Phaedo by Plato
Phaedo

Plato Phaedo

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[1]        PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE:
[2]        Phaedo, who is the narrator of the dialogue to Echecrates of Phlius.
[3]        Socrates, Apollodorus, Simmias, Cebes, Crito and an Attendant of the
[4]        Prison.
[5]        
[6]        SCENE: The Prison of Socrates.
[7]        
[8]        PLACE OF THE NARRATION: Phlius.
[9]        
[10]       
[11]       ECHECRATES: Were you yourself, Phaedo, in the prison with Socrates on the
[12]       day when he drank the poison?
[13]       
[14]       PHAEDO: Yes, Echecrates, I was.
[15]       
[16]       ECHECRATES: I should so like to hear about his death. What did he say in
[17]       his last hours? We were informed that he died by taking poison, but no one
[18]       knew anything more; for no Phliasian ever goes to Athens now, and it is a
[19]       long time since any stranger from Athens has found his way hither; so that
[20]       we had no clear account.
[21]       
[22]       PHAEDO: Did you not hear of the proceedings at the trial?
[23]       
[24]       ECHECRATES: Yes; some one told us about the trial, and we could not
[25]       understand why, having been condemned, he should have been put to death,
[26]       not at the time, but long afterwards. What was the reason of this?
[27]       
[28]       PHAEDO: An accident, Echecrates: the stern of the ship which the
[29]       Athenians send to Delos happened to have been crowned on the day before he
[30]       was tried.
[31]       
[32]       ECHECRATES: What is this ship?
[33]       
[34]       PHAEDO: It is the ship in which, according to Athenian tradition, Theseus
[35]       went to Crete when he took with him the fourteen youths, and was the
[36]       saviour of them and of himself. And they were said to have vowed to Apollo
[37]       at the time, that if they were saved they would send a yearly mission to
[38]       Delos. Now this custom still continues, and the whole period of the voyage
[39]       to and from Delos, beginning when the priest of Apollo crowns the stern of
[40]       the ship, is a holy season, during which the city is not allowed to be
[41]       polluted by public executions; and when the vessel is detained by contrary
[42]       winds, the time spent in going and returning is very considerable. As I
[43]       was saying, the ship was crowned on the day before the trial, and this was
[44]       the reason why Socrates lay in prison and was not put to death until long
[45]       after he was condemned.
[46]       
[47]       ECHECRATES: What was the manner of his death, Phaedo? What was said or
[48]       done? And which of his friends were with him? Or did the authorities
[49]       forbid them to be present--so that he had no friends near him when he died?
[50]       
[51]       PHAEDO: No; there were several of them with him.
[52]       
[53]       ECHECRATES: If you have nothing to do, I wish that you would tell me what
[54]       passed, as exactly as you can.
[55]       
[56]       PHAEDO: I have nothing at all to do, and will try to gratify your wish.
[57]       To be reminded of Socrates is always the greatest delight to me, whether I
[58]       speak myself or hear another speak of him.
[59]       
[60]       ECHECRATES: You will have listeners who are of the same mind with you, and
[61]       I hope that you will be as exact as you can.
[62]       
[63]       PHAEDO: I had a singular feeling at being in his company. For I could
[64]       hardly believe that I was present at the death of a friend, and therefore I
[65]       did not pity him, Echecrates; he died so fearlessly, and his words and
[66]       bearing were so noble and gracious, that to me he appeared blessed. I
[67]       thought that in going to the other world he could not be without a divine
[68]       call, and that he would be happy, if any man ever was, when he arrived
[69]       there, and therefore I did not pity him as might have seemed natural at
[70]       such an hour. But I had not the pleasure which I usually feel in
[71]       philosophical discourse (for philosophy was the theme of which we spoke).
[72]       I was pleased, but in the pleasure there was also a strange admixture of
[73]       pain; for I reflected that he was soon to die, and this double feeling was
[74]       shared by us all; we were laughing and weeping by turns, especially the
[75]       excitable Apollodorus--you know the sort of man?
[76]       
[77]       ECHECRATES: Yes.
[78]       
[79]       PHAEDO: He was quite beside himself; and I and all of us were greatly
[80]       moved.
[81]       
[82]       ECHECRATES: Who were present?
[83]       
[84]       PHAEDO: Of native Athenians there were, besides Apollodorus, Critobulus
[85]       and his father Crito, Hermogenes, Epigenes, Aeschines, Antisthenes;
[86]       likewise Ctesippus of the deme of Paeania, Menexenus, and some others;
[87]       Plato, if I am not mistaken, was ill.
[88]       
[89]       ECHECRATES: Were there any strangers?
[90]       
[91]       PHAEDO: Yes, there were; Simmias the Theban, and Cebes, and Phaedondes;
[92]       Euclid and Terpison, who came from Megara.
[93]       
[94]       ECHECRATES: And was Aristippus there, and Cleombrotus?
[95]       
[96]       PHAEDO: No, they were said to be in Aegina.
[97]       
[98]       ECHECRATES: Any one else?
[99]       
[100]      PHAEDO: I think that these were nearly all.
[101]      
[102]      ECHECRATES: Well, and what did you talk about?
[103]      
[104]      PHAEDO: I will begin at the beginning, and endeavour to repeat the entire
[105]      conversation. On the previous days we had been in the habit of assembling
[106]      early in the morning at the court in which the trial took place, and which
[107]      is not far from the prison. There we used to wait talking with one another
[108]      until the opening of the doors (for they were not opened very early); then
[109]      we went in and generally passed the day with Socrates. On the last morning
[110]      we assembled sooner than usual, having heard on the day before when we
[111]      quitted the prison in the evening that the sacred ship had come from Delos,
[112]      and so we arranged to meet very early at the accustomed place. On our
[113]      arrival the jailer who answered the door, instead of admitting us, came out
[114]      and told us to stay until he called us. 'For the Eleven,' he said, 'are
[115]      now with Socrates; they are taking off his chains, and giving orders that
[116]      he is to die to-day.' He soon returned and said that we might come in. On
[117]      entering we found Socrates just released from chains, and Xanthippe, whom
[118]      you know, sitting by him, and holding his child in her arms. When she saw
[119]      us she uttered a cry and said, as women will: 'O Socrates, this is the
[120]      last time that either you will converse with your friends, or they with
[121]      you.' Socrates turned to Crito and said: 'Crito, let some one take her
[122]      home.' Some of Crito's people accordingly led her away, crying out and
[123]      beating herself. And when she was gone, Socrates, sitting up on the couch,
[124]      bent and rubbed his leg, saying, as he was rubbing: How singular is the
[125]      thing called pleasure, and how curiously related to pain, which might be
[126]      thought to be the opposite of it; for they are never present to a man at
[127]      the same instant, and yet he who pursues either is generally compelled to
[128]      take the other; their bodies are two, but they are joined by a single head.
