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phaedrus   



commonplaces of the subject which must come in (for what else is there

to be said?) and must be allowed and excused; the only merit is in the

arrangement of them, for there can be none in the invention; but

when you leave the commonplaces, then there may be some originality.

Phaedr. I admit that there is reason in what you say, and I too will

be reasonable, and will allow you to start with the premiss that the

lover is more disordered in his wits than the non-lover; if in what

remains you make a longer and better speech than Lysias, and use other

arguments, then I say again, that a statue you shall have of beaten

gold, and take your place by the colossal offerings of the Cypselids

at Olympia.

Soc. How profoundly in earnest is the lover, because to tease him

I lay a finger upon his love! And so, Phaedrus, you really imagine

that I am going to improve upon the ingenuity of Lysias?

Phaedr. There I have you as you had me, and you must just speak

"as you best can." Do not let us exchange "tu quoque" as in a farce,

or compel me to say to you as you said to me, "I know Socrates as well

as I know myself, and he was wanting to, speak, but he gave himself

airs." Rather I would have you consider that from this place we stir

not until you have unbosomed yourself of the speech; for here are we

all alone, and I am stronger, remember, and younger than you-Wherefore

perpend, and do not compel me to use violence.

Soc. But, my sweet Phaedrus, how ridiculous it would be of me to

compete with Lysias in an extempore speech! He is a master in his

art and I am an untaught man.

Phaedr. You see how matters stand; and therefore let there be no

more pretences; for, indeed, I know the word that is irresistible.

Soc. Then don't say it.

Phaedr. Yes, but I will; and my word shall be an oath. "I say, or

rather swear"-but what god will be witness of my oath?-"By this

plane-tree I swear, that unless you repeat the discourse here in the

face of this very plane-tree, I will never tell you another; never let

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