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[558b] its superiority1 to all our meticulous requirements, its disdain or our solemn2 pronouncements3 made when we were founding our city, that except in the case of transcendent4 natural gifts no one could ever become a good man unless from childhood his play and all his pursuits were concerned with things fair and good,—how superbly5 it tramples under foot all such ideals, caring nothing from what practices6 and way of life a man turns to politics, but honoring him

1 For οὐδ᾽ ὁπωστιοῦν σμικρολογία cf. on 532 Bἔτι ἀδυναμία.

2 σεμνύνοντες here has an ironical or colloquial tone—“high-brow,” “top-lofty.”

3 Cf. 401 B-C, 374 C and on 467 A, Laws 643 B, Delacroix, Psychologie de l'art, p. 46.

4 For ὑπερβεβλημένη Cf. Laws 719 D, Eurip.Alcest. 153.

5 μεγαλοπρεπῶς is often ironical in Plato. Cf. 362 C, Symp. 199 C, Charm. 175 C, Theaet. 161 C, Meno 94 B, Polit. 277 B, Hipp. Maj. 291 E.

6 In Aristoph.Knights 180 ff. Demosthenes tells the sausage-seller that his low birth and ignorance and his trade are the very things that fit him for political leadership.

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