Sunteți pe pagina 1din 2270

TheDialoguesofPlato The Dialogues of Plato were compiled by the Socratic Method Research Portal at w ww.socraticmethod.

net from texts provided by the Project Guttenberg Collection. The full Guttenberg license to distribute these texts is at the end of this file . This PDF file has no security so that any portion of the text may be exported into other applications. The purpose of this file is to provide the ability to d o text searches on all the dialogues of Plato at once. It is recommended that yo u upgrade to the latest PDF player. All the Platonic dialogues in this file are translated by Benjamin Jowett and are in the public domain. The use and distribu tion of this file is subject to the full Project Guttenberg license. 1

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology The Project Gutenberg EBook of Apology, by Plato This eBook is for the use of an yone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may cop y it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Apology Also known as "The Death of Socrates" Author: Plato Translator: B enjamin Jowett Release Date: November 3, 2008 [EBook #1656] Language: English Ch aracter set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK APOLOGY ** * Produced by Sue Asscher, and David Widger APOLOGY By Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett 2

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology INTRODUCTION. In what relation the Apology of Plato stands to the real defence of Socrates, th ere are no means of determining. It certainly agrees in tone and character with the description of Xenophon, who says in the Memorabilia that Socrates might hav e been acquitted 'if in any moderate degree he would have conciliated the favour of the dicasts;' and who informs us in another passage, on the testimony of Her mogenes, the friend of Socrates, that he had no wish to live; and that the divin e sign refused to allow him to prepare a defence, and also that Socrates himself declared this to be unnecessary, on the ground that all his life long he had be en preparing against that hour. For the speech breathes throughout a spirit of d efiance, (ut non supplex aut reus sed magister aut dominus videretur esse judicu m', Cic. de Orat.); and the loose and desultory style is an imitation of the 'ac customed manner' in which Socrates spoke in 'the agora and among the tables of t he money-changers.' The allusion in the Crito may, perhaps, be adduced as a furt her evidence of the literal accuracy of some parts. But in the main it must be r egarded as the ideal of Socrates, according to Plato's conception of him, appear ing in the greatest and most public scene of his life, and in the height of his triumph, when he is weakest, and yet his mastery over mankind is greatest, and h is habitual irony acquires a new meaning and a sort of tragic pathos in the face of death. The facts of his life are summed up, and the features of his characte r are brought out as if by accident in the course of the defence. The conversati onal manner, the seeming want of arrangement, the ironical simplicity, are found to result in a perfect work of art, which is the portrait of Socrates. Yet some of the topics may have been actually used by Socrates; and the recollection of his very words may have rung in the ears of his disciple. The Apology of Plato m ay be compared generally with those speeches of Thucydides in which he has embod ied his conception of the lofty character and policy of the great Pericles, and which at the same time furnish a commentary on the situation of affairs from the point of view of the historian. So in the Apology there is an ideal rather than a literal truth; much is said which was not said, and is only Plato's view of t he situation. Plato was not, like Xenophon, a chronicler of facts; he does not a ppear in any of his writings to have aimed at literal accuracy. He is not theref ore to be supplemented from the Memorabilia and Symposium of Xenophon, who belon gs to an entirely different class of writers. The Apology of Plato is not the re port of what Socrates said, but an elaborate composition, quite as much so in fa ct as one of the Dialogues. And we may perhaps even indulge in the fancy that th e actual defence of Socrates was as much greater than the Platonic defence as th e master was greater than the disciple. But in any case, some of the words used by him must have been remembered, and some of the facts recorded must have actua lly occurred. It is significant that Plato is said to have been present at the d efence (Apol.), as he is also said to have been absent at the last scene in the Phaedo. Is it fanciful to suppose that he meant to give the stamp of authenticit y to the one and not to the other?especially when we consider that these two pass ages are the only ones in which Plato makes mention of himself. The circumstance that Plato was to be one of his sureties for the payment of the fine which he p roposed has the appearance of truth. More suspicious is the statement that Socra tes received the first impulse to his favourite calling of cross-examining the w orld from the Oracle of Delphi; for he must already have been famous before Chae rephon went to consult the Oracle (Riddell), and the story is of a kind which is very likely to have been invented. On the whole we arrive at the conclusion tha t the Apology is true to the character of Socrates, but we cannot show that any single sentence in it was actually spoken by him. It breathes the spirit of Socr ates, but has been cast anew in the mould of Plato. 3

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology There is not much in the other Dialogues which can be compared with the Apology. The same recollection of his master may have been present to the mind of Plato when depicting the sufferings of the Just in the Republic. The Crito may also be regarded as a sort of appendage to the Apology, in which Socrates, who has defi ed the judges, is nevertheless represented as scrupulously obedient to the laws. The idealization of the sufferer is carried still further in the Gorgias, in wh ich the thesis is maintained, that 'to suffer is better than to do evil;' and th e art of rhetoric is described as only useful for the purpose of self-accusation . The parallelisms which occur in the so-called Apology of Xenophon are not wort h noticing, because the writing in which they are contained is manifestly spurio us. The statements of the Memorabilia respecting the trial and death of Socrates agree generally with Plato; but they have lost the flavour of Socratic irony in the narrative of Xenophon. The Apology or Platonic defence of Socrates is divid ed into three parts: 1st. The defence properly so called; 2nd. The shorter addre ss in mitigation of the penalty; 3rd. The last words of prophetic rebuke and exh ortation. The first part commences with an apology for his colloquial style; he is, as he has always been, the enemy of rhetoric, and knows of no rhetoric but t ruth; he will not falsify his character by making a speech. Then he proceeds to divide his accusers into two classes; first, there is the nameless accuserpublic opinion. All the world from their earliest years had heard that he was a corrupt er of youth, and had seen him caricatured in the Clouds of Aristophanes. Secondl y, there are the professed accusers, who are but the mouth-piece of the others. The accusations of both might be summed up in a formula. The first say, 'Socrate s is an evil-doer and a curious person, searching into things under the earth an d above the heaven; and making the worse appear the better cause, and teaching a ll this to others.' The second, 'Socrates is an evil-doer and corrupter of the y outh, who does not receive the gods whom the state receives, but introduces othe r new divinities.' These last words appear to have been the actual indictment (c ompare Xen. Mem.); and the previous formula, which is a summary of public opinio n, assumes the same legal style. The answer begins by clearing up a confusion. I n the representations of the Comic poets, and in the opinion of the multitude, h e had been identified with the teachers of physical science and with the Sophist s. But this was an error. For both of them he professes a respect in the open co urt, which contrasts with his manner of speaking about them in other places. (Co mpare for Anaxagoras, Phaedo, Laws; for the Sophists, Meno, Republic, Tim., Thea et., Soph., etc.) But at the same time he shows that he is not one of them. Of n atural philosophy he knows nothing; not that he despises such pursuits, but the fact is that he is ignorant of them, and never says a word about them. Nor is he paid for giving instructionthat is another mistaken notion:he has nothing to teac h. But he commends Evenus for teaching virtue at such a 'moderate' rate as five minae. Something of the 'accustomed irony,' which may perhaps be expected to sle ep in the ear of the multitude, is lurking here. He then goes on to explain the reason why he is in such an evil name. That had arisen out of a peculiar mission which he had taken upon himself. The enthusiastic Chaerephon (probably in antic ipation of the answer which he received) had gone to Delphi and asked the oracle if there was any man wiser than Socrates; and the answer was, that there was no man wiser. What could be the meaning of thisthat he who knew nothing, and knew t hat he knew nothing, should be declared by the oracle to be the wisest of men? R eflecting upon the answer, he determined to refute it by finding 'a wiser;' and first he went to the politicians, and then to the poets, and then to the craftsm en, but 4

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology always with the same resulthe found that they knew nothing, or hardly anything mo re than himself; and that the little advantage which in some cases they possesse d was more than counter-balanced by their conceit of knowledge. He knew nothing, and knew that he knew nothing: they knew little or nothing, and imagined that t hey knew all things. Thus he had passed his life as a sort of missionary in dete cting the pretended wisdom of mankind; and this occupation had quite absorbed hi m and taken him away both from public and private affairs. Young men of the rich er sort had made a pastime of the same pursuit, 'which was not unamusing.' And h ence bitter enmities had arisen; the professors of knowledge had revenged themse lves by calling him a villainous corrupter of youth, and by repeating the common places about atheism and materialism and sophistry, which are the stock-accusati ons against all philosophers when there is nothing else to be said of them. The second accusation he meets by interrogating Meletus, who is present and can be i nterrogated. 'If he is the corrupter, who is the improver of the citizens?' (Com pare Meno.) 'All men everywhere.' But how absurd, how contrary to analogy is thi s! How inconceivable too, that he should make the citizens worse when he has to live with them. This surely cannot be intentional; and if unintentional, he ough t to have been instructed by Meletus, and not accused in the court. But there is another part of the indictment which says that he teaches men not to receive th e gods whom the city receives, and has other new gods. 'Is that the way in which he is supposed to corrupt the youth?' 'Yes, it is.' 'Has he only new gods, or n one at all?' 'None at all.' 'What, not even the sun and moon?' 'No; why, he says that the sun is a stone, and the moon earth.' That, replies Socrates, is the ol d confusion about Anaxagoras; the Athenian people are not so ignorant as to attr ibute to the influence of Socrates notions which have found their way into the d rama, and may be learned at the theatre. Socrates undertakes to show that Meletu s (rather unjustifiably) has been compounding a riddle in this part of the indic tment: 'There are no gods, but Socrates believes in the existence of the sons of gods, which is absurd.' Leaving Meletus, who has had enough words spent upon hi m, he returns to the original accusation. The question may be asked, Why will he persist in following a profession which leads him to death? Why?because he must remain at his post where the god has placed him, as he remained at Potidaea, and Amphipolis, and Delium, where the generals placed him. Besides, he is not so ov erwise as to imagine that he knows whether death is a good or an evil; and he is certain that desertion of his duty is an evil. Anytus is quite right in saying that they should never have indicted him if they meant to let him go. For he wil l certainly obey God rather than man; and will continue to preach to all men of all ages the necessity of virtue and improvement; and if they refuse to listen t o him he will still persevere and reprove them. This is his way of corrupting th e youth, which he will not cease to follow in obedience to the god, even if a th ousand deaths await him. He is desirous that they should let him livenot for his own sake, but for theirs; because he is their heaven-sent friend (and they will never have such another), or, as he may be ludicrously described, he is the gadf ly who stirs the generous steed into motion. Why then has he never taken part in public affairs? Because the familiar divine voice has hindered him; if he had b een a public man, and had fought for the right, as he would certainly have fough t against the many, he would not have lived, and could therefore have done no go od. Twice in public matters he has risked his life for the sake of justiceonce at the trial of the generals; and again in resistance to the tyrannical commands o f the Thirty. 5

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology But, though not a public man, he has passed his days in instructing the citizens without fee or rewardthis was his mission. Whether his disciples have turned out well or ill, he cannot justly be charged with the result, for he never promised to teach them anything. They might come if they liked, and they might stay away if they liked: and they did come, because they found an amusement in hearing th e pretenders to wisdom detected. If they have been corrupted, their elder relati ves (if not themselves) might surely come into court and witness against him, an d there is an opportunity still for them to appear. But their fathers and brothe rs all appear in court (including 'this' Plato), to witness on his behalf; and i f their relatives are corrupted, at least they are uncorrupted; 'and they are my witnesses. For they know that I am speaking the truth, and that Meletus is lyin g.' This is about all that he has to say. He will not entreat the judges to spar e his life; neither will he present a spectacle of weeping children, although he , too, is not made of 'rock or oak.' Some of the judges themselves may have comp lied with this practice on similar occasions, and he trusts that they will not b e angry with him for not following their example. But he feels that such conduct brings discredit on the name of Athens: he feels too, that the judge has sworn not to give away justice; and he cannot be guilty of the impiety of asking the j udge to break his oath, when he is himself being tried for impiety. As he expect ed, and probably intended, he is convicted. And now the tone of the speech, inst ead of being more conciliatory, becomes more lofty and commanding. Anytus propos es death as the penalty: and what counter-proposition shall he make? He, the ben efactor of the Athenian people, whose whole life has been spent in doing them go od, should at least have the Olympic victor's reward of maintenance in the Pryta neum. Or why should he propose any counter-penalty when he does not know whether death, which Anytus proposes, is a good or an evil? And he is certain that impr isonment is an evil, exile is an evil. Loss of money might be an evil, but then he has none to give; perhaps he can make up a mina. Let that be the penalty, or, if his friends wish, thirty minae; for which they will be excellent securities. (He is condemned to death.) He is an old man already, and the Athenians will ga in nothing but disgrace by depriving him of a few years of life. Perhaps he coul d have escaped, if he had chosen to throw down his arms and entreat for his life . But he does not at all repent of the manner of his defence; he would rather di e in his own fashion than live in theirs. For the penalty of unrighteousness is swifter than death; that penalty has already overtaken his accusers as death wil l soon overtake him. And now, as one who is about to die, he will prophesy to th em. They have put him to death in order to escape the necessity of giving an acc ount of their lives. But his death 'will be the seed' of many disciples who will convince them of their evil ways, and will come forth to reprove them in harshe r terms, because they are younger and more inconsiderate. He would like to say a few words, while there is time, to those who would have acquitted him. He wishe s them to know that the divine sign never interrupted him in the course of his d efence; the reason of which, as he conjectures, is that the death to which he is going is a good and not an evil. For either death is a long sleep, the best of sleeps, or a journey to another world in which the souls of the dead are gathere d together, and in which there may be a hope of seeing the heroes of oldin 6

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology which, too, there are just judges; and as all are immortal, there can be no fear of any one suffering death for his opinions. Nothing evil can happen to the goo d man either in life or death, and his own death has been permitted by the gods, because it was better for him to depart; and therefore he forgives his judges b ecause they have done him no harm, although they never meant to do him any good. He has a last request to make to themthat they will trouble his sons as he has t roubled them, if they appear to prefer riches to virtue, or to think themselves something when they are nothing. 'Few persons will be found to wish that Socrates should have defended himself ot herwise,'if, as we must add, his defence was that with which Plato has provided h im. But leaving this question, which does not admit of a precise solution, we ma y go on to ask what was the impression which Plato in the Apology intended to gi ve of the character and conduct of his master in the last great scene? Did he in tend to represent him (1) as employing sophistries; (2) as designedly irritating the judges? Or are these sophistries to be regarded as belonging to the age in which he lived and to his personal character, and this apparent haughtiness as f lowing from the natural elevation of his position? For example, when he says tha t it is absurd to suppose that one man is the corrupter and all the rest of the world the improvers of the youth; or, when he argues that he never could have co rrupted the men with whom he had to live; or, when he proves his belief in the g ods because he believes in the sons of gods, is he serious or jesting? It may be observed that these sophisms all occur in his crossexamination of Meletus, who is easily foiled and mastered in the hands of the great dialectician. Perhaps he regarded these answers as good enough for his accuser, of whom he makes very li ght. Also there is a touch of irony in them, which takes them out of the categor y of sophistry. (Compare Euthyph.) That the manner in which he defends himself a bout the lives of his disciples is not satisfactory, can hardly be denied. Fresh in the memory of the Athenians, and detestable as they deserved to be to the ne wly restored democracy, were the names of Alcibiades, Critias, Charmides. It is obviously not a sufficient answer that Socrates had never professed to teach the m anything, and is therefore not justly chargeable with their crimes. Yet the de fence, when taken out of this ironical form, is doubtless sound: that his teachi ng had nothing to do with their evil lives. Here, then, the sophistry is rather in form than in substance, though we might desire that to such a serious charge Socrates had given a more serious answer. Truly characteristic of Socrates is an other point in his answer, which may also be regarded as sophistical. He says th at 'if he has corrupted the youth, he must have corrupted them involuntarily.' B ut if, as Socrates argues, all evil is involuntary, then all criminals ought to be admonished and not punished. In these words the Socratic doctrine of the invo luntariness of evil is clearly intended to be conveyed. Here again, as in the fo rmer instance, the defence of Socrates is untrue practically, but may be true in some ideal or transcendental sense. The commonplace reply, that if he had been guilty of corrupting the youth their relations would surely have witnessed again st him, with which he concludes this part of his defence, is more satisfactory. 7

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology Again, when Socrates argues that he must believe in the gods because he believes in the sons of gods, we must remember that this is a refutation not of the orig inal indictment, which is consistent enough'Socrates does not receive the gods wh om the city receives, and has other new divinities' but of the interpretation put upon the words by Meletus, who has affirmed that he is a downright atheist. To this Socrates fairly answers, in accordance with the ideas of the time, that a d ownright atheist cannot believe in the sons of gods or in divine things. The not ion that demons or lesser divinities are the sons of gods is not to be regarded as ironical or sceptical. He is arguing 'ad hominem' according to the notions of mythology current in his age. Yet he abstains from saying that he believed in t he gods whom the State approved. He does not defend himself, as Xenophon has def ended him, by appealing to his practice of religion. Probably he neither wholly believed, nor disbelieved, in the existence of the popular gods; he had no means of knowing about them. According to Plato (compare Phaedo; Symp.), as well as X enophon (Memor.), he was punctual in the performance of the least religious duti es; and he must have believed in his own oracular sign, of which he seemed to ha ve an internal witness. But the existence of Apollo or Zeus, or the other gods w hom the State approves, would have appeared to him both uncertain and unimportan t in comparison of the duty of self-examination, and of those principles of trut h and right which he deemed to be the foundation of religion. (Compare Phaedr.; Euthyph.; Republic.) The second question, whether Plato meant to represent Socra tes as braving or irritating his judges, must also be answered in the negative. His irony, his superiority, his audacity, 'regarding not the person of man,' nec essarily flow out of the loftiness of his situation. He is not acting a part upo n a great occasion, but he is what he has been all his life long, 'a king of men .' He would rather not appear insolent, if he could avoid it (ouch os authadizom enos touto lego). Neither is he desirous of hastening his own end, for life and death are simply indifferent to him. But such a defence as would be acceptable t o his judges and might procure an acquittal, it is not in his nature to make. He will not say or do anything that might pervert the course of justice; he cannot have his tongue bound even 'in the throat of death.' With his accusers he will only fence and play, as he had fenced with other 'improvers of youth,' answering the Sophist according to his sophistry all his life long. He is serious when he is speaking of his own mission, which seems to distinguish him from all other r eformers of mankind, and originates in an accident. The dedication of himself to the improvement of his fellowcitizens is not so remarkable as the ironical spir it in which he goes about doing good only in vindication of the credit of the or acle, and in the vain hope of finding a wiser man than himself. Yet this singula r and almost accidental character of his mission agrees with the divine sign whi ch, according to our notions, is equally accidental and irrational, and is never theless accepted by him as the guiding principle of his life. Socrates is nowher e represented to us as a freethinker or sceptic. There is no reason to doubt his sincerity when he speculates on the possibility of seeing and knowing the heroe s of the Trojan war in another world. On the other hand, his hope of immortality is uncertain;he also conceives of death as a long sleep (in this respect differi ng from the Phaedo), and at last falls back on resignation to the divine will, a nd the certainty that no evil can happen to the good man either in life or death . His absolute truthfulness seems to hinder him from asserting positively more t han this; and he makes no attempt to veil his ignorance in mythology and figures of speech. The gentleness of the first part of the speech contrasts with the ag gravated, almost threatening, tone of the conclusion. He characteristically rema rks that he will not speak as a rhetorician, that is to say, he will not make a regular defence such as Lysias or one of the orators might have composed for him , or, according to some accounts, did compose for him. But he first procures him self a hearing by conciliatory words. He does not attack the Sophists; for they were open 8

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology to the same charges as himself; they were equally ridiculed by the Comic poets, and almost equally hateful to Anytus and Meletus. Yet incidentally the antagonis m between Socrates and the Sophists is allowed to appear. He is poor and they ar e rich; his profession that he teaches nothing is opposed to their readiness to teach all things; his talking in the marketplace to their private instructions; his tarryat-home life to their wandering from city to city. The tone which he as sumes towards them is one of real friendliness, but also of concealed irony. Tow ards Anaxagoras, who had disappointed him in his hopes of learning about mind an d nature, he shows a less kindly feeling, which is also the feeling of Plato in other passages (Laws). But Anaxagoras had been dead thirty years, and was beyond the reach of persecution. It has been remarked that the prophecy of a new gener ation of teachers who would rebuke and exhort the Athenian people in harsher and more violent terms was, as far as we know, never fulfilled. No inference can be drawn from this circumstance as to the probability of the words attributed to h im having been actually uttered. They express the aspiration of the first martyr of philosophy, that he would leave behind him many followers, accompanied by th e not unnatural feeling that they would be fiercer and more inconsiderate in the ir words when emancipated from his control. The above remarks must be understood as applying with any degree of certainty to the Platonic Socrates only. For, al though these or similar words may have been spoken by Socrates himself, we canno t exclude the possibility, that like so much else, e.g. the wisdom of Critias, t he poem of Solon, the virtues of Charmides, they may have been due only to the i magination of Plato. The arguments of those who maintain that the Apology was co mposed during the process, resting on no evidence, do not require a serious refu tation. Nor are the reasonings of Schleiermacher, who argues that the Platonic d efence is an exact or nearly exact reproduction of the words of Socrates, partly because Plato would not have been guilty of the impiety of altering them, and a lso because many points of the defence might have been improved and strengthened , at all more conclusive. (See English Translation.) What effect the death of So crates produced on the mind of Plato, we cannot certainly determine; nor can we say how he would or must have written under the circumstances. We observe that t he enmity of Aristophanes to Socrates does not prevent Plato from introducing th em together in the Symposium engaged in friendly intercourse. Nor is there any t race in the Dialogues of an attempt to make Anytus or Meletus personally odious in the eyes of the Athenian public. APOLOGY How you, O Athenians, have been affected by my accusers, I cannot tell; but I kn ow that they almost made me forget who I wasso persuasively did they speak; and y et they have hardly uttered a word of truth. But of the many falsehoods told by them, there was one which quite amazed me;I mean when they said that you should b e upon your guard and not allow yourselves to be deceived by the force of my elo quence. To say this, when they were certain to be detected as soon as I opened m y lips and proved myself to be anything but a great speaker, did indeed appear t o me most shamelessunless by the force of eloquence they mean the force of truth; for is such is their meaning, I admit that I am eloquent. But in how different a way from theirs! Well, as I was saying, 9

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology they have scarcely spoken the truth at all; but from me you shall hear the whole truth: not, however, delivered after their manner in a set oration duly ornamen ted with words and phrases. No, by heaven! but I shall use the words and argumen ts which occur to me at the moment; for I am confident in the justice of my caus e (Or, I am certain that I am right in taking this course.): at my time of life I ought not to be appearing before you, O men of Athens, in the character of a j uvenile oratorlet no one expect it of me. And I must beg of you to grant me a fav our:If I defend myself in my accustomed manner, and you hear me using the words w hich I have been in the habit of using in the agora, at the tables of the moneychangers, or anywhere else, I would ask you not to be surprised, and not to inte rrupt me on this account. For I am more than seventy years of age, and appearing now for the first time in a court of law, I am quite a stranger to the language of the place; and therefore I would have you regard me as if I were really a st ranger, whom you would excuse if he spoke in his native tongue, and after the fa shion of his country:Am I making an unfair request of you? Never mind the manner, which may or may not be good; but think only of the truth of my words, and give heed to that: let the speaker speak truly and the judge decide justly. And firs t, I have to reply to the older charges and to my first accusers, and then I wil l go on to the later ones. For of old I have had many accusers, who have accused me falsely to you during many years; and I am more afraid of them than of Anytu s and his associates, who are dangerous, too, in their own way. But far more dan gerous are the others, who began when you were children, and took possession of your minds with their falsehoods, telling of one Socrates, a wise man, who specu lated about the heaven above, and searched into the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause. The disseminators of this tale are the accusers w hom I dread; for their hearers are apt to fancy that such enquirers do not belie ve in the existence of the gods. And they are many, and their charges against me are of ancient date, and they were made by them in the days when you were more impressible than you are nowin childhood, or it may have been in youthand the caus e when heard went by default, for there was none to answer. And hardest of all, I do not know and cannot tell the names of my accusers; unless in the chance cas e of a Comic poet. All who from envy and malice have persuaded yousome of them ha ving first convinced themselvesall this class of men are most difficult to deal w ith; for I cannot have them up here, and cross-examine them, and therefore I mus t simply fight with shadows in my own defence, and argue when there is no one wh o answers. I will ask you then to assume with me, as I was saying, that my oppon ents are of two kinds; one recent, the other ancient: and I hope that you will s ee the propriety of my answering the latter first, for these accusations you hea rd long before the others, and much oftener. Well, then, I must make my defence, and endeavour to clear away in a short time, a slander which has lasted a long time. May I succeed, if to succeed be for my good and yours, or likely to avail me in my cause! The task is not an easy one; I quite understand the nature of it . And so leaving the event with God, in obedience to the law I will now make my defence. I will begin at the beginning, and ask what is the accusation which has given rise to the slander of me, and in fact has encouraged Meletus to proof th is charge against me. Well, what do the slanderers say? They shall be my prosecu tors, and I will sum up their words in an affidavit: 'Socrates is an evildoer, a nd a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctri nes to others.' Such is the nature of the accusation: it is just what you have y ourselves seen in the comedy of Aristophanes (Aristoph., Clouds.), who has intro duced a man whom he calls Socrates, going about and saying that 10

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology he walks in air, and talking a deal of nonsense concerning matters of which I do not pretend to know either much or littlenot that I mean to speak disparagingly of any one who is a student of natural philosophy. I should be very sorry if Mel etus could bring so grave a charge against me. But the simple truth is, O Atheni ans, that I have nothing to do with physical speculations. Very many of those he re present are witnesses to the truth of this, and to them I appeal. Speak then, you who have heard me, and tell your neighbours whether any of you have ever kn own me hold forth in few words or in many upon such matters...You hear their ans wer. And from what they say of this part of the charge you will be able to judge of the truth of the rest. As little foundation is there for the report that I a m a teacher, and take money; this accusation has no more truth in it than the ot her. Although, if a man were really able to instruct mankind, to receive money f or giving instruction would, in my opinion, be an honour to him. There is Gorgia s of Leontium, and Prodicus of Ceos, and Hippias of Elis, who go the round of th e cities, and are able to persuade the young men to leave their own citizens by whom they might be taught for nothing, and come to them whom they not only pay, but are thankful if they may be allowed to pay them. There is at this time a Par ian philosopher residing in Athens, of whom I have heard; and I came to hear of him in this way:I came across a man who has spent a world of money on the Sophist s, Callias, the son of Hipponicus, and knowing that he had sons, I asked him: 'C allias,' I said, 'if your two sons were foals or calves, there would be no diffi culty in finding some one to put over them; we should hire a trainer of horses, or a farmer probably, who would improve and perfect them in their own proper vir tue and excellence; but as they are human beings, whom are you thinking of placi ng over them? Is there any one who understands human and political virtue? You m ust have thought about the matter, for you have sons; is there any one?' 'There is,' he said. 'Who is he?' said I; 'and of what country? and what does he charge ?' 'Evenus the Parian,' he replied; 'he is the man, and his charge is five minae .' Happy is Evenus, I said to myself, if he really has this wisdom, and teaches at such a moderate charge. Had I the same, I should have been very proud and con ceited; but the truth is that I have no knowledge of the kind. I dare say, Athen ians, that some one among you will reply, 'Yes, Socrates, but what is the origin of these accusations which are brought against you; there must have been someth ing strange which you have been doing? All these rumours and this talk about you would never have arisen if you had been like other men: tell us, then, what is the cause of them, for we should be sorry to judge hastily of you.' Now I regard this as a fair challenge, and I will endeavour to explain to you the reason why I am called wise and have such an evil fame. Please to attend then. And althoug h some of you may think that I am joking, I declare that I will tell you the ent ire truth. Men of Athens, this reputation of mine has come of a certain sort of wisdom which I possess. If you ask me what kind of wisdom, I reply, wisdom such as may perhaps be attained by man, for to that extent I am inclined to believe t hat I am wise; whereas the persons of whom I was speaking have a superhuman wisd om which I may fail to describe, because I have it not myself; and he who says t hat I have, speaks falsely, and is taking away my character. And here, O men of Athens, I must beg you not to interrupt me, even if I seem to say something extr avagant. For the word which I will speak is not mine. I will refer you to a witn ess who is worthy of credit; that witness shall be the God of Delphihe will tell you about my wisdom, if I have any, and of what sort it is. You must have known Chaerephon; he was early a friend of mine, and also a friend of yours, for he sh ared in the recent exile of the people, and returned with you. Well, Chaerephon, as you know, was very impetuous in all his doings, and he went to Delphi and bo ldly asked the oracle to tell him whetheras I was saying, I must beg you not to i nterrupthe asked the 11

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology oracle to tell him whether anyone was wiser than I was, and the Pythian prophete ss answered, that there was no man wiser. Chaerephon is dead himself; but his br other, who is in court, will confirm the truth of what I am saying. Why do I men tion this? Because I am going to explain to you why I have such an evil name. Wh en I heard the answer, I said to myself, What can the god mean? and what is the interpretation of his riddle? for I know that I have no wisdom, small or great. What then can he mean when he says that I am the wisest of men? And yet he is a god, and cannot lie; that would be against his nature. After long consideration, I thought of a method of trying the question. I reflected that if I could only find a man wiser than myself, then I might go to the god with a refutation in my hand. I should say to him, 'Here is a man who is wiser than I am; but you said that I was the wisest.' Accordingly I went to one who had the reputation of wisd om, and observed himhis name I need not mention; he was a politician whom I selec ted for examinationand the result was as follows: When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought w ise by many, and still wiser by himself; and thereupon I tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and hear d me. So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not s uppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better o ff than he is,for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him. Then I went to another who had still higher pretensions to wis dom, and my conclusion was exactly the same. Whereupon I made another enemy of h im, and of many others besides him. Then I went to one man after another, being not unconscious of the enmity which I provoked, and I lamented and feared this: but necessity was laid upon me,the word of God, I thought, ought to be considered first. And I said to myself, Go I must to all who appear to know, and find out the meaning of the oracle. And I swear to you, Athenians, by the dog I swear!for I must tell you the truththe result of my mission was just this: I found that the men most in repute were all but the most foolish; and that others less esteemed were really wiser and better. I will tell you the tale of my wanderings and of the 'Herculean' labours, as I may call them, which I endured only to find at las t the oracle irrefutable. After the politicians, I went to the poets; tragic, di thyrambic, and all sorts. And there, I said to myself, you will be instantly det ected; now you will find out that you are more ignorant than they are. According ly, I took them some of the most elaborate passages in their own writings, and a sked what was the meaning of themthinking that they would teach me something. Wil l you believe me? I am almost ashamed to confess the truth, but I must say that there is hardly a person present who would not have talked better about their po etry than they did themselves. Then I knew that not by wisdom do poets write poe try, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsay ers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them. Th e poets appeared to me to be much in the same case; and I further observed that upon the strength of their poetry they believed themselves to be the wisest of m en in other things in which they were not wise. So I departed, conceiving myself to be superior to them for the same reason that I was superior to the politicia ns. At last I went to the artisans. I was conscious that I knew nothing at all, as I may say, and I was sure that they knew many fine things; and here I was not mistaken, for they did know many things of which I was ignorant, and in this th ey certainly were wiser than I was. But I observed that even the good 12

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology artisans fell into the same error as the poets;because they were good workmen the y thought that they also knew all sorts of high matters, and this defect in them overshadowed their wisdom; and therefore I asked myself on behalf of the oracle , whether I would like to be as I was, neither having their knowledge nor their ignorance, or like them in both; and I made answer to myself and to the oracle t hat I was better off as I was. This inquisition has led to my having many enemie s of the worst and most dangerous kind, and has given occasion also to many calu mnies. And I am called wise, for my hearers always imagine that I myself possess the wisdom which I find wanting in others: but the truth is, O men of Athens, t hat God only is wise; and by his answer he intends to show that the wisdom of me n is worth little or nothing; he is not speaking of Socrates, he is only using m y name by way of illustration, as if he said, He, O men, is the wisest, who, lik e Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing. And so I go about t he world, obedient to the god, and search and make enquiry into the wisdom of an y one, whether citizen or stranger, who appears to be wise; and if he is not wis e, then in vindication of the oracle I show him that he is not wise; and my occu pation quite absorbs me, and I have no time to give either to any public matter of interest or to any concern of my own, but I am in utter poverty by reason of my devotion to the god. There is another thing:young men of the richer classes, w ho have not much to do, come about me of their own accord; they like to hear the pretenders examined, and they often imitate me, and proceed to examine others; there are plenty of persons, as they quickly discover, who think that they know something, but really know little or nothing; and then those who are examined by them instead of being angry with themselves are angry with me: This confounded Socrates, they say; this villainous misleader of youth!and then if somebody asks them, Why, what evil does he practise or teach? they do not know, and cannot tel l; but in order that they may not appear to be at a loss, they repeat the readymade charges which are used against all philosophers about teaching things up in the clouds and under the earth, and having no gods, and making the worse appear the better cause; for they do not like to confess that their pretence of knowle dge has been detectedwhich is the truth; and as they are numerous and ambitious a nd energetic, and are drawn up in battle array and have persuasive tongues, they have filled your ears with their loud and inveterate calumnies. And this is the reason why my three accusers, Meletus and Anytus and Lycon, have set upon me; M eletus, who has a quarrel with me on behalf of the poets; Anytus, on behalf of t he craftsmen and politicians; Lycon, on behalf of the rhetoricians: and as I sai d at the beginning, I cannot expect to get rid of such a mass of calumny all in a moment. And this, O men of Athens, is the truth and the whole truth; I have co ncealed nothing, I have dissembled nothing. And yet, I know that my plainness of speech makes them hate me, and what is their hatred but a proof that I am speak ing the truth?Hence has arisen the prejudice against me; and this is the reason o f it, as you will find out either in this or in any future enquiry. I have said enough in my defence against the first class of my accusers; I turn to the secon d class. They are headed by Meletus, that good man and true lover of his country , as he calls himself. Against these, too, I must try to make a defence:Let their affidavit be read: it contains something of this kind: It says that Socrates is a doer of evil, who corrupts the youth; and who does not believe in the gods of the state, but has other new divinities of his own. Such is the charge; and now let us examine the particular counts. He says that I am a doer of evil, and cor rupt the youth; but I say, O men of Athens, that Meletus is a doer of evil, in t hat he pretends to be in earnest when he is only in jest, and 13

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology is so eager to bring men to trial from a pretended zeal and interest about matte rs in which he really never had the smallest interest. And the truth of this I w ill endeavour to prove to you. Come hither, Meletus, and let me ask a question o f you. You think a great deal about the improvement of youth? Yes, I do. Tell th e judges, then, who is their improver; for you must know, as you have taken the pains to discover their corrupter, and are citing and accusing me before them. S peak, then, and tell the judges who their improver is.Observe, Meletus, that you are silent, and have nothing to say. But is not this rather disgraceful, and a v ery considerable proof of what I was saying, that you have no interest in the ma tter? Speak up, friend, and tell us who their improver is. The laws. But that, m y good sir, is not my meaning. I want to know who the person is, who, in the fir st place, knows the laws. The judges, Socrates, who are present in court. What, do you mean to say, Meletus, that they are able to instruct and improve youth? C ertainly they are. What, all of them, or some only and not others? All of them. By the goddess Here, that is good news! There are plenty of improvers, then. And what do you say of the audience,do they improve them? Yes, they do. And the sena tors? Yes, the senators improve them. But perhaps the members of the assembly co rrupt them?or do they too improve them? They improve them. Then every Athenian im proves and elevates them; all with the exception of myself; and I alone am their corrupter? Is that what you affirm? That is what I stoutly affirm. 14

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology I am very unfortunate if you are right. But suppose I ask you a question: How ab out horses? Does one man do them harm and all the world good? Is not the exact o pposite the truth? One man is able to do them good, or at least not many;the trai ner of horses, that is to say, does them good, and others who have to do with th em rather injure them? Is not that true, Meletus, of horses, or of any other ani mals? Most assuredly it is; whether you and Anytus say yes or no. Happy indeed w ould be the condition of youth if they had one corrupter only, and all the rest of the world were their improvers. But you, Meletus, have sufficiently shown tha t you never had a thought about the young: your carelessness is seen in your not caring about the very things which you bring against me. And now, Meletus, I wi ll ask you another questionby Zeus I will: Which is better, to live among bad cit izens, or among good ones? Answer, friend, I say; the question is one which may be easily answered. Do not the good do their neighbours good, and the bad do the m evil? Certainly. And is there anyone who would rather be injured than benefite d by those who live with him? Answer, my good friend, the law requires you to an swerdoes any one like to be injured? Certainly not. And when you accuse me of cor rupting and deteriorating the youth, do you allege that I corrupt them intention ally or unintentionally? Intentionally, I say. But you have just admitted that t he good do their neighbours good, and the evil do them evil. Now, is that a trut h which your superior wisdom has recognized thus early in life, and am I, at my age, in such darkness and ignorance as not to know that if a man with whom I hav e to live is corrupted by me, I am very likely to be harmed by him; and yet I co rrupt him, and intentionally, tooso you say, although neither I nor any other hum an being is ever likely to be convinced by you. But either I do not corrupt them , or I corrupt them unintentionally; and on either view of the case you lie. If my offence is unintentional, the law has no cognizance of unintentional offences : you ought to have taken me privately, and warned and admonished me; for if I h ad been better advised, I should have left off doing what I only did unintention allyno doubt I should; but you would have nothing to say to me and refused to tea ch me. And now you bring me up in this court, which is a place not of instructio n, but of punishment. It will be very clear to you, Athenians, as I was saying, that Meletus has no care at all, great or small, about the matter. But still I s hould like to know, Meletus, in what I am affirmed to corrupt the young. I suppo se you mean, as I infer from your indictment, that I teach them not to acknowled ge the gods which the state acknowledges, but some other new divinities or spiri tual agencies in their stead. These are the lessons by which I corrupt the youth , as you say. Yes, that I say emphatically. 15

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology Then, by the gods, Meletus, of whom we are speaking, tell me and the court, in s omewhat plainer terms, what you mean! for I do not as yet understand whether you affirm that I teach other men to acknowledge some gods, and therefore that I do believe in gods, and am not an entire atheistthis you do not lay to my charge,but only you say that they are not the same gods which the city recognizesthe charge is that they are different gods. Or, do you mean that I am an atheist simply, a nd a teacher of atheism? I mean the latterthat you are a complete atheist. What a n extraordinary statement! Why do you think so, Meletus? Do you mean that I do n ot believe in the godhead of the sun or moon, like other men? I assure you, judg es, that he does not: for he says that the sun is stone, and the moon earth. Fri end Meletus, you think that you are accusing Anaxagoras: and you have but a bad opinion of the judges, if you fancy them illiterate to such a degree as not to k now that these doctrines are found in the books of Anaxagoras the Clazomenian, w hich are full of them. And so, forsooth, the youth are said to be taught them by Socrates, when there are not unfrequently exhibitions of them at the theatre (P robably in allusion to Aristophanes who caricatured, and to Euripides who borrow ed the notions of Anaxagoras, as well as to other dramatic poets.) (price of adm ission one drachma at the most); and they might pay their money, and laugh at So crates if he pretends to father these extraordinary views. And so, Meletus, you really think that I do not believe in any god? I swear by Zeus that you believe absolutely in none at all. Nobody will believe you, Meletus, and I am pretty sur e that you do not believe yourself. I cannot help thinking, men of Athens, that Meletus is reckless and impudent, and that he has written this indictment in a s pirit of mere wantonness and youthful bravado. Has he not compounded a riddle, t hinking to try me? He said to himself:I shall see whether the wise Socrates will discover my facetious contradiction, or whether I shall be able to deceive him a nd the rest of them. For he certainly does appear to me to contradict himself in the indictment as much as if he said that Socrates is guilty of not believing i n the gods, and yet of believing in thembut this is not like a person who is in e arnest. I should like you, O men of Athens, to join me in examining what I conce ive to be his inconsistency; and do you, Meletus, answer. And I must remind the audience of my request that they would not make a disturbance if I speak in my a ccustomed manner: Did ever man, Meletus, believe in the existence of human thing s, and not of human beings?...I wish, men of Athens, that he would answer, and n ot be always trying to get up an interruption. Did ever any man believe in horse manship, and not in horses? or in flute-playing, and not in flute-players? No, m y friend; I will answer to you and to the court, as you refuse to answer for you rself. There is no man who ever did. But now please to answer the next question: Can a man believe in spiritual and divine agencies, and not in spirits or demig ods? He cannot. 16

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology How lucky I am to have extracted that answer, by the assistance of the court! Bu t then you swear in the indictment that I teach and believe in divine or spiritu al agencies (new or old, no matter for that); at any rate, I believe in spiritua l agencies,so you say and swear in the affidavit; and yet if I believe in divine beings, how can I help believing in spirits or demigods;must I not? To be sure I must; and therefore I may assume that your silence gives consent. Now what are s pirits or demigods? Are they not either gods or the sons of gods? Certainly they are. But this is what I call the facetious riddle invented by you: the demigods or spirits are gods, and you say first that I do not believe in gods, and then again that I do believe in gods; that is, if I believe in demigods. For if the d emigods are the illegitimate sons of gods, whether by the nymphs or by any other mothers, of whom they are said to be the sonswhat human being will ever believe that there are no gods if they are the sons of gods? You might as well affirm th e existence of mules, and deny that of horses and asses. Such nonsense, Meletus, could only have been intended by you to make trial of me. You have put this int o the indictment because you had nothing real of which to accuse me. But no one who has a particle of understanding will ever be convinced by you that the same men can believe in divine and superhuman things, and yet not believe that there are gods and demigods and heroes. I have said enough in answer to the charge of Meletus: any elaborate defence is unnecessary, but I know only too well how many are the enmities which I have incurred, and this is what will be my destruction if I am destroyed;not Meletus, nor yet Anytus, but the envy and detraction of th e world, which has been the death of many good men, and will probably be the dea th of many more; there is no danger of my being the last of them. Some one will say: And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to b ring you to an untimely end? To him I may fairly answer: There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or d ying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or w rongacting the part of a good man or of a bad. Whereas, upon your view, the heroe s who fell at Troy were not good for much, and the son of Thetis above all, who altogether despised danger in comparison with disgrace; and when he was so eager to slay Hector, his goddess mother said to him, that if he avenged his companio n Patroclus, and slew Hector, he would die himself'Fate,' she said, in these or t he like words, 'waits for you next after Hector;' he, receiving this warning, ut terly despised danger and death, and instead of fearing them, feared rather to l ive in dishonour, and not to avenge his friend. 'Let me die forthwith,' he repli es, 'and be avenged of my enemy, rather than abide here by the beaked ships, a l aughing-stock and a burden of the earth.' Had Achilles any thought of death and danger? For wherever a man's place is, whether the place which he has chosen or that in which he has been placed by a commander, there he ought to remain in the hour of danger; he should not think of death or of anything but of disgrace. An d this, O men of Athens, is a true saying. Strange, indeed, would be my conduct, O men of Athens, if I who, when I was ordered by the generals whom you chose to command me at Potidaea and Amphipolis and Delium, remained where they placed me , like any other man, facing deathif now, when, as I conceive and imagine, God or ders me to fulfil the philosopher's mission of searching into myself and other m en, I were to desert 17

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology my post through fear of death, or any other fear; that would indeed be strange, and I might justly be arraigned in court for denying the existence of the gods, if I disobeyed the oracle because I was afraid of death, fancying that I was wis e when I was not wise. For the fear of death is indeed the pretence of wisdom, a nd not real wisdom, being a pretence of knowing the unknown; and no one knows wh ether death, which men in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. Is not this ignorance of a disgraceful sort, the ignorance which is the conceit that a man knows what he does not know? And in this respec t only I believe myself to differ from men in general, and may perhaps claim to be wiser than they are:that whereas I know but little of the world below, I do no t suppose that I know: but I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better , whether God or man, is evil and dishonourable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil. And therefore if you let me go now, and are not convinced by Anytus, who said that since I had been prosecuted I mus t be put to death; (or if not that I ought never to have been prosecuted at all) ; and that if I escape now, your sons will all be utterly ruined by listening to my wordsif you say to me, Socrates, this time we will not mind Anytus, and you s hall be let off, but upon one condition, that you are not to enquire and specula te in this way any more, and that if you are caught doing so again you shall die ;if this was the condition on which you let me go, I should reply: Men of Athens, I honour and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have l ife and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosoph y, exhorting any one whom I meet and saying to him after my manner: You, my frie nd,a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens,are you not ashamed o f heaping up the greatest amount of money and honour and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all? And if the person with whom I am arguing, says : Yes, but I do care; then I do not leave him or let him go at once; but I proce ed to interrogate and examine and cross-examine him, and if I think that he has no virtue in him, but only says that he has, I reproach him with undervaluing th e greater, and overvaluing the less. And I shall repeat the same words to every one whom I meet, young and old, citizen and alien, but especially to the citizen s, inasmuch as they are my brethren. For know that this is the command of God; a nd I believe that no greater good has ever happened in the state than my service to the God. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young ali ke, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but first and chief ly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of ma n, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine w hich corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person. But if any one says that thi s is not my teaching, he is speaking an untruth. Wherefore, O men of Athens, I s ay to you, do as Anytus bids or not as Anytus bids, and either acquit me or not; but whichever you do, understand that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times. Men of Athens, do not interrupt, but hear me; there wa s an understanding between us that you should hear me to the end: I have somethi ng more to say, at which you may be inclined to cry out; but I believe that to h ear me will be good for you, and therefore I beg that you will not cry out. I wo uld have you know, that if you kill such an one as I am, you will injure yoursel ves more than you will injure me. Nothing will injure me, not Meletus nor yet An ytusthey cannot, for a bad man is not permitted to injure a better than himself. I do not deny that Anytus may, perhaps, kill him, or drive him into exile, or de prive him of civil rights; and he may imagine, and others may imagine, that he i s inflicting a great injury upon him: but there I do not agree. For the evil of doing as he is doingthe evil of unjustly taking away the life of anotheris greater far. 18

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology And now, Athenians, I am not going to argue for my own sake, as you may think, b ut for yours, that you may not sin against the God by condemning me, who am his gift to you. For if you kill me you will not easily find a successor to me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to t he state by God; and the state is a great and noble steed who is tardy in his mo tions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that ga dfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. You will not easily find another like me, and therefore I would advise you to spare me. I dare say that you may feel out of temper (like a person who is suddenly awaken ed from sleep), and you think that you might easily strike me dead as Anytus adv ises, and then you would sleep on for the remainder of your lives, unless God in his care of you sent you another gadfly. When I say that I am given to you by G od, the proof of my mission is this:if I had been like other men, I should not ha ve neglected all my own concerns or patiently seen the neglect of them during al l these years, and have been doing yours, coming to you individually like a fath er or elder brother, exhorting you to regard virtue; such conduct, I say, would be unlike human nature. If I had gained anything, or if my exhortations had been paid, there would have been some sense in my doing so; but now, as you will per ceive, not even the impudence of my accusers dares to say that I have ever exact ed or sought pay of any one; of that they have no witness. And I have a sufficie nt witness to the truth of what I saymy poverty. Some one may wonder why I go abo ut in private giving advice and busying myself with the concerns of others, but do not venture to come forward in public and advise the state. I will tell you w hy. You have heard me speak at sundry times and in divers places of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indi ctment. This sign, which is a kind of voice, first began to come to me when I wa s a child; it always forbids but never commands me to do anything which I am goi ng to do. This is what deters me from being a politician. And rightly, as I thin k. For I am certain, O men of Athens, that if I had engaged in politics, I shoul d have perished long ago, and done no good either to you or to myself. And do no t be offended at my telling you the truth: for the truth is, that no man who goe s to war with you or any other multitude, honestly striving against the many law less and unrighteous deeds which are done in a state, will save his life; he who will fight for the right, if he would live even for a brief space, must have a private station and not a public one. I can give you convincing evidence of what I say, not words only, but what you value far more actions. Let me relate to you a passage of my own life which will prove to you that I should never have yield ed to injustice from any fear of death, and that 'as I should have refused to yi eld' I must have died at once. I will tell you a tale of the courts, not very in teresting perhaps, but nevertheless true. The only office of state which I ever held, O men of Athens, was that of senator: the tribe Antiochis, which is my tri be, had the presidency at the trial of the generals who had not taken up the bod ies of the slain after the battle of Arginusae; and you proposed to try them in a body, contrary to law, as you all thought afterwards; but at the time I was th e only one of the Prytanes who was opposed to the illegality, and I gave my vote against you; and when the orators threatened to impeach and arrest me, and you called and shouted, I made up my mind that I would run the risk, having law and justice with me, rather than take part in your injustice because I feared impris onment and death. This happened in the days of the democracy. But when the oliga rchy of the Thirty was in power, they sent for me and four others into the rotun da, and bade us bring Leon the Salaminian from Salamis, as they wanted to put hi m to death. This was a specimen of the sort of commands which they were always g iving with the view of implicating as many as possible in their crimes; and then I 19

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology showed, not in word only but in deed, that, if I may be allowed to use such an e xpression, I cared not a straw for death, and that my great and only care was le st I should do an unrighteous or unholy thing. For the strong arm of that oppres sive power did not frighten me into doing wrong; and when we came out of the rot unda the other four went to Salamis and fetched Leon, but I went quietly home. F or which I might have lost my life, had not the power of the Thirty shortly afte rwards come to an end. And many will witness to my words. Now do you really imag ine that I could have survived all these years, if I had led a public life, supp osing that like a good man I had always maintained the right and had made justic e, as I ought, the first thing? No indeed, men of Athens, neither I nor any othe r man. But I have been always the same in all my actions, public as well as priv ate, and never have I yielded any base compliance to those who are slanderously termed my disciples, or to any other. Not that I have any regular disciples. But if any one likes to come and hear me while I am pursuing my mission, whether he be young or old, he is not excluded. Nor do I converse only with those who pay; but any one, whether he be rich or poor, may ask and answer me and listen to my words; and whether he turns out to be a bad man or a good one, neither result c an be justly imputed to me; for I never taught or professed to teach him anythin g. And if any one says that he has ever learned or heard anything from me in pri vate which all the world has not heard, let me tell you that he is lying. But I shall be asked, Why do people delight in continually conversing with you? I have told you already, Athenians, the whole truth about this matter: they like to he ar the cross-examination of the pretenders to wisdom; there is amusement in it. Now this duty of cross-examining other men has been imposed upon me by God; and has been signified to me by oracles, visions, and in every way in which the will of divine power was ever intimated to any one. This is true, O Athenians, or, i f not true, would be soon refuted. If I am or have been corrupting the youth, th ose of them who are now grown up and have become sensible that I gave them bad a dvice in the days of their youth should come forward as accusers, and take their revenge; or if they do not like to come themselves, some of their relatives, fa thers, brothers, or other kinsmen, should say what evil their families have suff ered at my hands. Now is their time. Many of them I see in the court. There is C rito, who is of the same age and of the same deme with myself, and there is Crit obulus his son, whom I also see. Then again there is Lysanias of Sphettus, who i s the father of Aeschineshe is present; and also there is Antiphon of Cephisus, w ho is the father of Epigenes; and there are the brothers of several who have ass ociated with me. There is Nicostratus the son of Theosdotides, and the brother o f Theodotus (now Theodotus himself is dead, and therefore he, at any rate, will not seek to stop him); and there is Paralus the son of Demodocus, who had a brot her Theages; and Adeimantus the son of Ariston, whose brother Plato is present; and Aeantodorus, who is the brother of Apollodorus, whom I also see. I might men tion a great many others, some of whom Meletus should have produced as witnesses in the course of his speech; and let him still produce them, if he has forgotte nI will make way for him. And let him say, if he has any testimony of the sort wh ich he can produce. Nay, Athenians, the very opposite is the truth. For all thes e are ready to witness on behalf of the corrupter, of the injurer of their kindr ed, as Meletus and Anytus call me; not the corrupted youth onlythere might have b een a motive for thatbut their uncorrupted elder relatives. Why should they too s upport me with their testimony? Why, indeed, except for the sake of truth and ju stice, and because they know that I am speaking the truth, and that Meletus is a liar. 20

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology Well, Athenians, this and the like of this is all the defence which I have to of fer. Yet a word more. Perhaps there may be some one who is offended at me, when he calls to mind how he himself on a similar, or even a less serious occasion, p rayed and entreated the judges with many tears, and how he produced his children in court, which was a moving spectacle, together with a host of relations and f riends; whereas I, who am probably in danger of my life, will do none of these t hings. The contrast may occur to his mind, and he may be set against me, and vot e in anger because he is displeased at me on this account. Now if there be such a person among you,mind, I do not say that there is,to him I may fairly reply: My friend, I am a man, and like other men, a creature of flesh and blood, and not ' of wood or stone,' as Homer says; and I have a family, yes, and sons, O Athenian s, three in number, one almost a man, and two others who are still young; and ye t I will not bring any of them hither in order to petition you for an acquittal. And why not? Not from any self-assertion or want of respect for you. Whether I am or am not afraid of death is another question, of which I will not now speak. But, having regard to public opinion, I feel that such conduct would be discred itable to myself, and to you, and to the whole state. One who has reached my yea rs, and who has a name for wisdom, ought not to demean himself. Whether this opi nion of me be deserved or not, at any rate the world has decided that Socrates i s in some way superior to other men. And if those among you who are said to be s uperior in wisdom and courage, and any other virtue, demean themselves in this w ay, how shameful is their conduct! I have seen men of reputation, when they have been condemned, behaving in the strangest manner: they seemed to fancy that the y were going to suffer something dreadful if they died, and that they could be i mmortal if you only allowed them to live; and I think that such are a dishonour to the state, and that any stranger coming in would have said of them that the m ost eminent men of Athens, to whom the Athenians themselves give honour and comm and, are no better than women. And I say that these things ought not to be done by those of us who have a reputation; and if they are done, you ought not to per mit them; you ought rather to show that you are far more disposed to condemn the man who gets up a doleful scene and makes the city ridiculous, than him who hol ds his peace. But, setting aside the question of public opinion, there seems to be something wrong in asking a favour of a judge, and thus procuring an acquitta l, instead of informing and convincing him. For his duty is, not to make a prese nt of justice, but to give judgment; and he has sworn that he will judge accordi ng to the laws, and not according to his own good pleasure; and we ought not to encourage you, nor should you allow yourselves to be encouraged, in this habit o f perjurythere can be no piety in that. Do not then require me to do what I consi der dishonourable and impious and wrong, especially now, when I am being tried f or impiety on the indictment of Meletus. For if, O men of Athens, by force of pe rsuasion and entreaty I could overpower your oaths, then I should be teaching yo u to believe that there are no gods, and in defending should simply convict myse lf of the charge of not believing in them. But that is not sofar otherwise. For I do believe that there are gods, and in a sense higher than that in which any of my accusers believe in them. And to you and to God I commit my cause, to be det ermined by you as is best for you and me. There are many reasons why I am not grieved, O men of Athens, at the vote of con demnation. I expected it, and am only surprised that the votes are so nearly equ al; for I had thought that the majority against me would have been far larger; b ut now, had thirty votes gone over to the other side, I should have been acquitt ed. And I may say, I think, that I have escaped Meletus. I may say more; 21

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology for without the assistance of Anytus and Lycon, any one may see that he would no t have had a fifth part of the votes, as the law requires, in which case he woul d have incurred a fine of a thousand drachmae. And so he proposes death as the p enalty. And what shall I propose on my part, O men of Athens? Clearly that which is my due. And what is my due? What return shall be made to the man who has nev er had the wit to be idle during his whole life; but has been careless of what t he many care for wealth, and family interests, and military offices, and speaking in the assembly, and magistracies, and plots, and parties. Reflecting that I wa s really too honest a man to be a politician and live, I did not go where I coul d do no good to you or to myself; but where I could do the greatest good private ly to every one of you, thither I went, and sought to persuade every man among y ou that he must look to himself, and seek virtue and wisdom before he looks to h is private interests, and look to the state before he looks to the interests of the state; and that this should be the order which he observes in all his action s. What shall be done to such an one? Doubtless some good thing, O men of Athens , if he has his reward; and the good should be of a kind suitable to him. What w ould be a reward suitable to a poor man who is your benefactor, and who desires leisure that he may instruct you? There can be no reward so fitting as maintenan ce in the Prytaneum, O men of Athens, a reward which he deserves far more than t he citizen who has won the prize at Olympia in the horse or chariot race, whethe r the chariots were drawn by two horses or by many. For I am in want, and he has enough; and he only gives you the appearance of happiness, and I give you the r eality. And if I am to estimate the penalty fairly, I should say that maintenanc e in the Prytaneum is the just return. Perhaps you think that I am braving you i n what I am saying now, as in what I said before about the tears and prayers. Bu t this is not so. I speak rather because I am convinced that I never intentional ly wronged any one, although I cannot convince youthe time has been too short; if there were a law at Athens, as there is in other cities, that a capital cause s hould not be decided in one day, then I believe that I should have convinced you . But I cannot in a moment refute great slanders; and, as I am convinced that I never wronged another, I will assuredly not wrong myself. I will not say of myse lf that I deserve any evil, or propose any penalty. Why should I? because I am a fraid of the penalty of death which Meletus proposes? When I do not know whether death is a good or an evil, why should I propose a penalty which would certainl y be an evil? Shall I say imprisonment? And why should I live in prison, and be the slave of the magistrates of the yearof the Eleven? Or shall the penalty be a fine, and imprisonment until the fine is paid? There is the same objection. I sh ould have to lie in prison, for money I have none, and cannot pay. And if I say exile (and this may possibly be the penalty which you will affix), I must indeed be blinded by the love of life, if I am so irrational as to expect that when yo u, who are my own citizens, cannot endure my discourses and words, and have foun d them so grievous and odious that you will have no more of them, others are lik ely to endure me. No indeed, men of Athens, that is not very likely. And what a life should I lead, at my age, wandering from city to city, ever changing my pla ce of exile, and always being driven out! For I am quite sure that wherever I go , there, as here, the young men will flock to me; and if I drive them away, thei r elders will drive me out at their request; and if I let them come, their fathe rs and friends will drive me out for their sakes. Some one will say: Yes, Socrat es, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, an d no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you unde rstand my answer to this. For if I tell you that to do as you say would be a dis obedience to the God, and 22

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say again that daily to discourse about virtue, and of those other thin gs about which you hear me examining myself and others, is the greatest good of man, and that the unexamined life is not worth living, you are still less likely to believe me. Yet I say what is true, although a thing of which it is hard for me to persuade you. Also, I have never been accustomed to think that I deserve to suffer any harm. Had I money I might have estimated the offence at what I was able to pay, and not have been much the worse. But I have none, and therefore I must ask you to proportion the fine to my means. Well, perhaps I could afford a mina, and therefore I propose that penalty: Plato, Crito, Critobulus, and Apoll odorus, my friends here, bid me say thirty minae, and they will be the sureties. Let thirty minae be the penalty; for which sum they will be ample security to y ou. Not much time will be gained, O Athenians, in return for the evil name which you will get from the detractors of the city, who will say that you killed Socrates , a wise man; for they will call me wise, even although I am not wise, when they want to reproach you. If you had waited a little while, your desire would have been fulfilled in the course of nature. For I am far advanced in years, as you m ay perceive, and not far from death. I am speaking now not to all of you, but on ly to those who have condemned me to death. And I have another thing to say to t hem: you think that I was convicted because I had no words of the sort which wou ld have procured my acquittalI mean, if I had thought fit to leave nothing undone or unsaid. Not so; the deficiency which led to my conviction was not of wordscer tainly not. But I had not the boldness or impudence or inclination to address yo u as you would have liked me to do, weeping and wailing and lamenting, and sayin g and doing many things which you have been accustomed to hear from others, and which, as I maintain, are unworthy of me. I thought at the time that I ought not to do anything common or mean when in danger: nor do I now repent of the style of my defence; I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in y our manner and live. For neither in war nor yet at law ought I or any man to use every way of escaping death. Often in battle there can be no doubt that if a ma n will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may es cape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a ma n is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not to avoid death, but to avoid unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me, and my accusers are kee n and quick, and the faster runner, who is unrighteousness, has overtaken them. And now I depart hence condemned by you to suffer the penalty of death,they too g o their ways condemned by the truth to suffer the penalty of villainy and wrong; and I must abide by my awardlet them abide by theirs. I suppose that these thing s may be regarded as fated,and I think that they are well. And now, O men who hav e condemned me, I would fain prophesy to you; for I am about to die, and in the hour of death men are gifted with prophetic power. And I prophesy to you who are my murderers, that immediately after my departure punishment far heavier than y ou have inflicted on me will surely await you. Me you have killed because you wa nted to escape the accuser, and not to give an account of your lives. But that w ill not be as you suppose: far otherwise. For I say that there will be more accu sers of you than there are now; accusers whom hitherto I have restrained: and as they are younger they will be more inconsiderate with you, and you will be more offended at them. If you think that by killing men you can prevent some one fro m censuring your evil lives, you are mistaken; that is not a way of escape which is either possible or honourable; the easiest and the noblest way is not to 23

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology be disabling others, but to be improving yourselves. This is the prophecy which I utter before my departure to the judges who have condemned me. Friends, who wo uld have acquitted me, I would like also to talk with you about the thing which has come to pass, while the magistrates are busy, and before I go to the place a t which I must die. Stay then a little, for we may as well talk with one another while there is time. You are my friends, and I should like to show you the mean ing of this event which has happened to me. O my judgesfor you I may truly call j udgesI should like to tell you of a wonderful circumstance. Hitherto the divine f aculty of which the internal oracle is the source has constantly been in the hab it of opposing me even about trifles, if I was going to make a slip or error in any matter; and now as you see there has come upon me that which may be thought, and is generally believed to be, the last and worst evil. But the oracle made n o sign of opposition, either when I was leaving my house in the morning, or when I was on my way to the court, or while I was speaking, at anything which I was going to say; and yet I have often been stopped in the middle of a speech, but n ow in nothing I either said or did touching the matter in hand has the oracle op posed me. What do I take to be the explanation of this silence? I will tell you. It is an intimation that what has happened to me is a good, and that those of u s who think that death is an evil are in error. For the customary sign would sur ely have opposed me had I been going to evil and not to good. Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good; for one of two thingseither death is a state of nothingness and utter unco nsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from th is world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sl eep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by dreams, death will be an un speakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nig hts of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think tha t any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king will not find m any such days or nights, when compared with the others. Now if death be of such a nature, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. B ut if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead abide, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? If indeed when the pilgrim arrives in the world below, he is delivered from the professors of justice in this world, and finds the true judges who are said to give judgme nt there, Minos and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus and Triptolemus, and other sons of G od who were righteous in their own life, that pilgrimage will be worth making. W hat would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesio d and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again. I myself, too, sh all have a wonderful interest in there meeting and conversing with Palamedes, an d Ajax the son of Telamon, and any other ancient hero who has suffered death thr ough an unjust judgment; and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in com paring my own sufferings with theirs. Above all, I shall then be able to continu e my search into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in the next ; and I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not. Wha t would not a man give, O judges, to be able to examine the leader of the great Trojan expedition; or Odysseus or Sisyphus, or numberless others, men and women too! What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking the m questions! In another world they do not put a man to death for asking question s: assuredly not. For besides being happier than we are, they will be immortal, if what is said is true. 24

TheDialoguesofPlato:Apology Wherefore, O judges, be of good cheer about death, and know of a certainty, that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death. He and his are not neglected by the gods; nor has my own approaching end happened by mere chan ce. But I see clearly that the time had arrived when it was better for me to die and be released from trouble; wherefore the oracle gave no sign. For which reas on, also, I am not angry with my condemners, or with my accusers; they have done me no harm, although they did not mean to do me any good; and for this I may ge ntly blame them. Still I have a favour to ask of them. When my sons are grown up , I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble th em, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really noth ing,then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for whic h they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, both I and my sons will have received justice at yo ur hands. The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our waysI to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows. 25

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides The Project Gutenberg EBook of Charmides, by Plato This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may c opy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Licen se included with this eBook or online at Title: Charmides Author: Plato Translator: Benjamin Jowett Release Date: August 15, 2008 [EBook #1580] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CHARMIDES *** Produced by Sue Asscher, and David Widger THE DIALOGUES OF PLATO CHARMIDES By Plato Translated into English with Analyses and Introductions By B. Jowett, M.A. 26

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Master of Balliol College Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Oxford Doctor in Theology of the University of Leyden TO MY FORMER PUPILS in Balliol College and in the University of Oxford who during fifty years have b een the best of friends to me these volumes are inscribed in grateful recognitio n of their never failing attachment. The additions and alterations which have be en made, both in the Introductions and in the Text of this Edition, affect at le ast a third of the work. Having regard to the extent of these alterations, and t o the annoyance which is naturally felt by the owner of a book at the possession of it in an inferior form, and still more keenly by the writer himself, who mus t always desire to be read as he is at his best, I have thought that the possess or of either of the former Editions (1870 and 1876) might wish to exchange it fo r the present one. I have therefore arranged that those who would like to make t his exchange, on depositing a perfect and undamaged copy of the first or second Edition with any agent of the Clarendon Press, shall be entitled to receive a co py of a new Edition at half-price. PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION. The Text which has been mostly followed in this Translation of Plato is the late st 8vo. edition of Stallbaum; the principal deviations are noted at the bottom o f the page. I have to acknowledge many obligations to old friends and pupils. Th ese are:Mr. John Purves, Fellow of Balliol College, with whom I have revised abou t half of the entire Translation; the Rev. Professor Campbell, of St. Andrews, w ho has helped me in the revision of several parts of the work, especially of the Theaetetus, Sophist, and Politicus; Mr. Robinson Ellis, Fellow of Trinity Colle ge, and Mr. Alfred Robinson, Fellow of New College, who read with me the Cratylu s and the Gorgias; Mr. Paravicini, Student of Christ Church, who assisted me in the Symposium; Mr. Raper, Fellow of Queen's College, Mr. Monro, Fellow of Oriel College, and Mr. Shadwell, Student of Christ Church, who gave me similar assista nce in the Laws. Dr. Greenhill, of Hastings, has also kindly sent me remarks on the physiological part of the Timaeus, which I have inserted as corrections unde r the head of errata at the end of the Introduction. The degree of accuracy whic h I have been enabled to attain is in great measure due to these gentlemen, and I heartily thank them for the pains and time which they have bestowed on my work . 27

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides I have further to explain how far I have received help from other labourers in t he same field. The books which I have found of most use are Steinhart and Muller 's German Translation of Plato with Introductions; Zeller's 'Philosophie der Gri echen,' and 'Platonische Studien;' Susemihl's 'Genetische Entwickelung der Palto nischen Philosophie;' Hermann's 'Geschichte der Platonischen Philosophie;' Bonit z, 'Platonische Studien;' Stallbaum's Notes and Introductions; Professor Campbel l's editions of the 'Theaetetus,' the 'Sophist,' and the 'Politicus;' Professor Thompson's 'Phaedrus;' Th. Martin's 'Etudes sur le Timee;' Mr. Poste's edition a nd translation of the 'Philebus;' the Translation of the 'Republic,' by Messrs. Davies and Vaughan, and the Translation of the 'Gorgias,' by Mr. Cope. I have al so derived much assistance from the great work of Mr. Grote, which contains exce llent analyses of the Dialogues, and is rich in original thoughts and observatio ns. I agree with him in rejecting as futile the attempt of Schleiermacher and ot hers to arrange the Dialogues of Plato into a harmonious whole. Any such arrange ment appears to me not only to be unsupported by evidence, but to involve an ana chronism in the history of philosophy. There is a common spirit in the writings of Plato, but not a unity of design in the whole, nor perhaps a perfect unity in any single Dialogue. The hypothesis of a general plan which is worked out in th e successive Dialogues is an after-thought of the critics who have attributed a system to writings belonging to an age when system had not as yet taken possessi on of philosophy. If Mr. Grote should do me the honour to read any portion of th is work he will probably remark that I have endeavoured to approach Plato from a point of view which is opposed to his own. The aim of the Introductions in thes e volumes has been to represent Plato as the father of Idealism, who is not to b e measured by the standard of utilitarianism or any other modern philosophical s ystem. He is the poet or maker of ideas, satisfying the wants of his own age, pr oviding the instruments of thought for future generations. He is no dreamer, but a great philosophical genius struggling with the unequal conditions of light an d knowledge under which he is living. He may be illustrated by the writings of m oderns, but he must be interpreted by his own, and by his place in the history o f philosophy. We are not concerned to determine what is the residuum of truth wh ich remains for ourselves. His truth may not be our truth, and nevertheless may have an extraordinary value and interest for us. I cannot agree with Mr. Grote i n admitting as genuine all the writings commonly attributed to Plato in antiquit y, any more than with Schaarschmidt and some other German critics who reject nea rly half of them. The German critics, to whom I refer, proceed chiefly on ground s of internal evidence; they appear to me to lay too much stress on the variety of doctrine and style, which must be equally acknowledged as a fact, even in the Dialogues regarded by Schaarschmidt as genuine, e.g. in the Phaedrus, or Sympos ium, when compared with the Laws. He who admits works so different in style and matter to have been the composition of the same author, need have no difficulty in admitting the Sophist or the Politicus. (The negative argument adduced by the same school of critics, which is based on the silence of Aristotle, is not wort hy of much consideration. For why should Aristotle, because he has quoted severa l Dialogues of Plato, have quoted them all? Something must be allowed to chance, and to the nature of the subjects treated of in them.) On the other hand, Mr. G rote trusts mainly to the Alexandrian Canon. But I hardly think that we are just ified in attributing much weight to the authority of the Alexandrian librarians in an age when there was no regular publication of books, and every temptation t o forge them; and in which the writings of a school were naturally attributed to the founder of the school. And even without intentional fraud, there was an inc lination to believe rather than to enquire. Would Mr. Grote accept as genuine al l the writings which he finds in 28

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides the lists of learned ancients attributed to Hippocrates, to Xenophon, to Aristot le? The Alexandrian Canon of the Platonic writings is deprived of credit by the admission of the Epistles, which are not only unworthy of Plato, and in several passages plagiarized from him, but flagrantly at variance with historical fact. It will be seen also that I do not agree with Mr. Grote's views about the Sophis ts; nor with the low estimate which he has formed of Plato's Laws; nor with his opinion respecting Plato's doctrine of the rotation of the earth. But I 'am not going to lay hands on my father Parmenides' (Soph.), who will, I hope, forgive m e for differing from him on these points. I cannot close this Preface without ex pressing my deep respect for his noble and gentle character, and the great servi ces which he has rendered to Greek Literature. Balliol College, January, 1871. PREFACE TO THE SECOND AND THIRD EDITIONS. In publishing a Second Edition (1875) of the Dialogues of Plato in English, I ha d to acknowledge the assistance of several friends: of the Rev. G.G. Bradley, Ma ster of University College, now Dean of Westminster, who sent me some valuable r emarks on the Phaedo; of Dr. Greenhill, who had again revised a portion of the T imaeus; of Mr. R.L. Nettleship, Fellow and Tutor of Balliol College, to whom I w as indebted for an excellent criticism of the Parmenides; and, above all, of the Rev. Professor Campbell of St. Andrews, and Mr. Paravicini, late Student of Chr ist Church and Tutor of Balliol College, with whom I had read over the greater p art of the translation. I was also indebted to Mr. Evelyn Abbott, Fellow and Tut or of Balliol College, for a complete and accurate index. In this, the Third Edi tion, I am under very great obligations to Mr. Matthew Knight, who has not only favoured me with valuable suggestions throughout the work, but has largely exten ded the Index (from 61 to 175 pages) and translated the Eryxias and Second Alcib iades; and to Mr Frank Fletcher, of Balliol College, my Secretary. I am also con siderably indebted to Mr. J.W. Mackail, late Fellow of Balliol College, who read over the Republic in the Second Edition and noted several inaccuracies. In both editions the Introductions to the Dialogues have been enlarged, and essays on s ubjects having an affinity to the Platonic Dialogues have been introduced into s everal of them. The analyses have been corrected, and innumerable alterations ha ve been made in the Text. There have been added also, in the Third Edition, head ings to the pages and a marginal analysis to the text of each dialogue. At the e nd of a long task, the translator may without impropriety point out the difficul ties which he has had to encounter. These have been far greater than he would ha ve anticipated; nor is he at all sanguine that he has succeeded in overcoming th em. Experience has made him feel that a translation, like a picture, is dependen t for its effect on very minute touches; and that it is a work of infinite pains , to be returned to in many moods and viewed in different lights. 29

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides I. An English translation ought to be idiomatic and interesting, not only to the scholar, but to the unlearned reader. Its object should not simply be to render the words of one language into the words of another or to preserve the construc tion and order of the original;this is the ambition of a schoolboy, who wishes to show that he has made a good use of his Dictionary and Grammar; but is quite un worthy of the translator, who seeks to produce on his reader an impression simil ar or nearly similar to that produced by the original. To him the feeling should be more important than the exact word. He should remember Dryden's quaint admon ition not to 'lacquey by the side of his author, but to mount up behind him.' (D edication to the Aeneis.) He must carry in his mind a comprehensive view of the whole work, of what has preceded and of what is to follow,as well as of the meani ng of particular passages. His version should be based, in the first instance, o n an intimate knowledge of the text; but the precise order and arrangement of th e words may be left to fade out of sight, when the translation begins to take sh ape. He must form a general idea of the two languages, and reduce the one to the terms of the other. His work should be rhythmical and varied, the right admixtu re of words and syllables, and even of letters, should be carefully attended to; above all, it should be equable in style. There must also be quantity, which is necessary in prose as well as in verse: clauses, sentences, paragraphs, must be in due proportion. Metre and even rhyme may be rarely admitted; though neither is a legitimate element of prose writing, they may help to lighten a cumbrous ex pression (Symp.). The translation should retain as far as possible the character istic qualities of the ancient writerhis freedom, grace, simplicity, stateliness, weight, precision; or the best part of him will be lost to the English reader. It should read as an original work, and should also be the most faithful transcr ipt which can be made of the language from which the translation is taken, consi stently with the first requirement of all, that it be English. Further, the tran slation being English, it should also be perfectly intelligible in itself withou t reference to the Greek, the English being really the more lucid and exact of t he two languages. In some respects it may be maintained that ordinary English wr iting, such as the newspaper article, is superior to Plato: at any rate it is co uched in language which is very rarely obscure. On the other hand, the greatest writers of Greece, Thucydides, Plato, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Pindar, Demosthenes, are generally those which are found to be most difficult and to diverge most wi dely from the English idiom. The translator will often have to convert the more abstract Greek into the more concrete English, or vice versa, and he ought not t o force upon one language the character of another. In some cases, where the ord er is confused, the expression feeble, the emphasis misplaced, or the sense some what faulty, he will not strive in his rendering to reproduce these characterist ics, but will re-write the passage as his author would have written it at first, had he not been 'nodding'; and he will not hesitate to supply anything which, o wing to the genius of the language or some accident of composition, is omitted i n the Greek, but is necessary to make the English clear and consecutive. It is d ifficult to harmonize all these conflicting elements. In a translation of Plato what may be termed the interests of the Greek and English are often at war with one another. In framing the English sentence we are insensibly diverted from the exact meaning of the Greek; when we return to the Greek we are apt to cramp and overlay the English. We substitute, we compromise, we give and take, we add a l ittle here and leave out a little there. The translator may sometimes be allowed to sacrifice minute accuracy for the sake of clearness and sense. But he is not therefore at liberty to omit words and turns of expression which the English la nguage is quite capable of supplying. He must be patient and self-controlled; he must not be easily run away with. Let him never allow the attraction of a favou rite expression, or a sonorous cadence, to overpower his better judgment, or thi nk much of an ornament which is out of keeping with the general character of his work. He must ever be 30

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides casting his eyes upwards from the copy to the original, and down again from the original to the copy (Rep.). His calling is not held in much honour by the world of scholars; yet he himself may be excused for thinking it a kind of glory to h ave lived so many years in the companionship of one of the greatest of human int elligences, and in some degree, more perhaps than others, to have had the privil ege of understanding him (Sir Joshua Reynolds' Lectures: Disc. xv.). There are f undamental differences in Greek and English, of which some may be managed while others remain intractable. (1). The structure of the Greek language is partly ad versative and alternative, and partly inferential; that is to say, the members o f a sentence are either opposed to one another, or one of them expresses the cau se or effect or condition or reason of another. The two tendencies may be called the horizontal and perpendicular lines of the language; and the opposition or i nference is often much more one of words than of ideas. But modern languages hav e rubbed off this adversative and inferential form: they have fewer links of con nection, there is less mortar in the interstices, and they are content to place sentences side by side, leaving their relation to one another to be gathered fro m their position or from the context. The difficulty of preserving the effect of the Greek is increased by the want of adversative and inferential particles in English, and by the nice sense of tautology which characterizes all modern langu ages. We cannot have two 'buts' or two 'fors' in the same sentence where the Gre ek repeats (Greek). There is a similar want of particles expressing the various gradations of objective and subjective thought(Greek) and the like, which are so thickly scattered over the Greek page. Further, we can only realize to a very im perfect degree the common distinction between (Greek), and the combination of th e two suggests a subtle shade of negation which cannot be expressed in English. And while English is more dependent than Greek upon the apposition of clauses an d sentences, yet there is a difficulty in using this form of construction owing to the want of case endings. For the same reason there cannot be an equal variet y in the order of words or an equal nicety of emphasis in English as in Greek. ( 2) The formation of the sentence and of the paragraph greatly differs in Greek a nd English. The lines by which they are divided are generally much more marked i n modern languages than in ancient. Both sentences and paragraphs are more preci se and definitethey do not run into one another. They are also more regularly dev eloped from within. The sentence marks another step in an argument or a narrativ e or a statement; in reading a paragraph we silently turn over the page and arri ve at some new view or aspect of the subject. Whereas in Plato we are not always certain where a sentence begins and ends; and paragraphs are few and far betwee n. The language is distributed in a different way, and less articulated than in English. For it was long before the true use of the period was attained by the c lassical writers both in poetry or prose; it was (Greek). The balance of sentenc es and the introduction of paragraphs at suitable intervals must not be neglecte d if the harmony of the English language is to be preserved. And still a caution has to be added on the other side, that we must avoid giving it a numerical or mechanical character. (3) This, however, is not one of the greatest difficulties of the translator; much greater is that which arises from the restriction of th e use of the genders. Men and women in English are masculine and feminine, and t here is a similar distinction of sex in the words denoting animals; but all thin gs else, whether outward objects or abstract ideas, are relegated to the class o f neuters. Hardly in some flight of poetry do we ever endue any of them with the characteristics of a sentient being, and then only by speaking of them in the f eminine gender. The virtues may be pictured in female forms, but they are not so described in language; a ship is humorously supposed to be the sailor's bride; more doubtful 31

