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less is exceeded? and since a weight and the weighing art and the person skilled in weighing decide the heavy and the light, shall we say to him, that the thing going downwards in the scales is heavy, but the thing (going) upwards is light? In like manner if he should ask us—Since speech and the art of judging and the judge is the party who decides what is just and unjust, what is the just and unjust? What answer shall we have to give him? 1 Or have we not a single word to say ?1 We have not. Whether willingly or unwillingly do men, think you, have this injustice? I mean in this way. Think you that they do injustice 2 [and are unj ust] 2 willingly or unwillingly? Willingly, I imagine, Socrates; for they are wicked. [4.] You conceive then that men are willingly wicked and unjust. I do; and do not you? No; at least if we are to be persuaded by the poet.3 What kind of poet? He who said—
Not one is wicked willingly, nor blest
But still on the other hand,4 Socrates, well is the old proverb,5 that
Poets do many falsehoods sing. But I should marvel, if this poet has told a falsehood. Come then,6 if you are at leisure, let us consider, whether he is saying what is false or true. Nay, I am at leisure. Come then, (say,)do you deem it just to tell a falsehood, or to tell the truth? To tell the truth. To tell a falsehood then is unjust? Yes. But whether to deceive or to not deceive? To not deceive, assuredly. To deceive then is unjust? Yes. But what, is it just to hurt, or to benefit? To benefit. To hurt then is unjust? Yes. [5.] It is just then to tell the truth, and to not deceive, and to benefit; but to tell a falsehood, and to hurt,
'—1 The Greek is at present, »/ ovSe iru> i%ofitv direXv— But one MS. reads q one iron— which evidently leads to fj ovl' iv n iiroc— as I have translated. On the loss of eVoc see myself on Prom. 766.
~' The words between the brackets are evidently an interpolation. , Who is the author of the Iambic verse, Oil' tic iiewv Trovtjpbs oil' «w /loVap, is to be still discovered. It is quoted by Aristotle in Nicoraach. Eth. iii. 5.
As rot does not, I believe, elsewhere follow roi, I have translated as if the Greek were iXX' It au—
The words iroXXd vpfifovrat aotSoi, are the end of an hexameter of some unknown poet.
In lieu of ejrei I have translated, as if the Greek were ay on—
and to deceive, unjust. Yes, by Zeus, and greatly so. What, to do so to enemies? By no means. But it is just to do a hurt to enemies, but to do a benefit, unjust. Yes. It is then just by deceiving enemies to do them a hurt? Hot not? Well then, to tell a falsehood in order that we may deceive and do a hurt to enemies, is it not just? It is. But what, do you not say that it is just to do a benefit to friends? I do. Whether by not deceiving or by deceiving for their benefit? By deceiving even, by Zeus. But is it just to do a benefit by deceiving, and yet not by telling a falsehood? or by telling a falsehood? It is just by telling even a falsehood. To tell a falsehood and to tell the truth is, as it seems, both just and unjust. Yes. And to not deceive and to deceive is both just and unjust. So it seems. And to do a hurt and to do a benefit is just and unjust. Yes. All things of this kind are it seems the same, both just and unjust. To me at least they appear so. [6.] Hear then. I have, like other men, a right eye and a left. Yes. And a right nostril and a left. Certainly. And a right hand and a left. Yes. Hence, since after giving the same name, you say that some of my (members) are on the right side, and others on the left, would you not be able to say, if I asked you, on which side they were, that some on one side are the right, and others on the other side the left? Yes. Come then, likewise, to that point,1 since after giving the same name, you say that some acts are just, and some unjust, can you tell which are the just, and which the unjust? To me then it now appears that each of these acts, taking place at a proper time,2 are just; but at not a proper one, unjust. And correctly does it appear to you. He then, who does each of these acts at a proper time, does what is just; but he, who does not at a proper time,3 (does) what is unjust. Yes. He then, who does what is just, is just; but he who does what is unjust, is unjust. It is so. [7.] Who then at a proper time4 is able to cut and burn and to make lean? The medical man. Because he knows, or for
1 I have translated, as if the Greek were, what the language requires, Utlae, not fret —
* * I have here omitted iv rip Katfxf, which is evidently an interpretation of iv rif Siovri, as shown by (?) iv rif Siovri ratpy, and similarly in (4). Boeckh in all the three places would read iv rif Seovri /cai some other reason? Because he knows. And who (is able) at a proper time to dig, and to plough, and to plant? The land-tiller. Because he knows, or because he does not? Because he knows. And in this way as regards other matters, he who knows, is able to do what is proper at a proper time ;1 but he who does not know, is not. Thus it is. And he who knows how to tell falsehoods, and to deceive, and to do a benefit, is able to do each of these things at a proper time ;2 but he who does not know, is not. You say what is true. And he who does these acts at a fitting time is just. Yes. He does them then through knowledge. How not? The just man then is just through knowledge. Yes. The unjust man then is unjust through what is opposite to what is just. It appears so. Now the just man is just through wisdom. Yes. And the unjust man is unjust through the want of instruction. It seems so. [8.] That, which our ancestors left us, as wisdom, seems near to being justice; but that, which (they left) as want of instruction, to be injustice. It is likely. Are men uninstructed willingly, or unwillingly? Unwillingly. Unwillingly then they are unjust. It appears so. But the unjust are wicked. Yes. Unwillingly then persons are wicked and unjust. By all means. But they act unjustly through there being the unjust. Yes. Through an act of unwillingness. Certainly. But that, which is willing, does not take place through what is unwilling. It does not. But the doing of injustice takes place through the existence of injustice. Yes. Now injustice is an involuntary act. Involuntary. Unwillingly then persons do an injustice, and are unjust and wicked. Unwillingly, as it appears. The poet then did not in this case tell a falsehood. It seems not.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SISYPHUS
Of these dialogues, the former is said by Diogenes Inert iii. 62, to be decidedly not written by Plato, and was one of those entitled 'An^aXoi, and attributed to JEschines, son of Charinus, the sausagemaker; of whom Socrates remarked, as we learn from Diog. L. ii. 60, that he was the only person who knew how to honour him properly. Now though no reason is there assigned for the remark, it is not difficult to conceive, by comparing what we know of the conduct of some other pupils of Socrates, such as Critias and Alcibiades, and even Plato, that JEschines not only put in practice the precepts of his master, but gave a true representation of his sentiments, without altering them to suit, as Plato did, his own peculiar notions.
With regard to the subject matter of the dialogue, it may be expressed in the words of Xenophon in Cyrop. i. 6, 46, that "the wisdom of man no more knows how to choose what is best, than if a person were to do whatever might arise from the throw of a die;" a passage quoted opportunely by Davies on Cicero de Nat. Deor. i. 35," Hoc est non considerare, sed quasi sortiri, quid loquare." And it was doubtless from the similarity of subject that Boeckh was led to attribute the Demodocus to the author of the Sisyphus; of which the only separate edition is to be found in my " Plato's Four Dialogues, the Crito, Hippias, Alcibiades, and Sisyphus," published by 7alpy in 1831; while the Demodocus is one of the small portions of the Platonic and Pseudo-Platonic writings, that have never appeared in a separate form.