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[450a] as you overheard, not to let you go till you have expounded all this as fully as you did the rest.” “Set me down, too,” said Glaucon, “as voting this ticket.1” “Surely,” said Thrasymachus, “you may consider it a joint resolution of us all, Socrates.”

“What a thing you have done,” said I, “in thus challenging2 me! What a huge debate you have started afresh, as it were, about this polity, in the supposed completion of which I was rejoicing, being only too glad to have it accepted [450b] as I then set it forth! You don't realize what a swarm3 of arguments you are stirring up4 by this demand, which I foresaw and evaded to save us no end of trouble.” “Well,” said Thrasymachus,5“do you suppose this company has come here to prospect for gold6 and not to listen to discussions?” “Yes,” I said, “in measure.” “Nay, Socrates,” said Glaucon, “the measure7 of listening to such discussions is the whole of life for reasonable men. So don't consider us, and do not you yourself grow weary [450c] in explaining to us what we ask or, your views as to how this communion of wives and children among our guardians will be managed, and also about the rearing of the children while still young in the interval between8 birth and formal schooling which is thought to be the most difficult part of education. Try, then, to tell us what must be the manner of it.” “It is not an easy thing to expound, my dear fellow,” said I, “for even more than the provisions that precede it, it raises many doubts. For one might doubt whether what is proposed is possible9 and, even conceding the possibility,10 one might still be sceptical whether it is best. [450d] For which reason one as it were, shrinks from touching on the matter lest the theory be regarded as nothing but a ‘wish-thought,’11 my dear friend.” “Do not shrink,” he said, “for your hearers will not be inconsiderate12 nor distrustful nor hostile.” And I said, “My good fellow, is that remark intended to encourage me?” “It is,” he said. “Well, then,” said I, “it has just the contrary effect. For, if I were confident that I was speaking with knowledge, it would be an excellent encouragement. [450e] For there is both safety and security in speaking the truth with knowledge about our greatest and dearest concerns to those who are both wise and dear. But to speak when one doubts himself and is seeking while he talks is

1 Cf. Protagoras 330 C.

2 Cf. Theaetetus 184 C, Gorgias 469 C.

3 For the metaphor cf. Euripides Bacchae 710 and σμῆνος, Republic 574 D, Cratylus 401 C, Meno 72 A.

4 Cf. Philebus 36 D, Theaetetus 184 A, Cratylus 411 A.

5 Thrasymachus speaks here for the last time. He is mentioned in 357 A, 358 B-C, 498 C, 545 B, 590 D.

6 Lit. “to smelt ore.” The expression was proverbial and was explained by an obscure anecdote. Cf. Leutsch, Paroemiographi, ii. pp. 91, 727, and i. p. 464, and commentators on Herodotus iii. 102.

7 Plato often anticipates and repels the charge of tedious length (see Politicus 286 C, Philebus 28 D, 36 D). Here the thought takes a different turn (as 504 C). The δέ γε implies a slight rebuke (Cf. Class. Phil. xiv. pp. 165-174).

8 So 498 A. Cf. on Aristophanes Acharnians 434, and Laws 792 A.

9 Cf. 456 C, Thucydides vi. 98, Introduction xvii.

10 εἰ τι μάλιστα: a common formula for what a disputant can afford to concede. Cf. Lysias xiii. 52, xxii. 1, xxii. 10. It occurs six times in the Charmides.

11 Cf. Introduction xxxi-xxxii, 456 C, 499 C, 540 D, Laws 736 D, Aristotle Politics 1260 b 29, 1265 a 17δεῖ μὲν οὖν ὑποτίθεσθαι κατ᾽ εὐχην, μηδὲν μέντοι ἀδύνατον.

12 ἀγνώμονες=inconsiderate, unreasonable, as Andocides ii. 6 shows.

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