previous next

[235a] I was attending only to the rhetorical manner, and I thought even Lysias himself would not think that satisfactory. It seemed to me, Phaedrus, unless you disagree, that he said the same thing two or three times, as if he did not find it easy to say many things about one subject, or perhaps he did not care about such a detail; and he appeared to me in youthful fashion to be exhibiting his ability to say the same thing in two different ways and in both ways excellently. [235b]

Nonsense, Socrates! Why that is the especial merit of the discourse. He has omitted none of the points that belong to the subject, so that nobody could ever speak about it more exhaustively or worthily than he has done.

There I must cease to agree with you; for the wise men and women of old, who have spoken and written about these matters, will rise up to confute me, if, to please you, I assent. [235c]

Who are they? and where have you heard anything better than this?

I cannot say, just at this moment; but I certainly must have heard something, either from the lovely Sappho or the wise Anacreon, or perhaps from some prose writers. What ground have I for saying so? Why, my dear friend, I feel that my own bosom is full, and that I could make another speech, different from this and quite as good. Now I am conscious of my own ignorance, and I know very well that I have never invented these things myself, so the only alternative [235d] is that I have been filled through the ears, like a pitcher, from the well springs of another; but, again because of my stupidity, I have forgotten how and from whom I heard it.

Most noble Socrates, that is splendid! Don't tell, even if I beg you, how or from whom you heard it; only do as you say; promise to make another speech better than that in the book and no shorter and quite different. Then I promise, like the nine archons, to set up at Delphi a statue as large as life, [235e] not only of myself, but of you also.

You are a darling and truly golden, Phaedrus, if you think I mean that Lysias has failed in every respect and that I can compose a discourse containing nothing that he has said. That, I fancy, could not happen even to the worst writer. For example, to take the subject of his speech, who do you suppose, in arguing that the non-lover ought to be more favored than the lover,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Delphi (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: