[319a] showing how he may have most influence on public affairs both in speech and in action.I wonder, I said, whether I follow what you are saying; for you appear to be speaking of the civic science, and undertaking to make men good citizens.That, Socrates, he replied, is exactly the purport of what I profess.Then it is a goodly accomplishment that you have acquired, to be sure, I remarked, if indeed you have acquired it—to such a man as you I may say sincerely what I think. For this is a thing, Protagoras, [319b] that I did not suppose to be teachable; but when you say it is, I do not see how I am to disbelieve it. How I came to think that it cannot be taught, or provided by men for men, I may be allowed to explain. I say, in common with the rest of the Greeks, that the Athenians are wise. Now I observe, when we are collected for the Assembly, and the city has to deal with an affair of building, we send for builders to advise us on what is proposed to be built; and when it is a case of laying down a ship, we send for shipwrights; and so in all other matters [319c] which are considered learnable and teachable: but if anyone else, whom the people do not regard as a craftsman, attempts to advise them, no matter how handsome and wealthy and well-born he may be, not one of these things induces them to accept him; they merely laugh him to scorn and shout him down, until either the speaker retires from his attempt, overborne by the clamor, or the tipstaves pull him from his place or turn him out altogether by order of the chair. Such is their procedure in matters which they consider professional. But when they have to deliberate on something connected with the administration of the State, [319d] the man who rises to advise them on this may equally well be a smith, a shoemaker, a merchant, a sea-captain, a rich man, a poor man, of good family or of none, and nobody thinks of casting in his teeth, as one would in the former case, that his attempt to give advice is justified by no instruction obtained in any quarter, no guidance of any master; and obviously it is because they hold that here the thing cannot be taught. Nay further, it is not only so with the service of the State, [319e] but in private life our best and wisest citizens are unable to transmit this excellence of theirs to others; for Pericles, the father of these young fellows here, gave them a first-rate training in the subjects for which he found teachers, but in those of which he is himself a master
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