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      Around him was gathered the company in a petulant state of mind.



      Si, Shorty and the rest would make their weary way to the point indicated, about a half-mile distant, only to find that their regiment had been sighted at another point a mile away in a different direction.

      Flying close to three thousand feet above Oyster Bay, level and stable, the airplane seemed to be in perfect condition.

      "Let me fill your pipe up again. Madam, with something very choice," said he, pulling out a plug of bright natural leaf. "Here's some terbacker the like o' which you never see in all your born days. It was raised from seed stole from the private stock of the High-muk-a-muk o' Turkey, brung acrost the ocean in a silver terbacker box for the use o' President Buchanan, and planted in the new o' the moon on a piece o' ground that never before had raised nothin' but roses and sweet-williams. My oldest brother, who is a Senator from Oshkosh, got just one plug of it, which he divided with me."


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      Thus with Plutarch, as with his master Plato, a future world is the grand court of appeal from the anomalies and inequalities of this world; and, following the example of the Gorgias and the Republic, he reserves to the last a terrible picture of the torments held in store for those who have not expiated their transgressions on earth, describing them as they are supposed to have been witnessed by a human soul temporarily separated from the body for the purpose of viewing and reporting on this final manifestation of divine justice. It would appear, however, from the narrative in question that future punishments are not eternal. After a more or less protracted period of expiation, the immortal soul is restored to the upper world, under whatever embodiment seems most appropriate to its former career. Among those whose turn has arrived for entering on a new existence at the moment when Plutarchs visitor makes his descent to hell, is the soul of Nero. The wicked Emperor has just been condemned to assume the form of a viper, when a great light shines forth, and from the midst of the light a voice is heard crying:268 Let him reappear under the guise of a song-bird haunting the neighbourhood of marshes and meres; for he has already paid the penalty of his guilt, and the gods owe him some kindness for having liberated Greece, the best and most beloved by them of all the nations that he ruled.Shutting off the governing valve, Jeff began unscrewing the pipe lines, rejoining lengths of piping until, with a section from the carburetor to give the needed length, he passed over a makeshift path for the wing-tank gas to flow by gravity into their own craft.

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      "My partner," echoed Deacon Klegg. "This man's no partner o' mine. I never laid eyes on him till a half-hour ago."

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      78On passing from Seneca to Epicttus, we find that the religious element has received a considerable accession of strength, so considerable, indeed, that the simple progress of time will not altogether account for it. Something is due to the superior devoutness of the Eastern mindEpicttus was a Phrygian,and still more to the difference in station between the two philosophers. As a noble, Seneca belonged to the class which was naturally most inclined to adopt an independent attitude towards the popular beliefs; as a slave, Epicttus belonged to the class which was naturally most amenable to their authority. It was, however, no accident that philosophy should, at a distance of only a generation, be represented by two such widely contrasted individuals; for the whole tendency of Roman civilisation was, as we have seen, to bring the Oriental element and the servile element of society into ever-increasing prominence. Nothing proves the ascendency of religious considerations in the mind of Epicttus more strongly than his aversion from the physical enquiries which were eagerly prosecuted by Seneca. Nature interests him solely as a manifestation of divine wisdom and goodness. As a consequence of this intensified religious feeling, the Stoic theory of natural law is transformed, with Epicttus, into an expression of filial submission to the divine will, while the Stoic teleology becomes an enumeration of the blessings showered by providence on man. In the latter respect, his standpoint approaches very near to that of Socrates, who, although a free-born Athenian citizen, belonged, like him, to the poorer classes, and sympathised deeply with their feeling of dependence on supernatural protection,a remark which also applies to the humble day-labourer244 Cleanthes. Epicttus also shares the idea, characteristic of the Platonic rather than of the Xenophontic Socrates, that the philosopher is entrusted with a mission from God, without which it would be perilous for him to undertake the office of a teacher, and which, in the discharge of that office, he should keep constantly before his eyes. But the dialectical element which with Socrates had furnished so strong a counterpoise to the authoritative and traditional side of his philosophy, is almost entirely wanting in the discourses of his imitator, and the little of it which he admits is valued only as a means of silencing the Sceptics. On the other hand, the weakness and insignificance of human nature, considered on the individual side, are abundantly illustrated, and contemptuous diminutives are habitually used in speaking of its component parts.378 It would seem that the attitude of prostration before an overwhelming external authority prevented Epicttus from looking very favourably on the doctrine of individual immortality; and even if he accepted that doctrine, which seems in the highest degree improbable, it held a much less important place in his thoughts than in those of Cicero and Seneca. It would seem, also, that the Stoic materialism was betraying its fundamental incompatibility with a hope originally borrowed from the idealism of Plato. Nor was this renunciation inconsistent with the ethical dualism which drew a sharp line of distinction between flesh and spirit in the constitution of man, for the superiority of the spirit arose from its identity with the divine substance into which it was destined to be reabsorbed after death.379


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