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
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