Crit. None whatever, unless we are prepared to admit that hyoscyamus,[12] as they call it, is wealth, a poison the property of which is to drive those who take it mad.

[12] 'A dose of henbane, 'hogs'-bean,' so called.' Diosc. 4. 69; 6. 15; Plut. 'Demetr.' xx. (Clough, v. 114).

Soc. Let money then, Critobulus, if a man does not know how to use it aright--let money, I say, be banished to the remote corners of the earth rather than be reckoned as wealth.[13] But now, what shall we say of friends? If a man knows how to use his friends so as to be benefited by them, what of these?

[13] Or, 'then let it be relegated . . . and there let it lie in the category of non-wealth.'

Crit. They are wealth indisputably, and in a deeper sense than cattle are, if, as may be supposed, they are likely to prove of more benefit to a man than wealth of cattle.

Soc. It would seem, according to your argument, that the foes of a man's own household after all may be wealth to him, if he knows how to turn them to good account?[14]

[14] Vide supra.

Crit. That is my opinion, at any rate.

Soc. It would seem, it is the part of a good economist[15] to know how to deal with his own or his employer's foes so as to get profit out of them?

[15] 'A good administrator of an estate.'

Crit. Most emphatically so.

Soc. In fact, you need but use your eyes to see how many private persons, not to say crowned heads, do owe the increase of their estates to war.

Crit. Well, Socrates, I do not think, so far, the argument could be improved on;[16] but now comes a puzzle. What of people who have got the knowledge and the capital[17] required to enhance their fortunes, if only they will put their shoulders to the wheel; and yet, if we are to believe our senses, that is just the one thing they will not do, and so their knowledge and accomplishments are of no profit to them? Surely in their case also there is but one conclusion to be drawn, which is, that neither their knowledge nor their possessions are wealth.

[16] Or, 'Thanks, Socrates. Thus far the statement of the case would seem to be conclusive--but what are we to make of this? Some people . . .'

[17] Lit. 'the right kinds of knowledge and the right starting- points.'

Soc. Ah! I see, Critobulus, you wish to direct the discussion to the topic of slaves?

Crit. No indeed, I have no such intention--quite the reverse. I want to talk about persons of high degree, of right noble family[18] some of them, to do them justice. These are the people I have in my mind's eye, gifted with, it may be, martial or, it may be, civil accomplishments, which, however, they refuse to exercise, for the very reason, as I take it, that they have no masters over them.

[18] 'Eupatrids.'

Soc. No masters over them! but how can that be if, in spite of their prayers for prosperity and their desire to do what will bring them good, they are still so sorely hindered in the exercise of their wills by those that lord it over them?

Crit. And who, pray, are these lords that rule them and yet remain unseen?

Soc. Nay, not unseen; on the contrary, they are very visible. And what is more, they are the basest of the base, as you can hardly fail to note, if at least you believe idleness and effeminacy and reckless negligence to be baseness. Then, too, there are other treacherous beldames giving themselves out to be innocent pleasures, to wit, dicings and profitless associations among men.[19] These in the fulness of time appear in all their nakedness even to them that are deceived, showing themselves that they are after all but pains tricked out and decked with pleasures. These are they who have the dominion over those you speak of and quite hinder them from every good and useful work.

[19] Or, 'frivolous society.'

Crit. But there are others, Socrates, who are not hindered by these indolences--on the contrary, they have the most ardent disposition to exert themselves, and by every means to increase their revenues; but in spite of all, they wear out their substance and are involved in endless difficulties.[20]

[20] Or, 'become involved for want of means.'

Soc. Yes, for they too are slaves, and harsh enough are their taskmasters; slaves are they to luxury and lechery, intemperance and the wine-cup along with many a fond and ruinous ambition. These passions so cruelly belord it over the poor soul whom they have got under their thrall, that so long as he is in the heyday of health and strong to labour, they compel him to fetch and carry and lay at their feet the fruit of his toils, and to spend it on their own heart's lusts; but as soon as he is seen to be incapable of further labour through old age, they leave him to his gray hairs and misery, and turn to seize on other victims.[21] Ah! Critobulus, against these must we wage ceaseless war, for very freedom's sake, no less than if they were armed warriors endeavouring to make us their slaves. Nay, foemen in war, it must be granted, especially when of fair and noble type, have many times ere now proved benefactors to those they have enslaved. By dint of chastening, they have forced the vanquished to become better men and to lead more tranquil lives in future.[22] But these despotic queens never cease to plague and torment their victims in body and soul and substance until their sway is ended.

[21] 'To use others as their slaves.'

[22] Lit. 'Enemies for the matter of that, when, being beautiful and good, they chance to have enslaved some other, have ere now in many an instance chastened and compelled the vanquished to be better and to live more easily for the rest of time.'


The conersation was resumed by Critobulus, and on this wise. He said: I think I take your meaning fully, Socrates, about these matters; and for myself, examining my heart, I am further satisfied, I have sufficient continence and self-command in those respects. So that if you will only advise me on what I am to do to improve my estate, I flatter myself I shall not be hindered by those despotic dames, as you call them. Come, do not hesitate; only tender me what good advice you can, and trust me I will follow it. But perhaps, Socrates, you have already passed sentence on us--we are rich enough already, and not in need of any further wealth?

Soc. It is to myself rather, if I may be included in your plural 'we,' that I should apply the remark. I am not in need of any further wealth, if you like. I am rich enough already, to be sure. But you, Critobulus, I look upon as singularly poor, and at times, upon my soul, I feel a downright compassion for you.

At this view of the case, Critobulus fell to laughing outright, retorting: And pray, Socrates, what in the name of fortune do you suppose our respective properties would fetch in the market, yours and mine?

If I could find a good purchaser (he answered), I suppose the whole of my effects, including the house in which I live, might very fairly realise five minae[1] (say twenty guineas). Yours, I am positively certain, would fetch at the lowest more than a hundred times that sum.

[1] 5 x L4:1:3. See Boeckh, 'P. E. A.' [Bk. i. ch. xx.], p. 109 f. (Eng. ed.)

Crit. And with this estimate of our respective fortunes, can you still maintain that you have no need of further wealth, but it is I who am to be pitied for my poverty?

Soc. Yes, for my property is amply sufficient to meet my wants, whereas you, considering the parade you are fenced about with, and the reputation you must needs live up to, would be barely well off, I take it, if what you have already were multiplied by three.

Pray, how may that be? Critobulus asked.

Why, first and foremost (Socrates explained), I see you are called upon to offer many costly sacrifices, failing which, I take it, neither gods nor men would tolerate you; and, in the next place, you are bound to welcome numerous foreigners as guests, and to entertain them handsomely; thirdly, you must feast your fellow-citizens and ply them with all sorts of kindness, or else be cut adrift from your supporters.[2] Furthermore, I perceive that even at present the state enjoins upon you various large contributions, such as the rearing of studs,[3] the training of choruses, the superintendence of gymnastic schools, or consular duties,[4] as patron of resident aliens, and so forth; while in the event of war you will, I am aware, have further obligations laid upon you in the shape of pay[5] to carry on the triearchy, ship money, and war taxes[6] so onerous, you will find difficulty in supporting them. Remissness in respect of any of these charges will be visited upon you by the good citizens of Athens no less strictly than if they caught you stealing their own property. But worse than all, I see you fondling the notion that you are rich. Without a thought or care how to increase your revenue, your fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,[7] as

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