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Pages of republic (books 6 - 10)



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republic (books 6 - 10)   


he who is detected and punished has the brutal part of his
nature silenced and humanized; the gentler element in him
is liberated, and his whole soul is perfected and ennobled by
the acquirement of justice and temperance and wisdom, more
than the body ever is by receiving gifts of beauty, strength,
and health, in proportion as the soul is more honorable than
the body.

Certainly, he said.

To this nobler purpose the man of understanding will devote
the energies of his life. And in the first place, he will honor
studies which impress these qualities on his soul, and will dis-
regard others?

Clearly, he said.

In the next place, he will regulate his bodily habit and train-
ing, and so far will he be from yielding to brutal and irrational
pleasures, that he will regard even health as quite a secondary
matter; his first object will be not that he may be fair or strong
or well, unless he is likely thereby to gain temperance, but he
will always desire so to attemper the body as to preserve the
harmony of the soul?

Certainly he will, if he has true music in him.

And in the acquisition of wealth there is a principle of order
and harmony which he will also observe; he will not allow him-
self to be dazzled by the foolish applause of the world, and heap
up riches to his own infinite harm?

Certainly not, he said.

He will look at the city which is within him, and take heed
that no disorder occur in it, such as might arise either from
superfluity or from want; and upon this principle he will regu-
late his property and gain or spend according to his means.

Very true.

And, for the same reason, he will gladly accept and enjoy
such honors as he deems likely to make him a better man; but
those, whether private or public, which are likely to disorder
his life, he will avoid?

Then, if that is his motive, he will not be a statesman.

By the dog of Egypt, he will! in the city which is his own
he certainly will, though in the land of his birth perhaps not,
unless he have a divine call.

I understand; you mean that he will be a ruler in the city
of which we are the founders, and which exists in idea only;
for I do not believe that there is such a one anywhere on earth?

In heaven, I replied, there is laid up a pattern of it, methinks,
which he who desires may behold, and beholding, may set his
own house in order. But whether such a one exists, or ever
will exist in fact, is no matter; for he will live after the manner
of that city, having nothing to do with any other.

I think so, he said.

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