were about to pass the rest of our lives as orphans. When he had taken
the bath his children were brought to him-(he had two young sons and
an elder one); and the women of his family also came, and he talked to
them and gave them a few directions in the presence of Crito; and he
then dismissed them and returned to us.
Now the hour of sunset was near, for a good deal of time had
passed while he was within. When he came out, he sat down with us
again after his bath, but not much was said. Soon the jailer, who
was the servant of the Eleven, entered and stood by him, saying: To
you, Socrates, whom I know to be the noblest and gentlest and best
of all who ever came to this place, I will not impute the angry
feelings of other men, who rage and swear at me when, in obedience
to the authorities, I bid them drink the poison-indeed, I am sure that
you will not be angry with me; for others, as you are aware, and not
I, are the guilty cause. And so fare you well, and try to bear lightly
what must needs be; you know my errand. Then bursting into tears he
turned away and went out.
Socrates looked at him and said: I return your good wishes, and will
do as you bid. Then, turning to us, he said, How charming the man
is: since I have been in prison he has always been coming to see me,
and at times he would talk to me, and was as good as could be to me,
and now see how generously he sorrows for me. But we must do as he
says, Crito; let the cup be brought, if the poison is prepared: if
not, let the attendant prepare some.
Yet, said Crito, the sun is still upon the hilltops, and many a
one has taken the draught late, and after the announcement has been
made to him, he has eaten and drunk, and indulged in sensual delights;
do not hasten then, there is still time.
Socrates said: Yes, Crito, and they of whom you speak are right in
doing thus, for they think that they will gain by the delay; but I
am right in not doing thus, for I do not think that I should gain
anything by drinking the poison a little later; I should be sparing