[129]      And I cannot help thinking that if Aesop had remembered them, he would have
[130]      made a fable about God trying to reconcile their strife, and how, when he
[131]      could not, he fastened their heads together; and this is the reason why
[132]      when one comes the other follows, as I know by my own experience now, when
[133]      after the pain in my leg which was caused by the chain pleasure appears to
[134]      succeed.
[135]      
[136]      Upon this Cebes said: I am glad, Socrates, that you have mentioned the
[137]      name of Aesop. For it reminds me of a question which has been asked by
[138]      many, and was asked of me only the day before yesterday by Evenus the poet
[139]      --he will be sure to ask it again, and therefore if you would like me to
[140]      have an answer ready for him, you may as well tell me what I should say to
[141]      him:--he wanted to know why you, who never before wrote a line of poetry,
[142]      now that you are in prison are turning Aesop's fables into verse, and also
[143]      composing that hymn in honour of Apollo.
[144]      
[145]      Tell him, Cebes, he replied, what is the truth--that I had no idea of
[146]      rivalling him or his poems; to do so, as I knew, would be no easy task.
[147]      But I wanted to see whether I could purge away a scruple which I felt about
[148]      the meaning of certain dreams. In the course of my life I have often had
[149]      intimations in dreams 'that I should compose music.' The same dream came
[150]      to me sometimes in one form, and sometimes in another, but always saying
[151]      the same or nearly the same words: 'Cultivate and make music,' said the
[152]      dream. And hitherto I had imagined that this was only intended to exhort
[153]      and encourage me in the study of philosophy, which has been the pursuit of
[154]      my life, and is the noblest and best of music. The dream was bidding me do
[155]      what I was already doing, in the same way that the competitor in a race is
[156]      bidden by the spectators to run when he is already running. But I was not
[157]      certain of this, for the dream might have meant music in the popular sense
[158]      of the word, and being under sentence of death, and the festival giving me
[159]      a respite, I thought that it would be safer for me to satisfy the scruple,
[160]      and, in obedience to the dream, to compose a few verses before I departed.
[161]      And first I made a hymn in honour of the god of the festival, and then
[162]      considering that a poet, if he is really to be a poet, should not only put
[163]      together words, but should invent stories, and that I have no invention, I
[164]      took some fables of Aesop, which I had ready at hand and which I knew--they
[165]      were the first I came upon--and turned them into verse. Tell this to
[166]      Evenus, Cebes, and bid him be of good cheer; say that I would have him come
[167]      after me if he be a wise man, and not tarry; and that to-day I am likely to
[168]      be going, for the Athenians say that I must.
[169]      
[170]      Simmias said: What a message for such a man! having been a frequent
[171]      companion of his I should say that, as far as I know him, he will never
[172]      take your advice unless he is obliged.
[173]      
[174]      Why, said Socrates,--is not Evenus a philosopher?
[175]      
[176]      I think that he is, said Simmias.
[177]      
[178]      Then he, or any man who has the spirit of philosophy, will be willing to
[179]      die, but he will not take his own life, for that is held to be unlawful.
[180]      
[181]      Here he changed his position, and put his legs off the couch on to the
[182]      ground, and during the rest of the conversation he remained sitting.
[183]      
[184]      Why do you say, enquired Cebes, that a man ought not to take his own life,
[185]      but that the philosopher will be ready to follow the dying?
[186]      
[187]      Socrates replied: And have you, Cebes and Simmias, who are the disciples
[188]      of Philolaus, never heard him speak of this?
[189]      
[190]      Yes, but his language was obscure, Socrates.
[191]      
[192]      My words, too, are only an echo; but there is no reason why I should not
[193]      repeat what I have heard: and indeed, as I am going to another place, it
[194]      is very meet for me to be thinking and talking of the nature of the
[195]      pilgrimage which I am about to make. What can I do better in the interval
[196]      between this and the setting of the sun?
[197]      
[198]      Then tell me, Socrates, why is suicide held to be unlawful? as I have
[199]      certainly heard Philolaus, about whom you were just now asking, affirm when
[200]      he was staying with us at Thebes: and there are others who say the same,
[201]      although I have never understood what was meant by any of them.
[202]      
[203]      Do not lose heart, replied Socrates, and the day may come when you will
[204]      understand. I suppose that you wonder why, when other things which are
[205]      evil may be good at certain times and to certain persons, death is to be
[206]      the only exception, and why, when a man is better dead, he is not permitted
[207]      to be his own benefactor, but must wait for the hand of another.
[208]      
[209]      Very true, said Cebes, laughing gently and speaking in his native Boeotian.
[210]      
[211]      I admit the appearance of inconsistency in what I am saying; but there may
[212]      not be any real inconsistency after all. There is a doctrine whispered in
[213]      secret that man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door and run
[214]      away; this is a great mystery which I do not quite understand. Yet I too
[215]      believe that the gods are our guardians, and that we are a possession of
[216]      theirs. Do you not agree?
[217]      
[218]      Yes, I quite agree, said Cebes.
[219]      
[220]      And if one of your own possessions, an ox or an ass, for example, took the
[221]      liberty of putting himself out of the way when you had given no intimation
[222]      of your wish that he should die, would you not be angry with him, and would
[223]      you not punish him if you could?
[224]      
[225]      Certainly, replied Cebes.
[226]      
[227]      Then, if we look at the matter thus, there may be reason in saying that a
[228]      man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him, as he is
[229]      now summoning me.
[230]      
[231]      Yes, Socrates, said Cebes, there seems to be truth in what you say. And
[232]      yet how can you reconcile this seemingly true belief that God is our
[233]      guardian and we his possessions, with the willingness to die which we were
[234]      just now attributing to the philosopher? That the wisest of men should be
[235]      willing to leave a service in which they are ruled by the gods who are the
[236]      best of rulers, is not reasonable; for surely no wise man thinks that when
[237]      set at liberty he can take better care of himself than the gods take of
[238]      him. A fool may perhaps think so--he may argue that he had better run away
[239]      from his master, not considering that his duty is to remain to the end, and
[240]      not to run away from the good, and that there would be no sense in his
[241]      running away. The wise man will want to be ever with him who is better
[242]      than himself. Now this, Socrates, is the reverse of what was just now
[243]      said; for upon this view the wise man should sorrow and the fool rejoice at
[244]      passing out of life.
[245]      
[246]      The earnestness of Cebes seemed to please Socrates. Here, said he, turning
[247]      to us, is a man who is always inquiring, and is not so easily convinced by
[248]      the first thing which he hears.
[249]      
[250]      And certainly, added Simmias, the objection which he is now making does
[251]      appear to me to have some force. For what can be the meaning of a truly
[252]      wise man wanting to fly away and lightly leave a master who is better than
[253]      himself? And I rather imagine that Cebes is referring to you; he thinks
[254]      that you are too ready to leave us, and too ready to leave the gods whom
[255]      you acknowledge to be our good masters.
[256]      
[257]      Yes, replied Socrates; there is reason in what you say. And so you think
[258]      that I ought to answer your indictment as if I were in a court?
[259]      
[260]      We should like you to do so, said Simmias.
