Sacred Texts  Classics  Plato


by Plato

360 BC

translated by Benjamin Jowett

New York, C. Scribner's sons [1871]

   Socrates. I owe you many thanks, indeed, Theodorus, for the
 acquaintance both of Theaetetus and of the Stranger.
   Theodorus. And in a little while, Socrates, you will owe me three
 times as many, when they have completed for you the delineation of the
 Statesman and of the Philosopher, as well as of the Sophist.
   Soc. Sophist, statesman, philosopher! O my dear Theodorus, do my
 ears truly witness that this is the estimate formed of them by the
 great calculator and geometrician?
   Theod. What do you mean, Socrates?
   Soc. I mean that you rate them all at the same value, whereas they
 are really separated by an interval, which no geometrical ratio can
   Theod. By Ammon, the god of Cyrene, Socrates, that is a very fair
 hit; and shows that you have not forgotten your geometry. I will
 retaliate on you at some other time, but I must now ask the
 Stranger, who will not, I hope, tire of his goodness to us, to proceed
 either with the Statesman or with the Philosopher, whichever he
   Stranger. That is my duty, Theodorus; having begun I must go on, and
 not leave the work unfinished. But what shall be done with Theaetetus?
   Theod. In what respect?
   Str. Shall we relieve him, and take his companion, the Young
 Socrates, instead of him? What do you advise?
   Theod. Yes, give the other a turn, as you propose. The young
 always do better when they have intervals of rest.
   Soc. I think, Stranger, that both of them may be said to be in
 some way related to me; for the one, as you affirm, has the cut of
 my ugly face, the other is called by my name. And we should always
 be on the look-out to recognize a kinsman by the style of his
 conversation. I myself was discoursing with Theaetetus yesterday,
 and I have just been listening to his answers; my namesake I have
 not yet examined, but I must. Another time will, do for me; to-day let
 him answer you.
   Str. Very good. Young Socrates, do you hear what the elder
 Socrates is proposing?
   Young Socrates. I do.
   Str. And do you agree to his proposal?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. As you do not object, still less can I. After the Sophist,
 then, I think that the Statesman naturally follows next in the order
 of enquiry. And please to say, whether he, too, should be ranked among
 those who have science.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. Then the sciences must be divided as before?
   Y. Soc. I dare say.
   Str. But yet the division will not be the same?
   Y. Soc. How then?
   Str. They will be divided at some other point.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. Where shall we discover the path of the Statesman? We must find
 and separate off, and set our seal upon this, and we will set the mark
 of another class upon all diverging paths. Thus the soul will conceive
 of ail kinds of knowledge under two classes.
   Y. Soc. To find the path is your business, Stranger, and not mine.
   Str. Yes, Socrates, but the discovery, when once made, must be yours
 as well as mine.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. Well, and are not arithmetic and certain other kindred arts,
 merely abstract knowledge, wholly separated from action?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. But in the art of carpentering and all other handicrafts, the
 knowledge of the workman is merged in his work; he not only knows, but
 he also makes things which previously did not exist.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Then let us divide sciences in general into those which are
 practical and those which are-purely intellectual.
   Y. Soc. Let us assume these two divisions of science, which is one
   Str. And are "statesman," "king," "master," or "householder," one
 and the same; or is there a science or art answering to each of
 these names? Or rather, allow me to put the matter in another way.
   Y. Soc. Let me hear.
   Str. If any one who is in a private station has the skill to
 advise one of the public physicians, must not he also be called a
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And if any one who is in a private station is able to advise
 the ruler of a country, may not he be said to have the knowledge which
 the ruler himself ought to have?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. But, surely the science of a true king is royal science?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And will not he who possesses this knowledge, whether he
 happens to be a ruler or a private man, when regarded only in
 reference to his art, be truly called "royal"?
   Y. Soc. He certainly ought to be.
   Str. And the householder and master are the same?
   Y. Soc. Of course.
   Str. Again, a large household may be compared to a small state:-will
 they differ at all, as far as government is concerned?
   Y. Soc. They will not.
   Str. Then, returning to the point which we were just now discussing,
 do we not clearly see that there is one science of all of them; and
 this science may be called either royal or political or economical; we
 will not quarrel with any one about the name.
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. This too, is evident, that the king cannot do much with his
 hands, or with his whole body, towards the maintenance of his
 empire, compared with what he does by the intelligence and strength of
 his mind.
   Y. Soc. Clearly not.
   Str. Then, shall we say that the king has a greater affinity to
 knowledge than to manual arts and to practical life in general?
   Y. Soc. Certainly he has.
   Str. Then we may put all together as one and the
 same-statesmanship and the statesman-the kingly science and the king.
   Y. Soc. Clearly.
   Str. And now we shall only be proceeding in due order if we go on to
 divide the sphere of knowledge?
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. Think whether you can find any joint or parting in knowledge.
   Y. Soc. Tell me of what sort.
   Str. Such as this: You may remember that we made an art of
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. Which was, unmistakably, one of the arts of knowledge?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And to this art of calculation which discerns the differences
 of numbers shall we assign any other function except to pass
 judgment on their differences?
   Y. Soc. How could we?
   Str. You know that the master-builder does not work himself, but
 is the ruler of workmen?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. He contributes knowledge, not manual labour?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And may therefore be justly said to share in theoretical
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. But he ought not, like the calculator, to regard his
 functions as at and when he has formed a judgment;-he must assign to
 the individual workmen their appropriate task until they have
 completed the work.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. Are not all such sciences, no less than arithmetic and the
 like, subjects of pure knowledge; and is not the difference between
 the two classes, that the one sort has the power of judging only,
 and the other of ruling as well?
   Y. Soc. That is evident.
   Str. May we not very properly say, that of all knowledge, there
 are there are two divisions-one which rules, and the other which
   Y. Soc. I should think so.
   Str. And when men have anything to do in common, that they should be
 of one mind is surely a desirable thing?
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Then while we are at unity among ourselves, we need not mind
 about the fancies of others?
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. And now, in which of these divisions shall we place the
 king?-Is he a judge and a kind of spectator? Or shall we assign to him
 the art of command-for he is a ruler?
   Y. Soc. The latter, clearly.
   Str. Then we must see whether there is any mark of division in the
 art of command too. I am inclined to think that there is a distinction
 similar to that of manufacturer and retail dealer, which parts off the
 king from the herald.
   Y. Soc. How is this?
   Str. Why, does not the retailer receive and sell over again the
 productions of others, which have been sold before?
   Y. Soc. Certainly he does.
   Str. And is not the herald under command, and does he not receive
 orders, and in his turn give them to others?
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Then shall we mingle the kingly art in the same class with
 the art of the herald, the interpreter, the boatswain, the prophet,
 and the numerous kindred arts which exercise command; or, as in the
 preceding comparison we spoke of manufacturers, or sellers for
 themselves, and of retailers,-seeing, too, that the class of supreme
 rulers, or rulers for themselves, is almost nameless-shall we make a
 word following the same analogy, and refer kings to a supreme or
 ruling-for-self science, leaving the rest to receive a name from
 some one else? For we are seeking the ruler; and our enquiry is not
 concerned with him who is not a ruler.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. Thus a very fair distinction has been attained between the
 man who gives his own commands, and him who gives another's. And now
 let us see if the supreme power allows of any further division.
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. I think that it does; and please to assist me in making the
   Y. Soc. At what point?
   Str. May not all rulers be supposed to command for the sake of
 producing something?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Nor is there any difficulty in dividing the things produced
 into two classes.
   Y. Soc. How would you divide them?
   Str. Of the whole class some have life and some are without life.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And by the help of this distinction we may make, if we
 please, a subdivision of the section of knowledge which commands.
   Y. Soc. At what point?
   Str. One part may be set over the production of lifeless, the
 other of living objects; and in this way the whole will be divided.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. That division, then, is complete; and now we may leave one
 half, and take up the other; which may also be divided into two.
   Y. Soc. Which of the two halves do you men?
   Str. Of course that which exercises command about animals. For,
 surely, the royal science is not like that of a master-workman, a
 science presiding over lifeless objects;-the king has a nobler
 function, which is the management and control of living beings.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And the breeding and tending of living beings may be observed
 to be sometimes a tending of the individual; in other cases, a
 common care of creatures in flocks?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. But the statesman is not a tender of individuals-not like the
 driver or groom of a single ox or horse; he is rather to be compared
 with the keeper of a drove of horses or oxen.
   Y. Soc. Yes, I see, thanks to you.
   Str. Shall we call this art of tending many animals together, the
 art of managing a herd, or the art of collective management?
   Y. Soc. No matter;-Whichever suggests itself to us in the course
 of conversation.
   Str. Very good, Socrates; and, if you continue to be not too
 particular about names, you will be all the richer in wisdom when
 you are an old man. And now, as you say, leaving the discussion of the
 name, -can you see a way in which a person, by showing the art of
 herding to be of two kinds, may cause that which is now sought amongst
 twice the number of things, to be then sought amongst half that
   Y. Soc. I will try;-there appears to me to be one management of
 men and another of beasts.
   Str. You have certainly divided them in a most straightforward and
 manly style; but you have fallen into an error which hereafter I think
 that we had better avoid.
   Y. Soc. What is the error?
   Str. I think that we had better not cut off a single small portion
 which is not a species, from many larger portions; the part should
 be a species. To separate off at once the subject of investigation, is
 a most excellent plan, if only the separation be rightly made; and you
 were under the impression that you were right, because you saw that
 you would come to man; and this led you to hasten the steps. But you
 should not chip off too small a piece, my friend; the safer way is
 to cut through the middle; which is also the more likely way of
 finding classes. Attention to this principle makes all the
 difference in a process of enquiry.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean, Stranger?
   Str. I will endeavour to speak more plainly out of love to your good
 parts, Socrates; and, although I cannot at present entirely explain
 myself, I will try, as we proceed, to make my meaning a little
   Y. Soc. What was the error of which, as you say, we were guilty in
 our recent division?
   Str. The error was just as if some one who wanted to divide the
 human race, were to divide them after the fashion which prevails in
 this part of the world; here they cut off the Hellenes as one species,
 and all the other species of mankind, which are innumerable, and
 have no ties or common language, they include under the single name of
 "barbarians," and because they have one name they are supposed to be
 of one species also. Or suppose that in dividing numbers you were to
 cut off ten thousand from all the rest, and make of it one species,
 comprehending the first under another separate name, you might say
 that here too was a single class, because you had given it a single
 name. Whereas you would make a much better and more equal and
 logical classification of numbers, if you divided them into odd and
 even; or of the human species, if you divided them into male and
 female; and only separated off Lydians or Phrygians, or any other
 tribe, and arrayed them against the rest of the world, when you
 could no longer make a division into parts which were also classes.
   Y. Soc. Very true; but I wish that this distinction between a part
 and a class could still be made somewhat plainer.
   Str. O Socrates, best of men, you are imposing upon me a very
 difficult task. We have already digressed further from our original
 intention than we ought, and you would have us wander still further
 away. But we must now return to our subject; and hereafter, when there
 is a leisure hour, we will follow up the other track; at the same time
 I wish you to guard against imagining that you ever heard me declare-
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. That a class and a part are distinct.
   Y. Soc. What did I hear, then?
   Str. That a class is necessarily a part, but there is no similar
 necessity that a part should be a dass; that is the view which I
 should always wish you to attribute to me, Socrates.
   Y. Soc. So be it.
   Str. There is another thing which I should like to know.
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. The point at which we digressed; for, if I am not mistaken, the
 exact place was at the question, Where you would divide the management
 of herds. To this you appeared rather too ready to answer that them
 were two species of animals; man being one, and all brutes making up
 the other.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. I thought that in taking away a part you imagined that the
 remainder formed a class, because you were able to call them by the
 common name of brutes.
   Y. Soc. That again is true.
   Str. Suppose now, O most courageous of dialecticians, that some wise
 and understanding creature, such as a crane is reputed to be, were, in
 imitation of you, to make a similar division, and set up cranes
 against all other animals to their own special glorification, at the
 same time jumbling together all the others, including man, under the
 appellation of brutes,-here would be the sort of error which we must
 try to avoid.
   Y. Soc. How can we be safe?
   Str. If we do not divide the whole class of animals, we shall be
 less likely to fall into that error.
   Y. Soc. We had better not take the whole?
   Str. Yes, there lay the source of error in our former division.
   Y. Soc. How?
   Str. You remember how that part of the art of knowledge which was
 concerned with command, had to do with the rearing of living
 creatures,-I mean, with animals in herds?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. In that case, there was already implied a division of all
 animals into tame and wild; those whose nature can be tamed are called
 tame, and those which cannot be tamed are called wild.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And the political science of which we are in search, is and
 ever was concerned with tame animals, and is also confined to
 gregarious animals.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. But then ought not to divide, as we did, taking the whole class
 at once. Neither let us be in too great haste to arrive quickly at the
 political science; for this mistake has already brought upon us the
 misfortune of which the proverb speaks.
