real nature of everything; or he will never know either how to make
the gradual departure from truth into the opposite of truth which is
effected by the help of resemblances, or how to avoid it?
Phaedr. He will not.
Soc. He then, who being ignorant of the truth aims at appearances,
will only attain an art of rhetoric which is ridiculous and is not
an art at all?
Phaedr. That may be expected.
Soc. Shall I propose that we look for examples of art and want of
art, according to our notion of them, in the speech of Lysias which
you have in your hand, and in my own speech?
Phaedr. Nothing could be better; and indeed I think that our
previous argument has been too abstract and-wanting in illustrations.
Soc. Yes; and the two speeches happen to afford a very good
example of the way in which the speaker who knows the truth may,
without any serious purpose, steal away the hearts of his hearers.
This piece of good-fortune I attribute to the local deities; and
perhaps, the prophets of the Muses who are singing over our heads
may have imparted their inspiration to me. For I do not imagine that I
have any rhetorical art of my own.
Phaedr. Granted; if you will only please to get on.
Soc. Suppose that you read me the first words of Lysias' speech.
Phaedr. "You know how matters stand with me, and how, as I conceive,
they might be arranged for our common interest; and I maintain that
I ought not to fail in my suit, because I am not your lover. For
Soc. Enough:-Now, shall I point out the rhetorical error of those
Soc. Every one is aware that about some things we are agreed,
whereas about other things we differ.
Phaedr. I think that I understand you; but will you explain