after we had said our prayers and seen the spectacle we were starting for town when polemarchus, the son of cephalus, caught sight of us from a distance as we were hastening homeward, and ordered his boy to run and ask us to wait for him, and the boy caught hold of my himation from behind and said, “polemarchus wants you to wait.” and i turned around and asked where his master was. “there he is”, he said, “behind you, coming this way. wait for him.” “so we will,” said glaucon. and shortly after polemarchus came up and adeimantus, the brother of glaucon, and niceratus, the son of nicias, and a few others apparently from the procession.

whereupon polemarchus said, “divine postman, you appear to have turned your faces toward slumtown and to be going to leave us.” “not a bad guess,” said i. “but you see how many we are?” said he. “surely.” “you must either then prove yourselves the better man or stay here.” “why, is there not left,” said i, “the alternative of persuading you that you ought to let us go?” “but could you persuade us,” said he, “if we refused to listen?” “nohow,” said glaucon. “well, we will not listen, and you might as well make up your minds to it.” “do you mean to say,” interposed adeimantus, “that you have not heard there is to be a torchlight race this evening on horseback in honour of the goddess?” “on horseback,” said i. “that is a new idea. will they carry torches and pass them along to one another as they race with the horses, or how do you mean?”

“that is the way of it,” said polemarchus, “and, besides, there is to be a night festival which will be worth seeing. for after dinner we will get up and go out see the sights and meet a lot of the lads there and have good conversation. so stay and do as we ask.” “it looks as if we will have to stay,” said glaucon. “well”, said i, “if it so be, so be it. we must give up something to gain another.”