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[415a] I said; “but all the same hear the rest of the story. While all of you in the city are brothers, we will say in our tale, yet God in fashioning those of you who are fitted to hold rule mingled gold in their generation,1 for which reason they are the most precious—but in the helpers silver, and iron and brass in the farmers and other craftsmen. And as you are all akin, though for the most part you will breed after your kinds,2

1 Cf. 468 E, 547 A, and “already”Cratylus 394 D, 398 A. Hesiod's four metals, Works and Days 109-201, symbolize four succcessive ages. Plato's myth cannot of course be interpreted literally or made to express the whole of his apparently undemocratic theory, of which the biologist Huxley in his essay on Administrative Nihilism says: “The lapse of more than 2000 years has not weakened the force of these wise words.”

2 The four classes are not castes, but are species which will generally breed true. Cf. Cratylus 393 B, 394 A.

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