Crito by Plato
Crito

Plato Crito

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[1]       
[2]       PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates, Crito.
[3]       
[4]       SCENE: The Prison of Socrates.
[5]       
[6]       
[7]       SOCRATES: Why have you come at this hour, Crito? it must be quite early.
[8]       
[9]       CRITO: Yes, certainly.
[10]      
[11]      SOCRATES: What is the exact time?
[12]      
[13]      CRITO: The dawn is breaking.
[14]      
[15]      SOCRATES: I wonder that the keeper of the prison would let you in.
[16]      
[17]      CRITO: He knows me because I often come, Socrates; moreover. I have done
[18]      him a kindness.
[19]      
[20]      SOCRATES: And are you only just arrived?
[21]      
[22]      CRITO: No, I came some time ago.
[23]      
[24]      SOCRATES: Then why did you sit and say nothing, instead of at once
[25]      awakening me?
[26]      
[27]      CRITO: I should not have liked myself, Socrates, to be in such great
[28]      trouble and unrest as you are--indeed I should not: I have been watching
[29]      with amazement your peaceful slumbers; and for that reason I did not awake
[30]      you, because I wished to minimize the pain. I have always thought you to
[31]      be of a happy disposition; but never did I see anything like the easy,
[32]      tranquil manner in which you bear this calamity.
[33]      
[34]      SOCRATES: Why, Crito, when a man has reached my age he ought not to be
[35]      repining at the approach of death.
[36]      
[37]      CRITO: And yet other old men find themselves in similar misfortunes, and
[38]      age does not prevent them from repining.
[39]      
[40]      SOCRATES: That is true. But you have not told me why you come at this
[41]      early hour.
[42]      
[43]      CRITO: I come to bring you a message which is sad and painful; not, as I
[44]      believe, to yourself, but to all of us who are your friends, and saddest of
[45]      all to me.
[46]      
[47]      SOCRATES: What? Has the ship come from Delos, on the arrival of which I
[48]      am to die?
[49]      
[50]      CRITO: No, the ship has not actually arrived, but she will probably be
[51]      here to-day, as persons who have come from Sunium tell me that they have
[52]      left her there; and therefore to-morrow, Socrates, will be the last day of
[53]      your life.
[54]      
[55]      SOCRATES: Very well, Crito; if such is the will of God, I am willing; but
[56]      my belief is that there will be a delay of a day.
[57]      
[58]      CRITO: Why do you think so?
[59]      
[60]      SOCRATES: I will tell you. I am to die on the day after the arrival of
[61]      the ship?
[62]      
[63]      CRITO: Yes; that is what the authorities say.
[64]      
[65]      SOCRATES: But I do not think that the ship will be here until to-morrow;
[66]      this I infer from a vision which I had last night, or rather only just now,
[67]      when you fortunately allowed me to sleep.
[68]      
[69]      CRITO: And what was the nature of the vision?
[70]      
[71]      SOCRATES: There appeared to me the likeness of a woman, fair and comely,
[72]      clothed in bright raiment, who called to me and said: O Socrates,
[73]      
[74]      'The third day hence to fertile Phthia shalt thou go.' (Homer, Il.)
[75]      
[76]      CRITO: What a singular dream, Socrates!
[77]      
[78]      SOCRATES: There can be no doubt about the meaning, Crito, I think.
[79]      
[80]      CRITO: Yes; the meaning is only too clear. But, oh! my beloved Socrates,
[81]      let me entreat you once more to take my advice and escape. For if you die
[82]      I shall not only lose a friend who can never be replaced, but there is
[83]      another evil: people who do not know you and me will believe that I might
[84]      have saved you if I had been willing to give money, but that I did not
[85]      care. Now, can there be a worse disgrace than this--that I should be
[86]      thought to value money more than the life of a friend? For the many will
[87]      not be persuaded that I wanted you to escape, and that you refused.
[88]      
[89]      SOCRATES: But why, my dear Crito, should we care about the opinion of the
[90]      many? Good men, and they are the only persons who are worth considering,
[91]      will think of these things truly as they occurred.
[92]      
[93]      CRITO: But you see, Socrates, that the opinion of the many must be
[94]      regarded, for what is now happening shows that they can do the greatest
[95]      evil to any one who has lost their good opinion.
