Plato, Republic (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [lemma count] [Pl. Resp.].
<<Pl. Resp. 372c Pl. Resp. 374c (Greek) >>Pl. Resp. 376b

373edisregarding the limit set by our necessary wants.” “Inevitably, Socrates.” “We shall go to war note as the next step, Glaucon—or what will happen?” “What you say,” he said. “And we are not yet to speak,” said I, “of any evil or good effect of war, but only to affirm that we have further note discovered the origin of war, namely, from those things from which note the greatest disasters, public and private, come to states when they come.” “Certainly.” “Then, my friend, we must still further enlarge our city 374aby 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 themselves note 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, note 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 that note 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, 374cat leisure note 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 easy note 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 childhood note but treated it as an occasional business? And are we to believe that a man who 374dtakes 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 science note of it nor sufficiently practised themselves in its use?” “Great indeed,” he said, “would be the value of tools in that case. note

“Then,” said I, “in the same degree that the task of our guardians note is the greatest of all, 374eit 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 375aso far as our strength allows.” “No, we mustn't.” “Do you think,” said I, “that there is any difference between the nature of a well-bred hound for this watch-dog's work and of a well-born lad?” “What point have you in mind?” “I mean that each of them must be keen of perception, quick in pursuit of what it has apprehended, note and strong too if it has to fight it out with its captive.” “Why, yes,” said he, “there is need of all these qualities.” “And it must, further, be brave note if it is to fight well.” “Of course.” “And will a creature be ready to be brave that is not high-spirited, whether horse or dog or 375banything else? Have you never observed what an irresistible and invincible thing is spirit, note the presence of which makes every soul in the face of everything fearless and unconquerable?” “I have.” “The physical qualities of the guardian, then, are obvious.” “Yes.” “And also those of his soul, namely that he must be of high spirit.” “Yes, this too.” “How then, Glaucon,” said I, “will they escape being savage to one another note and to the other citizens if this is to be their nature?” “Not easily, by Zeus,” said he. “And yet 375cwe must have them gentle to their friends and harsh to their enemies; otherwise they will not await their destruction at the hands of others, but will be first themselves in bringing it about.” “True,” he said. “What, then, are we to do?” “said I. “Where shall we discover a disposition that is at once gentle and great-spirited? For there appears to be an opposition note between the spirited type and the gentle nature.” “There does.” “But yet if one lacks either of these qualities, a good guardian he never can be. But these requirements resemble impossibilities, and so



Plato, Republic (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [lemma count] [Pl. Resp.].
<<Pl. Resp. 372c Pl. Resp. 374c (Greek) >>Pl. Resp. 376b

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