crito - 42 important I could spend my time testing and...

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Unformatted text preview: 42 important, I could spend my time testing and examining people ther I do here, as to who among them is wise, and who thinks he is, but is What would one not give, gentlemen of the jury, for the opportuni examine the man who led the great expedition against Troy, or Odysse I or Sisyphus, and innumerable other men and women one could mention It would be an extraordinary happiness to talk with them, to keep comp ‘ ' with them and examine them. In any case, they would certainly not p one to death for doing so. They are happier there than we are here other respects, and for the rest of time they are deathless, if indeed W we are told is true. ‘ You too must be of good hope as regards death, gentlemen of the j and keep this one truth in mind, that a good man cannot be harmed eith in life or in death, and that his affairs are not neglected by the gods.rWh has happened to me now has not happened of itself, but it is clear tom that it was better for me to die now and to escape from trouble. Tha “ why my divine sign did not oppose me at any point. So I am certainl not angry with those who convicted me, or with my accusers. Of will that was not their purpose when they accused and convicted me, but the , thought they were hurting me, and for this they deserve blame. This much- I ask from them: when my sons grow up, avenge yourselves by causing them the same kind of grief that I caused you, if you think they care for money or anything else more than they care for virtue, or if they they are somebody when they are nobody. Reproach them as I reproach you, that they do not care for the right things and think they are worth ' when they are not worthy of anything. If you do this, I shall have been justly treated by you, and my sons also. V Now the hour to part has come. I go to die, you go to live. Which 0 us goes to the better lot is known to no one, except the god. ,e‘beginning of the Phaedo relates, Socrates did not die until a month is trial, which followed by a day the sailing of the Athenian state galley _- annual religious mission to the island of Delos; no executions were per— d during its absence. Crito comes to tell Socrates of its anticipated arrival hat day and to make one last effort to persuade him to allow his friends ve him by bribing his jailers and bundling him ofl‘ somewhere beyond the “of Athenian law. Crito indicates that most people expect his friends to do unless (dishonorably) they value their-money more than their friend. Soc— however, refuses. Even if people do expect it, to do that would be grossly st. th Crito’s arguments in favor of his plan and Socrates’ in rejecting it are her jumbled—as perhaps befits the pressure and excitement of the moment. to cites the damage to his and Socrates’ other friends’ reputations and deli- minimizes any financial loss he might suffer, in case Socrates might be ing to accept any great sacrifice from a friend. Socrates witheringly dis— s the first consideration and ignores the second. But Crito also claims 't would actually be unjust of Socrates to stay. That would allow his ene- to triumph over him and his friends, including his young sons, whom he abandon by going docilely to his death: a person ought not to take lying an attack on the things he holds most dear, including philosophy itself he philosophical life to which he and (presumably) his friends are devoted. we hear strains of the time-honored Greek idea that justice is helping friends and harming one's enemies, cited by Polemarchus in Republic I. Crito does not propose harming their enemies—only preventing them having their way.) As to his children, Socrates responds that they will be ell or better cared for after his death than if be resisted it and went into ex— ut ironically, considering his own subsequent arguments for accepting his , he seems not to hear the larger claim of injustice that Crito lodges. to’s jumbled presentation of his case facilitates this. ‘ nmoved by the claims of justice grounded in his private relationships to ends and family, Socrates appeals to the standards of civic justice imbedded his relations as a citizen to the Athenian peopleand to the Athenian system a" He claims that a citizen is necessarily, given the benefits he has enjoyed Jer'the laws of the city, their slave, justly required to do whatever they ask, more forbidden to attack them than to violate his own parents. That would taliation—rendering a wrong for the wrong received in his unjust condem— ion—and retaliation is never just. But what if he chose to depart not in an 37 43 38 Cut to l i 39 unjust spirit of retaliation but only in order to evade th ' ~ . , . e zll conse uences o ', the unjust condemnation for himself and his friends and family? A79 if recoghiz ing that loophole, Socrates also develops a celebrated early version of the social contract—a contract between the laws or the city and each citizen, not amon the QZZzens