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides are the personifications of church and country as females. Now the genius of the Greek language is the opposite of this. The same tendency to personification wh ich is seen in the Greek mythology is common also in the language; and genders a re attributed to things as well as persons according to their various degrees of strength and weakness; or from fanciful resemblances to the male or female form , or some analogy too subtle to be discovered. When the gender of any object was once fixed, a similar gender was naturally assigned to similar objects, or to w ords of similar formation. This use of genders in the denotation of objects or i deas not only affects the words to which genders are attributed, but the words w ith which they are construed or connected, and passes into the general character of the style. Hence arises a difficulty in translating Greek into English which cannot altogether be overcome. Shall we speak of the soul and its qualities, of virtue, power, wisdom, and the like, as feminine or neuter? The usage of the En glish language does not admit of the former, and yet the life and beauty of the style are impaired by the latter. Often the translator will have recourse to the repetition of the word, or to the ambiguous 'they,' 'their,' etc.; for fear of spoiling the effect of the sentence by introducing 'it.' Collective nouns in Gre ek and English create a similar but lesser awkwardness. (4) To use of relation i s far more extended in Greek than in English. Partly the greater variety of gend ers and cases makes the connexion of relative and antecedent less ambiguous: par tly also the greater number of demonstrative and relative pronouns, and the use of the article, make the correlation of ideas simpler and more natural. The Gree k appears to have had an ear or intelligence for a long and complicated sentence which is rarely to be found in modern nations; and in order to bring the Greek down to the level of the modern, we must break up the long sentence into two or more short ones. Neither is the same precision required in Greek as in Latin or English, nor in earlier Greek as in later; there was nothing shocking to the con temporary of Thucydides and Plato in anacolutha and repetitions. In such cases t he genius of the English language requires that the translation should be more i ntelligible than the Greek. The want of more distinctions between the demonstrat ive pronouns is also greatly felt. Two genitives dependent on one another, unles s familiarised by idiom, have an awkward effect in English. Frequently the noun has to take the place of the pronoun. 'This' and 'that' are found repeating them selves to weariness in the rough draft of a translation. As in the previous case , while the feeling of the modern language is more opposed to tautology, there i s also a greater difficulty in avoiding it. (5) Though no precise rule can be la id down about the repetition of words, there seems to be a kind of impertinence in presenting to the reader the same thought in the same words, repeated twice o ver in the same passage without any new aspect or modification of it. And the ev asion of tautologythat is, the substitution of one word of precisely the same mea ning for anotheris resented by us equally with the repetition of words. Yet on th e other hand the least difference of meaning or the least change of form from a substantive to an adjective, or from a participle to a verb, will often remedy t he unpleasant effect. Rarely and only for the sake of emphasis or clearness can we allow an important word to be used twice over in two successive sentences or even in the same paragraph. The particles and pronouns, as they are of most freq uent occurrence, are also the most troublesome. Strictly speaking, except a few of the commonest of them, 'and,' 'the,' etc., they ought not to occur twice in t he same sentence. But the Greek has no such precise rules; and hence any literal translation of a Greek author is full of tautology. The tendency of modern lang uages is to become more correct as well as more perspicuous than ancient. And, t herefore, while the English translator is limited in the power of expressing rel ation or connexion, by the law of his own language increased precision and 32

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides also increased clearness are required of him. The familiar use of logic, and the progress of science, have in these two respects raised the standard. But modern languages, while they have become more exacting in their demands, are in many w ays not so well furnished with powers of expression as the ancient classical one s. Such are a few of the difficulties which have to be overcome in the work of t ranslation; and we are far from having exhausted the list. (6) The excellence of a translation will consist, not merely in the faithful rendering of words, or i n the composition of a sentence only, or yet of a single paragraph, but in the c olour and style of the whole work. Equability of tone is best attained by the ex clusive use of familiar and idiomatic words. But great care must be taken; for a n idiomatic phrase, if an exception to the general style, is of itself a disturb ing element. No word, however expressive and exact, should be employed, which ma kes the reader stop to think, or unduly attracts attention by difficulty and pec uliarity, or disturbs the effect of the surrounding language. In general the sty le of one author is not appropriate to another; as in society, so in letters, we expect every man to have 'a good coat of his own,' and not to dress himself out in the rags of another. (a) Archaic expressions are therefore to be avoided. Eq uivalents may be occasionally drawn from Shakspere, who is the common property o f us all; but they must be used sparingly. For, like some other men of genius of the Elizabethan and Jacobean age, he outdid the capabilities of the language, a nd many of the expressions which he introduced have been laid aside and have dro pped out of use. (b) A similar principle should be observed in the employment of Scripture. Having a greater force and beauty than other language, and a religio us association, it disturbs the even flow of the style. It may be used to reprod uce in the translation the quaint effect of some antique phrase in the original, but rarely; and when adopted, it should have a certain freshness and a suitable 'entourage.' It is strange to observe that the most effective use of Scripture phraseology arises out of the application of it in a sense not intended by the a uthor. (c) Another caution: metaphors differ in different languages, and the tra nslator will often be compelled to substitute one for another, or to paraphrase them, not giving word for word, but diffusing over several words the more concen trated thought of the original. The Greek of Plato often goes beyond the English in its imagery: compare Laws, (Greek); Rep.; etc. Or again the modern word, whi ch in substance is the nearest equivalent to the Greek, may be found to include associations alien to Greek life: e.g. (Greek), 'jurymen,' (Greek), 'the bourgeo isie.' (d) The translator has also to provide expressions for philosophical term s of very indefinite meaning in the more definite language of modern philosophy. And he must not allow discordant elements to enter into the work. For example, in translating Plato, it would equally be an anachronism to intrude on him the f eeling and spirit of the Jewish or Christian Scriptures or the technical terms o f the Hegelian or Darwinian philosophy. (7) As no two words are precise equivale nts (just as no two leaves of the forest are exactly similar), it is a mistaken attempt at precision always to translate the same Greek word by the same English word. There is no reason why in the New Testament (Greek) should always be rend ered 'righteousness,' or (Greek) 'covenant.' In such cases the translator may be allowed to employ two wordssometimes when the two meanings occur in the same pas sage, varying them by an 'or'e.g. (Greek), 'science' or 'knowledge,' (Greek), 'id ea' or 'class,' (Greek), 'temperance' or 'prudence,'at the point where the change of meaning occurs. If translations are intended not for the Greek scholar but f or the general reader, their worst fault will be that they sacrifice the general effect and meaning to the over-precise rendering of words and forms of speech. 33

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides (8) There is no kind of literature in English which corresponds to the Greek Dia logue; nor is the English language easily adapted to it. The rapidity and abrupt ness of question and answer, the constant repetition of (Greek), etc., which Cic ero avoided in Latin (de Amicit), the frequent occurrence of expletives, would, if reproduced in a translation, give offence to the reader. Greek has a freer an d more frequent use of the Interrogative, and is of a more passionate and emotio nal character, and therefore lends itself with greater readiness to the dialogue form. Most of the so-called English Dialogues are but poor imitations of Plato, which fall very far short of the original. The breath of conversation, the subt le adjustment of question and answer, the lively play of fancy, the power of dra wing characters, are wanting in them. But the Platonic dialogue is a drama as we ll as a dialogue, of which Socrates is the central figure, and there are lesser performers as well:the insolence of Thrasymachus, the anger of Callicles and Anyt us, the patronizing style of Protagoras, the selfconsciousness of Prodicus and H ippias, are all part of the entertainment. To reproduce this living image the sa me sort of effort is required as in translating poetry. The language, too, is of a finer quality; the mere prose English is slow in lending itself to the form o f question and answer, and so the ease of conversation is lost, and at the same time the dialectical precision with which the steps of the argument are drawn ou t is apt to be impaired. II. In the Introductions to the Dialogues there have be en added some essays on modern philosophy, and on political and social life. The chief subjects discussed in these are Utility, Communism, the Kantian and Hegel ian philosophies, Psychology, and the Origin of Language. (There have been added also in the Third Edition remarks on other subjects. A list of the most importa nt of these additions is given at the end of this Preface.) Ancient and modern p hilosophy throw a light upon one another: but they should be compared, not confo unded. Although the connexion between them is sometimes accidental, it is often real. The same questions are discussed by them under different conditions of lan guage and civilization; but in some cases a mere word has survived, while nothin g or hardly anything of the pre-Socratic, Platonic, or Aristotelian meaning is r etained. There are other questions familiar to the moderns, which have no place in ancient philosophy. The world has grown older in two thousand years, and has enlarged its stock of ideas and methods of reasoning. Yet the germ of modern tho ught is found in ancient, and we may claim to have inherited, notwithstanding ma ny accidents of time and place, the spirit of Greek philosophy. There is, howeve r, no continuous growth of the one into the other, but a new beginning, partly a rtificial, partly arising out of the questionings of the mind itself, and also r eceiving a stimulus from the study of ancient writings. Considering the great an d fundamental differences which exist in ancient and modern philosophy, it seems best that we should at first study them separately, and seek for the interpreta tion of either, especially of the ancient, from itself only, comparing the same author with himself and with his contemporaries, and with the general state of t hought and feeling prevalent in his age. Afterwards comes the remoter light whic h they cast on one another. We begin to feel that the ancients had the same thou ghts as ourselves, the same difficulties which characterize all periods of trans ition, almost the same opposition between science and religion. Although we cann ot maintain that ancient and modern philosophy are one and continuous (as has be en affirmed with more truth respecting ancient and modern history), for they are separated by an interval of a thousand years, yet they seem to recur in a sort of cycle, and we are surprised to find that the new is ever old, and that the te aching of the past has still a meaning for us. 34

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides III. In the preface to the first edition I expressed a strong opinion at varianc e with Mr. Grote's, that the so-called Epistles of Plato were spurious. His frie nd and editor, Professor Bain, thinks that I ought to give the reasons why I dif fer from so eminent an authority. Reserving the fuller discussion of the questio n for another place, I will shortly defend my opinion by the following arguments : (a) Because almost all epistles purporting to be of the classical age of Greek literature are forgeries. (Compare Bentley's Works (Dyce's Edition).) Of all doc uments this class are the least likely to be preserved and the most likely to be invented. The ancient world swarmed with them; the great libraries stimulated t he demand for them; and at a time when there was no regular publication of books , they easily crept into the world. (b) When one epistle out of a number is spur ious, the remainder of the series cannot be admitted to be genuine, unless there be some independent ground for thinking them so: when all but one are spurious, overwhelming evidence is required of the genuineness of the one: when they are all similar in style or motive, like witnesses who agree in the same tale, they stand or fall together. But no one, not even Mr. Grote, would maintain that all the Epistles of Plato are genuine, and very few critics think that more than one of them is so. And they are clearly all written from the same motive, whether s erious or only literary. Nor is there an example in Greek antiquity of a series of Epistles, continuous and yet coinciding with a succession of events extending over a great number of years. The external probability therefore against them i s enormous, and the internal probability is not less: for they are trivial and u nmeaning, devoid of delicacy and subtlety, wanting in a single fine expression. And even if this be matter of dispute, there can be no dispute that there are fo und in them many plagiarisms, inappropriately borrowed, which is a common note o f forgery. They imitate Plato, who never imitates either himself or any one else ; reminiscences of the Republic and the Laws are continually recurring in them; they are too like him and also too unlike him, to be genuine (see especially Kar sten, Commentio Critica de Platonis quae feruntur Epistolis). They are full of e gotism, self-assertion, affectation, faults which of all writers Plato was most careful to avoid, and into which he was least likely to fall. They abound in obs curities, irrelevancies, solecisms, pleonasms, inconsistencies, awkwardnesses of construction, wrong uses of words. They also contain historical blunders, such as the statement respecting Hipparinus and Nysaeus, the nephews of Dion, who are said to 'have been well inclined to philosophy, and well able to dispose the mi nd of their brother Dionysius in the same course,' at a time when they could not have been more than six or seven years of agealso foolish allusions, such as the comparison of the Athenian empire to the empire of Darius, which show a spirit very different from that of Plato; and mistakes of fact, as e.g. about the Thirt y Tyrants, whom the writer of the letters seems to have confused with certain in ferior magistrates, making them in all fifty-one. These palpable errors and absu rdities are absolutely irreconcilable with their genuineness. And as they appear to have a common parentage, the more they are studied, the more they will be fo und to furnish evidence against themselves. The Seventh, which is thought to be the most important of these Epistles, has affinities with the Third and the Eigh th, and is quite as impossible and inconsistent as the rest. It is therefore inv olved in the same condemnation.The final conclusion is that neither the Seventh n or any other of them, when carefully analyzed, can be imagined to have proceeded from the hand or mind of Plato. The other testimonies to the voyages of Plato t o Sicily and the court of Dionysius are all of them later by several centuries t han the events to which they refer. No extant writer mentions them older than Ci cero and Cornelius Nepos. It does not seem impossible that so attractive a theme as the meeting of a 35

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides philosopher and a tyrant, once imagined by the genius of a Sophist, may have pas sed into a romance which became famous in Hellas and the world. It may have crea ted one of the mists of history, like the Trojan war or the legend of Arthur, wh ich we are unable to penetrate. In the age of Cicero, and still more in that of Diogenes Laertius and Appuleius, many other legends had gathered around the pers onality of Plato,more voyages, more journeys to visit tyrants and Pythagorean phi losophers. But if, as we agree with Karsten in supposing, they are the forgery o f some rhetorician or sophist, we cannot agree with him in also supposing that t hey are of any historical value, the rather as there is no early independent tes timony by which they are supported or with which they can be compared. IV. There is another subject to which I must briefly call attention, lest I should seem t o have overlooked it. Dr. Henry Jackson, of Trinity College, Cambridge, in a ser ies of articles which he has contributed to the Journal of Philology, has put fo rward an entirely new explanation of the Platonic 'Ideas.' He supposes that in t he mind of Plato they took, at different times in his life, two essentially diff erent forms:an earlier one which is found chiefly in the Republic and the Phaedo, and a later, which appears in the Theaetetus, Philebus, Sophist, Politicus, Par menides, Timaeus. In the first stage of his philosophy Plato attributed Ideas to all things, at any rate to all things which have classes or common notions: the se he supposed to exist only by participation in them. In the later Dialogues he no longer included in them manufactured articles and ideas of relation, but res tricted them to 'types of nature,' and having become convinced that the many can not be parts of the one, for the idea of participation in them he substituted im itation of them. To quote Dr. Jackson's own expressions, 'whereas in the period o f the Republic and the Phaedo, it was proposed to pass through ontology to the s ciences, in the period of the Parmenides and the Philebus, it is proposed to pas s through the sciences to ontology': or, as he repeats in nearly the same words,' whereas in the Republic and in the Phaedo he had dreamt of passing through ontol ogy to the sciences, he is now content to pass through the sciences to ontology. ' This theory is supposed to be based on Aristotle's Metaphysics, a passage cont aining an account of the ideas, which hitherto scholars have found impossible to reconcile with the statements of Plato himself. The preparations for the new de parture are discovered in the Parmenides and in the Theaetetus; and it is said t o be expressed under a different form by the (Greek) and the (Greek) of the Phil ebus. The (Greek) of the Philebus is the principle which gives form and measure to the (Greek); and in the 'Later Theory' is held to be the (Greek) or (Greek) w hich converts the Infinite or Indefinite into ideas. They are neither (Greek) no r (Greek), but belong to the (Greek) which partakes of both. With great respect for the learning and ability of Dr. Jackson, I find myself unable to agree in th is newly fashioned doctrine of the Ideas, which he ascribes to Plato. I have not the space to go into the question fully; but I will briefly state some objectio ns which are, I think, fatal to it. (1) First, the foundation of his argument is laid in the Metaphysics of Aristotle. But we cannot argue, either from the Meta physics, or from any other of the philosophical treatises of Aristotle, to the d ialogues of Plato until we have ascertained the relation in which his so-called works stand to the philosopher himself. There is of course no doubt of the great influence exercised upon Greece and upon the world by Aristotle and his philoso phy. But on the other hand almost every one who is capable of understanding the subject acknowledges that his writings have not come down to us in an authentic form like most of the dialogues of Plato. How much of them is to be ascribed to Aristotle's 36

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides own hand, how much is due to his successors in the Peripatetic School, is a ques tion which has never been determined, and probably never can be, because the sol ution of it depends upon internal evidence only. To 'the height of this great ar gument' I do not propose to ascend. But one little fact, not irrelevant to the p resent discussion, will show how hopeless is the attempt to explain Plato out of the writings of Aristotle. In the chapter of the Metaphysics quoted by Dr. Jack son, about two octavo pages in length, there occur no less than seven or eight r eferences to Plato, although nothing really corresponding to them can be found i n his extant writings:a small matter truly; but what a light does it throw on the character of the entire book in which they occur! We can hardly escape from the conclusion that they are not statements of Aristotle respecting Plato, but of a later generation of Aristotelians respecting a later generation of Platonists. (Compare the striking remark of the great Scaliger respecting the Magna Moralia:H aec non sunt Aristotelis, tamen utitur auctor Aristotelis nomine tanquam suo.) ( 2) There is no hint in Plato's own writings that he was conscious of having made any change in the Doctrine of Ideas such as Dr. Jackson attributes to him, alth ough in the Republic the platonic Socrates speaks of 'a longer and a shorter way ', and of a way in which his disciple Glaucon 'will be unable to follow him'; al so of a way of Ideas, to which he still holds fast, although it has often desert ed him (Philebus, Phaedo), and although in the later dialogues and in the Laws t he reference to Ideas disappears, and Mind claims her own (Phil.; Laws). No hint is given of what Plato meant by the 'longer way' (Rep.), or 'the way in which G laucon was unable to follow'; or of the relation of Mind to the Ideas. It might be said with truth that the conception of the Idea predominates in the first hal f of the Dialogues, which, according to the order adopted in this work, ends wit h the Republic, the 'conception of Mind' and a way of speaking more in agreement with modern terminology, in the latter half. But there is no reason to suppose that Plato's theory, or, rather, his various theories, of the Ideas underwent an y definite change during his period of authorship. They are substantially the sa me in the twelfth Book of the Laws as in the Meno and Phaedo; and since the Laws were written in the last decade of his life, there is no time to which this cha nge of opinions can be ascribed. It is true that the theory of Ideas takes sever al different forms, not merely an earlier and a later one, in the various Dialog ues. They are personal and impersonal, ideals and ideas, existing by participati on or by imitation, one and many, in different parts of his writings or even in the same passage. They are the universal definitions of Socrates, and at the sam e time 'of more than mortal knowledge' (Rep.). But they are always the negations of sense, of matter, of generation, of the particular: they are always the subj ects of knowledge and not of opinion; and they tend, not to diversity, but to un ity. Other entities or intelligences are akin to them, but not the same with the m, such as mind, measure, limit, eternity, essence (Philebus; Timaeus): these an d similar terms appear to express the same truths from a different point of view , and to belong to the same sphere with them. But we are not justified, therefor e, in attempting to identify them, any more than in wholly opposing them. The gr eat oppositions of the sensible and intellectual, the unchangeable and the trans ient, in whatever form of words expressed, are always maintained in Plato. But t he lesser logical distinctions, as we should call them, whether of ontology or p redication, which troubled the pre-Socratic philosophy and came to the front in Aristotle, are variously discussed and explained. Thus far we admit inconsistenc y in Plato, but no further. He lived in an age before logic and system had wholl y permeated language, and therefore we must not always expect to find in him sys tematic arrangement or logical precision:'poema magis putandum.' But he is always true to his own context, the careful study of which is of more value to the int erpreter than all the commentators and scholiasts put together. 37

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides (3) The conclusions at which Dr. Jackson has arrived are such as might be expect ed to follow from his method of procedure. For he takes words without regard to their connection, and pieces together different parts of dialogues in a purely a rbitrary manner, although there is no indication that the author intended the tw o passages to be so combined, or that when he appears to be experimenting on the different points of view from which a subject of philosophy may be regarded, he is secretly elaborating a system. By such a use of language any premises may be made to lead to any conclusion. I am not one of those who believe Plato to have been a mystic or to have had hidden meanings; nor do I agree with Dr. Jackson i n thinking that 'when he is precise and dogmatic, he generally contrives to intr oduce an element of obscurity into the expostion' (J. of Philol.). The great mas ter of language wrote as clearly as he could in an age when the minds of men wer e clouded by controversy, and philosophical terms had not yet acquired a fixed m eaning. I have just said that Plato is to be interpreted by his context; and I d o not deny that in some passages, especially in the Republic and Laws, the conte xt is at a greater distance than would be allowable in a modern writer. But we a re not therefore justified in connecting passages from different parts of his wr itings, or even from the same work, which he has not himself joined. We cannot a rgue from the Parmenides to the Philebus, or from either to the Sophist, or assu me that the Parmenides, the Philebus, and the Timaeus were 'written simultaneous ly,' or 'were intended to be studied in the order in which they are here named ( J. of Philol.) We have no right to connect statements which are only accidentall y similar. Nor is it safe for the author of a theory about ancient philosophy to argue from what will happen if his statements are rejected. For those consequen ces may never have entered into the mind of the ancient writer himself; and they are very likely to be modern consequences which would not have been understood by him. 'I cannot think,' says Dr. Jackson, 'that Plato would have changed his o pinions, but have nowhere explained the nature of the change.' But is it not muc h more improbable that he should have changed his opinions, and not stated in an unmistakable manner that the most essential principle of his philosophy had bee n reversed? It is true that a few of the dialogues, such as the Republic and the Timaeus, or the Theaetetus and the Sophist, or the Meno and the Apology, contai n allusions to one another. But these allusions are superficial and, except in t he case of the Republic and the Laws, have no philosophical importance. They do not affect the substance of the work. It may be remarked further that several of the dialogues, such as the Phaedrus, the Sophist, and the Parmenides, have more than one subject. But it does not therefore follow that Plato intended one dial ogue to succeed another, or that he begins anew in one dialogue a subject which he has left unfinished in another, or that even in the same dialogue he always i ntended the two parts to be connected with each other. We cannot argue from a ca sual statement found in the Parmenides to other statements which occur in the Ph ilebus. Much more truly is his own manner described by himself when he says that 'words are more plastic than wax' (Rep.), and 'whither the wind blows, the argu ment follows'. The dialogues of Plato are like poems, isolated and separate work s, except where they are indicated by the author himself to have an intentional sequence. It is this method of taking passages out of their context and placing them in a new connexion when they seem to confirm a preconceived theory, which i s the defect of Dr. Jackson's procedure. It may be compared, though not wholly t he same with it, to that method which the Fathers practised, sometimes called 't he mystical interpretation of Scripture,' in which isolated words are separated from their context, and receive any sense which the fancy of the interpreter may suggest. It is akin to the method employed by Schleiermacher of arranging the d ialogues of Plato in chronological order according to what he deems the true arr angement of the ideas contained in them. (Dr. Jackson is also inclined, having c onstructed a theory, to make the chronology of Plato's writings dependent upon 38

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides it (See J. of Philol. and elsewhere.) It may likewise be illustrated by the inge nuity of those who employ symbols to find in Shakespeare a hidden meaning. In th e three cases the error is nearly the same: words are taken out of their natural context, and thus become destitute of any real meaning. (4) According to Dr. Jac kson's 'Later Theory,' Plato's Ideas, which were once regarded as the summa gene ra of all things, are now to be explained as Forms or Types of some things only,t hat is to say, of natural objects: these we conceive imperfectly, but are always seeking in vain to have a more perfect notion of them. He says (J. of Philol.) that 'Plato hoped by the study of a series of hypothetical or provisional classi fications to arrive at one in which nature's distribution of kinds is approximat ely represented, and so to attain approximately to the knowledge of the ideas. B ut whereas in the Republic, and even in the Phaedo, though less hopefully, he ha d sought to convert his provisional definitions into final ones by tracing their connexion with the summum genus, the (Greek), in the Parmenides his aspirations are less ambitious,' and so on. But where does Dr. Jackson find any such notion as this in Plato or anywhere in ancient philosophy? Is it not an anachronism, g racious to the modern physical philosopher, and the more acceptable because it s eems to form a link between ancient and modern philosophy, and between physical and metaphysical science; but really unmeaning? (5) To this 'Later Theory' of Pl ato's Ideas I oppose the authority of Professor Zeller, who affirms that none of the passages to which Dr. Jackson appeals (Theaet.; Phil.; Tim.; Parm.) 'in the smallest degree prove his point'; and that in the second class of dialogues, in which the 'Later Theory of Ideas' is supposed to be found, quite as clearly as in the first, are admitted Ideas, not only of natural objects, but of properties , relations, works of art, negative notions (Theaet.; Parm.; Soph.); and that wh at Dr. Jackson distinguishes as the first class of dialogues from the second equ ally assert or imply that the relation of things to the Ideas, is one of partici pation in them as well as of imitation of them (Prof. Zeller's summary of his ow n review of Dr. Jackson, Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie.) In conclusion I may remark that in Plato's writings there is both unity, and also growth and de velopment; but that we must not intrude upon him either a system or a technical language. Balliol College, October, 1891. NOTE The chief additions to the Introductions in the Third Edition consist of Essays on the following subjects: 1. Language. 2. The decline of Greek Literature. 39

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides 3. The 'Ideas' of Plato and Modern Philosophy. 4. The myths of Plato. 5. The rel ation of the Republic, Statesman and Laws. 6. The legend of Atlantis. 7. Psychol ogy. 8. Comparison of the Laws of Plato with Spartan and Athenian Laws and Insti tutions. CHARMIDES. INTRODUCTION. The subject of the Charmides is Temperance or (Greek), a peculiarly Greek notion , which may also be rendered Moderation (Compare Cic. Tusc. '(Greek), quam soleo equidem tum temperantiam, tum moderationem appellare, nonnunquam etiam modestia m.'), Modesty, Discretion, Wisdom, without completely exhausting by all these te rms the various associations of the word. It may be described as 'mens sana in c orpore sano,' the harmony or due proportion of the higher and lower elements of human nature which 'makes a man his own master,' according to the definition of the Republic. In the accompanying translation the word has been rendered in diff erent places either Temperance or Wisdom, as the connection seemed to require: f or in the philosophy of Plato (Greek) still retains an intellectual element (as Socrates is also said to have identified (Greek) with (Greek): Xen. Mem.) and is not yet relegated to the sphere of moral virtue, as in the Nicomachean Ethics o f Aristotle. The beautiful youth, Charmides, who is also the most temperate of h uman beings, is asked by Socrates, 'What is Temperance?' He answers characterist ically, (1) 'Quietness.' 'But Temperance is a fine and noble thing; and quietnes s in many or most cases is not so fine a thing as quickness.' He tries again and says (2) that temperance is modesty. But this again is set aside by a sophistic al application of Homer: for temperance is good as well as noble, and Homer has declared that 'modesty is not good for a needy man.' (3) Once more Charmides mak es the attempt. This time he gives a definition which he has heard, and of which Socrates conjectures that Critias must be the author: 'Temperance is doing one' s own business.' But the artisan who makes another man's shoes may be temperate, and yet he is not doing his own business; and temperance defined thus would be opposed to the division of labour which exists in every temperate or well-ordere d state. How is this riddle to be explained? Critias, who takes the place of Cha rmides, distinguishes in his answer between 'making' and 'doing,' and with the h elp of a misapplied quotation from Hesiod assigns to the words 'doing' and 'work ' an exclusively good sense: Temperance is doing one's own business;(4) is doing good. 40

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Still an element of knowledge is wanting which Critias is readily induced to adm it at the suggestion of Socrates; and, in the spirit of Socrates and of Greek li fe generally, proposes as a fifth definition, (5) Temperance is self-knowledge. But all sciences have a subject: number is the subject of arithmetic, health of medicinewhat is the subject of temperance or wisdom? The answer is that (6) Tempe rance is the knowledge of what a man knows and of what he does not know. But thi s is contrary to analogy; there is no vision of vision, but only of visible thin gs; no love of loves, but only of beautiful things; how then can there be a know ledge of knowledge? That which is older, heavier, lighter, is older, heavier, an d lighter than something else, not than itself, and this seems to be true of all relative notionsthe object of relation is outside of them; at any rate they can only have relation to themselves in the form of that object. Whether there are a ny such cases of reflex relation or not, and whether that sort of knowledge whic h we term Temperance is of this reflex nature, has yet to be determined by the g reat metaphysician. But even if knowledge can know itself, how does the knowledg e of what we know imply the knowledge of what we do not know? Besides, knowledge is an abstraction only, and will not inform us of any particular subject, such as medicine, building, and the like. It may tell us that we or other men know so mething, but can never tell us what we know. Admitting that there is a knowledge of what we know and of what we do not know, which would supply a rule and measu re of all things, still there would be no good in this; and the knowledge which temperance gives must be of a kind which will do us good; for temperance is a go od. But this universal knowledge does not tend to our happiness and good: the on ly kind of knowledge which brings happiness is the knowledge of good and evil. T o this Critias replies that the science or knowledge of good and evil, and all t he other sciences, are regulated by the higher science or knowledge of knowledge . Socrates replies by again dividing the abstract from the concrete, and asks ho w this knowledge conduces to happiness in the same definite way in which medicin e conduces to health. And now, after making all these concessions, which are rea lly inadmissible, we are still as far as ever from ascertaining the nature of te mperance, which Charmides has already discovered, and had therefore better rest in the knowledge that the more temperate he is the happier he will be, and not t rouble himself with the speculations of Socrates. In this Dialogue may be noted (1) The Greek ideal of beauty and goodness, the vision of the fair soul in the f air body, realised in the beautiful Charmides; (2) The true conception of medici ne as a science of the whole as well as the parts, and of the mind as well as th e body, which is playfully intimated in the story of the Thracian; (3) The tende ncy of the age to verbal distinctions, which here, as in the Protagoras and Crat ylus, are ascribed to the ingenuity of Prodicus; and to interpretations or rathe r parodies of Homer or Hesiod, which are eminently characteristic of Plato and h is contemporaries; (4) The germ of an ethical principle contained in the notion that temperance is 'doing one's own business,' which in the Republic (such is th e shifting character of the Platonic philosophy) is given as the definition, not of temperance, but of justice; (5) The impatience which is exhibited by Socrate s of any definition of temperance in which an element of science or knowledge is not included; (6) The beginning of metaphysics and logic implied in the two que stions: whether there can be a science of science, and whether the knowledge of what you know is the same as the knowledge of what you do not know; and also in the distinction between 'what you know' and 'that you know,' (Greek;) here too i s the first conception of an absolute self-determined science (the claims of whi ch, however, are disputed by Socrates, who asks cui bono?) as well as the first suggestion of the difficulty of the 41

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides abstract and concrete, and one of the earliest anticipations of the relation of subject and object, and of the subjective element in knowledgea 'rich banquet' of metaphysical questions in which we 'taste of many things.' (7) And still the mi nd of Plato, having snatched for a moment at these shadows of the future, quickl y rejects them: thus early has he reached the conclusion that there can be no sc ience which is a 'science of nothing' (Parmen.). (8) The conception of a science of good and evil also first occurs here, an anticipation of the Philebus and Re public as well as of moral philosophy in later ages. The dramatic interest of th e Dialogue chiefly centres in the youth Charmides, with whom Socrates talks in t he kindly spirit of an elder. His childlike simplicity and ingenuousness are con trasted with the dialectical and rhetorical arts of Critias, who is the grown-up man of the world, having a tincture of philosophy. No hint is given, either her e or in the Timaeus, of the infamy which attaches to the name of the latter in A thenian history. He is simply a cultivated person who, like his kinsman Plato, i s ennobled by the connection of his family with Solon (Tim.), and had been the f ollower, if not the disciple, both of Socrates and of the Sophists. In the argum ent he is not unfair, if allowance is made for a slight rhetorical tendency, and for a natural desire to save his reputation with the company; he is sometimes n earer the truth than Socrates. Nothing in his language or behaviour is unbecomin g the guardian of the beautiful Charmides. His love of reputation is characteris tically Greek, and contrasts with the humility of Socrates. Nor in Charmides him self do we find any resemblance to the Charmides of history, except, perhaps, th e modest and retiring nature which, according to Xenophon, at one time of his li fe prevented him from speaking in the Assembly (Mem.); and we are surprised to h ear that, like Critias, he afterwards became one of the thirty tyrants. In the D ialogue he is a pattern of virtue, and is therefore in no need of the charm whic h Socrates is unable to apply. With youthful naivete, keeping his secret and ent ering into the spirit of Socrates, he enjoys the detection of his elder and guar dian Critias, who is easily seen to be the author of the definition which he has so great an interest in maintaining. The preceding definition, 'Temperance is d oing one's own business,' is assumed to have been borrowed by Charmides from ano ther; and when the enquiry becomes more abstract he is superseded by Critias (Th eaet.; Euthyd.). Socrates preserves his accustomed irony to the end; he is in th e neighbourhood of several great truths, which he views in various lights, but a lways either by bringing them to the test of common sense, or by demanding too g reat exactness in the use of words, turns aside from them and comes at last to n o conclusion. The definitions of temperance proceed in regular order from the po pular to the philosophical. The first two are simple enough and partially true, like the first thoughts of an intelligent youth; the third, which is a real cont ribution to ethical philosophy, is perverted by the ingenuity of Socrates, and h ardly rescued by an equal perversion on the part of Critias. The remaining defin itions have a higher aim, which is to introduce the element of knowledge, and at last to unite good and truth in a single science. But the time has not yet arri ved for the realization of this vision of metaphysical philosophy; and such a sc ience when brought nearer to us in the Philebus and the Republic will not be cal led by the name of (Greek). Hence we see with surprise that Plato, who in his ot her writings identifies good and knowledge, here opposes them, and asks, almost in the spirit of Aristotle, how can there be a knowledge of knowledge, and even if attainable, how can such a knowledge be of any use? The difficulty of the Cha rmides arises chiefly from the two senses of the word (Greek), or temperance. Fr om the ethical notion of temperance, which is variously defined to be quietness, modesty, doing our own business, the doing of good actions, the dialogue passes onto the intellectual conception of (Greek), which is declared also to be the s cience of self-knowledge, or of the knowledge of what we 42

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides know and do not know, or of the knowledge of good and evil. The dialogue represe nts a stage in the history of philosophy in which knowledge and action were not yet distinguished. Hence the confusion between them, and the easy transition fro m one to the other. The definitions which are offered are all rejected, but it i s to be observed that they all tend to throw a light on the nature of temperance , and that, unlike the distinction of Critias between (Greek), none of them are merely verbal quibbles, it is implied that this question, although it has not ye t received a solution in theory, has been already answered by Charmides himself, who has learned to practise the virtue of self-knowledge which philosophers are vainly trying to define in words. In a similar spirit we might say to a young m an who is disturbed by theological difficulties, 'Do not trouble yourself about such matters, but only lead a good life;' and yet in either case it is not to be denied that right ideas of truth may contribute greatly to the improvement of c haracter. The reasons why the Charmides, Lysis, Laches have been placed together and first in the series of Platonic dialogues, are: (i) Their shortness and sim plicity. The Charmides and the Lysis, if not the Laches, are of the same 'qualit y' as the Phaedrus and Symposium: and it is probable, though far from certain, t hat the slighter effort preceded the greater one. (ii) Their eristic, or rather Socratic character; they belong to the class called dialogues of search (Greek), which have no conclusion. (iii) The absence in them of certain favourite notion s of Plato, such as the doctrine of recollection and of the Platonic ideas; the questions, whether virtue can be taught; whether the virtues are one or many. (i v) They have a want of depth, when compared with the dialogues of the middle and later period; and a youthful beauty and grace which is wanting in the later one s. (v) Their resemblance to one another; in all the three boyhood has a great pa rt. These reasons have various degrees of weight in determining their place in t he catalogue of the Platonic writings, though they are not conclusive. No arrang ement of the Platonic dialogues can be strictly chronological. The order which h as been adopted is intended mainly for the convenience of the reader; at the sam e time, indications of the date supplied either by Plato himself or allusions fo und in the dialogues have not been lost sight of. Much may be said about this su bject, but the results can only be probable; there are no materials which would enable us to attain to anything like certainty. The relations of knowledge and v irtue are again brought forward in the companion dialogues of the Lysis and Lach es; and also in the Protagoras and Euthydemus. The opposition of abstract and pa rticular knowledge in this dialogue may be compared with a similar opposition of ideas and phenomena which occurs in the Prologues to the Parmenides, but seems rather to belong to a later stage of the philosophy of Plato. CHARMIDES, OR TEMPERANCE 43

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, who is the narrator, Charmides, Chaerephon, C ritias. SCENE: The Palaestra of Taureas, which is near the Porch of the King Arc hon. Yesterday evening I returned from the army at Potidaea, and having been a g ood while away, I thought that I should like to go and look at my old haunts. So I went into the palaestra of Taureas, which is over against the temple adjoinin g the porch of the King Archon, and there I found a number of persons, most of w hom I knew, but not all. My visit was unexpected, and no sooner did they see me entering than they saluted me from afar on all sides; and Chaerephon, who is a k ind of madman, started up and ran to me, seizing my hand, and saying, How did yo u escape, Socrates?(I should explain that an engagement had taken place at Potida ea not long before we came away, of which the news had only just reached Athens. ) You see, I replied, that here I am. There was a report, he said, that the enga gement was very severe, and that many of our acquaintance had fallen. That, I re plied, was not far from the truth. I suppose, he said, that you were present. I was. Then sit down, and tell us the whole story, which as yet we have only heard imperfectly. I took the place which he assigned to me, by the side of Critias t he son of Callaeschrus, and when I had saluted him and the rest of the company, I told them the news from the army, and answered their several enquiries. Then, when there had been enough of this, I, in my turn, began to make enquiries about matters at homeabout the present state of philosophy, and about the youth. I ask ed whether any of them were remarkable for wisdom or beauty, or both. Critias, g lancing at the door, invited my attention to some youths who were coming in, and talking noisily to one another, followed by a crowd. Of the beauties, Socrates, he said, I fancy that you will soon be able to form a judgment. For those who a re just entering are the advanced guard of the great beauty, as he is thought to be, of the day, and he is likely to be not far off himself. Who is he, I said; and who is his father? Charmides, he replied, is his name; he is my cousin, and the son of my uncle Glaucon: I rather think that you know him too, although he w as not grown up at the time of your departure. 44

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Certainly, I know him, I said, for he was remarkable even then when he was still a child, and I should imagine that by this time he must be almost a young man. You will see, he said, in a moment what progress he has made and what he is like . He had scarcely said the word, when Charmides entered. Now you know, my friend , that I cannot measure anything, and of the beautiful, I am simply such a measu re as a white line is of chalk; for almost all young persons appear to be beauti ful in my eyes. But at that moment, when I saw him coming in, I confess that I w as quite astonished at his beauty and stature; all the world seemed to be enamou red of him; amazement and confusion reigned when he entered; and a troop of love rs followed him. That grown-up men like ourselves should have been affected in t his way was not surprising, but I observed that there was the same feeling among the boys; all of them, down to the very least child, turned and looked at him, as if he had been a statue. Chaerephon called me and said: What do you think of him, Socrates? Has he not a beautiful face? Most beautiful, I said. But you woul d think nothing of his face, he replied, if you could see his naked form: he is absolutely perfect. And to this they all agreed. By Heracles, I said, there neve r was such a paragon, if he has only one other slight addition. What is that? sa id Critias. If he has a noble soul; and being of your house, Critias, he may be expected to have this. He is as fair and good within, as he is without, replied Critias. Then, before we see his body, should we not ask him to show us his soul , naked and undisguised? he is just of an age at which he will like to talk. Tha t he will, said Critias, and I can tell you that he is a philosopher already, an d also a considerable poet, not in his own opinion only, but in that of others. That, my dear Critias, I replied, is a distinction which has long been in your f amily, and is inherited by you from Solon. But why do you not call him, and show him to us? for even if he were younger than he is, there could be no impropriet y in his talking to us in the presence of you, who are his guardian and cousin. Very well, he said; then I will call him; and turning to the attendant, he said, Call Charmides, and tell him that I want him to come and see a physician about the illness of which he spoke to me the day before yesterday. Then again address ing me, he added: He has been complaining lately of having a 45

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides headache when he rises in the morning: now why should you not make him believe t hat you know a cure for the headache? Why not, I said; but will he come? He will be sure to come, he replied. He came as he was bidden, and sat down between Cri tias and me. Great amusement was occasioned by every one pushing with might and main at his neighbour in order to make a place for him next to themselves, until at the two ends of the row one had to get up and the other was rolled over side ways. Now I, my friend, was beginning to feel awkward; my former bold belief in my powers of conversing with him had vanished. And when Critias told him that I was the person who had the cure, he looked at me in such an indescribable manner , and was just going to ask a question. And at that moment all the people in the palaestra crowded about us, and, O rare! I caught a sight of the inwards of his garment, and took the flame. Then I could no longer contain myself. I thought h ow well Cydias understood the nature of love, when, in speaking of a fair youth, he warns some one 'not to bring the fawn in the sight of the lion to be devoure d by him,' for I felt that I had been overcome by a sort of wild-beast appetite. But I controlled myself, and when he asked me if I knew the cure of the headach e, I answered, but with an effort, that I did know. And what is it? he said. I r eplied that it was a kind of leaf, which required to be accompanied by a charm, and if a person would repeat the charm at the same time that he used the cure, h e would be made whole; but that without the charm the leaf would be of no avail. Then I will write out the charm from your dictation, he said. With my consent? I said, or without my consent? With your consent, Socrates, he said, laughing. V ery good, I said; and are you quite sure that you know my name? I ought to know you, he replied, for there is a great deal said about you among my companions; a nd I remember when I was a child seeing you in company with my cousin Critias. I am glad to find that you remember me, I said; for I shall now be more at home w ith you and shall be better able to explain the nature of the charm, about which I felt a difficulty before. For the charm will do more, Charmides, than only cu re the headache. I dare say that you have heard eminent physicians say to a pati ent who comes to them with bad eyes, that they cannot cure his eyes by themselve s, but that if his eyes are to be cured, his head must be treated; and then agai n they say that to think of curing the head alone, and not the rest of the body also, is the height of folly. And arguing in this way they apply their methods t o the whole body, and try to treat and heal the whole and the part together. Did you ever observe that this is what they say? 46

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Yes, he said. And they are right, and you would agree with them? Yes, he said, c ertainly I should. His approving answers reassured me, and I began by degrees to regain confidence, and the vital heat returned. Such, Charmides, I said, is the nature of the charm, which I learned when serving with the army from one of the physicians of the Thracian king Zamolxis, who are said to be so skilful that th ey can even give immortality. This Thracian told me that in these notions of the irs, which I was just now mentioning, the Greek physicians are quite right as fa r as they go; but Zamolxis, he added, our king, who is also a god, says further, 'that as you ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the hea d without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul; and this,' he said, 'is the reason why the cure of many diseases is unkno wn to the physicians of Hellas, because they are ignorant of the whole, which ou ght to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well. ' For all good and evil, whether in the body or in human nature, originates, as he declared, in the soul, and overflows from thence, as if from the head into th e eyes. And therefore if the head and body are to be well, you must begin by cur ing the soul; that is the first thing. And the cure, my dear youth, has to be ef fected by the use of certain charms, and these charms are fair words; and by the m temperance is implanted in the soul, and where temperance is, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but to the whole body. And he who taugh t me the cure and the charm at the same time added a special direction: 'Let no one,' he said, 'persuade you to cure the head, until he has first given you his soul to be cured by the charm. For this,' he said, 'is the great error of our da y in the treatment of the human body, that physicians separate the soul from the body.' And he added with emphasis, at the same time making me swear to his word s, 'Let no one, however rich, or noble, or fair, persuade you to give him the cu re, without the charm.' Now I have sworn, and I must keep my oath, and therefore if you will allow me to apply the Thracian charm first to your soul, as the str anger directed, I will afterwards proceed to apply the cure to your head. But if not, I do not know what I am to do with you, my dear Charmides. Critias, when h e heard this, said: The headache will be an unexpected gain to my young relation , if the pain in his head compels him to improve his mind: and I can tell you, S ocrates, that Charmides is not only pre-eminent in beauty among his equals, but also in that quality which is given by the charm; and this, as you say, is tempe rance? Yes, I said. Then let me tell you that he is the most temperate of human beings, and for his age inferior to none in any quality. Yes, I said, Charmides; and indeed I think that you ought to excel others in all good qualities; for if I am not mistaken there is no one present who could easily point out two Atheni an houses, whose union would be likely to produce a better or nobler scion than the two from which you are sprung. There is your father's house, which is descen ded from Critias the son of Dropidas, whose family has been commemorated in the panegyrical verses of Anacreon, Solon, and many other poets, as famous for beaut y and virtue and all other high fortune: and your mother's house is equally dist inguished; for 47

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides your maternal uncle, Pyrilampes, is reputed never to have found his equal, in Pe rsia at the court of the great king, or on the continent of Asia, in all the pla ces to which he went as ambassador, for stature and beauty; that whole family is not a whit inferior to the other. Having such ancestors you ought to be first i n all things, and, sweet son of Glaucon, your outward form is no dishonour to an y of them. If to beauty you add temperance, and if in other respects you are wha t Critias declares you to be, then, dear Charmides, blessed art thou, in being t he son of thy mother. And here lies the point; for if, as he declares, you have this gift of temperance already, and are temperate enough, in that case you have no need of any charms, whether of Zamolxis or of Abaris the Hyperborean, and I may as well let you have the cure of the head at once; but if you have not yet a cquired this quality, I must use the charm before I give you the medicine. Pleas e, therefore, to inform me whether you admit the truth of what Critias has been saying;have you or have you not this quality of temperance? Charmides blushed, an d the blush heightened his beauty, for modesty is becoming in youth; he then sai d very ingenuously, that he really could not at once answer, either yes, or no, to the question which I had asked: For, said he, if I affirm that I am not tempe rate, that would be a strange thing for me to say of myself, and also I should g ive the lie to Critias, and many others who think as he tells you, that I am tem perate: but, on the other hand, if I say that I am, I shall have to praise mysel f, which would be ill manners; and therefore I do not know how to answer you. I said to him: That is a natural reply, Charmides, and I think that you and I ough t together to enquire whether you have this quality about which I am asking or n ot; and then you will not be compelled to say what you do not like; neither shal l I be a rash practitioner of medicine: therefore, if you please, I will share t he enquiry with you, but I will not press you if you would rather not. There is nothing which I should like better, he said; and as far as I am concerned you ma y proceed in the way which you think best. I think, I said, that I had better be gin by asking you a question; for if temperance abides in you, you must have an opinion about her; she must give some intimation of her nature and qualities, wh ich may enable you to form a notion of her. Is not that true? Yes, he said, that I think is true. You know your native language, I said, and therefore you must be able to tell what you feel about this. Certainly, he said. In order, then, th at I may form a conjecture whether you have temperance abiding in you or not, te ll me, I said, what, in your opinion, is Temperance? At first he hesitated, and was very unwilling to answer: then he said that he thought temperance was doing things orderly and quietly, such things for example as walking in the streets, a nd talking, or anything else of that nature. In a word, he said, I should answer that, in my opinion, temperance is quietness. 48

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Are you right, Charmides? I said. No doubt some would affirm that the quiet are the temperate; but let us see whether these words have any meaning; and first te ll me whether you would not acknowledge temperance to be of the class of the nob le and good? Yes. But which is best when you are at the writing-master's, to wri te the same letters quickly or quietly? Quickly. And to read quickly or slowly? Quickly again. And in playing the lyre, or wrestling, quickness or sharpness are far better than quietness and slowness? Yes. And the same holds in boxing and i n the pancratium? Certainly. And in leaping and running and in bodily exercises generally, quickness and agility are good; slowness, and inactivity, and quietne ss, are bad? That is evident. Then, I said, in all bodily actions, not quietness , but the greatest agility and quickness, is noblest and best? Yes, certainly. A nd is temperance a good? Yes. Then, in reference to the body, not quietness, but quickness will be the higher degree of temperance, if temperance is a good? Tru e, he said. And which, I said, is betterfacility in learning, or difficulty in le arning? Facility. 49

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Yes, I said; and facility in learning is learning quickly, and difficulty in lea rning is learning quietly and slowly? True. And is it not better to teach anothe r quickly and energetically, rather than quietly and slowly? Yes. And which is b etter, to call to mind, and to remember, quickly and readily, or quietly and slo wly? The former. And is not shrewdness a quickness or cleverness of the soul, an d not a quietness? True. And is it not best to understand what is said, whether at the writing-master's or the music-master's, or anywhere else, not as quietly as possible, but as quickly as possible? Yes. And in the searchings or deliberat ions of the soul, not the quietest, as I imagine, and he who with difficulty del iberates and discovers, is thought worthy of praise, but he who does so most eas ily and quickly? Quite true, he said. And in all that concerns either body or so ul, swiftness and activity are clearly better than slowness and quietness? Clear ly they are. Then temperance is not quietness, nor is the temperate life quiet,ce rtainly not upon this view; for the life which is temperate is supposed to be th e good. And of two things, one is true,either never, or very seldom, do the quiet actions in life appear to be better than the quick and energetic ones; or suppo sing that of the nobler actions, there are as many quiet, as quick and vehement: still, even if we grant this, temperance will not be acting quietly any more th an acting quickly and energetically, either in walking or talking or in anything else; nor will the quiet life be more temperate than the unquiet, seeing that t emperance is admitted by us to be a good and noble thing, and the quick have bee n shown to be as good as the quiet. I think, he said, Socrates, that you are rig ht. 50

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Then once more, Charmides, I said, fix your attention, and look within; consider the effect which temperance has upon yourself, and the nature of that which has the effect. Think over all this, and, like a brave youth, tell meWhat is tempera nce? After a moment's pause, in which he made a real manly effort to think, he s aid: My opinion is, Socrates, that temperance makes a man ashamed or modest, and that temperance is the same as modesty. Very good, I said; and did you not admi t, just now, that temperance is noble? Yes, certainly, he said. And the temperat e are also good? Yes. And can that be good which does not make men good? Certain ly not. And you would infer that temperance is not only noble, but also good? Th at is my opinion. Well, I said; but surely you would agree with Homer when he sa ys, 'Modesty is not good for a needy man'? Yes, he said; I agree. Then I suppose that modesty is and is not good? Clearly. But temperance, whose presence makes men only good, and not bad, is always good? That appears to me to be as you say. And the inference is that temperance cannot be modestyif temperance is a good, a nd if modesty is as much an evil as a good? All that, Socrates, appears to me to be true; but I should like to know what you think about another definition of t emperance, which I just now remember to have heard from some one, who said, 'Tha t temperance is doing our own business.' Was he right who affirmed that? You mon ster! I said; this is what Critias, or some philosopher has told you. 51

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Some one else, then, said Critias; for certainly I have not. But what matter, sa id Charmides, from whom I heard this? No matter at all, I replied; for the point is not who said the words, but whether they are true or not. There you are in t he right, Socrates, he replied. To be sure, I said; yet I doubt whether we shall ever be able to discover their truth or falsehood; for they are a kind of riddl e. What makes you think so? he said. Because, I said, he who uttered them seems to me to have meant one thing, and said another. Is the scribe, for example, to be regarded as doing nothing when he reads or writes? I should rather think that he was doing something. And does the scribe write or read, or teach you boys to write or read, your own names only, or did you write your enemies' names as wel l as your own and your friends'? As much one as the other. And was there anythin g meddling or intemperate in this? Certainly not. And yet if reading and writing are the same as doing, you were doing what was not your own business? But they are the same as doing. And the healing art, my friend, and building, and weaving , and doing anything whatever which is done by art,these all clearly come under t he head of doing? Certainly. And do you think that a state would be well ordered by a law which compelled every man to weave and wash his own coat, and make his own shoes, and his own flask and strigil, and other implements, on this princip le of every one doing and performing his own, and abstaining from what is not hi s own? I think not, he said. But, I said, a temperate state will be a well-order ed state. Of course, he replied. 52

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Then temperance, I said, will not be doing one's own business; not at least in t his way, or doing things of this sort? Clearly not. Then, as I was just now sayi ng, he who declared that temperance is a man doing his own business had another and a hidden meaning; for I do not think that he could have been such a fool as to mean this. Was he a fool who told you, Charmides? Nay, he replied, I certainl y thought him a very wise man. Then I am quite certain that he put forth his def inition as a riddle, thinking that no one would know the meaning of the words 'd oing his own business.' I dare say, he replied. And what is the meaning of a man doing his own business? Can you tell me? Indeed, I cannot; and I should not won der if the man himself who used this phrase did not understand what he was sayin g. Whereupon he laughed slyly, and looked at Critias. Critias had long been show ing uneasiness, for he felt that he had a reputation to maintain with Charmides and the rest of the company. He had, however, hitherto managed to restrain himse lf; but now he could no longer forbear, and I am convinced of the truth of the s uspicion which I entertained at the time, that Charmides had heard this answer a bout temperance from Critias. And Charmides, who did not want to answer himself, but to make Critias answer, tried to stir him up. He went on pointing out that he had been refuted, at which Critias grew angry, and appeared, as I thought, in clined to quarrel with him; just as a poet might quarrel with an actor who spoil ed his poems in repeating them; so he looked hard at him and said Do you imagine, Charmides, that the author of this definition of temperance did not understand the meaning of his own words, because you do not understand them? Why, at his ag e, I said, most excellent Critias, he can hardly be expected to understand; but you, who are older, and have studied, may well be assumed to know the meaning of them; and therefore, if you agree with him, and accept his definition of temper ance, I would much rather argue with you than with him about the truth or falseh ood of the definition. I entirely agree, said Critias, and accept the definition . Very good, I said; and now let me repeat my questionDo you admit, as I was just now saying, that all craftsmen make or do something? I do. And do they make or do their own business only, or that of others also? 53

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides They make or do that of others also. And are they temperate, seeing that they ma ke not for themselves or their own business only? Why not? he said. No objection on my part, I said, but there may be a difficulty on his who proposes as a defi nition of temperance, 'doing one's own business,' and then says that there is no reason why those who do the business of others should not be temperate. Nay (Th e English reader has to observe that the word 'make' (Greek), in Greek, has also the sense of 'do' (Greek).), said he; did I ever acknowledge that those who do the business of others are temperate? I said, those who make, not those who do. What! I asked; do you mean to say that doing and making are not the same? No mor e, he replied, than making or working are the same; thus much I have learned fro m Hesiod, who says that 'work is no disgrace.' Now do you imagine that if he had meant by working and doing such things as you were describing, he would have sa id that there was no disgrace in themfor example, in the manufacture of shoes, or in selling pickles, or sitting for hire in a house of ill-fame? That, Socrates, is not to be supposed: but I conceive him to have distinguished making from doi ng and work; and, while admitting that the making anything might sometimes becom e a disgrace, when the employment was not honourable, to have thought that work was never any disgrace at all. For things nobly and usefully made he called work s; and such makings he called workings, and doings; and he must be supposed to h ave called such things only man's proper business, and what is hurtful, not his business: and in that sense Hesiod, and any other wise man, may be reasonably su pposed to call him wise who does his own work. O Critias, I said, no sooner had you opened your mouth, than I pretty well knew that you would call that which is proper to a man, and that which is his own, good; and that the makings (Greek) of the good you would call doings (Greek), for I am no stranger to the endless d istinctions which Prodicus draws about names. Now I have no objection to your gi ving names any signification which you please, if you will only tell me what you mean by them. Please then to begin again, and be a little plainer. Do you mean that this doing or making, or whatever is the word which you would use, of good actions, is temperance? I do, he said. Then not he who does evil, but he who doe s good, is temperate? Yes, he said; and you, friend, would agree. No matter whet her I should or not; just now, not what I think, but what you are saying, is the point at issue. 54

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Well, he answered; I mean to say, that he who does evil, and not good, is not te mperate; and that he is temperate who does good, and not evil: for temperance I define in plain words to be the doing of good actions. And you may be very likel y right in what you are saying; but I am curious to know whether you imagine tha t temperate men are ignorant of their own temperance? I do not think so, he said . And yet were you not saying, just now, that craftsmen might be temperate in do ing another's work, as well as in doing their own? I was, he replied; but what i s your drift? I have no particular drift, but I wish that you would tell me whet her a physician who cures a patient may do good to himself and good to another a lso? I think that he may. And he who does so does his duty? Yes. And does not he who does his duty act temperately or wisely? Yes, he acts wisely. But must the physician necessarily know when his treatment is likely to prove beneficial, and when not? or must the craftsman necessarily know when he is likely to be benefi ted, and when not to be benefited, by the work which he is doing? I suppose not. Then, I said, he may sometimes do good or harm, and not know what he is himself doing, and yet, in doing good, as you say, he has done temperately or wisely. W as not that your statement? Yes. Then, as would seem, in doing good, he may act wisely or temperately, and be wise or temperate, but not know his own wisdom or temperance? But that, Socrates, he said, is impossible; and therefore if this is , as you imply, the necessary consequence of any of my previous admissions, I wi ll withdraw them, rather than admit that a man can be temperate or wise who does not know himself; and I am not ashamed to confess that I was in error. For self -knowledge would certainly be maintained by me to be the very essence of knowled ge, and in this I agree with him who dedicated the inscription, 'Know thyself!' at Delphi. That word, if I am 55

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides not mistaken, is put there as a sort of salutation which the god addresses to th ose who enter the temple; as much as to say that the ordinary salutation of 'Hai l!' is not right, and that the exhortation 'Be temperate!' would be a far better way of saluting one another. The notion of him who dedicated the inscription wa s, as I believe, that the god speaks to those who enter his temple, not as men s peak; but, when a worshipper enters, the first word which he hears is 'Be temper ate!' This, however, like a prophet he expresses in a sort of riddle, for 'Know thyself!' and 'Be temperate!' are the same, as I maintain, and as the letters im ply (Greek), and yet they may be easily misunderstood; and succeeding sages who added 'Never too much,' or, 'Give a pledge, and evil is nigh at hand,' would app ear to have so misunderstood them; for they imagined that 'Know thyself!' was a piece of advice which the god gave, and not his salutation of the worshippers at their first coming in; and they dedicated their own inscription under the idea that they too would give equally useful pieces of advice. Shall I tell you, Socr ates, why I say all this? My object is to leave the previous discussion (in whic h I know not whether you or I are more right, but, at any rate, no clear result was attained), and to raise a new one in which I will attempt to prove, if you d eny, that temperance is self-knowledge. Yes, I said, Critias; but you come to me as though I professed to know about the questions which I ask, and as though I could, if I only would, agree with you. Whereas the fact is that I enquire with you into the truth of that which is advanced from time to time, just because I d o not know; and when I have enquired, I will say whether I agree with you or not . Please then to allow me time to reflect. Reflect, he said. I am reflecting, I replied, and discover that temperance, or wisdom, if implying a knowledge of any thing, must be a science, and a science of something. Yes, he said; the science of itself. Is not medicine, I said, the science of health? True. And suppose, I said, that I were asked by you what is the use or effect of medicine, which is t his science of health, I should answer that medicine is of very great use in pro ducing health, which, as you will admit, is an excellent effect. Granted. And if you were to ask me, what is the result or effect of architecture, which is the science of building, I should say houses, and so of other arts, which all have t heir different results. Now I want you, Critias, to answer a similar question ab out temperance, or wisdom, which, according to you, is the science of itself. Ad mitting this view, I ask of you, what good work, worthy of the name wise, does t emperance or wisdom, which is the science of itself, effect? Answer me. That is not the true way of pursuing the enquiry, Socrates, he said; for wisdom is not l ike the other sciences, any more than they are like one another: but you proceed as if they were alike. For tell me, he said, what result is there of computatio n or geometry, in the same sense as a house is the result of 56

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides building, or a garment of weaving, or any other work of any other art? Can you s how me any such result of them? You cannot. That is true, I said; but still each of these sciences has a subject which is different from the science. I can show you that the art of computation has to do with odd and even numbers in their nu merical relations to themselves and to each other. Is not that true? Yes, he sai d. And the odd and even numbers are not the same with the art of computation? Th ey are not. The art of weighing, again, has to do with lighter and heavier; but the art of weighing is one thing, and the heavy and the light another. Do you ad mit that? Yes. Now, I want to know, what is that which is not wisdom, and of whi ch wisdom is the science? You are just falling into the old error, Socrates, he said. You come asking in what wisdom or temperance differs from the other scienc es, and then you try to discover some respect in which they are alike; but they are not, for all the other sciences are of something else, and not of themselves ; wisdom alone is a science of other sciences, and of itself. And of this, as I believe, you are very well aware: and that you are only doing what you denied th at you were doing just now, trying to refute me, instead of pursuing the argumen t. And what if I am? How can you think that I have any other motive in refuting you but what I should have in examining into myself? which motive would be just a fear of my unconsciously fancying that I knew something of which I was ignoran t. And at this moment I pursue the argument chiefly for my own sake, and perhaps in some degree also for the sake of my other friends. For is not the discovery of things as they truly are, a good common to all mankind? Yes, certainly, Socra tes, he said. Then, I said, be cheerful, sweet sir, and give your opinion in ans wer to the question which I asked, never minding whether Critias or Socrates is the person refuted; attend only to the argument, and see what will come of the r efutation. I think that you are right, he replied; and I will do as you say. Tel l me, then, I said, what you mean to affirm about wisdom. I mean to say that wis dom is the only science which is the science of itself as well as of the other s ciences. 57

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides But the science of science, I said, will also be the science of the absence of s cience. Very true, he said. Then the wise or temperate man, and he only, will kn ow himself, and be able to examine what he knows or does not know, and to see wh at others know and think that they know and do really know; and what they do not know, and fancy that they know, when they do not. No other person will be able to do this. And this is wisdom and temperance and self-knowledgefor a man to know what he knows, and what he does not know. That is your meaning? Yes, he said. N ow then, I said, making an offering of the third or last argument to Zeus the Sa viour, let us begin again, and ask, in the first place, whether it is or is not possible for a person to know that he knows and does not know what he knows and does not know; and in the second place, whether, if perfectly possible, such kno wledge is of any use. That is what we have to consider, he said. And here, Criti as, I said, I hope that you will find a way out of a difficulty into which I hav e got myself. Shall I tell you the nature of the difficulty? By all means, he re plied. Does not what you have been saying, if true, amount to this: that there m ust be a single science which is wholly a science of itself and of other science s, and that the same is also the science of the absence of science? Yes. But con sider how monstrous this proposition is, my friend: in any parallel case, the im possibility will be transparent to you. How is that? and in what cases do you me an? In such cases as this: Suppose that there is a kind of vision which is not l ike ordinary vision, but a vision of itself and of other sorts of vision, and of the defect of them, which in seeing sees no colour, but only itself and other s orts of vision: Do you think that there is such a kind of vision? Certainly not. Or is there a kind of hearing which hears no sound at all, but only itself and other sorts of hearing, or the defects of them? There is not. 58

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Or take all the senses: can you imagine that there is any sense of itself and of other senses, but which is incapable of perceiving the objects of the senses? I think not. Could there be any desire which is not the desire of any pleasure, b ut of itself, and of all other desires? Certainly not. Or can you imagine a wish which wishes for no good, but only for itself and all other wishes? I should an swer, No. Or would you say that there is a love which is not the love of beauty, but of itself and of other loves? I should not. Or did you ever know of a fear which fears itself or other fears, but has no object of fear? I never did, he sa id. Or of an opinion which is an opinion of itself and of other opinions, and wh ich has no opinion on the subjects of opinion in general? Certainly not. But sur ely we are assuming a science of this kind, which, having no subject-matter, is a science of itself and of the other sciences? Yes, that is what is affirmed. Bu t how strange is this, if it be indeed true: we must not however as yet absolute ly deny the possibility of such a science; let us rather consider the matter. Yo u are quite right. Well then, this science of which we are speaking is a science of something, and is of a nature to be a science of something? Yes. Just as tha t which is greater is of a nature to be greater than something else? (Socrates i s intending to show that science differs from the object of science, as any othe r relative differs from the object of relation. But where there is comparisongrea ter, less, heavier, lighter, and the likea relation to self as well as to other t hings involves an absolute contradiction; and in other cases, as in the case of the 59

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides senses, is hardly conceivable. The use of the genitive after the comparative in Greek, (Greek), creates an unavoidable obscurity in the translation.) Yes. Which is less, if the other is conceived to be greater? To be sure. And if we could f ind something which is at once greater than itself, and greater than other great things, but not greater than those things in comparison of which the others are greater, then that thing would have the property of being greater and also less than itself? That, Socrates, he said, is the inevitable inference. Or if there be a double which is double of itself and of other doubles, these will be halves ; for the double is relative to the half? That is true. And that which is greate r than itself will also be less, and that which is heavier will also be lighter, and that which is older will also be younger: and the same of other things; tha t which has a nature relative to self will retain also the nature of its object: I mean to say, for example, that hearing is, as we say, of sound or voice. Is t hat true? Yes. Then if hearing hears itself, it must hear a voice; for there is no other way of hearing. Certainly. And sight also, my excellent friend, if it s ees itself must see a colour, for sight cannot see that which has no colour. No. Do you remark, Critias, that in several of the examples which have been recited the notion of a relation to self is altogether inadmissible, and in other cases hardly credibleinadmissible, for example, in the case of magnitudes, numbers, an d the like? Very true. But in the case of hearing and sight, or in the power of self-motion, and the power of heat to burn, this relation to self will be regard ed as incredible by some, but perhaps not by others. And some great man, my frie nd, is wanted, who will satisfactorily determine for us, whether there is nothin g which has an inherent property of relation to self, or some things only and no t others; and whether in this class 60

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides of self-related things, if there be such a class, that science which is called w isdom or temperance is included. I altogether distrust my own power of determini ng these matters: I am not certain whether there is such a science of science at all; and even if there be, I should not acknowledge this to be wisdom or temper ance, until I can also see whether such a science would or would not do us any g ood; for I have an impression that temperance is a benefit and a good. And there fore, O son of Callaeschrus, as you maintain that temperance or wisdom is a scie nce of science, and also of the absence of science, I will request you to show i n the first place, as I was saying before, the possibility, and in the second pl ace, the advantage, of such a science; and then perhaps you may satisfy me that you are right in your view of temperance. Critias heard me say this, and saw tha t I was in a difficulty; and as one person when another yawns in his presence ca tches the infection of yawning from him, so did he seem to be driven into a diff iculty by my difficulty. But as he had a reputation to maintain, he was ashamed to admit before the company that he could not answer my challenge or determine t he question at issue; and he made an unintelligible attempt to hide his perplexi ty. In order that the argument might proceed, I said to him, Well then Critias, if you like, let us assume that there is this science of science; whether the as sumption is right or wrong may hereafter be investigated. Admitting the existenc e of it, will you tell me how such a science enables us to distinguish what we k now or do not know, which, as we were saying, is self-knowledge or wisdom: so we were saying? Yes, Socrates, he said; and that I think is certainly true: for he who has this science or knowledge which knows itself will become like the knowl edge which he has, in the same way that he who has swiftness will be swift, and he who has beauty will be beautiful, and he who has knowledge will know. In the same way he who has that knowledge which is self-knowing, will know himself. I d o not doubt, I said, that a man will know himself, when he possesses that which has selfknowledge: but what necessity is there that, having this, he should know what he knows and what he does not know? Because, Socrates, they are the same. Very likely, I said; but I remain as stupid as ever; for still I fail to compreh end how this knowing what you know and do not know is the same as the knowledge of self. What do you mean? he said. This is what I mean, I replied: I will admit that there is a science of science;can this do more than determine that of two t hings one is and the other is not science or knowledge? No, just that. But is kn owledge or want of knowledge of health the same as knowledge or want of knowledg e of justice? Certainly not. 61

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides The one is medicine, and the other is politics; whereas that of which we are spe aking is knowledge pure and simple. Very true. And if a man knows only, and has only knowledge of knowledge, and has no further knowledge of health and justice, the probability is that he will only know that he knows something, and has a ce rtain knowledge, whether concerning himself or other men. True. Then how will th is knowledge or science teach him to know what he knows? Say that he knows healt h;not wisdom or temperance, but the art of medicine has taught it to him;and he ha s learned harmony from the art of music, and building from the art of building,ne ither, from wisdom or temperance: and the same of other things. That is evident. How will wisdom, regarded only as a knowledge of knowledge or science of scienc e, ever teach him that he knows health, or that he knows building? It is impossi ble. Then he who is ignorant of these things will only know that he knows, but n ot what he knows? True. Then wisdom or being wise appears to be not the knowledg e of the things which we do or do not know, but only the knowledge that we know or do not know? That is the inference. Then he who has this knowledge will not b e able to examine whether a pretender knows or does not know that which he says that he knows: he will only know that he has a knowledge of some kind; but wisdo m will not show him of what the knowledge is? Plainly not. Neither will he be ab le to distinguish the pretender in medicine from the true physician, nor between any other true and false professor of knowledge. Let us consider the matter in this way: If the wise man or any other man wants to distinguish the true physici an from the false, how will he proceed? He will not talk to him about medicine; and that, as we were saying, is the only thing which the physician understands. True. 62

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides And, on the other hand, the physician knows nothing of science, for this has bee n assumed to be the province of wisdom. True. And further, since medicine is sci ence, we must infer that he does not know anything of medicine. Exactly. Then th e wise man may indeed know that the physician has some kind of science or knowle dge; but when he wants to discover the nature of this he will ask, What is the s ubject-matter? For the several sciences are distinguished not by the mere fact t hat they are sciences, but by the nature of their subjects. Is not that true? Qu ite true. And medicine is distinguished from other sciences as having the subjec t-matter of health and disease? Yes. And he who would enquire into the nature of medicine must pursue the enquiry into health and disease, and not into what is extraneous? True. And he who judges rightly will judge of the physician as a phy sician in what relates to these? He will. He will consider whether what he says is true, and whether what he does is right, in relation to health and disease? H e will. But can any one attain the knowledge of either unless he have a knowledg e of medicine? He cannot. No one at all, it would seem, except the physician can have this knowledge; and therefore not the wise man; he would have to be a phys ician as well as a wise man. Very true. Then, assuredly, wisdom or temperance, i f only a science of science, and of the absence of science or knowledge, will no t be able to distinguish the physician who knows from one who does not know 63

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides but pretends or thinks that he knows, or any other professor of anything at all; like any other artist, he will only know his fellow in art or wisdom, and no on e else. That is evident, he said. But then what profit, Critias, I said, is ther e any longer in wisdom or temperance which yet remains, if this is wisdom? If, i ndeed, as we were supposing at first, the wise man had been able to distinguish what he knew and did not know, and that he knew the one and did not know the oth er, and to recognize a similar faculty of discernment in others, there would cer tainly have been a great advantage in being wise; for then we should never have made a mistake, but have passed through life the unerring guides of ourselves an d of those who are under us; and we should not have attempted to do what we did not know, but we should have found out those who knew, and have handed the busin ess over to them and trusted in them; nor should we have allowed those who were under us to do anything which they were not likely to do well; and they would be likely to do well just that of which they had knowledge; and the house or state which was ordered or administered under the guidance of wisdom, and everything else of which wisdom was the lord, would have been well ordered; for truth guidi ng, and error having been eliminated, in all their doings, men would have done w ell, and would have been happy. Was not this, Critias, what we spoke of as the g reat advantage of wisdomto know what is known and what is unknown to us? Very tru e, he said. And now you perceive, I said, that no such science is to be found an ywhere. I perceive, he said. May we assume then, I said, that wisdom, viewed in this new light merely as a knowledge of knowledge and ignorance, has this advant age:that he who possesses such knowledge will more easily learn anything which he learns; and that everything will be clearer to him, because, in addition to the knowledge of individuals, he sees the science, and this also will better enable him to test the knowledge which others have of what he knows himself; whereas t he enquirer who is without this knowledge may be supposed to have a feebler and weaker insight? Are not these, my friend, the real advantages which are to be ga ined from wisdom? And are not we looking and seeking after something more than i s to be found in her? That is very likely, he said. That is very likely, I said; and very likely, too, we have been enquiring to no purpose; as I am led to infe r, because I observe that if this is wisdom, some strange consequences would fol low. Let us, if you please, assume the possibility of this science of sciences, and further admit and allow, as was originally suggested, that wisdom is the kno wledge of what we know and do not know. Assuming all this, still, upon further c onsideration, I am doubtful, Critias, whether wisdom, such as this, would do us much good. For we were wrong, I think, in supposing, as we were saying just now, that such wisdom ordering the government of house or state would be a great ben efit. How so? he said. 64

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Why, I said, we were far too ready to admit the great benefits which mankind wou ld obtain from their severally doing the things which they knew, and committing the things of which they are ignorant to those who were better acquainted with t hem. Were we not right in making that admission? I think not. How very strange, Socrates! By the dog of Egypt, I said, there I agree with you; and I was thinkin g as much just now when I said that strange consequences would follow, and that I was afraid we were on the wrong track; for however ready we may be to admit th at this is wisdom, I certainly cannot make out what good this sort of thing does to us. What do you mean? he said; I wish that you could make me understand what you mean. I dare say that what I am saying is nonsense, I replied; and yet if a man has any feeling of what is due to himself, he cannot let the thought which comes into his mind pass away unheeded and unexamined. I like that, he said. Hea r, then, I said, my own dream; whether coming through the horn or the ivory gate , I cannot tell. The dream is this: Let us suppose that wisdom is such as we are now defining, and that she has absolute sway over us; then each action will be done according to the arts or sciences, and no one professing to be a pilot when he is not, or any physician or general, or any one else pretending to know matt ers of which he is ignorant, will deceive or elude us; our health will be improv ed; our safety at sea, and also in battle, will be assured; our coats and shoes, and all other instruments and implements will be skilfully made, because the wo rkmen will be good and true. Aye, and if you please, you may suppose that prophe cy, which is the knowledge of the future, will be under the control of wisdom, a nd that she will deter deceivers and set up the true prophets in their place as the revealers of the future. Now I quite agree that mankind, thus provided, woul d live and act according to knowledge, for wisdom would watch and prevent ignora nce from intruding on us. But whether by acting according to knowledge we shall act well and be happy, my dear Critias,this is a point which we have not yet been able to determine. Yet I think, he replied, that if you discard knowledge, you will hardly find the crown of happiness in anything else. But of what is this kn owledge? I said. Just answer me that small question. Do you mean a knowledge of shoemaking? God forbid. Or of working in brass? 65

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Certainly not. Or in wool, or wood, or anything of that sort? No, I do not. Then , I said, we are giving up the doctrine that he who lives according to knowledge is happy, for these live according to knowledge, and yet they are not allowed b y you to be happy; but I think that you mean to confine happiness to particular individuals who live according to knowledge, such for example as the prophet, wh o, as I was saying, knows the future. Is it of him you are speaking or of some o ne else? Yes, I mean him, but there are others as well. Yes, I said, some one wh o knows the past and present as well as the future, and is ignorant of nothing. Let us suppose that there is such a person, and if there is, you will allow that he is the most knowing of all living men. Certainly he is. Yet I should like to know one thing more: which of the different kinds of knowledge makes him happy? or do all equally make him happy? Not all equally, he replied. But which most t ends to make him happy? the knowledge of what past, present, or future thing? Ma y I infer this to be the knowledge of the game of draughts? Nonsense about the g ame of draughts. Or of computation? No. Or of health? That is nearer the truth, he said. And that knowledge which is nearest of all, I said, is the knowledge of what? The knowledge with which he discerns good and evil. Monster! I said; you have been carrying me round in a circle, and all this time hiding from me the fa ct that the life according to knowledge is not that which makes men act rightly and be happy, not even if knowledge include all the sciences, but one science on ly, that of good and evil. For, let me ask you, Critias, whether, if you take aw ay this, medicine will not equally give health, and shoemaking equally 66

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides produce shoes, and the art of the weaver clothes?whether the art of the pilot wil l not equally save our lives at sea, and the art of the general in war? Quite so . And yet, my dear Critias, none of these things will be well or beneficially do ne, if the science of the good be wanting. True. But that science is not wisdom or temperance, but a science of human advantage; not a science of other sciences , or of ignorance, but of good and evil: and if this be of use, then wisdom or t emperance will not be of use. And why, he replied, will not wisdom be of use? Fo r, however much we assume that wisdom is a science of sciences, and has a sway o ver other sciences, surely she will have this particular science of the good und er her control, and in this way will benefit us. And will wisdom give health? I said; is not this rather the effect of medicine? Or does wisdom do the work of a ny of the other arts,do they not each of them do their own work? Have we not long ago asseverated that wisdom is only the knowledge of knowledge and of ignorance , and of nothing else? That is obvious. Then wisdom will not be the producer of health. Certainly not. The art of health is different. Yes, different. Nor does wisdom give advantage, my good friend; for that again we have just now been attr ibuting to another art. Very true. How then can wisdom be advantageous, when giv ing no advantage? That, Socrates, is certainly inconceivable. You see then, Crit ias, that I was not far wrong in fearing that I could have no sound notion about wisdom; I was quite right in depreciating myself; for that which is admitted to be the best of all things would never have seemed to us useless, if I had been good for anything at an enquiry. But now I have been utterly defeated, and have failed to discover what that is to which the imposer of names gave this name of temperance or wisdom. And yet many more admissions were made by us than 67

