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question is decided which these descriptions always involve in their ultimate result, whether unjust men can be happy or just men miserable. This subject accordingly could not have been taken up earlier than in this place, though it must be allowed that no one would have felt the want of it, if it had remained where it was. For it is now clear at once that Plato, according to all appearance, would have had strict poetical justice in this department of the fine arts treated in a manner completely contrary to the rules that have become valid among us. Meanwhile he does indeed profess himself satisfied provided only the just man proves himself a happy one amid tortures and insults, to which even our own critics would have no objection to make. But instead of here explaining this point, he again takes up the general accusation against the art of imitative composition generally, which had already made its appearance in the third book; only as he had there shown more that the guards themselves should not practise the mimic arts, he here enlarges more upon the disadvantage which must ensue only from hearing and seeing mimic exhibitions. Now there may indeed be truth in what Plato says, that poets would be bad poets if they were only to represent perfectly just men, but it is not on that account necessary that men of contrary characters should be so represented and extolled, as to seduce others to follow their example. And quite as little can it be overlooked that Plato proceeds upon a very narrow hypothesis, when he thinks that every one is inclined, at least, in solitude to indulge those effeminate emotions which in company he attempts to restrain, as well as when he wagers his head with even

the best of men, that they would always relax something of their strictness towards themselves in relation to what, if publicly exhibited, is not only overlooked but praised and admired. So that the censure cannot properly apply to the dramatic and dramatising art of poetry in and for itself, but only relatively to a certain inferior order of moral cultivation, and moreover, not to the art in general, but only to the Hellenic form and method of it, in which, however, Plato does not seem to have regarded even in the slightest degree its historical value. And it must surprise us all the more, that Socrates maintains with perfect confidence that this art will never be able to defend itself, and that the feud between philosophy and it, as it existed from the very earliest times, is likewise to endure for ever for life and death. There does not however appear, utterly unworthy indeed as such an ingredient would have been of such a work, the slightest trace that Plato wrote this in a humour excited by the comic poets, notwithstanding the very great probability there exists of their having already satirized his Republic from hearsay, before this work was publicly put forth. But it is because the dramatic art is only conversant with the mind in its present scarcely understood, though multifariously deformed state, and although so far removed from truth, affects nevertheless to be considered as something true, this it is which, to Plato, represents the state of antagonism with it as unintermitting. And if in the corresponding passage of the third book he seeks more to expose himself to the censure than in any degree to excuse himself from it, because, as he says, the perfect writer is as little as possible, and only in a case of the most extreme necessity, to make use of

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mimic representation, a rule which he himself transgressed so far, he now seems on the one hand to wish entirely to renounce this method for the future, and on the other tacitly to justify himself upon the ground, that, though he may indeed have introduced sophists, rhetoricians, and statesmen speaking in characters the reverse of praiseworthy, still, so far from bestowing upon them any commendation calculated to seduce others to imitate them, his only object was to expose their real worth and to exhibit them as warning examples. And as Plato spoke at last of his Republic only as a model to which approximations are to be made, so he comes in the present instance also to a very mitigated conclusion, implying that if this art is not to be entirely banished, yet still men must be always on their guard against its seductions, and hear them as if they heard them not. As then for Virtue's sake, and from interest in her this matter may not be otherwise ordered, the second section is now subjoined to this, embracing a subject which must indeed form a matchless conclusion, as it returns to the rewards of Virtue, and thus refers us rather to the second book. For, it is argued, the desire there expressed, that the whole question should be decided without introducing anything relating to rewards, is now satisfied, and now perfect truth requires a return to that point. Since then at this point, as has already been hinted at the commencement of the work, the discussion is to be about rewards in the present and future life, the immortality of the soul is first of all treated of, a doctrine which, independently of all other considerations, every reader acquainted with Plato's method and art would have been almost pained to miss out of this work. And nearly as

surprising does it appear that this important subject is quite cursorily dispatched in a space not occupying above a couple of pages. So that one might almost think that Socrates would rather have referred to it as already made out elsewhere, and have made his friends concede it as a thing known. And he has indeed more to do with the subsequent description of the condition in the other world, than with the proof that there is such a condition, and we should only regard this as a supplement as it were to the more copious discussions in the Phaedo. Now the proof which is here given is such that if it is granted—an hypothesis which in the two earlier dialogues is always assumed, and in the Phaedo is to a certain degree illustrated by the refutation of the position that the soul is nothing but organic disposition—that the soul is to be conceived as a self-existent being, only united to the body but quite distinct from it, it is in fact perfectly sufficient, and therefore we are not here referred at all to the earlier proofs. Moreover, since in the description that follows, the immortality is to appear most strictly in the form of the transmigration of souls; after the proof of immortality is general, it is further proved that the number of souls always remains the same. In the Phaedo also this doctrine has been already indirectly laid down, as a circular career is so placed intervening between life and death, that no other way remains in which animation by the introduction of souls can arise; a point which in the Phaedrus is not brought forward at all in the same way, and consequently that dialogue, relatively to this subject, is more remote from the work before us than the Phaedo. In this last too the argument from which that constancy in the number of souls is proved, was already sketched. But when in the Phaedo the immortality is also demonstrated upon the assumption that only what is compound can be dissolved, and that the soul is not compound, it might be objected that in these very books Plato composes it of three essential parts. On this account, therefore, Socrates now takes up the same point conversely, and proves that what is immortal cannot easily have in it much that is dissimilar and different, and lets it be understood that the soul is far from appearing here as it originally is, but comes partly encumbered with foreign additions, partly also deprived of much that was originally in it. What else then can be here meant, but that that sea-weed and shell-work with which Glaucus is overgrown by his long sojourn in the depths of the sea, in the same way as the soul, as we already know from other sources, is here immersed in a dim abyss, are to represent the various forms under which the principle of desire appears, so that only the reason, either alone or in connection with the spirited principle, constitutes the original essence of the soul, as moreover, that unwieldly encumbrance is but little suited for the peregrination through heavenly spaces. Only it is difficult for us, according to our mode of thinking, to unite with this the hypothesis that the souls of brutes are in kind so perfectly the same with those of men, that the latter can also become brutes, and the former men; and it is moreover, hard to conceive how Plato should have adopted this only in compliance with the Pythagorean tradition without assimilating it to his own theory. The souls of brutes must therefore, according to him, have originally contemplated the ideas, only that they, and that, as we are taught in the Timaeus, in consequence

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