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phaedrus   



them, I too doubted. I might have a rational explanation that Orithyia

was playing with Pharmacia, when a northern gust carried her over

the neighbouring rocks; and this being the manner of her death, she

was said to have been carried away by Boreas. There is a

discrepancy, however, about the locality; according to another version

of the story she was taken from Areopagus, and not from this place.

Now I quite acknowledge that these allegories are very nice, but he is

not to be envied who has to invent them; much labour and ingenuity

will be required of him; and when he has once begun, he must go on and

rehabilitate Hippocentaurs and chimeras dire. Gorgons and winged

steeds flow in apace, and numberless other inconceivable and

portentous natures. And if he is sceptical about them, and would

fain reduce them one after another to the rules of probability, this

sort of crude philosophy will take up a great deal of time. Now I have

no leisure for such enquiries; shall I tell you why? I must first know

myself, as the Delphian inscription says; to be curious about that

which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self,

would be ridiculous. And therefore I bid farewell to all this; the

common opinion is enough for me. For, as I was saying, I want to

know not about this, but about myself: am I a monster more complicated

and swollen with passion than the serpent Typho, or a creature of a

gentler and simpler sort, to whom Nature has given a diviner and

lowlier destiny? But let me ask you, friend: have we not reached the

plane-tree to which you were conducting us?

Phaedr. Yes, this is the tree.

Soc. By Here, a fair resting-place, full of summer sounds and

scents. Here is this lofty and spreading plane-tree, and the agnus

cast us high and clustering, in the fullest blossom and the greatest

fragrance; and the stream which flows beneath the plane-tree is

deliciously cold to the feet. Judging from the ornaments and images,

this must be a spot sacred to Achelous and the Nymphs. How

delightful is the breeze:-so very sweet; and there is a sound in the

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