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides could be fairly granted; for we admitted that there was a science of science, al though the argument said No, and protested against us; and we admitted further, that this science knew the works of the other sciences (although this too was de nied by the argument), because we wanted to show that the wise man had knowledge of what he knew and did not know; also we nobly disregarded, and never even con sidered, the impossibility of a man knowing in a sort of way that which he does not know at all; for our assumption was, that he knows that which he does not kn ow; than which nothing, as I think, can be more irrational. And yet, after findi ng us so easy and good-natured, the enquiry is still unable to discover the trut h; but mocks us to a degree, and has gone out of its way to prove the inutility of that which we admitted only by a sort of supposition and fiction to be the tr ue definition of temperance or wisdom: which result, as far as I am concerned, i s not so much to be lamented, I said. But for your sake, Charmides, I am very so rrythat you, having such beauty and such wisdom and temperance of soul, should ha ve no profit or good in life from your wisdom and temperance. And still more am I grieved about the charm which I learned with so much pain, and to so little pr ofit, from the Thracian, for the sake of a thing which is nothing worth. I think indeed that there is a mistake, and that I must be a bad enquirer, for wisdom o r temperance I believe to be really a great good; and happy are you, Charmides, if you certainly possess it. Wherefore examine yourself, and see whether you hav e this gift and can do without the charm; for if you can, I would rather advise you to regard me simply as a fool who is never able to reason out anything; and to rest assured that the more wise and temperate you are, the happier you will b e. Charmides said: I am sure that I do not know, Socrates, whether I have or hav e not this gift of wisdom and temperance; for how can I know whether I have a th ing, of which even you and Critias are, as you say, unable to discover the natur e?(not that I believe you.) And further, I am sure, Socrates, that I do need the charm, and as far as I am concerned, I shall be willing to be charmed by you dai ly, until you say that I have had enough. Very good, Charmides, said Critias; if you do this I shall have a proof of your temperance, that is, if you allow your self to be charmed by Socrates, and never desert him at all. You may depend on m y following and not deserting him, said Charmides: if you who are my guardian co mmand me, I should be very wrong not to obey you. And I do command you, he said. Then I will do as you say, and begin this very day. You sirs, I said, what are you conspiring about? We are not conspiring, said Charmides, we have conspired a lready. And are you about to use violence, without even going through the forms of justice? Yes, I shall use violence, he replied, since he orders me; and there fore you had better consider well. But the time for consideration has passed, I said, when violence is employed; and you, when you are determined on anything, a nd in the mood of violence, are irresistible. 68

TheDialoguesofPlato:Charmides Do not you resist me then, he said. I will not resist you, I replied. 69

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus The Project Gutenberg EBook of Cratylus, by Plato This eBook is for the use of a nyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may co py it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Licens e included with this eBook or online at Title: Cratylus Author: Plato Translator: B. Jowett Release Date: September 26, 2008 [EBook #1616] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CRATYLUS *** Produced by Sue Asscher, and David Widger CRATYLUS By Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett Contents 70

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus INTRODUCTION. CRATYLUS INTRODUCTION. The Cratylus has always been a source of perplexity to the student of Plato. Whi le in fancy and humour, and perfection of style and metaphysical originality, th is dialogue may be ranked with the best of the Platonic writings, there has been an uncertainty about the motive of the piece, which interpreters have hitherto not succeeded in dispelling. We need not suppose that Plato used words in order to conceal his thoughts, or that he would have been unintelligible to an educate d contemporary. In the Phaedrus and Euthydemus we also find a difficulty in dete rmining the precise aim of the author. Plato wrote satires in the form of dialog ues, and his meaning, like that of other satirical writers, has often slept in t he ear of posterity. Two causes may be assigned for this obscurity: 1st, the sub tlety and allusiveness of this species of composition; 2nd, the difficulty of re producing a state of life and literature which has passed away. A satire is unme aning unless we can place ourselves back among the persons and thoughts of the a ge in which it was written. Had the treatise of Antisthenes upon words, or the s peculations of Cratylus, or some other Heracleitean of the fourth century B.C., on the nature of language been preserved to us; or if we had lived at the time, and been 'rich enough to attend the fifty-drachma course of Prodicus,' we should have understood Plato better, and many points which are now attributed to the e xtravagance of Socrates' humour would have been found, like the allusions of Ari stophanes in the Clouds, to have gone home to the sophists and grammarians of th e day. For the age was very busy with philological speculation; and many questio ns were beginning to be asked about language which were parallel to other questi ons about justice, virtue, knowledge, and were illustrated in a similar manner b y the analogy of the arts. Was there a correctness in words, and were they given by nature or convention? In the presocratic philosophy mankind had been strivin g to attain an expression of their ideas, and now they were beginning to ask the mselves whether the expression might not be distinguished from the idea? They we re also seeking to distinguish the parts of speech and to enquire into the relat ion of subject and predicate. Grammar and logic were moving about somewhere in t he depths of the human soul, but they were not yet awakened into consciousness a nd had not found names for themselves, or terms by which they might be expressed . Of these beginnings of the study of language we know little, and there necessa rily arises an obscurity when the surroundings of such a work as the Cratylus ar e taken away. Moreover, in this, as in most of the dialogues of Plato, allowance has to be made for the character of Socrates. For the theory of language can on ly be propounded by him in a manner which is consistent with his own profession of ignorance. Hence his ridicule of the new school of etymology is interspersed with many declarations 'that he knows nothing,' 'that he has learned from Euthyp hro,' and the like. Even the truest things 71

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus which he says are depreciated by himself. He professes to be guessing, but the g uesses of Plato are better than all the other theories of the ancients respectin g language put together. The dialogue hardly derives any light from Plato's othe r writings, and still less from Scholiasts and Neoplatonist writers. Socrates mu st be interpreted from himself, and on first reading we certainly have a difficu lty in understanding his drift, or his relation to the two other interlocutors i n the dialogue. Does he agree with Cratylus or with Hermogenes, and is he seriou s in those fanciful etymologies, extending over more than half the dialogue, whi ch he seems so greatly to relish? Or is he serious in part only; and can we sepa rate his jest from his earnest?Sunt bona, sunt quaedum mediocria, sunt mala plura . Most of them are ridiculously bad, and yet among them are found, as if by acci dent, principles of philology which are unsurpassed in any ancient writer, and e ven in advance of any philologer of the last century. May we suppose that Plato, like Lucian, has been amusing his fancy by writing a comedy in the form of a pr ose dialogue? And what is the final result of the enquiry? Is Plato an upholder of the conventional theory of language, which he acknowledges to be imperfect? o r does he mean to imply that a perfect language can only be based on his own the ory of ideas? Or if this latter explanation is refuted by his silence, then in w hat relation does his account of language stand to the rest of his philosophy? O r may we be so bold as to deny the connexion between them? (For the allusion to the ideas at the end of the dialogue is merely intended to show that we must not put words in the place of things or realities, which is a thesis strongly insis ted on by Plato in many other passages)...These are some of the first thoughts w hich arise in the mind of the reader of the Cratylus. And the consideration of t hem may form a convenient introduction to the general subject of the dialogue. W e must not expect all the parts of a dialogue of Plato to tend equally to some c learly-defined end. His idea of literary art is not the absolute proportion of t he whole, such as we appear to find in a Greek temple or statue; nor should his works be tried by any such standard. They have often the beauty of poetry, but t hey have also the freedom of conversation. 'Words are more plastic than wax' (Re p.), and may be moulded into any form. He wanders on from one topic to another, careless of the unity of his work, not fearing any 'judge, or spectator, who may recall him to the point' (Theat.), 'whither the argument blows we follow' (Rep. ). To have determined beforehand, as in a modern didactic treatise, the nature a nd limits of the subject, would have been fatal to the spirit of enquiry or disc overy, which is the soul of the dialogue...These remarks are applicable to nearl y all the works of Plato, but to the Cratylus and Phaedrus more than any others. See Phaedrus, Introduction. There is another aspect under which some of the dia logues of Plato may be more truly viewed:they are dramatic sketches of an argumen t. We have found that in the Lysis, Charmides, Laches, Protagoras, Meno, we arri ved at no conclusionthe different sides of the argument were personified in the d ifferent speakers; but the victory was not distinctly attributed to any of them, nor the truth wholly the property of any. And in the Cratylus we have no reason to assume that Socrates is either wholly right or wholly wrong, or that Plato, though he evidently inclines to him, had any other aim than that of personifying , in the characters of Hermogenes, Socrates, and Cratylus, the three theories of language which are respectively maintained by them. The two subordinate persons of the dialogue, Hermogenes and Cratylus, are at the opposite poles of the argu ment. But after a while the disciple of the Sophist and the follower of Heraclei tus are found to be not so far removed from one another as at first sight appear ed; and both show an inclination to 72

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus accept the third view which Socrates interposes between them. First, Hermogenes, the poor brother of the rich Callias, expounds the doctrine that names are conv entional; like the names of slaves, they may be given and altered at pleasure. T his is one of those principles which, whether applied to society or language, ex plains everything and nothing. For in all things there is an element of conventi on; but the admission of this does not help us to understand the rational ground or basis in human nature on which the convention proceeds. Socrates first of al l intimates to Hermogenes that his view of language is only a part of a sophisti cal whole, and ultimately tends to abolish the distinction between truth and fal sehood. Hermogenes is very ready to throw aside the sophistical tenet, and liste ns with a sort of half admiration, half belief, to the speculations of Socrates. Cratylus is of opinion that a name is either a true name or not a name at all. He is unable to conceive of degrees of imitation; a word is either the perfect e xpression of a thing, or a mere inarticulate sound (a fallacy which is still pre valent among theorizers about the origin of language). He is at once a philosoph er and a sophist; for while wanting to rest language on an immutable basis, he w ould deny the possibility of falsehood. He is inclined to derive all truth from language, and in language he sees reflected the philosophy of Heracleitus. His v iews are not like those of Hermogenes, hastily taken up, but are said to be the result of mature consideration, although he is described as still a young man. W ith a tenacity characteristic of the Heracleitean philosophers, he clings to the doctrine of the flux. (Compare Theaet.) Of the real Cratylus we know nothing, e xcept that he is recorded by Aristotle to have been the friend or teacher of Pla to; nor have we any proof that he resembled the likeness of him in Plato any mor e than the Critias of Plato is like the real Critias, or the Euthyphro in this d ialogue like the other Euthyphro, the diviner, in the dialogue which is called a fter him. Between these two extremes, which have both of them a sophistical char acter, the view of Socrates is introduced, which is in a manner the union of the two. Language is conventional and also natural, and the true conventional-natur al is the rational. It is a work not of chance, but of art; the dialectician is the artificer of words, and the legislator gives authority to them. They are the expressions or imitations in sound of things. In a sense, Cratylus is right in saying that things have by nature names; for nature is not opposed either to art or to law. But vocal imitation, like any other copy, may be imperfectly execute d; and in this way an element of chance or convention enters in. There is much w hich is accidental or exceptional in language. Some words have had their origina l meaning so obscured, that they require to be helped out by convention. But sti ll the true name is that which has a natural meaning. Thus nature, art, chance, all combine in the formation of language. And the three views respectively propo unded by Hermogenes, Socrates, Cratylus, may be described as the conventional, t he artificial or rational, and the natural. The view of Socrates is the meetingpoint of the other two, just as conceptualism is the meeting-point of nominalism and realism. We can hardly say that Plato was aware of the truth, that 'languag es are not made, but grow.' But still, when he says that 'the legislator made la nguage with the dialectician standing on his right hand,' we need not infer from this that he conceived words, like coins, to be issued from the mint of the Sta te. The creator of laws and of social life is naturally regarded as the creator of language, according to Hellenic notions, and the philosopher is his natural a dvisor. We are not to suppose that the legislator is performing any extraordinar y function; he is merely the Eponymus of the State, who prescribes rules for the dialectician and for all other artists. According to a truly Platonic mode of a pproaching the subject, language, like virtue in the Republic, is examined by th e analogy of the arts. Words are works of art which may be equally made in diffe rent materials, and are well made when they have a 73

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus meaning. Of the process which he thus describes, Plato had probably no very defi nite notion. But he means to express generally that language is the product of i ntelligence, and that languages belong to States and not to individuals. A bette r conception of language could not have been formed in Plato's age, than that wh ich he attributes to Socrates. Yet many persons have thought that the mind of Pl ato is more truly seen in the vague realism of Cratylus. This misconception has probably arisen from two causes: first, the desire to bring Plato's theory of la nguage into accordance with the received doctrine of the Platonic ideas; secondl y, the impression created by Socrates himself, that he is not in earnest, and is only indulging the fancy of the hour. 1. We shall have occasion to show more at length, in the Introduction to future dialogues, that the socalled Platonic ide as are only a semi-mythical form, in which he attempts to realize abstractions, and that they are replaced in his later writings by a rational theory of psychol ogy. (See introductions to the Meno and the Sophist.) And in the Cratylus he giv es a general account of the nature and origin of language, in which Adam Smith, Rousseau, and other writers of the last century, would have substantially agreed . At the end of the dialogue, he speaks as in the Symposium and Republic of abso lute beauty and good; but he never supposed that they were capable of being embo died in words. Of the names of the ideas, he would have said, as he says of the names of the Gods, that we know nothing. Even the realism of Cratylus is not bas ed upon the ideas of Plato, but upon the flux of Heracleitus. Here, as in the So phist and Politicus, Plato expressly draws attention to the want of agreement in words and things. Hence we are led to infer, that the view of Socrates is not t he less Plato's own, because not based upon the ideas; 2nd, that Plato's theory of language is not inconsistent with the rest of his philosophy. 2. We do not de ny that Socrates is partly in jest and partly in earnest. He is discoursing in a highflown vein, which may be compared to the 'dithyrambics of the Phaedrus.' Th ey are mysteries of which he is speaking, and he professes a kind of ludicrous f ear of his imaginary wisdom. When he is arguing out of Homer, about the names of Hector's son, or when he describes himself as inspired or maddened by Euthyphro , with whom he has been sitting from the early dawn (compare Phaedrus and Lysias ; Phaedr.) and expresses his intention of yielding to the illusion to-day, and t o-morrow he will go to a priest and be purified, we easily see that his words ar e not to be taken seriously. In this part of the dialogue his dread of committin g impiety, the pretended derivation of his wisdom from another, the extravagance of some of his etymologies, and, in general, the manner in which the fun, fast and furious, vires acquirit eundo, remind us strongly of the Phaedrus. The jest is a long one, extending over more than half the dialogue. But then, we remember that the Euthydemus is a still longer jest, in which the irony is preserved to the very end. There he is parodying the ingenious follies of early logic; in the Cratylus he is ridiculing the fancies of a new school of sophists and grammaria ns. The fallacies of the Euthydemus are still retained at the end of our logic b ooks; and the etymologies of the Cratylus have also found their way into later w riters. Some of these are not much worse than the conjectures of Hemsterhuis, an d other critics of the last century; but this does not prove that they are serio us. For Plato is in advance of his age in his conception of language, as much as he is in his conception of mythology. (Compare Phaedrus.) When the fervour of h is etymological enthusiasm has abated, Socrates ends, as he has begun, with a ra tional explanation of language. Still he preserves his 'know nothing' disguise, and himself declares 74

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus his first notions about names to be reckless and ridiculous. Having explained co mpound words by resolving them into their original elements, he now proceeds to analyse simple words into the letters of which they are composed. The Socrates w ho 'knows nothing,' here passes into the teacher, the dialectician, the arranger of species. There is nothing in this part of the dialogue which is either weak or extravagant. Plato is a supporter of the Onomatopoetic theory of language; th at is to say, he supposes words to be formed by the imitation of ideas in sounds ; he also recognises the effect of time, the influence of foreign languages, the desire of euphony, to be formative principles; and he admits a certain element of chance. But he gives no imitation in all this that he is preparing the way fo r the construction of an ideal language. Or that he has any Eleatic speculation to oppose to the Heracleiteanism of Cratylus. The theory of language which is pr opounded in the Cratylus is in accordance with the later phase of the philosophy of Plato, and would have been regarded by him as in the main true. The dialogue is also a satire on the philological fancies of the day. Socrates in pursuit of his vocation as a detector of false knowledge, lights by accident on the truth. He is guessing, he is dreaming; he has heard, as he says in the Phaedrus, from another: no one is more surprised than himself at his own discoveries. And yet s ome of his best remarks, as for example his view of the derivation of Greek word s from other languages, or of the permutations of letters, or again, his observa tion that in speaking of the Gods we are only speaking of our names of them, occ ur among these flights of humour. We can imagine a character having a profound i nsight into the nature of men and things, and yet hardly dwelling upon them seri ously; blending inextricably sense and nonsense; sometimes enveloping in a blaze of jests the most serious matters, and then again allowing the truth to peer th rough; enjoying the flow of his own humour, and puzzling mankind by an ironical exaggeration of their absurdities. Such were Aristophanes and Rabelais; such, in a different style, were Sterne, Jean Paul, Hamann,writers who sometimes become u nintelligible through the extravagance of their fancies. Such is the character w hich Plato intends to depict in some of his dialogues as the Silenus Socrates; a nd through this medium we have to receive our theory of language. There remains a difficulty which seems to demand a more exact answer: In what relation does th e satirical or etymological portion of the dialogue stand to the serious? Granti ng all that can be said about the provoking irony of Socrates, about the parody of Euthyphro, or Prodicus, or Antisthenes, how does the long catalogue of etymol ogies furnish any answer to the question of Hermogenes, which is evidently the m ain thesis of the dialogue: What is the truth, or correctness, or principle of n ames? After illustrating the nature of correctness by the analogy of the arts, a nd then, as in the Republic, ironically appealing to the authority of the Homeri c poems, Socrates shows that the truth or correctness of names can only be ascer tained by an appeal to etymology. The truth of names is to be found in the analy sis of their elements. But why does he admit etymologies which are absurd, based on Heracleitean fancies, fourfold interpretations of words, impossible unions a nd separations of syllables and letters? 1. The answer to this difficulty has be en already anticipated in part: Socrates is not a dogmatic teacher, and therefor e he puts on this wild and fanciful disguise, in order that the truth may be per mitted to appear: 2. as Benfey remarks, an erroneous example may illustrate a pr inciple of 75

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus language as well as a true one: 3. many of these etymologies, as, for example, t hat of dikaion, are indicated, by the manner in which Socrates speaks of them, t o have been current in his own age: 4. the philosophy of language had not made s uch progress as would have justified Plato in propounding real derivations. Like his master Socrates, he saw through the hollowness of the incipient sciences of the day, and tries to move in a circle apart from them, laying down the conditi ons under which they are to be pursued, but, as in the Timaeus, cautious and ten tative, when he is speaking of actual phenomena. To have made etymologies seriou sly, would have seemed to him like the interpretation of the myths in the Phaedr us, the task 'of a not very fortunate individual, who had a great deal of time o n his hands.' The irony of Socrates places him above and beyond the errors of hi s contemporaries. The Cratylus is full of humour and satirical touches: the insp iration which comes from Euthyphro, and his prancing steeds, the light admixture of quotations from Homer, and the spurious dialectic which is applied to them; the jest about the fifty-drachma course of Prodicus, which is declared on the be st authority, viz. his own, to be a complete education in grammar and rhetoric; the double explanation of the name Hermogenes, either as 'not being in luck,' or 'being no speaker;' the dearly-bought wisdom of Callias, the Lacedaemonian whos e name was 'Rush,' and, above all, the pleasure which Socrates expresses in his own dangerous discoveries, which 'to-morrow he will purge away,' are truly humor ous. While delivering a lecture on the philosophy of language, Socrates is also satirizing the endless fertility of the human mind in spinning arguments out of nothing, and employing the most trifling and fanciful analogies in support of a theory. Etymology in ancient as in modern times was a favourite recreation; and Socrates makes merry at the expense of the etymologists. The simplicity of Hermo genes, who is ready to believe anything that he is told, heightens the effect. S ocrates in his genial and ironical mood hits right and left at his adversaries: Ouranos is so called apo tou oran ta ano, which, as some philosophers say, is th e way to have a pure mind; the sophists are by a fanciful explanation converted into heroes; 'the givers of names were like some philosophers who fancy that the earth goes round because their heads are always going round.' There is a great deal of 'mischief' lurking in the following: 'I found myself in greater perplexi ty about justice than I was before I began to learn;' 'The rho in katoptron must be the addition of some one who cares nothing about truth, but thinks only of p utting the mouth into shape;' 'Tales and falsehoods have generally to do with th e Tragic and goatish life, and tragedy is the place of them.' Several philosophe rs and sophists are mentioned by name: first, Protagoras and Euthydemus are assa iled; then the interpreters of Homer, oi palaioi Omerikoi (compare Arist. Met.) and the Orphic poets are alluded to by the way; then he discovers a hive of wisd om in the philosophy of Heracleitus;the doctrine of the flux is contained in the word ousia (= osia the pushing principle), an anticipation of Anaxagoras is foun d in psuche and selene. Again, he ridicules the arbitrary methods of pulling out and putting in letters which were in vogue among the philologers of his time; o r slightly scoffs at contemporary religious beliefs. Lastly, he is impatient of hearing from the half-converted Cratylus the doctrine that falsehood can neither be spoken, nor uttered, nor addressed; a piece of sophistry attributed to Gorgi as, which reappears in the Sophist. And he proceeds to demolish, with no less de light than he had set up, the Heracleitean theory of language. In the latter par t of the dialogue Socrates becomes more serious, though he does not lay aside bu t rather aggravates his banter of the Heracleiteans, whom here, as in the Theaet etus, he delights to ridicule. What was the origin of this enmity we can hardly determine:was it due to the natural dislike which may be supposed to exist betwee n the 'patrons of the flux' and the 'friends of the ideas' (Soph.)? or is it to be attributed to the indignation which Plato felt at having wasted his time upon 76

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus 'Cratylus and the doctrines of Heracleitus' in the days of his youth? Socrates, touching on some of the characteristic difficulties of early Greek philosophy, e ndeavours to show Cratylus that imitation may be partial or imperfect, that a kn owledge of things is higher than a knowledge of names, and that there can be no knowledge if all things are in a state of transition. But Cratylus, who does not easily apprehend the argument from common sense, remains unconvinced, and on th e whole inclines to his former opinion. Some profound philosophical remarks are scattered up and down, admitting of an application not only to language but to k nowledge generally; such as the assertion that 'consistency is no test of truth: ' or again, 'If we are over-precise about words, truth will say "too late" to us as to the belated traveller in Aegina.' The place of the dialogue in the series cannot be determined with certainty. The style and subject, and the treatment o f the character of Socrates, have a close resemblance to the earlier dialogues, especially to the Phaedrus and Euthydemus. The manner in which the ideas are spo ken of at the end of the dialogue, also indicates a comparatively early date. Th e imaginative element is still in full vigour; the Socrates of the Cratylus is t he Socrates of the Apology and Symposium, not yet Platonized; and he describes, as in the Theaetetus, the philosophy of Heracleitus by 'unsavoury' simileshe cann ot believe that the world is like 'a leaky vessel,' or 'a man who has a running at the nose'; he attributes the flux of the world to the swimming in some folks' heads. On the other hand, the relation of thought to language is omitted here, but is treated of in the Sophist. These grounds are not sufficient to enable us to arrive at a precise conclusion. But we shall not be far wrong in placing the Cratylus about the middle, or at any rate in the first half, of the series. Crat ylus, the Heracleitean philosopher, and Hermogenes, the brother of Callias, have been arguing about names; the former maintaining that they are natural, the lat ter that they are conventional. Cratylus affirms that his own is a true name, bu t will not allow that the name of Hermogenes is equally true. Hermogenes asks So crates to explain to him what Cratylus means; or, far rather, he would like to k now, What Socrates himself thinks about the truth or correctness of names? Socra tes replies, that hard is knowledge, and the nature of names is a considerable p art of knowledge: he has never been to hear the fifty-drachma course of Prodicus ; and having only attended the single-drachma course, he is not competent to giv e an opinion on such matters. When Cratylus denies that Hermogenes is a true nam e, he supposes him to mean that he is not a true son of Hermes, because he is ne ver in luck. But he would like to have an open council and to hear both sides. H ermogenes is of opinion that there is no principle in names; they may be changed , as we change the names of slaves, whenever we please, and the altered name is as good as the original one. You mean to say, for instance, rejoins Socrates, th at if I agree to call a man a horse, then a man will be rightly called a horse b y me, and a man by the rest of the world? But, surely, there is in words a true and a false, as there are true and false propositions. If a whole proposition be true or false, then the parts of a proposition may be true or false, and the le ast parts as well as the greatest; and the least parts are names, and therefore names may be true or false. Would Hermogenes maintain that anybody may give a na me to anything, and as many names as he pleases; and would all these names be al ways true at the time of giving them? Hermogenes replies that this is the only w ay in which he can conceive that names are correct; and he appeals to the practi ce of different nations, and of the different Hellenic tribes, in confirmation o f his view. Socrates asks, whether the things differ as the words which represen t them differ:Are we to maintain with Protagoras, that what appears is? 77

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus Hermogenes has always been puzzled about this, but acknowledges, when he is pres sed by Socrates, that there are a few very good men in the world, and a great ma ny very bad; and the very good are the wise, and the very bad are the foolish; a nd this is not mere appearance but reality. Nor is he disposed to say with Euthy demus, that all things equally and always belong to all men; in that case, again , there would be no distinction between bad and good men. But then, the only rem aining possibility is, that all things have their several distinct natures, and are independent of our notions about them. And not only things, but actions, hav e distinct natures, and are done by different processes. There is a natural way of cutting or burning, and a natural instrument with which men cut or burn, and any other way will fail;this is true of all actions. And speaking is a kind of ac tion, and naming is a kind of speaking, and we must name according to a natural process, and with a proper instrument. We cut with a knife, we pierce with an aw l, we weave with a shuttle, we name with a name. And as a shuttle separates the warp from the woof, so a name distinguishes the natures of things. The weaver wi ll use the shuttle well,that is, like a weaver; and the teacher will use the name well,that is, like a teacher. The shuttle will be made by the carpenter; the awl by the smith or skilled person. But who makes a name? Does not the law give nam es, and does not the teacher receive them from the legislator? He is the skilled person who makes them, and of all skilled workmen he is the rarest. But how doe s the carpenter make or repair the shuttle, and to what will he look? Will he no t look at the ideal which he has in his mind? And as the different kinds of work differ, so ought the instruments which make them to differ. The several kinds o f shuttles ought to answer in material and form to the several kinds of webs. An d the legislator ought to know the different materials and forms of which names are made in Hellas and other countries. But who is to be the judge of the proper form? The judge of shuttles is the weaver who uses them; the judge of lyres is the player of the lyre; the judge of ships is the pilot. And will not the judge who is able to direct the legislator in his work of naming, be he who knows how to use the nameshe who can ask and answer questionsin short, the dialectician? The pilot directs the carpenter how to make the rudder, and the dialectician direct s the legislator how he is to impose names; for to express the ideal forms of th ings in syllables and letters is not the easy task, Hermogenes, which you imagin e. 'I should be more readily persuaded, if you would show me this natural correc tness of names.' Indeed I cannot; but I see that you have advanced; for you now admit that there is a correctness of names, and that not every one can give a na me. But what is the nature of this correctness or truth, you must learn from the Sophists, of whom your brother Callias has bought his reputation for wisdom rat her dearly; and since they require to be paid, you, having no money, had better learn from him at second-hand. 'Well, but I have just given up Protagoras, and I should be inconsistent in going to learn of him.' Then if you reject him you ma y learn of the poets, and in particular of Homer, who distinguishes the names gi ven by Gods and men to the same things, as in the verse about the river God who fought with Hephaestus, 'whom the Gods call Xanthus, and men call Scamander;' or in the lines in which he mentions the bird which the Gods call 'Chalcis,' and m en 'Cymindis;' or the hill which men call 'Batieia,' and the Gods 'Myrinna's Tom b.' Here is an important lesson; for the Gods must of course be right in their u se of names. And this is not the only truth about philology which may be learnt from Homer. Does he not say that Hector's son had two names 'Hector called him Sc amandrius, but the others Astyanax'? 78

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus Now, if the men called him Astyanax, is it not probable that the other name was conferred by the women? And which are more likely to be rightthe wiser or the les s wise, the men or the women? Homer evidently agreed with the men: and of the na me given by them he offers an explanation;the boy was called Astyanax ('king of t he city'), because his father saved the city. The names Astyanax and Hector, mor eover, are really the same,the one means a king, and the other is 'a holder or po ssessor.' For as the lion's whelp may be called a lion, or the horse's foal a fo al, so the son of a king may be called a king. But if the horse had produced a c alf, then that would be called a calf. Whether the syllables of a name are the s ame or not makes no difference, provided the meaning is retained. For example; t he names of letters, whether vowels or consonants, do not correspond to their so unds, with the exception of epsilon, upsilon, omicron, omega. The name Beta has three letters added to the soundand yet this does not alter the sense of the word , or prevent the whole name having the value which the legislator intended. And the same may be said of a king and the son of a king, who like other animals res emble each other in the course of nature; the words by which they are signified may be disguised, and yet amid differences of sound the etymologist may recognis e the same notion, just as the physician recognises the power of the same drugs under different disguises of colour and smell. Hector and Astyanax have only one letter alike, but they have the same meaning; and Agis (leader) is altogether d ifferent in sound from Polemarchus (chief in war), or Eupolemus (good warrior); but the two words present the same idea of leader or general, like the words Iat rocles and Acesimbrotus, which equally denote a physician. The son succeeds the father as the foal succeeds the horse, but when, out of the course of nature, a prodigy occurs, and the offspring no longer resembles the parent, then the names no longer agree. This may be illustrated by the case of Agamemnon and his son O restes, of whom the former has a name significant of his patience at the siege o f Troy; while the name of the latter indicates his savage, man-of-the-mountain n ature. Atreus again, for his murder of Chrysippus, and his cruelty to Thyestes, is rightly named Atreus, which, to the eye of the etymologist, is ateros (destru ctive), ateires (stubborn), atreotos (fearless); and Pelops is o ta pelas oron ( he who sees what is near only), because in his eagerness to win Hippodamia, he w as unconscious of the remoter consequences which the murder of Myrtilus would en tail upon his race. The name Tantalus, if slightly changed, offers two etymologi es; either apo tes tou lithou talanteias, or apo tou talantaton einai, signifyin g at once the hanging of the stone over his head in the world below, and the mis ery which he brought upon his country. And the name of his father, Zeus, Dios, Z enos, has an excellent meaning, though hard to be understood, because really a s entence which is divided into two parts (Zeus, Dios). For he, being the lord and king of all, is the author of our being, and in him all live: this is implied i n the double form, Dios, Zenos, which being put together and interpreted is di o n ze panta. There may, at first sight, appear to be some irreverence in calling him the son of Cronos, who is a proverb for stupidity; but the meaning is that Z eus himself is the son of a mighty intellect; Kronos, quasi koros, not in the se nse of a youth, but quasi to katharon kai akeraton tou nouthe pure and garnished mind, which in turn is begotten of Uranus, who is so called apo tou oran ta ano, from looking upwards; which, as philosophers say, is the way to have a pure min d. The earlier portion of Hesiod's genealogy has escaped my memory, or I would t ry more conclusions of the same sort. 'You talk like an oracle.' I caught the in fection from Euthyphro, who gave me a long lecture which began at dawn, and has not only entered into my ears, but filled my soul, and my intention is to yield to the inspiration to-day; and to-morrow I will be exorcised by some priest or s ophist. 'Go on; I am anxious to hear the rest.' Now that we have a general notio n, how shall we proceed? What names will afford the most crucial test of natural fitness? Those of heroes and ordinary men are often deceptive, because they are patronymics or expressions of a wish; let us try gods and demi-gods. Gods are s o called, apo tou thein, from the verb 'to run;' because the sun, moon, and star s run about the heaven;


TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus and they being the original gods of the Hellenes, as they still are of the Barba rians, their name is given to all Gods. The demons are the golden race of Hesiod , and by golden he means not literally golden, but good; and they are called dem ons, quasi daemones, which in old Attic was used for daimonesgood men are well sa id to become daimones when they die, because they are knowing. Eros (with an eps ilon) is the same word as eros (with an eta): 'the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair;' or perhaps they were a species of sophists or rhet oricians, and so called apo tou erotan, or eirein, from their habit of spinning questions; for eirein is equivalent to legein. I get all this from Euthyphro; an d now a new and ingenious idea comes into my mind, and, if I am not careful, I s hall be wiser than I ought to be by to-morrow's dawn. My idea is, that we may pu t in and pull out letters at pleasure and alter the accents (as, for example, Di i philos may be turned into Diphilos), and we may make words into sentences and sentences into words. The name anthrotos is a case in point, for a letter has be en omitted and the accent changed; the original meaning being o anathron a opope nhe who looks up at what he sees. Psuche may be thought to be the reviving, or re freshing, or animating principlee anapsuchousa to soma; but I am afraid that Euth yphro and his disciples will scorn this derivation, and I must find another: sha ll we identify the soul with the 'ordering mind' of Anaxagoras, and say that psu che, quasi phuseche = e phusin echei or ochei?this might easily be refined into p syche. 'That is a more artistic etymology.' After psuche follows soma; this, by a slight permutation, may be either = (1) the 'grave' of the soul, or (2) may me an 'that by which the soul signifies (semainei) her wishes.' But more probably, the word is Orphic, and simply denotes that the body is the place of ward in whi ch the soul suffers the penalty of sin,en o sozetai. 'I should like to hear some more explanations of the names of the Gods, like that excellent one of Zeus.' Th e truest names of the Gods are those which they give themselves; but these are u nknown to us. Less true are those by which we propitiate them, as men say in pra yers, 'May he graciously receive any name by which I call him.' And to avoid off ence, I should like to let them know beforehand that we are not presuming to enq uire about them, but only about the names which they usually bear. Let us begin with Hestia. What did he mean who gave the name Hestia? 'That is a very difficul t question.' O, my dear Hermogenes, I believe that there was a power of philosop hy and talk among the first inventors of names, both in our own and in other lan guages; for even in foreign words a principle is discernible. Hestia is the same with esia, which is an old form of ousia, and means the first principle of thin gs: this agrees with the fact that to Hestia the first sacrifices are offered. T here is also another readingosia, which implies that 'pushing' (othoun) is the fi rst principle of all things. And here I seem to discover a delicate allusion to the flux of Heracleitusthat antediluvian philosopher who cannot walk twice in the same stream; and this flux of his may accomplish yet greater marvels. For the n ames Cronos and Rhea cannot have been accidental; the giver of them must have kn own something about the doctrine of Heracleitus. Moreover, there is a remarkable coincidence in the words of Hesiod, when he speaks of Oceanus, 'the origin of G ods;' and in the verse of Orpheus, in which he describes Oceanus espousing his s ister Tethys. Tethys is nothing more than the name of a springto diattomenon kai ethoumenon. Poseidon is posidesmos, the chain of the feet, because you cannot wa lk on the seathe epsilon is inserted by way of ornament; or perhaps the name may have been originally polleidon, meaning, that the God knew many things (polla ei dos): he may also be the shaker, apo tou seiein,in this case, pi and delta have b een added. Pluto is connected with ploutos, because wealth comes out of the eart h; or the word may be a euphemism for Hades, which is usually derived apo tou ae idous, because the God is concerned with the invisible. But the name Hades was r eally given him from his knowing (eidenai) all good things. Men in general are f oolishly afraid of him, and talk with horror of the world below from 80

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus which no one may return. The reason why his subjects never wish to come back, ev en if they could, is that the God enchains them by the strongest of spells, name ly by the desire of virtue, which they hope to obtain by constant association wi th him. He is the perfect and accomplished Sophist and the great benefactor of t he other world; for he has much more than he wants there, and hence he is called Pluto or the rich. He will have nothing to do with the souls of men while in th e body, because he cannot work his will with them so long as they are confused a nd entangled by fleshly lusts. Demeter is the mother and giver of foode didousa m eter tes edodes. Here is erate tis, or perhaps the legislator may have been thin king of the weather, and has merely transposed the letters of the word aer. Pher ephatta, that word of awe, is pheretapha, which is only an euphonious contractio n of e tou pheromenou ephaptomene,all things are in motion, and she in her wisdom moves with them, and the wise God Hades consorts with herthere is nothing very t errible in this, any more than in the her other appellation Persephone, which is also significant of her wisdom (sophe). Apollo is another name, which is suppos ed to have some dreadful meaning, but is susceptible of at least four perfectly innocent explanations. First, he is the purifier or purger or absolver (apolouon ); secondly, he is the true diviner, Aplos, as he is called in the Thessalian di alect (aplos = aplous, sincere); thirdly, he is the archer (aei ballon), always shooting; or again, supposing alpha to mean ama or omou, Apollo becomes equivale nt to ama polon, which points to both his musical and his heavenly attributes; f or there is a 'moving together' alike in music and in the harmony of the spheres . The second lambda is inserted in order to avoid the ill-omened sound of destru ction. The Muses are so calledapo tou mosthai. The gentle Leto or Letho is named from her willingness (ethelemon), or because she is ready to forgive and forget (lethe). Artemis is so called from her healthy well-balanced nature, dia to arte mes, or as aretes istor; or as a lover of virginity, aroton misesasa. One of the se explanations is probably true,perhaps all of them. Dionysus is o didous ton oi non, and oinos is quasi oionous because wine makes those think (oiesthai) that t hey have a mind (nous) who have none. The established derivation of Aphrodite di a ten tou athrou genesin may be accepted on the authority of Hesiod. Again, ther e is the name of Pallas, or Athene, which we, who are Athenians, must not forget . Pallas is derived from armed dancesapo tou pallein ta opla. For Athene we must turn to the allegorical interpreters of Homer, who make the name equivalent to t heonoe, or possibly the word was originally ethonoe and signified moral intellig ence (en ethei noesis). Hephaestus, again, is the lord of lighto tou phaeos istor . This is a good notion; and, to prevent any other getting into our heads, let u s go on to Ares. He is the manly one (arren), or the unchangeable one (arratos). Enough of the Gods; for, by the Gods, I am afraid of them; but if you suggest o ther words, you will see how the horses of Euthyphro prance. 'Only one more God; tell me about my godfather Hermes.' He is ermeneus, the messenger or cheater or thief or bargainer; or o eirein momenos, that is, eiremes or ermesthe speaker or contriver of speeches. 'Well said Cratylus, then, that I am no son of Hermes.' Pan, as the son of Hermes, is speech or the brother of speech, and is called Pan because speech indicates everythingo pan menuon. He has two forms, a true and a false; and is in the upper part smooth, and in the lower part shaggy. He is the goat of Tragedy, in which there are plenty of falsehoods. 'Will you go on to the elementssun, moon, stars, earth, aether, air, fire, water, seasons, years?' Very good: and which shall I take first? Let us begin with elios, or the sun. The Do ric form elios helps us to see that he is so called because at his rising he gat hers (alizei) men together, or because he rolls about (eilei) the earth, or beca use he variegates (aiolei = poikillei) the earth. Selene is an anticipation of A naxagoras, being a contraction of selaenoneoaeia, the light (selas) which is eve r old and new, and which, as Anaxagoras says, is borrowed from the sun; the name was harmonized into 81

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus selanaia, a form which is still in use. 'That is a true dithyrambic name.' Meis is so called apo tou meiousthai, from suffering diminution, and astron is from a strape (lightning), which is an improvement of anastrope, that which turns the e yes inside out. 'How do you explain pur n udor?' I suspect that pur, which, like udor n kuon, is found in Phrygian, is a foreign word; for the Hellenes have bor rowed much from the barbarians, and I always resort to this theory of a foreign origin when I am at a loss. Aer may be explained, oti airei ta apo tes ges; or, oti aei rei; or, oti pneuma ex autou ginetai (compare the poetic word aetai). So aither quasi aeitheer oti aei thei peri ton aera: ge, gaia quasi genneteira (co mpare the Homeric form gegaasi); ora (with an omega), or, according to the old A ttic form ora (with an omicron), is derived apo tou orizein, because it divides the year; eniautos and etos are the same thoughto en eauto etazon, cut into two p arts, en eauto and etazon, like di on ze into Dios and Zenos. 'You make surprisi ng progress.' True; I am run away with, and am not even yet at my utmost speed. 'I should like very much to hear your account of the virtues. What principle of correctness is there in those charming words, wisdom, understanding, justice, an d the rest?' To explain all that will be a serious business; still, as I have pu t on the lion's skin, appearances must be maintained. My opinion is, that primit ive men were like some modern philosophers, who, by always going round in their search after the nature of things, become dizzy; and this phenomenon, which was really in themselves, they imagined to take place in the external world. You hav e no doubt remarked, that the doctrine of the universal flux, or generation of t hings, is indicated in names. 'No, I never did.' Phronesis is only phoras kai ro u noesis, or perhaps phoras onesis, and in any case is connected with pheresthai ; gnome is gones skepsis kai nomesis; noesis is neou or gignomenon esis; the wor d neos implies that creation is always going onthe original form was neoesis; sop hrosune is soteria phroneseos; episteme is e epomene tois pragmasinthe faculty wh ich keeps close, neither anticipating nor lagging behind; sunesis is equivalent to sunienai, sumporeuesthai ten psuche, and is a kind of conclusionsullogismos ti s, akin therefore in idea to episteme; sophia is very difficult, and has a forei gn lookthe meaning is, touching the motion or stream of things, and may be illust rated by the poetical esuthe and the Lacedaemonian proper name Sous, or Rush; ag athon is ro agaston en te tachuteti,for all things are in motion, and some are sw ifter than others: dikaiosune is clearly e tou dikaiou sunesis. The word dikaion is more troublesome, and appears to mean the subtle penetrating power which, as the lovers of motion say, preserves all things, and is the cause of all things, quasi diaion going throughthe letter kappa being inserted for the sake of euphon y. This is a great mystery which has been confided to me; but when I ask for an explanation I am thought obtrusive, and another derivation is proposed to me. Ju stice is said to be o kaion, or the sun; and when I joyfully repeat this beautif ul notion, I am answered, 'What, is there no justice when the sun is down?' And when I entreat my questioner to tell me his own opinion, he replies, that justic e is fire in the abstract, or heat in the abstract; which is not very intelligib le. Others laugh at such notions, and say with Anaxagoras, that justice is the o rdering mind. 'I think that some one must have told you this.' And not the rest? Let me proceed then, in the hope of proving to you my originality. Andreia is q uasi anpeia quasi e ano roe, the stream which flows upwards, and is opposed to i njustice, which clearly hinders the principle of penetration; arren and aner hav e a similar derivation; gune is the same as gone; thelu is derived apo tes thele s, because the teat makes things flourish (tethelenai), and the word thallein it self implies increase of youth, which is swift and sudden ever (thein and allest hai). I am getting over the ground fast: but much has still to be explained. The re is techne, for instance. This, by an aphaeresis of tau and an epenthesis of o micron in two places, may be identified with echonoe, and signifies 'that which has mind.' 82

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus 'A very poor etymology.' Yes; but you must remember that all language is in proc ess of change; letters are taken in and put out for the sake of euphony, and tim e is also a great alterer of words. For example, what business has the letter rh o in the word katoptron, or the letter sigma in the word sphigx? The additions a re often such that it is impossible to make out the original word; and yet, if y ou may put in and pull out, as you like, any name is equally good for any object . The fact is, that great dictators of literature like yourself should observe t he rules of moderation. 'I will do my best.' But do not be too much of a precisi an, or you will paralyze me. If you will let me add mechane, apo tou mekous, whi ch means polu, and anein, I shall be at the summit of my powers, from which elev ation I will examine the two words kakia and arete. The first is easily explaine d in accordance with what has preceded; for all things being in a flux, kakia is to kakos ion. This derivation is illustrated by the word deilia, which ought to have come after andreia, and may be regarded as o lian desmos tes psuches, just as aporia signifies an impediment to motion (from alpha not, and poreuesthai to go), and arete is euporia, which is the opposite of thisthe everflowing (aei reo usa or aeireite), or the eligible, quasi airete. You will think that I am invent ing, but I say that if kakia is right, then arete is also right. But what is kak on? That is a very obscure word, to which I can only apply my old notion and dec lare that kakon is a foreign word. Next, let us proceed to kalon, aischron. The latter is doubtless contracted from aeischoroun, quasi aei ischon roun. The inve ntor of words being a patron of the flux, was a great enemy to stagnation. Kalon is to kaloun ta pragmatathis is mind (nous or dianoia); which is also the princi ple of beauty; and which doing the works of beauty, is therefore rightly called the beautiful. The meaning of sumpheron is explained by previous examples;like ep isteme, signifying that the soul moves in harmony with the world (sumphora, sump heronta). Kerdos is to pasi kerannumenonthat which mingles with all things: lusit eloun is equivalent to to tes phoras luon to telos, and is not to be taken in th e vulgar sense of gainful, but rather in that of swift, being the principle whic h makes motion immortal and unceasing; ophelimon is apo tou ophelleinthat which g ives increase: this word, which is Homeric, is of foreign origin. Blaberon is to blamton or boulomenon aptein tou routhat which injures or seeks to bind the stre am. The proper word would be boulapteroun, but this is too much of a mouthfullike a prelude on the flute in honour of Athene. The word zemiodes is difficult; gre at changes, as I was saying, have been made in words, and even a small change wi ll alter their meaning very much. The word deon is one of these disguised words. You know that according to the old pronunciation, which is especially affected by the women, who are great conservatives, iota and delta were used where we sho uld now use eta and zeta: for example, what we now call emera was formerly calle d imera; and this shows the meaning of the word to have been 'the desired one co ming after night,' and not, as is often supposed, 'that which makes things gentl e' (emera). So again, zugon is duogon, quasi desis duein eis agogen(the binding o f two together for the purpose of drawing.) Deon, as ordinarily written, has an evil sense, signifying the chain (desmos) or hindrance of motion; but in its anc ient form dion is expressive of good, quasi diion, that which penetrates or goes through all. Zemiodes is really demiodes, and means that which binds motion (do unti to ion): edone is e pros ten onrsin teinousa praxisthe delta is an insertion : lupe is derived apo tes dialuseos tou somatos: ania is from alpha and ienai, t o go: algedon is a foreign word, and is so called apo tou algeinou: odune is apo tes enduseos tes lupes: achthedon is in its very sound a burden: chapa expresse s the flow of soul: terpsis is apo tou terpnou, and terpnon is properly erpnon, because the sensation of pleasure is likened to a breath (pnoe) which creeps (er pei) through the soul: euphrosune is named from pheresthai, because the soul mov es in harmony with nature: epithumia is e epi ton thumon iousa dunamis: thumos i s apo tes thuseos tes psuches: imerosoti eimenos pei e psuche: pothos, the desire which is in another place, allothi pou: eros was anciently esros, and so called because it flows into (esrei) the soul from without: doxa is e dioxis tou eiden ai, or expresses the shooting from a bow


TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus (toxon). The latter etymology is confirmed by the words boulesthai, boule, aboul ia, which all have to do with shooting (bole): and similarly oiesis is nothing b ut the movement (oisis) of the soul towards essence. Ekousion is to eikonthe yiel dinganagke is e an agke iousa, the passage through ravines which impede motion: a letheia is theia ale, divine motion. Pseudos is the opposite of this, implying t he principle of constraint and forced repose, which is expressed under the figur e of sleep, to eudon; the psi is an addition. Onoma, a name, affirms the real ex istence of that which is sought afteron ou masma estin. On and ousia are only ion with an iota broken off; and ouk on is ouk ion. 'And what are ion, reon, doun?' One way of explaining them has been already suggestedthey may be of foreign orig in; and possibly this is the true answer. But mere antiquity may often prevent o ur recognizing words, after all the complications which they have undergone; and we must remember that however far we carry back our analysis some ultimate elem ents or roots will remain which can be no further analyzed. For example; the wor d agathos was supposed by us to be a compound of agastos and thoos, and probably thoos may be further resolvable. But if we take a word of which no further reso lution seems attainable, we may fairly conclude that we have reached one of thes e original elements, and the truth of such a word must be tested by some new met hod. Will you help me in the search? All names, whether primary or secondary, ar e intended to show the nature of things; and the secondary, as I conceive, deriv e their significance from the primary. But then, how do the primary names indica te anything? And let me ask another question,If we had no faculty of speech, how should we communicate with one another? Should we not use signs, like the deaf a nd dumb? The elevation of our hands would mean lightnessheaviness would be expres sed by letting them drop. The running of any animal would be described by a simi lar movement of our own frames. The body can only express anything by imitation; and the tongue or mouth can imitate as well as the rest of the body. But this i mitation of the tongue or voice is not yet a name, because people may imitate sh eep or goats without naming them. What, then, is a name? In the first place, a n ame is not a musical, or, secondly, a pictorial imitation, but an imitation of t hat kind which expresses the nature of a thing; and is the invention not of a mu sician, or of a painter, but of a namer. And now, I think that we may consider t he names about which you were asking. The way to analyze them will be by going b ack to the letters, or primary elements of which they are composed. First, we se parate the alphabet into classes of letters, distinguishing the consonants, mute s, vowels, and semivowels; and when we have learnt them singly, we shall learn t o know them in their various combinations of two or more letters; just as the pa inter knows how to use either a single colour, or a combination of colours. And like the painter, we may apply letters to the expression of objects, and form th em into syllables; and these again into words, until the picture or figurethat is , languageis completed. Not that I am literally speaking of ourselves, but I mean to say that this was the way in which the ancients framed language. And this le ads me to consider whether the primary as well as the secondary elements are rig htly given. I may remark, as I was saying about the Gods, that we can only attai n to conjecture of them. But still we insist that ours is the true and only meth od of discovery; otherwise we must have recourse, like the tragic poets, to a De us ex machina, and say that God gave the first names, and therefore they are rig ht; or that the barbarians are older than we are, and that we learnt of them; or that antiquity has cast a veil over the truth. Yet all these are not reasons; t hey are only ingenious excuses for having no reasons. 84

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus I will freely impart to you my own notions, though they are somewhat crude:the le tter rho appears to me to be the general instrument which the legislator has emp loyed to express all motion or kinesis. (I ought to explain that kinesis is just iesis (going), for the letter eta was unknown to the ancients; and the root, ki ein, is a foreign form of ienai: of kinesis or eisis, the opposite is stasis). T his use of rho is evident in the words tremble, break, crush, crumble, and the l ike; the imposer of names perceived that the tongue is most agitated in the pron unciation of this letter, just as he used iota to express the subtle power which penetrates through all things. The letters phi, psi, sigma, zeta, which require a great deal of wind, are employed in the imitation of such notions as shiverin g, seething, shaking, and in general of what is windy. The letters delta and tau convey the idea of binding and rest in a place: the lambda denotes smoothness, as in the words slip, sleek, sleep, and the like. But when the slipping tongue i s detained by the heavier sound of gamma, then arises the notion of a glutinous clammy nature: nu is sounded from within, and has a notion of inwardness: alpha is the expression of size; eta of length; omicron of roundness, and therefore th ere is plenty of omicron in the word goggulon. That is my view, Hermogenes, of t he correctness of names; and I should like to hear what Cratylus would say. 'But , Socrates, as I was telling you, Cratylus mystifies me; I should like to ask hi m, in your presence, what he means by the fitness of names?' To this appeal, Cra tylus replies 'that he cannot explain so important a subject all in a moment.' ' No, but you may "add little to little," as Hesiod says.' Socrates here interpose s his own request, that Cratylus will give some account of his theory. Hermogene s and himself are mere sciolists, but Cratylus has reflected on these matters, a nd has had teachers. Cratylus replies in the words of Achilles: '"Illustrious Aj ax, you have spoken in all things much to my mind," whether Euthyphro, or some M use inhabiting your own breast, was the inspirer.' Socrates replies, that he is afraid of being self-deceived, and therefore he must 'look fore and aft,' as Hom er remarks. Does not Cratylus agree with him that names teach us the nature of t hings? 'Yes.' And naming is an art, and the artists are legislators, and like ar tists in general, some of them are better and some of them are worse than others , and give better or worse laws, and make better or worse names. Cratylus cannot admit that one name is better than another; they are either true names, or they are not names at all; and when he is asked about the name of Hermogenes, who is acknowledged to have no luck in him, he affirms this to be the name of somebody else. Socrates supposes him to mean that falsehood is impossible, to which his own answer would be, that there has never been a lack of liars. Cratylus presses him with the old sophistical argument, that falsehood is saying that which is n ot, and therefore saying nothing;you cannot utter the word which is not. Socrates complains that this argument is too subtle for an old man to understand: Suppos e a person addressing Cratylus were to say, Hail, Athenian Stranger, Hermogenes! would these words be true or false? 'I should say that they would be mere unmea ning sounds, like the hammering of a brass pot.' But you would acknowledge that names, as well as pictures, are imitations, and also that pictures may give a ri ght or wrong representation of a man or woman:why may not names then equally give a representation true and right or false and wrong? Cratylus admits that pictur es may give a true or false representation, but denies that names can. Socrates argues, that he may go up to a man and say 'this is year picture,' and again, he may go and say to him 'this is your name'in the one case appealing to his sense of sight, and in the other to his sense of hearing;may he not? 'Yes.' Then you wi ll admit that there is a right or a wrong assignment of names, and if of names, then of verbs and nouns; and if of verbs and nouns, then of the sentences which are made up of them; and comparing nouns to pictures, you may give them all the appropriate sounds, or only some of them. And as he who gives all the colours ma kes a good picture, and he who gives only some of them, a bad or imperfect one, but still a picture; so he who gives all the sounds makes a good name, and he wh o gives only some of them, a bad or imperfect one, but a name still. The artist of names, that is,


TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus the legislator, may be a good or he may be a bad artist. 'Yes, Socrates, but the cases are not parallel; for if you subtract or misplace a letter, the name ceas es to be a name.' Socrates admits that the number 10, if an unit is subtracted, would cease to be 10, but denies that names are of this purely quantitative natu re. Suppose that there are two objectsCratylus and the image of Cratylus; and let us imagine that some God makes them perfectly alike, both in their outward form and in their inner nature and qualities: then there will be two Cratyluses, and not merely Cratylus and the image of Cratylus. But an image in fact always fall s short in some degree of the original, and if images are not exact counterparts , why should names be? if they were, they would be the doubles of their original s, and indistinguishable from them; and how ridiculous would this be! Cratylus a dmits the truth of Socrates' remark. But then Socrates rejoins, he should have t he courage to acknowledge that letters may be wrongly inserted in a noun, or a n oun in a sentence; and yet the noun or the sentence may retain a meaning. Better to admit this, that we may not be punished like the traveller in Egina who goes about at night, and that Truth herself may not say to us, 'Too late.' And, erro rs excepted, we may still affirm that a name to be correct must have proper lett ers, which bear a resemblance to the thing signified. I must remind you of what Hermogenes and I were saying about the letter rho accent, which was held to be e xpressive of motion and hardness, as lambda is of smoothness;and this you will ad mit to be their natural meaning. But then, why do the Eritreans call that sklero ter which we call sklerotes? We can understand one another, although the letter rho accent is not equivalent to the letter s: why is this? You reply, because th e two letters are sufficiently alike for the purpose of expressing motion. Well, then, there is the letter lambda; what business has this in a word meaning hard ness? 'Why, Socrates, I retort upon you, that we put in and pull out letters at pleasure.' And the explanation of this is custom or agreement: we have made a co nvention that the rho shall mean s and a convention may indicate by the unlike a s well as by the like. How could there be names for all the numbers unless you a llow that convention is used? Imitation is a poor thing, and has to be supplemen ted by convention, which is another poor thing; although I agree with you in thi nking that the most perfect form of language is found only where there is a perf ect correspondence of sound and meaning. But let me ask you what is the use and force of names? 'The use of names, Socrates, is to inform, and he who knows name s knows things.' Do you mean that the discovery of names is the same as the disc overy of things? 'Yes.' But do you not see that there is a degree of deception a bout names? He who first gave names, gave them according to his conception, and that may have been erroneous. 'But then, why, Socrates, is language so consisten t? all words have the same laws.' Mere consistency is no test of truth. In geome trical problems, for example, there may be a flaw at the beginning, and yet the conclusion may follow consistently. And, therefore, a wise man will take especia l care of first principles. But are words really consistent; are there not as ma ny terms of praise which signify rest as which signify motion? There is episteme , which is connected with stasis, as mneme is with meno. Bebaion, again, is the expression of station and position; istoria is clearly descriptive of the stoppi ng istanai of the stream; piston indicates the cessation of motion; and there ar e many words having a bad sense, which are connected with ideas of motion, such as sumphora, amartia, etc.: amathia, again, might be explained, as e ama theo io ntos poreia, and akolasia as e akolouthia tois pragmasin. Thus the bad names are framed on the same principle as the good, and other examples might be given, wh ich would favour a theory of rest rather than of motion. 'Yes; but the greater n umber of words express motion.' Are we to count them, Cratylus; and is correctne ss of names to be determined by the voice of a majority? Here is another point: we were saying that the legislator gives names; and therefore we must suppose th at he knows the things which he names: but how can he have learnt things from na mes 86

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus before there were any names? 'I believe, Socrates, that some power more than hum an first gave things their names, and that these were necessarily true names.' T hen how came the giver of names to contradict himself, and to make some names ex pressive of rest, and others of motion? 'I do not suppose that he did make them both.' Then which did he makethose which are expressive of rest, or those which a re expressive of motion?...But if some names are true and others false, we can o nly decide between them, not by counting words, but by appealing to things. And, if so, we must allow that things may be known without names; for names, as we h ave several times admitted, are the images of things; and the higher knowledge i s of things, and is not to be derived from names; and though I do not doubt that the inventors of language gave names, under the idea that all things are in a s tate of motion and flux, I believe that they were mistaken; and that having fall en into a whirlpool themselves, they are trying to drag us after them. For is th ere not a true beauty and a true good, which is always beautiful and always good ? Can the thing beauty be vanishing away from us while the words are yet in our mouths? And they could not be known by any one if they are always passing awayfor if they are always passing away, the observer has no opportunity of observing t heir state. Whether the doctrine of the flux or of the eternal nature be the tru er, is hard to determine. But no man of sense will put himself, or the education of his mind, in the power of names: he will not condemn himself to be an unreal thing, nor will he believe that everything is in a flux like the water in a lea ky vessel, or that the world is a man who has a running at the nose. This doctri ne may be true, Cratylus, but is also very likely to be untrue; and therefore I would have you reflect while you are young, and find out the truth, and when you know come and tell me. 'I have thought, Socrates, and after a good deal of thin king I incline to Heracleitus.' Then another day, my friend, you shall give me a lesson. 'Very good, Socrates, and I hope that you will continue to study these things yourself.' We may now consider (I) how far Plato in the Cratylus has discovered the true pr inciples of language, and then (II) proceed to compare modern speculations respe cting the origin and nature of language with the anticipations of his genius. I. (1) Plato is aware that language is not the work of chance; nor does he deny th at there is a natural fitness in names. He only insists that this natural fitnes s shall be intelligibly explained. But he has no idea that language is a natural organism. He would have heard with surprise that languages are the common work of whole nations in a primitive or semi-barbarous age. How, he would probably ha ve argued, could men devoid of art have contrived a structure of such complexity ? No answer could have been given to this question, either in ancient or in mode rn times, until the nature of primitive antiquity had been thoroughly studied, a nd the instincts of man had been shown to exist in greater force, when his state approaches more nearly to that of children or animals. The philosophers of the last century, after their manner, would have vainly endeavoured to trace the pro cess by which proper names were converted into common, and would have shown how the last effort of abstraction invented prepositions and auxiliaries. The theolo gian would have proved that language must have had a divine origin, because in c hildhood, while the organs are pliable, the intelligence is wanting, and when th e intelligence is able to frame conceptions, the organs are no longer able to ex press them. Or, as others have said: Man is man because he has the gift of speec h; and he could not have invented that which he is. But this would have been an 'argument too subtle' for Socrates, who rejects the theological account of the o rigin of language 'as an excuse for not giving a reason,' which he compares to t he introduction of the 'Deus ex machina' by the tragic poets when they have to s olve a 87

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus difficulty; thus anticipating many modern controversies in which the primary age ncy of the divine Being is confused with the secondary cause; and God is assumed to have worked a miracle in order to fill up a lacuna in human knowledge. (Comp are Timaeus.) Neither is Plato wrong in supposing that an element of design and art enters into language. The creative power abating is supplemented by a mechan ical process. 'Languages are not made but grow,' but they are made as well as gr ow; bursting into life like a plant or a flower, they are also capable of being trained and improved and engrafted upon one another. The change in them is effec ted in earlier ages by musical and euphonic improvements, at a later stage by th e influence of grammar and logic, and by the poetical and literary use of words. They develope rapidly in childhood, and when they are full grown and set they m ay still put forth intellectual powers, like the mind in the body, or rather we may say that the nobler use of language only begins when the frame-work is compl ete. The savage or primitive man, in whom the natural instinct is strongest, is also the greatest improver of the forms of language. He is the poet or maker of words, as in civilised ages the dialectician is the definer or distinguisher of them. The latter calls the second world of abstract terms into existence, as the former has created the picture sounds which represent natural objects or proces ses. Poetry and philosophythese two, are the two great formative principles of la nguage, when they have passed their first stage, of which, as of the first inven tion of the arts in general, we only entertain conjecture. And mythology is a li nk between them, connecting the visible and invisible, until at length the sensu ous exterior falls away, and the severance of the inner and outer world, of the idea and the object of sense, becomes complete. At a later period, logic and gra mmar, sister arts, preserve and enlarge the decaying instinct of language, by ru le and method, which they gather from analysis and observation. (2) There is no trace in any of Plato's writings that he was acquainted with any language but Gr eek. Yet he has conceived very truly the relation of Greek to foreign languages, which he is led to consider, because he finds that many Greek words are incapab le of explanation. Allowing a good deal for accident, and also for the fancies o f the conditores linguae Graecae, there is an element of which he is unable to g ive an account. These unintelligible words he supposes to be of foreign origin, and to have been derived from a time when the Greeks were either barbarians, or in close relations to the barbarians. Socrates is aware that this principle is l iable to great abuse; and, like the 'Deus ex machina,' explains nothing. Hence h e excuses himself for the employment of such a device, and remarks that in forei gn words there is still a principle of correctness, which applies equally both t o Greeks and barbarians. (3) But the greater number of primary words do not admi t of derivation from foreign languages; they must be resolved into the letters o ut of which they are composed, and therefore the letters must have a meaning. Th e framers of language were aware of this; they observed that alpha was adapted t o express size; eta length; omicron roundness; nu inwardness; rho accent rush or roar; lambda liquidity; gamma lambda the detention of the liquid or slippery el ement; delta and tau binding; phi, psi, sigma, xi, wind and cold, and so on. Pla to's analysis of the letters of the alphabet shows a wonderful insight into the nature of language. He does not expressively distinguish between mere imitation and the symbolical use of sound to express thought, but he recognises in the exa mples which he gives both modes of imitation. Gesture is the mode which a deaf a nd dumb person would take of indicating his meaning. And language is the gesture of the tongue; in the use of the letter rho accent, to express a rushing or roa ring, or of omicron to express roundness, there is a direct imitation; while in the use of 88

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus the letter alpha to express size, or of eta to express length, the imitation is symbolical. The use of analogous or similar sounds, in order to express similar analogous ideas, seems to have escaped him. In passing from the gesture of the b ody to the movement of the tongue, Plato makes a great step in the physiology of language. He was probably the first who said that 'language is imitative sound, ' which is the greatest and deepest truth of philology; although he is not aware of the laws of euphony and association by which imitation must be regulated. He was probably also the first who made a distinction between simple and compound words, a truth second only in importance to that which has just been mentioned. His great insight in one direction curiously contrasts with his blindness in ano ther; for he appears to be wholly unaware (compare his derivation of agathos fro m agastos and thoos) of the difference between the root and termination. But we must recollect that he was necessarily more ignorant than any schoolboy of Greek grammar, and had no table of the inflexions of verbs and nouns before his eyes, which might have suggested to him the distinction. (4) Plato distinctly affirms that language is not truth, or 'philosophie une langue bien faite.' At first, S ocrates has delighted himself with discovering the flux of Heracleitus in langua ge. But he is covertly satirising the pretence of that or any other age to find philosophy in words; and he afterwards corrects any erroneous inference which mi ght be gathered from his experiment. For he finds as many, or almost as many, wo rds expressive of rest, as he had previously found expressive of motion. And eve n if this had been otherwise, who would learn of words when he might learn of th ings? There is a great controversy and high argument between Heracleiteans and E leatics, but no man of sense would commit his soul in such enquiries to the impo sers of names...In this and other passages Plato shows that he is as completely emancipated from the influence of 'Idols of the tribe' as Bacon himself. The les son which may be gathered from words is not metaphysical or moral, but historica l. They teach us the affinity of races, they tell us something about the associa tion of ideas, they occasionally preserve the memory of a disused custom; but we cannot safely argue from them about right and wrong, matter and mind, freedom a nd necessity, or the other problems of moral and metaphysical philosophy. For th e use of words on such subjects may often be metaphorical, accidental, derived f rom other languages, and may have no relation to the contemporary state of thoug ht and feeling. Nor in any case is the invention of them the result of philosoph ical reflection; they have been commonly transferred from matter to mind, and th eir meaning is the very reverse of their etymology. Because there is or is not a name for a thing, we cannot argue that the thing has or has not an actual exist ence; or that the antitheses, parallels, conjugates, correlatives of language ha ve anything corresponding to them in nature. There are too many words as well as too few; and they generalize the objects or ideas which they represent. The gre atest lesson which the philosophical analysis of language teaches us is, that we should be above language, making words our servants, and not allowing them to b e our masters. Plato does not add the further observation, that the etymological meaning of words is in process of being lost. If at first framed on a principle of intelligibility, they would gradually cease to be intelligible, like those o f a foreign language, he is willing to admit that they are subject to many chang es, and put on many disguises. He acknowledges that the 'poor creature' imitatio n is supplemented by another 'poor creature,'convention. But he does not see that 'habit and repute,' and their relation to other words, are always exercising an influence over them. Words appear to be isolated, but they are really 89

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus the parts of an organism which is always being reproduced. They are refined by c ivilization, harmonized by poetry, emphasized by literature, technically applied in philosophy and art; they are used as symbols on the border-ground of human k nowledge; they receive a fresh impress from individual genius, and come with a n ew force and association to every lively-minded person. They are fixed by the si multaneous utterance of millions, and yet are always imperceptibly changing;not t he inventors of language, but writing and speaking, and particularly great write rs, or works which pass into the hearts of nations, Homer, Shakespear, Dante, th e German or English Bible, Kant and Hegel, are the makers of them in later ages. They carry with them the faded recollection of their own past history; the use of a word in a striking and familiar passage gives a complexion to its use every where else, and the new use of an old and familiar phrase has also a peculiar po wer over us. But these and other subtleties of language escaped the observation of Plato. He is not aware that the languages of the world are organic structures , and that every word in them is related to every other; nor does he conceive of language as the joint work of the speaker and the hearer, requiring in man a fa culty not only of expressing his thoughts but of understanding those of others. On the other hand, he cannot be justly charged with a desire to frame language o n artificial principles. Philosophers have sometimes dreamed of a technical or s cientific language, in words which should have fixed meanings, and stand in the same relation to one another as the substances which they denote. But there is n o more trace of this in Plato than there is of a language corresponding to the i deas; nor, indeed, could the want of such a language be felt until the sciences were far more developed. Those who would extend the use of technical phraseology beyond the limits of science or of custom, seem to forget that freedom and sugg estiveness and the play of association are essential characteristics of language . The great master has shown how he regarded pedantic distinctions of words or a ttempts to confine their meaning in the satire on Prodicus in the Protagoras. (5 ) In addition to these anticipations of the general principles of philology, we may note also a few curious observations on words and sounds. 'The Eretrians say sklerotes for skleroter;' 'the Thessalians call Apollo Amlos;' 'The Phrygians h ave the words pur, udor, kunes slightly changed;' 'there is an old Homeric word emesato, meaning "he contrived";' 'our forefathers, and especially the women, wh o are most conservative of the ancient language, loved the letters iota and delt a; but now iota is changed into eta and epsilon, and delta into zeta; this is su pposed to increase the grandeur of the sound.' Plato was very willing to use ind uctive arguments, so far as they were within his reach; but he would also have a ssigned a large influence to chance. Nor indeed is induction applicable to philo logy in the same degree as to most of the physical sciences. For after we have p ushed our researches to the furthest point, in language as in all the other crea tions of the human mind, there will always remain an element of exception or acc ident or free-will, which cannot be eliminated. The question, 'whether falsehood is impossible,' which Socrates characteristically sets aside as too subtle for an old man (compare Euthyd.), could only have arisen in an age of imperfect cons ciousness, which had not yet learned to distinguish words from things. Socrates replies in effect that words have an independent existence; thus anticipating th e solution of the mediaeval controversy of Nominalism and Realism. He is aware t oo that languages exist in various degrees of perfection, and that the analysis of them can only be carried to a certain point. 'If we could always, or almost a lways, use likenesses, which are the appropriate expressions, that would be the most perfect state of language.' These words suggest a question of deeper intere st than the origin of language; viz. what is the ideal of language, how far by a ny correction of their usages existing languages might become 90

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus clearer and more expressive than they are, more poetical, and also more logical; or whether they are now finally fixed and have received their last impress from time and authority. On the whole, the Cratylus seems to contain deeper truths a bout language than any other ancient writing. But feeling the uncertain ground u pon which he is walking, and partly in order to preserve the character of Socrat es, Plato envelopes the whole subject in a robe of fancy, and allows his princip les to drop out as if by accident. II. What is the result of recent speculations about the origin and nature of language? Like other modern metaphysical enquiri es, they end at last in a statement of facts. But, in order to state or understa nd the facts, a metaphysical insight seems to be required. There are more things in language than the human mind easily conceives. And many fallacies have to be dispelled, as well as observations made. The true spirit of philosophy or metap hysics can alone charm away metaphysical illusions, which are always reappearing , formerly in the fancies of neoplatonist writers, now in the disguise of experi ence and common sense. An analogy, a figure of speech, an intelligible theory, a superficial observation of the individual, have often been mistaken for a true account of the origin of language. Speaking is one of the simplest natural opera tions, and also the most complex. Nothing would seem to be easier or more trivia l than a few words uttered by a child in any language. Yet into the formation of those words have entered causes which the human mind is not capable of calculat ing. They are a drop or two of the great stream or ocean of speech which has bee n flowing in all ages. They have been transmitted from one language to another; like the child himself, they go back to the beginnings of the human race. How th ey originated, who can tell? Nevertheless we can imagine a stage of human societ y in which the circle of men's minds was narrower and their sympathies and insti ncts stronger; in which their organs of speech were more flexible, and the sense of hearing finer and more discerning; in which they lived more in company, and after the manner of children were more given to express their feelings; in which 'they moved all together,' like a herd of wild animals, 'when they moved at all .' Among them, as in every society, a particular person would be more sensitive and intelligent than the rest. Suddenly, on some occasion of interest (at the ap proach of a wild beast, shall we say?), he first, they following him, utter a cr y which resounds through the forest. The cry is almost or quite involuntary, and may be an imitation of the roar of the animal. Thus far we have not speech, but only the inarticulate expression of feeling or emotion in no respect differing from the cries of animals; for they too call to one another and are answered. Bu t now suppose that some one at a distance not only hears the sound, but apprehen ds the meaning: or we may imagine that the cry is repeated to a member of the so ciety who had been absent; the others act the scene over again when he returns h ome in the evening. And so the cry becomes a word. The hearer in turn gives back the word to the speaker, who is now aware that he has acquired a new power. Man y thousand times he exercises this power; like a child learning to talk, he repe ats the same cry again, and again he is answered; he tries experiments with a li ke result, and the speaker and the hearer rejoice together in their newly-discov ered faculty. At first there would be few such cries, and little danger of mista king or confusing them. For the mind of primitive man had a narrow range of perc eptions and feelings; his senses were microscopic; twenty or thirty sounds or ge stures would be enough for him, nor would he have any difficulty in finding them . Naturally he broke out into speechlike the young infant he laughed and babbled; but not until there were hearers as well as speakers did language begin. Not 91

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus the interjection or the vocal imitation of the object, but the interjection or t he vocal imitation of the object understood, is the first rudiment of human spee ch. After a while the word gathers associations, and has an independent existenc e. The imitation of the lion's roar calls up the fears and hopes of the chase, w hich are excited by his appearance. In the moment of hearing the sound, without any appreciable interval, these and other latent experiences wake up in the mind of the hearer. Not only does he receive an impression, but he brings previous k nowledge to bear upon that impression. Necessarily the pictorial image becomes l ess vivid, while the association of the nature and habits of the animal is more distinctly perceived. The picture passes into a symbol, for there would be too m any of them and they would crowd the mind; the vocal imitation, too, is always i n process of being lost and being renewed, just as the picture is brought back a gain in the description of the poet. Words now can be used more freely because t here are more of them. What was once an involuntary expression becomes voluntary . Not only can men utter a cry or call, but they can communicate and converse; t hey can not only use words, but they can even play with them. The word is separa ted both from the object and from the mind; and slowly nations and individuals a ttain to a fuller consciousness of themselves. Parallel with this mental process the articulation of sounds is gradually becoming perfected. The finer sense det ects the differences of them, and begins, first to agglomerate, then to distingu ish them. Times, persons, places, relations of all kinds, are expressed by modif ications of them. The earliest parts of speech, as we may call them by anticipat ion, like the first utterances of children, probably partook of the nature of in terjections and nouns; then came verbs; at length the whole sentence appeared, a nd rhythm and metre followed. Each stage in the progress of language was accompa nied by some corresponding stage in the mind and civilisation of man. In time, w hen the family became a nation, the wild growth of dialects passed into a langua ge. Then arose poetry and literature. We can hardly realize to ourselves how muc h with each improvement of language the powers of the human mind were enlarged; how the inner world took the place of outer; how the pictorial or symbolical or analogical word was refined into a notion; how language, fair and large and free , was at last complete. So we may imagine the speech of man to have begun as wit h the cries of animals, or the stammering lips of children, and to have attained by degrees the perfection of Homer and Plato. Yet we are far from saying that t his or any other theory of language is proved by facts. It is not difficult to f orm an hypothesis which by a series of imaginary transitions will bridge over th e chasm which separates man from the animals. Differences of kind may often be t hus resolved into differences of degree. But we must not assume that we have in this way discovered the true account of them. Through what struggles the harmoni ous use of the organs of speech was acquired; to what extent the conditions of h uman life were different; how far the genius of individuals may have contributed to the discovery of this as of the other arts, we cannot say: Only we seem to s ee that language is as much the creation of the ear as of the tongue, and the ex pression of a movement stirring the hearts not of one man only but of many, 'as the trees of the wood are stirred by the wind.' The theory is consistent or not inconsistent with our own mental experience, and throws some degree of light upo n a dark corner of the human mind. In the later analysis of language, we trace t he opposite and contrasted elements of the individual and nation, of the past an d present, of the inward and outward, of the subject and object, of the notional 92

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus and relational, of the root or unchanging part of the word and of the changing i nflexion, if such a distinction be admitted, of the vowel and the consonant, of quantity and accent, of speech and writing, of poetry and prose. We observe also the reciprocal influence of sounds and conceptions on each other, like the conn exion of body and mind; and further remark that although the names of objects we re originally proper names, as the grammarian or logician might call them, yet a t a later stage they become universal notions, which combine into particulars an d individuals, and are taken out of the first rude agglomeration of sounds that they may be replaced in a higher and more logical order. We see that in the simp lest sentences are contained grammar and logicthe parts of speech, the Eleatic ph ilosophy and the Kantian categories. So complex is language, and so expressive n ot only of the meanest wants of man, but of his highest thoughts; so various are the aspects in which it is regarded by us. Then again, when we follow the histo ry of languages, we observe that they are always slowly moving, half dead, half alive, half solid, half fluid; the breath of a moment, yet like the air, continu ous in all ages and countries,like the glacier, too, containing within them a tri ckling stream which deposits debris of the rocks over which it passes. There wer e happy moments, as we may conjecture, in the lives of nations, at which they ca me to the birthas in the golden age of literature, the man and the time seem to c onspire; the eloquence of the bard or chief, as in later times the creations of the great writer who is the expression of his age, became impressed on the minds of their countrymen, perhaps in the hour of some crisis of national developmenta migration, a conquest, or the like. The picture of the word which was beginning to be lost, is now revived; the sound again echoes to the sense; men find thems elves capable not only of expressing more feelings, and describing more objects, but of expressing and describing them better. The world before the flood, that is to say, the world of ten, twenty, a hundred thousand years ago, has passed aw ay and left no sign. But the best conception that we can form of it, though impe rfect and uncertain, is gained from the analogy of causes still in action, some powerful and sudden, others working slowly in the course of infinite ages. Somet hing too may be allowed to 'the persistency of the strongest,' to 'the survival of the fittest,' in this as in the other realms of nature. These are some of the reflections which the modern philosophy of language suggests to us about the po wers of the human mind and the forces and influences by which the efforts of men to utter articulate sounds were inspired. Yet in making these and similar gener alizations we may note also dangers to which we are exposed. (1) There is the co nfusion of ideas with factsof mere possibilities, and generalities, and modes of conception with actual and definite knowledge. The words 'evolution,' 'birth,' ' law,' development,' 'instinct,' 'implicit,' 'explicit,' and the like, have a fal se clearness or comprehensiveness, which adds nothing to our knowledge. The meta phor of a flower or a tree, or some other work of nature or art, is often in lik e manner only a pleasing picture. (2) There is the fallacy of resolving the lang uages which we know into their parts, and then imagining that we can discover th e nature of language by reconstructing them. (3) There is the danger of identify ing language, not with thoughts but with ideas. (4) There is the error of suppos ing that the analysis of grammar and logic has always existed, or that their dis tinctions were familiar to Socrates and Plato. (5) There is the fallacy of exagg erating, and also of diminishing the interval which separates articulate from in articulate languagethe cries of animals from the speech of manthe instincts of ani mals from the reason of man. (6) There is the danger which besets all enquiries into the early history of manof interpreting the past by the present, and of subs tituting the definite and intelligible for the true but dim outline which is the horizon of human knowledge. 93

