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[540a] or whether they will flinch and swerve.1” “How much time do you allow for that?” he said. “Fifteen years,” said I, “and at the age of fifty2 those who have survived the tests and approved themselves altogether the best in every task and form of knowledge must be brought at last to the goal. We shall require them to turn upwards the vision of their souls3 and fix their gaze on that which sheds light on all, and when they have thus beheld the good itself they shall use it as a pattern4 for the right ordering of the state and the citizens and themselves [540b] throughout the remainder of their lives, each in his turn,5 devoting the greater part of their time to the study of philosophy, but when the turn comes for each, toiling in the service of the state and holding office for the city's sake, regarding the task not as a fine thing but a necessity6; and so, when each generation has educated others7 like themselves to take their place as guardians of the state, they shall depart to the Islands of the Blest8 and there dwell. And the state shall establish public memorials9 [540c] and sacrifices for them as to divinities if the Pythian oracle approves10 or, if not, as to divine and godlike men.11” “A most beautiful finish, Socrates, you have put upon your rulers, as if you were a statuary.12” “And on the women13 too, Glaucon,” said I; “for you must not suppose that my words apply to the men more than to all women who arise among them endowed with the requisite qualities.” “That is right,” he said, “if they are to share equally in all things with the men as we laid it down.” [540d] “Well, then,” said I, “do you admit that our notion of the state and its polity is not altogether a daydream,14 but that though it is difficult,15 it is in a way possible16 and in no other way than that described—when genuine philosophers,17 many or one, becoming masters of the state scorn18 the present honors, regarding them as illiberal and worthless, but prize the right19 [540e] and the honors that come from that above all things, and regarding justice as the chief and the one indispensable thing, in the service and maintenance of that reorganize and administer their city?” “In what way?” he said. “All inhabitants above the age of ten,” I said,

1 Cf.ὑποκινήσαντ᾽, Aristoph.Frogs 643.

2 An eminent scholar quaintly infers that Plato could not have written this page before he himself was fifty years old.

3 Plato having made his practical meaning quite clear feels that he can safely permit himself the short cut of rhetoric and symbolism in summing it up. He reckoned without Neoplatonists ancient and modern. Cf. also on 519 B, p. 138, note a.

4 Cf. 500 D-E. For παράδειγμα cf. 592 B and What Plato Said, p. 458, on Euthyphro 6 E, and p. 599, on Polit. 277 D.

5 Cf. 520 D.

6 Cf. 347 C-D, 520 E.

7 Plato's guardians, unlike Athenian statesmen, could train their successors. Cf. Protag. 319 E-320 B, Meno 99 B. Also ἄλλους ποιεῖνMeno 100 A, Gorg. 449 B, 455 C, Euthyph. 3 C, Phaedr. 266 C, 268 B, Symp. 196 E, Protag. 348 E, Isoc.Demon. 3, Panath. 28, Soph. 13, Antid. 204, Xen.Oecon. 15. 10, and παιδεύειν ἀνθρώπους, generally used of the sophists, Gorg. 519 E, Protag. 317 B, Euthyd. 306 E, Laches 186 D, Rep. 600 C.

8 Cf. p. 139, note d. Plato checks himself in mid-flight and wistfully smiles at his own idealism. Cf. on 536 B-C, also 540 C and 509 C. Frutiger, Mythes de Platon, p. 170.

9 Cf. Symp. 209 E.

10 For this caution cf. 461 E and Vol. I. p. 344, note c, on 427 C.

11 Plato plays on the words δαίμων and εὐδαίμων. Cf. also Crat. 398 b-C.

12 Cf. 361 D.

13 Lit. “female rulers.”

14 Cf. on 450 D and 499 C.

15 Cf. 499 D.

16 Cf. What Plato Said, p. 564 on Rep. 472 B-E, and p. 65, not h, on 499 D.

17 Cf. 463 C-D, 499 B-C.

18 Cf. 521 B, 516 C-D.

19 τὸ ὀρθόν: Cf. Theaet. 161 C, Meno 99 A.

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