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are most vividly reminded of what occurs to this purpose in the Protagoras, the Gorgias, the Euthydemus, and even the first Alcibiades; and the elegant negligence of certain Platonic periods is here imitated with a richness which cannot well fail to make a lively impression. If, on the other hand, this dialogue is to be ascribed to the Platonic school, and to be looked upon as conceived in Plato's spirit, then we need certainly consider what we have here to be only an introduction, and must suppose that Clitophon's triumph was to be converted to a serious defeat, and that a satisfactory and brilliant justification of Socrates was yet to follow. But still this can hardly have been the original design, as, in the first place, the return of the conclusion to the commencement is too decided, and, in the second, Socrates would certainly have begun his attack at an earlier period in the dialogue.
P A RT III.
WHEN we compare the compass of this work with even the largest of those which have preceded it in our arrangement, and consider that it is a second repetition of a continuous dialogue advancing without interruption, and, moreover, one that began first, in the evening, we must have been already very vividly convinced by what is said in the Symposium, that he whom Socrates once gets into conversation must hold out the whole night, and even to the morning dawn, though others may have all made off or surrendered themselves to sleep, and that he is as little wearied by repeating his own or other persons arguments, as of investigating and developing truth from the first in common with others. In this character he here appears, inasmuch as he repeats again the whole dialogue on the day immediately succeeding this, and such also was the case the day before, when it was first held. For of the large party, the individuals composing which are at first mentioned by name, partly as accompanying Socrates and Polemarchus, and partly as already present in the dwelling of the latter, the majority disperses one knows not how; at least, they do not say that they prefer the spectacle which is in reserve, of the newly introduced holiday torch-dance, to the continuous and self-evolving argument of Socrates concerning justice and the republic. Only the two sons of Ariston, who, after
Polemarchus and Thrasymachus had first disputed with Socrates about the idea of justice, testified by stout objections an especial call to the task, stoutly continue to stand to the argument in alternation with Socrates, without its appearing however to be of any particular importance whether Glaucon or Adimantus sustain the conversation. Now if the author appears by this dress to convey a wish that his readers should in like manner conceive and enjoy the work as one undivided whole in itself, as the arguments themselves are to be supposed delivered without interruption, and again related without a pause, the division, on the other hand, into ten books is an obstacle to the accomplishment of that wish. This division, although Aristotle does not notice it, is certainly of great antiquity, and since from the time of the commentators upon the Stagyrite until now the work is always quoted according to it, this division must be always kept, but it is not so easy to make it probable that it comes from Plato himself. I, at least, cannot prevail upon myself to suppose that if Plato had found it necessary to divide his work, he would have been likely to project a dismemberment of it so perfectly mechanical, and bearing no relation whatever to the subject-matter— one which every reader who would search into the internal connection of the whole must entirely set aside, if he would avoid falling into confusion. For it is only with the end of the first book that the first part also of the work concludes, and in like manner, the conclusion of the whole commences with the beginning of the last book, but beyond this, only the end of the fourth book and of the seventh coincide with an important division in reference to the subject-matter. All the remaining books break off in the middle of a discussion in such a manner that not even any phrases in them could be turned to denote conclusion or commencement. Since then, the books pretty much resemble one another in extent, it may easily be the case, that the first important break was adopted as the standard, and as many compartments formed as would come out sufficiently similar in length to this, a proceeding in which, clearly, the transcribers and the libraries must have been all that was had in view. Accordingly, if we totally reject the notion that this is an original subdivision, or one connected with the internal arrangement of the whole, and go to find the latter according to the indications in the work itself, we must give the composer credit for having attempted by every method to recompense the reader for the want of regular external divisions, and to facilitate as much as possible the apprehension of the connexion. For with exemplary accuracy the point of commencement of every important digression whatever is distinctly marked, and at the end, again, reference is made to the point from which the thread must be taken up anew. In like manner, it is generally made very observable where a new section begins, and comprehensive summaries of all that has gone before are so little spared, that it must be extremely easy for every reader with any degree of attention to keep the thread—nay, that it seems almost impossible to fall into any uncertainty as to the real object of the work, and the relation of particular parts to the unity of the whole. Now, the course of the entire work is as follows: In the confidential, introductory dialogue between Socrates and Cephalus upon the subject, especially, of old age, the latter mentions the legends respecting the infernal world which at this period of life particularly present themselves to the mind, and extols it as the most important advantage of wealth, that the rich man can meet what awaits him with a more confident spirit, as he has been less tempted than the needy one to commit injustice. To this Socrates tacks the question as to the nature of justice, while he immediately rejects as insufficient, by the application of familiar instances, a very current explanation of it, that it is truth in speaking and honesty in restoring. And here Cephalus, who, independently of any thing else, is already too far advanced in years for such dialogues, resigns his place to his son Polemarchus in order to attend to the sacrifice out of doors. And Polemarchus then entrenches himself behind an explanation of justice given by Simonides, which Socrates, however, destroys in like manner by the application of his frequently tried method. Upon this the Chalcedonian Thrasymachus comes forward with the big swagger of a sophist, here and there reminding us of the rough jests in the Euthydemus, and occupies the place of Callicles in the Gorgias of Plato, setting up the proposition that justice is only the ordinance made by the stronger for his own advantage; and hence that it tends to the hurt of the weaker party to be just, while injustice is wisdom, and the unjust life the only one desirable. Socrates defends himself by the analogy of all the arts of governing powers, which universally provide for what is best for others, and indeed for the weakest, and by no means for themselves. And because the wise do in no case cherish exorbitant notions beyond the due proportion observed among their fellows, and inherent in the thing Y Y