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[212a] Do you call it a pitiful life for a man to lead—looking that way, observing that vision by the proper means, and having it ever with him? Do but consider,’ she said, ‘that there only will it befall him, as he sees the beautiful through that which makes it visible, to breed not illusions but true examples of virtue, since his contact is not with illusion but with truth. So when he has begotten a true virtue and has reared it up he is destined to win the friendship of Heaven; he, above all men, is immortal.’ [212b] “This, Phaedrus and you others, is what Diotima told me, and I am persuaded of it; in which persuasion I pursue my neighbors, to persuade them in turn that towards this acquisition the best helper that our human nature can hope to find is Love. Wherefore I tell you now that every man should honor Love, as I myself do honor all love-matters with especial devotion, and exhort all other men to do the same; both now and always do I glorify Love's power and valor [212c] as far as I am able. So I ask you, Phaedrus, to be so good as to consider this account as a eulogy bestowed on Love, or else to call it by any name that pleases your fancy.”

After Socrates had thus spoken, there was applause from all the company except Aristophanes, who was beginning to remark on the allusion which Socrates' speech had made to his own;1 when suddenly there was a knocking at the outer door, which had a noisy sound like that of revellers, and they heard notes of a flute-girl. “Go and see to it,” [212d] said Agathon to the servants; “and if it be one of our intimates, invite him in: otherwise, say we are not drinking, but just about to retire.”

A few moments after, they heard the voice of Alcibiades in the forecourt, very drunken and bawling loud, to know where Agathon was, and bidding them bring him to Agathon. So he was brought into the company by the flute-girl and some others of his people supporting him: he stood at the door, [212e] crowned with a bushy wreath of ivy and violets, and wearing a great array of ribands on his head. “Good evening, sirs,” he said; “will you admit to your drinking a fellow very far gone in liquor, or shall we simply set a wreath on Agathon—which indeed is what we came for—and so away? I tell you, sir, I was hindered from getting to you yesterday; but now I am here with these ribands on my head, so that I can pull them off mine and twine them about the head of the cleverest, the handsomest, if I may speak the—see, like this!2 Ah, you would laugh at me because I am drunk?

1 See Plat. Sym. 205e.

2 His drunken gesture interrupts what he means to say and resumes later, “If I may speak the truth

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