by Plato(Oxford: Oxford college Press, 1892)Translated by Benjamin Jowett (Link to Jowett"s Introduction come Crito)


CritoBy PlatoTranslated by Benjamin Jowett

Persons the the DialogueSOCRATESCRITO

SceneThe jail of Socrates.

You are watching: Crito seems certain he will be

Socrates. WHY have actually you come at this hour, Crito? it have to be fairly early.

Crito. Yes, certainly.

Soc. What is the precise time?

Cr. The dawn is breaking.

Soc. I wonder the keeper of the prison would certainly let friend in.

Cr. He knows me since I frequently come, Socrates; moreover. I have done him a kindness.

Soc. And are you only just come?

Cr. No, i came part time ago.

Soc. Then why did you sit and say nothing, instead of awakening me at once?

Cr. Why, indeed, Socrates, ns myself would rather not have actually all this sleeplessness and also sorrow. But I have been wondering at your peaceful slumbers, and also that was the factor why i did not awaken you, due to the fact that I wanted you to be out of pain. Ns have constantly thought friend happy in the calmness of her temperament; but never did I view the choose of the easy, cheerful method in which friend bear this calamity.

Soc. Why, Crito, when a man has actually reached my age he ought not to be repining at the possibility of death.

Cr. And yet various other old men uncover themselves in similar misfortunes, and also age walk not protect against them from repining.

Soc. That may be. However you have actually not said me why you come at this early on hour.

Cr. I come to bring you a blog post which is sad and also painful; not, as I believe, to yourself yet to all of us who space your friends, and also saddest of every to me.

Soc. What! I mean that the ship has come indigenous Delos, top top the arrival of which ns am come die?

Cr. No, the ship has not actually arrived, however she will more than likely be below to-day, together persons who have come from Sunium call me the they have left she there; and therefore to-morrow, Socrates, will certainly be the last day of her life.

Soc. Very well, Crito; if such is the will of God, i am willing; however my id is the there will be a hold-up of a day.

Cr. Why execute you say this?

Soc. I will certainly tell you. I am to die on the job after the come of the ship?

Cr. Yes; that is what the authorities say.

Soc. But I perform not think that the ship will be here until to-morrow; this i gather native a vision i beg your pardon I had actually last night, or quite only simply now, once you fortunately allowed me to sleep.

Cr. And what to be the nature of the vision?

Soc. There concerned me the likeness of a woman, fair and also comely, clothed in white raiment, who referred to as to me and said: O Socrates-

"The third day hence, come Phthia shalt you go."

Cr. What a singular dream, Socrates!

Soc. There have the right to be no doubt around the definition Crito, ns think.

Cr. Yes: the meaning is just too clear. But, O! mine beloved Socrates, permit me entreat friend once an ext to take my advice and escape. For if you die I shall not only shed a girlfriend who can never it is in replaced, however there is one more evil: human being who perform not recognize you and me will believe that I can have saved you if I had been willing to provide money, yet that ns did not care. Now, deserve to there be a worse disgrace than this- that I have to be assumed to worth money an ext than the life that a friend? for the countless will not be convinced that I wanted you come escape, and also that friend refused.

Soc. But why, my dear Crito, need to we care about the opinion of the many? an excellent men, and also they are the only persons who space worth considering, will think that these points truly as they happened.

Cr. But execute you see. Socrates, the the opinion the the numerous must it is in regarded, together is obvious in your very own case, because they have the right to do the an extremely greatest angry to everyone who has lost their good opinion?

Soc. I just wish, Crito, the they could; for then castle could additionally do the best good, and that would certainly be well. But the truth is, that they deserve to do neither an excellent nor evil: lock cannot make a guy wise or do him foolish; and also whatever they do is the an outcome of chance.

Cr. Well, I will not dispute around that; however please to tell me, Socrates, even if it is you are not acting out of regard to me and also your various other friends: room you not afraid the if you escape therefore we may obtain into trouble v the informers for having actually stolen girlfriend away, and also lose either the entirety or a good part of ours property; or that even a worse evil may happen to us? Now, if this is your fear, be at ease; for in stimulate to save you, we ought surely to run this or even a better risk; it is in persuaded, then, and also do as I say.

