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agent. The transparent atmosphere is so wonderfully constituted, as to allow the rays of the sun to pass through it, without absorbing their heat; but upon reaching the opaque surface of the solid earth, it immediately absorbs heat, and becomes elevated in temperature; then the air incumbent upon it obtains heat by contact, and is thus rendered lighter, volume for volume, than it was; it rises, and its place is immediately occupied by another and colder stratum of air ; this becomes heated, and lighter, and in its turn rises, whilst colder air falls; and thus by ascending and descending, or convective currents, the atmosphere becomes heated from the earth, and not by direct conduction from the sun.
Thus winds are produced by the continued motion of cold air to supply the place of that which ascends in a heated state.
Transparent water is heated by the warm air that blows over its surface, and not by direct conduction of heat from the sun.
Electricity is the third imponderable element of whose ultimate nature the chemist is entirely ignorant; but he has every reason to suppose that it is universally present with light and heat: it is not manifest to the senses, unless its equilibrium be disturbed either naturally or artificially; and then in the former case its mysterious power is displayed as flashing lightning, and in the latter as snapping sparks.
The chemist can control electricity to a certain extent; for he discovers, as in the case of heat, that some substances have the power of conducting, others of retarding it, or of arresting its passage.
Air is a non-conductor, water and earth are conductors, of electricity; and when it has accumulated in clouds to a certain degree of intensity, the flash of lightning announces its escape by rending asunder the non-conducting air to meet the conducting media of the waters and the earth.
Such is a general introductory statement regarding the elements of natural productions, and the agents unto which they are subject.-Griffiths's “ Chemistry of the four Seasons.”
(To be continued.)
MEMOIR OF SOCRATES.
(Continued from page 297.) For ascertaining the sentiments, and estimating the character of Socrates, the chief reference must always be made to four tracts, one by Xenophon, “The Apology of Socrates ;' the other three by Plato, " The Apology of Socrates," and two Dialogues, respectively headed, “ Crito,” and “Phædo.” The principal subject of the “ Crito" is the duty of a citizen. Socrates is represented as conversing, in prison, after his condemnation, with his old friend, who had provided the means of escape, and proving to him, so as to bring him to the reluctant acknowledgment, that he ought not, as a good citizen, to avail himself of them; in fact, that though the sacrifice of life would be the consequence, life must go, and the law be upheld. The “ Phoedo” ought to be entitled, “ The last Day of Socrates, both in Prison and Life.” Its leading subject is the immortality of the soul. And the infinite importance of the doctrine is shown by the influence which the comparatively doubtful conclusions of Socrates had on his own mind, in the certain prospect of nearly-approaching death. We must be careful not to take the leading word in the title of the first tract by Plato, and that by Xenophon, in the narrowed sense in which our derived English word is now generally employed. An“ Apology” is thus an excuse, an extenuation of that which cannot be fully justified, and which is always understood to imply, therefore, the admission, in some degree, of wrong. Bishop Watson wrote an “ Apology for the Bible," against the audacious and vulgar attacks of the Infidel Paine ; and this has been said to be, a good book with a bad title. Certainly, the Bible needs no apology, in the modern sense of the term; but the Bishop used the word as it had been used by Xenophon and Plato in reference to Socrates; and by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and others, in reference to Christianity. Mr. Benson thus wrote an “Apology for the Methodists.” The word literally signifies a statement concerning, an account or defence, such a review of the whole case, in its facts and arguments, as shall bhow the right conclusion, or at least that to which the speaker or writer wishes to bring those whom he addresses. Xenophon uses the word in the body of his work, as well as in its title, and employs it just as we should the word defence, on a similar occasion. He says that Hermogenes, the son of Hipponicus, was the familiar friend of Socrates, and from him he had learned that the “magniloquence” of the philosopher rightly agreed with his opinions. As the day of trial approached, Hermogenes observed, that Socrates seemed rather willing to discourse on any subject than that which his friends regarded as concerning him so nearly. He spoke to him, therefore, on the subject. “Is it not proper, O Socrates, that thou shouldest consider the subjects which are necessary to be employed by thee in thy (apology) defence ?” Then he at once responded, “Do I seem to thee not to be prepared for my defence ? Look back on my whole life. I see that I have done nothing unjust, and I reckon that to be my best defence.” Hermogenes then reminded him that it often happened that the Athenian Judges, moved by the power of eloquence, condemned the innocent, and sent away the guilty absolved. Socrates admitted that it was so: “Twice, therefore,” he said, “have I taken in hand the consideration of (apologizing) defending myself; but the Genius has prevented me." His friend expressing some surprise, Socrates said farther to him that it would not be astonishing even if God should have appointed him to die just then, and in this manner. Old age, he said, was coming on, and death might be painfully produced by it; whereas, death in consequence of condemnation would be easy, and attended with no indecorous circumstance. He could advert, he added, to his life with pleasure, because he had always endeavoured to live piously and uprightly,* and he had the pleasure of knowing that his friends thought thus of him too. He said, however, that he would not seek death from his Judges; but that if he should offend them by stating what he believed to be the truth concerning himself before gods and men, he would rather choose to die than basely to beg for his life ;
thus only gaining a life worse than death itself. And with these resolutions he went to his trial.
