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[241a] to endure his wearisome companionship through the hope of future benefits by making promises with many prayers and oaths. But now that the time of payment has come he has a new ruler and governor within him, sense and reason in place of love and madness, and has become a different person; but of this his beloved knows nothing. He asks of him a return for former favors, reminding him of past sayings and doings, as if he were speaking to the same man; but the lover is ashamed to say that he has changed, and yet he cannot keep the oaths and promises he made [241b] when he was ruled by his former folly: now that he has regained his reason and come to his senses, lest by doing what he formerly did he become again what he was. He runs away from these things, and the former lover is compelled to become a defaulter. The shell has fallen with the other side up;1 and he changes his part and runs away; and the other is forced to run after him in anger and with imprecations, he who did not know at the start that he ought never to have accepted a lover [241c] who was necessarily without reason, but rather a reasonable non-lover; for otherwise he would have to surrender himself to one who was faithless, irritable, jealous, and disagreeable, harmful to his property, harmful to his physical condition, and most harmful by far to the cultivation of his soul, than which there neither is nor ever will be anything of higher importance in truth either in heaven or on earth. These things, dear boy, you must bear in mind, and you must know that the fondness of the lover is not a matter of goodwill, but of appetite which he wishes to satisfy: [241d] “Just as the wolf loves the lamb, so the lover adores his beloved.” There it is, Phaedrus! Do not listen to me any longer; let my speech end here.

Phaedrus
But I thought you were in the middle of it, and would say as much about the non-lover as you have said about the lover, to set forth all his good points and show that he ought to be favored. So now, Socrates, why do you stop? [241e]

Socrates
Did you not notice, my friend, that I am already speaking in hexameters, not mere dithyrambics, even though I am finding fault with the lover? But if I begin to praise the non-lover, what kind of hymn do you suppose I shall raise? I shall surely be possessed of the nymphs to whom you purposely exposed me. So, in a word, I say that the non-lover possesses all the advantages that are opposed to the disadvantages we found in the lover. Why make a long speech? I have said enough about both of them. And so my tale shall fare


1 This refers to a game played with oyster shells, in which the players ran away or pursued as the shell fell with one or the other side uppermost.

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