earthly love, or wife, or son, and conversing with them. And will he
who is a true lover of wisdom, and is persuaded in like manner that
only in the world below he can worthily enjoy her, still repine at
death? Will he not depart with joy? Surely he will, my friend, if he
be a true philosopher. For he will have a firm conviction that there
only, and nowhere else, he can find wisdom in her purity. And if
this be true, he would be very absurd, as I was saying, if he were
to fear death.
He would, indeed, replied Simmias.
And when you see a man who is repining at the approach of death,
is not his reluctance a sufficient proof that he is not a lover of
wisdom, but a lover of the body, and probably at the same time a lover
of either money or power, or both?
That is very true, he replied.
There is a virtue, Simmias, which is named courage. Is not that a
special attribute of the philosopher?
Again, there is temperance. Is not the calm, and control, and
disdain of the passions which even the many call temperance, a quality
belonging only to those who despise the body and live in philosophy?
That is not to be denied.
For the courage and temperance of other men, if you will consider
them, are really a contradiction.
How is that, Socrates?
Well, he said, you are aware that death is regarded by men in
general as a great evil.
That is true, he said.
And do not courageous men endure death because they are afraid of
yet greater evils?
That is true.
Then all but the philosophers are courageous only from fear, and
because they are afraid; and yet that a man should be courageous