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XIV. The fifth Interlude: 212 C-215 A.

Applause followed. Then suddenly, when Aristophanes was on the point of making an observation, a loud knocking was heard at the door. Presently Alcibiades, leaning on a flute-girl, appeared. “I am come to crown Agathon,” he cried, “if you will admit a drunken reveller.” Being heartily welcomed, he took the seat next Agathon, where Socrates had made room for him. And as soon as he perceived Socrates, he began playfully to abuse him. Then, taking some of the ribbands with which he had bedecked Agathon, he crowned “the marvellous head of Socrates, the invincible in words.”

Next Alcibiades insisted on all the company drinking along with him. And, when Eryximachus protested against bare drinking without song or speech and explained to him what the previous order of procedure had been, Alcibiades replied, “In the presence of Socrates I dare not eulogize anyone else, so that if I am to deliver an encomium like the rest, Socrates must be my theme.”

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