[261]      
[262]      Then I must try to make a more successful defence before you than I did
[263]      when before the judges. For I am quite ready to admit, Simmias and Cebes,
[264]      that I ought to be grieved at death, if I were not persuaded in the first
[265]      place that I am going to other gods who are wise and good (of which I am as
[266]      certain as I can be of any such matters), and secondly (though I am not so
[267]      sure of this last) to men departed, better than those whom I leave behind;
[268]      and therefore I do not grieve as I might have done, for I have good hope
[269]      that there is yet something remaining for the dead, and as has been said of
[270]      old, some far better thing for the good than for the evil.
[271]      
[272]      But do you mean to take away your thoughts with you, Socrates? said
[273]      Simmias. Will you not impart them to us?--for they are a benefit in which
[274]      we too are entitled to share. Moreover, if you succeed in convincing us,
[275]      that will be an answer to the charge against yourself.
[276]      
[277]      I will do my best, replied Socrates. But you must first let me hear what
[278]      Crito wants; he has long been wishing to say something to me.
[279]      
[280]      Only this, Socrates, replied Crito:--the attendant who is to give you the
[281]      poison has been telling me, and he wants me to tell you, that you are not
[282]      to talk much, talking, he says, increases heat, and this is apt to
[283]      interfere with the action of the poison; persons who excite themselves are
[284]      sometimes obliged to take a second or even a third dose.
[285]      
[286]      Then, said Socrates, let him mind his business and be prepared to give the
[287]      poison twice or even thrice if necessary; that is all.
[288]      
[289]      I knew quite well what you would say, replied Crito; but I was obliged to
[290]      satisfy him.
[291]      
[292]      Never mind him, he said.
[293]      
[294]      And now, O my judges, I desire to prove to you that the real philosopher
[295]      has reason to be of good cheer when he is about to die, and that after
[296]      death he may hope to obtain the greatest good in the other world. And how
[297]      this may be, Simmias and Cebes, I will endeavour to explain. For I deem
[298]      that the true votary of philosophy is likely to be misunderstood by other
[299]      men; they do not perceive that he is always pursuing death and dying; and
[300]      if this be so, and he has had the desire of death all his life long, why
[301]      when his time comes should he repine at that which he has been always
[302]      pursuing and desiring?
[303]      
[304]      Simmias said laughingly: Though not in a laughing humour, you have made me
[305]      laugh, Socrates; for I cannot help thinking that the many when they hear
[306]      your words will say how truly you have described philosophers, and our
[307]      people at home will likewise say that the life which philosophers desire is
[308]      in reality death, and that they have found them out to be deserving of the
[309]      death which they desire.
[310]      
[311]      And they are right, Simmias, in thinking so, with the exception of the
[312]      words 'they have found them out'; for they have not found out either what
[313]      is the nature of that death which the true philosopher deserves, or how he
[314]      deserves or desires death. But enough of them:--let us discuss the matter
[315]      among ourselves: Do we believe that there is such a thing as death?
[316]      
[317]      To be sure, replied Simmias.
[318]      
[319]      Is it not the separation of soul and body? And to be dead is the
[320]      completion of this; when the soul exists in herself, and is released from
[321]      the body and the body is released from the soul, what is this but death?
[322]      
[323]      Just so, he replied.
[324]      
[325]      There is another question, which will probably throw light on our present
[326]      inquiry if you and I can agree about it:--Ought the philosopher to care
[327]      about the pleasures--if they are to be called pleasures--of eating and
[328]      drinking?
[329]      
[330]      Certainly not, answered Simmias.
[331]      
[332]      And what about the pleasures of love--should he care for them?
[333]      
[334]      By no means.
[335]      
[336]      And will he think much of the other ways of indulging the body, for
[337]      example, the acquisition of costly raiment, or sandals, or other adornments
[338]      of the body? Instead of caring about them, does he not rather despise
[339]      anything more than nature needs? What do you say?
[340]      
[341]      I should say that the true philosopher would despise them.
[342]      
[343]      Would you not say that he is entirely concerned with the soul and not with
[344]      the body? He would like, as far as he can, to get away from the body and
[345]      to turn to the soul.
[346]      
[347]      Quite true.
[348]      
[349]      In matters of this sort philosophers, above all other men, may be observed
[350]      in every sort of way to dissever the soul from the communion of the body.
[351]      
[352]      Very true.
[353]      
[354]      Whereas, Simmias, the rest of the world are of opinion that to him who has
[355]      no sense of pleasure and no part in bodily pleasure, life is not worth
[356]      having; and that he who is indifferent about them is as good as dead.
[357]      
[358]      That is also true.
[359]      
[360]      What again shall we say of the actual acquirement of knowledge?--is the
[361]      body, if invited to share in the enquiry, a hinderer or a helper? I mean
[362]      to say, have sight and hearing any truth in them? Are they not, as the
[363]      poets are always telling us, inaccurate witnesses? and yet, if even they
[364]      are inaccurate and indistinct, what is to be said of the other senses?--for
[365]      you will allow that they are the best of them?
[366]      
[367]      Certainly, he replied.
[368]      
[369]      Then when does the soul attain truth?--for in attempting to consider
[370]      anything in company with the body she is obviously deceived.
[371]      
[372]      True.
[373]      
[374]      Then must not true existence be revealed to her in thought, if at all?
[375]      
[376]      Yes.
[377]      
[378]      And thought is best when the mind is gathered into herself and none of
[379]      these things trouble her--neither sounds nor sights nor pain nor any
[380]      pleasure,--when she takes leave of the body, and has as little as possible
[381]      to do with it, when she has no bodily sense or desire, but is aspiring
[382]      after true being?
[383]      
[384]      Certainly.
[385]      
[386]      And in this the philosopher dishonours the body; his soul runs away from
[387]      his body and desires to be alone and by herself?
[388]      
[389]      That is true.
[390]      
[391]      Well, but there is another thing, Simmias: Is there or is there not an
[392]      absolute justice?
[393]      
[394]      Assuredly there is.
[395]      
[396]      And an absolute beauty and absolute good?
[397]      
[398]      Of course.
[399]      
[400]      But did you ever behold any of them with your eyes?
[401]      
[402]      Certainly not.
[403]      
[404]      Or did you ever reach them with any other bodily sense?--and I speak not of
[405]      these alone, but of absolute greatness, and health, and strength, and of
[406]      the essence or true nature of everything. Has the reality of them ever
[407]      been perceived by you through the bodily organs? or rather, is not the
[408]      nearest approach to the knowledge of their several natures made by him who
[409]      so orders his intellectual vision as to have the most exact conception of
[410]      the essence of each thing which he considers?
[411]      
[412]      Certainly.
[413]      
[414]      And he attains to the purest knowledge of them who goes to each with the
[415]      mind alone, not introducing or intruding in the act of thought sight or any
[416]      other sense together with reason, but with the very light of the mind in
[417]      her own clearness searches into the very truth of each; he who has got rid,
[418]      as far as he can, of eyes and ears and, so to speak, of the whole body,
[419]      these being in his opinion distracting elements which when they infect the
[420]      soul hinder her from acquiring truth and knowledge--who, if not he, is
[421]      likely to attain the knowledge of true being?
