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[324a] to civic virtue; in such case anyone will be wroth with his neighbor and reprove him, clearly because the virtue is to be acquired by application and learning. For if you will consider punishment, Socrates, and what control it has over wrong-doers, the facts will inform you that men agree in regarding virtue as procured. No one punishes a wrong-doer from the mere contemplation [324b] or on account of his wrong-doing, unless one takes unreasoning vengeance like a wild beast. But he who undertakes to punish with reason does not avenge himself for the past offence, since he cannot make what was done as though it had not come to pass; he looks rather to the future, and aims at preventing that particular person and others who see him punished from doing wrong again. And being so minded he must have in mind that virtue comes by training: for you observe that he punishes to deter. This then is the accepted view [324c] of all who seek requital in either private or public life; and while men in general exact requital and punishment from those whom they suppose to have wronged them, this is especially the case with the Athenians, your fellow-citizens, so that by our argument the Athenians also share the view that virtue is procured and taught. Thus I have shown that your fellow-citizens have good reason for admitting a smith's or cobbler's counsel in public affairs, and that they hold virtue to be taught and procured: [324d] of this I have given you satisfactory demonstration, Socrates, as it appears to me.

I have yet to deal with your remaining problem about good men, why it is that these good men have their sons taught the subjects in the regular teachers' courses, and so far make them wise, but do not make them excel in that virtue wherein consists their own goodness. On this point, Socrates, I shall give you argument instead of fable. Now consider: is there, [324e] or is there not, some one thing whereof all the citizens must needs partake, if there is to be a city? Here, and nowhere if not here, is the solution of this problem of yours. For if there is such a thing, and that one thing, instead of being the joiner's or smith's or potter's art, is rather justice and temperance and holiness—


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