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[293a] and for the gods themselves?”

Hippias
What's that? Confound it! These questions of the fellow's are not even respectful to religion.

Socrates
Well, then, when another asks the question, perhaps it is not quite disrespectful to religion to say that these things are so?

Hippias
Perhaps.

Socrates
“Perhaps, then, you are the man,” he will say, “who says that it is beautiful for every one and always to be buried by one's offspring, and to bury one's parents; or was not Heracles included in 'every one,' he and all those whom we just now mentioned?”

Hippias
But I did not say it was so for the gods.

Socrates
“Nor for the heroes either, apparently.” [293b]

Hippias
Not those who were children of gods.

Socrates
“But those who were not?”

Hippias
Certainly.

Socrates
“Then again, according to your statement, among the heroes it is terrible and impious and disgraceful for Tantalus and Dardanus and Zethus, but beautiful for Pelops1 and the others who were born as he was?”

Hippias
I think so.

Socrates
“You think, then, what you did not say just now, that to bury one's parents and be buried by one's offspring is sometimes and for some persons disgraceful; [293c] and it is still more impossible, as it seems, for this to become and to be beautiful for all, so that the same thing has happened to this as to the things we mentioned before, the maiden and the pot, in a still more ridiculous way than to them; it is beautiful for some and not beautiful for others. And you are not able yet, even today, Socrates,” he will say, “to answer what is asked about the beautiful, namely what it is.” With these words and the like he will rebuke me, if I reply to him in this way. [293d] For the most part, Hippias, he talks with me in some such way as that but sometimes, as if in pity for my inexperience and lack of training, he himself volunteers a question, and asks whether I think the beautiful is so and so or whatever else it is which happens to be the subject of our questions and our discussion.

Hippias
What do you mean by that, Socrates?

Socrates
I will tell you. “Oh, my dear Socrates,” he says, “stop making replies of this sort and in this way—for they are too silly and easy to refute; but see if something like this does not seem to you to be beautiful, [293e] which we got hold of just now in our reply, when we said that gold was beautiful for those things for which it was appropriate, but not for those for which it was not, and that all the other things were beautiful to which this quality pertains; so examine this very thing, the appropriate, and see if it is perchance the beautiful.” Now I am accustomed to agree to such things every time for I don't know what to say; but now does it seem to you that the appropriate is the beautiful?

Hippias
Yes, certainly, Socrates.

Socrates
Let us consider, lest we make a mistake somehow.

Hippias
Yes, we must consider.

Socrates
See, then; do we say that the appropriate is that which,


1 Pelops as the son of a mortal (Tantalus); the others mentioned were sons of gods.

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