[422]      
[423]      What you say has a wonderful truth in it, Socrates, replied Simmias.
[424]      
[425]      And when real philosophers consider all these things, will they not be led
[426]      to make a reflection which they will express in words something like the
[427]      following? 'Have we not found,' they will say, 'a path of thought which
[428]      seems to bring us and our argument to the conclusion, that while we are in
[429]      the body, and while the soul is infected with the evils of the body, our
[430]      desire will not be satisfied? and our desire is of the truth. For the body
[431]      is a source of endless trouble to us by reason of the mere requirement of
[432]      food; and is liable also to diseases which overtake and impede us in the
[433]      search after true being: it fills us full of loves, and lusts, and fears,
[434]      and fancies of all kinds, and endless foolery, and in fact, as men say,
[435]      takes away from us the power of thinking at all. Whence come wars, and
[436]      fightings, and factions? whence but from the body and the lusts of the
[437]      body? wars are occasioned by the love of money, and money has to be
[438]      acquired for the sake and in the service of the body; and by reason of all
[439]      these impediments we have no time to give to philosophy; and, last and
[440]      worst of all, even if we are at leisure and betake ourselves to some
[441]      speculation, the body is always breaking in upon us, causing turmoil and
[442]      confusion in our enquiries, and so amazing us that we are prevented from
[443]      seeing the truth. It has been proved to us by experience that if we would
[444]      have pure knowledge of anything we must be quit of the body--the soul in
[445]      herself must behold things in themselves: and then we shall attain the
[446]      wisdom which we desire, and of which we say that we are lovers, not while
[447]      we live, but after death; for if while in company with the body, the soul
[448]      cannot have pure knowledge, one of two things follows--either knowledge is
[449]      not to be attained at all, or, if at all, after death. For then, and not
[450]      till then, the soul will be parted from the body and exist in herself
[451]      alone. In this present life, I reckon that we make the nearest approach to
[452]      knowledge when we have the least possible intercourse or communion with the
[453]      body, and are not surfeited with the bodily nature, but keep ourselves pure
[454]      until the hour when God himself is pleased to release us. And thus having
[455]      got rid of the foolishness of the body we shall be pure and hold converse
[456]      with the pure, and know of ourselves the clear light everywhere, which is
[457]      no other than the light of truth.' For the impure are not permitted to
[458]      approach the pure. These are the sort of words, Simmias, which the true
[459]      lovers of knowledge cannot help saying to one another, and thinking. You
[460]      would agree; would you not?
[461]      
[462]      Undoubtedly, Socrates.
[463]      
[464]      But, O my friend, if this is true, there is great reason to hope that,
[465]      going whither I go, when I have come to the end of my journey, I shall
[466]      attain that which has been the pursuit of my life. And therefore I go on
[467]      my way rejoicing, and not I only, but every other man who believes that his
[468]      mind has been made ready and that he is in a manner purified.
[469]      
[470]      Certainly, replied Simmias.
[471]      
[472]      And what is purification but the separation of the soul from the body, as I
[473]      was saying before; the habit of the soul gathering and collecting herself
[474]      into herself from all sides out of the body; the dwelling in her own place
[475]      alone, as in another life, so also in this, as far as she can;--the release
[476]      of the soul from the chains of the body?
[477]      
[478]      Very true, he said.
[479]      
[480]      And this separation and release of the soul from the body is termed death?
[481]      
[482]      To be sure, he said.
[483]      
[484]      And the true philosophers, and they only, are ever seeking to release the
[485]      soul. Is not the separation and release of the soul from the body their
[486]      especial study?
[487]      
[488]      That is true.
[489]      
[490]      And, as I was saying at first, there would be a ridiculous contradiction in
[491]      men studying to live as nearly as they can in a state of death, and yet
[492]      repining when it comes upon them.
[493]      
[494]      Clearly.
[495]      
[496]      And the true philosophers, Simmias, are always occupied in the practice of
[497]      dying, wherefore also to them least of all men is death terrible. Look at
[498]      the matter thus:--if they have been in every way the enemies of the body,
[499]      and are wanting to be alone with the soul, when this desire of theirs is
[500]      granted, how inconsistent would they be if they trembled and repined,
[501]      instead of rejoicing at their departure to that place where, when they
[502]      arrive, they hope to gain that which in life they desired--and this was
[503]      wisdom--and at the same time to be rid of the company of their enemy. Many
[504]      a man has been willing to go to the world below animated by the hope of
[505]      seeing there an earthly love, or wife, or son, and conversing with them.
[506]      And will he who is a true lover of wisdom, and is strongly persuaded in
[507]      like manner that only in the world below he can worthily enjoy her, still
[508]      repine at death? Will he not depart with joy? Surely he will, O my
[509]      friend, if he be a true philosopher. For he will have a firm conviction
[510]      that there and there only, he can find wisdom in her purity. And if this
[511]      be true, he would be very absurd, as I was saying, if he were afraid of
[512]      death.
[513]      
[514]      He would, indeed, replied Simmias.
[515]      
[516]      And when you see a man who is repining at the approach of death, is not his
[517]      reluctance a sufficient proof that he is not a lover of wisdom, but a lover
[518]      of the body, and probably at the same time a lover of either money or
[519]      power, or both?
[520]      
[521]      Quite so, he replied.
[522]      
[523]      And is not courage, Simmias, a quality which is specially characteristic of
[524]      the philosopher?
[525]      
[526]      Certainly.
[527]      
[528]      There is temperance again, which even by the vulgar is supposed to consist
[529]      in the control and regulation of the passions, and in the sense of
[530]      superiority to them--is not temperance a virtue belonging to those only who
[531]      despise the body, and who pass their lives in philosophy?
[532]      
[533]      Most assuredly.
[534]      
[535]      For the courage and temperance of other men, if you will consider them, are
[536]      really a contradiction.
[537]      
[538]      How so?
[539]      
[540]      Well, he said, you are aware that death is regarded by men in general as a
[541]      great evil.
[542]      
[543]      Very true, he said.
[544]      
[545]      And do not courageous men face death because they are afraid of yet greater
[546]      evils?
[547]      
[548]      That is quite true.
[549]      
[550]      Then all but the philosophers are courageous only from fear, and because
[551]      they are afraid; and yet that a man should be courageous from fear, and
[552]      because he is a coward, is surely a strange thing.
[553]      
[554]      Very true.
[555]      
[556]      And are not the temperate exactly in the same case? They are temperate
[557]      because they are intemperate--which might seem to be a contradiction, but
[558]      is nevertheless the sort of thing which happens with this foolish
[559]      temperance. For there are pleasures which they are afraid of losing; and
[560]      in their desire to keep them, they abstain from some pleasures, because
[561]      they are overcome by others; and although to be conquered by pleasure is
[562]      called by men intemperance, to them the conquest of pleasure consists in
[563]      being conquered by pleasure. And that is what I mean by saying that, in a
[564]      sense, they are made temperate through intemperance.
