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Did we not say1 that we must have in our State a synod of the following kind:—The ten senior members, at the moment, of the body of Law-wardens shall form the synod, in company with all who have won the award of merit; and, moreover, those inspectors who have gone abroad2 to discover if they could hear of anything pertinent to the safekeeping of laws, and who, in the belief that they have succeeded, have come safely home again, shall, after undergoing a searching test, be deemed worthy to take part in the synod? In addition to these, [961b] every member must bring with him one of the young men, not less than thirty years old, whom he has first selected as being both by nature and training a suitable person; after selecting him, he shall introduce him among the members, and if they also approve, he shall keep him as a colleague, but if they disapprove, the fact of his original selection must be concealed from all the rest, and especially from the person thus rejected. The synod must meet at an early hour, when everyone has his time most free from other business, private or public. Was it not some such organization as this that we described in [961c] our previous discourse?Clinias
Resuming, then, the subject of this synod, I will say this:—If one were to lay this down as an anchor for the whole State, possessing all the requisite conditions,—then, I affirm, it would secure the salvation of all that we desire.Clinias
Now will be the time for us to display no lack of zeal in declaring truly what follows.Clinias
Excellently spoken! Proceed as you propose. [961d] Athenian
One ought to observe, Clinias, in regard to every object, in each of its operations, what constitutes its appropriate savior—as, for example, in an animal, the soul and the head are eminently such by nature.Clinias
How do you mean?Athenian
Surely it is the goodness of those parts that provides salvation to every animal.Clinias
By the existence of reason in the soul, in addition to all its other qualities, and by the existence of sight and hearing, in addition to all else, in the head; thus, to summarize the matter, it is the combination of reason with the finest senses, and their union in one, that would most justly be termed the salvation of each animal.Clinias
That is certainly probable. [961e] Athenian
It is probable. But what kind of reason is it which, when combined with senses, will afford salvation to ships in stormy weather and calm? On shipboard is it not the pilot and the sailors who, by combining the senses with the pilot reason, secure salvation both for themselves and for all that belongs to the ship?Clinias
There is no need of many examples to illustrate this. Consider, for instance, what would be the right mark for a general to set up to shoot at in the case of an army, or the medical profession in the case of a human body, if they were aiming
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