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APPENDIX TO PART I.
I. APOLOGY OF SOCRATES.
IN the general Introduction to this exposition of the works of Plato, it has already been said that when any pieces are thrown into this Appendix we are far from intending thereby at once to deny or call in question their Platonic origin. Thus also the Apology of Socrates, at all times loved and admired for the spirit which breathes through it, and the image it presents of calm moral greatness and beauty, is only found in this place because it contents itself with its peculiar object and has no scientific pretensions. The Euthyphro too has indeed an undeniable apologetic reference to the accusation brought against Socrates: but on the other hand its connection with the notions started in the Protagoras gave it a manifest right to be subjoined to that dialogue. The Apology on the contrary, as a purely occasional piece can find no place in the series of the philosophical productions of its author. And there is even one signification in which—let not the reader start—it might indeed be said that it is no work of Plato's. I mean that it is hardly a work of his thoughts, any thing invented and composed by him. For if we attribute to Plato the intention of defending Socrates, we must then first of all distinguish the times at which he might have done so, either during his process, or at all events at some period, how soon or how late is indifferent, after his condemnation. In the last case then Plato's only object could have been a defence of the principles and sentiments of his friend and master. This however, with one who was so fond of connecting several objects in one work might very easily have combined with his scientific purposes, and thus we do really find not only particular indications of this nature scattered over his later writings, but we shall soon come to know an important work, and one closely enough interwoven with his scientific labours, in which notwithstanding it is a collateral purpose and one brought out into distinct relief to hold up to the light Socrates' conduct as an Athenian as well as his political virtue. Now a proceeding of this kind admits of explanation, but Plato could scarcely find occasion at a later period for a piece which merely opposes Socrates to his actual accusers. It must then have been during the process that Plato composed this speech. But for what purpose F At all events it is clear that he could do his master no worse service than by publishing a defence in Socrates' own name before he had defended himself in court. For the only effect of such a defence would be to assist the accusing parties to discover what they were to be on their guard against and what they might neglect, and to put the accused into the dilemma of either being obliged to repeat much or say something else less powerful. Hence then, the more excellent the defence and the better adapted to the character of Socrates, the more disadvantageous it would have been to him. But no one, I suppose, will give any weight to this hypothesis. After the decision which succeeded, finally, Plato might have a twofold purpose, either simply to make the progress of the matter more generally known, and to establish a memorial of it for future times; or to place in the proper light the different parties and the method of the proceeding. Now if we examine what would have been the only reasonable means for accomplishing the latter object, we shall find that a speech not attributed to Socrates but to another advocate could alone furnish them. For the latter could then adduce much of what Socrates would be compelled to omit on account of his character, and show by the work itself that provided only the cause of the accused had been conducted by one not accustomed to despise what many even of noble birth did not despise, it would have taken quite a different course. Were there any ground whatever for an anecdote, a very improbable one it must be confessed, which Diogenes has preserved for us from an insignificant writer, Plato's more natural object would have been to make known what he would himself have said if he had not been prevented. He would then have had an opportunity here for displaying in practice those higher precepts and expedients of language the power of which he had himself been the first to discover ; and he certainly would have been able to apply them with great truth and art to that point in the accusation which related to the new gods and the corruption of youth. And in like manner in the name of any other person, he would have retorted with far better effect as much or more upon the accusers of Socrates, and have spoken of his merits in a different tone. On the other hand, in a speech attributed to Socrates himself but different from that which he actually delivered, Plato could have no other object than to show what Socrates would have voluntarily neglected or involuntarily omitted, and how his defence must have been conducted in order to produce a better effect. Not to mention then that this would have been scarcely possible without renouncing the method of Socrates, it is moreover manifest that the defence which we possess is not contrived in accordance with such a purpose. For after such a speech how should the supplement come in subsequent to the pronunciation of the verdict—a supplement which supposes a result not more favourable than the real one * It therefore only remains to suppose that the sole purpose at the bottom of this piece was to exhibit and preserve the essential points in the actual progress of the cause for those Athenians who were prevented from hearing it, and for the rest of the Hellenes, and for posterity. Are we then to conceive that in such a case and under such circumstances Plato was unable to withstand the temptation of ascribing to Socrates an artificial piece, wrought by himself, perhaps perfectly strange to Socrates, with the exception of the first principles, like a pupil in rhetoric who has an exercise set him 2 This we should indeed be loath to believe: rather would we assume at once that in a case like this, where nothing of his own was wanted, and he had entirely devoted himself to his friend, and especially so short a time before or after his death as this piece was certainly composed— we would assume, I say, that his departing friend must have been too sacred in his eyes to allow of his disguising him with any ornament however beautiful, and
his whole form too spotless and noble to be exhibited in a dress, or otherwise than a divinity, naked and enwrapt in nothing but its native beauty. Neither indeed do we find the case to have been different. For the critic in art who had at the same time undertaken to improve this speech would have found in it much to change. Thus the accusation relating to the seduction of youth is far from being repelled with the solidity with which it would have been possible to do so, and in opposition to the accusation of infidelity towards the ancient gods, the defensive power of the circumstance that Socrates did every thing in the service of Apollo, is far from being made sufficiently prominent; and any reader whose eyes are but half open will discover more weaknesses of this kind not in any way founded upon the spirit of Socrates to such a degree that Plato would have been compelled to imitate them. Accordingly nothing is more probable than that in this speech we have as true a copy from recollection of the actual defence of Socrates as the practised memory of Plato, and the necessary distinction between a written speech and one negligently delivered, could render possible. But perhaps some one might say : If then Plato, supposing him to have composed this piece, had nevertheless no hand in it but as a scribe, why are We to insist upon this, or whence can we know even that it was Plato himself and no other friend of Socrates who was present? The questioner, if he is otherwise acquainted with the language of Plato, need only be referred to that to perceive how decidedly this defence betrays that it can only have flowed from the pen of Plato. For Socrates here speaks exactly as Plato makes him speak, and as we, according to all that remains to