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Argument X.—Hence the Mere Word-Sages are Confuted, Who Say and Yet Act Not.

Now I beg of the philosophers of this present time, both those whom I have known personally myself, and those of whom I have heard by report from others, and I beg also of all other men, that they take in good part the statements I have just made. And let no one suppose that I have expressed myself thus, either through simple friendship toward that man, or through hatred toward the rest of the philosophers; for if there is any one inclined to be an admirer of them for their discourses, and wishful to speak well of them, and pleased at hearing the most honourable mention made of them by others, I myself am the man. Nevertheless, those facts (to which I have referred) are of such a nature as to bring upon the very name of philosophy the last degree of ridicule almost from the great mass of men; and I might almost say that I would choose to be altogether unversed in it, rather than learn any of the things which these men profess, with whom I thought it good no longer to associate myself in this life,—though in that, it may be, I formed an incorrect judgment. But I say that no one should suppose 32that I make these statements at the mere prompting of a zealous regard for the praise of this man, or under the stimulus of any existing animosity219219    φιλοτιμίᾳ, for which φιλονεικίᾳ is read. towards other philosophers. But let all be assured that I say even less than his deeds merit, lest I should seem to be indulging in adulation; and that I do not seek out studied words and phrases, and cunning means of laudation—I who could never of my own will, even when I was a youth, and learning the popular style of address under a professor of the art of public speaking, bear to utter a word of praise, or pass any encomium on any one which was not genuine. Wherefore on the present occasion, too, I do not think it right, in proposing to myself the task simply of commending him, to magnify him at the cost of the reprobation of others. And, in good sooth,220220    The text is, ἢ κακῶν ἂν ἔλεγον, etc. The Greek and the Latin aut are found sometimes thus with a force bordering on that of alioqui. I should speak only to the man’s injury, if, with the view of having something grander to say of him, I should compare his blessed life with the failings of others. We are not, however, so senseless.221221    ἀφραίνομεν. The Paris editor would read ἀφραίνω μέν. But I shall testify simply to what has come within my own experience, apart from all ill-judged comparisons and trickeries in words.


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