Page images

some distance, surrounded with a people, who look

son it as a crime to enslave one's fellow-creatures, and are ready to favour any conspiracy of his servants against him : how anxious and how intolerable would be his condition! Such, and still worse, is that of a tyrant.

P. 581. The pleasures of knowledge and of philosophy are proved to be superiour to those which result from honour or from gain, and from the satisfaction of our appetites. The wise man, the ambitious man, the man of wealth and pleasure, will each of them give the preference to his favourite pursuit, and will undervalue that of the others; but experience is the only proper judge which can decide the question, and the wise man alone possesses that experience; the necessity of his nature must have acquainted him with the pleasure which arises from satisfying our appetites. Honour and the publick esteem will be the consequence of his life and studies, as well as of the opulent or of the

NOTES. Ρ. 578. Ανδραποδα πεντηκοντα.] The more wealthy Greeks had very large families of slaves. In Athens the number of slaves was to that of citizens as 20 to 1: the latter being about 21,000, the former, 400,000. Mnaso of Phocis, a friend of Aristotle, had 1000 slaves, or more, as had likewise Nicias, the famous Athenian. In Corinth, there were reckoned 460,000 slaves : at Ægina, above 470,000: and many a Roman had in his own service above 20,000 : this was a computation made Ol. 110. by Demetrius Phalereus. See Athenæus from the Chronicle of Ctesicles, L. 6. p. 272. and Xenophon trepi II poo odwv. p. 540.

579. Acxvw.] Implies curiosity, and an eager love of novelties; and is the same with regard to the eye, that liquorishness is to the taste.

ambitious man; so that he is equally qualified with them to judge of their pleasures, but not they of his, which they have never experienced.

P. 584. Most of our sensual joys are only a cessation from uneasiness and pain, as are the eager hopes and expectations which attend them. A fine image is drawn of the ordinary life of mankind, of their sordid pursuits, and of their contemptible passions.

P. 588. The recapitulation, and conclusion, that the height of injustice and of wickedness is the height of misery.

P. 590. The intention of all education and laws is to subject the brutal part of our nature to the rational. A scheme of life, worthy of a philosophick mind, is laid down.

NOTES. Ρ. 583. Ηδονη τις εσκιαγραφημενη.] An expression borrowed perhaps from Heraclitus or Parmenides.

592. Ev oupavw.] That is, in the idea of the divinity: see the beginning of the following (the 10th) book. Diogenes Laertius alludes to this passage in his epitaph on Plato :

Πολιν ηλυθεν, ήν ποθ' εαυτω
Εκτισε, και δαπεδω Ζηνος ενιδρυσατο.




P. 595. Plato's apology for himself.

His reasons for banishing all imitative poetry from his republick: 1. because it represents things not as they really are, but as they appear; 2. the wisdom of the poets is not equal to their reputation ; 3. there is no example of a state having been better regulated, or of a war better conducted, or of an art improved, by any poet's instructions; and 4. there is no plan of education laid down, no sect, nor school founded, even by Homer and the most considerable of the poets, as by the philosophers.

i V. L. 3. p. 392.

NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT, P. 595. Plato professes a great admiration, even from a child, for Homer, but yet is forced to exclude hin from his commonwealth, ου γαρ προ γε της αληθειας τιμητεος ανηρ. The Greeks had carried their admiration for Homer to a high pitch of enthusiasm in Plato's time: it was he (they said) who first had formed Greece to knowledge and humanity ; (TTETALHEUKE i nu 'Ellada, p. 606.) and that in him were contained all the arts, all morality, politicks, and divinity. p. 578.

599. Xapwvdav mev.] Charondas was of Catana in Sicily, and gave his laws to that city, and to others of Chalcidick foundation in the island, and also to Rhegium in Italy; (see Bentley on Phalaris, p. 364, &c.) these laws were calculated for an aristocracy.

P. 602. Their art concurs with the senses to deceive us and to draw off the mind from right reason, it excites and increases the empire of the passions, enervates our resolution, and seduces us by the power of ill example.

P. 604. The passions and vices are easy to imitate by reason of their variety ; but the cool, uniforin, and simple character of virtue is very difficult to draw, so


P. 600. Els texvas.] Thales is said to have discovered the annual course of the sun in the ecliptick, and to have made several improvements in astronomy and geometry. To Anacharsis is ascribed the invention of anchors, and of the potter's wheel. See Diog. Laertius.

Ib. IIvoa yopelov.] The Pythagorean sect was in high repute in Plato's time, while Archytas, Philolaus, Lysis, Echecrates, and others, supported it; but it seems to have declined soon after, for Aristoxenus mentions these latter, whom he remembered, as the last of any note. Vid. Diog. Laert. L. 8. sect. 46.–Aristoxenus flourished about thirty years after Plato's death.

Ib. Tov ovouatos.] The name signifies a lover of flesh-meat : but Callimachus (Epig. 6.) and Strabo (L. 14.) and Eustathius (ad Hom. Il. B. p. 250.) write it Creophylus. He was a Samian, who entertained Homer at his house ; and wrote a poem, called Olxalcas alwors, which some attributed to Homor himself.

607. 'H lakepuša, &c.] Fragments of poets against philosophy.

608. Εμβλεψας μου και θαυμασας ειπε, Μα Δι' ουκ εγωγε.] Is it possible that the immortality of the soul should be a doctrine so unusual, and so little known at Athens, as to cause this surprise in Glauco ?-In the Phædo too, Cebes treats this point in the same manner: Tα δε περι της ψυχης πολλην απιστιαν παρεχει τοις ανθρωποις, μη, επειδαν απαλλαγή του σωματος, ουδαμου ετι î• &c.

Ουκ ολιγης παραμυθιας δειται και πιστεως, ώς εστι ψυχη αποθανοντος του ανθρωπου, και τινα δυναμιν εχει και φρονησιν. p. 70.

as to touch or delight a theatre, or any other mixed assembly of men.

P. 607. The power of numbers and of expression over the soul is great, which renders poetry more particularly dangerous.

P. 608. Having shewn that virtue is most eligible on its own account, even when destitute of all external rewards, he now comes to explain the happiness which


Ρ. 611. "Ωσπερ οι τον θαλαττιον Γλαυκον όρωντες.] He speaks as if this divinity were sometimes actually visible to seafaring men, all covered with sea-weed and shells.

Ib. Ilavti mallov omp.w.] And so he is described by Ovid, who says of Scylla,

Tuta loco, monstrumne, deusne,
Ille sit, ignorans, admiraturque colorem,
Cæsariemque humeros subjectaque terga tegentem,
Ultimaque excipiat quod tortilis inguina piscis.

Metam. L. 13. v. 913. And he tells her;

Non ego prodigium, non sum fera bellua, Virgo,

Sum Deus, inquit, aquæ. 613. ATO TWV Katw.] From the place of starting at the lower end of the stadium : ta avw, the upper end, whence they ran back again.

Ib. Ta wra ETL TWV www.] A metaphor, taken from horses, and other animals, which let their ears drop, when they are tired, and over-driven.

614. The story of Er, the Pamphylian, who, when he had lain twelve days dead in appearance on the field of battle, and was placed on the funeral pile, came to life again, and related all he had seen in the other world. The judgment of souls, their

progress of a thousand years through the regions of bliss or of misery, the eternal punishment of tyrants, and of others guilty of enormous crimes, in Tartarus, the spindle of Necessity, which turns the eight spheres, and the employment of her

« PreviousContinue »