[565]      
[566]      Such appears to be the case.
[567]      
[568]      Yet the exchange of one fear or pleasure or pain for another fear or
[569]      pleasure or pain, and of the greater for the less, as if they were coins,
[570]      is not the exchange of virtue. O my blessed Simmias, is there not one true
[571]      coin for which all things ought to be exchanged?--and that is wisdom; and
[572]      only in exchange for this, and in company with this, is anything truly
[573]      bought or sold, whether courage or temperance or justice. And is not all
[574]      true virtue the companion of wisdom, no matter what fears or pleasures or
[575]      other similar goods or evils may or may not attend her? But the virtue
[576]      which is made up of these goods, when they are severed from wisdom and
[577]      exchanged with one another, is a shadow of virtue only, nor is there any
[578]      freedom or health or truth in her; but in the true exchange there is a
[579]      purging away of all these things, and temperance, and justice, and courage,
[580]      and wisdom herself are the purgation of them. The founders of the
[581]      mysteries would appear to have had a real meaning, and were not talking
[582]      nonsense when they intimated in a figure long ago that he who passes
[583]      unsanctified and uninitiated into the world below will lie in a slough, but
[584]      that he who arrives there after initiation and purification will dwell with
[585]      the gods. For 'many,' as they say in the mysteries, 'are the thyrsus-
[586]      bearers, but few are the mystics,'--meaning, as I interpret the words, 'the
[587]      true philosophers.' In the number of whom, during my whole life, I have
[588]      been seeking, according to my ability, to find a place;--whether I have
[589]      sought in a right way or not, and whether I have succeeded or not, I shall
[590]      truly know in a little while, if God will, when I myself arrive in the
[591]      other world--such is my belief. And therefore I maintain that I am right,
[592]      Simmias and Cebes, in not grieving or repining at parting from you and my
[593]      masters in this world, for I believe that I shall equally find good masters
[594]      and friends in another world. But most men do not believe this saying; if
[595]      then I succeed in convincing you by my defence better than I did the
[596]      Athenian judges, it will be well.
[597]      
[598]      Cebes answered: I agree, Socrates, in the greater part of what you say.
[599]      But in what concerns the soul, men are apt to be incredulous; they fear
[600]      that when she has left the body her place may be nowhere, and that on the
[601]      very day of death she may perish and come to an end--immediately on her
[602]      release from the body, issuing forth dispersed like smoke or air and in her
[603]      flight vanishing away into nothingness. If she could only be collected
[604]      into herself after she has obtained release from the evils of which you are
[605]      speaking, there would be good reason to hope, Socrates, that what you say
[606]      is true. But surely it requires a great deal of argument and many proofs
[607]      to show that when the man is dead his soul yet exists, and has any force or
[608]      intelligence.
[609]      
[610]      True, Cebes, said Socrates; and shall I suggest that we converse a little
[611]      of the probabilities of these things?
[612]      
[613]      I am sure, said Cebes, that I should greatly like to know your opinion
[614]      about them.
[615]      
[616]      I reckon, said Socrates, that no one who heard me now, not even if he were
[617]      one of my old enemies, the Comic poets, could accuse me of idle talking
[618]      about matters in which I have no concern:--If you please, then, we will
[619]      proceed with the inquiry.
[620]      
[621]      Suppose we consider the question whether the souls of men after death are
[622]      or are not in the world below. There comes into my mind an ancient
[623]      doctrine which affirms that they go from hence into the other world, and
[624]      returning hither, are born again from the dead. Now if it be true that the
[625]      living come from the dead, then our souls must exist in the other world,
[626]      for if not, how could they have been born again? And this would be
[627]      conclusive, if there were any real evidence that the living are only born
[628]      from the dead; but if this is not so, then other arguments will have to be
[629]      adduced.
[630]      
[631]      Very true, replied Cebes.
[632]      
[633]      Then let us consider the whole question, not in relation to man only, but
[634]      in relation to animals generally, and to plants, and to everything of which
[635]      there is generation, and the proof will be easier. Are not all things
[636]      which have opposites generated out of their opposites? I mean such things
[637]      as good and evil, just and unjust--and there are innumerable other
[638]      opposites which are generated out of opposites. And I want to show that in
[639]      all opposites there is of necessity a similar alternation; I mean to say,
[640]      for example, that anything which becomes greater must become greater after
[641]      being less.
[642]      
[643]      True.
[644]      
[645]      And that which becomes less must have been once greater and then have
[646]      become less.
[647]      
[648]      Yes.
[649]      
[650]      And the weaker is generated from the stronger, and the swifter from the
[651]      slower.
[652]      
[653]      Very true.
[654]      
[655]      And the worse is from the better, and the more just is from the more
[656]      unjust.
[657]      
[658]      Of course.
[659]      
[660]      And is this true of all opposites? and are we convinced that all of them
[661]      are generated out of opposites?
[662]      
[663]      Yes.
[664]      
[665]      And in this universal opposition of all things, are there not also two
[666]      intermediate processes which are ever going on, from one to the other
[667]      opposite, and back again; where there is a greater and a less there is also
[668]      an intermediate process of increase and diminution, and that which grows is
[669]      said to wax, and that which decays to wane?
[670]      
[671]      Yes, he said.
[672]      
[673]      And there are many other processes, such as division and composition,
[674]      cooling and heating, which equally involve a passage into and out of one
[675]      another. And this necessarily holds of all opposites, even though not
[676]      always expressed in words--they are really generated out of one another,
[677]      and there is a passing or process from one to the other of them?
[678]      
[679]      Very true, he replied.
[680]      
[681]      Well, and is there not an opposite of life, as sleep is the opposite of
[682]      waking?
[683]      
[684]      True, he said.
[685]      
[686]      And what is it?
[687]      
[688]      Death, he answered.
[689]      
[690]      And these, if they are opposites, are generated the one from the other, and
[691]      have there their two intermediate processes also?
[692]      
[693]      Of course.
[694]      
[695]      Now, said Socrates, I will analyze one of the two pairs of opposites which
[696]      I have mentioned to you, and also its intermediate processes, and you shall
[697]      analyze the other to me. One of them I term sleep, the other waking. The
[698]      state of sleep is opposed to the state of waking, and out of sleeping
[699]      waking is generated, and out of waking, sleeping; and the process of
[700]      generation is in the one case falling asleep, and in the other waking up.
[701]      Do you agree?
[702]      
[703]      I entirely agree.
[704]      
[705]      Then, suppose that you analyze life and death to me in the same manner. Is
[706]      not death opposed to life?
[707]      
[708]      Yes.
[709]      
[710]      And they are generated one from the other?
[711]      
[712]      Yes.
[713]      
[714]      What is generated from the living?
[715]      
[716]      The dead.
[717]      
[718]      And what from the dead?
[719]      
[720]      I can only say in answer--the living.
