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[14] Scipio held this same view, for only a few days before his death, in the presence of Philus, Manilius and several others (you were there, too, Scaevola, having gone with me), he, as if with a premonition of his fate, discoursed for three days on the commonwealth, and devoted almost all of the conclusion of his discussion to the immortality of the soul, making use of arguments which he had heard, he said, from Africanus the Elder through a vision in his sleep. If the truth really is that the souls of all good men after death make the easiest escape from what may be termed the imprisonment and fetters of the flesh, whom can we think of as having had an easier journey to the gods than Scipio? Therefore, I fear that grief at such a fate as his would be a sign more of envy than of friendship. But if, on the other hand, the truth rather is that soul and body perish at the same time, and that no sensation remains, then, it follows that, as there is nothing good in death, so, of a certainty, there is nothing evil. For if a man has lost sensation the result is [p. 125] the same as if he had never been born; and yet the fact that Scipio was born is a joy to us and will cause this State to exult so long as it shall exist.

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