IX. (46) But when the Egyptian authorities had once got an opportunity of attacking the young man, having already reason for looking upon him with suspicion (for they well knew that he would hereafter bear them ill-will for their evil practices, and would revenge himself on them when he had an opportunity) they poured in, at all times and from all quarters, thousands and thousands of calumnies into the willing ears of his grandfather, so that they even implanted in his mind an apprehension that Moses was plotting to deprive him of his kingdom, saying to him: “He will strip you of your crown. He has no humble designs or notions. He is continually seeking to busy himself in what does not concern him, and to acquire some additional power. He is eager for the kingdom before his time. He caresses some people; he threatens others; he kills others without a trial; he hates all those who are the best affected towards you. Why do you delay? Why do you not cut short all his designs and machinations? Delay on the part of those against whom they are plotting is of the greatest advantage to those who wish to attack them.” (47) As they urged these arguments to the king he retreated to the contiguous country of Arabia, where it was safe to abide, entreating God that he would deliver his countrymen from inextricable calamities, and would worthily chastise their oppressors who omitted no circumstance of insolence and tyranny, and would double his joy by allowing him to behold the accomplishment of both these prayers. And God heard his prayers, looking favourably on his disposition, so devoted to what is good, and so hostile to what is evil, and not long after he pronounced his decision upon the affairs of that land as became a God. (48) But while he was preparing to display the decision which he was about to pronounce, Moses was devoting himself to all the labours of virtue, having a teacher within himself, virtuous reason, by whom he had been trained to the most virtuous pursuits of life, and had learnt to apply himself to the contemplation and practice of virtue and to the continual study of the doctrines of philosophy, which he easily and thoroughly comprehended in his soul, and committed to memory in such a manner as never to forget them; and, moreover, he made all his own actions, which were intrinsically praiseworthy, to harmonise with them, desiring not to seem wise and good, but in truth and reality to be so, because he made the right reason of nature his only aim; which is, in fact, the only first principle and fountain of all the virtues. (49) Any one else, perhaps, fleeing from the implacable fury of the king, and coming now for the first time into a foreign land, when he had not as yet associated with or learnt the customs of the natives, and not knowing with any accuracy the objects in which they delighted or which they regarded with aversion, would have been desirous to enjoy tranquillity and to live in obscurity, escaping the notice of men in general; or else, if he had wished to come forward in public, he would have endeavoured by all means to propitiate the powerful men and those in the highest authority in the country by persevering attentions, as men from whom some advantage or assistance might be expected, if any pursuers should come after him and endeavour to drag him away by force. (50) But this man proceeded by the path which was the exact opposite of that which was the probable one for him to take, following the healthy impulses of his soul, and not allowing any one of them to be impeded in its progress. On which account, at times, with the fervour of youth, he attempted things beyond his existing strength; looking upon justice as an irresistible power, by which he was encouraged so as to go spontaneously to the assistance of the weaker side.