Socrates

, the most celebrated of the ancient philosophers, was born at Alopece, a small village of Attica, in the fourth year of the seventy-seventh olympiad, or about 469 years B. C. His parents were far from illustrious, Sophroniscns iiis father being a statuary of no great note, and Phtenareta his mother a midwife; who yet is represented by Plato as a woman of a bold and generous spirit, and Socrates often took occasion to mention both his parents with respect. Sophroniscus brought him up to his own trade, which, on his father’s death, he was obliged to continue for subsistence, and was not unsuccessful. He is said to have made statues of the habited graces, which were allowed a place in the citadel of Athens. But, as he was naturally averse to this profession, he only followed it while necessity compelled him and employed his leisure hours in the study of philosophy and this being observed by Crito, a rich philosopher of Athens, he took him | under his patronage, and entrusted him with the instruction of his children and having now opportunities- of hearing the lectures of the most eminent philosophers, Socrates entirely relinquished the business of a statuary.

His first masters were Anaxagoras, and Archelaus: by which last he was much beloved, and travelled with him to Samos, to Pytho, and to the Isthmus. He was scholar likewise of Damo, whom Plato calls a most pleasing teacher of music, and of all other things that he himself would teach to young men. He heard also Prochcus the sophist, to whom must he added Diorima and Aspasia, women of great renown for learning. By listening to all these, he became master of every kind of knowledge which the age in which he lived could afford. With these uncommon endowments Socrates appeared in Athens, under the character of a good citizen, and a true philosopher. Being called upon by his country to take arms in the long and severe struggle between Athens and Sparta, he signalized himself at the siege of Potidaea, both by his valour, and by the hardiness with which he endured fatigue. During the severity of a Thracian winter, whilst others were clad in furs, he wore only his usual clothing, and walked barefoot upon the ice. In an engagement in which he saw Alcibiades (a young man of noble rank whom he accompanied during this expedition) falling down wounded, he advanced to defend him, and saved both him and his arms; and though the prize of valour was, on this occasion, unquestionably due to Socrates, he generously gave his vote that it might be bestowed upon Alcibiades, to encourage his rising merit. Several years afterwards, Socrates voluntarily entered upon a military expedition against the Bo3otians, during which, in an unsuccessful engagement at Delium, he retired with great coolness from the field; when, observing Xenophon lying wounded upon the ground, he took him upon his shoulders, and bore him out of the reach of the enemy. Soon afterwards he went out a third time in a military capacity, in the expedition for the purpose of reducing Amphipolis; but this proving unsuccessful, he returned to Athens, and remained there till his death.

It was not till Socrates was upwards of sixty years of age that he undertook to serve his country in any civil office. At that age he was chosen to represent his own district, in the senate of five hundred. In this office, though he at | first exposed himself to some degree of ridicule from want of experience in the forms of business, he soon convinced his colleagues that he was superior to them all in wisdom and integrity. Whilst they, intimidated by the clamours of the populace, passed an unjust sentence of condemnation upon the commanders, who, after the engagement at the Arginusian islands, had been prevented by a storm from paying funeral honours to the dead, Socrates stood forth singly in their defence, and, to the last, refused to give his suffrage against them, declaring that no force should compel him to act contrary to justice and the laws. Under the subsequent tyranny he never ceased to condemn the oppressive and cruel proceedings of the thirty tyrants; and when his boldness provoked their resentment, he still continued to support, with undaunted firmness, the rights of his fellow-citizens. The tyrants, probably that they might create some new ground of complaint against Socrates, sent an oruer to him, with several other persons, to apprehend a wealthy citizen of Salarnis: the rest executed the com mission; but Socrates refused, sayijig, that he would rather himself suffer death than be instrumental in inflicting it unjustly upon another. But whatever character he thus established as a good citizen, it is as a philosopher and moral teacher that he is chiefly renowned, and that by the concurring evidence of all antiquity.

That Socrates had himself a proper school, which has been denied, may perhaps be proved from Aristophanes, who derides some particulars in it, an-d calls it his “phrontisterium.Plato mentions the Academy, Lyceum, and a. pleasant meadow without the city on the side of the river Jlissus, as places frequented by him and his auditors. Xenophon affirms that he was continually abroad; that in the morning tie visited the places of public walking and exercise; when it was full, the Forum; and that the rest of the day he sought out (he most populous meetings, where he disputed openly for every one to hear that would; and Plutarch relates, that he did not only teach, when the benches were prepared, and himself in the chair, or in stated hours of reading and discourse, or at appointments in walking with his friends; but even when he played, or eat, or drank, or >vas in the camp or market, or finally when he was in prison; making every place a school of instruction.

