« PreviousContinue »
good sense for its basis ; that it consists in the knowledge of what is, and what is not, to be feared; and that, consequently, we must first distinguish between real good and evil; and that it is closely connected with the other virtues, namely, justice, temperance, and piety, nor can it ever subsist without them. The scope of this fine dialogue is to shew, that philosophy is the school of true bravery.
The time of this dialogue is not long after the defeat of the Athenians at Delium, Ol. 89. 1, in which action Socrates had behaved with great spirit, and thence recommended himself to the friendship of Laches.
Ρ. 197. Αληθως Αιξωνεα.] Βλασφημον scilicet. Vid. Ηarpocration in Αιξωνας. 201. Alows.] The verse is in the Odyssey, P. v. 347 :
Αιδως ουκ αγαθη κεχρημενω ανδρι πρόικτη. Plato here reads—avopi tapelval. And so again in the Char: mides, p. 161.
Ib. Ηξω παρα σε.] Accordingly Aristides and Thucydides were actually under the care of Socrates from this time ; (see the Theages sub fin.) but they soon left him.
The intention of the dialogue is to shew, that all mankind in their actions equally tend to some imagined good, but are commonly mistaken in the nature of it;
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
Platon. Op. Edit. Serrani, Vol. 2. p. 225. P. 225. Iνα τι και ημεις των σοφων ρηματων.] Ισοκωλα και ομοιoτελευτα.
228. IIolutn tw euw.] Thucydides affirms the express contrary to Plato, that Hipparchus never reigned at all. Ουκ Ιππαρχος, ώσπερ οι πολλοι οιoνται, αλλ' Ιππιας, πρεσβυτατος ων, coxe tnv apxn. Thucyd. L. 6. Sect. 54. p. 379. Ed. Huds. Oxon : but he agrees with Plato that the government of the Pisistratidæ was mild and popular, till the murder of Hipparchus. Hipparchus first brought the works of Homer to Athens; he was intimate with Simonides, and sent a galley to bring Anacreon to Athens, as I imagine, from Samos, after the death of Polycrates, which happened in the fourth year of Hippias's, (or according to Plato) of Hipparchus's reign.—The custom of the Rhapsodi successively repeating all Homer's poems during the Panathenæa.—Hermæ were erected by Hipparchus in the middle of Athens, and of every Anuos in Attica, with inscriptions in verse, containing some moral precept, written by himself.
229. Της αδελφης ατιμιαν της κανηφοριας.] Perhaps, της ΑΡΜΟΔΙΟΥ αδελφης-της Κανηφορου, or εν τη κανηφορια, unless χαριν οι ένεκα be understood.
and that nothing can properly be called gain which, when attained, is not a real good.
The time of the dialogue is no where marked.
P. 231. Ayti owdekaoTaolov.] Gold was therefore to silver at that time, as twelve to one.
H, IIEPI 'HAONHE.
Platon. Op. Serrani, Vol. 2. p. 11.
This dialogue is too remarkable to be passed over slightly: we shall therefore annex the principal heads of it. The question is, T. twv av pwTTIVOV KTN Matwv aplotov; “What is the supreme good of mankind ?” and, “whether pleasure 1 or wisdom have the better pretension to it?"
The persons are, Protarchus, the son of Callias, who supports the cause of pleasure, and Socrates, who opposes it : Philebus, who had begun the dispute but was grown weary of it, and many others of the Athenian youth, are present at the conversation. The time of it is no where marked. The end of the dialogue is supposed to be lost.
P. 12. The name of pleasure, variously applied, to the joys of intemperance and folly, and to the satisfaction arising from wisdom, and from the command of our passions.
Though of unlike, and even of opposite natures, they agree so far, as they are all pleasures alike; as black and white, though contrary the one to the other, are comprehended under the general head of colours.
i V. de Republ. L. 6. p. 505.
Though included under one name, if some are contrary and of opposite natures to others, they cannot both be good alike.
P. 14. Vulgar enquiry, how it is possible for many? to be one, and one, many, laid aside by consent as childish.
Obscure question on our abstracted idea of unity. The vanity and disputatious humours of a young man, who has newly tasted of philosophy and has got hold of a puzzling question, are well described.
Every subject of our conversation has in it a mixture of the infinite and of the finite.
P. 16. The true logician will (as the ancients prescribed,) first discover some single and general idea, and then proceed to two or three subordinate to it, which he will again subdivide into their several classes, which will form, as it were, a medium beneath finite and infinite.
Example in the alphabet. The human voice is one idea, but susceptible of a variety of modulations, and to be diversified even to infinity: to know that it is one, and to know that it is infinite, are neither of them knowledge ; but there can be no knowledge without them.
When we first attain to the unity of things, we must descend from number to infinity, if we would know any thing: and when we first perceive their infinity, we must ascend through number to unity. Thus the first inventor? of letters remarking the endless variety of
i V. Phædon. p. 96.
2 V. Phædrum. p. 274. V. et Politicum. p. 285. Acov, otav την των πολλων τις προτερον αισθηται κοινωνιαν, μη προαφιστασθαι,