Translated by H.G. Dakyns
to us if, instead of helping us to live, she helps us to starve.
Soc. And by a parity of reasoning, sheep and cattle may fail of being wealth if, through want of knowledge how to treat them, their owner loses by them; to him at any rate the sheep and the cattle are not wealth?
Crit. That is the conclusion I draw.
Soc. It appears, you hold to the position that wealth consists of things which benefit, while things which injure are not wealth?
Crit. Just so.
Soc. The same things, in fact, are wealth or not wealth, according as a man knows or does not know the use to make of them? To take an instance, a flute may be wealth to him who is sufficiently skilled to play upon it, but the same instrument is no better than the stones we tread under our feet to him who is not so skilled . . . unless indeed he chose to sell it?
Crit. That is precisely the conclusion we should come to. To persons ignorant of their use flutes are wealth as saleable, but as possessions not for s