The method of teaching which Socrates chiefly made use | of, was, to propose a series of questions to the person with whom he conversed, in order to lead him to some unforeseen conclusion. He first gained the consent of his respondent to some obvious truths, and then obliged him to admit othtrs, from their relation, or resemblance, to those to which they had already assented. Without making use of any direct argument or persuasion, he chose to lead the person he meant to instruct, to deduce the truths of which he wished to convince him, as a necessary consequence from his own concessions, and commonly conducted these conference* with such address, as to conceal his design till the respondent had advanced too far to recede. On some occasions, he made use of ironical language, that vain men might be caught in their own replies, and be obliged to confess their ignorance. He never asMimed the air of a morose and rigid preceptor, but communicated useful instruction with all the ease and pleasantry. of polite conversation.

Xenophon represents him as excelling in all kinds of learning. He instances only in arithmetic, geometry, and astrology, but Plato mentions natural philosophy; lilomeneus, rhetoric; and Laertius, medicine. Cicero affirms, that by the testimony of all the learned, anu toe judgment of all Greece, he was, in respect to wisdom, acuteness, politeness, and subtilty, in eloquence, variety, and richness, and in whatever he applied himself to, beyond comparison the first man of his age. As to his philosophy, it may be necessary to observe, that having searched into all kinds of science, he first discovered that it was wrong to neglect those things which concern human life, for the sake of inquiring into those things which do not; secondly, that the things men have usually made the objects of their inquiries, ure above the reach of human understanding, and the source of all the disputes, errors, and superstitions, which have prevailed in the uorld; and, thirdly, that such divine mysteries cannot be made subservient to the uses of human life. Thus, esteeming speculative knowledge so far only as it conduces to practice, be decried in all the sciences what he conceived to be useless, and exchanged speculation for action, and theory for practice: and thus, says Cicero, “first called philosophy down from heaven, and from things involved by. nature in impenetrable secrecy, which yet had employed all the philosophers till his time, and brought her to common life, to inquireafter virtue and vice, good and evil.| That Socrates had an attendant spirit, genius, or daemon, which guarded him from dangers, is asserted by Plato and Antisthenes, who were his contemporaries, and repeated by innumerable authors of antiquity; but what this attendant spirit, genius, or daemon was, or what we are to understand by it, neither antient nor modern writers have in general been able to determine. There is some disagreement concerning the name, and more concerning the nature of it: only it is by most writers agreed, that the advice it gave him was always dissuasive; “never impelling,” says Cicero, “but often restraining him.” It is commonly named his daemon, by which title he himself is supposed to have owned it. Plato sometimes calls it his guardian, and Apuleius his god; because the namv of daemon, as St. Austin tells us, at last grew odious. As for the sign or manner, in which this daemon or genius foretold, and by foretelling, guarded him against evils to come, nothing certain can be collected about it. Plutarch, who rejects some popular absurdities upon the subject, conjectures, first, that it iiiigtit be an apparition; but at last concludes, that it was his observation of some inarticulate unaccustomed sound or voi-e, conveyed to him in an extraordinary way, as happens in dreams. Others confine this foreknowledge of evils within the soul of Socrates himself; and when he said that “his enius advised him,” think that he only meant that “his mind foreboded and so inclined him.” But this is inconsistent with the description which Socrates himself gives of a voice and signs from without. Lastly, some conceive it to be one of those spirits that have a particular care of men; which Maxhmis Tyrius and Apuletus describe in such a manner, that they want only the name of a good angel; and this Laciantius has suppl ed; for, after proving that God sends angels to guard mankind, he adds, “and Socrates affirmed that there was a daemon constantly near him, which had kept him company from a child, and by whose beck and instruction he uidecl his life.” Such are the varieties of opinion entertained unon this singular subject, winch, however, have arisen chiefly out of the prevalence of Platonic ideas, and the desire of exalting Socrates beyond all reason. The account given by Xeriophon, the strictest and truest Socratic, and confirmed by some passages in Plutarch’s treatise “De Genio Socratis,” is perhaps clear and reasonable. It is plainly this, that, believing in the gods of his country, and the | divinations commonly in use, Socrates, when he took an omen, said that he proceeded by divine intimation. This he did out of piety, thinking it more respectful to the gods to refer the suggestion to them, than to the voice or other intermediate sign by which they conveyed it. His phrase on this occasion was, To dai/wviov auna ay/Aa’iveiv, which being in some degree ambiguous, as foufumotnignt mean either the divine power abstractedly, 01 -Omh- parricular deity, his e-iemies took advantage of it to accuse him of introducing new deities; and his friends to indulge the vanity of boasting that he had an attendant daemon. This account may be seen at full length, supported by many arguments and proofs from the original authors, in a little tract on this subject, published in 1782*.

