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ἐπαίζομεν. Literature is not life, but ‘noble play’—παγκάληνπαιδιὰντοῦ ἐν λόγοις δυναμένου παίζειν (Phaedr. 276 E. Cf. also X 599 A note). See Hirzel der Dialog I p. 180, where this thoroughly Platonic view is admirably expounded. There is a touch of pathos in Plato's application of it to his own dialogues, recalling to my mind, I know not exactly why, the saying of Isaac Newton about gathering pebbles by the shore, as well as Heraclitus' αἰὼν παῖς ἐστι παίζων πεσσεύων (Fr. 79 Bywater).

μᾶλλον ἐντεινάμενος. Plato's apology is by no means intended to appease the ‘bald little tinker’ (VI 495 E) and his crew; for he still holds them responsible for the insults levelled at philosophy (τοῖς αἰτίοις). He is merely apologising, not without a characteristic touch of irony, for an offence against the canons of literary taste. One ought not to turn ‘play’ into earnest, and, as Longinus remarks, κἀν βακχεύμασι νήφειν ἀναγκαῖον (περὶ ὕφους 16. 4).

πρεσβύτας ἐξελέγομεν. III 412 C. It is quite clear that the προτέρα ἐκλογή is not supplemented but superseded by the provisions now laid down. Cf. VIII 543 D note

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