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“Do you mean to say, then,” Cyrus answered, “that in one day's time your father has become discreet when he was indiscreet before?”

“Yes,” said he, “I do, indeed.”

“By that you mean to say that discretion is an affection of the soul, as sorrow is, and not an acquisition.1 For I do not suppose that a man could instantly pass from being indiscreet to being discreet, if indeed the one who is to be discreet must first have become wise.”

1 Xenophon makes Cyrus apparently accept the Socratic doctrine that wisdom and the other virtues are matters for learning, the results of study and practice—not a mood, like sorrow, anger, or any other emotion.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 216-462
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