3056. Socrates says of him, “How charming the man is: since I have been in prison he has always been coming to see me, and at times he would talk to me, and was as good as could be to me, and now see how generously he sorrows for me.”
Now that is truly a great jailer, and worthy to be remembered for all
time, even though he has no name. But Faldoni’s Jailer was yet even more
important to Faldoni that his historic predecessor was to Socrates. The
Jailer’s mind was at work on the solution to his prisoner’s problems,
and all of the wasted time spent teaching reading and writing to Faldoni
had a purpose although he did not have the slightest idea what the
3058. Like all important events in history, it was happening as if of itself, and of its own volition.
3059. The project of teaching his prisoner to read and write was the thing that was agitating the Jailer’s mind. He had started the instruction as a jest, intending to entertain himself at Faldoni’s expense, but the result of this project was that the Jailer began to think seriously about the question of what words and phrases can mean, when one begins to entertain the idea that definitions are endlessly variable.