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"Well, I can't help it," said Allingham, "you don't expect a thing like that to happen. What's the white sheet for? So that you can[Pg 5] see the bowler's arm. But when something gets in the way, just over the sheetjust where you've got your eye fixed. It wouldn't happen once in a million times.""It will not be for long, dearest," he whispered. "Courage, darling."
Lawrence was burning the midnight oil, and therefore impatient of interruptions. But upon hearing Prout's name he finished the chapter he was writing, and slung up his reading lamp. He was hospitable over his cigarette and whisky.
The Countess looked round her helplessly. The sound of the music, the ripple of laughter, the murmur of voices maddened her. She knew that the crash must come some time, but she had not dreamt of a humiliation like this. Lawrence came sauntering down the steps. She flew to him.Antwerp had suffered from the horror of war. The bombardment had destroyed many beautiful quarters almost entirely, and even damaged badly a number of hospitals. Of course the loss of many lives had to be deplored.
"Superstitious nonsense," snorted Allingham. And he continued to snort at intervals while Mrs. Masters hastily collected cups and plates, and retreated with dignity to the kitchen.What! to see thee no more, and to feel thee no more,
With the idea of subsumption and subordination to law, we pass at once to the Stoic ethics. For Zeno, the end of life was self-consistency; for Cleanthes, consistency with Nature; for Chrysippus, both the one and the other.42 The still surviving individualism of the Cynics is represented in the first of these principles; the religious inspiration of the Stoa in the second; and the comprehensiveness of its great systematising intellect in the last. On the other hand, there18 is a vagueness about the idea of self-consistency which seems to date from a time when Stoicism was less a new and exclusive school than an endeavour to appropriate whatever was best in the older schools. For to be consistent is the common ideal of all philosophy, and is just what distinguishes it from the uncalculating impulsiveness of ordinary life, the chance inspirations of ordinary thought. But the Peripatetic who chose knowledge as his highest good differed widely from the Hedonist who made pleasure or painlessness his end; and even if they agreed in thinking that the highest pleasure is yielded by knowledge, the Stoic himself would assert that the object of their common pursuit was with both alike essentially unmoral. He would, no doubt, maintain that the self-consistency of any theory but his own was a delusion, and that all false moralities would, if consistently acted out, inevitably land their professors in a contradiction.43 Yet the absence of contradiction, although a valuable verification, is too negative a mark to serve for the sole test of rightness; and thus we are led on to the more specific standard of conformability to Nature, whether our own or that of the universe as a whole. Here again a difficulty presents itself. The idea of Nature had taken such a powerful hold on the Greek mind that it was employed by every school in turnexcept perhaps by the extreme sceptics, still faithful to the traditions of Protagoras and Gorgiasand was confidently appealed to in support of the most divergent ethical systems. We find it occupying a prominent place both in Platos Laws and in Aristotles Politics; while the maxim, Follow Nature, was borrowed by Zeno himself from Polemo, the head of the Academy, or perhaps from Polemos predecessor, Xenocrates. And Epicurus, the great opponent of Stoicism, maintained, not without plausibility, that every19 animal is led by Nature to pursue its own pleasure in preference to any other end.44 Thus, when Cleanthes declared that pleasure was unnatural,45 he and the Epicureans could not have been talking about the same thing. They must have meant something different by pleasure or by nature or by both.