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place on carth more acceptable to that Supreme Deity who governs all this world, than those councils and assemblies of men bound together by law, which are termed states; the governors and preservers of these go from hence,' and hither do they return.” Here, frightened as I was, not so much from the dread of death as of the treachery of my friends, I nevertheless asked him whether my father Paulus, and others, whom we thought to be dead, were yet alive? “To be sure they are alive (replied Africanus), for they have escaped from the fetters of the body as from a prison; that which is called your life is really death. But behold your father Paulus approaching you."—No sooner did I see him than I poured forth a flood of tears; but he, embracing and kissing me, forbade me to weep. And when, having suppressed my tears, I began first to be able to speak, “why (said I), thou most sacred and excellent father, since this is life, as I hear Africanus affirm, why do I tarry on earth, and not hasten to come to you ?”
“Patriots who perished for their country's right,
Friends of the world, and fathers of mankind.”—Pitt's translation. 1 "Plato, in the dialogue entitled 'Phædo,' represents Socrates on the morning of his execution, as holding a conversation with his friends, on the soul's immortality, in which, among other arguments, he endeavors to establish the doctrine of the soul's future existence, upon the principlo of its having existed before its union with the body. This was attempting to support the truth of the hypothesis in question, by resting it on another altogether conjectural and precarious. But these two propositions, though totally distinct from, and unconnected with each other, were held by all the ancient philosophers who maintained the future permancncy of the soul, to have a mutual dependence, and necessarily to stand or fall together. For, as they raised their arguments for the soul's immortality chiefly on metaphysical ground; they clearly perceive, as tho very learned Cudworth observes, “If it were once granted that the soul was generated, it could never be proved but it might also be corrupted.' Reasonings of this kind, indeed, are generally more specious than satisfactory; and perhaps, every sensible reader, after perusing .what the most acute metaphysicians have written on this important article, will find himself not very far from the same state of mind as Cicero's Tusculan disciplo was after reading Plato; nescio quomodo,' says he, dum lego assentior; cum posui librum, assensio omnis illa clabitur.'” Melmoth.
“ Not so, my son (he replied); unless that God, whose temple is all this which you behold, shall free you from this imprisonment in the body, you can have no admission to this place; for men have been created under this condition, that They should keep that globe which you see in the middle of this temple, and which is called the earth. And a soul has been supplied to them from those eternal fires which you call constellations and stars, and which, being globular and round, are animated with divine spirit, and complete their cycles and revolutions with amazing rapidity. Therefore you, my Publius, and all good men, must preserve your souls in the keeping of your bodies; nor are you, without the order of that Being who bestowed thein upon you, to depart from mundane life, lest you seem to desert the duty of a man, which has been assigned you by God. Therefore, Scipio, like your grandfather here, and me who begot you, cultivate justice and piety; which, while it should be great toward your parents and relations, should be greatest toward your country. Such a life is the path to heaven and the assembly of those who have lived before, and who, having been released from their bodies, inhabit that place which thou beholdest." :
1 This sentiment, in reprehension of the practice of suicide, has been previously noticed in the notes on Cicero's Treatises on Friendship and Old Age, where he states that this particular illustration is taken from Pythagoras. It has in it far more of Christian philosophy than is to be found in the reasonings of many modern moralists.
2 "The love of our country has often been found to be a deceitful principle, as its direct tendency is to set the interests of one division of mankind in opposition to another, and to establish a preference built upon accidental relations and not upon reason. Much of what has been understood by the appellation is excellent; but, perhaps, nothing that can be brought within the strict interpretation of the phrase. A wise and well-informed man will not fail to be the votary of liberty and justice. Ho will be ready to exert himself in their defense wherever they exist. It can not be a matter of indifference to him when his own liberty and that of other men, with whose merits and capacities he has the best opportunity of being acquainted, are involved in the event of the struggle to be made; but his attachment will be to the cause, as the cause of man and not to the country. Wherever there are individuals who understand the value of political justice, and are prepared to assert it, that is his country; wherever he can most contribute to the diffusion of these principles, and the real happiness of mankind, that is his country. Nor does he desire for any country, any other benefit than justice.”—God. win's Political Justice, book v. chap. 16.
s So Virgil, “Macto tuâ virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra."
Now the place my father spoke of was a radiant circle of dazzling brightness amid the flaming bodies, which you, as you have learned from the Greeks, term the Milky Way; from which position all other objects seemed to me, as I surveyed them, marvelous and glorious. There were stars which we never saw from this place, and their magnitudes were such as we never imagined; the smallest of which was that which, placed upon the extremity of the heavens, but nearest to the carth, shone with borrowed light. But the globular bodies of the stars greatly exceeded the magnitude of the earth, which now to me appeared so small, that I was grieved to see our empire contracted, as it were, into a very point.
