The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 214 pages of information about The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates.
“Perhaps you would endeavour to acquire the goodwill of your neighbour, to the end he might do you kind offices, such as giving you fire when you want it, or, when any misfortune befalls you, speedily relieve you?” “Yes, I would.”  “And if you were travelling with any man, either by sea or land, would you count it a matter of indifference whether you were loved by him or not?” “No, indeed.”  “Are you then so abandoned, Lamprocles,” replied Socrates, “that you would take pains to acquire the goodwill of those persons, and yet will do nothing to your mother, who loves you incomparably better than they?  Know you not that the Republic concerns not herself with common instances of ingratitude; that she takes no cognisance of such crimes, and that she neglects to punish those who do not return the civilities they receive?  But if any one be disrespectful to his parents there is a punishment provided for such ingratitude; the laws reject him as an outlaw, and will not allow him to be received into any public office, because it is a maxim commonly received amongst us, that a sacrifice, when offered by an impious hand, cannot be acceptable to the gods, nor profitable to the Republic.  Nobody can believe, that a person of such a character can be capable to perform any great or worthy action, or to act the part of a righteous judge.  The same punishment is ordained likewise for those who, after the death of their parents, neglect to honour their funerals:  and this is particularly examined into in the inquiry that is made into the lives of such as stand candidates for offices.

“Therefore, my son, if you be wise, you will beseech Heaven to pardon you the offences committed against your mother, to the end that the favours of the Deity may be still continued to you, and that you may not forfeit them by an ungrateful behaviour.  Take care, likewise, that the public may not discover the contempt you show her, for then would you be blamed and abandoned by all the world; for, if it were suspected that you did not gratefully resent the benefits conferred on you by your parents, no man could believe you would be grateful for any kind actions that others might do you.”


Two brothers, whose names were Chaerephon and Chaerecrates, were at enmity with each other.  Socrates was acquainted with them, and had a great mind to make them friends.  Meeting therefore with Chaerecrates, he accosted him thus:—­“Are you, too, one of those who prefer the being rich to the having a brother, and who do not consider that riches, being inanimate things, have need of being defended, whereas a brother is himself a good defence, and, after all, that there is more money than brothers?  For is it not extravagant in such men to imagine that a brother does them wrong because they enjoy not his

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The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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