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[551c] it had?”

“To begin with,” said I, “consider the nature of its constitutive and defining principle. Suppose men should appoint the pilots1 of ships in this way, by property qualification, and not allow2 a poor man to navigate, even if he were a better pilot.” “A sorry voyage they would make of it,” he said. “And is not the same true of any other form of rule?” “I think so.” “Except of a city,” said I, “or does it hold for a city too?” “Most of all,” he said, “by as much as that is the greatest and most difficult3 rule of all.”

1 Cf. 488, and Polit. 299 B-C, What Plato Said, p. 521, on Euthydem. 291 D.

2 Stallbaum says that ἐπιτρέποι is used absolutely as in 575 D, Symp. 213 E, Lysis 210 B, etc. Similarly Latin permitto. Cf. Shorey on Jowett's translation of Meno 92 A-B, A. J. P. xiii. p. 367. See too Diog. L. i. 65.

3 Men are the hardest creatures to govern. Cf. Polit. 292 D, and What Plato Said, p. 635, on Laws 766 A.

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