XX. (2.139) Shall I then, says he, I, that is to say, right reason, come to you? And shall the soul, which is both the mother and nurse of the company devoted to learning virtuous instruction, also come to thee? (2.140) And are the offspring of us too to come likewise? And are we all to stand in a row, laying aside all our former dignity, and holding up our hands and praying to thee? And are we then to prostrate ourselves on the ground, and endeavour to propitiate and adore thee? But may the sun never shine upon such transactions, since deep darkness is suited to evil deeds, and brilliant light to good deeds. And what could be a greater evil than for pride, that deceiver and beguiler, to be praised and admired, instead of sincere and honest simplicity? (2.141) And it is with great propriety that the statement is added, “And his father took notice of his words.” For it is the occupation of a soul which is not young, nor barren, nor wholly unfruitful, but rather of one which is really older and able to beget offspring, to cohabit with prudent caution, and to despise and overlook nothing whatever, but to have a reverential fear of the power of God, from which we cannot escape, and which we cannot overcome; and to look all around to see what its very end shall be. (2.142) For this reason they say, that the sister of Moses also (and she is called Hope by us, when speaking in a figurative manner) was contemplated at a distance by the sacred scriptures, inasmuch as she kept her eyes fixed on the end of life, hoping that some good fortune might befall her, sent by the Giver of all good from above, from heaven; (2.143) for it has often happened that many persons, after having taken long voyages, and having sailed over a great expanse of sea with a fair wind, and without any danger, have suddenly been shipwrecked in the harbour itself, when they have been on the very point of casting anchor; (2.144) and many persons too, who have successfully come to the end of formidable wars of long duration, and have come off unwounded so as never to have received even a scratch on the surface of the skin, but to have escaped whole and entire as if they had only been at some popular assembly or national festival, having returned home with joy and cheerfulness, have been plotted against in their houses by those who, of all the world, least ought to have done so; being, as the proverb says, like oxen slain in their stall.