Phaedrus by Plato. - HTML preview
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There are two principal controversies which Parmenides between the criticism of the Platonic have been raised about the Phaedrus; the first ideas and of the Eleatic one or being; the Gorgias relates to the subject, the second to the date of between the art of speaking and the nature of the Dialogue.
the good; the Sophist between the detection of There seems to be a notion that the work of a the Sophist and the correlation of ideas. The great artist like Plato cannot fail in unity, and Theaetetus, the Politicus, and the Philebus have that the unity of a dialogue requires a single also digressions which are but remotely con-subject. But the conception of unity really ap-nected with the main subject.
plies in very different degrees and ways to dif-Thus the comparison of Plato’s other writings, ferent kinds of art; to a statue, for example, far as well as the reason of the thing, lead us to the more than to any kind of literary composition, conclusion that we must not expect to find one and to some species of literature far more than idea pervading a whole work, but one, two, or to others. Nor does the dialogue appear to be a more, as the invention of the writer may sug-style of composition in which the requirement gest, or his fancy wander. If each dialogue were of unity is most stringent; nor should the idea of confined to the development of a single idea, this unity derived from one sort of art be hastily trans-would appear on the face of the dialogue, nor ferred to another. The double titles of several of could any controversy be raised as to whether the Platonic Dialogues are a further proof that the Phaedrus treated of love or rhetoric. But the the severer rule was not observed by Plato. The truth is that Plato subjects himself to no rule of Republic is divided between the search after jus-this sort. Like every great artist he gives unity tice and the construction of the ideal state; the of form to the different and apparently distract-15
ing topics which he brings together. He works throughout is rhetoric; this is the ground into freely and is not to be supposed to have arranged which the rest of the Dialogue is worked, in parts every part of the dialogue before he begins to embroidered with fine words which are not in write. He fastens or weaves together the frame Socrates’ manner, as he says, ‘in order to please of his discourse loosely and imperfectly, and Phaedrus.’ The speech of Lysias which has which is the warp and which is the woof cannot thrown Phaedrus into an ecstacy is adduced as always be determined.
an example of the false rhetoric; the first speech The subjects of the Phaedrus (exclusive of the of Socrates, though an improvement, partakes short introductory passage about mythology of the same character; his second speech, which which is suggested by the local tradition) are is full of that higher element said to have been first the false or conventional art of rhetoric; sec-learned of Anaxagoras by Pericles, and which in ondly, love or the inspiration of beauty and knowl-the midst of poetry does not forget order, is an edge, which is described as madness; thirdly, illustration of the higher or true rhetoric. This dialectic or the art of composition and division; higher rhetoric is based upon dialectic, and dia-fourthly, the true rhetoric, which is based upon lectic is a sort of inspiration akin to love (com-dialectic, and is neither the art of persuasion nor pare Symp.); in these two aspects of philosophy knowledge of the truth alone, but the art of per-the technicalities of rhetoric are absorbed. And suasion founded on knowledge of truth and so the example becomes also the deeper theme knowledge of character; fifthly, the superiority of discourse. The true knowledge of things in of the spoken over the written word. The con-heaven and earth is based upon enthusiasm or tinuous thread which appears and reappears love of the ideas going before us and ever present 16
to us in this world and in another; and the true theless the form of the work has tended to ob-order of speech or writing proceeds accordingly.
scure some of Plato’s higher aims.
Love, again, has three degrees: first, of interested The first speech is composed ‘in that balanced love corresponding to the conventionalities of style in which the wise love to talk’ (Symp.).
rhetoric; secondly, of disinterested or mad love, The characteristics of rhetoric are insipidity, fixed on objects of sense, and answering, per-mannerism, and monotonous parallelism of haps, to poetry; thirdly, of disinterested love di-clauses. There is more rhythm than reason; the rected towards the unseen, answering to dialec-creative power of imagination is wanting.
tic or the science of the ideas. Lastly, the art of rhetoric in the lower sense is found to rest on a
‘ ’ Tis Greece, but living Greece no more.’
knowledge of the natures and characters of men, which Socrates at the commencement of the Plato has seized by anticipation the spirit which Dialogue has described as his own peculiar study.
hung over Greek literature for a thousand years Thus amid discord a harmony begins to appear; afterwards. Yet doubtless there were some who, there are many links of connection which are like Phaedrus, felt a delight in the harmonious not visible at first sight. At the same time the cadence and the pedantic reasoning of the rheto-Phaedrus, although one of the most beautiful of ricians newly imported from Sicily, which had the Platonic Dialogues, is also more irregular ceased to be awakened in them by really great than any other. For insight into the world, for works, such as the odes of Anacreon or Sappho sustained irony, for depth of thought, there is no or the orations of Pericles. That the first speech Dialogue superior, or perhaps equal to it. Never-was really written by Lysias is improbable. Like 17
the poem of Solon, or the story of Thamus and chiefly in a better arrangement of the topics; he Theuth, or the funeral oration of Aspasia (if genu-begins with a definition of love, and he gives ine), or the pretence of Socrates in the Cratylus weight to his words by going back to general that his knowledge of philology is derived from maxims; a lesser merit is the greater liveliness Euthyphro, the invention is really due to the of Socrates, which hurries him into verse and imagination of Plato, and may be compared to relieves the monotony of the style.
the parodies of the Sophists in the Protagoras.
But Plato had doubtless a higher purpose than Numerous fictions of this sort occur in the Dia-to exhibit Socrates as the rival or superior of the logues, and the gravity of Plato has sometimes Athenian rhetoricians. Even in the speech of imposed upon his commentators. The introduc-Lysias there is a germ of truth, and this is fur-tion of a considerable writing of another would ther developed in the parallel oration of Socrates.
seem not to be in keeping with a great work of First, passionate love is overthrown by the so-art, and has no parallel elsewhere.
phistical or interested, and then both yield to In the second speech Socrates is exhibited as that higher view of love which is afterwards re-beating the rhetoricians at their own weapons; vealed to us. The extreme of commonplace is he ‘an unpractised man and they masters of the contrasted with the most ideal and imaginative art.’ True to his character, he must, however, of speculations. Socrates, half in jest and to sat-profess that the speech which he makes is not isfy his own wild humour, takes the disguise of his own, for he knows nothing of himself. (Com-Lysias, but he is also in profound earnest and in pare Symp.) Regarded as a rhetorical exercise, a deeper vein of irony than usual. Having impro-the superiority of his speech seems to consist vised his own speech, which is based upon the 18
model of the preceding, he condemns them both.
