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Close in their litter 'neath the cowhouse walls, And panting sheep, together packed for warmth, Bleat 'neath the red-tiled shed: the homestead cock,
Long since, amid his dames, hath sought the perch,
At earliest symptom of the waning light,
O, OFTTIMES in the twilight
Of that passionate refrain;
I am waiting the reutterance
It may be an illusion,
A myth, a fancy bare; But it keeps my heart from breaking, And my life from much despair. And as long as life shall linger Comes the echo of each breath, "I will love thee, love, for ever; You may trust me unto death!" Tinsley's Magazine.
FAR off my dream, and yet unearthly fair
Between to-day, and past and future years. Dear as the last fond look the lover holds Between his heart and doubt's oppressive gloom,
Blest as the radiant vista Faith unfolds,
From The Quarterly Review. constantly giving way before the sense of JOWETT'S PLATO.
mutual obligation and dependence, extendThe publication within a short interval ing to all alike. As a consequence of this of two such works as Mr. Grote's “Plato” process, the sympathy and veneration of and Mr. Jowett's translation seems to point men will be increasingly directed towards to a phase of no slight importance in the those elements in the traditions of the past general revival of English philology which which are most cosmopolitan; and thus it has marked the last twenty or thirty will become, more and more, the office of years. The verbal schoļarship of the last literature to represent and interpret that century, brilliant as it undoubtedly was, comparatively hidden view of thought and and important as its results became as the knowledge in which the highest minds have basis of future attainment, was too limited had a part without distinction of race or in its scope and too isolated from other de- nation. partments of knowledge to maintain its
The work before us is eminently fitted hold on education. A period of barren- to aid and direct the movement which we ness and lethargy followed, from which have ventured to anticipate. It has been Arnold was one of the first to deliver the noble task of Mr. Jowett's life, like classical studies. The earlier work of Socrates, “to bring philosophy into the the great historian whom we have recent-market-place,” to awaken the spirit of ly lost has been, perhaps, the main instru- research in active and growing minds, ment in sustaining and extending the and to gain for knowledge and the faith movement. Along with the value which in knowledge their true place in human it had for scholars as a series of investiga- affairs. He has now sought to carry this tions in the field of ancient history, it work into a wider field; and he has aptly possessed a freshness and keenness of
chosen as his subject the philosophers in litical insight, and a sense of the reality whom the Socratic faith bore its worthy and permanence of historical problems, and lifelong fruits; who was raised by which engaged the interest of a much means of it above the narrow completelarger class of readers. The idea of ex- ness of Athenian culture, beyond the limtending the range of popular reading to ited horizon of Greek society ; who created Platonic philosophy – to the speculations, those ideals which are still the ideals of namely, which exhibit the spirit of an- history and of science, but were then, in tiquity in its most abstract form — may be Mr. Jowett's words, “the vacant forms of said to have been first carried out by Dr. | light on which he sought to fix the eyes of Whewell in his “ Platonic Dialogues.” The mankind.” two similar experiments since made, on a
The translation demands more than a larger scale and by far more complete and passing notice, not merely for its high inexhaustive methods, are evidence of an trinsic excellence as a work of literary awakening of interest amounting almost art, but also for the less obvious merit to a new intellectual movement in the which it has as being, in great measure, a educated classes of the country. Other new experiment. The problem, it need considerations put the importance of such not be said, is of the highest order of difbooks in a still stronger light. There is ficulty. A complex Greek period, such as much in the progress of civilization which Plato is accustomed to write, is incapable, tends to give increased value and signifi- as a rule, of being rendered without a saccance to the history of thought. The rifice either of the general effect or of the separate national life which is fed by the grammatical form. The separate clauses recollection of the past struggles and tri- may often be exactly reproduced while the umphs of a nation has been slowly but relation between them is expressed in a
