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[606c] “Most true,” he said. “Does not the same principle apply to the laughable,1 namely,that if in comic representations,2 or for that matter in private talk,3 you take intense pleasure in buffooneries that you would blush to practise yourself, and do not detest them as base, you are doing the same thing as in the case of the pathetic? For here again what your reason, for fear of the reputation of buffoonery, restrained in yourself when it fain would play the clown, you release in turn, and so, fostering its youthful impudence, let yourself go so far that often ere you are aware you become yourself

1 Cf. Vol. I. p. 211, note f, La Bruyère, Des Ouvrages de l'esprit(Oeuvres, ed. M. G. Servois, i. p. 137): “D’où vient que l'on rit si librement au théâtre, et que l'on a honte d'y pleurer?”

2 In the Laws 816 D-E Plato says that the citizens must witness such performances since the serious cannot be learned without the laughable, nor anything without its opposite; but they may not take part in them. That is left to slaves and foreigners. Cf. also Vol. I. p. 239, note B, on 396 E.

3 I.e. as opposed to public performances. Cf. Euthydem. 305 Dἐν δὲ ἰδίοις λόγοις, Theaet. 177 B, Soph. 232 Cἔν γε ταῖς ἰδίαις συνουσίαις, and Soph. 222 Cπροσομιλητικήν with Quintil. iii. 4. 4. Wilamowitz, Antigonos von Karystos, p. 285, fantastically says that it means prose and refers to Sophron. He compares 366 E. But see Laws 935 B-C.

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