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Saturnian age; the present revolution, when the world goes the contrary way, being left to its own1 conduct. Mankind are now guided by their own free-will, and are preserved by their own inventions.
P. 275. The nature of the monarch in this age is no other than that of the people which he commands.
P. 276. His government must be with the consent of the people.
Clear and certain knowledge is rare and in few instances; we are forced to supply this defect by comparison and by analogy. Necessity of tracing things up to their first principles. Examples of logical division.
Greater, or less, with respect to our actions, are not to be considered as mere relations only depending on one another, but are to be referred to a certain middle term, which forms 2 the standard of morality.
P. 284. All the arts consist in measurement, and are divided into two classes: 1st. those arts which compare dimensions, numbers, or motions, each with its contrary, as greater with smaller, more with less,
1 He here too, with Timæus, considers the universe as one vast, animated, and intelligent body. Zwov ov, kaι povo ειληχος εκ του συναρμόσαντος αυτο κατ' αρχας. p. 269. Τελειον, εμψυχον τε και λογικον, και σφαιροειδες σωμα. Timæus, p. 94.
2 This is the fundamental principle of Aristotle's ethicks, L. 2. c. 7. et passim.
P. 272. Mulous.] He seems to allude to the Æsopick (See Aristot. Rhetor. L. 2. Sect. 21.) Libyan, and Sybaritick fables. See Aristophan. Aves v. 471. 652. and 808. and Vespæ v. 1418.
swifter with slower; and 2dly, those, which compare them by their distances from some middle point, seated between two extremes, in which consists what is right, fit, and becoming.
The design of these distinctions, and of the manner used before in tracing out the idea of a sophist and a politician, is to form the mind to a habit of logical division.
The necessity of illustrating our contemplations,1 on abstract and spiritual subjects, by sensible and material images is stated.
P. 286. An apology2 for his prolixity.
Principal, and concurrent,3 or instrumental causes, are named; the division of the latter, with their several productions, is into seven classes of arts which are necessary to society: viz.
1 See p. 286. Thus Mr. Locke, speaking of the institution of language, observes, that "men to give names which might make known to others any operations they felt in themselves, or any other idea which came not under their senses, were fain to borrow words from ordinary known ideas of sensation, by that means to make others the more easily to conceive those operations which they experimented in themselves, which made no outward sensible appearances."
2 Athenæus has preserved a large fragment of Epicrates, a comick poet, in which Plato's divisions are made the subject of his ridicule. L. 2. p. 59.
3 ALTIOV KAL OVVaitiov. Terms also used by the Pythagoreans. Vid. Timæum Locrum in principio.
P. 283. Mакротера тоν dεOVтOS.] It is plain, that the length of Plato's digressions had been censured and ridiculed by some of his contemporaries (particularly his dialogue called "the Sophist"), and that he here makes his own apology.
That class which furnishes
materials for all the rest; it includes the arts of mining,
hewing, felling, &c.
2. Οργανον. The instruments employed in all manufactures, with the arts which make them.
3. Ayyetov. The vessels to contain and preserve Αγγειον. our nutriment, and other moveables furnished by the potter, joiner, brazier, &c.
4. Oxna. Carriages, seats, vehicles for the land and water, &c. by the coach-maker, ship and boat-builder, &c. 5. Пpoßλnua. Shelter, covering, and defence, as houses, clothing, tents, arms, &c. by the architect, weaver, armourer, &c.
6. Пaуviov. Pleasure and amusement, as painting, musick, sculpture, &c.
7. Opeμua. Nourishment, supplied by agriculture, hunting, cookery, &c. and regulated by the gymnastick and medical arts.
P. 284. To un ov.] V. Sophist, p. 237.
290. The Egyptian kings were all of them priests, and if any of another class usurped the throne, they too were obliged to admit themselves of that order.
291. Παμφυλον τι γενος. ] Vid. mox, p. 303.
299. METεwρoλoyos.] Alluding to the fate of Socrates, and to the Nubes of Aristophanes, as he frequently does. This is a remarkable passage.
302. The corruption of the best form of government is the worst and the most intolerable of all.
Ib. Tηy πоν каι Xilovs.] See the ancient manner of refining gold, in Diodorus L. 2. or in the Excerpta of Agatharchides de Mari Erythræo.
303. Adauas.] Found in the gold-mines mixed with the ore.
P. 289. None of these arts have any pretence to, or competition with, the art1 of governing; no more than the ὑπηρετικον και διακονικον γενος, which voluntarily exercise the employment of slaves, such as merchants, bankers, and tradesmen: the priesthood too are included under this head, as interpreters between the gods and men, not from their own judgment, but either by inspiration, or by a certain prescribed ceremonial.
P. 291. There are three kinds of government, monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy: the two first are distinguished into four, royalty, tyranny, aristocracy, and oligarchy-proper.
P. 294. The imperfection of all laws arises from the impossibility of adapting them to the continual change of circumstances, and to particular cases.
P. 296. Force may be employed by the wise and just legislator to good ends.
P. 299. The supposition of a set of rules in physick, in agriculture, or in navigation, drawn up by a majority of the citizens, and not to be transgressed under pain of death; applied to the case of laws made by the people.
P. 307. Some nations are destroyed by an excess of spirit; others by their own inoffensiveness and love of quiet.
1 Aristotle in the same manner calls this great art, KupiwrαTη και μαλιστα αρχιτεκτονική των επιστημων και δυναμεων· τινας γαρ ειναι χρεων εν ταις πολεσι και ποιας έκαστους μανθάνειν, και μεχρι τινος, αυτη διατασσει. Ορωμεν δε τας εντιμοτατας των δυναμεων ύπο ταυτην ουσας διον στρατηγικήν, οικονομικην, ῥητορικήν, &c. Aristot. Ethic. Nicom. L. 1. c. 2. See also p. 304. of this dialogue.