In the days of this philosopher, the Sophists were the great and leading men the masters of languages, as Cicero calls them, who arrogantly pretended to teach every thing, and persuaded the youth to resort only to them. With these Socrates carried on perpetual warfare: he attacked them constantly with his usual interrogatories; and, by his skill and subtilty in disputation, exposed their sophistry, and refuted their principles. He took all opportunities’of proving that they had gained a much greater portion of esteem than they had a right to claim; that they were only vain affecters of words; that they had no knowledge of the things they professed to teach; and that, instead of taking money of others for teaching, they should themselves give money to be taught. The Athenians were pleased to see the Sophists thus checked; were brought at length to deride them; and, at the instigation of Socrates, withdrew their children from them, and excited them to the study of solid virtue under better masters.

* The able writer of this tract, Mr. by a passage in Plutarch’s Essr,

archdeacon Nares, remarks that So- the Daemon of Socrates " How am I

crates believed in the gods of his couri- guilty of introducing new ‘lei 1 ies, when

try, and was not five from the super- J say that the voice of the divinity gives

stition connected with that belief: me notice what 1 shall do Ah men,

whence it may be inferred, that, in the as well as myself, are of opinion that

expressions usually understood to re- the deity foresees the futurr, am’

fer to his demon, he i.lludes only to nifies it to whom he pleases: but the

f-ome species of divination, perfectly difference between us is this; they

analogous to the omens of his age and name the omens as the foretellers of

country. He called the sign, what- what is to come I call the same thing

ever it was, by means of which he sup- the dirinity, and herein speak more

posed intimations to be communicated truly and respectfully than they who

to him, a daemon or divinity. This attribute to birds the power which beexplanation of the matter is favoured longs to the gods.“| The altercations that Socrates had with the Sophists therefore gained him respect, and made him popular with the Athenians; hut he had a private quarrel with one Anytus, which, after many years continuance, was the occasion of his death. Anytus was an orator by profession, a sordid and avaricious man, who was privately maintained and enriched by leather-sellers. He had placed two of his sons under Socrates, to be taught; but, because they had not acquired such knowledge from him as to enable them to get their living by pleading, he took them away, and put them to the trade of leather-selling. Socrates, displeased with this illiberal treatment of the young men, whose ruin he presaged at the same time, reproached, and exposed Anytus in his discourses to his scholars. Anytus, hurt by this, studied all means of revenge but feared the Athenians, who highly reverenced Socrates, as well on account of his great wisdom and virtue, as for the particular opposition which he had made to those vain babblers the Sophists. He therefore advised with Melitus, a young orator; from whose counsel he began, by making trial in smaller things, to sound how the Athenians would entertain a charge against his life. He suborned the comic poet Aristophanes, to ridicule him and his doctrines in his celebrated comedy called” The Clouds.“Socrates, who seldom went to the theatre, except when Euripides, whom he admired, contested with any new tragedian, was present at the acting of” The Clouds;“and stood up all the while in the most conspicuous part of the theatre. One that was present asked him if he was not vexed at seeing himself brought upon the stage?” Not at all,“answered he:I am only a host at a public festival, where I provide a large company with entertainment."

