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      Lige now loomed up in the distance, and the nearer I got, the more civilians I met. They all wore a white armlet, and walked timidly and nervously by the side of the road or street, starting at39 each thunder-clap of the guns. Near the entrance to the town a small crowd stood on one of the hills, looking at a flying-machine moving from fort to fort and over the city, obviously investigating the effect of the German siege-guns."What do you want herewhat are you here for?"

      The position assigned to women by Plato may perhaps have seemed to his contemporaries the most paradoxical of all his projects, and it has been observed that here he is in advance even of our own age. But a true conclusion may be deduced from false premises; and Platos conclusion is not even identical with that reached on other grounds by the modern advocates of womens rights, or rather of their equitable claims. The author of the Republic detested democracy; and the enfranchisement of women is now demanded as a part of257 the general democratic programme. It is an axiom, at least with liberals, that no class will have its interests properly attended to which is left without a voice in the election of parliamentary representatives; and the interests of the sexes are not more obviously identical than those of producers and consumers, or of capitalists and labourers. Another democratic principle is that individuals are, as a rule, the best judges of what occupation they are fit for; and as a consequence of this it is further demanded that women should be admitted to every employment on equal terms with men; leaving competition to decide in each instance whether they are suited for it or not. Their continued exclusion from the military profession would be an exception more apparent than real; because, like the majority of the male sex, they are physically disqualified for it. Now, the profession of arms is the very one for which Plato proposes to destine the daughters of his aristocratic caste, without the least intention of consulting their wishes on the subject. He is perfectly aware that his own principle of differentiation will be quoted against him, but he turns the difficulty in a very dexterous manner. He contends that the difference of the sexes, so far as strength and intelligence are concerned, is one not of kind but of degree; for women are not distinguished from men by the possession of any special aptitude, none of them being able to do anything that some men cannot do better. Granting the truth of this rather unflattering assumption, the inference drawn from it will still remain economically unsound. The division of labour requires that each task should be performed, not by those who are absolutely, but by those who are relatively, best fitted for it. In many cases we must be content with work falling short of the highest attainable standard, that the time and abilities of the best workmen may be exclusively devoted to functions for which they alone are competent. Even if women could be trained to fight, it does not follow that their energies might not be more advantageously258 expended in another direction. Here, again, Plato improperly reasons from low to high forms of association. He appeals to the doubtful example of nomadic tribes, whose women took part in the defence of the camps, and to the fighting power possessed by the females of predatory animals. In truth, the elimination of home life left his women without any employment peculiar to themselves; and so, not to leave them completely idle, they were drafted into the army, more with the hope of imposing on the enemy by an increase of its apparent strength than for the sake of any real service which they were expected to perform.151 When Plato proposes that women of proved ability should be admitted to the highest political offices, he is far more in sympathy with modern reformers; and his freedom from prejudice is all the more remarkable when we consider that no Greek lady (except, perhaps, Artemisia) is known to have ever displayed a talent for government, although feminine interference in politics was common enough at Sparta; and that personally his feeling towards women was unsympathetic if not contemptuous.152 Still we must not exaggerate the importance of his concession. The Platonic polity was, after all, a family rather than a true State; and that women should be allowed a share in the regulation of marriage and in the nurture of children, was only giving them back with one hand what had been taken away with the other. Already, among ourselves, women have a voice in educational matters; and were marriage brought under State control, few would doubt the propriety of making them eligible to the new Boards which would be charged with its supervision.

      A somewhat similar vein of reflection is worked out in the209 Cratylus, a Dialogue presenting some important points of contact with the Theaettus, and probably belonging to the same period. There is the same constant reference to Heracleitus, whose philosophy is here also treated as in great measure, but not entirely, true; and the opposing system of Parmenides is again mentioned, though much more briefly, as a valuable set-off against its extravagances. The Cratylus deals exclusively with language, just as the Theaettus had dealt with sensation and mental imagery, but in such a playful and ironical tone that its speculative importance is likely to be overlooked. Some of the Greek philosophers seem to have thought that the study of things might advantageously be replaced by the study of words, which were supposed to have a natural and necessary connexion with their accepted meanings. This view was particularly favoured by the Heracleiteans, who found, or fancied that they found, a confirmation of their masters teaching in etymology. Plato professes to adopt the theory in question, and supports it with a number of derivations which to us seem ludicrously absurd, but which may possibly have been transcribed from the pages of contemporary philologists. At last, however, he turns round and shows that other verbal arguments, equally good, might be adduced on behalf of Parmenides. But the most valuable part of the discussion is a protest against the whole theory that things can be studied through their names. Plato justly observes that an image, to be perfect, should not reproduce its original, but only certain aspects of it; that the framers of language were not infallible; and that we are just as competent to discover the nature of things as they could be. One can imagine the delight with which he would have welcomed the modern discovery that sensations, too, are a language; and that the associated groups into which they most readily gather are determined less by the necessary connexions of things in themselves than by the exigencies of self-preservation and reproduction in sentient beings."I am," he said. "See, I am familiar with her plot before she carried it out. As I told you before, the whole thing is founded on a novel of mine which has yet to be published. How she got the thing is a mystery. But she has got it. It could not possibly have been a coincidence."

