XI. Let this be taken as a testimony delivered by Plato to the imperishable nature of the world. Its uncreated character follows from the truth of natural philosophy; for dissolution must of necessity attend everything which is born, and incorruptibility must inevitably belong to everything which is unborn; since the poet who wrote the following iambic verse,

“All that is born must surely Die,”{12}{timaeus, p. 32.}

appears to have spoken very correctly when he asserted this connection of destructibility with birth. The argument may be stated in a different way as follows. All compound things which are destroyed are dissolved into the elements of which they were compounded; accordingly, dissolution is nothing else but a return of everything to its original constituent parts; just as, on the contrary, composition is that which compels the things combined to come together in a manner contrary to their nature; and indeed, this appears to be the most exact truth; for men are composed of the four elements which together make up the whole of the universe, the heaven, the earth, the air, and fire, borrowing a few parts of each in a manner at first sight hardly consistent with nature. But the things which are thus combined together are necessarily deprived of a motion in accordance with nature; for instance, warmth is deprived of its upward motion, and coldness of its downward tendency, the earthy and somewhat weighty substance being lightened and assuming the higher place, which the most earth-like of our own parts, the head, has obtained in us. But of all bonds, that is the worst which is forged by violence, and which, being violent, is also short-lived; for it is speedily broken by those who are bound in it, since they become restive from their desire for a motion in accordance with nature, to which they hasten; for as the tragic poet says, –