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus The greatest light is thrown upon the nature of language by analogy. We have the analogy of the cries of animals, of the songs of birds ('man, like the nighting ale, is a singing bird, but is ever binding up thoughts with musical notes'), of music, of children learning to speak, of barbarous nations in which the linguis tic instinct is still undecayed, of ourselves learning to think and speak a new language, of the deaf and dumb who have words without sounds, of the various dis orders of speech; and we have the after-growth of mythology, which, like languag e, is an unconscious creation of the human mind. We can observe the social and c ollective instincts of animals, and may remark how, when domesticated, they have the power of understanding but not of speaking, while on the other hand, some b irds which are comparatively devoid of intelligence, make a nearer approach to a rticulate speech. We may note how in the animals there is a want of that sympath y with one another which appears to be the soul of language. We can compare the use of speech with other mental and bodily operations; for speech too is a kind of gesture, and in the child or savage accompanied with gesture. We may observe that the child learns to speak, as he learns to walk or to eat, by a natural imp ulse; yet in either case not without a power of imitation which is also natural to himhe is taught to read, but he breaks forth spontaneously in speech. We can t race the impulse to bind together the world in ideas beginning in the first effo rts to speak and culminating in philosophy. But there remains an element which c annot be explained, or even adequately described. We can understand how man crea tes or constructs consciously and by design; and see, if we do not understand, h ow nature, by a law, calls into being an organised structure. But the intermedia te organism which stands between man and nature, which is the work of mind yet u nconscious, and in which mind and matter seem to meet, and mind unperceived to h erself is really limited by all other minds, is neither understood nor seen by u s, and is with reluctance admitted to be a fact. Language is an aspect of man, o f nature, and of nations, the transfiguration of the world in thought, the meeti ng-point of the physical and mental sciences, and also the mirror in which they are reflected, present at every moment to the individual, and yet having a sort of eternal or universal nature. When we analyze our own mental processes, we fin d words everywhere in every degree of clearness and consistency, fading away in dreams and more like pictures, rapidly succeeding one another in our waking thou ghts, attaining a greater distinctness and consecutiveness in speech, and a grea ter still in writing, taking the place of one another when we try to become eman cipated from their influence. For in all processes of the mind which are conscio us we are talking to ourselves; the attempt to think without words is a mere ill usion,they are always reappearing when we fix our thoughts. And speech is not a s eparate faculty, but the expression of all our faculties, to which all our other powers of expression, signs, looks, gestures, lend their aid, of which the inst rument is not the tongue only, but more than half the human frame. The minds of men are sometimes carried on to think of their lives and of their actions as lin ks in a chain of causes and effects going back to the beginning of time. A few h ave seemed to lose the sense of their own individuality in the universal cause o r nature. In like manner we might think of the words which we daily use, as deri ved from the first speech of man, and of all the languages in the world, as the expressions or varieties of a single force or life of language of which the thou ghts of men are the accident. Such a conception enables us to grasp the power an d wonder of languages, and is very natural to the scientific philologist. For he , like the metaphysician, believes in the reality of that which absorbs his own mind. Nor do we deny the enormous influence which language has exercised over th ought. Fixed words, like fixed ideas, have often governed the world. But in such representations we attribute to language too much the nature of a cause, and to o little of an effect, 94

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus too much of an absolute, too little of a relative character,too much of an ideal, too little of a matterof-fact existence. Or again, we may frame a single abstra ct notion of language of which all existent languages may be supposed to be the perversion. But we must not conceive that this logical figment had ever a real e xistence, or is anything more than an effort of the mind to give unity to infini tely various phenomena. There is no abstract language 'in rerum natura,' any mor e than there is an abstract tree, but only languages in various stages of growth , maturity, and decay. Nor do other logical distinctions or even grammatical exa ctly correspond to the facts of language; for they too are attempts to give unit y and regularity to a subject which is partly irregular. We find, however, that there are distinctions of another kind by which this vast field of language admi ts of being mapped out. There is the distinction between biliteral and trilitera l roots, and the various inflexions which accompany them; between the mere mecha nical cohesion of sounds or words, and the 'chemical' combination of them into a new word; there is the distinction between languages which have had a free and full development of their organisms, and languages which have been stunted in th eir growth,lamed in their hands or feet, and never able to acquire afterwards the powers in which they are deficient; there is the distinction between synthetica l languages like Greek and Latin, which have retained their inflexions, and anal ytical languages like English or French, which have lost them. Innumerable as ar e the languages and dialects of mankind, there are comparatively few classes to which they can be referred. Another road through this chaos is provided by the p hysiology of speech. The organs of language are the same in all mankind, and are only capable of uttering a certain number of sounds. Every man has tongue, teet h, lips, palate, throat, mouth, which he may close or open, and adapt in various ways; making, first, vowels and consonants; and secondly, other classes of lett ers. The elements of all speech, like the elements of the musical scale, are few and simple, though admitting of infinite gradations and combinations. Whatever slight differences exist in the use or formation of these organs, owing to clima te or the sense of euphony or other causes, they are as nothing compared with th eir agreement. Here then is a real basis of unity in the study of philology, unl ike that imaginary abstract unity of which we were just now speaking. Whether we regard language from the psychological, or historical, or physiological point o f view, the materials of our knowledge are inexhaustible. The comparisons of chi ldren learning to speak, of barbarous nations, of musical notes, of the cries of animals, of the song of birds, increase our insight into the nature of human sp eech. Many observations which would otherwise have escaped us are suggested by t hem. But they do not explain why, in man and in man only, the speaker met with a response from the hearer, and the half articulate sound gradually developed int o Sanscrit and Greek. They hardly enable us to approach any nearer the secret of the origin of language, which, like some of the other great secrets of nature,th e origin of birth and death, or of animal life,remains inviolable. That problem i s indissolubly bound up with the origin of man; and if we ever know more of the one, we may expect to know more of the other. (Compare W. Humboldt, 'Ueber die V erschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues;' M. Muller, 'Lectures on the Scienc e of Language;' Steinthal, 'Einleitung in die Psychologie und Sprachwissenschaft .') 95

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus It is more than sixteen years since the preceding remarks were written, which wi th a few alterations have now been reprinted. During the interval the progress o f philology has been very great. More languages have been compared; the inner st ructure of language has been laid bare; the relations of sounds have been more a ccurately discriminated; the manner in which dialects affect or are affected by the literary or principal form of a language is better understood. Many merely v erbal questions have been eliminated; the remains of the old traditional methods have died away. The study has passed from the metaphysical into an historical s tage. Grammar is no longer confused with language, nor the anatomy of words and sentences with their life and use. Figures of speech, by which the vagueness of theories is often concealed, have been stripped off; and we see language more as it truly was. The immensity of the subject is gradually revealed to us, and the reign of law becomes apparent. Yet the law is but partially seen; the traces of it are often lost in the distance. For languages have a natural but not a perfe ct growth; like other creations of nature into which the will of man enters, the y are full of what we term accident and irregularity. And the difficulties of th e subject become not less, but greater, as we proceedit is one of those studies i n which we seem to know less as we know more; partly because we are no longer sa tisfied with the vague and superficial ideas of it which prevailed fifty years a go; partly also because the remains of the languages with which we are acquainte d always were, and if they are still living, are, in a state of transition; and thirdly, because there are lacunae in our knowledge of them which can never be f illed up. Not a tenth, not a hundredth part of them has been preserved. Yet the materials at our disposal are far greater than any individual can use. Such are a few of the general reflections which the present state of philology calls up. (1) Language seems to be composite, but into its first elements the philologer h as never been able to penetrate. However far he goes back, he never arrives at t he beginning; or rather, as in Geology or in Astronomy, there is no beginning. H e is too apt to suppose that by breaking up the existing forms of language into their parts he will arrive at a previous stage of it, but he is merely analyzing what never existed, or is never known to have existed, except in a composite fo rm. He may divide nouns and verbs into roots and inflexions, but he has no evide nce which will show that the omega of tupto or the mu of tithemi, though analogo us to ego, me, either became pronouns or were generated out of pronouns. To say that 'pronouns, like ripe fruit, dropped out of verbs,' is a misleading figure o f speech. Although all languages have some common principles, there is no primit ive form or forms of language known to us, or to be reasonably imagined, from wh ich they are all descended. No inference can be drawn from language, either for or against the unity of the human race. Nor is there any proof that words were e ver used without any relation to each other. Whatever may be the meaning of a se ntence or a word when applied to primitive language, it is probable that the sen tence is more akin to the original form than the word, and that the later stage of language is the result rather of analysis than of synthesis, or possibly is a combination of the two. Nor, again, are we sure that the original process of le arning to speak was the same in different places or among different races of men . It may have been slower with some, quicker with others. Some tribes may have u sed shorter, others longer words or cries: they may have been more or less incli ned to agglutinate or to decompose them: they may have modified them by the use of prefixes, suffixes, infixes; by the lengthening and strengthening of vowels o r by the shortening and weakening of them, by the condensation or rarefaction of consonants. But who gave to language these primeval laws; or why one race has t riliteral, another biliteral roots; or why in some members of a group of languag es b becomes p, or d, t, or ch, k; or why two languages resemble one another in certain parts of their structure and differ in others; or why in one language th ere is a greater development of vowels, in 96

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus another of consonants, and the likeare questions of which we only 'entertain conj ecture.' We must remember the length of time that has elapsed since man first wa lked upon the earth, and that in this vast but unknown period every variety of l anguage may have been in process of formation and decay, many times over. (Compa re Plato, Laws): 'ATHENIAN STRANGER: And what then is to be regarded as the origi n of government? Will not a man be able to judge best from a point of view in wh ich he may behold the progress of states and their transitions to good and evil? CLEINIAS: What do you mean? ATHENIAN STRANGER: I mean that he might watch them from the point of view of time, and observe the changes which take place in them during infinite ages. CLEINIAS: How so? ATHENIAN STRANGER: Why, do you think th at you can reckon the time which has elapsed since cities first existed and men were citizens of them? CLEINIAS: Hardly. ATHENIAN STRANGER: But you are quite su re that it must be vast and incalculable? CLEINIAS: No doubt. ATHENIAN STRANGER: And have there not been thousands and thousands of cities which have come into being and perished during this period? And has not every place had endless forms of government, and been sometimes rising, and at other times falling, and again improving or waning?' Aristot. Metaph.: 'And if a person should conceive the tal es of mythology to mean only that men thought the gods to be the first essences of things, he would deem the reflection to have been inspired and would consider that, whereas probably every art and part of wisdom had been DISCOVERED AND LOS T MANY TIMES OVER, such notions were but a remnant of the past which has survive d to our day.') It can hardly be supposed that any traces of an original languag e still survive, any more than of the first huts or buildings which were constru cted by man. Nor are we at all certain of the relation, if any, in which the gre ater families of languages stand to each other. The influence of individuals mus t always have been a disturbing element. Like great writers in later times, ther e may have been many a barbaric genius who taught the men of his tribe to sing o r speak, showing them by example how to continue or divide their words, charming their souls with rhythm and accent and intonation, finding in familiar objects the expression of their confused fanciesto whom the whole of language might in tr uth be said to be a figure of speech. One person may have introduced a new custo m into the 97

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus formation or pronunciation of a word; he may have been imitated by others, and t he custom, or form, or accent, or quantity, or rhyme which he introduced in a si ngle word may have become the type on which many other words or inflexions of wo rds were framed, and may have quickly ran through a whole language. For like the other gifts which nature has bestowed upon man, that of speech has been conveye d to him through the medium, not of the many, but of the few, who were his 'lawg ivers''the legislator with the dialectician standing on his right hand,' in Plato 's striking image, who formed the manners of men and gave them customs, whose vo ice and look and behaviour, whose gesticulations and other peculiarities were in stinctively imitated by them,the 'king of men' who was their priest, almost their God...But these are conjectures only: so little do we know of the origin of lan guage that the real scholar is indisposed to touch the subject at all. (2) There are other errors besides the figment of a primitive or original language which it is time to leave behind us. We no longer divide languages into synthetical an d analytical, or suppose similarity of structure to be the safe or only guide to the affinities of them. We do not confuse the parts of speech with the categori es of Logic. Nor do we conceive languages any more than civilisations to be in a state of dissolution; they do not easily pass away, but are far more tenacious of life than the tribes by whom they are spoken. 'Where two or three are gathere d together,' they survive. As in the human frame, as in the state, there is a pr inciple of renovation as well as of decay which is at work in all of them. Neith er do we suppose them to be invented by the wit of man. With few exceptions, e.g . technical words or words newly imported from a foreign language, and the like, in which art has imitated nature, 'words are not made but grow.' Nor do we attr ibute to them a supernatural origin. The law which regulates them is like the la w which governs the circulation of the blood, or the rising of the sap in trees; the action of it is uniform, but the result, which appears in the superficial f orms of men and animals or in the leaves of trees, is an endless profusion and v ariety. The laws of vegetation are invariable, but no two plants, no two leaves of the forest are precisely the same. The laws of language are invariable, but n o two languages are alike, no two words have exactly the same meaning. No two so unds are exactly of the same quality, or give precisely the same impression. It would be well if there were a similar consensus about some other points which ap pear to be still in dispute. Is language conscious or unconscious? In speaking o r writing have we present to our minds the meaning or the sound or the construct ion of the words which we are using?No more than the separate drops of water with which we quench our thirst are present: the whole draught may be conscious, but not the minute particles of which it is made up: So the whole sentence may be c onscious, but the several words, syllables, letters are not thought of separatel y when we are uttering them. Like other natural operations, the process of speec h, when most perfect, is least observed by us. We do not pause at each mouthful to dwell upon the taste of it: nor has the speaker time to ask himself the compa rative merits of different modes of expression while he is uttering them. There are many things in the use of language which may be observed from without, but w hich cannot be explained from within. Consciousness carries us but a little way in the investigation of the mind; it is not the faculty of internal observation, but only the dim light which makes such observation possible. What is supposed to be our consciousness of language is really only the analysis of it, and this analysis admits of innumerable degrees. But would it not be better if this term, which is so misleading, and yet has played so great a part in mental science, w ere either banished or used only with the distinct meaning of 'attention to our own minds,' such as is called forth, not by familiar mental processes, but by th e interruption of them? Now in this sense we may truly say that we are not consc ious of ordinary speech, though we are commonly roused to attention by the misus e or 98

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus mispronunciation of a word. Still less, even in schools and academies, do we eve r attempt to invent new words or to alter the meaning of old ones, except in the case, mentioned above, of technical or borrowed words which are artificially ma de or imported because a need of them is felt. Neither in our own nor in any oth er age has the conscious effort of reflection in man contributed in an appreciab le degree to the formation of language. 'Which of us by taking thought' can make new words or constructions? Reflection is the least of the causes by which lang uage is affected, and is likely to have the least power, when the linguistic ins tinct is greatest, as in young children and in the infancy of nations. A kindred error is the separation of the phonetic from the mental element of language; th ey are really inseparableno definite line can be drawn between them, any more tha n in any other common act of mind and body. It is true that within certain limit s we possess the power of varying sounds by opening and closing the mouth, by to uching the palate or the teeth with the tongue, by lengthening or shortening the vocal instrument, by greater or less stress, by a higher or lower pitch of the voice, and we can substitute one note or accent for another. But behind the orga ns of speech and their action there remains the informing mind, which sets them in motion and works together with them. And behind the great structure of human speech and the lesser varieties of language which arise out of the many degrees and kinds of human intercourse, there is also the unknown or over-ruling law of God or nature which gives order to it in its infinite greatness, and variety in its infinitesimal minutenessboth equally inscrutable to us. We need no longer dis cuss whether philology is to be classed with the Natural or the Mental sciences, if we frankly recognize that, like all the sciences which are concerned with ma n, it has a double aspect,inward and outward; and that the inward can only be kno wn through the outward. Neither need we raise the question whether the laws of l anguage, like the other laws of human action, admit of exceptions. The answer in all cases is the samethat the laws of nature are uniform, though the consistency or continuity of them is not always perceptible to us. The superficial appearan ces of language, as of nature, are irregular, but we do not therefore deny their deeper uniformity. The comparison of the growth of language in the individual a nd in the nation cannot be wholly discarded, for nations are made up of individu als. But in this, as in the other political sciences, we must distinguish betwee n collective and individual actions or processes, and not attribute to the one w hat belongs to the other. Again, when we speak of the hereditary or paternity of a language, we must remember that the parents are alive as well as the children , and that all the preceding generations survive (after a manner) in the latest form of it. And when, for the purposes of comparison, we form into groups the ro ots or terminations of words, we should not forget how casual is the manner in w hich their resemblances have arisenthey were not first written down by a grammari an in the paradigms of a grammar and learned out of a book, but were due to many chance attractions of sound or of meaning, or of both combined. So many caution s have to be borne in mind, and so many first thoughts to be dismissed, before w e can proceed safely in the path of philological enquiry. It might be well somet imes to lay aside figures of speech, such as the 'root' and the 'branches,' the 'stem,' the 'strata' of Geology, the 'compounds' of Chemistry, 'the ripe fruit o f pronouns dropping from verbs' (see above), and the like, which are always inte resting, but are apt to be delusive. Yet such figures of speech are far nearer t he truth than the theories which attribute the invention and improvement of lang uage to the conscious action of the human mind...Lastly, it is doubted by recent philologians whether climate can be supposed to have exercised any influence wo rth speaking of on a language: such a view is said to be unproven: it had better therefore not be silently assumed. 99

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus 'Natural selection' and the 'survival of the fittest' have been applied in the f ield of philology, as well as in the other sciences which are concerned with ani mal and vegetable life. And a Darwinian school of philologists has sprung up, wh o are sometimes accused of putting words in the place of things. It seems to be true, that whether applied to language or to other branches of knowledge, the Da rwinian theory, unless very precisely defined, hardly escapes from being a truis m. If by 'the natural selection' of words or meanings of words or by the 'persis tence and survival of the fittest' the maintainer of the theory intends to affir m nothing more than thisthat the word 'fittest to survive' survives, he adds not much to the knowledge of language. But if he means that the word or the meaning of the word or some portion of the word which comes into use or drops out of use is selected or rejected on the ground of economy or parsimony or ease to the sp eaker or clearness or euphony or expressiveness, or greater or less demand for i t, or anything of this sort, he is affirming a proposition which has several sen ses, and in none of these senses can be assisted to be uniformly true. For the l aws of language are precarious, and can only act uniformly when there is such fr equency of intercourse among neighbours as is sufficient to enforce them. And th ere are many reasons why a man should prefer his own way of speaking to that of others, unless by so doing he becomes unintelligible. The struggle for existence among words is not of that fierce and irresistible kind in which birds, beasts and fishes devour one another, but of a milder sort, allowing one usage to be su bstituted for another, not by force, but by the persuasion, or rather by the pre vailing habit, of a majority. The favourite figure, in this, as in some other us es of it, has tended rather to obscure than explain the subject to which it has been applied. Nor in any case can the struggle for existence be deemed to be the sole or principal cause of changes in language, but only one among many, and on e of which we cannot easily measure the importance. There is a further objection which may be urged equally against all applications of the Darwinian theory. As in animal life and likewise in vegetable, so in languages, the process of chang e is said to be insensible: sounds, like animals, are supposed to pass into one another by imperceptible gradation. But in both cases the newly-created forms so on become fixed; there are few if any vestiges of the intermediate links, and so the better half of the evidence of the change is wanting. (3) Among the incumbr ances or illusions of language may be reckoned many of the rules and traditions of grammar, whether ancient grammar or the corrections of it which modern philol ogy has introduced. Grammar, like law, delights in definition: human speech, lik e human action, though very far from being a mere chaos, is indefinite, admits o f degrees, and is always in a state of change or transition. Grammar gives an er roneous conception of language: for it reduces to a system that which is not a s ystem. Its figures of speech, pleonasms, ellipses, anacolutha, pros to semainome non, and the like have no reality; they do not either make conscious expressions more intelligible or show the way in which they have arisen; they are chiefly d esigned to bring an earlier use of language into conformity with the later. Ofte n they seem intended only to remind us that great poets like Aeschylus or Sophoc les or Pindar or a great prose writer like Thucydides are guilty of taking unwar rantable liberties with grammatical rules; it appears never to have occurred to the inventors of them that these real 'conditores linguae Graecae' lived in an a ge before grammar, when 'Greece also was living Greece.' It is the anatomy, not the physiology of language, which grammar seeks to describe: into the idiom and higher life of words it does not enter. The ordinary Greek grammar gives a compl ete paradigm of the verb, without suggesting that the double or treble forms of Perfects, Aorists, etc. are hardly ever contemporaneous. It distinguishes Moods and Tenses, without observing how much of the nature of one passes into the othe r. It makes three Voices, Active, Passive, and Middle, but takes no notice of th e precarious existence and uncertain character of the last of the three. Languag e is a 100

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus thing of degrees and relations and associations and exceptions: grammar ties it up in fixed rules. Language has many varieties of usage: grammar tries to reduce them to a single one. Grammar divides verbs into regular and irregular: it does not recognize that the irregular, equally with the regular, are subject to law, and that a language which had no exceptions would not be a natural growth: for it could not have been subjected to the influences by which language is ordinari ly affected. It is always wanting to describe ancient languages in the terms of a modern one. It has a favourite fiction that one word is put in the place of an other; the truth is that no word is ever put for another. It has another fiction , that a word has been omitted: words are omitted because they are no longer nee ded; and the omission has ceased to be observed. The common explanation of kata or some other preposition 'being understood' in a Greek sentence is another fict ion of the same kind, which tends to disguise the fact that under cases were com prehended originally many more relations, and that prepositions are used only to define the meaning of them with greater precision. These instances are sufficie nt to show the sort of errors which grammar introduces into language. We are not considering the question of its utility to the beginner in the study. Even to h im the best grammar is the shortest and that in which he will have least to unle arn. It may be said that the explanations here referred to are already out of da te, and that the study of Greek grammar has received a new character from compar ative philology. This is true; but it is also true that the traditional grammar has still a great hold on the mind of the student. Metaphysics are even more tro ublesome than the figments of grammar, because they wear the appearance of philo sophy and there is no test to which they can be subjected. They are useful in so far as they give us an insight into the history of the human mind and the modes of thought which have existed in former ages; or in so far as they furnish wide r conceptions of the different branches of knowledge and of their relation to on e another. But they are worse than useless when they outrun experience and abstr act the mind from the observation of facts, only to envelope it in a mist of wor ds. Some philologers, like Schleicher, have been greatly influenced by the philo sophy of Hegel; nearly all of them to a certain extent have fallen under the dom inion of physical science. Even Kant himself thought that the first principles o f philosophy could be elicited from the analysis of the proposition, in this res pect falling short of Plato. Westphal holds that there are three stages of langu age: (1) in which things were characterized independently, (2) in which they wer e regarded in relation to human thought, and (3) in relation to one another. But are not such distinctions an anachronism? for they imply a growth of abstract i deas which never existed in early times. Language cannot be explained by Metaphy sics; for it is prior to them and much more nearly allied to sense. It is not li kely that the meaning of the cases is ultimately resolvable into relations of sp ace and time. Nor can we suppose the conception of cause and effect or of the fi nite and infinite or of the same and other to be latent in language at a time wh en in their abstract form they had never entered into the mind of man...If the s cience of Comparative Philology had possessed 'enough of Metaphysics to get rid of Metaphysics,' it would have made far greater progress. (4) Our knowledge of l anguage is almost confined to languages which are fully developed. They are of s everal patterns; and these become altered by admixture in various degrees,they ma y only borrow a few words from one another and retain their life comparatively u naltered, or they may meet in a struggle for existence until one of the two is o verpowered and retires from the field. They attain the full rights and dignity o f language when they acquire the use of writing and have a literature of their o wn; they pass into dialects and grow out of them, in proportion as men are isola ted or united by locality or occupation. The common language sometimes reacts up on the dialects and imparts to 101

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus them also a literary character. The laws of language can be best discerned in th e great crises of language, especially in the transitions from ancient to modern forms of them, whether in Europe or Asia. Such changes are the silent notes of the world's history; they mark periods of unknown length in which war and conque st were running riot over whole continents, times of suffering too great to be e ndured by the human race, in which the masters became subjects and the subject r aces masters, in which driven by necessity or impelled by some instinct, tribes or nations left their original homes and but slowly found a resting-place. Langu age would be the greatest of all historical monuments, if it could only tell us the history of itself. (5) There are many ways in which we may approach this stu dy. The simplest of all is to observe our own use of language in conversation or in writing, how we put words together, how we construct and connect sentences, what are the rules of accent and rhythm in verse or prose, the formation and com position of words, the laws of euphony and sound, the affinities of letters, the mistakes to which we are ourselves most liable of spelling or pronunciation. We may compare with our own language some other, even when we have only a slight k nowledge of it, such as French or German. Even a little Latin will enable us to appreciate the grand difference between ancient and modern European languages. I n the child learning to speak we may note the inherent strength of language, whi ch like 'a mountain river' is always forcing its way out. We may witness the del ight in imitation and repetition, and some of the laws by which sounds pass into one another. We may learn something also from the falterings of old age, the se arching for words, and the confusion of them with one another, the forgetfulness of proper names (more commonly than of other words because they are more isolat ed), aphasia, and the like. There are philological lessons also to be gathered f rom nicknames, from provincialisms, from the slang of great cities, from the arg ot of Paris (that language of suffering and crime, so pathetically described by Victor Hugo), from the imperfect articulation of the deaf and dumb, from the jab bering of animals, from the analysis of sounds in relation to the organs of spee ch. The phonograph affords a visible evidence of the nature and divisions of sou nd; we may be truly said to know what we can manufacture. Artificial languages, such as that of Bishop Wilkins, are chiefly useful in showing what language is n ot. The study of any foreign language may be made also a study of Comparative Ph ilology. There are several points, such as the nature of irregular verbs, of ind eclinable parts of speech, the influence of euphony, the decay or loss of inflec tions, the elements of syntax, which may be examined as well in the history of o ur own language as of any other. A few wellselected questions may lead the stude nt at once into the heart of the mystery: such as, Why are the pronouns and the verb of existence generally more irregular than any other parts of speech? Why i s the number of words so small in which the sound is an echo of the sense? Why d oes the meaning of words depart so widely from their etymology? Why do substanti ves often differ in meaning from the verbs to which they are related, adverbs fr om adjectives? Why do words differing in origin coalesce in the same sound thoug h retaining their differences of meaning? Why are some verbs impersonal? Why are there only so many parts of speech, and on what principle are they divided? The se are a few crucial questions which give us an insight from different points of view into the true nature of language. (6) Thus far we have been endeavouring t o strip off from language the false appearances in which grammar and philology, or the love of system generally, have clothed it. We have also sought to indicat e the sources of our knowledge of it and the spirit in which we should approach it, we may now proceed to consider some of the principles or natural laws which have created or modified it. 102

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus i. The first and simplest of all the principles of language, common also to the animals, is imitation. The lion roars, the wolf howls in the solitude of the for est: they are answered by similar cries heard from a distance. The bird, too, mi mics the voice of man and makes answer to him. Man tells to man the secret place in which he is hiding himself; he remembers and repeats the sound which he has heard. The love of imitation becomes a passion and an instinct to him. Primitive men learnt to speak from one another, like a child from its mother or nurse. Th ey learnt of course a rudimentary, half-articulate language, the cry or song or speech which was the expression of what we now call human thoughts and feelings. We may still remark how much greater and more natural the exercise of the power is in the use of language than in any other process or action of the human mind . ii. Imitation provided the first material of language: but it was 'without for m and void.' During how many years or hundreds or thousands of years the imitati ve or half-articulate stage continued there is no possibility of determining. Bu t we may reasonably conjecture that there was a time when the vocal utterance of man was intermediate between what we now call language and the cry of a bird or animal. Speech before language was a rudis indigestaque materies, not yet distr ibuted into words and sentences, in which the cry of fear or joy mingled with mo re definite sounds recognized by custom as the expressions of things or events. It was the principle of analogy which introduced into this 'indigesta moles' ord er and measure. It was Anaxagoras' omou panta chremata, eita nous elthon diekosm ese: the light of reason lighted up all things and at once began to arrange them . In every sentence, in every word and every termination of a word, this power o f forming relations to one another was contained. There was a proportion of soun d to sound, of meaning to meaning, of meaning to sound. The cases and numbers of nouns, the persons, tenses, numbers of verbs, were generally on the same or nea rly the same pattern and had the same meaning. The sounds by which they were exp ressed were rough-hewn at first; after a while they grew more refinedthe natural laws of euphony began to affect them. The rules of syntax are likewise based upo n analogy. Time has an analogy with space, arithmetic with geometry. Not only in musical notes, but in the quantity, quality, accent, rhythm of human speech, tr ivial or serious, there is a law of proportion. As in things of beauty, as in al l nature, in the composition as well as in the motion of all things, there is a similarity of relations by which they are held together. It would be a mistake t o suppose that the analogies of language are always uniform: there may be often a choice between several, and sometimes one and sometimes another will prevail. In Greek there are three declensions of nouns; the forms of cases in one of them may intrude upon another. Similarly verbs in -omega and -mu iota interchange fo rms of tenses, and the completed paradigm of the verb is often made up of both. The same nouns may be partly declinable and partly indeclinable, and in some of their cases may have fallen out of use. Here are rules with exceptions; they are not however really exceptions, but contain in themselves indications of other r ules. Many of these interruptions or variations of analogy occur in pronouns or in the verb of existence of which the forms were too common and therefore too de eply imbedded in language entirely to drop out. The same verbs in the same meani ng may sometimes take one case, sometimes another. The participle may also have the character of an adjective, the adverb either of an adjective or of a preposi tion. These exceptions are as regular as the rules, but the causes of them are s eldom known to us. Language, like the animal and vegetable worlds, is everywhere intersected by the lines of analogy. Like number from which it seems to be deri ved, the principle of analogy opens the eyes of men to discern the similarities and differences of things, and their relations to one another. At first these ar e 103

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus such as lie on the surface only; after a time they are seen by men to reach fart her down into the nature of things. Gradually in language they arrange themselve s into a sort of imperfect system; groups of personal and case endings are place d side by side. The fertility of language produces many more than are wanted; an d the superfluous ones are utilized by the assignment to them of new meanings. T he vacuity and the superfluity are thus partially compensated by each other. It must be remembered that in all the languages which have a literature, certainly in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, we are not at the beginning but almost at the end of the linguistic process; we have reached a time when the verb and the noun are ne arly perfected, though in no language did they completely perfect themselves, be cause for some unknown reason the motive powers of languages seem to have ceased when they were on the eve of completion: they became fixed or crystallized in a n imperfect form either from the influence of writing and literature, or because no further differentiation of them was required for the intelligibility of lang uage. So not without admixture and confusion and displacement and contamination of sounds and the meanings of words, a lower stage of language passes into a hig her. Thus far we can see and no further. When we ask the reason why this princip le of analogy prevails in all the vast domain of language, there is no answer to the question; or no other answer but this, that there are innumerable ways in w hich, like number, analogy permeates, not only language, but the whole world, bo th visible and intellectual. We know from experience that it does not (a) arise from any conscious act of reflection that the accusative of a Latin noun in 'us' should end in 'um;' nor (b) from any necessity of being understood,much less art iculation would suffice for this; nor (c) from greater convenience or expressive ness of particular sounds. Such notions were certainly far enough away from the mind of primitive man. We may speak of a latent instinct, of a survival of the f ittest, easiest, most euphonic, most economical of breath, in the case of one of two competing sounds; but these expressions do not add anything to our knowledg e. We may try to grasp the infinity of language either under the figure of a lim itless plain divided into countries and districts by natural boundaries, or of a vast river eternally flowing whose origin is concealed from us; we may apprehen d partially the laws by which speech is regulated: but we do not know, and we se em as if we should never know, any more than in the parallel case of the origin of species, how vocal sounds received life and grew, and in the form of language s came to be distributed over the earth. iii. Next in order to analogy in the fo rmation of language or even prior to it comes the principle of onomatopea, which is itself a kind of analogy or similarity of sound and meaning. In by far the g reater number of words it has become disguised and has disappeared; but in no st age of language is it entirely lost. It belongs chiefly to early language, in wh ich words were few; and its influence grew less and less as time went on. To the ear which had a sense of harmony it became a barbarism which disturbed the flow and equilibrium of discourse; it was an excrescence which had to be cut out, a survival which needed to be got rid of, because it was out of keeping with the r est. It remained for the most part only as a formative principle, which used wor ds and letters not as crude imitations of other natural sounds, but as symbols o f ideas which were naturally associated with them. It received in another way a new character; it affected not so much single words, as larger portions of human speech. It regulated the juxtaposition of sounds and the cadence of sentences. It was the music, not of song, but of speech, in prose as well as verse. The old onomatopea of primitive language was refined into an onomatopea of a higher kin d, in which it is no longer true to say that a particular sound corresponds to a motion or action of man or beast or movement of nature, but that in all the hig her uses of language the sound is the echo of the sense, especially in poetry, i n which beauty and expressiveness are given to human thoughts by the harmonious composition of the words, syllables, letters, accents, quantities, rhythms, rhym es, varieties and contrasts of all sorts. The poet with his 104

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus 'Break, break, break' or his e pasin nekuessi kataphthimenoisin anassein or his 'longius ex altoque sinum trahit,' can produce a far finer music than any crude imitations of things or actions in sound, although a letter or two having this i mitative power may be a lesser element of beauty in such passages. The same subt le sensibility, which adapts the word to the thing, adapts the sentence or caden ce to the general meaning or spirit of the passage. This is the higher onomatope a which has banished the cruder sort as unworthy to have a place in great langua ges and literatures. We can see clearly enough that letters or collocations of l etters do by various degrees of strength or weakness, length or shortness, empha sis or pitch, become the natural expressions of the finer parts of human feeling or thought. And not only so, but letters themselves have a significance; as Pla to observes that the letter rho accent is expressive of motion, the letters delt a and tau of binding and rest, the letter lambda of smoothness, nu of inwardness , the letter eta of length, the letter omicron of roundness. These were often co mbined so as to form composite notions, as for example in tromos (trembling), tr achus (rugged), thrauein (crush), krouein (strike), thruptein (break), pumbein ( whirl),in all which words we notice a parallel composition of sounds in their Eng lish equivalents. Plato also remarks, as we remark, that the onomatopoetic princ iple is far from prevailing uniformly, and further that no explanation of langua ge consistently corresponds with any system of philosophy, however great may be the light which language throws upon the nature of the mind. Both in Greek and E nglish we find groups of words such as string, swing, sling, spring, sting, whic h are parallel to one another and may be said to derive their vocal effect partl y from contrast of letters, but in which it is impossible to assign a precise am ount of meaning to each of the expressive and onomatopoetic letters. A few of th em are directly imitative, as for example the omega in oon, which represents the round form of the egg by the figure of the mouth: or bronte (thunder), in which the fulness of the sound of the word corresponds to the thing signified by it; or bombos (buzzing), of which the first syllable, as in its English equivalent, has the meaning of a deep sound. We may observe also (as we see in the case of t he poor stammerer) that speech has the co-operation of the whole body and may be often assisted or half expressed by gesticulation. A sound or word is not the w ork of the vocal organs only; nearly the whole of the upper part of the human fr ame, including head, chest, lungs, have a share in creating it; and it may be ac companied by a movement of the eyes, nose, fingers, hands, feet which contribute s to the effect of it. The principle of onomatopea has fallen into discredit, pa rtly because it has been supposed to imply an actual manufacture of words out of syllables and letters, like a piece of joiner's work,a theory of language which is more and more refuted by facts, and more and more going out of fashion with p hilologians; and partly also because the traces of onomatopea in separate words become almost obliterated in the course of ages. The poet of language cannot put in and pull out letters, as a painter might insert or blot out a shade of colou r to give effect to his picture. It would be ridiculous for him to alter any rec eived form of a word in order to render it more expressive of the sense. He can only select, perhaps out of some dialect, the form which is already best adapted to his purpose. The true onomatopea is not a creative, but a formative principl e, which in the later stage of the history of language ceases to act upon indivi dual words; but still works through the collocation of them in the sentence or p aragraph, and the adaptation of every word, syllable, letter to one another and to the rhythm of the whole passage. iv. Next, under a distinct head, although no t separable from the preceding, may be considered the differentiation of languag es, i.e. the manner in which differences of meaning and form have arisen in 105

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus them. Into their first creation we have ceased to enquire: it is their aftergrow th with which we are now concerned. How did the roots or substantial portions of words become modified or inflected? and how did they receive separate meanings? First we remark that words are attracted by the sounds and senses of other word s, so that they form groups of nouns and verbs analogous in sound and sense to o ne another, each noun or verb putting forth inflexions, generally of two or thre e patterns, and with exceptions. We do not say that we know how sense became fir st allied to sound; but we have no difficulty in ascertaining how the sounds and meanings of words were in time parted off or differentiated. (1) The chief caus es which regulate the variations of sound are (a) double or differing analogies, which lead sometimes to one form, sometimes to another (b) euphony, by which is meant chiefly the greater pleasure to the ear and the greater facility to the o rgans of speech which is given by a new formation or pronunciation of a word (c) the necessity of finding new expressions for new classes or processes of things . We are told that changes of sound take place by innumerable gradations until a whole tribe or community or society find themselves acquiescing in a new pronun ciation or use of language. Yet no one observes the change, or is at all aware t hat in the course of a lifetime he and his contemporaries have appreciably varie d their intonation or use of words. On the other hand, the necessities of langua ge seem to require that the intermediate sounds or meanings of words should quic kly become fixed or set and not continue in a state of transition. The process o f settling down is aided by the organs of speech and by the use of writing and p rinting. (2) The meaning of words varies because ideas vary or the number of thi ngs which is included under them or with which they are associated is increased. A single word is thus made to do duty for many more things than were formerly e xpressed by it; and it parts into different senses when the classes of things or ideas which are represented by it are themselves different and distinct. A figu rative use of a word may easily pass into a new sense: a new meaning caught up b y association may become more important than all the rest. The good or neutral s ense of a word, such as Jesuit, Puritan, Methodist, Heretic, has been often conv erted into a bad one by the malevolence of party spirit. Double forms suggest di fferent meanings and are often used to express them; and the form or accent of a word has been not unfrequently altered when there is a difference of meaning. T he difference of gender in nouns is utilized for the same reason. New meanings o f words push themselves into the vacant spaces of language and retire when they are no longer needed. Language equally abhors vacancy and superfluity. But the r emedial measures by which both are eliminated are not due to any conscious actio n of the human mind; nor is the force exerted by them constraining or necessary. (7) We have shown that language, although subject to laws, is far from being of an exact and uniform nature. We may now speak briefly of the faults of language . They may be compared to the faults of Geology, in which different strata cross one another or meet at an angle, or mix with one another either by slow transit ions or by violent convulsions, leaving many lacunae which can be no longer fill ed up, and often becoming so complex that no true explanation of them can be giv en. So in language there are the cross influences of meaning and sound, of logic and grammar, of differing analogies, of words and the inflexions of words, whic h often come into conflict with each other. The grammarian, if he were to form n ew words, would make them all of the same pattern according to what he conceives to be the rule, that is, the more common usage of language. The subtlety of nat ure goes far beyond art, and it is complicated by irregularity, so that often we can hardly say that there is a right or wrong in the formation of words. For al most any formation which is not at variance with the first principles of languag e is possible and may be defended. 106

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus The imperfection of language is really due to the formation and correlation of w ords by accident, that is to say, by principles which are unknown to us. Hence w e see why Plato, like ourselves unable to comprehend the whole of language, was constrained to 'supplement the poor creature imitation by another poor creature convention.' But the poor creature convention in the end proves too much for all the rest: for we do not ask what is the origin of words or whether they are for med according to a correct analogy, but what is the usage of them; and we are co mpelled to admit with Hermogenes in Plato and with Horace that usage is the ruli ng principle, 'quem penes arbitrium est, et jus et norma loquendi.' (8) There ar e two ways in which a language may attain permanence or fixity. First, it may ha ve been embodied in poems or hymns or laws, which may be repeated for hundreds, perhaps for thousands of years with a religious accuracy, so that to the priests or rhapsodists of a nation the whole or the greater part of a language is liter ally preserved; secondly, it may be written down and in a written form distribut ed more or less widely among the whole nation. In either case the language which is familiarly spoken may have grown up wholly or in a great measure independent ly of them. (1) The first of these processes has been sometimes attended by the result that the sound of the words has been carefully preserved and that the mea ning of them has either perished wholly, or is only doubtfully recovered by the efforts of modern philology. The verses have been repeated as a chant or part of a ritual, but they have had no relation to ordinary life or speech. (2) The inv ention of writing again is commonly attributed to a particular epoch, and we are apt to think that such an inestimable gift would have immediately been diffused over a whole country. But it may have taken a long time to perfect the art of w riting, and another long period may have elapsed before it came into common use. Its influence on language has been increased ten, twenty or one hundred fold by the invention of printing. Before the growth of poetry or the invention of writ ing, languages were only dialects. So they continued to be in parts of the count ry in which writing was not used or in which there was no diffusion of literatur e. In most of the counties of England there is still a provincial style, which h as been sometimes made by a great poet the vehicle of his fancies. When a book s inks into the mind of a nation, such as Luther's Bible or the Authorized English Translation of the Bible, or again great classical works like Shakspere or Milt on, not only have new powers of expression been diffused through a whole nation, but a great step towards uniformity has been made. The instinct of language dem ands regular grammar and correct spelling: these are imprinted deeply on the tab lets of a nation's memory by a common use of classical and popular writers. In o ur own day we have attained to a point at which nearly every printed book is spe lt correctly and written grammatically. (9) Proceeding further to trace the infl uence of literature on language we note some other causes which have affected th e higher use of it: such as (1) the necessity of clearness and connexion; (2) th e fear of tautology; (3) the influence of metre, rhythm, rhyme, and of the langu age of prose and verse upon one another; (4) the power of idiom and quotation; ( 5) the relativeness of words to one another. It has been usual to depreciate mod ern languages when compared with ancient. The latter are regarded as furnishing a type of excellence to which the former cannot attain. But the truth seems to b e that modern languages, if through the loss of inflections and genders they lac k some power or beauty or expressiveness or precision which is possessed by the ancient, are in many other respects superior to them: the thought is generally c learer, the connexion closer, the sentence and paragraph 107

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus are better distributed. The best modern languages, for example English or French , possess as great a power of self-improvement as the Latin, if not as the Greek . Nor does there seem to be any reason why they should ever decline or decay. It is a popular remark that our great writers are beginning to disappear: it may a lso be remarked that whenever a great writer appears in the future he will find the English language as perfect and as ready for use as in the days of Shakspere or Milton. There is no reason to suppose that English or French will ever be re duced to the low level of Modern Greek or of Mediaeval Latin. The wide diffusion of great authors would make such a decline impossible. Nor will modern language s be easily broken up by amalgamation with each other. The distance between them is too wide to be spanned, the differences are too great to be overcome, and th e use of printing makes it impossible that one of them should ever be lost in an other. The structure of the English language differs greatly from that of either Latin or Greek. In the two latter, especially in Greek, sentences are joined to gether by connecting particles. They are distributed on the right hand and on th e left by men, de, alla, kaitoi, kai de and the like, or deduced from one anothe r by ara, de, oun, toinun and the like. In English the majority of sentences are independent and in apposition to one another; they are laid side by side or sli ghtly connected by the copula. But within the sentence the expression of the log ical relations of the clauses is closer and more exact: there is less of apposit ion and participial structure. The sentences thus laid side by side are also con structed into paragraphs; these again are less distinctly marked in Greek and La tin than in English. Generally French, German, and English have an advantage ove r the classical languages in point of accuracy. The three concords are more accu rately observed in English than in either Greek or Latin. On the other hand, the extension of the familiar use of the masculine and feminine gender to objects o f sense and abstract ideas as well as to men and animals no doubt lends a namele ss grace to style which we have a difficulty in appreciating, and the possible v ariety in the order of words gives more flexibility and also a kind of dignity t o the period. Of the comparative effect of accent and quantity and of the relati on between them in ancient and modern languages we are not able to judge. Anothe r quality in which modern are superior to ancient languages is freedom from taut ology. No English style is thought tolerable in which, except for the sake of em phasis, the same words are repeated at short intervals. Of course the length of the interval must depend on the character of the word. Striking words and expres sions cannot be allowed to reappear, if at all, except at the distance of a page or more. Pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions may or rather must recur in succe ssive lines. It seems to be a kind of impertinence to the reader and strikes unp leasantly both on the mind and on the ear that the same sounds should be used tw ice over, when another word or turn of expression would have given a new shade o f meaning to the thought and would have added a pleasing variety to the sound. A nd the mind equally rejects the repetition of the word and the use of a mere syn onym for it,e.g. felicity and happiness. The cultivated mind desires something mo re, which a skilful writer is easily able to supply out of his treasure-house. T he fear of tautology has doubtless led to the multiplications of words and the m eanings of words, and generally to an enlargement of the vocabulary. It is a ver y early instinct of language; for ancient poetry is almost as free from tautolog y as the best modern writings. The speech of young children, except in so far as they are compelled to repeat themselves by the fewness of their words, also esc apes from it. When they grow up and have ideas which are beyond their powers of expression, especially in writing, tautology begins to appear. In like manner wh en language is 'contaminated' by philosophy it is apt to become awkward, to stam mer and repeat itself, to lose its flow and freedom. No 108

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus philosophical writer with the exception of Plato, who is himself not free from t autology, and perhaps Bacon, has attained to any high degree of literary excelle nce. To poetry the form and polish of language is chiefly to be attributed; and the most critical period in the history of language is the transition from verse to prose. At first mankind were contented to express their thoughts in a set fo rm of words having a kind of rhythm; to which regularity was given by accent and quantity. But after a time they demanded a greater degree of freedom, and to th ose who had all their life been hearing poetry the first introduction of prose h ad the charm of novelty. The prose romances into which the Homeric Poems were co nverted, for a while probably gave more delight to the hearers or readers of the m than the Poems themselves, and in time the relation of the two was reversed: t he poems which had once been a necessity of the human mind became a luxury: they were now superseded by prose, which in all succeeding ages became the natural v ehicle of expression to all mankind. Henceforward prose and poetry formed each o ther. A comparatively slender link between them was also furnished by proverbs. We may trace in poetry how the simple succession of lines, not without monotony, has passed into a complicated period, and how in prose, rhythm and accent and t he order of words and the balance of clauses, sometimes not without a slight adm ixture of rhyme, make up a new kind of harmony, swelling into strains not less m ajestic than those of Homer, Virgil, or Dante. One of the most curious and chara cteristic features of language, affecting both syntax and style, is idiom. The m eaning of the word 'idiom' is that which is peculiar, that which is familiar, th e word or expression which strikes us or comes home to us, which is more readily understood or more easily remembered. It is a quality which really exists in in finite degrees, which we turn into differences of kind by applying the term only to conspicuous and striking examples of words or phrases which have this qualit y. It often supersedes the laws of language or the rules of grammar, or rather i s to be regarded as another law of language which is natural and necessary. The word or phrase which has been repeated many times over is more intelligible and familiar to us than one which is rare, and our familiarity with it more than com pensates for incorrectness or inaccuracy in the use of it. Striking expressions also which have moved the hearts of nations or are the precious stones and jewel s of great authors partake of the nature of idioms: they are taken out of the sp here of grammar and are exempt from the proprieties of language. Every one knows that we often put words together in a manner which would be intolerable if it w ere not idiomatic. We cannot argue either about the meaning of words or the use of constructions that because they are used in one connexion they will be legiti mate in another, unless we allow for this principle. We can bear to have words a nd sentences used in new senses or in a new order or even a little perverted in meaning when we are quite familiar with them. Quotations are as often applied in a sense which the author did not intend as in that which he did. The parody of the words of Shakspere or of the Bible, which has in it something of the nature of a lie, is far from unpleasing to us. The better known words, even if their me aning be perverted, are more agreeable to us and have a greater power over us. M ost of us have experienced a sort of delight and feeling of curiosity when we fi rst came across or when we first used for ourselves a new word or phrase or figu re of speech. There are associations of sound and of sense by which every word i s linked to every other. One letter harmonizes with another; every verb or noun derives its meaning, not only from itself, but from the words with which it is a ssociated. Some reflection of them near or distant is embodied in it. In any new use of a word all the existing uses of it have to be considered. Upon these dep ends the question 109

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus whether it will bear the proposed extension of meaning or not. According to the famous expression of Luther, 'Words are living creatures, having hands and feet. ' When they cease to retain this living power of adaptation, when they are only put together like the parts of a piece of furniture, language becomes unpoetical , in expressive, dead. Grammars would lead us to suppose that words have a fixed form and sound. Lexicons assign to each word a definite meaning or meanings. Th ey both tend to obscure the fact that the sentence precedes the word and that al l language is relative. (1) It is relative to its own context. Its meaning is mo dified by what has been said before and after in the same or in some other passa ge: without comparing the context we are not sure whether it is used in the same sense even in two successive sentences. (2) It is relative to facts, to time, p lace, and occasion: when they are already known to the hearer or reader, they ma y be presupposed; there is no need to allude to them further. (3) It is relative to the knowledge of the writer and reader or of the speaker and hearer. Except for the sake of order and consecutiveness nothing ought to be expressed which is already commonly or universally known. A word or two may be sufficient to give an intimation to a friend; a long or elaborate speech or composition is required to explain some new idea to a popular audience or to the ordinary reader or to a young pupil. Grammars and dictionaries are not to be despised; for in teaching we need clearness rather than subtlety. But we must not therefore forget that t here is also a higher ideal of language in which all is relativesounds to sounds, words to words, the parts to the wholein which besides the lesser context of the book or speech, there is also the larger context of history and circumstances. The study of Comparative Philology has introduced into the world a new science w hich more than any other binds up man with nature, and distant ages and countrie s with one another. It may be said to have thrown a light upon all other science s and upon the nature of the human mind itself. The true conception of it dispel s many errors, not only of metaphysics and theology, but also of natural knowled ge. Yet it is far from certain that this newly-found science will continue to pr ogress in the same surprising manner as heretofore; or that even if our material s are largely increased, we shall arrive at much more definite conclusions than at present. Like some other branches of knowledge, it may be approaching a point at which it can no longer be profitably studied. But at any rate it has brought back the philosophy of language from theory to fact; it has passed out of the r egion of guesses and hypotheses, and has attained the dignity of an Inductive Sc ience. And it is not without practical and political importance. It gives a new interest to distant and subject countries; it brings back the dawning light from one end of the earth to the other. Nations, like individuals, are better unders tood by us when we know something of their early life; and when they are better understood by us, we feel more kindly towards them. Lastly, we may remember that all knowledge is valuable for its own sake; and we may also hope that a deeper insight into the nature of human speech will give us a greater command of it and enable us to make a nobler use of it. (Compare again W. Humboldt, 'Ueber die Ve rschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues;' M. Muller, 'Lectures on the Science of Language;' Steinthal, 'Einleitung in die Psychologie und Sprachwissenschaft: ' and for the latter part of the Essay, Delbruck, 'Study of Language;' Paul's 'P rinciples of the History of Language:' to the latter work the author of this Ess ay is largely indebted.) 110

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus CRATYLUS By Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, Hermogenes, Cratylus. HERMOGENES: Suppose tha t we make Socrates a party to the argument? CRATYLUS: If you please. HERMOGENES: I should explain to you, Socrates, that our friend Cratylus has been arguing ab out names; he says that they are natural and not conventional; not a portion of the human voice which men agree to use; but that there is a truth or correctness in them, which is the same for Hellenes as for barbarians. Whereupon I ask him, whether his own name of Cratylus is a true name or not, and he answers 'Yes.' A nd Socrates? 'Yes.' Then every man's name, as I tell him, is that which he is ca lled. To this he replies'If all the world were to call you Hermogenes, that would not be your name.' And when I am anxious to have a further explanation he is ir onical and mysterious, and seems to imply that he has a notion of his own about the matter, if he would only tell, and could entirely convince me, if he chose t o be intelligible. Tell me, Socrates, what this oracle means; or rather tell me, if you will be so good, what is your own view of the truth or correctness of na mes, which I would far sooner hear. SOCRATES: Son of Hipponicus, there is an anc ient saying, that 'hard is the knowledge of the good.' And the knowledge of name s is a great part of knowledge. If I had not been poor, I might have heard the f ifty-drachma course of the great Prodicus, which is a complete education in gram mar and languagethese are his own wordsand then I should have been at once able to answer your question about the correctness of names. But, indeed, I have only h eard the single-drachma course, and therefore, I do not know the truth about suc h matters; I will, however, gladly assist you and Cratylus in the investigation of them. When he declares that your name is not really Hermogenes, I suspect tha t he is only making fun of you;he means to say that you are no true son of Hermes , because you are always looking after a fortune and never in luck. But, as I wa s saying, there is a good deal of difficulty in this sort of knowledge, and ther efore we had better leave the question open until we have heard both sides. HERM OGENES: I have often talked over this matter, both with Cratylus and others, and cannot convince myself that there is any principle of correctness in names othe r than convention and agreement; any name which you give, in my opinion, is the right one, and if you change that and give another, the new name is as correct a s the oldwe frequently change the names of our slaves, and 111

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus the newly-imposed name is as good as the old: for there is no name given to anyt hing by nature; all is convention and habit of the users;such is my view. But if I am mistaken I shall be happy to hear and learn of Cratylus, or of any one else . SOCRATES: I dare say that you may be right, Hermogenes: let us see;Your meaning is, that the name of each thing is only that which anybody agrees to call it? H ERMOGENES: That is my notion. SOCRATES: Whether the giver of the name be an indi vidual or a city? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: Well, now, let me take an instance;s uppose that I call a man a horse or a horse a man, you mean to say that a man wi ll be rightly called a horse by me individually, and rightly called a man by the rest of the world; and a horse again would be rightly called a man by me and a horse by the world:that is your meaning? HERMOGENES: He would, according to my vi ew. SOCRATES: But how about truth, then? you would acknowledge that there is in words a true and a false? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: And there are true an d false propositions? HERMOGENES: To be sure. SOCRATES: And a true proposition s ays that which is, and a false proposition says that which is not? HERMOGENES: Y es; what other answer is possible? SOCRATES: Then in a proposition there is a tr ue and false? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: But is a proposition true as a wh ole only, and are the parts untrue? HERMOGENES: No; the parts are true as well a s the whole. SOCRATES: Would you say the large parts and not the smaller ones, o r every part? HERMOGENES: I should say that every part is true. SOCRATES: Is a p roposition resolvable into any part smaller than a name? 112

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: No; that is the smallest. SOCRATES: Then the name is a part of the t rue proposition? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: Yes, and a true part, as you say. HE RMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And is not the part of a falsehood also a falsehood? HE RMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: Then, if propositions may be true and false, names may be true and false? HERMOGENES: So we must infer. SOCRATES: And the name of anyth ing is that which any one affirms to be the name? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And will there be so many names of each thing as everybody says that there are? and will they be true names at the time of uttering them? HERMOGENES: Yes, Socrates , I can conceive no correctness of names other than this; you give one name, and I another; and in different cities and countries there are different names for the same things; Hellenes differ from barbarians in their use of names, and the several Hellenic tribes from one another. SOCRATES: But would you say, Hermogene s, that the things differ as the names differ? and are they relative to individu als, as Protagoras tells us? For he says that man is the measure of all things, and that things are to me as they appear to me, and that they are to you as they appear to you. Do you agree with him, or would you say that things have a perma nent essence of their own? HERMOGENES: There have been times, Socrates, when I h ave been driven in my perplexity to take refuge with Protagoras; not that I agre e with him at all. SOCRATES: What! have you ever been driven to admit that there was no such thing as a bad man? HERMOGENES: No, indeed; but I have often had re ason to think that there are very bad men, and a good many of them. SOCRATES: We ll, and have you ever found any very good ones? HERMOGENES: Not many. 113

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Still you have found them? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And would you ho ld that the very good were the very wise, and the very evil very foolish? Would that be your view? HERMOGENES: It would. SOCRATES: But if Protagoras is right, a nd the truth is that things are as they appear to any one, how can some of us be wise and some of us foolish? HERMOGENES: Impossible. SOCRATES: And if, on the o ther hand, wisdom and folly are really distinguishable, you will allow, I think, that the assertion of Protagoras can hardly be correct. For if what appears to each man is true to him, one man cannot in reality be wiser than another. HERMOG ENES: He cannot. SOCRATES: Nor will you be disposed to say with Euthydemus, that all things equally belong to all men at the same moment and always; for neither on his view can there be some good and others bad, if virtue and vice are alway s equally to be attributed to all. HERMOGENES: There cannot. SOCRATES: But if ne ither is right, and things are not relative to individuals, and all things do no t equally belong to all at the same moment and always, they must be supposed to have their own proper and permanent essence: they are not in relation to us, or influenced by us, fluctuating according to our fancy, but they are independent, and maintain to their own essence the relation prescribed by nature. HERMOGENES: I think, Socrates, that you have said the truth. SOCRATES: Does what I am sayin g apply only to the things themselves, or equally to the actions which proceed f rom them? Are not actions also a class of being? HERMOGENES: Yes, the actions ar e real as well as the things. SOCRATES: Then the actions also are done according to their proper nature, and not according to our opinion of them? In cutting, f or example, we do not cut as we please, and with any chance instrument; but we c ut with the proper instrument only, and according to the natural process of cutt ing; and the natural process is right and will succeed, but any other will fail and be of no use at all. HERMOGENES: I should say that the natural way is the ri ght way. 114

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Again, in burning, not every way is the right way; but the right way i s the natural way, and the right instrument the natural instrument. HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: And this holds good of all actions? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: A nd speech is a kind of action? HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: And will a man speak correctly who speaks as he pleases? Will not the successful speaker rather be he who speaks in the natural way of speaking, and as things ought to be spoken, an d with the natural instrument? Any other mode of speaking will result in error a nd failure. HERMOGENES: I quite agree with you. SOCRATES: And is not naming a pa rt of speaking? for in giving names men speak. HERMOGENES: That is true. SOCRATE S: And if speaking is a sort of action and has a relation to acts, is not naming also a sort of action? HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: And we saw that actions were not relative to ourselves, but had a special nature of their own? HERMOGENES: P recisely. SOCRATES: Then the argument would lead us to infer that names ought to be given according to a natural process, and with a proper instrument, and not at our pleasure: in this and no other way shall we name with success. HERMOGENES : I agree. SOCRATES: But again, that which has to be cut has to be cut with some thing? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And that which has to be woven or pierced has to be woven or pierced with something? HERMOGENES: Certainly. 115

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: And that which has to be named has to be named with something? HERMOGE NES: True. SOCRATES: What is that with which we pierce? HERMOGENES: An awl. SOCR ATES: And with which we weave? HERMOGENES: A shuttle. SOCRATES: And with which w e name? HERMOGENES: A name. SOCRATES: Very good: then a name is an instrument? H ERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: Suppose that I ask, 'What sort of instrument is a shuttle?' And you answer, 'A weaving instrument.' HERMOGENES: Well. SOCRATES: And I ask again, 'What do we do when we weave?'The answer is, that we separate or disengage the warp from the woof. HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: And may not a similar description be given of an awl, and of instruments in general? HERMOGE NES: To be sure. SOCRATES: And now suppose that I ask a similar question about n ames: will you answer me? Regarding the name as an instrument, what do we do whe n we name? HERMOGENES: I cannot say. SOCRATES: Do we not give information to one another, and distinguish things according to their natures? HERMOGENES: Certain ly we do. SOCRATES: Then a name is an instrument of teaching and of distinguishi ng natures, as the shuttle is of distinguishing the threads of the web. 116

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And the shuttle is the instrument of the weaver? HERM OGENES: Assuredly. SOCRATES: Then the weaver will use the shuttle welland well me ans like a weaver? and the teacher will use the name welland well means like a te acher? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And when the weaver uses the shuttle, whose wo rk will he be using well? HERMOGENES: That of the carpenter. SOCRATES: And is ev ery man a carpenter, or the skilled only? HERMOGENES: Only the skilled. SOCRATES : And when the piercer uses the awl, whose work will he be using well? HERMOGENE S: That of the smith. SOCRATES: And is every man a smith, or only the skilled? H ERMOGENES: The skilled only. SOCRATES: And when the teacher uses the name, whose work will he be using? HERMOGENES: There again I am puzzled. SOCRATES: Cannot y ou at least say who gives us the names which we use? HERMOGENES: Indeed I cannot . SOCRATES: Does not the law seem to you to give us them? HERMOGENES: Yes, I sup pose so. SOCRATES: Then the teacher, when he gives us a name, uses the work of t he legislator? HERMOGENES: I agree. SOCRATES: And is every man a legislator, or the skilled only? HERMOGENES: The skilled only. 117

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Then, Hermogenes, not every man is able to give a name, but only a mak er of names; and this is the legislator, who of all skilled artisans in the worl d is the rarest. HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: And how does the legislator make na mes? and to what does he look? Consider this in the light of the previous instan ces: to what does the carpenter look in making the shuttle? Does he not look to that which is naturally fitted to act as a shuttle? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRA TES: And suppose the shuttle to be broken in making, will he make another, looki ng to the broken one? or will he look to the form according to which he made the other? HERMOGENES: To the latter, I should imagine. SOCRATES: Might not that be justly called the true or ideal shuttle? HERMOGENES: I think so. SOCRATES: And whatever shuttles are wanted, for the manufacture of garments, thin or thick, of flaxen, woollen, or other material, ought all of them to have the true form of the shuttle; and whatever is the shuttle best adapted to each kind of work, that ought to be the form which the maker produces in each case. HERMOGENES: Yes. SO CRATES: And the same holds of other instruments: when a man has discovered the i nstrument which is naturally adapted to each work, he must express this natural form, and not others which he fancies, in the material, whatever it may be, whic h he employs; for example, he ought to know how to put into iron the forms of aw ls adapted by nature to their several uses? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: And how to put into wood forms of shuttles adapted by nature to their uses? HERMOGE NES: True. SOCRATES: For the several forms of shuttles naturally answer to the s everal kinds of webs; and this is true of instruments in general. HERMOGENES: Ye s. SOCRATES: Then, as to names: ought not our legislator also to know how to put the true natural name of each thing into sounds and syllables, and to make and give all names with a view to the ideal name, if he is to be a namer in any true sense? And we must remember that different legislators will 118

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus not use the same syllables. For neither does every smith, although he may be mak ing the same instrument for the same purpose, make them all of the same iron. Th e form must be the same, but the material may vary, and still the instrument may be equally good of whatever iron made, whether in Hellas or in a foreign countr y;there is no difference. HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: And the legislator, wh ether he be Hellene or barbarian, is not therefore to be deemed by you a worse l egislator, provided he gives the true and proper form of the name in whatever sy llables; this or that country makes no matter. HERMOGENES: Quite true. SOCRATES: But who then is to determine whether the proper form is given to the shuttle, w hatever sort of wood may be used? the carpenter who makes, or the weaver who is to use them? HERMOGENES: I should say, he who is to use them, Socrates. SOCRATES : And who uses the work of the lyre-maker? Will not he be the man who knows how to direct what is being done, and who will know also whether the work is being w ell done or not? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: And who is he? HERMOGENES: The player of the lyre. SOCRATES: And who will direct the shipwright? HERMOGENES: T he pilot. SOCRATES: And who will be best able to direct the legislator in his wo rk, and will know whether the work is well done, in this or any other country? W ill not the user be the man? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And this is he who knows how to ask questions? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And how to answer them? HERMOG ENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And him who knows how to ask and answer you would call a di alectician? 119

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: Yes; that would be his name. SOCRATES: Then the work of the carpente r is to make a rudder, and the pilot has to direct him, if the rudder is to be w ell made. HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: And the work of the legislator is to give names, and the dialectician must be his director if the names are to be rightly given? HERMOGENES: That is true. SOCRATES: Then, Hermogenes, I should say that t his giving of names can be no such light matter as you fancy, or the work of lig ht or chance persons; and Cratylus is right in saying that things have names by nature, and that not every man is an artificer of names, but he only who looks t o the name which each thing by nature has, and is able to express the true forms of things in letters and syllables. HERMOGENES: I cannot answer you, Socrates; but I find a difficulty in changing my opinion all in a moment, and I think that I should be more readily persuaded, if you would show me what this is which you term the natural fitness of names. SOCRATES: My good Hermogenes, I have none to show. Was I not telling you just now (but you have forgotten), that I knew noth ing, and proposing to share the enquiry with you? But now that you and I have ta lked over the matter, a step has been gained; for we have discovered that names have by nature a truth, and that not every man knows how to give a thing a name. HERMOGENES: Very good. SOCRATES: And what is the nature of this truth or correc tness of names? That, if you care to know, is the next question. HERMOGENES: Cer tainly, I care to know. SOCRATES: Then reflect. HERMOGENES: How shall I reflect? SOCRATES: The true way is to have the assistance of those who know, and you mus t pay them well both in money and in thanks; these are the Sophists, of whom you r brother, Callias, hasrather dearlybought the reputation of wisdom. But you have not yet come into your inheritance, and therefore you had better go to him, and beg and entreat him to tell you what he has learnt from Protagoras about the fit ness of names. HERMOGENES: But how inconsistent should I be, if, whilst repudiat ing Protagoras and his truth ('Truth' was the title of the book of Protagoras; c ompare Theaet.), I were to attach any value to what he and his book affirm! 120

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Then if you despise him, you must learn of Homer and the poets. HERMOG ENES: And where does Homer say anything about names, and what does he say? SOCRA TES: He often speaks of them; notably and nobly in the places where he distingui shes the different names which Gods and men give to the same things. Does he not in these passages make a remarkable statement about the correctness of names? F or the Gods must clearly be supposed to call things by their right and natural n ames; do you not think so? HERMOGENES: Why, of course they call them rightly, if they call them at all. But to what are you referring? SOCRATES: Do you not know what he says about the river in Troy who had a single combat with Hephaestus? ' Whom,' as he says, 'the Gods call Xanthus, and men call Scamander.' HERMOGENES: I remember. SOCRATES: Well, and about this riverto know that he ought to be calle d Xanthus and not Scamanderis not that a solemn lesson? Or about the bird which, as he says, 'The Gods call Chalcis, and men Cymindis:' to be taught how much mor e correct the name Chalcis is than the name Cymindisdo you deem that a light matt er? Or about Batieia and Myrina? (Compare Il. 'The hill which men call Batieia a nd the immortals the tomb of the sportive Myrina.') And there are many other obs ervations of the same kind in Homer and other poets. Now, I think that this is b eyond the understanding of you and me; but the names of Scamandrius and Astyanax , which he affirms to have been the names of Hector's son, are more within the r ange of human faculties, as I am disposed to think; and what the poet means by c orrectness may be more readily apprehended in that instance: you will remember I dare say the lines to which I refer? (Il.) HERMOGENES: I do. SOCRATES: Let me a sk you, then, which did Homer think the more correct of the names given to Hecto r's sonAstyanax or Scamandrius? HERMOGENES: I do not know. SOCRATES: How would yo u answer, if you were asked whether the wise or the unwise are more likely to gi ve correct names? HERMOGENES: I should say the wise, of course. SOCRATES: And ar e the men or the women of a city, taken as a class, the wiser? 121

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: I should say, the men. SOCRATES: And Homer, as you know, says that t he Trojan men called him Astyanax (king of the city); but if the men called him Astyanax, the other name of Scamandrius could only have been given to him by the women. HERMOGENES: That may be inferred. SOCRATES: And must not Homer have imag ined the Trojans to be wiser than their wives? HERMOGENES: To be sure. SOCRATES: Then he must have thought Astyanax to be a more correct name for the boy than S camandrius? HERMOGENES: Clearly. SOCRATES: And what is the reason of this? Let u s consider:does he not himself suggest a very good reason, when he says, 'For he alone defended their city and long walls'? This appears to be a good reason for calling the son of the saviour king of the city which his father was saving, as Homer observes. HERMOGENES: I see. SOCRATES: Why, Hermogenes, I do not as yet se e myself; and do you? HERMOGENES: No, indeed; not I. SOCRATES: But tell me, frie nd, did not Homer himself also give Hector his name? HERMOGENES: What of that? S OCRATES: The name appears to me to be very nearly the same as the name of Astyan axboth are Hellenic; and a king (anax) and a holder (ektor) have nearly the same meaning, and are both descriptive of a king; for a man is clearly the holder of that of which he is king; he rules, and owns, and holds it. But, perhaps, you ma y think that I am talking nonsense; and indeed I believe that I myself did not k now what I meant when I imagined that I had found some indication of the opinion of Homer about the correctness of names. HERMOGENES: I assure you that I think otherwise, and I believe you to be on the right track. SOCRATES: There is reason , I think, in calling the lion's whelp a lion, and the foal of a horse a horse; I am speaking only of the ordinary course of nature, when an animal produces aft er his kind, and not 122

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus of extraordinary births;if contrary to nature a horse have a calf, then I should not call that a foal but a calf; nor do I call any inhuman birth a man, but only a natural birth. And the same may be said of trees and other things. Do you agr ee with me? HERMOGENES: Yes, I agree. SOCRATES: Very good. But you had better wa tch me and see that I do not play tricks with you. For on the same principle the son of a king is to be called a king. And whether the syllables of the name are the same or not the same, makes no difference, provided the meaning is retained ; nor does the addition or subtraction of a letter make any difference so long a s the essence of the thing remains in possession of the name and appears in it. HERMOGENES: What do you mean? SOCRATES: A very simple matter. I may illustrate m y meaning by the names of letters, which you know are not the same as the letter s themselves with the exception of the four epsilon, upsilon, omicron, omega; th e names of the rest, whether vowels or consonants, are made up of other letters which we add to them; but so long as we introduce the meaning, and there can be no mistake, the name of the letter is quite correct. Take, for example, the lett er betathe addition of eta, tau, alpha, gives no offence, and does not prevent th e whole name from having the value which the legislator intendedso well did he kn ow how to give the letters names. HERMOGENES: I believe you are right. SOCRATES: And may not the same be said of a king? a king will often be the son of a king, the good son or the noble son of a good or noble sire; and similarly the offspr ing of every kind, in the regular course of nature, is like the parent, and ther efore has the same name. Yet the syllables may be disguised until they appear di fferent to the ignorant person, and he may not recognize them, although they are the same, just as any one of us would not recognize the same drugs under differ ent disguises of colour and smell, although to the physician, who regards the po wer of them, they are the same, and he is not put out by the addition; and in li ke manner the etymologist is not put out by the addition or transposition or sub traction of a letter or two, or indeed by the change of all the letters, for thi s need not interfere with the meaning. As was just now said, the names of Hector and Astyanax have only one letter alike, which is tau, and yet they have the sa me meaning. And how little in common with the letters of their names has Archepo lis (ruler of the city)and yet the meaning is the same. And there are many other names which just mean 'king.' Again, there are several names for a general, as, for example, Agis (leader) and Polemarchus (chief in war) and Eupolemus (good wa rrior); and others which denote a physician, as Iatrocles (famous healer) and Ac esimbrotus (curer of mortals); and there are many others which might be cited, d iffering in their syllables and letters, but having the same meaning. Would you not say so? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: The same names, then, ought to be assigne d to those who follow in the course of nature? 123

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And what of those who follow out of the course of nat ure, and are prodigies? for example, when a good and religious man has an irreli gious son, he ought to bear the name not of his father, but of the class to whic h he belongs, just as in the case which was before supposed of a horse foaling a calf. HERMOGENES: Quite true. SOCRATES: Then the irreligious son of a religious father should be called irreligious? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: He should not be called Theophilus (beloved of God) or Mnesitheus (mindful of God), or an y of these names: if names are correctly given, his should have an opposite mean ing. HERMOGENES: Certainly, Socrates. SOCRATES: Again, Hermogenes, there is Ores tes (the man of the mountains) who appears to be rightly called; whether chance gave the name, or perhaps some poet who meant to express the brutality and fierc eness and mountain wildness of his hero's nature. HERMOGENES: That is very likel y, Socrates. SOCRATES: And his father's name is also according to nature. HERMOG ENES: Clearly. SOCRATES: Yes, for as his name, so also is his nature; Agamemnon (admirable for remaining) is one who is patient and persevering in the accomplis hment of his resolves, and by his virtue crowns them; and his continuance at Tro y with all the vast army is a proof of that admirable endurance in him which is signified by the name Agamemnon. I also think that Atreus is rightly called; for his murder of Chrysippus and his exceeding cruelty to Thyestes are damaging and destructive to his reputation the name is a little altered and disguised so as n ot to be intelligible to every one, but to the etymologist there is no difficult y in seeing the meaning, for whether you think of him as ateires the stubborn, o r as atrestos the fearless, or as ateros the destructive one, the name is perfec tly correct in every point of view. And I think that Pelops is also named approp riately; for, as the name implies, he is rightly called Pelops who sees what is near only (o ta pelas oron). HERMOGENES: How so? SOCRATES: Because, according to the tradition, he had no forethought or foresight of all the evil which the mur der of Myrtilus would entail upon his whole race in remote ages; he saw only wha t was at hand and immediate,or in other words, pelas (near), in his eagerness to win Hippodamia by all means for his bride. Every one would agree that the name o f Tantalus is rightly given and in accordance with nature, if the traditions abo ut him are true. 124

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: And what are the traditions? SOCRATES: Many terrible misfortunes are said to have happened to him in his lifelast of all, came the utter ruin of his country; and after his death he had the stone suspended (talanteia) over his hea d in the world belowall this agrees wonderfully well with his name. You might ima gine that some person who wanted to call him Talantatos (the most weighted down by misfortune), disguised the name by altering it into Tantalus; and into this f orm, by some accident of tradition, it has actually been transmuted. The name of Zeus, who is his alleged father, has also an excellent meaning, although hard t o be understood, because really like a sentence, which is divided into two parts , for some call him Zena, and use the one half, and others who use the other hal f call him Dia; the two together signify the nature of the God, and the business of a name, as we were saying, is to express the nature. For there is none who i s more the author of life to us and to all, than the lord and king of all. Where fore we are right in calling him Zena and Dia, which are one name, although divi ded, meaning the God through whom all creatures always have life (di on zen aei pasi tois zosin uparchei). There is an irreverence, at first sight, in calling h im son of Cronos (who is a proverb for stupidity), and we might rather expect Ze us to be the child of a mighty intellect. Which is the fact; for this is the mea ning of his father's name: Kronos quasi Koros (Choreo, to sweep), not in the sen se of a youth, but signifying to chatharon chai acheraton tou nou, the pure and garnished mind (sc. apo tou chorein). He, as we are informed by tradition, was b egotten of Uranus, rightly so called (apo tou oran ta ano) from looking upwards; which, as philosophers tell us, is the way to have a pure mind, and the name Ur anus is therefore correct. If I could remember the genealogy of Hesiod, I would have gone on and tried more conclusions of the same sort on the remoter ancestor s of the Gods,then I might have seen whether this wisdom, which has come to me al l in an instant, I know not whence, will or will not hold good to the end. HERMO GENES: You seem to me, Socrates, to be quite like a prophet newly inspired, and to be uttering oracles. SOCRATES: Yes, Hermogenes, and I believe that I caught t he inspiration from the great Euthyphro of the Prospaltian deme, who gave me a l ong lecture which commenced at dawn: he talked and I listened, and his wisdom an d enchanting ravishment has not only filled my ears but taken possession of my s oul, and to-day I shall let his superhuman power work and finish the investigati on of names that will be the way; but to-morrow, if you are so disposed, we will conjure him away, and make a purgation of him, if we can only find some priest o r sophist who is skilled in purifications of this sort. HERMOGENES: With all my heart; for am very curious to hear the rest of the enquiry about names. SOCRATES : Then let us proceed; and where would you have us begin, now that we have got a sort of outline of the enquiry? Are there any names which witness of themselves that they are not given arbitrarily, but have a natural fitness? The names of h eroes and of men in general are apt to be deceptive because they are often calle d after ancestors with whose names, as we were saying, they may have no business ; or they are the expression of a wish like Eutychides (the son of good fortune) , or Sosias (the Saviour), or Theophilus (the beloved of God), and others. But I think that we had better leave these, for there will be more chance of finding correctness in the names of immutable essences;there ought to have been more care taken about them when they were named, and 125