[721]      
[722]      Then the living, whether things or persons, Cebes, are generated from the
[723]      dead?
[724]      
[725]      That is clear, he replied.
[726]      
[727]      Then the inference is that our souls exist in the world below?
[728]      
[729]      That is true.
[730]      
[731]      And one of the two processes or generations is visible--for surely the act
[732]      of dying is visible?
[733]      
[734]      Surely, he said.
[735]      
[736]      What then is to be the result? Shall we exclude the opposite process? And
[737]      shall we suppose nature to walk on one leg only? Must we not rather assign
[738]      to death some corresponding process of generation?
[739]      
[740]      Certainly, he replied.
[741]      
[742]      And what is that process?
[743]      
[744]      Return to life.
[745]      
[746]      And return to life, if there be such a thing, is the birth of the dead into
[747]      the world of the living?
[748]      
[749]      Quite true.
[750]      
[751]      Then here is a new way by which we arrive at the conclusion that the living
[752]      come from the dead, just as the dead come from the living; and this, if
[753]      true, affords a most certain proof that the souls of the dead exist in some
[754]      place out of which they come again.
[755]      
[756]      Yes, Socrates, he said; the conclusion seems to flow necessarily out of our
[757]      previous admissions.
[758]      
[759]      And that these admissions were not unfair, Cebes, he said, may be shown, I
[760]      think, as follows: If generation were in a straight line only, and there
[761]      were no compensation or circle in nature, no turn or return of elements
[762]      into their opposites, then you know that all things would at last have the
[763]      same form and pass into the same state, and there would be no more
[764]      generation of them.
[765]      
[766]      What do you mean? he said.
[767]      
[768]      A simple thing enough, which I will illustrate by the case of sleep, he
[769]      replied. You know that if there were no alternation of sleeping and
[770]      waking, the tale of the sleeping Endymion would in the end have no meaning,
[771]      because all other things would be asleep, too, and he would not be
[772]      distinguishable from the rest. Or if there were composition only, and no
[773]      division of substances, then the chaos of Anaxagoras would come again. And
[774]      in like manner, my dear Cebes, if all things which partook of life were to
[775]      die, and after they were dead remained in the form of death, and did not
[776]      come to life again, all would at last die, and nothing would be alive--what
[777]      other result could there be? For if the living spring from any other
[778]      things, and they too die, must not all things at last be swallowed up in
[779]      death? (But compare Republic.)
[780]      
[781]      There is no escape, Socrates, said Cebes; and to me your argument seems to
[782]      be absolutely true.
[783]      
[784]      Yes, he said, Cebes, it is and must be so, in my opinion; and we have not
[785]      been deluded in making these admissions; but I am confident that there
[786]      truly is such a thing as living again, and that the living spring from the
[787]      dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence, and that the good
[788]      souls have a better portion than the evil.
[789]      
[790]      Cebes added: Your favorite doctrine, Socrates, that knowledge is simply
[791]      recollection, if true, also necessarily implies a previous time in which we
[792]      have learned that which we now recollect. But this would be impossible
[793]      unless our soul had been in some place before existing in the form of man;
[794]      here then is another proof of the soul's immortality.
[795]      
[796]      But tell me, Cebes, said Simmias, interposing, what arguments are urged in
[797]      favour of this doctrine of recollection. I am not very sure at the moment
[798]      that I remember them.
[799]      
[800]      One excellent proof, said Cebes, is afforded by questions. If you put a
[801]      question to a person in a right way, he will give a true answer of himself,
[802]      but how could he do this unless there were knowledge and right reason
[803]      already in him? And this is most clearly shown when he is taken to a
[804]      diagram or to anything of that sort. (Compare Meno.)
[805]      
[806]      But if, said Socrates, you are still incredulous, Simmias, I would ask you
[807]      whether you may not agree with me when you look at the matter in another
[808]      way;--I mean, if you are still incredulous as to whether knowledge is
[809]      recollection.
[810]      
[811]      Incredulous, I am not, said Simmias; but I want to have this doctrine of
[812]      recollection brought to my own recollection, and, from what Cebes has said,
[813]      I am beginning to recollect and be convinced; but I should still like to
[814]      hear what you were going to say.
[815]      
[816]      This is what I would say, he replied:--We should agree, if I am not
[817]      mistaken, that what a man recollects he must have known at some previous
[818]      time.
[819]      
[820]      Very true.
[821]      
[822]      And what is the nature of this knowledge or recollection? I mean to ask,
[823]      Whether a person who, having seen or heard or in any way perceived
[824]      anything, knows not only that, but has a conception of something else which
[825]      is the subject, not of the same but of some other kind of knowledge, may
[826]      not be fairly said to recollect that of which he has the conception?
[827]      
[828]      What do you mean?
[829]      
[830]      I mean what I may illustrate by the following instance:--The knowledge of a
[831]      lyre is not the same as the knowledge of a man?
[832]      
[833]      True.
[834]      
[835]      And yet what is the feeling of lovers when they recognize a lyre, or a
[836]      garment, or anything else which the beloved has been in the habit of using?
[837]      Do not they, from knowing the lyre, form in the mind's eye an image of the
[838]      youth to whom the lyre belongs? And this is recollection. In like manner
[839]      any one who sees Simmias may remember Cebes; and there are endless examples
[840]      of the same thing.
[841]      
[842]      Endless, indeed, replied Simmias.
[843]      
[844]      And recollection is most commonly a process of recovering that which has
[845]      been already forgotten through time and inattention.
[846]      
[847]      Very true, he said.
[848]      
[849]      Well; and may you not also from seeing the picture of a horse or a lyre
[850]      remember a man? and from the picture of Simmias, you may be led to remember
[851]      Cebes?
[852]      
[853]      True.
[854]      
[855]      Or you may also be led to the recollection of Simmias himself?
[856]      
[857]      Quite so.
[858]      
[859]      And in all these cases, the recollection may be derived from things either
[860]      like or unlike?
[861]      
[862]      It may be.
[863]      
[864]      And when the recollection is derived from like things, then another
[865]      consideration is sure to arise, which is--whether the likeness in any
[866]      degree falls short or not of that which is recollected?
[867]      
[868]      Very true, he said.
[869]      
[870]      And shall we proceed a step further, and affirm that there is such a thing
[871]      as equality, not of one piece of wood or stone with another, but that, over
[872]      and above this, there is absolute equality? Shall we say so?
[873]      
[874]      Say so, yes, replied Simmias, and swear to it, with all the confidence in
[875]      life.
[876]      
[877]      And do we know the nature of this absolute essence?
[878]      
[879]      To be sure, he said.
[880]      
[881]      And whence did we obtain our knowledge? Did we not see equalities of
[882]      material things, such as pieces of wood and stones, and gather from them
[883]      the idea of an equality which is different from them? For you will
[884]      acknowledge that there is a difference. Or look at the matter in another
[885]      way:--Do not the same pieces of wood or stone appear at one time equal, and
[886]      at another time unequal?
[887]      
[888]      That is certain.