Which, while I was too cagerly gazing on, Africanus said, “ How long will your attention be fixed upon the earth ? Do you not see into what temples you have entered ? All things are connected by nine circles, or rather spheres ; one of which (which is the outermost) is heaven, and comprehends all the rest, inhabited by) that all-powerful God, who bounds and controls the others; and in this sphero reside the original principles of those endless revolution3 which the planets perform. Within this are contained seven other spheres, that turn round backward, that is, in a contrary direction to that of the heaven. Of these, that planet which on earth you call Saturn, occupies one sphere. That shining body which you see next is called Jupiter, and i3 friendly and salutary to mankind. Next the lucid one, terrible to the earth, which you call Mars. The Sun holds the next place, almost under the middle region; he is the chief, the leader, and the director of the other luminaries; he is the soul and guide of the world, and of such immense bulk, that he illuminates and fills all other objects with his light. He is followed by the orbit of Venus, and that of Mercury, as attendants; and the Moon rolls in the lowest sphere, enlightened by the rays of the Sun. Below this there is nothing but what is mortal and transitory, excepting 12030
'If we compare this passage with the fortieth chapter of the Prophesies of Isaiah, and also the fourth eclogue of Virgil, with other parts of the same prophesy, we shall find it difficult to believe that that inspired book had not in part or wholly come to the knowledge of the Romans as early as the age of Cicero.
souls which are given to the human race by the goodness of the gods. Whatever lies above the Moon is eternal. For the earth, which is the ninth sphere, and is placed in the center of the whole system, is immovable and below all the rest; and all bodies, by their natural gravitation, tend toward it."
Which as I was gazing at in amazement I said, as I recovered myself, from whence proceed these sounds so strong, and yet so sweet, that fill my ears? “ The melody (replies he) which you hear, and which, though composed in unequal time, is nevertheless divided into regular" harmony, is effected by the impulse and motion of the spheres themselves, which, by a happy temper of sharp and grave notes, regularly produces various harmonic effects. Now it is impossible that such prodigious movements should pass in silence; and nature teaches that the sounds which the spheres at one extremity utter must be sharp, and those on the other extremity must be grave; on which account, that highest revolution of the star-studded heaven, whose motion is more rapid, is carried on with a sharp and quick sound; whereas this of the moon, which is situated the lowest, and at the other extremity, moves with the gravest sound. For the earth, the ninth sphere, remaining motionless, abides invariably in the innermost position, occupying the centra! spot in the universe.
“Now these eight directions, two of which' have the samo powers, effect seven sounds, differing in their modulations, which number is the connecting principle of almost all things. Some learned men, by imitating this harmony with strings and vocal melodies, have opened a way for their return to this place; as all others have done, who, endued with pre-eminent qualities, have cultivated in their mortal life the pursuits of heaven.
“The ears of mankind, filled with these sounds, have become deaf, for of all your senses it is the most blunted. Thus,
1 Mercury and Venus are the planets here referred to.
2 The idea of the music of the spheres has embellished the compositions of many poets, both ancient and modern. One passage, however, in the pages of Shakespeare appears to have been suggested by this part of the writings of Cicero. It is as follows:
“Sit, Jessica, see how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold; .
the people who live near the place where the Nile rushes down from very high mountains to the parts which are called Catadupa, are destitute of the sense of hearing, by reason of the greatness of the noise. Now this sound, which is effected by the rapid rotation of the whole system of nature, is so powerful that human hearing can not comprehend it, just as you cannot look directly upon the sun, because your sight and sense are overcome by his beams."
Though admiring these scenes, yet I still continued directing my eyes in the same direction toward the earth. On this Africanus said, “I perceive that even now you are cortemplating the abode and home of the human race. And as this appears to you diminutive, as it really is, fix your regard upon these celestial scencs, and despise these adoles
There is not a single star which thou beholdest
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubim.
Merchant of Venice. 1 "If minds in general are not made to be strongly affected by the phenomena of the earth and heavens; they are, however, all subject to be powerfully influenced by the appearances and character of the human world. I suppose a child in Switzerland, growing up to a man, would have acquired incomparably more of the cast of his mind from the events, manners, and actions of the next village, though its inhabitants were but his occasional companions, than from all the mountain scenes, the cataracts, and every circumstance of beauty or sublimity in nature around him. We are all true to our species, and very soon feel its importance to us (though benevolence be not the basis of the interest), far beyond 'the importance of any thing that we can see beside. Beginning your observation with children, you may have noted how instantly they will turn their attention away from any of the aspects of nature, however rare or striking, if human objects present themselves to view in any active manner.”—John Foster, Essay I.
3 "Is it for no purpose that the human eye is permitted to traverso the immensity of space? or is it with no moral intention that now at length, and after five thousand years of labor and conjecture, a true notion of the material universe has been attained and has become diffused among all ranks in every civilized community? At last, and in these times, man knows his place in the heavens, and is taught to think justly of the relative importance of the planet which has given him birth. During a long course of centuries, it was to little purpose, or to little in relation to man, that the emanations of light had passed and re-passed from side to side of the universe; for until of late, that is to say, the last