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The learning and knowledge that we have is at the most but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.
The most important part of education is right training in the nursery. The soul of the child in his play should be trained to that sort of excellence in which, when he grows to manhood, he will have to be perfected.
The most virtuous of all men is he that contents himself with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.
The Paphian Queen to Cnidos made repair
Across the tide to see her image there:
Then looking up and round the prospect wide,
When did Praxiteles see me thus? she cried.
- in "Greek Anthology" [Sculpture]
The proud man is forsaken of God.
There are many arts among men, the knowledge of which is acquired bit by bit by experience. For it is experience that causeth our life to move forward by the skill we acquire, while want of experience subjects us to the effects of chance.
There is nothing so delightful as the hearing, or the speaking of truth. For this reason, there is no conversation so agreeable as that of the man of integrity, who hears without any intention to betray, and speaks without any intention to deceive.
Those wretches who never have experienced the sweets of wisdom and virtue, but spend all their time in revels and debauches, sink downward day after day, and make their whole life one continued series of errors.
To escape from evil we must be made as far as possible like God; and the resemblance consists in becoming just and holy and wise.
Truth is the beginning of every good thing, both in heaven and on earth; and he who would be blessed and happy should be from the first a partaker of the truth, that he may live a true man as long as possible, for then he can be trusted; but he is not to be trusted who loves voluntary falsehood, and he who loves involuntary falsehood is a fool.
Truth is the source of every good to gods and men. He who expects to be blessed and fortunate in this world should be a partaker of it from the earliest moment of his life.
Virtue is voluntary, vice involuntary.
What, then, is the right way of living? Life must be lived as play, playing certain games, making sacrifices, singing and dancing, and then a man will be able to propitiate the gods, and defend himself against his enemies, and win the contest.
When man is not properly trained, he is the most savage animal on the face of the globe.
When you swear, swear seriously and solemnly, but at the same time with a smile, for a smile is the twin sister of seriousness.
Wisdom alone is a science of other sciences and of itself.
Even the gods love jokes.
[Lat., Jocos et Dii amant.]
- Cratylus, (translated from Greek) [Gods]
What was your dream?
It seemed to me that a woman in white raiment, graceful and fair to look upon, came towards me and calling me by name said:
On the third day, Socrates, thou shalt reach the coast of fertile Phthia.
- Crito [Dreams]
Out of the frying pan into the fire.
- Idea in De Repub. (VIII, p. 569, B)
[Fire : Proverbial Phrases]
There is a doctrine uttered in secret that man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door of his prison and run away; this is a great mystery which I do not quite understand. Yet I, too, believe that the gods are our guardians, and that we are a possession of theirs.
* * * * *
Then there may be reason in saying that a man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him, as he is now summoning me.
- Dialogues--Phaedo (par. 42) [Death : Suicide]
Thus does the Muse herself move men divinely inspired, and through them thus inspired a Chain hangs together of others inspired divinely likewise.
- Ion (par. V),
simile called "Plato's Rings"
Through obedience learn to command.
- Leges (762 E) [Obedience]
Man is the plumeless genus of bipeds, birds are the plumed.
- Politicus (266) [Man]
Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.
- Protag (I, 337) [Solitude]
He did not wish to be believed to be the best but to be it.
- Republic [Perfection]
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