bricks and mortar who no sooner has built one house than he must needs sell it and proceed to build another.

To be sure, Ischomachus (I answered), and for my part I assure you, upon oath, I, Socrates, do verily and indeed believe[42] you that all men by nature love (or hold they ought to love) those things wherebysoever they believe they will be benefited.

[32] Reading {e men pisteuein soi phusei (nomizein) philein tauta pantas . . .}; and for the 'belief' propounded with so much humorous emphasis, see Adam Smith, 'Moral Sentiments.' Hartman, 'An. Xen.' 180, cf. Plat. 'Lysis.'


After a pause, I added: I am turning over in my mind how cleverly you have presented the whole argument to support your thesis: which was, that of all arts the art of husbandry is the easiest to learn. And now, as the result of all that has been stated, I am entirely persuaded that this is so.

Isch. Yes, Socrates, indeed it is. But I, on my side, must in turn admit that as regards that faculty which is common alike to every kind of conduct (tillage, or politics, the art of managing a house, or of conducting war), the power, namely, of command[1]--I do subscribe to your opinion, that on this score one set of people differ largely from another both in point of wit and judgement. On a ship of war, for instance,[2] the ship is on the high seas, and the crew must row whole days together to reach moorings.[3] Now note the difference. Here you may find a captain[4] able by dint of speech and conduct to whet the souls of those he leads, and sharpen them to voluntary toils; and there another so dull of wit and destitute of feeling that it will take his crew just twice the time to finish the same voyage. See them step on shore. The first ship's company are drenched in sweat; but listen, they are loud in praise of one another, the captain and his merry men alike. And the others? They are come at last; they have not turned a hair, the lazy fellows, but for all that they hate their officer and by him are hated.

[1] See 'Mem.' I. i. 7.

[2] Or, 'the crew must row the livelong day . . .'

[3] For an instance see 'Hell.' VI. ii. 27, Iphicrates' periplus.

[4] Or, 'one set of boatswains.' See Thuc. ii. 84. For the duties of the Keleustes see 'Dict. Gk. Rom. Ant.' s.v. portisculus; and for the type of captain see 'Hell.' V. i. 3, Teleutias.

Generals, too, will differ (he proceeded), the one sort from the other, in this very quality. Here you have a leader who, incapable of kindling a zest for toil and love of hairbreadth 'scapes, is apt to engender in his followers that base spirit which neither deigns nor chooses to obey, except under compulsion. They even pride and plume themselves,[5] the cowards, on their opposition to their leader; this same leader who, in the end, will make his men insensible to shame even in presence of most foul mishap. On the other hand, put at their head another stamp of general: one who is by right divine[6] a leader, good and brave, a man of scientific knowledge. Let him take over to his charge those malcontents, or others even of worse character, and he will have them presently ashamed of doing a disgraceful deed. 'It is nobler to obey' will be their maxim. They will exult in personal obedience and in common toil, where toil is needed, cheerily performed. For just as an unurged zeal for voluntary service[7] may at times invade, we know, the breasts of private soldiers, so may like love of toil with emulous longing to achieve great deeds of valour under the eyes of their commander, be implanted in whole armies by good officers.

[5] Lit. 'magnify themselves.' See 'Ages.' x. 2; 'Pol. Lac.' viii. 2.

[6] Or, 'god-like,' 'with something more than human in him.' See Hom. 'Il.' xxiv. 259:

{oude eokei andros ge thnetou pais emmenai alla theoio.}

'Od.' iv. 691; {theioi basilees}. Cf. Carlyle, 'Heroes'; Plat. 'Meno,' 99 D: Soc. 'And may we not, Meno, truly call those men divine who, having no understanding, yet succeed in many a grand deed and word?' And below: Soc. 'And the women too, Meno, call good men divine; and the Spartans, when they praise a good man, say, 'that he is a divine man'' (Jowett). Arist. 'Eth. N.' vii. 1: 'That virtue which transcends the human, and which is of an heroic or godlike type, such as Priam, in the poems of Homer, ascribes to Hector, when wishing to speak of his great goodness:

Not woman-born seemed he, but sprung from gods.'