   Y. Soc. What misfortune?
   Str. The misfortune of too much haste, which is too little speed.
   Y. Soc. And all the better, Stranger;-we got what we deserved.
   Str. Very well: Let us then begin again, and endeavour to divide the
 collective rearing of animals; for probably the completion of the
 argument will best show what you are so anxious to know. Tell me,
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. Have you ever heard, as you very likely may-for I do not
 suppose that you ever actually visited them-of the preserves of fishes
 in the Nile, and in the ponds of the Great King; or you may have
 seen similar preserves in wells at home?
   Y. Soc. Yes, to be sure, I have seen them, and I have often heard
 the others described.
   Str. And you may have heard also, and may have been-assured by
 report, although you have not travelled in those regions, of nurseries
 of geese and cranes in the plains of Thessaly?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. I asked you, because here is a new division of the management
 of herds, into the management of land and of water herds.
   Y. Soc. There is.
   Str. And do you agree that we ought to divide the collective rearing
 of herds into two corresponding parts, the one the rearing of water,
 and the other the rearing of land herds?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. There is surely no need to ask which of these two contains
 the royal art, for it is evident to everybody.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Any one can divide the herds which feed on dry land?
   Y. Soc. How would you divide them?
   Str. I should distinguish between those which fly and those which
   Y. Soc. Most true.
   Str. And where shall we look for the political animal? Might not
 an idiot, so to speak, know that he is a pedestrian?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. The art of managing the walking animal has to be further
 divided, just as you might have an even number.
   Y. Soc. Clearly.
   Str. Let me note that here appear in view two ways to that part or
 class which the argument aims at reaching-the one is speedier way,
 which cuts off a small portion and leaves a large; the other agrees
 better with the principle which we were laying down, that as far as we
 can we should divide in the middle; but it is longer. We can take
 either of them, whichever we please.
   Y. Soc. Cannot we have both ways?
   Str. Together? What a thing to ask! but, if you take them in turn,
 you clearly may.
   Y. Soc. Then I should like to have them in turn.
   Str. There will be no difficulty, as we are near the end; if we
 had been at the beginning, or in the middle, I should have demurred to
 your request; but now, in accordance with your desire, let us begin
 with the longer way; while we are fresh, we shall get on better. And
 now attend to the division.
   Y. Soc. Let me hear.
   Str. The tame walking herding animals are distributed by nature into
 two classes.
   Y. Soc. Upon what principle?
   Str. The one grows horns; and the other is without horns.
   Y. Soc. Clearly.
   Str. Suppose that you divide the science which manages pedestrian
 animals into two corresponding parts, and define them; for if you
 try to invent names for them, you will find the intricacy too great.
   Y. Soc. How must I speak of them, then?
   Str. In this way: let the science of managing pedestrian animals
 be divided into two parts and one part assigned to the horned herd and
 the other to the herd that has no horns.
   Y. Soc. All that you say has been abundantly proved, and may
 therefore, be assumed.
   Str. The king is clearly the shepherd a polled herd, who have no
   Y. Soc. That is evident.
   Str. Shall we break up this hornless herd into sections, and
 endeavour to assign to him what is his?
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. Shall we distinguish them by their having or not having
 cloven feet, or by their mixing or not mixing the breed? You know what
 I mean.
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. I mean that horses and asses naturally breed from one another.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. But the remainder of the hornless herd of tame animals will not
 mix the breed.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And of which has the Statesman charge,-of the mixed or of the
 unmixed race?
   Y. Soc. Clearly of the unmixed.
   Str. I suppose that we must divide this again as before.
   Y. Soc. We must.
   Str. Every tame and herding animal has now been split up, with the
 exception of two species; for I hardly think that dogs should be
 reckoned among gregarious animals.
   Y. Soc. Certainly not; but how shall we divide the two remaining
   Str. There is a measure of difference which may be appropriately
 employed by you and Theaetetus, who are students of geometry.
   Y. Soc. What is that?
   Str. The diameter; and, again, the diameter of a diameter.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. How does man walk, but as a diameter whose power is two feet?
   Y. Soc. Just so.
   Str. And the power of the remaining kind, being the power of twice
 two feet, may be said to be the diameter of our diameter.
   Y. Soc. Certainly; and now I think that I pretty nearly understand
   Str. In these divisions, Socrates, I descry what would make
 another famous jest.
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. Human beings have come out in the same class with the freest
 and airiest of creation, and have been running a race with them.
   Y. Soc. I remark that very singular coincidence.
   Str. And would you not expect the slowest to arrive last?
   Y. Soc. Indeed I should.
   Str. And there is a still more ridiculous consequence, that the king
 is found running about with the herd and in close competition with the
 bird-catcher, who of all mankind is most of an adept at the airy life.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Then here, Socrates, is still clearer evidence of the truth
 of what was said in the enquiry about the Sophist?
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. That the dialectical method is no respecter of persons, and
 does not set the great above the small, but always arrives in her
 own way at the truest result.
   Y. Soc. Clearly.
   Str. And now, I will not wait for you to ask the, but will of my own
 accord take you by the shorter road to the definition of a king.
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. I say that we should have begun at first by dividing land
 animals into biped and quadruped; and since the winged herd, and
 that alone, comes out in the same class with man, should divide bipeds
 into those which have feathers and those which have not, and when they
 have been divided, and the art of the management of mankind is brought
 to light, the time will have come to produce our Statesman and
 ruler, and set him like a charioteer in his place, and hand over to
 him the reins of state, for that too is a vocation which belongs to
   Y. Soc. Very good; you have paid me the debt-I mean, that you have
 completed the argument, and I suppose that you added the digression by
 way of interest.
   Str. Then now, let us go back to the beginning, and join the
 links, which together make the definition of the name of the
 Statesman's art.
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. The science of pure knowledge had, as we said originally, a
 part which was the science of rule or command, and from this was
 derived another part, which was called command-for-self, on the
 analogy of selling-for-self; an important section of this was the
 management of living animals, and this again was further limited to
 the manage merit of them in herds; and again in herds of pedestrian
 animals. The chief division of the latter was the art of managing
 pedestrian animals which are without horns; this again has a part
 which can only be comprehended under one term by joining together
 three names-shepherding pure-bred animals. The only further
 subdivision is the art of man herding-this has to do with bipeds,
 and is what we were seeking after, and have now found, being at once
 the royal and political.
   Y. Soc. To be sure.
   Str. And do you think, Socrates, that we really have done as you
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. Do you think, I mean, that we have really fulfilled our
 intention?-There has been a sort of discussion, and yet the
 investigation seems to me not to be perfectly worked out: this is
 where the enquiry fails.
   Y. Soc. I do not understand.
   Str. I will try to make the thought, which is at this moment present
 in my mind, clearer to us both.
   Y. Soc. Let me hear.
   Str. There were many arts of shepherding, and one of them was the
 political, which had the charge of one particular herd?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And this the argument defined to be the art of rearing, not
 horses or other brutes, but the art of rearing man collectively?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. Note, however, a difference which distinguishes the king from
 all other shepherds.
   Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
   Str. I want to ask, whether any one of the other herdsmen has a
 rival who professes and claims to share with him in the management
 of the herd?
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. I mean to say that merchants husbandmen, providers of food, and
 also training-masters and physicians, will all contend with the
 herdsmen of humanity, whom we call Statesmen, declaring that they
 themselves have the care of rearing of managing mankind, and that they
 rear not only the common herd, but also the rulers themselves.
   Y. Soc. Are they not right in saying so?
   Str. Very likely they may be, and we will consider their claim.
 But we are certain of this,-that no one will raise a similar claim
 as against the herdsman, who is allowed on all hands to be the sole
 and only feeder and physician of his herd; he is also their matchmaker
 and accoucheur; no one else knows that department of science. And he
 is their merry-maker and musician, as far as their nature is
 susceptible of such influences, and no one can console and soothe
 his own herd better than he can, either with the natural tones of
 his voice or with instruments. And the same may be said of tenders
 of animals in general.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. But if this is as you say, can our argument about the king be
 true and unimpeachable? Were we right in selecting him out of ten
 thousand other claimants to be the shepherd and rearer of the human
   Y. Soc. Surely not.
   Str. Had we not reason just to now apprehend, that although we may
 have described a sort of royal form, we have not as yet accurately
 worked out the true image of the Statesman? and that we cannot
 reveal him as he truly is in his own nature, until we have
 disengaged and separated him from those who bang about him and claim
 to share in his prerogatives?
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And that, Socrates, is what we must do, if we do not mean to
 bring disgrace upon the argument at its close.
   Y. Soc. We must certainly avoid that.
   Str. Then let us make a new beginning, and travel by a different
   Y. Soc. What road?
   Str. I think that we may have a little amusement; there is a
 famous tale, of which a good portion may with advantage be interwoven,
 and then we may resume our series of divisions, and proceed in the old
 path until we arrive at the desired summit. Shall we do as I say?
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. Listen, then, to a tale which a child would love to hear; and
 you are not too old for childish amusement.
   Y. Soc. Let me hear.
   Str. There did really happen, and will again happen, like many other
 events of which ancient tradition has preserved the record, the
 portent which is traditionally said to have occurred in the quarrel of
 Atreus and Thyestes. You have heard no doubt, and remember what they
 say happened at that time?
   Y. Soc. I suppose you to mean the token of the birth of the golden
   Str. No, not that; but another part of the story, which tells how
 the sun and the stars once rose in the west, and set in the east,
 and that the god reversed their motion, and gave them that which
 they now have as a testimony to the right of Atreus.
   Y. Soc. Yes; there is that legend also.
   Str. Again, we have been often told of the reign of Cronos.
   Y. Soc. Yes, very often.
   Str. Did you ever hear that the men of former times were
 earthborn, and not begotten of one another?
   Y. Soc. Yes, that is another old tradition.
   Str. All these stories, and ten thousand others which are still more
 wonderful, have a common origin; many of them have been lost in the
 lapse of ages, or are repeated only in a disconnected form; but the
 origin of them is what no one has told, and may as well be told now;
 for the tale is suited to throw light on the nature of the king.
   Y. Soc. Very good; and I hope that you will give the whole story,
 and leave out nothing.
   Str. Listen, then. There is a time when God himself guides and helps
 to roll the world in its course; and there is a time, on the
 completion of a certain cycle, when he lets go, and the world being
 a living creature, and having originally received intelligence from
 its author and creator turns about and by an inherent necessity
 revolves in the opposite direction.
   Y. Soc. Why is that?
   Str. Why, because only the most divine things of all remain ever
 unchanged and the same, and body is not included in this class. Heaven
 and the universe, as we have termed them, although they have been
 endowed by the Creator with many glories, partake of a bodily
 nature, and therefore cannot be entirely free from perturbation. But
 their motion is, as far as possible, single and in the same place, and
 of the same kind; and is therefore only subject to a reversal, which
 is the least alteration possible. For the lord of all moving things is
 alone able to move of himself; and to think that he moves them at
 one time in one direction and at another time in another is blasphemy.
 Hence we must not say that the world is either self-moved always, or
 all made to go round by God in two opposite courses; or that two Gods,
 having opposite purposes, make it move round. But as I have already
 said (and this is the only remaining alternative) the world is
 guided at one time by an external power which is divine and receives
 fresh life and immortality from the renewing hand of the Creator,
 and again, when let go, moves spontaneously, being set free at such
 a time as to have, during infinite cycles of years, a reverse
 movement: this is due to its perfect balance, to its vast size, and to
 the fact that it turns on the smallest pivot.
   Y. Soc. Your account of the world seems to be very reasonable
   Str. Let us now reflect and try to gather from what has been said
 the nature of the phenomenon which we affirmed to be the cause of
 all these wonders. It is this.
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. The reversal which takes place from time to time of the
 motion of the universe.
   Y. Soc. How is that the cause?
   Str. Of all changes of the heavenly motions, we may consider this to
 be the greatest and most complete.
   Y. Soc. I should imagine so.
   Str. And it may be supposed to result in the greatest changes to the
 human beings who are the inhabitants of the world at the time.
   Y. Soc. Such changes would naturally occur.
   Str. And animals, as we know, survive with difficulty great and
 serious changes of many different kinds when they come upon them at
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Hence there necessarily occurs a great destruction of them,
 which extends also to-the life of man; few survivors of the race are
 left, and those who remain become the subjects of several novel and
 remarkable phenomena, and of one in particular, which takes place at
 the time when the transition is made to the cycle opposite to that
 in which we are now living.
