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[499a] in one case or in many. Do you think they have?” “By no means.” “Neither, my dear fellow, have they ever seriously inclined to hearken to fair and free discussions whose sole endeavor was to search out the truth1 at any cost for knowledge's sake, and which dwell apart and salute from afar2 all the subtleties and cavils that lead to naught but opinion3 and strife in court-room and in private talk.” “They have not,” he said. [499b] “For this cause and foreseeing this, we then despite our fears4 declared under compulsion of the truth5 that neither city nor polity nor man either will ever be perfected until some chance compels this uncorrupted remnant of philosophers, who now bear the stigma of uselessness, to take charge of the state whether they wish it or not, and constrains the citizens to obey them, or else until by some divine inspiration6 a genuine passion for true philosophy takes possession7 [499c] either of the sons of the men now in power and sovereignty or of themselves. To affirm that either or both of these things cannot possibly come to pass is, I say, quite unreasonable. Only in that case could we be justly ridiculed as uttering things as futile as day-dreams are.8 Is not that so?” “It is.” “If, then, the best philosophical natures have ever been constrained to take charge of the state in infinite time past,9 or now are in some barbaric region10 [499d] far beyond our ken, or shall hereafter be, we are prepared to maintain our contention11 that the constitution we have described has been, is, or will be12 realized13 when this philosophic Muse has taken control of the state.14 It is not a thing impossible to happen, nor are we speaking of impossibilities. That it is difficult we too admit.” “I also think so,” he said. “But the multitude—are you going to say?—does not think so,” said I. “That may be,” he said. “My dear fellow,” [499e] said I, “do not thus absolutely condemn the multitude.15 They will surely be of another mind if in no spirit of contention but soothingly and endeavoring to do away with the dispraise of learning you point out to them whom you mean by philosophers, and define as we recently did their nature

1 As the Platonic dialectic does (Phileb. 58 C-D, Cf. What Plato Said, p. 611) in contrast with the rhetorician, the lawyer (Theaet. 172 D-E) and the eristic (Euthydem. 272 B, Hipp. Maj. 288 D).

2 Cf. Eurip.Hippol. 102, Psalm cxxxviii. 6 “the proud he knoweth afar off.”

3 Cf. Phaedrus 253 D with Theaetet. 187 C, and Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 48.

4 Cf. on 489 A.

5 Cf. Aristot.Met. 984 b 10, 984 a 19.

6 Cf. Laws 757 E. But we must not attribute personal superstition to Plato. See What Plato Said, index, s.v. Superstition.

7 Cf. Laws 711 D, Thuc. vi. 24. 3; so iv. 4. 1ὁρμὴ ἐπέπεσε.

8 We might say, “talking like vain Utopians or idly idealists.” The scholiast says, p. 348, τοῦτο καὶ κενήν φασι μακαρίαν. cf. supra, Vol. I. on 458 A, and for εὐχαί on 450 D, and Novotny on Epist. vii. 331 D.

9 Cf. Laws 782 A, 678 A-B, and What Plato Said, p. 627 on Laws 676 A-B; Also Isoc.Panath. 204-205, seven hundred years seemed a short time.

10 Cf. Phaedo 78 A.

11 For the ellipsis of the first person of the verb Parmen. 137 C, Laches 180 A. The omission of the third person is very frequent.

12 Cf. 492 E, Laws 711 E, 739 C, 888 E.

13 Cf. Vol. I. Introd. p. xxxii, and ibid. on 472 B, and What Plato Said, p. 564, also 540 D, Newman, Aristot.Pol. i. p. 377.

14 This is what I have called the ABA style. Cf. 599 E, Apol. 20 C, Phaedo 57 B, Laches 185 A, Protag. 344 C, Theaet. 185 A, 190 B, etc. It is nearly what Riddell calls binary structure, Apology, pp. 204-217.

15 It is uncritical to find “contradictions” in variations of mood, emphasis, and expression that are broadly human and that no writer can avoid. Any thinker may at one moment and for one purpose defy popular opinion and for another conciliate it; at one time affirm that it doesn't matter what the ignorant people think or say, and at another urge that prudence bids us be discreet. So St. Paul who says (Gal. i. 10) “Do I seek to please men? for if I yet please men I should not be the servant of Christ,” says also (Rom xiv. 16) “Let no then your good be evil spoken of.” Cf. also What Plato Said, p. 646 on Laws 950 B.

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