Many years having passed from the first disagreement between Socrates and Anytus, at length Anytus, observing a fit conjuncture, procured Melitus to prefer a bill against him to the senate in these terms: “Melitus, son of Melitus, a Pythean, accuses Socrates, son oi Sophroniscus, an Alopecian. Socrates violates the law, not believing the deities which this city believes, but introducing other new gods He violates the Ihw likewise in corrupting youth: the punishment death.” This bill being preferred upon oath, Crito became bound to the judges for his appearance at the day of trial; till which Socrates employed himself in his usual philosophical | exercises, taking no care to provide any defence. On the day appointed, Anytus, Lyco, and Metitus, accused him, and Socrates made his own defence, witu.tut procuring an advocate, as the cu*t>m was, to plead for him. He did not defen-i himself with the tone and language of a suppliant or guilty person, but with the freedom, frrmnfiSS, and spirit, of conscious innocence and superior merit. Many of his friends spoke also inus betialf; and, lastly, Plato, then a young iuan, en Jeavoured to plead, but while attempting to apologize for his youth, was ordered by the court to sit down. The court then proceeding to vote, they found Socrates guilty by two hundred and eighty-one voices. It uas the custom of Athens, as Cicero informs us, when any one was cast, if the fault were not capital, to impose a pecuniary mulct, and the guilty person was asked the highest ratf at which he estimated his offence. This was proposed to Socrates, who told the judges, that to pay a penalty was to own an offence; and that, instead of being condemned for what he stood accused, he deserved to be maintained at the public charge out of the Prytanacum. This being the greatest honour the Athenians could confer, the answer so exasperated the judges, that they condemned him to dea h by eighty votes more.

The sentence being passed, he was sent to prison; which, says Seneca, he entered with the same resolution and firmness with which he had opposed the thirty tyrants; and took away all ignominy from the place, which, adds Seneca, could not be a prison while he was there. On the day of condemnation, it happened thdt the ship, which was employed to carry a customary animal offering to the island of Delos, set sail. It was contrary to the law of Athens, that, during this voyage, any capital punishment should be inflicted within the city. This circumstance delayed the execution of the sentence against Socrates for thirty days, during which he was constantly visited by Crito, Plato, and other friends, with whom he passed the time in his usual manner. He was often solicited by them to escape, which he not only refused but derided; asking, “if they knew any place out of Attica, whither death would not come.” The manner of his death is related by Plato, who was an eye-witness of it; and, as there is not, perhaps, a more afft cling picture to be found in antiquity, we will exhibit it here in his own words. Socrates, the day he was to die, had been discoursing to his friends upon the | immortallty of thfe soul: and, “when he had made an end of speaking, Crito asked him, if he had any directions to give concerning his sons, or other things, in which they could serve him ‘ I desire no more of you,’ said Socrates, ‘than what I have always told you: if you take care of yourselves, whatsoever you do will be acceptable to me and mine, though you promise nothing; if you neglect yourselves and virtue, you can do n (thing acceptable to us, though you promise ever so much.’ ‘ That,’ answered Crito, ‘we will observe; but how will you be buried?’ ‘ As you think good,’ says he, ‘ if you can catch me, and I do not give you the slip.’ Then, with a smile, applying himself to us, ‘ I cannot persuade Crito,’ says he, ‘ that I am that Socrates who was haranguing just now, or anything more than the carcass you will presently behold; and therefore he is taking all this care of my interment. It seems, that what I just now explained in a long discourse has made no impression at all upon him; namely, that as soon as I shall have drunk the poison, I shall not remain longer with you, but depart immediately to the seats of the blessed. These things, with which I have been endeavouring to comfort you and myself, have been said to no purpose. As, therefore, Crito was bound to the judges for my appearance, so you must now be bound to Crito for my departure; and when he sees my body burnt or buried, let him not say, that Socrates suffers any thing, or is any way concerned: for know, dear Crito, such a mistake were a wrong to my soul. I tell you, that my body is only buried; and let that be done as you shall think fit, or as shall be most agreeable to the laws and customs of the country.’ This said, he arose and retired to an inner room; taking Crito with him, and leaving us, who, like orphans, were to be deprived of so dear a father, to discourse upon our own misery. After his bathing, came his wife, and the other women of the family, with his sons, two of them children, one of them a youth; and, when he had given proper directions about his domestic affairs, he dismissed them, and came out to us. It was now near sun-set, for he had staid long within; when coming out he sat down, and did not speak much after. Then entered an officer, and approaching him, said, ’ Socrates, I am persuaded, that I shall have no reason to blame you, for what I have been accustomed to blame in others, who have been angry at me, and loaded me with curses, for only doing what the magistrate | commands, when I have presented the poison to them. But I know you to be the most generous, the most mild, the best of all men, that ever entered this place; and am certain, that, if you entertain any resentment upon this occasion, it will not be at me, but at the real authors of your misfortune. You know the message I bring; farewell: and endeavour to bear with patience what must be borne.‘ `And,’ said Socrates to the officer, who went out weeping, `fare thee well I will. How civil is this man I have found him the same all the time of my imprisonment he would often visit me, sometimes discourse with me, always used me kindly and now see, how generously he weeps for me. But come, Crito let us do as he bids us if the poison be ready, let it be brought in if not, let somebody prepare it.‘ `The sun is yet among the mountains, and not set,’ says Crito: `I myself have seen others drink it later, who have even eat and drunk freely with their friends after the sign has been given be not in haste, there is time enough.‘ `Why, yes,’ says Socrates, `they who do so think they gain something; but what shall I gain by drinking it late? Nothing, but to be laughed at, for appearing too desirous of life: pray, let it be as I say.‘ Then Crito sent one of the attendants, who immediately returned, and with him the man, who was to administer the poison, bringing a cup in his hand: to whom Socrates said, `Prithee, my good friend, for thou art versed in these things, what must I do?’ `Nothing,‘ said the man, `but walk about as soon as you shall have drunk, till you perceive your legs to fail; and then sit down.’ Then he presented the cup, which Socrates took without the least change of countenance, or any emotion whatever, but looking with his usual intrepidity upon the man. He then demanded, `Whether he might spill any of it in libation?‘ The man answered, `he had only prepared just what was sufficient.’ `Yes,‘ says Socrates, `I may pray to the gods, and will, that my passage hence may be happy, which I do beseech them to grant:’ and that instant swallowed the draught with the greatest ease. Many of us, who till then had refrained from tears, when we saw him put the cup to his mouth, and drink off the poison, were not able to refrain longer, but gave vent to our grief: which Socrates observing, `Friends,‘ said he, `what mean you? I sent away the women for no other reason, but that they might not disturb us with this: for I have heard that we should die with gratulation and | applause: be quiet then, and behave yourselves like men.‘ These words made us wiih shame suppress our tears. When he had walked a while, and perceived his legs to fail, he lay down on his back, as the executioner directed: who, in a little time, looking upon his feet, and pinching them pretty hard, asked him, `If he perceived it?’ Socrates said, `No.‘ Then he did the same by his legs and shewing us, how every part successively grew cold and stiff, observed, that when that dullness reached his heart, he would die. Not long after, Socrates, removing the garment with which he was covered, said, ’ I owe a cock to Æsculapius; pay it, neglect it not.‘ `It shall be done,’ says Crito ‘would you have any thing else?’ He made no answer, but, after lying a while, stretched himself forth: when the executioner uncovering him found his eyes fixed, which were closed by Crito.” This,“says Plato,” was the end of the best, the wisest, and the justest of men" and this account of it by Plato, Cicero professes, that he could never read without tears.

