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Pages of republic (books 6 - 10)



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republic (books 6 - 10)   


and orderly expenditure are vulgarity and meanness, and so,
by the help of a rabble of evil appetites, they drive them be-
yond the border.

Yes, with a will.

And when they have emptied and swept clean the soul of
him who is now in their power and who is being initiated by
them in great mysteries, the next thing is to bring back to their
house insolence and anarchy and waste and impudence in
bright array, having garlands on their heads, and a great com-
pany with them, hymning their praises and calling them by
sweet names; insolence they term "breeding," and anarchy
"liberty," and waste "magnificence," and impudence "cour-
age." And so the young man passes out of his original nature,
which was trained in the school of necessity, into the freedom
and libertinism of useless and unnecessary pleasures.

Yes, he said, the change in him is visible enough.

After this he lives on, spending his money and labor and
time on unnecessary pleasures quite as much as on necessary
ones; but if he be fortunate, and is not too much disordered
in his wits, when years have elapsed, and the heyday of pas-
sion is over--supposing that he then readmits into the city
some part of the exiled virtues, and does not wholly give him-
self up to their successors--in that case he balances his pleas-
ures and lives in a sort of equilibrium, putting the govern-
ment of himself into the hands of the one which comes first
and wins the turn; and when he has had enough of that, then
into the hands of another; he despises none of them, but
encourages them all equally.

Very true, he said.

Neither does he receive or let pass into the fortress any true
word of advice; if anyone says to him that some pleasures
are the satisfactions of good and noble desires, and others of
evil desires, and that he ought to use and honor some, and
chastise and master the others--whenever this is repeated to
him he shakes his head and says that they are all alike, and
that one is as good as another.

Yes, he said; that is the way with him.

Yes, I said, he lives from day to day indulging the appetite
of the hour; and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains
of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to
get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes
idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the
life of a philosopher; often he is busy with politics, and starts
to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head;
and, if he is emulous of anyone who is a warrior, off he is
in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that.
His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted exist-
ence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so he goes on.

Yes, he replied, he is all liberty and equality.

Yes, I said; his life is motley and manifold and an epitome
of the lives of many; he answers to the State which we de-
scribed as fair and spangled. And many a man and many
a woman will take him for their pattern, and many a con-
stitution and many an example of manners are contained in him.

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