you made me utter one as bad.
Phaedr. How so?
Soc. It was foolish, I say,-to a certain extent, impious; can
anything be more dreadful?
Phaedr. Nothing, if the speech was really such as you describe.
Soc. Well, and is not Eros the son of Aphrodite, and a god?
Phaedr. So men say.
Soc. But that was not acknowledged by Lysias in his speech, nor by
you in that other speech which you by a charm drew from my lips. For
if love be, as he surely is, a divinity, he cannot be evil. Yet this
was the error of both the speeches. There was also a simplicity
about them which was refreshing; having no truth or honesty in them,
nevertheless they pretended to be something, hoping to succeed in
deceiving the manikins of earth and gain celebrity among them.
Wherefore I must have a purgation. And I bethink me of an ancient
purgation of mythological error which was devised, not by Homer, for
he never had the wit to discover why he was blind, but by Stesichorus,
who was a philosopher and knew the reason why; and therefore, when
he lost his eyes, for that was the penalty which was inflicted upon
him for reviling the lovely Helen, he at once purged himself. And
the purgation was a recantation, which began thus,-
False is that word of mine-the truth is that thou didst not embark
in ships, nor ever go to the walls of Troy;
and when he had completed his poem, which is called "the recantation,"
immediately his sight returned to him. Now I will be wiser than either
Stesichorus or Homer, in that I am going to make my recantation for
reviling love before I suffer; and this I will attempt, not as before,
veiled and ashamed, but with forehead bold and bare.
Phaedr. Nothing could be more agreeable to me than to hear you say