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Why on earth don't they go to men's colleges and urge the students
Fakirs, holding out their begging-bowls as they squatted round an opening in the ground, showed that it was the entrance to a temple; a few steps down, a long corridor with little niches on each side, and then hall after hall full of grimacing gods, lighted up by our guide's torch, till at last we reached an immense vault where impenetrable darkness filled the angles lost in a labyrinth of arcades converging to some mystery. Here all the Hindoo gods, carved in stone, have been crowded together, with their horrible contortions, their stolid beatitude, their affected grace; and in their midst is a huge idol, hacked with a great cut by Aurungzeeb, the Moslem emperor, at the time of his conquest. Suddenly all about us was a crowd of Brahmins, appearing from what dark corners we could not discover. They looked nasty and half asleep, and vanished at once with a murmur of whispered speech that hung about the galleries in an echo.
ROMEThe philosophy of Socrates is more obviously related to the practical and religious tendencies of his countrymen. Neither he nor they had any sympathy with the cosmological speculations which seemed to be unconnected with human interests, and to trench on matters beyond the reach of human knowledge. The old Attic sentiment was averse from adventures of any kind, whether political or intellectual. Yet the new spirit of enquiry awakened by Ionian thought could not fail to react powerfully on the most intelligent man among the most intelligent people of Hellas. Above all, one paramount idea which went beyond the confines of the old philosophy had been evolved by the differentiation of knowledge from its object, and had been presented, although under a materialising form, by Anaxagoras to the Athenian public. Socrates took up this idea, which expressed what was highest and most distinctive in the national131 character, and applied it to the development of ethical speculation. We have seen, in the last chapter, how an attempt was made to base moral truth on the results of natural philosophy, and how that attempt was combated by the Humanistic school. It could not be doubtful which side Socrates would take in this controversy. That he paid any attention to the teaching of Protagoras and Gorgias is, indeed, highly problematic, for their names are never mentioned by Xenophon, and the Platonic dialogues in which they figure are evidently fictitious. Nevertheless, he had to a certain extent arrived at the same conclusion with them, although by a different path. He was opposed, on religious grounds, to the theories which an acute psychological analysis had led them to reject. Accordingly, the idea of Nature is almost entirely absent from his conversation, and, like Protagoras, he is guided solely by regard for human interests. To the objection that positive laws were always changing, he victoriously replied that it was because they were undergoing an incessant adaptation to varying needs.88 Like Protagoras, again, he was a habitual student of old Greek literature, and sedulously sought out the practical lessons in which it abounded. To him, as to the early poets and sages, S?phrosyn, or self-knowledge and self-command taken together, was the first and most necessary of all virtues. Unlike them, however, he does not simply accept it from tradition, but gives it a philosophical foundationthe newly-established distinction between mind and body; a distinction not to be confounded with the old Psychism, although Plato, for his reforming purposes, shortly afterwards linked the two together. The disembodied spirit of mythology was a mere shadow or memory, equally destitute of solidity and of understanding; with Socrates, mind meant the personal consciousness which retains its continuous identity through every change, and as against every passing impulse. Like132 the Humanists, he made it the seat of knowledgemore than the Humanists, he gave it the control of appetite. In other words, he adds the idea of will to that of intellect; but instead of treating them as distinct faculties or functions, he absolutely identifies them. Mind having come to be first recognised as a knowing power, carried over its association with knowledge into the volitional sphere, and the two were first disentangled by Aristotle, though very imperfectly even by him. Yet no thinker helped so much to make the confusion apparent as the one to whom it was due. Socrates deliberately insisted that those who knew the good must necessarily be good themselves. He taught that every virtue was a science; courage, for example, was a knowledge of the things which should or should not be feared; temperance, a knowledge of what should or should not be desired, and so forth. Such an account of virtue would, perhaps, be sufficient if all men did what, in their opinion, they ought to do; and, however strange it may seem, Socrates assumed that such was actually the case.89 The paradox, even if accepted at the moment by his youthful friends, was sure to be rejected, on examination, by cooler heads, and its rejection would prove that the whole doctrine was essentially unsound. Various causes prevented Socrates from perceiving what seemed so clear to duller intelligences than his. First of all, he did not separate duty from personal interest. A true Athenian, he recommended temperance and righteousness very largely on account of the material advantages they secured. That the agreeable and the honourable, the expedient and the just, frequently came into collision, was at that time a rhetorical commonplace; and it might be supposed that, if they were shown to coincide, no motive to misconduct but ignorance could exist. Then, again, being accustomed to compare conduct of every kind with the practice of such arts as flute-playing, he had come to take knowledge in a rather extended133 sense, just as we do when we say, indifferently, that a man knows geometry and that he knows how to draw. Aristotle himself did not see more clearly than Socrates that moral habits are only to be acquired by incessant practice; only the earlier thinker would have observed that knowledge of every kind is gained by the same laborious repetition of particular actions. To the obvious objection that, in this case, morality cannot, like theoretical truth, be imparted by the teacher to his pupils, but must be won by the learner for himself, he would probably have replied that all truth is really evolved by the mind from itself, and that he, for that very reason, disclaimed the name of a teacher, and limited himself to the seemingly humbler task of awakening dormant capacities in others.