« AnteriorContinuar »
NOTES # QUERIES
HIS TORY, FOLKLORE, MATHEMATICS,
"The inhabitants of earth have many tongues, those of heaven but one."
CONDUCTED AND PUBLISHED BY
S. C. &. I_. M. GOULD,
MANCHESTER, N. H.
"Tell us, for doubtless thou canst recollect,
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architects
Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates as sung by Homer?
Perhaps that very hand, now pinioned flat,
Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass:
Or dropped a half-penny in Homer's hat,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication."
Is it true that all mankind have a natural desire for knowledge? Aristotle rightly observes, that the first question ought to be, or ought to exist; because it is in vain to seek the causes of that which has no being or existence. That which is natural should be found in all; we see it is natural for a stone to tend toward the earth because all stones tend toward the earth. Yet, it does not seem to follow that all desire to learn. Perhaps all desire naturally to know, but not all desire to know the same things. Knowledge is indeed a pleasure to the majority of persons. There is nothing so small and inconsiderable in nature, wherein the mind finds not incomparable delight. Aristotle again says, "the gods are as well pleased in the little insects, as in the most bulky animals," and to dispise little things is, in his judgment, to do like children; for, on the contrary, as in art, the less placea picture takes up, the more it is admired. The Iliad of Homer is sometimes more admired for being comprised in a nutshell. So in other things, the less volume things are in, the more worthy they are of admiration. Therefore, there being pleasure in knowing both great things and small, mankind usually follow where they receive delight.
Oliver Wendell Holmes tells us the way that our knowledge is obtained and its ultimatum:
"Time, time only, can gradually wean us from our Epeolatry, or word-worship, by spiritualizing our ideas of the things ignified. Man is an idolater, or symbol-worshipper by nature ; but sooner or later all his local and temporary symbols must be ground to powder, like the golden calf,—word-images as well as metal or wooden ones. Rough work—hard work—but the only way to get at Truth."
To see ourselves again we need not look for Plato's revolving year, which was a certain number of thousands of years, when all things should return into their former estate, and he be teaching again in his school as when he delivered this opinion. For every man is not only himself. There have been many Diogenes, and as many Timons, although but few of those names. Men are lived over again, and the