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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 177 pages of information about The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates.
to all the Athenians, do you think they do not address themselves to you too, when by prodigies they make known to the Greeks the things that are to happen, are they silent to you alone, and are you the only person they neglect?  Do you think that the gods would have instilled this notion into men, that it is they who can make them happy or miserable, if it were not indeed in their power to do so?  And do you believe that the human race would have been thus long abused without ever discovering the cheat?  Do you not know that the most ancient and wisest republics and people have been also the most pious, and that man, at the age when his judgment is ripest, has then the greatest bent to the worship of the Deity?

“My dear Aristodemus, consider that your mind governs your body according to its pleasure:  in like manner we ought to believe that there is a mind diffused throughout the whole universe that disposeth of all things according to its counsels.  You must not imagine that your weak sight can reach to objects that are several leagues distant, and that the eye of God cannot, at one and the same time, see all things.  You must not imagine that your mind can reflect on the affairs of Athens, of Egypt, and of Sicily, and that the providence of God cannot, at one and the same moment, consider all things.  As, therefore, you may make trial of the gratitude of a man by doing him a kindness, and as you may discover his prudence by consulting him in difficult affairs, so, if you would be convinced how great is the power and goodness of God, apply yourself sincerely to piety and his worship; then, my dear Aristodemus, you shall soon be persuaded that the Deity sees all, hears all, is present everywhere, and, at the same time, regulates and superintends all the events of the universe.”

By such discourses as these Socrates taught his friends never to commit any injustice or dishonourable action, not only in the presence of men, but even in secret, and when they are alone, since the Divinity hath always an eye over us, and none of our actions can be hid from him.

CHAPTER V. THE PRAISE OF TEMPERANCE.

And if temperance be a virtue in man, as undoubtedly it is, let us see whether any improvement can be made by what he said of it.  I will here give you one of his discourses on that subject:—­

“If we were engaged in a war,” said he, “and were to choose a general, would we make choice of a man given to wine or women, and who could not support fatigues and hardships?  Could we believe that such a commander would be capable to defend us and to conquer our enemies?  Or if we were lying on our deathbed, and were to appoint a guardian and tutor for our children, to take care to instruct our sons in the principles of virtue, to breed up our daughters in the paths of honour and to be faithful in the management of their fortunes, should we think a debauched person fit for that employment? 

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