partly in joke, to show that the ‘non-lover’s’
Yet the condemnation is not to be taken seriously, love is better than the ‘lover’s.’
for he is evidently trying to express an aspect of We may raise the same question in another the truth. To understand him, we must make form: Is marriage preferable with or without abstraction of morality and of the Greek man-love? ‘Among ourselves,’ as we may say, a little ner of regarding the relation of the sexes. In this, parodying the words of Pausanias in the Sympo-as in his other discussions about love, what Plato sium, ‘there would be one answer to this ques-says of the loves of men must be transferred to tion: the practice and feeling of some foreign the loves of women before we can attach any countries appears to be more doubtful.’ Suppose serious meaning to his words. Had he lived in a modern Socrates, in defiance of the received our times he would have made the transposition notions of society and the sentimental literature himself. But seeing in his own age the impossi-of the day, alone against all the writers and read-bility of woman being the intellectual helpmate ers of novels, to suggest this enquiry, would not or friend of man (except in the rare instances of the younger ‘part of the world be ready to take a Diotima or an Aspasia), seeing that, even as to off its coat and run at him might and main?’
personal beauty, her place was taken by young (Republic.) Yet, if like Peisthetaerus in mankind instead of womankind, he tries to work Aristophanes, he could persuade the ‘birds’ to out the problem of love without regard to the hear him, retiring a little behind a rampart, not distinctions of nature. And full of the evils which of pots and dishes, but of unreadable books, he he recognized as flowing from the spurious form might have something to say for himself. Might of love, he proceeds with a deep meaning, though he not argue, ‘that a rational being should not 19
follow the dictates of passion in the most impor-not helpers but hinderers of one another: they tant act of his or her life’? Who would willingly cannot undertake any noble enterprise, such as enter into a contract at first sight, almost with-makes the names of men and women famous, out thought, against the advice and opinion of from domestic considerations. Too late their eyes his friends, at a time when he acknowledges that are opened; they were taken unawares and de-he is not in his right mind? And yet they are sire to part company. Better, he would say, a praised by the authors of romances, who reject
‘little love at the beginning,’ for heaven might the warnings of their friends or parents, rather have increased it; but now their foolish fondness than those who listen to them in such matters.
has changed into mutual dislike. In the days of Two inexperienced persons, ignorant of the world their honeymoon they never understood that and of one another, how can they be said to they must provide against offences, that they choose?—they draw lots, whence also the saying, must have interests, that they must learn the
‘marriage is a lottery.’ Then he would describe art of living as well as loving. Our misogamist their way of life after marriage; how they mo-will not appeal to Anacreon or Sappho for a con-nopolize one another’s affections to the exclu-firmation of his view, but to the universal expe-sion of friends and relations: how they pass their rience of mankind. How much nobler, in conclu-days in unmeaning fondness or trivial conversa-sion, he will say, is friendship, which does not tion; how the inferior of the two drags the other receive unmeaning praises from novelists and down to his or her level; how the cares of a fam-poets, is not exacting or exclusive, is not impaired ily ‘breed meanness in their souls.’ In the by familiarity, is much less expensive, is not so fulfilment of military or public duties, they are likely to take offence, seldom changes, and may 20
be dissolved from time to time without the assistance of the courts. Besides, he will remark
‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds that there is a much greater choice of friends Admit impediments. Love is not love than of wives—you may have more of them and Which alters when it alteration finds.
they will be far more improving to your mind.
They will not keep you dawdling at home, or
dancing attendance upon them; or withdraw you from the great world and stirring scenes of life Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and and action which would make a man of you.
In such a manner, turning the seamy side out-Within his bending sickle’s compass come; wards, a modern Socrates might describe the Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, evils of married and domestic life. They are evils But bears it out even to the edge of doom.’
which mankind in general have agreed to conceal, partly because they are compensated by But this true love of the mind cannot exist be-greater goods. Socrates or Archilochus would tween two souls, until they are purified from the soon have to sing a palinode for the injustice done grossness of earthly passion: they must pass to lovely Helen, or some misfortune worse than through a time of trial and conflict first; in the blindness might be fall them. Then they would language of religion they must be converted or take up their parable again and say:—that there born again. Then they would see the world trans-were two loves, a higher and a lower, holy and formed into a scene of heavenly beauty; a divine unholy, a love of the mind and a love of the body.
idea would accompany them in all their thoughts 21
and actions. Something too of the recollections read in one another’s eyes the thoughts, wishes, of childhood might float about them still; they actions of the other; how they saw each other in might regain that old simplicity which had been God; how in a figure they grew wings like doves, theirs in other days at their first entrance on and were ‘ready to fly away together and be at life. And although their love of one another was rest.’ And lastly, he might tell how, after a time ever present to them, they would acknowledge at no long intervals, first one and then the other also a higher love of duty and of God, which fell asleep, and ‘appeared to the unwise’ to die, united them. And their happiness would depend but were reunited in another state of being, in upon their preserving in them this principle—not which they saw justice and holiness and truth, losing the ideals of justice and holiness and truth, not according to the imperfect copies of them but renewing them at the fountain of light. When which are found in this world, but justice abso-they have attained to this exalted state, let them lute in existence absolute, and so of the rest. And marry (something too may be conceded to the they would hold converse not only with each animal nature of man): or live together in holy other, but with blessed souls everywhere; and and innocent friendship. The poet might describe would be employed in the service of God, every in eloquent words the nature of such a union; soul fulfilling his own nature and character, and how after many struggles the true love was would see into the wonders of earth and heaven, found: how the two passed their lives together and trace the works of creation to their author.
in the service of God and man; how their charac-So, partly in jest but also ‘with a certain deters were reflected upon one another, and gree of seriousness,’ we may appropriate to our-seemed to grow more like year by year; how they selves the words of Plato. The use of such a 22
parody, though very imperfect, is to transfer his vail among ourselves. To return to the Phaedrus:—
thoughts to our sphere of religion and feeling, Both speeches are strongly condemned by to bring him nearer to us and us to him. Like the Socrates as sinful and blasphemous towards the Scriptures, Plato admits of endless applications, god Love, and as worthy only of some haunt of if we allow for the difference of times and man-sailors to which good manners were unknown.
