As he was a good and scrupulous man, very careful about paying his debts and keeping his promises, he now told Crito to remember that he had promised to sacrifice a cock to Aesculapius, the god of medicine, and bade him do it in his stead.
He then lay down upon his hard prison bed, and, while he felt the chill of death slowly creeping upward toward his heart, he continued to teach and exhort his pupils to love virtue and do right.
All his last sayings were carefully treasured by Plato, who wrote them down, and who concludes the story of his death in these beautiful words: “Thus died the man who, of all with whom we are acquainted, was in death the noblest, and in life the wisest and best.”
Some time after the death of Socrates, the Athenians found out their mistake. Filled with remorse, they recalled the sentence which had condemned him, but they could not bring him back to life. In token of their sorrow, however, they set up a statue of him in the heart of their city.
This statue, although made of bronze, has long ceased to exist; but the remembrance of Socrates’ virtues is still held dear, and all who know his name both love and honor him.