republic (books 6 - 10)
And now, I said, years will have passed away, and you
must conceive this man, such as he is, to have a son, who is
brought up in his father's principles.
I can imagine him.
Then you must further imagine the same thing to happen
to the son which has already happened to the father: he is
drawn into a perfectly lawless life, which by his seducers is
termed perfect liberty; and his father and friends take part
with his moderate desires, and the opposite party assist the
opposite ones. As soon as these dire magicians and tyrant-
makers find that they are losing their hold on him, they con-
trive to implant in him a master-passion, to be lord over his
idle and spendthrift lusts--a sort of monstrous winged drone
--that is the only image which will adequately describe him.
Yes, he said, that is the only adequate image of him.
And when his other lusts, amid clouds of incense and per-
fumes and garlands and wines, and all the pleasures of a dis-
solute life, now let loose, come buzzing around him, nourish-
ing to the utmost the sting of desire which they implant in
his drone-like nature, then at last this lord of the soul, hav-
ing Madness for the captain of his guard, breaks out into a
frenzy; and if he finds in himself any good opinions or appe-
tites in process of formation, and there is in him any sense
of shame remaining, to these better principles he puts an end,
and casts them forth until he has purged away temperance and
brought in madness to the full.
Yes, he said, that is the way in which the tyrannical man
And is not this the reason why, of old, love has been called
I should not wonder.
Further, I said, has not a drunken man also the spirit of
And you know that a man who is deranged, and not right
in his mind, will fancy that he is able to rule, not only over
men, but also over the gods?
That he will.
And the tyrannical man in the true sense of the word comes
into being when, either under the influence of nature or
habit, or both, he becomes drunken, lustful, passionate? O
my friend, is not that so?
Such is the man and such is his origin. And next, how
does he live?
Suppose, as people facetiously say, you were to tell me.
I imagine, I said, at the next step in his progress, that there
will be feasts and carousals and revellings and courtesans, and