republic (books 6 - 10)
Or if some person begins at the other end and measures
the interval by which the king is parted from the tyrant in
truth of pleasure, he will find him, when the multiplication is
completed, living 729 times more pleasantly, and the tyrant
more painfully by this same interval.
What a wonderful calculation! And how enormous is the
distance which separates the just from the unjust in regard to
pleasure and pain!
Yet a true calculation, I said, and a number which nearly
concerns human life, if human beings are concerned with days
and nights and months and years.
Yes, he said, human life is certainly concerned with them.
Then if the good and just man be thus superior in pleasure
to the evil and unjust, his superiority will be infinitely greater
in propriety of life and in beauty and virtue?
Well, I said, and now having arrived at this stage of the
argument, we may revert to the words which brought us
hither: Was not someone saying that injustice was a gain
to the perfectly unjust who was reputed to be just?
Yes, that was said.
Now, then, having determined the power and quality of
justice and injustice, let us have a little conversation with him.
What shall we say to him?
Let us make an image of the soul, that he may have his
own words presented before his eyes.
Of what sort?
An ideal image of the soul, like the composite creations of
ancient mythology, such as the Chimera, or Scylla, or Cerberus,
and there are many others in which two or more different
natures are said to grow into one.
There are said to have been such unions.
Then do you now model the form of a multitudinous, many-
headed monster, having a ring of heads of all manner of
beasts, tame and wild, which he is able to generate and meta-
morphose at will.
You suppose marvellous powers in the artist; but, as lan-
guage is more pliable than wax or any similar substance, let
there be such a model as you propose.
Suppose now that you make a second form as of a lion, and
a third of a man, the second smaller than the first, and the
third smaller than the second.
That, he said, is an easier task; and I have made them as
And now join them, and let the three grow into one.
That has been accomplished.