He died, according to Plato, when he was more than seventy, 396 B. C. He was buried with many tears and much solemnity by his friends, among whom the excessive grief of Plato is noticed by Plutarch: yet, as soon as they performed that last service, fearing the cruelty of the thirty tyrants, they stole out of the city, the greater part to Euclid at Megara, who received them kindly; the rest to other places. Soon after, however, the Athenians were recalled to a sense of the injustice they had committed against Socrates; and became so exasperated, as to insist that the authors of it should be put to death. Melitus accordingly suffered, and Anytus was banished. In farther testimony of their penitence, they called home his friends to their former liberty of meeting; they forbade public spectacles of games and wrestlings for a time; they caused his statue, made in brass by Lysippus, to be set up in the Pompeium; and a plague ensuing, which they imputed to this unjust act, they made an order, that no man should mention Socrates publicly and on the theatre, in order to forget the sooner what they had done.

As to his person, he was very homely; was bald, had a dark complexion, a flat nose, eyes projecting, and a severe down-cast look. His countenance, indeed, was such, that Zopyrus, a physiognomist, pronounced him incident to various passions, and given to many vices: which when | Alcibiades and others that were present derided, knowing him to be free from every thing of that kind, Socrates justified the skill of Zopyrus by owning, that “he was by nature prone to those vices, but had suppressed his inclination by reason.” The defects of his person were amply compensated by the virtues and accomplishments of his mind. The oracle at Delphi declared him the wisest of all men, for professing only to know that he knew nothing: Apollo, as Cicero says, conceiving the only wisdom of mankind to consist in not thinking themselves to know those things of which they are ignorant. He was a man of all virtues, and so remarkably frugal, that, how little soever he had, it was always enough: and, when he was amidst a great variety of rich and expensive objects, he would often say to himself, “How many things are here which I do not want!