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus perhaps there may have been some more than human power at work occasionally in g iving them names. HERMOGENES: I think so, Socrates. SOCRATES: Ought we not to be gin with the consideration of the Gods, and show that they are rightly named God s? HERMOGENES: Yes, that will be well. SOCRATES: My notion would be something of this sort:I suspect that the sun, moon, earth, stars, and heaven, which are stil l the Gods of many barbarians, were the only Gods known to the aboriginal Hellen es. Seeing that they were always moving and running, from their running nature t hey were called Gods or runners (Theous, Theontas); and when men became acquaint ed with the other Gods, they proceeded to apply the same name to them all. Do yo u think that likely? HERMOGENES: I think it very likely indeed. SOCRATES: What s hall follow the Gods? HERMOGENES: Must not demons and heroes and men come next? SOCRATES: Demons! And what do you consider to be the meaning of this word? Tell me if my view is right. HERMOGENES: Let me hear. SOCRATES: You know how Hesiod u ses the word? HERMOGENES: I do not. SOCRATES: Do you not remember that he speaks of a golden race of men who came first? HERMOGENES: Yes, I do. SOCRATES: He say s of them 'But now that fate has closed over this race They are holy demons upon the earth, Beneficent, averters of ills, guardians of mortal men.' (Hesiod, Work s and Days.) HERMOGENES: What is the inference? SOCRATES: What is the inference! Why, I suppose that he means by the golden men, not men literally made of gold, but good and noble; and I am convinced of this, because he further says that we are the iron race. 126

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: That is true. SOCRATES: And do you not suppose that good men of our own day would by him be said to be of golden race? HERMOGENES: Very likely. SOCR ATES: And are not the good wise? HERMOGENES: Yes, they are wise. SOCRATES: And t herefore I have the most entire conviction that he called them demons, because t hey were daemones (knowing or wise), and in our older Attic dialect the word its elf occurs. Now he and other poets say truly, that when a good man dies he has h onour and a mighty portion among the dead, and becomes a demon; which is a name given to him signifying wisdom. And I say too, that every wise man who happens t o be a good man is more than human (daimonion) both in life and death, and is ri ghtly called a demon. HERMOGENES: Then I rather think that I am of one mind with you; but what is the meaning of the word 'hero'? (Eros with an eta, in the old writing eros with an epsilon.) SOCRATES: I think that there is no difficulty in explaining, for the name is not much altered, and signifies that they were born of love. HERMOGENES: What do you mean? SOCRATES: Do you not know that the heroes are demigods? HERMOGENES: What then? SOCRATES: All of them sprang either from t he love of a God for a mortal woman, or of a mortal man for a Goddess; think of the word in the old Attic, and you will see better that the name heros is only a slight alteration of Eros, from whom the heroes sprang: either this is the mean ing, or, if not this, then they must have been skilful as rhetoricians and diale cticians, and able to put the question (erotan), for eirein is equivalent to leg ein. And therefore, as I was saying, in the Attic dialect the heroes turn out to be rhetoricians and questioners. All this is easy enough; the noble breed of he roes are a tribe of sophists and rhetors. But can you tell me why men are called anthropoi?that is more difficult. HERMOGENES: No, I cannot; and I would not try even if I could, because I think that you are the more likely to succeed. SOCRAT ES: That is to say, you trust to the inspiration of Euthyphro. HERMOGENES: Of co urse. 127

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Your faith is not vain; for at this very moment a new and ingenious th ought strikes me, and, if I am not careful, before to-morrow's dawn I shall be w iser than I ought to be. Now, attend to me; and first, remember that we often pu t in and pull out letters in words, and give names as we please and change the a ccents. Take, for example, the word Dii Philos; in order to convert this from a sentence into a noun, we omit one of the iotas and sound the middle syllable gra ve instead of acute; as, on the other hand, letters are sometimes inserted in wo rds instead of being omitted, and the acute takes the place of the grave. HERMOG ENES: That is true. SOCRATES: The name anthropos, which was once a sentence, and is now a noun, appears to be a case just of this sort, for one letter, which is the alpha, has been omitted, and the acute on the last syllable has been change d to a grave. HERMOGENES: What do you mean? SOCRATES: I mean to say that the wor d 'man' implies that other animals never examine, or consider, or look up at wha t they see, but that man not only sees (opope) but considers and looks up at tha t which he sees, and hence he alone of all animals is rightly anthropos, meaning anathron a opopen. HERMOGENES: May I ask you to examine another word about whic h I am curious? SOCRATES: Certainly. HERMOGENES: I will take that which appears to me to follow next in order. You know the distinction of soul and body? SOCRAT ES: Of course. HERMOGENES: Let us endeavour to analyze them like the previous wo rds. SOCRATES: You want me first of all to examine the natural fitness of the wo rd psuche (soul), and then of the word soma (body)? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: I f I am to say what occurs to me at the moment, I should imagine that those who f irst used the name psuche meant to express that the soul when in the body is the source of life, and gives the power of breath and revival (anapsuchon), and whe n this reviving power fails then the body perishes and dies, and this, if I am n ot mistaken, they called psyche. But please stay a moment; I fancy that I can di scover something which will be more acceptable to the disciples of Euthyphro, fo r I am afraid that they will scorn this explanation. What do you say to another? HERMOGENES: Let me hear. 128

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: What is that which holds and carries and gives life and motion to the entire nature of the body? What else but the soul? HERMOGENES: Just that. SOCRAT ES: And do you not believe with Anaxagoras, that mind or soul is the ordering an d containing principle of all things? HERMOGENES: Yes; I do. SOCRATES: Then you may well call that power phuseche which carries and holds nature (e phusin okei, kai ekei), and this may be refined away into psuche. HERMOGENES: Certainly; and this derivation is, I think, more scientific than the other. SOCRATES: It is so ; but I cannot help laughing, if I am to suppose that this was the true meaning of the name. HERMOGENES: But what shall we say of the next word? SOCRATES: You m ean soma (the body). HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: That may be variously interprete d; and yet more variously if a little permutation is allowed. For some say that the body is the grave (sema) of the soul which may be thought to be buried in ou r present life; or again the index of the soul, because the soul gives indicatio ns to (semainei) the body; probably the Orphic poets were the inventors of the n ame, and they were under the impression that the soul is suffering the punishmen t of sin, and that the body is an enclosure or prison in which the soul is incar cerated, kept safe (soma, sozetai), as the name soma implies, until the penalty is paid; according to this view, not even a letter of the word need be changed. HERMOGENES: I think, Socrates, that we have said enough of this class of words. But have we any more explanations of the names of the Gods, like that which you were giving of Zeus? I should like to know whether any similar principle of corr ectness is to be applied to them. SOCRATES: Yes, indeed, Hermogenes; and there i s one excellent principle which, as men of sense, we must acknowledge,that of the Gods we know nothing, either of their natures or of the names which they give t hemselves; but we are sure that the names by which they call themselves, whateve r they may be, are true. And this is the best of all principles; and the next be st is to say, as in prayers, that we will call them by any sort or kind of names or patronymics which they like, because we do not know of any other. That also, I think, is a very good custom, and one which I should much wish to observe. Le t us, then, if you please, in the first place announce to them that we are not e nquiring about them; we do not presume that we are able to do so; but we are enq uiring about the meaning of men in giving them these names,in this there can be s mall blame. 129

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: I think, Socrates, that you are quite right, and I would like to do as you say. SOCRATES: Shall we begin, then, with Hestia, according to custom? HE RMOGENES: Yes, that will be very proper. SOCRATES: What may we suppose him to ha ve meant who gave the name Hestia? HERMOGENES: That is another and certainly a m ost difficult question. SOCRATES: My dear Hermogenes, the first imposers of name s must surely have been considerable persons; they were philosophers, and had a good deal to say. HERMOGENES: Well, and what of them? SOCRATES: They are the men to whom I should attribute the imposition of names. Even in foreign names, if y ou analyze them, a meaning is still discernible. For example, that which we term ousia is by some called esia, and by others again osia. Now that the essence of things should be called estia, which is akin to the first of these (esia = esti a), is rational enough. And there is reason in the Athenians calling that estia which participates in ousia. For in ancient times we too seem to have said esia for ousia, and this you may note to have been the idea of those who appointed th at sacrifices should be first offered to estia, which was natural enough if they meant that estia was the essence of things. Those again who read osia seem to h ave inclined to the opinion of Heracleitus, that all things flow and nothing sta nds; with them the pushing principle (othoun) is the cause and ruling power of a ll things, and is therefore rightly called osia. Enough of this, which is all th at we who know nothing can affirm. Next in order after Hestia we ought to consid er Rhea and Cronos, although the name of Cronos has been already discussed. But I dare say that I am talking great nonsense. HERMOGENES: Why, Socrates? SOCRATES : My good friend, I have discovered a hive of wisdom. HERMOGENES: Of what nature ? SOCRATES: Well, rather ridiculous, and yet plausible. HERMOGENES: How plausibl e? SOCRATES: I fancy to myself Heracleitus repeating wise traditions of antiquit y as old as the days of Cronos and Rhea, and of which Homer also spoke. HERMOGEN ES: How do you mean? SOCRATES: Heracleitus is supposed to say that all things ar e in motion and nothing at rest; he compares them to the stream of a river, and says that you cannot go into the same water twice. 130

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: That is true. SOCRATES: Well, then, how can we avoid inferring that he who gave the names of Cronos and Rhea to the ancestors of the Gods, agreed pr etty much in the doctrine of Heracleitus? Is the giving of the names of streams to both of them purely accidental? Compare the line in which Homer, and, as I be lieve, Hesiod also, tells of 'Ocean, the origin of Gods, and mother Tethys ( e line is not found in the extant works of Hesiod.).' And again, Orpheus says, t hat 'The fair river of Ocean was the first to marry, and he espoused his sister Tethys, who was his mother's daughter.' You see that this is a remarkable coinci dence, and all in the direction of Heracleitus. HERMOGENES: I think that there i s something in what you say, Socrates; but I do not understand the meaning of th e name Tethys. SOCRATES: Well, that is almost self-explained, being only the nam e of a spring, a little disguised; for that which is strained and filtered (diat tomenon, ethoumenon) may be likened to a spring, and the name Tethys is made up of these two words. HERMOGENES: The idea is ingenious, Socrates. SOCRATES: To be sure. But what comes next?of Zeus we have spoken. HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: The n let us next take his two brothers, Poseidon and Pluto, whether the latter is c alled by that or by his other name. HERMOGENES: By all means. SOCRATES: Poseidon is Posidesmos, the chain of the feet; the original inventor of the name had bee n stopped by the watery element in his walks, and not allowed to go on, and ther efore he called the ruler of this element Poseidon; the epsilon was probably ins erted as an ornament. Yet, perhaps, not so; but the name may have been originall y written with a double lamda and not with a sigma, meaning that the God knew ma ny things (Polla eidos). And perhaps also he being the shaker of the earth, has been named from shaking (seiein), and then pi and delta have been added. Pluto g ives wealth (Ploutos), and his name means the giver of wealth, which comes out o f the earth beneath. People in general appear to imagine that the term Hades is connected with the invisible (aeides) and so they are led by their fears to call the God Pluto instead. HERMOGENES: And what is the true derivation? 131

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: In spite of the mistakes which are made about the power of this deity, and the foolish fears which people have of him, such as the fear of always bein g with him after death, and of the soul denuded of the body going to him (compar e Rep.), my belief is that all is quite consistent, and that the office and name of the God really correspond. HERMOGENES: Why, how is that? SOCRATES: I will te ll you my own opinion; but first, I should like to ask you which chain does any animal feel to be the stronger? and which confines him more to the same spot,desi re or necessity? HERMOGENES: Desire, Socrates, is stronger far. SOCRATES: And do you not think that many a one would escape from Hades, if he did not bind those who depart to him by the strongest of chains? HERMOGENES: Assuredly they would. SOCRATES: And if by the greatest of chains, then by some desire, as I should ce rtainly infer, and not by necessity? HERMOGENES: That is clear. SOCRATES: And th ere are many desires? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And therefore by the greatest d esire, if the chain is to be the greatest? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: And is any desire stronger than the thought that you will be made better by associating wi th another? HERMOGENES: Certainly not. SOCRATES: And is not that the reason, Her mogenes, why no one, who has been to him, is willing to come back to us? Even th e Sirens, like all the rest of the world, have been laid under his spells. Such a charm, as I imagine, is the God able to infuse into his words. And, according to this view, he is the perfect and accomplished Sophist, and the great benefact or of the inhabitants of the other world; and even to us who are upon earth he s ends from below exceeding blessings. For he has much more than he wants down the re; wherefore he is called Pluto (or the rich). Note also, that he will have not hing to do with men while they are in the body, but only when the soul is libera ted from the desires and evils of the body. Now there is a great deal of philoso phy and reflection in that; for in their liberated state he can bind them with t he desire of virtue, but while they are flustered and maddened by the body, not even father Cronos himself would suffice to keep them with him in his own far-fa med chains. 132

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: There is a deal of truth in what you say. SOCRATES: Yes, Hermogenes, and the legislator called him Hades, not from the unseen (aeides) far otherwise, but from his knowledge (eidenai) of all noble things. HERMOGENES: Very good; an d what do we say of Demeter, and Here, and Apollo, and Athene, and Hephaestus, a nd Ares, and the other deities? SOCRATES: Demeter is e didousa meter, who gives food like a mother; Here is the lovely one (erate)for Zeus, according to traditio n, loved and married her; possibly also the name may have been given when the le gislator was thinking of the heavens, and may be only a disguise of the air (aer ), putting the end in the place of the beginning. You will recognize the truth o f this if you repeat the letters of Here several times over. People dread the na me of Pherephatta as they dread the name of Apollo,and with as little reason; the fear, if I am not mistaken, only arises from their ignorance of the nature of n ames. But they go changing the name into Phersephone, and they are terrified at this; whereas the new name means only that the Goddess is wise (sophe); for seei ng that all things in the world are in motion (pheromenon), that principle which embraces and touches and is able to follow them, is wisdom. And therefore the G oddess may be truly called Pherepaphe (Pherepapha), or some name like it, becaus e she touches that which is in motion (tou pheromenon ephaptomene), herein showi ng her wisdom. And Hades, who is wise, consorts with her, because she is wise. T hey alter her name into Pherephatta now-a-days, because the present generation c are for euphony more than truth. There is the other name, Apollo, which, as I wa s saying, is generally supposed to have some terrible signification. Have you re marked this fact? HERMOGENES: To be sure I have, and what you say is true. SOCRA TES: But the name, in my opinion, is really most expressive of the power of the God. HERMOGENES: How so? SOCRATES: I will endeavour to explain, for I do not bel ieve that any single name could have been better adapted to express the attribut es of the God, embracing and in a manner signifying all four of them,music, and p rophecy, and medicine, and archery. HERMOGENES: That must be a strange name, and I should like to hear the explanation. SOCRATES: Say rather an harmonious name, as beseems the God of Harmony. In the first place, the purgations and purificat ions which doctors and diviners use, and their fumigations with drugs magical or medicinal, as well as their washings and lustral sprinklings, have all one and the same object, which is to make a man pure both in body and soul. HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: And is not Apollo the purifier, and the washer, and the abs olver from all impurities? HERMOGENES: Very true. 133

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Then in reference to his ablutions and absolutions, as being the physi cian who orders them, he may be rightly called Apolouon (purifier); or in respec t of his powers of divination, and his truth and sincerity, which is the same as truth, he may be most fitly called Aplos, from aplous (sincere), as in the Thes salian dialect, for all the Thessalians call him Aplos; also he is aei Ballon (a lways shooting), because he is a master archer who never misses; or again, the n ame may refer to his musical attributes, and then, as in akolouthos, and akoitis , and in many other words the alpha is supposed to mean 'together,' so the meani ng of the name Apollo will be 'moving together,' whether in the poles of heaven as they are called, or in the harmony of song, which is termed concord, because he moves all together by an harmonious power, as astronomers and musicians ingen iously declare. And he is the God who presides over harmony, and makes all thing s move together, both among Gods and among men. And as in the words akolouthos a nd akoitis the alpha is substituted for an omicron, so the name Apollon is equiv alent to omopolon; only the second lambda is added in order to avoid the ill-ome ned sound of destruction (apolon). Now the suspicion of this destructive power s till haunts the minds of some who do not consider the true value of the name, wh ich, as I was saying just now, has reference to all the powers of the God, who i s the single one, the everdarting, the purifier, the mover together (aplous, aei Ballon, apolouon, omopolon). The name of the Muses and of music would seem to b e derived from their making philosophical enquiries (mosthai); and Leto is calle d by this name, because she is such a gentle Goddess, and so willing (ethelemon) to grant our requests; or her name may be Letho, as she is often called by stra ngersthey seem to imply by it her amiability, and her smooth and easy-going way o f behaving. Artemis is named from her healthy (artemes), well-ordered nature, an d because of her love of virginity, perhaps because she is a proficient in virtu e (arete), and perhaps also as hating intercourse of the sexes (ton aroton mises asa). He who gave the Goddess her name may have had any or all of these reasons. HERMOGENES: What is the meaning of Dionysus and Aphrodite? SOCRATES: Son of Hip ponicus, you ask a solemn question; there is a serious and also a facetious expl anation of both these names; the serious explanation is not to be had from me, b ut there is no objection to your hearing the facetious one; for the Gods too lov e a joke. Dionusos is simply didous oinon (giver of wine), Didoinusos, as he mig ht be called in fun,and oinos is properly oionous, because wine makes those who d rink, think (oiesthai) that they have a mind (noun) when they have none. The der ivation of Aphrodite, born of the foam (aphros), may be fairly accepted on the a uthority of Hesiod. HERMOGENES: Still there remains Athene, whom you, Socrates, as an Athenian, will surely not forget; there are also Hephaestus and Ares. SOCR ATES: I am not likely to forget them. HERMOGENES: No, indeed. SOCRATES: There is no difficulty in explaining the other appellation of Athene. HERMOGENES: What o ther appellation? SOCRATES: We call her Pallas. 134

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: To be sure. SOCRATES: And we cannot be wrong in supposing that this is derived from armed dances. For the elevation of oneself or anything else abov e the earth, or by the use of the hands, we call shaking (pallein), or dancing. HERMOGENES: That is quite true. SOCRATES: Then that is the explanation of the na me Pallas? HERMOGENES: Yes; but what do you say of the other name? SOCRATES: Ath ene? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: That is a graver matter, and there, my friend, t he modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of t he ancients. For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athene 'mind' (nous) and 'intelligence' (dianoia), and the maker of na mes appears to have had a singular notion about her; and indeed calls her by a s till higher title, 'divine intelligence' (Thou noesis), as though he would say: This is she who has the mind of God (Theonoa);using alpha as a dialectical variet y for eta, and taking away iota and sigma (There seems to be some error in the M SS. The meaning is that the word theonoa = theounoa is a curtailed form of theou noesis, but the omitted letters do not agree.). Perhaps, however, the name Theo noe may mean 'she who knows divine things' (Theia noousa) better than others. No r shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify th is Goddess with moral intelligence (en ethei noesin), and therefore gave her the name ethonoe; which, however, either he or his successors have altered into wha t they thought a nicer form, and called her Athene. HERMOGENES: But what do you say of Hephaestus? SOCRATES: Speak you of the princely lord of light (Phaeos ist ora)? HERMOGENES: Surely. SOCRATES: Ephaistos is Phaistos, and has added the eta by attraction; that is obvious to anybody. HERMOGENES: That is very probable, u ntil some more probable notion gets into your head. SOCRATES: To prevent that, y ou had better ask what is the derivation of Ares. HERMOGENES: What is Ares? SOCR ATES: Ares may be called, if you will, from his manhood (arren) and manliness, o r if you please, from his hard and unchangeable nature, which is the meaning of arratos: the latter is a derivation in every way appropriate to the God of war. 135

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: And now, by the Gods, let us have no more of th e Gods, for I am afraid of them; ask about anything but them, and thou shalt see how the steeds of Euthyphro can prance. HERMOGENES: Only one more God! I should like to know about Hermes, of whom I am said not to be a true son. Let us make him out, and then I shall know whether there is any meaning in what Cratylus say s. SOCRATES: I should imagine that the name Hermes has to do with speech, and si gnifies that he is the interpreter (ermeneus), or messenger, or thief, or liar, or bargainer; all that sort of thing has a great deal to do with language; as I was telling you, the word eirein is expressive of the use of speech, and there i s an often-recurring Homeric word emesato, which means 'he contrived'out of these two words, eirein and mesasthai, the legislator formed the name of the God who invented language and speech; and we may imagine him dictating to us the use of this name: 'O my friends,' says he to us, 'seeing that he is the contriver of ta les or speeches, you may rightly call him Eirhemes.' And this has been improved by us, as we think, into Hermes. Iris also appears to have been called from the verb 'to tell' (eirein), because she was a messenger. HERMOGENES: Then I am very sure that Cratylus was quite right in saying that I was no true son of Hermes ( Ermogenes), for I am not a good hand at speeches. SOCRATES: There is also reason , my friend, in Pan being the double-formed son of Hermes. HERMOGENES: How do yo u make that out? SOCRATES: You are aware that speech signifies all things (pan), and is always turning them round and round, and has two forms, true and false? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: Is not the truth that is in him the smooth or s acred form which dwells above among the Gods, whereas falsehood dwells among men below, and is rough like the goat of tragedy; for tales and falsehoods have gen erally to do with the tragic or goatish life, and tragedy is the place of them? HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: Then surely Pan, who is the declarer of all thi ngs (pan) and the perpetual mover (aei polon) of all things, is rightly called a ipolos (goat-herd), he being the two-formed son of Hermes, smooth in his upper p art, and rough and goatlike in his lower regions. And, as the son of Hermes, he is speech or the brother of speech, and that brother should be like brother is n o marvel. But, as I was saying, my dear Hermogenes, let us get away from the God s. HERMOGENES: From these sort of Gods, by all means, Socrates. But why should w e not discuss another kind of Godsthe sun, moon, stars, earth, aether, air, fire, water, the seasons, and the year? 136

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: You impose a great many tasks upon me. Still, if you wish, I will not refuse. HERMOGENES: You will oblige me. SOCRATES: How would you have me begin? S hall I take first of all him whom you mentioned first the sun? HERMOGENES: Very g ood. SOCRATES: The origin of the sun will probably be clearer in the Doric form, for the Dorians call him alios, and this name is given to him because when he r ises he gathers (alizoi) men together or because he is always rolling in his cou rse (aei eilein ion) about the earth; or from aiolein, of which the meaning is t he same as poikillein (to variegate), because he variegates the productions of t he earth. HERMOGENES: But what is selene (the moon)? SOCRATES: That name is rath er unfortunate for Anaxagoras. HERMOGENES: How so? SOCRATES: The word seems to f orestall his recent discovery, that the moon receives her light from the sun. HE RMOGENES: Why do you say so? SOCRATES: The two words selas (brightness) and phos (light) have much the same meaning? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: This light about the moon is always new (neon) and always old (enon), if the disciples of Anaxag oras say truly. For the sun in his revolution always adds new light, and there i s the old light of the previous month. HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: The moon is not unfrequently called selanaia. HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: And as she has a light which is always old and always new (enon neon aei) she may very properl y have the name selaenoneoaeia; and this when hammered into shape becomes selana ia. HERMOGENES: A real dithyrambic sort of name that, Socrates. But what do you say of the month and the stars? 137

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Meis (month) is called from meiousthai (to lessen), because suffering diminution; the name of astra (stars) seems to be derived from astrape, which is an improvement on anastrope, signifying the upsetting of the eyes (anastrephein opa). HERMOGENES: What do you say of pur (fire) and udor (water)? SOCRATES: I a m at a loss how to explain pur; either the muse of Euthyphro has deserted me, or there is some very great difficulty in the word. Please, however, to note the c ontrivance which I adopt whenever I am in a difficulty of this sort. HERMOGENES: What is it? SOCRATES: I will tell you; but I should like to know first whether you can tell me what is the meaning of the pur? HERMOGENES: Indeed I cannot. SOC RATES: Shall I tell you what I suspect to be the true explanation of this and se veral other words?My belief is that they are of foreign origin. For the Hellenes, especially those who were under the dominion of the barbarians, often borrowed from them. HERMOGENES: What is the inference? SOCRATES: Why, you know that any o ne who seeks to demonstrate the fitness of these names according to the Hellenic language, and not according to the language from which the words are derived, i s rather likely to be at fault. HERMOGENES: Yes, certainly. SOCRATES: Well then, consider whether this pur is not foreign; for the word is not easily brought in to relation with the Hellenic tongue, and the Phrygians may be observed to have the same word slightly changed, just as they have udor (water) and kunes (dogs), and many other words. HERMOGENES: That is true. SOCRATES: Any violent interpret ations of the words should be avoided; for something to say about them may easil y be found. And thus I get rid of pur and udor. Aer (air), Hermogenes, may be ex plained as the element which raises (airei) things from the earth, or as ever fl owing (aei rei), or because the flux of the air is wind, and the poets call the winds 'air-blasts,' (aetai); he who uses the term may mean, so to speak, air-flu x (aetorroun), in the sense of wind-flux (pneumatorroun); and because this movin g wind may be expressed by either term he employs the word air (aer = aetes rheo ). Aither (aether) I should interpret as aeitheer; this may be correctly said, b ecause this element is always running in a flux about the air (aei thei peri tou aera reon). The meaning of the word ge (earth) comes out better when in the for m of gaia, for the earth may be truly called 'mother' (gaia, genneteira), as in the language of Homer (Od.) gegaasi means gegennesthai. 138

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: Good. SOCRATES: What shall we take next? HERMOGENES: There are orai (the seasons), and the two names of the year, eniautos and etos. SOCRATES: The o rai should be spelt in the old Attic way, if you desire to know the probable tru th about them; they are rightly called the orai because they divide (orizousin) the summers and winters and winds and the fruits of the earth. The words eniauto s and etos appear to be the same,'that which brings to light the plants and growt hs of the earth in their turn, and passes them in review within itself (en eauto exetazei)': this is broken up into two words, eniautos from en eauto, and etos from etazei, just as the original name of Zeus was divided into Zena and Dia; an d the whole proposition means that his power of reviewing from within is one, bu t has two names, two words etos and eniautos being thus formed out of a single p roposition. HERMOGENES: Indeed, Socrates, you make surprising progress. SOCRATES : I am run away with. HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: But am not yet at my utmo st speed. HERMOGENES: I should like very much to know, in the next place, how yo u would explain the virtues. What principle of correctness is there in those cha rming wordswisdom, understanding, justice, and the rest of them? SOCRATES: That i s a tremendous class of names which you are disinterring; still, as I have put o n the lion's skin, I must not be faint of heart; and I suppose that I must consi der the meaning of wisdom (phronesis) and understanding (sunesis), and judgment (gnome), and knowledge (episteme), and all those other charming words, as you ca ll them? HERMOGENES: Surely, we must not leave off until we find out their meani ng. SOCRATES: By the dog of Egypt I have a not bad notion which came into my hea d only this moment: I believe that the primeval givers of names were undoubtedly like too many of our modern philosophers, who, in their search after the nature of things, are always getting dizzy from constantly going round and round, and then they imagine that the world is going round and round and moving in all dire ctions; and this appearance, which arises out of their own internal condition, t hey suppose to be a reality of nature; they think that there is nothing stable o r permanent, but only flux and motion, and that the world is always full of ever y sort of motion and change. The consideration of the names which I mentioned ha s led me into making this reflection. HERMOGENES: How is that, Socrates? 139

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Perhaps you did not observe that in the names which have been just cit ed, the motion or flux or generation of things is most surely indicated. HERMOGE NES: No, indeed, I never thought of it. SOCRATES: Take the first of those which you mentioned; clearly that is a name indicative of motion. HERMOGENES: What was the name? SOCRATES: Phronesis (wisdom), which may signify phoras kai rhou noesi s (perception of motion and flux), or perhaps phoras onesis (the blessing of mot ion), but is at any rate connected with pheresthai (motion); gnome (judgment), a gain, certainly implies the ponderation or consideration (nomesis) of generation , for to ponder is the same as to consider; or, if you would rather, here is noe sis, the very word just now mentioned, which is neou esis (the desire of the new ); the word neos implies that the world is always in process of creation. The gi ver of the name wanted to express this longing of the soul, for the original nam e was neoesis, and not noesis; but eta took the place of a double epsilon. The w ord sophrosune is the salvation (soteria) of that wisdom (phronesis) which we we re just now considering. Epioteme (knowledge) is akin to this, and indicates tha t the soul which is good for anything follows (epetai) the motion of things, nei ther anticipating them nor falling behind them; wherefore the word should rather be read as epistemene, inserting epsilon nu. Sunesis (understanding) may be reg arded in like manner as a kind of conclusion; the word is derived from sunienai (to go along with), and, like epistasthai (to know), implies the progression of the soul in company with the nature of things. Sophia (wisdom) is very dark, and appears not to be of native growth; the meaning is, touching the motion or stre am of things. You must remember that the poets, when they speak of the commencem ent of any rapid motion, often use the word esuthe (he rushed); and there was a famous Lacedaemonian who was named Sous (Rush), for by this word the Lacedaemoni ans signify rapid motion, and the touching (epaphe) of motion is expressed by so phia, for all things are supposed to be in motion. Good (agathon) is the name wh ich is given to the admirable (agasto) in nature; for, although all things move, still there are degrees of motion; some are swifter, some slower; but there are some things which are admirable for their swiftness, and this admirable part of nature is called agathon. Dikaiosune (justice) is clearly dikaiou sunesis (unde rstanding of the just); but the actual word dikaion is more difficult: men are o nly agreed to a certain extent about justice, and then they begin to disagree. F or those who suppose all things to be in motion conceive the greater part of nat ure to be a mere receptacle; and they say that there is a penetrating power whic h passes through all this, and is the instrument of creation in all, and is the subtlest and swiftest element; for if it were not the subtlest, and a power whic h none can keep out, and also the swiftest, passing by other things as if they w ere standing still, it could not penetrate through the moving universe. And this element, which superintends all things and pierces (diaion) all, is rightly cal led dikaion; the letter k is only added for the sake of euphony. Thus far, as I was saying, there is a general agreement about the nature of justice; but I, Her mogenes, being an enthusiastic disciple, have been told in a mystery that the ju stice of which I am speaking is also the cause of the world: now a cause is that because of which anything is created; and some one comes and whispers in my ear that justice is rightly so called because partaking of the nature of the cause, and I begin, after hearing what he has said, to interrogate him gently: 'Well, my excellent friend,' say I, 'but if all this be true, I still want to know what is justice.' Thereupon they think that I ask tiresome questions, and am leaping over the barriers, and have been already sufficiently answered, and they try to satisfy 140

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus me with one derivation after another, and at length they quarrel. For one of the m says that justice is the sun, and that he only is the piercing (diaionta) and burning (kaonta) element which is the guardian of nature. And when I joyfully re peat this beautiful notion, I am answered by the satirical remark, 'What, is the re no justice in the world when the sun is down?' And when I earnestly beg my qu estioner to tell me his own honest opinion, he says, 'Fire in the abstract'; but this is not very intelligible. Another says, 'No, not fire in the abstract, but the abstraction of heat in the fire.' Another man professes to laugh at all thi s, and says, as Anaxagoras says, that justice is mind, for mind, as they say, ha s absolute power, and mixes with nothing, and orders all things, and passes thro ugh all things. At last, my friend, I find myself in far greater perplexity abou t the nature of justice than I was before I began to learn. But still I am of op inion that the name, which has led me into this digression, was given to justice for the reasons which I have mentioned. HERMOGENES: I think, Socrates, that you are not improvising now; you must have heard this from some one else. SOCRATES: And not the rest? HERMOGENES: Hardly. SOCRATES: Well, then, let me go on in the hope of making you believe in the originality of the rest. What remains after j ustice? I do not think that we have as yet discussed courage (andreia),injustice (adikia), which is obviously nothing more than a hindrance to the penetrating pr inciple (diaiontos), need not be considered. Well, then, the name of andreia see ms to imply a battle;this battle is in the world of existence, and according to t he doctrine of flux is only the counterflux (enantia rhon): if you extract the d elta from andreia, the name at once signifies the thing, and you may clearly und erstand that andreia is not the stream opposed to every stream, but only to that which is contrary to justice, for otherwise courage would not have been praised . The words arren (male) and aner (man) also contain a similar allusion to the s ame principle of the upward flux (te ano rhon). Gune (woman) I suspect to be the same word as goun (birth): thelu (female) appears to be partly derived from the le (the teat), because the teat is like rain, and makes things flourish (tethele nai). HERMOGENES: That is surely probable. SOCRATES: Yes; and the very word thal lein (to flourish) seems to figure the growth of youth, which is swift and sudde n ever. And this is expressed by the legislator in the name, which is a compound of thein (running), and allesthai (leaping). Pray observe how I gallop away whe n I get on smooth ground. There are a good many names generally thought to be of importance, which have still to be explained. HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: There is the meaning of the word techne (art), for example. HERMOGENES: Very true. 141

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: That may be identified with echonoe, and expresses the possession of m ind: you have only to take away the tau and insert two omichrons, one between th e chi and nu, and another between the nu and eta. HERMOGENES: That is a very sha bby etymology. SOCRATES: Yes, my dear friend; but then you know that the origina l names have been long ago buried and disguised by people sticking on and stripp ing off letters for the sake of euphony, and twisting and bedizening them in all sorts of ways: and time too may have had a share in the change. Take, for examp le, the word katoptron; why is the letter rho inserted? This must surely be the addition of some one who cares nothing about the truth, but thinks only of putti ng the mouth into shape. And the additions are often such that at last no human being can possibly make out the original meaning of the word. Another example is the word sphigx, sphiggos, which ought properly to be phigx, phiggos, and there are other examples. HERMOGENES: That is quite true, Socrates. SOCRATES: And yet , if you are permitted to put in and pull out any letters which you please, name s will be too easily made, and any name may be adapted to any object. HERMOGENES : True. SOCRATES: Yes, that is true. And therefore a wise dictator, like yoursel f, should observe the laws of moderation and probability. HERMOGENES: Such is my desire. SOCRATES: And mine, too, Hermogenes. But do not be too much of a precis ian, or 'you will unnerve me of my strength (Iliad.).' When you have allowed me to add mechane (contrivance) to techne (art) I shall be at the top of my bent, f or I conceive mechane to be a sign of great accomplishmentanein; for mekos has th e meaning of greatness, and these two, mekos and anein, make up the word mechane . But, as I was saying, being now at the top of my bent, I should like to consid er the meaning of the two words arete (virtue) and kakia (vice); arete I do not as yet understand, but kakia is transparent, and agrees with the principles whic h preceded, for all things being in a flux (ionton), kakia is kakos ion (going b adly); and this evil motion when existing in the soul has the general name of ka kia, or vice, specially appropriated to it. The meaning of kakos ienai may be fu rther illustrated by the use of deilia (cowardice), which ought to have come aft er andreia, but was forgotten, and, as I fear, is not the only word which has be en passed over. Deilia signifies that the soul is bound with a strong chain (des mos), for lian means strength, and therefore deilia expresses the greatest and s trongest bond of the soul; and aporia (difficulty) is an evil of the same nature (from a (alpha) not, and poreuesthai to go), like anything else which is an imp ediment to motion and movement. Then the word kakia appears to mean kakos ienai, or going badly, or limping and halting; of which the consequence is, that the s oul becomes filled with vice. And if kakia is the name of this sort of thing, ar ete will be the opposite of it, signifying in the first place ease of motion, th en that the stream of the good soul is unimpeded, and has therefore the attribut e of ever flowing without let or hindrance, and is therefore called arete, or, m ore correctly, aeireite (ever-flowing), and may perhaps have had 142

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus another form, airete (eligible), indicating that nothing is more eligible than v irtue, and this has been hammered into arete. I daresay that you will deem this to be another invention of mine, but I think that if the previous word kakia was right, then arete is also right. HERMOGENES: But what is the meaning of kakon, which has played so great a part in your previous discourse? SOCRATES: That is a very singular word about which I can hardly form an opinion, and therefore I mu st have recourse to my ingenious device. HERMOGENES: What device? SOCRATES: The device of a foreign origin, which I shall give to this word also. HERMOGENES: Ve ry likely you are right; but suppose that we leave these words and endeavour to see the rationale of kalon and aischron. SOCRATES: The meaning of aischron is ev ident, being only aei ischon roes (always preventing from flowing), and this is in accordance with our former derivations. For the name-giver was a great enemy to stagnation of all sorts, and hence he gave the name aeischoroun to that which hindered the flux (aei ischon roun), and that is now beaten together into aisch ron. HERMOGENES: But what do you say of kalon? SOCRATES: That is more obscure; y et the form is only due to the quantity, and has been changed by altering omicro n upsilon into omicron. HERMOGENES: What do you mean? SOCRATES: This name appear s to denote mind. HERMOGENES: How so? SOCRATES: Let me ask you what is the cause why anything has a name; is not the principle which imposes the name the cause? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: And must not this be the mind of Gods, or of m en, or of both? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATES: Is not mind that which called (kalesa n) things by their names, and is not mind the beautiful (kalon)? HERMOGENES: Tha t is evident. 143

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: And are not the works of intelligence and mind worthy of praise, and a re not other works worthy of blame? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: Physic does the work of a physician, and carpentering does the works of a carpenter? HERMOG ENES: Exactly. SOCRATES: And the principle of beauty does the works of beauty? H ERMOGENES: Of course. SOCRATES: And that principle we affirm to be mind? HERMOGE NES: Very true. SOCRATES: Then mind is rightly called beauty because she does th e works which we recognize and speak of as the beautiful? HERMOGENES: That is ev ident. SOCRATES: What more names remain to us? HERMOGENES: There are the words w hich are connected with agathon and kalon, such as sumpheron and lusiteloun, oph elimon, kerdaleon, and their opposites. SOCRATES: The meaning of sumpheron (expe dient) I think that you may discover for yourself by the light of the previous e xamples,for it is a sister word to episteme, meaning just the motion (pora) of th e soul accompanying the world, and things which are done upon this principle are called sumphora or sumpheronta, because they are carried round with the world. HERMOGENES: That is probable. SOCRATES: Again, cherdaleon (gainful) is called fr om cherdos (gain), but you must alter the delta into nu if you want to get at th e meaning; for this word also signifies good, but in another way; he who gave th e name intended to express the power of admixture (kerannumenon) and universal p enetration in the good; in forming the word, however, he inserted a delta instea d of a nu, and so made kerdos. HERMOGENES: Well, but what is lusiteloun (profita ble)? SOCRATES: I suppose, Hermogenes, that people do not mean by the profitable the gainful or that which pays (luei) the retailer, but they use the word in th e sense of swift. You regard the profitable (lusiteloun), as that which being th e swiftest thing in existence, allows of no stay in things and no pause or end o f motion, but always, if there begins to be any end, lets things go again (luei) , and 144

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus makes motion immortal and unceasing: and in this point of view, as appears to me , the good is happily denominated lusitelounbeing that which looses (luon) the en d (telos) of motion. Ophelimon (the advantageous) is derived from ophellein, mea ning that which creates and increases; this latter is a common Homeric word, and has a foreign character. HERMOGENES: And what do you say of their opposites? SO CRATES: Of such as are mere negatives I hardly think that I need speak. HERMOGEN ES: Which are they? SOCRATES: The words axumphoron (inexpedient), anopheles (unp rofitable), alusiteles (unadvantageous), akerdes (ungainful). HERMOGENES: True. SOCRATES: I would rather take the words blaberon (harmful), zemiodes (hurtful). HERMOGENES: Good. SOCRATES: The word blaberon is that which is said to hinder or harm (blaptein) the stream (roun); blapton is boulomenon aptein (seeking to hol d or bind); for aptein is the same as dein, and dein is always a term of censure ; boulomenon aptein roun (wanting to bind the stream) would properly be boulapte roun, and this, as I imagine, is improved into blaberon. HERMOGENES: You bring o ut curious results, Socrates, in the use of names; and when I hear the word boul apteroun I cannot help imagining that you are making your mouth into a flute, an d puffing away at some prelude to Athene. SOCRATES: That is the fault of the mak ers of the name, Hermogenes; not mine. HERMOGENES: Very true; but what is the de rivation of zemiodes? SOCRATES: What is the meaning of zemiodes?let me remark, He rmogenes, how right I was in saying that great changes are made in the meaning o f words by putting in and pulling out letters; even a very slight permutation wi ll sometimes give an entirely opposite sense; I may instance the word deon, whic h occurs to me at the moment, and reminds me of what I was going to say to you, that the fine fashionable language of modern times has twisted and disguised and entirely altered the original meaning both of deon, and also of zemiodes, which in the old language is clearly indicated. HERMOGENES: What do you mean? SOCRATE S: I will try to explain. You are aware that our forefathers loved the sounds io ta and delta, especially the women, who are most conservative of the ancient lan guage, but now they change iota into eta or epsilon, and delta into zeta; this i s supposed to increase the grandeur of the sound. 145

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: How do you mean? SOCRATES: For example, in very ancient times they c alled the day either imera or emera (short e), which is called by us emera (long e). HERMOGENES: That is true. SOCRATES: Do you observe that only the ancient fo rm shows the intention of the giver of the name? of which the reason is, that me n long for (imeirousi) and love the light which comes after the darkness, and is therefore called imera, from imeros, desire. HERMOGENES: Clearly. SOCRATES: But now the name is so travestied that you cannot tell the meaning, although there are some who imagine the day to be called emera because it makes things gentle ( emera different accents). HERMOGENES: Such is my view. SOCRATES: And do you know that the ancients said duogon and not zugon? HERMOGENES: They did so. SOCRATES: And zugon (yoke) has no meaning,it ought to be duogon, which word expresses the binding of two together (duein agoge) for the purpose of drawing;this has been ch anged into zugon, and there are many other examples of similar changes. HERMOGEN ES: There are. SOCRATES: Proceeding in the same train of thought I may remark th at the word deon (obligation) has a meaning which is the opposite of all the oth er appellations of good; for deon is here a species of good, and is, nevertheles s, the chain (desmos) or hinderer of motion, and therefore own brother of blaber on. HERMOGENES: Yes, Socrates; that is quite plain. SOCRATES: Not if you restore the ancient form, which is more likely to be the correct one, and read dion ins tead of deon; if you convert the epsilon into an iota after the old fashion, thi s word will then agree with other words meaning good; for dion, not deon, signif ies the good, and is a term of praise; and the author of names has not contradic ted himself, but in all these various appellations, deon (obligatory), ophelimon (advantageous), lusiteloun (profitable), kerdaleon (gainful), agathon (good), s umpheron (expedient), euporon (plenteous), the same conception is implied of the ordering or allpervading principle which is praised, and the restraining and bi nding principle which is censured. And this is further illustrated by the word z emiodes (hurtful), which if the zeta is only changed into delta as in the ancien t language, becomes demiodes; and this name, as you will perceive, is given to t hat which binds motion (dounti ion). 146

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: What do you say of edone (pleasure), lupe (pain), epithumia (desire) , and the like, Socrates? SOCRATES: I do not think, Hermogenes, that there is an y great difficulty about themedone is e (eta) onesis, the action which tends to a dvantage; and the original form may be supposed to have been eone, but this has been altered by the insertion of the delta. Lupe appears to be derived from the relaxation (luein) which the body feels when in sorrow; ania (trouble) is the hi ndrance of motion (alpha and ienai); algedon (distress), if I am not mistaken, i s a foreign word, which is derived from aleinos (grievous); odune (grief) is cal led from the putting on (endusis) sorrow; in achthedon (vexation) 'the word too labours,' as any one may see; chara (joy) is the very expression of the fluency and diffusion of the soul (cheo); terpsis (delight) is so called from the pleasu re creeping (erpon) through the soul, which may be likened to a breath (pnoe) an d is properly erpnoun, but has been altered by time into terpnon; eupherosune (c heerfulness) and epithumia explain themselves; the former, which ought to be eup herosune and has been changed euphrosune, is named, as every one may see, from t he soul moving (pheresthai) in harmony with nature; epithumia is really e epi to n thumon iousa dunamis, the power which enters into the soul; thumos (passion) i s called from the rushing (thuseos) and boiling of the soul; imeros (desire) den otes the stream (rous) which most draws the soul dia ten esin tes roesbecause flo wing with desire (iemenos), and expresses a longing after things and violent att raction of the soul to them, and is termed imeros from possessing this power; po thos (longing) is expressive of the desire of that which is not present but abse nt, and in another place (pou); this is the reason why the name pothos is applie d to things absent, as imeros is to things present; eros (love) is so called bec ause flowing in (esron) from without; the stream is not inherent, but is an infl uence introduced through the eyes, and from flowing in was called esros (influx) in the old time when they used omicron for omega, and is called eros, now that omega is substituted for omicron. But why do you not give me another word? HERMO GENES: What do you think of doxa (opinion), and that class of words? SOCRATES: D oxa is either derived from dioxis (pursuit), and expresses the march of the soul in the pursuit of knowledge, or from the shooting of a bow (toxon); the latter is more likely, and is confirmed by oiesis (thinking), which is only oisis (movi ng), and implies the movement of the soul to the essential nature of each thingju st as boule (counsel) has to do with shooting (bole); and boulesthai (to wish) c ombines the notion of aiming and deliberatingall these words seem to follow doxa, and all involve the idea of shooting, just as aboulia, absence of counsel, on t he other hand, is a mishap, or missing, or mistaking of the mark, or aim, or pro posal, or object. HERMOGENES: You are quickening your pace now, Socrates. SOCRAT ES: Why yes, the end I now dedicate to God, not, however, until I have explained anagke (necessity), which ought to come next, and ekousion (the voluntary). Eko usion is certainly the yielding (eikon) and unresistingthe notion implied is yiel ding and not opposing, yielding, as I was just now saying, to that motion which is in accordance with our will; but the necessary and resistant being contrary t o our will, implies error and ignorance; the idea is taken from walking through a ravine which is impassable, and rugged, and overgrown, and impedes motionand th is is the derivation of the word anagkaion (necessary) an agke ion, going throug h a ravine. But while my strength lasts let us persevere, and I hope that you wi ll persevere with your questions. 147

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus HERMOGENES: Well, then, let me ask about the greatest and noblest, such as aleth eia (truth) and pseudos (falsehood) and on (being), not forgetting to enquire wh y the word onoma (name), which is the theme of our discussion, has this name of onoma. SOCRATES: You know the word maiesthai (to seek)? HERMOGENES: Yes;meaning t he same as zetein (to enquire). SOCRATES: The word onoma seems to be a compresse d sentence, signifying on ou zetema (being for which there is a search); as is s till more obvious in onomaston (notable), which states in so many words that rea l existence is that for which there is a seeking (on ou masma); aletheia is also an agglomeration of theia ale (divine wandering), implying the divine motion of existence; pseudos (falsehood) is the opposite of motion; here is another ill n ame given by the legislator to stagnation and forced inaction, which he compares to sleep (eudein); but the original meaning of the word is disguised by the add ition of psi; on and ousia are ion with an iota broken off; this agrees with the true principle, for being (on) is also moving (ion), and the same may be said o f not being, which is likewise called not going (oukion or ouki on = ouk ion). H ERMOGENES: You have hammered away at them manfully; but suppose that some one we re to say to you, what is the word ion, and what are reon and doun?show me their fitness. SOCRATES: You mean to say, how should I answer him? HERMOGENES: Yes. SO CRATES: One way of giving the appearance of an answer has been already suggested . HERMOGENES: What way? SOCRATES: To say that names which we do not understand a re of foreign origin; and this is very likely the right answer, and something of this kind may be true of them; but also the original forms of words may have be en lost in the lapse of ages; names have been so twisted in all manner of ways, that I should not be surprised if the old language when compared with that now i n use would appear to us to be a barbarous tongue. HERMOGENES: Very likely. SOCR ATES: Yes, very likely. But still the enquiry demands our earnest attention and we must not flinch. For we should remember, that if a person go on analysing nam es into words, and enquiring also into the elements out of which the words are f ormed, and keeps on always repeating this process, he who has to answer him must at last give up the enquiry in despair. HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: And at what point ought he to lose heart and give up the enquiry? Must he not stop whe n he comes to the names which are the elements of all other names and sentences; for these 148

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus cannot be supposed to be made up of other names? The word agathon (good), for ex ample, is, as we were saying, a compound of agastos (admirable) and thoos (swift ). And probably thoos is made up of other elements, and these again of others. B ut if we take a word which is incapable of further resolution, then we shall be right in saying that we have at last reached a primary element, which need not b e resolved any further. HERMOGENES: I believe you to be in the right. SOCRATES: And suppose the names about which you are now asking should turn out to be prima ry elements, must not their truth or law be examined according to some new metho d? HERMOGENES: Very likely. SOCRATES: Quite so, Hermogenes; all that has precede d would lead to this conclusion. And if, as I think, the conclusion is true, the n I shall again say to you, come and help me, that I may not fall into some absu rdity in stating the principle of primary names. HERMOGENES: Let me hear, and I will do my best to assist you. SOCRATES: I think that you will acknowledge with me, that one principle is applicable to all names, primary as well as secondarywh en they are regarded simply as names, there is no difference in them. HERMOGENES : Certainly not. SOCRATES: All the names that we have been explaining were inten ded to indicate the nature of things. HERMOGENES: Of course. SOCRATES: And that this is true of the primary quite as much as of the secondary names, is implied in their being names. HERMOGENES: Surely. SOCRATES: But the secondary, as I conc eive, derive their significance from the primary. HERMOGENES: That is evident. S OCRATES: Very good; but then how do the primary names which precede analysis sho w the natures of things, as far as they can be shown; which they must do, if the y are to be real names? And here I will ask you a question: Suppose that we had no voice or tongue, and wanted to communicate with one another, should we not, l ike the deaf and dumb, make signs with the hands and head and the rest of the bo dy? HERMOGENES: There would be no choice, Socrates. 149

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: We should imitate the nature of the thing; the elevation of our hands to heaven would mean lightness and upwardness; heaviness and downwardness would be expressed by letting them drop to the ground; if we were describing the runni ng of a horse, or any other animal, we should make our bodies and their gestures as like as we could to them. HERMOGENES: I do not see that we could do anything else. SOCRATES: We could not; for by bodily imitation only can the body ever ex press anything. HERMOGENES: Very true. SOCRATES: And when we want to express our selves, either with the voice, or tongue, or mouth, the expression is simply the ir imitation of that which we want to express. HERMOGENES: It must be so, I thin k. SOCRATES: Then a name is a vocal imitation of that which the vocal imitator n ames or imitates? HERMOGENES: I think so. SOCRATES: Nay, my friend, I am dispose d to think that we have not reached the truth as yet. HERMOGENES: Why not? SOCRA TES: Because if we have we shall be obliged to admit that the people who imitate sheep, or cocks, or other animals, name that which they imitate. HERMOGENES: Qu ite true. SOCRATES: Then could I have been right in what I was saying? HERMOGENE S: In my opinion, no. But I wish that you would tell me, Socrates, what sort of an imitation is a name? SOCRATES: In the first place, I should reply, not a musi cal imitation, although that is also vocal; nor, again, an imitation of what mus ic imitates; these, in my judgment, would not be naming. Let me put the matter a s follows: All objects have sound and figure, and many have colour? HERMOGENES: Certainly. SOCRATES: But the art of naming appears not to be concerned with imit ations of this kind; the arts which have to do with them are music and drawing? HERMOGENES: True. 150

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Again, is there not an essence of each thing, just as there is a colou r, or sound? And is there not an essence of colour and sound as well as of anyth ing else which may be said to have an essence? HERMOGENES: I should think so. SO CRATES: Well, and if any one could express the essence of each thing in letters and syllables, would he not express the nature of each thing? HERMOGENES: Quite so. SOCRATES: The musician and the painter were the two names which you gave to the two other imitators. What will this imitator be called? HERMOGENES: I imagin e, Socrates, that he must be the namer, or name-giver, of whom we are in search. SOCRATES: If this is true, then I think that we are in a condition to consider the names ron (stream), ienai (to go), schesis (retention), about which you were asking; and we may see whether the namer has grasped the nature of them in lett ers and syllables in such a manner as to imitate the essence or not. HERMOGENES: Very good. SOCRATES: But are these the only primary names, or are there others? HERMOGENES: There must be others. SOCRATES: So I should expect. But how shall w e further analyse them, and where does the imitator begin? Imitation of the esse nce is made by syllables and letters; ought we not, therefore, first to separate the letters, just as those who are beginning rhythm first distinguish the power s of elementary, and then of compound sounds, and when they have done so, but no t before, they proceed to the consideration of rhythms? HERMOGENES: Yes. SOCRATE S: Must we not begin in the same way with letters; first separating the vowels, and then the consonants and mutes (letters which are neither vowels nor semivowe ls), into classes, according to the received distinctions of the learned; also t he semivowels, which are neither vowels, nor yet mutes; and distinguishing into classes the vowels themselves? And when we have perfected the classification of things, we shall give them names, and see whether, as in the case of letters, th ere are any classes to which they may be all referred (cf. Phaedrus); and hence we shall see their natures, and see, too, whether they have in them classes as t here are in the letters; and when we have well considered all this, we shall kno w how to apply them to what they resemblewhether one letter is used to denote one thing, or whether there is to be an admixture of several of them; just, as in p ainting, the painter who wants to depict anything sometimes uses purple only, or any other colour, 151

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus and sometimes mixes up several colours, as his method is when he has to paint fl esh colour or anything of that kindhe uses his colours as his figures appear to r equire them; and so, too, we shall apply letters to the expression of objects, e ither single letters when required, or several letters; and so we shall form syl lables, as they are called, and from syllables make nouns and verbs; and thus, a t last, from the combinations of nouns and verbs arrive at language, large and f air and whole; and as the painter made a figure, even so shall we make speech by the art of the namer or the rhetorician, or by some other art. Not that I am li terally speaking of ourselves, but I was carried awaymeaning to say that this was the way in which (not we but) the ancients formed language, and what they put t ogether we must take to pieces in like manner, if we are to attain a scientific view of the whole subject, and we must see whether the primary, and also whether the secondary elements are rightly given or not, for if they are not, the compo sition of them, my dear Hermogenes, will be a sorry piece of work, and in the wr ong direction. HERMOGENES: That, Socrates, I can quite believe. SOCRATES: Well, but do you suppose that you will be able to analyse them in this way? for I am c ertain that I should not. HERMOGENES: Much less am I likely to be able. SOCRATES : Shall we leave them, then? or shall we seek to discover, if we can, something about them, according to the measure of our ability, saying by way of preface, a s I said before of the Gods, that of the truth about them we know nothing, and d o but entertain human notions of them. And in this present enquiry, let us say t o ourselves, before we proceed, that the higher method is the one which we or ot hers who would analyse language to any good purpose must follow; but under the c ircumstances, as men say, we must do as well as we can. What do you think? HERMO GENES: I very much approve. SOCRATES: That objects should be imitated in letters and syllables, and so find expression, may appear ridiculous, Hermogenes, but i t cannot be avoidedthere is no better principle to which we can look for the trut h of first names. Deprived of this, we must have recourse to divine help, like t he tragic poets, who in any perplexity have their gods waiting in the air; and m ust get out of our difficulty in like fashion, by saying that 'the Gods gave the first names, and therefore they are right.' This will be the best contrivance, or perhaps that other notion may be even better still, of deriving them from som e barbarous people, for the barbarians are older than we are; or we may say that antiquity has cast a veil over them, which is the same sort of excuse as the la st; for all these are not reasons but only ingenious excuses for having no reaso ns concerning the truth of words. And yet any sort of ignorance of first or prim itive names involves an ignorance of secondary words; for they can only be expla ined by the primary. Clearly then the professor of languages should be able to g ive a very lucid explanation of first names, or let him be assured he will only talk nonsense about the rest. Do you not suppose this to be true? HERMOGENES: Ce rtainly, Socrates. 152

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: My first notions of original names are truly wild and ridiculous, thou gh I have no objection to impart them to you if you desire, and I hope that you will communicate to me in return anything better which you may have. HERMOGENES: Fear not; I will do my best. SOCRATES: In the first place, the letter rho appea rs to me to be the general instrument expressing all motion (kinesis). But I hav e not yet explained the meaning of this latter word, which is just iesis (going) ; for the letter eta was not in use among the ancients, who only employed epsilo n; and the root is kiein, which is a foreign form, the same as ienai. And the ol d word kinesis will be correctly given as iesis in corresponding modern letters. Assuming this foreign root kiein, and allowing for the change of the eta and th e insertion of the nu, we have kinesis, which should have been kieinsis or eisis ; and stasis is the negative of ienai (or eisis), and has been improved into sta sis. Now the letter rho, as I was saying, appeared to the imposer of names an ex cellent instrument for the expression of motion; and he frequently uses the lett er for this purpose: for example, in the actual words rein and roe he represents motion by rho; also in the words tromos (trembling), trachus (rugged); and agai n, in words such as krouein (strike), thrauein (crush), ereikein (bruise), thrup tein (break), kermatixein (crumble), rumbein (whirl): of all these sorts of move ments he generally finds an expression in the letter R, because, as I imagine, h e had observed that the tongue was most agitated and least at rest in the pronun ciation of this letter, which he therefore used in order to express motion, just as by the letter iota he expresses the subtle elements which pass through all t hings. This is why he uses the letter iota as imitative of motion, ienai, iestha i. And there is another class of letters, phi, psi, sigma, and xi, of which the pronunciation is accompanied by great expenditure of breath; these are used in t he imitation of such notions as psuchron (shivering), xeon (seething), seiesthai , (to be shaken), seismos (shock), and are always introduced by the giver of nam es when he wants to imitate what is phusodes (windy). He seems to have thought t hat the closing and pressure of the tongue in the utterance of delta and tau was expressive of binding and rest in a place: he further observed the liquid movem ent of lambda, in the pronunciation of which the tongue slips, and in this he fo und the expression of smoothness, as in leios (level), and in the word oliothane in (to slip) itself, liparon (sleek), in the word kollodes (gluey), and the like : the heavier sound of gamma detained the slipping tongue, and the union of the two gave the notion of a glutinous clammy nature, as in glischros, glukus, gloio des. The nu he observed to be sounded from within, and therefore to have a notio n of inwardness; hence he introduced the sound in endos and entos: alpha he assi gned to the expression of size, and nu of length, because they are great letters : omicron was the sign of roundness, and therefore there is plenty of omicron mi xed up in the word goggulon (round). Thus did the legislator, reducing all thing s into letters and syllables, and impressing on them names and signs, and out of them by imitation compounding other signs. That is my view, Hermogenes, of the truth of names; but I should like to hear what Cratylus has more to say. HERMOGE NES: But, Socrates, as I was telling you before, Cratylus mystifies me; he says that there is a fitness of names, but he never explains what is this fitness, so that I cannot tell whether his obscurity is intended or not. Tell me now, Craty lus, here in the presence of Socrates, do you agree in what Socrates has been sa ying about names, or have you something better of your own? and if you have, tel l me what your view is, and then you will either learn of Socrates, or Socrates and I will learn of you. 153

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus CRATYLUS: Well, but surely, Hermogenes, you do not suppose that you can learn, o r I explain, any subject of importance all in a moment; at any rate, not such a subject as language, which is, perhaps, the very greatest of all. HERMOGENES: No , indeed; but, as Hesiod says, and I agree with him, 'to add little to little' i s worth while. And, therefore, if you think that you can add anything at all, ho wever small, to our knowledge, take a little trouble and oblige Socrates, and me too, who certainly have a claim upon you. SOCRATES: I am by no means positive, Cratylus, in the view which Hermogenes and myself have worked out; and therefore do not hesitate to say what you think, which if it be better than my own view I shall gladly accept. And I should not be at all surprized to find that you have found some better notion. For you have evidently reflected on these matters and have had teachers, and if you have really a better theory of the truth of names , you may count me in the number of your disciples. CRATYLUS: You are right, Soc rates, in saying that I have made a study of these matters, and I might possibly convert you into a disciple. But I fear that the opposite is more probable, and I already find myself moved to say to you what Achilles in the 'Prayers' says t o Ajax, 'Illustrious Ajax, son of Telamon, lord of the people, You appear to have spoken in all things much to my mind.' And you, Socrates, appear to me to be an oracle, and to give answers much to my mind, whether you are inspired by Euthyp hro, or whether some Muse may have long been an inhabitant of your breast, uncon sciously to yourself. SOCRATES: Excellent Cratylus, I have long been wondering a t my own wisdom; I cannot trust myself. And I think that I ought to stop and ask myself What am I saying? for there is nothing worse than self-deceptionwhen the deceiver is always at home and always with youit is quite terrible, and therefore I ought often to retrace my steps and endeavour to 'look fore and aft,' in the words of the aforesaid Homer. And now let me see; where are we? Have we not been saying that the correct name indicates the nature of the thing:has this proposit ion been sufficiently proven? CRATYLUS: Yes, Socrates, what you say, as I am dis posed to think, is quite true. SOCRATES: Names, then, are given in order to inst ruct? CRATYLUS: Certainly. SOCRATES: And naming is an art, and has artificers? C RATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: And who are they? CRATYLUS: The legislators, of whom you spoke at first. 154

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: And does this art grow up among men like other arts? Let me explain wh at I mean: of painters, some are better and some worse? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: The better painters execute their works, I mean their figures, better, and the worse execute them worse; and of builders also, the better sort build fairer hou ses, and the worse build them worse. CRATYLUS: True. SOCRATES: And among legisla tors, there are some who do their work better and some worse? CRATYLUS: No; ther e I do not agree with you. SOCRATES: Then you do not think that some laws are be tter and others worse? CRATYLUS: No, indeed. SOCRATES: Or that one name is bette r than another? CRATYLUS: Certainly not. SOCRATES: Then all names are rightly im posed? CRATYLUS: Yes, if they are names at all. SOCRATES: Well, what do you say to the name of our friend Hermogenes, which was mentioned before:assuming that he has nothing of the nature of Hermes in him, shall we say that this is a wrong n ame, or not his name at all? CRATYLUS: I should reply that Hermogenes is not his name at all, but only appears to be his, and is really the name of somebody els e, who has the nature which corresponds to it. SOCRATES: And if a man were to ca ll him Hermogenes, would he not be even speaking falsely? For there may be a dou bt whether you can call him Hermogenes, if he is not. CRATYLUS: What do you mean ? SOCRATES: Are you maintaining that falsehood is impossible? For if this is you r meaning I should answer, that there have been plenty of liars in all ages. CRA TYLUS: Why, Socrates, how can a man say that which is not?say something and yet s ay nothing? For is not falsehood saying the thing which is not? 155

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Your argument, friend, is too subtle for a man of my age. But I should like to know whether you are one of those philosophers who think that falsehood may be spoken but not said? CRATYLUS: Neither spoken nor said. SOCRATES: Nor ut tered nor addressed? For example: If a person, saluting you in a foreign country , were to take your hand and say: 'Hail, Athenian stranger, Hermogenes, son of S micrion'these words, whether spoken, said, uttered, or addressed, would have no a pplication to you but only to our friend Hermogenes, or perhaps to nobody at all ? CRATYLUS: In my opinion, Socrates, the speaker would only be talking nonsense. SOCRATES: Well, but that will be quite enough for me, if you will tell me wheth er the nonsense would be true or false, or partly true and partly false:which is all that I want to know. CRATYLUS: I should say that he would be putting himself in motion to no purpose; and that his words would be an unmeaning sound like th e noise of hammering at a brazen pot. SOCRATES: But let us see, Cratylus, whethe r we cannot find a meeting-point, for you would admit that the name is not the s ame with the thing named? CRATYLUS: I should. SOCRATES: And would you further ac knowledge that the name is an imitation of the thing? CRATYLUS: Certainly. SOCRA TES: And you would say that pictures are also imitations of things, but in anoth er way? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: I believe you may be right, but I do not rightl y understand you. Please to say, then, whether both sorts of imitation (I mean b oth pictures or words) are not equally attributable and applicable to the things of which they are the imitation. CRATYLUS: They are. SOCRATES: First look at th e matter thus: you may attribute the likeness of the man to the man, and of the woman to the woman; and so on? CRATYLUS: Certainly. SOCRATES: And conversely you may attribute the likeness of the man to the woman, and of the woman to the man ? CRATYLUS: Very true. 156

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: And are both modes of assigning them right, or only the first? CRATYLU S: Only the first. SOCRATES: That is to say, the mode of assignment which attrib utes to each that which belongs to them and is like them? CRATYLUS: That is my v iew. SOCRATES: Now then, as I am desirous that we being friends should have a go od understanding about the argument, let me state my view to you: the first mode of assignment, whether applied to figures or to names, I call right, and when a pplied to names only, true as well as right; and the other mode of giving and as signing the name which is unlike, I call wrong, and in the case of names, false as well as wrong. CRATYLUS: That may be true, Socrates, in the case of pictures; they may be wrongly assigned; but not in the case of namesthey must be always ri ght. SOCRATES: Why, what is the difference? May I not go to a man and say to him , 'This is your picture,' showing him his own likeness, or perhaps the likeness of a woman; and when I say 'show,' I mean bring before the sense of sight. CRATY LUS: Certainly. SOCRATES: And may I not go to him again, and say, 'This is your name'?for the name, like the picture, is an imitation. May I not say to him'This i s your name'? and may I not then bring to his sense of hearing the imitation of himself, when I say, 'This is a man'; or of a female of the human species, when I say, 'This is a woman,' as the case may be? Is not all that quite possible? CR ATYLUS: I would fain agree with you, Socrates; and therefore I say, Granted. SOC RATES: That is very good of you, if I am right, which need hardly be disputed at present. But if I can assign names as well as pictures to objects, the right as signment of them we may call truth, and the wrong assignment of them falsehood. Now if there be such a wrong assignment of names, there may also be a wrong or i nappropriate assignment of verbs; and if of names and verbs then of the sentence s, which are made up of them. What do you say, Cratylus? CRATYLUS: I agree; and think that what you say is very true. SOCRATES: And further, primitive nouns may be compared to pictures, and in pictures you may either give all the appropriat e colours and figures, or you may not give them allsome may be wanting; or there may be too many or too much of themmay there not? CRATYLUS: Very true. 157

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: And he who gives all gives a perfect picture or figure; and he who tak es away or adds also gives a picture or figure, but not a good one. CRATYLUS: Ye s. SOCRATES: In like manner, he who by syllables and letters imitates the nature of things, if he gives all that is appropriate will produce a good image, or in other words a name; but if he subtracts or perhaps adds a little, he will make an image but not a good one; whence I infer that some names are well and others ill made. CRATYLUS: That is true. SOCRATES: Then the artist of names may be some times good, or he may be bad? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: And this artist of names is called the legislator? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: Then like other artists the l egislator may be good or he may be bad; it must surely be so if our former admis sions hold good? CRATYLUS: Very true, Socrates; but the case of language, you se e, is different; for when by the help of grammar we assign the letters alpha or beta, or any other letters to a certain name, then, if we add, or subtract, or m isplace a letter, the name which is written is not only written wrongly, but not written at all; and in any of these cases becomes other than a name. SOCRATES: But I doubt whether your view is altogether correct, Cratylus. CRATYLUS: How so? SOCRATES: I believe that what you say may be true about numbers, which must be just what they are, or not be at all; for example, the number ten at once become s other than ten if a unit be added or subtracted, and so of any other number: b ut this does not apply to that which is qualitative or to anything which is repr esented under an image. I should say rather that the image, if expressing in eve ry point the entire reality, would no longer be an image. Let us suppose the exi stence of two objects: one of them shall be Cratylus, and the other the image of Cratylus; and we will suppose, further, that some God makes not only a represen tation such as a painter would make of your outward form and colour, but also cr eates an inward organization like yours, having the same warmth and softness; an d into this infuses motion, and soul, and mind, such as you have, and in a word copies all your qualities, and places them by you in another form; would you say that this was Cratylus and the image of Cratylus, or that there were two Cratyl uses? CRATYLUS: I should say that there were two Cratyluses. 158

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Then you see, my friend, that we must find some other principle of tru th in images, and also in names; and not insist that an image is no longer an im age when something is added or subtracted. Do you not perceive that images are v ery far from having qualities which are the exact counterpart of the realities w hich they represent? CRATYLUS: Yes, I see. SOCRATES: But then how ridiculous wou ld be the effect of names on things, if they were exactly the same with them! Fo r they would be the doubles of them, and no one would be able to determine which were the names and which were the realities. CRATYLUS: Quite true. SOCRATES: Th en fear not, but have the courage to admit that one name may be correctly and an other incorrectly given; and do not insist that the name shall be exactly the sa me with the thing; but allow the occasional substitution of a wrong letter, and if of a letter also of a noun in a sentence, and if of a noun in a sentence also of a sentence which is not appropriate to the matter, and acknowledge that the thing may be named, and described, so long as the general character of the thing which you are describing is retained; and this, as you will remember, was remar ked by Hermogenes and myself in the particular instance of the names of the lett ers. CRATYLUS: Yes, I remember. SOCRATES: Good; and when the general character i s preserved, even if some of the proper letters are wanting, still the thing is signified;well, if all the letters are given; not well, when only a few of them a re given. I think that we had better admit this, lest we be punished like travel lers in Aegina who wander about the street late at night: and be likewise told b y truth herself that we have arrived too late; or if not, you must find out some new notion of correctness of names, and no longer maintain that a name is the e xpression of a thing in letters or syllables; for if you say both, you will be i nconsistent with yourself. CRATYLUS: I quite acknowledge, Socrates, what you say to be very reasonable. SOCRATES: Then as we are agreed thus far, let us ask our selves whether a name rightly imposed ought not to have the proper letters. CRAT YLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: And the proper letters are those which are like the things? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: Enough then of names which are rightly given. And in n ames which are incorrectly given, the greater part may be supposed to be made up of proper and similar letters, or there would be no likeness; but there will be likewise a part which is improper and spoils the beauty and formation of the wo rd: you would admit that? 159

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus CRATYLUS: There would be no use, Socrates, in my quarrelling with you, since I c annot be satisfied that a name which is incorrectly given is a name at all. SOCR ATES: Do you admit a name to be the representation of a thing? CRATYLUS: Yes, I do. SOCRATES: But do you not allow that some nouns are primitive, and some deriv ed? CRATYLUS: Yes, I do. SOCRATES: Then if you admit that primitive or first nou ns are representations of things, is there any better way of framing representat ions than by assimilating them to the objects as much as you can; or do you pref er the notion of Hermogenes and of many others, who say that names are conventio nal, and have a meaning to those who have agreed about them, and who have previo us knowledge of the things intended by them, and that convention is the only pri nciple; and whether you abide by our present convention, or make a new and oppos ite one, according to which you call small great and great smallthat, they would say, makes no difference, if you are only agreed. Which of these two notions do you prefer? CRATYLUS: Representation by likeness, Socrates, is infinitely better than representation by any chance sign. SOCRATES: Very good: but if the name is to be like the thing, the letters out of which the first names are composed mus t also be like things. Returning to the image of the picture, I would ask, How c ould any one ever compose a picture which would be like anything at all, if ther e were not pigments in nature which resembled the things imitated, and out of wh ich the picture is composed? CRATYLUS: Impossible. SOCRATES: No more could names ever resemble any actually existing thing, unless the original elements of whic h they are compounded bore some degree of resemblance to the objects of which th e names are the imitation: And the original elements are letters? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: Let me now invite you to consider what Hermogenes and I were saying a bout sounds. Do you agree with me that the letter rho is expressive of rapidity, motion, and hardness? Were we right or wrong in saying so? CRATYLUS: I should s ay that you were right. SOCRATES: And that lamda was expressive of smoothness, a nd softness, and the like? CRATYLUS: There again you were right. 160

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: And yet, as you are aware, that which is called by us sklerotes, is by the Eretrians called skleroter. CRATYLUS: Very true. SOCRATES: But are the lett ers rho and sigma equivalents; and is there the same significance to them in the termination rho, which there is to us in sigma, or is there no significance to one of us? CRATYLUS: Nay, surely there is a significance to both of us. SOCRATES : In as far as they are like, or in as far as they are unlike? CRATYLUS: In as f ar as they are like. SOCRATES: Are they altogether alike? CRATYLUS: Yes; for the purpose of expressing motion. SOCRATES: And what do you say of the insertion of the lamda? for that is expressive not of hardness but of softness. CRATYLUS: Wh y, perhaps the letter lamda is wrongly inserted, Socrates, and should be altered into rho, as you were saying to Hermogenes and in my opinion rightly, when you spoke of adding and subtracting letters upon occasion. SOCRATES: Good. But still the word is intelligible to both of us; when I say skleros (hard), you know wha t I mean. CRATYLUS: Yes, my dear friend, and the explanation of that is custom. SOCRATES: And what is custom but convention? I utter a sound which I understand, and you know that I understand the meaning of the sound: this is what you are s aying? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: And if when I speak you know my meaning, there i s an indication given by me to you? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: This indication of my meaning may proceed from unlike as well as from like, for example in the lamd a of sklerotes. But if this is true, then you have made a convention with yourse lf, and the correctness of a name turns out to be convention, since letters whic h are unlike are indicative equally with those which are like, if they are sanct ioned by custom and convention. And even supposing that you distinguish custom f rom convention ever so much, still you must say that the signification of words is given by custom and not by likeness, for custom may indicate by the unlike as well as by the like. But as we are agreed thus far, Cratylus (for I shall assum e that your silence gives 161

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus consent), then custom and convention must be supposed to contribute to the indic ation of our thoughts; for suppose we take the instance of number, how can you e ver imagine, my good friend, that you will find names resembling every individua l number, unless you allow that which you term convention and agreement to have authority in determining the correctness of names? I quite agree with you that w ords should as far as possible resemble things; but I fear that this dragging in of resemblance, as Hermogenes says, is a shabby thing, which has to be suppleme nted by the mechanical aid of convention with a view to correctness; for I belie ve that if we could always, or almost always, use likenesses, which are perfectl y appropriate, this would be the most perfect state of language; as the opposite is the most imperfect. But let me ask you, what is the force of names, and what is the use of them? CRATYLUS: The use of names, Socrates, as I should imagine, is to inform: the simple truth is, that he who knows names knows also the things which are expressed by them. SOCRATES: I suppose you mean to say, Cratylus, tha t as the name is, so also is the thing; and that he who knows the one will also know the other, because they are similars, and all similars fall under the same art or science; and therefore you would say that he who knows names will also kn ow things. CRATYLUS: That is precisely what I mean. SOCRATES: But let us conside r what is the nature of this information about things which, according to you, i s given us by names. Is it the best sort of information? or is there any other? What do you say? CRATYLUS: I believe that to be both the only and the best sort of information about them; there can be no other. SOCRATES: But do you believe t hat in the discovery of them, he who discovers the names discovers also the thin gs; or is this only the method of instruction, and is there some other method of enquiry and discovery. CRATYLUS: I certainly believe that the methods of enquir y and discovery are of the same nature as instruction. SOCRATES: Well, but do yo u not see, Cratylus, that he who follows names in the search after things, and a nalyses their meaning, is in great danger of being deceived? CRATYLUS: How so? S OCRATES: Why clearly he who first gave names gave them according to his concepti on of the things which they signifieddid he not? CRATYLUS: True. SOCRATES: And if his conception was erroneous, and he gave names according to his conception, in what position shall we who are his followers find ourselves? Shall we not be de ceived by him? 162

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus CRATYLUS: But, Socrates, am I not right in thinking that he must surely have kno wn; or else, as I was saying, his names would not be names at all? And you have a clear proof that he has not missed the truth, and the proof isthat he is perfec tly consistent. Did you ever observe in speaking that all the words which you ut ter have a common character and purpose? SOCRATES: But that, friend Cratylus, is no answer. For if he did begin in error, he may have forced the remainder into agreement with the original error and with himself; there would be nothing stran ge in this, any more than in geometrical diagrams, which have often a slight and invisible flaw in the first part of the process, and are consistently mistaken in the long deductions which follow. And this is the reason why every man should expend his chief thought and attention on the consideration of his first princi ples:are they or are they not rightly laid down? and when he has duly sifted them , all the rest will follow. Now I should be astonished to find that names are re ally consistent. And here let us revert to our former discussion: Were we not sa ying that all things are in motion and progress and flux, and that this idea of motion is expressed by names? Do you not conceive that to be the meaning of them ? CRATYLUS: Yes; that is assuredly their meaning, and the true meaning. SOCRATES : Let us revert to episteme (knowledge) and observe how ambiguous this word is, seeming rather to signify stopping the soul at things than going round with them ; and therefore we should leave the beginning as at present, and not reject the epsilon, but make an insertion of an iota instead of an epsilon (not pioteme, bu t epiisteme). Take another example: bebaion (sure) is clearly the expression of station and position, and not of motion. Again, the word istoria (enquiry) bears upon the face of it the stopping (istanai) of the stream; and the word piston ( faithful) certainly indicates cessation of motion; then, again, mneme (memory), as any one may see, expresses rest in the soul, and not motion. Moreover, words such as amartia and sumphora, which have a bad sense, viewed in the light of the ir etymologies will be the same as sunesis and episteme and other words which ha ve a good sense (compare omartein, sunienai, epesthai, sumpheresthai); and much the same may be said of amathia and akolasia, for amathia may be explained as e ama theo iontos poreia, and akolasia as e akolouthia tois pragmasin. Thus the na mes which in these instances we find to have the worst sense, will turn out to b e framed on the same principle as those which have the best. And any one I belie ve who would take the trouble might find many other examples in which the giver of names indicates, not that things are in motion or progress, but that they are at rest; which is the opposite of motion. CRATYLUS: Yes, Socrates, but observe; the greater number express motion. SOCRATES: What of that, Cratylus? Are we to count them like votes? and is correctness of names the voice of the majority? Ar e we to say of whichever sort there are most, those are the true ones? CRATYLUS: No; that is not reasonable. SOCRATES: Certainly not. But let us have done with this question and proceed to another, about which I should like to know whether you think with me. Were we not lately acknowledging that the first givers of nam es in states, both Hellenic and barbarous, were the legislators, and that the ar t which gave names was the art of the legislator? 163