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. The life of all animals first came to a standstill, and the
 mortal nature ceased to be or look older, and was then reversed and
 grew young and delicate; the white locks of the aged darkened again,
 and the cheeks the bearded man became smooth, and recovered their
 former bloom; the bodies of youths in their prime grew softer and
 smaller, continually by day and night returning and becoming
 assimilated to the nature of a newly-born child in mind as well as
 body; in the succeeding stage they wasted away and wholly disappeared.
 And the bodies of those who died by violence at that time quickly
 passed through the like changes, and in a few days were no more seen.
   Y. Soc. Then how, Stranger, were the animals created in those
 days; and in what way were they begotten of one another?
   Str. It is evident, Socrates, that there was no such thing in the
 then order of nature as the procreation of animals from one another;
 the earth-born race, of which we hear in story, was the one which
 existed in those days-they rose again from the ground; and of this
 tradition, which is now-a-days often unduly discredited, our
 ancestors, who were nearest in point of time to the end of the last
 period and came into being at the beginning of this, are to us the
 heralds. And mark how consistent the sequel of the tale is; after
 the return of age to youth, follows the return of the dead, who are
 lying in the earth, to life; simultaneously with the reversal of the
 world the wheel of their generation has been turned back, and they are
 put together and rise and live in the opposite order, unless God has
 carried any of them away to some other lot. According to this
 tradition they of necessity sprang from the earth and have the name of
 earth-born, and so the above legend clings to them.
   Y. Soc. Certainly that is quite consistent with what has preceded;
 but tell me, was the life which you said existed in the reign of
 Cronos in that cycle of the world, or in this? For the change in the
 course of the stars and the sun must have occurred in both.
   Str. I see that you enter into my meaning;-no, that blessed and
 spontaneous life does not belong to the present cycle of the world,
 but to the previous one, in which God superintended the whole
 revolution of the universe; and the several parts the universe were
 distributed under the rule. certain inferior deities, as is the way in
 some places still There were demigods, who were the shepherds of the
 various species and herds of animals, and each one was in all respects
 sufficient for those of whom he was the shepherd; neither was there
 any violence, or devouring of one another or war or quarrel among
 them; and I might tell of ten thousand other blessings, which belonged
 to that dispensation. The reason why the life of man was, as tradition
 says, spontaneous, is as follows: In those days God himself was
 their shepherd, and ruled over them, just as man, over them, who is by
 comparison a divine being, still rules over the lower animals. Under
 him there were no forms of government or separate possession of
 women and children; for all men rose again from the earth, having no
 memory, of the past. And although they had nothing of this sort, the
 earth gave them fruits in abundance, which grew on trees and shrubs
 unbidden, and were not planted by the hand of man. And they dwelt
 naked, and mostly in the open air, for the temperature of their
 seasons, was mild; and they had no beds, but lay on Soft couches of
 grass, which grew plentifully out of: the earth. Such was the life
 of man in the days of Cronos, Socrates; the character of our present
 life which is said to be under Zeus, you know from your own
 experience. Can you, and will you, determine which of them you deem
 the happier?
   Y. Soc. Impossible.
   Str. Then shall I determine for you as well as I can?
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. Suppose that the nurslings of Cronos, having this boundless
 leisure, and the power of holding intercourse, not only with men,
 but with the brute creation, had used all these advantages with a view
 to philosophy, conversing with the brutes as well as with one another,
 and learning of every nature which was gifted with any special
 power, and was able to contribute some special experience to the store
 of wisdom there would be no difficulty in deciding that they would
 be a thousand times happier than the men of our own day. Or, again, if
 they had merely eaten and drunk until they were full, and told stories
 to one another and to the animals-such stories as are now attributed
 to them-in this case also, as I should imagine, the answer would be
 easy. But until some satisfactory witness can be found of the love
 of that age for knowledge and: discussion, we had better let the
 matter drop, and give the reason why we have unearthed this tale,
 and then we shall be able to get on.
   In the fulness of time, when the change was to take place, and the
 earth-born race had all perished, and every soul had completed its
 proper cycle of births and been sown in the earth her appointed number
 of times, the pilot of the universe let the helm go, and retired to
 his place of view; and then Fate and innate desire reversed the motion
 of the world. Then also all the inferior deities who share the rule of
 the supreme power, being informed of what was happening, let go the
 parts of the world which were under their control. And the world
 turning round with a sudden shock, being impelled in an opposite
 direction from beginning to end, was shaken by a mighty earthquake,
 which wrought a new destruction of all manner of animals.
 Afterwards, when sufficient time had elapsed, the tumult and confusion
 and earthquake ceased, and the universal creature, once more at
 peace attained to a calm, and settle down into his own orderly and
 accustomed course, having the charge and rule of himself and of all
 the creatures which are contained in him, and executing, as far as
 he remembered them, the instructions of his Father and Creator, more
 precisely at first, but afterwords with less exactness. The reason
 of the falling off was the admixture of matter in him; this was
 inherent in the primal nature, which was full of disorder, until
 attaining to the present order. From God, the constructor; the world
 received all that is good in him, but from a previous state came
 elements of evil and unrighteousness, which, thence derived, first
 of all passed into the world, and were then transmitted to the
 animals. While the world was aided by the pilot in nurturing the
 animals, the evil was small, and great the good which he produced, but
 after the separation, when the world was let go, at first all
 proceeded well enough; but, as time went there was more and more
 forgetting, and the old discord again held sway and burst forth in
 full glory; and at last small was the good, and great was the
 admixture of evil, and there was a danger of universal ruin to the
 world, and the things contained in him. Wherefore God, the orderer
 of all, in his tender care, seeing that the world was in great
 straits, and fearing that all might be dissolved in the storm and
 disappear in infinite chaos, again seated himself at the helm; and
 bringing back the elements which had fallen into dissolution and
 disorder to the motion which had prevailed under his dispensation,
 he set them in order and restored them, and made the world
 imperishable and immortal.
   And this is the whole tale, of which the first part will suffice
 to illustrate the nature of the king. For when the world turned
 towards the present cycle of generation, the age of man again stood
 still, and a change opposite to the previous one was the result. The
 small creatures which had almost disappeared grew in and stature,
 and the newly-born children of the earth became grey and died and sank
 into the earth again. All things changed, imitating and following
 the condition of the universe, and of necessity agreeing with that
 in their mode of conception and generation and nurture; for no animal;
 was any longer allowed to come into being in the earth through the
 agency of other creative beings, but as the world was ordained to be
 the lord of his own progress, in like manner the parts were ordained
 to grow and generate and give nourishment, as far as they could, of
 themselves, impelled by a similar movement. And so we have arrived
 at the real end of this discourse; for although there might be much to
 tell of the lower animals, and of the condition out of which they
 changed and of the causes of the change, about men there is not
 much, and that little is more to the purpose. Deprived of the care
 of God, who had possessed and tended them, they were left helpless and
 defenceless, and were torn in pieces by the beasts, who were
 naturally fierce and had now grown wild. And in the first ages they
 were still without skill or resource; the food which once grew
 spontaneously had failed, and as yet they knew not how to procure
 it, because they-had never felt the pressure of necessity. For all
 these reasons they were in a great strait; wherefore also the gifts
 spoken of in the old tradition were imparted to man by the gods,
 together with so much teaching and education as was indispensable;
 fire was given to them by Prometheus, the arts by Hephaestus and his
 fellow-worker, Athene, seeds and plants by others. From these is
 derived all that has helped to frame human life; since the care of the
 Gods, as I was saying, had now failed men, and they had to order their
 course of life for themselves, and were their own masters, just like
 the universal creature whom they imitate and follow, ever changing, as
 he changes, and ever living and growing, at one time in one manner,
 and at another time in another. Enough of the story, which may be of
 use in showing us how greatly we erred in the delineation of the
 king and the statesman in our previous discourse.
   Y. Soc. What was this great error of which you speak?
   Str. There were two; the first a lesser one, the other was an
 error on a much larger and grander scale.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. I mean to say that when we were asked about a king and
 statesman of the present; and generation, we told of a shepherd of a
 human flock who belonged to the other cycle, and of one who was a
 god when he ought to have been a man; and this a great error. Again,
 we declared him to be, the ruler of the entire State, without,
 explaining how: this was not the whole truth, nor very intelligible;
 but still it was true, and therefore the second error was not so,
 great as the first.
   Y Soc. Very good.
   Str. Before we can expect to have a perfect description of the
 statesman we must define the nature of his office.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And the myth was introduced in order to show, not only that all
 others are rivals of true shepherd who is the object of our search,
 but in order that we might have a clearer view of him who is alone
 worthy to receive this appellation, because, he alone of shepherds and
 herdsmen, according to the image which we have employed, has the
 care of human beings.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And I cannot help thinking, Socrates, that the form of the
 divine shepherd is even higher than that of a king; whereas the
 statesmen who are now on earth seem to be much more like their
 subjects in character, and which more nearly to partake of their
 breeding and education.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Still they must be investigated all the same, to see whether,
 like the divine shepherd, they are above their subjects or on a
 level with them.
   Y. Soc. Of course.
   Str. To resume:-Do you remember that we spoke of a
 command-for-self exercised over animals, not singly but
 collectively, which we called the art of rearing a herd?
   Y. Soc. Yes, I remember.
   Str. There, somewhere, lay our error; for we never included or
 mentioned the Statesman; and we did not observe that he had no place
 in our nomenclature.
   Y. Soc. How was that?
   Str. All other herdsmen "rear" their herds, but this is not a
 suitable term to apply to the Statesman; we should use a name which is
 common to them all.
   Y. Soc. True, if there be such a name.
   Str. Why, is not "care" of herds applicable to all? For this implies
 no feeding, or any special duty; if we say either "tending" the herds,
 or "managing" the herds, or "having the care" of them, the same word
 will include all, and then we may wrap up the Statesman with the rest,
 as the argument seems to require.
   Y. Soc. Quite right; but how shall we take the-next step in the
   Str. As before we divided the art of "rearing" herds accordingly
 as they were land or water herds, winged and wingless, mixing or not
 mixing the breed, horned and hornless, so we may divide by these
 same differences the "teading" of herds, comprehending in our
 definition the kingship of to-day and the rule of Cronos.
   Y. Soc. That is clear; but I still ask, what is to follow.
   Str. If the word had been "managing" herds, instead of feeding or
 rearing them, no one would have argued that there was no care of men
 in the case of the politician, although it was justly contended,
 that there was no human art of feeding them which was worthy of the
 name, or at least, if there were, many a man had a prior and greater
 right to share in such an art than any king.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. But no other art or science will have a prior or better right
 than the royal science to care for human society and to rule over
 men in general.
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. In the next place, Socrates, we must surely notice that a great
 error was committed at the end of our analysis.
   Y. Soc. What was it?
   Str. Why, supposing we were ever so sure that there is such an art
 as the art of rearing or feeding bipeds, there was no reason why we
 should call this the royal or political art, as though there were no
 more to be said.
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. Our first duty, as we were saying, was to remodel the name,
 so as to have the notion of care rather than of feeding, and then to
 divide, for there may be still considerable divisions.
   Y. Soc. How can they be made?
   Str. First, by separating the divine shepherd from the human
 guardian or manager.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And the art of management which is assigned to man would
 again have to be subdivided.
   Y. Soc. On what principle?
   Str. On the principle of voluntary and compulsory.
   Y. Soc. Why?
   Str. Because, if I am not mistaken, there has been an error here;
 for our simplicity led us to rank king and tyrant together, whereas
 they are utterly distinct, like their modes of government.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. Then, now, as I said, let us make the correction and divide
 human care into two parts, on the principle of voluntary and
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And if we call the management of violent rulers tyranny, and
 the voluntary management of herds of voluntary bipeds politics, may we
 not further assert that he who has this latter art of management is
 the true king and statesman?
   Y. Soc. I think, Stranger, that we have now completed the account of
 the Statesman.
   Str. Would that we had Socrates, but I have to satisfy myself as
 well as you; and in my judgment the figure of the king is not yet
 perfected; like statuaries who, in their too great haste, having
 overdone the several parts of their work, lose time in cutting them
 down, so too we, partly out of haste, partly out of haste, partly
 out of a magnanimous desire to expose our former error, and also
 because we imagined that a king required grand illustrations, have
 taken up a marvellous lump of fable, and have been obliged to use more
 than was necessary. This made us discourse at large, and,
 nevertheless, the story never came to an end. And our discussion might
 be compared to a picture of some living being which had been fairly
 drawn in outline, but had not yet attained the life and clearness
 which is given by the blending of colours. Now to intelligent
 persons a living being had better be delineated by language and
 discourse than by any painting or work of art: to the duller sort by
 works of art.
   Y. Soc. Very true; but what is the imperfection which still remains?
 I wish that you would tell me.
