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[117] For if, as we find it in the writings of Metrodorus,1 not only expediency but happiness in life depends wholly upon a sound physical constitution and the reasonable expectation that it will always remain sound, then that expediency—and, what is more, the highest expediency, as they estimate it—will [p. 399] assuredly clash with moral rectitude. For, first of all, what position will wisdom occupy in that system? The position of collector of pleasures from every possible source? What a sorry state of servitude for a virtue—to be pandering to sensual pleasure! And what will be the function of wisdom? To make skilful choice between sensual pleasures? Granted that there may be nothing more pleasant, what can be conceived more degrading for wisdom than such a rôle?

Then again, if anyone hold that pain is the supreme evil, what place in his philosophy has fortitude, which is but indifference to toil and pain? For, however many passages there are in which Epicurus speaks right manfully of pain, we must nevertheless consider not what he says, but what it is consistent for a man to say who has defined the good in terms of pleasure and evil in terms of pain.

And further, if I should listen to him, I should find that in many passages he has a great deal to say about temperance and self-control; but “the water will not run,” as they say. For how can he commend self-control and yet posit pleasure as the supreme good? For self-control is the foe of the passions, and the passions are the handmaids of pleasure.

1 The fallacy of Epicureanism.

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