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[277a] who planted them, which are not fruitless, but yield seed from which there spring up in other minds other words capable of continuing the process for ever, and which make their possessor happy, to the farthest possible limit of human happiness.

Phaedrus
Yes, that is far nobler.

Socrates
And now, Phaedrus, since we have agreed about these matters, we can decide the others.

Phaedrus
What others?

Socrates
Those which brought us to this point [277b] through our desire to investigate them, for we wished to examine into the reproach against Lysias as a speechwriter,1 and also to discuss the speeches themselves and see which were the products of art and which were not. I think we have shown pretty clearly what is and what is not a work of art.

Phaedrus
Yes, I thought so, too; but please recall to my mind what was said.

Socrates
A man must know the truth about all the particular things of which he speaks or writes, and must be able to define everything separately; then when he has defined them, he must know how to divide them by classes until further division is impossible; and in the same way he must understand the nature of the soul, [277c] must find out the class of speech adapted to each nature, and must arrange and adorn his discourse accordingly, offering to the complex soul elaborate and harmonious discourses, and simple talks to the simple soul. Until he has attained to all this, he will not be able to speak by the method of art, so far as speech can be controlled by method, either for purposes of instruction or of persuasion. This has been taught by our whole preceding discussion.

Phaedrus
Yes, certainly, that is just about our result.

Socrates
How about the question whether it is a fine or a disgraceful thing to be a speaker or writer [277d] and under what circumstances the profession might properly be called a disgrace or not? Was that made clear a little while ago when we said—

Phaedrus
What?

Socrates
That if Lysias or anyone else ever wrote or ever shall write, in private, or in public as lawgiver, a political document, and in writing it believes that it possesses great certainty and clearness, then it is a disgrace to the writer, whether anyone says so, or not. For whether one be awake or asleep, ignorance of right and wrong and good and bad [277e] is in truth inevitably a disgrace, even if the whole mob applaud it.

Phaedrus
That is true.

Socrates
But the man who thinks that in the written word there is necessarily much that is playful, and that no written discourse, whether in meter or in prose, deserves to be treated very seriously (and this applies also to the recitations of the rhapsodes, delivered to sway people's minds, without opportunity for questioning and teaching),


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