ners; and we lose the better half of him when The meaning of this and other wild language to we regard his Dialogues merely as literary com-the same effect, which is introduced by way of positions. Any ancient work which is worth read-contrast to the formality of the two speeches ing has a practical and speculative as well as a (Socrates has a sense of relief when he has es-literary interest. And in Plato, more than in any caped from the trammels of rhetoric), seems to other Greek writer, the local and transitory is be that the two speeches proceed upon the sup-inextricably blended with what is spiritual and position that love is and ought to be interested, eternal. Socrates is necessarily ironical; for he and that no such thing as a real or disinterested has to withdraw from the received opinions and passion, which would be at the same time last-beliefs of mankind. We cannot separate the tran-ing, could be conceived. ‘But did I call this sitory from the permanent; nor can we trans-
“love”? O God, forgive my blasphemy. This is late the language of irony into that of plain re-not love. Rather it is the love of the world. But flection and common sense. But we can imagine there is another kingdom of love, a kingdom not the mind of Socrates in another age and coun-of this world, divine, eternal. And this other love try; and we can interpret him by analogy with I will now show you in a mystery. ’
reference to the errors and prejudices which pre-Then follows the famous myth, which is a sort 23
of parable, and like other parables ought not to soul as the great motive power and the triple receive too minute an interpretation. In all such soul which is thus imaged. There is no difficulty allegories there is a great deal which is merely in seeing that the charioteer represents the rea-ornamental, and the interpreter has to separate son, or that the black horse is the symbol of the the important from the unimportant. Socrates sensual or concupiscent element of human na-himself has given the right clue when, in using ture. The white horse also represents rational his own discourse afterwards as the text for his impulse, but the description, ‘a lover of honour examination of rhetoric, he characterizes it as a and modesty and temperance, and a follower of
‘partly true and tolerably credible mythus,’ in true glory,’ though similar, does not at once re-which amid poetical figures, order and arrange-call the ‘spirit’ (thumos) of the Republic. The ment were not forgotten.
two steeds really correspond in a figure more The soul is described in magnificent language nearly to the appetitive and moral or semi-ratio-as the self-moved and the source of motion in all nal soul of Aristotle. And thus, for the first time other things. This is the philosophical theme or perhaps in the history of philosophy, we have proem of the whole. But ideas must be given represented to us the threefold division of psy-through something, and under the pretext that chology. The image of the charioteer and the to realize the true nature of the soul would be steeds has been compared with a similar image not only tedious but impossible, we at once pass which occurs in the verses of Parmenides; but it on to describe the souls of gods as well as men is important to remark that the horses of under the figure of two winged steeds and a Parmenides have no allegorical meaning, and charioteer. No connection is traced between the that the poet is only describing his own approach 24
in a chariot to the regions of light and the house the way of philosophy, or perfect love of the un-of the goddess of truth.
seen, is total abstinence from bodily delights.
The triple soul has had a previous existence,
‘But all men cannot receive this saying’: in the in which following in the train of some god, from lower life of ambition they may be taken off their whom she derived her character, she beheld par-guard and stoop to folly unawares, and then, al-tially and imperfectly the vision of absolute truth.
though they do not attain to the highest bliss, All her after existence, passed in many forms of yet if they have once conquered they may be men and animals, is spent in regaining this. The happy enough.
stages of the conflict are many and various; and The language of the Meno and the Phaedo as she is sorely let and hindered by the animal de-well as of the Phaedrus seems to show that at sires of the inferior or concupiscent steed. Again one time of his life Plato was quite serious in and again she beholds the flashing beauty of the maintaining a former state of existence. His mis-beloved. But before that vision can be finally sion was to realize the abstract; in that, all good enjoyed the animal desires must be subjected.
and truth, all the hopes of this and another life The moral or spiritual element in man is rep-seemed to centre. To him abstractions, as we call resented by the immortal steed which, like them, were another kind of knowledge—an in-thumos in the Republic, always sides with the ner and unseen world, which seemed to exist reason. Both are dragged out of their course by far more truly than the fleeting objects of sense the furious impulses of desire. In the end some-which were without him. When we are once able thing is conceded to the desires, after they have to imagine the intense power which abstract been finally humbled and overpowered. And yet ideas exercised over the mind of Plato, we see 25
that there was no more difficulty to him in real-horses of the gods are both white, i.e. their ev-izing the eternal existence of them and of the ery impulse is in harmony with reason; their human minds which were associated with them, dualism, on the other hand, only carries out the in the past and future than in the present. The figure of the chariot. Is he serious, again, in re-difficulty was not how they could exist, but how garding love as ‘a madness’? That seems to they could fail to exist. In the attempt to regain arise out of the antithesis to the former concep-this ‘saving’ knowledge of the ideas, the sense tion of love. At the same time he appears to inti-was found to be as great an enemy as the de-mate here, as in the Ion, Apology, Meno, and else-sires; and hence two things which to us seem where, that there is a faculty in man, whether quite distinct are inextricably blended in the to be termed in modern language genius, or in-representation of Plato.
spiration, or imagination, or idealism, or com-Thus far we may believe that Plato was seri-munion with God, which cannot be reduced to ous in his conception of the soul as a motive rule and measure. Perhaps, too, he is ironically power, in his reminiscence of a former state of repeating the common language of mankind being, in his elevation of the reason over sense about philosophy, and is turning their jest into a and passion, and perhaps in his doctrine of trans-sort of earnest. (Compare Phaedo, Symp.) Or is migration. Was he equally serious in the rest?
he serious in holding that each soul bears the For example, are we to attribute his tripartite character of a god? He may have had no other division of the soul to the gods? Or is this merely account to give of the differences of human char-assigned to them by way of parallelism with acters to which he afterwards refers. Or, again, men? The latter is the more probable; for the in his absurd derivation of mantike and oionistike 26
and imeros (compare Cratylus)? It is character-the condition of life to which fate has called him istic of the irony of Socrates to mix up sense and (‘he aiblins might, I dinna ken’). But to sup-nonsense in such a way that no exact line can be pose this would be at variance with Plato him-drawn between them. And allegory helps to in-self and with Greek notions generally. He is much crease this sort of confusion.
