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[494a] is impossible for the multitude.1” “Impossible.” “It is inevitable,2 then, that those who philosophize should be censured by them.” “Inevitable.” “And so likewise by those laymen who, associating with the mob, desire to curry favor3 with it.” “Obviously.” “From this point of view do you see any salvation that will suffer the born philosopher to abide in the pursuit and persevere to the end? Consider it in the light of what we said before. [494b] We agreed4 that quickness in learning, memory, courage and magnificence were the traits of this nature.” “Yes.” “Then even as a boy5 among boys such a one will take the lead in all things, especially if the nature of his body matches the soul.” “How could he fail to do so?” he said. “His kinsmen and fellow-citizens, then, will desire, I presume, to make use of him when he is older for their own affairs.” “Of course.” [494c] “Then they will fawn6 upon him with petitions and honors, anticipating7 and flattering the power that will be his.” “That certainly is the usual way.” “How, then, do you think such a youth will behave in such conditions, especially if it happen that he belongs to a great city and is rich and well-born therein, and thereto handsome and tall? Will his soul not be filled with unbounded ambitious hopes,8 and will he not think himself capable of managing the affairs of both Greeks and barbarians,9 [494d] and thereupon exalt himself, haughty of mien and stuffed with empty pride and void of sense10 “He surely will,” he said. “And if to a man in this state of mind11 someone gently12 comes and tells him what is the truth, that he has no sense and sorely needs it, and that the only way to get it is to work like a slave13 to win it, do you think it will be easy for him to lend an ear14 to the quiet voice in the midst of and in spite of these evil surroundings15 “Far from it,” said he. “And even supposing,” said I, “that owing to a fortunate disposition and his affinity for the words of admonition [494e] one such youth apprehends something and is moved and drawn towards philosophy, what do we suppose will be the conduct of those who think that they are losing his service and fellowship? Is there any word or deed that they will stick at16 to keep him from being persuaded and to incapacitate anyone who attempts it,17 both by private intrigue and public prosecution in the court?”

1 A commonplace of Plato and all intellectual idealists. Cf. 503 B, Polit. 292 E, 297 B, 300 E. Novotny, Plato's Epistles, p. 87, uses this to support his view that Plato had a secret doctrine. Adam quotes Gorg. 474 Aτοῖς δὲ πολλοῖς οὐδὲ διαλέγομαι, which is not quite relevant. Cf. Renan, Etudes d'histoire relig. p. 403 “La philosophie sera toujours le fait d'une imperceptible minorité,” etc.

2 It is psychologically necessary. Cf. supra, Vol. 1. on 473 E. Cf. 527 A, Laws 655 E, 658 E, 681 C, 687 C, Phaedr. 239 C, 271 B, Crito 49 D.

3 Cf. Gorg. 481 E, 510 D, 513 B.

4 In 487 A.

5 Cf. 386 A. In what follows Plato is probably thinking of Alcibiades. Alc, I, 103 A ff, imitates the passage. Cf. Xen.Mem. i. 2. 24.

6 For ὑποκείσονται Cf. Gorg. 510 C, 576 AὑποπεσόντεςEurip.Orest. 670 ὑποτρέχειν, Theaet. 173 Aὑπελθεῖν.

7 i.e. endeavoring to secure the advantage of it for themselves by winning his favor when he is still young and impressionable.

8 Cf. Alc. I. 104 B-C ff.

9 Cf. Alc. I. 105 B-C.

10 ὑψηλὸν ἐξαρεῖν, etc., seems to be a latent poetic quotation.

11 Or perhaps “subject to these influences.” Adam says it is while he is sinking into this condition.

12 Cf. Vol. I. on 476 E. Cf. 533 D, Protag. 333 E, Phaedo 83 A, Crat. 413 A, Theaet. 154. E.

13 Cf. Phaedo 66 C, Symp. 184 C, Euthydem. 282 B.

14 Cf. Epin. 990 A, Epist. vii. 330 A-B.

15 Cf. Alc. I. 135 E.

16 For πᾶν ἔργον cf. Sophocles, E. 615.

17 Cf. 517 E.

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