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ost the calmness he had up to this time successfully kept.
“The Princess–tortured–God forbid!”
“Recollect,” th cheap nike air max e Greek continued–“for you will reflect upon this–recollect I overheard the close of your interview with my father. To-morrow, or upon your return from Therapia, be it when it may, he will interrogate you with respect to whatever she may confide to you in the least relative to cheap nike online the Creed, wh nike air max 95 ich, as he states, she has prepared for herself. You stand warned. Consider also that now I have in part acquitted myself of the obligation I am under to you for my life.”
The simple-mindedness of the monk, to whom the book of the world was just beginning to open, was an immense advantage to the Greek. It should not be surprising, therefore, if the former relaxed his air, and leaned a little forward to hear what was further submitted to him.
“Have you breakfasted?” the prodigal asked, in his easy manner.
“I have not.”
“Ah! In concern for my father, you have neglected yourself. Well, I must not be inconsiderate. A hungry man is seldom a patient listener. Shall I break off now?”
“You have interested me, and I may be gone several days.”
“Very nike air max well. I will make haste. It is but justice to the belligerents in the spiritual war to admit the zeal they have shown; Gregory the Patriarch, and his Latins, on the one side, and Scholarius and his Greeks on the other. They have occupied the pulpits alternately, each refusing presence to the other. They decline association in cheap nike air max the Sacramental rites. In Sta. Sophia, it is the Papal mass to-day; to-morrow, it will b nike air max 90 e the Greek mass. It requires a sharp sense to detect the opposition in smell between the incense with which the parties respectively fumigate the altars of the ancient house. I suppose there is a difference. Yesterday the parabaloni came to blows over a body they were out burying, and in the struggle the bier was knocked down, and the dead spilled out. The Greeks, being the most numerous, captured the labarum of the Latins, and washed it in the mud; yet the monogram on it was identical with that on their own. Still I suppose there was a difference.”
Demedes laughed.
“But seriously, Sergius, there is much more of the world outside of the Church–or Churches, as you prefer–than on the inside. In the tearing each other to pieces, the militants have lost sight of the major part, and, as normally bound, it has engaged in think nike air max sale ing for itself. That is, the shepherd is asleep, the dogs are fighting, and the sheep, left to their individual conduct, are scattered in a hunt for fresher water and greener pasturage. Have you heard of the Academy of Epicurus?”
“I will tell you about it. But do you take the seat there. It is not within my purpose to exhaust you in this first conference.”
“I am not tired.”
“Well”–and the Greek smiled pleasantly–“I was regardful of myself somewhat in the suggestion. My neck is the worse of having to look up so constantly…. The youth of Byzantium, you must know, are not complaining of neglect; far from it–they esteem it a great privilege to be permitted to think in freedom. Let me give you of their conclusions. There is no God, they say, since a self-respecting God would not tolerate the strife and babble carried cheap nike shoes on in his name to the discredit of his laws. Religion, if not a deceit, is but the tinkling of brazen cymbals. A priest is a professor eking out an allowance of fine clothes and bread and wine; with respect to the multitude, he is a belled donkey leading a string of submissive camels. Of what account are Creeds except to set fools by the ears? Which–not what–which is the true Christian Faith? The Patriarch tells us, ‘Verily it is this,’ and Scholarius replies, ‘Verily the Patriarch is a liar and a traitor to God for his false teaching’–he then tells us it is that other thing just as unintelligible. Left thus to ourselves–I acknowledge myself one of the wandering flock–flung on our own resources–we resorted to counselling each other, and agreed that a substitute for religion was a social necessity. Our first thought wa nike air max 1 s to revive Paganism; worshipping many gods, we might peradventure stumble upon one really existent: whether good or bad ought not to trouble us, provided he took intelligent concern in the drift of things. To quarrel about his qualities would be a useless repetition of the folly of our elders–the folly of swimming awhile in a roaring swirl. Some one suggested how much easier and more satisfactory it is to believe in one God than in many; besides which Paganism is a fixed system intolerant of freedom. Who, it was argued, would voluntarily forego making his own gods? The privilege was too delightful. Then it was proposed that we resolve ourselves each into a God unto himself. The idea was plausible; it would at least put an end to wrangling, by giving us all an agreeable object to worship, while for mental demands and socia nike air max classic l purposes generally we could fall back on Philosophy. Had not our fathers trie cheap nike air max trainers d Philosophy? When had society a better well being than in the halcyon ages of Plato and Pythagoras? Yet there was a term of indecision with us–or rather incubation. To what school should we attach ourselves? A copy of the Enchiridion of Epictetus fell into our hands, and after studying it faithfully, we rejected Stoicism. The Cynics were cheap nike air max proposed; we rejected them–there was nothing admirable in Diogenes as a patron. We next passed upon Socratus. Sons of Sophroniscus had a lofty sound; still his system of moral philosophy was not acceptable, and as he believed in a creative God, his doctrine was too like a religion. Though the Delphian oracle pronounced him the wisest of mankind, we concluded to look further, and in so doing, came to Epicurus nike air max 90 sale . There we stopped. His promulgations, we determined, had no application except to this life; and as they offered choice between the gratification of the senses and the practice of virtue, leaving us free to adopt either as a rule of conduct, we formally enrolled ourselves Epicureans. Then, for protection against the Church, we organized. The departure might send us to the stake, or to Tamerlane, King of the Cynegion, or, 8

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