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perish unjustly." "And would you," replied Socrates, “be less grieved, were I deserving of death ?”
His friends, and especially Crito, urged that he would not be less ungenerous than imprudent, in obeying a cruel and capricious multitude, and thereby rendering his wife a widow, his children orphans, and his disciples for ever miserable and forlorn ; and therefore conjured hin, by every thing sacred and divine, to save his life. Socrates replied, however unjustly we are treated, it is neither our duty, nor our interest, to retort the injuries of our parents or our country; but to teach, by our example, obedience to the laws. The strength of these arguments, but still more the unalterable firmness of his mind, silenced the struggling emotions of his friends.
When the fatal morning arrived, his disciples hastened earlier than usual to the gate of the prison, but were desired to wait until the executioners had loosed the fetters of Socrates, and announced to him that he must die before the setting of the sun. When introduced to the philosopher, they found him just relieved from his bonds, and attended by bis wife Xantippe, who carried in her arms his infant sen.
As soon as they appeared, she exclaimed, “ Alas! Socrates, here come your friends, who for the last time behold
them.” So. crates desired Crito to conduct her home.
The philosopher, now reclining on his couch, began a discourse on the connexion between pain and pleasure. He drew his leg towards him, and gently rubbing it, remarked, that the one sensation was generally followed by that of the oiher. For, though he had felt pain, during the time his leg was galled by the iron, yet now a pleasing sensation followed. Neither pleasure, nor pain, he observed, can exist apart; they are seldom pure and unmixed; and whoever experiences the one, may be sure he will soon feel the other.
“ Had Æsop,” said he, “ made this reflection, I think he would have remarked, that the divinity, desirous of reconciling these opposite natures, but finding the design impracticable, had, at least, united their extremes. For this reason, pleasure has ever been followed by pain, and pain by pleasure.”
He discussed with his disciples several important and interesting subjects; particularly concerning suicide, and the immortality of the soul. These discussions consumed the greater part of the day. The arguments of the philosopher convinced and consoled his disciples, as they have frequently done the virtuous and the learned in succeeding ages. On the subject of death, he said, “ They, whose minds are adorned with temperance, justice, and fortitude, and who have despised the vain ornaments and vain pleasures of the body, ought
not to regret their separation from their terrestrial companion, And now," continued he, speaking in tragical language," the destined hour summons me to death.”
Soon after, the keeper of the prison entered, and addressing diimself to Socrates, said, “ I cannot accuse you of the rage and execrations too often vented against me by those, to whom it is my duty to announce, by command of the magistrates, that the hour for drinking the poison is arrived. Your fortitude, mildness, and generosity, exceed -all that I have ever hitherto been witness of. I am sensible, that you will pardon even this action of mine; since you know that it is occasioned by compulsory orders. And now, as you are acquainted with the purport of my message, I bid you farewel, and exhort you to bear your hard fate with as much patience as possible.” Socrates also bade him farewel; and gave orders that the poison should be brought.
Crito then made a sign to the boy that waited; who went and prepared the hemlock, and returned with the person who was to administer it. When Socrates perceived his arrival, he said to him, “ Tell me, for you are experienced in such matters, what I have to do.” “Nothing farther," replied ke, " than to walk in your chamber, until your limbs feel heavy, and then sit down on the couch." The philosopher then took the cup, and asked, whether it were lawful to employ any part of the beverage in libation. The other answered, there was not a quantity more than sufficient. Socrates then drank the poison with an unaltered countenance. His friends and disciples made great lamentations, but the philosopher, in order to still their noisy grief, said, with a mixture of gentleness and authority," that he had before dismissed the women, lest there should be any unmanly complaints." When he found the poison began to work in his vitals, he uncovered his face, and said, “ Crito, we owe a cock to Æsculapius : sacrifice it, and neglect it not;" intimating thereby, that this offering should be made to the god, as if he had recovered from his disease. Crito asked him, if he had any further commands; but he made no reply. Soon after, he was in an agony; and Crito shut his eyes. Thus died Socrates ; a man, whom his disciples declared they could never cease to remember, and whom remembering, they could not cease to admire. “That man, says Xenophon, “ who is a lover of virtue, and has found a more profitable companion than Socrates, I consider as the happiest of human kind."
The current of popular passions was frequently uniform in the Athenian republic, till the period of reflux arrived. The Lactitious resentment excited against Socrates by such absurd and improbable calumnies, as could scarcely be believed, even by those who were most ready to receive and propagate them, extended itself to his numerous friends and adherents with great rapidity. Fortunately, however, for letters and humanity, the rage of faction was confined within the Attic border. Many of his disciples wisely eluded a storm, which they were unable to resist. Some took refuge in Thebes; whilst others fled to Megara.
It was not until after the death of Socrates, that the people became conscious of their error, in destroying that great and good man. It was then, that mingled sentiments of pity, shame, and remorse, gave a new direction to the fury of the people. The accusers and the judges of Socrates were used with much more cruelty than the philosopher himself. This, however, was more justly inflicted on them, than on him. Nothing was heard throughout the city, but discourses in favour of Socrates. The academy, the Lyceum, private houses, public walks, and market-places, all seemed to the sorrowful Athenians still to re-echo the sound of his beloved voice.
