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tion of Socrates: so that we may place it Ol. 94. 4, if Plato may be trusted in these small matters of chronology which, we know, he sometimes neglected. Gorgias was yet at Athens, Ol. 93. 4, and it is probable, that the approaching siege of that city might drive him thence into Thessaly, and he returned not till after Socrates's death.
Socrates here distinguishes (p. 75.) the true 1 method of disputation from the false, Το Διαλεκτικον απο του Εριστικου και Αγωνιστικού.
Χαίρειν τε καλοισι και δυνασθαι: (p. 77.) this is Meno's first definition of virtue, that it consists in desiring good, and in being able to attain it. Socrates proves that all men desire good, and consequently all men are so far equally virtuous (which is an absurdity); it must therefore consist in the ability to attain it; which is true in Socrates's sense of the word good,
1 An art which Socrates allowed to none, but to the true philosopher, τω καθαρώς τε και δικαιως φιλοσοφοῦντι. V. Sophist. p. 253.
P. 76. Definition of figure, Exnuа, σтεрeον πeраs, the limit or outline of a solid but this seems imperfect to me, except we read Στερεου (η επιπεδου) περας. Lucretius calls it Filum, or
Ib. Αποῤῥοας, κατ' Εμπεδοκλεα.] See Lucretius, L. 2, ν. 381. et sequent. and L. 4. v. 217.
Ib. definition of colour, in the manner of Gorgias, Xpoa αποῤῥοη σχηματων οψει συμμετρος και αισθητος (perhaps we should read owμarwv); that eflux, or those effluvia, of figured bodies, which are proportioned to our sense of seeing. This is true, if understood of the particles of light reflected from bodies; and not otherwise. But Empedocles, and after him Epicurus,
(which makes him say, Iows av ev λeyois): but it is necessary to know if men's ideas of it are the same. Upon enquiry, Meno's meaning appears to be health, honour, riches, power, &c.; but, being pressed by Socrates, he is forced to own, that the attainment of these is so far from virtue, that it is vice, unless accompanied with temperance, with justice, and with piety; as then the virtue of such an attainment consists in such adjuncts, and not in the thing attained; and as these are confessedly parts of virtue only, subordinate
thought, that the immediate objects of vision were certain particles detached from the surface of the bodies which we behold: Ωστε ὁρᾶν ἡμᾶς, τυπων τινων επεισιοντων ἡμιν απο των πραγματων, απο χροων τε και ὁμοιομορφων, κατα το εναρμόττον μεγεθος, εις την οψιν η την διανοιαν, ωκεως ταις φοραις χρωμενων. Epicurus in Epistolâ ad Herodotum ap. Diog. Laert. L. 10. s. 49. Ρ. 76. Συνες ὁ τι λεγω.] From Pindar.
77. Πολλα ποιων εκ του ένος, (όπερ φασι τους συντριβοντας τι ἑκαστοτε οἱ σκωπτοντες.] An allusion to some comick writer. 80. Τη πλατεια ναρκη τη θαλαττια.] The torpedo, called by the French on the coast of the Mediterranean, la torpille, is a fish of the scate or ray-kind; as all of that species have a wide mouth and prominent eyes, the face of Socrates, who had these two remarkable features, reminds Meno of this fish. Its figure and extraordinary property of benumbing any creature which touches it are described by Mr. Reaumur, in the Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences, pour l'Année 1714, where there is a print of it.
81. A fragment of Pindar on the immortality of the soul: Οισι γαρ αν Περσεφονα ποιναν, &c.
86. Ερωτησεις επεγερθεῖσαι.] Read, Ερωτησει.
88. Τω ανθρωπω τα μεν αλλα παντα.] He affirms, that virtue is wisdom and right reason. On this subject see also Woollaston's Religion of Nature, Sect. 1. p. 23.
to some more general idea, they are no nearer discovering what virtue in the abstract is, than they were at first.
Though the doctrine of reminiscence, repeated by Plato in several places, be chimerical enough; yet this, which follows it, (p. 84.) is worth attending to, where Socrates shews how useful it is to be sensible of our own ignorance. While we know nothing, we doubt of nothing; this is a state of great confidence and security. From the first distrust we entertain of our own understanding springs an uneasiness and a curiosity, which will not be satisfied till it attains to knowledge.
