And when you have no such business on hand (I said) where in heaven's name do you spend your time and how do you employ yourself? I will not conceal from you how anxious I am to learn from your lips by what conduct you have earned for yourself the title 'beautiful and good.'[3] It is not by spending your days indoors at home, I am sure; the whole habit of your body bears witness to a different sort of life.

[3] 'The sobriquet of 'honest gentleman.''

Then Ischomachus, smiling at my question, but also, as it seemed to me, a little pleased to be asked what he had done to earn the title 'beautiful and good,' made answer: Whether that is the title by which folk call me when they talk to you about me, I cannot say; all I know is, when they challenge me to exchange properties,[4] or else to perform some service to the state instead of them, the fitting out of a trireme, or the training of a chorus, nobody thinks of asking for the beautiful and good gentleman, but it is plain Ischomachus, the son of So-and-so,[5] on whom the summons is served. But to answer your question, Socrates (he proceeded), I certainly do not spend my days indoors, if for no other reason, because my wife is quite capable of managing our domestic affairs without my aid.

[4] On the antidosis or compulsory exchange of property, see Boeckh, p. 580, Engl. ed.: 'In case any man, upon whom a {leitourgia} was imposed, considered that another was richer than himself, and therefore most justly chargeable with the burden, he might challenge the other to assume the burden, or to make with him an {antidosis} or exchange of property. Such a challenge, if declined, was converted into a lawsuit, or came before a heliastic court for trial.' Gow, 'Companion,' xviii. 'Athenian Finance.' See Dem. 'Against Midias,' 565, Kennedy, p. 117, and Appendix II. For the various liturgies, Trierarchy, Choregy, etc., see 'Pol. Ath.' i. 13 foll.

[5] Or, 'the son of his father,' it being customary at Athens to add the patronymic, e.g. Xenophon son of Gryllus, Thucydides son of Olorus, etc. See Herod. vi. 14, viii. 90. In official acts the name of the deme was added, eg. Demosthenes son of Demosthenes of Paiane; or of the tribe, at times. Cf. Thuc. viii. 69; Plat. 'Laws,' vi. p. 753 B.

Ah! (said I), Ischomachus, that is just what I should like particularly to learn from you. Did you yourself educate your wife to be all that a wife should be, or when you received her from her father and mother was she already a proficient well skilled to discharge the duties appropriate to a wife?

Well skilled! (he replied). What proficiency was she likely to bring with her, when she was not quite fifteen[6] at the time she wedded me, and during the whole prior period of her life had been most carefully brought up[7] to see and hear as little as possible, and to ask[8] the fewest questions? or do you not think one should be satisfied, if at marriage her whole experience consisted in knowing how to take the wool and make a dress, and seeing how her mother's handmaidens had their daily spinning-tasks assigned them? For (he added), as regards control of appetite and self-indulgence,[9] she had received the soundest education, and that I take to be the most important matter in the bringing-up of man or woman.

[6] See Aristot. 'Pol.' vii. 16. 1335(a). See Newman, op. cit. i. 170 foll.

[7] Or, 'surveillance.' See 'Pol. Lac.' i. 3.

[8] Reading {eroito}; or if with Sauppe after Cobet, {eroin}, transl. 'talk as little as possible.'

[9] Al. 'in reference to culinary matters.' See Mahaffy, 'Social Life in Greece,' p. 276.

Then all else (said I) you taught your wife yourself, Ischomachus, until you had made her capable of attending carefully to her appointed duties?

That did I not (replied he) until I had offered sacrifice, and prayed that I might teach and she might learn all that could conduce to the happiness of us twain.

Soc. And did your wife join in sacrifice and prayer to that effect?

Isch. Most certainly, with many a vow registered to heaven to become all she ought to be; and her whole manner showed that she would not be neglectful of what was taught her.[10]

[10] Or, 'giving plain proof that, if the teaching failed, it should not be from want of due attention on her part.' See 'Hellenica Essays,' 'Xenophon,' p. 356 foll.

