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[229a]

Socrates
Let us turn aside here and go along the Ilissus; then we can sit down quietly wherever we please.

Phaedrus
I am fortunate, it seems, in being barefoot; you are so always. It is easiest then for us to go along the brook with our feet in the water, and it is not unpleasant, especially at this time of the year and the day.

Socrates
Lead on then, and look out for a good place where we may sit.

Phaedrus
Do you see that very tall plane tree?

Socrates
What of it? [229b]

Phaedrus
There is shade there and a moderate breeze and grass to sit on, or, if we like, to lie down on.

Socrates
Lead the way.

Phaedrus
Tell me, Socrates, is it not from some place along here by the Ilissus that Boreas is said to have carried off Oreithyia?

Socrates
Yes, that is the story.

Phaedrus
Well, is it from here? The streamlet looks very pretty and pure and clear and fit for girls to play by. [229c]

Socrates
No, the place is about two or three furlongs farther down, where you cross over to the precinct of Agra; and there is an altar of Boreas somewhere thereabouts.

Phaedrus
I have never noticed it. But, for Heaven's sake, Socrates, tell me; do you believe this tale is true?

Socrates
If I disbelieved, as the wise men do, I should not be extraordinary; then I might give a rational explanation, that a blast of Boreas, the north wind, pushed her off the neighboring rocks as she was playing with Pharmacea, and [229d] that when she had died in this manner she was said to have been carried off by Boreas.1 But I, Phaedrus, think such explanations are very pretty in general, but are the inventions of a very clever and laborious and not altogether enviable man, for no other reason than because after this he must explain the forms of the Centaurs, and then that of the Chimaera, and there presses in upon him a whole crowd of such creatures, Gorgons and Pegas, and multitudes [229e] of strange, inconceivable, portentous natures. If anyone disbelieves in these, and with a rustic sort of wisdom, undertakes to explain each in accordance with probability, he will need a great deal of leisure. But I have no leisure for them at all; and the reason, my friend, is this: I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous,


1 The Mss. insert here ἐξ Ἀρείου πάγου: λέγεται γὰρ αὖ καὶ οὗτος λόγος, ὡς ἐκεῖθεν ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐνθένδε ἡρπάσθη, “or from the Areopagus, for this story is also told, that she was carried off from there and not from here.” Schanz follows Bast and many editors in rejecting this as a gloss.

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