La. Certainly, Nicias; and I quite approve of the remark which Lysimachus made
about his own father and the father of Melesias, and which is applicable, not
only to them, but to us, and to every one who is occupied with public affairs.
As he says, such persons are too apt to be negligent and careless of their own
children and their private concerns. There is much truth in that remark of
yours, Lysimachus. But why, instead of consulting us, do you not consult our
friend Socrates about the education of the youths? He is of the same deme with
you, and is always passing his time in places where the youth have any noble
study or pursuit, such as you are enquiring after.
Lys. Why, Laches, has Socrates ever attended to matters of this sort?
La. Certainly, Lysimachus.
Nic. That I have the means of knowing as well as Laches; for quite lately he
supplied me with a teacher of music for my sons,-Damon, the disciple of
Agathocles, who is a most accomplished man in every way, as well as a
musician, and a companion of inestimable value for young men at their age.
Lys. Those who have reached my time of life, Socrates and Nicias and Laches,
fall out of acquaintance with the young, because they are generally detained
at home by old age; but you, O son of Sophroniscus, should let your fellow
demesman have the benefits of any advice which you are able to give. Moreover
I have a claim upon you as an old friend of your father; for I and he were
always companions and friends, and to the hour of his death there never was a
difference between us; and now it comes back to me, at the mention of your
name, that I have heard these lads talking to one another at home, and often
speaking of Socrates in terms of the highest praise; but I have never thought
to ask them whether the son of Sophroniscus was the person whom they meant.
Tell me, my boys, whether this is the Socrates of whom you have often spoken?