[23a] many enmities have arisen against me, and such as are most harsh and grievous, so that many prejudices have resulted from them and I am called a wise man. For on each occasion those who are present think I am wise in the matters in which I confute someone else; but the fact is, gentlemen, it is likely that the god is really wise and by his oracle means this: “Human wisdom is of little or no value.” And it appears that he does not really say this of Socrates, but merely uses my name, [23b] and makes me an example, as if he were to say: “This one of you, O human beings, is wisest, who, like Socrates, recognizes that he is in truth of no account in respect to wisdom.”Therefore I am still even now going about and searching and investigating at the god's behest anyone, whether citizen or foreigner, who I think is wise; and when he does not seem so to me, I give aid to the god and show that he is not wise. And by reason of this occupation I have no leisure to attend to any of the affairs of the state worth mentioning, or of my own, but am in vast poverty [23c] on account of my service to the god.And in addition to these things, the young men who have the most leisure, the sons of the richest men, accompany me of their own accord, find pleasure in hearing people being examined, and often imitate me themselves, and then they undertake to examine others; and then, I fancy, they find a great plenty of people who think they know something, but know little or nothing. As a result, therefore, those who are examined by them are angry with me, instead of being angry with themselves, and say that “Socrates is a most abominable person [23d] and is corrupting the youth.”And when anyone asks them “by doing or teaching what?” they have nothing to say, but they do not know, and that they may not seem to be at a loss they say these things that are handy to say against all the philosophers, “the things in the air and the things beneath the earth” and “not to believe in the gods” and “to make the weaker argument the stronger.” For they would not, I fancy, care to say the truth, that it is being made very clear that they pretend to know, but know nothing. [23e] Since, then, they are jealous of their honor and energetic and numerous and speak concertedly and persuasively about me, they have filled your ears both long ago and now with vehement slanders. From among them Meletus attacked me, and Anytus and Lycon, Meletus angered on account of the poets, and Anytus on account of the artisans and the public men,
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