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the errors in which they have grown gray, he devoted his labors principally to the instruction of youth, in order to sow the seeds of virtue in a soil more fit to produce the fruits of it.

15 He had no open school, like the rest of the philosophers, nor set times for his lessons. He had no benches prepared, nor ever mounted a professor's chair. He was the philosopher of all times and seasons. He taught in all places and upon all occasions; in walking, conversation, at meals, in the army, in the public assemblies, in prison itself; and when he drank the poison, he philosophized, says Plutarch, and instructed mankind. And from thence the same judicious author takes occasion to establish a great principle in point of government.

16 To be a public man, says he, it is not necessary to be actually in office, to wear the robe of judge or magistrate, and to sit in the highest tribunals, for the administration of justice. But whoever knows how to give wise counsel to those who consult him, to animate the citizens to virtue, and to inspire them with sentiments of probity, equity, generosity, and love of their country; this is, says Plutarch, the true magistrate and ruler, in whatever place or condition he be.

17 Such was Socrates. The services he did the state, by the instructions he gave their youth, and the disciples he formed, were inexpressibly great; never had master a greater number, or so illustrious. The ardor of the


Athenians to follow him, was incredible. They left father and mother, and renounced all parties of pleasure, to attach themselves to him, and hear his discourses.

SECTION II. Dialogue between Socrates and Glauco, on Excessive

Ambition. 1 The young people of Athens, dazzled with the glory of Themistocles, Cimon, and Pericles, and full of a wild ambition, after having received for some time the lessons of the sophists, who promised to make them very great politicians, conceived themselves capable of every thing, and aspired to the highest employments.

2 One of these, named Glauco, had taken it so strongly into his head, to enter upon the administration of the public affairs, though not twenty years old, that none of his family

or friends were able to divert him from a design, so little consistent with his age and capacity. Socrates, who had an affection for him on account of Plato his brother, was the only person who could prevail upon him to change his resolution.

3 Meeting him one day, he accosted him so happily with discourse, that he engaged him to give the hearing. “You are desirous then to govern the republic,” said he to him. " True,” replied Glauco. 66 You cannot have a more noble design," answered Socrates, “for if you succeed you will have it in your power to serve your friends effectually, to aggrandize your family, and to extend the confines of your country.

4 "You will make yourself known, not only to Athens, but throughout all Greece, and perhaps your renown, like that of Themistocles, may spread abroad amongst the barbarous na tions.

In short, wherever you are, you will attract the res pect and admiration of the whole world.”

5 So smooth and insinuating a prelude, was extremely pleasing to the young man, who was taken by his blind side. He staid willingly, gave him no occasion to press him on that account, and the conversation continued. “ Since you desire to be esteemed and honored, no doubt your view is to be useful to the public ?” “Certainly.” “Tell me then, I beg you, what is the first service you propose to render the state ?"

6 As Glauco seemed at a loss, and meditated upon what he should answer ; “I presume,” continues Socrates, “it is to enrich it, that is to say, to augment its revenues.” “My very thought.” “You are well versed then, undoubtedly in the revenues of the state, and know perfectly to what they may amount. You have not failed to make them your particular study, in order that if a fund should happen to fail, by any unforeseen accident, you might be able to supply the deficiency, by another.”

76. I protest,” replied Glauco, “ that never entered my thoughts.” “At least you will tell to what the expenses of the republic amount; for you must know the importance of retrenching such as are superfluous.” 6 I own I am as little informed in this point as the other.” “You must therefore defer your design of enriching the state till another time; for it is impossible you should do it, whilst you are unacquainted with its revenues and expenses.”

8 He ran over in this manner, several other articles no less important, with which Glauco appeared equally unacquainted; till he brought him to confess, how ridiculous those

people were, who have the rashness to intrude into government without any other preparation for the service of the public, than that of a high esteem for themselves, and an immoderate ambition of rising to the first places and dignities.

9 “ Have a care, dear Glauco,” said he to him, « lest a too warm desire of honors should deceive you into pursuits that may cover you with shame, by setting your incapacity and slender abilities in full light."

10 Glauco improved from the wise admonitions of Socrates, and took time to inform himself in private, before he ventured to appear in public. This is a lesson for all ages, and may be very useful to persons in all stations and conditions of life.


Dialogue between Socrates and Euthydemus, on the bene

ficence of God. 1 Xenophon has transmitted to us a conversation of Socrates with Euthydemus, upon the wisdom and goodness of Providence, which is one of the finest passages to be found in the writings of the ancients.

