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384 BC – 322 BC


In my preceding work, "Plato and the Other Companions of Socrates" I described a band of philosophers differing much from each other, but all emanating from Socrates as common intellectual progenitor; all manifesting themselves wholly or principally in the composition of dialogues; and all living in an atmosphere of Hellenic freedom, as yet untroubled by any overruling imperial ascendancy from without. From that band, among whom Plato is facilè princeps. I now proceed to another, among whom the like pre-eminence belongs to Aristotle. This second band knew the Socratic stimulus only as an historical tradition; they gradually passed, first from the Socratic or Platonic dialogue — dramatic, colloquial, cross-examining — to the Aristotelian dialogue, semi-dramatic, rhetorical, counter-expository; and next to formal theorizing, ingenious solution and divination of special problems, historical criticism and abundant collections of detailed facts : moreover, they were witnesses of the extinction of freedom in Hellas, and of the rise of the Macedonian kingdom out of comparative nullity to the highest pinnacle of supremacy and mastership. Under the successors of Alexander, this extraneous supremacy, intermeddling and dictatorial, not only overruled the political movements of the Greeks, but also influenced powerfully the position and working of their philosophers; and would have become at once equally intermeddling even earlier, under Alexander himself, had not his whole time and personal energy been absorbed by insatiable thirst for eastern conquest, ending with an untimely death.


Stagirus, (or, as it was later called, Stagira,) the birthplace of one of the most extraordinary men, if not the very most, that the world has ever produced, was a petty town in the north of Greece, situated on the western side of the Strymonic gulf, just where the general line of coast takes a southerly direction. It lay in the midst of a picturesque country, both in soil and appearance resembling the southern part of the bay of Naples. Immediately south a promontory, like the Punta della Campanella and nearly in the same latitude, ran out in an easterly direction, effectually screening the town and its little harbour Capros, formed by the island of the same name, from the violence of the squalls coming up the Aegean, a similar service to that rendered by the Italian headland to the town of Sorrento. In the terraced windings, too, by which the visitor climbs through the orange groves of the latter place, he may without any great violence imagine the "narrow and steep paths" by which an ancient historian and chorographer describes those who crossed the mountains out of Macedonia as descending into the valley of Arethusa, where was seen the tomb of Euripides, and the town of Stagirus. The inhabitants possessed all the advantages of civilization which Grecian blood and Grecian intercourse could give, the city having been originally built by a colony of Andrians, and its popuulation subsequently replenished by one from Chalcis in Euboea. The mouth of the Strymon and the important city of Amphipolis was within three hours' sail to the north ; and every part of the Chalcidic peninsula, a district full of Greek towns, among which were Olynthus and Potidaea, was readily accessible. With the former of these Stagirus appears to have been leagued as a humble ally in that resistance to the ambitious designs of Philip which terminated so calamitously. In the year 348 B.C. it was destroyed by him and the inhabitants sold as slaves.

Aristotle, however, did not share the misfortunes of his native town, to which it is probable he had been for many years a stranger. His father, Nicomachus, one of the family or guild of the Asclepiads, in which the practice of medicine was hereditary, had taken up his residence at the court of Philip's father Amyntas, to whom he was body surgeon, and whose confidence he appears to have possessed in a high degree.


Stageira (Stagira), an unimportant Hellenic colony in Thrace, situated in the Strymonic Gulf, a little north of the isthmus which terminates in the mountainous promontory of Athos; at the period of Aristotle's birth, was near the frontier of Macedonia, and not far even from Pella, the residence of the Macedonian king Amyntas (father of Philip). Aristotle was born not earlier than 392 B.C., nor earlier than 385-384 B.C. His father, Nikomachus, was a citizen of Stageira, distinguished as a physician, author of some medical works, and boasting of being descended from the heroic gens of the Asclepiads; his mother Phaesta was also of good civic family, descended from one of the first Chalcidian colonists. Moreover Nikomachus was not merely learned in his art, but was accepted as confidential physician and friend of Amyntas, with whom he passed much of his time—a circumstance of great moment to the future career of his son. We are told that among the Asclepiads the habit of physical observation, and even manual training in dissection, were imparted traditionally from father to son, from the earliest years, thus serving as preparation for medical practice when there were no written treatises to study. The mind of Aristotle may thus have acquired that appetite for physiological study which so many of his treatises indicate. He did not confine himself to the empirical practice of his art, for he is related to have written six books on medical and one on physical subjects, which latter head would in that age include every department of natural history and physiology, no less than those investigations of the properties of un organic matter to which the term is appropriated in the present day. Now this circumstance is much more important in its bearing upon the intellectual character of Aristotle than may at first appear. In his writings appears such a fondness for these pursuits as it seems impossible not to believe must have been imbibed in his very earliest years, and most probably under the immediate superintendence of this parent. For although he was an orphan at the age of seventeen, (and how much earlier we cannot say,) yet it is well known that instruction in the "art and maistery of healing," and such subjects as were connected therewith, was commenced by the Asclepiads at a very early age. "I do not blame the ancients," says Galen, "for not writing books on anatomical manipulation; though I commend Marinus, who did. For it was superfluous for them to compose such records for themselves or others, while they were from their childhood exercised hy their parents in dissecting just as familiarly as in writing and reading; so that there was no more fear of their forgetting their anatomy than of their forgetting their alphabet. But when grown men as well as children were taught, this thorough discipline fell off; and the art being carried out of the family of the Asclepiads, and declining by repeated transmission, books became necessary for the student." And we have another, although slighter, presumptive evidence that the childhood of the great philosopher was spent with his father at the Macedonian court, in the circumstance of his being selected by Philip, at a period long subsequent, to conduct the education of Alexander. This we shall find an opportunity of reverting to in the sequel.

Whatever influence, however, was exercised by Nicomachus over the future fortunes of his son, he had not the happiness of living to be a witness of its effects. He, as well as his wife Phaestis, a descendant of one of the Chalcidian colonists of Stagirus, died while Aristotle was yet a minor, leaving him under the guardianship of Proxenus, a citizen of Atarneus in Asia, who appears to have been settled in the native town of his ward. How long this person continued in the discharge of his trust, we have no means of determining more than that it was sufficiently long to imbue the object of it with a respect and gratitude which endured through life. At the age of seventeen, however, it terminated, and Aristotle, master of himself and probably of a considerable fortune, came to Athens, the centre of the civilization of the world, and the focus of every thing that was brilliant in action or in thought. It is not probable that any thing but the thirst for knowledge which distinguished his residence there, was the cause of its commencement. Plato was at that time in the height of his reputation, and the desire to see and enjoy the intercourse of such a man would have been an adequate motive to minds of much less capacity and taste for philosophy than Aristotle's to resort to a spot, where, besides, every enjoyment which even an Epicurean could desire was to be found. It was reserved for the foolish ingenuity of later times, when all real knowledge of this period had faded away, to invent the absurd motive of "a Delphic oracle, which commanded him to devote himself to philosophy". For another account, scarcely less absurd, the excuse of ignorance cannot be so easily made. Epicurus, in the work we have before spoken of, related that Aristotle, after squandering his paternal property, adopted the profession of a mercenary soldier, and failing in this, afterwards that of a vender of medicines; that he then took advantage of the free manner in which Plato's instructions were given to pick up a knowledge of philosophy, for which he was not without talent, and thus gradually arrived at his views. It is at once manifest that this story is incompatible with the account of Apollodorus, according to which Aristotle attached himself to the study of philosophy under Plato, before he had completed his eighteenth year. Independently of the difficulty of conceiving that a mere boy should have already passed through so many vicissitudes of fortune, it is obvious that he could not before that time have squandered his property, except through the culpable negligence of his guardian, Proxenus ; and any supposition of this sort is precluded by the singular respect testified for that individual in his ward's will, the substance of which—or rather perhaps a codicil to it — has been preserved to us by Diogenes Laertius. In it he di-rects the erection of a statue of Proxenus and of his wife, he appoints their son Nicanor (whom he had previously adopted) to be joint guardian with Antipater of his own son Nicomachus, and also bestows his daughter upon him in marriage. It is impossible to conceive that such feelings could have been aroused in the ward by a negligent or indiscreetly indulgent guardian; and we should hardly have reverted to the story in question, except to remark how the very form of the calumny seems to indicate that the favourite studies of Aristotle, in the early part of his life, were such as his father's profession would naturally have led him to Physiology and Natural History. Indeed, nothing is more probable than that he might have given advice to the sick; theoretical knowledge and practical skill being in those times so inseparably connected, that the Greek language possesses no terms wi¡hich formally distinguish them, and from this circumstance the report may have arisen, that he attempted medicine as a profession.

Respecting the character of his youth, there existed, even in antiquity, different accounts. According to one account, adopted apparently by the earliest witnesses preserved to us, he was at first an extravagant youth, spent much of his paternal property, and then engaged himself to military service; of which he soon became weary, and went back to Stageira, turning to account the surgical building, apparatus, and medicines left by his father as a medical practitioner. After some time, we know not how long, he retired from this profession, shut up the building, and devoted himself to rhetoric and philosophy. He then went to Athens, and there entered himself in the school of Plato, at the age of thirty. The philosophical life was thus (if this account be believed) a second choice, adopted comparatively late in life. The other account, depending also upon good witnesses, represents him as having come to Athens and enlisted as pupil of Plato, at the early age of seventeen or eighteen : it omits all mention of an antecedent period, occupied by military service and a tentative of medical profession. In both the two narratives, Aristotle appears as resident at Athens, and devoting himself to rhetoric and philosophy, from some period before 360 B.C. down to the death of Plato in 347 B.C.; though, according to the first of the two narratives, he begins his philosophical career at a later age, while his whole life occupied seventy years instead of sixty-two years.

During the interval, 367-360 B.C., Plato was much absent from Athens, having paid two separate visits to Dionysus the younger at Syracuse. The time which he spent there at each visit is not explicitly given; but as far as we can conjecture from indirect allusions, it cannot have been less than a year at each, and may possibly have been longer. If, therefore, Aristotle reached Athens in 367 B.C. (as Hermippus represents) he cannot have enjoyed continuous instructions from Plato, for the three or four years next ensuing.

We shall now proceed, as well as the scanty information which has come down to us will allow, to sketch the course of Aristotle's life during the ensuing period of nearly twenty years which he spent at Athens. It appears to have been mainly, although not entirely, occupied in the acquisition of his almost encyclopaedic knowledge, in collecting, criticising, and digesting. Of his extraordinary diligence in mastering the doctrines of the earlier schools of philosophy we may form some estimate from the notices of them which are preserved in his works, which indeed constitute the principal source of our whole knowledge upon this subject. That this information should have been acquired by him during this part of his life is rendered likely both by the nature of the case and by the scattered anecdotes which relate that his industry no less than his intelligence elicited the strongest expressions of admiration from Plato, who is said by Pseudo-Ammonius to have called Aristotle's house "the house of the reader''. The Latin translator adds, that in his absence his master would exclaim, "that the intelligence of the school was away, and his audience but a deaf one. A treatise on Rhetoric, not that which has come down to us, but one which, as we shall have occasion to show in the sequel, was probably written during this period of his life, is described by Cicero as containing an account of the theories of all his predecessors upon this subject, from the time of Tisias, the first who wrote upon it,—so admirably and perspicuously set forth, that all persons in his time who wished to gain a knowledge of them, preferred Aristotle's description to their own. We may take occasion to remark by the way that this taste for reading could not have been gratified without very ample means. A collection of books was a luxury which lay within the reach of as small a portion of the readers of that day, as a gallery of pictures would of the amateurs of this. This circumstance, then, is calculated to throw additional discredit on the story told by Epicurus of Aristotle's youth. A bankrupt apothecary could never have been a book collector. Another work of Aristotle's, which is unfortunately lost, was compiled during this same time. It was a collection of Proverbs, a species of literature to which he, like most other men of reflection, attached great value. Two other most important works, both of which are likewise lost, we may, from what we know of their nature, probably refer to the same period, at least as far as their plan and commencement are concerned. The first of these was a work on the fundamental principles on which the codes of law in the States of his time were severally based. The second was an account of no less than one hundred and fifty-eight (according to others one hundred and seventy-one or two hundred and fifty-five) States, which, judging from some fragments which have been preserved, involved their history from the earliest known times to his own. Of this invaluable collection a great many scraps remain. Those which relate to Athens, Sigonius is said to have made the basis of his account of that commonwealth. And another work for which these apparently formed the foundation, the Politics has come down to us in all probability in the unfinished draught in which it was left at the moment of the author's death. We may conclude the evidence which these productions aiford of their writer's activity and industry with an anecdote preserved by Diogenes. Apparently to prevent the remission of attention which results from nature insensibly giving way under the pressure of extremely laborious study, he was accustomed to read holding a ball in one hand, under which was placed a brazen basin. On the slightest involuntary relaxation of the muscles, the ball would fall, and by the sudden noise which it made, at once dissipate the incipient drowsiness of the student.

But this intense love of knowledge had not the common effect of converting him into a mere bookworm. In his works we see nothing like an undue depreciation of the active forms of life, or even of its pleasures. And this is the more remarkable, as we know that his frame was delicate, and his constitution weakly, and that in the latter part of his life he suffered much from bad health—circumstances which in general lead to an under estimate of those pursuits for which a certain robustness of body is a necessary condition. His attention to neatness of person and dress was remarkable; indeed it is said that he carried it to an extent which Plato considered unworthy of a philosopher. Whether this account be true or not, it is certain that his habits and principles were the reverse of cynical, that he enjoyed life, and was above any unnecessary affectation of severity. "Not apathy, but moderation," is a maxim ascribed to him by Diogenes. We have seen that Plato felt and testified the highest admiration for the talents of his pupil. But it appears that in spite of this there was by no means a perfect congeniality in their feelings. Aristotle is said to have offended his master not only by the carefulness respecting his personal appearance which we have just spoken of, but by a certain sarcastic habit which showed itself in the expression of his countenance. It is difficult to imagine that he should have indulged this humour in a greater degree than Socrates is represented to have done by Plato himself. However, a vein of irony which would appear very graceful in the master whom he reverenced, and whose views he enthusiastically embraced, might seem quite the reverse in a youthful pupil who promised speedily to become a rival. An anecdote is related by Aelian from which we should infer that overt hostility broke out between them. Aristotle, it is said, taking advantage of the absence of Xenocrates from Athens, and of the temporary confinement of Speusippus by illness, attacked Plato in the presence of his disciples with a series of subtle sophisms, which, his powers being impaired by extreme old age, had the effect of perplexing him and obliging him to retire in confusion and shame from the walks of the Academy. Xenocrates, however, returning three months after, drove Aristotle away, and restored his master to his old haunts. On this or some other occasion it is said that Plato compared his pupil's conduct to that of the young foals who kick at their dam as soon as dropped. And the opinion that Aristotle had in some way or other behaved with ingratitude to his master, certainly had obtained considerable currency in antiquity; but it is probable that this in a great measure arose from the false interpretation of a passage in the biography of Plato by Aristoxenus the musician, whom we have noticed in the last chapter. This writer had related that "while Plato was absent from Athens on his travels, certain individuals, who were foreigners, established a school in opposition to him." "Some," adds Aristocles, the Peripatetic philosopher, after quoting this passage, "have imagined that Aristotle was the person here alluded to, but they forget that Aristoxenus, throughout the whole of his work, speaks of Aristotle in terms of praise." Every one who is conversant with the productive power of Greek imagination, and the rapidity with which in that fertile soil anecdotes sprang up and assumed a more and more circumstantial character on repetition, will not wonder that in the course of five centuries which intervened between Aristoxenus and Aelian, the vague statement of the first should have bourgeoned into the circumstantial narrative of the second.

Independently of the vulgar insolence with which this story invests the character of Aristotle,—a quality of which there is not a trace in his writings,—there is much which may render us extremely suspicious of receiving it. In the first place, other stories of equal authority represent his feelings towards his master as those of ardent admiration and deep respect. His biographer informs us that he dedicated an altar (by which he probably means a cenotaph) to Plato, and put an inscription on it to the purport that Plato "was a man whom it was sacrilege for the bad even to praise." There is certainly not much credit to be attached to the literal truth of this story ; but its character may be considered to indicate the view which the authority followed by the biographer took of Aristotle's sentiments towards his master. Still better evidence exists in the way in which Plato is spoken of in the works of his pupil that have come down to us. His opinions are often controverted, but always with fairness, and never with discourtesy. If he is sometimes misapprehended, the misapprehension never appears to be wilful. In one rather remarkable instance there is exhibited a singular tenderness and delicacy towards him. The passage in question is near the commencement of the Nicomachean Ethics. To the doctrine of Ideas or Archetypal Forms, as maintained by Plato, Aristotle was opposed. It became necessary for him, in the treatment of his subject, to discuss the bearing of this doctrine upon it, and he complains that his task is an unwelcome one, from the circumstance of persons to whom he is attached having originated the theory. "Still," he adds, "it seems our duty even to slay our own flesh and blood"—an allusion to such cases as those of Iphigenia, Polyxena, and Macaria,—"where the cause of truth is at stake, especially as we are philosophers: loving both parties, it is a sacred duty to prefer the truth." The delicacy which prompted such a preface as this would surely have restrained its author from such coarseness as is attributed to him in Aelian's story.

The way in which Xenocrates is mixed up with this affair is not to be overlooked. He is represented as the vindicator of his master's honour, and the punisher of the insolence and vanity of his rival. But we shall see presently this same Xenocrates in the character of Aristotle's travelling companion during thethree eventful years of his life which immediately followed the death of Plato, consequently at no long period after the alleged insult took place and was revenged; a circumstance which certainly is very far from harmonizing with that conduct of the two philosophers towards each other which Aelian's narrative describes.

We must not forget either that Aristotle, although probably possessed of considerable wealth, and perhaps also of some influence from his Macedonian connections, was still only a metic, or resident alien. How sensitive the pride of the Athenian citizen was to any appearance of pretension on the part of these, is notorious. In certain public festivals duties of an inferior, not to say menial, character were assigned to them. They could hold no land; they could not intermarry with citizens, nor even maintain a civil action in their own persons, but were obliged for this purpose to employ a citizen as their patron or sponsor. Plato, on the contrary, was of one of the most illustrious families in Athens, and, if we may judge by the anecdotes of his connection with Chabrias and Timotheus, possessed friends among the most influential public characters of the day. It is scarcely credible therefore, even had all better motives been wanting, that fear of making a powerful enemy should not have restrained Aristotle from behaving to his master in the way which has been described.

