Part 1

Socrates' Vision Icon

SCENE: The Prison where Socrates is detained

Socrates Why have you come now that dawn is just breaking, Crito? It must be quite early? I wonder how the keeper of the prison let you in.
Crito

He knows me, because I often come. Moreover, I have done him a kindness. I came some time ago.

I come to bring you a message which is sad and painful to all of us who are your friends, and saddest of all to me.

Socrates What? Has the ship come from Delos, on the arrival of which I am to die?
Crito

No, the ship has not actually arrived. But she will probably be here today, as persons who have come from Sunium tell me that they have left her there.

And so tomorrow, will be the last day of your life.

Socrates

Very well, if it is the will of God, I am willing. But I think it will be delayed by 1 day.

The authorities say that I am to die on the day after the arrival of the ship

But I do not think that the ship will be here until tomorrow because I had a vision of it last night when you fortunately allowed me to sleep.

There appeared to me the likeness of a woman, fair and comely, clothed in bright raiment, who called to me and said: O Socrates The third day hence to fertile Phthia shalt thou go.’ 3

Crito

Yes; the meaning is only too clear.

But my beloved Socrates! Please take my advice and escape. If you die I shall lose a friend who can never be replaced.

People who do not know us will think that I might have saved you if I had been willing to give money, but that I did not care.

That would be the worst disgrace – that I should be thought to value money more than the life of a friend! People will not be persuaded that I wanted you to escape, and that you refused.

Socrates

But why should we care about the opinion of the many?

Good men, and they are the only persons who are worth considering, will think of these things truly as they occurred.

Crito But you see, that the opinion of the many must be regarded, for what is now happening shows that they can do the greatest evil to anyone who has lost their good opinion.
Socrates

I only wish it were so, and that the many could do the greatest evil.

For then they would also be able to do the greatest good—and what a fine thing this would be! But in reality they can do neither; for they cannot make a man either wise or foolish; and whatever they do is the result of chance.

Crito

I will not dispute with you. But are you acting out of regard to me and your other friends?

Or are you afraid that if you escape from prison we may get into trouble with the informers for having stolen you away, and lose either the whole or a great part of our property? or that even a worse evil may happen to us?

If you fear on our account, do not worry. If we ever run into a greater risk, you should do as I say.

Socrates Yes, Crito, that is one fear which you mention, but by no means the only one.

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