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“None of these statements,” said Socrates, “is incredible. But what I should like very much to know is how you serve them to keep them so friendly.”

“A very economical service it is, I declare!” responded Hermogenes. “I sound their praises,—which costs nothing; I always restore them part of what they give me; I avoid profanity of speech as far as I can; and I never wittingly lie in matters wherein I have invoked them to be my witnesses.”

“Truly,” said Socrates, “if it is conduct like this that gives you their friendship, then the gods also, it would seem, take delight in nobility of soul!”

Such was the serious turn given to the discussion of this topic.

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