Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Well, seamanship, do you mean ?
Alcibiades : No.
Socrates : Because we should apply to seamen ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Well, what sort of thing ? The business of what men ?
Alcibiades : Of Athenian gentlemen.
Socrates : Do you mean by “gentlemen” the intelligent or the unintelligent ?
Alcibiades : The intelligent.
Socrates : And everyone is good in that wherein he is intelligent ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And bad wherein he is unintelligent ?
Alcibiades : Of course.
Socrates : Then is the shoemaker intelligent in the making of foot-gear ?
Alcibiades : Certainly.
Socrates : So he is good in that article ?
Alcibiades : Good.
Socrates : Well now, is not the shoemaker unintelligent in the making of clothes ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : So he is bad in that ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Then, on this showing, the same man is both bad and good.
Alcibiades : Apparently.
Socrates : Well, can you say that good men are also bad ?
Alcibiades : No, indeed.
Socrates : But whoever do you mean by the good ?
Alcibiades : I mean those who are able to rule in the city.
Socrates : Not, I presume, over horses ?
Alcibiades : No, no.
Socrates : But over men ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : When they are sick ?
Alcibiades : No.
Socrates : Or at sea ?
Alcibiades : I say, no.
Socrates : Or harvesting ?
Alcibiades : No.
Socrates : Doing nothing, or doing something ?
Alcibiades : Doing something, I say.
Socrates : Doing what ? Try and let me know.
Alcibiades : Well, men who do business with each other and make use of one another, as is our way of life in our cities.
Socrates : Then you speak of ruling over men who make use of men ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Over boatswains who make use of rowers ?
Alcibiades : No, no.
Socrates : Because that is the pilots distinction ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Well, do you mean ruling over men who are flute-players, and who lead the singing and make use of dancers ?
Alcibiades : No, no.
Socrates : Because, again, that is the chorus-teachers function ?
Alcibiades : To be sure.
Socrates : But whatever do you mean by being able to rule over men who make use of men ?
Alcibiades : I mean ruling over men in the city who share in it as fellow-citizens, and do business with each other.
Socrates : Well, what art is this ? Suppose I should ask you over again, as I did just now, what art makes men know how to rule over fellow-sailors ?
Alcibiades : The pilots.
Socrates : And what knowledge — to repeat what was said a moment ago — makes them rule over their fellow-singers ?
Alcibiades : That which you just mentioned, the chorus-teachers.
Socrates : Well now, what do you call the knowledge of ones fellow-citizens ?
Alcibiades : Good counsel, I should say, Socrates.
Socrates : Well, and is the pilots knowledge evil counsel ?
Alcibiades : No, no.
Socrates : Rather good counsel ?
Alcibiades : So I should think, for the preservation of his passengers.
Socrates : Quite right. And now, for what is the good counsel of which you speak ?
Alcibiades : For the better management and preservation of the city.
Socrates : And what is it that becomes present or absent when we get this better management and preservation ? If, for example, you should ask me, “What is it that becomes present or absent when the body is better managed and preserved ?” — I should reply, “Health becomes present, and disease absent.” Do not you think so too ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And if, again, you asked me, “What becomes present in a better condition of the eyes ?” — I should answer in just the same way, “Sight becomes present, and blindness absent.” So, in the case of the ears, deafness is caused to be absent, and hearing to be present, when they are improved and getting better treatment.
Alcibiades : Correct.
Socrates : Well then, what is it that becomes present or absent when a state is improved and has better treatment and management ?
Alcibiades : To my mind, Socrates, friendship with one another will be there, while hatred and faction will be absent.
Socrates : Now, by friendship do you mean agreement or disagreement ?
Alcibiades : Agreement.
Socrates : And what art is it that causes states to agree about numbers ?
Alcibiades : Arithmetic.
Socrates : And what of individuals ? Is it not the same art ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And it makes each single person agree with himself ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And what art makes each of us agree with himself as to which is the longer, a span or a cubit ? Is it not mensuration ?
Alcibiades : Of course.
Socrates : And it makes both individuals and states agree with each other ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And what about the balance ? Is it not the same here too ?
