests of progress was the result to be regretted; for theology had to pass through one more phase before the term of its beneficent activity could be reached. Ethical conceptions gained a new241 significance in the blended light of mythology and metaphysics; those who made it their trade to pervert justice at its fountain-head might still tremble before the terrors of a supernatural tribunal; or if Plato could not regenerate the life of his own people he could foretell what was to be the common faith of Europe in another thousand years; and memory, if not hope, is the richer for those magnificent visions where he has projected the eternal conflict between good and evil into the silence and darkness by which our lives are shut in on every side.
With the idea of subsumption and subordination to law, we pass at once to the Stoic ethics. For Zeno, the end of life was self-consistency; for Cleanthes, consistency with Nature; for Chrysippus, both the one and the other.42 The still surviving individualism of the Cynics is represented in the first of these principles; the religious inspiration of the Stoa in the second; and the comprehensiveness of its great systematising intellect in the last. On the other hand, there18 is a vagueness about the idea of self-consistency which seems to date from a time when Stoicism was less a new and exclusive school than an endeavour to appropriate whatever was best in the older schools. For to be consistent is the common ideal of all philosophy, and is just what distinguishes it from the uncalculating impulsiveness of ordinary life, the chance inspirations of ordinary thought. But the Peripatetic who chose knowledge as his highest good differed widely from the Hedonist who made pleasure or painlessness his end; and even if they agreed in thinking that the highest pleasure is yielded by knowledge, the Stoic himself would assert that the object of their common pursuit was with both alike essentially unmoral. He would, no doubt, maintain that the self-consistency of any theory but his own was a delusion, and that all false moralities would, if consistently acted out, inevitably land their professors in a contradiction.43 Yet the absence of contradiction, although a valuable verification, is too negative a mark to serve for the sole test of rightness; and thus we are led on to the more specific standard of conformability to Nature, whether our own or that of the universe as a whole. Here again a difficulty presents itself. The idea of Nature had taken such a powerful hold on the Greek mind that it was employed by every school in turnexcept perhaps by the extreme sceptics, still faithful to the traditions of Protagoras and Gorgiasand was confidently appealed to in support of the most divergent ethical systems. We find it occupying a prominent place both in Platos Laws and in Aristotles Politics; while the maxim, Follow Nature, was borrowed by Zeno himself from Polemo, the head of the Academy, or perhaps from Polemos predecessor, Xenocrates. And Epicurus, the great opponent of Stoicism, maintained, not without plausibility, that every19 animal is led by Nature to pursue its own pleasure in preference to any other end.44 Thus, when Cleanthes declared that pleasure was unnatural,45 he and the Epicureans could not have been talking about the same thing. They must have meant something different by pleasure or by nature or by both.
Prout rose and bowed to Hetty.Assuming, for example, that a machine will cost as much as the wages of an attendant for one year, which is not far from an average estimate for iron working machine tools, and that interest, wear, and repairs amount to ten per cent. on this sum, then the attendance would cost ten times as much as the machine; in other words, the wages paid to a workman to attend a machine is, on an average, ten times as much as the other expenses attending its operation, power excepted. This assumed, it follows that in machine tools any improvement directed to labour saving is worth ten times as much as an equal improvement directed to the economy of first cost.
The old gleam was coming back to his eyes. Leona drew a deep breath. She had half expected this at the time; there was always the chance that this man knew a great deal more than she imagined. But help must be near her by this time, and she could always prevaricate.
Attention was diverted by something of minor importance, that showed the Clockwork man in an altogether new and puzzling light. There had been some delay over the procuring of the third ball, and when this was forthcoming the over was called. The fielders changed about, but the Clockwork man made no attempt to move and manifested no interest in the immediate proceedings. He remained, with the bat in his hands, as though waiting for another ball to be delivered.Prout was understood to say no, when Bruce rose. His face was deadly pale, a tiny red spot burning on either cheek. But he had his voice under proper control; there was no look of guilt about him.
"1. The young men need not fear that they will be taken to Germany in order to serve in the German army, or be compelled to do any work."Oh! why should he risk his life to bring such a thing to her?"