Whatever is pursued May be achieved ; neglected it escapes;and so too in another place where he tries to distinguish different classes of actions : What can be taught I learn ; what can be found I seek ; but God I ask to answer prayer.3 [p. 79] For what is there which can be found out or learned by mankind if the issue of all things is determined by chance ? And what deliberative assembly of a State can there be which is not abolished, or advisory council of a king which is not dissolved, if all things are under the dominion of chance, which we reproach for being blind because we, like blind men, stumble against it ?4 How can we help doing so when we pluck out sagacity, as it were our own eyes, and take as our guide in life a blind leader ?
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If self-control, justice, and bravery exist, how is it possible to reason that intelligence does not exist ; and if intelligence exists, must not sagacity exist also ? For self-control is a kind of intelligence, they say, and justice requires the presence of intelligence.1 Or rather, that particular sagacity and intelligence which render men virtuous in the midst of pleasures we call continence and self-control, in perils and labours we call it perseverance and fortitude, in private dealings and in public life we call it equity and justice. Wherefore, if we impute the works of sagacity to chance, let the works of justice and of self-control be also ascribed to chance, and, by Heaven, let thieving, stealing purses, and licentious living all be ascribed to chance, and let us abandon all our reasoning processes and resign ourselves to chance, to be driven and carried, as dust or rubbish by a violent wind, hither and thither. If, then, sagacity does not exist, it is a fair inference that there can be no sagacious planning about what is to be done, and no consideration or searching for what is to the best advantage, but Sophocles 2 indulged in idle talk when he said :