Page:Essays and phantasies by James Thomson.djvu/234

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222
A WORD FOR XANTIPPE.

I should have neglected all my own affairs and suffered my private interest to be neglected for so many years, and that I should constantly attend to your concerns, addressing myself to each of you separately, like a father or elder brother, persuading you to the pursuit of virtue. And if I had derived any profit from this course, and had received pay for my exhortations, there would have been some reason for my conduct; but now you see yourselves that my accusers, who have so shamelessly calumniated me in everything else, have not had the impudence to charge me with this, and to bring witnesses to prove that I ever either exacted or demanded any reward. And I think that I produce a sufficient proof that I speak the truth—namely, my poverty."

In the first section he states that he is more than seventy years old; and in section 23 that he has three sons, one grown up, and two boys: so Xantippe must have been considerably younger than himself.[1]

At the conclusion of The Banquet we read: "Aristophanes, Agathon, and Socrates had alone stood it out, and were still drinking out of a great goblet which they passed round and round. . . . Aristophanes first awoke, and then, it being broad daylight, Agathon. Socrates having put them to sleep, went away, Aristodemus following him, and coming to the Lyceum he washed himself as he would have done anywhere else, and after having spent the day there in his accustomed manner, went home in the evening." One scarcely need add that his accustomed manner of spending the day was lounging about discussing anything and everything with anybody and everybody whom he could seduce into discussion.

In the Phædo, section 9, the narrator, whose name has

  1. 'He had two sons by his first wife, Myrtone; the third, of course one of the boys, was by Xantippe.