which they might never have sought his society.

It may be objected: before giving his companions lessons in politics Socrates had better have taught them sobriety.[6] Without disputing the principle, I would point out that a teacher cannot fail to discover to his pupils his method of carrying out his own precepts, and this along with argumentative encouragement. Now I know that Socrates disclosed himself to his companions as a beautiful and noble being, who would reason and debate with them concerning virtue and other human interests in the noblest manner. And of these two I know that as long as they were companions of Socrates even they were temperate, not assuredly from fear of being fined or beaten by Socrates, but because they were persuaded for the nonce of the excellence of such conduct.

[6] {sophrosune} = 'sound-mindedness,' 'temperence.' See below, IV. iii. 1.

Perhaps some self-styled philosophers[7] may here answer: 'Nay, the man truly just can never become unjust, the temperate man can never become intemperate, the man who has learnt any subject of knowledge can never be as though he had learnt it not.' That, however, is not my own conclusion. It is with the workings of the soul as with those of the body; want of exercise of the organ leads to inability of function, here bodily, there spiritual, so that we can neither do the things that we should nor abstain from the things we should not. And that is why fathers keep their sons, however temperate they may be, out of the reach of wicked men, considering that if the society of the good is a training in virtue so also is the society of the bad its dissolution.

[7] In reference to some such tenet as that of Antisthenes ap. Diog. Laert. VI. ix. 30, {areskei d' autois kai ten areten didakten einai, katha phesin 'Antisthenes en to 'Rraklei kai anapobleton uparkhein}. Cf. Plat. 'Protag.' 340 D, 344 D.

To this the poet[8] is a witness, who says:

'From the noble thou shalt be instructed in nobleness; but, and if thou minglest with the base thou wilt destroy what wisdom thou hast now';

And he[9] who says:

'But the good man has his hour of baseness as well as his hour of virtue'--

to whose testimony I would add my own. For I see that it is impossible to remember a long poem without practice and repetition; so is forgetfulness of the words of instruction engendered in the heart that has ceased to value them. With the words of warning fades the recollection of the very condition of mind in which the soul yearned after holiness; and once forgetting this, what wonder that the man should let slip also the memory of virtue itself! Again I see that a man who falls into habits of drunkenness or plunges headlong into licentious love, loses his old power of practising the right and abstaining from the wrong. Many a man who has found frugality easy whilst passion was cold, no sooner falls in love than he loses the faculty at once, and in his prodigal expenditure of riches he will no longer withhold his hand from gains which in former days were too base to invite his touch. Where then is the difficulty of supposing that a man may be temperate to-day, and to-morrow the reverse; or that he who once has had it in his power to act virtuously may not quite lose that power?[10] To myself, at all events, it seems that all beautiful and noble things are the result of constant practice and training; and pre-eminently the virtue of temperance, seeing that in one and the same bodily frame pleasures are planted and spring up side by side with the soul and keep whispering in her ear, 'Have done with self- restraint, make haste to gratify us and the body.'[11]

[8] Theognis, 35, 36. See 'Symp.' ii. 4; Plat. 'Men.' 95 D.

[9] The author is unknown. See Plat. 'Protag.' l.c.

[10] Cf. 'Cyrop.' V. i. 9 foll.; VI. i. 41.

[11] See my remarks, 'Hellenica Essays,' p. 371 foll.

But to return to Critias and Alcibiades, I repeat that as long as they lived with Socrates they were able by his support to dominate their ignoble appetites;[12] but being separated from him, Critias had to fly to Thessaly,[13] where he consorted with fellows better versed in lawlessness than justice. And Alcibiades fared no better. His personal beauty on the one hand incited bevies of fine ladies[14] to hunt him down as fair spoil, while on the other hand his influence in the state and among the allies exposed him to the corruption of many an adept in the arts of flattery; honoured by the democracy and stepping easily to the front rank he behaved like an athlete who in the games of the Palaestra is so assured of victory that he neglects his training; thus he presently forgot the duty which he owed himself.

