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      [Pg 130]In Paulines family those who, like herself and those about her, got out of the country, were safe from everything but the poverty caused partly by their own improvidence. But of those who remained there was scarcely one who escaped death or the horrors of a revolutionary prison. Only M. and Mme. de Grammont had managed to keep quiet in a distant part of the country, and, of course, at the peril of their lives.


      We have seen how Greek thought had arrived at a perfectly just conception of the process by which all physical transformations are effected. The whole extended universe is an aggregate of bodies, while each single body is formed by a combination of everlasting elements, and is destroyed by their separation. But if Empedocles was right, if these primary substances were no other than the fire, air, water, and earth of everyday experience, what became of the Heracleitean law, confirmed by common observation, that, so far from remaining unaltered, they were continually passing into one another? To this question the atomic theory gave an answer so conclusive, that, although ignored or contemned by later schools, it was revived with the great revival of science in the sixteenth century, was successfully employed in the explanation of every order of phenomena, and still remains the basis of all physical enquiry. The undulatory theory of light, the law of universal gravitation, and the laws of chemical combination can only be expressed in terms implying the existence of atoms; the laws of gaseous diffusion, and of thermodynamics generally, can only be understood with their help; and the latest develop34ments of chemistry have tended still further to establish their reality, as well as to elucidate their remarkable properties. In the absence of sufficient information, it is difficult to determine by what steps this admirable hypothesis was evolved. Yet, even without external evidence, we may fairly conjecture that, sooner or later, some philosopher, possessed of a high generalising faculty, would infer that if bodies are continually throwing off a flux of infinitesimal particles from their surfaces, they must be similarly subdivided all through; and that if the organs of sense are honeycombed with imperceptible pores, such may also be the universal constitution of matter.26 Now, according to Aristotle, Leucippus, the founder of atomism, did actually use the second of these arguments, and employed it in particular to prove the existence of indivisible solids.27 Other considerations equally obvious suggested themselves from another quarter. If all change was expressible in terms of matter and motion, then gradual change implied interstitial motion, which again involved the necessity of fine pores to serve as channels for the incoming and outgoing molecular streams. Nor, as was supposed, could motion of any kind be conceived without a vacuum, the second great postulate of the atomic theory. Here its advocates directly joined issue with Parmenides. The chief of the Eleatic school had, as we have seen, presented being under the form of a homogeneous sphere, absolutely continuous but limited in extent. Space dissociated from matter was to him, as afterwards to Aristotle, non-existent and impossible. It was, he exclaimed, inconceivable, nonsensical. Unhappily inconceivability is about the worst negative criterion of truth ever yet invented. His challenge was now35 taken up by the Atomists, who boldly affirmed that if non-being meant empty space, it was just as conceivable and just as necessary as being. A further stimulus may have been received from the Pythagorean school, whose doctrines had, just at this time, been systematised and committed to writing by Philolaus, its most eminent disciple. The hard saying that all things were made out of number might be explained and confirmed if the integers were interpreted as material atoms.


      who is twenty-four. She dressmakes for .50 a day (when she canPeter of Holstein-Gottorp was seventeen; and [127] was no attractive husband for a young girl with an impetuous nature, strong passions, and an enthusiastic love of pleasure and magnificence. He was sullen, tyrannical, violent-tempered, brutal, often intoxicated, and besides terribly disfigured by the small-pox.

      Belgian and German soldiers found excellent nursing here. Many convalescents were allowed to walk in the large garden, which was happily divided by a large wall, so that the one-time combatants could be separated.But from my personal knowledge and the evidence referred to, I am able to establish the following facts in connection with the events that preceded and followed the destruction of Louvain.


      people judge. We almost quarrelled--I am not sure but that we

      CHAPTER VThe explanation of this anomaly is, we believe, to be found in the fact that Catholicism did, to a great extent, actually spring from a continuation of those widely different tendencies which Epicurus confounded in a common assault. It had an intellectual basis in the Platonic and Stoic philosophies, and a popular basis in the revival of those manifold superstitions which, underlying the brilliant civilisations of Greece and Rome, were always ready to break out with renewed violence when their restraining pressure was removed. The revival of which we speak was powerfully aided from without. The same movement that was carrying Hellenic culture into Asia was bringing Oriental delusions by a sort of back current into the Western world. Nor was this all. The relaxation of all political bonds, together with the indifference of the educated classes, besides allowing a rank undergrowth of popular beliefs to spring up unchecked, surrendered the regulation of those beliefs into the hands of a78 profession which it had hitherto been the policy of every ancient republic to keep under rigid restraintthe accredited or informal ministers of religion.154 Now, the chief characteristic of a priestly order has always and everywhere been insatiable avarice. When forbidden to acquire wealth in their individual capacity, they grasp at it all the more eagerly in their corporate capacity. And, as the Epicureans probably perceived, there is no engine which they can use so effectually for the gratification of this passion as the belief in a future life. What they have to tell about this is often described by themselves and their supporters as a message of joy to the weary and afflicted. But under their treatment it is very far from being a consolatory belief. Dark shades and lurid lights predominate considerably in their pictures of the world beyond the grave; and here, as we shall presently show, they are aided by an irresistible instinct of human nature. On this subject, also, they can speak with unlimited confidence; for, while their other statements about the supernatural are liable to be contradicted by experience, the abode of souls is a bourne from which no traveller returns to disprove the accuracy of their statements.

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      I met her through the McBrides, and she is a very charming woman.As Mme. Le Brun had not many servants, he had found nobody to announce him, but entered without the least shyness, and walking up to M. de Rivarol, said that he wanted to speak to him about a pamphlet of his, now being printed at the establishment in which he was employed. There was a passage in it which they could not read or did not understand, and M. de Rivarols servant having told him where his master was to be found, he had come after him.

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