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their subordinate arts which are content to play either with pleasure or profit. For however much the attainment of the object of that impulse must be the effect of art and of the judgment that arranges its details, still the impulse itself appears as something originally existing and ever at work in the mind of the finished and perfect man, seeking its object from without, consequently as passion and divine inspiration. Hence, therefore, all problems are solved, and this approves itself to be the real unity of the work—bringing out every thing, vivifying and connecting all. This object then, considered in connection with the manner in which it is brought forward, irrevocably secures to the Phaedrus the first place among the works of Plato, To this conclusion we are moreover at once led, when we observe that in this exposition of philosophy the consciousness of the philosophical impulse and method is far more intimate and powerful than that of the philosophical matter, which therefore only appears mythically, as if, on the one hand, it were still unripe for logical exposition, and, on the other, repressed to a certain degree by that predominant consciousness. Now this was very naturally the first state into which a worthily reflecting scholar of Socrates, and one already possessed with the art, must have been transported by the mode of teaching pursued by that philosopher. For these two, impulse and method, were in all his conversations the constant and ever unchanging elements, with which therefore the mind would be most possessed, which, as to the matter, he used but to moot particular questions in particular detail, without selection or connected purpose. In later times, however, Plato, in proportion as the objects of philosophy had revealed

themselves to him more clearly, and he had practised the method more fully through all his productions and brought it to honour, would have abstained from making it the core of a composition of such extent in the manner in which he has here done. Moreover, the excessive, and almost boisterous and triumphant exultation, which at once and of itself points clearly enough to the acquisition of a newly gained good, relates only to the discovery of the first principles, and the Phaedrus exhibits, less than any other dialogue, a great and already acquired readiness in the application of this method. Moreover it points in a variety of ways to the poetic essays of Plato which preceded his philosophising. For any one who holds Plato in proper estimation, will not be willing to believe that he composed poetry only in the thoughtlessness of youth, but rather that he took it up seriously, and contemplated in very early times, and upon grounds of art, all effects produced upon the mind of man. Thus the power which Socrates possessed of convincing and influencing the mind with all the apparent artlessness of his arguments, must still have appeared to Plato as a master-art never surpassed, and have filled him with admiration and love. This then, under such circumstances and in such a mind, inclined by nature to favour the notion of the unity of the two, naturally exhibited itself in a reference of philosophy to art, the process of which at the same time contained an explanation and defence of his transition from the latter to the former. And, next, his immediate choice of rhetoric, which was not his own art, is conceivable upon the grounds that, more than poetry, it aims at conviction, and because he could not compare what Socrates effected in it by the science of dialectics, with anything nearer than what the sophists and rhetoricians thought to effect by mere empiricism. * But if such arguments, however accurately they combine with the only true center-point of the whole, should still appear to any one insufficient to decide the period at which the work was written, let him further mark the innumerable proofs of the youthfulness of the work generally. Now these are to be found immediately in its whole style and colouring. It has a great inclination to the epideictic—to an ostentation of convincing power and superiority ; for not only, first, the opponent set up is conquered with little trouble, and afterwards, in every instance in what follows, the preceding position outbidden, but even philosophy itself, in order to give it a lustre and excite our admiration, is praised chiefly, because it leaves far behind what men most praise and admire. Now this is in part involved in the subject-matter; but, in Plato subject and execution are thus necessarily consequent one upon the other, and the spirit is youthful throughout in which that general design is applied and continually worked upwards, through ascending degrees, till it reaches a point of extravagance. /Look, first of all, but at the second speech—that speech which annihilates Lysias, then at the counter-speech which crushes, still more powerfully, the two preceding; observe how in them Plato showily appropriates to himself the great triumph of the Sophists, of defending opposite propositions one after the other, and, withal, the elaborate display immediately made of abundance of matter; in that every contradictory detail is despised as regards the speech itself, and only premised in the dialogues as prefatory to it; then the apologetic confidence, which does not even attempt to deprecate the name of Eros as regards Socrates, or assume a milder instead, but even in a prayer for health and happiness, ends with love/ Further, the investigation which declares what is most beautiful in this speech to be nothing but child's-play, and rejects it along with the first as if it were nothing; the bantering challenge to Lysias; the droll, comprehensive, and almost confusing polemics against the early rhetoricians, ridiculing unsparingly even what is good in their labours, because it does not proceed from right principles—and this to a length of which he would scarcely have thought them deserving at a later period, and which does itself make a somewhat ostentatious show of extent of reading; finally, as the culminating point in this epideixis, the exalted contempt, genuinely Socratic, for all writing and all oratorical speaking. Even in the outward form this youthful spirit betrays itself, in the constantly renewed luxuriance of the secondary subjects introduced at every resting point; in an animation in the dialogue, which cannot be quite defended against charges of effort and affectation; lastly also, in a somewhat immoderate introduction of the religious, and here and there even in a certain awkwardness in the transitions, not indeed in the speeches, but in the dialogistic half. With this view, moreover, the historical indications in the work itself accurately coincide, leaving as they do no doubt remaining as to the time in which the dialogue plays, so to speak. It would indeed be useless to attempt to draw any proof whatever from these, and generally, with the exception of a few cases in which the impossibility of the composition prior to a

certain period is self-evident, it would be folly to form any conclusion upon historical grounds as to the time at which any work of Plato was written, if we are to grant what is maintained in Athenaeus, that Phaedrus could have been no contemporary at all of Socrates. For what writer ever allowed himself such latitude, unless he was one in whose eyes nothing was improbable, and for whom no impropriety was too great P Not indeed that Plato was to be bound to strict historical accuracy, or as if no offence against the order of time is to be met with in him. On the contrary, it may indeed be the case in dialogues which were transposed into a period pretty remote from that of their composition, that he starts away from, and leaves, his hypothetical grounds, whether from error of memory and negligence, or from his knowingly sacrificing historical truth for sake of a certain effect. But this is one thing, and it is another to introduce, as must here be the case, two men as the only acting personages, who, as every one knew, were not even in existence at the same time. And what was likely to have influenced Plato to such a course P For one circumstance of the Phaedrus would be then of no value for the dialogue, as there could be no want of a contemporary confidant and admirer of Lysias among the young Athenians, and any one to whom he had here transferred the character of Phaedrus, might have also delivered the speech spoken by him in the Symposium. Nay, what cause could there have been for making this same impossible interlocutor come forward in the Protagoras, where, as a mute spectator, he only swells the accumulated crowd P We would not therefore take this even upon the word of Athenaeus unless he communicates to us some of his

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