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[345a] it will be no bad investment1 for you—any benefit that you bestow on such company as this. For I tell you for my part that I am not convinced, neither do I think that injustice is more profitable2 than justice, not even if one gives it free scope and does not hinder it of its will.3 But, suppose, sir, a man to be unjust and to be able to act unjustly either because he is not detected or can maintain it by violence,4 all the same he does not convince me that it is more profitable than justice. [345b] Now it may be that there is someone else among us who feels in this way and that I am not the only one. Persuade us, then, my dear fellow, convince us satisfactorily that we are ill advised in preferring justice to injustice.” “And how am I to persuade you?”5 he said. “If you are not convinced by what I just now was saying, what more can I do for you? Shall I take the argument and ram6 it into your head?” “Heaven forbid!” I said, “don't do that. But in the first place when you have said a thing stand by it,7 or if you shift your ground change openly and don't try to deceive us. [345c] But, as it is, you see, Thrasymachus—let us return to the previous examples—you see that while you began by taking the physician in the true sense of the word, you did not think fit afterwards to be consistent and maintain with precision the notion of the true shepherd, but you apparently think that he herds his sheep in his quality of shepherd not with regard to what is best for the sheep but as if he were a banqueter about to be feasted with regard to the good cheer or again with a view to the sale of them [345d] as if he were a money-maker and not a shepherd. But the art of the shepherd8 surely is concerned with nothing else than how to provide what is best for that over which is set, since its own affairs, its own best estate, are entirely sufficiently provided for so long as it in nowise fails of being the shepherd's art. And in like manner I supposed that we just now were constrained to acknowledge that every form of rule9 in so far as it is rule considers what is best for nothing else than that which is governed and cared for by it, [345e] alike in political and private rule. Why, do you think that the rulers and holders of office in our cities—the true rulers10—willingly hold office and rule?” “I don't think,” he said, “I know right well they do.”

“But what of other forms of rule, Thrasymachus? Do you not perceive that no one chooses of his own will to hold the office of rule, but they demand pay, which implies that not to them will benefit accrue from their holding office but to those whom they rule?

1 κείσεται of an investment perhaps. Cf. Plautus, Rudens 939 “bonis quod bene fit, haud perit.”

2 Isocrates viii. 31 and elsewhere seems to be copying Plato's idea that injustice can never be profitable in the higher sense of the word. Cf. also the proof in the Hipparchus that all true κέρδος is ἀγαθόν.

3 Plato neglects for the present the refinement that the unjust man does not do what he really wishes, since all desire the good. Cf. 438 A, 577 D, and Gorgias 467 B.

4 Cf. 365 D.

5 Thrasymachus has stated his doctrine. Like Dr. Johnson he cannot supply brains to understand it. Cf. Gorgias 489 C, 499 B, Meno 75 D.

6 The language is idiomatic, and the metaphor of a nurse feeding a baby, Aristophanes Eccl. 716, is rude. Cf. Shakespeare, “He crams these words into my ears against the stomach of my sense.”

7 Cf. Socrates' complaint of Callicles' shifts, Gorgias 499 B-C, but Cf. 334 E, 340 B-C.

8 The art=the ideal abstract artist. See on 342 A-C. Aristotle Eth. Nic. 1098 a 8 ff. says that the function of a harper and that of a good harper are generically the same. Cf. Crito 48 A.

9 Aristotle's despotic rule over slaves would seem to be an exception (Newman, Introduction Aristotle Politics p. 245.). But that too should be for the good of the slave;590 D.

10 See on 343 B, Aristotle Eth. Nic. 1102 a 8. The new point that good rulers are reluctant to take office is discussed to 347 E, and recalled later, 520 D. See Newman, l.c. pp. 244-245, Dio Cass. xxxvi. 27. 1.

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