themselves—with the argument that now, after he is condemned by an enian court and has exhausted all le al a eals he must ' ' ' his implicit promise, abide ' g W I I m Jusme to tence. It is clear where Socrates stands; he is committed, as a public figure known for pleading the preeminent value of the civic virtues, to honoring them in his personal life—and death. But the dialogue itself, through Crito’s ignored ap— peal to ]uSth€ in the private sphere, invites the reader to reflect on a wider range of issues about justice than Socrates himsel addresses D‘d ' ' require that Socrates stay to accept his death? f l l JuStZ'C'e .M.C SOCRATES: What is it? Or has the ship arrived from Delos, at the arrival which I must die? CRrro: It has not arrived yet, but it will, I believe, arrive today, according a message some men brought from Sunium, where they left it. This makes obVious that it will come today, and that your life must end tomorrow. SOCRATES: May it be for the best. If it so please the gods, so be it. However, 0 not think it will arrive today. CRITO: What indication have you of this? SOCRATES: I will tell you. I must die the day after the ship arrives. CRITO: That is what those in authority say. SOCRATEs: Then I do not think it will arrive on this coming day, but on e next. I take to witness of this a dream I had a little earlier during this ght. It looks as if it was the right time for you not to wake me. CRITO: What was your dream? SOCRATES: I thought that a beautiful and comely woman dressed in white approached me. She called me and said: “Socrates, may you arrive at fertile hthia1 on the third day.” CRITO: A strange dream, Socrates. SOCRATES: But it seems clear enough to me, Crito. CRITOI Too clear it seems, my dear Socrates, but listen to me even now d be saved. If you die, it will not be a single misfortune for me. Not nly will I be deprived of a friend, the like of whom I shall never find am, but many people who do not know you or me very well will think ‘atl could have saved you if I were willing to spend money, but that I ’d not care to do so. Surely there can be no worse reputation than to be Ought to value money more highly than one’s friends, for the majority not believe that you yourself were not willing to leave prison while ,e- were eager for you to do so. OCRATES: My good Crito, why should we care so much for what the ajority think? The most reasonable people, to whom one should pay “ore attention, will believe that things were done as they were done. CRITO: You see, Socrates, that one must also pay attention to the opinion fthe majority. Your present situation makes clear that the majority can - 'ct not the least but pretty well the greatest evils if one is slandered among them. OCRATES: Would that the majority could inflict the greatest evils, for ‘ey would then be capable of the greatest good, and that would be fine, ‘ut-now they cannot do either. They cannot make a man either wise or Colish, but they inflict things haphazardly. d :— W N R S in ‘th 3 E ‘N : °§ Q at R 3 m. h h D Q at :- a % a :- CI: § SOCRAIES: Why haVe You come so earl C ' ~ ~ - , t ? () CRITO: It certain y is, y n O r ls 1t not sun eaflY- SOCRATES: How early? CRIrO: Early dawn. SOCRATES: I am surprised that the warder w ‘ ' ‘ ~ . as Willm to listen to 0 CRITO: He is quite friendly to me b now S g y , ocr t . I often and I have given him something? a es have been here SOCRATES‘ Have you just come L . , or have ou been here ' 7 CRrro: A fair time. y for some tune. SOCRA : T ‘ ‘ ‘ L in Sflencggs hen why did you not wake me right away but sit ther CRITO: By Zeus no Socrates I would not In ' ' L , . yself want to be in distress ' aland awake so long. I have been surprised to see you so peacefully asleep. L t was on purpose that I did not wake you, so that you should spend your Egreie most agrheealily. Often in the past throughout my life, I have considered . way you ve appy, and es eciall so no th t i I misfortune so easily and lightly). y W a you bear your present SOCRATEs: It would not be fittin at 5 m a i die now. g Y ge t0 resent the fact that I must ,. CRITO: Other men of your age are caught in such misfortunes, but - age does not prevent them resenting their fate. SOCRATES: That is so. Why have you come so early? CRITO: I bring bad news, Socrates, not for you, apparently, but for, me ' and all Your friends the news is bad and h d t count it among the hardest. ar 0 bear. Indeed, I would A quotation from Iliad ix.363. Achilles has rejected all the presents Agamemnon ered him to get him to return to the battle, and threatens to go home. He says his hips will sail in the morning, and with good weather he might arrive on the third day ‘ fertile Phthia” (which is his home). The dream means that Socrates’ soul, after death, find its home on the third day (counting, as usual among the Greeks, both the first Translated by G.M.A. Grube. and the last member of the series). 