No, indeed, replied Cebes, not very well.
There is nothing new, he said, in what I am about to tell you; but
only what I have been always and everywhere repeating in the
previous discussion and on other occasions: I want to show you the
nature of that cause which has occupied my thoughts, and I shall
have to go back to those familiar words which are in the mouth of
everyone, and first of all assume that there is an absolute beauty and
goodness and greatness, and the like; grant me this, and I hope to
be able to show you the nature of the cause, and to prove the
immortality of the soul.
Cebes said: You may proceed at once with the proof, as I readily
grant you this.
Well, he said, then I should like to know whether you agree with
me in the next step; for I cannot help thinking that if there be
anything beautiful other than absolute beauty, that can only be
beautiful in as far as it partakes of absolute beauty-and this I
should say of everything. Do you agree in this notion of the cause?
Yes, he said, I agree.
He proceeded: I know nothing and can understand nothing of any other
of those wise causes which are alleged; and if a person says to me
that the bloom of color, or form, or anything else of that sort is a
source of beauty, I leave all that, which is only confusing to me, and
simply and singly, and perhaps foolishly, hold and am assured in my
own mind that nothing makes a thing beautiful but the presence and
participation of beauty in whatever way or manner obtained; for as
to the manner I am uncertain, but I stoutly contend that by beauty all
beautiful things become beautiful. That appears to me to be the only
safe answer that I can give, either to myself or to any other, and
to that I cling, in the persuasion that I shall never be overthrown,
and that I may safely answer to myself or any other that by beauty
beautiful things become beautiful. Do you not agree to that?
Yes, I agree.