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[447a]

Callicles
To join in a fight or a fray, as the saying is, Socrates, you have chosen your time well enough.

Socrates
Do you mean, according to the proverb, we have come too late for a feast?

Callicles
Yes, a most elegant feast; for Gorgias gave us a fine and varied display but a moment ago.

Socrates
But indeed, Callicles, it is Chaerephon here who must take the blame for this; [447b] he forced us to spend our time in the market-place.

Chaerephon
No matter, Socrates I will take the curing of it too for Gorgias is a friend of mine, so that he will give us a display now, if you think fit, or if you prefer, on another occasion.

Callicles
What, Chaerephon? Has Socrates a desire to hear Gorgias?

Chaerephon
Yes, it is for that very purpose we are here.

Callicles
Then whenever you have a mind to pay me a call—Gorgias is staying with me, and he will give you a display.

Socrates
Thank you, Callicles: but would he consent [447c] to discuss with us? For I want to find out from the man what is the function of his art, and what it is that he professes and teaches. As for the rest of his performance, he must give it us, as you suggest, on another occasion.

Callicles
The best way is to ask our friend himself, Socrates: for indeed that was one of the features of his performance. Why, only this moment he was pressing for whatever questions anyone in the house might like to ask, and saying he would answer them all.

Socrates
What a good idea! Ask him, Chaerephon.

Chaerephon
What am I to ask?

Socrates
What he is.

Chaerephon
How do you mean? [447d]

Socrates
Just as, if he chanced to be in the shoe-making business, his answer would have been, I presume, “a shoemaker.” Now, don't you see my meaning?

Chaerephon
I see, and will ask him. Tell me, Gorgias, is Callicles here correct in saying that you profess to answer any questions one may ask you?


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