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[407a] “that he had a task and that life wasn't worth acceptance on condition of not doing his work?” “Obviously,” he said. “But the rich man, we say, has no such appointed task, the necessity of abstaining from which renders life intolerable.” “I haven't heard of any.” “Why, haven't you heard that saying of Phocylides,1 that after a man has 'made his pile' he ought to practice virtue?” “Before, too, I fancy,” he said. “Let us not quarrel with him on that point,” I said, “but inform ourselves whether this virtue is something for the rich man to practise, [407b]

and life is intolerable if he does not, or whether we are to suppose that while valetudinarianism is a hindrance to single-minded attention to carpentry and the other arts, it is no obstacle to the fulfilment of Phocylides' exhortation.” “Yes, indeed,” he said, “this excessive care for the body that goes beyond simple gymnastics2 is the greatest of all obstacles. For it is troublesome in household affairs and military service and sedentary offices in the city.” “And, chief of all, it puts difficulties in the way of any kind of instruction, thinking, or private meditation, [407c] forever imagining headaches3 and dizziness and attributing their origin to philosophy. So that wherever this kind of virtue is practiced4 and tested it is in every way a hindrance.5 For it makes the man always fancy himself sick and never cease from anguishing about his body.” “Naturally,” he said. “Then, shall we not say that it was because Asclepius knew this—that for those who were by nature and course of life sound of body [407d] but had some localized disease, that for such, I say, and for this habit he revealed the art of medicine, and, driving out their disease by drugs and surgery, prescribed for them their customary regimen in order not to interfere with their civic duties, but that, when bodies were diseased inwardly and throughout, he did not attempt by diet and by gradual evacuations and infusions to prolong a wretched existence for the man and have him beget in all likelihood similar wretched offspring? [407e] But if a man was incapable of living in the established round6 and order of life, he did not think it worth while to treat him, since such a fellow is of no use either to himself or to the state.” “A most politic Asclepius you're telling us of,7” he said. “Obviously,” said I, “that was his character. And his sons too, don't you in see that at Troy they approved

1 The line of Phocylides is toyed with merely to vary the expression of the thought. Bergk restores it δίζησθαι βιοτήν, ἀρετὴν δ᾽ ὅταν βίος ἤδη, which is Horace's (Epistles i. 1. 53 f.): “Quaerenda pecunia primum est;/ Virtus post nummos!”

2 In the Gorgias(464 B)ἰατρική is recognized as co-ordinate in the care of the body with γυμναστική. Here, whatever goes beyond the training and care that will preserve the health of a normal body is austerely rejected. Cf. 410 B.

3 As Macaulay, Essay on “Bacon,” puts it: “That a valetudinarian . . . who enjoyed a hearty laugh over the Queen of Navarre's tales should be treated as a caput lupinum because he could not read the Timaeus without a headache, was a notion which the humane spirit of the English schools of wisdom altogether rejected.” For the thought cf. Xenophon Memorabilia iii. 12. 6-7.

4 Literally “virtue is practiced in this way.” Cf. 503 D for a similar contrast between mental and other labors. And for the meaning of virtue cf. the Elizabethan: “Virtue is ever sowing of her seeds.”

5 There is a suggestion of Stoic terminology in Plato's use of ἐμπόδιος and similar words. Cf. Xenophon Memorabilia i. 2. 4. On the whole passage cf. again Macaulay's Essay on “Bacon,” Maximus of Tyre (Duebn.) 10, and the diatribe on modern medicine and valetudinarianism in Edward Carpenter's Civilization, Its Cause and Cure.

6 Cf. Thucydides i. 130.

7 There is a touch of comedy in the Greek. Cf. Eupolis, fr. 94 Kock ταχὺν λέγεις μέν.

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