[96]      
[97]      SOCRATES: I only wish it were so, Crito; and that the many could do the
[98]      greatest evil; for then they would also be able to do the greatest good--
[99]      and what a fine thing this would be! But in reality they can do neither;
[100]     for they cannot make a man either wise or foolish; and whatever they do is
[101]     the result of chance.
[102]     
[103]     CRITO: Well, I will not dispute with you; but please to tell me, Socrates,
[104]     whether you are not acting out of regard to me and your other friends: are
[105]     you not afraid that if you escape from prison we may get into trouble with
[106]     the informers for having stolen you away, and lose either the whole or a
[107]     great part of our property; or that even a worse evil may happen to us?
[108]     Now, if you fear on our account, be at ease; for in order to save you, we
[109]     ought surely to run this, or even a greater risk; be persuaded, then, and
[110]     do as I say.
[111]     
[112]     SOCRATES: Yes, Crito, that is one fear which you mention, but by no means
[113]     the only one.
[114]     
[115]     CRITO: Fear not--there are persons who are willing to get you out of
[116]     prison at no great cost; and as for the informers they are far from being
[117]     exorbitant in their demands--a little money will satisfy them. My means,
[118]     which are certainly ample, are at your service, and if you have a scruple
[119]     about spending all mine, here are strangers who will give you the use of
[120]     theirs; and one of them, Simmias the Theban, has brought a large sum of
[121]     money for this very purpose; and Cebes and many others are prepared to
[122]     spend their money in helping you to escape. I say, therefore, do not
[123]     hesitate on our account, and do not say, as you did in the court (compare
[124]     Apol.), that you will have a difficulty in knowing what to do with yourself
[125]     anywhere else. For men will love you in other places to which you may go,
[126]     and not in Athens only; there are friends of mine in Thessaly, if you like
[127]     to go to them, who will value and protect you, and no Thessalian will give
[128]     you any trouble. Nor can I think that you are at all justified, Socrates,
[129]     in betraying your own life when you might be saved; in acting thus you are
[130]     playing into the hands of your enemies, who are hurrying on your
[131]     destruction. And further I should say that you are deserting your own
[132]     children; for you might bring them up and educate them; instead of which
[133]     you go away and leave them, and they will have to take their chance; and if
[134]     they do not meet with the usual fate of orphans, there will be small thanks
[135]     to you. No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to
[136]     persevere to the end in their nurture and education. But you appear to be
[137]     choosing the easier part, not the better and manlier, which would have been
[138]     more becoming in one who professes to care for virtue in all his actions,
[139]     like yourself. And indeed, I am ashamed not only of you, but of us who are
[140]     your friends, when I reflect that the whole business will be attributed
[141]     entirely to our want of courage. The trial need never have come on, or
[142]     might have been managed differently; and this last act, or crowning folly,
[143]     will seem to have occurred through our negligence and cowardice, who might
[144]     have saved you, if we had been good for anything; and you might have saved
[145]     yourself, for there was no difficulty at all. See now, Socrates, how sad
[146]     and discreditable are the consequences, both to us and you. Make up your
[147]     mind then, or rather have your mind already made up, for the time of
[148]     deliberation is over, and there is only one thing to be done, which must be
[149]     done this very night, and if we delay at all will be no longer practicable
[150]     or possible; I beseech you therefore, Socrates, be persuaded by me, and do
[151]     as I say.
