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P. 491. Those very endowments, before described as necessary to the philosophick mind, are often the ruin of it, especially when joined to the external advantages of strength, beauty, nobility, and wealth, when they light in a bad soil, and do not meet with their proper nurture, which an excellent education only can bestow.
Extraordinary virtues and extraordinary vices are equally the produce of a vigorous mind : little souls are alike incapable of one or of the other.
The corruption of young minds is falsely attributed to the sophists, who style themselves philosophers : it is the publick example which depraves them; the assemblies of the people, the courts of justice, the camp, and the theatres, inspire them with false opinions, elevate them with false applause, and fright them with false infamy. The sophists do no more than confirm the opinions of the publick, and teach how to humour its passions and to flatter its vanities.
P. 495. As few great geniuses have strength to resist the general contagion, but leave philosophy abandoned and forlorn, though it is their own peculiar pro
P. 489. 'O TOUTO Kouyevo auevos.] i.e. Simonides: who, when his wife asked him, Ποτερον γενεσθαι κρειττον, πλουσιον, η σοφον και answered, Πλουσιον" τους γαρ σοφους οράν επι ταις των πλουσιων Oupals dlatpißovras. Aristot. Rhetor. L. 2. p. 92.
490. Anyol wõlvos.] Vid. Sympos. p. 206. 493. H Aloundeal.] Vid. Erasmi Adagia.
494. Eav tis noeua.] The two conversations with Alcibiades are an example of this.
495. EK TWV texvwv.] This seems to be aimed at Protagoras, who was an ordinary countryman and a woodcutter.
vince, the sophists step into their vacant place, assume their name and air, and cheat the people into an opinion of them. They are compared to a little old slave (worth money) dressed out like a bridegroom to marry the beautiful, but poor, orphan daughter of his deceased lord.
P. 495. A description of the few of true genius who escape depravation, and devote themselves really to philosophy; which happens commonly either from some ill fortune, or from weakness of constitution. The reason why they must necessarily be excluded from publick affairs, unless in this imaginary republick.
P. 500. The application of these arguments to the proof of his for.ner proposition, namely, that until princes shall be philosophers or philosophers shall be princes, no state can be completely happy.
P. 503. The øvlakes, therefore, are to be real philo
P. 496. 'Tuo puins.] This was the case with Pythagoras, and other great men, particularly with Dion, Plato's favourite scholar ; though I rather imagine, that this part of the dialogue was written before Dion's banishment.
Ib. Ocaye..] Theages died before Socrates, a very young
497. 'Otav kal årtouevo.] This is a remarkable passage, as it shews the manner in which the Athenians usually stu liel philosophy, and Plato's judgment about it, which was directly opposite to the common practice.
Ib. Αποσβεννυνται πολυ μαλλον του Ηρακλειτειου ήλιου, όσον αυθις ουκ εξαπτονται.] Ρ. 498. Εις εκεινον τον βιον. Does he speak of some future state ?
499. 'Οταν αυτη η Μουσα.] So in the Philebus; Των εν Μουση φιλοσοφω μεμαντευμενων εκαστοτε λογων. p. 67.
sophers. The great difficulty is to find the requisite qualifications of mind united in one person. Quickness of apprehension and a retentive memory, vivacity and application, gentleness and magnanimity, rarely go together.
P. 505. The idea of the supreme good is the foundation of philosophy, without which all acquisitions are useless. The cause of knowledge and of truth is compared to light; truth, to the power which bodies have of reflecting light, or of becoming visible; and the sovereign good itself is compared to the sun, the lord and father of light.
P. 509. The author of being is superiour to all being.
P. 510. There are different degrees of certainty in the objects of our understanding.?
Ilarnp kal Kuplos. Vid. Plat. Epist. 6. et Epist. 2. p. 312. et Macrob. L. 1. c. 2.
2 See Aristot. Metaphys. on these opinions of Plato, L. 1. p. 338. and L. 6. p. 365.
Ρ. 499. Εν βασιλειαις οντων υιεσιν, η αυτοις.] I do not doubt, but that this was meant as a compliment and incitement to the younger Dionysius (See Plato Epist. 7. p. 327), of whom both Dion and Plato had once entertained great hopes ; and I understand what follows, p. 502, Alla mevèls ikavos yevouevos, &c. in the same manner. Hence it seems that this part of the dialogue was written after his first voyage to Sicily, and probably not long before his second, about Ol. 103, 1, when the elder Dionysius was just dead.
504. Τριττα ειδη ψυχης.] See Lib. 4. Πολιτ. p. 439. et sequent.
505. Ouk exovol delgal Tus opovnois.] Vid. Platonis Philebum, passim.
HEADS OF THE SEVENTH DIALOGUE.
P. 514. The state of mankind is compared to that of persons confined in a vast cavern from their birth, with their legs fettered, and with their heads so placed in a machine that they cannot turn them to the light, which shines full in at the entrance of the cave, nor can they see such bodies as are continually in motion, passing and repassing behind them, but only the shadows of them, as they fall on the sides of the grotto directly before their eyes.
If any one should set them free from this confinement, oblige them to walk, and drag them from their cavern into open day, they would hang back or move
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
Ρ. 514. Εν δεσμοις.] The machine called Κυφων or Κλοιον, and the IIevteo uplynov gulov, which served at once as a pillory and a pair of stocks, confining at the same time the head, arms, and legs of the prisoner, was commonly used in Greece. See Aristophan. Equites. v. 1046.
Ib. Ta napa payuata.] A screen or fence of three or four feet in height, still in use round the stages of mountebanks and jugglers.
with unwillingness or pain ; their eyes would be dazzled with the brightness of each new object, and comprehend nothing distinctly; they would long for their shadows and darkness again, till, being more habituated to light, they would first be brought to gaze on the images of things reflected in the water, or elsewhere; then on the bodies themselves ; then on the skies, on the stars and the moon, and gradually on the sun himself, whom they would learn to be the source and the author of all these beautiful appearances.
If any thing should induce one of these persons to descend again into his native cavern,
would not for a long time be reconciled to darkness, his old fellow-prisoners would treat him as stupid and blind, would say that he had spoiled his eyes in those upper regions, and grow angry with him, if he proposed to set them at liberty.
P. 519. An early good education is the only thing which can turn the eyes of our mind from the darkness and uncertainty of popular opinion to the clear light of truth. It is the interest of the publick neither to suffer unlettered and unphilosophick minds to meddle with government, nor to allow men of knowledge to give themselves up for their whole life to contemplation, as the first will have no principle to act upon, and the others no practice nor inclination to business.
P. 522. The use of the mathematicks," in education, is principally to abstract the mind from sensible and
1 Arithmetick and geometry, to which studies astronomy, and the mathematical musick, and lastly logick to crown the whole, are to succeed. See also Phileb. p. 58 and 61.