more serious in distinguishing men from animals As is often the case in the parables and proph-by their recognition of the universal which they ecies of Scripture, the meaning is allowed to have known in a former state, and in denying break through the figure, and the details are not that this gift of reason can ever be obliterated always consistent. When the charioteers and or lost. In the language of some modern theolo-their steeds stand upon the dome of heaven they gians he might be said to maintain the ‘final behold the intangible invisible essences which perseverance’ of those who have entered on are not objects of sight. This is because the force their pilgrim’s progress. Other intimations of a of language can no further go. Nor can we dwell
‘metaphysic’ or ‘theology’ of the future may much on the circumstance, that at the comple-also be discerned in him: (1) The moderate pre-tion of ten thousand years all are to return to destinarianism which here, as in the Republic, the place from whence they came; because he acknowledges the element of chance in human represents their return as dependent on their life, and yet asserts the freedom and responsi-own good conduct in the successive stages of bility of man; (2) The recognition of a moral as existence. Nor again can we attribute anything well as an intellectual principle in man under to the accidental inference which would also fol-the image of an immortal steed; (3) The notion low, that even a tyrant may live righteously in that the divine nature exists by the contempla-27
tion of ideas of virtue and justice—or, in other pression partly of Plato’s enthusiasm for the words, the assertion of the essentially moral idea, and is also an indication of the real power nature of God; (4) Again, there is the hint that exercised by the passion of friendship over the human life is a life of aspiration only, and that mind of the Greek. The master in the art of love the true ideal is not to be found in art; (5) There knew that there was a mystery in these feelings occurs the first trace of the distinction between and their associations, and especially in the con-necessary and contingent matter; (6) The contrast of the sensible and permanent which is af-ception of the soul itself as the motive power forded by them; and he sought to explain this, and reason of the universe.
as he explained universal ideas, by a reference The conception of the philosopher, or the phi-to a former state of existence. The capricious-losopher and lover in one, as a sort of madman, ness of love is also derived by him from an at-may be compared with the Republic and tachment to some god in a former world. The Theaetetus, in both of which the philosopher is singular remark that the beloved is more affected regarded as a stranger and monster upon the than the lover at the final consummation of their earth. The whole myth, like the other myths of love, seems likewise to hint at a psychological Plato, describes in a figure things which are be-truth.
yond the range of human faculties, or inacces-It is difficult to exhaust the meanings of a work sible to the knowledge of the age. That philoso-like the Phaedrus, which indicates so much more phy should be represented as the inspiration of than it expresses; and is full of inconsistencies love is a conception that has already become fa-and ambiguities which were not perceived by miliar to us in the Symposium, and is the ex-Plato himself. For example, when he is speaking 28
of the soul does he mean the human or the di-which extinguishes rather than stimulates vul-vine soul? and are they both equally self-moving gar love,—a heavenly beauty like that which and constructed on the same threefold principle?
flashed from time to time before the eyes of We should certainly be disposed to reply that the Dante or Bunyan? Surely the latter. But it would self-motive is to be attributed to God only; and be idle to reconcile all the details of the passage: on the other hand that the appetitive and pas-it is a picture, not a system, and a picture which sionate elements have no place in His nature. So is for the greater part an allegory, and an alle-we should infer from the reason of the thing, gory which allows the meaning to come through.
but there is no indication in Plato’s own writ-The image of the charioteer and his steeds is ings that this was his meaning. Or, again, when placed side by side with the absolute forms of he explains the different characters of men by justice, temperance, and the like, which are ab-referring them back to the nature of the God stract ideas only, and which are seen with the whom they served in a former state of existence, eye of the soul in her heavenly journey. The first we are inclined to ask whether he is serious: Is impression of such a passage, in which no at-he not rather using a mythological figure, here tempt is made to separate the substance from as elsewhere, to draw a veil over things which the form, is far truer than an elaborate philo-are beyond the limits of mortal knowledge? Once sophical analysis.
more, in speaking of beauty is he really thinking It is too often forgotten that the whole of the of some external form such as might have been second discourse of Socrates is only an allegory, expressed in the works of Phidias or Praxiteles; or figure of speech. For this reason, it is unnec-and not rather of an imaginary beauty, of a sort essary to enquire whether the love of which Plato 29
speaks is the love of men or of women. It is really In the Phaedrus, as well as in the Symposium, a general idea which includes both, and in which there are two kinds of love, a lower and a higher, the sensual element, though not wholly eradi-the one answering to the natural wants of the cated, is reduced to order and measure. We must animal, the other rising above them and contem-not attribute a meaning to every fanciful detail.
plating with religious awe the forms of justice, Nor is there any need to call up revolting associa-temperance, holiness, yet finding them also ‘too tions, which as a matter of good taste should be dazzling bright for mortal eye,’ and shrinking banished, and which were far enough away from from them in amazement. The opposition be-the mind of Plato. These and similar passages tween these two kinds of love may be compared should be interpreted by the Laws. Nor is there to the opposition between the flesh and the spirit anything in the Symposium, or in the Charmides, in the Epistles of St. Paul. It would be unmeanin reality inconsistent with the sterner rule which ing to suppose that Plato, in describing the spiri-Plato lays down in the Laws. At the same time it tual combat, in which the rational soul is finally is not to be denied that love and philosophy are victor and master of both the steeds, condescends described by Socrates in figures of speech which to allow any indulgence of unnatural lusts.
would not be used in Christian times; or that Two other thoughts about love are suggested nameless vices were prevalent at Athens and in by this passage. First of all, love is represented other Greek cities; or that friendships between here, as in the Symposium, as one of the great men were a more sacred tie, and had a more im-powers of nature, which takes many forms and portant social and educational influence than two principal ones, having a predominant influ-among ourselves. (See note on Symposium.) ence over the lives of men. And these two, though 30
opposed, are not absolutely separated the one pictures and images, whether painted or carved, from the other. Plato, with his great knowledge or described in words only, we have not the sub-of human nature, was well aware how easily one stance but the shadow of the truth which is in is transformed into the other, or how soon the heaven. There is no reason to suppose that in noble but fleeting aspiration may return into the the fairest works of Greek art, Plato ever con-nature of the animal, while the lower instinct ceived himself to behold an image, however faint, which is latent always remains. The intermedi-of ideal truths. ‘Not in that way was wisdom ate sentimentalism, which has exercised so great seen.’
an influence on the literature of modern Europe, We may now pass on to the second part of the had no place in the classical times of Hellas; the Dialogue, which is a criticism on the first. Rheto-higher love, of which Plato speaks, is the sub-ric is assailed on various grounds: first, as desir-ject, not of poetry or fiction, but of philosophy.
