XI. (71) Since, then, we have such great assistance towards arriving at virtue, must we not blush to assert that there is any necessary deficiency of wisdom in the human race, when we might, by following it up, like a spark smouldering among wood, kindle it into a flame? But the fact is, that we do display great hesitation and incessant slackness in the pursuit of those objects towards which we ought to hasten eagerly as most closely connected with and nearly akin to us, and by this hesitation and indolence the seeds of virtue are destroyed; while, on the contrary, those things which we ought to neglect we show an insatiable desire and longing for. (72) It is owing to this that the whole earth and sea are full of men who are rich and of high reputation, and who indulge in all kinds of pleasure; but that the number of those who are prudent, and just, and virtuous, is very small; but that of which the numbers are small, though it may be rare, is nevertheless not non-existent. (73) And all Greece and all the land of the barbarians is a witness of this; for in the one country flourished those who are truly called “the seven wise men,” though others had flourished before them, and have also in all probability lived since their time. But their memory, though they are now very ancient, has nevertheless not been effaced by the lapse of ages, while of others who are more modern, the names have been lost through the neglect of their contemporaries. (74) And in the land of the barbarians, in which the same men are authorities both as to words and actions, there are very numerous companies of virtuous and honourable men celebrated. Among the Persians there is the body of the Magi, who, investigating the works of nature for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the truth, do at their leisure become initiated themselves and initiate others in the divine virtues by very clear explanations. And among the Indians there is the class of the gymnosophists, who, in addition to natural philosophy, take great pains in the study of moral science likewise, and thus make their whole existence a sort of lesson in virtue.