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      But all this time the popular belief in omens had continued unaffected, and had apparently even increased. The peculiar Greek feeling known as Deisidaimonia is first satirised by Theophrastus, who defines it as cowardice with regard to the gods, and gives several amusing instances of the anxiety occasioned by its presenceall connected with the interpretation of omenssuch as Aristophanes could hardly have failed to notice had they been usual in his time. Nor were such fancies confined to the ignorant classes. Although the Stoics cannot be accused of Deisidaimonia, they gave their powerful sanction to the belief in divination, as has been already mentioned in our account of their philosophy. It223 would seem that whatever authority the great oracular centres had lost was simply handed over to lower and more popular forms of the same superstition.

      After the revolution which destroyed the political power of the old aristocracy, there came a further revolution the effect of which was to diminish largely its social predominance. We learn from the bitter sarcasms of Horace and Juvenal that under the empire wealth took the place of birth, if not, as those satirists pretend, of merit, as a passport to distinction and respect. Merely to possess a certain amount of money procured admission to the equestrian and senatorial orders; while a smaller pecuniary qualification entitled any Roman citizen to rank among the Honestiores as opposed to the Humiliores, the latter only being liable, if found guilty of certain offences, to the more atrocious forms of capital punishment, such as death by the wild beasts or by fire.314 Even a reputation for learning was supposed to be a marketable commodity; and when supreme power was held by a philoso207pher, the vulgar rich could still hope to attract his favourable notice by filling their houses with books.315 We also know from Juvenal, what indeed the analogy of modern times would readily suggest, that large fortunes were often rapidly made, and made by the cultivation of very sordid arts. Thus members of the most ignorant and superstitious classes were constantly rising to positions where they could set the tone of public opinion, or at least help to determine its direction.The manager was sympathetic; at the same time he looked at the clock, which was drawing very near to closing time. There was a lull outside in the traffic. Prout took up his hat and prepared to depart.

      Machines with direct action, such as punches, shears, or rolls, require first a train of mechanism of some kind to reduce the motion from the driving power so as to attain force; and secondly, [105] this force must be balanced or resisted by strong framing, shafts, and bearings. A punching-machine, for example, must have framing strong enough to resist a thrust equal to the force applied to the work; hence the frames of such machines are always a huge mass, disposed in the most advantageous way to meet and resist this reactive force, while the main details of a drop-machine capable of exerting an equal force consist only of a block and a pair of guides to direct its course.

      Side by side, however, with these exalted aspirations, the old popular belief in a subterranean abode of souls survived under its very crudest forms; and here also modern explorations have brought to light very surprising evidence of the strength with which the grotesque idea of Charon the Stygian ferryman still kept its hold on the imagination of uneducated people. Originally peculiar to Greece, where it still exists under a slightly altered form, this superstition penetrated into the West at a comparatively early period. Thus in the tombs of Campania alone many hundred skeletons have been found with bronze coins in their mouths, placed there to pay their passage across the Styx; and explorations at Praeneste show that this custom reaches back to the middle of the237 fourth century B.C. We also learn from Lucian that, in his time, the old animistic beliefs were entertained to the extent of burning or burying the clothes, ornaments, and other appurtenances of deceased persons along with their bodies, under the idea that the owners required them for use in the other world; and it is to such deposits that our museums of classical antiquity owe the greater part of their contents.369

      Following this subject of future improvement farther, it may be assumed that an engineer who understands the application and operation of some special machine, the principles that govern its movements, the endurance of the wearing surfaces, the direction and measure of the strains, and who also understands the principles of the distribution of material, arrangement, and proportions,that such an engineer will be able to construct machines, the plans of which will not be materially departed from so long as the nature of the operations to which [10] the machines are applied remain the same.

      The Countess pushed him from her with a merry smile.


      Nunc ratio nulla st restandi, nulla facultas,Between two of my several trips to Louvain I made one to Namur in the beginning of September, after having secured at Lige, by a trick, a splendid permit which enabled me to travel even by motor-car.


      Aristotles treatise on the soul is mainly devoted to a description of the theoretical facultiessense, and thought or reason. By sense we become acquainted with the material qualities of things; by thought with their forms or ideas. It has been already mentioned that, according to our philosopher, the organism is a system of contrary forces held in equilibrium by the soul, whose seat he supposes to be in the heart. We now learn that every sensation is a disturbance of this equilibrium. In other words, the sensorium being virtually any and every mode of matter, is raised from possibility to actuality by the presence of some one force, such as heat or cold, in sufficient strength to incline the balance that way. Here we have, quite in Aristotles usual style, a description instead of an explanation. The atomic notion of thin films thrown off from the object of sense, and falling on the organs of sight or touch, was but a crude guess; still it has more affinity with the discoveries of a Young or a Helmholtz than scholastic phrases about potentiality and actuality. That sensation implies a disturbance of equilibrium is, indeed, an important truth; only, the equilibrium must be conceived as a balance, not of possible sensations, but of molecular states; that is to say, it must be interpreted according to the atomic theory.


      Plotinus possessed a remarkable power of reading the characters and even the thoughts of those about him. It is said, probably with some exaggeration, that he predicted the future fate of all the boys placed under his care. Thus he foretold that a certain Polemo, in whom he took particular interest, would devote himself to love and die young; which proved only too true, and may well have been anticipated by a good observer without the exercise of any supernatural prescience. As another instance of his penetration, we are told that a valuable necklace having been stolen from a widow named Chione, who lived in his house with her family, the slaves were all led into the presence of Plotinus that he might single out the thief. After a careful scrutiny, the philosopher put his finger on the guilty individual. The man at first protested his innocence, but was soon induced by277 an application of the whip to confess, and, what was a much more valuable verification of his accusers insight, to restore the missing article. Porphyry himself could testify from personal experience to his friends remarkable power of penetration. Being once about to commit suicide, Plotinus divined his intention, and told him that it proceeded, not from a rational resolution, but from a fit of the blues, as a remedy for which he prescribed change of scene, and this did in fact have the desired effect.414