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Not at all, Socrates. What do you mean and to what do you refer?

That you say Achilles did not speak falsely by design, he who was not only a deceiver, but was also such a cheat and plotter, as Homer has represented him, that he is seen to be so much more clever than Odysseus in deceiving him unnoticed without difficulty, that he dared to contradict himself in his presence, and Odysseus did not notice it; at any rate Odysseus does not appear [371b] to have said anything to him which indicates that he noticed his falsehood.

What is this that you say, Socrates?

Don't you know that after he said to Odysseus that he was going to sail away at daybreak, in speaking to Ajax he does not repeat that he is going to sail away, but says something different?

Where, pray?

Where he says:“For I shall not be mindful of bloody war until warlike Priam's son,
” [371c] “the glorious Hector, shall reach the tents and ships of the Myrmidons through slaughter of Argives and shall burn the ships with fire. But at my tent and my black ship I think Hector, though eager for battle, will come to a halt.” Hom. Il. 9.360 ff. [371d] Now, Hippias, do you think the son of Thetis and pupil of the most wise Cheiron was so forgetful, that, although a little earlier he had reviled deceivers in the most extreme terms, he himself immediately said to Odysseus that he was going to sail away and to Ajax that he was going to stay, and was not acting by design and in the belief that Odysseus was behind the times and that he himself would get the better of him in just this matter of contrivance and falsehood?

No, I do not agree, Socrates; [371e] but in this case also Achilles was induced by the goodness of his heart to say to Ajax something different from what he had said to Odysseus; whereas Odysseus, when he speaks the truth always speaks with design, and when he speaks falsehood likewise.

Then Odysseus, as it seems, is better than Achilles.

Not in the least, Socrates.

How is that? Were not those who utter falsehoods voluntarily found to be better than those who do so involuntarily?

And how, Socrates, could those who voluntarily do wrong

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