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He spoke fiercely, with his eyes gleaming. He saw the heave of Leona's magnificent white breast, the look of anger on her face. And meanwhile the precious minutes were stealing on rapidly.
One of the soldiers took me to the spot where two days before the Belgians had blown up the railway which had just now been repaired by the German engineers. According to his story eighty troopers had succeeded in surprising a guard of twelve and in pushing on to the railway.
"You know very well where your brother is," Leona replied. "He is dead. He died in a house that is very close to here."Protagoras was born about 480 B.C. He was a fellow-townsman of Democritus, and has been represented, though not on good authority, as a disciple of that illustrious thinker. It was rather by a study of Heracleitus that his87 philosophical opinions, so far as they were borrowed from others, seem to have been most decisively determined. In any case, practice, not theory, was the principal occupation of his life. He gave instruction for payment in the higher branches of a liberal education, and adopted the name of Sophist, which before had simply meant a wise man, as an honourable title for his new calling. Protagoras was a very popular teacher. The news of his arrival in a strange city excited immense enthusiasm, and he was followed from place to place by a band of eager disciples. At Athens he was honoured by the friendship of such men as Pericles and Euripides. It was at the house of the great tragic poet that he read out a work beginning with the ominous declaration, I cannot tell whether the gods exist or not; life is too short for such difficult investigations.66 Athenian bigotry took alarm directly. The book containing this frank confession of agnosticism was publicly burned, all purchasers being compelled to give up the copies in their possession. The author himself was either banished or took flight, and perished by shipwreck on the way to Sicily before completing his seventieth year.
190Trees shut in the flat, interminable road, and it was midnight before we reached Srinagar, where I found, as a surprise, a comfortable house-boat with inlaid panels, and a fragrant fire of mango-wood smelling of orris-root.
Aerumnarum homines aliqua ratione valerentFrom the broad steps on the shore other narrower flights lead to archways and porticoes, or zigzag up to the lanes that make a gap of distant blackness in the light-hued mass of palaces and embankments.
With regard to the Nicomachean Ethics, I think Teichmüller has proved this much, that it was written before Aristotle had read the Laws or knew of its existence. But this does not prove that he wrote it during Platos lifetime, since the Laws was not published until after Platos death, possibly not until several years after. And, published or not, Aristotle may very well have remained ignorant of its existence until his return to Athens, which, according to the tradition, took place about 336 B.C. Teichmüller does, indeed, suppose that Aristotle spent some time in Athens between his flight from Mityln and his engagement as tutor to Alexander (Literarische Fehden, p. 261). But this theory, besides its purely conjectural character, would still allow the possibility of Aristotles having remained unacquainted with the Laws up to the age of forty. And it is obvious that the passages which Teichmüller interprets as replies to Aristotles criticisms admit of more than one alternative explanation. They may have originated in doubts and difficulties which spontaneously suggested themselves to Plato in the course of his independent reflections; or, granting that there is a polemic reference, it may have been provoked by some other critic, or by the spoken criticisms of Aristotle himself. For the supposition that Aristotle wrote his Ethics at the early age of thirty-two or thirty-three seems to me so improbable that we should not accept it except under pressure of the strongest evidence. That a work of such matured thought and observation should have been produced by so young a man is, so far as I know, a phenomenon unparalleled in thexxii history of literature. And to this we must add the further circumstance that the Greek mind was not particularly remarkable for precocity in any field except war and statesmanship. We do, indeed, find instances of comparatively juvenile authorship, but none, I believe, of a Greek writer, whether poet, historian, or philosopher, who reached the full maturity of his powers before a considerably advanced period of middle age. That the Ethics is very imperfect I fully admit, and have expressly maintained against its numerous admirers in the course of this work. But, although imperfect, it is not crude. It contains as good a discussion of the subject undertaken as Aristotle was ever capable of giving, and its limitations are not those of an unripe intellect, but of an intellect at all times comparatively unsuited for the treatment of practical problems, and narrowed still further by the requirements of an elaborate speculative system. Now to work out this system must have demanded considerably more labour and independent thought than one can suppose even an Aristotle to have found time for before thirty-three; while the experience of life shown in the Ethics is such as study, so far from supplying, would, on the contrary, have delayed. Moreover, the Rhetoric, which was confessedly written before the Ethics, exhibits the same qualities in about an equal degree, and therefore, on Teichmüllers theory, testifies to a still more extraordinary precocity. And there is the further circumstance that while Aristotle is known to have begun his public career as a teacher of rhetoric, his earliest productions seem to have been of a rather diffuse and declamatory character, quite opposed to the severe concision which marks the style both of the Rhetoric and of the Ethics. In addition to these general considerations, one may mention that in axxiii well-known passage of the Ethics, referring to a question of logical method (I., iv.), Plato is spoken of in the imperfect tense, which would seem to imply that he was no longer living when it was written. Speaking from memory, I should even be inclined to doubt whether the mention of a living writer by name at all is consistent with Aristotles standard of literary etiquette.