ing to persuade, without a knowledge of the Secondly, there seems to be indicated a natu-truth; and secondly, as ignoring the distinction ral yearning of the human mind that the great between certain and probable matter. The three ideas of justice, temperance, wisdom, should be speeches are then passed in review: the first of expressed in some form of visible beauty, like them has no definition of the nature of love, and the absolute purity and goodness which Chris-no order in the topics (being in these respects tian art has sought to realize in the person of far inferior to the second); while the third of the Madonna. But although human nature has them is found (though a fancy of the hour) to be often attempted to represent outwardly what can framed upon real dialectical principles. But dia-be only ‘spiritually discerned,’ men feel that in lectic is not rhetoric; nothing on that subject is 31
to be found in the endless treatises of rhetoric, to the Athenians of old. Would he not have asked however prolific in hard names. When Plato has of us, or rather is he not asking of us, Whether sufficiently put them to the test of ridicule he we have ceased to prefer appearances to real-touches, as with the point of a needle, the real ity? Let us take a survey of the professions to error, which is the confusion of preliminary which he refers and try them by his standard. Is knowledge with creative power. No attainments not all literature passing into criticism, just as will provide the speaker with genius; and the Athenian literature in the age of Plato was de-sort of attainments which can alone be of any generating into sophistry and rhetoric? We can value are the higher philosophy and the power discourse and write about poems and paintings, of psychological analysis, which is given by dia-but we seem to have lost the gift of creating lectic, but not by the rules of the rhetoricians.
them. Can we wonder that few of them ‘come In this latter portion of the Dialogue there are sweetly from nature,’ while ten thousand re-many texts which may help us to speak and to viewers (mala murioi) are engaged in dissect-think. The names dialectic and rhetoric are passing them? Young men, like Phaedrus, are ing out of use; we hardly examine seriously into enamoured of their own literary clique and have their nature and limits, and probably the arts but a feeble sympathy with the master-minds of both of speaking and of conversation have been former ages. They recognize ‘a poetical neces-unduly neglected by us. But the mind of Socrates sity in the writings of their favourite author, even pierces through the differences of times and when he boldly wrote off just what came in his countries into the essential nature of man; and head.’ They are beginning to think that Art is his words apply equally to the modern world and enough, just at the time when Art is about to 32
disappear from the world. And would not a great the whole into parts or reuniting the parts into painter, such as Michael Angelo, or a great poet, a whole’—any semblance of an organized being such as Shakespeare, returning to earth, ‘cour-
‘having hands and feet and other members’?
teously rebuke’ us—would he not say that we Instead of a system there is the Chaos of are putting ‘in the place of Art the preliminar-Anaxagoras (omou panta chremata) and no ies of Art,’ confusing Art the expression of mind Mind or Order. Then again in the noble art of and truth with Art the composition of colours politics, who thinks of first principles and of true and forms; and perhaps he might more severely ideas? We avowedly follow not the truth but the chastise some of us for trying to invent ‘a new will of the many (compare Republic). Is not leg-shudder’ instead of bringing to the birth living islation too a sort of literary effort, and might and healthy creations? These he would regard not statesmanship be described as the ‘art of as the signs of an age wanting in original power.
enchanting’ the house? While there are some Turning from literature and the arts to law and politicians who have no knowledge of the truth, politics, again we fall under the lash of Socrates.
but only of what is likely to be approved by ‘the For do we not often make ‘the worse appear many who sit in judgment,’ there are others who the better cause;’ and do not ‘both parties some-can give no form to their ideal, neither having times agree to tell lies’? Is not pleading ‘an art learned ‘the art of persuasion,’ nor having any of speaking unconnected with the truth’? There insight into the ‘characters of men.’ Once more, is another text of Socrates which must not be has not medical science become a professional forgotten in relation to this subject. In the end-routine, which many ‘practise without being less maze of English law is there any ‘dividing able to say who were their instructors’—the ap-33
plication of a few drugs taken from a book in-saying that He is all this and the cause of all that, stead of a life-long study of the natures and con-in order that we may exhibit Him as the fairest stitutions of human beings? Do we see as clearly and best of all’ (Symp.) without any consideras Hippocrates ‘that the nature of the body can ation of His real nature and character or of the only be understood as a whole’? (Compare laws by which He governs the world—seeking for Charm.) And are not they held to be the wisest a ‘private judgment’ and not for the truth or physicians who have the greatest distrust of their
‘God’s judgment.’ What would he say of the art? What would Socrates think of our newspa-Church, which we praise in like manner, ‘mean-pers, of our theology? Perhaps he would be afraid ing ourselves,’ without regard to history or ex-to speak of them;—the one vox populi, the other perience? Might he not ask, whether we ‘care vox Dei, he might hesitate to attack them; or he more for the truth of religion, or for the speaker might trace a fanciful connexion between them, and the country from which the truth comes’?
and ask doubtfully, whether they are not equally or, whether the ‘select wise’ are not ‘the many’
inspired? He would remark that we are always after all? (Symp.) So we may fill up the sketch of searching for a belief and deploring our unbe-Socrates, lest, as Phaedrus says, the argument lief, seeming to prefer popular opinions unveri-should be too ‘abstract and barren of illustra-fied and contradictory to unpopular truths which tions.’ (Compare Symp., Apol., Euthyphro.) are assured to us by the most certain proofs: that He next proceeds with enthusiasm to define our preachers are in the habit of praising God the royal art of dialectic as the power of divid-
‘without regard to truth and falsehood, attrib-ing a whole into parts, and of uniting the parts uting to Him every species of greatness and glory, in a whole, and which may also be regarded 34
(compare Soph.) as the process of the mind talk-another, and also with the other famous para-ing with herself. The latter view has probably dox, that ‘knowledge cannot be taught.’
led Plato to the paradox that speech is superior Socrates means to say, that what is truly written to writing, in which he may seem also to be do-is written in the soul, just as what is truly taught ing an injustice to himself. For the two cannot grows up in the soul from within and is not forced be fairly compared in the manner which Plato upon it from without. When planted in a conge-suggests. The contrast of the living and dead nial soil the little seed becomes a tree, and ‘the word, and the example of Socrates, which he has birds of the air build their nests in the branches.’
represented in the form of the Dialogue, seem There is an echo of this in the prayer at the end to have misled him. For speech and writing have of the Dialogue, ‘Give me beauty in the inward really different functions; the one is more tran-soul, and may the inward and outward man be sitory, more diffuse, more elastic and capable of at one.’ We may further compare the words of adaptation to moods and times; the other is more St. Paul, ‘Written not on tables of stone, but on permanent, more concentrated, and is uttered fleshly tables of the heart;’ and again, ‘Ye are not to this or that person or audience, but to all my epistles known and read of all men.’ There the world. In the Politicus the paradox is carried may be a use in writing as a preservative against further; the mind or will of the king is preferred the forgetfulness of old age, but to live is higher to the written law; he is supposed to be the Law far, to be ourselves the book, or the epistle, the personified, the ideal made Life.
truth embodied in a person, the Word made flesh.
