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[374c] at leisure1 from other pursuits and not letting slip the right moments for doing the work well, and that yet we are in doubt whether the right accomplishment of the business of war is not of supreme moment? Is it so easy2 that a man who is cultivating the soil will be at the same time a soldier and one who is practising cobbling or any other trade, though no man in the world could make himself a competent expert at draughts or the dice who did not practise that and nothing else from childhood3 but treated it as an occasional business? And are we to believe that a man who

1 Cf. 370 B-C.

2 The ironical argument ex contrario is continued with fresh illustrations to the end of the chapter.

3 Cf. on 467 A.

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