certain of this, as the dream might have meant music in the popular
sense of the word, and being under sentence of death, and the festival
giving me a respite, I thought that I should be safer if I satisfied
the scruple, and, in obedience to the dream, composed a few verses
before I departed. And first I made a hymn in honor of the god of
the festival, and then considering that a poet, if he is really to
be a poet or maker, should not only put words together but make
stories, and as I have no invention, I took some fables of esop, which
I had ready at hand and knew, and turned them into verse. Tell
Evenus this, and bid him be of good cheer; that I would have him
come after me if he be a wise man, and not tarry; and that to-day I am
likely to be going, for the Athenians say that I must.
Simmias said: What a message for such a man! having been a
frequent companion of his, I should say that, as far as I know him, he
will never take your advice unless he is obliged.
Why, said Socrates,-is not Evenus a philosopher?
I think that he is, said Simmias.
Then he, or any man who has the spirit of philosophy, will be
willing to die, though he will not take his own life, for that is held
not to be right.
Here he changed his position, and put his legs off the couch on to
the ground, and during the rest of the conversation he remained
Why do you say, inquired Cebes, that a man ought not to take his own
life, but that the philosopher will be ready to follow the dying?
Socrates replied: And have you, Cebes and Simmias, who are
acquainted with Philolaus, never heard him speak of this?
I never understood him, Socrates.
My words, too, are only an echo; but I am very willing to say what I
have heard: and indeed, as I am going to another place, I ought to
be thinking and talking of the nature of the pilgrimage which I am
about to make. What can I do better in the interval between this and