bearers, but few are the mystics,"-meaning, as I interpret the
words, the true philosophers. In the number of whom I have been
seeking, according to my ability, to find a place during my whole
life; whether I have sought in a right way or not, and whether I
have succeeded or not, I shall truly know in a little while, if God
will, when I myself arrive in the other world: that is my belief.
And now, Simmias and Cebes, I have answered those who charge me with
not grieving or repining at parting from you and my masters in this
world; and I am right in not repining, for I believe that I shall find
other masters and friends who are as good in the world below. But
all men cannot believe this, and I shall be glad if my words have
any more success with you than with the judges of the Athenians.
Cebes answered: I agree, Socrates, in the greater part of what you
say. But in what relates to the soul, men are apt to be incredulous;
they fear that when she leaves the body her place may be nowhere,
and that on the very day of death she may be destroyed and
perish-immediately on her release from the body, issuing forth like
smoke or air and vanishing away into nothingness. For if she could
only hold together and be herself after she was released from the
evils of the body, there would be good reason to hope, Socrates,
that what you say is true. But much persuasion and many arguments
are required in order to prove that when the man is dead the soul
yet exists, and has any force of intelligence.
True, Cebes, said Socrates; and shall I suggest that we talk a
little of the probabilities of these things?
I am sure, said Cebes, that I should gready like to know your
opinion about them.
I reckon, said Socrates, that no one who heard me now, not even if
he were one of my old enemies, the comic poets, could accuse me of
idle talking about matters in which I have no concern. Let us, then,
if you please, proceed with the inquiry.
Whether the souls of men after death are or are not in the world