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In 347 Plato died, leaving his nephew Speusippus to succeed him in the headship of the Academy. Aristotle then left Athens, accompanied by another Platonist, Xenocrates, a circumstance tending to prove that his relations with the school continued to be of a cordial character. The two settled in Atarneus, at the invitation of its tyrant Hermeias, an old fellow-student from the Academy. Hermeias was a eunuch who had risen from the position of a slave to that of vizier, and then, after his masters death, to the possession of supreme power. Three years subsequently a still more abrupt turn of fortune brought his adventurous career to a close. Like Polycrates, he was treacherously seized and crucified by order of the Persian Government. Aristotle, who had married Pythias, his deceased patrons niece, fled with her to Mityln. Always grateful, and singularly enthusiastic in his attachments, he celebrated the memory of Hermeias in a manner which gave great offence to the religious sentiment of Hellas, by dedicating a statue to him at Delphi, and composing an elegy, still extant, in which he compares the eunuch-despot to Heracles, the Dioscuri, Achilles, and Ajax; and promises him immortality from the Muses in honour of Xenian Zeus.I understood and respected the restraint of the Belgian primate, who went on then:
We have now to see how, granting Epicurus his conception of painlessness as the supreme good, he proceeds to evolve from it a whole ethical, theological, and physical system. For reasons already mentioned, the ethical development must be studied first. We shall therefore begin with an analysis of the particular virtues. Temperance, as the great self-regarding duty, obviously takes precedence of the others. In dealing with this branch of his subject, there was nothing to prevent Epicurus from profiting by the labours of his predecessors, and more especially of the naturalistic school from Prodicus down. So far as moderation is concerned, there need be little difference between a theory of conduct based exclusively on the interests of the individual, and a theory which regards him chiefly as a portion of some larger whole. Accordingly, we find that our philosopher, in his praises of frugality, closely approximated to the Cynic and Stoic standardsso much so, indeed, that his expressions on the subject are repeatedly quoted by Seneca as the best that could be found. Perhaps the Roman moralist valued them less for their own sake than as being, to some extent, the admissions of an opponent. But, in truth, he was only reclaiming what the principles of his own sect had originally inspired. To be content with the barest necessaries was a part of that Nature-worship against which Greek humanism, with its hedonistic and idealistic offshoots, had begun by vigorously protesting. Hence many passages in Lucretius express exactly the same sentiments as those which are most characteristic of Latin literature at a time when it is completely dominated by Stoic influences.The first acquaintance whom I met on Netherland territory was a Netherland lady married to a Walloon, who kept a large caf at Vis. Before the destruction she had asked me, full of anxiety, whether the Germans would indeed carry out their86 threat and wreck everything. I had comforted her, and answered that I did not think them capable of doing such a thing. Weeping, she came to me, and reminded me of my words. The whole business, in which these young people had invested their slender capital, had been wrecked.
The second Stoic idea to which we would invite attention is that, in the economy of life, every one has a certain function to fulfil, a certain part to play, which is marked out for him by circumstances beyond his control, but in the adequate performance of which his duty and dignity are peculiarly involved. It is true that this idea finds no assignable place in the teaching of the earliest Stoics, or rather in the few fragments of their teaching which alone have been preserved; but it is touched upon by Cicero under the head of Temperance, in the adaptation from Panaetius already referred to; it frequently recurs in the lectures of Epicttus; and it is enunciated with energetic concision in the solitary meditations of Marcus Aurelius.77 The belief spoken of is, indeed, closely connected with the Stoic teleology, and only applies to the sphere of free intelligence a principle like that supposed to regulate the activity of inanimate or irrational34 beings. If every mineral, every plant, and every animal has its special use and office, so also must we, according to the capacity of our individual and determinate existence. By accomplishing the work thus imposed on us, we fulfil the purpose of our vocation, we have done all that the highest morality demands, and may with a clear conscience leave the rest to fate. To put the same idea into somewhat different terms: we are born into certain relationships, domestic, social, and political, by which the lines of our daily duties are prescribed with little latitude for personal choice. What does depend upon ourselves is to make the most of these conditions and to perform the tasks arising out of them in as thorough a manner as possible. It was not only out of ivory, says Seneca, that Pheidias could make statues, but out of bronze as well; had you offered him marble or some cheaper material still, he would have carved the best that could be made out of that. So the sage will exhibit his virtue in wealth, if he be permitted; if not, in poverty; if possible, in his own country; if not, in exile; if possible, as a general; if not, as a soldier; if possible, in bodily vigour; if not, in weakness. Whatever fortune be granted him, he will make it the means for some memorable achievement. Or, to take the more homely comparisons of Epicttus: The weaver does not manufacture his wool, but works up what is given him. Remember that you are to act in whatever drama the manager may choose, a long or short one according to his pleasure. Should he give you the part of a beggar, take care to act that becomingly; and the same should it be a lame man, or a magistrate, or a private citizen. For your business is to act well the character that is given to you, but to choose it is the business of another.So spoke the humble freedman; but the master of the world had also to recognise what fateful limits were imposed on his beneficent activity. Why wait, O man! exclaims Marcus Aurelius.35 Do what Nature now demands; make haste and look not round to see if any know it; nor hope for Platos Republic, but be content with the smallest progress, and consider that the result even of this will be no little thing.78 Carlyle was not a Stoic; but in this respect his teaching breathes the best spirit of Stoicism; and, to the same extent also, through his whole life he practised what he taught.One evening he was at the Opera ball, then frequented by people in good society. Masked or not, they were equally known to M. dEspinchal, who as he walked through the rooms saw a man whom he actually did not know, wandering about with distracted looks. He went up to him, asking if he could be of any use, and was told by the perplexed stranger that he had just arrived from Orlans with his wife, who had insisted on coming to the Opera ball, that he had lost her in the crowd, and that she did not know the name of the h?tel or street where they were. Calm yourself, said M. dEspinchal, Madame, your wife is sitting by the second window in the foyer. I will take you to her, which he did. The husband overwhelmed him with thanks and asked how he could possibly have known her.
At Jan the pagodas are of red stone. The largest, conical in shape, covers with its ponderous roof, overloaded with sculptured figures of gods and animals, a very small passage, at the end of which two lights burning hardly reveal a white idol standing amid a perfect carpet of flowers. Round the sacred tank that lies at the base of the[Pg 45] temple, full of stagnant greenish-white water, are flights of steps in purple-hued stone; at the angles, twelve little conical kiosks, also of red stone and highly decorated, shelter twelve similar idols, but black. And between the temples, among the few huts that compose the village of Jan, stand Moslem mausoleums and tombs. Verses from the Koran are carved on the stones, now scarcelyl visible amid the spreading briars and garlands of creepers hanging from the tall trees that are pushing their roots between the flagstones that cover the dead."From Louvain!"
that I didn't know who I was. I may be DREADFUL, you know.At the station pilgrims again, bewildered, shouting, rushing about in search of their lost luggage. One group presently emerged from the crowd, led by a man bareheaded, who rang a big bell with great gesticulations, his arms in the air, and the whole party marched off towards the temples in silent and orderly procession.
72Mme. de Saint-Aubin had found an old friend from her convent, Mme. de Cirrac, who introduced her to her sister, the Duchesse dUzs, and others, to whose houses they were constantly invited to supper, but the young girl, with more perception than her mother, began to perceive, in spite of all the admiration lavished upon her, that it was her singing and playing the harp that procured her all these invitations, and that she could not afford to dress like those with whom she now associated, and this spoilt her pleasure in going out. While her mother was in this way striving to lead a life they could not afford, her father, whose affairs grew more and more unprosperous, went to St. Domingo on business.