manner which belongs essentially to the • The Dialogues of Plato translated into English, idiom of the Greek language. with Analysis and Introductions. By B. Jowett,“ scholarly rendering,” in such a case, is M.A., Master of Baliol College, Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Oxford. 4 vols. Ox
no more a true copy of the original than a heap of Ionic columns is an Ionic tem
ple. On the other hand, all modern lan- The value of a translation, after all, is guages, through long familiarity with log-chiefly for those who are least able to critical forms, have analyzed many complex icize it. Those who are already acquainted or ambiguous terms, and have gained with Plato will turn to the Introductions, power of brief expression in dealing with and especially to the short essays which abstractions, which obliges the judicious they contain. To students of philosophy, translator sometimes to expand or com- these essays constitute the soul of the ment upon his text; more often, perhaps, book. Their object is to recapitulate the to prune down and condense its language arguments of a dialogue; to expose fallain a seemingly arbitrary way. The diffi- cies ; to point out the eleinent of permaculty of the task lies in deciding whether nent truth which Plato has reached, or to a particular redundancy or ambiguity is which the course of his thought is tending; one of language only, and should vanish to draw out his relation to other systems; in translation, or one of thought, which and, finally, to direct attention to artistic must be studiously preserved. Thus there touches and striking or original features are two leading aims, which may be called in the several pieces. They exhibit in the linear and aerial perspective of Pla- the highest degree the qualities which are tonic translation: the modern arrange- characteristic of Mr. Jowett's style: tersement of clauses, and the modern equiv- ness and point, without the hardness of alents for technical and half-technical mere epigram; and closeness of reasoning, terms.
without the bewildering parade of logical These observations may seem self-evi- form. dent enough: but translators who come The principle of the arrangement to their task, as most modern scholars do, adopted in the work is that each dialogue full of the associations of grammatical should be separately discussed and anateaching, can seldom free themselves from lyzed, no attempt being made to unite the the habit of regarding the “construing" results in a complete or systematic form. as the first consideration. Mr. Jowett has Mr. Jowett evidently attaches considerable seen this danger, and has shown that by importance to this part of his plan, regardlooking to clearness and ease of expres- ing the dogmatic and harmonizing method sion, and using the simplest and most nat- as the most fruitful source of error in the ural English, without aiming at archaic interpretation of Plato. In the same purity or any other artificial style, it is spirit he is careful to preserve the drapossible to render the works of the most matic and conversational form, even when consummate master of language with a he is giving the briefest summary of confidelity of a new order. It is obvious that tents. In all this he is no more than Plathe work, as he has done it, needed the tonic. The dialogue was evidently adoptfinest sense of sustained rhythmical move-ed by Plato as the nearest approach which ment and a rare command of happy and a written composition could make to that suggestive phrases; but much of the suc- which he looked upon as the true instrucess depended upon following a true meth- ment of philosophical enquiry — the living od, or perhaps it would be more exact to play of thought and opinion in dissay, upon consciously avoiding false habits | course : of translation.*
out, is active, and governs púoiv; Mr. Jowett * It was not to be expected that so vast a work makes it passive. should be everywhere free from inaccuracy. We Ib. p. 62 B. και χρώμενος εν οικοδομία και τους bave noted the following:
άλλοις ομοίως κανόσι και τους κύκλιος. Mr. JowPhileb. p. 17 C. “What sounds are grave, and ett has not given sufficiently the force of ouoiwc; what acute" is too periphrastic for ÓFÚTNTÓC TE
" who uses in like manner rules as well as circles," πέρι και βαρύτητος. Sounds are not divided into
ie, in each case alike he uses the divine to the exgrave and acute, but the interval is constituted by a relative
Polit., 273 Α. αρχής τε και τελευτης εναντίον graveness and acuteness. The sense is best
opun opue deiç, “having received an opposite im. given, perhaps, by translating diaothuara, “mu
pulse at both ends," is hardly clear. The meaning sical intervals," and omitting OvTnTÓS K.T.N.
seems to be an impulso which reverses beginning 1b. p. 30 B. Meunxavñolat, as Mr. Poste points and end.
clusion of the human.
