Plato, Lysis

LCL 166: 22-23

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Plato

207 κωλύουσιν. Πῶς λέγεις; ἦν δ᾿ ἐγώ. βουλόμενοί 208σε μακάριον εἶναι διακωλύουσι τοῦτο ποιεῖν ὃ ἂν βούλῃ; ὧδε δέ μοι λέγε. ἢν ἐπιθυμήσῃς ἐπί τινος τῶν τοῦ πατρὸς ἁρμάτων ὀχεῖσθαι λαβὼν τὰς ἡνίας, ὅταν ἁμιλλᾶται, οὐκ ἂν ἐῷέν σε ἀλλὰ διακωλύοιεν; Μὰ Δί᾿ οὐ μέντοι ἄν, ἔφη, ἐῷεν. Ἀλλὰ τίνα μήν; Ἔστι τις ἡνίοχος παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς μισθὸν φέρων. Πῶς λέγεις; μισθωτῷ μᾶλλον ἐπιτρέπουσιν ἢ σοὶ ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν βούληται περὶ τοὺς ἵππους, καὶ προσέτι αὐτοῦ τούτου Bἀργύριον τελοῦσιν; Ἀλλὰ τί μήν; ἔφη. Ἀλλὰ τοῦ ὀρικοῦ ζεύγους, οἶμαι, ἐπιτρέπουσί σοι ἄρχειν, κἂν εἰ βούλοιο λαβὼν τὴν μάστιγα τύπτειν, ἐῷεν ἄν. Πόθεν, ἦ δ᾿ ὅς, ἐῷεν; Τί δέ; ἦν δ᾿ ἐγώ· οὐδενὶ ἔξεστιν αὐτοὺς τύπτειν; Καὶ μάλα, ἔφη, τῷ ὀρεοκόμῳ. Δούλῳ ὄντι ἢ ἐλευθέρῳ; Δούλῳ, ἔφη. Καὶ δοῦλον, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἡγοῦνται περὶ πλείονος ἢ σὲ τὸν υἱόν, καὶ ἐπιτρέπουσι τὰ ἑαυτῶν Cμᾶλλον ἢ σοί, καὶ ἐῶσι ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλεται, σὲ δὲ διακωλύουσι; καί μοι ἔτι τόδε εἰπέ. σὲ αὐτὸν ἐῶσιν ἄρχειν σεαυτοῦ, ἢ οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἐπιτρέπουσί σοι; Πῶς γάρ, ἔφη, ἐπιτρέπουσιν; Ἀλλ᾿ ἄρχει τίς σου; Ὅδε, παιδαγωγός, ἔφη. Μῶν δοῦλος ὤν; Ἀλλὰ τί μήν; ἡμέτερός γε, ἔφη. Ἦ δεινόν, ἦν δ᾿ ἐγώ, ἐλεύθερον ὄντα ὑπὸ δούλου ἄρχεσθαι. τί δὲ ποιῶν αὖ οὗτος ὁ παιδαγωγός σου ἄρχει; Ἄγων δήπου, ἔφη, εἰς διδασκάλου. Μῶν μὴ καὶ οὗτοί σου ἄρχουσιν, οἱ διδάσκαλοι; DΠάντως δήπου. Παμπόλλους ἄρα σοι δεσπότας

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Lysis

they stop me from doing a great many things. How do you mean? I said: they wish you to be happy, and yet hinder you from doing what you like? But answer me this: suppose you desire to ride in one of your father’s chariots and hold the reins in some race; they will not allow you, but will prevent you? That is so, to be sure, he said; they will not allow me. But whom would they allow? There is a driver, in my father’s pay. What do you say? A hireling, whom they trust rather than you, so that he can do whatever he pleases with the horses; and they pay him besides a salary for doing that! Why, of course, he said. Well, but they trust you with the control of the mule-cart, and if you wanted to take the whip and lash the team, they would let you? Nothing of the sort, he said. Why, I asked, is nobody allowed to lash them? Oh yes, he said, the muleteer. Is he a slave, or free? A slave, he replied. So it seems that they value a slave more highly than you, their son, and entrust him rather than you with their property, and allow him to do what he likes, while preventing you? And now there is one thing more you must tell me. Do they let you control your own self, or will they not trust you in that either? Of course they do not, he replied. But some one controls you? Yes, he said, my tutor1 here. Is he a slave? Why, certainly; he belongs to us, he said. What a strange thing, I exclaimed; a free person controlled by a slave! But how does this tutor actually exert his control over you? By taking me to school, I suppose, he replied. And your schoolmasters, can it be that they also control you? I should think they do! Then quite a large number of masters

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plato_philosopher-lysis.1925