[152]     
[153]     SOCRATES: Dear Crito, your zeal is invaluable, if a right one; but if
[154]     wrong, the greater the zeal the greater the danger; and therefore we ought
[155]     to consider whether I shall or shall not do as you say. For I am and
[156]     always have been one of those natures who must be guided by reason,
[157]     whatever the reason may be which upon reflection appears to me to be the
[158]     best; and now that this chance has befallen me, I cannot repudiate my own
[159]     words: the principles which I have hitherto honoured and revered I still
[160]     honour, and unless we can at once find other and better principles, I am
[161]     certain not to agree with you; no, not even if the power of the multitude
[162]     could inflict many more imprisonments, confiscations, deaths, frightening
[163]     us like children with hobgoblin terrors (compare Apol.). What will be the
[164]     fairest way of considering the question? Shall I return to your old
[165]     argument about the opinions of men?--we were saying that some of them are
[166]     to be regarded, and others not. Now were we right in maintaining this
[167]     before I was condemned? And has the argument which was once good now
[168]     proved to be talk for the sake of talking--mere childish nonsense? That is
[169]     what I want to consider with your help, Crito:--whether, under my present
[170]     circumstances, the argument appears to be in any way different or not; and
[171]     is to be allowed by me or disallowed. That argument, which, as I believe,
[172]     is maintained by many persons of authority, was to the effect, as I was
[173]     saying, that the opinions of some men are to be regarded, and of other men
[174]     not to be regarded. Now you, Crito, are not going to die to-morrow--at
[175]     least, there is no human probability of this, and therefore you are
[176]     disinterested and not liable to be deceived by the circumstances in which
[177]     you are placed. Tell me then, whether I am right in saying that some
[178]     opinions, and the opinions of some men only, are to be valued, and that
[179]     other opinions, and the opinions of other men, are not to be valued. I ask
[180]     you whether I was right in maintaining this?
[181]     
[182]     CRITO: Certainly.
[183]     
[184]     SOCRATES: The good are to be regarded, and not the bad?
[185]     
[186]     CRITO: Yes.
[187]     
[188]     SOCRATES: And the opinions of the wise are good, and the opinions of the
[189]     unwise are evil?
[190]     
[191]     CRITO: Certainly.
[192]     
[193]     SOCRATES: And what was said about another matter? Is the pupil who
[194]     devotes himself to the practice of gymnastics supposed to attend to the
[195]     praise and blame and opinion of every man, or of one man only--his
[196]     physician or trainer, whoever he may be?
[197]     
[198]     CRITO: Of one man only.
[199]     
[200]     SOCRATES: And he ought to fear the censure and welcome the praise of that
[201]     one only, and not of the many?
[202]     
[203]     CRITO: Clearly so.
[204]     
[205]     SOCRATES: And he ought to act and train, and eat and drink in the way
[206]     which seems good to his single master who has understanding, rather than
[207]     according to the opinion of all other men put together?
[208]     
[209]     CRITO: True.
[210]     
[211]     SOCRATES: And if he disobeys and disregards the opinion and approval of
[212]     the one, and regards the opinion of the many who have no understanding,
[213]     will he not suffer evil?
[214]     
[215]     CRITO: Certainly he will.
[216]     
[217]     SOCRATES: And what will the evil be, whither tending and what affecting,
[218]     in the disobedient person?
[219]     
[220]     CRITO: Clearly, affecting the body; that is what is destroyed by the evil.
[221]     
[222]     SOCRATES: Very good; and is not this true, Crito, of other things which we
[223]     need not separately enumerate? In questions of just and unjust, fair and
[224]     foul, good and evil, which are the subjects of our present consultation,
[225]     ought we to follow the opinion of the many and to fear them; or the opinion
[226]     of the one man who has understanding? ought we not to fear and reverence
[227]     him more than all the rest of the world: and if we desert him shall we not
[228]     destroy and injure that principle in us which may be assumed to be improved
[229]     by justice and deteriorated by injustice;--there is such a principle?
[230]     
[231]     CRITO: Certainly there is, Socrates.
[232]     
[233]     SOCRATES: Take a parallel instance:--if, acting under the advice of those
[234]     who have no understanding, we destroy that which is improved by health and
[235]     is deteriorated by disease, would life be worth having? And that which has
[236]     been destroyed is--the body?
[237]     
[238]     CRITO: Yes.
[239]     
[240]     SOCRATES: Could we live, having an evil and corrupted body?
[241]     
[242]     CRITO: Certainly not.
[243]     
[244]     SOCRATES: And will life be worth having, if that higher part of man be
[245]     destroyed, which is improved by justice and depraved by injustice? Do we
[246]     suppose that principle, whatever it may be in man, which has to do with
[247]     justice and injustice, to be inferior to the body?
[248]     
[249]     CRITO: Certainly not.
[250]     
[251]     SOCRATES: More honourable than the body?
[252]     
[253]     CRITO: Far more.