[12] Cf. [Plat.] 'Theag.' 130 A.

[13] See 'Hell.' II. iii. 36.

[14] Cf. Plut. 'Ages.,' 'Alcib.'

Such were the misadventures of these two. Is the sequel extraordinary? Inflated with the pride of ancestry,[15] exalted by their wealth, puffed up by power, sapped to the soul's core by a host of human tempters, separate moreover for many a long day from Socrates--what wonder that they reached the full stature of arrogancy! And for the offences of these two Socrates is to be held responsible! The accuser will have it so. But for the fact that in early days, when they were both young and of an age when dereliction from good feeling and self- restraint might have been expected, this same Socrates kept them modest and well-behaved, not one word of praise is uttered by the accuser for all this. That is not the measure of justice elsewhere meted. Would a master of the harp or flute, would a teacher of any sort who has turned out proficient pupils, be held to account because one of them goes away to another teacher and turns out to be a failure? Or what father, if he have a son who in the society of a certain friend remains an honest lad, but falling into the company of some other becomes a good-for-nothing, will that father straightway accuse the earlier instructor? Will not he rather, in proportion as the boy deteriorates in the company of the latter, bestow more heartfelt praise upon the former? What father, himself sharing the society of his own children, is held to blame for their transgressions, if only his own goodness be established? Here would have been a fair test to apply to Socrates: Was he guilty of any base conduct himself? If so let him be set down as a knave, but if, on the contrary, he never faltered in sobriety from beginning to end, how in the name of justice is he to be held to account for a baseness which was not in him?

[15] Or, 'became overweening in arrogance.' Cf. 'Henry VIII. II. iv. 110': 'But your heart is crammed with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.'

I go further: if, short of being guilty of any wrong himself, he saw the evil doings of others with approval, reason were he should be held blameworthy. Listen then: Socrates was well aware that Critias was attached to Euthydemus,[16] aware too that he was endeavouring to deal by him after the manner of those wantons whose love is carnal of the body. From this endeavour he tried to deter him, pointing out how illiberal a thing it was, how ill befitting a man of honour to appear as a beggar before him whom he loved, in whose eyes he would fain be precious, ever petitioning for something base to give and base to get.

[16] See below, IV. ii. 1 (if the same person).

But when this reasoning fell on deaf ears and Critias refused to be turned aside, Socrates, as the story goes, took occasion of the presence of a whole company and of Euthydemus to remark that Critias appeared to be suffering from a swinish affection, or else why this desire to rub himself against Euthydemus like a herd of piglings scraping against stones.

The hatred of Critias to Socrates doubtless dates from this incident. He treasured it up against him, and afterwards, when he was one of the Thirty and associated with Charicles as their official lawgiver,[17] he framed the law against teaching the art of words[18] merely from a desire to vilify Socrates. He was at a loss to know how else to lay hold of him except by levelling against him the vulgar charge[19] against philosophers, by which he hoped to prejudice him with the public. It was a charge quite unfounded as regards Socrates, if I may judge from anything I ever heard fall from his lips myself or have learnt about him from others. But the animus of Critias was clear. At the time when the Thirty were putting citizens, highly respectable citizens, to death wholesale, and when they were egging on one man after another to the commission of crime, Socrates let fall an observation: 'It would be sufficiently extraordinary if the keeper of a herd of cattle[20] who was continually thinning and impoverishing his cattle did not admit himself to be a sorry sort of herdsman, but that a ruler of the state who was continually thinning and impoverishing the citizens should neither be ashamed nor admit himself to be a sorry sort of ruler was more extraordinary still.' The remark being reported to the government, Socrates was summoned by Critias and Charicles, who proceeded to point out the law and forbade him to converse with the young. 'Was it open to him,' Socrates inquired of the speaker, 'in case he failed to understand their commands in any point, to ask for an explanation?'

[17] Lit. 'Nomothetes.' See 'Hell.' II. iii. 2; Dem. 706. For Charicles see Lys. 'c. Eratosth.' S. 56; Aristot. 'Pol.' v. 6. 6.

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