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[107a] that the soul is immortal and imperishable, and our souls will exist somewhere in another world.”

“I,” said Cebes, “have nothing more to say against that, and I cannot doubt your conclusions. But if Simmias, or anyone else, has anything to say, he would do well to speak, for I do not know to what other time than the present he could defer speaking, if he wishes to say or hear anything about those matters.”

“But,” said Simmias, “I don't see how I can doubt, either, as to the result of the discussion; but the subject is so great, [107b] and I have such a poor opinion of human weakness, that I cannot help having some doubt in my own mind about what has been said.”

“Not only that, Simmias,” said Socrates, “but our first assumptions ought to be more carefully examined, even though they seem to you to be certain. And if you analyze them completely, you will, I think, follow and agree with the argument, so far as it is possible for man to do so. And if this is made clear, you will seek no farther.”

“That is true,” he said.

“But my friends,” he said, “we ought to bear in mind, [107c] that, if the soul is immortal, we must care for it, not only in respect to this time, which we call life, but in respect to all time, and if we neglect it, the danger now appears to be terrible. For if death were an escape from everything, it would be a boon to the wicked, for when they die they would be freed from the body and from their wickedness together with their souls. But now, since the soul is seen to be immortal, it cannot escape [107d] from evil or be saved in any other way than by becoming as good and wise as possible. For the soul takes with it to the other world nothing but its education and nurture, and these are said to benefit or injure the departed greatly from the very beginning of his journey thither. And so it is said that after death, the tutelary genius of each person, to whom he had been allotted in life, leads him to a place where the dead are gathered together; then they are judged and depart to the other world [107e] with the guide whose task it is to conduct thither those who come from this world; and when they have there received their due and remained through the time appointed, another guide brings them back after many long periods of time. And the journey is not as Telephus says in the play of Aeschylus;


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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 1074
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