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temperament. Tell me the cause,' he said to his physician,'treat me not as a driver of oxen or a digger-but tell me the 'cause, and you shall find me obedient! He drove his aged teacher, it is related, to take refuge in the garden by the importunity of his questionings. But he could restrain this propensity when necessary. With his usual tact he cautioned Callisthenes, his democratic disciple, to converse seldom and very courteously with his royal patron, Alexander. He thought, studied, wrote about politics, and yet had the good sense to keep himself clear of the political entanglements around him; and when at last the malice of his enemies expelled him from Athens, he accepted this change in the 'popularis aura' with the equanimity of a true philosopher. Like the king-maker of our own country, he reigned by deputy; and, through his royal pupil, exercised an indirect but incalculable influence on the policy of Macedon and on the destinies of the world.

But there is another characteristic of the man to be noticednot less important than this, and closely allied to it. Any one who has read even a few pages only of Aristotle's treatises, cannot but mark the brevity and terseness of his style. It is, in a word-inappropriate as the epithet may sound when applied to a dweller beside the Ilissus-thoroughly Laconic. But this is not all. A closer acquaintance detects beneath this epigrammatic terseness a vein of irony; not of irony such as Socrates delighted in, humorous and genial, but severe, caustic, and incisive. Socrates is quite willing to make himself ridiculous, if only he can make the truth clearer in the end. He does not at all object to his own snub nose being used as an illustration, nay, he is the first to call attention to it, provided that it may serve his purpose, and help on his argument. He can bear to have the laugh against him for the moment, knowing that, in the sequel of the controversy,' he will laugh who wins.' Aristotle is too self-contained, too proud, too reserved to stoop thus. His irony is that of a man who sees a something wanting everywhere; who is painfully alive to the defects and mistakes of others; who detests any overstatement, even when he feels confident of his position, and dreads the interference of that 'forward and delusive faculty,' as it has been termed, the imagination; who feels constrained to own with a sigh, after all his researches, that what is, must be.' Now the anecdotes of Aristotle prepare us for all this. They are so consistent with one another, so accordant with these peculiarities, that they warn us to make allowance, when we come to his writings, for this 'enstatic' habit of mind, this scrupulosity in objecting. When asked, 'What grows old soon?' he is said to have answered, Gratitude;' and he defined hope as 'the dream of one awakened.' Cautious

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to the last, he shunned even on his deathbed to commit himself in favour either of Theophrastus or Menedemus, who both claimed the honour of succeeding him. He merely indicated the former by the words, The Lesbian is the sweeter.' These casual traits are in perfect keeping with his philosophy. While Plato strikes a full, resounding chord, Aristotle thinks and writes, as it were, in a minor key: His very pride, as often happens, lends to his self-restraint an air of humility. He will not soar too high, because he foresees the fall. He is too well aware of possible objections even to his own most cherished theories, to expose them more than is absolutely needful, or to trust himself to a general statement which he does not feel able to substantiate. His was a thoroughly critical, judicial mind. He was a thorough man of the world, as well as a professor of philosophy. He would rather build slowly and surely than see his cloud-castles toppling over at the breath of adverse winds. Accordingly, we find the school which Aristotle founded small and insignificant; but the influence which Aristotle has exercised on the world at large unequalled in history.

Nor is it difficult to trace the same connexion between the life and the writings in Socrates and in Plato.

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The extensive learning of the latter, his familiarity with previous philosophies, his travels far and wide, his residence at the Court of Dionysius, and in the college of the Pythagoreans, all contributed to mould his system, and, in conjunction with his own exuberant imaginativeness, to impart the attributes by which it is distinguished, of largeness and complexity. Or we may take the details of his system,-the antagonism, for instance, which he expresses in the Republic' to poets. At first sight this may appear inconsistent in one so truly a poet himself. But, if we look again, we can see how naturally and logically even this follows from what we know of his antecedents. In the internecine war which he and his master waged against the Sophists, he was contending for certainty of knowledge and of belief against the notion that everything was an open question. Poetry, whether as a creative or as an imitative art, seemed to him to contradict the certainty which he was asserting. As a creator, the poet, in the eyes of Plato, was substituting his own conceits for realities. As an imitator--and in this light Plato was more apt to regard him—he was setting up idols in the shape of his own misrepresentations. We may add, that Plato had good cause to distrust the influence of a stage on which his master had been caricatured, and that his moral sense was disgusted by poetry, whether epic or dramatic, which degraded the popular conception of its deities.

In Socrates, above all, the man and the philosophy are one.

