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πῶς οὖν οὐκ ἐνδέχεται: how then is it not possible? The indic. strengthens the rhetorical force of the question. Cf. πῶς οὐκ ἐνόμιζεν i. 1. 5.

ἀσκητὰ εἶναι: to be capable of attainment by practice.

οὐχ ἥκιστα: most of all, ‘litotes.’ Cf. οὐκ ἀφανής i. 1. 2, οὐ τοὺς χειρίστους i. 2. 32, οὐκ ὀλίγα iv. 2. 12, οὐδὲν ἧττον iii. 7. 4.

σωφροσύνη: without the article. So often abstract nouns, regarded as simple conceptions, e.g., κάλλος 24, ἥβην ii. 1. 21, ὥρα ii. 1. 22, ἀρετή iv. 1. 2, σοφία iv. 6. 7.

ἡδοναί: voluptates, the passions. Cf. 14.

πείθουσιν: tentative present. Cf. διδόντος 16.

τὴν ταχίστην: sc. ὁδόν. For the adv. acc., see G. 1060; H. 719.

ἑαυταῖς: to them, i.e. ταῖς ἡδοναῖς. See on ἑαυτῷ 3.

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