XXXVII. How know we whether Socrates were so eminent indeed, and of soMeditations
How know we whether Socrates were so eminent indeed, and of so extraordinary a disposition? For that he died more gloriously, that he disputed with the Sophists more subtilty; that he watched in the frost more assiduously; that being commanded to fetch innocent Salaminius, he refused to do it more generously; all this will not serve. Nor that he walked in the streets, with much gravity and majesty, as was objected unto him by his adversaries: which nevertheless a man may well doubt of, whether it were so or no, or, which above all the rest, if so be that it were true, a man would well consider of, whether commendable, or dis-commendable. The thing therefore that we must inquire into, is this; what manner of soul Socrates had: whether his disposition was such; as that all that he stood upon, and sought after in this world, was barely this, that he might ever carry himself justly towards men, and holily towards the Gods. Neither vexing himself to no purpose at the wickedness of others, nor yet ever condescending to any man’s evil fact, or evil intentions, through either fear, or engagement of friendship. Whether of those things that happened unto him by God’s appointment, he neither did wonder at any when it did happen, or thought it intolerable in the trial of it. And lastly, whether he never did suffer his mind to sympathise with the senses, and affections of the body. For we must not think that Nature hath so mixed and tempered it with the body, as that she hath not power to circumscribe herself, and by herself to intend her own ends and occasions.
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