Imágenes de páginas

The treatise commences with an inquiry into the nature of justice. Considerable difference of opinion arising among the disputants, Socrates, in order to compose the dissension, strikes into a new path. For the purpose of ascertaining what justice is in an individual, he recommends a previous inquiry, “What is justice in a state?" This leads to the analysis of a state, which is traced up to its earliest formation. (Lib. 2. p. 60.)*

It arises, as he justly says, from the mutual and varied wants of human beings. It is impossible to supply these wants otherwise than by combination and vicinity of residence. The primary and most indispensable alliance is that of the husbandman, the builder, the tailor, and the shoemaker. A division of labour, from its numerous advantages, obtains footing among them without delay. When these most necessary demands of nature are supplied, new ones arise, and fresh artificers spring up to supply them. Along with these distinct trades, carriers and shopkeepers arise, and a market is established: merchants and navigators undertake the task of procuring what must be sought beyond sea ; and a medium of exchange is established, which facilitates the process of dividing and transmitting the goods produced. A mumber of hired labourers, who make a livelihood by selling their bodily strength, complete the city. In no long period, population would increase, and the arts of luxury would gain admission. The land will then become insufficient to maintain the number thus augmented, and a war with the neighbours will be the natural result. But by whom shall the war be carried on? Each member of the community is engaged in some separate occupation, and every kind of business is better performed when it constitutes the sole object of a man's time and attention. A military class g, therefore, must be formed, for the purpose of attack and defence (p. 68.); a service of such essential importance, that the greatest care must be used in selecting and training up the performers of it. (p. 68.)

The first requisite for this character of military protector is a courageous disposition. But passion is the principle of courage, and no animal is courageous without being Ovpoklons.lI (p. 69.) And how can this ferocity be prevented from displaying itself against their fellow-citizens, as well as against foreign enemies ? To reconcile these two seemingly incompatible qualities ---gentleness towards their own countrymen, with a savage and hostile demeanour towards all others to render this warlike caste, like guardian dogs, mild at home towards their master and his family, and severe towards strangers, is a task of the highest difficulty, which Plato proposes to accomplish by an attentive and well-contrived education. (p. 71.)

He begins by strictly watching the earliest impressions made upon

The pages here quoted refer to the Leipsic Duod. Edit. 1818. * Επειδή τυγχάνει ημών έκαςος έκ αυτάρκης, αλλά πολλών ενδεής. It may be remarked in passing, that this reference of the birth of communities to the wants and imperfections of man, was one of the heaviest accusations brought against Mandeville's fable of the Bees. See his letter in vindication of it, at the end of the third edition. His language, however, is in this, as well as in other places, ill chosen. Τ οι μισθωτοί, οι πωλώντες την της ισχύος χρείαν, και την τιμήν ταύτην μισθών καλώντες.

και φυλακες. # This is an important remark, which Helvetius and Mandeville have made. VOL. IV. NO. XVIII.


P. 64.

their minds by the fables related to them in their childhood. He would take unceasing pains to impress upon their minds sentiments and asso-, ciations conformable to that character which was to be the ultimate result of the whole. (p. 72.) Many of the current fables, extracted, from the poems of Homer and Hesiod, he reprobates very deservedly, as calculated to generate feelings both contemptible and odious., He, particularly expresses his disapprobation of the deeds which these poets ascribed to the Gods. The acts of Saturn and Uranus—the imprisonment of Juno by her son, and the seizure and extrusion of Vulcan from heaven by Jupiter--the violation of the truce by Pandarus, at the in-, stigation of Minerva—the journeys of the Gods in disguise through different cities-all these stories, and others which he extracts from the same writers, appear to Plato of a pernicious and demoralizing ten-, dency. (p. 74-5.) God, being perfect, cannot change, except for the worse (p. 77.); nor can he be the cause of any evil: which, if it exist at. all, must certainly emanate from some other source.*

He deprecates the practice of mothers frightening their children by telling them that the Gods went round at night, disguised like strangers of every description. (p. 78.)

The representation which Homer gives of the Gods laughing un-. boundedly at the ungraceful motions of Vulcan, meets with his decided disapprobation, as tending to encourage an excessive disposition to mirth, which ought to be repressed.+ (p. 84.)

All poetical passages which attract the sympathy and favour of the readers towards feelings of a weak or vicious nature, are unsparingly. prohibited in the Republic. The more beautiful the verses, the greater will be their effect, and the more anxious is Plato to guard against their poison. (p. 82.) Lamentation for that which is irrevocably departed, seems to him inconsistent with soundness of mind ; at any rate, he would contract it within the narrowest limits possible. Upon this principle, he proscribes all those portraitures of intense and excessive grief which poets delight to exhibit. (p. 84.) He condemns also all passages in which intemperance, or an attachment and accessibility to. money, are eulogized or embodied in striking and exalted characters.. (pp. 86-87.) He would not suffer sentiments of this nature to emanate from a God or a hero. But when firmness or temperance is favourably. described and encouraged, Plato not only recommends, but extols such an employment of poetical powers. (p. 87.) He considers, also, those terrible pictures of a future state of suffering, which Homer and other poets have drawn, as most pernicious in their effects, by extinguishing courage, and creating an excessive apprehension of death. (pp. 81-82.)

