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[492a] “Then the nature which we assumed in the philosopher, if it receives the proper teaching, must needs grow and attain to consummate excellence, but, if it be sown1 and planted and grown in the wrong environment, the outcome will be quite the contrary unless some god comes to the rescue.2 Or are you too one of the multitude who believe that there are young men who are corrupted by the sophists,3 and that there are sophists in private life4 who corrupt to any extent worth mentioning,5 and that it is not rather the very men who talk in this strain

1 Cf. 107 B, Tim. 42 D.

2 This is the θεῖα μοῖρα of 493 A and Meno 99 E. Cf. What Plato Said, p. 517.

3 See What Plato Said, pp. 12 ff. and on Meno 93-94. Plato again anticipates many of his modern critics. Cf. Grote's defence of the sophists passim, and Mill, Unity of ReligionThree essays on Religion, pp. 78, 84 ff.).

4 ἰδιωτικούς refers to individual sophists as opposed to the great sophist of public opinion. Cf. 492 D, 493 A, 494 A.

5 For καὶ ἄξιον λόγου Cf. Euthydem 279 C, Laches 192 A, Laws 908 B, 455 C, Thucyd. ii. 54. 5, Aristot.Pol. 1272 b 32, 1302 a 13, De part. an. 654 a 13, Demosth. v. 16, Isoc. vi. 65.

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