314 (English, original)

An original translation

“But if you don’t, make sure you don’t gamble with such precious things on the line. What I mean is that there’s much more risk in buying lessons than in buying food, since you can store food and drink bought from a merchant or shopkeeper in a separate container. Before taking them into your body by eating or drinking, you can set them down at home and get advice by calling in an expert who knows what you should eat or drink and what you shouldn’t, and how much, and when. So this kind of purchase isn’t too risky. But you can’t store lessons in a separate container – when you hand over the money, you have to take the lesson right into your soul and once you’ve learned it, you are left to go your own way, for better or for worse. Now, we should think this over with our elders, since we’re still too young to sort out something so important. For the moment, let’s go like we planned and listen to Protagoras. Afterward, we can consult others. After all, he’s not the only one there. There’s Hippias from Elis, too, and maybe even Prodicus from Ceos, and a lot of other wise men.”
With that settled, we headed there. When we got to the porch, we stood and kept chatting about some point that had come up on the way. We wanted to first settle the argument and then go in, so we didn’t have leave it unfinished. We stood talking on the porch until we came to mutual agreement. I think the doorman, a eunuch, must have heard us – he was probably annoyed about visitors coming when the house was already full of sophists. At any rate, when we knocked on the door, he opened it, saw us, and said, “Ugh – sophists! Master’s busy.” Right away, he slammed the door shut with both hands as hard as he could. When we knocked again, he said with the door still closed, “Didn’t you people hear that master’s busy?”
“But, sir,” I said, “we’re not here for Callias and we’re not sophists. So don’t worry – it’s Protagoras we hoped to see. Please say we’re here.”
In the end, he opened the door for us rather reluctantly.


2 Responses to 314 (English, original)

  1. Nakul says:

    1. I’m not sure about ‘see that’ in the sense of ‘make sure that’: surely the latter is clearer and just as idiomatic.
    2. Is there no shorter alternative to ‘external container’?
    3. In ‘what you should eat or drink, and what you shouldn’t, and how much and when to do so’: I’d remove the comma after ‘drink’ and add one after ‘much’. Perhaps also remove ‘to do so’?
    3. Perhaps ‘directly/straight/right into your soul’ is more idiomatic and better captures the point of ”ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ψυχῇ’?
    4. Just ‘Oy’ for ἔα — ‘Oy vez’ is just a touch too much for me (and obscure?)
    5. Typo: in “But, sir,” I said, “we’ve haven’t come for Callias and we’re not sophists. So don’t worry – it’s Protagoras we hoped to see. Please say we’re here.”
    Either: ‘ … we’ve not come for Callias and we’re not sophists’, or, ‘we haven’t come for Callias and we aren’t sophists’. I prefer the (not/not) rhythm of the former. Better: ‘_We’re not here_ for Callias, and we’re not sophists’.

    • Dhananjay says:

      Comments accepted almost tout court.

      ad 2. Is ‘separate container’ better? I want the point to be clear.
      ad 4. I originally had “ugh” for ἔα and have restored that. I like the thought of the doorkeeper having a Brooklyn accent, though.

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