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      Whether some rapt Promethean utterance,

      "All the women and children had been taken to a convent, where they were kept imprisoned for four days, without hearing of the fate of their beloved ones. They themselves expected to be shot in their turn. Round about them the burning of the town went on.Lawrence remarked that he would make it his business to step round to Frampton's without delay. It was just possible that he had not squeezed all the information that he wanted out of Prout.

      But anybody was better than the sapping away of mind and body brooding alone. Balmayne listened to everything with a grave face."Last night a shooting affray took place. There is no evidence that the inhabitants of the towns had any arms in their houses, nor is there evidence that the people took part in the shooting; on the contrary, it seems that the soldiers were under the influence of alcohol, and began to shoot in a senseless fear of a hostile attack.

      "It's ruin," he said simply, "nothing else. A little time ago it looked to me as if all my ambitions were to be realised. And then this crushing misfortune comes upon me. My practice falls away, and I could not get my money in. Of course I can't dun patients like mine. It didn't matter till lately, because the guineas I got from consultations were keeping me going. But these morning callers call no more. I was pressed here and there, and I borrowed money."


      "Will you be so good as to tell me how?" Balmayne said.Despite his vast wealth and the manner in which he was courted and flattered by society, Mr. Isaac Isidore had contrived to remain single. He had only one passion, and that was the making of money by ingenious schemes; in fact, had he not been a capitalist he would have made a wonderfully good novelist, as Lawrence often said. Mystery and intrigue were the very air he breathed, and for recreation he asked for nothing better than a romance by Gaboriau or Du Boisgobey.


      "Come to tell me you have made a discovery, eh?" he asked. "No need to tell me that, I can see it in your face. Sit down man--one o'clock in the morning is comparatively early for a novelist. Go on."219


      Perhaps no subject has gained so much from the application of the new historical method as that which we have now to study in its connexion with the progress of Greek philosophy. This is the religion of the Roman empire. On199 former occasions, we have had to observe how fruitful was the interaction between faith and reason in the early stages of Greek thought. We have now to show how the same process was continued on a greater scale during its later development and diffusion. The conditions and results of this conflict have sometimes been gravely misconceived. We have said that in more than one direction important advances were made under the empire. In the direction of pure rationalism, however, there was no advance at all, but, on the contrary, a continual loss of the ground formerly won. The polytheism which Christianity displaced turns out to have been far more vigorous and fertile than was once supposed, and in particular to have been supported by a much stronger body not only of popular sentiment, but, what at first seems very surprising, of educated conviction. We were formerly taught to believe that the faith of Homer and Aeschylus, of Pythagoras and Pheidias, was in the last stage of decrepitude when its destined successor appeared, that it had long been abandoned by the philosophers, and was giving place in the minds of the vulgar to more exciting forms of superstition newly imported from the East. The undue preponderance given to purely literary sources of information is largely responsible for an opinion which now appears to have been mistaken. Among the great Roman writers, Lucretius proclaims himself a mortal enemy to religion; Ennius and Horace are disbelievers in providence; the attitude of Juvenal towards the gods and towards a future life is at least ambiguous, and that of Tacitus undecided; Cicero attacks the current superstitions with a vigour which has diverted attention from the essentially religious character of his convictions; Lucian, by far the most popular Greek writer of the empire, is notorious for his hostility to every form of theology. Among less known authors, the elder Pliny passionately denounces the belief in a divine guidance of life and in the immortality of the soul.306200 Taken alone, these instances would tend to prove that sceptical ideas were very widely diffused through Roman society, both before and after the establishment of the empire. Side by side, however, with the authorities just cited there are others breathing a very different spirit; and what we have especially to notice is that with the progress of time the latter party are continually gaining in weight and numbers. And this, as we shall now proceed to show, is precisely what might have been expected from the altered circumstances which ensued when the civilised world was subjected to a single city, and that city herself to a single chief.