In general I've been enjoying the slight liberties Tom Griffith takes in his translation of Plato's Republic (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought), since they make the dialogue more natural and idiomatic. But the passage below annoyed me, because it seemed misleading.
Why? Because it changes the genre of the Republic, turning it into an apologia, when that is not the character of the work. The Republic is not a 'defense' of justice against charges. One simple reason is that the dialogue is just as much an investigation into injustice, and it carries out an extended comparison between justice and injustice. And the conclusion reached at the end of Book IV is not that justice is blameless, but rather that it is more profitable.
Yet that raises the question: What is the nature of its investigation into justice and justice?
Here's the passage, 368a5-c5; it occurs just after Glaucon and Adeimantus have completed their speeches at the beginning of book II.
Here is Griffith's translation. I highlight the phrases that trouble me, which come largely from rendering bohqei=n as 'defend' rather than 'aid' vel sim. (I suspect Griffith is misled by Socrates' mention of a battle just prior to this passage, at 368a3. Of course even in a battle it's possible to give aid, without defending--for instance, by supplying someone with ammunition.)
tou=to/ moi, w)= fi/loi, eu)= dokei= e)/xein: pa/nu ga\r qei=on pepo/nqate, ei) mh\ pe/peisqe a)diki/an dikaiosu/nhj a)/meinon ei)=nai, ou(/tw duna/menoi ei)pei=n u(pe\r au)tou=. dokei=te dh/ moi w(j a)lhqw=j ou) pepei=sqai. tekmai/romai de\ e)k tou= a)/llou tou= u(mete/rou tro/pou, e)pei\ kata/ ge au)tou\j tou\j lo/gouj h)pi/stoun a)\n u(mi=n.--o(/sw| de\ ma=llon pisteu/w, tosou/tw| ma=llon a)porw= o(/ti xrh/swmai. ou)/te ga\r o(/pwj bohqw= e)/xw: dokw= ga/r moi a)du/natoj ei)=nai-- shmei=on de/ moi, o(/ti a(\ pro\j Qrasu/maxon le/gwn w)/|mhn a)pofai/nein w(j a)/meinon dikaiosu/nh a)diki/aj, ou)k a)pede/casqe / mou--ou)/t' au)= o(/pwj mh\ bohqh/sw e)/xw: de/doika ga\r mh\ ou)d' o(/sion h)=| parageno/menon dikaiosu/nh| kakhgoroume/nh|.
o(/ te ou)=n Glau/kwn kai\ oi( a)/lloi e)de/onto panti\ tro/pw| bohqh=sai kai\ mh\ a)nei=nai to\n lo/gon, a)lla\ diereunh/sasqai ti/ te/ e)stin e(ka/teron kai\ peri\ th=j w)feli/aj au)toi=n ta)lhqe\j pote/rwj e)/xei.
A fair description, I think, my friends. There was certainly something inspired about your performance just now--to be able to speak like that in favour of injustice without being convinced it is a better thing than justice. And judging by the evidence of your whole way of life, I believe you when you say you are really not convinced, though from what you actually said I wouldn't have believed you. The trouble is, the more firmly I believe you, the less certain I am what to do next. I can't defend justice. I don't think I have the ability. I say that because you have rejected the arguments by which I thought I had proved to Thrasymachus that justice was something better than injustice. On the other hand, I can't not defend her, since I can't help feeling it is wrong to stand idly by when I hear justice coming under attack, and not come to her defense for as long as I have breath in my body and a tongue in my head. So the best thing is to make what defense I can.
Well, Glaucon and the rest of them insisted that they wanted me to make a defense, and not abandon the argument. They wanted me to make a full investigation into what justice and injustice both were, and what the true position was concerning the benefit they both brought.