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[493a] in the present condition of society and government, in saying that the providence of God1 preserves it you will not be speaking ill.” “Neither do I think otherwise,” he said. “Then,” said I, “think this also in addition.” “What?” “Each of these private teachers who work for pay, whom the politicians call sophists and regard as their rivals,2 inculcates nothing else than these opinions of the multitude which they opine when they are assembled and calls this knowledge wisdom. It is as if a man were acquiring the knowledge of the humors and desires of a great strong beast3 which he had in his keeping,

1 Cf. on 492 A, Apol. 33, Phaedo 58 E, Protag. 328 E, Meno 99 E, Phaedr. 244 C, Laws 642 C, 875 C, Ion 534 C.

2 Cf. Arnold, Preface to Essays in Criticism; Phaedo 60 D, Laws 817 B, On Virtue 376 D.

3 Cf. Epist. v. 321 Dἔστιν γὰρ δή τις φωνὴ τῶν πολιτειῶν ἑκάστης καθάπερεί τινων ζῴων, “each form of government has a sort of voice, as if it were a kind of animal” (tr. L.A. Post). Hackforth says this is a clumsy imitation of the Republic which proves the letter spurious. Cf. Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, ii. 1 “If there be any among those common objects of hatred I do contemn and laugh at, it is that great enemy of reason, virtue, and religion, the multitude . . . one great beast and a monstrosity more prodigious than Hydra,” Horace, Epist. i. 1. 76 “belua multorum es capitum.” Also Hamilton's “Sir, your people is a great beast,” Sidney, Arcadia, bk. ii. “Many-headed multitude,” Wallas, Human Nature in Politics, p. 172 “ . . . like Plato's sophist is learning what the public is and is beginning to understand ‘the passions and desires’ of that ‘huge and powerful brute,'” Shakes.Coriolanus iv. i. 2 “The beast with many heads Butts me away,”ibid. ii. iii. 18 “The many-headed multitude.” For the idea cf. also Gorg. 501 B-C ff., Phaedr. 260 C 260 C,δόξας δὲ πλήθους μεμελετηκώς, “having studied the opinions of the multitude,” Isoc. ii. 49-50.

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