XLII. (230) We have now enumerated the matters which belong to justice; but as for justice itself, what poet or orator could celebrate it, in worthy terms, since it is beyond all panegyric and all praise? At all events, there is one most important good thing belonging to it, {47}{the text has eumeneia, which Mangey pronounces corrupt.} which, even if one were to pass over and be silent about all its other parts, would be an all-sufficient panegyric on it; (231) for this is the principle of equality, which is, as those who have accurately investigated the secrets of nature have handed down to us, the mother of justice; and equality is a light which is never shaded; the sun (if one must speak the plain truth) appreciable by the intellect alone, since inequality, on the contrary, in which that which is superior and that which is inferior are both found, is the beginning and source of darkness; (232) it is equality which, by its unchangeable laws and ordinances, has arranged, in their present beautiful order, all the things in heaven and earth; for who is there who does not know this fact, that the days are measured in due proportion to the nights, and the nights in due proportion to the days, by the sun, according to the equality of proportionate distances? (233) Nature, therefore, has marked out those periods in every year, which are called the equinoxes, from the state of things which exists at that time, namely, the spring and the autumnal equinox, with such distinctness, that even the most illiterate persons are aware of the equality which then exists between the extent of the days and of the nights. (234) Again, are not the periods of the moon, as she advances and retraces her course, from a crescent to a full circle, and again, from a complete orb to a crescent, also measured by an equality of distances? For as great and as long as the period and amount of her increase is, so also is her diminution, in both respects, as to magnitude and duration, as to the number of days and the size of her orb. (235) And as, in that purest of all essences, heaven, equality is honoured with especial honours, so also is she in the neighbour of heaven, the air. For as the year is portioned out into four divisions, the air is formed by nature to endure changes and alterations at what are called the seasons of the year, and it displays an indescribable regularity in its irregularity; for as the atmosphere is divided by an equal number of months into winter, and spring, and summer, and autumn, it completes the whole year by allotting three months to each season; as, in fact, the very name of the year (eniautos) intimates. For it in itself (autos en autoµ) contains everything, being complete in itself, though otherwise it would not be able to effect this, if it were not aided by the regular revolutions of the seasons of the year. (236) Again, this same equality extends from the heavenly bodies, and from those which are raised on high, to the things upon earth, raising on high its own pure nature, which is akin to the air, and sending downwards its beams like the sun, as a sort of secondary light, (237) for all the things which are inharmonious or irregular among us are caused by inequality, and all those which have in them that regularity which becomes them are the work of equality, which, in the universal essence of the universe, one may fairly call the world, and in cities one may entitle it that best regulated and most excellent of all constitutions, democracy, and in bodies health, and in souls virtue. (238) For, on the contrary, inequality is the cause of diseases and wickednesses; and the existence of the longest lived man of the human race would fail, if he were to attempt to enumerate all the praiseworthy qualities of equality, and of its offspring, justice. In consequence of which it seems to me to be best to be satisfied with what has already been said, which may be sufficient to rouse up the recollection of those persons who are fond of learning, and to leave the remaining circumstances unwritten in their souls, as divine images in a most sacred place.