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The germ of this new dogmatism was present in Platos mind from the very beginning, and was partly an inheritance from older forms of thought. The Apologia had reproduced one important feature in the positive teaching of Socratesthe distinction between soul and body, and the necessity of attending to the former rather than to the latter: and this had now acquired such significance as to leave no standing-room for the agnosticism with which it had been incompatible from the first. The same irresistible force of expansion which had brought the human soul into communion with absolute truth, was to be equally verified in a different direction. Plato was too much interested in practical questions to be diverted from them long by any theoretical philosophy; or, perhaps, we should rather say that this interest had accompanied and inspired him throughout. It is from the essential relativity of mind, the profound craving for intellectual sympathy with other minds, that all mystical imaginations and super-subtle abstractions take rise; so that, when the strain of transcendent absorption and ecstasy is relaxed under the chilling but beneficent contact of earthly experience, they become216 condensed into ideas for the reconstitution of life and society on a basis of reciprocity, of self-restraint, and of self-devotion to a commonwealth greater and more enduring than any individual, while, at the same time, presenting to each in objective form the principle by virtue of which only, instead of being divided, he can become reconciled with himself. Here we have the creed of all philosophy, whether theological, metaphysical, or positive, that there is, or that there should be, this threefold unity of feeling, of action, and of thought, of the soul, of society, and of universal existence, to win which is everlasting life, while to be without it is everlasting death. This creed must be re-stated and re-interpreted at every revolution of thought. We have to see how it was, for the first time, stated and interpreted by Plato.
The boy also had been obliged to retire into France, had been transported from Rheims to Havre, and from there, across the sea, back to Belgium. "Five times already, my dear parents, I have been in the fight; I have asked them not to let me wait long for the sixth. Oh, you cannot imagine how glorious it is to be allowed to fight for my country! Have confidence in the future, dear parents, and say a paternoster for me and my comrades and also one for our Fatherland."
Elephants came along, stepping daintily, but filling the whole width of the street, looking, with one little slanting eye cocked, as if they were laughing at the foot-passengers who were compelled to squeeze against the wall.
Bruce bowed again. He would have given a good deal to know what the other was driving at. Was there any real meaning in the chatter, or was it all for the purpose of delay? Bruce hinted that it was late.