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[604a] “Tell me now this about him: Do you think he will be more likely to resist and fight against his grief when he is observed by his equals or when he is in solitude alone by himself?” “He will be much more restrained,” he said, “when he is on view.” “But when left alone, I fancy, he will permit himself many utterances which, if heard by another, would put him to shame, and will do many things which he would not consent to have another see him doing.” “So it is,” he said.

“Now is it not reason and law [604b] that exhorts him to resist, while that which urges him to give way to his grief is the bare feeling itself?” “True.” “And where there are two opposite impulses1 in a man at the same time about the same thing we say that there must needs be two things2 in him.” “Of course.” “And is not the one prepared to follow the guidance of the law as the law leads and directs?” “How so?” “The law, I suppose, declares that it is best to keep quiet as far as possible in calamity and not to chafe and repine, because we cannot know what is really good and evil in such things3 and it advantages us nothing to take them hard, [604c] and nothing in mortal life is worthy of great concern,4 and our grieving checks5 the very thing we need to come to our aid as quickly as possible in such case.” “What thing,” he said, “do you mean?” “To deliberate,”6 I said, “about what has happened to us, and, as it were in the fall of the dice,7 to determine the movements of our affairs with reference to the numbers that turn up, in the way that reason indicates8 would be the best, and, instead of stumbling like children, clapping one's hands to the stricken spot9 and wasting the time in wailing, [604d] ever to accustom the soul to devote itself at once to the curing of the hurt and the raising up of what has fallen, banishing threnody10 by therapy.” “That certainly,” he said, “would be the best way to face misfortune and deal with it.” “Then, we say, the best part of us is willing to conform to these precepts of reason.” “Obviously.” “And shall we not say that the part of us that leads us to dwell in memory on our suffering and impels us to lamentation, and cannot get enough of that sort of thing, is the irrational and idle part of us, the associate of cowardice11?” “Yes, we will say that.” “And does not [604e] the fretful part of us present12 many and varied occasions for imitation, while the intelligent and temperate disposition, always remaining approximately the same, is neither easy to imitate nor to be understood when imitated, especially by a nondescript mob assembled in the theater? For the representation imitates a type

1 Cf. Laws 645 A, Phaedr. 238 C, and for the conflict in the soul also Rep. 439 B ff.

2 The conflict proves that for practical purposes the soul has parts. Cf. 436 B ff.

3 Cf. Apology, in fine.

4 Cf. Laws 803 B and Class. Phil. ix. p. 353, n. 3, Friedländer, Platon, i. p. 143.

5 Höffding, Outlines of Psychology, p. 99, refers to Saxo's tale of the different effect which the news of the murder of Regner Lodbrog produced on his sons: he in whom the emotion was the weakest had the greatest energy for action.

6 Cf. Herod. i. 20πρὸς τὸ παρεὸν βουλεύηται.

7 Cf. Eurip.Electra 639 and fr. 175πρὸς τὸ πῖπτον, Iph. Aul. 1343 and Hippol. 718πρὸς τὰ νῦν πεπτωκότα, Epictet. ii. 5. 3. See also Stallbaum ad loc.

8 Cf. 440 B, 607 B, Herod. i. 132.

9 Cf. Demosthenes' description of how barbarians box iv. 40 (51),ἀεὶ τῆς πληγῆς ἔχεται.

10 Cf. Soph.Ajax 582θρηνεῖν ἐπῳδὰς πρὸς τομῶντι πήματι with Ovid, Met. i. 190: “sed immedicabile vulnus Ense recidendum est.”

11 Cf. on 603 B, p. 450, note a.

12 ἔχει in the sense of “involves,” “admits of,” as frequently in Aristotle's Metaphysics.

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