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When I heard the answer, I said to myself, What can the god mean? And yet he is a god and cannot lie; that would be against his nature.
After a long consideration, I at last thought of a method of trying the question.
There is Gorgias of Leontium, and Prodicus of Ceos, and Hippias of Elis, who go the round of the cities, and are able to persuade the young men to leave their own citizens, by whom they might be taught for nothing, and come to them, whom they not only pay, but are thankful if they may be allowed to pay them. " "Evenus the Parian," he replied; "he is the man, and his charge is five minae." Happy is Evenus, I said to myself, if he really has this wisdom, and teaches at such a modest charge.
There is actually a Parian philosopher residing in Athens, of whom I have heard; and I came to hear of him in this way: - I met a man who has spent a world of money on the Sophists, Callias the son of Hipponicus, and knowing that he had sons, I asked him: "Callias," I said, "if your two sons were foals or calves, there would be no difficulty in finding someone to put over them; we should hire a trainer of horses or a farmer probably who would improve and perfect them in their own proper virtue and excellence; but as they are human beings, whom are you thinking of placing over them? Had I the same, I should have been very proud and conceited; but the truth is that I have no knowledge of the kind.
But many as their falsehoods were, there was one of them which quite amazed me; - I mean when they told you to be upon your guard, and not to let yourselves be deceived by the force of my eloquence.
Speak then, you who have heard me, and tell your neighbors whether any of you have ever known me hold forth in few words or in many upon matters of this sort. As little foundation is there for the report that I am a teacher, and take money; that is no more true than the other.
Although, if a man is able to teach, I honor him for being paid.
Let the event be as God wills: in obedience to the law I make my defence.
I will begin at the beginning, and ask what the accusation is which has given rise to this slander of me, and which has encouraged Meletus to proceed against me. They shall be my prosecutors, and I will sum up their words in an affidavit.