expected to have this.
He is as fair and good within, as he is without, replied Critias.
Then, before we see his body, should we not ask him to show us his
soul, naked and undisguised? he is just of an age at which he will
like to talk.
That he will, said Critias, and I can tell you that he is a
philosopher already, and also a considerable poet, not in his own
opinion only, but in that of others.
That, my dear Critias, I replied, is a distinction which has long been
in your family, and is inherited by you from Solon. But why do you not
call him, and show him to us? for even if he were younger than he is,
there could be no impropriety in his talking to us in the presence of
you, who are his guardian and cousin.
Very well, he said; then I will call him; and turning to the
attendant, he said, Call Charmides, and tell him that I want him to
come and see a physician about the illness of which he spoke to me the
day before yesterday. Then again addressing me, he added: He has been
complaining lately of having a headache when he rises in the morning:
now why should you not make him believe that you know a cure for the
Why not, I said; but will he come?
He will be sure to come, he replied.
He came as he was bidden, and sat down between Critias and me. Great
amusement was occasioned by every one pushing with might and main at
his neighbour in order to make a place for him next to themselves,
until at the two ends of the row one had to get up and the other was
rolled over sideways. Now my friend, was beginning to feel awkward;
former bold belief in my powers of conversing with him had vanished.
And when Critias told him that I was the person who had the cure, he
looked at me in such an indescribable manner, and was just going to
ask a question. And at that moment all the people in the palaestra
crowded about us, and, O rare! I caught a sight of the inwards of his
garment, and took the flame. Then I could no longer contain myself. I
thought how well Cydias understood the nature of love, when, in
speaking of a fair youth, he warns some one "not to bring the fawn in
the sight of the lion to be devoured by him," for I felt that I had
been overcome by a sort of wild-beast appetite. But I controlled
myself, and when he asked me if I knew the cure of the headache, I
answered, but with an effort, that I did know.
And what is it? he said.
I replied that it was a kind of leaf, which required to be accompanied
by a charm, and if a person would repeat the charm at the same time
that he used the cure, he would be made whole; but that without the
charm the leaf would be of no avail.
Then I will write out the charm from your dictation, he said.
With my consent? I said, or without my consent?
With your consent, Socrates, he said, laughing.
Very good, I said; and are you quite sure that you know my name?
I ought to know you, he replied, for there is a great deal said about
you among my companions; and I remember when I was a child seeing you
in company with my cousin Critias.
I am glad to find that you remember me, I said; for I shall now be
more at home with you and shall be better able to explain the nature
of the charm, about which I felt a difficulty before. For the charm
will do more, Charmides, than only cure the headache. I dare say that
you have heard eminent physicians say to a patient who comes to them
with bad eyes, that they cannot cure his eyes by themselves, but that
if his eyes are to be cured, his head must be treated; and then again
they say that to think of curing the head alone, and not the rest of
the body also, is the height of folly. And arguing in this way they
apply their methods to the whole body, and try to treat and heal the
whole and the part together. Did you ever observe that this is what
Yes, he said.