The opening passage of Plato's Republic finds Socrates walking with a young friend and student, Glaucon, in Piraeus, the port of Athens, where they had come to observe a religious festival. They are spotted by another young man, Polemarchus, who sends his slave ahead to ask Socrates to wait for him. What follows is a comic parody of an “arrest,” with Polemarchus pointing out that he has a number of friends with him (including Adeimantus, Glaucon's brother), and he would like Socrates to stay in Piraeus and accompany him and his group to his home. Socrates appears to be preparing to return to Athens, and Polemarchus says to him, “Well, you must either prove stronger than we are, or you will have to stay here.” Socrates responds, “Isn't there another alternative, namely that we persuade you to let us go?” Polemarchus' reply to this is certainly a conversation stopper: “But...

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