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that immediate knowledge which alone beatifies and comprehends within itself all other good; so that it is to be shown how it is in philosophy only, that the greatest good is the object of that general desire for an ever-enduring possession, and to make this highest object immortal in a mortal subject, belongs to it alone as to the highest species of love. We thus appear, accordingly, to have discovered the essential part of our whole work of art, in what Socrates says about love, and Alcibiades about Socrates, For the former exhibits to us the proper nature of the philosopher, it may be under a totally different external form, but when more closely considered almost according to the same method, by means of the establishment of a general idea, and by the separation of the other species, as in the Sophist and Statesman, the nature of these two characters is described, while the life and real actions of the philosopher, with respect to which, as regards the Sophist and the Statesman, only a few scattered traces appear in these dialogues, are exhibited before us in that last panegyric of Alcibiades, in a picture, which though only half worked out, is at least finished as far as the outlines are concerned. Yet may we not pretend so far to discover the whole in this last half, that the earlier love-speeches are to be looked upon only as embellishment, or as devoted entirely to other subordinate points; but, although it might be an unsound Eros to love any one of these speeches, or regard it, as of any importance in itself, as Eryximachus the physician describes that passion as his own, yet must they have been necessary when taken in connection with the rest, and consequently each in its place and its kind, beautiful—and, certainly, we may at all events assume, that the whole cannot be understood in its immediate connection with the rest of the works of Plato without them. First, then, to continue, these speeches serve in a variety of ways to denote the sphere of love throughout its whole range, and to show further, how mortality begets upon mortality only what is mortal and transitory ; and the desire to do this, is a morbid passion, and the left-hand love, with which we are already acquainted from other dialogues. Eryximachus, for instance, who enlarges the description given by Pausanias, mentions the cooking art, and consequently reminds us of the Gorgias, and the opposition in the constitution of man there treated of, so that we see how even that which is most opposed to philosophy in reference to its object, may still be united with it under the idea of love, as co-operative with it, and influential upon animated nature. Thus, they show also, how, if they who have not understood the real nature of the subject, but start only from the obscure feeling, collect and explain the particular phoenomena, these phoenomena all present a partial and one-sided appearance ; and the particular details in them are again taken up in the speech of Socrates, who represents them as only conditionally and partially true, correcting what is wrong, and supplying what was wanting. We learn also in them, to examine by comparison what the common language of that period comprehended as belonging to the appellation of love, and to separate that which, coming under the more modern motion, does not belong to it in this place. And in this respect, particularly the speech of Eryximachus is remarkable, whose physiological and medicinal notion of love is ludicrously introduced by means of the little interruption occasioned by the hiccough of Aristophanes, and for that very reason is not again particularly referred to in the speech of Socrates. And as these speeches show us the difference between the philosopher and the not-philosopher, in their subject-matter and ideas, so do they also, in enunciation and expression, partly by means of a loose, unconnected extravagance, partly by a corrupt musical rhetoric, and the application of sophistical expedients— both of which, in the speech of Agathon immediately preceding that of Socrates, are pushed to the utmost. And here also we see a new trace of connection between our dialogue and the two preceding, in which likewise, as we have endeavoured to show, the polemics against the sophists as pretended dialecticians, and the rhetoricians and demagogues as pretended politicians, constitute no small part. In like manner these speeches, of which each is distinguished from the other by a peculiar manner, which the translator has endeavoured as far as possible to imitate, are certainly not deficient in Platonic polemics. For it is indeed hardly to be believed, that these peculiarities were merely dramatic, and intended to show the manner in which the characters introduced were generally accustomed to speak; since, as several among them do not seem even to have been authors, as Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, and, supposing them to have been alive at the time of the appearance of the Banquet, were far from being generally known, it would have been lost labour to imitate them, and not worth the composition. Also, the mention of Gorgias does of itself lead us to quite different notions on the matter. For hardly can these polemics, dramatic indeed as they plainly are, have been directed against other than well-known orators and authors, and indeed such as laboured after a theory which was the creation not of philosophy, but only the instrument of a false Eros, where one cannot avoid thinking particularly of the later schools of Gorgias and on those of Socrates; although the myth of Aristophanes in its whole style, the comic turn certainly excepted, so beautifully imitates those of the poets themselves, that it seems to me to bear a striking similarity to that told by Protagoras in the dialogue that bears his name. So that, upon the whole, Sydenham may certainly have been right when he conceived, that in this dialogue the persons imitated may be not so much those actually introduced to speak, as others represented under their name, only that he himself followed too slight hints, and was over hasty in his particular decision; wherein we will not imitate him, but leave the matter to other learned men, so much the rather, as it belongs not to our object to follow out such points. But, on the other hand, without these speeches, the relation of the Symposium to other dialogues of Plato, namely the earliest, would not be near so open to recognition, and there is clearly much that refers to these dialogues intentionally introduced into it. Every reader, for instance, will naturally be reminded by this work of the Phaedrus and Lysis, as when we were engaged with that dialogue we were compelled to refer in anticipation to this. To the Phaedrus there appear references sufficient in the first speeches, especially where the relation of the lover to the beloved object is spoken of, to render it unnecessary expressly to bring them forward. But several of these speeches

have, more especially, a peculiar reference to the Lysis,

as they respectively take up respective points of what was there laid down as the ground of friendship and love, and always found inadmissible; and they pursue their panegyrics of love accordingly: so that that dialogue, of the over-sceptical tenor of which complaints might with justice be made, finds here its appropriate solution. Thus Phaedrus lays down in the most general way the endeavour after the good as the ground, and the secure attainment of it as the effect, of love. Pausanias, though he does not expressly say it, speaks more of resemblance: whence he gets a twofold love, the one superior, the other inferior. Eryximachus further assumes that there is a sympathy between opposite principles, and Aristophanes lastly gives a comic dress to the theory which maintains that love tends to a union of counterparts. His view is, that not all good, as appropriating and informing, is the counterpart of being, but that the notion to be entertained, in speaking of the good as the object of love, is a supplementary completion of the sensuous unity of existence. And nearly the whole of this is criticized by Socrates, from the notion of love which he himself sets up; whence it is easy to see how far, and in what sense, he is compelled to reject the theory that love tends to the good, and to the union of counterparts, and how he would certainly have adopted that theory if it had only been a little more accurately defined. And here we can illustrate, from a particular side, and with a view to showing its correctness, the arrangement we have adopted of the dialogues up to this point. If we first consider the Lysis, it now becomes incumbent upon us to show satisfactorily that this dialogue must stand nearer to the Phaedrus than to the Ban

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