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Our feeling of the world, upon which is based our understanding of it, is necessarily anthropomorphic and mythopeic. When rationalism dawned with Thales of Miletus, this philosopher abandoned Oceanus and Thetis, gods and the progenitors of gods, and attributed the origin of things to water; but this water was a god in disguise. They were implicated in the structure of language itself.

Prediction is no novelty in science; and in astronomy least of all is it a novelty. Thousands of years ago Thales, and others whose very names we have forgotten, could predict eclipses, but not without a certain degree of inaccuracy. And many other phenomena were capable of prediction by accumulated experience.

Their eyes were not quite right, and their hair, though it was brushed, showed fatigue of the nerves in a certain inclination to limpness and disorder. "Epicharmos of Kos Was covered with moss," remarked Billy. "Thales and Zeno Were duffers at keno," added Bertie. In the hours of trial they would often express their education thus.

Why not? quoth I, for undoubtedly this prodigy portends sedition and war, and I fear the dire portents thereof may extend to myself, my wife, and my children, and prove all our ruin; since, before I have atoned for my former fault, the goddess gives us this second evidence and proof of her displeasure. Thales replied never a word, but laughing went out of the house.

Solon was born in Athens about 638 B.C., and belonged to the noblest family of the State. He was contemporary with Pisistratus and Thales. His father having lost his property, Solon applied himself to merchandise, always a respectable calling in a mercantile city.

Indeed, of all the sages of that time, Thales alone seems to have known more of physics than was necessary to supply man's every-day needs; all the others having gained their reputation for political wisdom. IV. These wise men are said to have met at Delphi, and again at Corinth, where they were entertained by the despot Periander.

How true is the word of Thales the Sage,” he spoke; “ ‘the world is the fairest of all fair things, because it is the work of God.’ It cannot be that, here, between these purple hills and the glistening sea, there will come that battle beside which the strife of Achilles and Hector before Troy shall pass as nothing!” Themistocles shook his head.

Since the days of Shakespeare there never stalked such a Being across the stage as this superhumanly terrible, gruesome old man! And that you may not remain a moment longer in doubt on the subject, I add at once that no modern poet can congratulate himself on such a loftily tragic and powerful creation as the author of the Söhne des Thales." The friends looked at each other in amazement.

Perhaps, however, as the expressions of Cicero indicate, Thales might be the first who attempted to give reasons for what was believed. His reasons were, nevertheless, sufficiently crude and puerile; and having declared it the property of the soul to move itself, and other things, he was forced to give a soul to the loadstone, because it moved iron!

Thales the Milesian was the author of several of the geometrical theorems and demonstrations now included in the Elements of Euclid. The celebrated fifth proposition of the first book, so famous among all the modern nations of Europe as the great stumbling block in the way of beginners in the study of geometry, was his.

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