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus CRATYLUS: Quite true. SOCRATES: Tell me, then, did the first legislators, who we re the givers of the first names, know or not know the things which they named? CRATYLUS: They must have known, Socrates. SOCRATES: Why, yes, friend Cratylus, t hey could hardly have been ignorant. CRATYLUS: I should say not. SOCRATES: Let u s return to the point from which we digressed. You were saying, if you remember, that he who gave names must have known the things which he named; are you still of that opinion? CRATYLUS: I am. SOCRATES: And would you say that the giver of the first names had also a knowledge of the things which he named? CRATYLUS: I s hould. SOCRATES: But how could he have learned or discovered things from names i f the primitive names were not yet given? For, if we are correct in our view, th e only way of learning and discovering things, is either to discover names for o urselves or to learn them from others. CRATYLUS: I think that there is a good de al in what you say, Socrates. SOCRATES: But if things are only to be known throu gh names, how can we suppose that the givers of names had knowledge, or were leg islators before there were names at all, and therefore before they could have kn own them? CRATYLUS: I believe, Socrates, the true account of the matter to be, t hat a power more than human gave things their first names, and that the names wh ich are thus given are necessarily their true names. SOCRATES: Then how came the giver of the names, if he was an inspired being or God, to contradict himself? For were we not saying just now that he made some names expressive of rest and o thers of motion? Were we mistaken? CRATYLUS: But I suppose one of the two not to be names at all. SOCRATES: And which, then, did he make, my good friend; those which are expressive of rest, or those which are expressive of motion? This is a point which, as I said before, cannot be determined by counting them. CRATYLUS: No; not in that way, Socrates. 164

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: But if this is a battle of names, some of them asserting that they are like the truth, others contending that THEY are, how or by what criterion are w e to decide between them? For there are no other names to which appeal can be ma de, but obviously recourse must be had to another standard which, without employ ing names, will make clear which of the two are right; and this must be a standa rd which shows the truth of things. CRATYLUS: I agree. SOCRATES: But if that is true, Cratylus, then I suppose that things may be known without names? CRATYLUS: Clearly. SOCRATES: But how would you expect to know them? What other way can th ere be of knowing them, except the true and natural way, through their affinitie s, when they are akin to each other, and through themselves? For that which is o ther and different from them must signify something other and different from the m. CRATYLUS: What you are saying is, I think, true. SOCRATES: Well, but reflect; have we not several times acknowledged that names rightly given are the likenes ses and images of the things which they name? CRATYLUS: Yes. SOCRATES: Let us su ppose that to any extent you please you can learn things through the medium of n ames, and suppose also that you can learn them from the things themselveswhich is likely to be the nobler and clearer way; to learn of the image, whether the ima ge and the truth of which the image is the expression have been rightly conceive d, or to learn of the truth whether the truth and the image of it have been duly executed? CRATYLUS: I should say that we must learn of the truth. SOCRATES: How real existence is to be studied or discovered is, I suspect, beyond you and me. But we may admit so much, that the knowledge of things is not to be derived fro m names. No; they must be studied and investigated in themselves. CRATYLUS: Clea rly, Socrates. SOCRATES: There is another point. I should not like us to be impo sed upon by the appearance of such a multitude of names, all tending in the same direction. I myself do not deny that the givers of names did really give them u nder the idea that all things were in motion and flux; which was their sincere b ut, I think, mistaken opinion. And having fallen into a kind of whirlpool themse lves, they are carried round, and want to drag us in after them. There is a matt er, master Cratylus, about which I often dream, and should like to ask your opin ion: Tell me, whether there is or is not any absolute beauty or good, or any oth er absolute existence? 165

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus CRATYLUS: Certainly, Socrates, I think so. SOCRATES: Then let us seek the true b eauty: not asking whether a face is fair, or anything of that sort, for all such things appear to be in a flux; but let us ask whether the true beauty is not al ways beautiful. CRATYLUS: Certainly. SOCRATES: And can we rightly speak of a bea uty which is always passing away, and is first this and then that; must not the same thing be born and retire and vanish while the word is in our mouths? CRATYL US: Undoubtedly. SOCRATES: Then how can that be a real thing which is never in t he same state? for obviously things which are the same cannot change while they remain the same; and if they are always the same and in the same state, and neve r depart from their original form, they can never change or be moved. CRATYLUS: Certainly they cannot. SOCRATES: Nor yet can they be known by any one; for at th e moment that the observer approaches, then they become other and of another nat ure, so that you cannot get any further in knowing their nature or state, for yo u cannot know that which has no state. CRATYLUS: True. SOCRATES: Nor can we reas onably say, Cratylus, that there is knowledge at all, if everything is in a stat e of transition and there is nothing abiding; for knowledge too cannot continue to be knowledge unless continuing always to abide and exist. But if the very nat ure of knowledge changes, at the time when the change occurs there will be no kn owledge; and if the transition is always going on, there will always be no knowl edge, and, according to this view, there will be no one to know and nothing to b e known: but if that which knows and that which is known exists ever, and the be autiful and the good and every other thing also exist, then I do not think that they can resemble a process or flux, as we were just now supposing. Whether ther e is this eternal nature in things, or whether the truth is what Heracleitus and his followers and many others say, is a question hard to determine; and no man of sense will like to put himself or the education of his mind in the power of n ames: neither will he so far trust names or the givers of names as to be confide nt in any knowledge which condemns himself and other existences to an unhealthy state of unreality; he will not believe that all things leak like a pot, or imag ine that the world is a man who has a running at the nose. This may be true, Cra tylus, but is also very likely to be untrue; and therefore I would not have you be too easily persuaded of it. Reflect well and like a man, and do not easily ac cept such a doctrine; for you are young and of an age to learn. And when you hav e found the truth, come and tell me. CRATYLUS: I will do as you say, though I ca n assure you, Socrates, that I have been considering the matter already, and the result of a great deal of trouble and consideration is that I incline to Heracl eitus. 166

TheDialoguesofPlato:Cratylus SOCRATES: Then, another day, my friend, when you come back, you shall give me a lesson; but at present, go into the country, as you are intending, and Hermogene s shall set you on your way. CRATYLUS: Very good, Socrates; I hope, however, tha t you will continue to think about these things yourself. 167

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias The Project Gutenberg EBook of Critias, by Plato This eBook is for the use of an yone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may cop y it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Critias Author: Plato Translator: Benjamin Jowett Release Date: August 15 , 2008 [EBook #1571] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START O F THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CRITIAS *** Produced by Sue Asscher, and David Widger CRITIAS by Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett 168

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias INTRODUCTION AND ANALYSIS. The Critias is a fragment which breaks off in the middle of a sentence. It was d esigned to be the second part of a trilogy, which, like the other great Platonic trilogy of the Sophist, Statesman, Philosopher, was never completed. Timaeus ha d brought down the origin of the world to the creation of man, and the dawn of h istory was now to succeed the philosophy of nature. The Critias is also connecte d with the Republic. Plato, as he has already told us (Tim.), intended to repres ent the ideal state engaged in a patriotic conflict. This mythical conflict is p rophetic or symbolical of the struggle of Athens and Persia, perhaps in some deg ree also of the wars of the Greeks and Carthaginians, in the same way that the P ersian is prefigured by the Trojan war to the mind of Herodotus, or as the narra tive of the first part of the Aeneid is intended by Virgil to foreshadow the war s of Carthage and Rome. The small number of the primitive Athenian citizens (20, 000), 'which is about their present number' (Crit.), is evidently designed to co ntrast with the myriads and barbaric array of the Atlantic hosts. The passing re mark in the Timaeus that Athens was left alone in the struggle, in which she con quered and became the liberator of Greece, is also an allusion to the later hist ory. Hence we may safely conclude that the entire narrative is due to the imagin ation of Plato, who has used the name of Solon and introduced the Egyptian pries ts to give verisimilitude to his story. To the Greek such a tale, like that of t he earth-born men, would have seemed perfectly accordant with the character of h is mythology, and not more marvellous than the wonders of the East narrated by H erodotus and others: he might have been deceived into believing it. But it appea rs strange that later ages should have been imposed upon by the fiction. As many attempts have been made to find the great island of Atlantis, as to discover th e country of the lost tribes. Without regard to the description of Plato, and wi thout a suspicion that the whole narrative is a fabrication, interpreters have l ooked for the spot in every part of the globe, America, Arabia Felix, Ceylon, Pa lestine, Sardinia, Sweden. Timaeus concludes with a prayer that his words may be acceptable to the God whom he has revealed, and Critias, whose turn follows, be gs that a larger measure of indulgence may be conceded to him, because he has to speak of men whom we know and not of gods whom we do not know. Socrates readily grants his request, and anticipating that Hermocrates will make a similar petit ion, extends by anticipation a like indulgence to him. Critias returns to his st ory, professing only to repeat what Solon was told by the priests. The war of wh ich he was about to speak had occurred 9000 years ago. One of the combatants was the city of Athens, the other was the great island of Atlantis. Critias propose s to speak of these rival powers first of all, giving to Athens the precedence; the various tribes of Greeks and barbarians who took part in the war will be dea lt with as they successively appear on the scene. In the beginning the gods agre ed to divide the earth by lot in a friendly manner, and when they had made the a llotment they settled their several countries, and were the shepherds or rather the pilots of mankind, whom they guided by persuasion, and not by force. Hephaes tus and Athena, brother and sister deities, in mind and art united, obtained as their lot the land of Attica, a land suited to the growth of virtue and wisdom; and there they settled a brave race of children of the soil, and taught them how to order the state. Some of their names, such as Cecrops, Erechtheus, Erichthon ius, and Erysichthon, were preserved and adopted in later times, but the memory of their deeds has passed away; for there have since been many deluges, and the remnant who survived in the mountains were ignorant of the art of writing, and d uring many generations were wholly devoted to acquiring the 169

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias means of life...And the armed image of the goddess which was dedicated by the an cient Athenians is an evidence to other ages that men and women had in those day s, as they ought always to have, common virtues and pursuits. There were various classes of citizens, including handicraftsmen and husbandmen and a superior cla ss of warriors who dwelt apart, and were educated, and had all things in common, like our guardians. Attica in those days extended southwards to the Isthmus, an d inland to the heights of Parnes and Cithaeron, and between them and the sea in cluded the district of Oropus. The country was then, as what remains of it still is, the most fertile in the world, and abounded in rich plains and pastures. Bu t in the course of ages much of the soil was washed away and disappeared in the deep sea. And the inhabitants of this fair land were endowed with intelligence a nd the love of beauty. The Acropolis of the ancient Athens extended to the Iliss us and Eridanus, and included the Pnyx, and the Lycabettus on the opposite side to the Pnyx, having a level surface and deep soil. The side of the hill was inha bited by craftsmen and husbandmen; and the warriors dwelt by themselves on the s ummit, around the temples of Hephaestus and Athene, in an enclosure which was li ke the garden of a single house. In winter they retired into houses on the north of the hill, in which they held their syssitia. These were modest dwellings, wh ich they bequeathed unaltered to their children's children. In summer time the s outh side was inhabited by them, and then they left their gardens and dininghall s. In the midst of the Acropolis was a fountain, which gave an abundant supply o f cool water in summer and warm in winter; of this there are still some traces. They were careful to preserve the number of fighting men and women at 20,000, wh ich is equal to that of the present military force. And so they passed their liv es as guardians of the citizens and leaders of the Hellenes. They were a just an d famous race, celebrated for their beauty and virtue all over Europe and Asia. And now I will speak to you of their adversaries, but first I ought to explain t hat the Greek names were given to Solon in an Egyptian form, and he enquired the ir meaning and translated them. His manuscript was left with my grandfather Drop ides, and is now in my possession...In the division of the earth Poseidon obtain ed as his portion the island of Atlantis, and there he begat children whose moth er was a mortal. Towards the sea and in the centre of the island there was a ver y fair and fertile plain, and near the centre, about fifty stadia from the plain , there was a low mountain in which dwelt a man named Evenor and his wife Leucip pe, and their daughter Cleito, of whom Poseidon became enamoured. He to secure h is love enclosed the mountain with rings or zones varying in size, two of land a nd three of sea, which his divine power readily enabled him to excavate and fash ion, and, as there was no shipping in those days, no man could get into the plac e. To the interior island he conveyed under the earth springs of water hot and c old, and supplied the land with all things needed for the life of man. Here he b egat a family consisting of five pairs of twin male children. The eldest was Atl as, and him he made king of the centre island, while to his twin brother, Eumelu s, or Gadeirus, he assigned that part of the country which was nearest the Strai ts. The other brothers he made chiefs over the rest of the island. And their kin gdom extended as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia. Now Atlas had a fair posterity, and great treasures derived from minesamong them that precious metal orichalcum; and there was abundance of wood, and herds of elephants, and pastures for animals o f all kinds, and fragrant herbs, and grasses, and trees bearing fruit. These the y used, and employed themselves in constructing their temples, and palaces, and harbours, and docks, in the following manner:First, they bridged over the zones o f sea, and made a way to and from the royal palace which they built in the centr e island. This ancient palace was ornamented by successive generations; and they dug a canal which passed through the zones of land from the island to the sea. The zones of earth were 170

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias surrounded by walls made of stone of divers colours, black and white and red, wh ich they sometimes intermingled for the sake of ornament; and as they quarried t hey hollowed out beneath the edges of the zones double docks having roofs of roc k. The outermost of the walls was coated with brass, the second with tin, and th e third, which was the wall of the citadel, flashed with the red light of oricha lcum. In the interior of the citadel was a holy temple, dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, and surrounded by an enclosure of gold, and there was Poseidon's own t emple, which was covered with silver, and the pinnacles with gold. The roof was of ivory, adorned with gold and silver and orichalcum, and the rest of the inter ior was lined with orichalcum. Within was an image of the god standing in a char iot drawn by six winged horses, and touching the roof with his head; around him were a hundred Nereids, riding on dolphins. Outside the temple were placed golde n statues of all the descendants of the ten kings and of their wives; there was an altar too, and there were palaces, corresponding to the greatness and glory b oth of the kingdom and of the temple. Also there were fountains of hot and cold water, and suitable buildings surrounding them, and trees, and there were baths both of the kings and of private individuals, and separate baths for women, and also for cattle. The water from the baths was carried to the grove of Poseidon, and by aqueducts over the bridges to the outer circles. And there were temples i n the zones, and in the larger of the two there was a racecourse for horses, whi ch ran all round the island. The guards were distributed in the zones according to the trust reposed in them; the most trusted of them were stationed in the cit adel. The docks were full of triremes and stores. The land between the harbour a nd the sea was surrounded by a wall, and was crowded with dwellings, and the har bour and canal resounded with the din of human voices. The plain around the city was highly cultivated and sheltered from the north by mountains; it was oblong, and where falling out of the straight line followed the circular ditch, which w as of an incredible depth. This depth received the streams which came down from the mountains, as well as the canals of the interior, and found a way to the sea . The entire country was divided into sixty thousand lots, each of which was a s quare of ten stadia; and the owner of a lot was bound to furnish the sixth part of a war-chariot, so as to make up ten thousand chariots, two horses and riders upon them, a pair of chariot-horses without a seat, and an attendant and chariot eer, two hoplites, two archers, two slingers, three stone-shooters, three javeli n-men, and four sailors to make up the complement of twelve hundred ships. Each of the ten kings was absolute in his own city and kingdom. The relations of the different governments to one another were determined by the injunctions of Posei don, which had been inscribed by the first kings on a column of orichalcum in th e temple of Poseidon, at which the kings and princes gathered together and held a festival every fifth and every sixth year alternately. Around the temple range d the bulls of Poseidon, one of which the ten kings caught and sacrificed, shedd ing the blood of the victim over the inscription, and vowing not to transgress t he laws of their father Poseidon. When night came, they put on azure robes and g ave judgment against offenders. The most important of their laws related to thei r dealings with one another. They were not to take up arms against one another, and were to come to the rescue if any of their brethren were attacked. They were to deliberate in common about war, and the king was not to have the power of li fe and death over his kinsmen, unless he had the assent of the majority. 171

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias For many generations, as tradition tells, the people of Atlantis were obedient t o the laws and to the gods, and practised gentleness and wisdom in their interco urse with one another. They knew that they could only have the true use of riche s by not caring about them. But gradually the divine portion of their souls beca me diluted with too much of the mortal admixture, and they began to degenerate, though to the outward eye they appeared glorious as ever at the very time when t hey were filled with all iniquity. The all-seeing Zeus, wanting to punish them, held a council of the gods, and when he had called them together, he spoke as fo llows: No one knew better than Plato how to invent 'a noble lie.' Observe (1) the innocent declaration of Socrates, that the truth of the story is a great advant age: (2) the manner in which traditional names and indications of geography are intermingled ('Why, here be truths!'): (3) the extreme minuteness with which the numbers are given, as in the Old Epic poetry: (4) the ingenious reason assigned for the Greek names occurring in the Egyptian tale: (5) the remark that the arm ed statue of Athena indicated the common warrior life of men and women: (6) the particularity with which the third deluge before that of Deucalion is affirmed t o have been the great destruction: (7) the happy guess that great geological cha nges have been effected by water: (8) the indulgence of the prejudice against sa iling beyond the Columns, and the popular belief of the shallowness of the ocean in that part: (9) the confession that the depth of the ditch in the Island of A tlantis was not to be believed, and 'yet he could only repeat what he had heard' , compared with the statement made in an earlier passage that Poseidon, being a God, found no difficulty in contriving the water-supply of the centre island: (1 0) the mention of the old rivalry of Poseidon and Athene, and the creation of th e first inhabitants out of the soil. Plato here, as elsewhere, ingeniously gives the impression that he is telling the truth which mythology had corrupted. The world, like a child, has readily, and for the most part unhesitatingly, accepted the tale of the Island of Atlantis. In modern times we hardly seek for traces o f the submerged continent; but even Mr. Grote is inclined to believe in the Egyp tian poem of Solon of which there is no evidence in antiquity; while others, lik e Martin, discuss the Egyptian origin of the legend, or like M. de Humboldt, who m he quotes, are disposed to find in it a vestige of a widely-spread tradition. Others, adopting a different vein of reflection, regard the Island of Atlantis a s the anticipation of a still greater islandthe Continent of America. 'The tale,' says M. Martin, 'rests upon the authority of the Egyptian priests; and the Egyp tian priests took a pleasure in deceiving the Greeks.' He never appears to suspe ct that there is a greater deceiver or magician than the Egyptian priests, that is to say, Plato himself, from the dominion of whose genius the critic and natur al philosopher of modern times are not wholly emancipated. Although worthless in respect of any result which can be attained by them, discussions like those of M. Martin (Timee) have an interest of their own, and may be compared to the simi lar discussions regarding the Lost Tribes (2 Esdras), as showing how the chance word of some poet or philosopher has given birth to endless religious or histori cal enquiries. (See Introduction to the Timaeus.) In contrasting the small Greek city numbering about twenty thousand inhabitants with the barbaric greatness of the island of Atlantis, Plato probably intended to show that a state, such as t he ideal Athens, was invincible, though matched against any number of opponents (cp. Rep.). Even in a great empire there might be a degree of virtue and justice , such as the Greeks believed to have existed under the sway of the first Persia n kings. But all such empires were liable to degenerate, and soon incurred the a nger of the gods. Their Oriental wealth, and splendour of gold and silver, and v ariety of 172

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias colours, seemed also to be at variance with the simplicity of Greek notions. In the island of Atlantis, Plato is describing a sort of Babylonian or Egyptian cit y, to which he opposes the frugal life of the true Hellenic citizen. It is remar kable that in his brief sketch of them, he idealizes the husbandmen 'who are lov ers of honour and true husbandmen,' as well as the warriors who are his sole con cern in the Republic; and that though he speaks of the common pursuits of men an d women, he says nothing of the community of wives and children. It is singular that Plato should have prefixed the most detested of Athenian names to this dial ogue, and even more singular that he should have put into the mouth of Socrates a panegyric on him (Tim.). Yet we know that his character was accounted infamous by Xenophon, and that the mere acquaintance with him was made a subject of accu sation against Socrates. We can only infer that in this, and perhaps in some oth er cases, Plato's characters have no reference to the actual facts. The desire t o do honour to his own family, and the connection with Solon, may have suggested the introduction of his name. Why the Critias was never completed, whether from accident, or from advancing age, or from a sense of the artistic difficulty of the design, cannot be determined. CRITIAS. PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Critias, Hermocrates, Timaeus, Socrates. TIMAEUS: How thankful I am, Socrates, that I have arrived at last, and, like a w eary traveller after a long journey, may be at rest! And I pray the being who al ways was of old, and has now been by me revealed, to grant that my words may end ure in so far as they have been spoken truly and acceptably to him; but if unint entionally I have said anything wrong, I pray that he will impose upon me a just retribution, and the just retribution of him who errs is that he should be set right. Wishing, then, to speak truly in future concerning the generation of the gods, I pray him to give me knowledge, which of all medicines is the most perfec t and best. And now having offered my prayer I deliver up the argument to Critia s, who is to speak next according to our agreement. (Tim.) CRITIAS: And I, Timae us, accept the trust, and as you at first said that you were going to speak of h igh matters, and begged that some forbearance might be shown to you, I too ask t he same or 173

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias greater forbearance for what I am about to say. And although I very well know th at my request may appear to be somewhat ambitious and discourteous, I must make it nevertheless. For will any man of sense deny that you have spoken well? I can only attempt to show that I ought to have more indulgence than you, because my theme is more difficult; and I shall argue that to seem to speak well of the god s to men is far easier than to speak well of men to men: for the inexperience an d utter ignorance of his hearers about any subject is a great assistance to him who has to speak of it, and we know how ignorant we are concerning the gods. But I should like to make my meaning clearer, if you will follow me. All that is sa id by any of us can only be imitation and representation. For if we consider the likenesses which painters make of bodies divine and heavenly, and the different degrees of gratification with which the eye of the spectator receives them, we shall see that we are satisfied with the artist who is able in any degree to imi tate the earth and its mountains, and the rivers, and the woods, and the univers e, and the things that are and move therein, and further, that knowing nothing p recise about such matters, we do not examine or analyze the painting; all that i s required is a sort of indistinct and deceptive mode of shadowing them forth. B ut when a person endeavours to paint the human form we are quick at finding out defects, and our familiar knowledge makes us severe judges of any one who does n ot render every point of similarity. And we may observe the same thing to happen in discourse; we are satisfied with a picture of divine and heavenly things whi ch has very little likeness to them; but we are more precise in our criticism of mortal and human things. Wherefore if at the moment of speaking I cannot suitab ly express my meaning, you must excuse me, considering that to form approved lik enesses of human things is the reverse of easy. This is what I want to suggest t o you, and at the same time to beg, Socrates, that I may have not less, but more indulgence conceded to me in what I am about to say. Which favour, if I am righ t in asking, I hope that you will be ready to grant. SOCRATES: Certainly, Critia s, we will grant your request, and we will grant the same by anticipation to Her mocrates, as well as to you and Timaeus; for I have no doubt that when his turn comes a little while hence, he will make the same request which you have made. I n order, then, that he may provide himself with a fresh beginning, and not be co mpelled to say the same things over again, let him understand that the indulgenc e is already extended by anticipation to him. And now, friend Critias, I will an nounce to you the judgment of the theatre. They are of opinion that the last per former was wonderfully successful, and that you will need a great deal of indulg ence before you will be able to take his place. HERMOCRATES: The warning, Socrat es, which you have addressed to him, I must also take to myself. But remember, C ritias, that faint heart never yet raised a trophy; and therefore you must go an d attack the argument like a man. First invoke Apollo and the Muses, and then le t us hear you sound the praises and show forth the virtues of your ancient citiz ens. CRITIAS: Friend Hermocrates, you, who are stationed last and have another i n front of you, have not lost heart as yet; the gravity of the situation will so on be revealed to you; meanwhile I accept your exhortations and encouragements. But besides the gods and goddesses whom you have mentioned, I would specially in voke Mnemosyne; for all the important part of my discourse is dependent on her f avour, and if I can recollect and recite enough of what was said by the priests and brought hither by Solon, I doubt not that I shall satisfy the requirements o f this theatre. And now, making no more excuses, I will proceed. 174

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias Let me begin by observing first of all, that nine thousand was the sum of years which had elapsed since the war which was said to have taken place between those who dwelt outside the pillars of Heracles and all who dwelt within them; this w ar I am going to describe. Of the combatants on the one side, the city of Athens was reported to have been the leader and to have fought out the war; the combat ants on the other side were commanded by the kings of Atlantis, which, as I was saying, was an island greater in extent than Libya and Asia, and when afterwards sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean. The progress of the history will unfold the various nations of barbarians and families of Hellenes which then existed, as t hey successively appear on the scene; but I must describe first of all the Athen ians of that day, and their enemies who fought with them, and then the respectiv e powers and governments of the two kingdoms. Let us give the precedence to Athe ns. In the days of old, the gods had the whole earth distributed among them by a llotment (Cp. Polit.) There was no quarrelling; for you cannot rightly suppose t hat the gods did not know what was proper for each of them to have, or, knowing this, that they would seek to procure for themselves by contention that which mo re properly belonged to others. They all of them by just apportionment obtained what they wanted, and peopled their own districts; and when they had peopled the m they tended us, their nurselings and possessions, as shepherds tend their floc ks, excepting only that they did not use blows or bodily force, as shepherds do, but governed us like pilots from the stern of the vessel, which is an easy way of guiding animals, holding our souls by the rudder of persuasion according to t heir own pleasure;thus did they guide all mortal creatures. Now different gods ha d their allotments in different places which they set in order. Hephaestus and A thene, who were brother and sister, and sprang from the same father, having a co mmon nature, and being united also in the love of philosophy and art, both obtai ned as their common portion this land, which was naturally adapted for wisdom an d virtue; and there they implanted brave children of the soil, and put into thei r minds the order of government; their names are preserved, but their actions ha ve disappeared by reason of the destruction of those who received the tradition, and the lapse of ages. For when there were any survivors, as I have already sai d, they were men who dwelt in the mountains; and they were ignorant of the art o f writing, and had heard only the names of the chiefs of the land, but very litt le about their actions. The names they were willing enough to give to their chil dren; but the virtues and the laws of their predecessors, they knew only by obsc ure traditions; and as they themselves and their children lacked for many genera tions the necessaries of life, they directed their attention to the supply of th eir wants, and of them they conversed, to the neglect of events that had happene d in times long past; for mythology and the enquiry into antiquity are first int roduced into cities when they begin to have leisure (Cp. Arist. Metaphys.), and when they see that the necessaries of life have already been provided, but not b efore. And this is the reason why the names of the ancients have been preserved to us and not their actions. This I infer because Solon said that the priests in their narrative of that war mentioned most of the names which are recorded prio r to the time of Theseus, such as Cecrops, and Erechtheus, and Erichthonius, and Erysichthon, and the names of the women in like manner. Moreover, since militar y pursuits were then common to men and women, the men of those days in accordanc e with the custom of the time set up a figure and image of the goddess in full a rmour, to be a testimony that all animals which associate together, male as well as female, may, if they please, practise in common the virtue which belongs to them without distinction of sex. Now the country was inhabited in those days by various classes of citizens;there were artisans, and there were husbandmen, and t here was also a warrior class originally set apart by divine men. The 175

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias latter dwelt by themselves, and had all things suitable for nurture and educatio n; neither had any of them anything of their own, but they regarded all that the y had as common property; nor did they claim to receive of the other citizens an ything more than their necessary food. And they practised all the pursuits which we yesterday described as those of our imaginary guardians. Concerning the coun try the Egyptian priests said what is not only probable but manifestly true, tha t the boundaries were in those days fixed by the Isthmus, and that in the direct ion of the continent they extended as far as the heights of Cithaeron and Parnes ; the boundary line came down in the direction of the sea, having the district o f Oropus on the right, and with the river Asopus as the limit on the left. The l and was the best in the world, and was therefore able in those days to support a vast army, raised from the surrounding people. Even the remnant of Attica which now exists may compare with any region in the world for the variety and excelle nce of its fruits and the suitableness of its pastures to every sort of animal, which proves what I am saying; but in those days the country was fair as now and yielded far more abundant produce. How shall I establish my words? and what par t of it can be truly called a remnant of the land that then was? The whole count ry is only a long promontory extending far into the sea away from the rest of th e continent, while the surrounding basin of the sea is everywhere deep in the ne ighbourhood of the shore. Many great deluges have taken place during the nine th ousand years, for that is the number of years which have elapsed since the time of which I am speaking; and during all this time and through so many changes, th ere has never been any considerable accumulation of the soil coming down from th e mountains, as in other places, but the earth has fallen away all round and sun k out of sight. The consequence is, that in comparison of what then was, there a re remaining only the bones of the wasted body, as they may be called, as in the case of small islands, all the richer and softer parts of the soil having falle n away, and the mere skeleton of the land being left. But in the primitive state of the country, its mountains were high hills covered with soil, and the plains , as they are termed by us, of Phelleus were full of rich earth, and there was a bundance of wood in the mountains. Of this last the traces still remain, for alt hough some of the mountains now only afford sustenance to bees, not so very long ago there were still to be seen roofs of timber cut from trees growing there, w hich were of a size sufficient to cover the largest houses; and there were many other high trees, cultivated by man and bearing abundance of food for cattle. Mo reover, the land reaped the benefit of the annual rainfall, not as now losing th e water which flows off the bare earth into the sea, but, having an abundant sup ply in all places, and receiving it into herself and treasuring it up in the clo se clay soil, it let off into the hollows the streams which it absorbed from the heights, providing everywhere abundant fountains and rivers, of which there may still be observed sacred memorials in places where fountains once existed; and this proves the truth of what I am saying. Such was the natural state of the cou ntry, which was cultivated, as we may well believe, by true husbandmen, who made husbandry their business, and were lovers of honour, and of a noble nature, and had a soil the best in the world, and abundance of water, and in the heaven abo ve an excellently attempered climate. Now the city in those days was arranged on this wise. In the first place the Acropolis was not as now. For the fact is tha t a single night of excessive rain washed away the earth and laid bare the rock; at the same time there were earthquakes, and then occurred the extraordinary in undation, which was the third before the great destruction of Deucalion. But in primitive times the hill of the Acropolis extended to the Eridanus and Ilissus, and included the Pnyx on one side, and the Lycabettus as a boundary on the oppos ite side to the Pnyx, and was all well covered with soil, and level at the top, except in one or two places. Outside the Acropolis and under the sides of the hi ll there dwelt artisans, and such of the husbandmen as were tilling the ground n ear; the warrior class 176

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias dwelt by themselves around the temples of Athene and Hephaestus at the summit, w hich moreover they had enclosed with a single fence like the garden of a single house. On the north side they had dwellings in common and had erected halls for dining in winter, and had all the buildings which they needed for their common l ife, besides temples, but there was no adorning of them with gold and silver, fo r they made no use of these for any purpose; they took a middle course between m eanness and ostentation, and built modest houses in which they and their childre n's children grew old, and they handed them down to others who were like themsel ves, always the same. But in summer-time they left their gardens and gymnasia an d dining halls, and then the southern side of the hill was made use of by them f or the same purpose. Where the Acropolis now is there was a fountain, which was choked by the earthquake, and has left only the few small streams which still ex ist in the vicinity, but in those days the fountain gave an abundant supply of w ater for all and of suitable temperature in summer and in winter. This is how th ey dwelt, being the guardians of their own citizens and the leaders of the Helle nes, who were their willing followers. And they took care to preserve the same n umber of men and women through all time, being so many as were required for warl ike purposes, then as nowthat is to say, about twenty thousand. Such were the anc ient Athenians, and after this manner they righteously administered their own la nd and the rest of Hellas; they were renowned all over Europe and Asia for the b eauty of their persons and for the many virtues of their souls, and of all men w ho lived in those days they were the most illustrious. And next, if I have not f orgotten what I heard when I was a child, I will impart to you the character and origin of their adversaries. For friends should not keep their stories to thems elves, but have them in common. Yet, before proceeding further in the narrative, I ought to warn you, that you must not be surprised if you should perhaps hear Hellenic names given to foreigners. I will tell you the reason of this: Solon, w ho was intending to use the tale for his poem, enquired into the meaning of the names, and found that the early Egyptians in writing them down had translated th em into their own language, and he recovered the meaning of the several names an d when copying them out again translated them into our language. My great-grandf ather, Dropides, had the original writing, which is still in my possession, and was carefully studied by me when I was a child. Therefore if you hear names such as are used in this country, you must not be surprised, for I have told how the y came to be introduced. The tale, which was of great length, began as follows: I have before remarked in speaking of the allotments of the gods, that they distr ibuted the whole earth into portions differing in extent, and made for themselve s temples and instituted sacrifices. And Poseidon, receiving for his lot the isl and of Atlantis, begat children by a mortal woman, and settled them in a part of the island, which I will describe. Looking towards the sea, but in the centre o f the whole island, there was a plain which is said to have been the fairest of all plains and very fertile. Near the plain again, and also in the centre of the island at a distance of about fifty stadia, there was a mountain not very high on any side. In this mountain there dwelt one of the earth-born primeval men of that country, whose name was Evenor, and he had a wife named Leucippe, and they had an only daughter who was called Cleito. The maiden had already reached woman hood, when her father and mother died; Poseidon fell in love with her and had in tercourse with her, and breaking the ground, inclosed the hill in which she dwel t all round, making alternate zones of sea and land larger and smaller, encircli ng one another; there were two of land and three of water, which he turned as wi th a lathe, each having its circumference equidistant every way from the centre, so that no man could get to the island, for ships and voyages were not as yet. He himself, being a god, found no difficulty in making special arrangements for the centre island, bringing up two springs of water from 177

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias beneath the earth, one of warm water and the other of cold, and making every var iety of food to spring up abundantly from the soil. He also begat and brought up five pairs of twin male children; and dividing the island of Atlantis into ten portions, he gave to the first-born of the eldest pair his mother's dwelling and the surrounding allotment, which was the largest and best, and made him king ov er the rest; the others he made princes, and gave them rule over many men, and a large territory. And he named them all; the eldest, who was the first king, he named Atlas, and after him the whole island and the ocean were called Atlantic. To his twin brother, who was born after him, and obtained as his lot the extremi ty of the island towards the pillars of Heracles, facing the country which is no w called the region of Gades in that part of the world, he gave the name which i n the Hellenic language is Eumelus, in the language of the country which is name d after him, Gadeirus. Of the second pair of twins he called one Ampheres, and t he other Evaemon. To the elder of the third pair of twins he gave the name Mnese us, and Autochthon to the one who followed him. Of the fourth pair of twins he c alled the elder Elasippus, and the younger Mestor. And of the fifth pair he gave to the elder the name of Azaes, and to the younger that of Diaprepes. All these and their descendants for many generations were the inhabitants and rulers of d ivers islands in the open sea; and also, as has been already said, they held swa y in our direction over the country within the pillars as far as Egypt and Tyrrh enia. Now Atlas had a numerous and honourable family, and they retained the king dom, the eldest son handing it on to his eldest for many generations; and they h ad such an amount of wealth as was never before possessed by kings and potentate s, and is not likely ever to be again, and they were furnished with everything w hich they needed, both in the city and country. For because of the greatness of their empire many things were brought to them from foreign countries, and the is land itself provided most of what was required by them for the uses of life. In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be found there, solid as well as fusile, and that which is now only a name and was then something mor e than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than anything except gold. There was an abund ance of wood for carpenter's work, and sufficient maintenance for tame and wild animals. Moreover, there were a great number of elephants in the island; for as there was provision for all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all. Also whatever fragrant things there now are in the earth, whether roots, or herbage, or woods, or essences which distil from fruit and flower, grew and thr ived in that land; also the fruit which admits of cultivation, both the dry sort , which is given us for nourishment and any other which we use for foodwe call th em all by the common name of pulse, and the fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments, and good store of chestnuts and the like, which furnish pleasure and amusement, and are fruits which spoil with keeping, and th e pleasant kinds of dessert, with which we console ourselves after dinner, when we are tired of eatingall these that sacred island which then beheld the light of the sun, brought forth fair and wondrous and in infinite abundance. With such b lessings the earth freely furnished them; meanwhile they went on constructing th eir temples and palaces and harbours and docks. And they arranged the whole coun try in the following manner: First of all they bridged over the zones of sea whic h surrounded the ancient metropolis, making a road to and from the royal palace. And at the very beginning they built the palace in the habitation of the god an d of their ancestors, which they continued to ornament in successive generations , every king surpassing the one who went before him to the utmost of his power, until they made the building a marvel to behold for size and for beauty. And beg inning from the sea they bored a canal of three hundred feet in width and one hu ndred feet in depth and fifty stadia in length, which they carried 178

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias through to the outermost zone, making a passage from the sea up to this, which b ecame a harbour, and leaving an opening sufficient to enable the largest vessels to find ingress. Moreover, they divided at the bridges the zones of land which parted the zones of sea, leaving room for a single trireme to pass out of one zo ne into another, and they covered over the channels so as to leave a way underne ath for the ships; for the banks were raised considerably above the water. Now t he largest of the zones into which a passage was cut from the sea was three stad ia in breadth, and the zone of land which came next of equal breadth; but the ne xt two zones, the one of water, the other of land, were two stadia, and the one which surrounded the central island was a stadium only in width. The island in w hich the palace was situated had a diameter of five stadia. All this including t he zones and the bridge, which was the sixth part of a stadium in width, they su rrounded by a stone wall on every side, placing towers and gates on the bridges where the sea passed in. The stone which was used in the work they quarried from underneath the centre island, and from underneath the zones, on the outer as we ll as the inner side. One kind was white, another black, and a third red, and as they quarried, they at the same time hollowed out double docks, having roofs fo rmed out of the native rock. Some of their buildings were simple, but in others they put together different stones, varying the colour to please the eye, and to be a natural source of delight. The entire circuit of the wall, which went roun d the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of t he next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum. The palaces in the interior of the ci tadel were constructed on this wise:In the centre was a holy temple dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, which remained inaccessible, and was surrounded by an enclo sure of gold; this was the spot where the family of the ten princes first saw th e light, and thither the people annually brought the fruits of the earth in thei r season from all the ten portions, to be an offering to each of the ten. Here w as Poseidon's own temple which was a stadium in length, and half a stadium in wi dth, and of a proportionate height, having a strange barbaric appearance. All th e outside of the temple, with the exception of the pinnacles, they covered with silver, and the pinnacles with gold. In the interior of the temple the roof was of ivory, curiously wrought everywhere with gold and silver and orichalcum; and all the other parts, the walls and pillars and floor, they coated with orichalcu m. In the temple they placed statues of gold: there was the god himself standing in a chariotthe charioteer of six winged horsesand of such a size that he touched the roof of the building with his head; around him there were a hundred Nereids riding on dolphins, for such was thought to be the number of them by the men of those days. There were also in the interior of the temple other images which ha d been dedicated by private persons. And around the temple on the outside were p laced statues of gold of all the descendants of the ten kings and of their wives , and there were many other great offerings of kings and of private persons, com ing both from the city itself and from the foreign cities over which they held s way. There was an altar too, which in size and workmanship corresponded to this magnificence, and the palaces, in like manner, answered to the greatness of the kingdom and the glory of the temple. In the next place, they had fountains, one of cold and another of hot water, in gracious plenty flowing; and they were wond erfully adapted for use by reason of the pleasantness and excellence of their wa ters. They constructed buildings about them and planted suitable trees, also the y made cisterns, some open to the heaven, others roofed over, to be used in wint er as warm baths; there were the kings' baths, and the baths of private persons, which were kept apart; and there were separate baths for women, and for horses and cattle, and to each of them they gave as much adornment as was suitable. Of the water which ran off they carried some to the grove of Poseidon, where were g rowing all manner of trees of wonderful height and beauty, owing to the excellen ce of the soil, while the 179

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias remainder was conveyed by aqueducts along the bridges to the outer circles; and there were many temples built and dedicated to many gods; also gardens and place s of exercise, some for men, and others for horses in both of the two islands fo rmed by the zones; and in the centre of the larger of the two there was set apar t a race-course of a stadium in width, and in length allowed to extend all round the island, for horses to race in. Also there were guard-houses at intervals fo r the guards, the more trusted of whom were appointed to keep watch in the lesse r zone, which was nearer the Acropolis; while the most trusted of all had houses given them within the citadel, near the persons of the kings. The docks were fu ll of triremes and naval stores, and all things were quite ready for use. Enough of the plan of the royal palace. Leaving the palace and passing out across the three harbours, you came to a wall which began at the sea and went all round: th is was everywhere distant fifty stadia from the largest zone or harbour, and enc losed the whole, the ends meeting at the mouth of the channel which led to the s ea. The entire area was densely crowded with habitations; and the canal and the largest of the harbours were full of vessels and merchants coming from all parts , who, from their numbers, kept up a multitudinous sound of human voices, and di n and clatter of all sorts night and day. I have described the city and the envi rons of the ancient palace nearly in the words of Solon, and now I must endeavou r to represent to you the nature and arrangement of the rest of the land. The wh ole country was said by him to be very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plai n, itself surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand sta dia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia. This part of the i sland looked towards the south, and was sheltered from the north. The surroundin g mountains were celebrated for their number and size and beauty, far beyond any which still exist, having in them also many wealthy villages of country folk, a nd rivers, and lakes, and meadows supplying food enough for every animal, wild o r tame, and much wood of various sorts, abundant for each and every kind of work . I will now describe the plain, as it was fashioned by nature and by the labour s of many generations of kings through long ages. It was for the most part recta ngular and oblong, and where falling out of the straight line followed the circu lar ditch. The depth, and width, and length of this ditch were incredible, and g ave the impression that a work of such extent, in addition to so many others, co uld never have been artificial. Nevertheless I must say what I was told. It was excavated to the depth of a hundred feet, and its breadth was a stadium everywhe re; it was carried round the whole of the plain, and was ten thousand stadia in length. It received the streams which came down from the mountains, and winding round the plain and meeting at the city, was there let off into the sea. Further inland, likewise, straight canals of a hundred feet in width were cut from it t hrough the plain, and again let off into the ditch leading to the sea: these can als were at intervals of a hundred stadia, and by them they brought down the woo d from the mountains to the city, and conveyed the fruits of the earth in ships, cutting transverse passages from one canal into another, and to the city. Twice in the year they gathered the fruits of the earthin winter having the benefit of the rains of heaven, and in summer the water which the land supplied by introdu cing streams from the canals. As to the population, each of the lots in the plai n had to find a leader for the men who were fit for military service, and the si ze of a lot was a square of ten stadia each way, and the total number of all 180

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias the lots was sixty thousand. And of the inhabitants of the mountains and of the rest of the country there was also a vast multitude, which was distributed among the lots and had leaders assigned to them according to their districts and vill ages. The leader was required to furnish for the war the sixth portion of a warchariot, so as to make up a total of ten thousand chariots; also two horses and riders for them, and a pair of chariot-horses without a seat, accompanied by a h orseman who could fight on foot carrying a small shield, and having a charioteer who stood behind the man-at-arms to guide the two horses; also, he was bound to furnish two heavy-armed soldiers, two archers, two slingers, three stone-shoote rs and three javelin-men, who were light-armed, and four sailors to make up the complement of twelve hundred ships. Such was the military order of the royal cit ythe order of the other nine governments varied, and it would be wearisome to rec ount their several differences. As to offices and honours, the following was the arrangement from the first. Each of the ten kings in his own division and in hi s own city had the absolute control of the citizens, and, in most cases, of the laws, punishing and slaying whomsoever he would. Now the order of precedence amo ng them and their mutual relations were regulated by the commands of Poseidon wh ich the law had handed down. These were inscribed by the first kings on a pillar of orichalcum, which was situated in the middle of the island, at the temple of Poseidon, whither the kings were gathered together every fifth and every sixth year alternately, thus giving equal honour to the odd and to the even number. An d when they were gathered together they consulted about their common interests, and enquired if any one had transgressed in anything, and passed judgment, and b efore they passed judgment they gave their pledges to one another on this wise:Th ere were bulls who had the range of the temple of Poseidon; and the ten kings, b eing left alone in the temple, after they had offered prayers to the god that th ey might capture the victim which was acceptable to him, hunted the bulls, witho ut weapons, but with staves and nooses; and the bull which they caught they led up to the pillar and cut its throat over the top of it so that the blood fell up on the sacred inscription. Now on the pillar, besides the laws, there was inscri bed an oath invoking mighty curses on the disobedient. When therefore, after sla ying the bull in the accustomed manner, they had burnt its limbs, they filled a bowl of wine and cast in a clot of blood for each of them; the rest of the victi m they put in the fire, after having purified the column all round. Then they dr ew from the bowl in golden cups, and pouring a libation on the fire, they swore that they would judge according to the laws on the pillar, and would punish him who in any point had already transgressed them, and that for the future they wou ld not, if they could help, offend against the writing on the pillar, and would neither command others, nor obey any ruler who commanded them, to act otherwise than according to the laws of their father Poseidon. This was the prayer which e ach of them offered up for himself and for his descendants, at the same time dri nking and dedicating the cup out of which he drank in the temple of the god; and after they had supped and satisfied their needs, when darkness came on, and the fire about the sacrifice was cool, all of them put on most beautiful azure robe s, and, sitting on the ground, at night, over the embers of the sacrifices by wh ich they had sworn, and extinguishing all the fire about the temple, they receiv ed and gave judgment, if any of them had an accusation to bring against any one; and when they had given judgment, at daybreak they wrote down their sentences o n a golden tablet, and dedicated it together with their robes to be a memorial. There were many special laws affecting the several kings inscribed about the tem ples, but the most important was the following: They were not to take up arms ag ainst one another, and they were all to come to the rescue if any one in any of their cities attempted to overthrow the royal house; like their ancestors, they were to deliberate in common about war and other matters, giving the supremacy t o 181

TheDialoguesofPlato:Critias the descendants of Atlas. And the king was not to have the power of life and dea th over any of his kinsmen unless he had the assent of the majority of the ten. Such was the vast power which the god settled in the lost island of Atlantis; an d this he afterwards directed against our land for the following reasons, as tra dition tells: For many generations, as long as the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and well-affectioned towards the god, whose see d they were; for they possessed true and in every way great spirits, uniting gen tleness with wisdom in the various chances of life, and in their intercourse wit h one another. They despised everything but virtue, caring little for their pres ent state of life, and thinking lightly of the possession of gold and other prop erty, which seemed only a burden to them; neither were they intoxicated by luxur y; nor did wealth deprive them of their self-control; but they were sober, and s aw clearly that all these goods are increased by virtue and friendship with one another, whereas by too great regard and respect for them, they are lost and fri endship with them. By such reflections and by the continuance in them of a divin e nature, the qualities which we have described grew and increased among them; b ut when the divine portion began to fade away, and became diluted too often and too much with the mortal admixture, and the human nature got the upper hand, the y then, being unable to bear their fortune, behaved unseemly, and to him who had an eye to see grew visibly debased, for they were losing the fairest of their p recious gifts; but to those who had no eye to see the true happiness, they appea red glorious and blessed at the very time when they were full of avarice and unr ighteous power. Zeus, the god of gods, who rules according to law, and is able t o see into such things, perceiving that an honourable race was in a woeful pligh t, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and i mprove, collected all the gods into their most holy habitation, which, being pla ced in the centre of the world, beholds all created things. And when he had call ed them together, he spake as follows[*] 182

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito The Project Gutenberg EBook of Crito, by Plato Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright l aws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Proj ect Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing thi s Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the hea der without written permission. Please read the legal small print, and other infor mation about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Include d is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how th e file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Projec t Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanil la Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1 971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: Cr ito Author: Plato Release Date: March, 1999 [Etext #1657] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This HTML edition was first posted on March 22, 20 03] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START O F THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OF CRITO, BY PLATO *** This eBook was converted to HTML, with additional editing, by Jose Menendez from the text edition produced by Sue Asscher. 183

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito CRITO BY PLATO TRANSLATED BY BENJAMIN JOWETT INTRODUCTION The Crito seems intended to exhibit the character of Socrates in one light only, not as the philosopher, fulfilling a divine mission and trusting in the will of heaven, but simply as the good citizen, who having been unjustly condemned is w illing to give up his life in obedience to the laws of the state . . . The days of Socrates are drawing to a close; the fatal ship has been seen off Sunium, as he is informed by his aged friend and contemporary Crito, who visits him before the dawn has broken; he himself has been warned in a dream that on the third day he must depart. Time is precious, and Crito has come early in order to gain his consent to a plan of escape. This can be easily accomplished by his friends, wh o will incur no danger in making the attempt to save him, but will be disgraced for ever if they allow him to perish. He should think of his duty to his childre n, and not play into the hands of his enemies. Money is already provided by Crit o as well as by Simmias and others, and he will have no difficulty in finding fr iends in Thessaly and other places. Socrates is afraid that Crito is but pressin g upon him the opinions of the many; whereas, all his life long he has followed the dictates of reason only and the opinion of the one wise or skilled man. Ther e was a time when Crito himself had allowed the propriety of this. And although someone will say `the many can kill us,' that makes no difference; but a good life, in other words, a just and honourable life, is alone to be valued. All considera tions of loss of reputation or injury to his children should be dismissed: the o nly question is whether he would be right in attempting to escape. Crito, who is a disinterested person not having the fear of death before his eyes, shall answ er this for him. Before he was condemned they had often held discussions, in whi ch they agreed that no man should either do 184

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito evil, or return evil for evil, or betray the right. Are these principles to be a ltered because the circumstances of Socrates are altered? Crito admits that they remain the same. Then is his escape consistent with the maintenance of them? To this Crito is unable or unwilling to reply. Socrates proceeds:Suppose the Laws o f Athens to come and remonstrate with him: they will ask, `Why does he seek to ove rturn them?' and if he replies, `They have injured him,' will not the Laws answer, `Yes, but was that the agreement? Has he any objection to make to them which would ju stify him in overturning them? Was he not brought into the world and educated by their help, and are they not his parents? He might have left Athens and gone wh ere he pleased, but he has lived there for seventy years more constantly than an y other citizen.' Thus he has clearly shown that he acknowledged the agreement, wh ich he cannot now break without dishonour to himself and danger to his friends. Even in the course of the trial he might have proposed exile as the penalty, but then he declared that he preferred death to exile. And whither will he direct h is footsteps? In any well-ordered state the Laws will consider him as an enemy. Possibly in a land of misrule like Thessaly he may be welcomed at first, and the unseemly narrative of his escape will be regarded by the inhabitants as an amus ing tale. But if he offends them he will have to learn another sort of lesson. W ill he continue to give lectures in virtue? That would hardly be decent. And how will his children be the gainers if he takes them into Thessaly, and deprives t hem of Athenian citizenship? Or if he leaves them behind, does he expect that th ey will be better taken care of by his friends because he is in Thessaly? Will n ot true friends care for them equally whether he is alive or dead? Finally, they exhort him to think of justice first, and of life and children afterwards. He m ay now depart in peace and innocence, a sufferer and not a doer of evil. But if he breaks agreements, and returns evil for evil, they will be angry with him whi le he lives; and their brethren the Laws of the world below will receive him as an enemy. Such is the mystic voice which is always murmuring in his ears. That S ocrates was not a good citizen was a charge made against him during his lifetime , which has been often repeated in later ages. The crimes of Alcibiades, Critias , and Charmides, who had been his pupils, were still recent in the memory of the now restored democracy. The fact that he had been neutral in the death-struggle of Athens was not likely to conciliate popular good-will. Plato, writing probab ly in the next generation, undertakes the defence of his friend and master in th is particular, not to the Athenians of his day, but to posterity and the world a t large. Whether such an incident ever really occurred as the visit of Crito and the proposal of escape is uncertain; Plato could easily have invented far more than that; 1 and in the selection of Crito, the aged friend, as the fittest pers on to make the proposal to Socrates, we seem to recognize the hand of the artist . Whether anyone who has been subjected by the laws of his country to an unjust judgment is right in attempting to escape, is a thesis about which casuists migh t disagree. Shelley 2 is of opinion that Socrates `did well to die,' but not for the `sophistical' reasons which Plato has put into his mouth. And there would be no dif ficulty in arguing that Socrates should have lived and preferred to a glorious d eath the good which he might still be able to perform. `A rhetorician would have h ad much to say upon that point.' It may be observed however that Plato never inten ded to answer the question of casuistry, but only to exhibit the ideal of patien t virtue which refuses to do the least evil in order to avoid the greatest, and to show his master maintaining in death the opinions which he had professed in h is life. Not `the world,' but the `one wise man,' is still the paradox of Socrates in hi s last hours. He must be guided by reason, although her conclusions may be fatal to him. The remarkable sentiment 185

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito that the wicked can do neither good nor evil is true, if taken in the sense, whi ch he means, of moral evil; in his own words, `they cannot make a man wise or fool ish.' This little dialogue is a perfect piece of dialectic, in which granting the `c ommon principle,' there is no escaping from the conclusion. It is anticipated at t he beginning by the dream of Socrates and the parody of Homer. The personificati on of the Laws, and of their brethren the Laws in the world below, is one of the noblest and boldest figures of speech which occur in Plato. CRITO PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, Crito. SCENE: The Prison of Socrates. SOCRATES: Why have you come at this hour, Crito? it must be quite early? CRITO: Yes, certainly. SOCRATES: What is the exact time? CRITO: The dawn is breaking. S OCRATES: I wonder that the keeper of the prison would let you in. CRITO: He know s me, because I often come, Socrates; moreover, I have done him a kindness. SOCR ATES: And are you only just arrived? CRITO: No, I came some time ago. SOCRATES: Then why did you sit and say nothing, instead of at once awakening me? CRITO: I should not have liked myself, Socrates, to be in such great trouble and unrest a s you are indeed I should not: I have been watching with amazement your peaceful slumbers; and for that reason I did not awake you, because I wished to minimize the pain. I have always thought you to be of a happy disposition; but never did I see anything like the easy, tranquil manner in which you bear this calamity. 186

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito SOCRATES: Why, Crito, when a man has reached my age he ought not to be repining at the approach of death. CRITO: And yet other old men find themselves in simila r misfortunes, and age does not prevent them from repining. SOCRATES: That is tr ue. But you have not told me why you come at this early hour. CRITO: I come to b ring you a message which is sad and painful; not, as I believe, to yourself, but to all of us who are your friends, and saddest of all to me. SOCRATES: What? Ha s the ship come from Delos, on the arrival of which I am to die? CRITO: No, the ship has not actually arrived, but she will probably be here to-day, as persons who have come from Sunium tell me that they have left her there; and therefore t o-morrow, Socrates, will be the last day of your life. SOCRATES: Very well, Crit o; if such is the will of God, I am willing; but my belief is that there will be a delay of a day. CRITO: Why do you think so? SOCRATES: I will tell you. I am t o die on the day after the arrival of the ship? CRITO: Yes; that is what the aut horities say. SOCRATES: But I do not think that the ship will be here until to-m orrow; this I infer from a vision which I had last night, or rather only just no w, when you fortunately allowed me to sleep. CRITO: And what was the nature of t he vision? SOCRATES: There appeared to me the likeness of a woman, fair and come ly, clothed in bright raiment, who called to me and said: O Socrates, `The third day hence to fertile Phthia shalt thou go.' 3 CRITO: What a singular dream, Socrates! SOCRATES: There can be no doubt about th e meaning, Crito, I think. CRITO: Yes; the meaning is only too clear. But, oh! m y beloved Socrates, let me entreat you once more to take my advice and escape. F or if you die I shall not only lose a friend who can never be replaced, but ther e is another evil: people who do not know you and me will believe that I might h ave saved you if I had been willing to give money, but that I did not care. Now, can there be a worse 187

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito disgrace than thisthat I should be thought to value money more than the life of a friend? For the many will not be persuaded that I wanted you to escape, and tha t you refused. SOCRATES: But why, my dear Crito, should we care about the opinio n of the many? Good men, and they are the only persons who are worth considering , will think of these things truly as they occurred. CRITO: But you see, Socrate s, that the opinion of the many must be regarded, for what is now happening show s that they can do the greatest evil to anyone who has lost their good opinion. SOCRATES: I only wish it were so, Crito; and that the many could do the greatest evil; for then they would also be able to do the greatest goodand what a fine th ing this would be! But in reality they can do neither; for they cannot make a ma n either wise or foolish; and whatever they do is the result of chance. CRITO: W ell, I will not dispute with you; but please to tell me, Socrates, whether you a re not acting out of regard to me and your other friends: are you not afraid tha t if you escape from prison we may get into trouble with the informers for havin g stolen you away, and lose either the whole or a great part of our property; or that even a worse evil may happen to us? Now, if you fear on our account, be at ease; for in order to save you, we ought surely to run this, or even a greater risk; be persuaded, then, and do as I say. SOCRATES: Yes, Crito, that is one fea r which you mention, but by no means the only one. CRITO: Fear notthere are perso ns who are willing to get you out of prison at no great cost; and as for the inf ormers, they are far from being exorbitant in their demandsa little money will sa tisfy them. My means, which are certainly ample, are at your service, and if you have a scruple about spending all mine, here are strangers who will give you th e use of theirs; and one of them, Simmias the Theban, has brought a large sum of money for this very purpose; and Cebes and many others are prepared to spend th eir money in helping you to escape. I say, therefore, do not hesitate on our acc ount, and do not say, as you did in the court 4 that you will have a difficulty in knowing what to do with yourself anywhere else. For men will love you in othe r places to which you may go, and not in Athens only; there are friends of mine in Thessaly, if you like to go to them, who will value and protect you, and no T hessalian will give you any trouble. Nor can I think that you are at all justifi ed, Socrates, in betraying your own life when you might be saved; in acting thus you are playing into the hands of your enemies, who are hurrying on your destru ction. And further I should say that you are deserting your own children; for yo u might bring them up and educate them; instead of which you go away and leave t hem, and they will have to take their chance; and if they do not meet with the u sual fate of orphans, there will be small thanks to you. No man should bring chi ldren into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nurture a nd education. But you appear to be choosing the easier part, not the better and manlier, which would have been more becoming in one who professes to care for vi rtue in all his actions, like yourself. And indeed, I am ashamed not only of you , but of us who are your friends, when I reflect that the whole business will be attributed entirely to our want of courage. The trial need never have come on, or might have been managed differently; and this last act, or crowning folly, wi ll seem to have occurred through our negligence and cowardice, who might have sa ved you, if we had been good for anything; and you might have saved yourself, fo r there was no difficulty at all. See now, Socrates, how sad and discreditable a re the consequences, both to us 188

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito and you. Make up your mind then, or rather have your mind already made up, for t he time of deliberation is over, and there is only one thing to be done, which m ust be done this very night, and, if we delay at all, will be no longer practica ble or possible; I beseech you therefore, Socrates, be persuaded by me, and do a s I say. SOCRATES: Dear Crito, your zeal is invaluable, if a right one; but if w rong, the greater the zeal the greater the danger; and therefore we ought to con sider whether I shall or shall not do as you say. For I am and always have been one of those natures who must be guided by reason, whatever the reason may be wh ich upon reflection appears to me to be the best; and now that this chance has b efallen me, I cannot repudiate my own words: the principles which I have hithert o honoured and revered I still honour, and unless we can at once find other and better principles, I am certain not to agree with you; no, not even if the power of the multitude could inflict many more imprisonments, confiscations, deaths, frightening us like children with hobgoblin terrors. 5 What will be the fairest way of considering the question? Shall I return to your old argument about the o pinions of men?we were saying that some of them are to be regarded, and others no t. Now were we right in maintaining this before I was condemned? And has the arg ument which was once good now proved to be talk for the sake of talkingmere child ish nonsense? That is what I want to consider with your help, Crito: whether, und er my present circumstances, the argument appears to be in any way different or not; and is to be allowed by me or disallowed. That argument, which, as I believ e, is maintained by many persons of authority, was to the effect, as I was sayin g, that the opinions of some men are to be regarded, and of other men not to be regarded. Now you, Crito, are not going to die to-morrowat least, there is no hum an probability of thisand therefore you are disinterested and not liable to be de ceived by the circumstances in which you are placed. Tell me then, whether I am right in saying that some opinions, and the opinions of some men only, are to be valued, and that other opinions, and the opinions of other men, are not to be v alued. I ask you whether I was right in maintaining this? CRITO: Certainly. SOCR ATES: The good are to be regarded, and not the bad? CRITO: Yes. SOCRATES: And th e opinions of the wise are good, and the opinions of the unwise are evil? CRITO: Certainly. SOCRATES: And what was said about another matter? Is the pupil who d evotes himself to the practice of gymnastics supposed to attend to the praise an d blame and opinion of every man, or of one man onlyhis physician or trainer, who ever he may be? CRITO: Of one man only. SOCRATES: And he ought to fear the censu re and welcome the praise of that one only, and not of the many? CRITO: Clearly so. 189

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito SOCRATES: And he ought to act and train, and eat and drink in the way which seem s good to his single master who has understanding, rather than according to the opinion of all other men put together? CRITO: True. SOCRATES: And if he disobeys and disregards the opinion and approval of the one, and regards the opinion of the many who have no understanding, will he not suffer evil? CRITO: Certainly he will. SOCRATES: And what will the evil be, whither tending and what affecting, in the disobedient person? CRITO: Clearly, affecting the body; that is what is d estroyed by the evil. SOCRATES: Very good; and is not this true, Crito, of other things which we need not separately enumerate? In questions of just and unjust, fair and foul, good and evil, which are the subjects of our present consultatio n, ought we to follow the opinion of the many and to fear them; or the opinion o f the one man who has understanding? ought we not to fear and reverence him more than all the rest of the world: and if we desert him shall we not destroy and i njure that principle in us which may be assumed to be improved by justice and de teriorated by injusticethere is such a principle? CRITO: Certainly there is, Socr ates. SOCRATES: Take a parallel instance:if, acting under the advice of those who have no understanding, we destroy that which is improved by health and is deter iorated by disease, would life be worth having? And that which has been destroye d isthe body? CRITO: Yes. SOCRATES: Could we live, having an evil and corrupted b ody? CRITO: Certainly not. SOCRATES: And will life be worth having, if that high er part of man be destroyed, which is improved by justice and depraved by injust ice? Do we suppose that principle, whatever it may be in man, which has to do wi th justice and injustice, to be inferior to the body? CRITO: Certainly not. SOCR ATES: More honourable than the body? CRITO: Far more. SOCRATES: Then, my friend, we must not regard what the many say of us; but what he, the one man who has un derstanding of just and unjust, will say, and what the truth will say. And there fore you 190

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito begin in error when you advise that we should regard the opinion of the many abo ut just and unjust, good and evil, honourable and dishonourable.`Well,' someone will say, `but the many can kill us.' CRITO: Yes, Socrates; that will clearly be the answ er. SOCRATES: And it is true; but still I find with surprise that the old argume nt is unshaken as ever. And I should like to know whether I may say the same of another propositionthat not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued? CRITO : Yes, that also remains unshaken. SOCRATES: And a good life is equivalent to a just and honourable onethat holds also? CRITO: Yes, it does. SOCRATES: From these premises I proceed to argue the question whether I ought or ought not to try an d escape without the consent of the Athenians: and if I am clearly right in esca ping, then I will make the attempt; but if not, I will abstain. The other consid erations which you mention, of money and loss of character and the duty of educa ting one's children, are, I fear, only the doctrines of the multitude, who would b e as ready to restore people to life, if they were able, as they are to put them to death and with as little reason. But now, since the argument has thus far pre vailed, the only question which remains to be considered is whether we shall do rightly either in escaping or in suffering others to aid in our escape and payin g them in money and thanks, or whether in reality we shall not do rightly; and i f the latter, then death or any other calamity which may ensue on my remaining h ere must not be allowed to enter into the calculation. CRITO: I think that you a re right, Socrates; how then shall we proceed? SOCRATES: Let us consider the mat ter together, and do you either refute me if you can, and I will be convinced; o r else cease, my dear friend, from repeating to me that I ought to escape agains t the wishes of the Athenians: for I highly value your attempts to persuade me t o do so, but I may not be persuaded against my own better judgment. And now plea se to consider my first position, and try how you can best answer me. CRITO: I w ill. SOCRATES: Are we to say that we are never intentionally to do wrong, or tha t in one way we ought and in another way we ought not to do wrong, or is doing w rong always evil and dishonourable, as I was just now saying, and as has been al ready acknowledged by us? Are all our former admissions which were made within a few days to be thrown away? And have we, at our age, been earnestly discoursing with one another all our life long only to discover that we are no better than children? Or, in spite of the opinion of the many, and in spite of consequences whether better or worse, shall we insist on the truth of what was then said, tha t injustice is always an evil and dishonour to him who acts unjustly? Shall we s ay so or not? CRITO: Yes. 191

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito SOCRATES: Then we must do no wrong? CRITO: Certainly not. SOCRATES: Nor, when in jured, injure in return, as the many imagine; for we must injure no one at all? 6 CRITO: Clearly not. SOCRATES: Again, Crito, may we do evil? CRITO: Surely not, Socrates. SOCRATES: And what of doing evil in return for evil, which is the mor ality of the manyis that just or not? CRITO: Not just. SOCRATES: For doing evil t o another is the same as injuring him? CRITO: Very true. SOCRATES: Then we ought not to retaliate or render evil for evil to anyone, whatever evil we may have s uffered from him. But I would have you consider, Crito, whether you really mean what you are saying. For this opinion has never been held, and never will be hel d, by any considerable number of persons; and those who are agreed and those who are not agreed upon this point have no common ground, and can only despise one another when they see how widely they differ. Tell me, then, whether you agree w ith and assent to my first principle, that neither injury nor retaliation nor wa rding off evil by evil is ever right. And shall that be the premise of our argum ent? Or do you decline and dissent from this? For so I have ever thought, and co ntinue to think; but, if you are of another opinion, let me hear what you have t o say. If, however, you remain of the same mind as formerly, I will proceed to t he next step. CRITO: You may proceed, for I have not changed my mind. SOCRATES: Then I will go on to the next point, which may be put in the form of a question:O ught a man to do what he admits to be right, or ought he to betray the right? CR ITO: He ought to do what he thinks right. SOCRATES: But if this is true, what is the application? In leaving the prison against the will of the Athenians, do I wrong any? or rather do I not wrong those whom I ought least to wrong? Do I not desert the principles which were acknowledged by us to be justwhat do you say? CR ITO: I cannot tell, Socrates; for I do not know. 192

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito SOCRATES: Then consider the matter in this way:Imagine that I am about to play tr uant (you may call the proceeding by any name which you like), and the laws and the government come and interrogate me: `Tell us, Socrates,' they say; `what are you a bout? are you not going by an act of yours to overturn usthe laws, and the whole state, as far as in you lies? Do you imagine that a state can subsist and not be overthrown, in which the decisions of law have no power, but are set aside and trampled upon by individuals?' What will be our answer, Crito, to these and the li ke words? Anyone, and especially a rhetorician, will have a good deal to say on behalf of the law which requires a sentence to be carried out. He will argue tha t this law should not be set aside; and shall we reply, `Yes; but the state has in jured us and given an unjust sentence.' Suppose I say that? CRITO: Very good, Socr ates. SOCRATES: `And was that our agreement with you?' the law would answer; `or were you to abide by the sentence of the state?' And if I were to express my astonishme nt at their words, the law would probably add: `Answer, Socrates, instead of openi ng your eyesyou are in the habit of asking and answering questions. Tell us,What c omplaint have you to make against us which justifies you in attempting to destro y us and the state? In the first place did we not bring you into existence? Your father married your mother by our aid and begat you. Say whether you have any o bjection to urge against those of us who regulate marriage?' None, I should reply. `Or against those of us who after birth regulate the nurture and education of chi ldren, in which you also were trained? Were not the laws, which have the charge of education, right in commanding your father to train you in music and gymnasti c?' Right, I should reply. `Well then, since you were brought into the world and nur tured and educated by us, can you deny in the first place that you are our child and slave, as your fathers were before you? And if this is true you are not on equal terms with us; nor can you think that you have a right to do to us what we are doing to you. Would you have any right to strike or revile or do any other evil to your father or your master, if you had one, because you have been struck or reviled by him, or received some other evil at his hands? You would not say this. And because we think right to destroy you, do you think that you have any right to destroy us in return, and your country as far as in you lies? Will you, O professor of true virtue, pretend that you are justified in this? Has a philo sopher like you failed to discover that our country is more to be valued and hig her and holier far than mother or father or any ancestor, and more to be regarde d in the eyes of the gods and of men of understanding? also to be soothed, and g ently and reverently entreated when angry, even more than a father, and either t o be persuaded, or if not persuaded, to be obeyed? And when we are punished by h er, whether with imprisonment or stripes, the punishment is to be endured in sil ence; and if she lead us to wounds or death in battle, thither we follow as is r ight; neither may anyone yield or retreat or leave his rank, but whether in batt le or in a court of law, or in any other place, he must do what his city and his country order him; or he must change their view of what is just: and if he may do no violence to his father or mother, much less may he do violence to his coun try.' What answer shall we make to this, Crito? Do the laws speak truly, or do the y not? CRITO: I think that they do. SOCRATES: Then the laws will say: `Consider, S ocrates, if we are speaking truly that in your present attempt you are going to do us an injury. For, having brought you into the world, and nurtured and educat ed you, and given you and every other citizen a share in every good which we had to give, we further proclaim to any Athenian by the liberty which we allow him, that if he does not like us when he 193

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito has become of age and has seen the ways of the city, and made our acquaintance, he may go where he pleases and take his goods with him. None of us laws will for bid him or interfere with him. Anyone who does not like us and the city, and who wants to emigrate to a colony or to any other city, may go where he likes, reta ining his property. But he who has experience of the manner in which we order ju stice and administer the state, and still remains, has entered into an implied c ontract that he will do as we command him. And he who disobeys us is, as we main tain, thrice wrong; first, because in disobeying us he is disobeying his parents ; secondly, because we are the authors of his education; thirdly, because he has made an agreement with us that he will duly obey our commands; and he neither o beys them nor convinces us that our commands are unjust; and we do not rudely im pose them, but give him the alternative of obeying or convincing us;that is what we offer, and he does neither. These are the sort of accusations to which, as we were saying, you, Socrates, will be exposed if you accomplish your intentions; you, above all other Athenians.' Suppose now I ask, why I rather than anybody else ? they will justly retort upon me that I above all other men have acknowledged t he agreement. `There is clear proof,' they will say, `Socrates, that we and the city w ere not displeasing to you. Of all Athenians you have been the most constant res ident in the city, which, as you never leave, you may be supposed to love. 7 For you never went out of the city either to see the games, except once when you we nt to the Isthmus, or to any other place unless when you were on military servic e; nor did you travel as other men do. Nor had you any curiosity to know other s tates or their laws: your affections did not go beyond us and our state; we were your especial favourites, and you acquiesced in our government of you; and here in this city you begat your children, which is a proof of your satisfaction. Mo reover, you might in the course of the trial, if you had liked, have fixed the p enalty at banishment; the state which refuses to let you go now would have let y ou go then. But you pretended that you preferred death to exile, 8 and that you were not unwilling to die. And now you have forgotten these fine sentiments, and pay no respect to us the laws, of whom you are the destroyer; and are doing wha t only a miserable slave would do, running away and turning your back upon the c ompacts and agreements which you made as a citizen. And first of all answer this very question: Are we right in saying that you agreed to be governed according to us in deed, and not in word only? Is that true or not?' How shall we answer, Cr ito? Must we not assent? CRITO: We cannot help it, Socrates. SOCRATES: Then will they not say: `You, Socrates, are breaking the covenants and agreements which you made with us at your leisure, not in any haste or under any compulsion or decep tion, but after you have had seventy years to think of them, during which time y ou were at liberty to leave the city, if we were not to your mind, or if our cov enants appeared to you to be unfair. You had your choice, and might have gone ei ther to Lacedaemon or Crete, both which states are often praised by you for thei r good government, or to some other Hellenic or foreign state. Whereas you, abov e all other Athenians, seemed to be so fond of the state, or, in other words, of us, her laws (and who would care about a state which has no laws?), that you ne ver stirred out of her; the halt, the blind, the maimed were not more stationary in her than you were. And now you run away and forsake your agreements. Not so, Socrates, if you will take our advice; do not make yourself ridiculous by escap ing out of the city. 194

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito `For just consider, if you transgress and err in this sort of way, what good will you do either to yourself or to your friends? That your friends will be driven i nto exile and deprived of citizenship, or will lose their property, is tolerably certain; and you yourself, if you fly to one of the neighbouring cities, as, fo r example, Thebes or Megara, both of which are well governed, will come to them as an enemy, Socrates, and their government will be against you, and all patriot ic citizens will cast an evil eye upon you as a subverter of the laws, and you w ill confirm in the minds of the judges the justice of their own condemnation of you. For he who is a corrupter of the laws is more than likely to be a corrupter of the young and foolish portion of mankind. Will you then flee from well-order ed cities and virtuous men? and is existence worth having on these terms? Or wil l you go to them without shame, and talk to them, Socrates? And what will you sa y to them? What you say here about virtue and justice and institutions and laws being the best things among men? Would that be decent of you? Surely not. But if you go away from well-governed states to Crito's friends in Thessaly, where there is great disorder and licence, they will be charmed to hear the tale of your es cape from prison, set off with ludicrous particulars of the manner in which you were wrapped in a goatskin or some other disguise, and metamorphosed as the mann er is of runaways; but will there be no one to remind you that in your old age y ou were not ashamed to violate the most sacred laws from a miserable desire of a little more life? Perhaps not, if you keep them in a good temper; but if they a re out of temper you will hear many degrading things; you will live, but how?as t he flatterer of all men, and the servant of all men; and doing what?eating and dr inking in Thessaly, having gone abroad in order that you may get a dinner. And w here will be your fine sentiments about justice and virtue? Say that you wish to live for the sake of your childrenyou want to bring them up and educate themwill you take them into Thessaly and deprive them of Athenian citizenship? Is this th e benefit which you will confer upon them? Or are you under the impression that they will be better cared for and educated here if you are still alive, although absent from them; for your friends will take care of them? Do you fancy that if you are an inhabitant of Thessaly they will take care of them, and if you are a n inhabitant of the other world that they will not take care of them? Nay; but i f they who call themselves friends are good for anything, they willto be sure the y will. `Listen, then, Socrates, to us who have brought you up. Think not of life and children first, and of justice afterwards, but of justice first, that you ma y be justified before the princes of the world below. For neither will you nor a ny that belong to you be happier or holier or juster in this life, or happier in another, if you do as Crito bids. Now you depart in innocence, a sufferer and n ot a doer of evil; a victim, not of the laws, but of men. But if you go forth, r eturning evil for evil, and injury for injury, breaking the covenants and agreem ents which you have made with us, and wronging those whom you ought least of all to wrong, that is to say, yourself, your friends, your country, and us, we shal l be angry with you while you live, and our brethren, the laws in the world belo w, will receive you as an enemy; for they will know that you have done your best to destroy us. Listen, then, to us and not to Crito.' This, dear Crito, is the vo ice which I seem to hear murmuring in my ears, like the sound of the flute in th e ears of the mystic; that voice, I say, is humming in my ears, and prevents me from hearing any other. And I know that anything more which you may say will be vain. Yet speak, if you have anything to say. CRITO: I have nothing to say, Socr ates. 195

TheDialoguesofPlato:Crito SOCRATES: Leave me then, Crito, to fulfil the will of God, and to follow whither he leads. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. See Phaedrus See Prose Works Homer, Iliad, IX Cp. Apology Cp. Apology Cp. Republ ic Cp. Phaedrus Cp. Apology *** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OF CRITO, BY PLATO *** 196

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus The Project Gutenberg EBook of Euthydemus, by Plato This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Lice nse included with this eBook or online at Title: Euthydemus Author: Plato Translator: Benjamin Jowett Release Date: Novemb er 23, 2008 [EBook #1598] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** ST ART OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EUTHYDEMUS *** Produced by Sue Asscher, and David Widger EUTHYDEMUS by Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett 197

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus INTRODUCTION. The Euthydemus, though apt to be regarded by us only as an elaborate jest, has a lso a very serious purpose. It may fairly claim to be the oldest treatise on log ic; for that science originates in the misunderstandings which necessarily accom pany the first efforts of speculation. Several of the fallacies which are satiri zed in it reappear in the Sophistici Elenchi of Aristotle and are retained at th e end of our manuals of logic. But if the order of history were followed, they s hould be placed not at the end but at the beginning of them; for they belong to the age in which the human mind was first making the attempt to distinguish thou ght from sense, and to separate the universal from the particular or individual. How to put together words or ideas, how to escape ambiguities in the meaning of terms or in the structure of propositions, how to resist the fixed impression o f an 'eternal being' or 'perpetual flux,' how to distinguish between words and t hingsthese were problems not easy of solution in the infancy of philosophy. They presented the same kind of difficulty to the half-educated man which spelling or arithmetic do to the mind of a child. It was long before the new world of ideas which had been sought after with such passionate yearning was set in order and made ready for use. To us the fallacies which arise in the pre-Socratic philosop hy are trivial and obsolete because we are no longer liable to fall into the err ors which are expressed by them. The intellectual world has become better assure d to us, and we are less likely to be imposed upon by illusions of words. The lo gic of Aristotle is for the most part latent in the dialogues of Plato. The natu re of definition is explained not by rules but by examples in the Charmides, Lys is, Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthyphro, Theaetetus, Gorgias, Republic; the natu re of division is likewise illustrated by examples in the Sophist and Statesman; a scheme of categories is found in the Philebus; the true doctrine of contradic tion is taught, and the fallacy of arguing in a circle is exposed in the Republi c; the nature of synthesis and analysis is graphically described in the Phaedrus ; the nature of words is analysed in the Cratylus; the form of the syllogism is indicated in the genealogical trees of the Sophist and Statesman; a true doctrin e of predication and an analysis of the sentence are given in the Sophist; the d ifferent meanings of one and being are worked out in the Parmenides. Here we hav e most of the important elements of logic, not yet systematized or reduced to an art or science, but scattered up and down as they would naturally occur in ordi nary discourse. They are of little or no use or significance to us; but because we have grown out of the need of them we should not therefore despise them. They are still interesting and instructive for the light which they shed on the hist ory of the human mind. There are indeed many old fallacies which linger among us , and new ones are constantly springing up. But they are not of the kind to whic h ancient logic can be usefully applied. The weapons of common sense, not the an alytics of Aristotle, are needed for their overthrow. Nor is the use of the Aris totelian logic any longer natural to us. We no longer put arguments into the for m of syllogisms like the schoolmen; the simple use of language has been, happily , restored to us. Neither do we discuss the nature of the proposition, nor extra ct hidden truths from the copula, nor dispute any longer about nominalism and re alism. We do not confuse the form with the matter of knowledge, or invent laws o f thought, or imagine that any single science furnishes a principle of reasoning to all the rest. Neither do we require categories or heads of argument to be in vented for our use. Those who have no 198

