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      53It will be seen that we do not consider the two kinds of Nous to differ from each other as a higher and a lower faculty. This, in our opinion, has been the great mistake of the commentators, of those, at least, who do not identify the active Nous with God, or with some agency emanating from Goda hypothesis utterly inconsistent with Aristotles theology. They describe it as a faculty, and as concerned with some higher kind of knowledge than what lies within the reach of the passive Nous.258 But with Aristotle faculty is always a potentiality and a passive recipient, whereas the creative reason is expressly declared to be an actuality, which, in this connexion, can mean nothing but an individual idea. The difficulty is to understand why the objective forms of things should suddenly be spoken of as existing within the mind, and denominated by a term carrying with it such subjective associations as Nous; a difficulty not diminished by the mysterious comparison with light in its relation to colour, an illus368tration which, in this instance, has only made the darkness visible. We believe that Aristotle was led to express himself as he did by the following considerations. He began by simply conceiving that, just as the senses were raised from potency to actuality through contact with the corresponding qualities in external objects, so also was the reasoning faculty moulded into particular thoughts through contact with the particular things embodying them; thus, for instance, it was led to conceive the general idea of straightness by actual experience of straight lines. It then, perhaps, occurred to him that one and the same object could not produce two such profoundly different impressions as a sensation and a thought; that mind was opposed to external realities by the attribute of self-consciousness; and that a form inherent in matter could not directly impress itself on an immaterial substance. The idea of a creative Nous was, we think, devised in order to escape from these perplexities. The ideal forms of things are carried into the mind, together with the sensations, and in passing through the imagination, become purified from the matter previously associated with them. Thus they may be conceived as part of the mindin, though not yet of itand as acting on its highest faculty, the passive Nous. And, by a kind of anticipation, they are called by the name of what they become completely identified with in cognition. As forms of things they are eternal; as thoughts they are self-conscious; while, in both capacities, they are creative, and their creative activity is an essentially immaterial process. Here we have the old confusion between form and function; the old inability to reconcile the claims of the universal and the particular in knowledge and existence. After all, Aristotle is obliged to extract an actuality from the meeting of two possibilities, instead of from the meeting of an actuality and a possibility. Probably the weakness of his own theory did not escape him, for he never subsequently recurs to it.259


      I started on my return journey to The Netherlands sick to death. The consequences of lying on that wet floor made themselves badly felt, and besides being quite stiff and chilly, my interior was badly out of order.


      I had more trouble with a wretch who, being heavily wounded in both legs, lay on the top of a dune beyond Mariakerke. He was quite alone, and when he discovered me his eyes glistened, full of hope. He told me of his agonies, and beseeched me to take him to a house or an ambulance. However much I should have liked to do that, it was impossible in the circumstances in which I found myself. Nowhere, even in the farthest distance, was a house to be seen, and I tried to explain the position to him. But he turned a deaf ear to all my exhortations, and insisted that I should help him. It was a painful business, for I could not do the impossible. So I promised him, and took my oath that I should warn the first ambulance I met, and see to it that they came and fetched him.

      "I should say a great deal," Lawrence chuckled. "In the first place, I should like to hear something of the history of one Maitrank."

      Here was the very man whom Hetty had seen at the window of the corner house--the very man whose features, as seen from the morning room, had been reflected in the mirror. It was impossible that there could be any coincidence here. Once seen the man could never be forgotten. It looked as if the new mystery of the corner house was going to be explained.


      She looked me up and down suspiciously, and then said:

      "Certainly, captain; as a matter of fact we are of the same race."Mrs. Everdail will be glad youre here when she lands, he remarked.

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      It is evident that what Plotinus says about beauty and love was suggested by the well-known passages on the same subject in the Phaedrus and the Symposium. His analysis of aesthetic emotion has, however, a much more abstract and metaphysical character than that of his great model. The whole fiction of an antenatal existence is quietly let drop. What the sight of sensible beauty awakens in a philosophic soul is not the memory of an ideal beauty beheld in some other world, but the consciousness of its own idealising activity, the dominion which it exercises over unformed and fluctuating matter. And, in all probability, Plato meant no more than thisin fact he hints as much elsewhere,433but he was not able or did not choose to express himself with such unmistakable clearness.

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      with honour may repay Thee,Prout concluded his evidence at length, every word of which told dead against the one man seated there. Not half a dozen people in the room would have acquitted him on the criminal charge.


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