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[374a] by no small increment, but by a whole army, that will march forth and fight it out with assailants in defence of all our wealth and the luxuries we have just described.” “How so?” he said; “are the citizens themselves1 not sufficient for it?” “Not if you,” said I, “and we all were right in the admission we made when we were molding our city. We surely agreed, if you remember, that it is impossible for one man to do the work of many arts well.” “True,” he said. “Well, then,” said I, [374b] “don't you think that the business of fighting is an art and a profession?” “It is indeed,” he said. “Should our concern be greater, then, for the cobbler's art than for the art of war?” “By no means.” “Can we suppose,2 then, that while we were at pains to prevent the cobbler from attempting to be at the same time a farmer, a weaver, or a builder instead of just a cobbler, to the end that3 we might have the cobbler's business well done, and similarly assigned to each and every one man one occupation, for which he was fit and naturally adapted and at which he was to work all his days, [374c] at leisure4 from other pursuits and not letting slip the right moments for doing the work well, and that yet we are in doubt whether the right accomplishment of the business of war is not of supreme moment? Is it so easy5 that a man who is cultivating the soil will be at the same time a soldier and one who is practising cobbling or any other trade, though no man in the world could make himself a competent expert at draughts or the dice who did not practise that and nothing else from childhood6 but treated it as an occasional business? And are we to believe that a man who [374d] takes in hand a shield or any other instrument of war springs up on that very day a competent combatant in heavy armor or in any other form of warfare—though no other tool will make a man be an artist or an athlete by his taking it in hand, nor will it be of any service to those who have neither acquired the science7 of it nor sufficiently practised themselves in its use?” “Great indeed,” he said, “would be the value of tools in that case.8

“Then,” said I, “in the same degree that the task of our guardians9 is the greatest of all, [374e] it would require more leisure than any other business and the greatest science and training.” “I think so,” said he. “Does it not also require a nature adapted to that very pursuit?” “Of course.” “It becomes our task, then, it seems, if we are able, to select which and what kind of natures are suited for the guardianship of a state.” “Yes, ours.” “Upon my word,” said I, “it is no light task that we have taken upon ourselves. But we must not faint

1 Cf. 567 Eτί δέ; αὐτόθεν. In the fourth century “it was found that amateur soldiers could not compete with professionals, and war became a trade” (Butcher, Demosthenes p. 17). Plato arrives at the same result by his principle “one man one task” (370 A-B). He is not here “making citizens synonymous with soldiers” nor “laconizing” as Adam says.

2 For the thought of this a fortiori or ex contrario argument cf. 421 A.

3 ἵνα δή ironical.

4 Cf. 370 B-C.

5 The ironical argument ex contrario is continued with fresh illustrations to the end of the chapter.

6 Cf. on 467 A.

7 For the three requisites, science, practice, and natural ability Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, note 596, and my paper on Φύσις, Μελέτη, Ἐπιστήμη, Tr. A. Ph. A. vol. xl., 1910.

8 Cf. Thucydides ii. 40.

9 First mention. Cf. 428 D note, 414 B.

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