Soc. Yes, Crito, that is one are afraid which friend mention, yet by no method the only one.

Cr. Fear not. There space persons that at no good cost room willing to save you and bring you out of prison; and also as because that the informers, you may observe that they are much from being exorbitant in their demands; a small money will meet them. My means, which, together I to be sure, room ample, room at your service, and also if you have a scruple around spending all mine, right here are strangers that will provide you the use of theirs; and also one the them, Simmias the Theban, has carried a amount of money because that this an extremely purpose; and Cebes and also many others are willing to invest their money too. I say, therefore, do not on the account hesitate around making her escape, and also do no say, as you did in the court, that you will have a an obstacle in learning what to execute with you yourself if friend escape. For males will love girlfriend in other areas to which you might go, and not in Athens only; there are friends of mine in Thessaly, if you prefer to go to them, who will value and also protect you, and also no Thessalian will give you any type of trouble. Nor deserve to I think that you are justified, Socrates, in betraying your own life when you could be saved; this is playing right into the hands of your enemies and destroyers; and also moreover I should say the you were betraying her children; for you might carry them up and also educate them; instead of which you go away and also leave them, and they will need to take their chance; and also if they carry out not satisfy with the normal fate the orphans, there will be tiny thanks come you. No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere come the end in your nurture and also education. Yet you are selecting the much easier part, together I think, not the far better and manlier, i beg your pardon would quite have end up being one that professes virtue in every his actions, prefer yourself. And, indeed, ns am ashamed not only of you, however of us who space your friends, as soon as I reflect the this entire company of yours will be attributed to our desire of courage. The trial need never have come on, or could have been brought to another issue; and also the finish of all, which is the crowning absurdity, will certainly seem to have actually been permitted by us, through cowardice and baseness, who might have saved you, as you could have saved yourself, if we had actually been great for noþeles (for there to be no difficulty in escaping); and we did not see how disgraceful, Socrates, and likewise miserable all this will be come us and to you. Make her mind increase then, or rather have actually your mind already made up, for the moment of consideration is over, and also there is just one thing to it is in done, which have to be done, if in ~ all, this really night, and which any hold-up will render all however impossible; i beseech you therefore, Socrates, come be convinced by me, and to execute as ns say.

Soc. Dear Crito, your zeal is invaluable, if a right one; however if wrong, the higher the zeal the higher the evil; and therefore us ought to take into consideration whether these points shall be excellent or not. For i am and always have been one of those nature who have to be guided by reason, whatever the reason might be which top top reflection shows up to me to be the best; and also now that this fortune has come top top me, ns cannot placed away the reasons which i have prior to given: the values which I have actually hitherto honored and also revered i still honor, and unless us can uncover other and better principles on the instant, ns am particular not to agree v you; no, not even if the power of the multitude can inflict many an ext imprisonments, confiscations, deaths, frightening united state like kids with hobgoblin terrors. However what will certainly be the fairest way of considering the question? candlestick I return to your old argument about the opinions of men, several of which space to it is in regarded, and others, as we were saying, space not to be regarded? now were we ideal in maintaining this before I to be condemned? and also has the discussion which was once great now showed to be speak for the services of talking; in fact an amusement only, and also altogether vanity? the is what I want to take into consideration with your help, Crito: whether, under my current circumstances, the argument shows up to it is in in any way different or not; and is come be enabled by me or disallowed. The argument, which, as I believe, is maintained by numerous who assume to it is in authorities, was to the effect, as I was saying, the the opinions the some males are to be regarded, and of other guys not to it is in regarded. Currently you, Crito, room a disinterested person who space not walk to dice to-morrow- in ~ least, over there is no human being probability the this, and you are because of this not responsible to it is in deceived by the situations in i m sorry you are placed. Call me, then, whether i am best in saying that some opinions, and also the opinions the some guys only, room to it is in valued, and other opinions, and also the opinions of other men, room not to it is in valued. Ns ask friend whether i was ideal in maintaining this?

