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      In criticising the Stoic system as a whole, the New Academy and the later Sceptics had incidentally dwelt on sundry absurdities which followed from the materialistic interpretation of knowledge; and Plotinus evidently derived some of his most forcible objections from their writings; but no previous philosopher that we know of had set forth the whole case for spiritualism and against materialism with such telling effect. And what is, perhaps, more important than any originality in detail, is the profound insight shown in choosing this whole question of spiritualism versus materialism for the ground whereon the combined forces of Plato and Aristotle were to fight their first battle against the naturalistic system which had triumphed over them five centuries before. It was on dialectical and ethical grounds that the controversy between Porch and Academy, on ethical and religious grounds that the controversy between Epicureanism and all other schools of philosophy, had hitherto been conducted. Cicero and Plutarch never allude to their opponents as materialists. Only once, in his polemic against Col?tes, does Plutarch observe that neither a soul nor anything else could be made out of atoms, but this is because they are discrete, not because they are extended.446 For the rest, his method is to trip up his opponents by pointing out their inconsistencies, rather than to cut the ground from under their feet by proving that their theory of the universe is wrong.

      Painting, like architecture, was at a very low ebb during this period, with one or two brilliant exceptions. Foreign artists were in demand, and there was no native talent, except that of Thornhill and Hogarth, which could claim to be unjustly overlooked in that preference. Sir Peter Lely was still living, but Sir Godfrey Kneller, another foreigner, was already taking his place. Kneller was a German, born at Lübeck, and educated under the best Flemish masters of the day. As he had chosen portrait-painting as his department, he hastened over to England after a visit to Rome and Venice, as the most profitable field for his practice, and being introduced to Charles II. by the Duke of Monmouth, he became at once the fashion. Kneller had talents of the highest order, and, had not his passion for money-making been still greater, he would have taken rank with the great masters; but, having painted a few truly fine pictures, he relied on them to secure his fame, and commenced an actual manufacture of portraits for the accumulation of money. Like Rubens, he sketched out the main figure, and painted the head and face, leaving his pupils to fill in all the rest. He worked with wonderful rapidity, and had figures often prepared beforehand, on which he fitted heads as they were commissioned. Sir John Medina, a Fleming, was the chief manufacturer of ready-made figures and postures for him, the rest filled in the draperies and backgrounds. Kneller had a bold, free, and vigorous hand, painting with wonderful rapidity, and much of the grace of Vandyck, but only a few of his works show what he was capable of. The beauties of the Court of William and Mary, which may be seen side by side with those of the Court of Charles II. by Lely at Hampton Court, are far inferior to Lely's.Now if one cannot have revenge upon the real malefactor himself, because one is afraid of him, there is still satisfaction to be derived, to a certain extent, from[Pg 204] wreaking it upon the innocent, of whom one is not afraid. Lawton felt, in his simple soul, that Stone was astute with the astuteness of the devil and all his angels. On the other hand, he believed the government to be dull. It was big, but it was stupid. Was not the whole frontier evidence of that fact to him? Clearly, then, the government was the one to be got even with.

      Dick tried to conceal the twinkle in his eye, but it got the better of him as he explained.

      Holy everlasting Saviour of the human race! Bounteous nurse of mortals! Tender mother of the afflicted! Not for a day or night nor even for one little moment dost thou relax thy care for men, driving away the storms of life and stretching forth to them the right hand of deliverance, wherewith thou dost unravel even the tangled threads of fate, soothe the storms of fortune, and restrain the hurtful courses of the stars. The gods above adore thee, the gods below respect; thou dost cause the heavens to roll, the sun to shine; the world thou rulest, and treadest Tartarus under foot. To thee the stars reply, for thee the seasons come again; in thee the deities rejoice, and thee the elements obey. At thy nod the breezes blow, the clouds drop fatness, the seeds germinate and seedlings spring. But my wit is small to celebrate thy praises, my fortune256 poor to pay thee sacrifices, the abundance of my voice does not suffice to tell what I think of thy majesty, nor would a thousand tongues nor an unwearied and everlasting flow of speech. Therefore what alone religion joined to poverty can achieve, I will provide: an image of thy divine countenance and most holy godhead, guarded for perpetual contemplation within the recesses of my heart.397

      The bids, duly sealed, were given into the keeping of the commissary officer to be put in his safe, and kept until the day of judgment, when all being opened in public and in the presence of the aspirants, the lowest would[Pg 188] get the contract. It was a simple plan, and gave no more opportunity for underhand work than could be avoided. But there were opportunities for all that. It was barely possiblethe thing had been donefor a commissary clerk or sergeant, desirous of adding to his pittance of pay, or of favoring a friend among the bidders, to tamper with the bids. By the same token there was no real reason why the commissary officer could not do it himself. Landor had never heard, or known, of such a case, but undoubtedly the way was there. It was a question of having the will and the possession of the safe keys.

      Landor stood considering and pulling at his mustache, as his way was. Then he turned on his heel and went back to the tent for Brewster. He explained the matter to him. "I tell Mr. Foster," he said, "just what risk I would take if I acted contrary to orders, but the force of my argument doesn't seem to strike him. If any harm were to come to the citizens around here, I'd be responsible."But they may find the life preserver if its still there and get away with the emeralds.


      "And you think there will be trouble?" He knew that the buck had come there for nothing but to inform.



      Neo-Platonism may itself furnish us with no inapt image of the age in which it arose. Like the unformed Matter about which we have been hearing so much, the consciousness of that period was in itself dark, indeterminate and unsteady, uncreative, unspontaneous, unoriginating, but with a receptive capacity which enabled it to seize, reflect, and transmit the power of living Reason, the splendour of eternal thought.In this Convention no mention was made of the right of search, and various other matters were reserved for the consideration of the plenipotentiaries. When the Convention was announced to Parliament by the king in his opening speech, there arose a general denunciation of it both in and out of Parliament. The right of search was declared to be purposely sacrificed; the limits of Georgia were undefined; and the Spanish captains in the West Indies were unpunished for all their cruelties. That sixty thousand pounds should be allowed for compensation for ships taken by Admiral Byng in 1718 was very justly declared taxing us for our victories. In fact, Walpole, in this treaty, seemed ready to give up everything to Spain, knowing, probably, how hopeless it was to extract money from that country, and glad of an excuse of any set-off against our claims as to the easiest way of settling them. But all did not avail him. The more conceding he was to the Spaniards the more immovable they became, whilst the public at home were enraged at the tameness displayed by Ministers. Ministers found their majority continually on the wane. On the division in the Commons it had dwindled to twenty-eight, namely, two hundred and sixty votes against two hundred and thirty-two.