republic (books 6 - 10)
things in this life as they are termed: then you would see her as
she is, and know whether she have one shape only or many,
or what her nature is. Of her affections and of the forms
which she takes in this present life I think that we have now
True, he replied.
And thus, I said, we have fulfilled the conditions of the argu-
ment; we have not introduced the rewards and glories of
justice, which, as you were saying, are to be found in Homer
and Hesiod; but justice in her own nature has been shown to
be the best for the soul in her own nature. Let a man do what
is just, whether he have the ring of Gyges or not, and even if
in addition to the ring of Gyges he put on the helmet of Hades.
And now, Glaucon, there will be no harm in further enu-
merating how many and how great are the rewards which jus-
tice and the other virtues procure to the soul from gods and
men, both in life and after death.
Certainly not, he said.
Will you repay me, then, what you borrowed in the argu-
What did I borrow?
The assumption that the just man should appear unjust and
the unjust just: for you were of opinion that even if the true
state of the case could not possibly escape the eyes of gods and
men, still this admission ought to be made for the sake of the
argument, in order that pure justice might be weighed against
pure injustice. Do you remember?
I should be much to blame if I had forgotten.
Then, as the cause is decided, I demand on behalf of justice
that the estimation in which she is held by gods and men and
which we acknowledge to be her due should now be restored
to her by us; since she has been shown to confer reality, and
not to deceive those who truly possess her, let what has been
taken from her be given back, that so she may win that palm of
appearance which is hers also, and which she gives to her own.
The demand, he said, is just.
In the first place, I said--and this is the first thing which
you will have to give back--the nature both of the just and un-
just is truly known to the gods.
And if they are both known to them, one must be the friend
and the other the enemy of the gods, as we admitted from the
And the friend of the gods may be supposed to receive from
them all things at their best, excepting only such evil as is the
necessary consequence of former sins?