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[20] Moreover, indolence and present enjoyment can never bring the body into good condition, as trainers say, neither do they put into the soul knowledge of any value, but strenuous effort leads up to good and noble deeds, as good men say. And so says Hesiod somewhere:1

“‘Wickedness can be had in abundance easily: smooth is the road and very nigh she dwells. But in front of virtue the gods immortal have put sweat: long and steep is the path to her and rough at first; but when you reach the top, then at length the road is easy, hard though it was.’

Hes. WD 285
“And we have the testimony of Epicharmus too in the line:

“‘The gods demand of us toil as the price of all good things.’

“And elsewhere he says:

“‘Knave, yearn not for the soft things, lest thou earn the hard.’


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