Cr. Certainly.

Soc. The great are to be regarded, and also not the bad?

Cr. Yes.

Soc. And the opinions that the wise room good, and also the opinions that the unwise room evil?

Cr. Certainly.

Soc. And what to be said around another matter? to be the disciple in gymnastics claimed to deal with the praise and also blame and opinion of every man, or the one guy only- his medical professional or trainer, whoever the was?

Cr. Of one man only.

Soc. And he ought to fear the censure and welcome the prayer of that one only, and also not of the many?

Cr. That is clear.

Soc. And he ought to live and also train, and also eat and drink in the method which seems an excellent to his single master who has actually understanding, fairly than follow to the opinion of all other males put together?

Cr. True.

Soc. And if the disobeys and disregards the opinion and also approval that the one, and also regards the opinion of the many who have actually no understanding, will certainly he not suffer evil?

Cr. Certainly the will.

Soc. And what will certainly the evil be, whither tending and also what affecting, in the disobedient person?

Cr. Clearly, affect the body; the is what is destroyed by the evil.

Soc. Very good; and is not this true, Crito, of various other things i beg your pardon we require not independently enumerate? In the issue of just and also unjust, fair and also foul, good and evil, which room the subjects of our present consultation, ought we to follow the opinion that the many and also to are afraid them; or the opinion the the one male who has actually understanding, and also whom we need to fear and reverence an ext than every the remainder of the world: and also whom deserting we shall destroy and injure the principle in united state which may be assumed come be improved by justice and deteriorated by injustice; is there not such a principle?

Cr. Certainly there is, Socrates.

Soc. Take a parallel instance; if, acting under the advice of males who have no understanding, we destroy that which is improvable by health and also deteriorated through disease- when that has been destroyed, ns say, would certainly life be precious having? and that is- the body?

Cr. Yes.

Soc. Could us live, having actually an evil and corrupted body?

Cr. Certainly not.

Soc. And will life be worth having, if that higher part of male be depraved, which is enhanced by justice and also deteriorated through injustice? carry out we suppose that principle, every little thing it may be in man, which needs to do through justice and also injustice, come be worse to the body?

Cr. Certainly not.

Soc. More honored, then?

Cr. Far much more honored.

Soc. Then, my friend, we must not to the what the numerous say the us: but what he, the one guy who has understanding of just and also unjust, will certainly say, and what the fact will say. And therefore you begin in error as soon as you suggest that we should regard the opinion the the many around just and unjust, great and evil, honorable and also dishonorable. Well, someone will certainly say, "But the numerous can kill us."

Cr. Yes, Socrates; the will plainly be the answer.

Soc. That is true; but still I find with surprise that the old discussion is, together I conceive, unshaken together ever. And also I must like to understand Whether I might say the exact same of an additional proposition- that not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued?

Cr. Yes, that likewise remains.

Soc. And a good life is indistinguishable to a just and also honorable one- that holds also?

Cr. Yes, the holds.

Soc. From these premises I continue to controversy the question whether ns ought or ought not to try to escape there is no the consent of the Athenians: and if i am clearly right in escaping, then I will make the attempt; but if not, I will abstain. The other considerations which you mention, that money and also loss of character, and also the duty that educating children, are, i fear, only the doctrines that the multitude, who would be as prepared to call human being to life, if they were able, together they room to placed them come death- and with as tiny reason. But now, since the discussion has thus much prevailed, the just question which stays to be thought about is, whether we shall perform rightly either in escaping or in suffering others to help in our escape and paying lock in money and thanks, or whether we shan not execute rightly; and if the latter, then death or any kind of other calamity which might ensue on my remaining below must not be permitted to get in into the calculation.

Cr. I think that you space right, Socrates; how then shall us proceed?

Soc. Let us think about the matter together, and also do you either refute me if friend can, and also I will certainly be convinced; or rather cease, my dear friend, from repeating come me the I should escape against the desire of the Athenians: for i am very desirous to be convinced by you, however not against my own much better judgment. And also now you re welcome to take into consideration my an initial position, and do your finest to answer me.