And below: 'And exactly as it is a rare thing to find a man of godlike nature--to use the expression of the Spartans, 'a godlike man,' which they apply to those whom they expressively admire--so, too, brutality is a type of character rarely found among men' (Robert Williams).

[7] Reading {etheloponia tis}, or if {philoponia}, transl. 'just as some strange delight in labour may quicken in the heart of many an individual soldier.' See 'Anab.' IV. vii. 11.

Happy must that leader be whose followers are thus attached to him: beyond all others he will prove a stout and strong commander. And by strong, I mean, not one so hale of body as to tower above the stoutest of the soldiery themselves; no, nor him whose skill to hurl a javelin or shoot an arrow will outshine the skilfullest; nor yet that mounted on the fleetest charger it shall be his to bear the brunt of danger foremost amid the knightliest horsemen, the nimblest of light infantry. No, not these, but who is able to implant a firm persuasion in the minds of all his soldiers: follow him they must and will through fire, if need be, or into the jaws of death.[8]

[8] Or, 'through flood and fire or other desperate strait.' Cf. 'Anab.' II. vi. 8.

Lofty of soul and large of judgment[9] may he be designated justly, at whose back there steps a multitude stirred by his sole sentiment; not unreasonably may he be said to march 'with a mighty arm,'[10] to whose will a thousand willing hands are prompt to minister; a great man in every deed he is who can achieve great ends by resolution rather than brute force.

[9] See 'Ages.' ix. 6, 'of how lofty a sentiment.'

[10] See Herod. vii. 20, 157; Thuc. iii. 96.

So, too, within the field of private industry, the person in authority, be it the bailiff, be it the overseer,[11] provided he is able to produce unflinching energy, intense and eager, for the work, belongs to those who haste to overtake good things[12] and reap great plenty. Should the master (he proceeded), being a man possessed of so much power, Socrates, to injure the bad workman and reward the zealous --should he suddenly appear, and should his appearance in the labour field produce no visible effect upon his workpeople, I cannot say I envy or admire him. But if the sight of him is followed by a stir of movement, if there come upon[13] each labourer fresh spirit, with mutual rivaly and keen ambition, drawing out the finest qualities of each,[14] of him I should say, Behold a man of kingly disposition. And this, if I mistake not, is the quality of greatest import in every operation which needs the instrumentality of man; but most of all, perhaps, in agriculture. Not that I would maintain that it is a thing to be lightly learnt by a glance of the eye, or hearsay fashion, as a tale that is told. Far from it, I assert that he who is to have this power has need of education; he must have at bottom a good natural disposition; and, what is greatest of all, he must be himself a god- like being.[15] For if I rightly understand this blessed gift, this faculty of command over willing followers, by no means is it, in its entirety, a merely human quality, but it is in part divine. It is a gift plainly given to those truly initiated[16] in the mystery of self-command. Whereas despotism over unwilling slaves, the heavenly ones give, as it seems to me, to those whom they deem worthy to live the life of Tantalus in Hades, of whom it is written[17] 'he consumes unending days in apprehension of a second death.'

[11] According to Sturz, 'Lex.' s.v., the {epitropos} is (as a rule, see 'Mem.' II. viii.) a slave or freedman, the {epistates} a free man. See 'Mem.' III. v. 18.

[12] Apparently a homely formula, like 'make hay whilst the sun shines,' 'a stitch in time saves nine.'

[13] Cf. Hom. 'Il.' ix. 436, xvii. 625; 'Hell.' VII. i. 31.

[14] Reading {kratiste ousa}, or if with Heindorf, {kratisteusai}, transl. 'to prove himself the best.'

[15] See 'Cyrop.' I. i. 3; Grote, 'Plato,' vol. iii. 571.

[16] See Plat. 'Phaed.' 69 C; Xen. 'Symp.' i. 10.

[17] Or, 'it is said.' See Eur. 'Orest.' 5, and Porson ad loc.

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