Yet in both these statements there is also con-Something like this we may believe to have tained a truth; they may be compared with one passed before Plato’s mind when he affirmed 35
that speech was superior to writing. So in other of Plato. The first of the two great rhetoricians ages, weary of literature and criticism, of makis described as in the zenith of his fame; the sec-ing many books, of writing articles in reviews, ond is still young and full of promise. Now it is some have desired to live more closely in com-argued that this must have been written in the munion with their fellow-men, to speak heart to youth of Isocrates, when the promise was not heart, to speak and act only, and not to write, yet fulfilled. And thus we should have to assign following the example of Socrates and of Christ...
the Dialogue to a year not later than 406, when Some other touches of inimitable grace and art Isocrates was thirty and Plato twenty-three years and of the deepest wisdom may be also noted; such of age, and while Socrates himself was still alive.
as the prayer or ‘collect’ which has just been cited, Those who argue in this way seem not to re-
‘Give me beauty,’ etc.; or ‘the great name which flect how easily Plato can ‘invent Egyptians or belongs to God alone;’ or ‘the saying of wiser men anything else,’ and how careless he is of his-than ourselves that a man of sense should try to torical truth or probability. Who would suspect please not his fellow-servants, but his good and that the wise Critias, the virtuous Charmides, noble masters,’ like St. Paul again; or the descrip-had ended their lives among the thirty tyrants?
tion of the ‘heavenly originals’...
Who would imagine that Lysias, who is here as-The chief criteria for determining the date of sailed by Socrates, is the son of his old friend the Dialogue are (1) the ages of Lysias and Cephalus? Or that Isocrates himself is the en-Isocrates; (2) the character of the work.
emy of Plato and his school? No arguments can Lysias was born in the year 458; Isocrates in be drawn from the appropriateness or inappro-the year 436, about seven years before the birth priateness of the characters of Plato. (Else, per-36
haps, it might be further argued that, judging arguments than these: the maturity of the from their extant remains, insipid rhetoric is far thought, the perfection of the style, the insight, more characteristic of Isocrates than of Lysias.) the relation to the other Platonic Dialogues, seem But Plato makes use of names which have often to contradict the notion that it could have been hardly any connection with the historical char-the work of a youth of twenty or twenty-three acters to whom they belong. In this instance the years of age. The cosmological notion of the mind comparative favour shown to Isocrates may pos-as the primum mobile, and the admission of im-sibly be accounted for by the circumstance of pulse into the immortal nature, also afford his belonging to the aristocratical, as Lysias to grounds for assigning a later date. (Compare the democratical party.
Tim., Soph., Laws.) Add to this that the picture Few persons will be inclined to suppose, in the of Socrates, though in some lesser particulars,—
superficial manner of some ancient critics, that e.g. his going without sandals, his habit of re-a dialogue which treats of love must necessarily maining within the walls, his emphatic declara-have been written in youth. As little weight can tion that his study is human nature,—an exact be attached to the argument that Plato must resemblance, is in the main the Platonic and not have visited Egypt before he wrote the story of the real Socrates. Can we suppose ‘the young Theuth and Thamus. For there is no real proof man to have told such lies’ about his master that he ever went to Egypt; and even if he did, while he was still alive? Moreover, when two he might have known or invented Egyptian tra-Dialogues are so closely connected as the ditions before he went there. The late date of Phaedrus and Symposium, there is great improb-the Phaedrus will have to be established by other ability in supposing that one of them was writ-37
ten at least twenty years after the other. The The first passage is remarkable as showing that conclusion seems to be, that the Dialogue was Plato was entirely free from what may be termed written at some comparatively late but unknown the Euhemerism of his age. For there were period of Plato’s life, after he had deserted the Euhemerists in Hellas long before Euhemerus.
purely Socratic point of view, but before he had Early philosophers, like Anaxagoras and entered on the more abstract speculations of the Metrodorus, had found in Homer and mythol-Sophist or the Philebus. Taking into account the ogy hidden meanings. Plato, with a truer instinct, divisions of the soul, the doctrine of transmigra-rejects these attractive interpretations; he re-tion, the contemplative nature of the philosophic gards the inventor of them as ‘unfortunate;’
life, and the character of the style, we shall not and they draw a man off from the knowledge of be far wrong in placing the Phaedrus in the himself. There is a latent criticism, and also a neighbourhood of the Republic; remarking only poetical sense in Plato, which enable him to dis-that allowance must be made for the poetical card them, and yet in another way to make use element in the Phaedrus, which, while falling of poetry and mythology as a vehicle of thought short of the Republic in definite philosophic re-and feeling. What would he have said of the dis-sults, seems to have glimpses of a truth beyond.
covery of Christian doctrines in these old Greek Two short passages, which are unconnected legends? While acknowledging that such inter-with the main subject of the Dialogue, may seem pretations are ‘very nice,’ would he not have to merit a more particular notice: (1) the locus remarked that they are found in all sacred lit-classicus about mythology; (2) the tale of the eratures? They cannot be tested by any crite-grasshoppers.
rion of truth, or used to establish any truth; they 38
add nothing to the sum of human knowledge; ing grasshoppers who inform the Muses in they are—what we please, and if employed as heaven about those who honour them on earth,
‘peacemakers’ between the new and old are Plato intends to represent an Athenian audience liable to serious misconstruction, as he elsewhere (tettigessin eoikotes). The story is introduced, remarks (Republic). And therefore he would apparently, to mark a change of subject, and also, have ‘bid Farewell to them; the study of them like several other allusions which occur in the would take up too much of his time; and he has course of the Dialogue, in order to preserve the not as yet learned the true nature of religion.’
scene in the recollection of the reader.
