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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1404
AUTHOR: Socrates (469–399 B.C.)
QUOTATION: I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to SOCRATES, but unverified in his writings or in interpretive writings about him. Possibly this is an interpretation of a passage from Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates (The Apology), trans. F. J. Church, p. 61 (1880, reprinted 1972): “I do not venture to come forward in the assembly, and take part in public councils…. For, Athenians, it is quite certain that if I had attempted to take part in politics, I should have perished at once and long ago, without doing any good either to you or to myself. And do not be vexed with me for telling the truth.”
SUBJECTS: Politicians