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[613a] work together for the best1 for him that is dear to the gods, apart from the inevitable evil caused by sin in a former life2?” “By all means.” “This, then, must be our conviction about the just man, that whether he fall into poverty or disease or any other supposed evil, for him all these things will finally prove good, both in life and in death. For by the gods assuredly that man will never be neglected who is willing and eager to be righteous, and by the practice of virtue to be likened unto god3 [613b] so far as that is possible for man.” “It is reasonable,” he said, “that such a one should not be neglected by his like.4” “And must we not think the opposite of the unjust man?” “Most emphatically.” “Such then are the prizes of victory which the gods bestow upon the just.” “So I think, at any rate,” he said. “But what,” said I, “does he receive from men? Is not this the case, if we are now to present the reality? Do not your smart but wicked men fare as those racers do who run well5 from the scratch but not back from the turn? They bound nimbly away at the start, but in the end [613c] are laughed to scorn and run off the field uncrowned and with their ears on their shoulders.6 But the true runners when they have come to the goal receive the prizes and bear away the crown. Is not this the usual outcome for the just also, that towards the end of every action and association and of life as a whole they have honor and bear away the prizes from men?” “So it is indeed.” “Will you, then, bear with me if I say of them [613d] all that you said7 of the unjust? For I am going to say that the just, when they become older, hold the offices in their own city if they choose, marry from what families they will, and give their children in marriage to what families they please, and everything that you said of the one I now repeat of the other; and in turn I will say of the unjust that the most of them, even if they escape detection in youth, at the end of their course are caught and derided, and their old age is made miserable by the contumelies of strangers and townsfolk. [613e] They are lashed and suffer all things8 which you truly said are unfit for ears polite.9 Suppose yourself to have heard from me a repetition of all that they suffer. But, as I say, consider whether you will bear with me.” “Assuredly,” he said, “for what you say is just.”

“Such then while he lives are the prizes, the wages, and the gifts

1 This recalls the faith of Socrates in Apol. 41 C-D and Phaedo 63 B-C, and anticipates the theodicy of Laws 899 D ff., 904 D-E ff.

2 Besides obvious analogies with Buddhism, this recalls Empedocles fr. 115, Diels i3 p. 267.

3 Cf.ὁμοίωσις θεῷTheaet. 176 B, and What Plato Said, p. 578, p. 72, note d.

4 Cf. Laws 716 C-D, 904 E.

5 For the order Cf. Laws 913 Bλεγόμενον εὖ, Thucyd. i. 71. 7, Vahlen, Op. acad. i. 495-496. for the figure of the race cf. Eurip.El. 955, 1Corinthians ix. 24 f., Heb. xii. 1, Gal. ii. 2, v. 7, Phil. ii. 16.

6 English idiom would say, “with their tails between their legs.” Cf. Horace, Sat. i. 9. 20 “dimitto auriculas.” For the idea cf. also Laws 730 C-D, Demosth. ii. 10, and for εἰς τέλος, Laws 899 Eπρὸς τέλος, Hesiod, Works and Days 216ἐς τέλος ἐξελθοῦσα, Eurip.Ion 1621εἰς τέλος γὰρ οἱ μὲν ἐσθλοὶ τυγχάνουσιν ἀξίων, “for the good at last shall overcome, at last attain their right.” (Way, Loeb tr.)

7 Cf. Vol. I. pp. 125-127, 362 B-C.

8 He turns the tables here as in Gorg. 527 A. The late punishment of the wicked became an ethical commonplace. Cf. Plutarch's De sera numinis vindicta 1, also Job and Psalms passim.

9 Cf. 361 Eἀγροικοτέρως, and Gorg. 473 C.

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