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[158a] and all else that is accounted happiness; and then, your mother's house is famous in the same way, for of Pyrilampes, your uncle, it is said that no one in all the continent was considered to be his superior in beauty or stature, whenever he came as envoy to the great king or anyone else in Asia, and his house as a whole is no whit inferior to the other. Sprung from such people, it is to be supposed that you would be first in all things. And indeed, [158b] as regards your visible form, dear son of Glaucon, I consider that nowhere have you fallen behind any of your ancestors. But if your nature is really rich in temperance and those other things, as our friend here says, blessed is the son, dear Charmides, I exclaimed, that your mother has borne in you! However, the case stands thus: if you already possess temperance, as Critias here declares, and you are sufficiently temperate, then you never had any need of the charms of Zalmoxis or of Abaris the Hyperborean,1 [158c] and might well be given at once the remedy for the head; but if you prove to be still lacking that virtue, we must apply the charm before the remedy. So tell me yourself whether you agree with our friend, and can say that you are already sufficiently provided with temperance, or are deficient in it?

At this Charmides blushed and, for one thing, looked more beautiful then ever, for his modesty became his years; and then, too, he answered most ingenuously, saying it was no easy matter at the moment either to admit or to deny the words of the question. For if, [158d] he went on, I say I am not temperate, not only is it a strange thing to say against oneself, but I shall at the same time be taxing with untruth both Critias and many others who consider me to be temperate, as he gives out; while if, on the other hand, I say I am, and praise myself, it will probably be found distasteful; so that I cannot see what answer I am to give you.

Then I said: Your answer is a natural one, in my opinion, Charmides; and I think, I went on, that we must join in inquiring whether you possess the thing I am asking after, or not, in order that [158e] neither you may be forced to say what you do not wish, nor I on my part may recklessly try my hand at medicine. So if it is agreeable to you, I am ready to inquire with you; but, if it is not, to let it alone.

Why, nothing, he said, could be more agreeable to me : so far as that goes, therefore, inquire in whatever way you think we had better proceed.

Then this is the way, I said, in which I consider that our inquiry into this matter had best be conducted. Now, it is clear that, if you

1 A fabulous hero of the far north, to whom oracles and charms were ascribed by the Greeks; cf. Hdt. 4.36.

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