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you have word of another!"

Soc. Villain I am conquered; the poor lover of discourse has no more

to say.

Phaedr. Then why are you still at your tricks?

Soc. I am not going to play tricks now that you have taken the oath,

for I cannot allow myself to be starved.

Phaedr. Proceed.

Soc. Shall I tell you what I will do?

Phaedr. What?

Soc. I will veil my face and gallop through the discourse as fast as

I can, for if I see you I shall feel ashamed and not know what to say.

Phaedr. Only go on and you may do anything else which you please.

Soc. Come, O ye Muses, melodious, as ye are called, whether you have

received this name from the character of your strains, or because

the Melians are a musical race, help, O help me in the tale which my

good friend here desires me to rehearse, in order that his friend whom

he always deemed wise may seem to him to be wiser than ever.

Once upon a time there was a fair boy, or, more properly speaking, a

youth; he was very fair and had a great many lovers; and there was one

special cunning one, who had persuaded the youth that he did not

love him, but he really loved him all the same; and one day when he

was paying his addresses to him, he used this very argument-that he

ought to accept the non-lover rather than the lover; his words were as


"All good counsel begins in the same way; a man should know what

he is advising about, or his counsel will all come to nought. But

people imagine that they know about the nature of things, when they

don't know about them, and, not having come to an understanding at

first because they think that they know, they end, as might be

expected, in contradicting one another and themselves. Now you and I

must not be guilty of this fundamental error which we condemn in

others; but as our question is whether the lover or non-lover is to be

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