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[378e] indelible and unalterable. For which reason, maybe, we should do our utmost that the first stories that they hear should be so composed as to bring the fairest lessons of virtue to their ears.”

“Yes, that is reasonable,” he said; “but if again someone should ask us to be specific and say what these compositions may be and what are the tales, what could we name?” And I replied, “Adeimantus, we are not poets,1 you and I at present,

1 The poet, like the rhetorician (Politicus 304 D), is a ministerial agent of the royal or political art. So virtually Aristotle, Politics 1336 b.

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