Alcibiades : It is.
Socrates : Then what is that agreement of which you speak, and about what ? And what art secures it ? And is it the same in an individual as in a state, when one agrees with oneself and with another ?
Alcibiades : Most likely.
Socrates : Well, what is it ? Do not flag in your answers, but do your best to tell me.
Alcibiades : I suppose I mean the friendship and agreement that you find when a father and mother love their son, and between brother and brother, and husband and wife.
Socrates : Then do you suppose, Alcibiades, that a husband can possibly agree with his wife about woolwork, when he does not understand it, and she does ?
Alcibiades : Oh, no.
Socrates : Nor has he any need, since that is a womans pursuit.
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Or again, could a woman agree with a man about soldiering, when she has not learnt it ?
Alcibiades : Oh, no.
Socrates : Because, I expect you will say again, that is a mans affair.
Alcibiades : I would.
Socrates : Then, by your account, there are some pursuits belonging to women, and some to men ?
Alcibiades : Of course.
Socrates : So in these, at any rate, there is no agreement between men and women.
Alcibiades : No.
Socrates : And hence no friendship either, if, as we said, friendship is agreement.
Alcibiades : Apparently not.
Socrates : So women are not loved by men, in so far as they do their own work.
Alcibiades : It seems not.
Socrates : Nor are men by women, in so far as they do theirs.
Alcibiades : No.
Socrates : And states, therefore, are not well ordered in so far as each person does his own business ?
Alcibiades : I think they are, Socrates.
Socrates : How can you say that ? Without the presence of friendship, which we say must be there if states are well ordered, as otherwise they are not ?
Alcibiades : But it seems to me that friendship arises among them just on that account — that each of the two parties does its own business.
Socrates : It was not so a moment since : but now, what do you mean this time ? Does friendship arise where there is no agreement ? And is it possible that agreement should arise where some know about the business, but others do not ?
Alcibiades : Impossible.
Socrates : And are they doing what is just or unjust, when each man does his own business ?
Alcibiades : What is just, of course.
Socrates : And when the citizens do what is just in the city, does not friendship arise among them ?
Alcibiades : Again I think that must be so, Socrates.
Socrates : Then whatever do you mean by that friendship or agreement about which we must be wise and well-advised in order that we may be good men ? For I am unable to learn either what it is, or in whom ; since it appears that the same persons sometimes have it, and sometimes not, by your account.
Alcibiades : Well, by Heaven, Socrates, I do not even know what I mean myself, and I fear that for some time past I have lived unawares in a disgraceful condition.
Socrates : But you must take heart. For had you perceived your plight at fifty, it would be hard for you to take pains with yourself ; whereas here you are at the time of life when one ought to perceive it.
Alcibiades : Then what should one do on perceiving it, Socrates ?
Socrates : Answer the questions asked,
Alcibiades : only do that, and with Heavens favor — if we are to put any trust in my divination — you and I shall both be in better case.
Alcibiades : That shall be, so far as my answering can avail.
Socrates : Come then, what is “taking pains over oneself” —   for we may perchance be taking, unawares, no pains over ourselves, though we think we are — and when does a man actually do it ? Does he take pains over himself at the same time as over his own things ?
Alcibiades : I at least believe so.
Socrates : Well now, when does a man take pains over his feet ? Is it when he takes pains over what belongs to his feet ?
Alcibiades : I do not understand.
Socrates : Is there anything you can name as belonging to the hand ? For instance, does a ring belong to any other part of a man but the finger ?
Alcibiades : No, indeed.
Socrates : And so the shoe also belongs to the foot, in the same way ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And likewise clothes and coverlets belong to the whole body ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Now when we take pains over our shoes, we take pains over our feet ?
Alcibiades : I do not quite understand, Socrates.
Socrates : Well, but, Alcibiades, you speak of taking proper pains over this or that matter, do you not ?
Alcibiades : I do.
Socrates : And do you call it proper pains when someone makes a thing better ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Then what art makes shoes better ?
Alcibiades : Shoe-making.
Socrates : So by shoe-making we take pains over our shoes ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And over our foot too by shoe-making ? Or by that art whereby we make feet better ?