The ‘sophistical’ interest of Phaedrus, the little touch about the two versions of the story, the ironical manner in which these explanations are set aside—’the common opinion about them is enough for me’—the allusion to the serpent Typho may be noted in passing; also the general No one can duly appreciate the dialogues of Plato, agreement between the tone of this speech and especially the Phaedrus, Symposium, and por-the remark of Socrates which follows afterwards, tions of the Republic, who has not a sympathy
‘I am a diviner, but a poor one.’
with mysticism. To the uninitiated, as he would The tale of the grasshoppers is naturally sug-himself have acknowledged, they will appear to gested by the surrounding scene. They are also be the dreams of a poet who is disguised as a the representatives of the Athenians as children philosopher. There is a twofold difficulty in ap-of the soil. Under the image of the lively chirrup-prehending this aspect of the Platonic writings.
First, we do not immediately realize that under 39
the marble exterior of Greek literature was con-ON THE DECLINE OF GREEK LITERATURE
cealed a soul thrilling with spiritual emotion.
Secondly, the forms or figures which the Platonic One of the main purposes of Plato in the Phaedrus philosophy assumes, are not like the images of is to satirize Rhetoric, or rather the Professors the prophet Isaiah, or of the Apocalypse, famil-of Rhetoric who swarmed at Athens in the fourth iar to us in the days of our youth. By mysticism century before Christ. As in the opening of the we mean, not the extravagance of an erring Dialogue he ridicules the interpreters of mythol-fancy, but the concentration of reason in feeling, ogy; as in the Protagoras he mocks at the Soph-the enthusiastic love of the good, the true, the ists; as in the Euthydemus he makes fun of the one, the sense of the infinity of knowledge and word-splitting Eristics; as in the Cratylus he ridi-of the marvel of the human faculties. When feed-cules the fancies of Etymologers; as in the Meno ing upon such thoughts the ‘wing of the soul’
and Gorgias and some other dialogues he makes is renewed and gains strength; she is raised reflections and casts sly imputation upon the above ‘the manikins of earth’ and their opin-higher classes at Athens; so in the Phaedrus, ions, waiting in wonder to know, and working chiefly in the latter part, he aims his shafts at with reverence to find out what God in this or in the rhetoricians. The profession of rhetoric was another life may reveal to her.
the greatest and most popular in Athens, necessary ‘to a man’s salvation,’ or at any rate to his attainment of wealth or power; but Plato finds nothing wholesome or genuine in the purpose of it. It is a veritable ‘sham,’ having no relation 40
to fact, or to truth of any kind. It is antipathetic terval which separates Sophists and rhetoricians to him not only as a philosopher, but also as a from ancient famous men and women such as great writer. He cannot abide the tricks of the Homer and Hesiod, Anacreon and Sappho, rhetoricians, or the pedantries and mannerisms Aeschylus and Sophocles; and the Platonic which they introduce into speech and writing.
Socrates is afraid that, if he approves the former, He sees clearly how far removed they are from he will be disowned by the latter. The spirit of the ways of simplicity and truth, and how igno-rhetoric was soon to overspread all Hellas; and rant of the very elements of the art which they Plato with prophetic insight may have seen, from are professing to teach. The thing which is most afar, the great literary waste or dead level, or necessary of all, the knowledge of human nature, interminable marsh, in which Greek literature is hardly if at all considered by them. The true was soon to disappear. A similar vision of the rules of composition, which are very few, are not decline of the Greek drama and of the contrast to be found in their voluminous systems. Their of the old literature and the new was present to pretentiousness, their omniscience, their large the mind of Aristophanes after the death of the fortunes, their impatience of argument, their in-three great tragedians (Frogs). After about a difference to first principles, their stupidity, their hundred, or at most two hundred years if we progresses through Hellas accompanied by a exclude Homer, the genius of Hellas had ceased troop of their disciples—these things were very to flower or blossom. The dreary waste which distasteful to Plato, who esteemed genius far follows, beginning with the Alexandrian writers above art, and was quite sensible of the interval and even before them in the platitudes of which separated them (Phaedrus). It is the in-Isocrates and his school, spreads over much more 41
than a thousand years. And from this decline the union between Hellas and the East? Only in Greek language and literature, unlike the Latin, Plutarch, in Lucian, in Longinus, in the Roman which has come to life in new forms and been emperors Marcus Aurelius and Julian, in some developed into the great European languages, of the Christian fathers are there any traces of never recovered.
good sense or originality, or any power of arous-This monotony of literature, without merit, ing the interest of later ages. And when new without genius and without character, is a phe-books ceased to be written, why did hosts of nomenon which deserves more attention than it grammarians and interpreters flock in, who has hitherto received; it is a phenomenon unique never attain to any sound notion either of gram-in the literary history of the world. How could mar or interpretation? Why did the physical sci-there have been so much cultivation, so much ences never arrive at any true knowledge or diligence in writing, and so little mind or real make any real progress? Why did poetry droop creative power? Why did a thousand years in-and languish? Why did history degenerate into vent nothing better than Sibylline books, Orphic fable? Why did words lose their power of expres-poems, Byzantine imitations of classical histo-sion? Why were ages of external greatness and ries, Christian reproductions of Greek plays, nov-magnificence attended by all the signs of decay els like the silly and obscene romances of Lon-in the human mind which are possible?
gus and Heliodorus, innumerable forged epistles, To these questions many answers may be given, a great many epigrams, biographies of the mean-which if not the true causes, are at least to be est and most meagre description, a sham phi-reckoned among the symptoms of the decline.
losophy which was the bastard progeny of the There is the want of method in physical science, 42
the want of criticism in history, the want of sim-If we seek to go deeper, we can still only de-plicity or delicacy in poetry, the want of political scribe the outward nature of the clouds or dark-freedom, which is the true atmosphere of public ness which were spread over the heavens dur-speaking, in oratory. The ways of life were luxuri-ing so many ages without relief or light. We may ous and commonplace. Philosophy had become say that this, like several other long periods in extravagant, eclectic, abstract, devoid of any real the history of the human race, was destitute, or content. At length it ceased to exist. It had spread deprived of the moral qualities which are the words like plaster over the whole field of knowl-root of literary excellence. It had no life or aspi-edge. It had grown ascetic on one side, mystical ration, no national or political force, no desire on the other. Neither of these tendencies was for consistency, no love of knowledge for its own favourable to literature. There was no sense of sake. It did not attempt to pierce the mists which beauty either in language or in art. The Greek surrounded it. It did not propose to itself to go world became vacant, barbaric, oriental. No one forward and scale the heights of knowledge, but had anything new to say, or any conviction of to go backwards and seek at the beginning what truth. The age had no remembrance of the past, can only be found towards the end. It was lost in no power of understanding what other ages doubt and ignorance. It rested upon tradition and thought and felt. The Catholic faith had degener-authority. It had none of the higher play of fancy ated into dogma and controversy. For more than which creates poetry; and where there is no true a thousand years not a single writer of first-rate, poetry, neither can there be any good prose. It or even of second-rate, reputation has a place in had no great characters, and therefore it had no the innumerable rolls of Greek literature.
