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which yesterday was invisible is its goal to-day, and will be its starting post to-morrow."
Great and various as the powers of Bacon were, he owes his wide and durable fame chiefly to this, that all those powers received their direction from common sense. His love of the vulgar useful, his strong sympathy with the popular notions of good and evil, and the openness with which he avowed that sympathy, are the secret of his influence. There was in his system no cant, no illusion. He had no anointing for broken bones, no fine theories de finibus, no arguments to persuade men out of their senses. He knew that men, and philosophers as well as other men, do actually love life, health, comfort, honor, security, the society of friends, and do actually dislike death, sickness, pain, poverty, disgrace, danger, separation from those to whom they are attached. He knew that religion, though it often regulates and moderates these feelings, seldom eradicates them; nor did he think it desirable for mankind that they should be eradicated. The plan of eradicating them by conceits like those of Seneca, or syllogisms like those of Chrysippus, was too preposterous to be for a moment entertained by a mind like his. He did not understand what wisdom there could be in changing names where it was impossible to change things; in denying that blindness, hunger, the gout, the rack, were evils, and calling them ȧπожроnyμeva; in refusing to acknowledge that health, safety, plenty, were good things, and dubbing them by the name of ȧdiápopa. In his opinions on all these subjects, he was not a Stoic, nor an Epicurean, nor an Academic, but what would have been called by Stoics, Epicureans, and Academics a mere idiwrns, a mere common man. And it was precisely because he was so that his name makes so great an era in the history of the world. It was because he dug deep that he was able to pile high. It was because, in order to lay his foundations, he went down into those parts of human nature which lie low, but which are not liable to change, that the fabric which he reared has risen to so stately an elevation, and stands with such immovable strength.
We have sometimes thought that an amusing fiction might be written, in which a disciple of Epictetus and a disciple of Bacon should be introduced as fellow-travelers. They come to a village where the smallpox has just begun to rage, and find houses shut up, intercourse suspended, the sick abandoned, mothers weeping in terror over their children. The Stoic
assures the dismayed population that there is nothing bad in the smallpox, and that to a wise man disease, deformity, death, the loss of friends, are not evils. The Baconian takes out a lancet and begins to vaccinate. They find a body of miners in great dismay. An explosion of noisome vapors has just killed many of those who were at work; and the survivors are afraid to venture into the cavern. The Stoic assures them that such an accident is nothing but a mere άπоπроnyμevov. The Baconian, who has no such fine word at his command, contents himself with devising a safety lamp. They find a shipwrecked merchant wringing his hands on the shore. His vessel with an inestimable cargo has just gone down, and he is reduced in a moment from opulence to beggary. The Stoic exhorts him not to seek happiness in things which lie without himself, and repeats the whole chapter of Epictetus πρὸς τοὺς τὴν ἀπορίαν SeSoLkóтas. The Baconian constructs a diving bell, goes down in it, and returns with the most precious effects from the wreck. It would be easy to multiply illustrations of the difference between the philosophy of thorns and the philosophy of fruit, the philosophy of words and the philosophy of works.
A GRECIAN SUNSET.
BY LORD BYRON.
[For biographical sketch, see page 555.]
SLOW sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
O'er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven, Mark his gay course, and own the hues of heaven; Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep, Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.
On such an eve his palest beam he cast,
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes;
But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain,
Again the Ægean, heard no more from far,
THE TRIAL OF SOCRATES.1
(From the "Euthyphron" and the "Apology" of Plato: translated by F. J. Church.)
[PLATO, the great Greek philosopher, was born in or near Athens, B.C. 429, the year of Pericles' death. His name was Aristocles; Plato (“Broady”) was a nickname, probably from his figure. He began to write poems; but after meeting Socrates at twenty he burnt them, became Socrates' disciple for ten years, and was with him at his trial and death. Afterwards he traveled widely, and settled at Athens as a teacher of philosophy; among his pupils was Aristotle. His "Dialogues" are still the noblest body of philosophical thought in existence, and of matchless literary beauty. Emerson says, "Out of Plato come all things that are still written and debated among men of thought. .. Plato is philosophy, and philosophy Plato."]
Socrates, on the eve of his trial for impiety, wishes to show that the popular notions about piety and impiety, or holiness and unholiness, will not bear testing.
Euthyphron-What in the world are you doing here at the archon's porch, Socrates? Why have you left your haunts in the Lyceum? You surely cannot have an action before him, as I have.
Socrates-Nay, the Athenians, Euthyphron, call it a prosecution, not an action.
Euthyphron-What? Do you mean that some one is prosecuting you? I cannot believe that you are prosecuting any one yourself.
Socrates-Certainly I am not.
Euthyphron- Then is some one prosecuting you?
Euthyphron-Who is he?
Socrates-I scarcely know him myself, Euthyphron; I think he must be some unknown young man. His name, however, is Meletus, and his deme Pitthis, if you can call to mind any Meletus of that deme, — a hook-nosed man with long hair, and a rather scanty beard.
Euthyphron-I don't know him, Socrates. But, tell me, what is he prosecuting you for?
Socrates-What for? Not on trivial grounds, I think. It is no small thing for so young a man to have formed an opinion on such an important matter. For he, he says, knows how the 1 By permission of the publishers, Macmillan & Co., Ltd.