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"4. Who in whatever way in order to harass or mislead the German forces make military or other signals, urge to flee, or prevent the reunion of straggling soldiers.
It may be urged that beauty, however difficult of attainment or severe in form, is, after all, essentially superficial; and that a morality elaborated on the same principles will be equally superficialwill, in fact, be little more than the art of keeping up appearances, of displaying fine sentiments, of avoiding those actions the consequences of which are immediately felt to be disagreeable, and, above all, of not needlessly wounding anyones sensibilities. Such an imitation of moralitywhich it would be a mistake to call hypocrisyhas no doubt been common enough among all civilised nations; but there is no reason to believe that it was in any way favoured by the circumstances of Greek life. There is even evidence of a contrary tendency, as, indeed, might be expected among a people whose most important states were saved from the corrupt60ing influences of a court. Where the sympathetic admiration of shallow and excitable spectators is the effect chiefly sought after, the showy virtues will be preferred to the solid, and the appearance to the reality of all virtue; while brilliant and popular qualities will be allowed to atone for the most atrocious crimes. But, among the Greeks of the best period, courage and generosity rank distinctly lower than temperance and justice; their poets and moralists alike inculcate the preference of substance to show; and in no single instance, so far as we can judge, did they, as modern nations often do, for the sake of great achievements condone great wrongs. It was said of a Greek and by a Greek that he did not wish to seem but to be just.46 We follow the judgment of the Greeks themselves in preferring Leonidas to Pausanias, Aristeides to Themistocles, and Socrates to Alcibiades. And we need only compare Epameinondas with David or Pericles with Solomon as national heroes, to perceive at once how much nearer the two Greeks come to our own standard of perfection, and how futile are the charges sometimes brought against those from whose traditions we have inherited their august and stainless fame."Give me gold for these," she cried. "Gold, red gold, two hundred sovereigns. Now, we will see whether fortune is still going to spite me."
Yet I am glad to have witnessed the terrible fights near the Yser a couple of times where the German invasion was stopped, and where we may hope that soon victory may dawn on the brave Belgian army."Such a jolly little place," he mused. "You could have such funand be yourself. I wonder why it reminds me so of somethingbefore the days of the clock, before we knew."
CHAPTER XXVI. THE BLACK MOTOR."She is your cousin, you say?"
"Well, well, it's what I said," the doctor went on, swallowing quickly, "someone hassomeone has""That's flattering to me. But I thought you liked the Countess."
He looked out of the window, and there was that confounded figure still jigging about. It had come nearer to the ground. It hovered, with a curious air of not being related to its surroundings that was more than puzzling. It did not seem to know what it was about, but hopped along aimlessly, as though scenting a track, stopped for a moment, blundered forward again and made a zig-zag course towards the ground. The doctor watched it advancing[Pg 6] through the broad meadow that bounded the pitch, threading its way between the little groups of grazing cows, that raised their heads with more than their ordinary, slow persistency, as though startled by some noise. The figure seemed to be aiming for the barrier of hurdles that surrounded the pitch, but whether its desire was for cricket or merely to reach some kind of goal, whether it sought recreation or a mere pause from its restless convulsions, it was difficult to tell. Finally, it fell against the fence and hung there, two hands crooked over the hurdle and its legs drawn together at the knees. It became suddenly very stillso still that it was hard to believe that it had ever moved."A question that can never be solved," the Countess gasped.