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phaedo   


would conceive the body to be strung up, and held together, by the

elements of hot and cold, wet and dry, and the like, and that the soul

is the harmony or due proportionate admixture of them. And, if this is

true, the inference clearly is that when the strings of the body are

unduly loosened or overstrained through disorder or other injury, then

the soul, though most divine, like other harmonies of music or of

the works of art, of course perishes at once, although the material

remains of the body may last for a considerable time, until they are

either decayed or burnt. Now if anyone maintained that the soul, being

the harmony of the elements of the body, first perishes in that

which is called death, how shall we answer him?

Socrates looked round at us as his manner was, and said, with a

smile: Simmias has reason on his side; and why does not some one of

you who is abler than myself answer him? for there is force in his

attack upon me. But perhaps, before we answer him, we had better

also hear what Cebes has to say against the argument-this will give us

time for reflection, and when both of them have spoken, we may

either assent to them if their words appear to be in consonance with

the truth, or if not, we may take up the other side, and argue with

them. Please to tell me then, Cebes, he said, what was the

difficulty which troubled you?

Cebes said: I will tell you. My feeling is that the argument is

still in the same position, and open to the same objections which were

urged before; for I am ready to admit that the existence of the soul

before entering into the bodily form has been very ingeniously, and,

as I may be allowed to say, quite sufficiently proven; but the

existence of the soul after death is still, in my judgment,

unproven. Now my objection is not the same as that of Simmias; for I

am not disposed to deny that the soul is stronger and more lasting

than the body, being of opinion that in all such respects the soul

very far excels the body. Well, then, says the argument to me, why

do you remain unconvinced? When you see that the weaker is still in

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