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[490a] a scholar and gentleman1 must have from birth. The leader of the choir for him, if you recollect, was truth. That he was to seek always and altogether, on pain of2 being an impostor without part or lot in true philosophy.” “Yes, that was said.” “Is not this one point quite contrary to the prevailing opinion about him?” “It is indeed,” he said. “Will it not be a fair plea in his defence to say that it was the nature of the real lover of knowledge to strive emulously for true being and that he would not linger over [490b] the many particulars that are opined to be real, but would hold on his way, and the edge of his passion would not be blunted nor would his desire fail till he came into touch with3 the nature of each thing in itself by that part of his soul to which it belongs4 to lay hold on that kind of reality—the part akin to it, namely—and through that approaching it, and consorting with reality really, he would beget intelligence and truth, attain to knowledge and truly live and grow,5 and so find surcease from his travail6 of soul, but not before?” “No plea could be fairer.” “Well, then, will such a man love falsehood, [490c] or, quite the contrary, hate it?” “Hate it,” he said. “When truth led the way, no choir7 of evils, we, I fancy, would say, could ever follow in its train.” “How could it?” “But rather a sound and just character, which is accompanied by temperance.” “Right,” he said. “What need, then, of repeating from the beginning our proof of the necessary order of the choir that attends on the philosophical nature? You surely remember that we found pertaining to such a nature courage, grandeur of soul, aptness to learn, memory.8 And when you interposed [490d] the objection that though everybody will be compelled to admit our statements,9 yet, if we abandoned mere words and fixed our eyes on the persons to whom the words referred, everyone would say that he actually saw some of them to be useless and most of them base with all baseness, it was in our search for the cause of this ill-repute that we came to the present question: Why is it that the majority are bad? And, for the sake of this, we took up again the nature of the true philosophers and defined what it must necessarily be?” [490e] “That is so,” he said.

“We have, then,” I said, “to contemplate the causes of the corruption of this nature in the majority, while a small part escapes,10 even those whom men call not bad but useless; and after that in turn

1 The quality of the καλὸς κἀγαθός gave rise to the abstraction καλοκἀγαθία used for the moral ideal in the Eudemian Ethics. Cf. Isoc.Demon. 6, 13, and 51, Stewart on Eth. Nic. 1124 a 4 (p. 339) and 1179 b 10 (p. 460).

2 For = “or else” Cf. Prot. 323 A and C, Phaedr. 237 C, 239 A, 245 D, Gorg. 494 A, Crat. 426 B, etc.

3 Similar metaphors for contact, approach and intercourse with the truth are frequent in Aristotle and the Neoplatonists. For Plato cf. Campbell on Theaet. 150 B and 186 A. Cf. also on 489 D.

4 Cf. Phaedo 65 E f., Symp. 211 E-212 A.

5 Lit. “be nourished.” Cf. Protag. 313 C-D, Soph. 223 E, Phaedr. 248 B.

6 a Platonic and Neoplatonic metaphor. Cf. Theaet. 148 E ff., 151 A, and passim, Symp. 206 E, Epist. ii. 313 A, Epictet.Diss. i. 22. 17.

7 For the figurative use of the word χορός cf. 560 E, 580 B, Euthydem. 279 C, Theaet. 173 B.

8 For the list of virtues Cf. on 487 A.

9 Cf. for the use of the dative Polit. 258 Aσυγχωρεῖς οὖν οἷς λέγει, Phaedo 100 Cτῇ τοιᾷδε αἰτίᾳ συγχωρεῖς, Horace, Sat. ii. 3. 305 “stultum me fateor, liceat concedere veris.”

10 Le petit nombre des élus. Cf. 496 A-B and Phaedo 69 C-D, Matt. xx. 16, xxii. 14.

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