Quoted from the editor's "Intoduction to the First Alcibiades."
"SINGULAR, says Stalbaum, has been the fate of the dialogue that passes under the name of the First Alcibiades. For after it had been held in the highest honour by a long line of admirers, amongst the Neo-Platonists of the olden time, attempts have been made during the last half-century by Schleiermacher and Ast to displace it from its former pedestal. So many and such gross faults, relating to the matter and manner, say those two scholars, are to be found in the dialogue, as to lead to the conclusion of its being quite unworthy of its reputed author. On the other hand, Socher and Stalbaum are of opinion that not a single substantial reason can be assigned for doubting its genuineness; and with the latter I confess I am disposed to agree; and shall continue to do so, until some definite rules are laid down to enable us to assert that the men, who passed their whole lives in the study of the philosophers of antiquity, were cheated by a shadow, and unable, like the people of Cuma, in the AEsopo-Socratic fable, to discover the long ears of an asinine imitator, peeping out of the lion's hide of the original genius.
Be however the author who he may, the dialogue itself is well worth the perusal of those, who, like Alcibiades, pride themselves on the union of natural and artificial advantages; and of others too,under less favourable circumstances, who fancy themselves fit to appear in public life, and competent to direct the affairs of a state, without having previously undergone that mental training, which alone enables a person to govern first himself, and then his fellow-men. And happy would it have been for his native Athens, and indeed for the whole of Greece, and other countries, had Alcibiades been as ready to practise the precepts of philosophy, as he was to listen to them. For we learn from Xenophon, that, so long as he was a follower of Socrates, his conduct was as praiseworthy, as it was the reverse when, after leaving the pacific ocean of philosophy, he embarked on the stormy sea of politics, in which he eventually lost his character, his fortune, and his life."