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[354a] “But furthermore, he who lives well is blessed and happy, and he who does not the contrary.” “Of course.” “Then the just is happy and the unjust miserable.” “So be it,” he said. “But it surely does not pay to be miserable, but to be happy.” “Of course not.” “Never, then, most worshipful Thrasymachus, can injustice be more profitable than justice.” “Let this complete your entertainment, Socrates, at the festival of Bendis.” “A feast furnished by you, Thrasymachus,” I said, “now that you have become gentle with me and are no longer angry.1 I have not dined well, however— [354b] by my own fault, not yours. But just as gluttons2 snatch at every dish that is handed along and taste it before they have properly enjoyed the preceding, so I, methinks, before finding the first object of our inquiry—what justice is—let go of that and set out to consider something about it, namely whether it is vice and ignorance or wisdom and virtue; and again, when later the view was sprung upon us that injustice is more profitable than justice I could not refrain from turning to that from the other topic. So that for me [354c] the present outcome of the discussion3 is that I know nothing.4 For if I don't know what the just is,5 I shall hardly know whether it is a virtue or not, and whether its possessor is or is not happy.”

1 For similar irony Cf. Gorgias 489 D, Euthydemus 304 C.

2 Similarly Holmes (Poet at the Breakfast Table, p. 108) of the poet: “He takes a bite out of the sunny side of this and the other, and ever stimulated and never satisfied,” etc. Cf. Lucian, Demosth. Encom. 18, Julian Orat. ii. p. 69 c, Polyb. iii. 57. 7.

3 Hirzel, Der Dialog, i. p. 4, n. 1, argues that διαλόγου here means “inquiry” (Erorterung), not the dialogue with Thrasymachus.

4 For the profession of ignorance at the close of a Socratic dialogue Cf. Charmides 175 A-B, Lysis 222 D-E, Protagoras 361 A-B, Xenophon Memorabilia iv. 2. 39. Cf. also Introduction p. x.

5 Knowledge of the essence or definition must precede discussion of qualities and relations. Cf Meno 71 B, 86 D-E, Laches 190 B, Gorgias 448 E.

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