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As for myself, I have understood from my very childhood how to protect the spot where I thought I was likely to receive a blow; and if I had nothing else I put out my hands to hinder as well as I could the one who was trying to hit me. And this I did not from having been taught to do so, but even though I was beaten for that very act of putting out my hands. Furthermore, even when I was a little fellow I used to seize a sword wherever I saw one, although, I declare, I had never learned, except from instinct, even how to take hold of a sword. At any rate, I used to do this, even though they tried to keep me from it—and certainly they did not teach me so to do—just as I was impelled by nature to do certain other things which my father and mother tried to keep me away from. And, by Zeus, I used to hack with a sword everything that I could without being caught at it. For this was not only instinctive, like walking and running, but I thought it was fun in addition to its being natural.

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