Callias now said, Critobulus, are you going to refuse to enter the lists in the beauty contest with Socrates?Undoubtedly! said Socrates; for probably he notices that the procurer stands high in the favour of the judges.
But yet in spite of that, retorted Critobulus, I do not shun the contest. So make your plea, if you can produce any profound reason, and prove that you are more handsome than I. Only, he added, let some one bring the light close to him. The first step, then, in my suit, said Socrates, is to summon you to the preliminary hearing; be so kind as to answer my questions. And you proceed to put them.
Do you hold, then, that beauty is to be found only in man, or is it also in other objects?Crit. In faith, my opinion is that beauty is to be found quite as well in a horse or an ox or in any number of inanimate things. I know, at any rate, that a shield may be beautiful, or a sword, or a spear.
Soc. How can it be that all these things are beautiful when they are entirely dissimilar?Why, they are beautiful and fine,[*](Critobulus, of course, gets into trouble by his poor definition of beauty. In the Greek the ensuing discussion is made plausible by the fact that throughout both disputants use only one word, καλός, which means not only beautiful or handsome but also glorious, noble, excellent, fine; and though starting with the first meaning it soon shifts to the last. The translator is compelled to use different terms for this in the two parts of the argument.) answered Critobulus, if they are well made for the respective functions for which we obtain them, or if they are naturally well constituted to serve our needs.