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This is, I imagine, the third or fourth time that our discourse has described a circle [659d] and come back to this same point—namely, that education is the process of drawing and guiding children towards that principle which is pronounced right by the law and confirmed as truly right by the experience of the oldest and the most just. So in order that the soul of the child may not become habituated to having pains and pleasures in contradiction to the law and those who obey the law, but in conformity thereto, being pleased and pained at the same things as the old man,— [659e] for this reason we have what we call “chants,” which evidently are in reality incantations2 seriously designed to produce in souls that conformity and harmony of which we speak. But inasmuch as the souls of the young are unable to endure serious study, we term these “plays” and “chants,'' and use them as such,—just as, when people suffer from bodily ailments and infirmities, those whose office it is try to administer to them nutriment that is wholesome in meats
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