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Socrates represents the popular Athenian character much as Richardson, in a different sphere, represents the English middle-class characterrepresents it, that is to say, elevated into transcendent genius. Except this elevation, there was nothing anomalous about him. If he was exclusively critical, rationalising, unadventurous, prosaic; in a word, as the German historians say, something of a Philistine; so, we may suspect, were the mass of his countrymen. His illustrations were taken from such plebeian employments as cattle-breeding, cobbling, weaving, and sailoring. These were his touches of things common which at last rose to touch the spheres. He both practised and inculcated virtues, the value of which is especially evident in humble lifefrugality and endurance. But he also represents the Dmos in its sovereign capacity as legislator and judge. Without aspiring to be an orator or statesman, he reserves the ultimate power of arbitration and election. He submits candidates for office to a severe scrutiny, and demands from all men an even stricter account of their lives than retiring magistrates had to give of their conduct, when in power, to the people. He applies the judicial method of cross-examination to the detection of error, and the parliamentary method of joint deliberation to the discovery of truth. He follows out the democratic principles of free speech and self-government, by submitting every question that arises to public discussion, and insisting on no conclusion that does not command the willing assent of his audience. Finally, his conversation, popular in form, was popular also in this respect, that everybody who chose to listen might have the130 benefit of it gratuitously. Here we have a great change from the scornful dogmatism of Heracleitus, and the virtually oligarchic exclusiveness of the teachers who demanded high fees for their instruction."Of course they will. But there are viler crimes than the theft of diamonds. There is the conspiracy to rob a good man of his good name, to make the lives of that man and the girl he is going to marry dark for the sake of a passing caprice. I tell you this has been done, and a murder has been committed in the doing of it. And I am going to get to the bottom of the foul tangle."
IV.Again, Plato is false to his own rule when he selects his philosophic governors out of the military caste. If the same individual can be a warrior in his youth and an administrator255 in his riper years, one man can do two things well, though not at the same time. If the same person can be born with the qualifications both of a soldier and of a politician, and can be fitted by education for each calling in succession, surely a much greater number can combine the functions of a manual labourer with those of an elector. What prevented Plato from perceiving this obvious parallel was the tradition of the paterfamilias who had always been a warrior in his youth; and a commendable anxiety to keep the army closely connected with the civil power. The analogies of domestic life have also a great deal to do with his proposed community of women and children. Instead of undervaluing the family affections, he immensely overvalued them; as is shown by his supposition that the bonds of consanguinity would prevent dissensions from arising among his warriors. He should have known that many a home is the scene of constant wrangling, and that quarrels between kinsfolk are the bitterest of any. Then, looking on the State as a great school, Plato imagined that the obedience, docility, and credulity of young scholars could be kept up through a lifetime; that full-grown citizens would swallow the absurdest inventions; and that middle-aged officers could be sent into retirement for several years to study dialectic. To suppose that statesmen must necessarily be formed by the discipline in question is another scholastic trait. The professional teacher attributes far more practical importance to his abstruser lessons than they really possess. He is not content to wait for the indirect influence which they may exert at some remote period and in combination with forces of perhaps a widely different character. He looks for immediate and telling results. He imagines that the highest truth must have a mysterious power of transforming all things into its own likeness, or at least of making its learners more capable than other men of doing the worlds work. Here also Plato, instead of being too logical, was not logical256 enough. By following out the laws of economy, as applied to mental labour, he might have arrived at the separation of the spiritual and temporal powers, and thus anticipated the best established social doctrine of our time.
The duration of the war has more or less surprised me, and I postponed writing this book for a long time as I wished to quote the evidence of persons in high places, clergymen, and educated foreigners. As the war is not over yet, I must omit these in the interest of their safety.
(1.) What should determine the social rank of industrial callings?(2.) Why have the physical sciences and mechanic arts achieved so honourable a position?(3.) How may the general object of the engineering arts be described?(4.) What is the difference between science and art as the terms are generally employed in connection with practical industry?
"I'll tell you," she said. "I procured a letter of yours. I cut out words here and there, and made a long letter of them. Then I had the whole thing photographed. After that my task was easy, it was only a matter of time. Even from a child I always had a gift that way. If you will give me paper and pen I will show you.""Say," the other whispered fiercely. "Poor Leon--is he dead?"