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[228a] Do you suppose that I, who am a mere ordinary man, can tell from memory, in a way that is worthy of Lysias, what he, the cleverest writer of our day, composed at his leisure and took a long time for? Far from it; and yet I would rather have that ability than a good sum of money.

Socrates
O Phaedrus! If I don't know Phaedrus, I have forgotten myself. But since neither of these things is true, I know very well that when listening to Lysias, he did not hear once only, but often urged him to repeat; and he [228b] gladly obeyed. Yet even that was not enough for Phaedrus, but at last he borrowed the book and read what he especially wished, and doing this he sat from early morning. Then, when he grew tired, he went for a walk, with the speech, as I believe, by the Dog, learned by heart, unless it was very long. And he was going outside the wall to practice it. And meeting the man who is sick with the love of discourse, he was glad when he saw him, because he would have someone [228c] to share his revel, and told him to lead on. But when the lover of discourse asked him to speak, he feigned coyness, as if he did not yearn to speak; at last, however, even if no one would listen willingly, he was bound to speak whether or no. So, Phaedrus, ask him to do now what he will presently do anyway.

Phaedrus
Truly it is best for me to speak as I may; since it is clear that you will not let me go until I speak somehow or other.

Socrates
You have a very correct idea about me. [228d]

Phaedrus
Then this is what I will do. Really, Socrates, I have not at all learned the words by heart; but I will repeat the general sense of the whole, the points in which he said the lover was superior to the non-lover, giving them in summary, one after the other, beginning with the first.

Socrates
Yes, my dear, when you have first shown me what you have in your left hand, under your cloak. For I suspect you have the actual discourse. And if that is the case, [228e] believe this of me, that I am very fond of you, but when Lysias is here I have not the slightest intention of lending you my ears to practice on. Come now, show it.

Phaedrus
Stop. You have robbed me of the hope I had of practicing on you. But where shall we sit and read?


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    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter IV
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