The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 177 pages of information about The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates.

“What you are, therefore, to observe is to avoid those who make it their business to find fault without reason, and to have to do with more equitable persons; to undertake what you can actually perform, to reject what you find yourself unfit to do; and when you have taken in hand to do anything, to accomplish it in a manner the most excellent and perfect you can.  Thus you will be less subject to be blamed, will find relief to your poverty, lead an easier life, be out of danger, and will sufficiently provide for the necessities of your old age.”

CHAPTER IX.  IN WHAT MANNER SOCRATES TAUGHT HIS FRIEND CRITO TO RID HIMSELF OF SOME INFORMERS, WHO TOOK THE ADVANTAGE OF HIS EASY TEMPER.

One day Crito, happening to meet Socrates, complained to him that it was very difficult for a man who would keep what he had to live in Athens; “for,” said he, “I am now sued by some men, though I never did them the least injury, but only because they know that I had rather give them a little money than embroil myself in the troubles of law.”  Socrates said to him, “Do you keep dogs to hinder the wolves from coming at your flocks?” “You need not doubt but I do,” answered Crito.  “Ought you not likewise,” replied Socrates, “to keep a man who were able to drive away all those that trouble you without cause?” “I would with all my heart,” said Crito, “but that I fear that in the end he, too, would turn against me.”  “Why so?” said Socrates; “is it not better to serve a man like you, and to receive favours from him, than to have him for an enemy?  You may be certain that there are in this city many men who would think themselves very happy to be honoured with your friendship.”

After this they happened to see a certain person name Archedemus, who was a man of very good parts, eloquent, and extremely skilful in the management of affairs; but withal very poor and in a low condition, for he was not of that sordid disposition to take all he could get, by what means soever, but he was a lover of justice and of honest men, and abhorred to make rich, or to raise himself by informing and backbiting; for he held that nothing was more base than that wretched practice of those miscreants called sycophants or informers.  Crito cast an eye upon him, and as often as they brought him any corn, or wine, or oil, or any other thing from his country-houses, he sent him some of it; when he offered sacrifices he invited him to the feasts, and showed him many civilities of the like nature.  Archedemus, seeing the doors of that house open to him at all times, and that he always found so favourable a reception, laid aside all his former dependences, and trusted himself wholly to Crito; then he made it his business immediately to inquire into the characters of those sycophants who had slandered Crito or informed against him, and found them to be guilty of many crimes, and that they had a great number of enemies.  This encouraged

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