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      When the Germans entered Bilsen for the first time, four persons were shot in front of the town-hall; fifteen holes were still to be seen in the wall. Amongst these four was also the brother-in-law of the editor of the Bilsenaar. He was dragged out of his house, accused of having shot, although he and his wife and children were at that moment saying the rosary. His wife had got up that day for the first time after her confinement.

      And amidst all the oppression, vice, and evil of which we hear so often in France of the eighteenth century, there was also much good of which [10] we hear little or nothing. The reason is obvious. Good people are, unfortunately, seldom so amusing to write or read about as bad ones. Has any one ever met with a child who wanted to be told a story about a good little girl or boy? And is it not true, though lamentable, that there are many persons who would rather read a book about a bushranger than a bishop?CAMP MCBRIDE, 6th September

      As we go nearer, gothic towers are distinguishable among the buildingsfaint reminiscences of Chester, clumsily revived under the burning light of white Asia.In the evenings they rode or walked, watching the gorgeous sunset and afterglow; and in those radiant Italian nights, when the whole country lay white and brilliant under the light of the southern moon, they would wander through the woods glittering with glow-worms and fireflies, or perhaps by the shores of Lake Nemi, buried deep amongst wooded cliffs, a temple of Diana rising out of its waters.

      With weak eyes, eyes telling of approaching death, one of them gazed at these cruel torturers, or looked hungrily at the steaming soup; the two others had turned their heads on one side and closed their eyes. But at last also the third turned off his head and closed his eyes, sighing and groaning. In the meantime the Germans went on threatening them, blurting out all sorts of filthy abuse, spitting or threatening them with their rifles, while others were laughing and enjoying the helplessness of those three."Kali?" he asked.

      The rules for breeding and education set forth in the Republic are not intended for the whole community, but only244 for the ruling minority. It was by the corruption of the higher classes that Plato was most distressed, and the salvation of the State depended, according to him, on their reformation. This leads us on to his scheme for the reconstitution of society. It is intimately connected with his method of logical definition and classification. He shows with great force that the collective action of human beings is conditioned by the division of labour; and argues from this that every individual ought, in the interest of the whole, to be restricted to a single occupation. Therefore, the industrial classes, who form the bulk of the population, are to be excluded both from military service and from political power. The Peloponnesian War had led to a general substitution of professional soldiers for the old levies of untrained citizens in Greek warfare. Plato was deeply impressed by the dangers, as well as by the advantages, of this revolution. That each profession should be exercised only by persons trained for it, suited his notions alike as a logician, a teacher, and a practical reformer. But he saw that mercenary fighters might use their power to oppress and plunder the defenceless citizens, or to establish a military despotism. And, holding that government should, like strategy, be exercised only by functionaries naturally fitted and expressly trained for the work, he saw equally that a privileged class would be tempted to abuse their position in order to fill their pockets and to gratify their passions. He proposed to provide against these dangers, first by the new system of education already described, and secondly by pushing the division of labour to its logical conclusion. That they might the better attend to their specific duties, the defenders and the rulers of the State were not to practise the art of money-making; in other words, they were not to possess any property of their own, but were to be supported by the labour of the industrial classes. Furthermore, that they need not quarrel among themselves, he proposed that every private interest should be eliminated245 from their lives, and that they should, as a class, be united by the closest bonds of family affection. This purpose was to be effected by the abolition of marriage and of domesticity. The couples chosen for breeding were to be separated when the object of their union had been attained; children were to be taken from their mothers immediately after birth and brought up at the expense and under the supervision of the State. Sickly and deformed infants were to be destroyed. Those who fell short of the aristocratic standard were to be degraded, and their places filled up by the exceptionally gifted offspring of low-class parents. Members of the military and governing caste were to address each other according to the kinship which might possibly exist between them. In the absence of home-employments, women were to be, so far as possible, assimilated to men; to pass through the same bodily and mental training; to be enrolled in the army; and, if they showed the necessary capacity, to discharge the highest political functions. In this practical dialectic the identifying no less than the differentiating power of logic is displayed, and displayed also in defiance of common ideas, as in the modern classifications of zoology and botany. Plato introduces distinctions where they did not before exist, and annuls those which were already recognised. The sexes were to be assimilated, political life was to be identified with family life, and the whole community was to present an exact parallel with the individual soul. The ruling committee corresponded to reason, the army to passionate spirit, and the industrial classes to the animal desires; and each, in its perfect constitution, represented one of the cardinal virtues as reinterpreted by Plato. Wisdom belonged to the ruling part, courage to the intermediate executive power, and temperance or obedience to the organs of material existence; while justice meant the general harmony resulting from the fulfilment of their appropriate functions by all. We may add that the whole State reproduced the Greek family in a much246 deeper sense than Plato himself was aware of. For his aristocracy represents the man, whose virtue, in the words of Gorgias, was to administer the State; and his industrial class takes the place of the woman, whose duty was to order her house, and keep what is indoors, and obey her husband.146"Very well, sir."





      We 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.Honour and wisdom are but empty names