Cr. I will do my best.

Soc. Are we to to speak that we are never intentionally to carry out wrong, or the in one way we ought and also in another means we ought no to do wrong, or is law wrong constantly evil and dishonorable, as I was just now saying, and as has been already acknowledged through us? are all our previous admissions which to be made within a couple of days to be thrown away? and also have we, at our age, been serious discoursing with one an additional all our life lengthy only to uncover that we room no far better than children? Or are we to rest assured, despite the opinion of the many, and in spite of aftermath whether far better or worse, of the fact of what was then said, the injustice is constantly an evil and also dishonor to him that acts unjustly? Shall us affirm that?

Cr. Yes.

Soc. Then we should do no wrong?

Cr. Certainly not.

Soc. Nor once injured damaged in return, as the many imagine; because that we need to injure no one at all?

Cr. Clearly not.

Soc. Again, Crito, might we execute evil?

Cr. Surely not, Socrates.

Soc. And what of doing evil in return for evil, i beg your pardon is the principles of the many-is that simply or not?

Cr. Not just.

Soc. For doing angry to an additional is the very same as injuring him?

Cr. Very true.

Soc. Then we ought no to retaliate or render angry for angry to anyone, everything evil we may have actually suffered native him. Yet I would have actually you consider, Crito, whether you really median what you space saying. For this opinion has never to be held, and also never will be held, by any kind of considerable variety of persons; and also those who room agreed and those who space not agreed upon this suggest have no usual ground, and also can only despise one another, when they see how widely they differ. Call me, then, whether you agree with and also assent come my an initial principle, the neither injury nor retaliation nor pushing back evil by angry is ever before right. And also shall that be the premise of our agreement? Or execute you decrease and dissent from this? because that this has actually been of old and also is still mine opinion; but, if you are of an additional opinion, allow me listen what you have to say. If, however, you stay of the exact same mind together formerly, ns will proceed to the next step.

Cr. You may proceed, for I have not adjusted my mind.

Soc. Then i will continue to the following step, which might be put in the type of a question: ought a guy to perform what he admits to it is in right, or candlestick he come betray the right?

Cr. He candlestick to execute what he thinks right.

Soc. But if this is true, what is the application? In leaving the prison against the will certainly of the Athenians, do I dorn any? or rather execute I no wrong those whom ns ought the very least to wrong? carry out I not desert the values which were identified by united state to it is in just? What execute you say?

Cr. I cannot tell, Socrates, because that I carry out not know.

Soc. Then take into consideration the issue in this way: Imagine that ns am around to pat truant (you may contact the proceeding by any name which girlfriend like), and the laws and the government come and interrogate me: "Tell us, Socrates," castle say; "what are you about? are you walking by an act of yours come overturn us- the laws and the entirety State, as much as in girlfriend lies? perform you imagine the a State can subsist and not be overthrown, in which the decision of law have actually no power, however are collection aside and overthrown through individuals?" What will be our answer, Crito, come these and also the favor words? Anyone, and especially a clever rhetorician, will have a an excellent deal to urge about the angry of setting aside the law which needs a sentence to be carried out; and we might reply, "Yes; yet the State has actually injured us and given an unjust sentence." mean I say that?

