If the boy had replied like Alcibiades, "By the gods, Socrates
, I cannot tell," his grandfather would not have been surprised, but when, after standing a moment on one leg, like a meditative young stork, he answered, in a tone of calm conviction, "In my little belly," the old gentleman could only join in Grandma's laugh, and dismiss the class in metaphysics.
Hemlock is interesting on account of Socrates
, and you were interesting as a young lady gathering poison.
I had the honour to have much conversation with Brutus; and was told, "that his ancestor Junius, Socrates
, Epaminondas, Cato the younger, Sir Thomas More, and himself were perpetually together:" a sextumvirate, to which all the ages of the world cannot add a seventh.
It certainly agrees in tone and character with the description of Xenophon, who says in the Memorabilia that Socrates
might have been acquitted 'if in any moderate degree he would have conciliated the favour of the dicasts;' and who informs us in another passage, on the testimony of Hermogenes, the friend of Socrates
, that he had no wish to live; and that the divine sign refused to allow him to prepare a defence, and also that Socrates
himself declared this to be unnecessary, on the ground that all his life long he had been preparing against that hour.
The Crito seems intended to exhibit the character of Socrates
in one light only, not as the philosopher, fulfilling a divine mission and trusting in the will of heaven, but simply as the good citizen, who having been unjustly condemned is willing to give up his life in obedience to the laws of the state.
Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates
, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.
A perfect, all-rounded man is so rare that Socrates
, one of the noblest pearls of humanity, declared (as a phrenologist of that day) that he was born to be a scamp, and a very bad one.
For if Socrates
exists, one will be true and the other false, but if he does not exist, both will be false; for neither 'Socrates
is ill' nor 'Socrates
is well' is true, if Socrates
does not exist at all.
That is the great advantage of dialogue on horseback; it can be merged any minute into a trot or a canter, and one might have escaped from Socrates
himself in the saddle.
Although he was not a great philosopher, after the fashion of either Epicurus or Socrates
, he was a powerful spirit, having knowledge of life, and endowed with thought.
Still the ground is, they will, if they be of spirit, seek to free themselves from scorn; which must be either by virtue or malice; and therefore let it not be marvelled, if sometimes they prove excellent persons; as was Agesilaus, Zanger the son of Solyman, AEsop, Gasca, President of Peru; and Socrates
may go likewise amongst them; with others.
Xantippe's life must have been one long misery, tied to that calmly irritating man, Socrates