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[608a] will gladly have the best possible case made out for her goodness and truth, but so long as she is unable to make good her defence we shall chant over to ourselves1 as we listen the reasons that we have given as a counter-charm to her spell, to preserve us from slipping back into the childish loves of the multitude; for we have come to see that we must not take such poetry seriously as a serious thing2 that lays hold on truth, but that he who lends an ear to it must be on his guard [608b] fearing for the polity in his soul3 and must believe what we have said about poetry.” “By all means,” he said, “I concur.” “Yes, for great is the struggle,4” I said, “dear Glaucon, a far greater contest than we think it, that determines whether a man prove good or bad, so that not the lure of honor or wealth or any office, no, nor of poetry either, should incite us5 to be careless of righteousness and all excellence.” “I agree with you,” he replied, “in view of what we have set forth, and I think that anyone else would do so too.” [608c]

“And yet,” said I, “the greatest rewards of virtue and the prizes proposed for her we have not set forth.” “You must have in mind an inconceivable6 magnitude,” he replied, “if there are other things greater than those of which we have spoken.7? For surely the whole time from the boy to the old man would be small compared with all time.8” “Nay, it is nothing,” he said. “What then? Do you think that an immortal thing9 ought to be seriously concerned for such a little time, [608d] and not rather for all time?” “I think so,” he said; “but what is this that you have in mind?” “Have you never perceived,” said I, “that our soul is immortal and never perishes?” And he, looking me full in the face10 in amazement,11 said, “No, by Zeus, not I; but are you able to declare this?” “I certainly ought to be,12” said I, “and I think you too can, for it is nothing hard.” “It is for me,” he said; “and I would gladly hear from you this thing that is not hard.13” “Listen,” said I. “Just speak on,” he replied. “You speak of14 good [608e] and evil, do you not?” “I do.” “Is your notion of them the same as mine?” “What is it?” “That which destroys and corrupts in every case is the evil; that which preserves and benefits is the good.” “Yes, I think so,” he said. “How about this: Do you say that there is for everything its special good and evil,

1 For ἐπᾴδοντες Cf. Phaedo 114 D, 77 E.

2 Cf. 602 B.

3 Cf. on 591 E, p. 412, note d.

4 Cf. Phaedo 114 C, 107 C, Phaedr. 247 B, Gorg. 526 E, Blaydes on Aristoph.Peace 276, and for the whole sentence Phaedo 83 B-C, 465 D, 618 B-C f. and p. 404, note d, on 589 E.

5 ἐπαρθέντα: cf. 416 C.

6 Cf. 404 C, 509 A, 548 B, 588 a, Apol. 41 C, Charm. 155 D.

7 Clement, Strom. iv. p. 496 Bὁθούνεκ᾽ ἀρετὴ τῶν ἐν ἀνθρώποις μόνη οὐκ ἐκ θυραίων τἀπίχειρα λαμβάνει, αὐτὴ δ᾽ ἑαυτὴν ἆθλα τῶν πόνων ἔχει.

8 Cf. on 496 A, p. 9, mote f and 498 D.

9 For the colorless use of πρᾶγμα see What Plato Said, p. 497, on Protag. 330 C-D. Cf. Shakes.Hamlet,I. iv. 67 “being a thing immortal as itself.”

10 ἐμβλέψας: Cf. Charmides 155 C.

11 Glaucon is surprised in spite of 498 D. Many uncertain inferences have been drawn from the fact that in spite of the Phaedo and Phaedrus(245 C ff.) interlocutors in Plato are always surprised at the idea of immortality. Cf. supra,Introd. p. lxiv.

12 For the idiomatic εἰ μὴ ἀδικῶ cf. 430 ECharm. 156 A, Menex. 236 B, 612 D.

13 Cf. Protag. 341 Aτὸ χαλεπὸν τοῦτο, which is a little different, Herod. vii. 11τὸ δεινὸν τὸ πείσομαι.

14 See Vol. I. p. 90, note a and What Plato Said, p. 567, on Cratyl. 385 B.

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