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but also there are other things which repel the approach of opposites.

That is quite true, he said.

Suppose, he said, that we endeavor, if possible, to determine what

these are.

By all means.

Are they not, Cebes, such as compel the things of which they have

possession, not only to take their own form, but also the form of some


What do you mean?

I mean, as I was just now saying, and have no need to repeat to you,

that those things which are possessed by the number three must not

only be three in number, but must also be odd.

Quite true.

And on this oddness, of which the number three has the impress,

the opposite idea will never intrude?


And this impress was given by the odd principle?


And to the odd is opposed the even?


Then the idea of the even number will never arrive at three?


Then three has no part in the even?


Then the triad or number three is uneven?

Very true.

To return then to my distinction of natures which are not opposites,

and yet do not admit opposites: as, in this instance, three,

although not opposed to the even, does not any the more admit of the

even, but always brings the opposite into play on the other side; or

as two does not receive the odd, or fire the cold-from these

examples (and there are many more of them) perhaps you may be able

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