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[665a] of motion is called “rhythm,” while the order of voice (in which acute and grave are blended together) is termed “harmony,” and to the combination of these two the name “choristry” is given. We stated also that the gods, in pity for us, have granted to us as fellow-choristers and choir-leaders Apollo and the Muses,—besides whom we mentioned, if we recollect, a third, Dionysus.

Clinias
Certainly we recollect.

Athenian
The choir of Apollo and that of the Muses have been described, and the third and remaining [665b] choir must necessarily be described, which is that of Dionysus.

Clinias
How so? Tell us; for at the first mention of it, a Dionysiac choir of old men sounds mighty strange,—if you mean that men over thirty, and even men over fifty and up to sixty, are really going to dance in his honor.

Athenian
That is, indeed, perfectly true. It needs argument, I fancy, to show how such a procedure would be reasonable.

Clinias
It does.

Athenian
Are we agreed about our previous proposals? [665c]

Clinias
In what respect?

Athenian
That it is the duty of every man and child—bond and free, male and female,—and the duty of the whole State, to charm themselves unceasingly with the chants we have described, constantly changing them and securing variety in every way possible, so as to inspire the singers with an insatiable appetite for the hymns and with pleasure therein.

Clinias
Assuredly we would agree as to the duty of doing this. [665d]

Athenian
Then where should we put the best element in the State,—that which by age and judgment alike is the most influential it contains,—so that by singing its noblest songs it might do most good? Or shall we be so foolish as to dismiss that section which possesses the highest capacity for the noblest and most useful songs?

Clinias
We cannot possibly dismiss it, judging from what you now say.

Athenian
What seemly method can we adopt about it? Will the method be this?

Clinias
What?

Athenian
Every man as he grows older becomes reluctant to sing songs, and takes less pleasure in doing so; and when compelled to sing, [665e] the older he is and the more temperate, the more he will feel ashamed. Is it not so?

Clinias
It is.

Athenian
Surely, then, he will be more than ever ashamed to get up and sing in the theater, before people of all sorts. Moreover, if old men like that were obliged to do as the choristers do, who go lean and fasting when training their voices for a competition, they would assuredly find singing an unpleasant and degrading task, and they would undertake it with no great readiness.

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