(18) And in like manner, it would become philosophers who profess to be versed in the healing science as applicable to the soul, which is by nature the dominant part of the man, to despise all the things which erroneous opinion raises up as objects of pride, and to penetrate within, and to lay their hands upon the intellect itself, to see whether through passion its pulses are of an uneven rapidity and moving in an irregular and unnatural manner, and to touch the tongue, and see whether it is rough and devoted to evil-speaking, whether it is prostituted to evil purposes and unmanageable; also to touch the belly, and see whether it is swollen with the insatiable characteristics of desire, and, in short, of any other passions, and diseases, and infirmities, and to examine every one of those feelings, if they appear to be in a state of confusion, so that they may not be ignorant of what is proper to be applied to the soul with a reference to its cure.
(19) But now being lightened up all round by the brilliancy of external things, as being unable to see that light which is perceptible only by the intellect, they have passed their whole existence in a state of error, not being able to penetrate as far as royal thought, but being with difficulty able to reach the outer courts, and admiring those servants who stand at the gates of virtue, wealth, and glory, and health, and other kindred circumstances, they fall down in adoration before them. (20) But as it would be an extravagance of insanity to take blind men for judges of colour, or deaf men as judges of the sounds of music, so it is a most preposterous act to take wicked men as judges of real good. For these men are mutilated in the most important parts of themselves, namely, their intellect, over which folly has shed a deep darkness. (21) Do we then now wonder if Socrates, and such and such a virtuous man, has lived in purity? men who have never once studied any of the means of providing themselves with pecuniary resources, and who have never, even when it was in their power, condescended to accept great gifts which have been tendered to their acceptance by wealthy friends or mighty kings, because they looked upon the acquisition of virtue as the only good, the only beautiful thing, and have therefore laboured at that, and disregarded all other good things.
(22) And who is there who would not disregard spurious good things in comparison of genuine ones? But if while they received a mortal body, and were full of liability to all kinds of human disasters, and lived among such a number of unjust actions and unrighteous men, of which the very number is not easy to compute accurately, they were plotted against by their enemies, why do we blame nature when we ought rather to accuse the barbarity of those who thus set upon them? (23) For so in like manner, if they had been placed in a pestilential climate, they would inevitably have become sick; and wickedness is even more, or at all events not less, destructive than a pestilential state of the atmosphere. But as when there is rain the wise man, if he is in the open air, must inevitably get wet through, and if the cold north wind blows he must be oppressed by cold and shivering, and when summer is at its height he must feel the heat, for it is a law of nature that the bodies of men should be simultaneously affected by the changes of the seasons; so also in the same way a man who lives in such places,