« PreviousContinue »
April 9 to 1l. Continued Clarendon to the end of book x., with Jane.
12. Began the Philebus of Plato; and continued Clarendon, with Jane.
13. Continued P. Fletcher's poems.
14 and 15. Continued the Philebus; and Clarendon to the end of book xi., with Jane.
16 and 17. Continued Clarendon, with Jane.
18. Concluded the Philebus. This dialogue is abstruse and obscure, though it contains some elegant passages.
of it seems to be to recommend the mixture of intellectual pursuits with the purest kind of pleasures, as necessary to constitute happiness. There is much ingenuity in his distinction between the different sorts of pleasure towards the end of the dialogue.
[In the year 1841, the following note was interlined at this place :-“At the distance of forty-one years I see how imperfectly I judged.”—The peculiar doctrines of Plato are more plainly delivered in the Philebus than in any other of his Dialogues which I remember. There is more of positive in it.—May, 1841.] Continued Clarendon to the end of book xii., with Jane.
19. Read Plato's Alcibiades I. The ambition of the son of Clinias is painted in lively colours, and then melted away into nothing before the scrutinizing reason and sublime philosophy of Socrates. There is a remarkable comparison about the middle of the dialogue between the mode of education in Persia and Lacedæmon, and that of Athens. [Useful, plain, moral, and, towards the end, spiritual, (reminding us of St. Paul's “here we see through a glass”), but without any great subtlety in the reasoning, or sublimity of expression.—June 3, 1841.] Continued Clarendon, with Jane.
April 22. Continued Clarendon, with Jane.
23. Began Warton's edition of Theocritus, and read the Preface, &c.
24. Read the first Idyll. of Theocritus; and continued Clarendon, with Jane.
25. Read the second and third Idyll. of Theocritus; and continued Clarendon, with Jane.
26. Read the fourth and fifth Idyll. of Theocritus; and continued Clarendon, with Jane.
27. Read the sixth Idyll. of Theocritus.
28. Read the seventh and eighth Idyll. of Theocritus; and continued Clarendon to the end of book xiv., with Jane.
29. Continued Theocritus, Idyll. ix. to xiii.; and continued Clarendon, with Jane—and concluded the New Testament with Jane.
30. Continued Theocritus, Idyll. xiv. and xv.; and continued Clarendon with Jane, to the end of book xv.
May 1. Continued Theocritus xvi. and xvii.,-and Clarendon with Jane; and began the New Testament a second time with Jane, and in the Greek with the notes in Gregory's edition.
May 2. Continued Theocritus, Idyll. xvü, to xxii.; and Clarendon, with Jane.
3. Continued Theocritus, Idyll. xxiii. and xxiv. 4. Read Ben Jonson's Epigrams. 5. Continued Theocritus, Idyll. xxv. 8. Continued Clarendon, with Jane.
9. Continued Theocritus, Idyll. xxvi. and xxvii.; concluded Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, with Jane.
10. Concluded Theocritus. Warton's notes are such as may be expected from a commentator truly sensible of the beauties of the writer he criticises ; and possessed of considerable learning and acuteness, though he is inferior, perhaps, in both these qualities to his coadjutor, Toup.—Began Voltaire's Siècle de Louis XIV., with Jane.
11. Read Plato's Alcibiades II. The sentiments are worthy of a Christian. It is impossible to read the latter part of the dialogue, and not imagine but that Plato must have had some sense of the necessity of a divine revelation, and even of the probability that it might some day be made to man.
12. Continued Voltaire, with Jane.
13. Read Plato's Laches. There is much character in this dialogue, and the whole of it is easy and beautiful. [Schleiermacher and some other critics dispute the genuineness of this dialogue. There is occasionally something not in Plato's usual manner, but not so great a difference as to con
vince me that it is not his. Whosesoever it is, Gray rightly calls it a fine dialogue.—June 8, 1841.] Continued Voltaire's Siècle de Louis XIV. with Jane.
May 14. Read Plato's Lysis. The reasoning is too subtle for me; but the parts are, as usual, admirably distinguished and supported. [This dialogue, like the Charmides, is remarkable for the description it contains of the effects of beauty on the beholders. I do not think that female loveliness is ever described by Plato as producing the same excessive admiration. The question started about love or friendship doubles like a hare, and after the keenest pursuit eludes the attempts of Socrates to seize it. Much of this dialogue is a comment on a passage I have remarked elsewhere, to the effect that “good must have something opposed to it, so that we cannot imagine it to subsist without evil.” Mem. To see if Bembo's dialogue is not very like this.June, 1841.]—Continued Voltaire, with Jane.
15. Read Plato's Hipparchus. In this short dialogue there is nothing very remarkable, except the story concerning Harmodius and Aristogeiton. [This dialogue is named from a story introduced in it about Hipparchus, and Harmodius and Aristogeiton. The rest is mere haggling about the meaning of κέρδος, gain, between Socrates and a companion whose name is not given. Can one suppose it to be Plato's? I have read this in a variorum edition, where the collo
cutor is called 'Eraipos : in the Bipontine edition he is called, I see, Hipparchus.--June, 1841.] Continued Voltaire, with Jane.
May 16. Read Plato's Menexenus, containing the celebrated funeral oration by Aspasia—[The opening is delightful. The funeral speech following, which Socrates recites as being Aspasia’s, shews the high character she must have obtained by her eloquence. June, 1841.]—and in the Jeune Anacharsis from p. 57 to 162, vol, i., edit. Lond., 1796. Continued Voltaire, with Jane.
17. Read Pindar Olymp. iii. and iv., and continued Voltaire, with Jane.
18. Read Pindar Olymp. v. and vi. 22. Continued Voltaire, with Jane.
23. Resumed my translation of Dante, and translated half the first canto of the Inferno. Continued Voltaire, with Jane.
24. Translated the remainder of the Inferno, canto i. Continued Voltaire, with Jane.
25. Translated the beginning of the Inferno, canto ü.
26 and 27. Continued translation of the Inferno, canto ï., and Voltaire, with Jane.
28. Finished translation of Inferno, canto ii.