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analysis, we must beg leave to differ in regard to one, from the learned professor, and it may be, though we do not distinctly remember, from Ast or Ritter himself, as well as from other of bis German authorities, Schleiermacher, however, we think rather coincides with us; we do it, however, in the confifidence of that constructive criticism, that demands as its first postulate - unity- in the philosophical opinions of a single mind. Plato must not be self-contradictory. Now as this is a point of criticism open even to the unlearned judgment, and as giving a little variety to our lucubrations, we will venture to state it for the benefit of our readers' counsel, or the gratification of their curiosity. It relates to the Cratylus, or 9th, according to Ast's arrangement, of Plato's dialogues. Oftbisour author thus speaks, in accordance, we acknowledge, with high authority:- This is also the key to the Cratylus, (Κρατυλος ή περι ονοματων ορθοτητος,) a dialogue which, by the most singular misconception, has been searched by Greek critics for etymologies, but which is in reality a serious “extravaganza” to expose the Horne Tookeism of the day, and its connection wiih the metaphysics of sophistry.” Again: “ This dialogue is written in ridicule of the etymologies to which the sophists attached so much importance as to make use of them for demonstrations with which to support their propositions. They even went so far as to assert, that we may learn the nature of objects from the words by which they are designated, inasmuch as a perfect accordance prevailed between each thing in nature, and the appellation by which it was known.” A position, this, still farther subsequently enlarged on in our author's more minute examination of the dialogue itself. Now it is to this decision that we beg leave, as admirers of Plato, to demur. We cannot but regard the “ideal theory" of language, as maintained by Hermogenes in this dialogue, (one of its interlocutors, however foreign, as it doubtless was, to the simpler mind of Socrates, as yet but "part and parcel" of that of his more imaginative scholar. Not only do we think, therefore, that Plato was sincere in maintaining the origin of words to be quoei ou teoet, “ of nature," and not“ by arbitrary imposition,” but we think moreover that on his lofty ideal scheme, no other position could have been admitted or engrafted; we might, perhaps, add, that in our judgment, too, none other theory can be by any satisfactorily sustained, certainly at least not in connection with the deeply spiritual philosophy of Plato. If with him we hold that all things “good and fair” in nature, are but imprints “quotmuara," of the FIRST GOOD AND THE FIRST FAIR, what other than a divine origin can we find for that nearest and noblest likeness to him, the god-like quality of reason embodied in human speech - WORDS, symbols as they are of spirit. With Homer, indeed, words were but “winged,” Enka niepoevta. With Plato, they were more “ensouled" and “ living,” Enea (wovta, and only from the Father of life, as he argued, could that living nature be derived. This was indeed a truth embodied in the very language of ancient Greece, deeper, therefore, even than its philosophy- the same word (2070s) standing alike for "speech” and “reason.” A speculation this, which, dared we to venture into its darker depths, might lead us to perceive the sacred application too of that same term by Plato, under the light of reason, to God in his nature as truth, and by St. John, under the clear guidance of revelation, to Him by whom alone God is revealed unto man, the second person of the mysterious Trinity. But for such inquiries this were not the place. Suffice it here to say, that in every language of man is some equivalent union to be found between the name and the spirit - "nomina,” "numina," "yovueva," “words," divinities," 65 thoughts," are all found to be offshoots of the same root.
Such, then, we deem the true solution of the Cratylus - in our view, too, “a misunderstood dialogue;" and that Plato not ironically, but sincerely, and not only sincerely but truly, held words to be quoeu ou 080el. But to close this episode with what we deem cognate authority, from an English classic poet and philosopher; such too is Milton's version of the language of Moses, that the origin of names from the mouth of Adam was by inspiration of knowledge from God.
“I named them as they passed, and understood
Their nature: with such knowledge God endued
Par. Lost, Book 8. 1. 351. For this subject of ancient philosophy generally, we refer to articles Aristoile, Plato, Socrates, Zeno, Pythagoras, etc., etc.
Ancient Literature.—In this department also is there a desideratum made good to the scholar. What before lay scattered through many volumes, or carried out into works of unattainable cost and magnitude, will here be found collected, arranged and condensed, for the student's and critic's
We need not here again tell him of the deeper lights thrown on this path of inquiry by men of whom Lempriere knew nothing — such as the Schlegels, Müller, Hermann, etc., etc. — we content ourselves with referring to the articles where the inquirer will meet with the most extended as well as trustworthy information, accompanied too with guides to the latest and best editions: Æschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Homeric Question, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Ennius, Ovidius, Virgilius, etc., etc.
Ancient Art. — Though the subject of “ Æsthetics "'* is not and could not be directly treated of in this work, yet are its principles frequently though incidentally brought out in connection with the lives and works of the most eminent painters, sculptors, and architects of antiquity. For such see articles in loco, more especially, Apelles, Phidias, Parrhasius, Zeuris, Protagenes, etc.
