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[497d] having the same conception of its constitution that you the lawgiver had in framing its laws.1” “That was said,” he replied. “But it was not sufficiently explained,” I said, “from fear of those objections on your part which have shown that the demonstration of it is long and difficult. And apart from that the remainder of the exposition is by no means easy.2” “Just what do you mean?” “The manner in which a state that occupies itself with philosophy can escape destruction. For all great things are precarious and, as the proverb truly says, fine things are hard.3” “All the same,”

1 Cf. on 412 A and What Plato Said, p. 647 on Laws 962; 502 D.

2 Cf. Soph. 224 C. See critical note.

3 So Adam. Others take τῷ ὄντι with χαλεπά as part of the proverb. Cf. 435 C, Crat. 384 A-B with schol.

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