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Lieut. Bowersox came in with a telegram in his hand.
Thus Proclus was to Plotinus what Plotinus himself had been to Plato and Aristotle: that is to say, he stood one degree further removed from the actual truth of things and from the spontaneity of original reflection. And what we have said about the philosophic position of the master may be applied, with some modification, to the claims of his most eminent disciple. From a scientific point of view, the system, of Proclus is a mere mass of wearisome rubbish; from an aesthetic point of view it merits our admiration as the most comprehensive, the most coherent, and the most symmetrical work of the kind that antiquity has to show. It would seem that just as the architectural skill of the Romans survived all their other great gifts, and even continued to improve until the very lastthe so-called temple of Minerva Medica being the most technically perfect of all their monumentsso also did the Greek power of concatenating ideas go on developing itself as long as Greece was permitted to have any ideas of her own.Shorty made a violent effort to rise up and join the company, but he was manifestly too weak. Si was in sore distress. He didn't want to leave him, but he was anxious to be with his company.
The truth is that critics seem to have been misled by a superficial analogy between the spiritualistic revival accomplished by Plotinus, and the Romantic revival which marked the beginning of the present century. The two movements have, no doubt, several traits in common; but there is this great difference between them, that the latter was, what the former was not, a reaction against individualism, agnosticism, and religious unbelief. The right analogy will be found not by looking forward but by looking back. It will then be seen that the Neo-Platonists were what their traditional name implies, disciples of Plato, and not only of Plato but of194 Aristotle as well. They stood in the same relation to the systems which they opposed as that in which the two great founders of spiritualism had stood to the naturalistic and humanist schools of their timeof course with whatever modifications of a common standpoint were necessitated by the substitution of a declining for a progressive civilisation. Like Plato also, they were profoundly influenced by the Pythagorean philosophy, with its curious combination of mystical asceticism and mathematics. And, to complete the analogy, they too found themselves in presence of a powerful religious reaction, against the excesses of which, like him, they at first protested, although with less than his authority, and only, like him, to be at last carried away by its resistless torrent. It is to the study of this religious movement that we must now address ourselves, before entering on an examination of the latest form assumed by Greek philosophy among the Greeks themselves.
"Si, the receiver's as bad as the thief. I won't touch it."
Si stopped. He had suddenly come across Anna bel's ambrotype. He tried to slip it into his pocket without the others seeing him. He edged awkwardly to the door."We can't start 'em. They're balkin', sir," said Si desperately.