Quotes By Phaedrus

“Love is a serious mental disease.”


“Man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door of his prison and run away... A man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him.”


“O dear Pan and all the other gods of this place, grant that I may be beautiful inside. Let all my external possessions be in friendly harmony with what is within. May I consider the wise man rich. As for gold, let me have as much as a moderate man could bear and carry with him.”


“[there are] two kinds of things the nature of which it would be quite wonderful to grasp by means of a systematic art...

the first consists in seeing together things that are scattered about everywhere and collecting them into one kind, so that by defining each thing we can make clear the subject of any instruction we wish to give...

[the second], in turn, is to be able to cut up each kind according to its species along its natural joints, and to try not to splinter any part, as a bad butcher might do...

phaedrus, i myself am a lover of these divisions and collections, so that i may be able to think and to speak.”


“But of the heaven which is above the heavens, what earthly poet ever did or ever will sing worthily?”


“If anyone comes to the gates of poetry and expects to become an adequate poet by acquiring expert knowledge of the subject without the Muses' madness, he will fail, and his self-controlled verses will be eclipsed by the poetry of men who have been driven out of their minds.”


“All soul is immortal. For that which is always in movement is immortal; that which moves something else, and is moved by something else, in ceasing from movement ceases from living. So only that which moves itself, because it does not abandon itself, never stops moving. But it is also source and first principle of movement for the other things which move. Now a first principle is something which does not come into being. For all that comes into being must come into being from a first principle, but a first principle itself cannot come into being from anything at all; for if a first principle came into being from anything, it would not do so from a first principle. Since it is something that does not come into being, it must also be something which does not perish. For if a first principle is destroyed, neither will it ever come into being from anything itself nor will anything else come into being from it, given that all things must come into being from a first principle. It is in this way, then, that that which moves itself is a first principle of movement. It is not possible for this either to be destroyed or to come into being, or else the whole universe and the whole of that which comes to be might collapse together and come to a halt, and never again have a source from which things will be moved and come to be. And since that which is moved by itself has been shown to be immortal, it will incur no shame to say that this is the essence and the definition of the soul”


“... as a breath of wind or some echo rebounds from smooth, hard surfaces and returns to the source from which it issued, so the stream of beauty passes back into its possessor through his eyes, which is its natural route to the soul; arriving there and setting him all aflutter, it waters the passages of the feathers and causes the wings to grow, and fills the soul of the loved one in his turn with love.”


“And yet even in reaching for the beautiful there is beauty, and also in suffering whatever it is that one suffers en route.”


“Les amants, en effet, regrettent le bien qu’ils
ont fait, une fois que leur désir est éteint. Ceux qui n’ont pas d’amour, au contraire, n’ont
jamais occasion seyante au repentir, car ce n’est point par contrainte, mais librement, comme
s’ils s’occupaient excellemment des biens de leurs demeures, qu’ils font, dans la mesure de
leurs moyens, du bien à leurs amis. Les amants considèrent en outre, et les dommages que
leur amour fit à leurs intérêts et les largesses qu’ils ont dû consentir ; puis, en y ajoutant la
peine qu’ils ont eue, ils pensent depuis longtemps avoir déjà payé à leurs aimés le juste prix
des faveurs obtenues. Par contre, ceux qui ne sont pas épris ne peuvent, ni prétexter les
affaires négligées par amour, ni mettre en ligne de compte les souffrances passées, ni alléguer
les différends familiaux qu’ils ont eus. Exempts de tous ces maux, il ne leur reste plus qu’à
s’empresser de mettre en acte tout ce qu’ils croient devoir leur donner du plaisir.”


“the matter is as it is in all other cases: if it is naturally in you to be a good orator, a notable orator you will be when you have acquired knowledge and practice ...”


“... there is no necessity for the man who means to be an orator to understand what is really just but only what would appear so to the majority of those who will give judgment; and not what is really good or beautiful but whatever will appear so; because persuasion comes from that and not from the truth.”


“Αν όμως ακούσεις εμένα, πρώτα-πρώτα θα είμαι μαζί σου όχι για να προσέχω την ηδονή της στιγμής, αλλά και τη μελλοντική ωφέλεια που θα 'ρθει, δεν θα νικιέμαι από τον έρωτα, αλλά θα κυβερνάω τον εαυτό μου, ούτε θ' ανοίξω μεγάλη έχθρα για μικροπράγματα, αλλά και για μεγάλα ακόμη θα σου θυμώνω λίγο και σιγά-σιγά, θα σου συγχωρώ όσα λάθη κάνεις χωρίς να το θέλεις και θα κοιτάζω να σε αποτρέπω από όσα θα κάνεις με τη θέλησή σου.”


“Now I am a diviner, though not a very good one, but I have enough religion for my own use, as you might say of a bad writer—his writing is good enough for him; and”


“Τι εγώ δα ζητάω, το ξέρεις, και ότι κατά τη γνώμη μου μας συμφέρει, αν αυτό γίνει, το έχεις ακούσει. Και παρακαλώ να μη στερηθώ εκείνο που ζητάω, εξαιτίας που δεν είμαι εραστής σου. Γιατί οι εραστές μετανιώνουν για το καλό που θα κάνουν μόλις σβήσει η επιθυμία τους, ενώ εκείνοι που δεν κατέχονται από έρωτα δεν θα έρθει ποτέ η στιγμή να αλλάξουν γνώμη. Γιατί δεν είναι η ανάγκη που τους πιέζει αλλά με τη θέλησή τους σκέφτονται τα ζητήματά τους, όπως είναι το καλύτερο, και κάνουν το καλό κατά τη δύναμη που έχουν.”


“A los amantes les llega el arrepentimiento del bien que hayan podido hacer, tan pronto como se les aplaca su deseo.”


“La mayoría de la gente no se ha dado cuenta de que no sabe lo que son realmente las cosas. Sin embargo, y como si lo supieran, no se ponen de acuerdo en los comienzos de su investigación, sino que, siguiendo adelante, lo natural es que paguen su error al no haber alcanzado esa concordia, ni entre ellos mismos, ni con los otros.”


“Necesariamente aquel cuyo imperio es el deseo, y el placer su esclavitud, hará que el amado le proporcione el mayor gozo. A un enfermo le gusta todo lo que no le contraría; pero le es desagradable lo que es igual o superior a él. El que ama, pues, no soportará de buen grado que su amado le sea mejor o igual, sino que se esforzará siempre en que le sea inferior o más débil.”


“La amistad del amante no brota del buen sentido, sino como las ganas de comer, del ansia de saciarse.”