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phaedo   


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

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