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[491a]

Callicles
I believe, on my soul, you absolutely cannot ever stop talking of cobblers and fullers, cooks and doctors, as though our discussion had to do with them.

Socrates
Then will you tell me in what things the superior and wiser man has a right to the advantage of a larger share? Or will you neither put up with a suggestion from me nor make one yourself?

Callicles
Why, I have been making mine for sometime past. First of all, [491b] by “the superior” I mean, not shoemakers or cooks, but those who are wise as regards public affairs and the proper way of conducting them, and not only wise but manly, with ability to carry out their purpose to the full; and who will not falter through softness of soul.

Socrates
Do you perceive, my excellent Callicles, that your count against me is not the same as mine against you? For you say I am ever repeating the same things, and reproach me with it, whereas I charge you, on the contrary, with never saying the same thing on the same subject; [491c] but at one moment you defined the better and superior as the stronger, and at another as the wiser, and now you turn up again with something else: “the manlier” is what you now tell us is meant by the superior and better. No, my good friend, you had best say, and get it over, whom you do mean by the better and superior, and in what sphere.

Callicles
But I have told you already: men of wisdom and manliness in public affairs. [491d] These are the persons who ought to rule our cities, and justice means this—that these should have more than other people, the rulers than the ruled.

Socrates
How so? Than themselves, my friend?

Callicles
What do you mean?

Socrates
I mean that every man is his own ruler; or is there no need of one's ruling oneself, but only of ruling others?

Callicles
What do you mean by one who rules himself?

Socrates
Nothing recondite; merely what most people mean—one who is temperate and self-mastering, ruler of the pleasures and desires [491e] that are in himself.

Callicles
You will have your pleasantry! You mean “the simpletons” by “the temperate.”

Socrates
How so? Nobody can fail to see that I do not mean that.

Callicles
Oh, you most certainly do, Socrates. For how can a man be happy if he is a slave to anybody at all? No, natural fairness and justice, I tell you now quite frankly, is this—that he who would live rightly should let his desires be


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