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7. Final Remarks

53b-54e

Socrates
"For just consider, if you transgress and err in this sort of way,
53b what good will you do, either to yourself or to your friends?
That your friends will be driven into exile and deprived of
citizenship, or will lose their property, is tolerably certain; and
you yourself, if you fly to one of the neighboring cities, as, for
example, Thebes or Megara, both of which are well-governed
cities, will come to them as an enemy, Socrates, and their
government will be against you, and all patriotic citizens will
cast an evil eye upon you as a subverter of the laws, and you
53c will confirm in the minds of the judges the justice of their own
condemnation of you. For he who is a corrupter of the laws is
more than likely to be corrupter of the young and foolish
portion of mankind. Will you then flee from well-ordered
cities and virtuous men? and is existence worth having on these
terms? Or will you go to them without shame, and talk to
53d them, Socrates? And what will you say to them? What you
say here about virtue and justice and institutions and laws
being the best things among men? Would that be decent of
you? Surely not. But if you go away from well-governed
States to Crito's friends in Thessaly, where there is great
disorder and license, they will be charmed to have the tale of
your escape from prison, set off with ludicrous particulars of
the manner in which you were wrapped in a goatskin or some
other disguise, and metamorphosed as the fashion of runaways
is -- that is very likely; but will there be no one to remind you
53e that in your old age you violated the most sacred laws from a
miserable desire of a little more life? Perhaps not, if you keep
them in a good temper; but if they are out of temper you will
hear many degrading things; you will live, but how? -- as the
flatterer of all men, and the servant of all men; and doing
what? -- eating and drinking in Thessaly, having gone abroad
in order that you may get a dinner. And where will be your
54a fine sentiments about justice and virtue then? Say that you
wish to live for the sake of your children, that you may bring
them up and educate them -- will you take them into Thessaly
and deprive them of Athenian citizenship? Is that the benefit
which you would confer upon them? Or are you under the
impression that they will be better cared for and educated here
if you are still alive, although absent from them; for that your
friends will take care of them? Do you fancy that if you are an
inhabitant of Thessaly they will take care of them, and if you
are an inhabitant of the other world they will not take care of
54b them? Nay; but if they who call themselves friends are truly
friends, they surely will.

"Listen, then, Socrates, to us who have brought you up. Think
not of life and children first, and of justice afterwards, but of
justice first, that you may be justified before the princes of the
world below. For neither will you nor any that belong to you
be happier or holier or juster in this life, or happier in another,
if you do as Crito bids. Now you depart in innocence, a
54c sufferer and not a doer of evil; a victim, not of the laws, but of
men. But if you go forth, returning evil for evil, and injury for
injury, breaking the covenants and agreements which you
have made with us, and wronging those whom you ought least
to wrong, that is to say, yourself, your friends, your country,
and us, we shall be angry with you while you live, and our
brethren, the laws in the world below, will receive you as an
enemy; for they will know that you have done your best to
54d destroy us. Listen, then, to us and not to Crito."

This is the voice which I seem to hear murmuring in my ears, I
like the sound of the flute in the ears of the mystic; that voice,
say, is humming in my ears, and prevents me from hearing any
other. And I know that anything more which you may say will
be in vain. Yet speak, if you have anything to say.

Cr. I have nothing to say, Socrates.

54e Soc. Then let me follow the intimations of the will of God