[254]     
[255]     SOCRATES: Then, my friend, we must not regard what the many say of us:
[256]     but what he, the one man who has understanding of just and unjust, will
[257]     say, and what the truth will say. And therefore you begin in error when
[258]     you advise that we should regard the opinion of the many about just and
[259]     unjust, good and evil, honorable and dishonorable.--'Well,' some one will
[260]     say, 'but the many can kill us.'
[261]     
[262]     CRITO: Yes, Socrates; that will clearly be the answer.
[263]     
[264]     SOCRATES: And it is true; but still I find with surprise that the old
[265]     argument is unshaken as ever. And I should like to know whether I may say
[266]     the same of another proposition--that not life, but a good life, is to be
[267]     chiefly valued?
[268]     
[269]     CRITO: Yes, that also remains unshaken.
[270]     
[271]     SOCRATES: And a good life is equivalent to a just and honorable one--that
[272]     holds also?
[273]     
[274]     CRITO: Yes, it does.
[275]     
[276]     SOCRATES: From these premisses I proceed to argue the question whether I
[277]     ought or ought not to try and escape without the consent of the Athenians:
[278]     and if I am clearly right in escaping, then I will make the attempt; but if
[279]     not, I will abstain. The other considerations which you mention, of money
[280]     and loss of character and the duty of educating one's children, are, I
[281]     fear, only the doctrines of the multitude, who would be as ready to restore
[282]     people to life, if they were able, as they are to put them to death--and
[283]     with as little reason. But now, since the argument has thus far prevailed,
[284]     the only question which remains to be considered is, whether we shall do
[285]     rightly either in escaping or in suffering others to aid in our escape and
[286]     paying them in money and thanks, or whether in reality we shall not do
[287]     rightly; and if the latter, then death or any other calamity which may
[288]     ensue on my remaining here must not be allowed to enter into the
[289]     calculation.
[290]     
[291]     CRITO: I think that you are right, Socrates; how then shall we proceed?
[292]     
[293]     SOCRATES: Let us consider the matter together, and do you either refute me
[294]     if you can, and I will be convinced; or else cease, my dear friend, from
[295]     repeating to me that I ought to escape against the wishes of the Athenians:
[296]     for I highly value your attempts to persuade me to do so, but I may not be
[297]     persuaded against my own better judgment. And now please to consider my
[298]     first position, and try how you can best answer me.
[299]     
[300]     CRITO: I will.
[301]     
[302]     SOCRATES: Are we to say that we are never intentionally to do wrong, or
[303]     that in one way we ought and in another way we ought not to do wrong, or is
[304]     doing wrong always evil and dishonorable, as I was just now saying, and as
[305]     has been already acknowledged by us? Are all our former admissions which
[306]     were made within a few days to be thrown away? And have we, at our age,
[307]     been earnestly discoursing with one another all our life long only to
[308]     discover that we are no better than children? Or, in spite of the opinion
[309]     of the many, and in spite of consequences whether better or worse, shall we
[310]     insist on the truth of what was then said, that injustice is always an evil
[311]     and dishonour to him who acts unjustly? Shall we say so or not?
[312]     
[313]     CRITO: Yes.
[314]     
[315]     SOCRATES: Then we must do no wrong?
[316]     
[317]     CRITO: Certainly not.
[318]     
[319]     SOCRATES: Nor when injured injure in return, as the many imagine; for we
[320]     must injure no one at all? (E.g. compare Rep.)
[321]     
[322]     CRITO: Clearly not.
[323]     
[324]     SOCRATES: Again, Crito, may we do evil?
[325]     
[326]     CRITO: Surely not, Socrates.
[327]     
[328]     SOCRATES: And what of doing evil in return for evil, which is the morality
[329]     of the many--is that just or not?
[330]     
[331]     CRITO: Not just.
[332]     
[333]     SOCRATES: For doing evil to another is the same as injuring him?
[334]     
[335]     CRITO: Very true.
