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state was different before the Persian invasion. The reasons for their distinguished bravery on that occasion. An account of the change introduced in their musick, and the progress of liberty, or rather of license,
P. 701. The great aim of a legislator is to inspire liberty, wisdom, and concord. Clinias, being appointed with nine other citizens to superintend and to form a body of laws for a new colony they are going to settle, asks advice of the Athenian and Lacedæmonian strangers on that head.
HEADS OF THE FOURTH DIALOGUE.
P. 704. The advantages and disadvantages arising from the situation of a city, and the great difficulty of preserving the constitution and the morals of a maritime and trading state, are described.
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
P. 704. He is speaking of the difficulty of preserving the constitution and morals of a maritime and trading state. Eutroplas γαρ και χρηματισμου δια καπηλειας εμπιπλάσα εαυτην, ηθη παλιμβολα και απιστα ταις ψυχαις εντικτουσα, αυτην τε προς αυτην την πολιν απιστων και αφιλον ποιει, και προς τους αλλους ανθρωπους ωσαυ
The great advantage of a maritime power with respect to its influence, its commerce and riches, its politeness of manners and language, and the enjoyment of every pleasure and convenience of life, are admirably explained by Xenophon (in Athen. Republ. p. 204.), who considers it in every light, in which Montesquieu and the best modern political writers would do. But Plato extended his views farther : he says, OU TO σωζεσθαι τε και ειναι, μονον ανθρωπους τιμιωτατον ηγουμενοι, καθαπερ οι πολλοι, το δε ώς βελτιστους γιγνεσθαι τε και ειναι, τοσουτον Xpovov doov av wolv. (707. see also p. 714. and L. 5. p. 743.) Plato never regards policy as the art of preserving mankind in a certain form of society, or of securing their property or their pleasures, or of enlarging their power, unless so far as all these
P. 706. The manner of carrying on a war by sea is unworthy of a brave and free people; it impairs their valour, depends too much on the lower and more mechanick arts, and is hardly ever decisive. The battles of Artemisium and of Salamis could not have preserved Greece (as it has been commonly thought), from the Persians, had they not been defeated in the action at Platææ.
P. 709. The difficulties, which attend new colonies, if sent out by a single city, are stated : they will more hardly submit to a new discipline, and to laws different from those of their native country : but then they concur more readily in one design, and act with more strength and uniformity among themselves. If they are collected from various states, they are weak and disjointed, but more apt to receive such forms and impressions as a legislator would give them.
The constitution of states and of their laws is owing more to nature, or to chance, or to the concurrence of
are consistent with the preservation of their virtue and of that happiness, which is the natural result of it. He had, undoubt. edly, in what he says here, a view to his own country.
Isocrates (in his oration Panathenaic. p. 256.) is constrained to own, that when Athens became a great naval power, she was forced to sacrifice her good order and morals to her ambition, though he justifies her for doing so from necessity: but (in the orat. de Pace, p. 174.) he speaks his mind more freely, and he shows at large that the dominion of the sea was every way the ruin of the Athenians, and afterwards of the Lacedæmonians.
P. 704. Elatn.) We see here that the principal ship-timber of the Greeks was fir, and pine and cypress for the outside work, as the picea and plane-tree were for the inside.
various accidents, than to human foresight: yet the wise lawgiver will not therefore despair, but will accommodate his art to the various circumstances and opportunities of things. The mariner cannot command the winds and the waves, yet he can watch his advantages, and make the best use possible of both, for the expedition and security of his voyage.
P. 710. The greatest advantage which a lawgiver can ever meet with is, when he is supported by an arbitrary prince, young, sober, and of good understanding, generous and brave; the second lucky opportunity is, when he can find a limited monarch of like disposition to concur in his designs; the third is, when he can unite himself to the leading men in some popular government; and the fourth and most difficult is, in an oligarchy.
Ρ. 706. Την χωραν πληρη.] The Athenians brought their timber chiefly from Macedonia, for Attica afforded but little for these uses. (Xenoph. Hellenic. L. 6. p. 340.)
707. Αλλοθεν των Ελληνων.] According to Herodotus (L. 7. c. 170.) the ill-success of the expedition of Minos against the Sicilians, and the settlement of those troops which accompanied him in Italy after his death, had left Crete in a manner destitute of inhabitants; for he mentions only Præsus and Polichme, as cities of the Eteocrétes (or original Cretans) remaining. This happened about one hundred years before the Trojan war, and accordingly Homer speaks of this island as peopled by various nations, and most of them of Greek origin :
Αλλη δ' αλλων γλωσσα μεμιγμενη εν μεν Αχαιοι,
Odyss. T. v. 175.
P. 711. The character and manners of a whole people, in a despotick government, are easily changed by the encouragement and by the example of their prince.
P. 712. The best governments are of a mixed kind, and are not reducible to any of the common forms. Thus those of Crete and of Sparta were neither tyrannical, nor monarchical, nor aristocratical, nor democratical, but had something of all these.
P. 713. The fable of the Saturnian age is introduced, when the gods or dæmons in person reigned over mankind. No mortal nature is fit to be trusted with an absolute power of commanding its fellow-creatures : and therefore the law, that is, pure reason, divested of all
P. 710. This great opportunity was Plato's inducement to go twice into Sicily, and (when he found that nothing could be made of the younger Dionysius) to support Dion in his expedition against him. Dion was of the royal family, possessed of every qualification here required, and ready to concur with Plato in all his designs, but he was cut off in the midst of them by a base assassin, whom he had taken into his bosom and counsels.
712. This is also the opinion of Polybius (Excerpt. ex Lib. 6. p. 452. ed. Casaub.) who produces the Spartan and Roman commonwealths as instances of it.
712. Isocrates calls the Lacedæmonian constitution a de. mocracy. Λακεδαιμονιοι δια ταυτα καλλιστα πολιτευονται, ότι Mallora onuospatOVLEVOL TUYxavovol. (Areopag. p. 152.) and in another place he calls it a democracy mixed with an aristocracy. (Panathen. p. 265.) His reason for naming it a democracy was, doubtless, because the senate was elected by the people, as were also the Ephori, in whose hands the supreme power was lodged, which Aristotle calls λιαν μεγαλη, και ισοτυραννος, and