Here," said they, “ he formed our youth, and taught our children to love their country, and be obedient to their parents. In this place he gave us lessons, and when he saw us lax in our moral duties, he applied seasonable reproaches, that he might engage us more earnestly in the pursuit of virtue. And now, alas ! how have we rewarded this good and worthy man for these important services ! The whole city was in mourning and consternation; the schools were shut up, and all exercises suspended. Many of his accusers and judges were driven into exile; numbers were put to death ; and seve ral perished in despair by their own hands. For, as Plutarch observes, all those, who had any share in this black and improbable calumny, were held in such abomination by their countrymen, that no one would give them fire, answer a question, or go into the same bath with them.
The illustrious sage had a statue of brass erected to him, by the Athenians, of the workmanship of Lysippus, which was placed in the most conspicuous part of the city. Thus did his fame, like the hardy oak, derive vigour from length of years, and increase from age to age, until the superstitious Athenians worshipped him as a god, whom their injustice and cruelty had condemned as a criminal.
JOAN OF ARC.
“My courage try by combat, if thou dar’st,
SHAKSPEARE. HENRY VI. Among the extraordinary events that are recorded in history, few can equal those that respect Joan of Arc, who was the immediate cause of that astonishing revolution in the affairs of France, which terminated in the establishment of Charles VII. on the throne of his ancestors, and the final expulsion of the English from that kingdom. At the time this heroine first made her appearance, so low was the power of the Dauphin, that not a single place belonged to him, but the town of Orleans alone, which was then closely besieged by the English ; nor did there appear the slightest probability that ever he could procure an army strong enough to raise the siege of that city, on which alone his all depended.
Joan of Arc was born at Dauremy, a village near Vancouleurs in Lorraine, about the year 1412. Her father was a peasant, and gave her an education suited to his rank in life. She left her parents at an early age, and became servant at an Inn, where she acquired a complete knowledge of horsemanship. It was here, too, that she first thought of her mission ; and it arose from all the news she had heard of the affairs in France at the Inn. Her imagination took fire; and she look
herself as a girl destined by heaven to rescue France out of the hands of the English.
After much difficulty and application to various individuals, she at length got access to the king, before whom she appeared dressed as a warrior. The king heard her with patience, and then sent her to his parliament at Poictiers,, where she was closely examined by many doctors in theology. At length they determined to advise his majesty to put confidence in her, and attempt to execute what she proposed. She now completed her equipments, appointed Jean Dolon, as famous for his courage as his prudence, her squire ; and Louis de Comptes her page.
She then asked for a sword which had been more than a century in the tomb of a knight, behind the altar of St. Catherine at Feirbois. She pretended to have had a knowledge of it by revelation, and that it was only with this fatal sword she could extirpate the English. She ordered a banner to be made for her, on which was represented God coming out of a cloud, holding a globe in his hand; it was ornamented with fleurs-de-lis. Her helmet was surmounted with a plume of white feathers; her horse was also
white, and she surpassed all by her beauty, and the skill and address with which she managed him.
On the 29th of April, 1429, Joan of Arc appeared before Orleans with twelve thousand men. She wrote a letter to the Duke of Bedford, then Regent of France, warning him to give up France to its rightful heir; but the English were so enraged at seeing a girl sent to fight them, that they put the heralds in prison. The Count de Durois, who commanded in Orleans, made a sally with all his garrison, in order to facilitate the entry of provisions; and the French, persuaded that this heroine was sent from heaven to their assistance, resumed fresh courage and fought with so much vigour, that she and her convoy entered the town.
The English sent back one of the heralds, of whom she demanded, “What says Talbot ?" (Sir John Talbot,) and when he informed her that he, as well as all his countrymen, spared no abuse, in speaking of her, and declared if they caught her they would burn her ; " Go back again,” says she, " and doubt not but thou wilt bring back with thee thy companion; and tell Talbot, that if he will arm himself, I will do the same, and let hiin come before the walls of the town, and if he can take me he may burn me: and if I discomfit him, let him raise the siege, and return unto his own native country.
Soon after her arrival at Orleans, she made an attack on fort St. Loup, which she carried sword in hand, as well as the bulwarks of St. John, and of the Augustins. In one of the assaults of the English, she received a dangerous wound in the neck, and as a large quantity of blood issued from it, her followers began to fear for her life: but she, to reanimate them, said, “ It was not blood, but glory, that flowed from her wound."
The siege of Orleans was raised the 8th of May. Joan of Arc carried the news to the king, and entreated him to come and be crowned at Rheims, then in possession of the English. The siege of Gergeau was next undertaken; wben after lying eight days before the town, which was most vigor ously defended, Joan of Arc went into the ditch with her standard in her hand, at that part where the English made the most vigorous defence; she was perceived, and a heavy stone thrown upon her, which bent her to the ground; notwithstanding which, she soon got up, and cried aloud to her companions, “ Frenchmen, mount boldly, and enter the town, you will find no longer any resistance." Thus was the town
She next took possession of Auxerre, Troyes, and Chalons, thus opening for the king the road to Rheims, which city flung