2 66 Did you never reflect within yourself,” says Socrates to Euthydemus, “how much care the gods have taken to bestow upon man all that is necessary to his nature ?" “ Never, I assure you," replied he. “You see,” continued Socrates, “how necessary light is, and how precious that gift of the gods ought to appear to us.”

3 “Without it," added Euthydemus, "we should be like the blind, and all nature as if it were not, or were dead; because we have occasion for suspense and relaxation, they have also given us the night for our repose.'

4 “You are in the right, and for this we ought to render them continual praise and thanksgiving. They have ordained that the sun, that bright and luminous star, should preside over the day, to distinguish its different parts, and that its light should not only serve to discover the wonders of nature, but to dispense universal light and heat; and at the same time they have commanded the moon and stars to illuminate the night of itself dark and obscure.

5 « Is there any thing more admirable than this variety and vicissitude of day and night, of light and darkness, of


labor and rest; and all this for the convenience and good of man ?"

6 Socrates enumerates in like manner, the infinite advantages we receive from fire and water in the occasions of life ; and continuing to observe upon the wonderful attention of providence in all that regards us. What say you,” pursued he,“ upon the sun's return after winter to revisit us, and that as the fruits of one season wither and decay, he ripens new ones to succeed them?

7 “ 'That having rendered man this service, he retires, lest he should incommode him by excess of heat; and then, after having removed to a certain point, which he could not pass without putting us in danger of perishing with cold, that he returns in the same track to resume his place in those parts of the heavens, where his presence is most beneficial to us?

8“ And because we would neither support the cold or heat, if we were to pass in an instant from one to the other, do you not admire, that while this star approaches and removes so slowly, the two extremities arrive by almost insensible degrees! Is it possible not to discover in this disposition of the seasons of the year, a providence and goodness, not only attentive to our necessities, but even our delights and enjoyments ?”

9 “All these things,” said Euthydemus, “make me doubt, whether the gods have any other employment than to shower their gifts and graces upon mankind. There is one point, however, that puts me to a stand, which is, that the brute animals partake of all these blessings as well as ourselves."

10 “ Yes,” replied Socrates ; " but do you but observe, that all these animals subsist only for man's service ? The strongest and most vigorous of them he subjects at his will, he makes them tame and gentle, and uses them successfully in his wars, his labors, and the other occasions of life.

11 66 What if we consider man in himself?” Here So. Krates examines the diversity of the senses, by the ministry oi' which man enjoys all that is best and most excellent in nature; the vivacity of his wit, and the force of his reason, which exalt him infinitely above all other animals; the wonderful gift of speech, by the means of which we communicate our thoughts reciprocally, publish our laws, and govern states.

12 “From all this,” says Socrates, “it is easy to discern that there are gods, and that they have man in their particu

lar care; though he cannot discover them by his senses. Do we perceive the thunder, whilst it strikes through all things that oppose it? Do we distinguish the winds, whilst they are tearing up all before them in our view ? Our soul itself, with which we are so intimate, which moves and acts us, is it visible ? can we behold it? It is the same with regard to the gods, of whom none are visible in the distribution of their favors.

13 “ The GREAT GOD himself, this great God, who has formed the universe, and supports the stupendous work, whose every part is finished with the utmost goodness and harmony; he who preserves them perpetually in immortal vigor, and causes them to obey him with a never failing punctuality, and a rapidity not to be followed by our imagination; this God makes himself sufficiently visible by the endless wonders of which he is author; but continues always invisible in himself.

14 Let us not then refuse to believe even what we do not see, and let us supply the defects of our corporeal eyes, by using those of the soul; but especially let us learn to render the just homage of respect and veneration to the divinity, whose will it seems to be, that we should have no other perception of him than by his effects in our favor. Now this adoration, this homage, consists in pleasing him, and we can only please him by doing his will."

15 In this manner Socrates instructed youth; these are the principles and sentiments he inspired into them; on the one side perfect submission to the laws and magistrates, in which he made justice consist; on the other, a profound regard for, and conformity to the will, of the divinity, which constitutes religion.

16 He cites an excellent prayer from an anonymous poet: “Great God, give us, we beseech thee, those good things of which we stand in need, whether we crave them or not; and remove from us all those which may be hurtful to us, though we implore them of you."

SECTION III. Accusation, defence, condemnation and death of Socrates.

1 Socrates having been accused by his enemies, of whom the best men frequently have the greatest number, and brought to a public trial, on a variety of frivolous and mostly false charges, he was condemned, by a majority of five hundred judges, to suffer death by drinking a decoction of hem

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