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phaedrus   



will be a real art of speaking which is divorced from the truth.

Phaedr. And what are these arguments, Socrates? Bring them out

that we may examine them.

Soc. Come out, fair children, and convince Phaedrus, who is the

father of similar beauties, that he will never be able to speak

about anything as he ought to speak unless he have a knowledge of

philosophy. And let Phaedrus answer you.

Phaedr. Put the question.

Soc. Is not rhetoric, taken generally, a universal art of enchanting

the mind by arguments; which is practised not only in courts and

public assemblies, but in private houses also, having to do with all

matters, great as well as small, good and bad alike, and is in all

equally right, and equally to be esteemed-that is what you have heard?

Phaedr. Nay, not exactly that; I should say rather that I have heard

the art confined to speaking and writing in lawsuits, and to

speaking in public assemblies-not extended farther.

Soc. Then I suppose that you have only heard of the rhetoric of

Nestor and Odysseus, which they composed in their leisure hours when

at Troy, and never of the rhetoric of Palamedes?

Phaedr. No more than of Nestor and Odysseus, unless Gorgias is

your Nestor, and Thrasymachus or Theodorus your Odysseus.

Soc. Perhaps that is my meaning. But let us leave them. And do you

tell me, instead, what are plaintiff and defendant doing in a law

court-are they not contending?

Phaedr. Exactly so.

Soc. About the just and unjust-that is the matter in dispute?

Phaedr. Yes.

Soc. And a professor of the art will make the same thing appear to

the same persons to be at one time just, at another time, if he is

so inclined, to be unjust?

Phaedr. Exactly.

Soc. And when he speaks in the assembly, he will make the same

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