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      A few moments after they went away I went also, and entered the burning town once more. A Netherland family lived in Villa Rustica, and I had promised to make inquiries about them.

      When we entered the town in our motor-car, those of the unfortunate population who had escaped from the murderous massacre had already left the town. Between the ruins and the deserted French Red Cross cars we drove to the pontoon bridge which the Germans had flung across the river by the side of the Meuse bridge, which had been blown up. Here we were stopped by German soldiers who guarded the pontoon bridge. In a caf we came across a few of the citizens who had remained. These unfortunate people had no home, no money, and no food, lacked the wherewithal to go farther away, and now depended on the charity of the murderers of their relatives. Twice a day they were allowed to call at one of the German stores for a piece of bread, in exchange for a ticket which167 they might get at the commander's office. The Germans, upholders of morality and "Kultur," saw to it that their victims did not overeat themselves.

      "I wanted to have a chat with you two people," he said. "In the first place I have made a startling discovery. Of course you know that the victim of the Corner House tragedy changed 400 for notes at the National Credit Bank. We know that somehow or other half those notes found their way into the possession of our friend Bruce here. Now, did it not strike you as strange that nobody should worry about the other half?"

      179Antisthenes pushed to its extreme consequences a movement begun by the naturalistic Sophists. His doctrine was what would now be called anarchic collectivism. The State, marriage, private property, and the then accepted forms of religion, were to be abolished, and all mankind were to herd promiscuously together.5 Either he or his followers, alone among the ancients, declared that slavery was wrong; and, like Socrates, he held that the virtue of men and women was the same.6 But what he meant by this broad human virtue, which according to him was identical with happiness, is not clear. We only know that he dissociated it in the strongest manner from pleasure. I had rather be mad than delighted, is one of his characteristic sayings.7 It would appear, however, that what he really objected to was self-indulgencethe pursuit of sensual gratification for its own sakeand that he was ready to welcome the enjoyments naturally accompanying the healthy discharge of vital function.8

      Besides the general religious movement which had long been in action, and was daily gaining strength from the increasing barbarisation of the empire, there was, at this juncture, a particular cause tending to bring Greek philosophy into close alliance with the mythology which it had formerly rejected and denounced. This was the rapid rise and spread of Christianity. St Augustine has said that of all heathen philosophers none came nearer to the Christian faith than the Neo-Platonists.528 Nevertheless, it was in them that the old religion found its only apologists and the new religion its most active assailants. We have already alluded to the elaborate polemic of Porphyry. Half a century later, the same principles could boast of a still more illustrious champion. The emperor Julian was imbued with the doctrines of Neo-Platonism, and was won back to the ancient faith by the teaching of its professors.

      "The Acting Burgomaster,


      His signal, relayed through Dick and Sandy to Jeff, shifted the gently banked curve into a straighter line and swiftly the lines of the oncoming craft, miles away, became clear.


      "Perhaps you'd like to tell your story, sir," Prout suggested.