[336]     
[337]     SOCRATES: Then we ought not to retaliate or render evil for evil to any
[338]     one, whatever evil we may have suffered from him. But I would have you
[339]     consider, Crito, whether you really mean what you are saying. For this
[340]     opinion has never been held, and never will be held, by any considerable
[341]     number of persons; and those who are agreed and those who are not agreed
[342]     upon this point have no common ground, and can only despise one another
[343]     when they see how widely they differ. Tell me, then, whether you agree
[344]     with and assent to my first principle, that neither injury nor retaliation
[345]     nor warding off evil by evil is ever right. And shall that be the premiss
[346]     of our argument? Or do you decline and dissent from this? For so I have
[347]     ever thought, and continue to think; but, if you are of another opinion,
[348]     let me hear what you have to say. If, however, you remain of the same mind
[349]     as formerly, I will proceed to the next step.
[350]     
[351]     CRITO: You may proceed, for I have not changed my mind.
[352]     
[353]     SOCRATES: Then I will go on to the next point, which may be put in the
[354]     form of a question:--Ought a man to do what he admits to be right, or ought
[355]     he to betray the right?
[356]     
[357]     CRITO: He ought to do what he thinks right.
[358]     
[359]     SOCRATES: But if this is true, what is the application? In leaving the
[360]     prison against the will of the Athenians, do I wrong any? or rather do I
[361]     not wrong those whom I ought least to wrong? Do I not desert the
[362]     principles which were acknowledged by us to be just--what do you say?
[363]     
[364]     CRITO: I cannot tell, Socrates, for I do not know.
[365]     
[366]     SOCRATES: Then consider the matter in this way:--Imagine that I am about
[367]     to play truant (you may call the proceeding by any name which you like),
[368]     and the laws and the government come and interrogate me: 'Tell us,
[369]     Socrates,' they say; 'what are you about? are you not going by an act of
[370]     yours to overturn us--the laws, and the whole state, as far as in you lies?
[371]     Do you imagine that a state can subsist and not be overthrown, in which the
[372]     decisions of law have no power, but are set aside and trampled upon by
[373]     individuals?' What will be our answer, Crito, to these and the like words?
[374]     Any one, and especially a rhetorician, will have a good deal to say on
[375]     behalf of the law which requires a sentence to be carried out. He will
[376]     argue that this law should not be set aside; and shall we reply, 'Yes; but
[377]     the state has injured us and given an unjust sentence.' Suppose I say
[378]     that?
[379]     
[380]     CRITO: Very good, Socrates.
[381]     
[382]     SOCRATES: 'And was that our agreement with you?' the law would answer; 'or
[383]     were you to abide by the sentence of the state?' And if I were to express
[384]     my astonishment at their words, the law would probably add: 'Answer,
[385]     Socrates, instead of opening your eyes--you are in the habit of asking and
[386]     answering questions. Tell us,--What complaint have you to make against us
[387]     which justifies you in attempting to destroy us and the state? In the
[388]     first place did we not bring you into existence? Your father married your
[389]     mother by our aid and begat you. Say whether you have any objection to
[390]     urge against those of us who regulate marriage?' None, I should reply.
[391]     'Or against those of us who after birth regulate the nurture and education
[392]     of children, in which you also were trained? Were not the laws, which have
[393]     the charge of education, right in commanding your father to train you in
[394]     music and gymnastic?' Right, I should reply. 'Well then, since you were
[395]     brought into the world and nurtured and educated by us, can you deny in the
[396]     first place that you are our child and slave, as your fathers were before
[397]     you? And if this is true you are not on equal terms with us; nor can you
[398]     think that you have a right to do to us what we are doing to you. Would
[399]     you have any right to strike or revile or do any other evil to your father
[400]     or your master, if you had one, because you have been struck or reviled by
[401]     him, or received some other evil at his hands?--you would not say this?
[402]     And because we think right to destroy you, do you think that you have any
[403]     right to destroy us in return, and your country as far as in you lies?
[404]     Will you, O professor of true virtue, pretend that you are justified in
[405]     this? Has a philosopher like you failed to discover that our country is
[406]     more to be valued and higher and holier far than mother or father or any
[407]     ancestor, and more to be regarded in the eyes of the gods and of men of
[408]     understanding? also to be soothed, and gently and reverently entreated when
[409]     angry, even more than a father, and either to be persuaded, or if not
[410]     persuaded, to be obeyed? And when we are punished by her, whether with
[411]     imprisonment or stripes, the punishment is to be endured in silence; and if
[412]     she lead us to wounds or death in battle, thither we follow as is right;
[413]     neither may any one yield or retreat or leave his rank, but whether in
[414]     battle or in a court of law, or in any other place, he must do what his
[415]     city and his country order him; or he must change their view of what is
[416]     just: and if he may do no violence to his father or mother, much less may
[417]     he do violence to his country.' What answer shall we make to this, Crito?
