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“To such a city, then, or constitution I apply the terms good1 and right—and to the corresponding kind of man; but the others I describe as bad and mistaken, if this one is right, in respect both to the administration of states and to the formation2 of the character of the individual soul, they falling under four forms of badness.” “What are these,” he said. And I was going on3 to enumerate them in what seemed to me the order of their evolution4 [449b] from one another, when Polemarchus—he sat at some little distance5 from Adeimantus—stretched forth his hand, and, taking hold of his garment6 from above by the shoulder, drew the other toward him and, leaning forward himself, spoke a few words in his ear, of which we overheard nothing7 else save only this, “Shall we let him off,8 then,” he said, “or what shall we do?” “By no means,” said Adeimantus, now raising his voice. “What, pray,”9 said I, “is it that you are not letting off?” “You,” [449c] said he. “And for what reason, pray?” said I. “We think you are a slacker,” he said, and are trying to cheat10 us out of a whole division,11 and that not the least, of the argument to avoid the trouble of expounding it, and expect to ‘get away with it’ by observing thus lightly that, of course, in respect to women and children it is obvious to everybody that the possessions of friends will be in common.12” “Well, isn't that right, Adeimantus?” I said. “Yes,” said he, “but this word ‘right,’13 like other things, requires defining14 as to the way15 and manner of such a community. There might be many ways. Don't, then, pass over the one [449d] that you16 have in mind. For we have long been lying in wait for you, expecting that you would say something both of the procreation of children and their bringing up,17 and would explain the whole matter of the community of women and children of which you speak. We think that the right or wrong management of this makes a great difference, all the difference in the world,18 in the constitution of a state; so now, since you are beginning on another constitution before sufficiently defining this, we are firmly resolved,
3 Cf. 562 C, Theaetetus 180 C, Stein on Herodotus i. 5. For the transition here to the digression of books V., VI., and VII. cf. Introduction p. xvii, Phaedo 84 C. “Digression” need not imply that these books were not a part of the original design.
6 Cf. 327 B.
7 Cf. 359 E.
8 Cf. on 327 C.
10 Cf. Sophocles Trach. 437.
12 Cf. 424 A, Laws 739 C. Aristotle says that the possessions of friends should be separate in ownership but common in use, as at Sparta. Cf. Newman, Introduction to Aristotle Politics p. 201, Epicurus in Diogenes Laertius x. 11, Aristotle Politics 1263 a 30 ff., Euripides Andromache 270.
14 Cf. Laws 665 B 7.
15 Cf. Aristotle Politics 1264 a 12.
16 Emphatic. Cf. 427 E.
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