   Str. The higher ideas, my dear friend, can hardly be set forth
 except through the medium of examples; every man seems to know all
 things in a dreamy sort of way, and then again to wake up and to
 know nothing.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. I fear that I have been unfortunate in raising a question about
 our experience of knowledge.
   Y. Soc. Why so?
   Str. Why, because my "example" requires the assistance of another
   Y. Soc. Proceed; you need not fear that I shall tire.
   Str. I will proceed, finding, as I do, such a ready listener in you:
 when children are beginning to know their letters-
   Y. Soc. What are you going to say?
   Str. That they distinguish the several letters well enough in very
 short and easy syllables, and are able to tell them correctly.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Whereas in other syllables they do not recognize them, and
 think and speak falsely of them.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Will not the best and easiest way of bringing them to a
 knowledge of what they do not as yet know be-
   Y. Soc. Be what?
   Str. To refer them first of all to cases in which they judge
 correctly about the letters in question, and then to compare these
 with the cases in which they do not as yet know, and to show them that
 the letters are the same, and have the same character in both
 combination, until all cases in which they are right have been
 Placed side by side with all cases in which they are wrong. In this
 way they have examples, and are made to learn that each letter in
 every combination is always the same and not another, and is always
 called by the same name.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Are not examples formed in this manner? We take a thing and
 compare it with another distinct instance of the same thing, of
 which we have a right conception, and out of the comparison there
 arises one true notion, which includes both of them.
   Y. Soc. Exactly.
   Str. Can we wonder, then, that the soul has the same uncertainty
 about the alphabet of things, and sometimes and in some cases is
 firmly fixed by the truth in each particular, and then, again, in
 other cases is altogether at sea; having somehow or other a correction
 of combinations; but when the elements are transferred into the long
 and difficult language (syllables) of facts, is again ignorant of
   Y. Soc. There is nothing wonderful in that.
   Str. Could any one, my friend, who began with false opinion ever
 expect to arrive even at a small portion of truth and to attain
   Y. Soc. Hardly.
   Str. Then you and I will not be far wrong in trying to see the
 nature of example in general in a small and particular instance;
 afterwards from lesser things we intend to pass to the royal class,
 which is the highest form of the same nature, and endeavour to
 discover by rules of art what the management of cities is; and then
 the dream will become a reality to us.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Then, once more, let us resume the previous argument, and as
 there were innumerable rivals of the royal race who claim to have
 the care of states, let us part them all off, and leave him alone;
 and, as I was saying, a model or example of this process has first
 to be framed.
   Y. Soc. Exactly.
   Str. What model is there which is small, and yet has any analogy
 with the political occupation? Suppose, Socrates, that if we have no
 other example at hand, we choose weaving, or, more precisely,
 weaving of wool-this will be quite enough, without taking the whole of
 weaving, to illustrate our meaning?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Why should we not apply to weaving the same processes of
 division and subdivision which we have already applied to other
 classes; going once more as rapidly as we can through all the steps
 until we come to that which is needed for our purpose?
   Y. Soc. How do you mean?
   Str. I shall reply by actually performing the process.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. All things which we make or acquire are either creative or
 preventive; of the preventive class are antidotes, divine and human,
 and also defences; and defences are either military weapons or
 protections; and protections are veils, and also shields against
 heat and cold, and shields against heat and cold are shelters and
 coverings; and coverings are blankets and garments; and garments are
 some of them in one piece, and others of them are made in several
 parts; and of these latter some are stitched, others are fastened
 and not stitched; and of the not stitched, some are made of the sinews
 of plants, and some of hair; and of these, again, some are cemented
 with water and earth, and others are fastened together by
 themselves. And these last defences and coverings which are fastened
 together by themselves are called clothes, and the art which
 superintends them we may call, from the nature of the operation, the
 art of clothing, just as before the art of the Statesman was derived
 from the State; and may we not say that the art of weaving, at least
 that largest portion of it which was concerned with the making of
 clothes, differs only in name from this art of clothing, in the same
 way that, in the previous case, the royal science differed from the
   Y. Soc. Most true.
   Str. In the next place, let us make the reflection, that the art
 of weaving clothes, which an incompetent person might fancy to have
 been sufficiently described, has been separated off from several
 others which are of the same family, but not from the co-operative
   Y. Soc. And which are the kindred arts?
   Str. I see that I have not taken you with me. So I think that we had
 better go backwards, starting from the end. We just now parted off
 from the weaving of clothes, the making of blankets, which differ from
 each other in that one is put under and the other is put around! and
 these are what I termed kindred arts.
   Y. Soc. I understand.
   Str. And we have subtracted the manufacture of all articles made
 of flax and cords, and all that we just now metaphorically termed
 the sinews of plants, and we have also separated off the process of
 felting and the putting together of materials by stitching and sewing,
 of which the most important part is the cobbler's art.
   Y. Soc. Precisely.
   Str. Then we separated off the currier's art, which prepared
 coverings in entire pieces, and the art of sheltering, and
 subtracted the various arts of making water-tight which are employed
 in building, and in general in carpentering, and in other crafts,
 and all such arts as furnish impediments to thieving and acts of
 violence, and are concerned with making the lids of boxes and the
 fixing of doors, being divisions of the art of joining; and we also
 cut off the manufacture of arms, which is a section of the great and
 manifold art of making defences; and we originally began by parting
 off the whole of the magic art which is concerned with antidoter,
 and have left, as would appear, the very art of which we were in
 search, the art of protection against winter cold, which fabricates
 woollen defences, and has the name of weaving.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Yes, my boy, but that is not all; for the first process to
 which the material is subjected is the opposite of weaving.
   Y. Soc. How so?
   Str. Weaving is a sort of uniting?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. But the first process is a separation of the clotted and matted
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. I mean the work of the carder's art; for we cannot say that
 carding is weaving, or that the carder is a weaver.
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. Again, if a person were to say that the art of making the
 warp and the woof was the art of weaving, he would say what was
 paradoxical and false.
   Y. Soc. To be sure.
   Str. Shall we say that the whole art of the fuller or of the
 mender has nothing to do with the care and treatment clotes, or are we
 to regard all these as arts of weaving?
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. And yet surely all these arts will maintain that they are
 concerned with the treatment and production of clothes; they will
 dispute the exclusive prerogative of weaving, and though assigning a
 larger sphere to that, will still reserve a considerable field for
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Besides these, there are the arts which make tools and
 instruments of weaving, and which will claim at least to be
 cooperative causes in every work of the weaver.
   Y. Soc. Most true.
   Str. Well, then, suppose that we define weaving, or rather that part
 of it which has been selected by us, to be the greatest and noblest of
 arts which are concerned with woollen garments-shall we be right? Is
 not the definition, although true, wanting in clearness and
 completeness; for do not all those other arts require to be first
 cleared away?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. Then the next thing will be to separate them, in order that the
 argument may proceed in a regular manner?
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. Let us consider, in the first place, that there are two kinds
 of arts entering into everything which we do.
   Y. Soc. What are they?
   Str. The one kind is the conditional or cooperative, the other the
 principal cause.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. The arts which do not manufacture the actual thing, but which
 furnish the necessary tools for the manufacture, without which the
 several arts could not fulfil their appointed work, are
 co-operative; but those which make the things themselves are causal.
   Y. Soc. A very reasonable distinction.
   Str. Thus the arts which make spindles, combs, and other instruments
 of the production of clothes may be called co-operative, and those
 which treat and fabricate the things themselves, causal.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. The arts of washing and mending, and the other preparatory arts
 which belong to the causal class, and form a division of the great art
 of adornment, may be all comprehended under what we call the
 fuller's art.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. Carding and spinning threads and all the parts of the process
 which are concerned with the actual manufacture of a woollen garment
 form a single art, which is one of thow universally acknowledged-the
 art of working in wool.
   Y. Soc. To be sure.
   Str. Of working in wool again, there are two divisions, and both
 these are parts of two arts at once.
   Y. Soc. How is that?
   Str. Carding and one half of the use of the comb, and the other
 processes of wool-working which separate the composite, may be classed
 together as belonging both to the art of woolworking, and also to
 one of the two great arts which are of universal application-the art
 of composition and the art of division.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. To the latter belong carding and the other processes of which I
 was just now speaking the art of discernment or division in wool and
 yarn, which is effected in one manner with the comb and in another
 with the hands, is variously described under all the names which I
 just now mentioned.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Again, let us take some process of woolworking which is also
 a portion of the art of composition, and, dismissing the elements of
 division which we found there, make two halves, one on the principle
 of composition, and the other on the principle of division.
   Y. Soc. Let that be done.
   Str. And once more, Socrates, we must divide the part which
 belongs at once both to woolworking and composition, if we are ever to
 discover satisfactorily the aforesaid art of weaving.
   Y. Soc. We must.
   Str. Yes, certainly, and let us call one part of the art the art
 of twisting threads, the other the art of combining them.
   Y. Soc. Do I understand you, in speaking of twisting, to be
 referring to manufacture of the warp?
   Str. Yes, and of the woof too; how, if not by twisting, is the
 woof made?
   Y. Soc. There is no other way.
   Str. Then suppose that you define the warp and the woof, for I think
 that the definition will be of use to you.
   Y. Soc. How shall I define them?
   Str. As thus: A piece of carded wool which is drawn out lengthwise
 and breadth-wise is said to be pulled out.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And the wool thus prepared when twisted by the spindle, and
 made into a firm thread, is called the warp, And the art which
 regulates these operations the art of spinning the warp.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And the threads which are more loosely spun, having a
 softness proportioned to the intertexture of the warp and to the
 degree of force used in dressing the cloth-the threads which are
 thus spun are called the woof, and the art which is set over them
 may be called the art of spinning the woof.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And, now, there can be no mistake about the nature of the
 part of weaving which we have undertaken to define. For when that part
 of the art of composition which is employed in the working of wool
 forms a web by the regular intertexture of warp and woof, the entire
 woven substance is called by us a woollen garment, and the art which
 presides over this is the art of weaving.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. But why did we not say at once that weaving is the art of
 entwining warp and woof, instead of making a long and useless circuit?
   Y. Soc. I thought, Stranger, that there was nothing useless in
 what was said.
   Str. Very likely, but you may not always think so, my sweet
 friend; and in case any feeling of dissatisfaction should hereafter
 arise in your mind, as it very well may, let me lay down a principle
 which will apply to arguments in general.
   Y. Soc. Proceed.
   Str. Let us begin by considering the whole nature of excess and
 defect, and then we shall have a rational ground on which we may
 praise or blame too much length or too much shortness in discussions
 of this kind.
   Y. Soc. Let us do so.
   Str. The points on which I think that we ought to dwell are the
   Y. Soc. What?
    Str. Length and shortness, excess and defect; with all of these the
 art of measurement is conversant.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And the art of measurement has to be divided into two parts,
 with a view to our present purpose.
   Y. Soc. Where would you make the division?
   Str. As thus: I would make two parts, one having regard to the
 relativity of greatness and smallness to each other; and there is
 another, without which the existence of production would be
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. Do you not think that it is only natural for the greater to
 be called greater with reference to the less alone, and the less
 reference to the greater alone?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. Well, but is there not also something exceeding and exceeded by
 the principle of the mean, both in speech and action, and is not
 this a reality, and the chief mark of difference between good and
 bad men?
   Y. Soc. Plainly.
   Str. Then we must suppose that the great and small exist and are
 discerned in both these ways, and not, as we were saying before,
 only relatively to one another, but there must also be another
 comparison of them with the mean or ideal standard; would you like
 to hear the reason why?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. If we assume the greater to exist only in relation to the less,
 there will never be any comparison of either with the mean.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And would not this doctrine be the ruin of all the arts and
 their creations; would not the art of the Statesman and the
 aforesaid art of weaving disappear? For all these arts are on the
 watch against excess and defect, not as unrealities, but as real
 evils, which occasion a difficulty in action; and the excellence of
 beauty of every work of art is due to this observance of measure.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. But if the science of the Statesman disappears, the search
 for the royal science will be impossible.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Well, then, as in the case of the Sophist we extorted the
 inference that not-being had an existence, because here was the
 point at which the argument eluded our grasp, so in this we must
 endeavour to show that the greater and, less are not only to be
 measured with one another, but also have to do with the production
 of the mean; for if this is not admitted, neither a statesman nor
 any other man of action can be an undisputed master of his science.
   Y. Soc. Yes, we must certainly do again what we did then.
   Str. But this, Socrates, is a greater work than the other, of
 which we only too well remember the length. I think, however, that
 we may fairly assume something of this sort-
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. That we shall some day require this notion of a mean with a
 view to the demonstration of absolute truth; meanwhile, the argument
 that the very existence of the arts must be held to depend on the
 possibility of measuring more or less, not only with one another,
 but also with a view to the attainment of the mean, seems to afford
 a grand support and satisfactory proof of the doctrine which we are
 maintaining; for if there are arts, there is a standard of measure,
 and if there is a standard of measure, there are arts; but if either
 is wanting, there is neither.