Falsehood, being generally injurious, but, on certain occasions, useful as a remedy, is to be prohibited in all the rest of the community, and allowed only in the ruling class, either towards the enemy, or in any other case which they may deem expedient. (p. 85.) It is a remedy only to be entrusted to a physician.I Having indicated the sentiments which it was desirable to encou


Ουδ' άρα ο θεός, επειδή αγαθός, πάντων αν είη αίτιος, ώς οι πολλοί λέγεσιν' αλλ' ολίγας μεν τους ανθρώποις αίτιος, πολλών δε αναίτιος, πολύ γαρ ελάττω ταγαθά των κακών ημίν, p.75.

+ Here begins Lib. 3.
Η Ιατρόις δοτέον, ιδιώταις δε εκ απτέον.

or extirpate in the minds of youth, Plato proceeds to examine the different styles or modes in which the poet might address their feelings. The sentiments might be simply recited by the poet himself in his own character, or under the assumed character of the person described. Tragedy and comedy belong wholly to the latter, or imitative class : the epic, partly to the narrative, partly to the imitative. Plato will allow this imitation and temporary adoption of the character described, only when rational and amiable qualities are represented. He will not sanction so exact and vivid a copy of mean or abominable qualities. Frequent attempts to initate, he says, when commenced at an early period of life, pass at last into reality. (p. 94.) A man of worth would be ashamed to transfuse himself into the habits and actions of the vicious, or to appear under the disguise of a woman, a slave, or a drunkard. (p. 95.) If the actions or sentiments of such persons are to be represented, he will rather prefer to deliver a simple narrative of them in his own character. Besides, an imitation of good characters would require but little versatility of power, since there is little variety in the sentiments to be delivered. But of odious or unworthy subjects there is an infinite number, differing from each other, and each requiring a different accompaniment of music and gesture. (p. 96.) And this of itself proves a serious objection in Plato's eyes, since it would entail upon one person the necessity of performing a number of very different and even opposite processes, which the philosopher highly disapproves *. He pushes the division of labour to the utmost possible ex

He would banish, without mercy, one who could imitate every thing, as unfit for his state. (p. 97.)

Instructions in music and rhythm, which seem to have been exceedingly general among the rich Athenian youth, next pass under Plato's review. “ The song (he says, p. 98,) contains three parts—the words, the harmony, and the accompanying measure t.". The words or sentiments are to be judged according to the principles before laid down, and the strain and measure will be determined by the same rule, since both are to be exclusively adapted to the purpose of enforcing these sentiments. Whatever species of music might tend to seduce or overpower that peculiar cast of thought which he is anxious to foster in his pupils, is rigorously prohibited. Some strains (such as the polvēloti, Ovvtovolvèioti) enervate the mind, by encouraging excess of grief and sensibility; others again are loose and luscious, and altogether extinguish all sobriety of thought, (such are the Ionian and Lydian): both these sorts Plato forbids, and permits nothing besides the Dorian and Phrygian moods. The former, warlike and inspiriting, cherishing in the mind of the hearer a steady and magnanimous resolution; the latter, gentle, pacific, and persuasive, introducing feelings of calmness and content. (pp. 98-99.) No more complicated style of music is to be permitted I; and even the fute is proscribed as too varied and artificial. (p. 100.) The lyre and harp in the city, and the Pan's pipe in the country, he deems sufficient.

His decisions on the subject of rhythm are similar. He allows only


Ούκ έςι διπλώς ανήρ παρ' ημίν, έδε πολλαπλές επειδή έκαςος έν πράττει. 2. 97. * Το μέλος εκ τριών συγκείμενον, λόγω τε, και αρμονίας, και ρυθμε. 1 ου πολυχορδίας έδε παναρμονία δεήσει. .

simple combinations of feet, calculated to assist and enforce the subject of the song (p. 101.); and he lays great stress on the strict preservation of these measures, as tending to produce ideas of decency and symmetry in the mind, which he regards as intimately connected with inward goodness of heart.* So fully is he persuaded of the necessity of nourishing the youthful eye in the contemplation of symmetry and proportion, that he enjoins artificers of all denominations to observe them rigidly, and will not suffer even the commonest utensils to be prepared in ill-favoured shapes. (p. 102.) This connexion between virtue and proportion is certainly somewhat fanciful, but the observation in which it terminates is very true: that the perfection of education consists in enabling the pupil to detect and follow the principles of virtue in the least things, as well as in the greatest. (p. 104.)

