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Socrates said that death was like either to a very deep sleep, or to a journey taken a great way and for a long time, or else to the utter extinction of soul and body; and if we examine each of these comparisons, he said, we shall find that death is not an evil upon any account. For if death is sleep, and no hurt happens to those who are in that innocent condition, it is manifest that neither are the dead ill dealt with. To what purpose should I talk of that which is so tritely known amongst all, that the most profound sleep is always the sweetest? Homer1 particularly attests it:—
His senses all becalmed, he drew his breath,
His sleep was sound, and quiet like to death.
[p. 311] And in many places he saith thus,—
She met Death's brother, Sleep.—
And again,—
Twin brothers, Sleep and Death,—
thereby representing the similitude (as it were) to the sight, for twins especially indicate similarity. And in another place he saith, Death is brazen sleep, thereby intimating to us that it is insensible. Neither hath he spoken much amiss who calls sleep the lesser mysteries of death; for sleep is really the first initiation into the mysteries of death.

Diogenes the Cynic, when a little before his death he fell into a slumber, and his physician rousing him out of it asked him whether any thing ailed him, wisely answered, Nothing, sir, only one brother anticipates another,—Sleep before Death.

1 See Odyss. XIII. 80; and Il. XIV. 231; XVI. 672; XI. 241

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