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

Upon this Socrates, interrupting him—­“I will,” said he, “give you an advice.  Have you not observed that in the high mountains, which are the frontiers of Attica, and divide it from Boeotia, the roads through which you must of necessity pass to go from one country to the other are very rough and narrow?” “Yes, I have.”  “Tell me, besides, have you never heard say that the Mysians and the Pisidians, who are in possession of advantageous places where they dwell in the dominions of the King of Persia, arm themselves lightly, and make continual inroads upon the neighbouring provinces, and by that means are very troublesome to that king’s subjects, and preserve their own liberty?” “I have heard so.”  “It is probable, too,” continued Socrates, “that if the Athenians would possess themselves of the mountains that are between Boeotia and Attica, and if they took care to send thither some young men with arms proper for inroaders, our enemies would be much prejudiced by them, and all those mountains would be as a great rampart to cover our country from their insults.”  “I believe what you say,” answered Pericles, “and take all the advices you have given me to be very good.”  “If you think them so,” replied Socrates, “endeavour, my friend, to put them in practice; for if any of them succeed you will receive the honour, and the Republic the profit; and even though they should not meet with success the Republic would have no inconvenience to apprehend, nor you the least dishonour.”

CHAPTER VI.  SOCRATES DISSUADES GLAUCON, A VERY FORWARD YOUTH, FROM TAKING UPON HIM THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC, FOR WHICH HE WAS UNFIT.

A young man whose name was Glaucon, the son of Ariston, had so fixed it in his head to govern the Republic, that before he was twenty years of age he frequently presented himself before the people to discourse of affairs of state; nor was it in the power of his relations or friends to dissuade him from that design, though all the world laughed at him for it, and though sometimes he was dragged from the tribunal by force.  Socrates had a kindness for him, upon account of Plato and Charmidas, and he only it was who made him change his resolution.  He met him, and accosted him in so winning a manner, that he first obliged him to hearken to his discourse.  He began with him thus:—­

“You have a mind, then, to govern the Republic, my friend?” “I have so,” answered Glaucon.  “You cannot,” replied Socrates, “have a more noble design; for if you can accomplish it you will be absolute.  You will be able to serve your friends, you will raise your family, you will extend the bounds of your country, you will be known not only in Athens but through all Greece, and perhaps your renown will fly even to the barbarous nations, as did that of Themistocles.  In short, wherever you come you will be respected and admired.”

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