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EPISTLE XIII. TO DIONYSIUS. Ol. 103. 3 or 4.
Plat. Op. Serrani, Vol. 3. p. 360.
IN the order of time this is the second epistle in the collection. It is marked in the MSS. as spurious, and, I must own, it does little honour to Plato's memory; yet it is sure that Plutarch esteemed it genuine. He cites (in Vit. Dion.) a passage from it relating to Arete, the wife of Dion; and in his discourse Tepi Avowπias, he mentions the character of Helico the Cyzicenian, I which is to be found here. I know not what to determine; unless we suppose some parts of it to be inserted afterwards by some idle sophist who was an enemy to Plato's character. It is observable, that Plutarch in the place last mentioned says, ειτα προσέγραψε τη Επισ τολη τελευτωσῃ, Γραφω δε σοι ταυτα περι ανθρωπου, &c. whereas the words are here not far from the beginning. Possibly some fragments of the true epistle might remain, which were patched together and supplied by some trifler.
Helico, the astronomer, is mentioned by Plutarch as in the court of Dionysius, when Plato was there for the last time; (and this letter was written four years before, soon after Plato's return from his first voyage to Syracuse) but we do not find elsewhere that he had been a disciple of Eudoxus and of Polyxenus.
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
Ρ. 360. Ειπερ ηκει παρα σε Αρχυτης.] Plato in his first voyage made a league of amity between Archytas
and Dionysius; and after his return to Athens, Archytas came to Syracuse, as Plato himself tells us in his seventh epistle.
Ρ. 360. Πολυξενω, των Βρυσωνος τινι ἑταιρων.] Polyxenus, the sophist, is mentioned by Laertius in the life of Aristippus, sect. 76. Bryso, his master, had Crates, for his scholar,
also the famous Theban cynick, as Laertius says L. 6. s. 85. who calls him Bryso, the Achæan. But Theopompus (ap. Athenæum, L. 11. p. 509.) informs us that he was of Heracleæ, and accuses Plato of borrowing many things of him, which he inserted in his dialogues. There is an elegant fragment from a comedy of Ephippus, where he reflects alike on the scholars of Plato and of this Bryso (to whom he gives the epithet of ὁ θρασυμαχειοληψικερμaтwv), for their sordid desire of gain, and for the studied neatness of their dress and person.
Ib. Ελαφρος και ευηθης.] Words here used in their best sense,1 " easy and well-natured." Plutarch inter
prets them επιεικής και μετριος.
Ρ. 361. Τοτε ὁτ' ουτ' εγω εστεφανούμην.] What is meant by this date, I cannot divine. His brother's, or sister's, daughters died at the time when Dionysius ordered him to be crowned, though he was not. ever, we learn that Plato had four great nieces, the eldest then marriageable, the second, eight years old, the third, above three, and the fourth, not one year old; and that he intended to marry the eldest to
1 Plato in Republicâ. L. 3. p. 400. Evnela, ovк ν avoιav οὖσαν ὑποκοριζόμενοι καλοῦμεν ὡς ευηθειαν, αλλα την ὡς αληθῶς εὐ τε και καλώς το ηθος κατεσκευασμενην διανοιαν.
his nephew, Speusippus; but how she could be the daughter of that Speusippus's sister, I do not comprehend; so that I take it, we must either read Adeλpov here, or αποθανοντων before.
Ρ. 362. Πέμψας Εραστον.] Hence we see that Erastus was still with Plato, and consequently the sixth epistle was written after this time.
P. 362. Kpativw.] Here we find that Timotheus had a brother called Cratinus. This cannot, I think, be the great Timotheus, for his father, Conon, in his will (the substance of which is preserved in Lysias's oration in de Bonis Aristophanis, p. 345.) makes no mention of any other son he had, but this one.
Ρ. 362. Των πολυτελων των Αμοργινων.] The fine linen of Amorgos, of which they made tunicks for women, was transparent. See the Lysistrata of Aristophanes, v. 46. and 150. and 736. where the Scholia call the plant, of which the thread was made ἡ λινοκαλαμη, and say, that it was in fineness ύπερ την βυσσον, η την карρжаσоν: they were dyed of a bright red colour.
WHEN the fourth of these volumes was passing through the press, I was enabled, by the courtesy of Mr. John Morris, of 13 Park Street, Grosvenor Square, to examine the very curious and valuable collection of Graiana now in his possession. Of this collection, which has never been described, I will here give a brief account. It consists of five folio volumes, based upon a copy of Mathias's quarto edition of the Works, printed in 1814. This copy was presented by Mathias to Dawson Turner, who divided, enlarged, and rebound it. It was further again enlarged by Mr. John Dillon, from whom it passed, in its present condition, into the hands of Mr. J. Morris.
It is not necessary to describe all the portraits, illustrations, letters from persons interested in Gray, or other curious additions which have swelled this remarkable collection to its present bulk. I will here mention only what is of original interest. In the first place, certain memoranda of Gray's family, mostly in his own handwriting, including the draft, in pencil, which is almost obliterated, of the epitaph of his mother, which runs thus :
in the same pious confidence
Widow, the careful tender Mother
She died March 11, 1753, aged 67.
It may be observed that this reading differs in several respects from that hitherto repeated.
Horace Walpole's copy of the Six Poems of 1753 has been let into the volumes. It contains notes in his handwriting, but none of any importance.
There are thirty-four autograph letters of Gray, but all of these have been published already, and are found in their proper places in the present edition. They consist mainly of the letters to Norton Nicholls. I have collated them all, and find no variations worthy of record.
The original of the Essay to Walpole on his Lives of the Painters appears here in Gray's handwriting. It is correctly printed in this edition (vol. i. pp. 303-321) in all but the most inconsiderable particulars.
The sheets yet unprinted are copious, but rather dry and impersonal notes of the journey in France in 1739, up to the point where the journal printed here (vol. i. pp. 235-246) begins. Of more general interest is an account, in Gray's handwriting, of his stay at Naples with Walpole in 1740, and of the excursions they took in various directions. Had this reached me before the completion of my work, I should have thought it my duty to print these notes, although they have little personal importance. As a specimen of their character I transcribe the following passage:
"We made a little journey also on the other side of the Bay of Naples to Portici, where the King has a Villa about 4 Miles out of town, the way thither is thro' a number of small towns, and seats of the nobility close by the Sea, for Mount Vesuvius has not ever been able to deter people from inhabiting this lovely coast, and as soon as ever an eruption is well over, tho' perhaps it has damaged or destroy'd the whole country for leagues round