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phaedrus   



Phaedr. You mean that there should be a summing up of the

arguments in order to remind the hearers of them.

Soc. I have now said all that I have to say of the art of

rhetoric: have you anything to add?

Phaedr. Not much; nothing very important.

Soc. Leave the unimportant and let us bring the really important

question into the light of day, which is: What power has this art of

rhetoric, and when?

Phaedr. A very great power in public meetings.

Soc. It has. But I should like to know whether you have the same

feeling as I have about the rhetoricians? To me there seem to be a

great many holes in their web.

Phaedr. Give an example.

Soc. I will. Suppose a person to come to your friend Eryximachus, or

to his father Acumenus, and to say to him: "I know how to apply

drugs which shall have either a heating or a cooling effect, and I can

give a vomit and also a purge, and all that sort of thing; and knowing

all this, as I do, I claim to be a physician and to make physicians by

imparting this knowledge to others,"-what do you suppose that they

would say?

Phaedr. They would be sure to ask him whether he knew "to whom" he

would give his medicines, and "when," and "how much."

Soc. And suppose that he were to reply: "No; I know nothing of all

that; I expect the patient who consults me to be able to do these

things for himself"?

Phaedr. They would say in reply that he is a madman or pedant who

fancies that he is a physician because he has read something in a

book, or has stumbled on a prescription or two, although he has no

real understanding of the art of medicine.

Soc. And suppose a person were to come to Sophocles or Euripides and

say that he knows how to make a very long speech about a small matter,

and a short speech about a great matter, and also a sorrowful

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