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