Phaedr. Not upon your view; for according to you he would be casting
a slur upon his own favourite pursuit.
Soc. Any one may see that there is no disgrace in the mere fact of
Phaedr. Certainly not.
Soc. The disgrace begins when a man writes not well, but badly.
Soc. And what is well and what is badly-need we ask Lysias, or any
other poet or orator, who ever wrote or will write either a
political or any other work, in metre or out of metre, poet or prose
writer, to teach us this?
Phaedr. Need we? For what should a man live if not for the pleasures
of discourse? Surely not for the sake of bodily pleasures, which
almost always have previous pain as a condition of them, and therefore
are rightly called slavish.
Soc. There is time enough. And I believe that the grasshoppers
chirruping after their manner in the heat of the sun over our heads
are talking to one another and looking down at us. What would they say
if they saw that we, like the many, are not conversing, but slumbering
at mid-day, lulled by their voices, too indolent to think? Would
they not have a right to laugh at us? They might imagine that we
were slaves, who, coming to rest at a place of resort of theirs,
like sheep lie asleep at noon around the well. But if they see us
discoursing, and like Odysseus sailing past them, deaf to their
siren voices, they may perhaps, out of respect, give us of the gifts
which they receive from the gods that they may impart them to men.
Phaedr. What gifts do you mean? I never heard of any.
Soc. A lover of music like yourself ought surely to have heard the
story of the grasshoppers, who are said to have been human beings in
an age before the Muses. And when the Muses came and song appeared
they were ravished with delight; and singing always, never thought
of eating and drinking, until at last in their forgetfulness they