P. 89. Ev Акроroλeɩ.] Where the sacred treasure was kept. It consisted of one thousand talents never to be touched, unless the city were to be attacked by a naval force; in any other case it was made capital to propose it. Χιλια ταλαντα απο των εν τη Ακροπολει χρηματων εδοξεν αυτοις, εξαιρετα ποιησαμενοις, χωρις θεσθαι, και μη αναλοῦν, αλλ' απο των αλλων πολεμειν ην δε τις ειπη η επιψηφισῃ κινειν τα χρηματα ταυτα ες αλλο τι, ην μη δι πολεμιοι νηΐτη στρατω επιπλέωσι τη πολει, και δεη αμυνεσθαι, Davaтov nμav εжε0еνто. Thucyd. Hist. L. 2. Sect. 24. They called this treasure To Aẞvoσov. Aristophan. Lysistrata, v. 174. It was thus set apart the first year of the Peloponnesian war. 90. Tη auтov oopia.] Probably by the leather-trade, which Anytus also carried on, as the famous Cleon, and other principal Athenians, had done. See Aristophanes in the Equites. Ismenias, the Theban, had a principal hand in raising the Theban or Corinthian war, (as it was called) against the Lacedæmonians, being bribed by Timocrates the Rhodian, who was also bribed by the Persians, with money for that purpose; but as this happened five or six years after the death of Socrates, we can hardly suppose that Plato here alluded to it. Yet I think it very possible that he might have written this dialogue about
Whoever reads the dialogue (attributed to Eschines the Socratick) intitled Περι Αρετης, ει διδακτον ; will see so great a resemblance to this of Plato, and at the same time find so great a difference in several respects, that he will believe both one and the other to be sketches of a real conversation, which passed between Socrates and some other person, noted down both by Eschines and by Plato at the time: the former left his notes in that unfinished condition, but the latter supplied them as he thought fit, and worked them up at his leisure into this dialogue.
that time, when the name of Ismenias was in every one's mouth, Ol. 96. 2, or perhaps not till Ol. 99. 3, when his condemnation and death must doubtless have been the general subject of conversation Plato was then just returned to Athens, after his first voyage to Sicily. I do not find what Polycrates is here meant. Xenoph. Hellenic. L. 3. p. 294, and L. 5. p. 325, 326. 90. Anytus, the son of Anthemio. See Xenoph. Apol. Socrat. sub fin.: and Diog. Laert. L. 2. s. 38, 39, 43.
91. Aπоlαvel eyyus.] Protagoras was cast away on his voyage to Sicily, Ol. 92. 3; he began therefore to teach, Ol. 82. 3, being then thirty years of age.
93. Cleophantus, the youngest of the three sons of Themistocles, by Archippe. See Plutarch in his life.
94. See the Laches, where Melesias and Lysimachus are introduced in the dialogue. For the character of this Thucydides, see Plutarch in Pericle, Aristophan. in Acharn. v. 703, and Schol. ad Vespas, v. 941: he underwent the sentence of ostracism, Ol. 83. 4.
95. Nine lines from the 'Exeyela of Theognis.
Ρ. 448. Κατα τέχνην κατα τυχην — αλλοι αλλων aλws.] Observe the jingle of words introduced by Gorgias, and affected by his imitators in rhetorick: see Isocrates Orat. ad Philippum, p. 87. Aristotle tells us, that Isocrates was a disciple of Gorgias (Quintil. L. 3. c. 1.); and he too in the former part of his life, dealt in these Παρισα, Όμοιοτέλευτα, &c. which, as frivolous as they may seem, yet they often add to the beauty of a period, when managed by skilful hands; that is, when they are "velut oblata, non captata; atque innata videntur esse, non accersita." Quintil. L. 9. c. 3. See also Aulus Gellius, L. 18. 8.
Ib. Hрodikos.] The Leontine, a Ηρόδικος.] The Leontine, a physician, and brother to Gorgias. There was another Herodicus about this time of Selymbria, a famous IIaidorpiẞns and a sophist. See Protag. p. 316.-Aristophon and his brother, Polygnotus, were both painters, the sons of Aglaophon. Ion. p. 532.
P. 451. Σκολιον.] These Scolia were a kind of lyrick compositions, sung either in concert, or successively, by all the guests after a banquet: the subjects