However the facts may stand as to Aristotle's early life, there is no doubt that in or before the year 362 B.C. he became resident at Athens, and that he remained there, profiting by the society and lectures of Plato, until the death of the latter in 347 B.C. Shortly after the loss of his master, he quitted Athens, along with his fellow-pupil Xenokrates, and went to Atarneus, which was at that time ruled by the despot Hermeias. That despot was a remarkable man, who being an eunuch through bodily hurt when a child, and having become slave of a prior despot named Eubulus, had contrived to succeed him in the supreme power, and governed the towns of Atarneus and Assos with firmness and energy. Hermeias had been at Athens, had heard Plato’s lectures, and had contracted friendship with Aristotle; which friendship became farther cemented by the marriage of Aristotle, during his residence at Atarneus, with Pythias the niece of Hermeias. For three years Aristotle and Xenokrates remained at Assos or Atarneus, whence they were then forced to escape by reason of the despot's death; for Mentor the Rhodian, general of the Persians in those regions, decoyed Hermeias out of the town under presence of a diplomatic negotiation, then perfidiously seized him, and sent him up as prisoner to the Persian king, by whose order he was hanged. Mentor at the same time seized the two towns and other possessions of Hermeias, while Aristotle with his wife retired to Mitylene. His deep grief for the fate of Hermeias was testified in a noble hymn or paean which he composed, and which still remains, as well as by an epigram inscribed on the statue of Hermeias at Delphi. We do not hear of his going elsewhere, until, two or three years afterwards (the exact date is differently reported), he was invited by Philip into Macedonia, to become preceptor to the young prince Alexander, then thirteen or fourteen years old. The reputation, which Aristotle himself had by this time established, doubtless coincided with the recollection of his father Nikomachus as physician and friend of Amyntas, in determining Philip to such a choice. Aristotle performed the duties required from him, enjoying the confidence and favor both of Philip and Alexander, until the assassination of the former and the accession of the latter in 336 B.C. His principal residence during this period was in Macedonia, but he paid occasional visits to Athens, and allusion is made to certain diplomatic services which he rendered to the Athenians at the court of Philip; moreover, he must have spent some time at his native city Stageira, which had been among the many Greek cities captured and ruined by Philip during the Olynthian war of 349-347 B.C. Having obtained the consent and authority of Philip, Aristotle repaired to Stageira for the purpose of directing the re-establishment of the city. Recalling such of its dispersed inhabitants as could be collected, either out of the neighboring villages or from more distant parts, he is said to have drawn up laws, or framed regulations for the returned citizens and new comers. He had reason to complain of various rivals who intrigued against him, gave him much trouble, and obstructed the complete renovation of the city; but, notwithstanding, his services were such that an annual festival was instituted to commemorate them. It is farther stated, that at some time during this period he had a school (analogous to the Academy at Athens) in the Nymphaeum of the place called Mieza; where stone seats and shady walks, ennobled by the name of Aristotle, were still shown even in the days of Plutarch.

It is not difficult to imagine how such stories grew up. There is a most marked contrast observable in the modes of thought of the two philosophers, such a difference indeed as seems incompatible with congeniality, although quite consistent with the highest mutual admiration and respect. It manifests itself in their very style; Aristotle's being the dryest and most jejune prose, while that of Plato teems with the imagery of poetry. The one delights to dress his thoughts in all the pomp of as high a degree of fancy as one can conceive united to a sound judgment; the other seems to consider that the slightest garment would cramp their vigour and hide their symmetry. In Aristotle we find a searching and comprehensive view of things as they present themselves to the understanding, but no attempt to pass the limits of that faculty,—no suspicion indeed that such exist. Plato, on the contrary, never omits an opportunity of passing from the finite to the infinite, from the sensuous to the spiritual, from the domain of the intellect to that of the feelings : he is ever striving to body forth an ideal, and he only regards the actual as it furnishes materials for it. Hence he frequently forgets that he violates the conditions to which the actual world is subjected; or, perhaps we should rather say, he disregards the importance of this. A striking exemplification of the essential difference between the two great philosophers is afforded by the Republic of Plato compared with the criticism of it by Aristotle. The former seems to have grown up out of a wish to embody an ideal of justice, and is the genuine offspring of a vigorous and luxuriant imagination reviewing the forms of social life and seeing in all analogies to the original conception which it was the aim of the artist to set forth. But from this point of view it is never once contemplated by its critic. Essentially a picture, it is discussed by him as if it were a map. The natural consequence of these different bents is that Aristotle's views always form parts of a system intellectually complete, while Plato's harmonize with each other morally; we rise from the study of the latter with our feelings purified, from that of the former with our perceptions cleared; the one strengthens the intellect, the other elevates the spirit. Consistently with this opposition it happened that in the earlier centuries Christianity was often grafted on Platonism, and even where this was not the case, many persons were prepared for its reception by the study of Plato; while in the age of the Schoolmen—an age when religion had become theology—Aristotle's works were the only food which the philosophy of the time could assimilate.

The difference which is so strikingly marked between the matured philosophical characters of these two giant intellects is of a kind which must have shown itself early. Neither could have entirely sympathized with the other, however much he might admire his genius; and this circumstance may very well have produced a certain estrangement, which by such of their followers as were of too vulgar minds to understand the respect which all really great men must entertain for each other, would readily be misinterpreted. Difference of opinion would, if proceeding from an equal, be represented in the light of hostility,—if from a former pupil, in that of ingratitude. The miserable spirit of partizanship prevailing among the Greeks, which is so strongly reprobated by Cicero, rapidly gave birth to tales which at first probably were meant only to illustrate the preconceived notions which they were in course of time employed to confirm. And so, if Plato had ever made a remark in the same sense and spirit as Waller's Epigram to a lady singing one of his own songs, this might very easily in its passage through inferior and ungenial minds have been distorted into the bitter reflection we have noticed above.

Respecting the relation between Aristotle and another celebrated contemporary of his, there can be no manner of doubt. All accounts agree with the inference we should draw from what we find on the subject in his works, that between him and Isocrates the rhetorician there subsisted a most cordial dislike, accompanied, on the part of the former at least, with as cordial a contempt. Isocrates was in fact a sophist of by no means a high order. He did not possess the cleverness which enabled many of that class to put forth a claim to universal knowledge, and under many circumstances to maintain it successfully. He professed to teach nothing but the art of oratory, and the subjectmatter of this he derived exclusively from the field of politics. But his want of comprehensiveness was not compensated by any superior degree of accuracy or depth, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus is right in considering this limitation as the characteristic which distinguishes him from the more ambitious pretenders Gorgias and Protagoras. Oratory, according to his view, was the art of making what was important appear trivial, and what was trivial appear important,—in other words, of proving black white and white black. He taught this accomplishment not on any principles even pretending to be scientific, but by mere practice in the school like fencing or boxing. Indignation at this miserable substitute for philosophical institution, and at the undeserved reputation which its author had acquired, found vent with Aristotle in the application of a sentiment which Euripides in his Philoctetes, a play now lost, put into the mouth of Ulysses. He resolved himself to take up the subject, and his success was so great that Cicero appears to regard the reputation arising from it as one of the principal motives which induced Philip to intrust him with the education of Alexander. The expressions too, which he uses in describing Aristotle's treatment of his subject apply rather to lectures combined with rhetorical practice and historical illustration than a formal treatise. And this is an important point, inasmuch as it proves that he assumed the functions of an instructor during this his first residence at Athens. However, such part of his subject as embraced the early history of the art, and might be regarded in the light of an introduction to the rest, would very likely appear by itself; and this is exactly the character of the work so highly praised by Cicero in another place, but unfortunately lost, to which we have before alluded. It was purely historical and critical, and contained none of his own views. These were systematically developed in another work, perhaps the one which we possess, which was certainly not written at this early period. Apparently, in the lost work the system of Isocrates was attacked and severely handled. The assailed party does not seem to have come forward to defend himself; but a scholar of his, Cephisodorus, in a polemical treatise of considerable length, did not confine himself to the defence of his master's doctrines, but indulged in the most virulent attacks upon the moral as well as intelectual character of his rival. Upon this work Dionysius of Halicarnassus, perhaps sympathizing with a hrother rhetorician, passes a high encomium. But from the little which we know of it, there is but scanty room for believing that its author carried conviction to the minds of many readers not predisposed to agree with him. One of the grounds on which he holds his adversary up to contempt is the having made a Collection of Proverbs, an employment, in the opinion of Cephisodorus, utterly unworthy of one professing to be a philosopher. Such as have not, like Cephisodorus, an enemy to overthrow by fair means or foul, will be inclined to smile at such a charge, even if indeed they do not view it in something like the contrary light. "Apophthegms," says Bacon, "are not only for delight and ornament, but for real businesses and civil usages; for they are, as he said, secures aut mucrones verborum, which by their sharp edge cut and penetrate the knots of Matters and Business; and occasions run round in a ring, and what was once profitable may again be practised, and again be effectual, whether a man speak them as ancient or make them his own." Proverbs are the apophthegms of a people, and from this point of view Aristotle appears to have formed his estimate of their importance. He is said to have regarded them as exhibiting in a compressed form the wisdom of the ages in which they severally sprang up; and in many instances to have been preserved by their compactness and pregnancy through vicissitudes that had swept away all other traces of the people which originated them.


We now pass to another stage in the life of Aristotle. After a twenty years' stay at Athens, he, accompanied by the Platonic philosopher Xenocrates, passed over into Asia Minor, and took up his residence at Atarneus or Assos (for the accounts vary), in Mysia, at the court of Hermias. Of the motives which impelled him to this step we have, as is natural, very conflicting accounts. His enemies imputed it to a feeling of jealousy, arising from Speusippus having been appointed by Plato, who had died just before, as his successor in the school of the Academy. Others attributed it to a yet more vulgar motive, a taste for the coarse sensualities and ostentatious luxury of an oriental courts. But the first of these reasons will seem to deserve but little credit, when we consider that the position which Plato had held was not recognised in any public manner; that there was neither endowment nor dignity attached to it; that all honour or profit that could possibly arise from it was due solely to the personal merits of the philosopher; that in all probability Aristotle himself had occupied a similar position before the death of Plato; and, that if he felt himself injured by the selection of Speusippus (Plato's nephew), he had every opportunity of showing, by the best of all tests, competition, how erroneous a judgment had been formed of their respective merits. And with regard to the second view, it will be sufficient to remark, that for the twenty years preceding this epoch, as well as afterwards, he possessed the option of living at the court of Macedonia, where he probably had connexions, and where there was equal scope for indulging the tastes in question. We shall, therefore, feel no scruple in referring this journey to other and more adequate causes. The reader of Grecian history will not fail to recollect that the suspicions which the Athenians had for some time entertained of the ambitious designs of Philip received a sudden confirmation just at this moment by the successes of that monarch in the Chalcidian peninsula. The fall of Olynthus and the destruction of the Greek confederacy, of which that town was at the head, produced at Athens a feeling of indignation mixed with fear, of which Demosthenes did not fail to take advantage to kindle a strong hatred of any thing belonging to Macedon. The modern example of France will enable us readily to understand how dangerous must have been the position of a foreigner, by birth, connexions, or feelings in the slightest degree mixed up with the unpopular party, especially when resident in a democratic State, in which the statute laws were every day subject to be violated by the extemporaneous resolutions of a popular assembly. Philip indeed was accustomed—or at any rate by his enemies believed—to make use of such aliens, as from any cause were allowed free ingress to the States with which he was not on good terms, as his emissaries. It is scarcely possible under these circumstances to conceive that the jealousy of party hatred should fail to view the distinguished philosopher, the friend of Antipater, and the son of a Macedonian court-physician, with dislike and distrust, especially if, as from Cicero's description appears highly probable, political affairs entered considerably into the course of his public instructions.

Here, then, we have a reason, quite independent of any peculiar motive, for Aristotle's quitting Athens at this especial time. And others, scarcely less weighty, existed to take him to the court of Hermias. Some little time before, the gigantic body of the Persian empire had exhibited symptoms of breaking up. Egypt had for a considerable period maintained itself in a state of independence, and the success of the experiment had produced the revolt of Phoenicia. The cities of Asia Minor, whose intercourse with Greece Proper was constant, naturally felt an even greater desire to throw off the yoke, and about the year 349 before the Christian era, most of them were in a state of open rebellion. Confederacies of greater or less extent were formed among them for the purpose of maintaining the common independenc ; and over one of these, which included Atarneus and Assos, one Euhulus, a native of Bithynia, exercised a sway which Suidas represents as that of an absolute prince. This remarkable man, of whom it is much to be regretted that we know so little, is described as having carried on the trade of a banker in one of these towns. If this be true, the train of circumstances which led him to the pitch of power which he seems to have reached was probably such a one as, in more modern times made the son of a brewer of Ghent Regent of Flanders, or the Medici Dukes of Tuscany. A struggle for national existence calls forth the confidence of the governed in those who possess the genius which alone can preserve them, as unboundedly as it stimulates that genius itself; and there appears no reason why the name of tyrant or dynast should have been bestowed upon Eubulus more than upon Philip van Artevelde or William of Orange. He was assisted in the duties of his government, and afterwards succeeded by Hermias, who is termed by Strabo his slave,—an expression which a Greek would apply no less to the Vizier than to the lowest menial servant of an Asiatic potentate. He is also described as an eunuch, but, whether this was the case or not, he was a man of education and philosophy, and had during a residence at Athens attended the instructions of both Plato and Aristotle. By the invitation of this individual, the latter, accompanied by Xenocrates, passed over at this particular juncture into Mysia; and it will surely not seem an improbable conjecture that the especial object for which their presence was desired was to frame a political constitution, in order that the little confederacy, of which Hermias may perhaps be regarded as the general and stadtholder, might be kept together and enabled to maintain its independence in spite of the formidable power of the Persian empire. Ably as such a task would doubtless have been executed by so wise a statesman, as even the fragmentary political work that has come down to us proves Aristotle to have been, it was not blessed with success. Fortune for a time favoured the cause of freedom, but the barbarian's hour was not yet come. The treachery of a Rhodian leader of condottieri in the service of the revolted Egyptians enabled the Persian king, Artaxerxes Ochus, rapidly to overrun Phoenicia and Egypt, and to devote the whole force of his empire to the reduction of Asia Minor. Yet Hermias made his ground good, until at last he suffered himself to be entrapped into a personal conference with the Greek general Mentor, the traitor whose perfidy had ruined the Egyptian cause, and who now commanded the Persian army that was sent against Atarneus. In spite of the assurance of a solemn oath, his person was seized and sent to the court of the Persian king, who ordered him to be strangled;—the fortresses which commanded the country surrendered at the sight of his signet;—and Atarneus and Assos were occupied by Persian troops.

The two philosophers, surprised by these sudden misfortunes, were however fortunate enough to succeed in escaping to Mytilene, whither they carried with them a female named Pythias, who according to the most probable accounts was the sister and adopted daughter of Hermias. It is singular that Aristotle's intercourse with the Prince of Atarneus, and more especially that part which related to his connection with this woman, whom he married, should have brought more calumny upon him than any other event of his life; and the strangest thing of all, according to our modern habits of thinking, is that he himself should have thought it necessary, for the satisfaction of his own friends, to give a particular explanation of his motives to the marriage. In a letter to Antipater, which is cited by Aristocles, he relates the circumstances which induced him to take this step; and they are calculated to give us as high an opinion of the goodness of his heart as his works do of the power of his intellect. The calamity which had befallen Hermias would necessarily have entailed utter misery, and in all probability death, upon his adopted daughter, had she been left behind. In this conjuncture, respect for the memory of his murdered friend, and compassion for the defenceless situation of the girl, induced him, knowing her besides, as he says, to be modest and amiable, to take her as his wife. It is a striking proof of the utter want of sentiment in the intercourse between the sexes in Greece, that this noble and generous conduct, as every European will at once confess it to have been, should have drawn down obloquy upon the head of its actor; while, if he had left the helpless creature to be carried off to a Persian harem, or sacrificed to the lust of a brutal soldiery, not a human being would have breathed the slightest word of censure upon the atrocity. Even his apologists appear to have considered this as one of the most vulnerable points of his character. When Aristocles discusses the charges which had been made against him, he dismisses most of them with contempt as carrying the marks of falsehood in their very front. "Two, however," he adds, "do appear to have obtained credit, the one that he treated Plato with ingratitude, the other that he married the daughter of Hermias." And indeed the relation of Aristotle to the father furnished a subject for many publications in the second and third centuries before Christ, and appears to have excited as much interest among literary antiquarians of that day, as the question of the Iron Mask or of who wrote the Letters of Junius, might do in modern times. The treatise of Apellicon of Teos, a wealthy antiquary and bibliomaniac contemporary with Sylla, was regarded as the classical work among them. We shall have occasion, in the sequel, to say something more about this personage. Aristocles speaks of his book as sufficient to set the whole question at rest, and silence all the calumniators of the philosopher for ever. Indeed, if we may judge of the whole of their charges from the few specimens that have come down to us, a further refutation than their own extravagance was hardly needful. The hand of Pythias is there represented as purchased by a fulsome adulation of her adopted father, and a subserviency to the most loathsome vices which human nature in its lowest state of depravity can engender; and the hushand is said, in exultation at his good fortune, to have paid to his father-in-law a service appropriated to the gods alone, singing his praises, like those of Apollo, in a sacred paean. Fortunately this composition has come down to us, and turns out to be a common scolium, or drinking song, similar in its nature to the celebrated one, so popular at Athenian banquets, which records the achievement of Harmodius and Aristogiton. It possesses no very high degree of poetical merit, but as an expression of good feeling, and as a literary curiosity, being the only remaining specimen of its author's powers in this branch, it perhaps deserves a place in the note. The perfection of the manly character is personified as a virgin, for whose charms it is an enviable lot even to die, or to endure the severest hardships. The enthusiasm with which she inspires the hearts of her lovers is more precious than gold, than parents, than the luxury of soft-eyed sleep! For her it was that Hercules and the sons of Leda toiled, and Achilles and Ajax died! her fair form, too, made Hermias, the nursling of Atarneus, renounce the cheerful light of the sun. Hence his deeds shall become the subjects of song, and the Muses, daughters of memory, shall wed him to immortality when they magnify the name of Jupiter Xenius (i.e. Jupiter as the protector of the laws of hospitality), and bestow its meed on firm and faithful friendship! By comparing this relic with the scolium to Harmodius and Aristogiton, which Athenaeus has preserved on the page preceding the one from which this is taken, the reader will at once see that Hermias is mentioned together with Achilles and Ajax, and the other heroes of mythology, only in the same manner as Harmodius is; yet not only did this performance bring down on its author's head the calumnies we have mentioned, but many years after it was even made the basis of a prosecution of him for blasphemy : such straws will envy and malice grasp at! The respect of the philosopher for his departed friend was yet further attested by the erection of a statue, or, as some say, a cenotaph, to him at Delphi, with an inscription, in which his death was recorded as wrought in outrage of the sacred laws of the gods, by the monarch of the how-hearing Persians, not fairly by the spear in the bloody battle-field, but through the false pledge of a crafty villain ! And "the nearer view of wedded life" does not seem in any respect to have diminished the good opinion he had originally formed of his friend's daughter. She died,—how soon after their marriage we cannot say,—leaving one orphan daughter; and not only was her memory honoured by the widower with a respect which exposed him, as in the former instance of her father, to the charge of idolatry, but, in his will, made some time afterwards, he provides that her bones should be taken up and laid by the side of his, wherever he might be buried, as, says he, she herself enjoined.

