232 Delighted with these words, the king asked another How he could be free from grief? And he replied, ‘If he never injured any one, but did good to everybody and followed the pathway of 233 righteousness, for its fruits bring freedom from grief. But we must pray to God that unexpected evils such as death or disease or pain or anything of this kind may not come upon us and injure us. But since you are devoted to piety, no such misfortune will ever come upon you.’
234 The king bestowed great praise upon him and asked the tenth, What is the highest form of glory? And he said, ‘To honour God, and this is done not with gifts and sacrifices but with purity of soul and holy conviction, since all things are fashioned and governed by God in accordance with His will. Of this purpose you are in constant possession as all men can see from your achievements in the past and in the present.’
235 With loud voice the king greeted them all and spoke kindly to them, and all those who were present expressed their approval, especially the philosophers. For they were far superior to them [i.e. the philosophers] both in conduct and in argument, since they always made God their starting point. After this the king to show his good feeling proceeded to drink the health of his guests.
236 On the following day the same arrangements were made for the banquet, and the king, as soon as an opportunity occurred, began to put questions to the men who sat next to those who had already responded, and he said to the first ‘Is wisdom capable of being taught?’ And he said, ‘The soul is so constituted that it is able by the divine power to receive all the good and reject the contrary.’
237 The king expressed approval and asked the next man, What is it that is most beneficial to health? And he said, ‘Temperance, and it is not possible to acquire this unless God create a disposition towards it.’