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It would nevertheless

Le 10 mai 2017, 06:14 dans Humeurs 0

The external end assigned to history led to the same results as in antiquity, when history became oratorical and even historico-pedagogic romances were composed, and as in the Renaissance, when 'declamatory orations' were preserved, and history was treated as material more or less well adapted to certain ends, whence arose a certain amount of indifference toward its truth, so that Machiavelli, for instance, deduced laws and precepts from the decades of Livy, not only assuming them to be true, but accepting them in those parts which he must have recognized to be demonstrably fabulous.

Orations began to disappear, but their disappearance was due to good literary taste rather than to anything else, which recognized how out of harmony were those expedients with the new popular, prosaic, polemical tone that narrative assumed in the eighteenth[Pg 251] century. In exchange they got something worse: lack of esteem for history, which was considered to be an inferior reality, unworthy of the philosopher, who seeks for laws, for what is constant, for the uniform, the general, and can find it in himself and in the direct observation of external and internal nature, natural and human, without making that long, useless, and dangerous tour of facts narrated in the histories.

Descartes, Malebranche, and the long list of their successors do not need especial mention here, for it is well known how mathematics and naturalism dominated and depressed history at this period. But was historical truth at least an inferior truth? After fuller reflection, it did not seem possible to grant even this. In history, said Voltaire, the word 'certain,' which is used to designate such knowledge as that "two and two make four," "I think," "I suffer," "I exist," should be used very rarely, and in the sole sense of "very probable." Others held that even this was saying too much, for they altogether denied the truth of history and declared that it was a collection of fables, of inventions and equivocations, or of undemonstrable affirmations. Hence the scepticism or Pyrrhonism of the eighteenth century, which showed itself on several occasions and has left us a series of curious little books as a document of itself. Such is, indeed, the inevitable result when historical knowledge is looked upon as a mass of individual testimonies, dictated or altered by the passions, or misunderstood through ignorance, good at the best for supplying edifying and terrible examples in confirmation of the eternal truths of reason, which, for the rest, shine with their own light.

be altogether erroneous to found upon the exaggeration to which the theological[Pg 252] and pragmatical views attained in the historiography of the enlightenment, and see in it a decadence or regression similar to that of the Renaissance and of other predecessors. Not only were germs of error evolved at that time, not only did the difficulties that had appeared in the previous period become more acute, but there was also developed, and elevated to a high degree of efficiency, that historiography of spiritual values which Christian historiography had intensified and almost created, and which the Renaissance had begun to transfer to the earth.

It is most remarkable

Le 20 avril 2017, 05:47 dans Humeurs 0

But even at Misenum there was danger, though Vesuvius is distant no less than fourteen miles. The earth was shaken with repeated and violent shocks, ‘insomuch,’ says the younger Pliny, ‘that they threatened our complete destruction.’ When morning came, the light was faint and glimmering; the buildings around seemed tottering to their fall, and, standing on the open ground, the chariots which Pliny had ordered were so agitated backwards and forwards that it was impossible to keep them steady, even by supporting them with large stones. The sea was rolled back upon itself, and many marine animals were left dry upon the shore. On the side of Vesuvius, a black and ominous cloud, bursting with sulphurous vapours, darted out long trains of fire, resembling flashes of lightning, but much larger. Presently the great cloud spread over Misenum and the island of Capre?. Ashes fell around the fugitives engineering innovation.

On every side176 ‘nothing was to be heard but the shrieks of women and children, and the cries of men: some were calling for their children, others for their parents, others for their husbands, and only distinguishing each other by their voices: one was lamenting his own fate, another that of his family; some wished to die, that they might escape the dreadful fear of death; but the greater part imagined that the last and eternal night was come, which was to destroy the gods and the world together.’ At length a light appeared, which was not, however, the day, but the forerunner of an outburst of flames. These presently disappeared, and again a thick darkness spread over the scene. Ashes fell heavily upon the fugitives, so that they were in danger of being crushed and buried in the thick layer rapidly covering the whole country. Many hours passed before the dreadful darkness began slowly to be dissipated. When at length day returned, and the sun was seen faintly shining through the overhanging canopy of ashes, ‘every object seemed changed, being covered over with white ashes as with a deep snow dermes.’