At this epoch of Aristotle's life, when the clouds of adversity appeared to be at the thickest, his brightest fortunes were about to appear. He had fled to Mytilene an exile, deprived of his powerful friend, and apparently cut off from all present opportunity of bringing his gigantic powers of mind into play. But in Mytilene he received an invitation from Philip to undertake the training of one who, in the World of Action, was destined to achieve an empire, which only that of his master in the World of Thought has ever surpassed. A conjunction of two such spirits has not been yet twice recorded in the annals of mankind ; and it is impossible to conceive any thing more interesting and fruitful than a good contemporary account of the intercourse between them would have been. But, although such a one did exist, as we shall see below, we are not fortunate enough to possess it. The destroying hand of time has heen most active exactly where we should most desire information as to details, and almost all the description we can give of this period is founded upon the scanty notices on the subject furnished by Plutarch in his biography of the Great Conqueror.

How much the mere personal character of Aristotle contributed to procuring him the invitation from Philip, it is difficult to say. Cicero represents the King as mainly determined to the step by the reputation of the philosopher's rhetorical lectures. But a letter preserved by Aulus Gellius, which is well known, but can scarcely be genuine, would induce us to believe that, from the very birth of Alexander, he was destined by his father to grow up under the superintendence of his latest instructor. It is, indeed, not unlikely that, at this early period, Aristotle was well known to Philip. We have seen that, not improbably, his earliest years were passed at the court, where his father possessed the highest confidence of the father of Philip. Moreover, he is said, although neither the time nor the occasion is specified, to have rendered services to the Athenians as ambassador to the court of Macedon. But if Gellius's letter be genuine, how are we able to account for the absence of the philosopher from his charge during the thirteen years which elapsed between its professed date and the second year of the 109th Olympiad, in which we know for certain that he first entered upon his important task? For that it was not because he considered the influences exerted upon this tender age unimportant, is clear from the great stress he lays upon their effect in the eighth book of his Politics, which is entirely devoted to the details of this subject. And although Alexander was only thirteen years old when his connection with Aristotle commenced, yet the seeds of many vices had even at that early period been sown by the unskilful hands of former instructors; and perhaps the best means of estimating the value of Aristotle's services, is to compare what his pupil really became with what he would naturally have been had he been left under the care of these. Two are particularly noticed by Plutarch, of totally opposite dispositions, and singularly calculated to produce, by their combined action, that oscillation between asceticism and luxury which, in the latter part of his life especially, was so striking a feature in Alexander's character.


The first was Leonidas, a relation of his mother Olympias, a rough and austere soldier, who appears to have directed all his efforts to the production of a Spartan endurance of hardship and contempt of danger. He was accustomed to ransack his pupil's trunks for the purpose of discovering any luxurious dress or other means of indulgence which might have been sent to him by his mother: and, at the outset of Alexander's Asiatic expedition, on the occasion of an entertainment by his adopted mother, a Carian princess, he told her that Leonidas's early discipline had made all culinary refinements a matter of indifference to him; that the only cook he had ever been allowed to season his breakfast was a good night's journey; and the only one to improve his supper, a scanty breakfast. An education of which these traits are characteristic might very well produce the personal hardiness and animal courage for which Alexander was distinguished;—it might enable him to tame a Bucephalus, to surpass all his contemporaries in swiftness of foot, to leap down alone amidst a crowd of enemies from the ramparts of a besieged town, to kill a lion in single combat; —it might even inspire the passion for military glory which vented itself in tears when there was nothing left to conquer; —but it would be almost as favourable to the growth of the coarser vices as to the developement of these ruder virtues, and we learn that, to the day of his death, the ruffianly and intemperate dispositions which belong to barbarian blood, and which the influences of Leonidas had tended rather to increase than diminish, were never entirely subdued by Alexander.


The character of Lysimachus, the other instructor especially noticed by Plutarch, was very different, but hardly likely to have produced a much more beneficial effect. He was by birth an Acarnanian, and an expert flatterer, by which means he is said to have gained great favour. His favourite thought appears to have been to compare Alexander to Achilles, Philip to Peleus, and himself to Phoenix, as the characters were described in the epic poetry of Greece, and this insipid stuff it was his delight to act out in the ordinary business of life. At a later period, this passion for scenemaking nearly cost poor Phoenix and his master their lives; and to it is probably due, in a great measure, the cormorant appetite for adulation which is the most disgusting feature in the history of the latter.

To neither then of these two individuals,—and if not to these, of course much less to the crowd of masters in reading, writing, horsemanship, harp-playing, and the other accomplishments included by ancient education in its two branches of Music and Gymnastic,— can we ascribe a share in the production of that character which distinguishes Alexander from any successful military leader. But to Aristotle some of the ancients attribute a degree and kind of merit in this respect which is perfectly absurd. Plutarch says that his pupil received from him more towards the accomplishment of his schemes than from Philip. Alexander himself was accustomed to say, that he honoured Aristotle no less than his own father, that to the one he owed life, but to the other all that made life valuable;—and it is very likely that the misinterpretation of such phrases as these led to the belief that the Conqueror had received from his instructor direct advice for the accomplishment of the great exploit which has made him known to posterity. But the obligations to which he really alluded were probably of a totally different kind. Philip is said to have perceived at a very early age that his son's disposition was a most peculiar one, sensible in the highest degree of kindness, and tractable by gentle measures, but absolutely ungovernable by force, and consequently requiring, instead of the austerity of a Leonidas, or the flattery of a Lysimachus, the influence of one who could by his character and abilities command respect, and by his tact and judgment preserve it. Such qualifications he found in Aristotle, and the good effects seem to have speedily shown themselves. From a rude and intemperate barbarian's his nature expanded and exhibited itself in an attachment to philosophy, a desire of mental cultivation, and a fondness for study. So completely did he acquire higher and more civilized tastes, that while at the extremity of Asia, in a letter to Harpalus he desires that the works of Philistus the historian, the tragedies of Ae schylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and the dithyrambs of Telestes and Philoxenus, should be sent to him. Homer was his constant travelling companion. A copy, corrected by Aristotle, was deposited by the side of his dagger, under the pillow of the couch on which he slept; and on the occasion of a magnificent casket being found among the spoils of Darius's camp, when a discussion arose as to how it should be employed, the King declared that it should be appropriated to the use of containing this copy. But his education had not been confined to the lighter species of literature; on the contrary, he appears to have heen introduced to the gravest and most abstruse parts of philosophy, to which the term of acroamatic was specifically applied. We shall in the sequel examine more fully what exact notion is to be attached to this term: in the meantime, it will be sufficient to observe that it included the highest branches of the science of that day. In a letter, then, preserved by Plutarch and Aulus Gellius, Alexander complains that his preceptor had published those of his works to which this phrase was applied. "How," he asks, "now that this is the case, will he be able to maintain his superiority to others in mental accomplishments, a superiority which he valued more than the distinction he had won by his conquests?" Gellius likewise gives us Aristotle's answer, in which he excuses himself by saying, "that although the works in question were published, they would be useless to all who had not previously enjoyed the benefit of his oral instructions." Whatever may be our opinion as to the genuineness of these letters, which Gellius says he took from the book of the philosopher Andronicus, (a contemporary of Cicero's, to whom we shall in the sequel again revert,) it is quite clear that if they are forgeries, they were forged in accordance with a general belief of the time, that there was no department of knowledge however recondite to which Aristotle had not taken pains to introduce his pupil.

But the most extraordinary feature in the education of Alexander is the short space of time which it occupied. From the time of Aristotle's arrival in Macedonia to the expedition of his pupil into Asia there elapsed eight years. But of this only a part, less than the half, can have been devoted to the purpose of systematic instruction. For in the fourth year of this period, we find Philip during an expedition to Byzantium leaving his son sole and absolute regent of the kingdom. Some barbarian subjects having revolted, Alexander undertook an expedition in person against them, and took their city, which he called after his own name, Alexandropolis. From this time he was continually engaged in business, now leading the decisive charge at Chaeronea, and now involved in court intrigues against a party who endeavoured to gain Philip's confidence and induce him to alter the succession. It is clear therefore that all instruction, in the stricter sense of the word, must have terminated. Yet that a very considerable influence may have been still exerted by Aristotle upon the mind of Alexander, is not only in itself probable, but is confirmed by the titles of some of his writings which are now lost. Ammonius, in his division of the works of the philosopher, mentions a certain class as consisting of treatises written for the behoof of particular individuals, and specifies among them those books "which he composed at the request of Alexander of Macedon, that On Monarchy, and Instructions on the Mode of establishing Colonies. The titles of these works may lead us to conjecture that the distinguishing characteristics of Alexander's subsequent policy,—the attempt to fuse into one mass his old subjects and the people he had conquered,—the assimilation of their manners, especially by education and intermarriages,—the connection of remote regions by building cities, making roads, and establishing commercial enterprises,—may be in no small measure due to the counsels of his preceptor. A modern writer indeed has imagined an analogy between this assimilative policy of the conqueror, and the generalizing genius of the philosopher. And there really does seem some ground for this belief, in spite of an observation of Plutarch's which is at first sight diametrically opposed to it. After speaking of the Stoical notions of an universal republic, he says, that magnificent as the scheme was, it was never realized, but remained a mere speculation of that school of philosophy; and he adds that Alexander, who nearly realized it, did so in opposition to the advice of Aristotle, who had recommended him to treat the Greeks as a general, but the barbarians as a master,— the one as friends, the other as instruments. But there is no other authority than Plutarch for this story; and it seems far from improbable that it is entirely built upon certain expressions used by Aristotle in the first book of his Politics. In that place he recognises the relation between master and slave as a natural one; and he also maintains the superiority of Greeks over barbarians to be so decided and permanent as to justify the supremacy of the one over the other. Of the latter he argues that they have not the faculty of governirg in them, and that therefore the state of slavery is for them the natural and proper form of the social relation. But it should not be overlooked, as by some modern writers it has been, that Aristotle explicitly distinguishes between a slave de facto and a slave de jure, and that he grounds his vindication of slavery entirely on the principle that such a relation shall be the most beneficial one possible to both the parties concerned in it. Where this condition is wanting, wherever the party governed is susceptible of a higher order of government, he distinctly maintains that the relation is a false and unnatural one. If therefore his experience had made him acquainted with the highly cultivated and generous races of upper Asia to which Alexander penetrated, he must in consistency with his own principle, that every man's nature is to be developed to the highest point of which it is capable, have advised that these should be treated on the same footing as the Greeks, and Alexander's conduct would only appear a natural deduction from the general principles inculcated by his master. As far as concerned the barbarians with whom alone the Greeks previously to Alexander's expedition had been brought into contact, the neighbours of the Greek cities in Asia Minor and the Propontis, the savage hordes of Thrace, or the Nomad tribes inhabiting the African Syrtis, Aristotle's position was a most reasonable one. Christianity seems the only possible means for the mutual pacification of races so different from one another in every thought, feeling, and habit, as these and the polished Greeks were : and Christianity itself solves the problem not by those modifications of social life through which alone the statesman acts, or can act; but by awakening all to the consciousness that there exists a common bond higher than all social relations;—it does not aim at obliterating national distinctions, but it dwarfs their importance in comparison with the universal religious faith. If we would really understand the opinions of a writer of antiquity, we ought to understand the ground on which he rests, and must rest. We have no right to require of a pagan philosopher three centuries before Christ, that in his system he should take account of the influences of Christianity; and they who scoff at the importance which he attaches to the differences of race, would do well to point out any instance in the history of the world where a barbarous people has become amalgamated with a highly civilised one by any other agency. If Aristotle might reasonably feel proud of the talents and acquirements of his pupil, his gratification would be yet more enhanced by the nature of the reward which his services received. We have mentioned above the unhappy fate of Stagirus, Aristotle's birthplace. Although his own fortunes were little affected by this calamity, his patriotism, if we may believe the account in Plutarch, induced him to demand as the price of his instructions, the restoration of his native town. It was accordingly rebuilt, such of the inhabitants as were living in exile were restored to the home of their infancy, such as had been sold for slaves were redeemed, and in the davs of Plutarch strangers were shown the shady groves in which the philosopher had walked, and the stone benches whereon he used to repose. The constitution under which the new citizens lived was said to be drawn up by him and long afterwards his memory was celebrated by the Stagirites in a solemn festival, and, it is said, one month of the year (perhaps the one in which he was born) called by his name. There is every reason to believe that during the latter part of his connection with Alexander, when the more direct instruction had ceased, the newly built town furnished him with a quiet retreat, and that he then and there composed the treatises we have mentioned above, for the use of his absent pupil. While their personal communication lasted, Pella, the capital of Macedonia, was perhaps his residence,as it is scarcely probable that Philip would have liked to trust the person of the heir apparent out of his dominions.

We shall conclude the account of this portion of Aristotle's life by the mention of three other remarkable persons who probably all shared with Alexander in the benefit of his instructions, although this is only positively stated of the last of them. The first of these was Callisthenes, a son of Aristotle's cousin, who afterwards attended Alexander in his Asiatic expedition, and to whom we shall have occasion to revert in the sequel. The second was Theophrastus, Aristotle's successor in the school of the Lyceum some years afterwards ; and the third was one Marsyas, a native of Pella, brother to the Antigonus who, after the death of Alexander, when the generals of the monarch divided their master's conquests among them, became King of Lycia and Pamphylia. He was a soldier and a man of letters ; and one work of his On the Education of Alexander is perhaps as great a loss to us as any composition of antiquity which could be named.


In 336 B.C. Alexander became king of Macedonia, and his vast projects for conquest, first of Persia, next of other peoples known and unknown, left him no leisure for anything but military and imperial occupations. It was in the ensuing year (335 B.C.) when the preparations for the Persian expedition were being completed, ready for its execution in the following spring, that Aristotle transferred his residence to Athens.

On Alexander commencing his eastern expedition, Aristotle, leaving his relation and pupil Callisthenes to supply his own place as a friendly adviser to the youthful monarch, whom he accompanied in the ostensible character of historiographer,returned to Athens. Whether this step was the consequence of any specific invitation or not, it is difficult to say. Some accounts state that he received a public request from the Athenians to come, and conjointly with Xenocrates to succeed Speusippus. But these views appear to proceed upon the essentially false opinion that the position of teacher was already a publicly recognised one, and besides to imply the belief that Xenocrates and Aristotle were at the time on their travels together; whereas we know that the latter was in Macedonia till B.C. 335, and that the former had four years before this time succeeded Speusippus, not by virtue of any public appointment, but in consequence of his private wish. If any more precise reason be required for the philosopher's change of residence than the one which probably determined him at first to visit Athens, namely the superior attractions which that city possessed for cultivated and refined minds, we should incline to believe that the greater mildness of climate was the influencing cause. His health was unquestionably delicate; and perhaps it was a regard for this, combined with the wish to economize time, that induced him to deliver his instructions (or at least a part of them) not sitting or standing, but walking backwards and forwards in the open air. The extent to which he carried this practice, although the example of Protagoras in Plato's Dialogue is enough to show that he did not originate it, procured for his scholars, who of course were obliged to conform to this habit, the soubriquet of Peripatetics, or Walkers backwards and forwards. From the neighbouring temple and grove of Apollo Lyceus, his school was commonly known by the name of the Lyceum; and here every morning and evening he delivered lectures to a numerous body of scholars. Among these he appears to have made a division. The morning course, or, as he called it from the place where it was delivered, the morning walk, was attended only by the more highly disciplined part of his auditory, the subjects of it belonging to the higher branches of philosophy, and requiring a systematic attention as well as a previously cultivated understanding on the part of the scholar. In the evening course the subjects as well as the manner of treating them were of a more popular cast, and more appreciable by a mixed assembly. Aulus Gellius, who is our sole authority on this matter, affirms that the expressions acroatic discourses and exoteric discourses were the appropriate technical terms for these instructions; and he further says that the former comprised Theological, Physical, and Dialectical investigations, the latter Rhetoric, Sophistic, (or the art of disputing,) and Politics. We shall in another place examine thoroughly into the precise meaning of these celebrated phrases, a task which would here too much break the thread of the narrative. We may, however, remark that the morning discourses were called acroatic or subjects of lectures, not because they belonged to this or that branch, but because they were treated in a technical and systematic manner; and so the evening discourses obtained the name of exoteric or separate, because each of them was insulated, and not forming an integral part of a system. It is obvious that some subjects are more suitable to the one of these methods, and others to the other; and the division which Gellius makes is, generally speaking, a good one. But that it does not hold universally is plain, not to mention other arguments, from the fact that the work on Rhetoric which has come down to us is an acroatic work, and that on Politics apparently the unfinished draught of one; while on the contrary, a fragment of an exoteric work preserved by Cicero in a Latin dress is upon a theological subject.

The more select circle of his scholars Aristotle used to assemble at stated times on a footing, which without any straining of analogy we may compare to the periodical dinners held by some of the literary clubs of modern times. The object of this obviously was to combine the advantages of high intellectual cultivation with the charms of social intercourse; —to make men feel that philosophy was not a thing separate from the daily uses of life, but one which entered into all its charities and was mixed up with its real pleasures. These reunions were regulated by a code of rules of which we know enough to see that the cynicism or pedantry, which frequently induces such as would be accounted deep thinkers to despise the elegancies or even the decencies of life, was strongly discountenanced. In these days, especially in England, where so many different elements combine to produce social intercourse in its highest perfection, it is difficult to estimate the important effect which must have been brought about by a custom such as that just mentioned. "To enjoy leisure gracefully and creditably," is not easy for any one at any time, but for the Athenian in the days of Aristotle was a task of the greatest difficulty. Deprived of that kind of female intercourse which in modern social life is the great instrument for humanizing the other sex, softening, as it does, through the affections, the disposition to ferocity and rudeness, and checking the licentious passions by the dignity of matronly or maidenly purity, the youth of ancient Greece almost universally fell either into a ruffianly asceticism, or a low and vulgar profligacy. Some affected the austere manner and sordid garb of the Lacadaemonians regarding as effeminate all geniality of disposition, all taste for the refinements of life, every thing in short which did not directly tend to the production of mere energy : while others entirely quenched the moral will and the higher mental faculties in a debauchery of the coarsest kind. To open a new region of enjoyment to the choicer spirits of the time and thus save them from the distortion or corruption to which they otherwise seemed doomed, was a highly important service to the cause of civilization. The pleasure and utility resulting from the institution was very generally recognised. Xenocrates, the friend of Aristotle, adopted it. Theophrastus, his successor, left a sum of money in his will to be applied to defraying the expenses of these meetings ; and there were in after times similar periodical gatherings of the followers of the Stoic philosophers, Diogenes, Antipater, and Panaetius. If some of these, or others of similar nature, in the course of time degenerated into mere excuses for sensual indulgence, as Athenaeus seems to hint, no argument can be thence derived against their great utility while the spirit of the institution was preserved.

