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[193a] of that entirety is called Love. Formerly, as I have said, we were one; but now for our sins we are all dispersed by God, as the Arcadians were by the Lacedaemonians1; and we may well be afraid that if we are disorderly towards Heaven we may once more be cloven asunder and may go about in the shape of those outline-carvings on the tombs, with our noses sawn down the middle, and may thus become like tokens of split dice. Wherefore we ought all to exhort our neighbors to a pious observance of the gods, in order that we may escape harm [193b] and attain to bliss under the gallant leadership of Love. Let none in act oppose him—and it is opposing him to incur the hate of Heaven: if we make friends with the god and are reconciled, we shall have the fortune that falls to few in our day, of discovering our proper favorites. And let not Eryximachus interrupt my speech with a comic mock, [193c] and say I refer to Pausanias and Agathon; it may be they do belong to the fortunate few, and are both of them males by nature; what I mean is—and this applies to the whole world of men and women—that the way to bring happiness to our race is to give our love its true fulfillment: let every one find his own favorite, and so revert to his primal estate. If this be the best thing of all, the nearest approach to it among all acts open to us now must accordingly be the best to choose; and that is, to find a favorite [193d] whose nature is exactly to our mind. Love is the god who brings this about; he fully deserves our hymns. For not only in the present does he bestow the priceless boon of bringing us to our very own, but he also supplies this excellent hope for the future, that if we will supply the gods with reverent duty he will restore us to our ancient life and heal and help us into the happiness of the blest.

“There, Eryximachus, is my discourse on Love, of a different sort from yours. As I besought you, make no comic sport of it, for we want to hear what the others will say in their turn—I rather mean the other two, [193e] since only Agathon and Socrates are left.”

“Well, I will obey you,” said Eryximachus, “for in fact I enjoyed your speech. Had I not reason to know the prowess of Socrates and Agathon in love-matters, I should have great fears of their being at a loss for eloquence after we have heard it in such copious variety: but you see, my confidence is unshaken.”

Whereon Socrates remarked: “Your own performance,

1 Probably referring to the dispersal of Mantinea into villages in 385 B.C. (Xen. Hell. 5.2.1ff.).

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