[418]     Do the laws speak truly, or do they not?
[419]     
[420]     CRITO: I think that they do.
[421]     
[422]     SOCRATES: Then the laws will say: 'Consider, Socrates, if we are speaking
[423]     truly that in your present attempt you are going to do us an injury. For,
[424]     having brought you into the world, and nurtured and educated you, and given
[425]     you and every other citizen a share in every good which we had to give, we
[426]     further proclaim to any Athenian by the liberty which we allow him, that if
[427]     he does not like us when he has become of age and has seen the ways of the
[428]     city, and made our acquaintance, he may go where he pleases and take his
[429]     goods with him. None of us laws will forbid him or interfere with him.
[430]     Any one who does not like us and the city, and who wants to emigrate to a
[431]     colony or to any other city, may go where he likes, retaining his property.
[432]     But he who has experience of the manner in which we order justice and
[433]     administer the state, and still remains, has entered into an implied
[434]     contract that he will do as we command him. And he who disobeys us is, as
[435]     we maintain, thrice wrong: first, because in disobeying us he is
[436]     disobeying his parents; secondly, because we are the authors of his
[437]     education; thirdly, because he has made an agreement with us that he will
[438]     duly obey our commands; and he neither obeys them nor convinces us that our
[439]     commands are unjust; and we do not rudely impose them, but give him the
[440]     alternative of obeying or convincing us;--that is what we offer, and he
[441]     does neither.
[442]     
[443]     'These are the sort of accusations to which, as we were saying, you,
[444]     Socrates, will be exposed if you accomplish your intentions; you, above all
[445]     other Athenians.' Suppose now I ask, why I rather than anybody else? they
[446]     will justly retort upon me that I above all other men have acknowledged the
[447]     agreement. 'There is clear proof,' they will say, 'Socrates, that we and
[448]     the city were not displeasing to you. Of all Athenians you have been the
[449]     most constant resident in the city, which, as you never leave, you may be
[450]     supposed to love (compare Phaedr.). For you never went out of the city
[451]     either to see the games, except once when you went to the Isthmus, or to
[452]     any other place unless when you were on military service; nor did you
[453]     travel as other men do. Nor had you any curiosity to know other states or
[454]     their laws: your affections did not go beyond us and our state; we were
[455]     your especial favourites, and you acquiesced in our government of you; and
[456]     here in this city you begat your children, which is a proof of your
[457]     satisfaction. Moreover, you might in the course of the trial, if you had
[458]     liked, have fixed the penalty at banishment; the state which refuses to let
[459]     you go now would have let you go then. But you pretended that you
[460]     preferred death to exile (compare Apol.), and that you were not unwilling
[461]     to die. And now you have forgotten these fine sentiments, and pay no
[462]     respect to us the laws, of whom you are the destroyer; and are doing what
[463]     only a miserable slave would do, running away and turning your back upon
[464]     the compacts and agreements which you made as a citizen. And first of all
[465]     answer this very question: Are we right in saying that you agreed to be
[466]     governed according to us in deed, and not in word only? Is that true or
[467]     not?' How shall we answer, Crito? Must we not assent?
[468]     
[469]     CRITO: We cannot help it, Socrates.
[470]     
[471]     SOCRATES: Then will they not say: 'You, Socrates, are breaking the
[472]     covenants and agreements which you made with us at your leisure, not in any
[473]     haste or under any compulsion or deception, but after you have had seventy
[474]     years to think of them, during which time you were at liberty to leave the
[475]     city, if we were not to your mind, or if our covenants appeared to you to
[476]     be unfair. You had your choice, and might have gone either to Lacedaemon
[477]     or Crete, both which states are often praised by you for their good
[478]     government, or to some other Hellenic or foreign state. Whereas you, above
[479]     all other Athenians, seemed to be so fond of the state, or, in other words,
[480]     of us her laws (and who would care about a state which has no laws?), that
[481]     you never stirred out of her; the halt, the blind, the maimed, were not
[482]     more stationary in her than you were. And now you run away and forsake
[483]     your agreements. Not so, Socrates, if you will take our advice; do not
[484]     make yourself ridiculous by escaping out of the city.
