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.
what then?” “What harm would it be to you?” said Socrates.  “It will show your goodness, and that you love him, and make him appear to be ill-natured, and not deserving to be obliged by any man.  But I am of opinion this will not happen, and when he sees that you attack him with civilities and good offices, I am certain he will endeavour to get the better of you in so kind and generous a contention.  You are now in the most wretched condition imaginable.  It is as if the hands which God has given us reciprocally to aid each other were employed only to hinder one another, or as if the feet, which by the divine providence were made to assist each other to walk, were busied only in preventing one another from going forward.  Would it not, then, be a great ignorance, and at the same time a great misfortune, to turn to our disadvantage what was made only for our utility?  Now, it is certain that God has given us brothers only for our good; and that two brothers are a greater advantage to one another than it can be to either of them to have two hands, two feet, two eyes, and other the like members, which are double in our body, and which Nature has designed as brothers.  For the hands cannot at the same time reach two things several fathoms distant from one another; the feet cannot stretch themselves from the end of one fathom to another; the eyes, which seem to discover from so far, cannot, at the same time, see the fore and hind-part of one and the same object; but when two brothers are good friends, no distance of place can hinder them from serving each other.”


I remember likewise a discourse which I have heard him make concerning friendship, and that may be of great use to instruct us by what means we ought to procure ourselves friends, and in what manner we should live with them.  He said “that most men agree that a true friend is a precious treasure, and that nevertheless there is nothing about which we give ourselves so little trouble as to make men our friends.  We take care,” said he, “to buy houses, lands, slaves, flocks, and household goods, and when we have them we endeavour to keep them, but though a friend is allowed to be capable of affording us a far greater happiness than any or all of these, yet how few are solicitous to procure themselves a friend, or, when they have, to secure his friendship?  Nay, some men are so stupid as to prefer their very slaves to their friends.  How else can we account for their want of concern about the latter when either in distress or sickness, and at the same time their extreme anxiety for the recovery of the former when in the same condition?  For then immediately physicians are sent for, and all remedies that can be thought of applied to their relief.  Should both of them happen to die, they will regret more the loss of their slave than of their friend, and shed

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