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      IIBeppo crept to the door. He came back presently followed by two men. The latter one was dressed in superior fashion to the rest. With a yell Lalage flew across the room and turned the key in the lock.

      "And you say you saw all this?" Bruce asked.Before ascertaining in what direction Plato sought for an outlet from these accumulated difficulties, we have to glance at a Dialogue belonging apparently to his earliest compositions, but in one respect occupying a position apart from the rest. The Crito tells us for what reasons Socrates refused to escape from the fate which awaited him in prison, as, with the assistance of generous friends, he might easily have done. The aged philosopher considered that by adopting such a course he would be setting the Athenian laws at defiance, and doing what in him lay to destroy their validity. Now, we know that the historical Socrates held justice to consist in obedience to the law of the land; and here for once we find Plato agreeing with him on a definite and positive issue. Such a sudden and singular abandonment of the sceptical attitude merits our attention. It might, indeed, be said that Platos inconsistencies defy all attempts at reconciliation, and that in this instance the desire to set his maligned friend in a favourable light triumphed over the claims of an impracticable logic. We think, however, that a deeper and truer solution can be found. If the Crito inculcates obedience to the laws as a binding obligation, it is not for the reasons which, according to Xenophon, were adduced by the real Socrates in his dispute with the Sophist Hippias; general utility and private interest were the sole grounds appealed to then. Plato, on185 the other hand, ignores all such external considerations. True to his usual method, he reduces the legal conscience to a purely dialectical process. Just as in an argument the disputants are, or ought to be, bound by their own admissions, so also the citizen is bound by a tacit compact to fulfil the laws whose protection he has enjoyed and of whose claims his protracted residence is an acknowledgment. Here there is no need of a transcendent foundation for morality, as none but logical considerations come into play. And it also deserves to be noticed that, where this very idea of an obligation based on acceptance of services had been employed by Socrates, it was discarded by Plato. In the Euthyphro, a Dialogue devoted to the discussion of piety, the theory that religion rests on an exchange of good offices between gods and men is mentioned only to be scornfully rejected. Equally remarkable, and equally in advance of the Socratic standpoint, is a principle enunciated in the Crito, that retaliation is wrong, and that evil should never be returned for evil.120 And both are distinct anticipations of the earliest Christian teaching, though both are implicitly contradicted by the so-called religious services celebrated in Christian churches and by the doctrine of a divine retribution which is only not retaliatory because it is infinitely in excess of the provocation received.

      Good fitting is often not so much a question of skill as of the standard which a workman has fixed in his mind, and to which all that he does will more or less conform. If this standard is one of exactness and precision, all that is performed, whether it be filing, turning, planing, or drawing, will come to this standard. This faculty of mind can be defined no further than to say that it is an aversion to whatever is imperfect, and a love for what [171] is exact and precise. There is no faculty which has so much to do with success in mechanical pursuits, nor is there any trait more susceptible of cultivation. Methodical exactness, reasoning, and persistence are the powers which lead to proficiency in engineering pursuits.

      "Tst!" he laid a finger on my lips; "'twill not be hard; we are not going on a scout--to jump fences." He began to make actual preparations, and presently helped me draw my shirt into place again over the clean bandages, while the old man went out after fresh water. "I am a hundred times more fit to go than to stay," he suddenly resumed. "I must go. Ah, idleness, there is nothing like idleness to drive a man mad; I must have something to do--to-night--at once." I wish I knew how to give the words with his quiet intensity.

      "And where is the money you speak so casually about?"


      "Strange thing," said Balmayne to himself. "A most remarkable thing! Miss Lawrence, will you do a favour for me. I would not trust anybody else. But if you will give me your promise I shall be easy. There is only one thing I have done that I really am sorry for, and you can set it right for me."


      Charlotte's head drooped and her hands trembled. "Yes, by law and church decree he is my husband."An apprentice may get a clear idea of this venting process by inspecting tubular core barrels, such as are employed in moulding pipes or hollow columns, or by examining ordinary cores about a foundry. Provision of some kind to 'carry off the vent,' as it is termed by moulders, will be found in every case. The venting of moulds is even more important than venting cores, because core vents only carry off gas generated within the core itself, while the gas from its exterior surface, and from the whole mould, has to find means of escaping rapidly from the flasks when the hot metal enters.


      [Pg 188]