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[84a] Or do you disagree?”

“Certainly not.”

“No, for the soul of the philosopher would not reason as others do, and would not think it right that philosophy should set it free, and that then when set free it should give itself again into bondage to pleasure and pain and engage in futile toil, like Penelope unweaving the web she wove. No, his soul believes that it must gain peace from these emotions, must follow reason and abide always in it, beholding that which is true and divine and not a matter of opinion, and making that its only food; [84b] and in this way it believes it must live, while life endures, and then at death pass on to that which is akin to itself and of like nature, and be free from human ills. A soul which has been nurtured in this way, Simmias and Cebes, is not likely to fear that it will be torn asunder at its departure from the body and will vanish into nothingness, blown apart by the winds, and be no longer anywhere.”

When Socrates had said this there was silence [84c] for a long time, and Socrates himself was apparently absorbed in what had been said, as were also most of us. But Simmias and Cebes conversed a little with each other; and Socrates saw them and said: “Do you think there is any incompleteness in what has been said? There are still many subjects for doubt and many points open to attack, if anyone cares to discuss the matter thoroughly. If you are considering anything else, I have nothing to say; but if you are in any difficulty about these matters, do not hesitate [84d] to speak and discuss them yourselves, if you think anything better could be said on the subject, and to take me along with you in the discussion, if you think you can get on better in my company.”

And Simmias said: “Socrates, I will tell you the truth. For some time each of us has been in doubt and has been egging the other on and urging him to ask a question, because we wish to hear your answer, but hesitate to trouble you, for fear that it may be disagreeable to you in your present misfortune.”

And when he heard is, he laughed gently and said: “Ah, [84e] Simmias! I should have hard work to persuade other people that I do not regard my present situation as a misfortune, when I cannot even make you believe it, but you are afraid I am more churlish now than I used to be. And you seem to think I am inferior in prophetic power to the swans who sing at other times also, but when they feel that they are to die,

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