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between the Natural and Supernatural. More accurate solutions of it would certainly be more welcome than
that discovery which Heyne some time since communicated, that the horses in this Myth were borrowed from Parmenides, which will hardly be discovered after a perusal of the fragment referred to. For the identity in a comparison, rests not so much upon the image, as upon a similar application of it to the object. Moreover, more would be implied in that assertion than that learned person probably intended, namely, that Plato borrowed his division of the Soul from Parmenides. In our confessed uncertainty as to particulars, it may however be said in general, that several of the conceptions in this Myth seem to be worked out from one another; and that, as several expressions are derived from the mysteries, a more perfect understanding of them would probably contribute most towards an explanation. On this account a still more accurate acquaintance with the Pythagorean Philosophemes may not be supposed to be the true key even to the mythology, still less to the doctrine of the human mind, as also the Platonic doctrine of renewed recollection is hardly to be explained from Pythagoras. Moreover the bulk of this Myth is evidently treated as a by-work to add to the pomp of the whole, and to harmonize the strictly allegorical parts of it. Wherefore we must beware of entering too much into details in the explanation, and rather be satisfied with only comprehending aright those philosophical indications, which Plato himself marks as such in the delivery. It might be adduced as a consequence, sufficiently immediate and but little attended to, that in every case a man's character is not originated during the course of his life, but exists in him from the first. What Tiedemann however has discovered in the motion that the essentially existent is beheld, not in heaven, but in the region beyond heaven, can hardly be implied in it. But it might be most difficult to explain what is said very particularly of the various character of men according as they have been more or less penetrated by the Eternal. If therefore still greater faults do not lie concealed under the considerable varieties in the readings, the whole passage might perhaps belong to that class of decorations in which we are not to look for too much. And, generally, it is impossible to draw attention too much to the fact, how completely every thing in this dialogue is meant and applied rhetorically, so that even here, where untamed imagination has been so often discovered, like the wild horse as it were of the Platonic philosophy hurrying the wiser one along with it, Plato appears rather with all the judgment of a master. And even supposing that in the detail this composition carried him near the borders of a province that did not belong to him, as Dionysius even compares one passage with a passage in Pindar, still the style is in the main prosaic throughout. For to sketch an image, as is here done, first with a few strokes in the outline, and then to work it out further step by step, as regularity required, could *: endured in a poem.
/With regard to the second part of the dialogue, after all that has already been said in general, there is nothing further to remark, except that, although not fully applied to practice, it was the origin of that improved rhetoric which dates its commencement from Aristotle, who owes much to this work. The remarks will explain particular difficulties, and thus the reader will be detained no longer in the vestibule of this splendid and genial work.
A sufficiently unauthenticated legend, inasmuch as Diogenes does not give us the name of its voucher, makes this dialogue one of the earliest, at least among those written before the death of Socrates. A greater degree of authority however might fairly attach to it than to the similar one respecting the Phaedrus, as this latter rests only upon internal evidence, while the former is grounded upon the tradition of a fact, namely Socrates' exclamation of surprise when he saw himself in the representation given of him by Plato. Such a testimony, however, scarcely deserving as it is of the name, is not here the ground upon which its place is assigned to this dialogue; the connection decides sufficiently in favour of it, even though it were not supported by historical references. For in its subject-matter the Lysis is related to the Phaedrus and the Symposium alone of all the dialogues of Plato, inasmuch as the question as to the nature and the grounds of friendship and love, which constitutes its whole content, is a secondary and subordinate object in point of form in the Phaedrus, while in the Symposium it is, in form, primary and predominant. Clearly, however, it could hardly occur to ony one to place the Lysis after the Symposium, as in the latter the question is not only decided directly and finished to the very last stroke, but also considered in its most extensive and general relations. So that dialectical touches, like those of which the Lysis consists, could scarcely be intended to form an ornamental addition to that discussion, while to work it out as an independent whole subsequently to it, would have been as little consistent with the rules of art as destitute of point, because every one already had before him in that dialogue the solution of every question started in this. And a mere dialectical exercise, especially one so trifling as this dialogue would then be, can hardly be attributed to the more finished master of a later period. It would therefore only remain to be investigated, in the next place, whether the Lysis is to be placed before or after the Phaedrus. The latter does indeed likewise speak decisively upon the principal question, inasmuch as it developes at length one source of love, and goes into an explanation of it; so that any one might fairly think, in reference to this circumstance, that, as in the case of the Symposium, it would be contrary to the principles assumed to place that dialogue before the Lysis, inasmuch as the Lysis only treats of the same subject sceptically. But the great distinction must of itself be evident to those who know the Symposium, while to others who do not, it may certainly be made apparent without taking an anticipative survey of that later dialogue. For the theory respecting the source of love is only brought forward in the Phaedrus mythically; and to think of deciding in this manner a question which had been already at an earlier period taken within the province of logic, would be not only contrary to the most recognized analogy in the Platonic writings, and to every idea of the philosophy of their author, but even in itself a vicious and useless undertaking; because the reproduction upon a dialectic soil of those mythical elements among which the investigation began, must render the subject again complicated and uncertain. To this, moreover, the following argument may be added, one which with many will probably be more decisive. In the Phaedrus the matter is treated far less generally, inasmuch as there are yet other kinds of friendship than that exclusively philosophical, which is there the subject of discussion, or than that exclusively sensuous kind from which occasion is taken to start the question; but at what point these others deviate from the former, or how far the solution admits of being applied to them, is no where pointed out. In the Lysis, on the contrary, it is friendship in general that is the subject of discussion; and to think of carrying on and bringing to a conclusion an investigation begun with such universal bearings, and which yet obtains no decisive answer—to think of doing this by means of a mythical exposition, and that relating but to one part of the subject—is an absurdity so great that it could only be ascribed to an unthinking and random writer; a description which least of all applies to Plato. The Phaedrus therefore is by no means to be looked upon as growing out of the Lysis, as the former also could not fail to appear ridiculous to any one who would read it with a still lingering desire to resolve the logical doubts contained in the Lysis; but this latter clearly stands between the Phaedrus and the Symposium. And upon this it may be farther asked to which of the two it stands nearest; whether it is to be looked upon as a supplement to the Phaedrus, or as a note of preparation to the Symposium. To the latter it does indeed approximate in its more general and various method of treating the subject; but not to mention other grounds which will not allow of being fully understood before we come to consider the Symposium, in the Lysis any trace is so utterly wanting of what Plato wrote between the Phaedrus and the Symposium ; and it is itself so entirely to be understood from itself and from the Phaedrus, that