Another arrangement made by Aristotle in the management of his instructions appears particularly worthy of notice. In imitation, as some say, of a practice of Xenocrates, he appointed one of his scholars to play the part of a sort of president in his school, holding the office for the space of ten days, after which another took his placed. This peculiarity seems to derive illustration from the practice of the universities of Europe in the middle ages, in which, as is well known, it was the custom for individuals on various occasions to maintain certain theses against all who chose to controvert them. A remnant of this practice remains to this day in the Acts (as they are termed) which are kept in the University of Cambridge by candidates for a degree in either of the Faculties. It is an arrangement which results necessarily from the scarcity of books of instruction, and is dropped or degenerates into a mere form when this deficiency is removed. While information on any given subject must be derived entirely or mainly from the mouth of the teacher,—as was the case in the time of Aristotle no less than that of Scotus and Aquinas,—the most satisfactory test of the learner's proficiency is his ability to maintain the theory which he has received against all arguments which may be brought against it. We shall probably be right in supposing that this was the duty of the president spoken of by Diogenes. He was, in the language of the sixteenth century, keeping an act. He had for the space of ten days to defend his own theory and to refute the objections, which his brother disciples might either entertain or invent, the master in the meantime taking the place of a moderator, occasionally interposing to show where issue must be joined, to prevent either party from drawing illogical conclusions from acknowledged premises, and, probably, after the discussion had been continued for a sufficient time, to point out the ground of the fallacy. This explanation will also serve to account for a phenomenon, which cannot fail to strike a reader on the perusal of any one of Aristotle's writings that have come down to us. The systematic treatment of a subject is continually broken by an apparently needless discussion of objections which may be brought against some particular part. These are stated more or less fully, and are likewise taken off; or it sometimes happens that merely the principle on which the solution must proceed is indicated, and it is left to the ingenuity of the reader to fill up the details. To return to our subject, it is quite obvious that such a discipline as we have described must have had a wonderful effect in sharpening the dialectical talent of the student, and in producing—perhaps at the expense of the more valuable faculty of deep and systematic thought—extraordinary astuteness and agility in argumentation. Indeed, if we make abstraction of the subject-matter of the discussions, we may very well regard the exercise as simply a practical instruction in the art of disputation,—that which formed the staple of the education of the Sophists. And now we may understand how Gellius, writing in the second century after Christ, should place this art among the branches which Aristotle's evening course embraced, although in the sense in which the Sophists taught it, he would have scorned to make any such profession. In what other light could this compiler have viewed the fact, that insulated topics arising out of a subject which they had heard systematically treated by their master in his lectures of the morning, were debated by Aristotle's more advanced scholars, in the presence of the entire body, in the evening, the master being himself present and regulating the whole discussion.

It is evident that in this species of exercise it is not the faculty of comprehending philosophic truth that plays the most prominent part. As regards the subject-matter of such debates, nothing which is at all incomplete, nothing unsusceptible of rigid definition is available. Consequently the whole of that extensive region, where knowledge exists in a state of growth and gradual consolidation,—the domain of half-evolved truths, of observations and theories blended together in varying proportions, of approximately ascertained laws, in the main true, but still apparently irreconcilable with some phenomena,—all this fertile soil, out of which every particle of real knowledge has sprung and must spring, will be neglected as barren and unprofitable. Where public discussion is the only test to be applied, an impregnable paradox will be more valued than an imperfectly established truth. And it is not only by diverting the attention of the student away from the profitable fields of knowledge that a pernicious effect will be produced. He will further be tempted to give, perhaps unconsciously, an artificial roundness to established facts by means of arbitrary definitions. In Nature every thing is shaded off by imperceptible gradations into something entirely different. Who can define the exact line which separates the animal from the vegetable kingdom, or the family of birds from that of animals? Who can say exactly where disinterestedness in the individual character joins on to a well-regulated self-love?—or where fanaticism ends and hypocrisy begins? But on the other hand the intellect refuses to apprehend what is not clear and distinct. Hence a continual tendency to stretch Nature on the Procrustes-bed of Logical Definition, where, with more or less gentle truncation or extension, a plausible theory will be formed. Should one weak point after another be discovered in this, a new bulwark of hypothesis will be thrown up to protect it, and at last the fort be made impregnable,—but alas! in the meantime it has become a castle in the air. Should however the genius of the disputant lie less in the power of distinguishing and refining, than in that of presenting his views in a broad and striking manner, should his fancy be rich and his feelings strong,—above all, should he be one of a nation where eloquence is at once the most common gift and the most envied attainment,—he will call in rhetoric to the aid of his cause; and, in this event, as the accessory gradually encroaches and elbows out that interest to aid which it was originally introduced,—as the handling of the question becomes more important, and the question itself less so,—there will result, not, as in the former case, a Scholastic Philosophy, but an arena for closet orators, who will abandon the systematic study of philosophy, and varnish up declamations on set subjects. Such results doubtless did not follow in the time of Aristotle and Xenocrates. Under them, unquestionably, the original purpose of this discipline was kept steadily in sight; and it was not suffered to pass from being the test of clear and systematic thought to a mere substitute for it. But the transition must have been to a considerable extent effected when an Arcesilaus or a Carneades could deliver formal dissertations in opposition to any question indifferently, and when Cicero could regard the rhetorical practice as co-ordinate in importance with the other advantages resulting to the students. In the very excellence and reputation then of this peculiar discipline of the founder of the Peripatetic school, we have a germ adequate to produce a rapid decay of his philosophy, and we have no occasion to look either to external accidents or to the internal nature of his doctrines for a reason of the degeneracy of the Peripatetics after Theophrastus. The importance of this remark will be seen in the sequel.

It was probably in the course of this sojourn at Athens, which lasted for the space of thirteen years, that the greater number of Aristotle's works were produced. His external circumstances were at this time most favourable. The Macedonian party was the prevalent one at Athens, so that he needed be under no fears for his personal quiet; and the countenance and assistance he received from Alexander enabled him to prosecute his investigations without any interruption from the scantiness of pecuniary means. The Conqueror is said in Athenaeus to have presented his master with the sum of eight hundred talents (about two hundred thousand pounds sterling), to meet the expenses of his History of Animals, and enormous as this sum is, it is only in proportion to the accounts we have of the vast wealth acquired by the plunder of the Persian treasures. Pliny also relates that some thousands of men were placed at his disposal for the purpose of procuring zoological specimens—which served as materials for this celebrated treatise. The undertaking, he says, originated in the express desire of Alexander, who took a singular interest in the study of Natural History. For this particular object indeed, he is said to have received a considerable sum from Philip, so that we must probably regard the assistance afforded him by Alexander, (no doubt after conquest had enlarged his means), as having effected the extension and completion of a work begun at an earlier period, previous to his second visit to Athens. Independently too of this princely liberality, the profits of his occupation may have been very great, and we have before seen reason to suppose that his private fortune was not inconsiderable. It is likely therefore that not only all the means and appliances of knowledge, but the luxuries and refinements of private life were within his reach, and having as little of the cynic as of the sensualist in his character, there is every probability that he availed himself of them. Indeed the charges of luxury which his enemies brought against him after his death, absurd as they are in the form in which they were put, appear to indicate a man that could enjoy riches when possessing them as well as in case of necessity he could endure poverty.



In June, 323 B.C. occurred the premature and unexpected decease of the great Macedonian conqueror, aged 32 years and 8 months, by a violent fever at Babylon. So vast was his power, and so unmeasured his ambition, that the sudden removal of such a man operated as a shock to the hopes and fears of almost every one, both in Greece and Asia. It produced an entire change in the position of Aristotle at Athens. To understand what that position really was, we must look at it in connection with his Macedonian sympathies, and with the contemporaneous political sentiment at Athens. It was in the middle of the year 336 B.C., that Alexander put down by force the revolt of the Thebans, took their city by assault, demolished it altogether (leaving nothing but the citadel called Cadmeia, occupied by a Macedonian garrison), and divided its territory between two other Boeotian towns. Immediately after that terror-striking act, he demanded from the Athenians (who had sympathized warmly with Thebes, though without overt acts of assistance) the surrender of their principal anti-Macedonian politicians. That demand having been refused, he at first prepared to extort compliance at the point of the sword, but was persuaded, not without difficulty, to renounce such intention, and to be content with the voluntary exile of Ephialtes and Charidemus from Athens. Though the unanimous vote of the Grecian Synod at Corinth constituted him Imperator, there can be no doubt that the prevalent sentiment in Greece towards him was that of fear and dislike; especially among the Athenians, whose dignity was most deeply mortified, and to whom the restriction of free speech was the most painful.

Now it was just at this moment (in 335 B.C.) that Aristotle came to Athens and opened his school. We cannot doubt that he was already known and esteemed as the author of various published writings. But the prominent mark by which everyone now distinguished him, was, that he had been for several years confidential preceptor of Alexander, and was still more or less consulted by that prince, as well as sustained by the friendship of Antipater, viceroy of Macedonia during the king's absence. Aristotle was regarded as philo-Macedonian, and to a certain extent, anti-Hellenic—the sentiment expressed towards him in the unfriendly epigram of the contemporary Chian poet Theokritus. His new school, originally opened under the protection and patronage of Alexander and Antipater, continued to be associated with their names, by that large proportion of Athenian citizens who held anti-Macedonian sentiments. Alexander caused the statue of Aristotle to be erected in Athens, and sent to him continual presents of money, usefully employed by the philosopher in the prosecution of his physical and zoological researches, as well as in the purchase of books. Moreover Aristotle remained in constant and friendly correspondence with Antipater, the resident viceroy at Pella, during the absence of Alexander in Asia. Letters of recommendation from Aristotle to the Macedonian rulers were often given and found useful : several of them were preserved and published afterwards. There is even reason to believe that the son of Antipater—Kassander, afterwards viceroy or king of Macedonia, was among his pupils.

I have recounted, elsewhere how the character of Alexander became gradually corrupted by unexampled success and Asiatic influences; how he thus came to feel less affection and esteem for Aristotle, to whom he well knew that his newly acquired imperial and semi-divine pretensions were not likely to be acceptable; how, on occasion of the cruel sentence passed on Callisthenes, he threatened even to punish Aristotle himself, as having recommended Callisthenes, and as sympathizing with the same free spirit; lastly, how Alexander became more or less alienated, not only from the society of Hellenic citizens, but even from his faithful viceroy, the Macedonian Antipater. But these changed relations between Aristotle and Alexander did not come before the notice of the Athenians, nor alter the point of view in which they regarded the philosopher; the rather, since the relations of Aristotle with Antipater continued as intimate as ever.

It will thus appear, that though all the preserved writings of Aristotle are imbued with a thoroughly independent spirit of theorizing contemplation and lettered industry, uncorrupted by any servility or political bias—yet his position during the twelve years between 335-323 B.C. inevitably presented him to the Athenians as the macedonizing philosopher, parallel with Phokion as the macedonizing politician, and in pointed antithesis to Xenokrates at the Academy, who was attached to the democratical constitution and refused kingly presents. Besides that enmity which he was sure to incur, as an acute and self-thinking philosopher, from theology and the other anti-philosophical veins in the minds of ordinary men, Aristotle thus became the object of unfriendly sentiment from many Athenian patriots, who considered the school of Plato generally as hostile to popular liberty, and who had before their eyes examples of individual Platonists, ruling their respective cities with a scepter forcibly usurped.

Such sentiment was probably aggravated by the unparalleled and offensive Macedonian demonstration at the Olympic festival of 324 B.C. It was on that occasion that Alexander, about one year prior to his decease, sent down a formal rescript, which was read publicly to the assembled crowd by a herald with loud voice; ordering every Grecian city to recall all exiles who had been banished by judicial sentence, and intimating, that if the rescript were not obeyed spontaneously, Antipater would be instructed to compel the execution of it by force. A large number of the exiles whose restitution was thus ordered, were present on the plain of Olympia, and heard the order proclaimed, doubtless with undisguised triumph and exultation. So much the keener must have been the disgust and humiliation among the other Grecian hearers, who saw the autonomy of each separate city violently trampled down, without even the pretense of enquiry, by this high-handed sentence of the Macedonian conqueror. Among the Athenians especially, the resentment felt was profound; and a vote was passed appointing deputies to visit Alexander in person, for the purpose of remonstrating against it. The orator Demosthenes, who happened to be named Archi-Theorus of Athens (chief of the solemn legation sent to represent Athens) at this Olympic festival, incurred severe reproach from his accuser Deinarchus, for having even been seen in personal conversation with the Macedonian officer who had arrived from Asia as bearer of this odious rescript.

Now it happened that this officer, the hearer of the rescript, was Nikanor of Stageira; son of Proxenus who had been Aristotle's early guardian, and himself the cherished friend or ward, ultimately the son-in-law, of the philosopher. We may be certain that Aristotle would gladly embrace the opportunity of seeing again this attached friend, returning after a long absence on service in Asia; that he would be present with him at the Olympic festival, perhaps receive a visit from him at Athens also. And the unpopularity of Aristotle at Athens, as identified with Macedonian imperial authority, would thus be aggravated by his notorious personal alliance with his fellow-citizen Nikanor, the bearer of that rescript in which such authority had been most odiously manifested.



Fortune, proverbially inconstant, was even more fickle in the days of Aristotle than our own. At an earlier period of his life, we have seen the virulence of political partizanship rendering it desirable for him to quit Athens. The same spirit it was which again, in his old age, forced him to seek refuge in a less agreeable but safer spot. The death of Alexander had infused new courage into the anti-Macedonian party at Athens, and a persecution of such as entertained contrary views naturally followed. Against Aristotle, the intimate friend and correspondent of Antipater, (whom Alexander on leaving Greece had left regent,) a prosecution was either instituted or threatened for an alleged offence against religion. The flimsiness of this pretext for crushing a political opponent,—or rather a wise and inoffensive man, whose very impartiality was a tacit censuRe of the violent party-spirit of his time,—will appear at first sight of the particulars of the charge. Eurymedon the Hierophant, assisted by Demophilus, accused him of the blasphemy of paying divine honours to mortals. He had composed, it was said, a pAean and offered sacrifices to his father in law Hermias, and also honoured the memory of his deceased wife Pythias with libations such as were used in the worship of Ceres. This paean is the scolium which we have described above and although we cannot tell what the circumstance was which gave rise to the latter half of the charge, we may reasonably presume that it as little justified the interpretation given to it as the ode does. That ignorance and bigotry stimulated by party hatred should find matter in his writings to confirm a charge of impiety founded on such a basis, was to be expected; and he is related to have said to his friends, in allusion to the fate of Socrates, "Let us leave Athens, and not give the Athenians a second opportunity of committing sacrilege against Philosophy." He was too well acquainted with the character of "the many-headed monster" to consider the absurdity of a charge as a sufficient guarantee for security under such circumstances, and he retired with his property to Chalcis in Euboea", where at that time Macedonian influence prevailed. In a letter to Antipater he expresses his regret at leaving his old haunts, but applies a verse from Homer in a way to intimate that the disposition that prevailed there to vexatious and malignant calumnies was incorrigible. It is not impossible that his new asylum had before this time afforded him an occasional retreat from the noise and bustle of Athens. Now however he owed to it a greater obligation. He was out of the reach of his enemies, and enabled to justify himself in the opinion of all whose judgement was valuable by a written defence of his conduct, and an exposure of the absurdities which the accusation involved. "Was it likely," he asks, "that if he had contemplated Hermias in the light of a deity, he should have set up a cenotaph to his memory as to that of a dead man? Were funeral rites a natural step to apotheosis?" Arguments like these, reasonable as they are, were not likely to produce much effect upon the minds of his enemies. The person of their victim was beyond their reach; but such means of annoyance as still remained were not neglected. Some mark of honour at Delphi, probably a statue, had been on a former occasion (perhaps the embassy alluded to above) decreed him by a vote of the people. This vote seems to have been at this time rescinded, an insult the more mortifying, if, as appears likely, it was inflicted on the pretext that he had acted the part of a spy in the Macedonian interest. In a letter to Antipater he speaks of this proceeding in a tone of real greatness, perfectly free from the least affectation of indifference. He alleges that it does not occasion him great uneasiness, but that he still feels hurt by it. It is impossible to find expressions more characteristic of an unaffectedly magnanimous nature, or which better illustrate the description of that disposition given by himself in one of his works.

A subject which it is likely occasioned him during the latter years of his life far greater pain than anything which the fickle public of Athens could think or do, was the coolness which had arisen between himself and his illustrious pupil. It seems to have been closely connected with the conduct of Callisthenes, whom we have mentioned above who had accompanied Alexander into Asia by his particular recommendation. This individual possessed a cultivated mind, a vigorous understanding, and a bold and fearless integrity, combined with a strong attachment to the homely virtues and energetic character of the Macedonians, and a corresponding hatred and contempt for the Persian manners which had been adopted by Alexander after his successes. Unfortunately no less for those whom it was his desire to reform than for himself, the sterling qualities of his mind were obscured by a singular want of tact and discretion. He had no talent for seizing the proper moment to tell an unwelcome truth, and so far from being able to sweeten a reproof by an appearance of interest and affection for the party reproved, he often contrived to give his real zeal the colouring of offended vanity or personal malice. Aristotle is said to have dreaded from the very first that evil would follow from these defects in his character, and to have advised him to abstain from frequent interviews with the king, and when he did converse with him, to be careful that his conversation was agreeable and goodhumoured. He probably judged that the character and conduct of Callisthenes would of itself work an effect with a generous disposition like Alexander's, and that its influence could not be increased, and would in all probability be much diminished, by the irritation of personal discussion, producing, almost of necessity, altercation and invective. Callisthenes however did not abide by the instructions of his master; and perhaps the ambition of martyrdom contributed almost as much as the love of truth to his neglect of them. The description of Kent, which Shakspeare puts into the mouth of Cornwall would certainly not do him justice; but it is impossible to shut our eyes to the fact that he made it "his occupation to be plain." Disgusted at the ceremony of the salaam, and the other oriental customs, which in the eyes of many were a degradation to the dignity of freeborn Greeks, he did not take the proper course, namely, to withdraw himself from the royal banquets, and thus by his absence enter a practical protest against their adoption; but, while he still did not cease to attend these, he took every opportunity of testifying his disapprobation of what he saw, and his contempt of the favours which were bestowed on such as were less scrupulous than himself. One of them who appears to have particillarly excited his dislike was the sophist Anaxarchus, an unprincipled flatterer, who vindicated the worst actions and encouraged the most evil tendencies of his master; and perhaps the jealousy of this miscreant and an unwillingness to leave him the undivided empire over Alexander's mind, was one reason which prevented him from adopting what would have been probably the most effectual as well as the most dignified line of conduct. Some anecdotes are related by Plutarch, which exhibit in a very striking manner both the mutual hatred of the philosophers breaking out in defiance of all the decencies of a court, and the rude bluntness of Callisthenes's manners. On one occasion, a discussion arose at supper time, as to the comparative severity of the winters in Macedonia and in the part of the country where they then were. Anaxarchus, is opposition to his rival, strongly maintained the former to he the colder. Callisthenes could not resist the temptation of a sneer at his enemy. "You at least," said he, "should hardly be of that opinion. In Greece you used to get through the cold weather in a scrubby jacket; here, I observe that you cannot sit down to table with less than three thick mantels on your back". Anaxarchus, whose vulgar ostentation of the wealth which his low servilities had procured him was observed and ridiculed by all, could not turn off this sarcasm; but the meanest animal has its sting, and he took care not to miss any opportunity for lowering the credit of Callisthenes with Alexander,—a task which the unfortunate wrong-headedness of the other rendered only too easy. On the occasion of another royal banquet, each of the guests as the cup passed round, drank to the monarch from it, and then after performing the salaam, received a salute from him,— a ceremony which was considered as an especial mark of royal favour. Callisthenes, when his turn arrived, omitted the salaam, but advanced towards Alexander, who being busy in conversation with Hephsestion, did not observe that the expected act of homage had been omitted. A courtier of Anaxarchus's party, however, Demetrius, the son of Pythonax, determined that their enemy should not benefit by this casualty, and accordingly called out, "Do not salute that fellow, sire; for he alone has refused to salaam you." The king on hearing this refused Callisthenes the customary compliment; but the latter far from heing mortified, exclaimed contemptuously as he returned to his seat, "Very well, then I am a kiss the poorer!". Such gratuitous discourtesy as this could hardly fail to alienate the kindness of a young prince, whose mere taste for refinement,—leaving entirely out of consideration the intoxication produced hy unparalleled success and the flatteries which follow it,—must have heen revolted by it. It however gained him great credit with the Macedonian party, who were no less jealous of the favour which the Persian nohles found with the Conqueror than disgusted with the adoption of the Persian customs. He was considered as the mouthpiece of the body, and as the representative and vindicator of that manly and plainspeaking spirit of liberty which they regarded as their birthright, and the satisfaction which his vanity received from this importance, combined with a despair of reconquering the first place in Alexander's favour from the hated and despised Anaxarchus, probably determined him to relinquish all attempts at pleasing the monarch, and to adopt a line which might annoy and injure himself but could hardly benefit any one. When an account was brought to Aristotle in Greece of the course pursued by his relation, his sharp-sightedness led him at once to divine the result. In a line from the Iliad',

