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PREFACE.

The readers whom I have chiefly had in my mind, in writing the following sketch of Ancient Philosophy, are Undergraduates at the University or others who are commencing the study of the philosophical works of Cicero or Plato or Aristotle in the original language. It has been my wish to supply to them, what I remember vainly seeking when I was in their position, something which may help them to find their bearings in the new world into which they are plunged on first making acquaintance with such books as Cicero's De Finibus or the Republic of Plato. The only helps which I had in similar circumstances some thirty years ago were a translation of Schleiermacher's Introduction to the Dialogues of Plato, of which I could make nothing, and Lewes' small Biographical History of Philosophy, of which the aim, as far as I could judge, was to show that, as philosophy was moonshine, it was mere waste of time to read what the philosophers had written. Things have changed since then. The noblest defence of ancient philosophy which has ever appeared, is contained in the chapters on the

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Sophists and Socrates written by one, who might have been supposed to be himself more or less a sympathizer with Lewes, and in the elaborate examination of the speculations of the Ancients contained in the same Author's Plato and Aristotle. During the same interval the charm and the wit and the irony of Plato have for the first time been made intelligible to English readers by Mr Jowett's admirable translations; and the excellent German histories of philosophy by Zeller, Ueberweg and Schwegler have been translated into English. None of these however, nor any others which might be named, seem to me exactly to meet the wants of the case. They are too long, too full, too hard, too abstract, or too vague, for a first sketch. What is wanted is something to combine conciseness with accuracy and clearness, something which will be easy and interesting to readers of ordinary intelligence, and will leave no doubt in their minds as to the author's meaning. It is for others to judge how far this object has been accomplished in the present book, which is the outcome of various courses of lectures delivered on the same subject during the last quarter of a century.

But, though I write in the first instance for Classical scholars, and have therefore thought myself at liberty to quote the original Greek and Latin, wherever it seemed expedient to do so; I am not without hopes that what I have written may be found interesting and useful by educated readers generally, not merely as an introduction to the formal history of philosophy, but as supplying a

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