Page:The battle of the books - Guthkelch - 1908.djvu/226

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he sets about it. He observes, that Lucian says nothing of this acquaintance. Lucian mentions it not by name indeed, but he speaks in general of Phalaris's conversation with learned men, and their great esteem of him ; and then gives an instance in Pythagoras, the most celebrated scholar of his time, and after him there needed no other instances. Had a less skilful hand been employed in making this oration, he would probably have heaped up all he knew of Phalaris, and overacted his part by too great and circumstantial a nicety. But Lucian had more art : he knew when to leave off, that the piece might not look stiff and unnatural. Besides, if Lucian's silence be an exception to Stesichorus's acquaintance with Phalaris, it is to Abaris's too ; which yet our critic has before, for the sake of Aristotle and Jamblichus, been graciously pleased to allow.

But Plato is silent, as well as Lucian, in this matter, and that in an Epistle written to a tyrant of Sicily, where he is reckoning up the friendships of learned men with tyrants and magistrates. Neither has Plato mentioned anything in that Epistle of the acquaintance between Phalaris and Pythagoras, which had been as

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