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[108a] and crave a greater rather than a less measure of indulgence for what I am about to say, that I have made all these observations, Socrates. If, therefore, I seem justified in craving this boon, pray grant it willingly.

And why should we hesitate to grant it, Critias? Nay, what is more,the same boon shall be granted by us to a third, Hermocrates. For it is plain that later on, before long, when it is his duty to speak, he will make the same request as you. [108b] So, in order that he may provide a different prelude and not be compelled to repeat the same one, let him assume, when he comes to speak, that he already has our indulgence. I forewarn you, however, my dear Critias, of the mind of your audience,—how that the former poet won marvellous applause from it, so that you will require an extraordinary measure of indulgence if you are to prove capable of following in his steps.

And in truth, Socrates, you are giving me the same warning as Critias. [108c] But men of faint heart never yet set up a trophy, Critias; wherefore you must go forward to your discoursing manfully, and, invoking the aid of Paion1 and the Muses, exhibit and celebrate the excellence of your ancient citizens.

You, my dear Hermocrates, are posted in the last rank, with another man before you, so you are still courageous. But experience of our task will of itself speedily enlighten you as to its character. However, I must trust to your consolation [108d] and encouragement, and in addition to the gods you mentioned I must call upon all the rest and especially upon Mnemosyne.2 For practically all the most important part of our speech depends upon this goddess; for if I can sufficiently remember and report the tale once told by the priests and brought hither by Solon, I am wellnigh convinced that I shall appear to the present audience to have fulfilled my task adequately. This, then, I must at once proceed to do, and procrastinate no longer. [108e] Now first of all we must recall the fact that 9000 is the sum of years3 since the war occurred, as is recorded, between the dwellers beyond the pillars of Heracles and all that dwelt within them4; which war we have now to relate in detail. It was stated that this city of ours was in command of the one side and fought through the whole of the war, and in command of the other side were the kings of the island of Atlantis, which we said was an island larger than Libya and Asia once upon a time, but now lies sunk by earthquakes and has created a barrier of impassable mud

1 i.e., Apollo, as god of victory.

2 The goddess of Memory.

3 Cf. Tim. 23 E.

4 Cf. Tim. 24 E.

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