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[134a] Yes, for how, he replied, could one be in good bodily condition through little exercise?

Here I felt it was time to stir up the lover of athletics, in order that he might give me the support of his athletic experience; so I proceeded to ask him: And you then, pray, why are you silent, excellent sir, while your friend here is speaking thus? Do you agree that men are in good bodily condition through much exercise, or is it rather through moderate exercise?

For my part, Socrates, he said, I thought even a pig— [134b] as the saying is—would have known that moderate exercise causes them to be in good bodily condition, so why should not a fellow who is sleepless and unfed, with unchafed neck and slender, care-worn frame! And when he had said this the boys were delighted and laughed their approval, while the other lover blushed.

Then I said to him: Well, do you now concede that it is neither much, nor little, but moderate exercise that causes men to be in good bodily condition? Or do you bid defiance to the two of us on this point? [134c] To which he answered: Against him I should be only too glad to fight it out, and I am certain I should prove able to support the theory I have put forward, even had I put forward a weaker one; for he is naught. But with you I do not aim at winning an unscrupulous success; and so I admit that not a great but a moderate amount of athletics causes good condition in men.

And what of food? Moderate or much? I asked.

The same applied to food, he admitted. [134d] Then I went on and tried to compel him also to admit that everything else connected with the body when most beneficial, was the moderate thing, not the much or the little; and he admitted that it was the moderate thing.

And now, I said, as regards the soul; are moderate or immoderate things beneficial, as adjuncts of it?

Moderate things, he replied.

And are studies among the adjuncts of the soul?

He admitted they were.

So among these also it is the moderate that are beneficial, and not the much?

He agreed.

Then whom should we be justified in asking what sort of exercise or food is moderate for the body?

The three of us agreed that it must be a doctor or a trainer. [134e] And whom should we ask about the moderate measure in the sowing of seed?

In that matter, we agreed, it must be a farmer.

And whom should we be justified in asking as to the moderate degree and kind, in regard to the sowing and planting of studies in the soul?

At this point we all began to be full of perplexity;


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    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, Concord
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