Soc. Pray narrate to me, Ischomachus, I beg of you, what you first essayed to teach her. To hear that story would please me more than any description of the most splendid gymnastic contest or horse-race you could give me.

Why, Socrates (he answered), when after a time she had become accustomed to my hand, that is, was tamed [11] sufficiently to play her part in a discussion, I put to her this question: 'Did it ever strike you to consider, dear wife,[12] what led me to choose you as my wife among all women, and your parents to entrust you to me of all men? It was certainly not from any difficulty that might beset either of us to find another bedfellow. That I am sure is evident to you. No! it was with deliberate intent to discover, I for myself and your parents in behalf of you, the best partner of house and children we could find, that I sought you out, and your parents, acting to the best of their ability, made choice of me. If at some future time God grant us to have children born to us, we will take counsel together how best to bring them up, for that too will be a common interest,[13] and a common blessing if haply they shall live to fight our battles and we find in them hereafter support and succour when ourselves are old.[14] But at present there is our house here, which belongs like to both. It is common property, for all that I possess goes by my will into the common fund, and in the same way all that you deposited[15] was placed by you to the common fund.[16] We need not stop to calculate in figures which of us contributed most, but rather let us lay to heart this fact that whichever of us proves the better partner, he or she at once contributes what is most worth having.'

[11] (The timid, fawn-like creature.) See Lecky, 'Hist. of Eur. Morals,' ii. 305. For the metaphor cf. Dem. 'Olynth.' iii. 37. 9.

[12] Lit. 'woman.' Cf. N. T. {gunai}, St. John ii. 4; xix. 26.

[13] Or, 'our interests will centre in them; it will be a blessing we share in common to train them that they shall fight our battles, and . . .'

[14] Cf. 'Mem.' II. ii. 13. Holden cf. Soph. 'Ajax.' 567; Eur. 'Suppl.' 918.

[15] Or reading {epenegke} with Cobet, 'brought with you in the way of dowry.'

[16] Or, 'to the joint estate.'

Thus I addressed her, Socrates, and thus my wife made answer: 'But how can I assist you? what is my ability? Nay, everything depends on you. My business, my mother told me, was to be sober-minded!'[17]

[17] 'Modest and temperate,' and (below) 'temperance.'

'Most true, my wife,' I replied, 'and that is what my father said to me. But what is the proof of sober- mindedness in man or woman? Is it not so to behave that what they have of good may ever be at its best, and that new treasures from the same source of beauty and righteousness may be most amply added?'

'But what is there that I can do,' my wife inquired, 'which will help to increase our joint estate?'

'Assuredly,' I answered, 'you may strive to do as well as possible what Heaven has given you a natural gift for and which the law approves.'

'And what may these things be?' she asked.

'To my mind they are not the things of least importance,' I replied, 'unless the things which the queen bee in her hive presides over are of slight importance to the bee community; for the gods' (so Ischomachus assured me, he continued), 'the gods, my wife, would seem to have exercised much care and judgment in compacting that twin system which goes by the name of male and female, so as to secure the greatest possible advantage[18] to the pair. Since no doubt the underlying principle of the bond is first and foremost to perpetuate through procreation the races of living creatures;[19] and next, as the outcome of this bond, for human beings at any rate, a provision is made by which they may have sons and daughters to support them in old age.

[18] Reading {oti}, or if with Br. {eti . . . auto}, 'with the further intent it should prove of maximum advantage to itself.'

[19] Cf. (Aristot.) 'Oecon.' i. 3.

'And again, the way of life of human beings, not being maintained like that of cattle[20] in the open air, obviously demands roofed homesteads. But if these same human beings are to have anything to bring in under cover, some one to carry out these labours of the field under high heaven[21] must be found them, since such operations as the breaking up of fallow with the plough, the sowing of seed, the planting of trees, the pasturing and herding of flocks, are one and all open-air employments on which the supply of products necessary to life depends.

[20] 'And the beast of the field.'

[21] 'Sub dis,' 'in the open air.'

'As soon as these products of the field are safely housed and under cover, new needs arise. There must be

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