and quiet working of the intellect, and of steadiness and gentleness
in action, of smoothness and depth of voice, and of all rhythmical
movement and of music in general, when these have a proper
solemnity. Of all such actions we predicate not courage, but a name
indicative of order.
Y. Soc. Very true.
Str. But when, on the other hand, either of these is out of place,
the names of either are changed into terms of censure.
Y. Soc. How so?
Str. Too great sharpness or quickness or hardness is
or madness; too great slowness or gentleness is called cowardice or
sluggishness; and we may observe, that for the most part these
qualities, and the temperance and manliness of the opposite
characters, are arrayed as enemies on opposite sides, and do not
mingle with one another in their respective actions; and if we
pursue the enquiry, we shall find that men who have these different
qualities of mind differ from one another.
Y. Soc. In what respect?
Str. In respect of all the qualities which I mentioned, and very
likely of many others. According to their respective affinities to
either class of actions they distribute praise and
blame-praise to the
actions which are akin to their own, blame to those of the opposite
party-and out of this many quarrels and occasions of quarrel arise
Y. Soc. True.
Str. The difference between the two classes is often a trivial
concern; but in a state, and when affecting really important
matters, becomes of all disorders the most hateful.
Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
Str. To nothing short of the whole regulation of human
life. For the
orderly class are always ready to lead a peaceful life, quietly
doing their own business; this is their manner of behaving with all
men at home, and they are equally ready to find some way of keeping
the peace with foreign States. And on account of this fondness of
theirs for peace, which is often out of season where their influence
prevails, they become by degrees unwarlike, and bring up their young
men to be like themselves; they are at the mercy of their enemies;
whence in a few years they and their children and the whole
pass imperceptibly from the condition of freemen into that of slaves.
Y. Soc. What a cruel fate!
Str. And now think of what happens with the more
Are they not always inciting their country to go to war, owing to
their excessive love of the military life? they raise up enemies
against themselves many and mighty, and either utterly ruin their
native land or enslave and subject it to its foes?
Y. Soc. That, again, is true.
Str. Must we not admit, then, that where these two classes exist.
they always feel the greatest antipathy and antagonism towards one
Y. Soc. We cannot deny it.
Str. And returning to the enquiry with which we began, have we not
found that considerable portions of virtue are at variance with one
another, and give rise to a similar opposition in the characters who
are endowed with them?
Y. Soc. True.
Str. Let us consider a further point.
Y. Soc. What is it?
Str. I want to know, whether any constructive art will make any,
even the most trivial thing, out of bad and good materials