   Y. Soc. True; and what is the next step?
   Str. The next step clearly is to divide the art of measurement
 into two parts, all we have said already, and to place in the one part
 all the arts which measure number, length, depth, breadth, swiftness
 with their opposites; and to have another part in which they are
 measured with the mean, and the fit, and the opportune, and the due,
 and with all those words, in short, which denote a mean or standard
 removed from the extremes.
   Y. Soc. Here are two vast divisions, embracing two very different
   Str. There are many accomplished men, Socrates, who say, believing
 themselves to speak wisely, that the art of measurement is
 universal, and has to do with all things. And this means what we are
 now saying; for all things which come within the province of art do
 certainly in some sense partake of measure. But these persons, because
 they are not accustomed to distinguish classes according to real
 forms, jumble together two widely different things, relation to one
 another, and to a standard, under the idea that they are the same, and
 also fall into the converse error of dividing other things not
 according to their real parts. Whereas the right way is, if a man
 has first seen the unity of things, to go on with the enquiry and
 not desist until he has found all the differences contained in it
 which form distinct classes; nor again should he be able to rest
 contented with the manifold diversities which are seen in a
 multitude of things until he has comprehended all of them that have
 any affinity within the bounds of one similarity and embraced them
 within the reality of a single kind. But we have said enough on this
 head, and also of excess and defect; we have only to bear in mind that
 two divisions of the art of measurement have been discovered which are
 concerned with them, and not forget what they are.
   Y. Soc. We will not forget.
   Str. And now that this discussion is completed, let us go on to
 consider another question, which concerns not this argument only but
 the conduct of such arguments in general.
   Y. Soc. What is this new question?
   Str. Take the case of a child who is engaged in learning his
 letters: when he is asked what letters make up a word, should we say
 that the question is intended to improve his grammatical knowledge
 of that particular word, or of all words?
   Y. Soc. Clearly, in order that he may have a better knowledge of all
   Str. And is our enquiry about the Statesman intended only to improve
 our knowledge of politics, or our power of reasoning generally?
   Y. Soc. Clearly, as in the former example, the purpose is general.
   Str. Still less would any rational man seek to analyse the notion of
 weaving for its own sake. But people seem to forget that some things
 have sensible images, which are readily known, and can be easily
 pointed out when any one desires to answer an enquirer without any
 trouble or argument; whereas the greatest and highest truths have no
 outward image of themselves visible to man, which he who wishes to
 satisfy the soul of the enquirer can adapt to the eye of sense, and
 therefore we ought to train ourselves to give and accept a rational
 account of them; for immaterial things, which are the noblest and
 greatest, are shown only in thought and idea, and in no other way, and
 all that we are now saying is said for the sake of them. Moreover,
 there is always less difficulty in fixing the mind on small matters
 than on great.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. Let us call to mind the bearing of all this.
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. I wanted to get rid of any impression of tediousness which we
 may have experienced in the discussion about weaving, and the reversal
 of the universe, and in the discussion concerning the Sophist and
 the being of not-being. I know that they were felt to be too long, and
 I reproached myself with this, fearing that they might be not only
 tedious but irrelevant; and all that I have now said is only
 designed to prevent the recurrence of any such disagreeables for the
   Y. Soc. Very good. Will you proceed?
   Str. Then I would like to observe that you and I, remembering what
 has been said, should praise or blame the length or shortness of
 discussions, not by comparing them with one another, but with what
 is fitting, having regard to the part of measurement, which, as we
 said, was to be borne in mind.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And yet, not everything is to be judged even with a view to
 what is fitting; for we should only want such a length as is suited to
 give pleasure, if at all, as a secondary matter; and reason tells
 us, that we should be contented to make the ease or rapidity of an
 enquiry, not our first, but our second object; the first and highest
 of all being to assert the great method of division according to
 species-whether the discourse be shorter or longer is not to the
 point. No offence should be taken at length, but the longer and
 shorter are to be employed indifferently, according as either of
 them is better calculated to sharpen the wits of the auditors.
 Reason would also say to him who censures the length of discourses
 on such occasions and cannot away with their circumlocution, that he
 should not be in such a hurry to have done with them, when he can only
 complain that they are tedious, but he should prove that if they had
 been shorter they would have made those who took part in them better
 dialecticians, and more capable of expressing the truth of things;
 about any other praise and blame, he need not trouble himself-he
 should pretend not to hear them. But we have had enough of this, as
 you will probably agree with me in thinking. Let us return to our
 Statesman, and apply to his case the aforesaid example of weaving.
   Y. Soc. Very good;-let us do as you say.
   Str. The art of the king has been separated from the similar arts of
 shepherds, and, indeed, from all those which have to do with herds
 at all. There still remain, however, of the causal and co-operative
 arts those which are immediately concerned with States, and which must
 first be distinguished from one another.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. You know that these arts cannot easily be divided into two
 halves; the reason will be very: evident as we proceed.
   Y. Soc. Then we had better do so.
   Str. We must carve them like a victim into members or limbs, since
 we cannot bisect them. For we certainly should divide everything
 into as few parts as possible.
   Y. Soc. What is to be done in this case?
   Str. What we did in the example of weaving-all those arts which
 furnish the tools were regarded by us as co-operative.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. So now, and with still more reason, all arts which make any
 implement in a State, whether great or small, may be regarded by us as
 co-operative, for without them neither State nor Statesmanship would
 be possible; and yet we are not inclined to say that any of them is
 a product of the kingly art.
   Y. Soc. No, indeed.
   Str. The task of separating this class from others is not an easy
 one; for there is plausibility in saying that anything in the world is
 the instrument of doing something. But there is another dass of
 possessions in, a city, of which I have a word to say.
   Y. Soc. What class do you mean?
   Str. A class which may be described as not having this power; that
 is to say, not like an instrument, framed for production, but designed
 for the preservation of that which is produced.
   Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
   Str. To the class of vessels, as they are comprehensively termed,
 which are constructed for the preservation of things moist and dry, of
 things prepared in the fire or out of the fire; this is a very large
 class, and has, if I am not mistaken, literally nothing to do with the
 royal art of which we are in search.
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. There is also a third class of possessions to be noted,
 different from these and very extensive, moving or resting on land
 or water, honourable and also dishonourable. The whole of this class
 has one name, because it is intended to be sat upon, being always a
 seat for something.
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. A vehicle, which is certainly not the work of the Statesman,
 but of the carpenter, potter, and coppersmith.
   Y. Soc. I understand.
   Str. And is there not a fourth class which is again different, and
 in which most of the things formerly mentioned are contained-every
 kind of dress, most sorts of arms, walls and enclosures, whether of
 earth or stone, and ten thousand other thing? all of which being
 made for the sake of defence, may be truly called defences, and are
 for the most part to be regarded as the work of the builder or of
 the weaver, rather than of the Statesman.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Shall we add a fifth class, of ornamentation and drawing, and
 of the imitations produced, by drawing and music, which are designed
 for amusement only, and may be fairly comprehended under one name?
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. Plaything is the name.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. That one name may be fitly predicated of all of them, for
 none of these things have a serious purpose-amusement is their sole
   Y. Soc. That again I understand.
   Str. Then there is a class which provides materials for all these,
 out of which and in which the arts already mentioned fabricate their
 works;-this manifold class, I say, which is the creation and offspring
 of many other arts, may I not rank sixth?
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. I am referring to gold, silver, and other metals, and all
 that wood-cutting and shearing of every sort provides for the art of
 carpentry and plaiting; and there is the process of barking and
 stripping the cuticle of plants, and the currier's art, which strips
 off the skins of animals, and other similar arts which manufacture
 corks and papyri and cords, and provide for the manufacture of
 composite species out of simple kinds-the whole class may be termed
 the primitive and simple possession of man, and with this the kingly
 science has no concern at all.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. The provision of food and of all other things which mingle
 their particles with the particles of the human body; and minister
 to the body, will form a seventh class, which may be called by the
 general term of nourishment, unless you have any better name to offer.
 This, however, appertains rather to the husbandman, huntsman, trainer,
 doctor, cook, and is not to be assigned to the Statesman's art.
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. These seven classes include nearly every description of
 property, with the exception of tame animals. Consider;-there was
 the original material, which ought to have been placed first; next
 come instruments, vessels, vehicles, defences, playthings,
 nourishment; small things, which may be-included under one of these-as
 for example, coins, seals and stamps, are omitted, for they have not
 in them the character of any larger kind which includes them; but some
 of them may, with a little forcing, be placed among ornaments, and
 others may be made to harmonize with the class of implements. The
 art of herding, which has been already divided into parts, will
 include all property in tame animals except slaves.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. The class of slaves and ministers only remains, and I suspect
 that in this the real aspirants for the throne, who are the rivals
 of the king in the formation of the political web, will be discovered;
 just as spinners, carders, and the rest of them, were the rivals of
 the weaver. All the others, who were termed co-operators, have been
 got rid of among the occupations already mentioned, and separated from
 the royal and political science.
   Y. Soc. I agree.
   Str. Let us go a little nearer, in order that we may be more certain
 of the complexion of this remaining class.
   Y. Soc. Let us do so.
   Str. We shall find from our present point of view that the
 greatest servants are in a case and condition which is the reverse
 of what we anticipated.
   Y. Soc. Who are they?
   Str. Those who have been purchased, and have so become
 possessions; these are unmistakably slaves, and certainly do not claim
 royal science.
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. Again, freemen who of their own accord become the servants of
 the other classes in a State, and who exchange and equalise the
 products of husbandry and the other arts, some sitting in the
 market-place, others going from city to city by land or sea, and
 giving money in exchange for money or for other productions-the
 money-changer, the merchant, the ship-owner, the retailer, will not
 put in any claim to statecraft or politics?
   Y. Soc. No; unless, indeed, to the politics of commerce.
   Str. But surely men whom we see acting as hirelings and serfs, and
 too happy to turn their hand to anything, will not profess to share in
 royal science?
   Y. Soc. Certainly not.
   Str. But what would you say of some other serviceable officials?
   Y. Soc. Who are they, and what services do they perform?
   Str. There are heralds, and scribes perfected by practice, and
 divers others who have great skill in various sorts of business
 connected with the government of states-what shall we call them?
   Y. Soc. They are the officials, and servants of the rulers, as you
 just now called them, but not themselves rulers.
   Str. There may be something strange in any servant pretending to
 be a ruler, and yet I do not think that I could have been dreaming
 when I imagined that the principal claimants to political science
 would be found somewhere in this neighbourhood.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Well, let us draw nearer, and try the claims of some who have
 not yet been tested; in the first place, there are diviners, who
 have a portion of servile or ministerial science, and are thought to
 be the interpreters of the gods to men.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. There is also the priestly class, who, as the law declares,
 know how to give the gods gifts from men in the form of sacrifices
 which are acceptable to them, and to ask on our behalf blessings in
 return from them. Now both these are branches of the servile or
 ministerial art.
   Y. Soc. Yes, clearly.
   Str. And here I think that we seem to be getting on the right track;
 for the priest and the diviner are swollen with pride and prerogative,
 and they create an awful impression of themselves by the magnitude
 of their enterprises; in Egypt, the king himself is not allowed to
 reign, unless he have priestly powers, and if he should be of
 another class and has thrust himself in, he must get enrolled in the
 priesthood. In many parts of Hellas, the duty of offering the most
 solemn propitiatory sacrifices is assigned to the highest
 magistracies, and here, at Athens, the most solemn and national of the
 ancient sacrifices are supposed to be celebrated by him who has been
 chosen by lot to be the King Archon.
   Y. Soc. Precisely.
   Str. But who are these other kings and priests elected by lot who
 now come into view followed by their retainers and a vast throng, as
 the former class disappears and the scene changes?
   Y. Soc. Whom can you mean?
   Str. They are a strange crew.
   Y. Soc. Why strange?
   Str. A minute ago I thought that they were animals of every tribe;
 for many of them are like lions and centaurs, and many more like
 satyrs and such weak and shifty creatures;-Protean shapes quickly
 changing into one another's forms and natures; and now, Socrates, I
 begin to see who they are.
   Y. Soc. Who are they? You seem to be gazing on some strange vision.
   Str. Yes; every one looks strange when you do not know him; and just
 now I myself fell into this mistake-at first sight, coming suddenly
 upon him, I did not recognize the politician and his troop.
   Y. Soc. Who is he?
   Str. The chief of Sophists and most accomplished of wizards, who
 must at any cost be separated from the true king or Statesman, if we
 are ever to see daylight in the present enquiry.
   Y. Soc. That is a hope not lightly to be renounced.
   Str. Never, if I can help it; and, first, let me ask you a question.
