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Pages of republic (books 6 - 10)



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republic (books 6 - 10)   



Next fashion the outside of them into a single image, as of
a man, so that he who is not able to look within, and sees only
the outer hull, may believe the beast to be a single human
creature.
I have done so, he said.

And now, to him who maintains that it is profitable for the
human creature to be unjust, and unprofitable to be just, let
us reply that, if he be right, it is profitable for this creature
to feast the multitudinous monster and strengthen the lion and
the lion-like qualities, but to starve and weaken the man, who
is consequently liable to be dragged about at the mercy of
either of the other two; and he is not to attempt to familiarize
or harmonize them with one another--he ought rather to suf-
fer them to fight, and bite and devour one another.

Certainly, he said; that is what the approver of injustice
says.

To him the supporter of justice makes answer that he
should ever so speak and act as to give the man within him
in some way or other the most complete mastery over the
entire human creature.

He should watch over the many-
headed monster like a good husbandman, fostering and culti-
vating the gentle qualities, and preventing the wild ones from
growing; he should be making the lion-heart his ally, and in
common care of them all should be uniting the several parts
with one another and with himself.

Yes, he said, that is quite what the maintainer of justice
will say.

And so from every point of view, whether of pleasure,
honor, or advantage, the approver of justice is right and
speaks the truth, and the disapprover is wrong and false and
ignorant?

Yes, from every point of view.

Come, now, and let us gently reason with the unjust, who
is not intentionally in error. "Sweet sir," we will say to him,
"what think you of things esteemed noble and ignoble? Is
not the noble that which subjects the beast to the man, or
rather to the god in man? and the ignoble that which sub-
jects the man to the beast?" He can hardly avoid saying,
Yes--can he, now?
Not if he has any regard for my opinion.
But, if he agree so far, we may ask him to answer another
question: "Then how would a man profit if he received gold
and silver on the condition that he was to enslave the noblest
part of him to the worst? Who can imagine that a man who
sold his son or daughter into slavery for money, especially if
he sold them into the hands of fierce and evil men, would be
the gainer, however large might be the sum which he re-
ceived? And will anyone say that he is not a miserable
caitiff who remorselessly sells his own divine being to that
which is most godless and detestable? Eriphyle took the
necklace as the price of her husband's life, but he is taking a
bribe in order to compass a worse ruin."

Yes, said Glaucon, far worse--I will answer for him.

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