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phaedrus   



between man and man. Having proceeded thus far in his analysis, he

will next divide speeches into their different classes:-"Such and such

persons," he will say, are affected by this or that kind of speech

in this or that way," and he will tell you why. The pupil must have

a good theoretical notion of them first, and then he must have

experience of them in actual life, and be able to follow them with all

his senses about him, or he will never get beyond the precepts of

his masters. But when he understands what persons are persuaded by

what arguments, and sees the person about whom he was speaking in

the abstract actually before him, and knows that it is he, and can say

to himself, "This is the man or this is the character who ought to

have a certain argument applied to him in order to convince him of a

certain opinion"; -he who knows all this, and knows also when he

should speak and when he should refrain, and when he should use

pithy sayings, pathetic appeals, sensational effects, and all the

other modes of speech which he has learned;-when, I say, he knows

the times and seasons of all these things, then, and not till then, he

is a perfect master of his art; but if he fail in any of these points,

whether in speaking or teaching or writing them, and yet declares that

he speaks by rules of art, he who says "I don't believe you" has the

better of him. Well, the teacher will say, is this, and Socrates, your

account of the so-called art of rhetoric, or am I to look for another?

Phaedr. He must take this, Socrates for there is no possibility of

another, and yet the creation of such an art is not easy.

Soc. Very true; and therefore let us consider this matter in every

light, and see whether we cannot find a shorter and easier road; there

is no use in taking a long rough round-about way if there be a shorter

and easier one. And I wish that you would try and remember whether you

have heard from Lysias or any one else anything which might be of

service to us.

Phaedr. If trying would avail, then I might; but at the moment I can

think of nothing.

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