SOLON: Tell me, Thales, why you, a philosopher of high repute, never married and had a son. (Thales excuses himself to answer someone knocking on the door. He returns with a stranger)
THALES: This good man is a friend of one of my friends in Athens.
SOLON: (shakes wrists with the guest) Oh, Athens! Is there anything new in Athens?
GUEST: No big news, (pause) apart from the funeral of a great man's son.
SOLON (eagerly): Whose son was this?
GUEST: I have no recollection of the name, but the father is a man of great honor who is currently traveling abroad.
SOLON (more eagerly): Was it the son of Solon?
GUEST: Yes, that was the name. (Solon weeps loudly. Thales takes his hand and showing a peaceful smile, answers his question)
THALES: These things, Solon, which are too great for even your constancy to support, keep me from getting married and raising children. However, be not concerned by the report about your son, for it is a fiction. At the door, I coached my guest for this fictitious scenario devised by me in order to explain to you why I still refuse to be married.
SOLON: What a relief! (pause) And what a painful way to answer a question!