to me ostentatiously to exult in showing how well he could say the
same thing in two or three ways.
Phaedr. Nonsense, Socrates; what you call repetition was the
especial merit of the speech; for he omitted no topic of which the
subject rightly allowed, and I do not think that any one could have
spoken better or more exhaustively.
Soc. There I cannot go along with you. Ancient sages, men and women,
who have spoken and written of these things, would rise up in judgment
against me, if out of complaisance I assented to you.
Phaedr. Who are they, and where did you hear anything better than
Soc. I am sure that I must have heard; but at this moment I do not
remember from whom; perhaps from Sappho the fair, or Anacreon the
wise; or, possibly, from a prose writer. Why do I say so? Why, because
I perceive that my bosom is full, and that I could make another speech
as good as that of Lysias, and different. Now I am certain that this
is not an invention of my own, who am well aware that I know
nothing, and therefore I can only infer that I have been filled
through the cars, like a pitcher, from the waters of another, though I
have actually forgotten in my stupidity who was my informant.
Phaedr. That is grand:-but never mind where you beard the
discourse or from whom; let that be a mystery not to be divulged
even at my earnest desire. Only, as you say, promise to make another
and better oration, equal in length and entirely new, on the same
subject; and I, like the nine Archons, will promise to set up a golden
image at Delphi, not only of myself, but of you, and as large as life.
Soc. You are a dear golden ass if you suppose me to mean that Lysias
has altogether missed the mark, and that I can make a speech from
which all his arguments are to be excluded. The worst of authors
will say something which is to the point. Who, for example, could
speak on this thesis of yours without praising the discretion of the
non-lover and blaming the indiscretion of the lover? These are the