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for the purpose of observing the total eclipse of 28th May, 1900. Stations were occupied by them in the United States, at sea, in Spain, Portugal, and Algeria. Vide The Total Solar Eclipse, 1900, by E. Walter Maunder.

There is a part of the subject which is of extreme interest, and which is actively discussed after every eclipse, but which is by no means ripe for judgment, i.e., the connection which mutually subsists between the chromosphere, the prominences, and the corona; and also their liability to be affected by physical changes on the sun.

There seems to be no doubt about the connection between sun-spots and prominences, but what the connection is between spots and the corona is not so manifest, though the character of the corona varies in type at maximum and minimum spot periods. The chromosphere and prominences apparently are subject to the vast attraction of solar gravitation, and the latter attain their enormous height by reason of the violence of their projection, and in spite of the attraction, but the corona is as undoubtedly not controlled by the sun's attraction, but chiefly caused by glare of solar light upon gases and matter that have been brought into his influence in ways about which at present it is not possible to come to any definite conclusion.

In so cursory an attempt to exhibit the state of our knowledge of solar surroundings as revealed by eclipses, many points, for want of time, have been omitted, which might have rendered the subject clearer, especially details of spectroscopic researches upon terrestrial elements and upon gases at varying temperatures and densities, under which, to some extent (cum longo intervallo), solar conditions have been approximated to.

It is through the continued application of spectroscopy to solar research at every eclipse that future progress appears most feasible. May we hope that, in a not far dis

H

tant future, the sciences of optics and chemistry may solve the difficult problem of showing how such research can be carried out without waiting for these rare and exciting opportunities.

NOTE,

References too numerous to point out in detail have been made to the following :

Grant's History of Physical Astronomy.
History of Astronomy during the 19th Century, Miss A. M.

Clerke.
Eclipses, Past and Future, Rev. S. J. Johnson, M.A.
The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society.

ON PLATO'S COMMUNISTIC THEORY.

By J. L. RATCLIFFE, B.A.

Good with bad
Expect to hear.

MILTON.

The dialogue, which is known as the Republic, has for its object the discovery of the “true nature of justice and injustice.” But since it is easier to read large characters, it is decided to trace in thought the gradual formation of a city, that the way in which justice and injustice enter may be marked. Plato never forgets what is the object of all his speculations, and often recalls his companions if they are going into detail irrelevant to the main purpose.

Whether or not it is true that ideals are painted by the elimination of all supposed imperfections in the real, it is undoubtedly true that Plato was profoundly impressed by the evils which were preparing the Athens of his day for the yoke of the conqueror. His keen observation is never more strikingly in evidence than in those inimitable books of political pathology, in which he traces the course of the ruin of the perfect state. By a succession of deteriorations the state, where justice holds sway, is shown to end in that “most beautiful of all commonwealths," despotism, the rule of injustice. The amusing sketch which he gives of democracy, the next to despotism in the career of ruin, is a remarkably clever caricature of the Athens, made familiar to us by Demosthenes, the Athens whose glory had passed away.

For individualism and its attendant evils were supreme. The state was neglected. Whereas in the days of Pericles all took a pride in embellishing the city, Plato saw his compatriots “build fine large houses, and furnish them in corresponding style."* We cannot perhaps do better than let Plato tell, in his own humorous way, of the lamentable condition into which, in the fourth century, Athens had sunk.

What of her citizens ? “First of all, are they not free, and does not liberty of act and speech abound in the city, and has not a man license therein to do what he will ? And clearly where such license is permitted, every citizen will arrange his own manner of life as suits his pleasure. Again, consider that in this state you are not obliged to hold office, though your talents may be equal to the task: and that you need not submit to government if you dislike it, or go to war when your fellow-citizens are at war, or keep peace when they keep peace, if you do not want so to do: and again, consider that though a law forbid your holding office or sitting on a jury, you may, nevertheless, do both the one and the other should it occur to you to do

How magnificently such a commonwealth refuses to trouble itself in the least about the previous pursuits of those who enter on a political course, whom it raises to honour, if only they assert that they wish well to the commons." + The citizens of this “ agreeable, lawless, parti-coloured commonwealth, which deals with all alike on a footing of equality whether they be equal or not,” | “end by making light of the laws themselves, in order that, as they say, they may not have the shadow of a master." S “Beggars and persons who hunger after private advantage take the reins of government with the idea that they are privileged to snatch advantage from their power."|| The ignorance of those who controlled the affairs of state called forth the ridicule of Plato as of

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* Par. 419.

+ Pars. 557, 558.

Par. 558.

§ Par. 563.

|| Par. 521.

Socrates before him. The mutinous sailors who bind the captain, and will not take on board the true pilot, are the men who ruled Athens.* The simile of the huge and powerful monster, whose caprices are ever humoured by its keepers, reveals the arts of the demagogues in winning over the powerful Athenian assembly to their side for the furtherance of their own exclusive interests. t

In such a commonwealth, thought Plato, injustice had an almost uncontested course. What, then, did he conceive to be the essence of justice ?

Briefly, the performance of appropriate function. Every man, every thing has its place; justice demands that every man and every thing should remain in its place. Whosoever undertakes tasks for which he is not fitted, or shrinks from that for which he has peculiar abilities is, to Plato's mind, unjust. Justice reigns in the soul, when each of the component elements, the rational, the spirited, and the appetitive, fulfils its assigned duty, and does not attempt to usurp another's place. If there is not complete unanimity as to the right of the rational element to claim the obedience of the spirited and appetitive, then injustice is laying the foundations of her throne. So, in the state, unless the auxiliary and productive classes, which correspond to the spirited and appetitive elements of the soul, acquiesce in the rule of the philosopher-king, injustice reigns. But how is she to be ejected ? How are the evils, which are welding the chains of an intolerable tyranny, to be remedied? How is that huge and powerful monster to be kept in subjection, and taught that its whims and caprices are not always to be studied ? How are the ablebodied citizens to be persuaded to put off their indolence, and prepare at need to take the field in support of the true ruler ? How, in fine, is the philosopher-king, the true

† Par. 493.

* Par. 488.

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