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P. 564. The division of those who bear sway in a democracy into three kinds: 1. the busy, bold, and active poor, who are ready to undertake and execute any thing; 2. the idle and insignificant poor, who follow the former, and serve to make a number and a noise in the popular assemblies; and 3. the middling sort who earn their bread by their labour, and have naturally little inclination to publick affairs, nor are easily brought together, but when allured by the hopes of some gain, yet, when collected, are the strongest party of all. The conversion of a demagogue into a tyrant, from necessity and from fear, the steps which he takes to attain the supreme power, the policy of tyrants, and the misery of their condition, are excellently described.
P. 568. The accusation of the tragick poets, as inspiring a love of tyranny, and patronized by tyrants; they are encouraged also in democracies, and are little esteemed in better governments.
P. 566. Tov Kpolow.] See Herodotus, L. 1. c. 55.
567. Ews av μnte piλwv.] Compare this description with the Hiero of Xenophon; it is, in almost every step, a picture of the politicks and way of life of the elder Dionysius.
568. Ουκ ετος ή τε Τραγωδια.] This is spoken ironically. Ib. Zopo Tupavvol.] A line from the Antigone of Euripides. 569. Meyas μeyaλwσr.] Alluding to Homer, Odyss. . v. 40. speaking of Achilles :
Συ δε στροφαλιγγι κονιης
Κεΐσο μεγας μεγαλωστι, λελασμενος ἱπποσυναων.
HEADS OF THE NINTH DIALOGUE.
P. 571. The worst and most lawless of our unnecessary desires are described, which are particularly active in sleep, when we go to our repose after drinking freely, or eating a full meal.
P. 572. The transition of the mind from a democratick to a tyrannical constitution. Debauchery and (what is called) love are the great instruments of this change. Lust and drunkenness, names for two different sorts of madness, between them produce a tyrant.
P. 573. Our desires from indulgence grow stronger and more numerous. Extravagance naturally leads to want, which will be supplied either by fraud or by violence.
P. 575. In states, in which there are but a few persons of this turn, and the body of the people are uncorrupted,
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
P. 571. TylewWS TIS EXn.] Cicero cites and translates this whole passage, De Divinatione, L. 1. c. 30. these notions seem borrowed from the Pythagoreans.
575. Mητрis.] A Cretan expression, meaning the country of one's mother.
they usually leave their own country, and enter into the guards of some foreign prince, or serve him in his wars: or, if they have not this opportunity, they stay at home and turn informers, false evidences, highwaymen, and housebreakers, cut-purses, and such characters; but, if they are numerous and strong, they form a party against the laws and liberties of the people, set at their head commonly the worst among them, and erect a despotick government.
The behaviour of a tyrannical nature in private life; unacquainted with friendship, always domineering over, or servilely flattering, his companions.
P. 577. The comparison between a state enslaved, and the mind of a tyrant. The servitude, the poverty, the fears, and the anguish of such a mind are described; and it is proved to be the most miserable of human creatures.
P. 579. The condition of any private man of fortune, who has fifty or more slaves. Such a man with his effects, wife and family, supposed to be separated from the state and his fellow-citizens (in which his security consists), and placed in a desert country at
Ρ. 577. Ος αν δυνηται τη διανοιᾳ.] Plato himself is doubtless the person; and qualified for the office by his intimate acquaintance with the younger Dionysius.
578. Ος αν τυραννικος ων.] Have a care of inserting any negative particle here, as H. Stephanus would do, which would totally destroy the sense. Plato's meaning is, that a tyrannical mind, when it has attained to the height of power, must make its possessor worse, and consequently more miserable, than while he remained in a private condition.
some distance, surrounded with a people, who look upon 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
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
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 πepɩ IIpoσodwv. 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.
Ρ. 583. Ηδονη τις εσκιαγραφημενη.] An expression borrowed perhaps from Heraclitus or Parmenides.
592. Ev ovpavw.] 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, ἣν ποθ ̓ ἑαυτω
Έκτισε, και δαπεδω Ζηνος ενιδρυσατο.