45 46 40 Crito CRITO: That may be.so. But tell me this, Socrates, are you anticipating that I and your other friends would have trouble with the informers if you escape from here, as having stolen you away, and that we should be compelled to lose all our property or pay heavy fines and suffer other punishment besides? If you have any such fear, forget it. We would be justified in running this risk to save you, and worse, if necessary. Do follow my advice, and do not act differently. L SOCRATES: I do have these things in mind, Crito, and also many others. CRITO: Have no such fear. It is not much money that some people require to save you and get you out of here. Further, do you not see that those informers are cheap, and that not much money would be needed to deal with them? My money is available and is, I think, sufficient. If, because of your affection for me, you feel you should not spend any of mine, there are those strangers here ready to spend money. One of them, Simrnias the Theban, has brought enough for this very purpose. Cebes, too, and a good many others. So, as I say, do not let this fear make you hesitate to save yourself, nor Iet what you said in court trouble you, that you would not know what to do with yourself if you left Athens, for you would be welcomed in many places to which you might go. If you want to go to Thessaly, I have friends there who will greatly appreciate you and keep you safe, so that no one in Thessaly will harm you. Besides, Socrates, I do not think that what you are doing is just, to give up your life when you can save it, and to hasten your fate as your enemies would hasten it, and indeed have hastened it in their wish to destroy you. Moreover, I think you are betraying your sons by going away and leaving them, when you could bring them up and educate them. You thus show no concern for what their fate may be. They will probably have the usual fate of orphans. Either one should not have children, or one should share with them to the end the toil of upbringing and education. You seem to me to choose the easiest path, whereas one should choose the path a good and courageous man would choose, particularly when one claims throughout one’s life to care for virtue. l feel ashamed on your behalf and on behalf of us, your friends, lest all that has happened to you be thought due to cowardice on our part: the fact that your trial came to court when it need not have done so, the handling of the trial itself, and now this absurd ending which will be thought to have got beyond our control through some cowardice and unmanliness on our part, since we did not save you, or you save yourself, when it was possible and could be done if we had been of the slightest use. Consider, Socrates, whether this is not only evil, but shameful, both for you and for us. Take counsel with yourself, or rather the time for counsel is past and the decision should have been taken, and there is no further opportunity, for this whole business must be ended tonight. If we delay now, then it will no longer be possible; it will be too late. Let me persuade you on every count, Socrates, and do not act otherwise. Crito 41 SOCRATEs: My dear Crito, your eagerness is worth much if it should have some right aim; if not, then the greater your keenness the more difficult it is to deal with. We must therefore examine whether we should act in this way or not, as not only now but at all times I am the of man who listens to nothing within me but the argument that on reflection seems best to me. I cannot, now that this fate has come upon me, discard the arguments I used; they seem to me much the same. I value and respect the same principles as before, and if we have no better arguments to bring , up atrthis moment, be sure that I shall not agree With you, not even if the power of the majority were to frighten us with more bogeys, as we were children, with threats of incarcerations and executions and confiscation of property. How should we examine this matter most reasonably? Would it be by taking up first your argument about the opinions of men, whether it is sound in every case that one should pay attention to some opinions, but not to others? Or was that well-spoken before the necessity to die came upon me, but now it is clear that this was said in vain for the sake. of argument, that it was in truth play and nonsense? I. am eager .to examine together with you, Crito, whether this argument Will appear in any way different to me in my present circumstances, or whether it remains the same, whether we are to abandon it or believe it. It was said on every occaSion by those who thought they were speaking sensibly, as I have just now been speaking, that one should greatly value some people s opinions, but not others. Does that seem to you a sound statement? . ~ You, as far as a human being can tell, are exempt from the likelihood of dying tomorrow, so the present misfortune is not hkely to lead you astray. Consider then, do you not think it a sound statement that one must not value all the opinions of men, but some and not others, nor the opimons of all men, but those of some and not of others? What do you say? Is this not well said? CRITO: It is. . _ 7 SOCRATEs: One should value the good opinions, and not the bad ones. Cmo: Yes. . SOCRATES: The good opinions are those of Wise men, the bad ones those [of foolish men? - ,CRITO: Of course. . “SOCRATES: Come then, what of statements such as this: Should .a man professionally engaged in physical training pay attention to the praise and blame and opinion of any man, or to those of one man only, namely a [doctor or trainer? r :‘CRiTO: To those of one only. . wSOCRATEs: He should therefore fear the blame and welcome the praise of that one man, and not those of the many? CRITO: Obviously. . . 