He had two wives, one of which was the noted Xantippe, whom Aulus Gellius describes as an arrant scold, and several instances are recorded of her impatience and his longsuffering. One day, before some of his friends, she fell into the usual extravagances of her passion; when he, without answering a word, went abroad with them: but was no sooner out of the door, than she, running up into the chamber, threw water down upon his head: upon which, turning to his friends, “Did' I not tell you,” says he, “that after so much thunder we should have rain.” She appears, however, to have had a great affection for him, and was a faithful wife.

Socrates left behind him nothing in writing; but his illustrious pupils, Xenophon and Plato, have, in some measure, supplied this defect. The “Memoirs of Socrates,” however, written by Xenophon, afford a much more accurate idea of the opinions of Socrates, and of his manner of teaching, than the Dialogues of Plato, who every where mixes his own conceptions and diction, and those of other philosophers, with the ideas and language of his master. It is related, that when Socrates heard Plato recite his “Lysis,” he said, “How much does this young man make me say which I never conceived!Xenophon denies that Socrates ever taught natural philosophy, or any mathematical science, and charges with misrepresentation and falsehood those who had ascribed to him dissertations of this kind; probably referring to Plato, in whose works Socrates is introduced as discoursing upon these subjects. The truth | appears to be, that the distinguishing character of Socrates was, that of a moral philosopher.

The doctrine of Socrates, concerning God and religion, was rather practical than speculative. But he did not neglect to build the structure of religious faith upon the firm foundation of an appeal to natural appearances. He taught that the Supreme Being, though invisible, is clearly seen in his works, which at once demonstrate his existence, and his wise and benevolent providence. Besides the one supreme Deity, Socrates admitted the existence of beings who possess a middle station between God and man, to whose immediate agency he ascribed the ordinary phoenomena of nature, and whom he supposed to be particularly concerned in the management of human affairs. Hence, speaking of the gods, who take care of men, he says, “Le t it suffice you, whilst you observe their works, to revere and honour the gods and be persuaded, that this is the way in which they make themselves known for, among all the gods who bestow blessings upon men, there are none who, in the distribution of their favours, make themselves visible to mortals.” Hence he spoke of thunder, wind, and other agents in nature, as servants of God, and encouraged the practice of divination, under the notion, that the gods sometimes discover future events to good men.

If these opinions concerning the Supreme Being, and the subordinate divinities, be compared, there will be no difficulty in perceiving the grounds upon which Socrates, though an advocate for the existence of one sovereign power, admitted the worship of inferior divinities. Hence he declared it to be the duty of every one, in the performance of religious rites, to follow the customs of his country. At the same time, he taught, that the merit of all religious offerings depends upon the character of the worshipper, and that the gods take pleasure in the sacrifices of none but the truly pious. “The man,” says he, “who honours the gods according to his ability, ought to be cheerful, and hope for the greatest blessings: for, from whom may we reasonably entertain higher expectations, than from those who are most able to serve us? or how can we secure their kindness, but by pleasing them? or, how please them better, than by obedience?

Concerning the human soul, the opinion of Socrates, according to Xenophon, was, tliat it is allied to the divine | Bt-ing, not by a participation of essence, but by a similarity of nature; that man excels all other animals in the (acuity of reason, and that the existence of good men will be continued after death, in a state in which they will receive the reward of their virtue. Although it appears that, on this latter topic, Socrates was not wholly free from uncertainty, the consolation which he professed to derive from this source in the immediate prospect of death, leaves little room to doubt, that he entertained a real belief and expectation of immortality. The doctrine which Cicero ascribes to Socrates on this head is, that the human soul is a divine principle, which, when it passes out of the body, returns to heaven and that this passage is most easy to those who have, in this life, made the greatest progress in virtue.

The system of morality which Socrates made it the business of his life to teach, was raised upon the firm basis of religion. The first principles of virtuous conduct, which are common to all mankind, are, according to this excellent moralist, the laws of God; and the conclusive argument by which he supports this opinion is, that no man departs from these principles with impunity. He taught, that true felicity is not to be derived from external possessions, but from wisdom, which consists in the knowledge and practice of virtue j that the cultivation of virtuous manners is necessarily attended with pleasure, as well as profit; that the honest man alone is happy; and that it is absurd to attempt to separate things which are in nature so closely united as virtue and interest.1

1 Diog. Laert.-Bruck.cr. Cicero. Xenophon’s Memorabilia.