স্থানঃ পাইরিয়াস, গ্রীস।

Socrates - GLAUCON

I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston, that I might offer up my prayers to the goddess; and also because I wanted to see in what manner they would celebrate the festival, which was a new thing. I was delighted with the procession of the inhabitants; but that of the Thracians was equally, if not more, beautiful. When we had finished our prayers and viewed the spectacle, we turned in the direction of the city; and at that instant Polemarchus the son of Cephalus chanced to catch sight of us from a distance as we were starting on our way home, and told his servant to run and bid us wait for him. The servant took hold of me by the cloak behind, and said: Polemarchus desires you to wait. I turned round, and asked him where his master was. There he is, said the youth, coming after you, if you will only wait. Certainly we will, said Glaucon; and in a few minutes Polemarchus appeared, and with him Adeimantus, Glaucon's brother, Niceratus the son of Nicias, and several others who had been at the procession. Polemarchus said to me: I perceive, Socrates, that you and our companion are already on your way to the city. You are not far wrong, I said.

সক্রেটিসঃ আমি কাল এরিস্টনের ছেলে গ্লাউকোনের সাথে পাইরিয়াসে পুজো ও উৎসব দেখতে গিয়েছিলাম। কারণ , দেবীর পুজো কিভাবে করা হয় তা আমার আগে দেখা হয় নি। সমস্ত আয়োজন খুব ই ভালো লাগলো। আমাদের পুজো ও উৎসব দেখা শেষ করে যখন শহরের দিকে রওনা দিলাম , রাস্তায় সেফালাস এর ছেলে পলেমার্কাস আমার দূর থেকে দেখতে পেয়ে তার ভৃত্যকে পাঠালো আমাদের দাড়ানোঁর জন্য। সে এসে আমাদের ধরতে আমরা ঘুরে দেখলাম যে পলেমার্কাস আমাদের দিকেই আসছে। কিছু পরেই পলেমার্কাস আমাদের কাছে এলো। তার সাথে গ্লাউকোনের ভাই আডেম্যানটাস এবং নিসিয়াসের ছেলে নিসিরেটাস ও আরও কয়েক জন এলো। পলেমার্কাস আমাকে বললো,
পলেমার্কাসঃ সক্রেটিস , আমি বুঝতে পারছি যে তুমি আর তোমার সাথীরা ইতিমধ্যে বাড়ি ফেরার জন্য শহরের দিকে রওনা দিয়েছো।
সক্রেটিসঃ তুমি ঠিকই ধরেছো।

