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Cleombrotus having said thus much, Heracleon took up the discourse, saying: We have never an infidel among us, but are all agreed in our opinions touching the Gods; yet let us have a care, Philippus, lest in the heat and multiplicity of our words we unawares broach some false doctrine that may tend to impiety. Well! but, saith Philippus, I hope Cleombrotus has not said any thing which may occasion this caution. His asserting (says Heracleon) that they be not the Gods who preside over the oracles (because we are to suppose them free from all worldly care), but Daemons, or the Gods' officers or messengers, does not scandalize me; but to attribute to these Daemons all the calamities, vexations, and plagues which happen to mortal men,—snatching these violently (we may almost say) from the verses of Empedocles,— and in the end to make them to die like them, this, in my mind, savors of bold presumption. Cleombrotus, having asked Philippus who this young man was, and being informed of his name and country, proceeded in this manner: I know very well, Heracleon, that the discourse I used may bear an absurd construction; but there is no speaking of great matters without laying first great foundations for the proof of one's opinion. But, as for your part, you are not sensible how you contradict even that which you allow; for granting, as you do, that there be Demons, but not allowing them to be vicious and mortal, you cannot prove there are any at all. For wherein do they differ from Gods, supposing they be incorruptible and impassible and not liable to error?

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1891)
load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
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