Cr. Very good, Socrates.Soc. "And was that our commitment with you?" the regulation would say, "or were you come abide by the sentence of the State?" and if ns were come express astonishment at their saying this, the law would most likely add: "Answer, Socrates, instead of opened your eyes: you room in the habit that asking and also answering questions. Tell united state what complain you have to make versus us which justifies you in attempting to damage us and also the State? In the first place did us not bring you right into existence? her father married your mother by our help and begat you. Say whether you have any objection come urge against those of us who control marriage?" None, I need to reply. "Or versus those of us who manage the device of nurture and education of youngsters in which you were trained? Were no the laws, who have the fee of this, best in commanding your father come train friend in music and gymnastic?" Right, I should reply. "Well, then, because you were carried into the world and also nurtured and educated by us, can you deny in the an initial place the you room our child and slave, as your fathers were prior to you? and if this is true you room not on same terms v us; nor have the right to you think the you have actually a right to execute to us what we space doing come you. Would you have any right to strike or revile or do any other evil to a father or to her master, if you had one, when you have actually been struck or reviled by him, or got some other evil at his hands?- you would certainly not to speak this? and because us think right to destroy you, execute you think that you have any right to damage us in return, and your nation as much as in girlfriend lies? and also will you, O professor of true virtue, say that you are justified in this? has actually a theorist like you failed to discover that our nation is much more to it is in valued and higher and holier much than mommy or father or any ancestor, and an ext to be related to in the eyes of the gods and also of men of understanding? also to be soothed, and also gently and also reverently entreated once angry, even more than a father, and also if not persuaded, obeyed? and when we space punished by her, whether v imprisonment or stripes, the penalty is to be withstood in silence; and if she leads us to wounds or death in battle, thither us follow as is right; neither might anyone productivity or retreat or leave his rank, however whether in fight or in a court the law, or in any other place, he should do what his city and also his nation order him; or the must readjust their see of what is just: and if he might do no violence come his father or mother, much less may he execute violence come his country." What price shall we make to this, Crito? perform the laws speak truly, or do they not?

Cr. I think the they do.

Soc. Then the regulations will say: "Consider, Socrates, if this is true, the in your present attempt you room going to do us wrong. For, after ~ having brought you into the world, and also nurtured and educated you, and given you and also every various other citizen a share in every an excellent that we had actually to give, we further proclaim and also give the best to every Athenian, the if the does not like us when he has actually come of age and has viewed the means of the city, and made our acquaintance, he might go wherein he pleases and also take his goods with him; and none that us regulations will forbid the or interfere through him. Any type of of you that does not prefer us and also the city, and who desires to walk to a nest or to any kind of other city, may go wherein he likes, and take his products with him. However he who has actually experience of the path in which we order justice and provide the State, and still remains, has gotten in into an comprise contract that he will do as we command him. And he who disobeys us is, as we maintain, thrice wrong: first, because in disobeying united state he is disobeying his parents; secondly, since we space the writer of his education; thirdly, because he has actually made an covenant with united state that he will duly follow our commands; and also he no obeys them nor convinces us that our regulates are wrong; and also we perform not crude oil impose them, however give him the different of obeying or convincing us; the is what we offer and also he go neither. These are the kind of accusations come which, together we were saying, you, Socrates, will be exposed if you achieve your intentions; you, above all other Athenians." intend I ask, why is this? They will justly retort top top me that I over all various other men have actually acknowledged the agreement. "There is clear proof," they will say, "Socrates, that we and also the city were no displeasing come you. Of all Athenians you have been the most continuous resident in the city, which, as you never ever leave, you may be an alleged to love. Because that you never ever went the end of the city either to watch the games, except once when you visited the Isthmus, or to any kind of other place unless as soon as you to be on army service; no one did you travel as other males do. Nor had you any type of curiosity to know other claims or their laws: her affections did no go past us and also our State; we were your especial favorites, and you acquiesced in our government of you; and this is the State in which friend begat her children, i m sorry is a evidence of your satisfaction. Moreover, girlfriend might, if you had actually liked, have actually fixed the penalty at banishment in the food of the trial-the State i beg your pardon refuses to let girlfriend go currently would have let you walk then. But you pretended that you preferred fatality to exile, and also that you were not grieved in ~ death. And now you have forgotten these fine sentiments, and also pay no respect to us, the laws, of who you are the destroyer; and also are act what just a miserable servant would do, to run away and transforming your earlier upon the compacts and agreements which girlfriend made as a citizen. And an initial of all answer this an extremely question: are we right in saying the you i agree to be governed follow to united state in deed, and not in word only? Is that true or not?" just how shall us answer that, Crito? must we no agree?

Cr. There is no help, Socrates.

