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[519a] or, again, useless and harmful. Have you never observed in those who are popularly spoken of as bad, but smart men,1 how keen is the vision of the little soul,2 how quick it is to discern the things that interest it,3 a proof that it is not a poor vision which it has, but one forcibly enlisted in the service of evil, so that the sharper its sight the more mischief it accomplishes?” “I certainly have,” he said. “Observe then,” said I, “that this part of such a soul, if it had been hammered from childhood, and had thus been struck free4 of the leaden weights, so to speak, of our birth

1 Cf. Theaet. 176 D, Laws 689 C-D, Cic.De offic. i. 19, and also Laws 819 A.

2 Cf. Theaet. 195 A, ibid. 173 Aσμικροὶ . . . τὰς ψυχάς, Marcus Aurelius’ψυχάριον εἶ βαστάζων νεκρόν, Swinburne's “A little soul for a little bears up this corpse which is man” (“Hymn to Proserpine,” in fine), Tennyson's “If half the little soul is dirt.”

3 Lit. “Toward which it is turned.”

4 The meaning is plain, the precise nature of the image that carries it is doubtful. Jowett's “circumcision” was suggested by Stallbaum's “purgata ac circumcisa,” but carries alien associations. The whole may be compared with the incrustation of the soul, 611 C-D, and with Phaedo 81 B f.

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