“Yes, burn and scorch my flesh, and glut your hate,

Drinking my life-warm blood; for heaven’s stars

Shall quit their place, and darken ‘neath the earth,

And earth rise up and take the place of heaven,

Before you wring from me a word of Flattery.”{4}{this is a fragment of Euripides from the Syleus. Fr. 2.}

V. (26) I have before now seen among the competitors in the pancratium, at the public games, one man inflicting all kinds of blows both with his hands and feet, all of them with great accuracy of aim and omitting nothing which could conduce to victory, and yet after at time fainting and desponding, and at last quitting the arena without the crown of victory; and the other who has received all his blows, being thoroughly hardened with great firmness of flesh, and being tough and unyielding, and filled with the true spirit of an athlete, and invigorated throughout his whole body, being like so much iron or stone, not at all yielding to the blows inflicted by the other, at last, by the endurance and resolution of his spirit, defeating the power of his adversary so as to obtain a complete victory. (27) And the condition of the virtuous man appears to me very much to resemble that of this person. For having thoroughly fortified his soul with strong and powerful reasoning, he so compels the man who is offering him violence to desist from weariness, before he himself can be compelled to do any thing contrary to his opinion of propriety. But perhaps this is incredible to those who do not know by experience that virtue is of the character that I have mentioned, just as that other case would be to those who have never seen the combatants in the pancratium; but nevertheless it is strictly true. (28) And it was from a regard to this fact that Antisthenes said that “the virtuous man was a burden hard to be borne.” For as folly is a light thing easily tossed about in every direction, so, on the contrary, wisdom is a well established and immovable thing of a weight which is not easily agitated. (29) Accordingly the lawgiver of the Jews{5}{#ge 16:9.} represents the hands of the wise man as a heavy, intimating by this figurative expression the gravity of his actions, which are supported in no superficial but in a solid manner by his inflexible mind. (30) Therefore, he is not under the compulsion of any thing, as being one who despises pains, and who looks with contempt on death, and who, by the law of nature, has all foolish men for his subjects. For in the same manner as goatherds, and cowherds, and shepherds lead their respective flocks of goats, and cattle, and sheep, but shepherds cannot manage a drove of oxen, so in the same manner the generality of men, being like so many cattle, stand in need of a guide and governor. And their proper governors are virtuous men, being placed in the position of shepherds to the multitude; (31) for Homer is constantly in the habit of calling kings shepherds of their People.{6}{see Iliad 10:3.} But nature has appropriated this appellation as more peculiarly belonging to the good, since the wicked are rather tended by others than occupied in serving them; for they are led captive by strong wine, and by beauty, and by delicate eating, and sweetmeats, and by the arts of cooks and confectioners, to say nothing of the thirst of gold, and silver, and other things of a higher character. But men of the other class are not allured or led astray by any thing, but are rather inclined to admonish those whom they perceive to be caught in the toils of pleasure.