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[262a]

Phaedrus
When there is little.

Socrates
And if you make a transition by small steps from anything to its opposite you will be more likely to escape detection than if you proceed by leaps and bounds.

Phaedrus
Of course.

Socrates
Then he who is to deceive another, and is not to be deceived himself, must know accurately the similarity and dissimilarity of things.

Phaedrus
Yes, he must.

Socrates
Now will he be able, not knowing the truth about a given thing, to recognize in other things the great or small [262b] degree of likeness to that which he does not know?

Phaedrus
It is impossible.

Socrates
In the case, then, of those whose opinions are at variance with facts and who are deceived, this error evidently slips in through some resemblances.

Phaedrus
It does happen in that way.

Socrates
Then he who does not understand the real nature of things will not possess the art of making his hearers pass from one thing to its opposite by leading them through the intervening resemblances, or of avoiding such deception himself?

Phaedrus
Never in the world. [262c]

Socrates
Then, my friend, he who knows not the truth, but pursues opinions, will, it seems, attain an art of speech which is ridiculous, and not an art at all.

Phaedrus
Probably.

Socrates
Shall we look in the speech of Lysias, which you have with you, and in what I said, for something which we think shows art and the lack of art?

Phaedrus
By all means, for now our talk is too abstract, since we lack sufficient examples.

Socrates
And by some special good fortune, as it seems, [262d] the two discourses contain an example of the way in which one who knows the truth may lead his hearers on with sportive words; and I, Phaedrus, think the divinities of the place are the cause thereof; and perhaps too, the prophets of the Muses, who are singing above our heads, may have granted this boon to us by inspiration; at any rate, I possess no art of speaking.

Phaedrus
So be it; only make your meaning clear.

Socrates
Read me the beginning of Lysias' discourse. [262e]

Phaedrus
You know what my condition is, and you have heard how I think it is to our advantage to arrange these matters. And I claim that I ought not to be refused what I ask because I am not your lover. For lovers repent of—


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