      131I asked and got the commander's permission to travel to Lige by military train, and from there to The Netherlands, not only for myself, but also for a Netherland girl of nine years, whose parents in Amsterdam had repeatedly and persistently asked me to see whether there would be any possibility of letting their little girl come back from a Louvain boarding-school. The Sisters with whom she was let her go with me when I showed them a letter208 from her father. That child had already seen a good deal! The Sisters had fled with all the children at the time of the conflagration, and hidden themselves for days in a farm in the neighbourhood.

      "What the devil!"

      "Now say it all over again," Bruce asked. "I am perfectly dazed. Let me know what I am accused of doing."

      Prodicus was born in Ceos, a little island belonging to the Athenian confederacy, and seems to have habitually resided at Athens. His health was delicate, and he wrapped up a good deal, as we learn from the ridicule of Plato, always pitiless to a valetudinarian.F Judging from two allusions in Aristophanes, he taught natural science in such a manner as to conciliate even that unsparing enemy of the new learning.58 He also gave moral instruction grounded on the traditional ideas of his country, a pleasing specimen of which has been preserved. It is conveyed under the form of an apologue, entitled the Choice of Heracls, and was taken down in its present form by Xenophon from the lips of Socrates, who quoted it, with full approval, for the benefit of his own disciples. Prodicus also lectured on the use of words, laying especial emphasis on the distinction of synonyms. We hear, not without sympathy, that he tried to check the78 indiscriminate employment of awful (δειν??), which was even more rife at Athens than among ourselves.G Finally, we are told that, like many moderns, he considered the popular divinities to be personifications of natural phenomena. Hippias, who was a native of Elis, seems to have taught on very much the same system. It would appear that he lectured principally on astronomy and physics, but did not neglect language, and is said to have invented an art of memory. His restless inquisitiveness was also exercised on ancient history, and his erudition in that subject was taxed to the utmost during a visit to Sparta, where the unlettered people still delighted in old stories, which among the more enlightened Greeks had been superseded by topics of livelier and fresher interest. At Sparta, too, he recited, with great applause, an ethical discourse under the form of advice given by Nestor to Neoptolemus after the capture of Troy. We know, on good authority, that Hippias habitually distinguished between natural and customary law, the former being, according to him, everywhere the same, while the latter varied from state to state, and in the same state at different times. Natural law he held to be alone binding and alone salutary. On this subject the following expressions, evidently intended to be characteristic, are put into his mouth by Plato:All of you who are here present I reckon to be kinsmen and friends and fellow-citizens, by nature and not by law; for by nature like is akin to like, whereas law is the tyrant of mankind, and often compels us to do many things which are against Nature.59 Here two distinct ideas are implied, the idea that Nature is a moral guide, and, further, the idea that she is opposed to convention. The habit of looking for examples and lessons to some simpler life than their own prevailed among the Greeks from a very early period, and is, indeed, very common in primitive societies. Homers similes are a case in point; while all that we are told79 about the innocence and felicity of the Aethiopians and Hyperboreans seems to indicate a deep-rooted belief in the moral superiority of savage to civilised nations; and Hesiods fiction of the Four Ages, beginning with a golden age, arises from a kindred notion that intellectual progress is accompanied by moral corruption. Simonides of Amorgus illustrates the various types of womankind by examples from the animal world; and Aesops fables, dating from the first half of the sixth century, give ethical instruction under the same disguise. We have already pointed out how Greek rural religion established a thorough-going connexion between physical and moral phenomena, and how Heracleitus followed in the same track. Now, one great result of early Greek thought, as described in our first chapter, was to combine all these scattered fugitive incoherent ideas under a single conception, thus enabling them to elucidate and support one another. This was the conception of Nature as a universal all-creative eternal power, first superior to the gods, then altogether superseding them. When Homer called Zeus the father of gods and men; when Pindar said that both races, the divine and the human, are sprung from one mother (Earth);60 when, again, he spoke of law as an absolute king; or when Aeschylus set destiny above Zeus himself;61 they were but foreshadowing a more despotic authority, whose dominion is even now not extinct, is perhaps being renewed under the title of Evolution. The word Nature was used by most philosophers, and the thing was implied by all. They did not, indeed, commit the mistake of personifying a convenient abstraction; but a conception which they substituted for the gods would soon inherit every attribute of divine agency. Moreover, the Nature of philosophy had three fundamental attributes admitting of ready application as ethical standards. She was everywhere the same; fire burned in Greece and Persia alike. She tended towards an80 orderly system where every agent or element is limited to its appropriate sphere. And she proceeded on a principle of universal compensation, all gains in one direction being paid for by losses in another, and every disturbance being eventually rectified by a restoration of equilibrium. It was, indeed, by no means surprising that truths which were generalised from the experience of Greek social life should now return to confirm the orderliness of that life with the sanction of an all-pervading law."Found anything out, mate?" another officer asked.


      "Ah well, you come from The Netherlands; tell me whether it is true that you have let the Germans through, allowing them to ravish us? Tell me whether this is true?"


      Nothing mattered now, the thing was done, the victory accomplished. In a vague kind of way Hetty heard the cry of rage and disappointment uttered by her companion, she felt the key snatched with cruel force from her hand, there was a whirl of draperies and footsteps flying down the stairs.