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[243a] they put on airs as though they amounted to something, if they could cheat some mere manikins and gain honor among them. Now I, my friend, must purify myself; and for those who have sinned in matters of mythology there is an ancient purification, unknown to Homer, but known to Stesichorus. For when he was stricken with blindness for speaking ill of Helen, he was not, like Homer, ignorant of the reason, but since he was educated, he knew it and straightway he writes the poem:“That saying is not true; thou didst not go within the well-oared ships, nor didst thou come to the walls of TroyStesichorus Frag. 32 Bergk [243b] and when he had written all the poem, which is called the recantation, he saw again at once. Now I will be wiser than they in just this point: before suffering any punishment for speaking ill of Love, I will try to atone by my recantation, with my head bare this time, not, as before, covered through shame.

This indeed, Socrates, is the most delightful thing you could say.

Just consider, my good Phaedrus, [243c] how shameless the two speeches were, both this of mine and the one you read out of the book. For if any man of noble and gentle nature, one who was himself in love with another of the same sort, or who had ever been loved by such a one, had happened to hear us saying that lovers take up violent enmity because of small matters and are jealously disposed and harmful to the beloved, don't you think he would imagine he was listening to people brought up among low sailors, who had never seen a generous love? Would he not refuse [243d] utterly to assent to our censure of Love?

I declare, Socrates, perhaps he would.

I therefore, because I am ashamed at the thought of this man and am afraid of Love himself, wish to wash out the brine from my ears with the water of a sweet discourse. And I advise Lysias also to write as soon as he can, that other things being equal, the lover should be favored rather than the non-lover.

Be assured that he will do so: for when you have spoken the praise of the lover, Lysias must [243e] of course be compelled by me to write another discourse on the same subject.

I believe you, so long as you are what you are.

Speak then without fear.

Where is the youth to whom I was speaking? He must hear this also, lest if he do not hear it, he accept a non-lover before we can stop him.

Here he is, always close at hand whenever you want him.

Understand then, fair youth,

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