that Pliny makes no mention in his letter of the destruction of the two populous and important cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum. We have seen that at Stabi? a shower of ashes fell so heavily that several days before the end of the eruption the court leading to the elder Pliny’s room was beginning to be filled up; and when the eruption ceased, Stabi? was completely overwhelmed. Far more sudden, however, was the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

It would seem that the two cities were first shaken violently by the throes of the disturbed mountain. The signs of such a catastrophe have been very commonly assigned to the earthquake which happened in177 63, but it seems far more likely that most of them belong to the days immediately preceding the great outburst in 79. ‘In Pompeii,’ says Sir Charles Lyell, ‘both public and private buildings bear testimony to the catastrophe. The walls are rent, and in many places traversed by fissures still open.’ It is probable that the inhabitants were driven by these anticipatory throes to fly from the doomed towns. For though Dion Cassius relates that ‘two entire cities, Herculaneum and Pompeii, were buried under showers of ashes, while all the people were sitting in the theatre,’ yet ‘the examination of the two cities enables us to prove,’ says Sir Charles, ‘that none of the people were destroyed in the theatre, and, indeed, that there were very few of the inhabitants who did not escape from both cities. Yet,’ he adds, ‘some lives were lost, and there was ample foundation for the tale in all its most essential particulars Neo skin lab.’

To those hopefully disposed

Le 30 mars 2017, 05:32 dans Humeurs 0


his departure, then, seemed beyond words momentous. For thirty years, whatever disagreement there may have been in the navy, there was absolute unanimity as to the need of a staff for the study of war and the formulation of campaign plans. So long as weapons in use could be mastered by the personnel of the ships without dependence on methods of fire control and so forth extraneously supplied, this was indeed the navy’s chief and overmastering need. Had such a staff existed even sixteen years ago, it is quite inconceivable that we could imperceptibly have drifted into dependence on extraneous methods for the right use of weapons, without the staff responsible for preparation for war, bringing the fact of this dependence to the notice of its chief. And, the principle once recognized that staff organization is the only road to infallibility, the institution of an additional staff for the study of so vital a matter must inevitably have followed apartment hong kong. The existence of one competent, impartial, and impersonal expert body would automatically have resulted in the creation of another.

But actually when this new staff was so resoundingly established at the beginning of 1912, some amongst the optimists began to wonder whether there might not be a fly in the ointment of their content. It was pointed out that to create a staff for dealing “with the combinations of strategy and tactics” before any machinery existed for elucidating the essentials of “unit efficiency” did most certainly have the air of putting the cart before the horse.71 But to doubt that this machinery would follow seemed too absurd in face of the tremendous emphasis that Mr. Churchill had laid upon its necessity. If, without unit efficiency, “the combinations of strategy and tactics were only the preliminaries of defeat,” whereas if it existed a position in which tactics had failed, “could be retrieved with swiftness and decision,” it was manifestly unthinkable that such efficiency could be left to chance, or assumed to exist on the ipse dixit of any official. Obviously the First Lord, having put his hand to the minor and secondary matter, would not delay action at least as drastic in the major primary Hong Kong tour.

The institution of the War Staff, then, was watched with sympathetic interest in the full expectation, not only that it must lead to great results, but that it must be followed—as, of course, it should have been preceded—by one for fathoming all the potentialities of the means employed in the attack and defence of fleets.

But the War Staff was never put into the position to discharge the functions which the 1909 committee had designated as its main purpose. So far from being an authority equipped for the exhaustive study of war and how to prepare for it, the whole apparatus of fighting was carefully excluded from its purview. It had no connection with the departments administering gunnery, torpedoes, submarines, aircraft, or mines. As to some of these activities, there were as a fact no departments solely charged with their control before the War Staff was instituted. They were not entrusted to the War Staff. And no new staffs were created! If the strategical vagueness, to which the Beresford Committee had borne witness in 1909, arose largely, as many supposed, from the uncertain state of naval technique, then, so far as the War72 Staff was concerned, this vagueness had to continue—for technique was not their concern US prepaid sim card.

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