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[373a] For there are some, it appears, who will not be contented with this sort of fare or with this way of life; but couches will have to be added thereto and tables and other furniture, yes, and relishes and myrrh and incense and girls1 and cakes—all sorts of all of them. And the requirements we first mentioned, houses and garments and shoes, will no longer be confined to necessities,2 but we must set painting to work and embroidery, and procure gold and ivory and similar adornments, must we not?”

1 On flute-girls as the accompaniment of a banquet Cf. Symposium 176 E, Aristophanes Ach. 1090-1092, Catullus 13. 4. But apart from this, the sudden mention of an incongruous item in a list is a device of Aristophanic humor which even the philosophic Emerson did not disdain: “The love of little maids and berries.”

2 τὰ ἁναγκαῖα predicatively, “in the measure prescribed by necessity.” Cf. 369 D “the indispensable minimum of a city.” The historical order is: (1) arts of necessity, (2) arts of pleasure and luxury, (3) disinterested science. Cf. Critias 110 A, Aristotle Met. 981 b 20.

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