Ah me! suck words, my son, bode speedy death!

he prophetically hinted the fate which awaited him. Indeed the latter himself appears not to have been blind to the ruin preparing for him; but this conviction did not produce any alteration in his conduct, or, if anything, it perhaps induced him to give way to his temper even more than before. At another banquet, the not unusual request was made to him, that he would exhibit his talents by delivering an extemporaneous oration, and the subject chosen was a Panegyric upon the Macedonians. He complied, and performed his task so well as to excite universal admiration and enthusiastic applause on the part of the guests. This circumstance appears to have nettled Alexander, whose affection for his old fellow-pupil had probably quite vanished, and he remarked in disparagement of the feat, in a quotation from Euripides, that on such a subject it was no great matter to be eloquent. "If Callisthenes wished really to give a proof of his abilities," said he, "let him take up the other side of the question, and try what he can do in an invective against the Macedonians, that they may learn their faults and reform them." The orator did not decline the challenge : —his mettle was roused, and he surpassed his former performance. The Macedonian nation was held up to utter scorn, and especial contempt heaped upon the warlike exploits and consummate diplomacy of Alexander's father Philip. His successes were attributed to accident or low intrigue availing itself of the dissensions which existed at that time in Greece; and the whole was wound up by the Homeric line

When civil broils prevail, the vilest soar to fame!

The effect of this course was such as might have been expected. Alexander fell into a furious passion, telling the performer what was not far from the truth, that his speech was an evidence not of skill, but of malevolence, and the latter, perhaps conscious that he had now struck a blow which would never be forgiven, left the room repeating as he went out a verse from the Iliad, which seems to be an allusion to the death of Clitus, and an intimation that he expected to be made the second victim to his sovereign's temper.

A victim he was destined to be, although not in the way in which he appears to have expected. A practice had been introduced by Philip, similar to that which prevailed in the courts of the feudal sovereigns in the Middle Ages, that the sons of the principal nobles should be brought up at court in attendance on the person of the king. Of these pages, esquires, or grooms of the bed-chamber, (for their office appears to have included all these duties), who attended on Alexander, there was one named Hermolaus, a youth of high spirit and generous disposition, who was much attached to Callisthenes and took great pleasure in his society and conversation. The philosopher appears to have considered his mind as a fit depository for the manly principles of Grecian liberty, which the tenets of Anaxarchus and the corrupt example of the monarche threatened utterly to extinguish, and, in the inculcation of these, to have made use of language and of illustrations, which considering the circumstances of the case were certainly dangerous, although in reference to the then prevailing tone of morality we shall scarcely he justified in censuring them. Harmodius and Aristogiton having with the sacrifice of their own lives been fortunate enough to hring about the freedom of their country, had heen canonized as political saints, and were held up to all the youth of the free states of Greece for admiration and imitation; and Callisthenes can hardly deserve especial hlame for participating in this general idolatry, or for representing the glory of a tyrannicide as surpassing that of a tyrant, however brilliant the fortunes of the latter might he. Neither can we at all wonder that he should delight in depreciating the "pride, pomp and circumstance" of greatness in comparison with dignity of character and manly energy, and in exposing the impotence of externals to avert any of "the ills to which flesh is heir." Such considerations have ceen in all ages and ever will be the staple both of Philosophy and of the sciolism which is its counterfeit, and the necessity for dwelling upon them might to Callisthenes appear the greater in order to counterbalance the habits of feeling which Persian manners and sophistry like that of Anaxarchus were calculated to spread among the Macedonian youth. He is said indeed to have continually professed that the only motive which induced him to accompany Alexander into Asia was that he might be the means of restoring his countrymen to their father-land, as true Greeks as they went out, uncorrupted by the manners or the luxury of the Barbarians—and he seems unquestionably to have succeeded in putting a stop, at least for a time, to the ceremony of the salaam, of all Eastern customs the one most galling to Macedonian pride. In an evil day however to Callisthenes, it happened, that Hermolaus was out boar-hunting with Alexander, when the animal charged directly towards the king. The page, influenced probably more by the ardour of the chase, and his own youthful spirits, than by any just apprehension for his sovereign's safety, struck the creature a mortal wound before it came up to him. Alexander, the keenest of huntsmen, baulked of his expected sport, in the passion of the moment, ordered Hermolaus to be flogged in the presence of his brotherpages, and deprived him of his horse, (apparently the sign of summarily degrading him from his employment.) Such an insult to a Greek could only be washed out in the blood of the aggressor, and Hermolaus found ready sympathy among his compeers. It was agreed by them that Alexander should be assassinated while asleep, and the execution of the design was fixed for a night on which Antipater, the son of Asclepiodorus, (whom Alexander had made lord-lieutenant of Syria,) was to be the groom in waiting. It so happened, that on that night Alexander did not retire to bed at all, but sat at table carousing until the very morning,—whether by accident, or in consequence of the advice of a Syrian female, to whom in the character of a soothsayer he paid great respect, is not agreed by the contemporary historians. But this circumstance, whatever was the cause of it, saved the king and led to the detection of the plot. The next day, Epimenes, one of the conspirators, mentioned the matter to an individual who was strongly attached to him. This person communicated it to Eurylochus, the brother of Epimenes, perhaps considering that his relationship was a sufficient guarantee for secrecy. Eurylochus, however, at once laid an information before Ptolemy the son of Lagus, subsequently the first of the Greek dynasty in Egypt, and then one of the guard of honour in attendance on Alexander. He reported to the king the names of those who he had been told were concerned in the affair : they were arrested, and on being put to the torture confessed their crime and gave up the names of others who were participators. So far all accounts agree as to the substantial facts of this story,—but here a great discrepancy commences. Ptolemy and Aristobulus both asserted that the pages named Callisthenes as the instigator of their design. This however was denied by the majority of contemporary writers on the subject, who related that the ill will towards Callisthenes previously existing in the mind of Alexander, combined with the intimacy that subsisted between Hermolaus and the former, furnished ample means to his enemies to raise a strong suspicion against him. They alleged, that to a question from Hermolaus, "how a man might make himself the most illustrious of his species" he replied, ''By slaying him that is most illustrious'': and that to incite the youth to the rash act, he bade him ''not he in awe of the couch of gold, but remember that such a one often holds a sick or a wounded man'';—also, that when Philotas had asked him whom the Athenians honoured most of all men, he replied, "Harmodius and Aristogiton, the tyrannicides," and when the querist expressed a doubt whether such a person would at the existing time find countenance and protection any where in Greece, he replied, "that if every other city shut its gates against him, he would certainly find a refuge in Athens" and in support of this opinion quoted the instance of the Heraclidae who there found protection against the tyrant Eurystheus. It requires but little penetration to see how, under circumstances of such peculiar irritation, the words of Callisthenes might with very little violence and with the greatest plausibility, be interpreted in a treasonable sense, although they were nothing more than Macedonian principles expressed in a strong and antithetical manner. Indeed, the very admixture of legendary history in the instance of the sons of Hercules seems to betray the common places of the rhetorician. And that this account of the matter, to which Arrhian, following the majority of contemporary accounts, inclines, is the true one, seems proved beyond all doubt by two letters of Alexander himself, which are cited by Plutarch. In the former of these, written immediately after the event to his general, Craterus, he states, "that the pages on being put to the torture confessed their own treason, but denied that any one else was privy to the attempt." He wrote to Attalus and Alcetas to the same effect. But afterwards in a letter to Antipater, he says, "the pages have been stoned to death by the Macedonians; but as for the sophist I intend to punish him, and those too who sent him out, and also the cities which harbour conspirators against me". In the latter part of this phrase, according to Plutarch, he alludes to Aristotle, as being the great-uncle of Callisthenes, and the person by whose advice he had joined the court. It seems plain that in the interval between the writing of these letters, Alexander's mind had been worked upon by those whose interest it was to identify the cause of manliness and virtue with that of disloyalty and treason, by Anaxarchus and the crew of court sycophants whose practice he sanctioned by his example, and attempted to justify by his philosophy. The tide of hatred however was setting too strong against Callisthenes for him to stem it. He was placed under confinement, and according to accounts which there is too much reason to fear are true, cruelly mutilated. It is said to have been Alexander's intention to bring him to a trial in the presence of Aristotle on his return to Greece;—but the unfortunate man after remaining in his deplorable situation for a considerable time, died from the effects of ill treatment.

Whatever prejudices against his old master may have been raised in the mind of Alexander on the score of Callisthenes, and whatever ill consequence might perhaps have followed if the conqueror had lived to revisit Europe, intoxicated with his military successes, and hardened by the influence of those flatterers who after Callisthenes's death reigned supreme at court,—it is explicitly stated by Plutarch, that while he lived his estrangement never led him to injure Aristotle in the slightest degree. Mortification therefore at the degeneracy of his pupil, and sorrow at the loss of an affection in which he doubtless took both pride and pleasure, were the only evils which the latter during his remaining days had to endure. But a few years after the death of both, a story began to be circulated which at last grew into a form in the highest degree detrimental to his character.

It is impossible to doubt that Alexander died from the fever of the country, caught immediately after indulgence in the most extravagant excesses. At the moment no suspicion to the contrary was entertained. But some time afterwards, the ambitious and intriguing Olympias, who had long indulged a bitter hostility towards Antipater, (a hostility which the successful establishment of the latter in the government of Macedonia after her son's death had inflamed into a fiendish hatred,) seized the opportunity which Alexander's rapid illness afforded to throw the suspicion of poisoning him upon her enemy, whose younger son Iolaus had been his cupbearer. It was not till the sixth year after the fatal event that this story was set on foot; and it seems to have originated in nothing but Olympias's desire of vengeance, which then first found a favourable vent. The bones of Iolaus, who had died in the interim, were torn from their grave, and a hundred Macedonians, selected from among the most distinguished of Antipater's friends, barbarously butchered. The accusation of poisoning the king seems at first to have been vaguely set on foot, the only circumstantial part of the story being the point necessary to justify Olympias's malignity,—namely, that Iolaus was the agent in administering the poison. But in process of time the minutest details of the transaction were supplied. We give them in the last form which they assumed. The fears of Antipater, it was said, arising from the growing irritation of Alexander incessantly stimulated against him by Olympias, induced him, on hearing that he was superseded by Craterus and ordered into Asia with new levies, to plot against his master's life. A fit means for this purpose was pointed out to him by his friend Aristotle, who dreaded the personal consequences to himself which seemed likely to follow from Alexander's anger against Callisthenes. The nature of this is quite in keeping with the other features of the narrative. It was no other than the water of the river Styx, which fell from a rock near the town of Nonacris in Arcadia, and which, according to a local superstition which is not extinct to this day, possessed not only the property of destroying animal life by its cold and petrifying qualities but also that of dissolving the hardest metals, and even precious stones. One substance alone was proof against its destructive influences,—the hoof of a Scythian ass! In a vessel made out of this, a small portion of the fluid was conveyed by Cassander, Iolaus's elder brother, into Asia, and, on the occasion of the debauch at which Alexander was taken ill, administered to him by the latter. Iolaus was stimulated to the act by the desire of revenging an outrage upon himself by the king, and attachment to him induced Medius, a Thessalian, at whose palace the debauch took place, to be an accomplice in the treason. The assassin, according to the author of the Lives of the Ten Orators falsely attributed to Plutarch, was rewarded by a proposition of the demagogue Hyperides at Athens, to confer public honours upon him as a tyrannicide, and the horn cup in which the fatal draught had been conveyed from Greece deposited in the temple of Delphi.


The absurdity of this account is glaringly manifest to readers of the present day, of whom nine out of every ten are probably better acquainted with the nature and operation of petrifying springs than the best informed of the Greek naturalists were. The ancients were not in possession of the touchstone for the discovery of falsehood which modern science affords; but even they were long before they attached any credence to the calumny. "The greater part of the writers on the subject," says Plutarch, "consider the whole matter of the reputed poisoning a mere fiction, and in confirmation of this view they quote the fact, that although the royal remains lay for several days unembalmed, in consequence of the disputes of the generals,—and that too in a hot and close place,—they exhibited no marks of corruption, but remained fresh and unchanged." Arrhian, too, who as well as Plutarch derives his account of the king's illness and death from the court gazettes, and confirms the statements of these by the narratives of Ptolemy and Aristobulus, says of the charge of poisoning, which he afterwards mentions, that he has alluded to it merely to show that he has heard of it, not that he considers it to deserve any credence. In fact, the sole source of the story in its details appears to have heen one Hagnothemis (an individual of whom nothing else is known), who is reported to have said that he had heard it told by King Antigonus. But its piquancy was a strong recommendation to later writers, and it is instructive and amusing to observe how their statements of it increase in positiveness about in proportion as they recede from the time in which the facts of the case could be known. Diodorus Siculus and Vitruvius, living in the time of the two first Caesars, merely mention the rumour that Alexander's death was occasioned by poison, through the agency of Antipater,—but do not pretend to assert its credibility. Quintus Curtius, writing under Vespasian, considers the authorities on that side to preponderate. The epitomizer of a degenerate age, Justin, flourishing in the reign of Antoninus Pius, slightly alludes to the intemperance which he allows had been assigned as the cause of Alexander's death, but adds that in fact he died from treason, and the disgraceful truth was suppressed by the influence of his successors. And finally Orosius, in the fifth century, states broadly and briefly that he died from poison administered by an attendant, without so much as hinting that any different belief had ever even partially obtained. But it is remarkable that of all these writers, not one mixes up Aristotle's name with the story; and it is probable that the foolish charge against him mentioned (and discountenanced) by Plutarch and Arrhian, fell into discredit very soon after it arose, and perhaps was only remembered as a curious piece of scandalous history, until the half-lunatic Caracalla thought proper to revive it, in order to gratify at once the tyrant's natural hatred for wisdom and virtue, and his own morbid passion for idolizing the memory of Alexander. It is recorded of him that he persecuted the Aristotelean sect of philosophers with singular hatred, abolishing the social meetings of their body which appear to have taken place in Alexandria confiscating certain funds which they possessed, and even entertaining the design of destroying their master's works, on no other ground than that Aristotle was thought to have aided Antipater in destroying Alexander.

To attempt to account for the origin of so absurd a charge as that we have been discussing may perhaps appear rash. We cannot however resist the temptation of hazarding a conjecture, that while the intimacy of Aristotle with Antipater undoubtedly furnished a favourable soil for the growth of the story, the actual germ of it is to be looked for at Delphi. The cup in the treasure house there, which the epigram we have quoted above represents as presented by Alexander, was probably of onyx, a stone of which the coloured layers resembling as they do the outer coats of a hoof, procured it the name by which it goes. Now it is obvious that in the time of which we are speaking, when the merchant who sold the wares was for the most part himself a traveller in distant countries, marvellous tales would be related respecting the strange commodities which he imported. The onyx might to the admiring Greek be represented as the solid hoof of some strange animal, with no less plausibility than in the fourteenth century a cocoa nut could be sold as a griffin's egg— a long univalve shell represented as the horn of a land animal,—or the ammonites of Malta regarded as serpents changed into stone by St Paul. And although the more extensive communication with the East, which commenced after Alexander's expedition, would in process of time spread more correct views on the subject of natural productions, the old legends would linger in the temples, handed down traditionally by the attendants, who showed the curiosities to strangers, and were expected to be provided with a story for every relict If any one of these ciceroni, aware of the intimate friendship which subsisted between Aristotle and Antipater, and also of the rumour that Alexander had been poisoned through the agency of the latter, had either chanced to stumble himself, or to be directed by a more learned visitor to a passage in a work of Theophrastus, (Aristotle's favourite scholar and successor,) at that time extant, which stated "that in Arcadia there was a streamlet of water dropping from a rock, called the water of Styx, which those who wished for, collected by means of sponges fastened to the end of poles; and that not only was it a mortal poison to whoever drank it, but it possessed the property of dissolving all vessels into which it was put, except they were of horn,'' he must have possessed much less fancy, and a much greater regard for historical accuracy than the rest of his countrymen, if he did not upon the visit of the next pilgrim to the temple, add at least a conjecture or two as to the connection which the relic in question had with a story possessing so much interest to all. It should not be forgotten, in reference to that part of the account which represents Aristotle as the discoverer of this peculiar property of the 'Stygian water,'—that Theophrastus is the earliest authority for its possessing it, and that if Aristotle had been aware that such a belief existed, we should hardly fail to find it in is account of a pestilential fountain in Thrace, the water of which was said to be clear and sparkling, and to the eye like any other, but fatal to all who drank of it.



During the twelve or thirteen years of Aristotle's teaching and Alexander's reign, Athens was administered by macedonizing citizens, with Phokion and Demades at their head. Under such circumstances, the enmity of those who hated the imperial philosopher could not pass into act; nor was it within the contemplation of any one, that only one year after that rescript which insulted the great Pan-Hellenic festival, the illustrious conqueror who issued it would die of fever, in the vigor of his age and at the height of his power (June, 323 B.C.). But as soon as the news of his decease, coming by surprise both on friends and enemies, became confirmed, the suppressed anti-Macedonian sentiment burst forth in powerful tide, not merely at Athens, but also throughout other parts of Greece. There resulted that struggle against Antipater, known as the Lamian war : a gallant struggle, at first promising well, but too soon put down by superior force, and ending in the occupation of Athens by Antipater with a Macedonian garrison in September, 322 B.C., as well as in the extinction of free speech and free citizenship by the suicide of Demosthenes and the execution of Hypereides.