   Y. Soc. What?
   Str. Is not monarchy a recognized form of government?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And, after monarchy, next in order comes the government of
 the few?
   Y. Soc. Of course.
   Str. Is not the third form of government the rule of the
 multitude, which is called by the name of democracy?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And do not these three expand in a manner into five,
 producing out of themselves two other names Y. Soc. What are they?
   Y. Soc. What are they?
   Str. There is a criterion of voluntary and involuntary, poverty
 and riches, law and the absence of law, which men now-a-days apply
 to them; the two first they subdivide accordingly, and ascribe to
 monarchy two forms and two corresponding names, royalty and tyranny.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And the government of the few they distinguish by the names
 of aristocracy and oligarchy.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Democracy alone, whether rigidly observing the laws or not, and
 whether the multitude rule over the men of property with their consent
 or against their consent, always in ordinary language has the same
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. But do you suppose that any form of government which is defined
 by these characteristics of the one, the few, or the many, of
 poverty or wealth, of voluntary or compulsory submission, of written
 law or the absence of law, can be a right one?
   Y. Soc. Why not?
   Str. Reflect; and follow me.
   Y. Soc. In what direction?
   Str. Shall we abide by what we said at first, or shall we retract
 our words?
   Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
   Str. If I am not mistaken, we said that royal power was a science?
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And a science of a peculiar kind, which was selected out of the
 rest as having a character which is at once judicial and
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And there was one kind of authority over lifeless things and
 another other living animals; and so we proceeded in the division step
 by step up to this point, not losing the idea of science, but unable
 as yet to determine the nature of the particular science?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. Hence we are led to observe that the distinguishing principle
 of the State cannot be the few or many, the voluntary or
 involuntary, poverty or riches; but some notion of science must
 enter into it, if we are to be consistent with what has preceded.
   Y. Soc. And we must be consistent.
   Str. Well, then, in which of these various forms of States may the
 science of government, which is among the greatest of all sciences and
 most difficult to acquire, be supposed to reside? That we must
 discover, and then we shall see who are the false politicians who
 pretend to be politicians but are not, although they persuade many,
 and shall separate them from the wise king.
   Y. Soc. That, as the argument has already intimated, will be our
   Str. Do you think that the multitude in a State can attain political
   Y. Soc. Impossible.
   Str. But, perhaps, in a city of a thousand men, there would be a
 hundred, or say fifty, who could?
   Y. Soc. In that case political science would certainly be the
 easiest of all sciences; there could not be found in a city of that
 number as many really first-rate draught-players, if judged by the
 standard of the rest of Hellas, and there would certainly not be as
 many kings. For kings we may truly call those who possess royal
 science, whether they rule or not, as was shown in the previous
   Str. Thank you for reminding me; and the consequence is that any
 true form of government can only be supposed to be the government of
 one, two, or, at any rate, of a few.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And these, whether they rule with the will, or against the will
 of their subjects, with written laws or. without written laws, and
 whether they are poor or rich, and whatever be the nature of their
 rule, must be supposed, according to our present view, to rule on some
 scientific principle; just as the physician, whether he cures us
 against our will or with our will, and whatever be his mode of
 treatment-incision, burning, or the infliction of some other
 pain-whether he practises out of a book or not out of a book, and
 whether he be rich or poor, whether he purges or reduces in some other
 way, or even fattens his patients, is a physician all the same, so
 long as he exercises authority over them according to rules of art, if
 he only does them good and heals and saves them. And this we lay
 down to be the only proper test of the art of medicine, or of any
 other art of command.
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. Then that can be the only true form of government in which
 the governors are really found to possess science, and are not mere
 pretenders, whether they rule according to law or without law,
 over-willing or unwilling subjects, and are rich or poor
 themselves-none of these things can with any propriety be included
 in the notion of the ruler.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And whether with a view to the public good they purge the State
 by killing some, or exiling some; whether they reduce the size of
 the body corporate by sending out from the hive swarms of citizens,
 or, by introducing persons from without, increase it; while they act
 according to the rules of wisdom and justice, and use their power with
 a view to the general security and improvement, the city over which
 they rule, and which has these characteristics, may be described as
 the only true State. All other governments are not genuine or real;
 but only imitations of this, and some of them are better and some of
 them are worse; the better are said to be well governed, but they
 are mere imitations like the others.
   Y. Soc. I agree, Stranger, in the greater part of what you say;
 but as to their ruling without laws-the expression has a harsh sound.
   Str. You have been too quick for me, Socrates; I was just going to
 ask you whether you objected to any of my statements. And now I see
 that we shall have to consider this notion of there being good
 government without laws.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. There can be no doubt that legislation is in a manner the
 business of a king, and yet the best thing of all is not that the
 law should rule, but that a man should rule, supposing him to have
 wisdom and royal power. Do you see why this is?
   Y. Soc. Why?
   Str. Because the law does not perfectly comprehend what is noblest
 and most just for all and therefore cannot enforce what is best. The
 differences of men and actions, and the endless irregular movements of
 human things, do not admit of -any universal and simple rule. And no
 art whatsoever can lay down a rule which will last for all time.
   Y. Soc. Of course not.
   Str. But the law is always striving to make one;-like an obstinate
 and ignorant tyrant, who will not allow anything to be done contrary
 to his appointment, or any question to be asked-not even in sudden
 changes of circumstances, when something happens to be better than
 what he commanded for some one.
   Y. Soc. Certainly; the law treats us all precisely in the manner
 which you describe.
   Str. A perfectly simple principle can never be applied to a state of
 things which is the reverse of simple.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. Then if the law is not the perfection of right, why are we
 compelled to make laws at all? The reason of this has next to be
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Let me ask, whether you have not meetings for gymnastic
 contests in your city, such as there are in other cities, at which men
 compete in running, wrestling, and the like?
   Y. Soc. Yes; they are very common among us.
   Str. And what are the rules which are enforced on their pupils by
 professional trainers or by others having similar authority? Can you
   Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
   Str. The training-masters do not issue minute rules for individuals,
 or give every individual what is exactly suited to his constitution;
 they think that they ought to go more roughly to work, and to
 prescribe generally the regimen, which will benefit the majority.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And therefore they assign equal amounts of exercise to them
 all; they send them forth together, and let them rest together from
 their running, wrestling, or whatever the form of bodily exercise
 may be.
   Y. So True.
   Str. And now observe that the legislator who has to preside over the
 herd, and to enforce justice in their dealings with one another,
 will not be able, in enacting for the general good, to provide exactly
 what is suitable for each particular case.
   Y. Soc. He cannot be expected to do so.
   Str. He will lay down laws in a general form for the majority,
 roughly meeting the cases of individuals; and some of them he will
 deliver in writing, and others will be unwritten; and these last
 will be traditional customs of the country.
   Y. Soc. He will be right.
   Str. Yes, quite right; for how can he sit at every man's side all
 through his life, prescribing for him the exact particulars of his
 duty? Who, Socrates, would be equal to such a task? No one who
 really had the royal science, if he had been able to do this, would
 have imposed upon himself the restriction of a written law.
   Y. Soc. So I should infer from what has now been said.
   Str. Or rather, my good friend, from what is going to be said.
   Y. Soc. And what is that?
   Str. Let us put to ourselves the case of a physician, or trainer,
 who is about to go into a far country, and is expecting to be a long
 time away from his patients-thinking that his instructions will not be
 remembered unless they are written down, he will leave notes of them
 for the use of his pupils or patients.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. But what would you say, if he came back sooner than he had
 intended, and, owing to an unexpected change of the winds or other
 celestial influences, something else happened to be better for
 them-would he not venture to suggest this new remedy, although not
 contemplated in his former prescription? Would he persist in observing
 the original law, neither himself giving any few commandments, nor the
 patient daring to do otherwise than was prescribed, under the idea
 that this course only was healthy and medicinal, all others noxious
 and heterodox? Viewed in the light of science and true art, would
 not all such enactments be utterly ridiculous?
   Y. Soc. Utterly.
   Str. And if he who gave laws, written or unwritten, determining what
 was good or bad, honourable or dishonourable, just or unjust, to the
 tribes of men who flock together in their several cities, and are
 governed accordance with them; if, I say, the wise legislator were
 suddenly to come again, or another like to him, is he to be prohibited
 from changing them?-would not this prohibition be in reality quite
 as ridiculous as the other?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Do you know a plausible saying of the common people which is in
   Y. Soc. I do not recall what you mean at the moment.
   Str. They say that if any one knows how the ancient laws may be
 improved, he must first persuade his own State of the improvement, and
 then he may legislate, but not otherwise.
   Y. Soc. And are they not right?
   Str. I dare say. But supposing that he does use some gentle violence
 for their good, what is this violence to be called? Or rather,
 before you answer, let me ask the same question in reference to our
 previous instances.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. Suppose that a skilful physician has a patient, of whatever sex
 or age, whom he compels against his will to do something for his
 good which is contrary to the written rules; what is this compulsion
 to be called? Would you ever dream of calling it a violation of the
 art, or a breach of the laws of health? Nothing could be more unjust
 than for the patient to whom such violence is applied, to charge the
 physician who practises the violence with wanting skill or aggravating
 his disease.
   Y. Soc. Most true.
   Str. In the political art error is not called disease, but evil,
 or disgrace, or injustice.
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. And when the citizen, contrary to law and custom, is
 compelled to do what is juster and better and nobler than he did
 before, the last and most absurd thing which he could say about such
 violence is that he has incurred disgrace or evil or injustice at
 the hands of those who compelled him.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. And shall we say that the violence, if exercised by a rich man,
 is just, and if by a poor man, unjust? May not any man, rich or
 poor, with or without laws, with the will of the citizens or against
 the will of the citizens, do what is for their interest? Is not this
 the true principle of government, according to which the wise and good
 man will order the affairs of his subjects? As the pilot, by
 watching continually over the interests of the ship and of the
 crew-not by laying down rules, but by making his art a law-preserves
 the lives of his fellow-sailors, even and in the self-same way, may
 there not be a true form of polity created by those who are able to
 govern in a similar spirit, and who show a strength of art which is
 superior to the law? Nor can wise rulers ever err while they,
 observing the one great rule of distributing justice to the citizens
 with intelligence and skill, are able to preserve them, and, as far as
 may be, to make them better from being worse.
   Y. Soc. No one can deny what has been now said.
   Str. Neither, if you consider, can any one deny the other statement.
   Y. Soc. What was it?
   Str. We said that no great number of persons, whoever they may be,
 can attain political knowledge, or order a State wisely, but that
 the true government is to be found in a small body, or in an
 individual, and that other States are but imitations of this, as we
 said a little while ago, some for the better and some for the worse.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean? I cannot have understood your previous
 remark about imitations.
   Str. And yet the mere suggestion which I hastily threw out is highly
 important, even if we leave the question where it is, and do not
 seek by the discussion of it to expose the error which prevails in
 this matter.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. The idea which has to be grasped by us is not easy or familiar;
 but we may attempt to express it thus:-Supposing the government of
 which I have been speaking to be the only true model, then the
 others must use the written laws of this-in no other can they be
 saved; they will have to do what is now generally approved, although
 not the best thing in the world.
   Y. Soc. What is this?
   Str. No citizen should do anything contrary to the laws, and any
 infringement of them should be punished with death and the most
 extreme penalties; and this is very right and good when regarded as
 the second best thing, if you set aside the first, of which I was just
 now speaking. Shall I explain the nature of what call the second best?
   Y. Soc. By all means.
   Str. I must again have recourse to my favourite images; through
 them, and them alone, can I describe kings and rulers.
   Y. Soc. What images?
   Str. The noble pilot and the wise physician, who "is worth many
 another man"-in the similitude of these let us endeavour to discover
 some image of the king.
   Y. Soc. What sort of image?
   Str. Well, such as this:-Every man will reflect that he suffers
 strange things at the hands of both of them; the physician; saves
 any whom he wishes to save, and any whom he wishes to maltreat he
 maltreats-cutting or burning them; and at the same time requiring them
 to bring him patients, which are a sort of tribute, of which little or
 nothing is spent upon the sick man, and the greater part is consumed
 by him and his domestics; and the finale is that he receives money
 from the relations of the sick man or from some enemy of his; and puts
 him out of the way. And the pilots of ships are guilty, of
 numberless evil deeds of the same kind; they intentionally play
 false and leave you ashore when the hour of sailing arrives; or they
 cause mishaps at sea and cast away their freight; and are guilty of
 other rogueries. Now suppose that we, bearing all this in mind, were
 to determine, after consideration, that neither of these arts shall
 any longer be allowed to exercise absolute control either over freemen
 or over slaves, but that we will summon an assembly either of all
 the people, or of the rich only, that anybody who likes, whatever
 may be his calling, or even if he have no calling, may offer an
 opinion either about seamanship or about diseases-whether as to the
 manner in which physic or surgical instruments are to be applied to
 the patient, or again about the vessels and the nautical implements
 which are required in navigation, and how to meet the dangers of winds
 and waves which are incidental to the voyage, how to behave when
 encountering pirates, and what is to be done with the old fashioned
 galleys, if they have to fight with others of a similar build-and
 that, whatever shall be decreed by the multitude on these points, upon
 the advice of persons skilled or unskilled, shall be written down on
 triangular tablets and columns, or enacted although unwritten to be
 national customs; and that in all future time vessels shall be
 navigated and remedies administered to the patient after this fashion.
