XLII. (2.274) In this way, then, it is most proper both to speak and to be silent. But the wicked adopt an exactly contrary course; for they are admirers of a blamable kind of silence, and of an interpretation open to reproach, practising both lines of conduct to their own destruction and that of others. (2.275) But the greater part of their employment consists in saying what they ought not; for having opened their mouth and leaving it unbridled, like an unrestrained torrent, they allow their speech to run on indiscriminately, as the poet says, dragging on thousands of profitless sayings; (2.276) therefore those who have devoted themselves to the advocacy of pleasure and appetite, and every sort of excessive desire, building up irrational passion as a fortification against dominant reason, and preparing themselves for a contentious sort of discussion, have come at last to a regular dispute, hoping to be able to blind the race which is endowed with the faculty of sight, and to throw it down precipices, and into depths from which it will not be able at any future time to emerge. (2.277) But some have not only put themselves forward as rivals to human virtue, but have proceeded to such a pitch of folly as to oppose themselves also to divine virtue. Therefore Pharaoh, the king of the land of Egypt, is spoken of as the leader of the company which is devoted to the passions; for it is said to the prophet, “Behold, he is going forth to the river, and thou shalt stand in the way to meet him, on the bank of the River;”{123}{#ex 7:15.} (2.278) for it is the peculiar characteristic of the wise man to go forth to the rapidity and continual pouring forth of the irrational passion; and it is also characteristic of one man to go forth of the irrational passion; and it is also characteristic of the wise man to oppose with exceeding vigour the arguments on behalf of pleasure and desire, not with his feet, but with his mind, firmly and immoveably, standing on the bank of the river; that is to say, on the mouth and on the tongue, which are the organs of speech. For standing firmly on these, he will be able to overturn and defeat the plausible specious arguments which advocate the cause of passion. (2.279) But the enemy of the race which is endowed with the power of seeing, is the people of Pharaoh, which never ceased attacking, and persecuting, and enslaving virtue, until … it paid the penalty for the evils which it inflicted … being overwhelmed in the sea of those iniquities … which it excited … So that that period exhibited an extraordinary sight, a victory which was in no doubt, and a joy greater than could have been hoped for. (2.280) On which account it is said, “And Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-Shore.”{124}{#ex 14:30.} Great indeed was the hand which fought for them, compelling those who had sharpened these organs against the truth to fall by the mouth, and lips, and speech, so that they who had taken up these weapons against others should perish by their own arms and not by those of others. (2.281) And this announces three most glorious things to the soul; one, the destruction of the passions of Egypt; another, that this has taken place in no other spot than near the salt and bitter springs, as if on the shore of the sea, by which sophistical reason, that enemy of virtue, is poured forth; and, lastly, the sight of the disaster. (2.282) For no glorious thing can be invisible, but should be brought to the light and brilliancy of the sun. For so also the contrary, namely evil, should be thrust into deep darkness, and should be accounted deserving of night. And it may indeed by chance happen to some one to behold this: but what is really good should be always beheld by more piercing eyes. And what is so good as that what is good should live, and what is evil should die?