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Such must necessarily be the account of the matter given by the man who says that the gods are always merciful to unjust men [906d] and those who act unjustly, provided that one gives them a share of one's unjust gains; it is just as if wolves were to give small bits of their prey to watch-dogs, and they being mollified by the gifts were to allow them to go ravening among the flocks. Is not this the account given by the man who asserts that the gods are open to bribes?Clinias
To which of the guardians aforementioned might a man liken the gods without incurring ridicule? Is it to pilots, [906e] who, when warped themselves by wine's “flow and flavor,”4 overturn both ships and sailors?Clinias
By no means.Athenian
And surely not to drivers ranged up for a race and seduced by a gift to lose it in favor of other teams?Clinias
If that was the account you gave of them, it would indeed be a horrible comparison.Athenian
Nor, surely, to generals or physicians or farmers or herdsmen; nor yet to dogs charmed by wolves?Clinias
Hush! That is quite impossible.
3 Cp.Plat. Rep. 609 ff, Plat. Sym. 188a ff., where the theory is stated that health depends upon the “harmony,” or equal balance, of the constituent elements of the body (“heat” and “cold,” “moisture” and “dryness,”); when any of these (opposite) elements is in excess (πλεονεκτεῖ), disease sets in. So, too, in the “body politic,” the excess of due measure by any element, or member, is injustice.
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