   Y. Soc. What a strange notion!
   Str. Suppose further, that the pilots and physicians are appointed
 annually, either out of the rich, or out of the whole people, and that
 they are elected by lot; and that after their election they navigate
 vessels and heal the sick according to the written rules.
   Y. Soc. Worse and worse.
   Str. But hear what follows:-When the year of office has expired, the
 pilot or physician has to come before a court of review, in which
 the judges are either selected from the wealthy classes or chosen by
 lot out of the whole people; and anybody who pleases may be their
 accuser, and may lay to their charge, that during the past year they
 have not navigated their vessels or healed their patients according to
 the letter of the law and the ancient customs of their ancestors;
 and if either of them is condemned, some of the judges must fix what
 he is to suffer or pay.
   Y. Soc. He who is willing to take a command under such conditions,
 deserves to suffer any penalty.
   Str. Yet once more, we shall have to enact that if any one is
 detected enquiring into piloting and navigation, or into health and
 the true nature of medicine, or about the winds, or other conditions
 of the atmosphere, contrary to the written rules, and has any
 ingenious notions about such matters, he is not to be called a pilot
 or physician, but a cloudy prating sophist;-further, on the ground
 that he is a corrupter of the young, who would persuade them. to
 follow the art of medicine or piloting in an unlawful manner, and to
 exercise an arbitrary rule over their patients or ships, any one who
 is qualified by law may inform against him, and indict him in some
 court, and then if he is found to be persuading any, whether young
 or old, to act contrary to the written law, he is to be punished
 with the utmost rigour; for no one should presume to be wiser than the
 laws; and as touching healing and health and piloting and
 navigation, the nature of them is known to all, for anybody may
 learn the written laws and the national customs. If such were the mode
 of procedure, Socrates, about these sciences and about generalship,
 and any branch of hunting, or about painting or imitation in
 general, or carpentry, or any sort of handicraft, or husbandry, or
 planting, or if we were to see an art of rearing horses, or tending
 herds, or divination, or any ministerial service, or
 draught-playing, or any science conversant with number, whether simple
 or square or cube, or comprising motion-I say, if all these things
 were done in this way according to written regulations, and not
 according to art, what would be the result?
   Y. Soc. All the arts would utterly perish, and could never be
 recovered, because enquiry would be unlawful. And human life, which is
 bad enough already, would then become utterly unendurable.
   Str. But what, if while compelling all these operations to be
 regulated by written law, we were to appoint as the guardian of the
 laws some one elected by a show of hands, or by lot, and he caring
 nothing about the laws, were to act contrary to them from motives of
 interest or favour, and without knowledge-would not this be a still
 worse evil than the former?
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. To go against the laws, which are based upon long experience,
 and the wisdom of counsellors who have graciously recommended them and
 persuaded the multitude to pass them, would be a far greater and
 more ruinous error than any adherence to written law?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. Therefore, as there is a danger of this, the next best thing in
 legislating is not to allow either the individual or the multitude
 to break the law in any respect whatever.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. The laws would be copies of the true particulars of action as
 far as they admit of being written down from the lips of those who
 have knowledge?
   Y. Soc. Certainly they would.
   Str. And, as we were saying, he who has knowledge and is a true
 Statesman, will do many things within his own sphere of action by
 his art without regard to the laws, when he is of opinion that
 something other than that which he has written down and enjoined to be
 observed during his absence would be better.
   Y. Soc. Yes, we said so.
   Str. And any individual or any number of men, having fixed laws,
 in acting contrary to them with a view to something better, would only
 be acting, as far as they are able, like the true Statesman?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. If they had no knowledge of what they were doing, they would
 imitate the truth, and they would always imitate ill; but if they
 had knowledge, the imitation would be the perfect truth, and an
 imitation no longer.
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. And the principle that no great number of men are able to
 acquire a knowledge of any art has been already admitted by us.
   Y. Soc. Yes, it has.
   Str. Then the royal or political art, if there be such an art,
 will never be attained either by the wealthy or by the other mob.
   Y. Soc. Impossible.
   Str. Then the nearest approach which these lower forms of government
 can ever make to the true government of the one scientific ruler, is
 to do nothing contrary to their own written laws and national customs.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. When the rich imitate the true form, such a government is
 called aristocracy; and when they are regardless of the laws,
   Y Soc. True.
   Str. Or again, when an individual rules according to law in
 imitation of him who knows, we call him a king; and if he rules
 according to law, we give him the same name, whether he rules with
 opinion or with knowledge.
   Y. Soc. To be sure.
   Str. And when an individual truly possessing knowledge rules, his
 name will surely be the same-he will be called a king; and thus the
 five names of governments, as they are now reckoned, become one.
   Y. Soc. That is true.
   Str. And when an individual ruler governs neither by law nor by
 custom, but following in the steps of the true man of science pretends
 that he can only act for the best by violating the laws, while in
 reality appetite and ignorance are the motives of the imitation, may
 not such an one be called a tyrant?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And this we believe to be the origin of the tyrant and the
 king, of oligarchies, and aristocracies, and democracies-because men
 are offended at the one monarch, and can never be made to believe that
 any one can be worthy of such authority, or is able and willing in the
 spirit of virtue and knowledge to act justly and holily to all; they
 fancy that he will be a despot who will wrong and harm and slay whom
 he pleases of us; for if there could be such a despot as we
 describe, they would acknowledge that we ought to be too glad to
 have him, and that he alone would be the happy ruler of a true and
 perfect State.
   Y. Soc. To be sure.
   Str. But then, as the State is not like a beehive, and has no
 natural head who is at once recognized to be the superior both in body
 and in mind, mankind are obliged to meet and make laws, and
 endeavour to approach as nearly as they can to the true form of
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And when the foundation of politics is in the letter only and
 in custom, and knowledge is divorced from action, can we wonder
 Socrates, at the miseries which there are, and always will be, in
 States? Any other art, built on such a foundation and thus
 conducted, would ruin all that it touched. Ought we not rather to
 wonder at the natural strength of the political bond? For States
 have endured all this, time out of mind, and yet some of them still
 remain and are not overthrown, though many of them, like ships at sea,
 founder from time to time, and perish, and have perished and will hire
 after perish, through the badness of their pilots and crews, who
 have the worst sort of ignorance of the highest truths-I mean to
 say, that they are wholly unaquainted with politics, of which, above
 all other sciences, they believe themselves to have acquired the
 most perfect knowledge.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Then the question arises:-which of these untrue forms of
 government is the least oppressive to their subjects, though they
 are all oppressive; and which is the worst of them? Here is a
 consideration which is beside our present purpose, and yet having
 regard to the whole it seems to influence all our actions: we must
 examine it.
   Y. Soc. Yes, we must.
   Str. You may say that of the three forms, the same is at once the
 hardest and the easiest.
   Y. Soc. What do you mean?
   Str. I am speaking of the three forms of government, which I
 mentioned at the beginning of this discussion-monarchy, the rule of
 the few, and the rule of the many.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. If we divide each of these we shall have six, from which the
 true one may be distinguished as a seventh.
   Y. Soc. How would you make the division?
   Str. Monarchy divides into royalty and tyranny; the rule of the
 few into aristocracy, which has an auspicious name, and oligarchy; and
 democracy or the rule of the many, which before was one, must now be
   Y. Soc. On what principle of division?
   Str. On the same principle as before, although the name is now
 discovered to have a twofold meaning;-For the distinction of ruling
 with law or without applies to this as well as to the rest.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. The division made no difference when we were looking for the
 perfect State, as we showed before. But now that this has been
 separated off, and, as we said, the others alone are left for us,
 the principle of law and the absence of law will bisect them all.
   Y. Soc. That would seem follow, from what has been said.
   Str. Then monarchy, when bound by good prescriptions or laws, is the
 best of all the six, and when lawless is the most bitter and
 oppressive to the subject.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. The government of the few which is intermediate between that of
 the one and many; is also intermediate in good and evil; but the
 government of the many is in every respect weak and unable to do
 either any great good or any great evil, when compared with the
 others, because the offices are too minutely subdivided and too many
 hold them. And this therefore is the worst of all lawful
 governments, and the best of all lawless ones. If they are all without
 the restraints of law, democracy is the form in which to live is best;
 if they are well ordered then this is the last which you should
 choose, as royalty, the first form, is the best, with the exception of
 the seventh for that excels them all, and is among States what God
 is among men.
   Y. Soc. You are quite right, and we should choose that above all.
   Str. The members of all these States, with the exception of the
 one which has knowledge may be set aside as being not Statesmen but
 partisans-upholders of the most monstrous idols, and themselves idols;
 and, being the greatest imitators and magicians, they are also the
 greatest of Sophists.
   Y. Soc. The name of Sophist after many windings in the argument
 appears to have been most justly fixed upon the politicians, as they
 are termed.
   Str. And so our satyric drama has been played out; and the troop
 of Centaurs and Satyrs, however unwilling to leave the stage, have
 at last been separated from the political science.
   Y. Soc. So I perceive.
   Str. There remain, however, natures still more troublesome,
 because they are more nearly akin to the king, and more difficult to
 discern; the examination of them may be compared to the process of
 refining gold.
   Y. Soc. What is your meaning?
   Str. The workmen begin by sifting away the earth and stones and
 the like; there remain in a confused mass the valuable clements akin
 to gold, which can only be separated by fire-copper, silver, and other
 precious metals; these are at last refined away by the use of tests,
 until the gold is left quite pure.
   Y. Soc. Yes, that is the way in which these things are said to be
   Str. In like manner, all alien and uncongenial matter has been
 separated from political science, and what is precious and of a
 kindred nature has been left; there remain the nobler arts of the
 general and the judge, and the higher sort of oratory which is an ally
 of the royal art, and persuades men to do justice, and assists in
 guiding the helm of States:-How can we best clear away all these,
 leaving him whom we seek alone and unalloyed?
   Y. Soc. That is obviously what has in some way to be attempted.
   Str. If the attempt is all that is wanting, he shall certainly be
 brought to light; and I think that the illustration of music may
 assist in exhibiting him. Please to answer me a question.
   Y. Soc. What question?
   Str. There is such a thing as learning music or handicraft arts in
   Y. Soc. There is.
   Str. And is there any higher art or science, having power to
 decide which of these arts are and are not to be learned;-what do
 you say?
   Y. Soc. I should answer that there is.
   Str. And do we acknowledge this science to be different from the
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. And ought the other sciences to be superior to this, or no
 single science to any other? Or ought this science to be the
 overseer and governor of all the others?
   Y. Soc. The latter.
   Str. You mean to say that the science which judges whether we
 ought to learn or not, must be superior to the science which is
 learned or which teaches?
   Y. Soc. Far superior.
   Str. And the science which determines whether we ought to persuade
 or not, must be superior to the science which is able to persuade?
   Y. Soc. Of course.
   Str. Very good; and to what science do we assign the power of
 persuading a multitude by a pleasing tale and not by teaching?
   Y. Soc. That power, I think, must clearly be assigned to rhetoric.
   Str. And to what science do we give the power of determining whether
 we are to employ persuasion or force towards any one, or to refrain
   Y. Soc. To that science which governs the arts of speech and
   Str. Which, if I am not mistaken, will be politics?
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. Rhetoric seems to be quickly distinguished from politics, being
 a different species, yet ministering to it.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. But what would you think of another sort of power or science?
   Y. Soc. What science?
   Str. The science which has to do with military operations against
 our enemies-is that to be regarded as a science or not?
   Y. Soc. How can generalship and military tactics be regarded as
 other than a science?
   Str. And is the art which is able and knows how to advise when we
 are to go to war, or to make peace, the same as this or different?
   Y. Soc. If we are to be consistent, we must say different.
   Str. And we must also suppose that this rules the other, if we are
 not to give up our former notion?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And, considering how great and terrible the whole art of war
 is, can we imagine any which is superior to it but the truly royal?
   Y. Soc. No other.
   Str. The art of the general is only ministerial, and therefore not
   Y. Soc. Exactly.
   Str. Once more let us consider the nature of the righteous judge.
