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[318a] The same point, Protagoras, will serve me for a beginning as a moment ago, in regard to the object of my visit. My friend Hippocrates finds himself desirous of joining your classes; and therefore he says he would be glad to know what result he will get from joining them. That is all the speech we have to make.

Then Protagoras answered at once, saying: Young man, you will gain this by coming to my classes, that on the day when you join them you will go home a better man, and on the day after it will be the same; every day [318b] you will constantly improve more and more.

When I heard this I said: Protagoras, what you say is not at all surprising, but quite likely, since even you, though so old and so wise, would be made better if someone taught you what you happen not to know. But let me put it another way: suppose Hippocrates here should change his desire all at once, and become desirous of this young fellow's lessons who has just recently come to town, Zeuxippus of Heraclea, and should approach him, as he now does you, [318c] and should hear the very same thing from him as from you,—how on each day that he spent with him he would be better and make constant progress; and suppose he were to question him on this and ask: In what shall I become better as you say, and to what will my progress be? Zeuxippus's reply would be, to painting. Then suppose he came to the lessons of Orthagoras the Theban, and heard the same thing from him as from you, and then inquired of him for what he would be better each day through attending his classes, the answer would be, for fluting. In the same way you also must satisfy this youth and me [318d] on this point, and tell us for what, Protagoras, and in what connexion my friend Hippocrates, on any day of attendance at the classes of Protagoras, will go away a better man, and on each of the succeeding days will make a like advance.

When Protagoras heard my words,—You do right, he said, to ask that, while I am only too glad to answer those who ask the right question. For Hippocrates, if he comes to me, will not be treated as he would have been if he had joined the classes of an ordinary sophist. The generality of them maltreat the young; for when they have escaped from the arts [318e] they bring them back against their will and force them into arts, teaching them arithmetic and astronomy and geometry and music (and here he glanced at Hippias); whereas, if he applies to me, he will learn precisely and solely that for which he has come. That learning consists of good judgement in his own affairs, showing how best to order his own home; and in the affairs of his city,


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