“ He who knows the just and good and hon- | to idealize a historical situation, to treat ourable,” he says in the “ Phædrus," “will the speakers as personifications of moralnot seriously incline to write them in water with or political tendencies, is strongly marked pen and ink or in dumb characters, which have both in Herodotus and Thucydides. It not a word to say for themselves, and cannot adequately express the truth. ... In the gar- meant to oppose his ideal Socrates to the
may not be too fanciful to say that Plato den of letters he will plant them only as an caricature which had already gained the ear amusement, or he will write them down as me- of Athens through the genius of Aristophmorials, against the forgetfulness of old age, to
But the character of the Socratic be treasured by him and his equals when they like him have one foot in the grave. . . . But
teaching, as Plato understood and applied nobler far is the serious pursuit of the dialecti- it
, pointed in an especial manner to Socracian who finds a congenial soul, and then with tes as the fitting protagonist in the new know ledge engrafts and sows words which are cycle of dramas. The older philosophies, able to help themselves and him who planted he tells us, delivered their wisdom in a them, and are not unfruitful, but have in them somewhat oracular form ; " they went on seeds which may bear fruit in other natures, their several ways with a good deal of disnurtured in other ways — making the seed ever- dain of people like ourselves; they did not lasting, and the possessors happy to the utmost care whether they took us with them or extent of human happiness.” — vol. i. p. 612. left us behind them” (vol. iii. p. 506). Soc
It is true that in many of Plato's writ-rates represented the principle of ceaseless ings the dialogue is a mere form. In the research : his method is a perpetual living greater part of the “ Republic ” there is no process. It is therefore in a manner indereal discussion; all the arguments are put pendent of any one life, for it is “ graven into the mouth of Socrates. The Eleatic in the soul of him who has learned, and Stranger in the “Sophist” prefers discus-can defend itself, and knows when to speak sion, but only with a pleasant and facile and when to be silent” (vol. iii. p. 611). respondent; and in the “ Laws" the tone No positive opinions or discoveries could is almost wholly dogmatic. To the last, be attributed in a strict modern sense to however, Plato retains the conversational Socrates; yet all that was gained by his form, and, it may be added, the theory of method might be treated as implicitly bephilosophical method of which it was the longing to him. But Plato's habit of enexpression. For it is easily seen that to deavouring to carry on the thoughts of Plato's mind the merits of dialogue and his predecessors is not confined to Socrathe evils of sustained or “ epideictic "tes. Thus in the “ Theætetus ” he is at speaking were in great measure symboli- pains to draw out what Protagoras might cal. The one represented and exemplified say in answer to certain objections (vol. iii. the Socratic spirit — freedom from fore- p. 388 ff.); and he “makes a very valorous gone conclusions, patience and mutual help defence,” sparing no artifice of dramatic in enquiry, acquiescence in ignorance in effect. He admits, however, that he is a preference to the mere show of knowledge. stranger to the cause of Protagoras, who The other contained in it all the opposite might possibly have made a different deelements of passion and illusion; it was fence for himself. With the thoughts of therefore the fitting weapon of pleaders Socrates he has no such hesitation, for he and demagogues.
is one of the heirs (to use his favourite It does not appear that Plato had any comparison) of his master's argument, predecessors in the form of composition entitled to speak without reserve on that which he adopted. Greek philosophy behalf. Yet he avoids representing him clothed herself first in the garb of the epic in contradiction with well-known traits : singer, and afterwards borrowed the fash-in the “ Timæus,” for example, the chief ion of the law-courts. Plato first went part of the dialogue is not assigned to back to living models, and created a fresh Socrates, probably because it was nototype of art from the conversations of Soc- rious that the real Socrates had not farates. In so doing, he obeyed the analo-voured purely physical speculations. gies of Greek literature. The disposition These considerations obviously prepare