   Y. Soc. Very good.
   Str. Does he do anything but decide the dealings of men with one
 another to be just or unjust in accordance with the standard which
 he receives from the king and legislator-showing his own peculiar
 virtue only in this, that he is not perverted by gifts, or fears, or
 pity, or by any sort of favour or enmity, into deciding the suits of
 men with one another contrary to the appointment of the legislator?
   Y. Soc. No; his office is such as you describe.
   Str. Then the inference is that the power of the judge is not royal,
 but only the power of a guardian of the law which ministers to the
 royal power?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. The review of all these sciences shows that none of them is
 political or royal. For the truly royal ought not itself to act, but
 to rule over those who are able to act; the king ought to know what is
 and what is not a fitting opportunity for taking the initiative in
 matters of the greatest importance, whilst others, should execute
 his orders.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And, therefore, the arts which we have described, as they
 have no authority over themselves or one another, but are each of them
 concerned with some special action of their own, have, as they ought
 to have, special names corresponding to their several actions.
   Y. Soc. I agree.
   Str. And the science which is over them all, and has charge of the
 laws, and of all matters affecting the State, and truly weaves them
 all into one, if we would describe under a name characteristic of
 their common nature, most truly we may call politics.
   Y. Soc. Exactly so.
   Str. Then, now that we have discovered the various classes in a
 State, shall I analyse politics after the pattern which weaving
   Y. Soc. I greatly wish that you would.
   Str. Then I must describe the nature of the royal web, and show
 how the various threads are woven into one piece.
   Y. Soc. Clearly.
   Str. A task has to be accomplished, which although difficult,
 appears to be necessary.
   Y. Soc. Certainly the attempt must be made.
   Str. To assume that one part of virtue differs in kind from another,
 is a position easily assailable by contentious disputants, who
 appeal to popular opinion.
   Y. Soc. I do not understand.
   Str. Let me put the matter in another way: I suppose that you
 would consider courage to be a part of virtue?
   Y. Soc. Certainly I should.
   Str. And you would think temperance to be different from courage;
 and likewise to be a part of virtue?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. I shall venture to put forward a strange theory about them.
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. That they are two principles which thoroughly hate one
 another and are antagonistic throughout a great part of nature.
   Y. Soc. How singular!
   Str. Yes very-for all the parts of virtue are commonly said to be
 friendly to one another.
   Y. Soc. Yes.
   Str. Then let us carefully investigate whether this is universally
 true, or whether there are not parts of virtue which are at war with
 their kindred in some respect.
   Y. Soc. Tell me how we shall consider that question.
   Str. We must extend our enquiry to all those things which we
 consider beautiful and at the same time place in two opposite classes.
   Y. Soc. Explain; what are they?
   Str. Acuteness and quickness, whether in body or soul or in the
 movement of sound, and the imitations of them which painting and music
 supply, you must have praised yourself before now, or been present
 when others praised them.
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And do you remember the terms in which they are praised?
   Y. Soc. I do not.
   Str. I wonder whether I can explain to you in words the thought
 which is passing in my mind.
   Y. Soc. Why not?
   Str. You fancy that this is all so easy: Well, let us consider these
 notions with reference to the opposite classes of action under which
 they fall. When we praise quickness and energy and acuteness,
 whether of mind or body or sound, we express our praise of the quality
 which we admire by one word, and that one word is manliness or
   Y. Soc. How?
   Str. We speak of an action as energetic and brave, quick and
 manly, and vigorous too; and when we apply the name of which I speak
 as the common attribute of all these natures, we certainly praise
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. And do we not often praise the quiet strain of action also?
   Y. Soc. To be sure.
   Str. And do we not then say the opposite of what we said of the
   Y. Soc. How do you mean?
   Str. We exclaim How calm! How temperate! in admiration of the slow
 and quiet working of the intellect, and of steadiness and gentleness
 in action, of smoothness and depth of voice, and of all rhythmical
 movement and of music in general, when these have a proper
 solemnity. Of all such actions we predicate not courage, but a name
 indicative of order.
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. But when, on the other hand, either of these is out of place,
 the names of either are changed into terms of censure.
   Y. Soc. How so?
   Str. Too great sharpness or quickness or hardness is termed violence
 or madness; too great slowness or gentleness is called cowardice or
 sluggishness; and we may observe, that for the most part these
 qualities, and the temperance and manliness of the opposite
 characters, are arrayed as enemies on opposite sides, and do not
 mingle with one another in their respective actions; and if we
 pursue the enquiry, we shall find that men who have these different
 qualities of mind differ from one another.
   Y. Soc. In what respect?
   Str. In respect of all the qualities which I mentioned, and very
 likely of many others. According to their respective affinities to
 either class of actions they distribute praise and blame-praise to the
 actions which are akin to their own, blame to those of the opposite
 party-and out of this many quarrels and occasions of quarrel arise
 among them.
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. The difference between the two classes is often a trivial
 concern; but in a state, and when affecting really important
 matters, becomes of all disorders the most hateful.
   Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
   Str. To nothing short of the whole regulation of human life. For the
 orderly class are always ready to lead a peaceful life, quietly
 doing their own business; this is their manner of behaving with all
 men at home, and they are equally ready to find some way of keeping
 the peace with foreign States. And on account of this fondness of
 theirs for peace, which is often out of season where their influence
 prevails, they become by degrees unwarlike, and bring up their young
 men to be like themselves; they are at the mercy of their enemies;
 whence in a few years they and their children and the whole city often
 pass imperceptibly from the condition of freemen into that of slaves.
   Y. Soc. What a cruel fate!
   Str. And now think of what happens with the more courageous natures.
 Are they not always inciting their country to go to war, owing to
 their excessive love of the military life? they raise up enemies
 against themselves many and mighty, and either utterly ruin their
 native land or enslave and subject it to its foes?
   Y. Soc. That, again, is true.
   Str. Must we not admit, then, that where these two classes exist.
 they always feel the greatest antipathy and antagonism towards one
   Y. Soc. We cannot deny it.
   Str. And returning to the enquiry with which we began, have we not
 found that considerable portions of virtue are at variance with one
 another, and give rise to a similar opposition in the characters who
 are endowed with them?
   Y. Soc. True.
   Str. Let us consider a further point.
   Y. Soc. What is it?
   Str. I want to know, whether any constructive art will make any,
 even the most trivial thing, out of bad and good materials
 indifferently, if this can be helped? does not all art rather reject
 the bad as far as possible, and accept the good and fit materials, and
 from these elements, whether like or unlike, gathering them all into
 one, work out some nature or idea?
   Y. Soc. To, be sure.
   Str. Then the true and natural art of statesmanship will never allow
 any State to be formed by a combination of good and bad men, if this
 can be avoided; but will begin by testing human natures in play, and
 after testing them, will entrust them to proper teachers who are the
 ministers of her purposes-she will herself give orders, and maintain
 authority; just as the art of weaving continually gives orders and
 maintains authority over the carders and all the others who prepare
 the material for the work, commanding the subsidiary arts to execute
 the works which she deems necessary for making the web.
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. In like manner, the royal science appears to me to be the
 mistress of all lawful educators and instructors, and having this
 queenly power, will not permit them to train men in what will
 produce characters unsuited to the political constitution which she
 desires to create, but only in what will produce such as are suitable.
 Those which have no share of manliness and temperance, or any other
 virtuous inclination, and, from the necessity of an evil nature, are
 violently carried away to godlessness and insolence and injustice, she
 gets rid of by death and exile, and punishes them with the greatest of
   Y. Soc. That is commonly said.
   Str. But those who are wallowing in ignorance and baseness she
 bows under the yoke of slavery.
   Y. Soc. Quite right.
   Str. The rest of the citizens, out of whom, if they have
 education, something noble may be made, and who are capable of being
 united by the Statesman, the kingly art blends and weaves together;
 taking on the one hand those whose natures tend rather to courage,
 which is the stronger element and may be regarded as the warp, and
 on the other hand those which incline to order and gentleness, and
 which are represented in the figure as spun thick and soft after the
 manner of the woof-these, which are naturally opposed, she seeks to
 bind and weave together in the following manner:
   Y. Soc. In what manner?
   Str. First of all, she takes the eternal element of the soul and
 binds it with a divine cord, to which it is akin, and then the
 animal nature, and binds that with human cords.
   Y. Soc. I do not understand what you mean.
   Str. The meaning is, that the opinion about the honourable and the
 just and good and their opposites, which is true and confirmed by
 reason, is a divine principle, and when implanted in the soul, is
 implanted, as I maintain, in a nature of heavenly birth.
   Y. Soc. Yes; what else should it be?
   Str. Only the Statesman and the good legislator, having the
 inspiration of the royal muse, can implant this opinion, and he,
 only in the rightly educated, whom we were just now describing.
   Y. Soc. Likely enough.
   Str. But him who cannot, we will not designate by any of the names
 which are the subject of the present which are the subject of the
 present enquiry.
   Y. Soc. Very right.
   Str. The courageous soul when attaining this truth becomes
 civilized, and rendered more capable of partaking of justice; but when
 not partaking, is inclined to brutality. Is not that true?
   Y. Soc. Certainly.
   Str. And again, the peaceful and orderly nature, if sharing in these
 opinions, becomes temperate and wise, as far as this may be in a
 State, but if not, deservedly obtains the ignominious name of
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. Can we say that such a connection as this will lastingly
 unite the evil with one another or with the good, or that any
 science would seriously think of using a bond of this kind to join
 such materials?
   Y. Soc. Impossible.
   Str. But in those who were originally of a noble nature, and who
 have been nurtured in noble ways, and in those only, may we not say
 that union is implanted by law, and that this is the medicine which
 art prescribes for them, and of all the bonds which unite the
 dissimilar and contrary parts of virtue is not this, as I was
 saying, the divinest?
   Y. Soc. Very true.
   Str. Where this divine bond exists there is no difficulty in
 imagining, or when you have imagined, in creating the other bonds,
 which are human only.
   Y. Soc. How is that, and what bonds do you mean?
   Str. Rights of intermarriage, and ties which are formed between
 States by giving and taking children in marriage, or between
 individuals by private betrothals and espousals. For most persons
 form; marriage connection without due regard to what is best for the
 procreation of children.
   Y. Soc. In what way?
   Str. They seek after wealth and power, which, in matrimony are
 objects not worthy-even of a serious censure.
   Y. Soc. There is no need to consider them at all.
   Str. More reason is-there to consider the practice of those who make
 family their chief aim, and to indicate their error.
   Y. Soc. Quite true.
   Str. They act on no true principle at all; they seek their ease
 and receive with open arms those are like themselves, and hate those
 who are unlike them, being too much influenced by feelings of dislike.
   Y. Soc. How so?
   Str. The quiet orderly class seek for natures like their own, and as
 far as they can they marry and give in marriage exclusively in this
 class, and the courageous do the same; they seek natures like their
 own, whereas they should both do precisely the opposite.
   Y. Soc. How and why is that?
   Str. Because courage, when untempered by the gentler nature during
 many generations, may at first bloom and strengthen, but at last
 bursts forth into downright madness.
   Y. Soc. Like enough.
   Str. And then, again, the soul which is over-full of modesty and has
 no element of courage in many successive generations, is apt to grow
 too indolent, and at last to become utterly paralyzed and useless.
   Y. Soc. That, again, is quite likely.
   Str. It was of these bonds I said that there would be no
 difficulty in creating them, if only both classes originally held
 the same opinion about the honourable and good;-indeed, in this single
 work, the whole process of royal weaving is comprised-never to allow
 temperate natures to be separated from the brave, but to weave them
 together, like the warp and the woof, by common sentiments and honours
 and reputation, and by the giving of pledges to one another; and out
 of them forming one smooth and even web, to entrust to them the
 offices of State.
   Y. Soc. How do you mean?
   Str. Where one officer only is needed, you must choose a ruler who
 has both these qualities-when many, you must mingle some of each,
 for the temperate ruler is very careful and just and safe, but is
 wanting in thoroughness and go.
   Y. Soc. Certainly, that is very true.
   Str. The character of the courageous, on the other hand, falls short
 of the former in justice and caution, but has the power of action in a
 remarkable degree, and where either of these two qualities is wanting,
 there cities. cannot altogether prosper either in their public or
 private life.
   Y. Soc. Certainly they cannot.
   Str. This then we declare to be the completion of the web of
 political Action, which is created by a direct intertexture of the
 brave and temperate natures, whenever the royal science has drawn
 the two minds into communion with one another by unanimity and
 friendship, and having perfected the noblest and best of all the
 webs which political life admits, and enfolding therein all other
 inhabitants of cities, whether slaves or freemen, binds them in one
 fabric and governs and presides over them, and, in so far as to be
 happy is vouchsafed to a city, in no particular fails to secure
 their happiness.
   Y. Soc. Your picture, Stranger, of the king and statesman, no less
 than of the Sophist, is quite perfect.
                             -THE END-