During the year immediately succeeding the death of Alexander, the anti-Macedonian sentiment continued so vehemently preponderant at Athens, that several of the leading citizens, friends of Phokion, left the city to join Antipater, though Phokion himself remained, opposing ineffectually the movement. It was during this period that the enemies of Aristotle found a favorable opportunity for assailing him. An indictment on the score of impiety was preferred against him by Eurymedon the Hierophant (chief priest of the Eleusinian Demeter), aided by Demophilus, son of the historian Ephorus. The Hymn or Paean (still existing), which Aristotle had composed in commemoration of the death, and in praise of the character, of the eunuch Hermeias, was arraigned as a mark of impiety; besides which, Aristotle had erected at Delphi a statue of Hermeias with an honorific inscription, and was even alleged to have offered sacrifices to him as to a god. In the published writings of Aristotle, too, the accusers found various heretical doctrines, suitable for sustaining their indictment; as, for example, the declaration that prayer and sacrifices to the gods were of no avail. But there can be little doubt that the Hymn, Ode, or Paean, in honor of Hermeias, would be more offensive to the feelings of an ordinary Athenian than any philosophical dogma extracted from the cautious prose compositions of Aristotle. It is a hymn, of noble thought and dignified measure, addressed to Virtue (masculine or military Virtue), in which are extolled the semi-divine or heroic persons who had fought, endured, and perished in her service. The name and exploits of Hermeias are here introduce as the closing parallel and example in a list beginning with Herakles, the Dioskuri, Achilles, and Ajax. Now the poet Kallistratus, in his memorable Skolion, offers a like compliment to Harmodius and Aristogeiton; and Pindar, to several free Greeks of noble family, who paid highly for his epinician Odes now remaining. But all the persons thus complimented were such as had gained prizes at the sacred festivals, or had distinguished themselves in other ways which the public were predisposed to honor; whereas Hermeias was a eunuch, who began by being a slave, and ended by becoming despot over a free Grecian community, without any exploit conspicuous to the eye. To many of the Athenian public it would seem insult, and even impiety, to couple Hermeias with the greatest personages of Hellenic mythology, as a successful competitor for heroic honors. We need only read the invective of Claudian against Eutropius, to appreciate the incredible bitterness of indignation and contempt, which was suggested by the spectacle of a eunuch and a slave exercising high public functions. And the character of a despot was, to the anti-macedonizing Athenians, hardly less odious than either of the two others combined with it in Hermeias.


We must now return from the discussion of the imputed share of Aristotle in the death of his illustrious pupil, to the narrative of his own. He did not long survive his departure from the city in which he had spent so large a portion of his life. He retired to Chalcis in the year of Cephisodorus's archonship (b.c. 323—322), and early in that of his successor Philocles, died (as we are justified by Apollodorus's authority in stating positively), from disease. At nearly the same time the greatest orator that the world ever saw, the leader of that party whose influence had expelled Aristotle from Athens, was driven to have recourse to poison, to escape a worse fate. There are not wanting accounts that the philosopher also met a violent death. That he poisoned himself to avoid falling into the hands of his accusers is the view of Suidas and of the anonymous author of his Life. But independently of the superior authority of Apollodorus, and the evidence which Aristotle's own opinions, expressed in more than one place, on the subject of suicide, afford in contradiction of this story, the fact of Chalcis being then under Macedonian influence, and consequently a perfectly secure refuge for any one persecuted for real or supposed participation in Macedonian politics, is quite enough to induce us to reject this story. A yet more absurd one is repeated by some of the early Christian writers. Mortification, according to them, at being unable to discover the cause of the Euripus ebbing and flowing seven times every day, induced him to throw himself headlong into the current. Of this story it is scarcely necessary to say more than that the phenomenon which produced such fatal consequences to the philosopher does not really exisT. The stream constantly sets through the narrow channel between Euboea and the mainland from north to south, except when winds blowing very strongly in an opposite direction, produce for a time the appearance of a current from south to north. But instead of wasting time upon the refutation of these foolish accounts, we shall perhaps please our readers better by bringing together a few circumstances which appear to confirm the statement of Apollodorus, to which independently of these, we should not be justified in refusing belief.

Aulus Gellius relates that Aristotle's scholars, when their master had past his sixty-second year, and being in a state of extremely bad health gave them but little hopes that he would survive for any length of time, entreated him to appoint some one of their body as his successor, to keep their party together and preserve the philosophical views which he had promulgated. "There were at that time," says Gellius, "many distinguished men among his disciples, But two preeminently superior to the rest, Menedemus" (or, as some suppose it should be written, Eudemus)," a Rhodian, and Theophrastus, a native of Eresus, a town in the island of Lesbos." Aristotle, perhaps unwilling that his last moments should be disturbed by the heartburnings which a selection, however judicious, might produce, contrived to avoid the invidious task, and at the same time to convey his own sentiments on the subject. He replied, that at the proper time he would satisfy their wishes, and shortly afterwards when the same persons who had made the request happened to be present, he took occasion to complain that the wine which he usually drank did not agree with him, and to beg that they would look out for some sort which might suit him better,—'for instance', said he, 'some Lesbian or Rhodian';—two wines which, as is notorious, were beyond almost any others celebrated in antiquity. When a sample of each had been brought to him, he first tasted the latter and praised it for its soundness and agreeable flavour. Then trying the Lesbian, he seemed for a time to doubt which he should choose, but at last said, Both are admirable wines, but the Lesbian is the pleasanter of the two. He never made any further allusion to the matter of a successor, and the disciples universally concluded that this observation relative to the Rhodian and Lesbian vintages was meant as an answer to their question, Theophrastus the Lesbian being a man singularly distinguished for suavity both of language and manners; and accordingly on the death of Aristotle they unanimously acknowledged him as the chosen successor. That this anecdote implies the belief that a disease of some duration was the cause of the philosopher's death is quite obvious; and there is some ground for supposing that this disease was an affection of the intestines, from which he had long suffered. This affection," says another ancient author, "which he bore with the greatest fortitude, was of such a nature that the wonder is that he contrived to prolong his life to the extent of sixty-three years, not that he died when he did." For complaints of this kind warm fomentations of oil applied to the stomach were recommended in the medical practice of antiquity. Now Lycon the Pythagorean, a bitter calumniator of Aristotle, grounded a charge of inordinate luxury against him, upon the assertion that he indulged himself in the habit of taking baths of warm oil; —an assertion which, if we should fail at once to recognize it as a misrepresentation of the medical treatment alluded to, will be unquestionably explained by the more accurate description of another writer, who obviously alludes to the same circumstance.

Diogenes Laertius, as we have mentioned in an earlier part of this essay, speaks of having seen Aristotle's will, and proceeds to give the substance of it. That this is not an abstract of the authentic document is obvious, from the circumstance that no mention whatever is made in it of his literary property, which was very considerable, and which we know from other sources came to Theophrastus. Neither however does there appear to us any good grounds for suspicion that the account of Diogenes is either a forgery or the copy of a forgery. The whole document bears the stamp, in our judgment, of a codicil to a previously existing will, drawn up at a time when the testator was dangerously ill, and had but little expectation of recovery. Thus, at the very commencement, Antipater, the Regent of Macedonia, is appointed the supreme arbiter and referee, and four other persons besides Theophrastus, "if he be willing and able,'' are directed to administer until Nicanor the son of Proxenus,—to whom he gives his orphan daughter in marriage, and the guardianship of his orphan son Nicomachus, together with the whole management of his property,—shall take possession. Nicauor was apparently abroad on some service of danger. If he escapes, he is directed by the codicil to erect certain statues of four cubits in height in Stagira, to Jupiter and Athene the Preservers, in pursuance of a vow which the testator had made on his account. If anything should happen to Nicanor before his marriage, or after his marriage before the birth of children, and he should fail to leave instructions, Theophrastus is to take the daughter, and stand for all purposes of administration in the place of Nicanor. Should he decline to do so, the four provisional trustees are to act at their own discretion, guided by the advice of Antipater. Besides these arrangements, all which seem adopted to meet a sudden emergency, such as that of a man dying, away from the person in whom he puts the most confidence, and in douht whether the one whom he next trusted would be able to act, we find legacies to more than one individual which apparently imply a former bequest and a trifling want of arrangement in the latter part, quite characteristic of a document drawn up under the circumstances we have supposed. Thus he orders statues to be erected to Nicanor, and Nicanor's father and mother; also to Arimnestus (his own brother), "that there might be a memorial of him, he having died childless." A statue of Ceres, vowed by his mother, is to be set up at Nemea or elsewhere. Then, as if the mention of one domestic relation had suggested another, he commands that wherever he should be buried, the bones of his deceased wife should be taken up and laid by his side according to her desire ; and after this he again reverts to the subject of statues to be set up, and gives directions for the fulfilment of the vow which he had made for the safety of Nicanor.

Aristotle left behind him a daughter named after her mother, Pythias. She is said to have been three times married, first to Nicanor the son of Aristotle's guardian Proxenus and his own adopted child; secondly to Procles, a descendant—apparently son or grandson—of Demaratus King of Lacedaemon, by whom she had two sons named Procles and Demaratus, scholars of Theophrastus; and thirdly to Metrodorus, an eminent physician, to whom she bore a son named after his maternal grandfather. He also left behind him an infant son, named after his paternal grandfather, Nicomachus, by a female of the name of Herpyllis, of whom it is very difficult exactly to say in what relation she stood to him. To call her his mistress would imply a licentious description of intercourse which the name by which she is described by no means warrants us in supposing, and which the character of Aristotle, the absence of any allusion to such a circumstance in the numerous calumnies which were heaped upon him, and the terms of respect in which she is spoken of in his will, would equally incline us to discredit. It seems most probable that he was married to her by that kind of left-handed marriage which alone the laws of Greece and Rome permitted between persons who were not both citizens of the same state. The Latin technical term for the female in this relation was concuhina. She was recognized by the law, and her children could inherit the sixth part of their father's property. Mark Antony lived in this kind of concubinage with Cleopatra, and Titus with Berenice. The two Antonines, men of characters the most opposite to licentiousness, were also instances of this practice, which indeed remained for some time after Christianity became the religion of the state, and was regulated by two Christian Emperors, Constantine and Justinian. The Greek term is not used so strictly in a technical sense, and may be said to answer with equal propriety to either of the Latin words pellex and concubina. Where however the legal relation was denoted, there was no other word selected in preference; and we may safely say that this, in the case before us, is the probable interpretation, although there is no positive authority that it is the true one. The son of Nicomachus was brought up by Theophrastus, and if we are to credit Cicero's assertion that the Nicomachean Ethics which are found among Aristotle's works, were by some attributed to him, must have profited much by his master's instructions. It seems however more likely that Aristocles's account of him is the correct one, who relates that he was killed in battle at a very early age.



There existed in antiquity several works, partly by contemporaries like the Megaric Eubulides, partly by subsequent Platonists, in which Aristotle was reproached with ingratitude to Plato, servility to the Macedonian power, love of costly display and indulgences, &c. What proportion of truth may lie at the bottom of these charges we do not know enough to determine confidently; but we know that he had many enemies, philosophical as well as political; and controversy on those grounds (then as now) was rarely kept free from personal slander and invective.

The accusation of ingratitude or unbecoming behavior to Plato is no way proved by any evidence now remaining. It seems to have been suggested to the Platonists mainly, if not wholly, by the rivalry of Aristotle in setting up a second philosophical school at Athens, alongside of the Academy; by his independent, self-working, philosophical speculation; and by the often-repeated opposition which he made to some capital doctrines of Plato, especially to the so-called Platonic Ideas. Such opposition was indeed expressed, as far as we can judge, in terms of respectful courtesy, and sometimes even of affectionate regret; examples of which we shall have to notice in going through the Aristotelian writings. Yet some Platonists seem to have thought that direct attack on the master’s doctrines was undutiful and ungrateful in the pupil, however unexceptionable the language might be. They also thought, probably, that the critic misrepresented what he sought to refute. Whether Aristotle really believed that he had superior claims to be made Scholarch of the Platonic school at the death of Plato in 347 B.C., or at the death of Speusippus in 339 B.C., is a point which we can neither affirm nor deny. But we can easily understand that the act of setting up a new philosophical school at Athens, though perfectly fair and admissible on his part, was an hostile competition sure both to damage and offend the pre-established school, and likely enough to be resented with unbecoming asperity. Ingratitude towards the great common master Plato, with arrogant claims of superiority over fellow pupils, were the allegations which this resentment would suggest, and which many Platonists in the Academy would not scruple to advance against their macedonizing rival at the Lyceum.

Such allegations moreover would find easy credence from other men of letters, whose enmity Aristotle had incurred, and to a certain extent even provoked—Isocrates and his numerous disciples.

This celebrated rhetor was an elderly man at the zenith of his glory and influence, during those earlier years which Aristotle passed at Athens before the decease of Plato. The Isocratean school was then the first in Greece, frequented by the most promising pupils from cities near and far, perhaps even by Aristotle himself. The political views and handling, as well as the rhetorical style of which the master set the example, found many imitators. Illustrious statesmen, speakers, and writers traced their improvement to this teaching. So many of the pupils, indeed, acquired celebrity—among them Theodektes, Theopompus, Ephorus, Naukrates, Philiskus, Kephisodorus, and others— that Hermippus thought it worth his while to draw up a catalogue of them: many must have been persons of opulent family, highly valuing the benefit received from Isocrates, since each of them was required to pay to him a fee of 1000 drachmae. During the first sojourn of Aristotle in Athens (362-347 B.C.), while he was still attached to and receiving instruction from Plato, he appears to have devoted himself more to rhetoric than to philosophy, and even to have given public lessons or lectures on rhetoric. He thus entered into rivalry with Isocrates, for whom, as a teacher and author, he contracted dislike or contempt.

The composition of Isocrates was extremely elegant : his structure of sentences was elaborate even to excess, his arrangement of words rhythmical, his phrases nicely balanced in antithetical equipoise, like those of his master Gorgias; the recital of his discourses proved highly captivating to the ear. Moreover, he had composed a book of rhetorical precepts known and esteemed by Cicero and Quintilian. Besides such technical excellence, Isocrates strove to attain, and to a certain extent actually attained, a higher order of merit. He familiarized his pupils with thoughts and arguments of lofty bearing and comprehensive interest; not assisting them to gain victory either in any real issue tried before the Dikasts, or in any express motion about to be voted on by the public assembly, but predisposing their minds to prize above all things the great Pan-hellenic aggregate—its independence in regard to external force, and internal harmony among its constituent cities, with a reasonable recognition of presidential authority, equitably divided between Athens and Sparta, and exercised with moderation by both. He inculcated sober habits and deference to legal authority on the part of the democrats of Athens; he impressed upon princes, like Philip and Nikokles, the importance of just and mild bearing towards subjects. Such is, the general strain of the discourses which we now possess from Isocrates; though he appears to have adopted it only in middle life, having begun at first in the more usual track of the logographer—composing speeches to be delivered before the Dikastery by actual plaintiffs or defendants, and acquiring thus both reputation and profit. His reputation as a teacher was not only maintained but even increased when he altered his style; and he made himself peculiarly attractive to foreign pupils who desired to acquire a command of graceful expressions, without special reference to the Athenian Assembly and Dikastery. But his new style being mid-way between Demosthenes and Plato — between the practical advocate and politician on one side, and the generalizing or speculative philosopher on the other — he incurred as a semi-philosopher, professing to have discovered the juste milieu, more or less of disparagement from both extremes; and Aristotle, while yet a young man in the Platonic school, raised an ardent controversy against his works, on the ground both of composition and teaching. Though the whole controversy is now lost, there is good ground for believing that Aristotle must have displayed no small acrimony. He appears to have impugned the Isocratean discourses, partly as containing improper dogmas, partly as specimens of mere unimpressive elegance, intended for show, pomp, and immediate admiration from the hearer—ad implendas aures—but destitute both of comprehensive theory and of applicability to any useful purpose. Kephisodorus, an intimate friend and pupil of Isocrates, defended him in an express reply, attacking both Aristotle the scholar and Plato the master. This reply was in four books, and Dionysius characterizes it by an epithet of the highest praise.

These polemics of Aristotle were begun during his first residence at Athens, prior to 347 B.C., the year of Plato’s decease, and at the time when he was still accounted a member of the Platonic school. They exemplify the rivalry between that school and the Isocratean, which were then the two competing places of education at Athens : and we learn that Aristotle, at that time only a half-fledged Platonist, opened on his own account not a new philosophical school in competition with Plato, as some state, but a new rhetorical school in opposition to Isocrates. But the case was different at the latter epoch, 335 B.C., when Aristotle came to reside at Athens for the second time. Isocrates was then dead, leaving no successor, so that his rhetorical school expired with him. Aristotle preferred philosophy to rhetoric: he was no longer trammeled by the living presence and authority of Plato. The Platonic school at the Academy stood at that time alone, under Xenokrates, who, though an earnest and dignified philosopher, was deficient in grace and in persuasiveness, and had been criticized for this defect even by Plato himself. Aristotle possessed those gifts in large measure, as we know from the testimony of Antipater. By these circumstances, coupled with his own established reputation and well-grounded self-esteem, he was encouraged to commence a new philosophical school; a school, in which philosophy formed the express subject of the morning lecture, while rhetoric was included as one among the subjects of more varied and popular instruction given in the afternoon. During the twelve ensuing years, Aristotle’s rivalry was mainly against the Platonists or Xenocrateans at the Academy; embittered on both sides by acrimonious feelings, which these expressed by complaining of his ingratitude and unfairness towards the common master, Plato.

There were thus, at Athens, three distinct parties inspired with unfriendly sentiment towards Aristotle : first, the Isocrateans; afterwards, the Platonists; along with both, the anti-Macedonian politicians. Hence we can account for what Themistius entitles the “army of assailants” that fastened upon him, for the unfavorable coloring with which his domestic circumstances are presented, and for the necessity under which he lay of Macedonian protection; so that when such protection was nullified, giving place to a reactionary fervor, his residence at Athens became both disagreeable and insecure.



The works of Aristotle are said to have met with a most singular mischance. They are related to have been buried some time after his death, and not to have been recovered till two hundred years afterwards. This story is so curious in itself, and of such vital importance in the History of Philosophy, that we shall make no apology for investigating it thoroughly, in spite of the tediousness which a minute examination of details necessarily brings with it.

