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[343a]

When we had come to this point in the discussion and it was apparent to everybody that his formula of justice had suffered a reversal of form, Thrasymachus, instead of replying,1 said, “Tell me, Socrates, have you got a nurse?” “What do you mean?” said I. “Why didn't you answer me instead of asking such a question?” “Because,” he said, “she lets her little 'snotty' run about drivelling2 and doesn't wipe your face clean, though you need it badly, if she can't get you to know3 the difference between the shepherd and the sheep.” “And what, pray, makes you think that?” said I. “Because you think that the shepherds

1 Thrasymachus first vents his irritation by calling Socrates a snivelling innocent, and then, like Protagoras (Protagoras 334), when pressed by Socrates' dialectic makes a speech. He abandons the abstract (ideal) ruler, whom he assumed to be infallible and Socrates proved to be disinterested, for the actual ruler or shepherd of the people, who tends the flock only that he might shear it. All political experience and the career of successful tyrants, whom all men count happy, he thinks confirms this view, which is that of Callicles in the Gorgias. Justice is another's good which only the naive and innocent pursue. It is better to inflict than to suffer wrong. The main problem of the Republic is clearly indicated, but we are not yet ready to debate it seriously.

2 κορυζῶνταL. and S., also s.v. κόυζα. Lucian, Lexiphanes 18, treats the expression as an affectation, but elsewhere employs it. The philosophers used this and similar terms (1) of stupidity, (2) as a type of the minor ills of the flesh. Horace, Satire i. 4. 8, ii. 2. 76, Epictet. i. 6. 30ἀλλ᾽ αἱ μύξαι μου ῥέουσι.

3 Literally, “if you don't know for her.” For the ethical dative cf. Shakespeare Taming of the Shrew, I. ii. 8 “Knock me here soundly.” Not to know the shepherd from the sheep seems to be proverbial. “Shepherd of the people,” like “survival of the fittest,” may be used to prove anything in ethics and politics. Cf. Newman, Introduction Aristotle Politics p. 431, Xenophon Memorabilia iii. 2. 1, Suetonius Vit. Tib. 32, and my note in Class. Phil. vol. i. p. 298.

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