Soc. Then will they not say: "You, Socrates, room breaking the covenants and agreements which you made v us at your leisure, not in any kind of haste or under any compulsion or deception, however having had actually seventy years to think of them, during which time you to be at liberty to leaving the city, if us were no to your mind, or if ours covenants appeared to you to be unfair. You had actually your choice, and might have gone one of two people to Lacedaemon or Crete, i beg your pardon you frequently praise because that their an excellent government, or come some other Hellenic or international State. Whereas you, above all various other Athenians, seemed to be so fond the the State, or, in other words, of us her laws (for that would prefer a State that has actually no laws?), that you never stirred out of her: the halt, the blind, the maimed, to be not an ext stationary in her 보다 you were. And now you run away and forsake your agreements. Not so, Socrates, if you will take ours advice; do not make yourself man by escaping out of the city.

"For simply consider, if you transgress and also err in this type of way, what an excellent will girlfriend do, one of two people to yourself or to her friends? that your friends will be driven into exile and deprived that citizenship, or will lose their property, is tolerably certain; and you yourself, if you fly to one of the surrounding cities, as, because that example, Thebes or Megara, both of which room well-governed cities, will come to them as an enemy, Socrates, and their federal government will be versus you, and all patriotic citizens will actors an evil eye ~ above you together a subverter of the laws, and also you will certainly confirm in the psychic of the judges the justice of their very own condemnation that you. For he that is a corrupter of the regulations is much more than likely to it is in corrupter that the young and foolish section of mankind. Will certainly you climate flee indigenous well-ordered cities and virtuous men? and also is visibility worth having actually on these terms? Or will certainly you go to them without shame, and talk come them, Socrates? and what will you say to them? What you speak here about virtue and justice and also institutions and laws being the finest things among men? would that be decent of you? certain not. Yet if you walk away indigenous well-governed says to Crito"s friends in Thessaly, where there is great disorder and also license, they will be charmed to have the story of your escape native prison, set off through ludicrous particulars of the way in i m sorry you to be wrapped in a goatskin or some various other disguise, and also metamorphosed as the fashion of runaways is- that is really likely; but will over there be nobody to repeat you the in her old period you violated the most sacred regulations from a miserable desire of a little much more life? perhaps not, if you save them in a an excellent temper; yet if they space out that temper you will hear plenty of degrading things; you will live, yet how?- as the flatterer of all men, and the maid of all men; and doing what?- eating and also drinking in Thessaly, having actually gone abroad in order that you may acquire a dinner. And where will certainly be her fine sentiments around justice and virtue then? Say the you wish to live for the sake of her children, that you may lug them up and educate them- will you take them right into Thessaly and deprive them of Athenian citizenship? Is that the benefit which you would certainly confer upon them? Or space you under the impression the they will certainly be better cared for and also educated right here if you room still alive, although absent from them; for that your friends will take treatment of them? execute you an intricate that if you room an inhabitant of Thessaly they will certainly take treatment of them, and also if you are an inhabitant the the other human being they will not take treatment of them? Nay; yet if they who call themselves friends room truly friends, castle surely will.

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"Listen, then, Socrates, to united state who have lugged you up. Think no of life and also children first, and also of righteousness afterwards, however of justice first, the you may be justified prior to the princes that the people below. Because that neither will certainly you nor any kind of that belong to you be happier or holier or juster in this life, or more happiness in another, if you carry out as Crito bids. Currently you depart in innocence, a sufferer and not a doer the evil; a victim, no of the laws, but of men. However if you go forth, returning angry for evil, and also injury for injury, break the covenants and agreements i beg your pardon you have made with us, and also wronging those who you ought the very least to wrong, the is come say, yourself, her friends, your country, and us, us shall be angry through you while girlfriend live, and also our brethren, the laws in the human being below, will receive you as an enemy; for they will know that you have done your finest to damage us. Listen, then, come us and not come Crito."

This is the voice which ns seem to hear murmuring in mine ears, favor the sound of the flute in the ear of the mystic; the voice, i say, is humming in my ears, and prevents me indigenous hearing any other. And I understand that anything much more which you will certainly say will certainly be in vain. Yet speak, if you have anything to say.