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus knowledge of logic, like some of our great physical philosophers, seem to be qui te as good reasoners as those who have. Most of the ancient puzzles have been se ttled on the basis of usage and common sense; there is no need to reopen them. N o science should raise problems or invent forms of thought which add nothing to knowledge and are of no use in assisting the acquisition of it. This seems to be the natural limit of logic and metaphysics; if they give us a more comprehensiv e or a more definite view of the different spheres of knowledge they are to be s tudied; if not, not. The better part of ancient logic appears hardly in our own day to have a separate existence; it is absorbed in two other sciences: (1) rhet oric, if indeed this ancient art be not also fading away into literary criticism ; (2) the science of language, under which all questions relating to words and p ropositions and the combinations of them may properly be included. To continue d ead or imaginary sciences, which make no signs of progress and have no definite sphere, tends to interfere with the prosecution of living ones. The study of the m is apt to blind the judgment and to render men incapable of seeing the value o f evidence, and even of appreciating the nature of truth. Nor should we allow th e living science to become confused with the dead by an ambiguity of language. T he term logic has two different meanings, an ancient and a modern one, and we va inly try to bridge the gulf between them. Many perplexities are avoided by keepi ng them apart. There might certainly be a new science of logic; it would not how ever be built up out of the fragments of the old, but would be distinct from the mrelative to the state of knowledge which exists at the present time, and based c hiefly on the methods of Modern Inductive philosophy. Such a science might have two legitimate fields: first, the refutation and explanation of false philosophi es still hovering in the air as they appear from the point of view of later expe rience or are comprehended in the history of the human mind, as in a larger hori zon: secondly, it might furnish new forms of thought more adequate to the expres sion of all the diversities and oppositions of knowledge which have grown up in these latter days; it might also suggest new methods of enquiry derived from the comparison of the sciences. Few will deny that the introduction of the words 's ubject' and 'object' and the Hegelian reconciliation of opposites have been 'mos t gracious aids' to psychology, or that the methods of Bacon and Mill have shed a light far and wide on the realms of knowledge. These two great studies, the on e destructive and corrective of error, the other conservative and constructive o f truth, might be a first and second part of logic. Ancient logic would be the p ropaedeutic or gate of approach to logical science,nothing more. But to pursue su ch speculations further, though not irrelevant, might lead us too far away from the argument of the dialogue. The Euthydemus is, of all the Dialogues of Plato, that in which he approaches most nearly to the comic poet. The mirth is broader, the irony more sustained, the contrast between Socrates and the two Sophists, a lthough veiled, penetrates deeper than in any other of his writings. Even Thrasy machus, in the Republic, is at last pacified, and becomes a friendly and interes ted auditor of the great discourse. But in the Euthydemus the mask is never drop ped; the accustomed irony of Socrates continues to the end... Socrates narrates to Crito a remarkable scene in which he has himself taken part, and in which the two brothers, Dionysodorus and Euthydemus, are the chief performers. They are n atives of Chios, who had settled at Thurii, but were driven out, and in former d ays had been known at Athens as professors of rhetoric and of the art of fightin g in armour. To this they have now added a new accomplishmentthe art of Eristic, or fighting with words, which they are likewise willing to teach 'for a consider ation.' But they can also teach virtue in a very short time and in the very best manner. 199

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Socrates, who is always on the look-out for teachers of virtue, is interested in the youth Cleinias, the grandson of the great Alcibiades, and is desirous that he should have the benefit of their instructions. He is ready to fall down and w orship them; although the greatness of their professions does arouse in his mind a temporary incredulity. A circle gathers round them, in the midst of which are Socrates, the two brothers, the youth Cleinias, who is watched by the eager eye s of his lover Ctesippus, and others. The performance begins; and such a perform ance as might well seem to require an invocation of Memory and the Muses. It is agreed that the brothers shall question Cleinias. 'Cleinias,' says Euthydemus, ' who learn, the wise or the unwise?' 'The wise,' is the reply; given with blushin g and hesitation. 'And yet when you learned you did not know and were not wise.' Then Dionysodorus takes up the ball: 'Who are they who learn dictation of the g rammar-master; the wise or the foolish boys?' 'The wise.' 'Then, after all, the wise learn.' 'And do they learn,' said Euthydemus, 'what they know or what they do not know?' 'The latter.' 'And dictation is a dictation of letters?' 'Yes.' 'A nd you know letters?' 'Yes.' 'Then you learn what you know.' 'But,' retorts Dion ysodorus, 'is not learning acquiring knowledge?' 'Yes.' 'And you acquire that wh ich you have not got already?' 'Yes.' 'Then you learn that which you do not know .' Socrates is afraid that the youth Cleinias may be discouraged at these repeat ed overthrows. He therefore explains to him the nature of the process to which h e is being subjected. The two strangers are not serious; there are jests at the mysteries which precede the enthronement, and he is being initiated into the mys teries of the sophistical ritual. This is all a sort of horse-play, which is now ended. The exhortation to virtue will follow, and Socrates himself (if the wise men will not laugh at him) is desirous of showing the way in which such an exho rtation should be carried on, according to his own poor notion. He proceeds to q uestion Cleinias. The result of the investigation may be summed up as follows: Al l men desire good; and good means the possession of goods, such as wealth, healt h, beauty, birth, power, honour; not forgetting the virtues and wisdom. And yet in this enumeration the greatest good of all is omitted. What is that? Good fort une. But what need is there of good fortune when we have wisdom already:in every art and business are not the wise also the fortunate? This is admitted. And agai n, the possession of goods is not enough; there must also be a right use of them which can only be given by knowledge: in themselves they are neither good nor e vilknowledge and wisdom are the only good, and ignorance and folly the only evil. The conclusion is that we must get 'wisdom.' But can wisdom be taught? 'Yes,' s ays Cleinias. The ingenuousness of the youth delights Socrates, who is at once r elieved from the necessity of discussing one of his great puzzles. 'Since wisdom is the only good, he must become a philosopher, or lover of wisdom.' 'That I wi ll,' says Cleinias. After Socrates has given this specimen of his own mode of in struction, the two brothers recommence their exhortation to virtue, which is of quite another sort. 'You want Cleinias to be wise?' 'Yes.' 'And he is not wise y et?' 'No.' 'Then you want him to be what he is not, and not to be what he is?not to bethat is, to perish. Pretty lovers and friends you must all be!' Here Ctesipp us, the lover of Cleinias, interposes in great excitement, thinking that he will teach the two Sophists a lesson of good manners. But he is quickly entangled in the meshes of their sophistry; 200

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus and as a storm seems to be gathering Socrates pacifies him with a joke, and Ctes ippus then says that he is not reviling the two Sophists, he is only contradicti ng them. 'But,' says Dionysodorus, 'there is no such thing as contradiction. Whe n you and I describe the same thing, or you describe one thing and I describe an other, how can there be a contradiction?' Ctesippus is unable to reply. Socrates has already heard of the denial of contradiction, and would like to be informed by the great master of the art, 'What is the meaning of this paradox? Is there no such thing as error, ignorance, falsehood? Then what are they professing to t each?' The two Sophists complain that Socrates is ready to answer what they said a year ago, but is 'non-plussed' at what they are saying now. 'What does the wo rd "non-plussed" mean?' Socrates is informed, in reply, that words are lifeless things, and lifeless things have no sense or meaning. Ctesippus again breaks out , and again has to be pacified by Socrates, who renews the conversation with Cle inias. The two Sophists are like Proteus in the variety of their transformations , and he, like Menelaus in the Odyssey, hopes to restore them to their natural f orm. He had arrived at the conclusion that Cleinias must become a philosopher. A nd philosophy is the possession of knowledge; and knowledge must be of a kind wh ich is profitable and may be used. What knowledge is there which has such a natu re? Not the knowledge which is required in any particular art; nor again the art of the composer of speeches, who knows how to write them, but cannot speak them , although he too must be admitted to be a kind of enchanter of wild animals. Ne ither is the knowledge which we are seeking the knowledge of the general. For th e general makes over his prey to the statesman, as the huntsman does to the cook , or the taker of quails to the keeper of quails; he has not the use of that whi ch he acquires. The two enquirers, Cleinias and Socrates, are described as wande ring about in a wilderness, vainly searching after the art of life and happiness . At last they fix upon the kingly art, as having the desired sort of knowledge. But the kingly art only gives men those goods which are neither good nor evil: and if we say further that it makes us wise, in what does it make us wise? Not i n special arts, such as cobbling or carpentering, but only in itself: or say aga in that it makes us good, there is no answer to the question, 'good in what?' At length in despair Cleinias and Socrates turn to the 'Dioscuri' and request thei r aid. Euthydemus argues that Socrates knows something; and as he cannot know an d not know, he cannot know some things and not know others, and therefore he kno ws all things: he and Dionysodorus and all other men know all things. 'Do they k now shoemaking, etc?' 'Yes.' The sceptical Ctesippus would like to have some evi dence of this extraordinary statement: he will believe if Euthydemus will tell h im how many teeth Dionysodorus has, and if Dionysodorus will give him a like pie ce of information about Euthydemus. Even Socrates is incredulous, and indulges i n a little raillery at the expense of the brothers. But he restrains himself, re membering that if the men who are to be his teachers think him stupid they will take no pains with him. Another fallacy is produced which turns on the absoluten ess of the verb 'to know.' And here Dionysodorus is caught 'napping,' and is ind uced by Socrates to confess that 'he does not know the good to be unjust.' Socra tes appeals to his brother Euthydemus; at the same time he acknowledges that he cannot, like Heracles, fight against a Hydra, and even Heracles, on the approach of a second monster, called upon his nephew Iolaus to help. Dionysodorus rejoin s that Iolaus was no more the nephew of Heracles than of Socrates. For a nephew is a nephew, and a brother is a brother, and a father is a father, not of one ma n only, but of all; nor of men only, but of dogs and sea-monsters. Ctesippus mak es merry with the consequences which follow: 'Much good has your father got out of the wisdom of his puppies.' 201

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus 'But,' says Euthydemus, unabashed, 'nobody wants much good.' Medicine is a good, arms are a good, money is a good, and yet there may be too much of them in wron g places. 'No,' says Ctesippus, 'there cannot be too much gold.' And would you b e happy if you had three talents of gold in your belly, a talent in your pate, a nd a stater in either eye?' Ctesippus, imitating the new wisdom, replies, 'And d o not the Scythians reckon those to be the happiest of men who have their skulls gilded and see the inside of them?' 'Do you see,' retorts Euthydemus, 'what has the quality of vision or what has not the quality of vision?' 'What has the qua lity of vision.' 'And you see our garments?' 'Yes.' 'Then our garments have the quality of vision.' A similar play of words follows, which is successfully retor ted by Ctesippus, to the great delight of Cleinias, who is rebuked by Socrates f or laughing at such solemn and beautiful things. 'But are there any beautiful th ings? And if there are such, are they the same or not the same as absolute beaut y?' Socrates replies that they are not the same, but each of them has some beaut y present with it. 'And are you an ox because you have an ox present with you?' After a few more amphiboliae, in which Socrates, like Ctesippus, in self-defence borrows the weapons of the brothers, they both confess that the two heroes are invincible; and the scene concludes with a grand chorus of shouting and laughing , and a panegyrical oration from Socrates: First, he praises the indifference of Dionysodorus and Euthydemus to public opinion; for most persons would rather be refuted by such arguments than use them in the refutation of others. Secondly, h e remarks upon their impartiality; for they stop their own mouths, as well as th ose of other people. Thirdly, he notes their liberality, which makes them give a way their secret to all the world: they should be more reserved, and let no one be present at this exhibition who does not pay them a handsome fee; or better st ill they might practise on one another only. He concludes with a respectful requ est that they will receive him and Cleinias among their disciples. Crito tells S ocrates that he has heard one of the audience criticise severely this wisdom,not sparing Socrates himself for countenancing such an exhibition. Socrates asks wha t manner of man was this censorious critic. 'Not an orator, but a great composer of speeches.' Socrates understands that he is an amphibious animal, half philos opher, half politician; one of a class who have the highest opinion of themselve s and a spite against philosophers, whom they imagine to be their rivals. They a re a class who are very likely to get mauled by Euthydemus and his friends, and have a great notion of their own wisdom; for they imagine themselves to have all the advantages and none of the drawbacks both of politics and of philosophy. Th ey do not understand the principles of combination, and hence are ignorant that the union of two good things which have different ends produces a compound infer ior to either of them taken separately. Crito is anxious about the education of his children, one of whom is growing up. The description of Dionysodorus and Eut hydemus suggests to him the reflection that the professors of education are stra nge beings. Socrates consoles him with the remark that the good in all professio ns are few, and recommends that 'he and his house' should continue to serve phil osophy, and not mind about its professors. ... 202

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus There is a stage in the history of philosophy in which the old is dying out, and the new has not yet come into full life. Great philosophies like the Eleatic or Heraclitean, which have enlarged the boundaries of the human mind, begin to pas s away in words. They subsist only as forms which have rooted themselves in lang uageas troublesome elements of thought which cannot be either used or explained a way. The same absoluteness which was once attributed to abstractions is now atta ched to the words which are the signs of them. The philosophy which in the first and second generation was a great and inspiring effort of reflection, in the th ird becomes sophistical, verbal, eristic. It is this stage of philosophy which P lato satirises in the Euthydemus. The fallacies which are noted by him appear tr ifling to us now, but they were not trifling in the age before logic, in the dec line of the earlier Greek philosophies, at a time when language was first beginn ing to perplex human thought. Besides he is caricaturing them; they probably rec eived more subtle forms at the hands of those who seriously maintained them. The y are patent to us in Plato, and we are inclined to wonder how any one could eve r have been deceived by them; but we must remember also that there was a time wh en the human mind was only with great difficulty disentangled from such fallacie s. To appreciate fully the drift of the Euthydemus, we should imagine a mental s tate in which not individuals only, but whole schools during more than one gener ation, were animated by the desire to exclude the conception of rest, and theref ore the very word 'this' (Theaet.) from language; in which the ideas of space, t ime, matter, motion, were proved to be contradictory and imaginary; in which the nature of qualitative change was a puzzle, and even differences of degree, when applied to abstract notions, were not understood; in which there was no analysi s of grammar, and mere puns or plays of words received serious attention; in whi ch contradiction itself was denied, and, on the one hand, every predicate was af firmed to be true of every subject, and on the other, it was held that no predic ate was true of any subject, and that nothing was, or was known, or could be spo ken. Let us imagine disputes carried on with religious earnestness and more than scholastic subtlety, in which the catchwords of philosophy are completely detac hed from their context. (Compare Theaet.) To such disputes the humour, whether o f Plato in the ancient, or of Pope and Swift in the modern world, is the natural enemy. Nor must we forget that in modern times also there is no fallacy so gros s, no trick of language so transparent, no abstraction so barren and unmeaning, no form of thought so contradictory to experience, which has not been found to s atisfy the minds of philosophical enquirers at a certain stage, or when regarded from a certain point of view only. The peculiarity of the fallacies of our own age is that we live within them, and are therefore generally unconscious of them . Aristotle has analysed several of the same fallacies in his book 'De Sophistic is Elenchis,' which Plato, with equal command of their true nature, has preferre d to bring to the test of ridicule. At first we are only struck with the broad h umour of this 'reductio ad absurdum:' gradually we perceive that some important questions begin to emerge. Here, as everywhere else, Plato is making war against the philosophers who put words in the place of things, who tear arguments to ta tters, who deny predication, and thus make knowledge impossible, to whom ideas a nd objects of sense have no fixedness, but are in a state of perpetual oscillati on and transition. Two great truths seem to be indirectly taught through these f allacies: (1) The uncertainty of language, which allows the same words to be use d in different meanings, or with different degrees of meaning: (2) The necessary limitation or relative nature of all phenomena. Plato is aware that his own doc trine of ideas, as well as the Eleatic Being and Not-being, alike admit of being regarded as verbal fallacies. The sophism advanced in the Meno, 'that you canno t enquire either into what you know or do not know,' is lightly 203

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus touched upon at the commencement of the Dialogue; the thesis of Protagoras, that everything is true to him to whom it seems to be true, is satirized. In contras t with these fallacies is maintained the Socratic doctrine that happiness is gai ned by knowledge. The grammatical puzzles with which the Dialogue concludes prob ably contain allusions to tricks of language which may have been practised by th e disciples of Prodicus or Antisthenes. They would have had more point, if we we re acquainted with the writings against which Plato's humour is directed. Most o f the jests appear to have a serious meaning; but we have lost the clue to some of them, and cannot determine whether, as in the Cratylus, Plato has or has not mixed up purely unmeaning fun with his satire. The two discourses of Socrates ma y be contrasted in several respects with the exhibition of the Sophists: (1) In their perfect relevancy to the subject of discussion, whereas the Sophistical di scourses are wholly irrelevant: (2) In their enquiring sympathetic tone, which e ncourages the youth, instead of 'knocking him down,' after the manner of the two Sophists: (3) In the absence of any definite conclusionfor while Socrates and th e youth are agreed that philosophy is to be studied, they are not able to arrive at any certain result about the art which is to teach it. This is a question wh ich will hereafter be answered in the Republic; as the conception of the kingly art is more fully developed in the Politicus, and the caricature of rhetoric in the Gorgias. The characters of the Dialogue are easily intelligible. There is So crates once more in the character of an old man; and his equal in years, Crito, the father of Critobulus, like Lysimachus in the Laches, his fellow demesman (Ap ol.), to whom the scene is narrated, and who once or twice interrupts with a rem ark after the manner of the interlocutor in the Phaedo, and adds his commentary at the end; Socrates makes a playful allusion to his money-getting habits. There is the youth Cleinias, the grandson of Alcibiades, who may be compared with Lys is, Charmides, Menexenus, and other ingenuous youths out of whose mouths Socrate s draws his own lessons, and to whom he always seems to stand in a kindly and sy mpathetic relation. Crito will not believe that Socrates has not improved or per haps invented the answers of Cleinias (compare Phaedrus). The name of the grands on of Alcibiades, who is described as long dead, (Greek), and who died at the ag e of forty-four, in the year 404 B.C., suggests not only that the intended scene of the Euthydemus could not have been earlier than 404, but that as a fact this Dialogue could not have been composed before 390 at the soonest. Ctesippus, who is the lover of Cleinias, has been already introduced to us in the Lysis, and s eems there too to deserve the character which is here given him, of a somewhat u proarious young man. But the chief study of all is the picture of the two brothe rs, who are unapproachable in their effrontery, equally careless of what they sa y to others and of what is said to them, and never at a loss. They are 'Arcades ambo et cantare pares et respondere parati.' Some superior degree of wit or subt lety is attributed to Euthydemus, who sees the trap in which Socrates catches Di onysodorus. The epilogue or conclusion of the Dialogue has been criticised as in consistent with the general scheme. Such a criticism is like similar criticisms on Shakespeare, and proceeds upon a narrow notion of the variety which the Dialo gue, like the drama, seems to admit. Plato in the abundance of his dramatic powe r has chosen to write a play upon a play, just as he often gives us an argument within an argument. At the same time he takes the opportunity of assailing anoth er class of persons who are as alien from the spirit of philosophy as Euthydemus and Dionysodorus. The Eclectic, the Syncretist, the Doctrinaire, have been apt to have a bad name both in ancient and modern times. The persons whom Plato ridi cules in the epilogue to the Euthydemus are of this class. They occupy a borderground between philosophy and politics; they keep out of the dangers of politics , and at the 204

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus same time use philosophy as a means of serving their own interests. Plato quaint ly describes them as making two good things, philosophy and politics, a little w orse by perverting the objects of both. Men like Antiphon or Lysias would be typ es of the class. Out of a regard to the respectabilities of life, they are dispo sed to censure the interest which Socrates takes in the exhibition of the two br others. They do not understand, any more than Crito, that he is pursuing his voc ation of detecting the follies of mankind, which he finds 'not unpleasant.' (Com pare Apol.) Education is the common subject of all Plato's earlier Dialogues. Th e concluding remark of Crito, that he has a difficulty in educating his two sons , and the advice of Socrates to him that he should not give up philosophy becaus e he has no faith in philosophers, seems to be a preparation for the more peremp tory declaration of the Meno that 'Virtue cannot be taught because there are no teachers.' The reasons for placing the Euthydemus early in the series are: (1) t he similarity in plan and style to the Protagoras, Charmides, and Lysis;the relat ion of Socrates to the Sophists is still that of humorous antagonism, not, as in the later Dialogues of Plato, of embittered hatred; and the places and persons have a considerable family likeness; (2) the Euthydemus belongs to the Socratic period in which Socrates is represented as willing to learn, but unable to teach ; and in the spirit of Xenophon's Memorabilia, philosophy is defined as 'the kno wledge which will make us happy;' (3) we seem to have passed the stage arrived a t in the Protagoras, for Socrates is no longer discussing whether virtue can be taughtfrom this question he is relieved by the ingenuous declaration of the youth Cleinias; and (4) not yet to have reached the point at which he asserts 'that t here are no teachers.' Such grounds are precarious, as arguments from style and plan are apt to be (Greek). But no arguments equally strong can be urged in favo ur of assigning to the Euthydemus any other position in the series. EUTHYDEMUS PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, who is the narrator of the Dialogue. Crito, C leinias, Euthydemus, Dionysodorus, Ctesippus. SCENE: The Lyceum. CRITO: Who was the person, Socrates, with whom you were talking yesterday at the Lyceum? There was such a crowd around you that I could not get within hearing, but I caught a sight of him over their heads, and I made out, as I thought, that he was a stran ger with whom you were talking: who was he? SOCRATES: There were two, Crito; whi ch of them do you mean? CRITO: The one whom I mean was seated second from you on the right-hand side. In the middle was Cleinias the young son of Axiochus, who has wonderfully grown; he is only about the age of my own 205

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Critobulus, but he is much forwarder and very good-looking: the other is thin an d looks younger than he is. SOCRATES: He whom you mean, Crito, is Euthydemus; an d on my left hand there was his brother Dionysodorus, who also took part in the conversation. CRITO: Neither of them are known to me, Socrates; they are a new i mportation of Sophists, as I should imagine. Of what country are they, and what is their line of wisdom? SOCRATES: As to their origin, I believe that they are n atives of this part of the world, and have migrated from Chios to Thurii; they w ere driven out of Thurii, and have been living for many years past in these regi ons. As to their wisdom, about which you ask, Crito, they are wonderful consummat e! I never knew what the true pancratiast was before; they are simply made up of fighting, not like the two Acarnanian brothers who fight with their bodies only , but this pair of heroes, besides being perfect in the use of their bodies, are invincible in every sort of warfare; for they are capital at fighting in armour , and will teach the art to any one who pays them; and also they are most skilfu l in legal warfare; they will plead themselves and teach others to speak and to compose speeches which will have an effect upon the courts. And this was only th e beginning of their wisdom, but they have at last carried out the pancratiastic art to the very end, and have mastered the only mode of fighting which had been hitherto neglected by them; and now no one dares even to stand up against them: such is their skill in the war of words, that they can refute any proposition w hether true or false. Now I am thinking, Crito, of placing myself in their hands ; for they say that in a short time they can impart their skill to any one. CRIT O: But, Socrates, are you not too old? there may be reason to fear that. SOCRATE S: Certainly not, Crito; as I will prove to you, for I have the consolation of k nowing that they began this art of disputation which I covet, quite, as I may sa y, in old age; last year, or the year before, they had none of their new wisdom. I am only apprehensive that I may bring the two strangers into disrepute, as I have done Connus the son of Metrobius, the harp-player, who is still my musicmas ter; for when the boys who go to him see me going with them, they laugh at me an d call him grandpapa's master. Now I should not like the strangers to experience similar treatment; the fear of ridicule may make them unwilling to receive me; and therefore, Crito, I shall try and persuade some old men to accompany me to t hem, as I persuaded them to go with me to Connus, and I hope that you will make one: and perhaps we had better take your sons as a bait; they will want to have them as pupils, and for the sake of them willing to receive us. CRITO: I see no objection, Socrates, if you like; but first I wish that you would give me a desc ription of their wisdom, that I may know beforehand what we are going to learn. SOCRATES: In less than no time you shall hear; for I cannot say that I did not a ttendI paid great attention to them, and I remember and will endeavour to repeat the whole story. Providentially I was sitting alone in the dressing-room of the Lyceum where you saw me, and was about to depart; when I was getting up I recogn ized the familiar divine sign: so I sat down again, and in a little while the tw o brothers Euthydemus and Dionysodorus came in, and several others with them, wh om I believe to be their disciples, and they walked about in the covered court; they had not taken more than two or three 206

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus turns when Cleinias entered, who, as you truly say, is very much improved: he wa s followed by a host of lovers, one of whom was Ctesippus the Paeanian, a well-b red youth, but also having the wildness of youth. Cleinias saw me from the entra nce as I was sitting alone, and at once came and sat down on the right hand of m e, as you describe; and Dionysodorus and Euthydemus, when they saw him, at first stopped and talked with one another, now and then glancing at us, for I particu larly watched them; and then Euthydemus came and sat down by the youth, and the other by me on the left hand; the rest anywhere. I saluted the brothers, whom I had not seen for a long time; and then I said to Cleinias: Here are two wise men , Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, Cleinias, wise not in a small but in a large way of wisdom, for they know all about war,all that a good general ought to know abou t the array and command of an army, and the whole art of fighting in armour: and they know about law too, and can teach a man how to use the weapons of the cour ts when he is injured. They heard me say this, but only despised me. I observed that they looked at one another, and both of them laughed; and then Euthydemus s aid: Those, Socrates, are matters which we no longer pursue seriously; to us the y are secondary occupations. Indeed, I said, if such occupations are regarded by you as secondary, what must the principal one be; tell me, I beseech you, what that noble study is? The teaching of virtue, Socrates, he replied, is our princi pal occupation; and we believe that we can impart it better and quicker than any man. My God! I said, and where did you learn that? I always thought, as I was s aying just now, that your chief accomplishment was the art of fighting in armour ; and I used to say as much of you, for I remember that you professed this when you were here before. But now if you really have the other knowledge, O forgive me: I address you as I would superior beings, and ask you to pardon the impiety of my former expressions. But are you quite sure about this, Dionysodorus and Eu thydemus? the promise is so vast, that a feeling of incredulity steals over me. You may take our word, Socrates, for the fact. Then I think you happier in havin g such a treasure than the great king is in the possession of his kingdom. And p lease to tell me whether you intend to exhibit your wisdom; or what will you do? That is why we have come hither, Socrates; and our purpose is not only to exhib it, but also to teach any one who likes to learn. But I can promise you, I said, that every unvirtuous person will want to learn. I shall be the first; and ther e is the youth Cleinias, and Ctesippus: and here are several others, I said, poi nting to the lovers of Cleinias, who were beginning to gather round us. Now Ctes ippus was sitting at some distance from Cleinias; and when Euthydemus leaned for ward in talking with me, he was prevented from seeing Cleinias, who was between us; and so, partly because he wanted to look at his love, and also because he wa s interested, he jumped up and stood opposite to us: and all the other admirers of Cleinias, as well as the disciples of Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, followed h is example. And these were the persons whom I showed to Euthydemus, telling him that they were all eager to learn: to which Ctesippus and all of them with one v oice vehemently assented, and bid him exhibit the power 207

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus of his wisdom. Then I said: O Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, I earnestly request y ou to do myself and the company the favour to exhibit. There may be some trouble in giving the whole exhibition; but tell me one thing,can you make a good man of him only who is already convinced that he ought to learn of you, or of him also who is not convinced, either because he imagines that virtue is a thing which c annot be taught at all, or that you are not the teachers of it? Has your art pow er to persuade him, who is of the latter temper of mind, that virtue can be taug ht; and that you are the men from whom he will best learn it? Certainly, Socrate s, said Dionysodorus; our art will do both. And you and your brother, Dionysodor us, I said, of all men who are now living are the most likely to stimulate him t o philosophy and to the study of virtue? Yes, Socrates, I rather think that we a re. Then I wish that you would be so good as to defer the other part of the exhi bition, and only try to persuade the youth whom you see here that he ought to be a philosopher and study virtue. Exhibit that, and you will confer a great favou r on me and on every one present; for the fact is I and all of us are extremely anxious that he should become truly good. His name is Cleinias, and he is the so n of Axiochus, and grandson of the old Alcibiades, cousin of the Alcibiades that now is. He is quite young, and we are naturally afraid that some one may get th e start of us, and turn his mind in a wrong direction, and he may be ruined. You r visit, therefore, is most happily timed; and I hope that you will make a trial of the young man, and converse with him in our presence, if you have no objecti on. These were pretty nearly the expressions which I used; and Euthydemus, in a manly and at the same time encouraging tone, replied: There can be no objection, Socrates, if the young man is only willing to answer questions. He is quite acc ustomed to do so, I replied; for his friends often come and ask him questions an d argue with him; and therefore he is quite at home in answering. What followed, Crito, how can I rightly narrate? For not slight is the task of rehearsing infi nite wisdom, and therefore, like the poets, I ought to commence my relation with an invocation to Memory and the Muses. Now Euthydemus, if I remember rightly, b egan nearly as follows: O Cleinias, are those who learn the wise or the ignorant ? The youth, overpowered by the question blushed, and in his perplexity looked a t me for help; and I, knowing that he was disconcerted, said: Take courage, Clei nias, and answer like a man whichever you think; for my belief is that you will derive the greatest benefit from their questions. Whichever he answers, said Dio nysodorus, leaning forward so as to catch my ear, his face beaming with laughter , I prophesy that he will be refuted, Socrates. While he was speaking to me, Cle inias gave his answer: and therefore I had no time to warn him of the predicamen t in which he was placed, and he answered that those who learned were the wise. 208

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Euthydemus proceeded: There are some whom you would call teachers, are there not ? The boy assented. And they are the teachers of those who learnthe grammar-maste r and the lyre-master used to teach you and other boys; and you were the learner s? Yes. And when you were learners you did not as yet know the things which you were learning? No, he said. And were you wise then? No, indeed, he said. But if you were not wise you were unlearned? Certainly. You then, learning what you did not know, were unlearned when you were learning? The youth nodded assent. Then the unlearned learn, and not the wise, Cleinias, as you imagine. At these words the followers of Euthydemus, of whom I spoke, like a chorus at the bidding of th eir director, laughed and cheered. Then, before the youth had time to recover hi s breath, Dionysodorus cleverly took him in hand, and said: Yes, Cleinias; and w hen the grammar-master dictated anything to you, were they the wise boys or the unlearned who learned the dictation? The wise, replied Cleinias. Then after all the wise are the learners and not the unlearned; and your last answer to Euthyde mus was wrong. Then once more the admirers of the two heroes, in an ecstasy at t heir wisdom, gave vent to another peal of laughter, while the rest of us were si lent and amazed. Euthydemus, observing this, determined to persevere with the yo uth; and in order to heighten the effect went on asking another similar question , which might be compared to the double turn of an expert dancer. Do those, said he, who learn, learn what they know, or what they do not know? Again Dionysodor us whispered to me: That, Socrates, is just another of the same sort. Good heave ns, I said; and your last question was so good! 209

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Like all our other questions, Socrates, he repliedinevitable. I see the reason, I said, why you are in such reputation among your disciples. Meanwhile Cleinias h ad answered Euthydemus that those who learned learn what they do not know; and h e put him through a series of questions the same as before. Do you not know lett ers? He assented. All letters? Yes. But when the teacher dictates to you, does h e not dictate letters? To this also he assented. Then if you know all letters, h e dictates that which you know? This again was admitted by him. Then, said the o ther, you do not learn that which he dictates; but he only who does not know let ters learns? Nay, said Cleinias; but I do learn. Then, said he, you learn what y ou know, if you know all the letters? He admitted that. Then, he said, you were wrong in your answer. The word was hardly out of his mouth when Dionysodorus too k up the argument, like a ball which he caught, and had another throw at the you th. Cleinias, he said, Euthydemus is deceiving you. For tell me now, is not lear ning acquiring knowledge of that which one learns? Cleinias assented. And knowin g is having knowledge at the time? He agreed. And not knowing is not having know ledge at the time? 210

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus He admitted that. And are those who acquire those who have or have not a thing? Those who have not. And have you not admitted that those who do not know are of the number of those who have not? He nodded assent. Then those who learn are of the class of those who acquire, and not of those who have? He agreed. Then, Clei nias, he said, those who do not know learn, and not those who know. Euthydemus w as proceeding to give the youth a third fall; but I knew that he was in deep wat er, and therefore, as I wanted to give him a respite lest he should be dishearte ned, I said to him consolingly: You must not be surprised, Cleinias, at the sing ularity of their mode of speech: this I say because you may not understand what the two strangers are doing with you; they are only initiating you after the man ner of the Corybantes in the mysteries; and this answers to the enthronement, wh ich, if you have ever been initiated, is, as you will know, accompanied by danci ng and sport; and now they are just prancing and dancing about you, and will nex t proceed to initiate you; imagine then that you have gone through the first par t of the sophistical ritual, which, as Prodicus says, begins with initiation int o the correct use of terms. The two foreign gentlemen, perceiving that you did n ot know, wanted to explain to you that the word 'to learn' has two meanings, and is used, first, in the sense of acquiring knowledge of some matter of which you previously have no knowledge, and also, when you have the knowledge, in the sen se of reviewing this matter, whether something done or spoken by the light of th is newly-acquired knowledge; the latter is generally called 'knowing' rather tha n 'learning,' but the word 'learning' is also used; and you did not see, as they explained to you, that the term is employed of two opposite sorts of men, of th ose who know, and of those who do not know. There was a similar trick in the sec ond question, when they asked you whether men learn what they know or what they do not know. These parts of learning are not serious, and therefore I say that t he gentlemen are not serious, but are only playing with you. For if a man had al l that sort of knowledge that ever was, he would not be at all the wiser; he wou ld only be able to play with men, tripping them up and oversetting them with dis tinctions of words. He would be like a person who pulls away a stool from some o ne when he is about to sit down, and then laughs and makes merry at the sight of his friend overturned and laid on his back. And you must regard all that has hi therto passed between you and them as merely play. But in what is to follow I am certain that they will exhibit to you their serious purpose, and keep their pro mise (I will show them how); for they promised to give me a sample of the hortat ory philosophy, but I suppose that they wanted to have a game with you first. An d now, Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, I think that we have had enough of this. Wil l you let me see you explaining to the young man how he is to apply himself to t he study of virtue and wisdom? And I will first show you what I conceive to be t he nature of the task, and what sort of a discourse I desire to hear; and if I d o this in a very inartistic and ridiculous manner, do not laugh at me, for I onl y venture to improvise before you because I am eager to hear your wisdom: and I must therefore ask you and your disciples 211

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus to refrain from laughing. And now, O son of Axiochus, let me put a question to y ou: Do not all men desire happiness? And yet, perhaps, this is one of those ridi culous questions which I am afraid to ask, and which ought not to be asked by a sensible man: for what human being is there who does not desire happiness? There is no one, said Cleinias, who does not. Well, then, I said, since we all of us desire happiness, how can we be happy?that is the next question. Shall we not be happy if we have many good things? And this, perhaps, is even a more simple ques tion than the first, for there can be no doubt of the answer. He assented. And w hat things do we esteem good? No solemn sage is required to tell us this, which may be easily answered; for every one will say that wealth is a good. Certainly, he said. And are not health and beauty goods, and other personal gifts? He agre ed. Can there be any doubt that good birth, and power, and honours in one's own land, are goods? He assented. And what other goods are there? I said. What do yo u say of temperance, justice, courage: do you not verily and indeed think, Clein ias, that we shall be more right in ranking them as goods than in not ranking th em as goods? For a dispute might possibly arise about this. What then do you say ? They are goods, said Cleinias. Very well, I said; and where in the company sha ll we find a place for wisdomamong the goods or not? Among the goods. And now, I said, think whether we have left out any considerable goods. I do not think that we have, said Cleinias. Upon recollection, I said, indeed I am afraid that we h ave left out the greatest of them all. What is that? he asked. Fortune, Cleinias , I replied; which all, even the most foolish, admit to be the greatest of goods . 212

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus True, he said. On second thoughts, I added, how narrowly, O son of Axiochus, hav e you and I escaped making a laughing-stock of ourselves to the strangers. Why d o you say so? Why, because we have already spoken of good-fortune, and are but r epeating ourselves. What do you mean? I mean that there is something ridiculous in again putting forward good-fortune, which has a place in the list already, an d saying the same thing twice over. He asked what was the meaning of this, and I replied: Surely wisdom is good-fortune; even a child may know that. The simpleminded youth was amazed; and, observing his surprise, I said to him: Do you not know, Cleinias, that flute-players are most fortunate and successful in performi ng on the flute? He assented. And are not the scribes most fortunate in writing and reading letters? Certainly. Amid the dangers of the sea, again, are any more fortunate on the whole than wise pilots? None, certainly. And if you were engag ed in war, in whose company would you rather take the riskin company with a wise general, or with a foolish one? With a wise one. And if you were ill, whom would you rather have as a companion in a dangerous illnessa wise physician, or an ign orant one? A wise one. You think, I said, that to act with a wise man is more fo rtunate than to act with an ignorant one? He assented. Then wisdom always makes men fortunate: for by wisdom no man would ever err, and therefore he must act ri ghtly and succeed, or his wisdom would be wisdom no longer. 213

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus We contrived at last, somehow or other, to agree in a general conclusion, that h e who had wisdom had no need of fortune. I then recalled to his mind the previou s state of the question. You remember, I said, our making the admission that we should be happy and fortunate if many good things were present with us? He assen ted. And should we be happy by reason of the presence of good things, if they pr ofited us not, or if they profited us? If they profited us, he said. And would t hey profit us, if we only had them and did not use them? For example, if we had a great deal of food and did not eat, or a great deal of drink and did not drink , should we be profited? Certainly not, he said. Or would an artisan, who had al l the implements necessary for his work, and did not use them, be any the better for the possession of them? For example, would a carpenter be any the better fo r having all his tools and plenty of wood, if he never worked? Certainly not, he said. And if a person had wealth and all the goods of which we were just now sp eaking, and did not use them, would he be happy because he possessed them? No in deed, Socrates. Then, I said, a man who would be happy must not only have the go od things, but he must also use them; there is no advantage in merely having the m? True. Well, Cleinias, but if you have the use as well as the possession of go od things, is that sufficient to confer happiness? Yes, in my opinion. And may a person use them either rightly or wrongly? He must use them rightly. That is qu ite true, I said. And the wrong use of a thing is far worse than the non-use; fo r the one is an evil, and the other is neither a good nor an evil. You admit tha t? He assented. 214

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Now in the working and use of wood, is not that which gives the right use simply the knowledge of the carpenter? Nothing else, he said. And surely, in the manuf acture of vessels, knowledge is that which gives the right way of making them? H e agreed. And in the use of the goods of which we spoke at firstwealth and health and beauty, is not knowledge that which directs us to the right use of them, an d regulates our practice about them? He assented. Then in every possession and e very use of a thing, knowledge is that which gives a man not only good-fortune b ut success? He again assented. And tell me, I said, O tell me, what do possessio ns profit a man, if he have neither good sense nor wisdom? Would a man be better off, having and doing many things without wisdom, or a few things with wisdom? Look at the matter thus: If he did fewer things would he not make fewer mistakes ? if he made fewer mistakes would he not have fewer misfortunes? and if he had f ewer misfortunes would he not be less miserable? Certainly, he said. And who wou ld do leasta poor man or a rich man? A poor man. A weak man or a strong man? A we ak man. A noble man or a mean man? A mean man. And a coward would do less than a courageous and temperate man? Yes. And an indolent man less than an active man? 215

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus He assented. And a slow man less than a quick; and one who had dull perceptions of seeing and hearing less than one who had keen ones? All this was mutually all owed by us. Then, I said, Cleinias, the sum of the matter appears to be that the goods of which we spoke before are not to be regarded as goods in themselves, b ut the degree of good and evil in them depends on whether they are or are not un der the guidance of knowledge: under the guidance of ignorance, they are greater evils than their opposites, inasmuch as they are more able to minister to the e vil principle which rules them; and when under the guidance of wisdom and pruden ce, they are greater goods: but in themselves they are nothing? That, he replied , is obvious. What then is the result of what has been said? Is not this the res ultthat other things are indifferent, and that wisdom is the only good, and ignor ance the only evil? He assented. Let us consider a further point, I said: Seeing that all men desire happiness, and happiness, as has been shown, is gained by a use, and a right use, of the things of life, and the right use of them, and goo d-fortune in the use of them, is given by knowledge,the inference is that everybo dy ought by all means to try and make himself as wise as he can? Yes, he said. A nd when a man thinks that he ought to obtain this treasure, far more than money, from a father or a guardian or a friend or a suitor, whether citizen or strange rthe eager desire and prayer to them that they would impart wisdom to you, is not at all dishonourable, Cleinias; nor is any one to be blamed for doing any honou rable service or ministration to any man, whether a lover or not, if his aim is to get wisdom. Do you agree? I said. Yes, he said, I quite agree, and think that you are right. Yes, I said, Cleinias, if only wisdom can be taught, and does no t come to man spontaneously; for this is a point which has still to be considere d, and is not yet agreed upon by you and me But I think, Socrates, that wisdom ca n be taught, he said. Best of men, I said, I am delighted to hear you say so; an d I am also grateful to you for having saved me from a long and tiresome investi gation as to whether wisdom can be taught or not. But now, as you think that wis dom can be taught, and that wisdom only can make a man happy and fortunate, will you not acknowledge that all of us ought to love wisdom, and you individually w ill try to love her? 216

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Certainly, Socrates, he said; I will do my best. I was pleased at hearing this; and I turned to Dionysodorus and Euthydemus and said: That is an example, clumsy and tedious I admit, of the sort of exhortations which I would have you give; a nd I hope that one of you will set forth what I have been saying in a more artis tic style: or at least take up the enquiry where I left off, and proceed to show the youth whether he should have all knowledge; or whether there is one sort of knowledge only which will make him good and happy, and what that is. For, as I was saying at first, the improvement of this young man in virtue and wisdom is a matter which we have very much at heart. Thus I spoke, Crito, and was all atten tion to what was coming. I wanted to see how they would approach the question, a nd where they would start in their exhortation to the young man that he should p ractise wisdom and virtue. Dionysodorus, who was the elder, spoke first. Everybo dy's eyes were directed towards him, perceiving that something wonderful might s hortly be expected. And certainly they were not far wrong; for the man, Crito, b egan a remarkable discourse well worth hearing, and wonderfully persuasive regar ded as an exhortation to virtue. Tell me, he said, Socrates and the rest of you who say that you want this young man to become wise, are you in jest or in real earnest? I was led by this to imagine that they fancied us to have been jesting when we asked them to converse with the youth, and that this made them jest and play, and being under this impression, I was the more decided in saying that we were in profound earnest. Dionysodorus said: Reflect, Socrates; you may have to deny your words. I have reflected, I said; and I shall never deny my words. Well , said he, and so you say that you wish Cleinias to become wise? Undoubtedly. An d he is not wise as yet? At least his modesty will not allow him to say that he is. You wish him, he said, to become wise and not, to be ignorant? That we do. Y ou wish him to be what he is not, and no longer to be what he is? I was thrown i nto consternation at this. 217

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Taking advantage of my consternation he added: You wish him no longer to be what he is, which can only mean that you wish him to perish. Pretty lovers and frien ds they must be who want their favourite not to be, or to perish! When Ctesippus heard this he got very angry (as a lover well might) and said: Stranger of Thur iiif politeness would allow me I should say, A plague upon you! What can make you tell such a lie about me and the others, which I hardly like to repeat, as that I wish Cleinias to perish? Euthydemus replied: And do you think, Ctesippus, tha t it is possible to tell a lie? Yes, said Ctesippus; I should be mad to say anyt hing else. And in telling a lie, do you tell the thing of which you speak or not ? You tell the thing of which you speak. And he who tells, tells that thing whic h he tells, and no other? Yes, said Ctesippus. And that is a distinct thing apar t from other things? Certainly. And he who says that thing says that which is? Y es. And he who says that which is, says the truth. And therefore Dionysodorus, i f he says that which is, says the truth of you and no lie. Yes, Euthydemus, said Ctesippus; but in saying this, he says what is not. Euthydemus answered: And th at which is not is not? True. And that which is not is nowhere? Nowhere. And can any one do anything about that which has no existence, or do to Cleinias that w hich is not and is nowhere? I think not, said Ctesippus. 218

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Well, but do rhetoricians, when they speak in the assembly, do nothing? Nay, he said, they do something. And doing is making? Yes. And speaking is doing and mak ing? He agreed. Then no one says that which is not, for in saying what is not he would be doing something; and you have already acknowledged that no one can do what is not. And therefore, upon your own showing, no one says what is false; bu t if Dionysodorus says anything, he says what is true and what is. Yes, Euthydem us, said Ctesippus; but he speaks of things in a certain way and manner, and not as they really are. Why, Ctesippus, said Dionysodorus, do you mean to say that any one speaks of things as they are? Yes, he saidall gentlemen and truth-speakin g persons. And are not good things good, and evil things evil? He assented. And you say that gentlemen speak of things as they are? Yes. Then the good speak evi l of evil things, if they speak of them as they are? Yes, indeed, he said; and t hey speak evil of evil men. And if I may give you a piece of advice, you had bet ter take care that they do not speak evil of you, since I can tell you that the good speak evil of the evil. And do they speak great things of the great, rejoin ed Euthydemus, and warm things of the warm? To be sure they do, said Ctesippus; and they speak coldly of the insipid and cold dialectician. You are abusive, Cte sippus, said Dionysodorus, you are abusive! Indeed, I am not, Dionysodorus, he r eplied; for I love you and am giving you friendly advice, and, if I could, would persuade you not like a boor to say in my presence that I desire my beloved, wh om I value above all men, to perish. 219

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus I saw that they were getting exasperated with one another, so I made a joke with him and said: O Ctesippus, I think that we must allow the strangers to use lang uage in their own way, and not quarrel with them about words, but be thankful fo r what they give us. If they know how to destroy men in such a way as to make go od and sensible men out of bad and foolish oneswhether this is a discovery of the ir own, or whether they have learned from some one else this new sort of death a nd destruction which enables them to get rid of a bad man and turn him into a go od oneif they know this (and they do know thisat any rate they said just now that this was the secret of their newly-discovered art) let them, in their phraseology , destroy the youth and make him wise, and all of us with him. But if you young men do not like to trust yourselves with them, then fiat experimentum in corpore senis; I will be the Carian on whom they shall operate. And here I offer my old person to Dionysodorus; he may put me into the pot, like Medea the Colchian, ki ll me, boil me, if he will only make me good. Ctesippus said: And I, Socrates, a m ready to commit myself to the strangers; they may skin me alive, if they pleas e (and I am pretty well skinned by them already), if only my skin is made at las t, not like that of Marsyas, into a leathern bottle, but into a piece of virtue. And here is Dionysodorus fancying that I am angry with him, when really I am no t angry at all; I do but contradict him when I think that he is speaking imprope rly to me: and you must not confound abuse and contradiction, O illustrious Dion ysodorus; for they are quite different things. Contradiction! said Dionysodorus; why, there never was such a thing. Certainly there is, he replied; there can be no question of that. Do you, Dionysodorus, maintain that there is not? You will never prove to me, he said, that you have heard any one contradicting any one e lse. Indeed, said Ctesippus; then now you may hear me contradicting Dionysodorus . Are you prepared to make that good? Certainly, he said. Well, have not all thi ngs words expressive of them? Yes. Of their existence or of their non-existence? Of their existence. Yes, Ctesippus, and we just now proved, as you may remember , that no man could affirm a negative; for no one could affirm that which is not . And what does that signify? said Ctesippus; you and I may contradict all the s ame for that. 220

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus But can we contradict one another, said Dionysodorus, when both of us are descri bing the same thing? Then we must surely be speaking the same thing? He assented . Or when neither of us is speaking of the same thing? For then neither of us sa ys a word about the thing at all? He granted that proposition also. But when I d escribe something and you describe another thing, or I say something and you say nothingis there any contradiction? How can he who speaks contradict him who spea ks not? Here Ctesippus was silent; and I in my astonishment said: What do you me an, Dionysodorus? I have often heard, and have been amazed to hear, this thesis of yours, which is maintained and employed by the disciples of Protagoras, and o thers before them, and which to me appears to be quite wonderful, and suicidal a s well as destructive, and I think that I am most likely to hear the truth about it from you. The dictum is that there is no such thing as falsehood; a man must either say what is true or say nothing. Is not that your position? He assented. But if he cannot speak falsely, may he not think falsely? No, he cannot, he sai d. Then there is no such thing as false opinion? No, he said. Then there is no s uch thing as ignorance, or men who are ignorant; for is not ignorance, if there be such a thing, a mistake of fact? Certainly, he said. And that is impossible? Impossible, he replied. Are you saying this as a paradox, Dionysodorus; or do yo u seriously maintain no man to be ignorant? Refute me, he said. But how can I re fute you, if, as you say, to tell a falsehood is impossible? Very true, said Eut hydemus. 221

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Neither did I tell you just now to refute me, said Dionysodorus; for how can I t ell you to do that which is not? O Euthydemus, I said, I have but a dull concept ion of these subtleties and excellent devices of wisdom; I am afraid that I hard ly understand them, and you must forgive me therefore if I ask a very stupid que stion: if there be no falsehood or false opinion or ignorance, there can be no s uch thing as erroneous action, for a man cannot fail of acting as he is actingtha t is what you mean? Yes, he replied. And now, I said, I will ask my stupid quest ion: If there is no such thing as error in deed, word, or thought, then what, in the name of goodness, do you come hither to teach? And were you not just now sa ying that you could teach virtue best of all men, to any one who was willing to learn? And are you such an old fool, Socrates, rejoined Dionysodorus, that you b ring up now what I said at firstand if I had said anything last year, I suppose t hat you would bring that up toobut are nonplussed at the words which I have just uttered? Why, I said, they are not easy to answer; for they are the words of wis e men: and indeed I know not what to make of this word 'nonplussed,' which you u sed last: what do you mean by it, Dionysodorus? You must mean that I cannot refu te your argument. Tell me if the words have any other sense. No, he replied, the y mean what you say. And now answer. What, before you, Dionysodorus? I said. Ans wer, said he. And is that fair? Yes, quite fair, he said. Upon what principle? I said. I can only suppose that you are a very wise man who comes to us in the ch aracter of a great logician, and who knows when to answer and when not to answera nd now you will not open your mouth at all, because you know that you ought not. You prate, he said, instead of answering. But if, my good sir, you admit that I am wise, answer as I tell you. I suppose that I must obey, for you are master. Put the question. Are the things which have sense alive or lifeless? They are al ive. And do you know of any word which is alive? 222

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus I cannot say that I do. Then why did you ask me what sense my words had? Why, be cause I was stupid and made a mistake. And yet, perhaps, I was right after all i n saying that words have a sense;what do you say, wise man? If I was not in error , even you will not refute me, and all your wisdom will be non-plussed; but if I did fall into error, then again you are wrong in saying that there is no error,a nd this remark was made by you not quite a year ago. I am inclined to think, how ever, Dionysodorus and Euthydemus, that this argument lies where it was and is n ot very likely to advance: even your skill in the subtleties of logic, which is really amazing, has not found out the way of throwing another and not falling yo urself, now any more than of old. Ctesippus said: Men of Chios, Thurii, or howev er and whatever you call yourselves, I wonder at you, for you seem to have no ob jection to talking nonsense. Fearing that there would be high words, I again end eavoured to soothe Ctesippus, and said to him: To you, Ctesippus, I must repeat what I said before to Cleiniasthat you do not understand the ways of these philos ophers from abroad. They are not serious, but, like the Egyptian wizard, Proteus , they take different forms and deceive us by their enchantments: and let us, li ke Menelaus, refuse to let them go until they show themselves to us in earnest. When they begin to be in earnest their full beauty will appear: let us then beg and entreat and beseech them to shine forth. And I think that I had better once more exhibit the form in which I pray to behold them; it might be a guide to the m. I will go on therefore where I left off, as well as I can, in the hope that I may touch their hearts and move them to pity, and that when they see me deeply serious and interested, they also may be serious. You, Cleinias, I said, shall r emind me at what point we left off. Did we not agree that philosophy should be s tudied? and was not that our conclusion? Yes, he replied. And philosophy is the acquisition of knowledge? Yes, he said. And what knowledge ought we to acquire? May we not answer with absolute truthA knowledge which will do us good? Certainly , he said. And should we be any the better if we went about having a knowledge o f the places where most gold was hidden in the earth? Perhaps we should, he said . But have we not already proved, I said, that we should be none the better off, even if without trouble and digging all the gold which there is in the earth we re ours? And if we knew how to convert stones 223

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus into gold, the knowledge would be of no value to us, unless we also knew how to use the gold? Do you not remember? I said. I quite remember, he said. Nor would any other knowledge, whether of money-making, or of medicine, or of any other ar t which knows only how to make a thing, and not to use it when made, be of any g ood to us. Am I not right? He agreed. And if there were a knowledge which was ab le to make men immortal, without giving them the knowledge of the way to use the immortality, neither would there be any use in that, if we may argue from the a nalogy of the previous instances? To all this he agreed. Then, my dear boy, I sa id, the knowledge which we want is one that uses as well as makes? True, he said . And our desire is not to be skilful lyre-makers, or artists of that sortfar oth erwise; for with them the art which makes is one, and the art which uses is anot her. Although they have to do with the same, they are divided: for the art which makes and the art which plays on the lyre differ widely from one another. Am I not right? He agreed. And clearly we do not want the art of the flute-maker; thi s is only another of the same sort? He assented. But suppose, I said, that we we re to learn the art of making speecheswould that be the art which would make us h appy? I should say, no, rejoined Cleinias. And why should you say so? I asked. I see, he replied, that there are some composers of speeches who do not know how to use the speeches which they make, just as the makers of lyres do not know how to use the lyres; and also some who are of themselves unable to compose speeche s, but are able to use the speeches which the others make for them; and this pro ves that the art of making speeches is not the same as the art of using them. Ye s, I said; and I take your words to be a sufficient proof that the art of making speeches is not one which will make a man happy. And yet I did think that the a rt which we have so long been seeking 224

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus might be discovered in that direction; for the composers of speeches, whenever I meet them, always appear to me to be very extraordinary men, Cleinias, and thei r art is lofty and divine, and no wonder. For their art is a part of the great a rt of enchantment, and hardly, if at all, inferior to it: and whereas the art of the enchanter is a mode of charming snakes and spiders and scorpions, and other monsters and pests, this art of their's acts upon dicasts and ecclesiasts and b odies of men, for the charming and pacifying of them. Do you agree with me? Yes, he said, I think that you are quite right. Whither then shall we go, I said, an d to what art shall we have recourse? I do not see my way, he said. But I think that I do, I replied. And what is your notion? asked Cleinias. I think that the art of the general is above all others the one of which the possession is most l ikely to make a man happy. I do not think so, he said. Why not? I said. The art of the general is surely an art of hunting mankind. What of that? I said. Why, h e said, no art of hunting extends beyond hunting and capturing; and when the pre y is taken the huntsman or fisherman cannot use it; but they hand it over to the cook, and the geometricians and astronomers and calculators (who all belong to the hunting class, for they do not make their diagrams, but only find out that w hich was previously contained in them)they, I say, not being able to use but only to catch their prey, hand over their inventions to the dialectician to be appli ed by him, if they have any sense in them. Good, I said, fairest and wisest Clei nias. And is this true? Certainly, he said; just as a general when he takes a ci ty or a camp hands over his new acquisition to the statesman, for he does not kn ow how to use them himself; or as the quail-taker transfers the quails to the ke eper of them. If we are looking for the art which is to make us blessed, and whi ch is able to use that which it makes or takes, the art of the general is not th e one, and some other must be found. CRITO: And do you mean, Socrates, that the youngster said all this? SOCRATES: Are you incredulous, Crito? 225

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus CRITO: Indeed, I am; for if he did say so, then in my opinion he needs neither E uthydemus nor any one else to be his instructor. SOCRATES: Perhaps I may have fo rgotten, and Ctesippus was the real answerer. CRITO: Ctesippus! nonsense. SOCRAT ES: All I know is that I heard these words, and that they were not spoken either by Euthydemus or Dionysodorus. I dare say, my good Crito, that they may have be en spoken by some superior person: that I heard them I am certain. CRITO: Yes, i ndeed, Socrates, by some one a good deal superior, as I should be disposed to th ink. But did you carry the search any further, and did you find the art which yo u were seeking? SOCRATES: Find! my dear sir, no indeed. And we cut a poor figure ; we were like children after larks, always on the point of catching the art, wh ich was always getting away from us. But why should I repeat the whole story? At last we came to the kingly art, and enquired whether that gave and caused happi ness, and then we got into a labyrinth, and when we thought we were at the end, came out again at the beginning, having still to seek as much as ever. CRITO: Ho w did that happen, Socrates? SOCRATES: I will tell you; the kingly art was ident ified by us with the political. CRITO: Well, and what came of that? SOCRATES: To this royal or political art all the arts, including the art of the general, see med to render up the supremacy, that being the only one which knew how to use wh at they produce. Here obviously was the very art which we were seekingthe art whi ch is the source of good government, and which may be described, in the language of Aeschylus, as alone sitting at the helm of the vessel of state, piloting and governing all things, and utilizing them. CRITO: And were you not right, Socrat es? SOCRATES: You shall judge, Crito, if you are willing to hear what followed; for we resumed the enquiry, and a question of this sort was asked: Does the king ly art, having this supreme authority, do anything for us? To be sure, was the a nswer. And would not you, Crito, say the same? CRITO: Yes, I should. SOCRATES: A nd what would you say that the kingly art does? If medicine were supposed to hav e supreme authority over the subordinate arts, and I were to ask you a similar q uestion about that, you would sayit produces health? CRITO: I should. 226

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus SOCRATES: And what of your own art of husbandry, supposing that to have supreme authority over the subject artswhat does that do? Does it not supply us with the fruits of the earth? CRITO: Yes. SOCRATES: And what does the kingly art do when invested with supreme power? Perhaps you may not be ready with an answer? CRITO: Indeed I am not, Socrates. SOCRATES: No more were we, Crito. But at any rate yo u know that if this is the art which we were seeking, it ought to be useful. CRI TO: Certainly. SOCRATES: And surely it ought to do us some good? CRITO: Certainl y, Socrates. SOCRATES: And Cleinias and I had arrived at the conclusion that kno wledge of some kind is the only good. CRITO: Yes, that was what you were saying. SOCRATES: All the other results of politics, and they are many, as for example, wealth, freedom, tranquillity, were neither good nor evil in themselves; but th e political science ought to make us wise, and impart knowledge to us, if that i s the science which is likely to do us good, and make us happy. CRITO: Yes; that was the conclusion at which you had arrived, according to your report of the co nversation. SOCRATES: And does the kingly art make men wise and good? CRITO: Why not, Socrates? SOCRATES: What, all men, and in every respect? and teach them al l the arts,carpentering, and cobbling, and the rest of them? CRITO: I think not, Socrates. SOCRATES: But then what is this knowledge, and what are we to do with it? For it is not the source of any works which are neither good nor evil, and g ives no knowledge, but the knowledge of itself; what then can it be, and what ar e we to do with it? Shall we say, Crito, that it is the knowledge by which we ar e to make other men good? CRITO: By all means. 227

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus SOCRATES: And in what will they be good and useful? Shall we repeat that they wi ll make others good, and that these others will make others again, without ever determining in what they are to be good; for we have put aside the results of po litics, as they are called. This is the old, old song over again; and we are jus t as far as ever, if not farther, from the knowledge of the art or science of ha ppiness. CRITO: Indeed, Socrates, you do appear to have got into a great perplex ity. SOCRATES: Thereupon, Crito, seeing that I was on the point of shipwreck, I lifted up my voice, and earnestly entreated and called upon the strangers to sav e me and the youth from the whirlpool of the argument; they were our Castor and Pollux, I said, and they should be serious, and show us in sober earnest what th at knowledge was which would enable us to pass the rest of our lives in happines s. CRITO: And did Euthydemus show you this knowledge? SOCRATES: Yes, indeed; he proceeded in a lofty strain to the following effect: Would you rather, Socrates, said he, that I should show you this knowledge about which you have been doubti ng, or shall I prove that you already have it? What, I said, are you blessed wit h such a power as this? Indeed I am. Then I would much rather that you should pr ove me to have such a knowledge; at my time of life that will be more agreeable than having to learn. Then tell me, he said, do you know anything? Yes, I said, I know many things, but not anything of much importance. That will do, he said: And would you admit that anything is what it is, and at the same time is not wha t it is? Certainly not. And did you not say that you knew something? I did. If y ou know, you are knowing. Certainly, of the knowledge which I have. That makes n o difference;and must you not, if you are knowing, know all things? Certainly not , I said, for there are many other things which I do not know. 228

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus And if you do not know, you are not knowing. Yes, friend, of that which I do not know. Still you are not knowing, and you said just now that you were knowing; a nd therefore you are and are not at the same time, and in reference to the same things. A pretty clatter, as men say, Euthydemus, this of yours! and will you ex plain how I possess that knowledge for which we were seeking? Do you mean to say that the same thing cannot be and also not be; and therefore, since I know one thing, that I know all, for I cannot be knowing and not knowing at the same time , and if I know all things, then I must have the knowledge for which we are seek ing May I assume this to be your ingenious notion? Out of your own mouth, Socrate s, you are convicted, he said. Well, but, Euthydemus, I said, has that never hap pened to you? for if I am only in the same case with you and our beloved Dionyso dorus, I cannot complain. Tell me, then, you two, do you not know some things, a nd not know others? Certainly not, Socrates, said Dionysodorus. What do you mean , I said; do you know nothing? Nay, he replied, we do know something. Then, I sa id, you know all things, if you know anything? Yes, all things, he said; and tha t is as true of you as of us. O, indeed, I said, what a wonderful thing, and wha t a great blessing! And do all other men know all things or nothing? Certainly, he replied; they cannot know some things, and not know others, and be at the sam e time knowing and not knowing. Then what is the inference? I said. They all kno w all things, he replied, if they know one thing. O heavens, Dionysodorus, I sai d, I see now that you are in earnest; hardly have I got you to that point. And d o you really and truly know all things, including carpentering and leather-cutti ng? Certainly, he said. And do you know stitching? 229

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Yes, by the gods, we do, and cobbling, too. And do you know things such as the n umbers of the stars and of the sand? Certainly; did you think we should say No t o that? By Zeus, said Ctesippus, interrupting, I only wish that you would give m e some proof which would enable me to know whether you speak truly. What proof s hall I give you? he said. Will you tell me how many teeth Euthydemus has? and Eu thydemus shall tell how many teeth you have. Will you not take our word that we know all things? Certainly not, said Ctesippus: you must further tell us this on e thing, and then we shall know that you are speak the truth; if you tell us the number, and we count them, and you are found to be right, we will believe the r est. They fancied that Ctesippus was making game of them, and they refused, and they would only say in answer to each of his questions, that they knew all thing s. For at last Ctesippus began to throw off all restraint; no question in fact w as too bad for him; he would ask them if they knew the foulest things, and they, like wild boars, came rushing on his blows, and fearlessly replied that they di d. At last, Crito, I too was carried away by my incredulity, and asked Euthydemu s whether Dionysodorus could dance. Certainly, he replied. And can he vault amon g swords, and turn upon a wheel, at his age? has he got to such a height of skil l as that? He can do anything, he said. And did you always know this? Always, he said. When you were children, and at your birth? They both said that they did. This we could not believe. And Euthydemus said: You are incredulous, Socrates. Y es, I said, and I might well be incredulous, if I did not know you to be wise me n. But if you will answer, he said, I will make you confess to similar marvels. 230

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Well, I said, there is nothing that I should like better than to be self-convict ed of this, for if I am really a wise man, which I never knew before, and you wi ll prove to me that I know and have always known all things, nothing in life wou ld be a greater gain to me. Answer then, he said. Ask, I said, and I will answer . Do you know something, Socrates, or nothing? Something, I said. And do you kno w with what you know, or with something else? With what I know; and I suppose th at you mean with my soul? Are you not ashamed, Socrates, of asking a question wh en you are asked one? Well, I said; but then what am I to do? for I will do what ever you bid; when I do not know what you are asking, you tell me to answer neve rtheless, and not to ask again. Why, you surely have some notion of my meaning, he said. Yes, I replied. Well, then, answer according to your notion of my meani ng. Yes, I said; but if the question which you ask in one sense is understood an d answered by me in another, will that please youif I answer what is not to the p oint? That will please me very well; but will not please you equally well, as I imagine. I certainly will not answer unless I understand you, I said. You will n ot answer, he said, according to your view of the meaning, because you will be p rating, and are an ancient. Now I saw that he was getting angry with me for draw ing distinctions, when he wanted to catch me in his springes of words. And I rem embered that Connus was always angry with me when I opposed him, and then he neg lected me, because he thought that I was stupid; and as I was intending to go to Euthydemus as a pupil, I reflected that I had better let him have his way, as h e might think me a blockhead, and refuse to take me. So I said: You are a far be tter dialectician than myself, Euthydemus, for I have never made a profession of the art, and therefore do as you say; ask your questions once more, and I will answer. Answer then, he said, again, whether you know what you know with somethi ng, or with nothing. 231

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Yes, I said; I know with my soul. The man will answer more than the question; fo r I did not ask you, he said, with what you know, but whether you know with some thing. Again I replied, Through ignorance I have answered too much, but I hope t hat you will forgive me. And now I will answer simply that I always know what I know with something. And is that something, he rejoined, always the same, or som etimes one thing, and sometimes another thing? Always, I replied, when I know, I know with this. Will you not cease adding to your answers? My fear is that this word 'always' may get us into trouble. You, perhaps, but certainly not us. And now answer: Do you always know with this? Always; since I am required to withdra w the words 'when I know.' You always know with this, or, always knowing, do you know some things with this, and some things with something else, or do you know all things with this? All that I know, I replied, I know with this. There again , Socrates, he said, the addition is superfluous. Well, then, I said, I will tak e away the words 'that I know.' Nay, take nothing away; I desire no favours of y ou; but let me ask: Would you be able to know all things, if you did not know al l things? Quite impossible. And now, he said, you may add on whatever you like, for you confess that you know all things. I suppose that is true, I said, if my qualification implied in the words 'that I know' is not allowed to stand; and so I do know all things. And have you not admitted that you always know all things with that which you know, whether you make the addition of 'when you know them' or not? for you have acknowledged that you have always and at once known all th ings, that is to say, when you were a child, and at your birth, and when you wer e growing up, and before you were born, and before the heaven and earth existed, you knew all things, if you always know them; and I swear that you shall always continue to know all things, if I am of the mind to make you. 232

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus But I hope that you will be of that mind, reverend Euthydemus, I said, if you ar e really speaking the truth, and yet I a little doubt your power to make good yo ur words unless you have the help of your brother Dionysodorus; then you may do it. Tell me now, both of you, for although in the main I cannot doubt that I rea lly do know all things, when I am told so by men of your prodigious wisdomhow can I say that I know such things, Euthydemus, as that the good are unjust; come, d o I know that or not? Certainly, you know that. What do I know? That the good ar e not unjust. Quite true, I said; and that I have always known; but the question is, where did I learn that the good are unjust? Nowhere, said Dionysodorus. The n, I said, I do not know this. You are ruining the argument, said Euthydemus to Dionysodorus; he will be proved not to know, and then after all he will be knowi ng and not knowing at the same time. Dionysodorus blushed. I turned to the other , and said, What do you think, Euthydemus? Does not your omniscient brother appe ar to you to have made a mistake? What, replied Dionysodorus in a moment; am I t he brother of Euthydemus? Thereupon I said, Please not to interrupt, my good fri end, or prevent Euthydemus from proving to me that I know the good to be unjust; such a lesson you might at least allow me to learn. You are running away, Socra tes, said Dionysodorus, and refusing to answer. No wonder, I said, for I am not a match for one of you, and a fortiori I must run away from two. I am no Heracle s; and even Heracles could not fight against the Hydra, who was a she-Sophist, a nd had the wit to shoot up many new heads when one of them was cut off; especial ly when he saw a second monster of a sea-crab, who was also a Sophist, and appea red to have newly arrived from a seavoyage, bearing down upon him from the left, opening his mouth and biting. When the monster was growing troublesome he calle d Iolaus, his nephew, to his help, who ably succoured him; but if my Iolaus, who is my brother Patrocles (the statuary), were to come, he would only make a bad business worse. And now that you have delivered yourself of this strain, said Di onysodorus, will you inform me whether Iolaus was the nephew of Heracles any mor e than he is yours? 233

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus I suppose that I had best answer you, Dionysodorus, I said, for you will insist on askingthat I pretty well knowout of envy, in order to prevent me from learning the wisdom of Euthydemus. Then answer me, he said. Well then, I said, I can only reply that Iolaus was not my nephew at all, but the nephew of Heracles; and his father was not my brother Patrocles, but Iphicles, who has a name rather like h is, and was the brother of Heracles. And is Patrocles, he said, your brother? Ye s, I said, he is my half-brother, the son of my mother, but not of my father. Th en he is and is not your brother. Not by the same father, my good man, I said, f or Chaeredemus was his father, and mine was Sophroniscus. And was Sophroniscus a father, and Chaeredemus also? Yes, I said; the former was my father, and the la tter his. Then, he said, Chaeredemus is not a father. He is not my father, I sai d. But can a father be other than a father? or are you the same as a stone? I ce rtainly do not think that I am a stone, I said, though I am afraid that you may prove me to be one. Are you not other than a stone? I am. And being other than a stone, you are not a stone; and being other than gold, you are not gold? Very t rue. And so Chaeredemus, he said, being other than a father, is not a father? I suppose that he is not a father, I replied. For if, said Euthydemus, taking up t he argument, Chaeredemus is a father, then Sophroniscus, being other than a fath er, is not a father; and you, Socrates, are without a father. 234

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Ctesippus, here taking up the argument, said: And is not your father in the same case, for he is other than my father? Assuredly not, said Euthydemus. Then he i s the same? He is the same. I cannot say that I like the connection; but is he o nly my father, Euthydemus, or is he the father of all other men? Of all other me n, he replied. Do you suppose the same person to be a father and not a father? C ertainly, I did so imagine, said Ctesippus. And do you suppose that gold is not gold, or that a man is not a man? They are not 'in pari materia,' Euthydemus, sa id Ctesippus, and you had better take care, for it is monstrous to suppose that your father is the father of all. But he is, he replied. What, of men only, said Ctesippus, or of horses and of all other animals? Of all, he said. And your mot her, too, is the mother of all? Yes, our mother too. Yes; and your mother has a progeny of sea-urchins then? Yes; and yours, he said. And gudgeons and puppies a nd pigs are your brothers? And yours too. And your papa is a dog? And so is your s, he said. If you will answer my questions, said Dionysodorus, I will soon extr act the same admissions from you, Ctesippus. You say that you have a dog. 235

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Yes, a villain of a one, said Ctesippus. And he has puppies? Yes, and they are v ery like himself. And the dog is the father of them? Yes, he said, I certainly s aw him and the mother of the puppies come together. And is he not yours? To be s ure he is. Then he is a father, and he is yours; ergo, he is your father, and th e puppies are your brothers. Let me ask you one little question more, said Diony sodorus, quickly interposing, in order that Ctesippus might not get in his word: You beat this dog? Ctesippus said, laughing, Indeed I do; and I only wish that I could beat you instead of him. Then you beat your father, he said. I should ha ve far more reason to beat yours, said Ctesippus; what could he have been thinki ng of when he begat such wise sons? much good has this father of you and your br ethren the puppies got out of this wisdom of yours. But neither he nor you, Ctes ippus, have any need of much good. And have you no need, Euthydemus? he said. Ne ither I nor any other man; for tell me now, Ctesippus, if you think it good or e vil for a man who is sick to drink medicine when he wants it; or to go to war ar med rather than unarmed. Good, I say. And yet I know that I am going to be caugh t in one of your charming puzzles. That, he replied, you will discover, if you a nswer; since you admit medicine to be good for a man to drink, when wanted, must it not be good for him to drink as much as possible; when he takes his medicine , a cartload of hellebore will not be too much for him? Ctesippus said: Quite so , Euthydemus, that is to say, if he who drinks is as big as the statue of Delphi . And seeing that in war to have arms is a good thing, he ought to have as many spears and shields as possible? 236

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Very true, said Ctesippus; and do you think, Euthydemus, that he ought to have o ne shield only, and one spear? I do. And would you arm Geryon and Briareus in th at way? Considering that you and your companion fight in armour, I thought that you would have known better...Here Euthydemus held his peace, but Dionysodorus r eturned to the previous answer of Ctesippus and said: Do you not think that the p ossession of gold is a good thing? Yes, said Ctesippus, and the more the better. And to have money everywhere and always is a good? Certainly, a great good, he said. And you admit gold to be a good? Certainly, he replied. And ought not a ma n then to have gold everywhere and always, and as much as possible in himself, a nd may he not be deemed the happiest of men who has three talents of gold in his belly, and a talent in his pate, and a stater of gold in either eye? Yes, Euthy demus, said Ctesippus; and the Scythians reckon those who have gold in their own skulls to be the happiest and bravest of men (that is only another instance of your manner of speaking about the dog and father), and what is still more extrao rdinary, they drink out of their own skulls gilt, and see the inside of them, an d hold their own head in their hands. And do the Scythians and others see that w hich has the quality of vision, or that which has not? said Euthydemus. That whi ch has the quality of vision clearly. And you also see that which has the qualit y of vision? he said. [Note: the ambiguity of (Greek), 'things visible and able to see,' (Greek), 'the speaking of the silent,' the silent denoting either the s peaker or the subject of the speech, cannot be perfectly rendered in English.] C ompare Aristot. Soph. Elenchi (Poste's translation): 'Of ambiguous propositions t he following are instances: 'I hope that you the enemy may slay. 'Whom one knows, he knows. Either the person knowing or the person known is here affirmed to kno w. 237

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus 'What one sees, that one sees: one sees a pillar: ergo, that one pillar sees. 'W hat you ARE holding, that you are: you are holding a stone: ergo, a stone you ar e. 'Is a speaking of the silent possible? "The silent" denotes either the speake r are the subject of speech. 'There are three kinds of ambiguity of term or prop osition. The first is when there is an equal linguistic propriety in several int erpretations; the second when one is improper but customary; the third when the ambiguity arises in the combination of elements that are in themselves unambiguo us, as in "knowing letters." "Knowing" and "letters" are perhaps separately unam biguous, but in combination may imply either that the letters are known, or that they themselves have knowledge. Such are the modes in which propositions and te rms may be ambiguous.' Yes, I do. Then do you see our garments? Yes. Then our ga rments have the quality of vision. They can see to any extent, said Ctesippus. W hat can they see? Nothing; but you, my sweet man, may perhaps imagine that they do not see; and certainly, Euthydemus, you do seem to me to have been caught nap ping when you were not asleep, and that if it be possible to speak and say nothi ngyou are doing so. And may there not be a silence of the speaker? said Dionysodo rus. Impossible, said Ctesippus. Or a speaking of the silent? That is still more impossible, he said. But when you speak of stones, wood, iron bars, do you not speak of the silent? Not when I pass a smithy; for then the iron bars make a tre mendous noise and outcry if they are touched: so that here your wisdom is strang ely mistaken; please, however, to tell me how you can be silent when speaking (I thought that Ctesippus was put upon his mettle because Cleinias was present). W hen you are silent, said Euthydemus, is there not a silence of all things? 238

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Yes, he said. But if speaking things are included in all things, then the speaki ng are silent. What, said Ctesippus; then all things are not silent? Certainly n ot, said Euthydemus. Then, my good friend, do they all speak? Yes; those which s peak. Nay, said Ctesippus, but the question which I ask is whether all things ar e silent or speak? Neither and both, said Dionysodorus, quickly interposing; I a m sure that you will be 'non-plussed' at that answer. Here Ctesippus, as his man ner was, burst into a roar of laughter; he said, That brother of yours, Euthydem us, has got into a dilemma; all is over with him. This delighted Cleinias, whose laughter made Ctesippus ten times as uproarious; but I cannot help thinking tha t the rogue must have picked up this answer from them; for there has been no wis dom like theirs in our time. Why do you laugh, Cleinias, I said, at such solemn and beautiful things? Why, Socrates, said Dionysodorus, did you ever see a beaut iful thing? Yes, Dionysodorus, I replied, I have seen many. Were they other than the beautiful, or the same as the beautiful? Now I was in a great quandary at h aving to answer this question, and I thought that I was rightly served for havin g opened my mouth at all: I said however, They are not the same as absolute beau ty, but they have beauty present with each of them. And are you an ox because an ox is present with you, or are you Dionysodorus, because Dionysodorus is presen t with you? God forbid, I replied. But how, he said, by reason of one thing bein g present with another, will one thing be another? Is that your difficulty? I sa id. For I was beginning to imitate their skill, on which my heart was set. Of co urse, he replied, I and all the world are in a difficulty about the non-existent . What do you mean, Dionysodorus? I said. Is not the honourable honourable and t he base base? 239

