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phaedrus   



Phaedr. What do you mean, my good Socrates? How can you imagine that

my unpractised memory can do justice to an elaborate work, which the

greatest rhetorician of the age spent a long time in composing.

Indeed, I cannot; I would give a great deal if I could.

Soc. I believe that I know Phaedrus about as well as I know

myself, and I am very sure that the speech of Lysias was repeated to

him, not once only, but again and again;-he insisted on hearing it

many times over and Lysias was very willing to gratify him; at last,

when nothing else would do, he got hold of the book, and looked at

what he most wanted to see,-this occupied him during the whole

morning; -and then when he was tired with sitting, he went out to take

a walk, not until, by the dog, as I believe, he had simply learned

by heart the entire discourse, unless it was unusually long, and he

went to a place outside the wall that he might practise his lesson.

There he saw a certain lover of discourse who had a similar

weakness;-he saw and rejoiced; now thought he, "I shall have a partner

in my revels." And he invited him to come and walk with him. But

when the lover of discourse begged that he would repeat the tale, he

gave himself airs and said, "No I cannot," as if he were indisposed;

although, if the hearer had refused, he would sooner or later have

been compelled by him to listen whether he would or no. Therefore,

Phaedrus, bid him do at once what he will soon do whether bidden or

not.

Phaedr. I see that you will not let me off until I speak in some

fashion or other; verily therefore my best plan is to speak as I

best can.

Soc. A very true remark, that of yours.

Phaedr. I will do as I say; but believe me, Socrates, I did not

learn the very words-O no; nevertheless I have a general notion of

what he said, and will give you a summary of the points in which the

lover differed from the non-lover. Let me begin at the beginning.

Soc. Yes, my sweet one; but you must first of all show what you have

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