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phaedrus   

Scene: Under a

plane-tree, by the banks of the Ilissus.


Socrates. My dear Phaedrus, whence come you, and whither are you

going?

Phaedrus. I come from Lysias the son of Cephalus, and I am going

to take a walk outside the wall, for I have been sitting with him

the whole morning; and our common friend Acumenus tells me that it

is much more refreshing to walk in the open air than to be shut up

in a cloister.

Soc. There he is right. Lysias then, I suppose, was in the town?

Phaedr. Yes, he was staying with Epicrates, here at the house of

Morychus; that house which is near the temple of Olympian Zeus.

Soc. And how did he entertain you? Can I be wrong in supposing

that Lysias gave you a feast of discourse?

Phaedr. You shall hear, if you can spare time to accompany me.

Soc. And should I not deem the conversation of you and Lysias "a

thing of higher import," as I may say in the words of Pindar, "than

any business"?

Phaedr. Will you go on?

Soc. And will you go on with the narration?

Phaedr. My tale, Socrates, is one of your sort, for love was the

theme which occupied us -love after a fashion: Lysias has been writing

about a fair youth who was being tempted, but not by a lover; and this

was the point: he ingeniously proved that the non-lover should be

accepted rather than the lover.

Soc. O that is noble of him! I wish that he would say the poor man

rather than the rich, and the old man rather than the young one;

then he would meet the case of me and of many a man; his words would

be quite refreshing, and he would be a public benefactor. For my part,

I do so long to hear his speech, that if you walk all the way to

Megara, and when you have reached the wall come back, as Herodicus

recommends, without going in, I will keep you company.

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