great writers. It was incapable of distinguishing 43
between words and things. It was so hopelessly The question of a reading, or a grammatical form, below the ancient standard of classical Greek art or an accent, or the uses of a word, took the place and literature that it had no power of understand-of the aim or subject of the book. He had no sense ing or of valuing them. It is doubtful whether of the beauties of an author, and very little light any Greek author was justly appreciated in an-is thrown by him on real difficulties. He inter-tiquity except by his own contemporaries; and prets past ages by his own. The greatest classi-this neglect of the great authors of the past led cal writers are the least appreciated by him. This to the disappearance of the larger part of them, seems to be the reason why so many of them while the Greek fathers were mostly preserved.
have perished, why the lyric poets have almost There is no reason to suppose that, in the cen-wholly disappeared; why, out of the eighty or tury before the taking of Constantinople, much ninety tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles, more was in existence than the scholars of the only seven of each had been preserved.
Renaissance carried away with them to Italy.
Such an age of sciolism and scholasticism may The character of Greek literature sank lower possibly once more get the better of the literary as time went on. It consisted more and more of world. There are those who prophesy that the compilations, of scholia, of extracts, of commen-signs of such a day are again appearing among taries, forgeries, imitations. The commentator us, and that at the end of the present century no or interpreter had no conception of his author writer of the first class will be still alive. They as a whole, and very little of the context of any think that the Muse of Literature may transfer passage which he was explaining. The least herself to other countries less dried up or worn things were preferred by him to the greatest.
out than our own. They seem to see the wither-44
ing effect of criticism on original genius. No one judge of the future by the present. When more can doubt that such a decay or decline of litera-of our youth are trained in the best literatures, ture and of art seriously affects the manners and and in the best parts of them, their minds may character of a nation. It takes away half the joys be expected to have a larger growth. They will and refinements of life; it increases its dulness have more interests, more thoughts, more ma-and grossness. Hence it becomes a matter of terial for conversation; they will have a higher great interest to consider how, if at all, such a standard and begin to think for themselves. The degeneracy may be averted. Is there any elixir number of persons who will have the opportu-which can restore life and youth to the litera-nity of receiving the highest education through ture of a nation, or at any rate which can pre-the cheap press, and by the help of high schools vent it becoming unmanned and enfeebled?
and colleges, may increase tenfold. It is likely First there is the progress of education. It is that in every thousand persons there is at least possible, and even probable, that the extension one who is far above the average in natural ca-of the means of knowledge over a wider area pacity, but the seed which is in him dies for want and to persons living under new conditions may of cultivation. It has never had any stimulus to lead to many new combinations of thought and grow, or any field in which to blossom and pro-language. But, as yet, experience does not favour duce fruit. Here is a great reservoir or treasure-the realization of such a hope or promise. It may house of human intelligence out of which new be truly answered that at present the training waters may flow and cover the earth. If at any of teachers and the methods of education are time the great men of the world should die out, very imperfect, and therefore that we cannot and originality or genius appear to suffer a par-45
tial eclipse, there is a boundless hope in the abundant materials of education to the coming multitude of intelligences for future generations.
generation. Now that every nation holds com-They may bring gifts to men such as the world munication with every other, we may truly say has never received before. They may begin at a in a fuller sense than formerly that ‘the thoughts higher point and yet take with them all the re-of men are widened with the process of the sults of the past. The co-operation of many may suns.’ They will not be ‘cribbed, cabined, and have effects not less striking, though different confined’ within a province or an island. The in character from those which the creative ge-East will provide elements of culture to the West nius of a single man, such as Bacon or Newton, as well as the West to the East. The religions and formerly produced. There is also great hope to literatures of the world will be open books, which be derived, not merely from the extension of edu-he who wills may read. The human race may cation over a wider area, but from the continu-not be always ground down by bodily toil, but ance of it during many generations. Educated may have greater leisure for the improvement parents will have children fit to receive educa-of the mind. The increasing sense of the great-tion; and these again will grow up under circum-ness and infinity of nature will tend to awaken stances far more favourable to the growth of in-in men larger and more liberal thoughts. The telligence than any which have hitherto existed love of mankind may be the source of a greater in our own or in former ages.
development of literature than nationality has Even if we were to suppose no more men of ever been. There may be a greater freedom from genius to be produced, the great writers of an-prejudice and party; we may better understand cient or of modern times will remain to furnish the whereabouts of truth, and therefore there 46
may be more success and fewer failures in the PHAEDRUS
search for it. Lastly, in the coming ages we shall carry with us the recollection of the past, in which are necessarily contained many seeds of by
revival and renaissance in the future. So far is the world from becoming exhausted, so ground-Plato
less is the fear that literature will ever die out.
Translated by Benjamin Jowett PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, Phaedrus.
SCENE: Under a plane-tree, by the banks of the Ilissus.
SOCRATES: My dear Phaedrus, whence come you, and whither are you going?
PHAEDRUS: I come from Lysias the son of 47
Cephalus, and I am going to take a walk outside SOCRATES: And should I not deem the conver-the wall, for I have been sitting with him the sation of you and Lysias ‘a thing of higher im-whole morning; and our common friend port,’ as I may say in the words of Pindar, ‘than Acumenus tells me that it is much more refresh-any business’?
ing to walk in the open air than to be shut up in a cloister.
PHAEDRUS: Will you go on?
SOCRATES: There he is right. Lysias then, I sup-SOCRATES: And will you go on with the narra-pose, was in the town?
PHAEDRUS: Yes, he was staying with Epicrates, PHAEDRUS: My tale, Socrates, is one of your sort, here at the house of Morychus; that house which for love was the theme which occupied us—love is near the temple of Olympian Zeus.
after a fashion: Lysias has been writing about a fair youth who was being tempted, but not by a SOCRATES: And how did he entertain you? Can lover; and this was the point: he ingeniously I be wrong in supposing that Lysias gave you a proved that the non-lover should be accepted feast of discourse?
rather than the lover.
PHAEDRUS: You shall hear, if you can spare time SOCRATES: O that is noble of him! I wish that he to accompany me.
would say the poor man rather than the rich, and the old man rather than the young one;—