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[489b] if they were honored.” “I will teach him,”1 he said. “And say to him further: You are right in affirming that the finest spirit among the philosophers are of no service to the multitude. But bid him blame for this uselessness,2 not the finer spirits, but those who do not know how to make use of them. For it is not the natural3 course of things that the pilot should beg the sailors to be ruled by him or that wise men should go to the doors of the rich.4 The author of that epigram5 was a liar. But the true nature of things is that whether the sick man be rich or poor he must needs go to the door of the physician,

1 This passage illustrates one of the most interesting characteristics of Plato's style, namely the representation of thought as adventure or action. This procedure is, or was, familiar to modern readers in Matthew Arnold's account in God and the Bible of his quest for the meaning of god, which in turn is imitated in Mr. Updegraff's New World. It lends vivacity and interest to Pascal's Provinciales and many other examples of it can be found in modern literature. The classical instance of it in Plato is Socrates' narrative in the Phaedo of his search for a satisfactory explanation of natural phenomena, 96 A ff. In the Sophist the argument is represented as an effort to track and capture the sophist. And the figure of the hunt is common in the dialogues(Cf. Vol. I. p. 365). Cf. also Rep. 455 A-B, 474 B, 588 C-D, 612 C, Euthyd. 291 A-B, 293 A, Phileb. 24 A ff., 43 A, 44 D, 45 A, Laws 892 D-E, Theaet. 169 D, 180 E, 196 D, Polit. 265 B, etc.

2 Cf. 487 D. Cf. Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, p. 3 “I am not sure that I do not think this the fault of our community rather than of the men of culture.”

3 For the idiom φύσιν ἔχει cf. 473 A, Herod. ii. 45, Dem. ii. 26. Similarly ἔχει λόγον, Rep. 378 E, 491 D, 564 A, 610 A, Phaedo 62 B and D, Gorg. 501 A, etc.

4 This saying was attributed to Simonides. Cf. schol. Hermann, Plato, vol. vi. p. 346, Joel, Der echte und der xenophontische Sokrates, ii.1 p .81, Aristot.Rhet. 1301 a 8 Cf. Phaedr. 245 Aἐπὶ ποιητικὰς θύρας,Thompson on Phaedr. 233 E, 364 Bἐπὶ πλουσίων θύρας, Laws 953 Dἐπὶ τὰς τῶν πλουσίων καὶ σοφῶν θύρας, and for the idea cf. also 568 A and Theaet. 170 A, Timon of AthensIV iii. 17 “The learned pate ducks to the golden fool.”

5 For Plato's attitude toward the epigrams of the Pre-Socratics Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, pp. 68-69.

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