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[154a] for he saw some young fellows who were coming in with some railing at each other, and a crowd of people following on behind them, said—Concerning the beauties, Socrates, I expect you will get your knowledge at once: for these who are coming in are in fact forerunners and lovers of the person who is held, for the moment at least, to be the greatest beauty; and he himself, I imagine, must by now be nearly upon us.

Who is he, I asked, and whose son?

You must know, he replied, but he was not yet grown up when you went away,—Charmides, son of [154b] our uncle Glaucon, and my cousin.

I do know, to be sure, I said; for he was not to be despised even then, when he was still a child, and now, I suppose, he will be quite a youth by this time.

You will know this moment, he said, both how much and to what purpose he has grown. And just as he spoke these words, Charmides entered.

Now I, my good friend, am no measurer: I am a mere “white line”1 in measuring beautiful people, for almost everyone who has just grown up appears beautiful to me. Nay and this time, moreover, the young man appeared to me [154c] a marvel of stature and beauty; and all the rest, to my thinking, were in love with him, such was their astonishment and confusion when he came in, and a number of other lovers were following in his train. On the part of men like us it was not so surprising; but when I came to observe the boys I noticed that none of them, not even the smallest, had eyes for anything else, but that [154d] they all gazed at him as if he were a statue. Then Chaerephon called me and said—How does the youth strike you, Socrates? Has he not a fine face?

Immensely so, I replied.

Yet if he would consent to strip, he said, you would think he had no face, he has such perfect beauty of form.

And these words of Chaerephon were repeated by the rest. Then,—By Heracles! I said, what an irresistible person you make him out to be, if he has but one more thing—a little thing—besides.

What? said Critias. [154e] If in his soul, I replied, he is of good grain. And I should think, Critias, he ought to be, since he is of your house.

Ah, he said, he is right fair and good in that way also.

Why then, I said, let us strip that very part of him and view it first, instead of his form; for anyhow, at that age, I am sure he is quite ready to have a discussion.

Very much so, said Critias; for, I may say, he is in fact

1 A white or chalked line was proverbially useless for marking off measurements on white stone or marble.

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