(13) Our garments are indeed, as some one of the poets says somewhere, “the flower of the sheep;” but with reference to the art displayed in their manufacture, they are the praise of the weavers. And if any one is proud of any glory which he may have acquired, being greatly delighted at his popularity among worthless people, he should know that he also is worthless, for he delights in them. (14) And let such a man pray to receive purification so as to have the disease of his ears healed, as it is through his ears that his soul is affected with great diseases. Again: let those men who are proud of their personal strength and activity learn not to be high-minded on such an account, looking at countless kinds of both domesticated and wild beasts, which are also endowed with great strength and power; for it is the most absurd thing imaginable for one who is a man to pride himself on the good qualities of beasts, and that too when the beasts themselves are thought of no importance whatever by him.
(15) Again: why should any man in his senses rejoice at beauty of person, which a short period must extinguish before it has flourished for any great length of time, since time always obscures its deceitful prime? and this too, when he sees that even in lifeless things there are objects of surpassing beauty, such as the works of painters, and sculptors, and other artists, displayed in paintings, and statues, and all kinds of embroidery, and weaving, which are held in the greatest honour in Greece and in the countries of the barbarians in every city. (16) Of these things, then, as I have said, not one is accounted by God worthy of the better portion.
And why should we wonder if they are not highly esteemed by God? for they are not even by those men who are very religious and devout, among whom those things which are really good and virtuous are held in honour, inasmuch as they have a good and well-disposed nature, and have improved their natural good qualities by study and practice, of which a genuine true philosophy is the maker. (17) But those who have devoted themselves to a bastard kind of philosophy have not even imitated physicians who give their attention to the body, the slave of the soul, though nevertheless they affirm that they are healing the mistress, that is to say, the soul itself; for then, when any such man is sick, even if he be the great king himself, passing over all the colonnades, and the men’s chambers, and the women’s chambers, and the pictures, and the silver and the gold, whether in money or in bullion, and the vast treasures of cups and works of embroidery, and all the rest of the celebrated ornaments of kings, and the multitude of his servants, and of his friends, or relatives, and subjects, and the chief officers who are about his person, and his body-guards, they come up to his bedside, paying no attention even to the decorations of his person, and not stopping to notice with admiration that his bed is inlaid with previous stones, or that his coverlet is of the finest workmanship and the most exquisite embroidery, nor that the fashion of his garments is of superlative beauty, but they even pull off the clothes in which he is wrapped, and lay hold of his hands, and press his veins, and feel his pulse, and note its beating accurately to see if it is in a healthy condition; very often too, they pull up his tunic and feel whether his stomach is too full, whether his chest is feverish, whether his heart beats irregularly. And then, when they have ascertained the symptoms, they apply the appropriate remedies.