Ancient Geography. - To clear this “eye” of history from the purblind state in which our author found it in Lempriere, was from the very first, as we have already observed, a leading object with Professor Anthon, correcting and enlarging D'Anville, Lempriere's only authority, by the later and more learned examinations of Malte Brun, Mannert, etc.
A farther merit this part of the work will be found to possess, arises from the ample use here made of modern classical tourists—thus bringing together into one, ancient and modern localities; making geography, ancient and modern, to march, as it were, “sister-like," amicably together - aiding, supporting, and instructing, each the other. On this prolific subject we can but note a few leading articles, such as, Ægyptus, Gallia, Italia, Grecia, Trojan Topography, Persia, etc., etc.
Mythology.-This subject we deem to be the "crucial” test of the Christian scholar. To purify that "cloaca” of its grossness, without depriving it of its use and convenience, is the not easy problem that such inquirer has to solve, as a safe teacher of the young; while to hold it forth for the more reflecting in the light that it doubtless appeared to the eyes of the heathen themselves, as being neither shade nor substance, “ each seeming either” – in itself a lie, and yet shadowing out mighty truths — embodying both the worst and the best features of man's blind, yet sharp-sighted, guilt-stained moral nature; exhibiting him as groping for light, yet resting in willing darkness — as yielding, yet struggling under the destinies of an evil though hated nature—and still ever and anon catching some dim foresight of a Saviour that was yet to come:* this we hold to be the highest as well as the deepest problem that ancient learning, married unto spiritual philosophy, and blessed by revelation, has yet to solve for the satisfaction of the deeply inquiring Christian mind; and if we deem that the speculations herein contained have not fully worked it out, it is because we hold that it has not yet been done. What approximation has been made or is making towards it, by learned and ingenious men, we may at least here ascertain. The increasing interest attached to the deep views of Plato, constitutes, in our judgment, the firmest step yet made in advance towards it. But to this must be added farther elements of power- a more spiritual as well as more critical insight into the “mysteries” of ancient worship,t as well as into the scanty and scattered notices of the “ written” and “unspeakable" dogmas of their philosophersδογματα αγραφα και απορρωτα – open only to the ear of the initiated.
* Though this term may now be considered as fairly domesticated, we yet add, for the benefit of our unlearned as well as un-German readers, that it comes but of late years from that inexhaustible storehouse of technical terms - its meaning, the “science of art” – the term “ Æsthetik” having been first introduced by Baumgarten, about ninety years since — adopted from the Greek aiotaronai, "to feel."
To this, too, should be added, what we are glad to see is now attracting the attention of some of England's deepest thinkers — the “death-struggle,” we mean, of expiring heathenism in the second and third centuries of the Christian era. Even as the ocean in its fury is said to disclose its foundalions, so too, we deem, must the raging waves of error; and therefore in the rationalizing “myths” of Plotinian philosophy add Lucian, too, with his jeering scoffs at the popular mythology, deeper than meet the ear-especially (if his) Neuvoμανια, or more unquestioned περι θυσιων, above all his Προμηθευς, that deepest of Gecian myths, in which Mercury congratulates Prometheus that Jove had not overheard him “revealing secrets” — will, we think, be found the surest guides to the deep roots of heathen mythology. But for such speculations we refer
* See " Second Alcibiades" of Plato, where this expectation is clearly stated. Αλκιβιαδης η περι προσευχης,
on prayer!” We could have wished to have seen this dialogue, with this special feature in it more fully brought out by our author. See Dial. 22.
+ Thus, at least, Cicero advises. "Reminiscere quoniam es initiatus quæ mysteriis trauuntur, tum denique quam hoc laté pateat, intelliges.”—Tus. Disp.
our more thoughtful readers to the following articles in the Dictionary :- Bacchus, Busiris, Hercules, Jupiter, Io, Medea, Dedalus, Minotaur, Delos, etc. etc.
But our work grows upon us, and we must cut it short. On our last proposed point, however, as a popular work of classical reference, we must yet say a few words ere closing. Beside the student and the scholar, this we deem is also a work for the many — full of learning, doubtless, that goes beyond them, and yet full of accessible information on many points of which they stand in need — some more, others less; yet to all at least interesting, even as a knowledge deeply embodied in the intercourse of society, as well as fundamentally engrafted on the literature of our own tongue. He, for instance, who would understand Wordsworth the poet, must not be ignorant of Plato the philosopher. We should be glad, indeed, to hear any such untinctured critic attempt to unfold the meaning of those deep Platonic lines, oftener quoted, certainly, than understood. The stanza, though long, our readers, we doubt not, will thank us for again turning their attention to.
“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting :
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
And not in utter nakedness,
From God, who is our home :
Upon the growing boy;
He sees it in his joy ;
And by the vision splendid,
Is on his way attended;
A crown of bay, again we say, for him who will interpret this without Plato to help him.
* Ode. Intimations of Immortality from recollections of early childhood.