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[17a]

Socrates
One, two, three,—but where, my dear Timaeus, is the fourth1 of our guests of yesterday, our hosts of today?

Timaeus
Some sickness has befallen him, Socrates; for he would never have stayed away from our gathering of his own free will.

Socrates
Then the task of filling the place of the absent one falls upon you and our friends here, does it not?

Timaeus
Undoubtedly, and we shall do our best not to come short;


1 This fourth guest cannot be identified. Some have supposed that Plato himself is intended.

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