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After Tyndares, Florus, a companion of his, who always jocosely pretended to be his admirer, said thus: Sir, we are obliged to you for making your discourse not proper to yourself, but common to us all; for you have made it possible to refute it by demonstrating that geometry is not necessary to the Gods, but to us. Now the Deity doth not stand in need of science, as an instrument to withdraw his intellect from things engendered and to turn it to the real things; for these are all in him, with him, and about him. But pray consider whether Plato, though you do not apprehend it, doth not intimate something that is proper and peculiar to you, mixing Lycurgus with Socrates, as much as Dicaearchus thought he did Pythagoras. For Lycurgus, I suppose you know, banished out of Sparta all arithmetical proportion, as being democratical and favoring the crowd; -but introduced the geometrical, as [p. 404] agreeable to an oligarchy and kingly government that rules by law; for the former gives an equal share to every one according to number, but the other gives according to the proportion of the deserts. It doth not huddle all things together, but in it there is a fair discretion of good and bad, every one having what is fit for him, not by lot or weight, but according as he is virtuous or vicious. The same proportion, my dear Tyndares, God introduceth, which is called δίκη and νέμεσις, and which teacheth us to account that which is just equal, and not that which is equal just. For that equality which many affect, being often the greatest injustice, God, as much as possible, takes away; and useth that proportion which respects every man's deserts, geometrically defining it according to law and reason.
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