Here are suggested also thedistinctions between God causing and permitting evil, and between his moreand less immediate government of the world. 'The arts would utterly perish, and human life, which is bad enoughalready, would become intolerable.'. I admit that there may besomething strange in any servants pretending to be masters, but I hardlythink that I could have been wrong in supposing that the principalclaimants to the throne will be of this class. In theProtagoras, Socrates was maintaining that there was only one virtue, andnot many: now Plato is inclined to think that there are not only parallel,but opposite virtues, and seems to see a similar opposition pervading allart and nature. Please to observe that they can only be fairly judged whencompared with what is meet; and yet not with what is meet for producingpleasure, nor even meet for making discoveries, but for the great end ofdeveloping the dialectical method and sharpening the wits of the auditors.He who censures us, should prove that, if our words had been fewer, theywould have been better calculated to make men dialecticians. The law is just anignorant brute of a tyrant, who insists always on his commands beingfulfilled under all circumstances. This claim runs counter to those who, the Stranger points out, actually did rule. Alldivisions which are rightly made should cut through the middle; if youattend to this rule, you will be more likely to arrive at classes. A similar spirit is discernible inthe remarkable expressions, 'the long and difficult language of facts;' and'the interrogation of every nature, in order to obtain the particularcontribution of each to the store of knowledge.' He presents the ideaof a perfect government, but except the regulation for mixing differenttempers in marriage, he never makes any provision for the attainment of it.Aristotle, casting aside ideals, would place the government in a middleclass of citizens, sufficiently numerous for stability, without admittingthe populace; and such appears to have been the constitution which actuallyprevailed for a short time at Athens--the rule of the Five Thousand--characterized by Thucydides as the best government of Athens which he hadknown. In all ages of the world men havedreamed of a state of perfection, which has been, and is to be, but neveris, and seems to disappear under the necessary conditions of human society.The uselessness, the danger, the true value of such political ideals haveoften been discussed; youth is too ready to believe in them; age todisparage them. The science whichmakes the laws, is higher than that which only administers them. This setting is crucially linked to the theme of the Laws. But though Plato has his characters give accounts of the sophist and statesman in their respective dialogues, it is most likely that he never wrote a dialogue about the philosopher. In both dialogues the Proteus Sophist is exhibited, first, inthe disguise of an Eristic, secondly, of a false statesman. Under monarchy we have already distinguished royalty andtyranny; of oligarchy there were two kinds, aristocracy and plutocracy; anddemocracy may also be divided, for there is a democracy which observes, anda democracy which neglects, the laws. But whether applied to Divine or to human governors theconception is faulty for two reasons, neither of which are noticed byPlato:--first, because all good government supposes a degree of co-operation in the ruler and his subjects,--an 'education in politics' aswell as in moral virtue; secondly, because government, whether Divine orhuman, implies that the subject has a previous knowledge of the rules underwhich he is living. In lesser matters theantagonism between them is ludicrous, but in the State may be the occasionof grave disorders, and may disturb the whole course of human life. The online version preserves the marginal comments of the printed edition and has links to all the notes and comments provided by Jowett. And thenature of example can only be illustrated by an example. Forthe orderly class are always wanting to be at peace, and hence they passimperceptibly into the condition of slaves; and the courageous sort arealways wanting to go to war, even when the odds are against them, and aresoon destroyed by their enemies. But hesoon falls, like Icarus, and is content to walk instead of flying; that is,to accommodate himself to the actual state of human things. And the science of the king is of the latter nature; butthe power which he exercises is underived and uncontrolled,--acharacteristic which distinguishes him from heralds, prophets, and otherinferior officers. The influence ofwealth, though not the enjoyment of it, has become diffused among the pooras well as among the rich; and society, instead of being safer, is more atthe mercy of the tyrant, who, when things are at the worst, obtains aguard--that is, an army--and announces himself as the saviour. And in his later writingsgenerally we further remark a decline of style, and of dramatic power; thecharacters excite little or no interest, and the digressions are apt tooverlay the main thesis; there is not the 'callida junctura' of an artisticwhole. There are two arts of measuring--one is concerned withrelative size, and the other has reference to a mean or standard of what ismeet. When the richpreserve their customs and maintain the law, this is called aristocracy, orif they neglect the law, oligarchy. The search after the Statesman, which is carried on, like that for theSophist, by the method of dichotomy, gives an opportunity for many humorousand satirical remarks. Or rather, shall I tell you that the happinessof these children of Cronos must have depended on how they used their time? Such a conception hassometimes been entertained by modern theologians, and by Plato himself, ofthe Supreme Being. Suppose a wiseand good judge, who paying little or no regard to the law, attempted todecide with perfect justice the cases that were brought before him. But now I recognize the politician and his troop, thechief of Sophists, the prince of charlatans, the most accomplished ofwizards, who must be carefully distinguished from the true king orstatesman.