This is the sequel to Plato's Apology . Socrates has been condemned to death, but for religious reasons his execution has been postponed for a few weeks. Crito, one of his friends, has smuggled himself into Socrates' cell late at night and offers to bribe all the necessary persons to get him out of his cell, out of Athens, to a safe place in Thessaly. As riveting as the Apology is, I find Crito to be extraordinarily moving. Plato places an eloquence and emotive power in Crito's mouth that could hardly fail to sway anyone as he explains the many reasons why Socrates should accede to his proposal.(*) But Socrates remains true to his principles and illustrates Socratic method here in extremis . Instead of drawing his head up and defiantly spouting principles, as so many principled persons have done in history (and such persons are often presented to us as magnificent examples to emulate), Socrates draws Crito into a search for a reasoned response. I don't intend to trace here the turns taken in this search. You should read it. And, ultimately, I don't think it really matters if this search leads to an answer one agrees with. I don't think Plato's intention was to persuade everyone that the answer found is correct for all persons. After all, the search is based upon certain explicit and implicit assumptions which need not be shared by all persons. But even if that were Plato's intention, the appreciation of this beautiful text need not depend upon being so persuaded. It is not we but Socrates who is to be executed, and he clearly explains why he has an obligation he cannot disregard. Our agreement or disagreement is totally immaterial.And what could Plato have been feeling as he wrote this little gem. Was his heart swelling with pride at the principled stand Socrates took? Were tears of regret limping down his cheeks as Crito tried everything he could to convince Socrates to save his life? Was he calculating the best way to ensure to his teacher's name and ideas the eternity that his body could never have? Really, every aspect of this text is remarkable. I consider it to be one of the finest in Western literature.(Re-read in Benjamin Jowett's translation.)(*) One should keep in mind that even if Crito made such an attempt and such a conversation actually took place, Crito could hardly have remembered the conversation word for word. This beautiful and moving conversation is therefore Plato's invention, even if it may have remained faithful to whatever main points Crito was able to recall.