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convenience by reducing the price charged for its use; or whether they should be enabled to apply the surplus towards other public objects. Against the latter course it may be said that it will give local bodies opportunities to job, and that it will be taxing one class for the benefit of the other. This would, for instance, be the case if the gas-works of a district were in the hands of a governing body, representing all the householders in the district, and if only a small proportion of those householders use gas; and in such a case it would probably be wise to impose some restriction on the charges and surplus profits to be made by the governing body, or to give those who really use the gas some special power in the management. On the other hand, it may be assumed that in general the ratepayers, as one aggregate class, will be benefitted by all such works as those contemplated; and that it is the mere prudery of finance to require lighting to pay for lighting, and water for water. Looking to the numerous essential wants which demand ever and ever heavier rates, and which will not directly repay themselves—to Education, Health, Drainage, and even Water—there seems to be little reason why, if a Town Council can get a moderate surplus out of Gas or Tramways, they should not apply this surplus to their other pressing needs. The State does so in the case of the Post-office and of Telegraphs, and Manchester has thus used its income from Gas with the best possible effect.
In this way the undertakings we have been discussing might be made to render material assistance to Local Government; and whether they do so or not, the importance of the subject discussed in the above pages is especially great at the present moment when the subject of Local Government and Local Rating is occupying so much attention. It is obvious that a very large part of what are generally considered the functions of Government are in the hands of Joint-Stock Companies, and that no scheme for remodelling these functions can possibly be complete which omits to notice this fact, or fails to regulate for the future the relations between these undertakings and the local governing bodies.
Mr. Goschen's scheme, probably intentionally, leaves these questions untouched, nor does the Report of the Sanitary Commission make any attempt to grapple with them. Possibly, as a matter of policy in carrying a measure for the reform of Local Government, this may be right; but it will certainly be necessary, before these questions can be dealt with as a whole, to consider what are the limits of public and private enterprise in these matters, and under what conditions the latter should be placed. In conclusion, it is to be observed that the experience referred
to in this article is confessedly limited to this country. To obtain in any trustworthy form and to digest the experience of other countries would involve a very serious amount of labour and of discrimination, and the result would far exceed the limits of an article. That this should be the case is perhaps the less to be regretted, since the differences in the circumstances of different countries, dissimilarity in institutions, in habits, and in national character-in the amount of capital seeking investment, in the energy which seeks for new fields of enterprise, and in the skill and labour necessary to conduct new enterprises to a successful result—are so great, that, difficult as it is to come to any sweeping general conclusions from our own national experience, it would still be more difficult, if not impossible, to deduce or establish anything like universal rules from the general practice of civilized nations.
Art. VII.— The Dialogues of Plato translated into English, with
Analysis and Introductions. By B. Jowett, M.A., Master of
Mr. Grote's Plato' and Mr. Jowett's translation seems to point to a phase of no slight importance in the general revival of English philology which has marked the last twenty or thirty years. The verbal scholarship of the last century, brilliant as it undoubtedly was, and important as its results became as the basis of future attainment, was too limited in its scope and too isolated from other departments of knowledge to maintain its hold on education. A period of barrenness and lethargy followed, from which Arnold was one of the first to deliver classical studies. The earlier work of the great historian whom we have recently lost has been, perhaps, the main instrument in sustaining and extending the movement. Along with the value which it had for scholars as a series of investigations in the field of ancient history, it possessed a freshness and keenness of political insight, and a sense of the reality and permanence of historical problems, which engaged the interest of a much larger class of readers. The idea of extending the range of popular reading to Platonic philosophy—to the speculations, namely, which exhibit the spirit of antiquity in its most abstract formmay be said to have been first carried out by Dr. Whewell in his Platonic Dialogues.'* The two similar experiments since Reviewed in the ' Quarterly' of October, 1862.
made, on a larger scale and by far more complete and exhaustive methods, are evidence of an awakening of interest amounting almost to a new intellectual movement in the educated classes of the country. Other considerations put the importance of such books in a still stronger light. There is much in the progress of civilisation which tends to give increased value and significance to the history of thought. The separate national life which is fed by the recollection of the past struggles and triumphs of a nation has been slowly but constantly giving way before the sense of mutual obligation and dependence, extending to all alike. consequence of this process, the sympathy and veneration of men will be increasingly directed towards those elements in the traditions of the past which are most cosmopolitan; and thus it will become, more and more, the office of literature to represent and interpret that comparatively hidden view of thought and knowledge in which the highest minds have had a part without distinction of race or nation.
The work before us is eminently fitted to aid and direct the movement wbich we have ventured to anticipate. It has been the noble task of Mr. Jowett's life, like Socrates,' to bring philosophy into the market-place,' to awaken the spirit of research in active and growing minds, and to gain for knowledge and the faith in knowledge their true place in buman affairs. He has now sought to carry this work into a wider field; and he has aptly chosen as his subject the philosophers in whom the Socratic faith bore its worthy and lifelong fruits; who was raised by means of it above the narrow completeness of Athenian culture, beyond the limited horizon of Greek society; who created those ideals which are still the ideals of history and of science, but were then, in Mr. Jowett's words, 'the vacant forms of light on which he sought to fix the eyes of mankind.'
