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[456a] and warlike and another unwarlike and averse to gymnastics?” “I think not.” “And again, one a lover, another a hater, of wisdom? And one high-spirited, and the other lacking spirit?” “That also is true.” “Then it is likewise true that one woman has the qualities of a guardian and another not. Were not these the natural qualities of the men also whom we selected for guardians?” “They were.” “The women and the men, then, have the same nature in respect to the guardianship of the state, save in so far as the one is weaker, the other stronger.” “Apparently.” [456b]

“Women of this kind, then, must be selected to cohabit with men of this kind and to serve with them as guardians since they are capable of it and akin by nature.” “By all means.” “And to the same natures must we not assign the same pursuits?” “The same.” “We come round,1 then, to our previous statement, and agree that it does not run counter to nature to assign music and gymnastics to the wives of the guardians.” [456c] “By all means.” “Our legislation, then, was not impracticable or utopian,2 since the law we proposed accorded with nature. Rather, the other way of doing things, prevalent today, proves, as it seems, unnatural.” “Apparently.” “The object of our inquiry was the possibility and the desirability3 of what we were proposing.” “It was.” “That it is possible has been admitted.” “Yes.” “The next point to be agreed upon is that it is the best way.” “Obviously.” “For the production of a guardian, then, education will not be one thing for our men and another for our women, especially since [456d] the nature which we hand over to it is the same.” “There will be no difference.” “How are you minded, now, in this matter?” “In what?” “In the matter of supposing some men to be better and some worse,4 or do you think them all alike?” “By no means.” “In the city, then, that we are founding, which do you think will prove the better men, the guardians receiving the education which we have described or the cobblers educated by the art of cobbling5?” “An absurd question,” he said. [456e] “I understand,” said I; “and are not these the best of all the citizens?” “By far.” “And will not these women be the best of all the women?” “They, too, by far.” “Is there anything better for a state than the generation in it of the best possible women6 and men?” “There is not.” “And this, music and gymnastics

1 Cf. Gorgias 517 C.

2 Cf. on 450 D.

3 Cf. Introduction p. xvii.

4 This is only a more complicated case of the point of style noted on 349 D. Cf. Cratylus 386 A, Sophist 247 A.

5 Cf. on 421 A. We should not press this incidental phrase to prove that Plato would not educate all the citizens, as he in fact does in the Laws and by implication in the Politicus.

6 Cf. Morley, Voltaire, p. 103: “It has been rather the fashion to laugh at the Marquise de Châtelet, for no better reason than that she, being a woman, studied Newton. . . . There is probably nothing which would lead to so rapid and marked an improvement in the world as a large increase of the number of women in it with the will and the capacity to master Newton as thoroughly as she did.”

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