[485]     
[486]     'For just consider, if you transgress and err in this sort of way, what
[487]     good will you do either to yourself or to your friends? That your friends
[488]     will be driven into exile and deprived of citizenship, or will lose their
[489]     property, is tolerably certain; and you yourself, if you fly to one of the
[490]     neighbouring cities, as, for example, Thebes or Megara, both of which are
[491]     well governed, will come to them as an enemy, Socrates, and their
[492]     government will be against you, and all patriotic citizens will cast an
[493]     evil eye upon you as a subverter of the laws, and you will confirm in the
[494]     minds of the judges the justice of their own condemnation of you. For he
[495]     who is a corrupter of the laws is more than likely to be a corrupter of the
[496]     young and foolish portion of mankind. Will you then flee from well-ordered
[497]     cities and virtuous men? and is existence worth having on these terms? Or
[498]     will you go to them without shame, and talk to them, Socrates? And what
[499]     will you say to them? What you say here about virtue and justice and
[500]     institutions and laws being the best things among men? Would that be
[501]     decent of you? Surely not. But if you go away from well-governed states
[502]     to Crito's friends in Thessaly, where there is great disorder and licence,
[503]     they will be charmed to hear the tale of your escape from prison, set off
[504]     with ludicrous particulars of the manner in which you were wrapped in a
[505]     goatskin or some other disguise, and metamorphosed as the manner is of
[506]     runaways; but will there be no one to remind you that in your old age you
[507]     were not ashamed to violate the most sacred laws from a miserable desire of
[508]     a little more life? Perhaps not, if you keep them in a good temper; but if
[509]     they are out of temper you will hear many degrading things; you will live,
[510]     but how?--as the flatterer of all men, and the servant of all men; and
[511]     doing what?--eating and drinking in Thessaly, having gone abroad in order
[512]     that you may get a dinner. And where will be your fine sentiments about
[513]     justice and virtue? Say that you wish to live for the sake of your
[514]     children--you want to bring them up and educate them--will you take them
[515]     into Thessaly and deprive them of Athenian citizenship? Is this the
[516]     benefit which you will confer upon them? Or are you under the impression
[517]     that they will be better cared for and educated here if you are still
[518]     alive, although absent from them; for your friends will take care of them?
[519]     Do you fancy that if you are an inhabitant of Thessaly they will take care
[520]     of them, and if you are an inhabitant of the other world that they will not
[521]     take care of them? Nay; but if they who call themselves friends are good
[522]     for anything, they will--to be sure they will.
[523]     
[524]     'Listen, then, Socrates, to us who have brought you up. Think not of life
[525]     and children first, and of justice afterwards, but of justice first, that
[526]     you may be justified before the princes of the world below. For neither
[527]     will you nor any that belong to you be happier or holier or juster in this
[528]     life, or happier in another, if you do as Crito bids. Now you depart in
[529]     innocence, a sufferer and not a doer of evil; a victim, not of the laws,
[530]     but of men. But if you go forth, returning evil for evil, and injury for
[531]     injury, breaking the covenants and agreements which you have made with us,
[532]     and wronging those whom you ought least of all to wrong, that is to say,
[533]     yourself, your friends, your country, and us, we shall be angry with you
[534]     while you live, and our brethren, the laws in the world below, will receive
[535]     you as an enemy; for they will know that you have done your best to destroy
[536]     us. Listen, then, to us and not to Crito.'
[537]     
[538]     This, dear Crito, is the voice which I seem to hear murmuring in my ears,
[539]     like the sound of the flute in the ears of the mystic; that voice, I say,
[540]     is humming in my ears, and prevents me from hearing any other. And I know
[541]     that anything more which you may say will be vain. Yet speak, if you have
[542]     anything to say.
[543]     
[544]     CRITO: I have nothing to say, Socrates.
[545]     
[546]     SOCRATES: Leave me then, Crito, to fulfil the will of God, and to follow
[547]     whither he leads.