The translation demands more than a passing notice, nou merely for its high intrinsic excellence as a work of literary art, but also for the less obvious merit which it has as being, in great measure, a new experiment. The problem, it need not be said, is of the highest order of difficulty. A complex Greek period, such as Plato is accustomed to write, is incapable, as a rule, of being rendered without a sacrifice either of the general effect or of the grammatical form. The separate clauses may often be exactly reproduced while the relation between them is expressed in a manner which belongs essentially to the idiom of the Greek language.
A mere scholarly rendering,' in such a case, is no more a true copy of the original than a heap of Ionic columns is an Ionic temple. On the other hand, all modern languages, through long familiarity Vol. 131.–No. 262.
with logical forms, have analysed many complex or ambiguous terms, and have gained power of brief expression in dealing with abstractions, which obliges the judicious translator sometimes to expand or comment upon his text; more often, perhaps, to prune down and condense its language in a seemingly arbitrary way. The difficulty of the task lies in deciding whether a particular redundancy or ambiguity is one of language only, and should vanish in translation,
or one of thought, which must be studiously preserved. Thus there are two leading aims, which may be called the linear and aerial perspective of Platonic translation: the modern arrangement of clauses, and the modern equivalents for technical and half-technical terms.
These observations may seem self-evident enough; but translators who come to their task, as most modern scholars do, full of the associations of grammatical teaching, can seldom free themselves from the habit of regarding the construing 'as the first consideration. Mr. Jowett has seen this danger, and has shown that by looking to clearness and ease of expression, and using the simplest and most natural English, without aiming at archaic purity or any other artificial style, it is possible to render the works of the most consummate master of language with a fidelity of a new order. It is obvious that the work, as he has done it, needed the finest sense of sustained rhythmical movement and a rare command of happy and suggestive phrases ; but much of the success depended upon following a true method, or perhaps it would be more exact to say, upon consciously avoiding false habits of translation.*
The value of a translation, after all, is chiefly for those who are least able to criticise it. Those who are already acquainted with Plato will turn to the Introductions, and especially to the short essays which they contain. To students of philosophy, these essays constitute the soul of the book. Their object is
* It was not to be expected that so vast a work should be everywhere free from inaccuracy. We have noted the following :
Phileb. p. 17 C. What sounds are grave, and what acute' is too periphrastic for óútnTÓS TE TÉpi kai Bapúrntos. Sounds are not divided into grave and acute, but the interval is constituted by a relative graveness and acuteness. The sense is best given, perhaps, by translating diaothuata, 'musical intervals,' and omitting οξύτητός κ.τ.λ.
Ib. p. 30 B. Meunxavñolas, as Mr. Poste points out, is active, and governs púow; Mr. Jowett makes it passive.
Io. p. 62 Β. και χρώμενος εν οικοδομία και τοις άλλοις ομοίως κανόσι και τους KÚklis. Mr. Jowett has not given sufficiently the force of duoiws; 'who uses in like manner rules as well as circles,' i, e. in each case alike he uses the divine to the exclusion of the human.
Polit., 273 Α. αρχής τε και τελευτής εναντίαν ορμήν ορμηθείς, having received an opposite impulse at both ends,' is hardly clear. The meaning seems to be an impulse which reverses beginning and end.
to recapitulate the arguments of a dialogue; to expose fallacies; to point out the element of permanent truth which Plato has reached, or to which the course of his thought is tending; to draw out his relation to other systems; and, finally, to direct attention to artistic touches and striking or original features in the several pieces. They exhibit in the highest degree the qualities which are characteristic of Mr. Jowett's style: terseness and point, without the hardness of mere epigram; and closeness of reasoning, without the bewildering parade of logical form.
The principle of the arrangement adopted in the work is that each dialogue should be separately discussed and analysed, no attempt being made to unite the results in a complete or systematic form. Mr. Jowett evidently attaches considerable importance to this part of his plan, regarding the dogmatic and harmonising method as the most fruitful source of error in the interpretation of Plato. In the same spirit he is careful to preserve the dramatic and conversational form, even when he is giving the briefest summary of contents. In all this he is no more than Platonic. The dialogue was evidently adopted by Plato as the nearest approach which a written composition could make to that which he looked upon as the true instrument of philosophical enquiry—the living play of thought and opinion in discourse:
• He who knows the just and good and honourable,” he says in the • Phædrus,'' will not seriously incline to write them in water with pen and ink or in dumb characters, which have not a word to say for themselves, and cannot adequately express the truth. . . . In the garden of letters he will plant them only as an amusement, or he will write them down as memorials, against the forgetfulness of old age, to be treasured by him and his equals when they like him have one foot in the grave. . . . But nobler far is the serious pursuit of the dialectician who finds a congenial soul, and then with knowledge engrafts and sows words which are able to help themselves and him who planted them, and are not unfruitful, but have in them seeds which may bear fruit in other natures, nurtured in other waysmaking the seed everlasting, and the possessors happy to the utmost extent of human happiness. vol. i. p. 612.
It is true that in many of Plato's writings the dialogue is a mere form. In the greater part of the 'Republic' there is no real discussion; all the arguments are put into the mouth of Socrates. The Eleatic Stranger in the Sophist' prefers discussion, but only with a pleasant and facile respondent; and in the Laws' the tone is almost wholly dogmatic. To the last, however, Plato retains the conversational form, and, it may be
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