Alcibiades : By that art.
Socrates : And is it not the same one for making our feet as for making the whole body better ?
Alcibiades : I think so.
Socrates : And is not that gymnastic ?
Alcibiades : Certainly.
Socrates : So by gymnastic we take pains over our foot, but by shoe-making over what belongs to our foot ?
Alcibiades : Quite so.
Socrates : And by gymnastic over our hands, but by ring-engraving over what belongs to the hand ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And by gymnastic over the body, but by weaving and the rest over what belongs to the body ?
Alcibiades : Absolutely so.
Socrates : Then for taking pains over a thing itself and over what belongs to it we use different arts.
Alcibiades : Apparently.
Socrates : So when you take pains over your belongings you are not taking pains over yourself.
Alcibiades : Not at all.
Socrates : For the arts, it seems, that one used for taking pains over oneself and over ones belongings would not be the same.
Alcibiades : Apparently not.
Socrates : Come then, whatever kind of art can we use for taking pains over ourselves ?
Alcibiades : I cannot say.
Socrates : Well, so much at least has been admitted, that it is not one which would help us to make a single one of our possessions better, but one which would help to make ourselves so ?
Alcibiades : That is true.
Socrates : Now, should we ever have known what art makes a shoe better, if we had not known a shoe ?
Alcibiades : Impossible.
Socrates : Nor could we know what art makes rings better, if we had no cognizance of a ring.
Alcibiades : True.
Socrates : Well then, could we ever know what art makes the man himself better, if we were ignorant of what we are ourselves ?
Alcibiades : Impossible.
Socrates : Well, and is it an easy thing to know oneself, and was it a mere scamp who inscribed these words on the temple at Delphi ; or is it a hard thing, and not a task for anybody ?
Alcibiades : I have often thought, Socrates, that it was for anybody ; but often, too, that it was very hard.
Socrates : But, Alcibiades, whether it is easy or not, here is the fact for us all the same : if we have that knowledge, we are like to know what pains to take over ourselves ; but if we have it not, we never can.
Alcibiades : That is so.
Socrates : Come then, in what way can the same-in-itself be discovered ? For thus we may discover what we are ourselves ; whereas if we remain in ignorance of it we must surely fail.
Alcibiades : Rightly spoken.
Socrates : Steady, then, in Heavens name ! To whom are you talking now ? To me, are you not ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And I in turn to you  ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Then the talker is Socrates ?
Alcibiades : To be sure.
Socrates : And the hearer, Alcibiades ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And Socrates uses speech in talking ?
Alcibiades : Of course.
Socrates : And you call talking and using speech the same thing, I suppose.
Alcibiades : To be sure.
Socrates : But the user and the thing he uses are different, are they not ?
Alcibiades : How do you mean ?
Socrates : For instance, I suppose a shoemaker uses a round tool, and a square one, and others, when he cuts.
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And the cutter and user is quite different from what he uses in cutting ?
Alcibiades : Of course.
Socrates : And in the same way what the harper uses in harping will be different from the harper himself ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Well then, that is what I was asking just now — whether the user and what he uses are always, in your opinion, two different things.
Alcibiades : They are.
Socrates : Then what are we to say of the shoemaker ? Does he cut with his tools only, or with his hands as well ?
Alcibiades : With his hands as well.
Socrates : So he uses these also ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Does he use his eyes, too, in his shoe-making ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And we admit that the user and what he uses are different things ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Then the shoemaker and the harper are different from the hands and eyes that they use for their work ?
Alcibiades : Apparently.
Socrates : And man uses his whole body too ?
Alcibiades : To be sure.
Socrates : And we said that the user and what he uses are different ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : So man is different from his own body ?
Alcibiades : It seems so.
Socrates : Then whatever is man ?
Alcibiades : I cannot say.
Socrates : Oh, but you can — that he is the user of the body.
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : And the user of it must be the soul ?
Alcibiades : It must.
Socrates : And ruler ?
Alcibiades : Yes.
Socrates : Now, here is a remark from which no one, I think, can dissent.
Alcibiades : What is it ?
Socrates : That man must be one of three things.