[889]      
[890]      But are real equals ever unequal? or is the idea of equality the same as of
[891]      inequality?
[892]      
[893]      Impossible, Socrates.
[894]      
[895]      Then these (so-called) equals are not the same with the idea of equality?
[896]      
[897]      I should say, clearly not, Socrates.
[898]      
[899]      And yet from these equals, although differing from the idea of equality,
[900]      you conceived and attained that idea?
[901]      
[902]      Very true, he said.
[903]      
[904]      Which might be like, or might be unlike them?
[905]      
[906]      Yes.
[907]      
[908]      But that makes no difference; whenever from seeing one thing you conceived
[909]      another, whether like or unlike, there must surely have been an act of
[910]      recollection?
[911]      
[912]      Very true.
[913]      
[914]      But what would you say of equal portions of wood and stone, or other
[915]      material equals? and what is the impression produced by them? Are they
[916]      equals in the same sense in which absolute equality is equal? or do they
[917]      fall short of this perfect equality in a measure?
[918]      
[919]      Yes, he said, in a very great measure too.
[920]      
[921]      And must we not allow, that when I or any one, looking at any object,
[922]      observes that the thing which he sees aims at being some other thing, but
[923]      falls short of, and cannot be, that other thing, but is inferior, he who
[924]      makes this observation must have had a previous knowledge of that to which
[925]      the other, although similar, was inferior?
[926]      
[927]      Certainly.
[928]      
[929]      And has not this been our own case in the matter of equals and of absolute
[930]      equality?
[931]      
[932]      Precisely.
[933]      
[934]      Then we must have known equality previously to the time when we first saw
[935]      the material equals, and reflected that all these apparent equals strive to
[936]      attain absolute equality, but fall short of it?
[937]      
[938]      Very true.
[939]      
[940]      And we recognize also that this absolute equality has only been known, and
[941]      can only be known, through the medium of sight or touch, or of some other
[942]      of the senses, which are all alike in this respect?
[943]      
[944]      Yes, Socrates, as far as the argument is concerned, one of them is the same
[945]      as the other.
[946]      
[947]      From the senses then is derived the knowledge that all sensible things aim
[948]      at an absolute equality of which they fall short?
[949]      
[950]      Yes.
[951]      
[952]      Then before we began to see or hear or perceive in any way, we must have
[953]      had a knowledge of absolute equality, or we could not have referred to that
[954]      standard the equals which are derived from the senses?--for to that they
[955]      all aspire, and of that they fall short.
[956]      
[957]      No other inference can be drawn from the previous statements.
[958]      
[959]      And did we not see and hear and have the use of our other senses as soon as
[960]      we were born?
[961]      
[962]      Certainly.
[963]      
[964]      Then we must have acquired the knowledge of equality at some previous time?
[965]      
[966]      Yes.
[967]      
[968]      That is to say, before we were born, I suppose?
[969]      
[970]      True.
[971]      
[972]      And if we acquired this knowledge before we were born, and were born having
[973]      the use of it, then we also knew before we were born and at the instant of
[974]      birth not only the equal or the greater or the less, but all other ideas;
[975]      for we are not speaking only of equality, but of beauty, goodness, justice,
[976]      holiness, and of all which we stamp with the name of essence in the
[977]      dialectical process, both when we ask and when we answer questions. Of all
[978]      this we may certainly affirm that we acquired the knowledge before birth?
[979]      
[980]      We may.
[981]      
[982]      But if, after having acquired, we have not forgotten what in each case we
[983]      acquired, then we must always have come into life having knowledge, and
[984]      shall always continue to know as long as life lasts--for knowing is the
[985]      acquiring and retaining knowledge and not forgetting. Is not forgetting,
[986]      Simmias, just the losing of knowledge?
[987]      
[988]      Quite true, Socrates.
[989]      
[990]      But if the knowledge which we acquired before birth was lost by us at
[991]      birth, and if afterwards by the use of the senses we recovered what we
[992]      previously knew, will not the process which we call learning be a
[993]      recovering of the knowledge which is natural to us, and may not this be
[994]      rightly termed recollection?
[995]      
[996]      Very true.
[997]      
[998]      So much is clear--that when we perceive something, either by the help of
[999]      sight, or hearing, or some other sense, from that perception we are able to
[1000]     obtain a notion of some other thing like or unlike which is associated with
[1001]     it but has been forgotten. Whence, as I was saying, one of two
[1002]     alternatives follows:--either we had this knowledge at birth, and continued
[1003]     to know through life; or, after birth, those who are said to learn only
[1004]     remember, and learning is simply recollection.
[1005]     
[1006]     Yes, that is quite true, Socrates.
[1007]     
[1008]     And which alternative, Simmias, do you prefer? Had we the knowledge at our
[1009]     birth, or did we recollect the things which we knew previously to our
[1010]     birth?
[1011]     
[1012]     I cannot decide at the moment.
[1013]     
[1014]     At any rate you can decide whether he who has knowledge will or will not be
[1015]     able to render an account of his knowledge? What do you say?
[1016]     
[1017]     Certainly, he will.
[1018]     
[1019]     But do you think that every man is able to give an account of these very
[1020]     matters about which we are speaking?
[1021]     
[1022]     Would that they could, Socrates, but I rather fear that to-morrow, at this
[1023]     time, there will no longer be any one alive who is able to give an account
[1024]     of them such as ought to be given.
[1025]     
[1026]     Then you are not of opinion, Simmias, that all men know these things?
[1027]     
[1028]     Certainly not.
[1029]     
[1030]     They are in process of recollecting that which they learned before?
[1031]     
[1032]     Certainly.
[1033]     
[1034]     But when did our souls acquire this knowledge?--not since we were born as
[1035]     men?
[1036]     
[1037]     Certainly not.
[1038]     
[1039]     And therefore, previously?
[1040]     
[1041]     Yes.
[1042]     
[1043]     Then, Simmias, our souls must also have existed without bodies before they
[1044]     were in the form of man, and must have had intelligence.
[1045]     
[1046]     Unless indeed you suppose, Socrates, that these notions are given us at the
[1047]     very moment of birth; for this is the only time which remains.
[1048]     
[1049]     Yes, my friend, but if so, when do we lose them? for they are not in us
[1050]     when we are born--that is admitted. Do we lose them at the moment of
[1051]     receiving them, or if not at what other time?
[1052]     
[1053]     No, Socrates, I perceive that I was unconsciously talking nonsense.
[1054]     
[1055]     Then may we not say, Simmias, that if, as we are always repeating, there is
[1056]     an absolute beauty, and goodness, and an absolute essence of all things;
[1057]     and if to this, which is now discovered to have existed in our former
[1058]     state, we refer all our sensations, and with this compare them, finding
[1059]     these ideas to be pre-existent and our inborn possession--then our souls
[1060]     must have had a prior existence, but if not, there would be no force in the
[1061]     argument? There is the same proof that these ideas must have existed
[1062]     before we were born, as that our souls existed before we were born; and if
[1063]     not the ideas, then not the souls.
