Xenophon, creator; , Xenophon Memorabilia, Oeconomicus Symposium, Apology; Todd, O. J. (Otis Johnson), translator; Marchant, E. C. (Edgar Cardew), 1864-1960, editor; Todd, O. J. (Otis Johnson), editor, translator

At this point Socrates said: I suspect that it remains now for each one of us to prove that what he engaged himself to champion is of real worth. You may hear me first, said Callias. While I listen to your philosophical discussions of what righteousness is, I am all the time actually rendering men more righteous. How so, my good friend? asked Socrates. Why, by giving them money.

Then Antisthenes got up and in a very argumentative fashion interrogated him. Where do you think men harbour their righteousness, Callias, in their souls or in their purses?In their souls, he replied. So you make their souls more righteous by putting money into their purses? I surely do. How? Because they know that they have the wherewithal to buy the necessities of life, and so they are reluctant to expose themselves to the hazards of crime.

And do they repay you, he asked, the money that they get from you? Heavens, no! he replied. Well, do they substitute thanks for money payment? No, indeed, nor that either, he said. On the contrary, some of them have an even greater dislike of me than before they got the money. It is remarkable, said Antisthenes, looking fixedly at him as though he had him in a corner, that you can make them righteous toward others but not toward yourself.

What is there remarkable about that? asked Callias. Do you not see plenty of carpenters, also, and architects that build houses for many another person but cannot do it for themselves, but live in rented houses? Come now, my captious friend, take your medicine and own that you are beaten.

By all means, said Socrates, let him do so. For even the soothsayers have the reputation, you know, of prophesying the future for others but of not being able to foresee their own fate. Here the discussion of this point ended.

Then Niceratus remarked: You may now hear me tell wherein you will be improved by associating with me. You know, doubtless, that the sage Homer has written about practically everything pertaining to man. Any one of you, therefore, who wishes to acquire the art of the householder, the political leader, or the general, or to become like Achilles or Ajax or Nestor or Odysseus, should seek my favour, for I understand all these things.Ha! said Antisthenes; do you understand how to play the king, too, knowing, as you do, that Homer praised Agamemnon[*](Iliad, iii. 179.) for being

both goodly king and spearman strong
? Yes, indeed! said he; and I know also that in driving a chariot one must run close to the goalpost at the turn[*](Cf. Iliad, xxiii. 323, 334.) and
  1. Himself lean lightly to the left within
  2. The polished car, the right-hand trace-horse goad,
  3. Urge him with shouts, and let him have the reins.
  4. [*](Hom. Il. 23.335-337)
Hom. Il. 23.335-337

And beside this I know something else, which you may test immediately. For Homer says somewhere:

An onion, too, a relish for the drink.
[*](Iliad, xi. 630.) Now if some one will bring an onion, you will receive this benefit, at any rate, without delay; for you will get more pleasure out of your drinking.

Gentlemen, said Charmides, Niceratus is intent on going home smelling of onions to make his wife believe that no one would even have conceived the thought of kissing him. Undoubtedly, said Socrates. But we run the risk of getting a different sort of reputation, one that will bring us ridicule. For though the onion seems to be in the truest sense a relish, since it adds to our enjoyment not only of food, but also of drink, yet if we eat it not only with our dinner but after it as well, take care that some one does not say of us that on our visit to Callias we were merely indulging our appetites.

Heaven forbid, Socrates! was the reply. I grant that when a man is setting out for battle, it is well for him to nibble an onion, just as some people give their game-cocks a feed of garlic before pitting them together in the ring; as for us, however, our plans perhaps look more to getting a kiss from some one than to fighting. That was about the way the discussion of this point ended.

Then Critobulus said: Shall I take my turn now and tell you my grounds for taking pride in my handsomeness?Do, they said. Well, then, if I am not handsome, as I think I am, you could fairly be sued for misrepresentation; for though no one asks you for an oath, you are always swearing that I am handsome. And indeed I believe you; for I consider you to be honourable men.

But, on the other hand, if I really am handsome and you have the same feelings toward me that I have toward the one who is handsome in my eyes, I swear by all the gods that I would not take the kingdom of Persia in exchange for the possession of beauty.

For as it is, I would rather gaze at Cleinias[*](A young cousin of the brilliant and dissipated Alcibiades.) than at all the other beautiful objects in the world. I would rather be blind to all things else than to Cleinias alone. I chafe at both night and sleep because then I do not see him; I feel the deepest gratitude to day and the sun because they reveal Cleinias to me.

We handsome people have a right to be proud of this fact, too, that whereas the strong man must get the good things of his desire by toil, and the brave man by adventure, and the wise man by his eloquence, the handsome person can attain all his ends without doing anything.

So far as I, at least, am concerned, although I realize that money is a delightful possession, I should take more delight in giving what I have to Cleinias than in adding to my possessions from another person’s; and I should take more delight in being a slave than in being a free man, if Cleinias would deign to be my master. For I should find it easier to toil for him than to rest, and it would be more delightful to risk my life for his sake than to live in safety.