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[322d] so that you can help one another in the things of greatest importance. For Hermeias will find in his multitude of horses or of other military equipment, or even in the gaining of gold itself, no greater source of power for all purposes than in the gaining of steadfast friends possessed of a sound character; while Erastus and Coriscus, in addition to this fair Science of Ideas, need also—as I, old though I am,1 assert—the science which is a safeguard in dealing with the wicked and unjust, and a kind of self-defensive power.

1 Plato would be about 77 in 351-350 B.C. The point of this allusion to his age may be that old men ought rather to cultivate other-worldliness.

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