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[521b] “Most true,” he said. “Can you name any other type or ideal of life that looks with scorn on political office except the life of true philosophers1?” I asked. “No, by Zeus,” he said. “But what we require,” I said, “is that those who take office2 should not be lovers of rule. Otherwise there will be a contest with rival lovers.” “Surely.” “What others, then, will you compel to undertake the guardianship of the city than those who have most intelligence of the principles that are the means of good government and who possess distinctions of another kind and a life that is preferable to the political life?” “No others,” he said.

1 Cf. 580 d ff., pp. 370 ff.

2 ἰέναι ἐπί in erotic language means “to woo.” Cf. on 489 C, p. 26, note b, also 347 C, 588 B, 475 C.

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