The main authority for the opinion is Strabo in a passage of his Geographical Work, where having occasion to speak of Scepsis, a town in the Troad, he mentions two or three persons of eminence who were born there. One of these is Neleus, the son of Coriscus, a person who was a scholar both of Aristotle and Theophrastus, and who succeeded to the library of the latter in which was contained that of the former also. "For Aristotle," Strabo goes on to say, "made over his own library to Theophrastus, (to whom he also left his school), and was the first that I know of, who collected books and taught the kings in Egypt to form a library. Theophrastus made them over to Neleus; he took them over to Scepsis and made them over to his heirs,—uneducated men, who let the books remain locked up without any care. When however they observed the pains which the kings of the Attalic dynasty, (in whose dominions the town was) were at in getting books to furnish the library at Pergamus, they buried them under ground in a sort of cellar. A long time after, when they had received much injury from damp and worms, the representatives of the family sold them to Apellicon of Teos,—the books both of Aristotle and of Theophrastus,—for a very large sum. Apellicon was more of a book-collector than a philosopher; and the result was that in an attempt to supply the gaps when he transcribed the text into new copies, he filled them up the reverse of well, and sent the books abroad full of mistakes. And of the Peripatetic philosophers, the more ancient who immediately succeeded Theophrastus, as in fact they had no books at all, except a very few, and those chiefly of the exoteric class, were unable to philosophize systematically, but were obliged to elaborate rhetorical disquisitions while their successors after the time when these books came out, speculated better and more in Aristotle's spirit than they, although they too were forced to explain most of his views by guess work from the multitude of errors. And to this inconvenience Rome contributed a large share. For immediately after the death of Apellicon, Sylla having taken Athens, seized upon the library of ApeLlicon : and after it had been brought here, Tyrannio the grammarian, who was an admirer of Aristotle, had the handling of it by the favour of the superintendant of the library ; and [so had] some booksellers, who employed wretched transcribers, and neglected to verify the correctness of the copies,—an evil which occurs in the case of all other authors too when copied for sale, both here and in Alexandria."

Plutarch in his Biography of Sylla confirms a part of this account, and adds a feature or two which is wanting here. His authority is obviously Strabo himself in another work now lost, and he is therefore not to be reckoned as an additional witness, but as the representative of the one last summoned, again recalled to explain some parts of his own testimony. From him we learn that Sylla carried the library of Apellicon containing the greater part of the books of Aristotle and Theophrastus, with which up to that time most people had no accurate acquaintance, to Rome. "There," he continues, "it is said, Tyrannio the grammarian arranged the principal part of them, and Andronicus the Rhodian, obtaining copies from him, published them and drew up the syllabuses which are now current." He confirms the account of Strabo that the early Peripatetics had neither a wide nor an accurate acquaintance with the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus, from the circumstance of the property of Neleus, to whom Theophrastus bequeathed his books, falling into the hands of illiterate and indifferent persons; but of the story of burying the books he says nothing, nor yet of the endeavours of Apellicon to repair the damaged manuscripts.

Our readers have here the whole authority which is to be found in the writers of antiquity for this celebrated story, which has been transmitted from one mouth to another in modern times without the least question of its truth until very lately. And not only has it been accepted as a satisfactory reason for an extraordinary and most important fact, the decay of philosophy for the two centuries preceding the time of Cicero, but editors and commentators of the works of Aristotle have resorted to it without scruple for a solution of all the difficulties which they might encounter. They have allowed themselves the most arbitrary transpositions of the several parts of the same work, and acknowledged no limit to the number or magnitude of gaps which might be assumed as due to the damp and worms of the cellar at Scepsis. Of late years however, as the critical study of the Greek language has increased, and the attention of scholars been more drawn towards the philosophical department of antiquity, the inadequacy of this story to account for the state in which Aristotle's writings have come down to us has become more and more apparent; notices have been found which were quite incompatible with it; and at the present time it may safely be said that the falsity of the account in the main is completely proved. We will endeavour to give our readers some idea of the laborious researches which have led to this result. They have been carried on chiefly, if not entirely, by German philologers,—the pioneers in this as in almost every other uncleared region of antiquity. But we must first call their attention to other circumstances which would, antecedently to the investigations of of which we speak, dispose us to look with some suspicion on the tale unless very considerably qualified.

The work of Athenaeus to which we are indebted for so much fragmentary information on matters of antiquity, is cast in a form which had particular attractions for the readers of the time in which the author lived,—the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. A wealthy Roman is represented as hospitably entertaining several persons eminent for their acquaintance with literature and philosophy, and the most curious notices imaginable from a multitude of writers, and upon all subjects, are woven ingeniously into the conversation of the guests. Nearly in the beginning of the work, the author, who himself is one of them, enlarges on the splendid munificence, the literary taste, and the accomplishments of the host. Among other things he praises the extent and value of his library. "It was of such a size," he says, "as to exceed those of all who had gained a reputation as book collectors—Polycrates the Samian, Pisistratus the tyrant of Athens, Euclid, (also an Athenian,) Nicocrates of Cyprus, aye, the kings of Pergamus too, and Euripides the poet, and Aristotle the philosopher, [and Theophrastus,] and Neleus who had the books of these, from whom king Ptolemy my countryman, surnamed Philadelphus, bought the whole, and carried them away together with those he got from Athens and those from Rhodes, to the fair city of Alexandria". It is obvious that the author here follows an account very different from Strabo's, one which represented Neleus's library including the costly collections of Aristotle and Theophrastus as forming, together with some others, the basis of the famous collection at Alexandria. Now it is utterly inconceivable that if Ptolemy bought the whole library of Neleus, he should have been satisfied to leave the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus only behind in the hands of men so ignorant of their value and careless of what became of them, as Neleus's heirs are represented to have been, if no other copies of these works existed; and even supposing it possible that he should have done so, would not so singular an incident of literary history have been mentioned by some author of antiquity? Should we not find some record of it in Cicero, from whom we learn so much of the history of Greek philosophy? He even mentions the degeneracy of the Peripatetic school after Theophrastus in strong terms: is it conceivable that if it had been really attributable to the want of their founders' works, he should either not have heard of this, or should not think it worth mentioning? Could such a story have escaped the anecdote-collectors under the Empire, Aelian, Phavorinus, and a host of others? Would Diogenes Laertius, who relates how many cooking utensils Aristotle passed at the Euboean custom-house, have neglected so interesting an anecdote as this? Such considerations combined with the notice in Athenaeus must prevent an impartial judge from attaching more than a very small degree of credit to that part of Strabo's narrative which denies the publication of the works of Aristotle to any considerable extent before the time of Sylla. And this scepticism will not be diminished when we consider, that the greater part of Aristotle's works are so closely connected with each other that if any were published, all or nearly all must have been so. He continually refers from the one to the other for investigations which are necessary to the argument which he has in hand. And although these references may be, and prohably often are, due to a later hand, still this objection cannot he made in all cases ; —in those for instance where the special work referred to is not named, but described in such a way that it is impossible not to identify it.

But after all, these arguments are little else than negative, and although they lead to a probability of a very high order against the truth of Strabo's narrative, they are not absolutely conclusive. In fact the work of disproof is a most difficult one, from the circumstance of the whole of the literature of the two centuries after Theophrastus,—enormous as its extent was, —having been swept away, except such scanty fragments as are found here and there imbedded in the work of some grammarian or compiler. This will be strikingly evident from the consideration, that if the works of Aristotle which have come down to us had been lost, and a similar story had been related of Plato's works to that which we read in Strabo respecting those of Aristotle and Theophrastus, its refutation would be quite as difficult as that of the one about which we are at present concerned. But the difficulty of the problem did not damp the ardour of the German scholars we have spoken of above. They have rummaged the voluminous works of the commentators uponAristotle which the learned eclecticism of the third, fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era produced, some of them still only existing in manuscript, with indefatigable diligence, and have detected in the works of much more modern scholiasts extracts from their predecessors, which prove to demonstration that the notice in Athenaeus in all probability true, and that certainly so much of Strabo's account as is incompatible with it, is false.

We have seen that, according to the authorities on which the story rests, a very considerable impulse was given in the first century before the Christian era to the study of the Peripatetic philosophy. Andronicus the Rhodian is mentioned as the principal promoter of this revival, having re-arranged the works of Aristotle in a way which was generally received in the time of Strabo, and which formed the basis of the present division. Contemporary with Andronicus, although younger than him, was Athenodorus of Tarsus; and in the next generation to Athenodorus, Boethus of Sidon, both celebrated for their acquaintance with the doctrines of Aristotle, and for their investigations of the literary questions connected with them. Now, although the works of all these writers have perished they were not lost until they had furnished materials to Adrastus and Alexander of Aphrodisias in the second century, and to the eclectic philosophers Ammonius Saccas, Porphyry, Ammonius the son of Hermias, Simplicius, and David the Armenian in the third, fourth, and fifth; and of most of these considerable remains have come down to the present time so that we are enabled, with very great precision, to ascertain the views of "the ancient commentators" as Andronicus and his contemporaries are called by their more modern followers, on several particulars, and among others, on some having a direct bearing upon the story of Strabo.

We find, for instance, that a point which occupied much of the attention of "the ancients," was to determine between the claims of rival works, bearing the same name and upon the same subject, to be reputed the genuine productions of Aristotle. Andronicus questioned the pretensions of the latter part of the Categories. Adrastus found two editions (if we may use the expression) of the latter work, differing very considerably from each other. The same is stated by him of the seventh Book of the Physical Lectures. Cicero mentions it as a question which could not be decided, as to whether a work on Ethics was written by Aristotle or by his son Nicoraachus. And that the only evidence on the one side or the other was merely internal, is obvious from the remark in which he expresses his inclination towards the latter opinion, "that he does not see, why the style of the son should not bear a close resemblance to that of the father". Another question which occasioned considerable perplexity was the arrangement of the several works which were held to be genuine. The present distribution is entirely based upon an arrangement which goes no further back than the time of Andronicus, and is entirely different from the one or more which appear to have prevailed before him. There are at this day three known catalogues of the writings, the first is the one given by Diogenes Laertius in his Life, the second, that of the anonymous Greek Biographer, published by Menage. These resemble one another very much, and bear every appearance of having been derived, probably however through secondary channels, from the same source, which has been conjectured with great plausibility to be Hermippus of Smyrna's work' of which we have spoken in the early part of this essay. But it is impossible to imagine a greater difference than is found between these lists and the works which have come down to us. The names are so completely unlike, and there are so many reciprocal omissions, that a scholar of the sixteenth century was able, with the aid of a mortal antipathy to the Aristotelian philosophy, to succeed in persuading himself that every thing which has come down to us under the name of the great Stagirite, was, with very slight exceptions, spurious.

The third catalogue is found only in Arabic, and is said to correspond much more nearly with our own. And indeed a great part of the difference between this and the two former is explicable from the fact that the same work is often referred to under more names than one, not merely by subsequent commentators on Aristotle, but also by the philosopher himsel. But such differences, independently of positive testimony, abundantly show that many pieces which now form the component parts of a larger treatise were not left by the author in such an order, or at least, that no authentic documents from which any given arrangement could be decisively inferred, came to the knowledge of Andronicus and his brethren. If they had,—if, that is, the manuscripts of Apellicon had been, as they are represented, a genuine copy of all or most of Aristotle's works, never till then known, the task of these critics would have been a most easy one. There would have been no occasion for discussions of the internal evidence to determine between various readings of the text, different systems of arrangement, or contending claims as to authorship. A simple reference to a primitive copy would at once have settled all. And what shall we say to the letter of Alexander to Aristotle, complaining that he had published his acroamatic works and thus put the world on a footing with his most highly instructed pupils? It is of no avail to say that the letter is not genuine: it very likely may not be so, but it was extracted by Gellius from the book of the very Andronicus whom this tale represents as the first publisher of these writings, and therefore proves his belief at any rate that some of them had been published long before.

This evidence seems to prove incontrovertibly that the part of Strabo's and Plutarch's narrative which relates to the extraordinary treasure first made available by Andronicus, cannot be true. By another chain of testimony equally elaborate, Brandis has shown that many of the works of Aristotle of the highest and most recondite character that we now possess, were actually in the hands of the Peripatetic school, whose degeneracy has been attributed to the loss of them. It is well known that the successors of the great philosopher in several instances composed works on the same subject (and sometimes identical in title also), with existing treatises of their founder. For indeed the spirit of dogmatism, which is often imputed to the Aristotelian philosophy by persons who are only acquainted with the schoolmen's modifications of it in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, is really so alien to it, that it would be difficult to find in the history of civilization an example of a more vigorous and healthy independence of thought, and a greater ardour for investigation than is afforded by the earlier disciples of the Lyceum.Although the works in question have long since been lost, Brandis has succeeded in eliciting from the notices which remain of them in the Commentators we have referred to, very many particulars, which show in some instances that the author actually followed the course of the Aristotelian parallel work, and in more that he made use of it. Under the first of these two classes are brought, by decisive arguments, the Physical Lectures and the first book of the Former Analytics; and there is a considerable probability that the second book of the Former Analytics and the fifth of the Metaphysics may be added to these. Under the second we may number the Latter Analytics, the Categories, perhaps the Tropica, the treatises on the Heavens, on Generation and Decay, on the Soul, and the Meteorologica. Further researches on the principle here indicated may very probably add to the lists, but a very small part of either would be sufficient to demonstrate,—when we consider that almost every one of these treatises would involve the possession of some others in order to be itself intelligible,—that it was not the want of acroamatic works that produced the decay of the Peripatetic school.

To make an objection to the inference which these facts allow us to draw against the correctness of Strabo's story on the ground that Theophrastus may possibly have chosen to keep the works of Aristotle as well as his own, in his private possession, and communicate the use of them only to the more favoured of his scholars, would be a most arbitrary proceeding ; as there is not the slightest historical ground for such an hypothesis. But Brandis has precluded even this step. He has shown that Chrysippus the Stoic (who in his dialectical work quoted by Plutarch speaks in the highest terms of the cultivation of that branch of science by the Academics down to Polemo, and by the Peripatetics down to Strato inclusive), in several of his particular doctrines had an especial reference to the former treatment of the same by Aristotle, Eudemus, and Theophrastus. His discussion of the Idea of Time is entirely based upon that of Aristotle, and exhibits an unworthy endeavour to conceal the similarity. Nay, the ancient commentators of highest reputation maintained that the whole of the Stoics' Logical Science, on which they prided themselves much, was nothing more than a following out of Aristotle's principles, and, in particular that their doctrine of Contraries was entirely derived from Aristotle's book on Opposites.

But it was not only to philosophers either of his own or of rival sects that the works of Aristotle were known at the time when they are reported to have been lying in the cellar at Scepsis. Aristophanes of Byzantium, the celebrated grammarian of Alexandria in the early part of the second century before Christ, made an abridgement of his Zoological works and also wrote commentaries apparently on these, or some other of his works relating to Natural History. But before his time, Antigonus of Carystus under Ptolemy Euergetes (b.c. 247—222), in his Collection of Wonderful Stories, quoted largely both from these and from the works of Theophrastus on similar subjects. Kopp says, that he used not only these, but also the work on Foreign Customs, and that the same is probable both of Callimachus and Nicander, and he acutely remarks, that the reason that the works on the Parts of Animals and the Generation of Animals are not so often cited as the Natural History, is that the latter furnished far more material for works that would possess a general interest, whereas the former necessarily implied a certain knowledge of physiology in the reader. But that they could not have remained unknown while the last was published, is evident from the circumstance that in it the author frequently refers to them. Nor were the writings which related to physical phenomena the only ones which we are sure reached Alexandria. Andronicus related that in the great library there were found forty books of Analytics and two of Categories, professedly the work of Aristotle. Of the former of these four only, of the latter one,—in both instances those which we have,—were decided upon by the ancient critics to be genuine . Besides which the Alexandrine writers who formed Canons of Classical Poets, Historians, and Philosophers, included Aristotle among the last, surely not on the strength either of his mere reputation, or only of his exoteric works.

But what, after all, was the nature of these exoteric writings; for we are now obviously come to a point at which the accurate determination of this question, which the continuity of the narrative has hitherto prevented, becomes necessary. We shall endeavour to be as brief as possible in our answer.

If we apply to Aristotle himself for information, we shall find nothing at all in his writings to confirm the popular opinion of a division of his doctrines into two classes, of which the one was communicated freely, while the other was carefully reserved for those disciples whose previously ascertained character and talents were a security for their right appreciation of them. Wherever the term exoteric occurs, it is with reference to a distinction not of readers or hearers, but of questions treated on. It signifies little or nothing more than extrinsic, separate, or insulated. That facility of comprehension as regards the main subject-matter was not necessarily a characteristic of such works, appears from a passage in the Metaphysics, in which the writer excuses himself from touching upon the doctrine of Ideas (or Constituent Forms,) any more than the order of his work demanded, assigning as a reason, that his views on this particular were already matters of familiarity from the exoteric discourses. It is notorious that this was one of the deepest and most difficult questions of the ancient philosophy, being in fact the point where the schools of the Academy and Lyceum diverged, and, consequently, if any part of Aristotle's views had been confined to a chosen few,—if there had been such a thing as an interior coterie,—here would have been proper matter to be reserved for them. Similarly, in the Nicomachean Ethics, he refers his readers to the "the exoteric discourses" for an analysis of the human mind. The law of subordination among the parts of a composite whole, as, for instance, the law of harmony in music, is another subject which he considers as "rather proper for an exoteric investigation". In the exoteric discourses, he discussed the Philosophy of Life, the relative importance of the several elements which go to make up happiness, and the conditions which the social relation imposes on a man". And in the same he proposes that an examination of the Idea of Time should be gone into. Here then we have ample evidence that the most abstruse subjects, physical, metaphysical, and moral, were treated of somehow or other in discourses bearing the name of exoteric, a name to which modern usage has almost indissolubly attached the notion of shallowness if not of something like fraud also. Of any thing like Freemasonry, any thing amounting to a severance of knowledge into two distinct spheres, the one to be inhabited by the vulgar, the other by choicer spirits, there is not a vestige. If any acroamatic work by Aristotle has come down to us, the Nicomachean Ethics is one. Yet in it is nothing requiring such profundity of reflection or sobriety of mind as would be demanded by the psychological discussion in the exoteric work to which the author refers. And as for the terms by which Plutarch and Clement of Alexandria denote that class of works which they place in contradistinction to the exoteric, they are in part not used by Aristotle at all, and in part used in a totally different sensed. The phrases by which he designates such works are always directed to scientific treatises containing a system of several parts methodically arranged and organically cohering, such in short would be formed by the outline of a continuous course of lectures on some main branch of philosophy. And that the works included under the name acroamatic or acroatic by the philosophers since the time of Andronicus Rhodius, were of this description seems most probable, not only from the appearance presented by those which have come down to us, but from the fact that at the time when Greek philosophy was first imported into Rome, the word had become the technical term for such productions. Crates Mallotes, who came to Rome on an embassy between the second and third Punic war, is spoken of by Suetonius in terms which seem to show that a similar distinction to that which obtained in Aristotle's works, prevailed also in his.