2:,SOCRATES: He must then act and exercise, eat and drink in the way the one, the trainer and the one who knows, thinks right, not all the others? 47 42 Crito Crito 43 CRrro: That is so. I SOCRATESZ As we have agreed so far, We moot examfllze neXt :Vheiliiieg C SOCRATESZ Very well. And if he disobeys the one, disregards his opinion is just for me to try to get out of here when the :3: gouaglandon and his praises while valuing those of the many who have no knowledge, me. If it is seen to be just W€.W111 try to Clo sol 1 1 13 ’ t tion the will he not suffer harm? theidea..As for those queS’flons You “71.158 abF’Ut money’ fell” a t t'h se CRITO; Of course. upbringing of children, Crito, those considerations truilvbe 31%: a gin SOCRATESI What is that harm, where does it tend, and what part of the peOple who easily put mento death and would bruit}: emFor us haw“ man who disobeys does it affect? if-they could, without thinking; I moan the majorlng ration, as we CRrrO: Obviously the harm is to his body, which it ruins. ever, since our argument leads to this, the onleva fig) . htl in’ .Ving SOCRATEs: Well said. So with other matters, not to enumerate them all, Were saying just DOW, 15 Whother W? 511011“ e :C ffieigang omilves d and certainly with actions just and unjust, shameful and beautiful, good money and gratitude to those who will lead me ouh:11 do Vinon in doing and bad, about which we are now deliberating, should we follow the helpingwith the escape, or Whether m with We? t1 then W? have no opinion of the many and fear it, or that of the one, if there is one who has allthis. If it appears that W8 Shall be aotmg Y' to die if we Stay knowledge of these things and before whom we feel fear and shame more need at all to take into account whether we s a h at; do wron than before all the others. If we do not follow his directions, we shall harm here and keep quiet, or suffer in another wajg rat ter 1:11]: see What? we and corrupt that part of ourselves that is improved by just actions and , CRITO: I think You Pm that beautlfuuy’ ocra 88' destro ed b un‘ust actions. Or is there nothin in this? should do. . - CRUZ; I think lhere certainly is, Socrates. ' g »_ SOCRATEs: Let us exam.ine the.queShOn tOgEither' m1}: (1:21:31: Ivigilalilsftlelrfi e SOCRATEs: Come now, if we ruin that which is improved by health and you can make any objection While; am Speakmg/ in: e r Crito then Stop corrupted by disease by not following the opinions of those who know, to yOu, but if You haVe no ooleotlon to make/ 11W oral ave h'ere against is life worth living for us when that is ruined? And that is the body, is it not? now from saying the same thing so often, that mus e d b fore l CRlTO: Yes. the will of the Athenians. I think it important to persua e you .e u. 49 SOCRATEs: And is life worth living with a body that is corrupted and in act, and not to act against your Wishes. See whether 1t<he start othcéuivlanq 1:1}: bad condition? is adequately stated, and try ’60 answer What I as You 1“ y y CRITO: In no way. think best. an SOCRATEs: And is life worth living for us with that art of us corru ted _ ,VCRITOZ I sh try. . .1]. that unjust action harms and just action benefits? Or do we think thatIpart _ SOCRATESZ Do we say that one must nEVer m 3113’ Wagldo?v‘got1;gdo WEE; of us, whatever it is, that is concerned with justice and injustice, is inferior or. must one do wrong in one way and not 111110 e:- have all these to the body? never good or admirable, as we have agreed in t e pas , ocr1 ? Have we b CRITO; Not at a11_ former agreements been washed out during the last few ays. ' ’ ‘ ‘ ’ ’ ions SOCRATEs: It is more valuable? ataour age failed to notice for some time that in our serious discuss CRITO: Much more. We were no different from children? Above all, is the truth such as we SOCRATEs: We should not then think so much of what the majority will y bou u bu ‘ ,h 1 H 1 used to say it was, whether the majority agree or not, and whtether vi: 3 “d u h “d 111 u t1 I ‘ ‘ Will b trea ed mo sa a t s, t at e . 3a ersta Si 5 ice a i l 5 .CE, must still suffer worse things than we do now, or e the one, that is, and the truth itself. So that, in the first place, you were gently, that nonetheless, wrongdoing or injustice is in every way harmful wrong to believe that we should care for th...
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