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[459a] “By all means.” “How, then, would the greatest benefit result? Tell me this, Glaucon. I see that you have in your house hunting-dogs and a number of pedigree cocks.1 Have you ever considered something about their unions and procreations?” “What?”2 he said. “In the first place,” I said, “among these themselves, although they are a select breed, do not some prove better than the rest?” “They do.” “Do you then breed from all indiscriminately, or are you careful to breed from the best3?”

1 Cf. Laws 789 B-C.

2 The riddling question to which the response is “what?” is a mannerism derived from tragedy, which becomes very frequent in the later style of the Sophist, Politicus and Philebus.

3 This commonplace of stirpiculture or eugenics, as it is now called, begins with Theognis 184, and has thus far got no further.

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