If now we keep steadily in view this distinction which it is plain that Aristotle himself made in his discourses, the distinction between cyclical, methodical, scientific productions, and insulated, independent essays, we shall perceive at once from the nature of the case, that without any premeditated design on the part of the author, the former would only be appreciable by genuine disciples, those who were able and willing to afford a steady and continuous application to the developement of the whole, while the latter might be understood by those who brought no previous knowledge with them, but merely attended to the matter in hand ; that the one required a severe and rigid logic to preserve all parts of the system in due coherence, the other readily admitted of the aid which the imagination affords to the elucidation of single points, but which often becomes mischievous when they are to be combined; that to the first the demonstrative form of exposition would alone be appropriate, to the second any one, narrative or dialogic or any other, which might be most fit for placing the one matter to be illustrated in a striking light. But we must be very careful not to confuse these resulting distinctions with the primitive one from which they flowed, and still more not to suppose that they were the cause of it ; for we shall see presently that want of attention to this caused in later writers first of all inaccurate expressions as to the nature of this celebrated division and finally an utterly erroneous view of it, and of the spirit in which it originated.

Cicero in two of his letters to Atticus speaks of having composed two works in the manner of Aristotle's exoteric ones. The points of comparison which these two treatises (the De Finibus, and the De Republica) offer, consist in the dialogic form in which they are written and the prefaces which serve to introduce to the reader the dramatis personce who carry on the discussion. The objections which some of these propound to the view which it is the design of the author to elucidate are turned into a means of bringing it out in stronger and bolder relief. This mode of treatment in the hands of a master obviously offers many advantages. The dramatic interest keeps the attention of the reader from flagging, and the peculiar obstacles which the differences of individual temperament not unfrequently interpose to the reception of any doctrine may be in this way most clearly set forth and most easily removed. The dialogues of Plato are an obvious example of this. But if we consider the De Oratore, De Finibus and De Republica of Cicero to represent with tolerable accuracy the character of the Aristotelian dialogues, we see at once a very considerable change. The genial productive power of the artist has given way to the systematic reflection of the philosopher. The personages introduced are not living and breathing men with all their feelings, prejudices, and individual peculiarities, they are mere puppets which speak the opinions entertained by those whose name they bear. These opinions may be fairly and lucidly stated, they may be backed by all the pomp and power of rhetoric, as they are in Cicero and as they probably were in Aristotle, but the speakers have no life, the scene no reality, and in spite of the pains taken by the author to prevent it by allusions to particular times, places, and circumstances, we rise from the perusal with our opinions more or less modified, but with no more distinct recollection of the parties by whom the discussion has been carried on than if they had been distinguished by the letters of the alphabet instead of the names of known characters. But what these productions have lost as works of art, they have gained as works of science. The distinct and explicit exposition of a principle which prevents them from being the former, is a merit in them as the latter. And as the dialogic form, even where it fails in producing the dramatic impression that we receive from Plato, admits to the fullest extent of all the assistance which rhetoric can afford, it is not wonderful that it should have been selected by Aristotle as an appropriate one for many or even most of his exoteric treatises.

Neither in those cases where he adopted this form can we be surprized that Aristotle should have made use of a style, which however unfit for the purposes of a rigidly scientific investigation, is not at all inappropriate to compositions such as we have described. A few relics (and unfortunately a very few) have come down to us of them; about thirty lines in the original Greek are quoted by Plutarch from one of the most celebrated, and Cicero has in a Latin dress preserved two other small fragments. The first of these is part of a treatise which was either addressed to Eudemus, Aristotle's disciple, or written on the occasion of his death, and from the nature of the extract, no less than from the name it bore, seems to have treated upon the immortality of the soul, and the miserable condition of man while imprisoned in the body, as compared with that which preceded and will follow the present life. Our existence on earth is regarded as a punishment inflicted upon us by the Gods, and in support of this opinion an appeal is made to the experience of the human race manifesting itself in proverbs and mythological tales to that effect. The dead are represented as dwelling in a higher sphere of Being than the living, and as dishonoured by any expressions or feelings on the part of the latter which involve an opposite opinion. The language in which these sentiments are embodied is of proportionate dignity to the theme; it is totally unlike the dry and jejune style in which the works which have come down to us are written; on the contrary it is rather diffuse and ornamented, and fully enables us to understand the expression of Cicero "Aristotle, with his golden flood of language"—which judging from his rigidly demonstrative works alone, we should deem singularly inappropriate. One of the passages preserved in Cicero is even more gorgeous and eloquent than the one in Plutarch, and for the sake of the subject we will endeavour to give some notion of its rhythm and structure, although of course a translation twice removed from the original, can do this but very inadequately. The argument is the common one of Natural Theology, the evidence which the wonders of the Universe afford of the existence of an intelligent Creator. Aristotle's reasoning appears to be directed against those who asserted that such an inference was the result of a traditional belief handed down from generation to generation, and interpreting all phenomena into an accordance with itself. He attempts by an illustration to show that this is not the case, but that it proceeds from the natural conviction of the human mind, unswayed by any particular bias, as soon as its attention is roused to these objects. "Suppose there to exist," says he, "a race of beings, who had always inhabited a region in the heart of the earth, dwelling in fair *and lordly mansions adorned by statues and pictures, and provided with all the appliances of luxury in which those whom the world envies, abound,—but who never had visited the surface. Now, if these had heard by rumours and hearsay that there was a certain Divine Power, living and acting, and then at some time the jaws of the Earth were to open and allow them to quit their obscure dwelling-place and come forth into the region which we inhabit,—then, when all at once they beheld Earth, Sea, and Sky,—the enormous clouds,—the mighty winds,—when they gazed on the Sun, and perceived how vast, how beautiful it was, how potent in its operation, how—by diffusing its light through the whole of the Heaven—it was the cause of the day : —and again, when night had veiled the earth in darkness, and they observed the whole firmament studded and lit up with stars,—the moon with her varying phases,—now increasing, now waning,—and all rising and setting and running on their courses steadily and unvaryingly for an eternity of ages;—surely, when they beheld all this, they would believe both that there were Gods, and that these mighty works were from their hand !" The passage in the De Officiis appears rather to be a summary of Aristotle's expressions in his own words than a translation like the above, but even there the reader will easily recognize an oratorical structure quite unlike what is to be found in any of the philosopher's works which have come down to us.

From these few and meagre specimens of the exoteric works of Aristotle, we may observe without any difficulty that in every respect they were calculated in a rhetorical and superficial age, such as that of the successors of Theophrastus was, to supersede the others. Literature became fashionable in high places. Philosophers thronged to the courts of an Antigonus, a Ptolemy, or an Attalus, and exerted themselves in making royal roads to knowledge for the sake of their patrons. A general acquaintance with the doctrines of the school to which they attached themselves was all that these latter could pretend to, and the instructor soon found out that very little more would be sufficient for himself. Why should he bestow time and labour on what would not be available to his purposes? — Why should he trouble himself with thinking out the results which he could find ready provided to his hand ? Above all, why should he neglect works which supplied food to his fancy and grace to his style, agreeably and lucidly written, and generally acceptable in literary society, for the dry and laborious systematic treatise whose only merit was its rigidly logical connection. The very discipline of the Lyceum, as we have shown in an earlier part of this essay, contributed its share to the work of deterioration, by producing an unconscious indifference to the truth of opinions provided only they were plausible and coherent; and the vanity of possessing a multifarious knowledge lost the only check which could have restrained it. The age of thought gave way to an age of mere accumulation of learning, and in such a one what could take any man to works like Aristotle's scientific ones? In the time of Cicero a considerable impulse had certainly been given to philosophy. Yet how instructive is the story which he relates in the introduction to his Topica. His friend Trebatius had stumbled while looking over his library upon the Topica of Aristotle, of which he had never heard, and on learning from Cicero the nature of the work was seized with a strong desire to read it. The obscurity of the book repelled him, and an eminent rhetorician to whom he applied for assistance told him that of those works of Aristotle he knew nothing. "This I was by no means surprized at," says Cicero, "that a rhetorician should know nothing of a philosopher, of whom philosophers themselvesi with the exception of a very few, knew nothing." And although Cicero deservedly prides himself upon being the introducer of Greek philosophy among his countrymen, it is extremely questionable whether, with the exception of those works which have a direct application to oratory, his knowledge of Aristotle was not confined to the exoteric writings. It is certainly these which he takes as his model and his basis in his own philosophical treatises. Where a writer's opinions are studied rather than his principles and method, where readers do not take the trouble to put themselves upon his standing ground, to enter into his thoughts, and follow them out through the ramifications of his system, there will often appear a want of harmony between the results at which he arrives. There is indeed a point from which all these will appear in their true perspective, but this point is on an eminence which demands both time and labour to ascend. This want of agreement in his results was imputed to Aristotle at an early period,—certainly before the time of Cicero, who notes it and gives a partial explanation of it. "On the subject of the Chief Good," says he, "there are two kinds of works, the one written in a popular manner, and termed by them exoteric, the other elaborated with greater care, which they left in the form of notes. This makes them thought not always to say the same thing; although in the upshot there is no discrepancy at all, in those at least whom I mentioned, [Aristotle and Theophrastus] neither do the two differ the one from the other". Here Cicero only speaks of those works which the author kept by him and continually made additions to, a class of writings which did not form an important part of the scientific onesl But it is quite plain that the remark might be extended to the whole of these latter ; in every one of them might be found instances where Aristotle might "appear not to say the same thing" as in his more popular publications, but where at the same time in the upshot there would be no discrepancy at all." Now here we have the fact which formed the basis of the subsequent opinion that Aristotle had an inner and an outer doctrine, an opinion which gathered strength and distinctness as it passed from one hand to another, and is in modern times repeated with a confidence that would lead one to imagine it rested on the explicit assertion of the author himself. But neither in Strabo, Plutarch, nor Gellius is there any hint of such a wilful suppression of sentiments on the part of Aristotle although all three of these authors allude to a division of his works into two classes adapted to different mental qualifications in the readers. In Clement of Alexandria appears the first trace of any such notion, and the expressions which he makes use of are hardly sufficient to justify us in concluding that he had at all a decided opinion on this score . But it was a suggestion which would not fail to be caught hold of in an age singularly attached, as the declining Roman empire was, to mystical orgies and secret associations. Before Clement indeed, Lucian had taken advantage of it for the purpose of a jest, where in his Sale of Philosophers, he puts Aristotle up to auction as a double man. But obviously this is only a ludicrous version of the fact that his works were of very different kinds, stated, as it is not unlikely that even the Aristotelians of that age would be fond of doing, in a paradoxical form. Nay, even when we get down to the close of the fourth century, to the rhetorician Themistius, a very great allowance must be made for the conceits of his affected style, before we can safely form our estimate of his real sentiments. No one can dream of taking in their literal sense such phrases as those of ''Aristotle shutting up and fortifying his meaning in a rampart of obscure phraseology to secure it from the ravages of uninitiated marauders—or considering that knowledge was like food and drugs, one sort proper for the healthy, another for the sich and therefore involving his meaning in a wall of cloudy the doors of which two guardians, Perspicuity and Obscurity, like the Homeric Hours, stood ready to open to the initiated and close upon the profane." But after making all proper allowance, there is no question that in the time of Themistius the opinion of the double meaning of Aristotle was widely received. Ammonius, in the fifth century, thinks it necessary to state, apparently in opposition to the popular belief, "that the dialogues of Aristotle differ very much from the direct treatises"; that in the latter, as addressing his discourse to genuine students, he not only delivers his real opinions but employs the severest methods, such as people in general cannot follow; while in the latter, as they are written for general use, he delivers "his real opinions too, but still employs methods not rigidly demonstrative but of such a kind that the ordinary run of people are able to follow them". But his scholar Simplicius no longer swims against the tide : he asserts that in the "acroamatic works Aristotle aimed at obscurity, in order through it to repel the more indolent from him". The wit of the satirist and the flourishes of the rhetorician were thus translated into plain prose; and from this time forward the duplicity of Aristotle's doctrines may be considered as reckoned among the most indisputable facts.

Having now thoroughly satisfied ourselves that the narrative of Strabo requires much qualification, we may enquire whether there is any part of it which is consistent with what from other sources we know really was the case. And there seems nothing to prevent us from believing that Neleus's heirs really possessed some books which had belonged to Aristotle and Theophrastus,—that Apellicon purchased these,—and that they were brought by Sylla to Rome and there first made known to people in general. But that these were works of any great importance we have seen could not be the case; nor that the decay of the Peripatetic school was owing to the want of them. A part of the story relates to matters of fact, for which Strabo is a most respectable witness; a part to a matter of opinion, on which he is no authority whatever beyond any competent person of the present day. The one half is reconcileable with the fact that the principal acroamatic works of Aristotle were in the hands of his successors, and in the Library at Alexandria, during the interval between Neleus and Apellicon. It is in accordance also with the notice of Athenaeus that Ptolemy carried the libraries of Aristotle and Theophrastus to Alexandria, and likewise with various other stories which having a less obvious bearing upon the question, we have for the sake of perspicuity omitted noticing before, but now present to the reader in a note''. The other is inconsistent with these and many other facts and may be rejected without invalidating the reputation of Strabo either for veracity or accuracy as regards matters which came within his scope, a reputation which we should be the last persons to desire to destroy.

What then was the nature of these documents the preservation of which was the foundation for so remarkable a story? We can only guess an answer, but we will nevertheless make the attempt.

Athenaeus, quoting from the work of Posidonius the historian, a contemporary of Pompey the Great, gives a sketch of the character of Apellicon, which seems to throw some light upon this question. A man of vast wealth and of a restless disposition, and an adopted citizen of Athens, he appears to have alternately plunged himself into the turbulent politics of his time, and cultivated literature in a spurious kind of way. His taste for letters was a mere bibliomania, and brought him into trouble. He purchased, while the fit for philosophy was upon him, "the Peripatetic books and the library of Aristotle and a great many others, being a man of great property. Moreover he surreptitiously obtained possession of the ancient original decrees of the Assembly, which were preserved at Athens in the temple of the Mother of the Gods, and from the other cities too he got hold of whatever was ancient and curious." This theft obliged him to save his life by flying the country; in the troublous times however, which soon after succeeded, he contrived to procure his recal by joining the party of the demagogue Athenion. This individual had induced his countrymen to take a part in the confederacy which Mithridates had organized against the power of Rome. In an evil hour Apellicon quitted book-collecting for military service. He took the command of an expedition against Delos, which was occupied by Orbius the Roman praetor; but displayed such utter ignorance of the commonest duties of a commander that his enemy soon found an opportunity of attacking him unawares, destroyed or captured the whole of his troops, and burnt all the machines which he had constructed for storming the city. The unfortunate dilettante escaped with his life, but died, in what way is not known, before Sylla stormed Athens and seized on the library which had cost him so dear. It seems almost certain from this account of Apellicon, that it was the possession not of the works but of the autographs of them which was the attraction to him. Can we then conceive that it was the original autographs of Aristotle and Theophrastus which he purchased from the representatives of Neleus's family? —Autographs of what works ? Not of the exoteric : for these were so generally known that he would have had no difficulty in filling up the gaps which the damp and worms had produced in his copy. Nor of the systematic treatises; — for if the original manuscript of these had existed, Andronicus would have had no difficulty in determining what was the production of Aristotle, and what not, in the various cases where that question arose. Of neither of these classes of writing then can we imagine that the story of Strabo is to be understood. But if we suppose Aristotle to have left behind him, as every literary man whose energies last to the end of his life will do, collections on various subjects, rough draughts of future works, commonplace books some of a miscellaneous nature, some devoted to particular matters, containing, it may be, extracts from other writers, references to their opinions, germs of thoughts hereafter to be worked out, lines of argument merely indicated; — it is very conceivable that these documents, so long as a healthy and lively philosophical spirit existed in the Peripatetic school, would receive very little attention. If they were too fragmentary and unsystematic for publication they would remain in the possession of Theophrastus and Neleus too curious to destroy, too unfinished to make any use of; and if the heirs of Neleus were illiterate men, they would see nothing in them but so many slovenly and disjointed scrawls, and not dream of putting them among the sumptuous collection of books which they sold to King Ptolemy. But in the time of Apellicon, the state of things was changed. The relics of the founder of the school would have acquired a sacred character, and unsaleable as they might have been to Ptolemy, who appears to have been a real lover of literature and not a mere book-fancier,—would fetch a good price with the purchaser of stolen records. And it is not at all inconsistent with this view, that a person whose acquaintance with philosophy was of such a kind, should mistake the nature of the documents he had got hold of, — "attempt to supply the gaps when he transcribed the text into new copies,—fill these up the reverse of well,—and send the books out into the world full of mistakes"

Such is the theory which, it appears to us, will reconcile the varying accounts respecting Aristotle's writings, and while it sweeps away all that is adventitious in the statement of the Greek geographer, will leave his testimony substantially unimpaired. And this theory is in fact confirmed by the state in which some of the works of Aristotle have come down to us. For some of these are not merely books kept by the author and continually worked at, like the Rhetoric, and Theophrastus's Histonj of Plants, nor are they mere notes for lectures, a dry skeleton of the subject, complete in themselves and only requiring the illustration and developement which would be supplied by the exteporaneous efforts of the instructor. Neither of these two descriptions will explain all the phenomena which strike the reader in the Poetics and the Politics, as these two treatises are found in our manuscripts. Neither of them complete the discussion of the range of topics which they promise, and it is impossible to receive as a satisfactory explication of this fact that they are only fragments of complete works of which the remainder has been lost. This is quite incompatible with what we find in them, namely redundancies,—whole paragraphs recast, and standing together with those for which they seem meant as a substitute. Such appearances are only to be understood on the supposition that the work in which they occur was an interleaved draught of a future treatise, itself never published (nor yet intended for publication) by the author. In such a case we should expect to find what we do find here, and certainly not, to the same extent, in any other work,—scholia containing archaeological or historical notes inserted in the midst of metaphysical divisions,—imperfect analyses,—defective enumerations,—tacit references to writings of others or to opinions current at the time,—allusions to questions treated on by the author in the work, which are no where to be found,—gaps where obviously something was to be inserted,—and expressions so slovenly as to be almost or wholly ungrammatical. And on the supposition that these works were note-books devoted to the particular subjects on which they treat, kept by the author until the materials they contained had been worked up and published in a complete form, and then discarded by him, we shall see in what relation they probably stood to the works read by Cicero, and named in the catalogues of Diogenes Laertius and the anonymous Biographer, and understand what kind of writings those in all probability were, which descended with the rest of Aristotle's library to Theophrastus, and from Theophrastus to Neleus,—which were neglected by the librarians of Ptolemy Philadelphus,—and emerged from their obscurity in the vault of Scepsis to be purchased by the antiquarian Apellicon. Only in making this estimate we must not forget the different importance which such writings possess for us, deprived for ever of those which were formed out of them,—from that which they may have had for their author and his immediate successors, to whom they would appear in no other light than the scaffold, by the aid of which the cathedral has been erected, does to the architect. And perhaps we may properly imagine that the greater fulness of these procured their preservation after they were recovered, while many others of the same kind, but yet further removed from completeness, were suffered to perish



Family physician ; his Experienced midwife, his Book of problems and his Remarks on physiognomy.










ETHICS the Nicomachean ethics

Aristotle The Metaphysics : V1

Aristotle The Metaphysics : V2