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[369a] but you will not find it, my friend, for it does not exist; just tell me.

But I cannot, Socrates, at least, not now offhand.

And you never will be able to tell me, I fancy; but if what I say is true, Hippias, you remember what results from our argument.

I do not at all understand what you mean, Socrates.

No, for perhaps you are not using your art of memory; for you evidently think it is not necessary; but I will remind you. Do you remember that you said that Achilles was true [369b] and Odysseus was false and wily?


Do you now, then, perceive that the same man has been found to be false and true, so that if Odysseus was false, he becomes also true, and if Achilles was true, he becomes also false, and the two men are not different from one another, nor opposites, but alike?

Socrates, you are always making intricate arguments of this sort, and, picking out the most difficult part of the argument, you stick to it in detail, [369c] and you do not discuss the whole subject with which the argument deals; for now, if you like, I will prove to you by satisfactory argument based on many pieces of evidence, that Homer made Achilles better than Odysseus and free from falsehood, and Odysseus crafty and a teller of many falsehoods and inferior to Achilles. And, if you like, do you oppose argument to argument, maintaining that the other is better; and these gentlemen here will determine which of us speaks better. [369d]

Hippias, I do not doubt that you are wiser than I; but it is always my custom to pay attention when anyone is speaking, especially when the speaker seems to me to be wise; and because I desire to learn what he means, I question him thoroughly and examine and compare the things he says, in order that I may learn. But if the speaker seems to me to be worthless, I neither ask questions nor care what he says. And by this you will recognize whom I regard as wise; for you will find me persistently asking such a man questions about what he says, [369e] in order that I may profit by learning something. And so now I noticed when you were speaking, that in the lines which you repeated just now to show that Achilles speaks to Odysseus as to a deceiver, it seems to me very strange, if what you say is true,

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