But do you see, he rejoined, how many we are? Of course. And are you stronger than all these? for if not, you will have to remain where you are. May there not be the alternative, I said, that we may persuade you to let us go? But can you persuade us, if we refuse to listen to you? he said. Certainly not, replied Glaucon. Then we are not going to listen; of that you may be assured. Adeimantus added: Has no one told you of the torch-race on horseback
in honour of the goddess which will take place in the evening? With horses! I replied: That is a novelty. Will horsemen carry torches
and pass them one to another during the race? Yes, said Polemarchus, and not only so, but a festival will he celebrated
at night, which you certainly ought to see. Let us rise soon after
supper and see this festival; there will be a gathering of young men,
and we will have a good talk. Stay then, and do not be perverse. Glaucon said: I suppose, since you insist, that we must. Very good, I replied. Glaucon - CEPHALUS - SOCRATES Accordingly we went with Polemarchus to his house; and there we found
his brothers Lysias and Euthydemus, and with them Thrasymachus the
Chalcedonian, Charmantides the Paeanian, and Cleitophon the son of
Aristonymus. There too was Cephalus the father of Polemarchus, whom
I had not seen for a long time, and I thought him very much aged.
He was seated on a cushioned chair, and had a garland on his head,
for he had been sacrificing in the court; and there were some other
chairs in the room arranged in a semicircle, upon which we sat down
by him. He saluted me eagerly, and then he said: -- You don't come to see me, Socrates, as often as you ought: If I were
still able to go and see you I would not ask you to come to me. But
at my age I can hardly get to the city, and therefore you should come
oftener to the Piraeus. For let me tell you, that the more the pleasures
of the body fade away, the greater to me is the pleasure and charm
of conversation. Do not then deny my request, but make our house your
resort and keep company with these young men; we are old friends,
and you will be quite at home with us. I replied: There is nothing which for my part I like better, Cephalus,
than conversing with aged men; for I regard them as travellers who
have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom I ought
to enquire, whether the way is smooth and easy, or rugged and difficult.
And this is a question which I should like to ask of you who have
arrived at that time which the poets call the 'threshold of old age'
--Is life harder towards the end, or what report do you give of it? I will tell you, Socrates, he said, what my own feeling is. Men of
my age flock together; we are birds of a feather, as the old proverb
says; and at our meetings the tale of my acquaintance commonly is
--I cannot eat, I cannot drink; the pleasures of youth and love are
fled away: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life
is no longer life. Some complain of the slights which are put upon
them by relations, and they will tell you sadly of how many evils
their old age is the cause. But to me, Socrates, these complainers
seem to blame that which is not really in fault. For if old age were
the cause, I too being old, and every other old man, would have felt
as they do. But this is not my own experience, nor that of others
whom I have known. How well I remember the aged poet Sophocles, when
in answer to the question, How does love suit with age, Sophocles,
--are you still the man you were? Peace, he replied; most gladly have
I escaped the thing of which you speak; I feel as if I had escaped
from a mad and furious master. His words have often occurred to my
mind since, and they seem as good to me now as at the time when he
uttered them. For certainly old age has a great sense of calm and
freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says,
we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many.
The truth is, Socrates, that these regrets, and also the complaints
about relations, are to be attributed to the same cause, which is
not old age, but men's characters and tempers; for he who is of a
calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to
him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a
burden. I listened in admiration, and wanting to draw him out, that he might
go on --Yes, Cephalus, I said: but I rather suspect that people in
general are not convinced by you when you speak thus; they think that
old age sits lightly upon you, not because of your happy disposition,
but because you are rich, and wealth is well known to be a great comforter. You are right, he replied; they are not convinced: and there is something
in what they say; not, however, so much as they imagine. I might answer
them as Themistocles answered the Seriphian who was abusing him and
saying that he was famous, not for his own merits but because he was
an Athenian: 'If you had been a native of my country or I of yours,
neither of us would have been famous.' And to those who are not rich
and are impatient of old age, the same reply may be made; for to the
good poor man old age cannot be a light burden, nor can a bad rich
man ever have peace with himself. May I ask, Cephalus, whether your fortune was for the most part inherited
or acquired by you? Acquired! Socrates; do you want to know how much I acquired? In the
art of making money I have been midway between my father and grandfather:
for my grandfather, whose name I bear, doubled and trebled the value
of his patrimony, that which he inherited being much what I possess
now; but my father Lysanias reduced the property below what it is
at present: and I shall be satisfied if I leave to these my sons not
less but a little more than I received. That was why I asked you the question, I replied, because I see that
you are indifferent about money, which is a characteristic rather
of those who have inherited their fortunes than of those who have
acquired them; the makers of fortunes have a second love of money
as a creation of their own, resembling the affection of authors for
their own poems, or of parents for their children, besides that natural
love of it for the sake of use and profit which is common to them
and all men. And hence they are very bad company, for they can talk
about nothing but the praises of wealth. That is true, he said. Yes, that is very true, but may I ask another question? What do you
consider to be the greatest blessing which you have reaped from your
wealth? One, he said, of which I could not expect easily to convince others.
For let me tell you, Socrates, that when a man thinks himself to be
near death, fears and cares enter into his mind which he never had
before; the tales of a world below and the punishment which is exacted
there of deeds done here were once a laughing matter to him, but now
he is tormented with the thought that they may be true: either from
the weakness of age, or because he is now drawing nearer to that other
place, he has a clearer view of these things; suspicions and alarms
crowd thickly upon him, and he begins to reflect and consider what
wrongs he has done to others. And when he finds that the sum of his
transgressions is great he will many a time like a child start up
in his sleep for fear, and he is filled with dark forebodings. But
to him who is conscious of no sin, sweet hope, as Pindar charmingly
says, is the kind nurse of his age: Hope, he says, cherishes the soul of him who lives in justice and
holiness and is the nurse of his age and the companion of his journey;
--hope which is mightiest to sway the restless soul of man. How admirable are his words! And the great blessing of riches, I do
not say to every man, but to a good man, is, that he has had no occasion
to deceive or to defraud others, either intentionally or unintentionally;
and when he departs to the world below he is not in any apprehension
about offerings due to the gods or debts which he owes to men. Now
to this peace of mind the possession of wealth greatly contributes;
and therefore I say, that, setting one thing against another, of the
many advantages which wealth has to give, to a man of sense this is
in my opinion the greatest. Well said, Cephalus, I replied; but as concerning justice, what is
it? --to speak the truth and to pay your debts --no more than this?
And even to this are there not exceptions? Suppose that a friend when
in his right mind has deposited arms with me and he asks for them
when he is not in his right mind, ought I to give them back to him?
No one would say that I ought or that I should be right in doing so,
any more than they would say that I ought always to speak the truth
to one who is in his condition. You are quite right, he replied.
But then, I said, speaking the truth and paying your debts is not
a correct definition of justice. Cephalus - SOCRATES - POLEMARCHUS Quite correct, Socrates, if Simonides is to be believed, said Polemarchus
interposing. I fear, said Cephalus, that I must go now, for I have to look after
the sacrifices, and I hand over the argument to Polemarchus and the
company. Is not Polemarchus your heir? I said.
To be sure, he answered, and went away laughing to the sacrifices.


Footnotes

  1. বক্তা
  2. বেন্ডিস, মতান্তরে আথিয়া