I have found a very clever way to annul that conviction; you
will admit that much yourself.
What is it?
Have you ever seen a beautiful, transparent stone at the
druggists', with which you may kindle fire?
You mean a crystal lens.
That's right. Well, now if I placed myself with this stone in
the sun and a long way off from the clerk, while he was writing out
the conviction, I could make all the wax, upon which the words were
Well thought out, by the Graces!
Ah! I am delighted to have annulled the decree that was to cost me
Come, take up this next question quickly.
If, when summoned to court, you were in danger of losing your case
for want of witnesses, how would you make the conviction fall upon
That's very simple and easy.
Let me hear.
This way. If another case had to be pleaded before mine was
called, I should run and hang myself.
You talk rubbish!
Not so, by the gods! if I were dead, no action could lie against
You are merely beating the air. Get out! I will give you no more
Why not? Oh! Socrates! in the name of the gods!
But you forget as fast as you learn. Come, what was the thing I
taught you first? Tell me.
Ah let me see. What was the first thing? What was it then? Ah!
that thing in which we knead the bread, oh! my god! what do you call
Plague take the most forgetful and silliest of old addlepates!
Alas! what a calamity! what will become of me? I am undone if I do
not learn how to ply my tongue. Oh! Clouds! give me good advice.
Old man, we counsel you, if you have brought up a son, to send him
to learn in your stead.
Undoubtedly I have a son, as well endowed as the best, but he is
unwilling to learn. What will become of me?