XXI. τί οὖν φῄς
: Polus braces himself, and assumes again the office of questioner; but shows, by the vagueness (cf. above, 462 c
with note) and inappropriateness of his question, that he is either singularly inattentive or stupid. Hence he receives a sharp rap over the knuckles with the admonition that his question had been some time settled (465 d
τί τάχα δράσεις
: is taken by Cron to mean “what can you possibly (τάχα
) bring forward?” i.e. in the course of the discussion. The scholiast understood it as meaning “what will you do presently,” when you get old, as we see by the addition πρεσβύτης γενόμενος
. Probably it is but an exclamation of wonder and surprise; our colloquial “What'll you do next?”
ἐν ταῖς πόλεσι
: is to be connected with φαῦλοι νομίζεσθαι
. In spite of his qualification, Polus proceeds to put as bad a color on his assumed view of Socrates as possible, by adding ἀγαθοί
(cf. 449 a
) to ῥήτορες
. Cf. 469 a
. He does not aim at a refutation of Socrates; with him the question is still not the true nature of Rhetoric, but its value and power in the state.
: probably Socrates only wishes to show that, from the point of view of dialectic, the preceding question is so inappropriate that he is obliged to look upon it as a merely rhetorical
one, by which Polus only states his own sentiments. Cf. below c.