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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

But his work survived. The teachings of Socrates can never fail to

interest and instruct the seeker after truth. Every enlightened age will

drink from the bottomless fountain of his wisdom. The enunciation of his

doctrines marked an epoch, not only in the ethics of Greece, but in the

morality of the human race. His contribution to the wisdom of mankind was

greater than that which any other philosopher has brought into the store-

house of ages. The breadth and profundity of his understanding, his

sturdy defense of the truth, his generous nature, his masterful grasp of

the greatest themes, his honest assaults on error, and the pungent speech

and dramatic method in which his immortal aphorisms are set before us-all

conspire to stamp him as the loftiest genius of the ancient world.

Socrates turned the mind of man from idle speculation to practical

ethics-from vagaries to morals. His theme was human conduct. He sought to

impress upon his hearers a conviction of the barrenness of those

speculative systems in which the Greek so much delighted. He would reduce

the current beliefs to an absurdity. His weapon was dialogue; his method,

interrogation. His antagonist-real or imaginary-was a Sophist whose

propositions were admitted only to be quickly ground into dust under a

reductio ad absurdum. Woe to the fallacy-monger who fell into the power

of this inexorable and humane giant! The world beholds him yet, and will

ever behold him as he sits among his companions and delivers to them his

immortal sayings. His magnificent, ugly face; his tremendous head; his

beetling brows, and eyes that darted their Promethean fire into the soul

of mystery and scorched the wings of falsehood-it is Socrates, whom Plato

and Xenophon have pictured, whom hemlock could not kill.