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus That, he said, is as I please. And do you please? Yes, he said. And you will adm it that the same is the same, and the other other; for surely the other is not t he same; I should imagine that even a child will hardly deny the other to be oth er. But I think, Dionysodorus, that you must have intentionally missed the last question; for in general you and your brother seem to me to be good workmen in y our own department, and to do the dialectician's business excellently well. What , said he, is the business of a good workman? tell me, in the first place, whose business is hammering? The smith's. And whose the making of pots? The potter's. And who has to kill and skin and mince and boil and roast? The cook, I said. An d if a man does his business he does rightly? Certainly. And the business of the cook is to cut up and skin; you have admitted that? Yes, I have admitted that, but you must not be too hard upon me. Then if some one were to kill, mince, boil , roast the cook, he would do his business, and if he were to hammer the smith, and make a pot of the potter, he would do their business. Poseidon, I said, this is the crown of wisdom; can I ever hope to have such wisdom of my own? And woul d you be able, Socrates, to recognize this wisdom when it has become your own? C ertainly, I said, if you will allow me. What, he said, do you think that you kno w what is your own? Yes, I do, subject to your correction; for you are the botto m, and Euthydemus is the top, of all my wisdom. 240

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Is not that which you would deem your own, he said, that which you have in your own power, and which you are able to use as you would desire, for example, an ox or a sheepwould you not think that which you could sell and give and sacrifice t o any god whom you pleased, to be your own, and that which you could not give or sell or sacrifice you would think not to be in your own power? Yes, I said (for I was certain that something good would come out of the questions, which I was impatient to hear); yes, such things, and such things only are mine. Yes, he sai d, and you would mean by animals living beings? Yes, I said. You agree then, tha t those animals only are yours with which you have the power to do all these thi ngs which I was just naming? I agree. Then, after a pause, in which he seemed to be lost in the contemplation of something great, he said: Tell me, Socrates, ha ve you an ancestral Zeus? Here, anticipating the final move, like a person caugh t in a net, who gives a desperate twist that he may get away, I said: No, Dionys odorus, I have not. What a miserable man you must be then, he said; you are not an Athenian at all if you have no ancestral gods or temples, or any other mark o f gentility. Nay, Dionysodorus, I said, do not be rough; good words, if you plea se; in the way of religion I have altars and temples, domestic and ancestral, an d all that other Athenians have. And have not other Athenians, he said, an ances tral Zeus? That name, I said, is not to be found among the Ionians, whether colo nists or citizens of Athens; an ancestral Apollo there is, who is the father of Ion, and a family Zeus, and a Zeus guardian of the phratry, and an Athene guardi an of the phratry. But the name of ancestral Zeus is unknown to us. No matter, s aid Dionysodorus, for you admit that you have Apollo, Zeus, and Athene. Certainl y, I said. And they are your gods, he said. Yes, I said, my lords and ancestors. At any rate they are yours, he said, did you not admit that? I did, I said; wha t is going to happen to me? 241

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus And are not these gods animals? for you admit that all things which have life ar e animals; and have not these gods life? They have life, I said. Then are they n ot animals? They are animals, I said. And you admitted that of animals those are yours which you could give away or sell or offer in sacrifice, as you pleased? I did admit that, Euthydemus, and I have no way of escape. Well then, said he, i f you admit that Zeus and the other gods are yours, can you sell them or give th em away or do what you will with them, as you would with other animals? At this I was quite struck dumb, Crito, and lay prostrate. Ctesippus came to the rescue. Bravo, Heracles, brave words, said he. Bravo Heracles, or is Heracles a Bravo? said Dionysodorus. Poseidon, said Ctesippus, what awful distinctions. I will hav e no more of them; the pair are invincible. Then, my dear Crito, there was unive rsal applause of the speakers and their words, and what with laughing and clappi ng of hands and rejoicings the two men were quite overpowered; for hitherto thei r partisans only had cheered at each successive hit, but now the whole company s houted with delight until the columns of the Lyceum returned the sound, seeming to sympathize in their joy. To such a pitch was I affected myself, that I made a speech, in which I acknowledged that I had never seen the like of their wisdom; I was their devoted servant, and fell to praising and admiring of them. What ma rvellous dexterity of wit, I said, enabled you to acquire this great perfection in such a short time? There is much, indeed, to admire in your words, Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, but there is nothing that I admire more than your magnanimous disregard of any opinionwhether of the many, or of the grave and reverend seigni orsyou regard only those who are like yourselves. And I do verily believe that th ere are few who are like you, and who would approve of such arguments; the major ity of mankind are so ignorant of their value, that they would be more ashamed o f employing them in the refutation of others than of being refuted by them. I mu st further express my approval of your kind and public-spirited denial of all di fferences, whether of good and evil, white or black, or any other; the result of which is that, as you say, every mouth is sewn up, not excepting your own, whic h graciously follows the example of others; and thus all ground of offence is ta ken away. But what appears to me to be more than all is, that this art and inven tion of yours has been so admirably contrived by you, that in a very short time it can be imparted to any one. I observed that Ctesippus learned to imitate you in no time. Now this quickness of attainment is an excellent thing; but at the s ame time I would advise you not to have any more public entertainments; there is a danger that men may undervalue an art which they have so easy an opportunity of acquiring; the exhibition would be best of all, if the 242

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus discussion were confined to your two selves; but if there must be an audience, l et him only be present who is willing to pay a handsome fee;you should be careful of this;and if you are wise, you will also bid your disciples discourse with no man but you and themselves. For only what is rare is valuable; and 'water,' whic h, as Pindar says, is the 'best of all things,' is also the cheapest. And now I have only to request that you will receive Cleinias and me among your pupils. Su ch was the discussion, Crito; and after a few more words had passed between us w e went away. I hope that you will come to them with me, since they say that they are able to teach any one who will give them money; no age or want of capacity is an impediment. And I must repeat one thing which they said, for your especial benefit,that the learning of their art did not at all interfere with the busines s of money-making. CRITO: Truly, Socrates, though I am curious and ready to lear n, yet I fear that I am not like-minded with Euthydemus, but one of the other so rt, who, as you were saying, would rather be refuted by such arguments than use them in refutation of others. And though I may appear ridiculous in venturing to advise you, I think that you may as well hear what was said to me by a man of v ery considerable pretensionshe was a professor of legal oratorywho came away from you while I was walking up and down. 'Crito,' said he to me, 'are you giving no attention to these wise men?' 'No, indeed,' I said to him; 'I could not get with in hearing of themthere was such a crowd.' 'You would have heard something worth hearing if you had.' 'What was that?' I said. 'You would have heard the greatest masters of the art of rhetoric discoursing.' 'And what did you think of them?' I said. 'What did I think of them?' he said:'theirs was the sort of discourse whi ch anybody might hear from men who were playing the fool, and making much ado ab out nothing.' That was the expression which he used. 'Surely,' I said, 'philosop hy is a charming thing.' 'Charming!' he said; 'what simplicity! philosophy is no ught; and I think that if you had been present you would have been ashamed of yo ur friendhis conduct was so very strange in placing himself at the mercy of men w ho care not what they say, and fasten upon every word. And these, as I was telli ng you, are supposed to be the most eminent professors of their time. But the tr uth is, Crito, that the study itself and the men themselves are utterly mean and ridiculous.' Now censure of the pursuit, Socrates, whether coming from him or f rom others, appears to me to be undeserved; but as to the impropriety of holding a public discussion with such men, there, I confess that, in my opinion, he was in the right. SOCRATES: O Crito, they are marvellous men; but what was I going to say? First of all let me know;What manner of man was he who came up to you and censured philosophy; was he an orator who himself practises in the courts, or a n instructor of orators, who makes the speeches with which they do battle? CRITO : He was certainly not an orator, and I doubt whether he had ever been into cour t; but they say that he knows the business, and is a clever man, and composes wo nderful speeches. SOCRATES: Now I understand, Crito; he is one of an amphibious class, whom I was on the point of mentioningone of those whom Prodicus describes as on the border-ground between philosophers and statesmenthey think that they ar e the wisest of all men, and that they are generally esteemed the wisest; nothin g but the rivalry of the philosophers stands in their way; and they are of the o pinion that if they can prove the philosophers to be good for nothing, no one wi ll dispute their title to the palm of wisdom, for that they are themselves reall y the wisest, although they are apt to be mauled by 243

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus Euthydemus and his friends, when they get hold of them in conversation. This opi nion which they entertain of their own wisdom is very natural; for they have a c ertain amount of philosophy, and a certain amount of political wisdom; there is reason in what they say, for they argue that they have just enough of both, and so they keep out of the way of all risks and conflicts and reap the fruits of th eir wisdom. CRITO: What do you say of them, Socrates? There is certainly somethi ng specious in that notion of theirs. SOCRATES: Yes, Crito, there is more specio usness than truth; they cannot be made to understand the nature of intermediates . For all persons or things, which are intermediate between two other things, an d participate in both of themif one of these two things is good and the other evi l, are better than the one and worse than the other; but if they are in a mean b etween two good things which do not tend to the same end, they fall short of eit her of their component elements in the attainment of their ends. Only in the cas e when the two component elements which do not tend to the same end are evil is the participant better than either. Now, if philosophy and political action are both good, but tend to different ends, and they participate in both, and are in a mean between them, then they are talking nonsense, for they are worse than eit her; or, if the one be good and the other evil, they are better than the one and worse than the other; only on the supposition that they are both evil could the re be any truth in what they say. I do not think that they will admit that their two pursuits are either wholly or partly evil; but the truth is, that these phi losopher-politicians who aim at both fall short of both in the attainment of the ir respective ends, and are really third, although they would like to stand firs t. There is no need, however, to be angry at this ambition of theirswhich may be forgiven; for every man ought to be loved who says and manfully pursues and work s out anything which is at all like wisdom: at the same time we shall do well to see them as they really are. CRITO: I have often told you, Socrates, that I am in a constant difficulty about my two sons. What am I to do with them? There is no hurry about the younger one, who is only a child; but the other, Critobulus, is getting on, and needs some one who will improve him. I cannot help thinking, when I hear you talk, that there is a sort of madness in many of our anxieties a bout our children:in the first place, about marrying a wife of good family to be the mother of them, and then about heaping up money for themand yet taking no car e about their education. But then again, when I contemplate any of those who pre tend to educate others, I am amazed. To me, if I am to confess the truth, they a ll seem to be such outrageous beings: so that I do not know how I can advise the youth to study philosophy. SOCRATES: Dear Crito, do you not know that in every profession the inferior sort are numerous and good for nothing, and the good are few and beyond all price: for example, are not gymnastic and rhetoric and money -making and the art of the general, noble arts? CRITO: Certainly they are, in my judgment. SOCRATES: Well, and do you not see that in each of these arts the man y are ridiculous performers? CRITO: Yes, indeed, that is very true. 244

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthydemus SOCRATES: And will you on this account shun all these pursuits yourself and refu se to allow them to your son? CRITO: That would not be reasonable, Socrates. SOC RATES: Do you then be reasonable, Crito, and do not mind whether the teachers of philosophy are good or bad, but think only of philosophy herself. Try and exami ne her well and truly, and if she be evil seek to turn away all men from her, an d not your sons only; but if she be what I believe that she is, then follow her and serve her, you and your house, as the saying is, and be of good cheer. 245

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro The Project Gutenberg EBook of Euthyphro, by Plato This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may c opy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Licen se included with this eBook or online at Title: Euthyphro Author: Plato Translator: Benjamin Jowett Release Date: Novembe r 23, 2008 [EBook #1642] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** STA RT OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EUTHYPHRO *** Produced by Sue Asscher, and David Widger EUTHYPHRO By Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett 246

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro INTRODUCTION. In the Meno, Anytus had parted from Socrates with the significant words: 'That i n any city, and particularly in the city of Athens, it is easier to do men harm than to do them good;' and Socrates was anticipating another opportunity of talk ing with him. In the Euthyphro, Socrates is awaiting his trial for impiety. But before the trial begins, Plato would like to put the world on their trial, and c onvince them of ignorance in that very matter touching which Socrates is accused . An incident which may perhaps really have occurred in the family of Euthyphro, a learned Athenian diviner and soothsayer, furnishes the occasion of the discus sion. This Euthyphro and Socrates are represented as meeting in the porch of the King Archon. (Compare Theaet.) Both have legal business in hand. Socrates is de fendant in a suit for impiety which Meletus has brought against him (it is remar ked by the way that he is not a likely man himself to have brought a suit agains t another); and Euthyphro too is plaintiff in an action for murder, which he has brought against his own father. The latter has originated in the following mann er:A poor dependant of the family had slain one of their domestic slaves in Naxos . The guilty person was bound and thrown into a ditch by the command of Euthyphr o's father, who sent to the interpreters of religion at Athens to ask what shoul d be done with him. Before the messenger came back the criminal had died from hu nger and exposure. This is the origin of the charge of murder which Euthyphro br ings against his father. Socrates is confident that before he could have underta ken the responsibility of such a prosecution, he must have been perfectly inform ed of the nature of piety and impiety; and as he is going to be tried for impiet y himself, he thinks that he cannot do better than learn of Euthyphro (who will be admitted by everybody, including the judges, to be an unimpeachable authority ) what piety is, and what is impiety. What then is piety? Euthyphro, who, in the abundance of his knowledge, is very willing to undertake all the responsibility , replies: That piety is doing as I do, prosecuting your father (if he is guilty ) on a charge of murder; doing as the gods doas Zeus did to Cronos, and Cronos to Uranus. Socrates has a dislike to these tales of mythology, and he fancies that this dislike of his may be the reason why he is charged with impiety. 'Are they really true?' 'Yes, they are;' and Euthyphro will gladly tell Socrates some mor e of them. But Socrates would like first of all to have a more satisfactory answ er to the question, 'What is piety?' 'Doing as I do, charging a father with murd er,' may be a single instance of piety, but can hardly be regarded as a general definition. Euthyphro replies, that 'Piety is what is dear to the gods, and impi ety is what is not dear to them.' But may there not be differences of opinion, a s among men, so also among the gods? Especially, about good and evil, which have no fixed rule; and these are precisely the sort of differences which give rise to quarrels. And therefore what may be dear to one god may not be dear to anothe r, and the same action may be both pious and impious; e.g. your chastisement of your father, Euthyphro, may be dear or pleasing to Zeus (who inflicted a similar chastisement on his own father), but not equally pleasing to Cronos or Uranus ( who suffered at the hands of their sons). 247

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro Euthyphro answers that there is no difference of opinion, either among gods or m en, as to the propriety of punishing a murderer. Yes, rejoins Socrates, when the y know him to be a murderer; but you are assuming the point at issue. If all the circumstances of the case are considered, are you able to show that your father was guilty of murder, or that all the gods are agreed in approving of our prose cution of him? And must you not allow that what is hated by one god may be liked by another? Waiving this last, however, Socrates proposes to amend the definiti on, and say that 'what all the gods love is pious, and what they all hate is imp ious.' To this Euthyphro agrees. Socrates proceeds to analyze the new form of th e definition. He shows that in other cases the act precedes the state; e.g. the act of being carried, loved, etc. precedes the state of being carried, loved, et c., and therefore that which is dear to the gods is dear to the gods because it is first loved of them, not loved of them because it is dear to them. But the pi ous or holy is loved by the gods because it is pious or holy, which is equivalen t to saying, that it is loved by them because it is dear to them. Here then appe ars to be a contradiction,Euthyphro has been giving an attribute or accident of p iety only, and not the essence. Euthyphro acknowledges himself that his explanat ions seem to walk away or go round in a circle, like the moving figures of Daeda lus, the ancestor of Socrates, who has communicated his art to his descendants. Socrates, who is desirous of stimulating the indolent intelligence of Euthyphro, raises the question in another manner: 'Is all the pious just?' 'Yes.' 'Is all the just pious?' 'No.' 'Then what part of justice is piety?' Euthyphro replies t hat piety is that part of justice which 'attends' to the gods, as there is anoth er part of justice which 'attends' to men. But what is the meaning of 'attending ' to the gods? The word 'attending,' when applied to dogs, horses, and men, impl ies that in some way they are made better. But how do pious or holy acts make th e gods any better? Euthyphro explains that he means by pious acts, acts of servi ce or ministration. Yes; but the ministrations of the husbandman, the physician, and the builder have an end. To what end do we serve the gods, and what do we h elp them to accomplish? Euthyphro replies, that all these difficult questions ca nnot be resolved in a short time; and he would rather say simply that piety is k nowing how to please the gods in word and deed, by prayers and sacrifices. In ot her words, says Socrates, piety is 'a science of asking and giving' asking what w e want and giving what they want; in short, a mode of doing business between god s and men. But although they are the givers of all good, how can we give them an y good in return? 'Nay, but we give them honour.' Then we give them not what is beneficial, but what is pleasing or dear to them; and this is the point which ha s been already disproved. Socrates, although weary of the subterfuges and evasio ns of Euthyphro, remains unshaken in his conviction that he must know the nature of piety, or he would never have prosecuted his old father. He is still hoping that he will condescend to instruct him. But Euthyphro is in a hurry and cannot stay. And Socrates' last hope of knowing the nature of piety before he is prosec uted for impiety has disappeared. As in the Euthydemus the irony is carried on t o the end. The Euthyphro is manifestly designed to contrast the real nature of p iety and impiety with the popular conceptions of them. But when the popular conc eptions of them have been overthrown, Socrates does not offer any definition of his own: as in the Laches and Lysis, he prepares the way for an answer to the qu estion which he has raised; but true to his own character, refuses to answer him self. 248

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro Euthyphro is a religionist, and is elsewhere spoken of, if he be the same person , as the author of a philosophy of names, by whose 'prancing steeds' Socrates in the Cratylus is carried away. He has the conceit and self-confidence of a Sophi st; no doubt that he is right in prosecuting his father has ever entered into hi s mind. Like a Sophist too, he is incapable either of framing a general definiti on or of following the course of an argument. His wrong-headedness, one-sidednes s, narrowness, positiveness, are characteristic of his priestly office. His fail ure to apprehend an argument may be compared to a similar defect which is observ able in the rhapsode Ion. But he is not a bad man, and he is friendly to Socrate s, whose familiar sign he recognizes with interest. Though unable to follow him he is very willing to be led by him, and eagerly catches at any suggestion which saves him from the trouble of thinking. Moreover he is the enemy of Meletus, wh o, as he says, is availing himself of the popular dislike to innovations in reli gion in order to injure Socrates; at the same time he is amusingly confident tha t he has weapons in his own armoury which would be more than a match for him. He is quite sincere in his prosecution of his father, who has accidentally been gu ilty of homicide, and is not wholly free from blame. To purge away the crime app ears to him in the light of a duty, whoever may be the criminal. Thus begins the contrast between the religion of the letter, or of the narrow and unenlightened conscience, and the higher notion of religion which Socrates vainly endeavours to elicit from him. 'Piety is doing as I do' is the idea of religion which first occurs to him, and to many others who do not say what they think with equal fra nkness. For men are not easily persuaded that any other religion is better than their own; or that other nations, e.g. the Greeks in the time of Socrates, were equally serious in their religious beliefs and difficulties. The chief differenc e between us and them is, that they were slowly learning what we are in process of forgetting. Greek mythology hardly admitted of the distinction between accide ntal homicide and murder: that the pollution of blood was the same in both cases is also the feeling of the Athenian diviner. He had not as yet learned the less on, which philosophy was teaching, that Homer and Hesiod, if not banished from t he state, or whipped out of the assembly, as Heracleitus more rudely proposed, a t any rate were not to be appealed to as authorities in religion; and he is read y to defend his conduct by the examples of the gods. These are the very tales wh ich Socrates cannot abide; and his dislike of them, as he suspects, has branded him with the reputation of impiety. Here is one answer to the question, 'Why Soc rates was put to death,' suggested by the way. Another is conveyed in the words, 'The Athenians do not care about any man being thought wise until he begins to make other men wise; and then for some reason or other they are angry:' which ma y be said to be the rule of popular toleration in most other countries, and not at Athens only. In the course of the argument Socrates remarks that the controve rsial nature of morals and religion arises out of the difficulty of verifying th em. There is no measure or standard to which they can be referred. The next defi nition, 'Piety is that which is loved of the gods,' is shipwrecked on a refined distinction between the state and the act, corresponding respectively to the adj ective (philon) and the participle (philoumenon), or rather perhaps to the parti ciple and the verb (philoumenon and phileitai). The act is prior to the state (a s in Aristotle the energeia precedes the dunamis); and the state of being loved is preceded by the act of being loved. But piety or holiness is preceded by the act of being pious, not by the act of being loved; and therefore piety and the s tate of being loved are different. Through such subtleties of dialectic Socrates is working his way into a deeper region of thought and feeling. He means to say that the words 'loved of the gods' express an attribute only, and not the essen ce of piety. 249

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro Then follows the third and last definition, 'Piety is a part of justice.' Thus f ar Socrates has proceeded in placing religion on a moral foundation. He is seeki ng to realize the harmony of religion and morality, which the great poets Aeschy lus, Sophocles, and Pindar had unconsciously anticipated, and which is the unive rsal want of all men. To this the soothsayer adds the ceremonial element, 'atten ding upon the gods.' When further interrogated by Socrates as to the nature of t his 'attention to the gods,' he replies, that piety is an affair of business, a science of giving and asking, and the like. Socrates points out the anthropomorp hism of these notions, (compare Symp.; Republic; Politicus.) But when we expect him to go on and show that the true service of the gods is the service of the sp irit and the co-operation with them in all things true and good, he stops short; this was a lesson which the soothsayer could not have been made to understand, and which every one must learn for himself. There seem to be altogether three ai ms or interests in this little Dialogue: (1) the dialectical development of the idea of piety; (2) the antithesis of true and false religion, which is carried t o a certain extent only; (3) the defence of Socrates. The subtle connection with the Apology and the Crito; the holding back of the conclusion, as in the Charmi des, Lysis, Laches, Protagoras, and other Dialogues; the deep insight into the r eligious world; the dramatic power and play of the two characters; the inimitabl e irony, are reasons for believing that the Euthyphro is a genuine Platonic writ ing. The spirit in which the popular representations of mythology are denounced recalls Republic II. The virtue of piety has been already mentioned as one of fi ve in the Protagoras, but is not reckoned among the four cardinal virtues of Rep ublic IV. The figure of Daedalus has occurred in the Meno; that of Proteus in th e Euthydemus and Io. The kingly science has already appeared in the Euthydemus, and will reappear in the Republic and Statesman. But neither from these nor any other indications of similarity or difference, and still less from arguments res pecting the suitableness of this little work to aid Socrates at the time of his trial or the reverse, can any evidence of the date be obtained. EUTHYPHRO PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, Euthyphro. SCENE: The Porch of the King Archo n. EUTHYPHRO: Why have you left the Lyceum, Socrates? and what are you doing in the Porch of the King Archon? Surely you cannot be concerned in a suit before th e King, like myself? SOCRATES: Not in a suit, Euthyphro; impeachment is the word which the Athenians use. EUTHYPHRO: What! I suppose that some one has been pros ecuting you, for I cannot believe that you are the prosecutor of another. SOCRAT ES: Certainly not. 250

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro EUTHYPHRO: Then some one else has been prosecuting you? SOCRATES: Yes. EUTHYPHRO : And who is he? SOCRATES: A young man who is little known, Euthyphro; and I har dly know him: his name is Meletus, and he is of the deme of Pitthis. Perhaps you may remember his appearance; he has a beak, and long straight hair, and a beard which is ill grown. EUTHYPHRO: No, I do not remember him, Socrates. But what is the charge which he brings against you? SOCRATES: What is the charge? Well, a v ery serious charge, which shows a good deal of character in the young man, and f or which he is certainly not to be despised. He says he knows how the youth are corrupted and who are their corruptors. I fancy that he must be a wise man, and seeing that I am the reverse of a wise man, he has found me out, and is going to accuse me of corrupting his young friends. And of this our mother the state is to be the judge. Of all our political men he is the only one who seems to me to begin in the right way, with the cultivation of virtue in youth; like a good hus bandman, he makes the young shoots his first care, and clears away us who are th e destroyers of them. This is only the first step; he will afterwards attend to the elder branches; and if he goes on as he has begun, he will be a very great p ublic benefactor. EUTHYPHRO: I hope that he may; but I rather fear, Socrates, th at the opposite will turn out to be the truth. My opinion is that in attacking y ou he is simply aiming a blow at the foundation of the state. But in what way do es he say that you corrupt the young? SOCRATES: He brings a wonderful accusation against me, which at first hearing excites surprise: he says that I am a poet o r maker of gods, and that I invent new gods and deny the existence of old ones; this is the ground of his indictment. EUTHYPHRO: I understand, Socrates; he mean s to attack you about the familiar sign which occasionally, as you say, comes to you. He thinks that you are a neologian, and he is going to have you up before the court for this. He knows that such a charge is readily received by the world , as I myself know too well; for when I speak in the assembly about divine thing s, and foretell the future to them, they laugh at me and think me a madman. Yet every word that I say is true. But they are jealous of us all; and we must be br ave and go at them. SOCRATES: Their laughter, friend Euthyphro, is not a matter of much consequence. For a man may be thought wise; but the Athenians, I suspect , do not much trouble themselves about him until he begins to impart his wisdom to others, and then for some reason or other, perhaps, as you say, from jealousy , they are angry. EUTHYPHRO: I am never likely to try their temper in this way. 251

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: I dare say not, for you are reserved in your behaviour, and seldom imp art your wisdom. But I have a benevolent habit of pouring out myself to everybod y, and would even pay for a listener, and I am afraid that the Athenians may thi nk me too talkative. Now if, as I was saying, they would only laugh at me, as yo u say that they laugh at you, the time might pass gaily enough in the court; but perhaps they may be in earnest, and then what the end will be you soothsayers o nly can predict. EUTHYPHRO: I dare say that the affair will end in nothing, Socr ates, and that you will win your cause; and I think that I shall win my own. SOC RATES: And what is your suit, Euthyphro? are you the pursuer or the defendant? E UTHYPHRO: I am the pursuer. SOCRATES: Of whom? EUTHYPHRO: You will think me mad when I tell you. SOCRATES: Why, has the fugitive wings? EUTHYPHRO: Nay, he is no t very volatile at his time of life. SOCRATES: Who is he? EUTHYPHRO: My father. SOCRATES: Your father! my good man? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: And of what is he accused? EUTHYPHRO: Of murder, Socrates. SOCRATES: By the powers, Euthyphro! how little does the common herd know of the nature of right and truth. A man must b e an extraordinary man, and have made great strides in wisdom, before he could h ave seen his way to bring such an action. EUTHYPHRO: Indeed, Socrates, he must. SOCRATES: I suppose that the man whom your father murdered was one of your relat ivesclearly he was; for if he had been a stranger you would never have thought of prosecuting him. EUTHYPHRO: I am amused, Socrates, at your making a distinction between one who is a relation and one who is not a relation; for surely the pol lution is the same in either case, if you knowingly associate with the murderer when you ought to clear yourself and him by proceeding against him. The real que stion is whether the murdered man has been justly slain. If justly, then your du ty is to let 252

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro the matter alone; but if unjustly, then even if the murderer lives under the sam e roof with you and eats at the same table, proceed against him. Now the man who is dead was a poor dependant of mine who worked for us as a field labourer on o ur farm in Naxos, and one day in a fit of drunken passion he got into a quarrel with one of our domestic servants and slew him. My father bound him hand and foo t and threw him into a ditch, and then sent to Athens to ask of a diviner what h e should do with him. Meanwhile he never attended to him and took no care about him, for he regarded him as a murderer; and thought that no great harm would be done even if he did die. Now this was just what happened. For such was the effec t of cold and hunger and chains upon him, that before the messenger returned fro m the diviner, he was dead. And my father and family are angry with me for takin g the part of the murderer and prosecuting my father. They say that he did not k ill him, and that if he did, the dead man was but a murderer, and I ought not to take any notice, for that a son is impious who prosecutes a father. Which shows , Socrates, how little they know what the gods think about piety and impiety. SO CRATES: Good heavens, Euthyphro! and is your knowledge of religion and of things pious and impious so very exact, that, supposing the circumstances to be as you state them, you are not afraid lest you too may be doing an impious thing in br inging an action against your father? EUTHYPHRO: The best of Euthyphro, and that which distinguishes him, Socrates, from other men, is his exact knowledge of al l such matters. What should I be good for without it? SOCRATES: Rare friend! I t hink that I cannot do better than be your disciple. Then before the trial with M eletus comes on I shall challenge him, and say that I have always had a great in terest in religious questions, and now, as he charges me with rash imaginations and innovations in religion, I have become your disciple. You, Meletus, as I sha ll say to him, acknowledge Euthyphro to be a great theologian, and sound in his opinions; and if you approve of him you ought to approve of me, and not have me into court; but if you disapprove, you should begin by indicting him who is my t eacher, and who will be the ruin, not of the young, but of the old; that is to s ay, of myself whom he instructs, and of his old father whom he admonishes and ch astises. And if Meletus refuses to listen to me, but will go on, and will not sh ift the indictment from me to you, I cannot do better than repeat this challenge in the court. EUTHYPHRO: Yes, indeed, Socrates; and if he attempts to indict me I am mistaken if I do not find a flaw in him; the court shall have a great deal more to say to him than to me. SOCRATES: And I, my dear friend, knowing this, a m desirous of becoming your disciple. For I observe that no one appears to notic e younot even this Meletus; but his sharp eyes have found me out at once, and he has indicted me for impiety. And therefore, I adjure you to tell me the nature o f piety and impiety, which you said that you knew so well, and of murder, and of other offences against the gods. What are they? Is not piety in every action al ways the same? and impiety, againis it not always the opposite of piety, and also the same with itself, having, as impiety, one notion which includes whatever is impious? EUTHYPHRO: To be sure, Socrates. SOCRATES: And what is piety, and what is impiety? 253

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro EUTHYPHRO: Piety is doing as I am doing; that is to say, prosecuting any one who is guilty of murder, sacrilege, or of any similar crimewhether he be your father or mother, or whoever he may bethat makes no difference; and not to prosecute th em is impiety. And please to consider, Socrates, what a notable proof I will giv e you of the truth of my words, a proof which I have already given to others:of t he principle, I mean, that the impious, whoever he may be, ought not to go unpun ished. For do not men regard Zeus as the best and most righteous of the gods?and yet they admit that he bound his father (Cronos) because he wickedly devoured hi s sons, and that he too had punished his own father (Uranus) for a similar reaso n, in a nameless manner. And yet when I proceed against my father, they are angr y with me. So inconsistent are they in their way of talking when the gods are co ncerned, and when I am concerned. SOCRATES: May not this be the reason, Euthyphr o, why I am charged with impietythat I cannot away with these stories about the g ods? and therefore I suppose that people think me wrong. But, as you who are wel l informed about them approve of them, I cannot do better than assent to your su perior wisdom. What else can I say, confessing as I do, that I know nothing abou t them? Tell me, for the love of Zeus, whether you really believe that they are true. EUTHYPHRO: Yes, Socrates; and things more wonderful still, of which the wo rld is in ignorance. SOCRATES: And do you really believe that the gods fought wi th one another, and had dire quarrels, battles, and the like, as the poets say, and as you may see represented in the works of great artists? The temples are fu ll of them; and notably the robe of Athene, which is carried up to the Acropolis at the great Panathenaea, is embroidered with them. Are all these tales of the gods true, Euthyphro? EUTHYPHRO: Yes, Socrates; and, as I was saying, I can tell you, if you would like to hear them, many other things about the gods which wou ld quite amaze you. SOCRATES: I dare say; and you shall tell me them at some oth er time when I have leisure. But just at present I would rather hear from you a more precise answer, which you have not as yet given, my friend, to the question , What is 'piety'? When asked, you only replied, Doing as you do, charging your father with murder. EUTHYPHRO: And what I said was true, Socrates. SOCRATES: No doubt, Euthyphro; but you would admit that there are many other pious acts? EUTH YPHRO: There are. SOCRATES: Remember that I did not ask you to give me two or th ree examples of piety, but to explain the general idea which makes all pious thi ngs to be pious. Do you not recollect that there was one idea which made the imp ious impious, and the pious pious? EUTHYPHRO: I remember. 254

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: Tell me what is the nature of this idea, and then I shall have a stand ard to which I may look, and by which I may measure actions, whether yours or th ose of any one else, and then I shall be able to say that such and such an actio n is pious, such another impious. EUTHYPHRO: I will tell you, if you like. SOCRA TES: I should very much like. EUTHYPHRO: Piety, then, is that which is dear to t he gods, and impiety is that which is not dear to them. SOCRATES: Very good, Eut hyphro; you have now given me the sort of answer which I wanted. But whether wha t you say is true or not I cannot as yet tell, although I make no doubt that you will prove the truth of your words. EUTHYPHRO: Of course. SOCRATES: Come, then, and let us examine what we are saying. That thing or person which is dear to th e gods is pious, and that thing or person which is hateful to the gods is impiou s, these two being the extreme opposites of one another. Was not that said? EUTH YPHRO: It was. SOCRATES: And well said? EUTHYPHRO: Yes, Socrates, I thought so; it was certainly said. SOCRATES: And further, Euthyphro, the gods were admitted to have enmities and hatreds and differences? EUTHYPHRO: Yes, that was also said . SOCRATES: And what sort of difference creates enmity and anger? Suppose for ex ample that you and I, my good friend, differ about a number; do differences of t his sort make us enemies and set us at variance with one another? Do we not go a t once to arithmetic, and put an end to them by a sum? EUTHYPHRO: True. SOCRATES : Or suppose that we differ about magnitudes, do we not quickly end the differen ces by measuring? EUTHYPHRO: Very true. SOCRATES: And we end a controversy about heavy and light by resorting to a weighing machine? EUTHYPHRO: To be sure. 255

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: But what differences are there which cannot be thus decided, and which therefore make us angry and set us at enmity with one another? I dare say the a nswer does not occur to you at the moment, and therefore I will suggest that the se enmities arise when the matters of difference are the just and unjust, good a nd evil, honourable and dishonourable. Are not these the points about which men differ, and about which when we are unable satisfactorily to decide our differen ces, you and I and all of us quarrel, when we do quarrel? (Compare Alcib.) EUTHY PHRO: Yes, Socrates, the nature of the differences about which we quarrel is suc h as you describe. SOCRATES: And the quarrels of the gods, noble Euthyphro, when they occur, are of a like nature? EUTHYPHRO: Certainly they are. SOCRATES: They have differences of opinion, as you say, about good and evil, just and unjust, honourable and dishonourable: there would have been no quarrels among them, if t here had been no such differenceswould there now? EUTHYPHRO: You are quite right. SOCRATES: Does not every man love that which he deems noble and just and good, and hate the opposite of them? EUTHYPHRO: Very true. SOCRATES: But, as you say, people regard the same things, some as just and others as unjust, about these the y dispute; and so there arise wars and fightings among them. EUTHYPHRO: Very tru e. SOCRATES: Then the same things are hated by the gods and loved by the gods, a nd are both hateful and dear to them? EUTHYPHRO: True. SOCRATES: And upon this v iew the same things, Euthyphro, will be pious and also impious? EUTHYPHRO: So I should suppose. SOCRATES: Then, my friend, I remark with surprise that you have not answered the question which I asked. For I certainly did not ask you to tell me what action is both pious and impious: but now it would seem that what is lo ved by the gods is also hated by them. And therefore, Euthyphro, in thus chastis ing your father you may very likely be doing what is agreeable to Zeus but disag reeable to Cronos or Uranus, and what is acceptable to Hephaestus but unacceptab le to Here, and there may be other gods who have similar differences of opinion. 256

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro EUTHYPHRO: But I believe, Socrates, that all the gods would be agreed as to the propriety of punishing a murderer: there would be no difference of opinion about that. SOCRATES: Well, but speaking of men, Euthyphro, did you ever hear any one arguing that a murderer or any sort of evil-doer ought to be let off? EUTHYPHRO : I should rather say that these are the questions which they are always arguing , especially in courts of law: they commit all sorts of crimes, and there is not hing which they will not do or say in their own defence. SOCRATES: But do they a dmit their guilt, Euthyphro, and yet say that they ought not to be punished? EUT HYPHRO: No; they do not. SOCRATES: Then there are some things which they do not venture to say and do: for they do not venture to argue that the guilty are to b e unpunished, but they deny their guilt, do they not? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: Then they do not argue that the evil-doer should not be punished, but they argue about the fact of who the evil-doer is, and what he did and when? EUTHYPHRO: Tr ue. SOCRATES: And the gods are in the same case, if as you assert they quarrel a bout just and unjust, and some of them say while others deny that injustice is d one among them. For surely neither God nor man will ever venture to say that the doer of injustice is not to be punished? EUTHYPHRO: That is true, Socrates, in the main. SOCRATES: But they join issue about the particularsgods and men alike; and, if they dispute at all, they dispute about some act which is called in ques tion, and which by some is affirmed to be just, by others to be unjust. Is not t hat true? EUTHYPHRO: Quite true. SOCRATES: Well then, my dear friend Euthyphro, do tell me, for my better instruction and information, what proof have you that in the opinion of all the gods a servant who is guilty of murder, and is put in chains by the master of the dead man, and dies because he is put in chains befor e he who bound him can learn from the interpreters of the gods what he ought to do with him, dies unjustly; and that on behalf of such an one a son ought to pro ceed against his father and accuse him of murder. How would you show that all th e gods absolutely agree in approving of his act? Prove to me that they do, and I will applaud your wisdom as long as I live. EUTHYPHRO: It will be a difficult t ask; but I could make the matter very clear indeed to you. 257

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: I understand; you mean to say that I am not so quick of apprehension a s the judges: for to them you will be sure to prove that the act is unjust, and hateful to the gods. EUTHYPHRO: Yes indeed, Socrates; at least if they will list en to me. SOCRATES: But they will be sure to listen if they find that you are a good speaker. There was a notion that came into my mind while you were speaking; I said to myself: 'Well, and what if Euthyphro does prove to me that all the go ds regarded the death of the serf as unjust, how do I know anything more of the nature of piety and impiety? for granting that this action may be hateful to the gods, still piety and impiety are not adequately defined by these distinctions, for that which is hateful to the gods has been shown to be also pleasing and de ar to them.' And therefore, Euthyphro, I do not ask you to prove this; I will su ppose, if you like, that all the gods condemn and abominate such an action. But I will amend the definition so far as to say that what all the gods hate is impi ous, and what they love pious or holy; and what some of them love and others hat e is both or neither. Shall this be our definition of piety and impiety? EUTHYPH RO: Why not, Socrates? SOCRATES: Why not! certainly, as far as I am concerned, E uthyphro, there is no reason why not. But whether this admission will greatly as sist you in the task of instructing me as you promised, is a matter for you to c onsider. EUTHYPHRO: Yes, I should say that what all the gods love is pious and h oly, and the opposite which they all hate, impious. SOCRATES: Ought we to enquir e into the truth of this, Euthyphro, or simply to accept the mere statement on o ur own authority and that of others? What do you say? EUTHYPHRO: We should enqui re; and I believe that the statement will stand the test of enquiry. SOCRATES: W e shall know better, my good friend, in a little while. The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods be cause it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods. EUTHYPHRO: I do not understand your meaning, Socrates. SOCRATES: I will endeavour to explain: we, s peak of carrying and we speak of being carried, of leading and being led, seeing and being seen. You know that in all such cases there is a difference, and you know also in what the difference lies? EUTHYPHRO: I think that I understand. SOC RATES: And is not that which is beloved distinct from that which loves? EUTHYPHR O: Certainly. 258

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: Well; and now tell me, is that which is carried in this state of carry ing because it is carried, or for some other reason? EUTHYPHRO: No; that is the reason. SOCRATES: And the same is true of what is led and of what is seen? EUTHY PHRO: True. SOCRATES: And a thing is not seen because it is visible, but convers ely, visible because it is seen; nor is a thing led because it is in the state o f being led, or carried because it is in the state of being carried, but the con verse of this. And now I think, Euthyphro, that my meaning will be intelligible; and my meaning is, that any state of action or passion implies previous action or passion. It does not become because it is becoming, but it is in a state of b ecoming because it becomes; neither does it suffer because it is in a state of s uffering, but it is in a state of suffering because it suffers. Do you not agree ? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: Is not that which is loved in some state either of b ecoming or suffering? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: And the same holds as in the pre vious instances; the state of being loved follows the act of being loved, and no t the act the state. EUTHYPHRO: Certainly. SOCRATES: And what do you say of piet y, Euthyphro: is not piety, according to your definition, loved by all the gods? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: Because it is pious or holy, or for some other reason ? EUTHYPHRO: No, that is the reason. SOCRATES: It is loved because it is holy, n ot holy because it is loved? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: And that which is dear to the gods is loved by them, and is in a state to be loved of them because it is loved of them? EUTHYPHRO: Certainly. 259

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: Then that which is dear to the gods, Euthyphro, is not holy, nor is th at which is holy loved of God, as you affirm; but they are two different things. EUTHYPHRO: How do you mean, Socrates? SOCRATES: I mean to say that the holy has been acknowledged by us to be loved of God because it is holy, not to be holy b ecause it is loved. EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: But that which is dear to the gods is dear to them because it is loved by them, not loved by them because it is de ar to them. EUTHYPHRO: True. SOCRATES: But, friend Euthyphro, if that which is h oly is the same with that which is dear to God, and is loved because it is holy, then that which is dear to God would have been loved as being dear to God; but if that which is dear to God is dear to him because loved by him, then that whic h is holy would have been holy because loved by him. But now you see that the re verse is the case, and that they are quite different from one another. For one ( theophiles) is of a kind to be loved cause it is loved, and the other (osion) is loved because it is of a kind to be loved. Thus you appear to me, Euthyphro, wh en I ask you what is the essence of holiness, to offer an attribute only, and no t the essencethe attribute of being loved by all the gods. But you still refuse t o explain to me the nature of holiness. And therefore, if you please, I will ask you not to hide your treasure, but to tell me once more what holiness or piety really is, whether dear to the gods or not (for that is a matter about which we will not quarrel); and what is impiety? EUTHYPHRO: I really do not know, Socrate s, how to express what I mean. For somehow or other our arguments, on whatever g round we rest them, seem to turn round and walk away from us. SOCRATES: Your wor ds, Euthyphro, are like the handiwork of my ancestor Daedalus; and if I were the sayer or propounder of them, you might say that my arguments walk away and will not remain fixed where they are placed because I am a descendant of his. But no w, since these notions are your own, you must find some other gibe, for they cer tainly, as you yourself allow, show an inclination to be on the move. EUTHYPHRO: Nay, Socrates, I shall still say that you are the Daedalus who sets arguments i n motion; not I, certainly, but you make them move or go round, for they would n ever have stirred, as far as I am concerned. SOCRATES: Then I must be a greater than Daedalus: for whereas he only made his own inventions to move, I move those of other people as well. And the beauty of it is, that I would rather not. For I would give the wisdom of Daedalus, and the wealth of Tantalus, to be able to d etain them and keep them fixed. But enough of this. As I perceive that you are l azy, I will myself endeavour to show you how you might instruct me in the nature of piety; and I hope that you will not grudge your labour. Tell me, thenIs not t hat which is pious necessarily just? 260

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: And is, then, all which is just pious? or, is that whi ch is pious all just, but that which is just, only in part and not all, pious? E UTHYPHRO: I do not understand you, Socrates. SOCRATES: And yet I know that you a re as much wiser than I am, as you are younger. But, as I was saying, revered fr iend, the abundance of your wisdom makes you lazy. Please to exert yourself, for there is no real difficulty in understanding me. What I mean I may explain by a n illustration of what I do not mean. The poet (Stasinus) sings 'Of Zeus, the aut hor and creator of all these things, You will not tell: for where there is fear there is also reverence.' Now I disagree with this poet. Shall I tell you in wha t respect? EUTHYPHRO: By all means. SOCRATES: I should not say that where there is fear there is also reverence; for I am sure that many persons fear poverty an d disease, and the like evils, but I do not perceive that they reverence the obj ects of their fear. EUTHYPHRO: Very true. SOCRATES: But where reverence is, ther e is fear; for he who has a feeling of reverence and shame about the commission of any action, fears and is afraid of an ill reputation. EUTHYPHRO: No doubt. SO CRATES: Then we are wrong in saying that where there is fear there is also rever ence; and we should say, where there is reverence there is also fear. But there is not always reverence where there is fear; for fear is a more extended notion, and reverence is a part of fear, just as the odd is a part of number, and numbe r is a more extended notion than the odd. I suppose that you follow me now? EUTH YPHRO: Quite well. SOCRATES: That was the sort of question which I meant to rais e when I asked whether the just is always the pious, or the pious always the jus t; and whether there may not be justice where there is not piety; for justice is the more extended notion of which piety is only a part. Do you dissent? EUTHYPH RO: No, I think that you are quite right. SOCRATES: Then, if piety is a part of justice, I suppose that we should enquire what part? If you had pursued the enqu iry in the previous cases; for instance, if you had asked me what is an even num ber, 261

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro and what part of number the even is, I should have had no difficulty in replying , a number which represents a figure having two equal sides. Do you not agree? E UTHYPHRO: Yes, I quite agree. SOCRATES: In like manner, I want you to tell me wh at part of justice is piety or holiness, that I may be able to tell Meletus not to do me injustice, or indict me for impiety, as I am now adequately instructed by you in the nature of piety or holiness, and their opposites. EUTHYPHRO: Piety or holiness, Socrates, appears to me to be that part of justice which attends t o the gods, as there is the other part of justice which attends to men. SOCRATES : That is good, Euthyphro; yet still there is a little point about which I shoul d like to have further information, What is the meaning of 'attention'? For atte ntion can hardly be used in the same sense when applied to the gods as when appl ied to other things. For instance, horses are said to require attention, and not every person is able to attend to them, but only a person skilled in horsemansh ip. Is it not so? EUTHYPHRO: Certainly. SOCRATES: I should suppose that the art of horsemanship is the art of attending to horses? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: Nor is every one qualified to attend to dogs, but only the huntsman? EUTHYPHRO: Tru e. SOCRATES: And I should also conceive that the art of the huntsman is the art of attending to dogs? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: As the art of the oxherd is the art of attending to oxen? EUTHYPHRO: Very true. SOCRATES: In like manner holines s or piety is the art of attending to the gods?that would be your meaning, Euthyp hro? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: And is not attention always designed for the good or benefit of that to which the attention is given? As in the case of horses, y ou may observe that when attended to by the horseman's art they are benefited an d improved, are they not? EUTHYPHRO: True. 262

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: As the dogs are benefited by the huntsman's art, and the oxen by the a rt of the oxherd, and all other things are tended or attended for their good and not for their hurt? EUTHYPHRO: Certainly, not for their hurt. SOCRATES: But for their good? EUTHYPHRO: Of course. SOCRATES: And does piety or holiness, which h as been defined to be the art of attending to the gods, benefit or improve them? Would you say that when you do a holy act you make any of the gods better? EUTH YPHRO: No, no; that was certainly not what I meant. SOCRATES: And I, Euthyphro, never supposed that you did. I asked you the question about the nature of the at tention, because I thought that you did not. EUTHYPHRO: You do me justice, Socra tes; that is not the sort of attention which I mean. SOCRATES: Good: but I must still ask what is this attention to the gods which is called piety? EUTHYPHRO: I t is such, Socrates, as servants show to their masters. SOCRATES: I understanda s ort of ministration to the gods. EUTHYPHRO: Exactly. SOCRATES: Medicine is also a sort of ministration or service, having in view the attainment of some objectwo uld you not say of health? EUTHYPHRO: I should. SOCRATES: Again, there is an art which ministers to the ship-builder with a view to the attainment of some resul t? EUTHYPHRO: Yes, Socrates, with a view to the building of a ship. SOCRATES: As there is an art which ministers to the house-builder with a view to the buildin g of a house? EUTHYPHRO: Yes. SOCRATES: And now tell me, my good friend, about t he art which ministers to the gods: what work does that help to accomplish? For you must surely know if, as you say, you are of all men living the one who is be st instructed in religion. 263

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro EUTHYPHRO: And I speak the truth, Socrates. SOCRATES: Tell me then, oh tell mewha t is that fair work which the gods do by the help of our ministrations? EUTHYPHR O: Many and fair, Socrates, are the works which they do. SOCRATES: Why, my frien d, and so are those of a general. But the chief of them is easily told. Would yo u not say that victory in war is the chief of them? EUTHYPHRO: Certainly. SOCRAT ES: Many and fair, too, are the works of the husbandman, if I am not mistaken; b ut his chief work is the production of food from the earth? EUTHYPHRO: Exactly. SOCRATES: And of the many and fair things done by the gods, which is the chief o r principal one? EUTHYPHRO: I have told you already, Socrates, that to learn all these things accurately will be very tiresome. Let me simply say that piety or holiness is learning how to please the gods in word and deed, by prayers and sac rifices. Such piety is the salvation of families and states, just as the impious , which is unpleasing to the gods, is their ruin and destruction. SOCRATES: I th ink that you could have answered in much fewer words the chief question which I asked, Euthyphro, if you had chosen. But I see plainly that you are not disposed to instruct me clearly not: else why, when we reached the point, did you turn as ide? Had you only answered me I should have truly learned of you by this time th e nature of piety. Now, as the asker of a question is necessarily dependent on t he answerer, whither he leads I must follow; and can only ask again, what is the pious, and what is piety? Do you mean that they are a sort of science of prayin g and sacrificing? EUTHYPHRO: Yes, I do. SOCRATES: And sacrificing is giving to the gods, and prayer is asking of the gods? EUTHYPHRO: Yes, Socrates. SOCRATES: Upon this view, then, piety is a science of asking and giving? EUTHYPHRO: You un derstand me capitally, Socrates. SOCRATES: Yes, my friend; the reason is that I am a votary of your science, and give my mind to it, and therefore nothing which you say will be thrown away upon me. Please then to tell me, what is the nature of this service to the gods? Do you mean that we prefer requests and give gifts to them? 264

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro EUTHYPHRO: Yes, I do. SOCRATES: Is not the right way of asking to ask of them wh at we want? EUTHYPHRO: Certainly. SOCRATES: And the right way of giving is to gi ve to them in return what they want of us. There would be no meaning in an art w hich gives to any one that which he does not want. EUTHYPHRO: Very true, Socrate s. SOCRATES: Then piety, Euthyphro, is an art which gods and men have of doing b usiness with one another? EUTHYPHRO: That is an expression which you may use, if you like. SOCRATES: But I have no particular liking for anything but the truth. I wish, however, that you would tell me what benefit accrues to the gods from o ur gifts. There is no doubt about what they give to us; for there is no good thi ng which they do not give; but how we can give any good thing to them in return is far from being equally clear. If they give everything and we give nothing, th at must be an affair of business in which we have very greatly the advantage of them. EUTHYPHRO: And do you imagine, Socrates, that any benefit accrues to the g ods from our gifts? SOCRATES: But if not, Euthyphro, what is the meaning of gift s which are conferred by us upon the gods? EUTHYPHRO: What else, but tributes of honour; and, as I was just now saying, what pleases them? SOCRATES: Piety, then , is pleasing to the gods, but not beneficial or dear to them? EUTHYPHRO: I shou ld say that nothing could be dearer. SOCRATES: Then once more the assertion is r epeated that piety is dear to the gods? EUTHYPHRO: Certainly. SOCRATES: And when you say this, can you wonder at your words not standing firm, but walking away? Will you accuse me of being the Daedalus who makes them walk away, not perceivi ng that there is another and far greater artist than Daedalus who makes them go round in a circle, and he is yourself; for the argument, as you will perceive, c omes round to the same point. Were we not saying that the holy or pious was not the same with that which is loved of the gods? Have you forgotten? EUTHYPHRO: I quite remember. 265

TheDialoguesofPlato:Euthyphro SOCRATES: And are you not saying that what is loved of the gods is holy; and is not this the same as what is dear to themdo you see? EUTHYPHRO: True. SOCRATES: T hen either we were wrong in our former assertion; or, if we were right then, we are wrong now. EUTHYPHRO: One of the two must be true. SOCRATES: Then we must be gin again and ask, What is piety? That is an enquiry which I shall never be wear y of pursuing as far as in me lies; and I entreat you not to scorn me, but to ap ply your mind to the utmost, and tell me the truth. For, if any man knows, you a re he; and therefore I must detain you, like Proteus, until you tell. If you had not certainly known the nature of piety and impiety, I am confident that you wo uld never, on behalf of a serf, have charged your aged father with murder. You w ould not have run such a risk of doing wrong in the sight of the gods, and you w ould have had too much respect for the opinions of men. I am sure, therefore, th at you know the nature of piety and impiety. Speak out then, my dear Euthyphro, and do not hide your knowledge. EUTHYPHRO: Another time, Socrates; for I am in a hurry, and must go now. SOCRATES: Alas! my companion, and will you leave me in despair? I was hoping that you would instruct me in the nature of piety and impi ety; and then I might have cleared myself of Meletus and his indictment. I would have told him that I had been enlightened by Euthyphro, and had given up rash i nnovations and speculations, in which I indulged only through ignorance, and tha t now I am about to lead a better life. 266

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias The Project Gutenberg EBook of Gorgias, by Plato This eBook is for the use of an yone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may cop y it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Gorgias Author: Plato Translator: Benjamin Jowett Release Date: October 5 , 2008 [EBook #1672] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START O F THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GORGIAS *** Produced by Sue Asscher, and David Widger GORGIAS by Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett 267

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias INTRODUCTION. In several of the dialogues of Plato, doubts have arisen among his interpreters as to which of the various subjects discussed in them is the main thesis. The sp eakers have the freedom of conversation; no severe rules of art restrict them, a nd sometimes we are inclined to think, with one of the dramatis personae in the Theaetetus, that the digressions have the greater interest. Yet in the most irre gular of the dialogues there is also a certain natural growth or unity; the begi nning is not forgotten at the end, and numerous allusions and references are int erspersed, which form the loose connecting links of the whole. We must not negle ct this unity, but neither must we attempt to confine the Platonic dialogue on t he Procrustean bed of a single idea. (Compare Introduction to the Phaedrus.) Two tendencies seem to have beset the interpreters of Plato in this matter. First, they have endeavoured to hang the dialogues upon one another by the slightest th reads; and have thus been led to opposite and contradictory assertions respectin g their order and sequence. The mantle of Schleiermacher has descended upon his successors, who have applied his method with the most various results. The value and use of the method has been hardly, if at all, examined either by him or the m. Secondly, they have extended almost indefinitely the scope of each separate d ialogue; in this way they think that they have escaped all difficulties, not see ing that what they have gained in generality they have lost in truth and distinc tness. Metaphysical conceptions easily pass into one another; and the simpler no tions of antiquity, which we can only realize by an effort, imperceptibly blend with the more familiar theories of modern philosophers. An eye for proportion is needed (his own art of measuring) in the study of Plato, as well as of other gr eat artists. We may hardly admit that the moral antithesis of good and pleasure, or the intellectual antithesis of knowledge and opinion, being and appearance, are never far off in a Platonic discussion. But because they are in the backgrou nd, we should not bring them into the foreground, or expect to discern them equa lly in all the dialogues. There may be some advantage in drawing out a little th e main outlines of the building; but the use of this is limited, and may be easi ly exaggerated. We may give Plato too much system, and alter the natural form an d connection of his thoughts. Under the idea that his dialogues are finished wor ks of art, we may find a reason for everything, and lose the highest characteris tic of art, which is simplicity. Most great works receive a new light from a new and original mind. But whether these new lights are true or only suggestive, wi ll depend on their agreement with the spirit of Plato, and the amount of direct evidence which can be urged in support of them. When a theory is running away wi th us, criticism does a friendly office in counselling moderation, and recalling us to the indications of the text. Like the Phaedrus, the Gorgias has puzzled s tudents of Plato by the appearance of two or more subjects. Under the cover of r hetoric higher themes are introduced; the argument expands into a general view o f the good and evil of man. After making an ineffectual attempt to obtain a soun d definition of his art from Gorgias, Socrates assumes the existence of a univer sal art of flattery or simulation having several branches:this is the genus of wh ich rhetoric is only one, and not the highest species. To flattery is opposed th e true and noble art of life which he who possesses seeks always to impart to ot hers, and which at last triumphs, if not here, at any rate in another world. The se two aspects of life and knowledge appear to be the two leading ideas of the d ialogue. The true and the false in individuals and states, in the treatment of t he soul as well as of the body, are conceived 268

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias under the forms of true and false art. In the development of this opposition the re arise various other questions, such as the two famous paradoxes of Socrates ( paradoxes as they are to the world in general, ideals as they may be more worthi ly called): (1) that to do is worse than to suffer evil; and (2) that when a man has done evil he had better be punished than unpunished; to which may be added (3) a third Socratic paradox or ideal, that bad men do what they think best, but not what they desire, for the desire of all is towards the good. That pleasure is to be distinguished from good is proved by the simultaneousness of pleasure a nd pain, and by the possibility of the bad having in certain cases pleasures as great as those of the good, or even greater. Not merely rhetoricians, but poets, musicians, and other artists, the whole tribe of statesmen, past as well as pre sent, are included in the class of flatterers. The true and false finally appear before the judgment-seat of the gods below. The dialogue naturally falls into t hree divisions, to which the three characters of Gorgias, Polus, and Callicles r espectively correspond; and the form and manner change with the stages of the ar gument. Socrates is deferential towards Gorgias, playful and yet cutting in deal ing with the youthful Polus, ironical and sarcastic in his encounter with Callic les. In the first division the question is askedWhat is rhetoric? To this there i s no answer given, for Gorgias is soon made to contradict himself by Socrates, a nd the argument is transferred to the hands of his disciple Polus, who rushes to the defence of his master. The answer has at last to be given by Socrates himse lf, but before he can even explain his meaning to Polus, he must enlighten him u pon the great subject of shams or flatteries. When Polus finds his favourite art reduced to the level of cookery, he replies that at any rate rhetoricians, like despots, have great power. Socrates denies that they have any real power, and h ence arise the three paradoxes already mentioned. Although they are strange to h im, Polus is at last convinced of their truth; at least, they seem to him to fol low legitimately from the premises. Thus the second act of the dialogue closes. Then Callicles appears on the scene, at first maintaining that pleasure is good, and that might is right, and that law is nothing but the combination of the man y weak against the few strong. When he is confuted he withdraws from the argumen t, and leaves Socrates to arrive at the conclusion by himself. The conclusion is that there are two kinds of statesmanship, a higher and a lowerthat which makes the people better, and that which only flatters them, and he exhorts Callicles t o choose the higher. The dialogue terminates with a mythus of a final judgment, in which there will be no more flattery or disguise, and no further use for the teaching of rhetoric. The characters of the three interlocutors also correspond to the parts which are assigned to them. Gorgias is the great rhetorician, now a dvanced in years, who goes from city to city displaying his talents, and is cele brated throughout Greece. Like all the Sophists in the dialogues of Plato, he is vain and boastful, yet he has also a certain dignity, and is treated by Socrate s with considerable respect. But he is no match for him in dialectics. Although he has been teaching rhetoric all his life, he is still incapable of defining hi s own art. When his ideas begin to clear up, he is unwilling to admit that rheto ric can be wholly separated from justice and injustice, and this lingering senti ment of morality, or regard for public opinion, enables Socrates to detect him i n a contradiction. Like Protagoras, he is described as of a generous nature; he expresses his approbation of Socrates' manner of approaching a question; he is q uite 'one of Socrates' sort, ready to be refuted as well as to refute,' and very eager that Callicles and Socrates should have the game out. He knows by experie nce that rhetoric exercises great influence over other men, but he is unable to explain the puzzle how rhetoric can teach everything and know nothing. 269

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias Polus is an impetuous youth, a runaway 'colt,' as Socrates describes him, who wa nted originally to have taken the place of Gorgias under the pretext that the ol d man was tired, and now avails himself of the earliest opportunity to enter the lists. He is said to be the author of a work on rhetoric, and is again mentione d in the Phaedrus, as the inventor of balanced or double forms of speech (compar e Gorg.; Symp.). At first he is violent and ill-mannered, and is angry at seeing his master overthrown. But in the judicious hands of Socrates he is soon restor ed to good-humour, and compelled to assent to the required conclusion. Like Gorg ias, he is overthrown because he compromises; he is unwilling to say that to do is fairer or more honourable than to suffer injustice. Though he is fascinated b y the power of rhetoric, and dazzled by the splendour of success, he is not inse nsible to higher arguments. Plato may have felt that there would be an incongrui ty in a youth maintaining the cause of injustice against the world. He has never heard the other side of the question, and he listens to the paradoxes, as they appear to him, of Socrates with evident astonishment. He can hardly understand t he meaning of Archelaus being miserable, or of rhetoric being only useful in sel f-accusation. When the argument with him has fairly run out. Callicles, in whose house they are assembled, is introduced on the stage: he is with difficulty con vinced that Socrates is in earnest; for if these things are true, then, as he sa ys with real emotion, the foundations of society are upside down. In him another type of character is represented; he is neither sophist nor philosopher, but ma n of the world, and an accomplished Athenian gentleman. He might be described in modern language as a cynic or materialist, a lover of power and also of pleasur e, and unscrupulous in his means of attaining both. There is no desire on his pa rt to offer any compromise in the interests of morality; nor is any concession m ade by him. Like Thrasymachus in the Republic, though he is not of the same weak and vulgar class, he consistently maintains that might is right. His great moti ve of action is political ambition; in this he is characteristically Greek. Like Anytus in the Meno, he is the enemy of the Sophists; but favours the new art of rhetoric, which he regards as an excellent weapon of attack and defence. He is a despiser of mankind as he is of philosophy, and sees in the laws of the state only a violation of the order of nature, which intended that the stronger should govern the weaker (compare Republic). Like other men of the world who are of a speculative turn of mind, he generalizes the bad side of human nature, and has e asily brought down his principles to his practice. Philosophy and poetry alike s upply him with distinctions suited to his view of human life. He has a good will to Socrates, whose talents he evidently admires, while he censures the puerile use which he makes of them. He expresses a keen intellectual interest in the arg ument. Like Anytus, again, he has a sympathy with other men of the world; the At henian statesmen of a former generation, who showed no weakness and made no mist akes, such as Miltiades, Themistocles, Pericles, are his favourites. His ideal o f human character is a man of great passions and great powers, which he has deve loped to the utmost, and which he uses in his own enjoyment and in the governmen t of others. Had Critias been the name instead of Callicles, about whom we know nothing from other sources, the opinions of the man would have seemed to reflect the history of his life. And now the combat deepens. In Callicles, far more tha n in any sophist or rhetorician, is concentrated the spirit of evil against whic h Socrates is contending, the spirit of the world, the spirit of the many conten ding against the one wise man, of which the Sophists, as he describes them in th e Republic, are the imitators rather than the authors, being themselves carried away by the great tide of public opinion. Socrates approaches his antagonist war ily from a distance, with a sort of irony which touches with a light hand both h is personal vices (probably in allusion to some scandal of the day) and his 270

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias servility to the populace. At the same time, he is in most profound earnest, as Chaerephon remarks. Callicles soon loses his temper, but the more he is irritate d, the more provoking and matter of fact does Socrates become. A repartee of his which appears to have been really made to the 'omniscient' Hippias, according t o the testimony of Xenophon (Mem.), is introduced. He is called by Callicles a p opular declaimer, and certainly shows that he has the power, in the words of Gor gias, of being 'as long as he pleases,' or 'as short as he pleases' (compare Pro tag.). Callicles exhibits great ability in defending himself and attacking Socra tes, whom he accuses of trifling and word-splitting; he is scandalized that the legitimate consequences of his own argument should be stated in plain terms; aft er the manner of men of the world, he wishes to preserve the decencies of life. But he cannot consistently maintain the bad sense of words; and getting confused between the abstract notions of better, superior, stronger, he is easily turned round by Socrates, and only induced to continue the argument by the authority o f Gorgias. Once, when Socrates is describing the manner in which the ambitious c itizen has to identify himself with the people, he partially recognizes the trut h of his words. The Socrates of the Gorgias may be compared with the Socrates of the Protagoras and Meno. As in other dialogues, he is the enemy of the Sophists and rhetoricians; and also of the statesmen, whom he regards as another variety of the same species. His behaviour is governed by that of his opponents; the le ast forwardness or egotism on their part is met by a corresponding irony on the part of Socrates. He must speak, for philosophy will not allow him to be silent. He is indeed more ironical and provoking than in any other of Plato's writings: for he is 'fooled to the top of his bent' by the worldliness of Callicles. But he is also more deeply in earnest. He rises higher than even in the Phaedo and C rito: at first enveloping his moral convictions in a cloud of dust and dialectic s, he ends by losing his method, his life, himself, in them. As in the Protagora s and Phaedrus, throwing aside the veil of irony, he makes a speech, but, true t o his character, not until his adversary has refused to answer any more question s. The presentiment of his own fate is hanging over him. He is aware that Socrat es, the single real teacher of politics, as he ventures to call himself, cannot safely go to war with the whole world, and that in the courts of earth he will b e condemned. But he will be justified in the world below. Then the position of S ocrates and Callicles will be reversed; all those things 'unfit for ears polite' which Callicles has prophesied as likely to happen to him in this life, the ins ulting language, the box on the ears, will recoil upon his assailant. (Compare R epublic, and the similar reversal of the position of the lawyer and the philosop her in the Theaetetus). There is an interesting allusion to his own behaviour at the trial of the generals after the battle of Arginusae, which he ironically at tributes to his ignorance of the manner in which a vote of the assembly should b e taken. This is said to have happened 'last year' (B.C. 406), and therefore the assumed date of the dialogue has been fixed at 405 B.C., when Socrates would al ready have been an old man. The date is clearly marked, but is scarcely reconcil able with another indication of time, viz. the 'recent' usurpation of Archelaus, which occurred in the year 413; and still less with the 'recent' death of Peric les, who really died twenty-four years previously (429 B.C.) and is afterwards r eckoned among the statesmen of a past age; or with the mention of Nicias, who di ed in 413, and is nevertheless spoken of as a living witness. But we shall herea fter have reason to observe, that although there is a general consistency of tim es and persons in the Dialogues of Plato, a precise dramatic date is an inventio n of his commentators (Preface to Republic). The conclusion of the Dialogue is r emarkable, (1) for the truly characteristic declaration of Socrates that he is i gnorant of the true nature and bearing of these things, while he affirms at the same time 271

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias that no one can maintain any other view without being ridiculous. The profession of ignorance reminds us of the earlier and more exclusively Socratic Dialogues. But neither in them, nor in the Apology, nor in the Memorabilia of Xenophon, do es Socrates express any doubt of the fundamental truths of morality. He evidentl y regards this 'among the multitude of questions' which agitate human life 'as t he principle which alone remains unshaken.' He does not insist here, any more th an in the Phaedo, on the literal truth of the myth, but only on the soundness of the doctrine which is contained in it, that doing wrong is worse than suffering , and that a man should be rather than seem; for the next best thing to a man's being just is that he should be corrected and become just; also that he should a void all flattery, whether of himself or of others; and that rhetoric should be employed for the maintenance of the right only. The revelation of another life i s a recapitulation of the argument in a figure. (2) Socrates makes the singular remark, that he is himself the only true politician of his age. In other passage s, especially in the Apology, he disclaims being a politician at all. There he i s convinced that he or any other good man who attempted to resist the popular wi ll would be put to death before he had done any good to himself or others. Here he anticipates such a fate for himself, from the fact that he is 'the only man o f the present day who performs his public duties at all.' The two points of view are not really inconsistent, but the difference between them is worth noticing: Socrates is and is not a public man. Not in the ordinary sense, like Alcibiades or Pericles, but in a higher one; and this will sooner or later entail the same consequences on him. He cannot be a private man if he would; neither can he sep arate morals from politics. Nor is he unwilling to be a politician, although he foresees the dangers which await him; but he must first become a better and wise r man, for he as well as Callicles is in a state of perplexity and uncertainty. And yet there is an inconsistency: for should not Socrates too have taught the c itizens better than to put him to death? And now, as he himself says, we will 'r esume the argument from the beginning.' Socrates, who is attended by his insepar able disciple, Chaerephon, meets Callicles in the streets of Athens. He is infor med that he has just missed an exhibition of Gorgias, which he regrets, because he was desirous, not of hearing Gorgias display his rhetoric, but of interrogati ng him concerning the nature of his art. Callicles proposes that they shall go w ith him to his own house, where Gorgias is staying. There they find the great rh etorician and his younger friend and disciple Polus. SOCRATES: Put the question to him, Chaerephon. CHAEREPHON: What question? SOCRATES: Who is he?such a questio n as would elicit from a man the answer, 'I am a cobbler.' Polus suggests that G orgias may be tired, and desires to answer for him. 'Who is Gorgias?' asks Chaer ephon, imitating the manner of his master Socrates. 'One of the best of men, and a proficient in the best and noblest of experimental arts,' etc., replies Polus , in rhetorical and balanced phrases. Socrates is dissatisfied at the length and unmeaningness of the answer; he tells the disconcerted volunteer that he has mi staken the quality for the nature of the art, and remarks to Gorgias, that Polus has learnt how to make a speech, but not how to answer a question. He wishes th at Gorgias would answer him. Gorgias is willing enough, and replies to the quest ion asked by Chaerephon,that he is 272

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias a rhetorician, and in Homeric language, 'boasts himself to be a good one.' At th e request of Socrates he promises to be brief; for 'he can be as long as he plea ses, and as short as he pleases.' Socrates would have him bestow his length on o thers, and proceeds to ask him a number of questions, which are answered by him to his own great satisfaction, and with a brevity which excites the admiration o f Socrates. The result of the discussion may be summed up as follows: Rhetoric tr eats of discourse; but music and medicine, and other particular arts, are also c oncerned with discourse; in what way then does rhetoric differ from them? Gorgia s draws a distinction between the arts which deal with words, and the arts which have to do with external actions. Socrates extends this distinction further, an d divides all productive arts into two classes: (1) arts which may be carried on in silence; and (2) arts which have to do with words, or in which words are coe xtensive with action, such as arithmetic, geometry, rhetoric. But still Gorgias could hardly have meant to say that arithmetic was the same as rhetoric. Even in the arts which are concerned with words there are differences. What then distin guishes rhetoric from the other arts which have to do with words? 'The words whi ch rhetoric uses relate to the best and greatest of human things.' But tell me, Gorgias, what are the best? 'Health first, beauty next, wealth third,' in the wo rds of the old song, or how would you rank them? The arts will come to you in a body, each claiming precedence and saying that her own good is superior to that of the restHow will you choose between them? 'I should say, Socrates, that the ar t of persuasion, which gives freedom to all men, and to individuals power in the state, is the greatest good.' But what is the exact nature of this persuasion?is the persevering retort: You could not describe Zeuxis as a painter, or even as a painter of figures, if there were other painters of figures; neither can you d efine rhetoric simply as an art of persuasion, because there are other arts whic h persuade, such as arithmetic, which is an art of persuasion about odd and even numbers. Gorgias is made to see the necessity of a further limitation, and he n ow defines rhetoric as the art of persuading in the law courts, and in the assem bly, about the just and unjust. But still there are two sorts of persuasion: one which gives knowledge, and another which gives belief without knowledge; and kn owledge is always true, but belief may be either true or false,there is therefore a further question: which of the two sorts of persuasion does rhetoric effect i n courts of law and assemblies? Plainly that which gives belief and not that whi ch gives knowledge; for no one can impart a real knowledge of such matters to a crowd of persons in a few minutes. And there is another point to be considered: w hen the assembly meets to advise about walls or docks or military expeditions, t he rhetorician is not taken into counsel, but the architect, or the general. How would Gorgias explain this phenomenon? All who intend to become disciples, of w hom there are several in the company, and not Socrates only, are eagerly asking:A bout what then will rhetoric teach us to persuade or advise the state? Gorgias i llustrates the nature of rhetoric by adducing the example of Themistocles, who p ersuaded the Athenians to build their docks and walls, and of Pericles, whom Soc rates himself has heard speaking about the middle wall of the Piraeus. He adds t hat he has exercised a similar power over the patients of his brother Herodicus. He could be chosen a physician by the assembly if he pleased, for no physician could compete with a rhetorician in popularity and influence. He could persuade the multitude of anything by the power of his rhetoric; not that the rhetorician ought to abuse this power any more than a boxer should abuse the art of self-de fence. Rhetoric is a good thing, but, like all good things, may be unlawfully us ed. Neither is the teacher of the art to be deemed unjust because his pupils are unjust and make a bad use of the lessons which they have learned from him. 273

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias Socrates would like to know before he replies, whether Gorgias will quarrel with him if he points out a slight inconsistency into which he has fallen, or whethe r he, like himself, is one who loves to be refuted. Gorgias declares that he is quite one of his sort, but fears that the argument may be tedious to the company . The company cheer, and Chaerephon and Callicles exhort them to proceed. Socrat es gently points out the supposed inconsistency into which Gorgias appears to ha ve fallen, and which he is inclined to think may arise out of a misapprehension of his own. The rhetorician has been declared by Gorgias to be more persuasive t o the ignorant than the physician, or any other expert. And he is said to be ign orant, and this ignorance of his is regarded by Gorgias as a happy condition, fo r he has escaped the trouble of learning. But is he as ignorant of just and unju st as he is of medicine or building? Gorgias is compelled to admit that if he di d not know them previously he must learn them from his teacher as a part of the art of rhetoric. But he who has learned carpentry is a carpenter, and he who has learned music is a musician, and he who has learned justice is just. The rhetor ician then must be a just man, and rhetoric is a just thing. But Gorgias has alr eady admitted the opposite of this, viz. that rhetoric may be abused, and that t he rhetorician may act unjustly. How is the inconsistency to be explained? The f allacy of this argument is twofold; for in the first place, a man may know justi ce and not be just here is the old confusion of the arts and the virtues;nor can a ny teacher be expected to counteract wholly the bent of natural character; and s econdly, a man may have a degree of justice, but not sufficient to prevent him f rom ever doing wrong. Polus is naturally exasperated at the sophism, which he is unable to detect; of course, he says, the rhetorician, like every one else, wil l admit that he knows justice (how can he do otherwise when pressed by the inter rogations of Socrates?), but he thinks that great want of manners is shown in br inging the argument to such a pass. Socrates ironically replies, that when old m en trip, the young set them on their legs again; and he is quite willing to retr act, if he can be shown to be in error, but upon one condition, which is that Po lus studies brevity. Polus is in great indignation at not being allowed to use a s many words as he pleases in the free state of Athens. Socrates retorts, that y et harder will be his own case, if he is compelled to stay and listen to them. A fter some altercation they agree (compare Protag.), that Polus shall ask and Soc rates answer. 'What is the art of Rhetoric?' says Polus. Not an art at all, repl ies Socrates, but a thing which in your book you affirm to have created art. Pol us asks, 'What thing?' and Socrates answers, An experience or routine of making a sort of delight or gratification. 'But is not rhetoric a fine thing?' I have n ot yet told you what rhetoric is. Will you ask me another questionWhat is cookery ? 'What is cookery?' An experience or routine of making a sort of delight or gra tification. Then they are the same, or rather fall under the same class, and rhe toric has still to be distinguished from cookery. 'What is rhetoric?' asks Polus once more. A part of a not very creditable whole, which may be termed flattery, is the reply. 'But what part?' A shadow of a part of politics. This, as might b e expected, is wholly unintelligible, both to Gorgias and Polus; and, in order t o explain his meaning to them, Socrates draws a distinction between shadows or a ppearances and realities; e.g. there is real health of body or soul, and the app earance of them; real arts and sciences, and the simulations of them. Now the so ul and body have two arts waiting upon them, first the art of politics, which at tends on the soul, having a legislative part and a judicial part; and another ar t attending on the body, which has no generic name, but may also be described as having two divisions, one of which is medicine and the other gymnastic. Corresp onding with these four arts or sciences there are four shams or simulations of t hem, mere experiences, as they may be termed, because they give no reason of the ir own existence. The art of 274

TheDialoguesofPlato:Gorgias dressing up is the sham or simulation of gymnastic, the art of cookery, of medic ine; rhetoric is the simulation of justice, and sophistic of legislation. They m ay be summed up in an arithmetical formula: Tiring: gymnastic:: cookery: medicine :: sophistic: legislation. And, Cookery: medicine:: rhetoric: the art of justice . And this is the true scheme of them, but when measured only by the gratificati on which they procure, they become jumbled together and return to their aborigin al chaos. Socrates apologizes for the length of his speech, which was necessary to the explanation of the subject, and begs Polus not unnecessarily to retaliate on him. 'Do you mean to say that the rhetoricians are esteemed flatterers?' The y are not esteemed at all. 'Why, have they not great power, and can they not do whatever they desire?' They have no power, and they only do what they think best , and never what they desire; for they never attain the true object of desire, w hich is the good. 'As if you, Socrates, would not envy the possessor of despotic power, who can imprison, exile, kill any one whom he pleases.' But Socrates rep lies that he has no wish to put any one to death; he who kills another, even jus tly, is not to be envied, and he who kills him unjustly is to be pitied; it is b etter to suffer than to do injustice. He does not consider that going about with a dagger and putting men out of the way, or setting a house on fire, is real po wer. To this Polus assents, on the ground that such acts would be punished, but he is still of opinion that evildoers, if they are unpunished, may be happy enou gh. He instances Archelaus, son of Perdiccas, the usurper of Macedonia. Does not Socrates think him happy?Socrates would like to know more about him; he cannot p ronounce even the great king to be happy, unless he knows his mental and moral c ondition. Polus explains that Archelaus was a slave, being the son of a woman wh o was the slave of Alcetas, brother of Perdiccas king of Macedonand he, by eve