In every page of his 'Dialogues' we see and hear the man himself. Like our own great moralist, who preferred Fleet Street in the high tide of its noonday bustle to any landscape, Socrates was a thorough townsman. His knowledge came not from extended travel, nor so much from books, as from the study, first of himself, then of his fellow-citizens. It must be admitted that neither of his biographers, if we may use the word rather loosely, is quite a Boswell. Plato is too prone to identify his teacher with himself. Xenophon, skilled like our own Napier to wield alike the sword and the pen, excludes from his reminiscences whatever does not bear immediately on the great questions of the trial. Still, the two together give us a portraiture of almost Boswellian completeness. We see Socrates, with his snub nose, and his stare like that of a mountain bull, with features, in fact, like a comic mask, and with a shabby dress, such as the poorest wore, grotesque enough to provoke a laugh even from observers less sensitive to the ridiculous than the Athenians, but too good-humoured, too truly magnanimous, to take offence at it. He meets us in the grove, the market-place, the festive supper-party, wherever people were most likely to be congregated, forcing even the most reluctant to undergo the ordeal of his cross-examination by an ingenuous profession of his own ignorance, which was not a profession only. Dean Swift, when asked by an odd-looking little man, who had pestered him with a long string of foolish queries, ' Pray, what is a note of interrogation?' is reported to have replied-A little crooked thing which always asks questions.' Some such definition of Socrates as this may have occurred to the self-satisfied Sophists, who retired silenced and humiliated, they scarcely knew how, except that it was on their own showing, and by their own admission, from a fight of words with him. The doctrine that knowledge is recollection was the very thing to approve itself to one who found that he could confute the fallacies of his opponents out of their own lips, and that he could discover the truth which he was in search of, by an act of self-recollection, by probing his own experience to the quick, by grasping the Protean problem which was to be solved, and subjecting it to an exact and rigorous process of definition. Logic had been an art of words; he sought to make it an art of things. He was always asking himself, and asking everybody else, 'What does this really mean-this word-this phrase which we use so glibly?' He could not, would not rest, till he had pushed the question home, like a surgeon's knife,―till, like the bull which he resembled, he had driven his adversary into a corner from which there was no escape. Plato went further. This defining process, which had proved so effectual in the hands of Socrates for demolishing his opponents, Plato

used for the construction of his own theories. It supplied precisely what he wanted, in place of the shallow empiricism of the Sophists; it gave him, as he thought, sure ground on which to rear his lofty edifice. But to Socrates, 'Know thyself' was all in all. The philosopher to whom, let Aristophanes say what he will, the merit belongs of drawing philosophy down, like lightning, from the clouds, was habitually and persistently a lounger in the Forum.

The title of Bishop Hampden's book is in some degree a misnomer. For the philosophers of whom it treats were rather the last and best result of Greek philosophy than the 'Fathers' of it. Perhaps, however, we are to take the word as merely denoting that they have the same sort of traditionary authority in their own province as the 'Fathers' of the Christian Church have on questions relating to Christianity. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are a great triumvirate; partitioning among themselves the empire of Ancient Philosophy. Their specialties are too diverse to come into serious collision. The former two excel respectively in analysis and synthesis; Aristotle in the harmonious combination of these two things. Socrates leads the way by levelling to the ground the strongholds of an unreasonable scepticism. Plato, like an Eastern conqueror, dreaming of a universal empire, overruns a vast extent of territory, and presses into his service a motley array of sciences. Aristotle, like a Roman lawgiver, consolidates the empire by marshalling its heterogeneous elements in a more firmly organized policy. Or, to take a homelier illustration, Socrates breaks up the fallow ground, and eradicates the noxious overgrowth of weeds; Plato scatters the seeds with a liberal hand; Aristotle comes last to gather in the harvest, carefully severing facts from figments. Socrates is essentially destructive and refutative, even while he is laying his foundations in the incontrovertible truths of morality. Like the rebuilders of Jerusalem, he bears the sword in one hand and the mattock in the other. His pupil, while developing the same elenctic method, uses the abundant materials at his command to construct a system of his own. The strength of Aristotle shows itself especially in unravelling the ingenious complications of his idealistic predecessor, in reducing impracticable theories to more manageable dimensions, in restricting their pretensions by recourse to facts. Accordingly, we find in history that Plato was the favourite of the Christian Church, while on the aggressive against Paganism, while struggling to extend its influence over regions of thought, as yet unsubjugated; and that Aristotle supplanted Plato so soon as it became necessary rather to consolidate what had been acquired than to attempt new conquests.

These three names represent, it may safely be asserted, the highest point which man has been able to attain independently of Christianity. Even if it could be shown that there have been philosophers as great, or philosophical systems as remarkable, in modern Europe, outside the pale of Christianity, it could not be shown that such men and their systems are not largely indebted to the religion from which they stand aloof, or against which they even rank themselves. The indirect influences which have penetrated the life and thought of Europe during the ceuturies since the birth of Christ must not be left out of account. Hegel and Spinosa would not have been even what they were had they lived at Athens before the Christian era.

Greek philosophy, at its best, may fairly be taken as the sample of what man can do for himself, not indeed without light from heaven, for even the Hottentot is not left in utter night; and the twilight from which Plato strove to emerge into a higher, purer ether was cheered by many a ray from above; but without the clear and full light of an express revelation. Greek philosophy, so regarded, bears a twofold witness to the religion of which it may be styled, in one sense, the precursor. So far as it goes, so far as it rises to the conceptions of a pure morality, it bears witness to Christianity, by recognising the truths on which Christianity is founded. So far as it is deficient, so far as it falls short of the highest standard of excellence, it bears witness to the need of something better, of a morality not resting merely on arguments of expedience or propriety, but on the authority of a voice from heaven, not propounded by Utopian visionaries or by philosophical theorists, but presented actually to the eyes of men in the life and death of the Incarnate Son of God.

Socrates found philosophy in a state of chaos. The mind of man, it has been well said by Mr. Maurice, like a bird in a cage, after vainly dashing itself against the wires of its prison, was sinking down in the exhaustion of despair. As in language, so in thought, history reveals a process of gradual disintegration from primal unity. The same tendency is still at work, and must be. More and more each department of science and of art vindicates for itself an individual existence, even while the unity of the principles which underlie them all is becoming more and more manifest. The correlation' of forces, the 'continuity' of nature, are daily revealing themselves more and more explicitly to the mind of the philosopher; and yet this other process of distinction and demarcation is busily at work also. It was part of the vocation of Socrates to show that the cosmogonic philosophies then in vogue were a confusion of things which must be kept distinct from each other-of matter and spirit. He saw around him a whirl of conflicting theories about

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