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[216b] that the gods, and especially the god of strangers, enter into companionship with men who have a share of due reverence1 and that they behold the deeds, both violent and righteous,2 of mankind. So perhaps this companion of yours may be one of the higher powers, who comes to watch over and refute us because we are worthless in argument—a kind of god of refutation.

No, Socrates, that is not the stranger's character; he is more reasonable than those who devote themselves to disputation. And though I do not think he is a god at all,

1 A modified quotation from Hom. Od. 9.271; Hom. Od. 17.485-7

2 Cf. Od. 17.485-7

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