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[601b] whether he speak in rhythm, meter and harmony about cobbling or generalship or anything whatever. So mighty is the spell1 that these adornments naturally exercise; though when they are stripped bare of their musical coloring and taken by themselves,2 I think you know what sort of a showing these sayings of the poets make. For you, I believe, have observed them.” “I have,” he said. “Do they not,” said I, “resemble the faces of adolescents, young but not really beautiful, when the bloom of youth abandons them?3” “By all means,” he said. “Come, then,” said I, “consider this point: The creator of the phantom, the imitator, we say, knows nothing of the reality but only the appearance.

1 Cf. 607 C, Laws 840 C, Protag. 315 A-B.

2 Cf. Gorg. 502 Cεἴ τις περιέλοι τῆς ποιήσεως πάσης τό τε μέλος καὶ τὸν ῥυθμόν, 392, Ion 530 b, Epicharmus apudDiog. Laert. iii. 17περιδύσας τὸ μέτρον νῦν ἔχει, Aeschines, In Ctes. 136περιελόντες τοῦ ποιητοῦ τὸ μέτρον, Isoc.Evag. 11τὸ δὲ μέτρον διαλύσῃ with Horace, Sat. i. 4. 62 “invenias etiam disiecti membra poetae,” Aristot.Rhet. 1404 a 24ἐπεὶ δ᾽ οἱ ποιηταὶ λέγοντες εὐήθη διὰ τὴν λέξιν ἐδόκουν πορίσασθαι τήνδε τὴν δόξαν. Sext. Empir., Bekker, pp. 665-666 (Adv. Math. ii. 288), says that the ideas of poets are inferior to those of the ordinary layman. Cf. also Julian, Or. ii. 78 D, Coleridge, Table Talk: “If you take from Virgil his diction and metre what do you leave him?”

3 Aristot.Rhet. 1406 b 36 f. refers to this. Cf. Tyrtaeus 8 (6). 28ὄφρ᾽ ἐρατῆς ἥβης ἀγλαὸν ἄνθος ἔχῃ, Mimnermus i. 4 ἥβης ἄνθη γίγνεται ἁρπαλέα; Theognis 1305: παιδείας πλουηράτου ἄνθος ὠκύτερον σταδίου Xen.Symp. 8. 14τὸ μὲν τῆς ὥρας ἄνθος ταχὺ δήπου παρακμάζει, Plato, Symp. 183 Eτῷ τοῦ σώματος ἄνθει λήγοντι

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