initiatory, poetic, erotic, having four gods presiding over them;
the first was the inspiration of Apollo, the second that of
Dionysus, the third that of the Muses, the fourth that of Aphrodite
and Eros. In the description of the last kind of madness, which was
also said to be the best, we spoke of the affection of love in a
figure, into which we introduced a tolerably credible and possibly
true though partly erring myth, which was also a hymn in honour of
Love, who is your lord and also mine, Phaedrus, and the guardian of
fair children, and to him we sung the hymn in measured and solemn
Phaedr. I know that I had great pleasure in listening to you.
Soc. Let us take this instance and note how the transition was
made from blame to praise.
Phaedr. What do you mean?
Soc. I mean to say that the composition was mostly playful. Yet in
these chance fancies of the hour were involved two principles of which
we should be too glad to have a clearer description if art could
give us one.
Phaedr. What are they?
Soc. First, the comprehension of scattered particulars in one
idea; as in our definition of love, which whether true or false
certainly gave clearness and consistency to the discourse, the speaker
should define his several notions and so make his meaning clear.
Phaedr. What is the other principle, Socrates?
Soc. The second principle is that of division into species according
to the natural formation, where the joint is, not breaking any part as
a bad carver might. Just as our two discourses, alike assumed, first
of all, a single form of unreason; and then, as the body which from
being one becomes double and may be divided into a left side and right
side, each having parts right and left of the same name-after this
manner the speaker proceeded to divide the parts of the left side
and did not desist until he found in them an evil or left-handed