[1064]     
[1065]     Yes, Socrates; I am convinced that there is precisely the same necessity
[1066]     for the one as for the other; and the argument retreats successfully to the
[1067]     position that the existence of the soul before birth cannot be separated
[1068]     from the existence of the essence of which you speak. For there is nothing
[1069]     which to my mind is so patent as that beauty, goodness, and the other
[1070]     notions of which you were just now speaking, have a most real and absolute
[1071]     existence; and I am satisfied with the proof.
[1072]     
[1073]     Well, but is Cebes equally satisfied? for I must convince him too.
[1074]     
[1075]     I think, said Simmias, that Cebes is satisfied: although he is the most
[1076]     incredulous of mortals, yet I believe that he is sufficiently convinced of
[1077]     the existence of the soul before birth. But that after death the soul will
[1078]     continue to exist is not yet proven even to my own satisfaction. I cannot
[1079]     get rid of the feeling of the many to which Cebes was referring--the
[1080]     feeling that when the man dies the soul will be dispersed, and that this
[1081]     may be the extinction of her. For admitting that she may have been born
[1082]     elsewhere, and framed out of other elements, and was in existence before
[1083]     entering the human body, why after having entered in and gone out again may
[1084]     she not herself be destroyed and come to an end?
[1085]     
[1086]     Very true, Simmias, said Cebes; about half of what was required has been
[1087]     proven; to wit, that our souls existed before we were born:--that the soul
[1088]     will exist after death as well as before birth is the other half of which
[1089]     the proof is still wanting, and has to be supplied; when that is given the
[1090]     demonstration will be complete.
[1091]     
[1092]     But that proof, Simmias and Cebes, has been already given, said Socrates,
[1093]     if you put the two arguments together--I mean this and the former one, in
[1094]     which we admitted that everything living is born of the dead. For if the
[1095]     soul exists before birth, and in coming to life and being born can be born
[1096]     only from death and dying, must she not after death continue to exist,
[1097]     since she has to be born again?--Surely the proof which you desire has been
[1098]     already furnished. Still I suspect that you and Simmias would be glad to
[1099]     probe the argument further. Like children, you are haunted with a fear
[1100]     that when the soul leaves the body, the wind may really blow her away and
[1101]     scatter her; especially if a man should happen to die in a great storm and
[1102]     not when the sky is calm.
[1103]     
[1104]     Cebes answered with a smile: Then, Socrates, you must argue us out of our
[1105]     fears--and yet, strictly speaking, they are not our fears, but there is a
[1106]     child within us to whom death is a sort of hobgoblin; him too we must
[1107]     persuade not to be afraid when he is alone in the dark.
[1108]     
[1109]     Socrates said: Let the voice of the charmer be applied daily until you
[1110]     have charmed away the fear.
[1111]     
[1112]     And where shall we find a good charmer of our fears, Socrates, when you are
[1113]     gone?
[1114]     
[1115]     Hellas, he replied, is a large place, Cebes, and has many good men, and
[1116]     there are barbarous races not a few: seek for him among them all, far and
[1117]     wide, sparing neither pains nor money; for there is no better way of
[1118]     spending your money. And you must seek among yourselves too; for you will
[1119]     not find others better able to make the search.
[1120]     
[1121]     The search, replied Cebes, shall certainly be made. And now, if you
[1122]     please, let us return to the point of the argument at which we digressed.
[1123]     
[1124]     By all means, replied Socrates; what else should I please?
[1125]     
[1126]     Very good.
[1127]     
[1128]     Must we not, said Socrates, ask ourselves what that is which, as we
[1129]     imagine, is liable to be scattered, and about which we fear? and what again
[1130]     is that about which we have no fear? And then we may proceed further to
[1131]     enquire whether that which suffers dispersion is or is not of the nature of
[1132]     soul--our hopes and fears as to our own souls will turn upon the answers to
[1133]     these questions.
[1134]     
[1135]     Very true, he said.
[1136]     
[1137]     Now the compound or composite may be supposed to be naturally capable, as
[1138]     of being compounded, so also of being dissolved; but that which is
[1139]     uncompounded, and that only, must be, if anything is, indissoluble.
[1140]     
[1141]     Yes; I should imagine so, said Cebes.
[1142]     
[1143]     And the uncompounded may be assumed to be the same and unchanging, whereas
[1144]     the compound is always changing and never the same.
[1145]     
[1146]     I agree, he said.
[1147]     
[1148]     Then now let us return to the previous discussion. Is that idea or
[1149]     essence, which in the dialectical process we define as essence or true
[1150]     existence--whether essence of equality, beauty, or anything else--are these
[1151]     essences, I say, liable at times to some degree of change? or are they each
[1152]     of them always what they are, having the same simple self-existent and
[1153]     unchanging forms, not admitting of variation at all, or in any way, or at
[1154]     any time?
[1155]     
[1156]     They must be always the same, Socrates, replied Cebes.
[1157]     
[1158]     And what would you say of the many beautiful--whether men or horses or
[1159]     garments or any other things which are named by the same names and may be
[1160]     called equal or beautiful,--are they all unchanging and the same always, or
[1161]     quite the reverse? May they not rather be described as almost always
[1162]     changing and hardly ever the same, either with themselves or with one
[1163]     another?
[1164]     
[1165]     The latter, replied Cebes; they are always in a state of change.
[1166]     
[1167]     And these you can touch and see and perceive with the senses, but the
[1168]     unchanging things you can only perceive with the mind--they are invisible
[1169]     and are not seen?
[1170]     
[1171]     That is very true, he said.
[1172]     
[1173]     Well, then, added Socrates, let us suppose that there are two sorts of
[1174]     existences--one seen, the other unseen.
[1175]     
[1176]     Let us suppose them.
[1177]     
[1178]     The seen is the changing, and the unseen is the unchanging?
[1179]     
[1180]     That may be also supposed.
[1181]     
[1182]     And, further, is not one part of us body, another part soul?
[1183]     
[1184]     To be sure.
[1185]     
[1186]     And to which class is the body more alike and akin?
[1187]     
[1188]     Clearly to the seen--no one can doubt that.
[1189]     
[1190]     And is the soul seen or not seen?
[1191]     
[1192]     Not by man, Socrates.
[1193]     
[1194]     And what we mean by 'seen' and 'not seen' is that which is or is not
[1195]     visible to the eye of man?
[1196]     
[1197]     Yes, to the eye of man.
[1198]     
[1199]     And is the soul seen or not seen?
[1200]     
[1201]     Not seen.
[1202]     
[1203]     Unseen then?
[1204]     
[1205]     Yes.
[1206]     
[1207]     Then the soul is more like to the unseen, and the body to the seen?
[1208]     
[1209]     That follows necessarily, Socrates.
[1210]     
[1211]     And were we not saying long ago that the soul when using the body as an
[1212]     instrument of perception, that is to say, when using the sense of sight or
[1213]     hearing or some other sense (for the meaning of perceiving through the body
[1214]     is perceiving through the