Dear Phaedrus, whither away, and where do you come from?

From Lysias, Socrates, the son of Cephalus; and I am going for a walk outside the wall. For I spent a long time there with Lysias, sitting since early morning; and on the advice of your friend and mine, Acumenus, I am taking my walk on the roads; for he says they are less fatiguing [227b] than the streets.

He is right, my friend. Then Lysias, it seems,was in the city?

Yes, at Epicrates' house, the one that belonged to Morychus, near the Olympieum.

What was your conversation? But it is obvious that Lysias entertained you with his speeches.

You shall hear, if you have leisure to walk along and listen.

What? Don't you believe that I consider hearing your conversation with Lysias

“a greater thing even than business,

Pind. Isthm 1.1
as Pindar says?1 [227c]

Lead on, then.


Indeed, Socrates, you are just the man to hear it. For the discourse about which we conversed, was in a way, a love-speech. For Lysias has represented one of the beauties being tempted, but not by a lover; this is just the clever thing about it; for he says that favors should be granted rather to the one who is not in love than to the lover.

O noble Lysias! I wish he would write that they should be granted to the poor rather than to the rich, to the old rather than to the young, and so of all the other qualities that I and most of us have; [227d] for truly his discourse would be witty and of general utility. I am so determined to hear you, that I will not leave you, even if you extend your walk to Megara, and, as Herodicus says, go to the wall and back again.2

What are you saying, my dear Socrates?

1 Pind. I. 1.1Μᾶτερ ἐμά, τὸ τεόν, χρύσασπι Θήβα, πρᾶγμα καὶ ἀσχολίας ὑπέρτερον θήσομαι. “My mother, Thebes of the golden shield, I will consider thy interest greater even than business.”

2 ἰατρὸς ἦν καὶ τὰ γυμνάσια ἔξω τείχους ἐποιεῖτο, ἀρχόμενος ἀπό τινος διαστήματος οὐ μακροῦ ἀλλὰ συμμέτρου, ἄχρι τοῦ τείχους, καὶ ἀναστρέφων. Herodicus, Sch. “He was a physician and exercised outside the wall, beginning at some distance, not great but moderate, going as far as the wall and turning back.”

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