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[495a] “That is inevitable,” he said. “Is there any possibility of such a one continuing to philosophize?” “None at all,” he said.

“Do you see, then,” said I,” that we were not wrong in saying that the very qualities that make up the philosophical nature do, in fact, become, when the environment and nurture are bad, in some sort the cause of its backsliding,1 and so do the so-called goods—2 riches and all such instrumentalities3?” “No,” he replied, “it was rightly said.” “Such, my good friend, and so great as regards the noblest pursuit, [495b] is the destruction and corruption4 of the most excellent nature, which is rare enough in any case,5 as we affirm. And it is from men of this type that those spring who do the greatest harm to communities and individuals, and the greatest good when the stream chances to be turned into that channel,6 but a small nature7 never does anything great to a man or a city.” “Most true,” said he. [495c] “Those, then, to whom she properly belongs, thus falling away and leaving philosophy forlorn and unwedded, themselves live an unreal and alien life, while other unworthy wooers8 rush in and defile her as an orphan bereft of her kin,9 and attach to her such reproaches as you say her revilers taunt her with, declaring that some of her consorts are of no account and the many accountable for many evils.” “Why, yes,” he replied, “that is what they do say.” “And plausibly,” said I; “for other mannikins, observing that the place is unoccupied and full of fine terms and pretensions, [495d] just as men escape from prison to take sanctuary in temples, so these gentlemen joyously bound away from the mechanical10 arts to philosophy, those that are most cunning in their little craft.11 For in comparison with the other arts the prestige of philosophy even in her present low estate retains a superior dignity; and this is the ambition and aspiration of that multitude of pretenders unfit by nature, whose souls are bowed and mutilated12 by their vulgar occupations13 [495e] even as their bodies are marred by their arts and crafts. Is not that inevitable?” “Quite so,” he said. “Is not the picture which they present,” I said, “precisely that of a little bald-headed tinker14 who has made money and just been freed from bonds and had a bath and is wearing a new garment and has got himself up like a bridegroom and is about to marry his master's daughter

1 For ἐκπεσεῖν cf. 496 C.

2 Cf. on 591 C. p. 32, note a.

3 Cf. Lysis 220 A; Arnold's “machinery,” Aristotle's χορηγία

4 Cf. 491 B-E, Laws 951 Bἀδιάφθαρτος, Xen.Mem. i. 2. 24.

5 For καὶ ἄλλως Cf. Il. ix. 699.

6 Cf. on 485 Dὥσπερ ῥεῦμα.

7 Cf. on 491 E, p. 33, note d.

8 Cf. on 489 D, and Theaet. 173 C.

9 Cf. Taine, à Sainte-Beuve, Aug. 14, 1865: “Comme Claude Bernard, il dépasse sa spécialité et c'est ches des spécialistes comme ceux-là que la malheureuse philosophie livée aux mains gantées et parfumées d'eau bénite va trouver des maris capables de lui faire encore des enfants.” cf. Epictet. iii. 21. 21. The passage is imitated by Lucian 3. 2. 287, 294, 298. For the shame that has befallen philosophy Cf. Euthydem. 304 ff., Epist. vii. 328 E, Isoc.Busiris 48, Plutarch 1091 E, Boethius, Cons. i. 3. There is no probability that this is aimed at Isocrates, who certainly had not deserted the mechanical arts for what he called philosophy. Rohde Kleine Schriften, i. 319, thinks Antisthenes is meant. But Plato as usual is generalizing. See What Plato Said, p. 593 on Soph. 242 C.

10 Cf. the different use of the idea in Protag. 318 E.

11 τεχνίον is a contemptuous diminutive, such as are common in Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Cf. also ἀνθρωπίσκοι in C, and ψυχάριον in 519 A.

12 Cf. 611 C-D, Theaet. 173 A-B.

13 For the idea that trade is ungentlemanly and incompatible with philosophy Cf. 522 B and 590 C, Laws 919 C ff., and What Plato Said, p. 663 on Rivals 137 B. Cf. Richard of Bury, Philobiblon,Prologue, “Fitted for the liberal arts, and equally disposed to the contemplation of Scripture, but destitute of the needful aid, they revert, as it were, by a sort of apostasy, to mechanical arts.” Cf also Xen.Mem. iv. 2. 3, and Ecclesiasticus xxxviii. 25 f. “How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough and glorieth in the goad . . . and whose talk is of bullocks? . . . so every carpenter and workmaster . . . the smith . . . the potter . . . ”

14 For a similar short vivid description Cf. Erastae 134 B, Euthyphro 2 B. Such are common in Plautus, e.g.Mercator 639.

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