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[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 between1 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 possible2 and, even conceding the possibility,3 one might still be sceptical whether it is best.

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

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

3 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.

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