He next proceeds to discuss the subject of gymnastics, or the bodily training of the ruling class. He prescribes to them a light and plain diet; not excessive, like that of an athlete, whose temperament was usually sluggish and somnolent from overabundance of food. Moderation in wine, and in other appetites, is also enjoined. (pp. 106-107.) Under such training, they would stand little in need of a physician, except in case of accidental wound or disease: and if the constitution of the pupils was so weak as not to be able to endure this training, but to need the aid of medicine continually to keep them alive, Plato denounces this as a perversion of the talents of the physician. That life is not, in his opinion, worthy of preservation, which is too sickly to be employed in the performance of any social function. Their children, too, would be sickly. (pp. 108-111.) A poor artificer, who has nothing to rely upon for subsistence except his daily labour, canno afford to relax in the performance of this duty, whether from illness or any other cause. "We do not perceive,” he says, “ the application of the same principle in the case of the wealthy and prosperous” (p. 109.); but they too have a duty which it is incumbent on them to discharge towards the community, and from which nothing beyond a temporary relief and vacation can be allowed to them, in case of an accidental wound or fever.

He ascribes this artificial extension of medical science, which he has just been condemning, to Herodicus, the brother of Gorgias, who was a maidotpißos (a trainer of youth), and a man of very sickly constitution self. By the nicest attention to his health, Herodicus managed to prolong his existence, through continual sickness, into old age t.

Plato draws a parallel between the task of the physician and that of the judge. Both are remedial, and presuppose the existence of disorders, which might, by previous caution, be prevented from ever arising; a good moral education would render the members of the community friendly towards each other, and would almost silence the demand for judicature; a good system of bodily training would so discipline and invigorate their constitutions, that they would rarely stand in need of medicine. A frequent appeal to judicature, or a very refined system of medicine, is a proof of an ill-regulated education, and of intemperance and luxury in the previous course of life :

Eindsıx-in sensu bopo.
* Δυσθανατων υπό σοφίας, εις γηρας αφίκετο. p. 109.

(p. 107.) Occasional dissensions and attacks of disease would unquestionably occur, under any conceivable system, and the judge and physician would then interpose with benefit. But if the bodily constitution of any man were radically unsound, the physician ought to withhold his aid, and suffer the patient to die; and the judge should put to death without mercy any vicious and incurable temper which was continually calling for his animadversion and restraint. *

But the possession of a sound body is not the greatest effect which Plato anticipates from this attention to gymnastics. The mental result is his chief object-to create by their means a vehement and hardy temper. But were the bodily exercises to be pursued exclusively, the disposition would become altogether savage and tyrannical, and the intellect would be deadened, so as neither to be desirous or susceptible of farther instruction. Music alone, on the other hand, would relax and enervate the soul. Were the disposition not naturally passionate, music would quickly succeed in emasculating it; if it were, that passion and vehemence would be converted into a touchy and short-lived iritability. But music and gymnastics, if properly united, would temper each other, and give birth to a disposition in which courage and gentleness would be combined. (pp. 115-117.)

For the maintenance of these regulations, superintendants will be requisite, and they are to be selected from the elders of the military caste. Those elders, who have throughout evinced the most faithful attachment to the system and to the city—who shall pass with honour through certain artificial temptations to which they are to be exposed

who can neither be frightened nor cheated out of their patriotismare to be elected commanders, and the rest of the military class are to be styled their assistants. (pp. 117-120.)

[To be continued.]

The Surgeon and the House Painters.
Painters are like the dry-rot, if we let 'em

Fix on our pannels and our planks,
There's no ejectment that can get 'em

Out till they've fairly play'd their pranks.
There is a time, however, when the ghastly

Spectres cease to haunt our vision,
And as my readers, doubtless, would like vastly

To calculate it with precision,
I'll tell them for their ease and comfort
What happen'd t'other day at Romford.
In that great thoroughfare for calves,

Destined to pacify the yearnings
Of Norton-Falgate gormandizing,
There dwelt a Surgeon, who went halves

Ιατρικήν, οίαν είπομεν, μετά της τοιαύτης δικαστικής κατά πόλιν νομοθετήσεις, αι των πολιτών σοι τις μεν ευφυείς τα σώματα και τας ψυχάς θεραπεύσεσι, τες δε μή, όσοι μεν κατά σώμα του ετοι, αποθνήσκειν εάσασι, τες δε κατά την ψυχήν κακοφυείς και ανιάτες αυτο) αποκτενήσι. (p. 114.)

* Θυμοειδές.
* Ακρόχολοι και οργίλοι αντί θυμοειδων γεγένηνται, δυσκολίας εμπλέφ. (p. 116.)

« AnteriorContinuar »