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phaedo   


couch, began to bend and rub his leg, saying, as he rubbed: "How

singular is the thing called pleasure, and how curiously related to

pain, which might be thought to be the opposite of it; for they

never come to a man together, and yet he who pursues either of them is

generally compelled to take the other. They are two, and yet they grow

together out of one head or stem; and I cannot help thinking that if

Aesop had noticed them, he would have made a fable about God trying to

reconcile their strife, and when he could not, he fastened their heads

together; and this is the reason why when one comes the other follows,

as I find in my own case pleasure comes following after the pain in my

leg, which was caused by the chain."

Upon this Cebes said: I am very glad indeed, Socrates, that you

mentioned the name of Aesop. For that reminds me of a question which

has been asked by others, and was asked of me only the day before

yesterday by Evenus the poet, and as he will be sure to ask again, you

may as well tell me what I should say to him, if you would like him to

have an answer. He wanted to know why you who never before wrote a

line of poetry, now that you are in prison are putting Aesop into

verse, and also composing that hymn in honor of Apollo.

Tell him, Cebes, he replied, that I had no idea of rivalling him

or his poems; which is the truth, for I knew that I could not do that.

But I wanted to see whether I could purge away a scruple which I

felt about certain dreams. In the course of my life I have often had

intimations in dreams "that I should make music." The same dream

came to me sometimes in one form, and sometimes in another, but always

saying the same or nearly the same words: Make and cultivate music,

said the dream. And hitherto I had imagined that this was only

intended to exhort and encourage me in the study of philosophy,

which has always been the pursuit of my life, and is the noblest and

best of music. The dream was bidding me to do what I was already

doing, in the same way that the competitor in a race is bidden by

the spectators to run when he is already running. But I was not

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