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[522a] and starves and chokes you to distraction, giving you nasty bitter draughts and forcing you to fast and thirst; not like me, who used to gorge you with abundance of nice things of every sort.” What do you suppose a doctor brought to this sad pass could say for himself? Or if he spoke the truth—“All this I did, my boys, for your health”—how great, think you, would be the outcry from such a bench as that? A loud one, would it not?

I daresay: one must suppose so.

Then you suppose he would be utterly at a loss [522b] what to say?

Quite so.

Such, however, I am sure would be my own fate if I were brought before the court. For not only shall I have no pleasures to plead as having been provided by me—which they regard as services and benefits, whereas I envy neither those who provide them nor those for whom they are provided—but if anyone alleges that I either corrupt the younger men by reducing them to perplexity, or revile the older with bitter expressions whether in private or in public, I shall be unable either to tell the truth and say—“It is on just ground that I say all this, and [522c] it is your interest that I serve thereby, gentlemen of the jury”—or to say anything else; and so I daresay any sort of thing, as luck may have it, will befall me.

Then do you think, Socrates, that a man in such a case and with no power of standing up for himself makes a fine figure in a city?

Yes, if he had that one resource, Callicles, which you have repeatedly admitted; if he had stood up for himself [522d] by avoiding any unjust word or deed in regard either to men or to gods. For this has been repeatedly admitted by us to be the most valuable kind of self-protection. Now if I were convicted of inability to extend this sort of protection to either myself or another, I should be ashamed, whether my conviction took place before many or few, or as between man and man; and if that inability should bring about my death, I should be sorely vexed: but if I came to my end through a lack of flattering rhetoric, I am quite sure you would see me [522e] take my death easily. For no man fears the mere act of dying, except he be utterly irrational and unmanly; doing wrong is what one fears: for to arrive in the nether world having one's soul full fraught with a heap of misdeeds is the uttermost of all evils. And now, if you do not mind, I would like to tell you a tale to show you that the case is so.

Well, as you have completed the rest of the business, go on and complete this also.

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    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 2, 2.42
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