LXI. (333) The law also excludes a fourth class, and a fifth, both hastening to the same end, but not with the same intention; for, as they are both followers of the same great evil, self-will, they have divided between them the whole soul as a kind of common inheritance, consisting of a rational and an irrational part; and the one class has appropriate the rational part, which is the mind, and the other the irrational part which is again subdivided into the outward senses; (334) therefore, the champions of the mind attribute to it the predominance in and supreme authority over all human affairs, and affirm that it is able to preserve all past things in its recollection, and to comprehend all present things with great vigour, and to divine the future by probable conjecture; (335) for this is the faculty which sowed and planted all the fertile soil in both the mountainous and champaign districts of the earth, and which invented agriculture, the most useful of all sciences for human life. This also is the faculty which surveyed the heaven, and by a proper contemplation of it made the earth accessible to ships by an ingenuity beyond all powers of description; (336) this, also invented letters, and music, and the whole range of encyclical instruction, and brought them to perfection. This also, is the parent of that greatest of all good things, philosophy, and by means of its different parts it has benefited human life, proceeding by the logical portion of it to an infallible interpretation of difficulties, and by its moral part to a correction of the manners and dispositions of men; and by its physical division to the knowledge of the heaven and the world. And they have also collected and assembled many other praises of the mind on which they dwell, having a continual reference to the species already mentioned, about which we have not at the present time leisure to occupy ourselves.
LXII. (337) But the champions of the outward senses extol their praises, also, with great energy and magnificence; enumerating in their discourse all the wants which are supplied by their means, and they say that two of them are the causes of living; smell and taste; and two of living well, seeing and hearing; (338) therefore, by means of taste the nourishment derived from food is conveyed into the system, and by means of the nostrils the air on which every living thing depends; for this also is a continual food, which nourishes and preserves men, not only while they are awake, but also while they are asleep. And the proof of this is clear; for if the passage of the breath be obstructed for even the shortest period, to such a degree as wholly to cut off the air which is intended by nature to be conveyed into the system from without, inevitable death will of necessity ensue. (339) Again, of the more philosophical of the outward senses by means of which the living well is produced, the power of sight beholds the light which is the most beautiful of all essences, and by means of the light it beholds all other things, the sun, the moon, the stars, the heaven, the earth, the sea, the innumerable varieties of plants and animals, and in short all bodies, and shapes, and odours, and magnitudes whatever, the sight of which has given birth to excessive wisdom, and has begotten a great desire for knowledge. (340) And even without reckoning the advantage derived from these things; sight also affords us the greatest benefits in respect of the power of distinguishing one’s relatives and strangers, and friends, and avoiding what is injurious and choosing what is beneficial. Now each of the other parts of the body has been created with reference to appropriate uses, which are of great importance, as, for instance, the feet were made for walking, and for all the other uses to which the legs can be applied; again, the hands were created for the purpose of doing, or giving, or taking anything; and the eyes, as a sort of universal good, afford both to the hands and feet, and to all the other parts of the body the cause of being able to act or move rightly; (341) and that this is the case is most unerringly demonstrated by the evidence of those who have suffered any mutilation in these members, who cannot in real truth be said to have either feet or hands, and who by the reality of their condition prove the correctness of their name, which they say that men of old gave them not so much by way of reproach as out of compassion, calling them impotent, out of surprise at what they see. (342) Again, hearing is the thing by which melodies and rhythm, and all parts and divisions of music are distinguished; for song and speech are salutary and wholesome medicines, the one charming the passions and the inharmonious qualities within us by its rhythm, and our unmelodious qualities by its melodies, and bridling our immoderate vehemence by its fixed measures; (343) and each of those parts of it are various and multiform, as the musicians and poets do testify, whom we must believe; and speech, checking and cutting short all the impulses which lead to wickedness, and healing those who are under the dominion of folly and misery, and strengthening those who are inclined to yield in a cowardly manner, and subduing those who resist more obstinately, becomes thus the cause of the greatest advantages.