We have just quoted an expression which suggests what, perhaps, is the most difficult question in relation to the whole life of Socrates. Xenophon represents him as saying that he had twice undertaken to consider about his defence, but that the Genius (or Demon) had opposed him.* Not many questions have been so much or so often argued, as this, “What was the Genius of Socrates ?"
Undoubtedly Socrates speaks as if this Genius had been a living, personal agent. The sentence just quoted supplies an instance of the ordinary mode of his speech. It is remarkable, however, that the operation of this Genius is always found to be dissuasive and hindering, not prompting. He is rather told what he is not to do, than what he is to do. Mrs. Sarah Fielding, the translator (we ought rather, perhaps, to say, for the sake of any English reader who may happen to have access to her book," paraphraser") of Xenophon, thus expresses her own opinion on the subject: “Various have been the opinions concerning this Genius, or Demon, of Socrates. What seems the most probable and satisfactory is, that the Genius of Socrates, so differently spoken of, was nothing more than an uncommon strength of judgment, and justness of thinking; which, measuring events by the rules of prudence, assisted by long experience, and much observation, unclouded and unbiassed by any prejudices or passions, rendered Socrates capable, as it were, of looking into futurity, and foretelling what would be the success of those affairs about which he had been consulted by others, or was deliberating for himself. And, in support of this opinion, they urge his custom of sending his friends (Xenophon, for example) to consult the oracle when anything too obscure for human reason to penetrate was proposed to him. To which might be added, as no
* και δις ηδη επιχειρησαντος μου σκοπειν περι της απολογιας, EVAVTloutal pol to daquovLOV. (Apol. 4.) Of course, the word Demon is not to be taken in its modern and bad sense. We take the word Genius, as frequently employed in this particular case, and as being often used to signify a sort of“ familiar spirit,” a superhuman agent.
mean testimony, his own practice on all such occasions. But from whence this notion arose, of his being thus uncommonly assisted, is not easy to determine. It might perhaps be from nothing more, as some have imagined, than from his having casually said on such cccasions, 'My Genius would not suffer me;' alluding to the notion which prevailed with many, that every one had a Genius to watch over and direct him. And although nothing more was at the first either intended or understood by it, than when we say, “My good Angel forbad me, or, said so and so to me,' yet, being verified by the event, it came at length to be considered, by a superstitious people, as something supernatural. And, as it added much weight to his counsel and instructions, neither Socrates, nor his friends, were in haste to discredit such an opinion; not looking upon themselves as obliged to it by any duty whatsoever.”
In these observations there is a foundation of correctness, but they do not adequately explain the whole of the truth. Socrates dwelt in darkness, but with his soul he desired light: light, too, so far as he perceived it, he followed and obeyed. Directing his attention in such a course and line as were unkuown to others, deep convictions of the impropriety of much that was commonly received and lauded would dwell in him, and would speak as with a voice from without. To himself, something so strange, so foreign from all that was known by others, would really seem to be a voice distinct from himself. And when those notions of a warning genius, which were, in a manner, elements of popular opinion, and of which himself would partake, are recollected, it is not surprising if he really did give a sort of distant personality to these convictions, and regarded them as the suggestions of some extra-human being, some Genius who prompted and controlled him. These inward convictions related to error; and here were the limits within which our own superior knowledge of the facts of the case will show us he would be confined. The aid he received from above was not miraculous : it was in accordance to the actual circumstances of human nature, and the extent to which honestly-directed effort might reach, but beyond which it could not pass. The fact