And even Colotes himself, hearing one day Epicurus discoursing of natural things, fell suddenly at his feet and embraced his knees, as Epicurus himself, glorying in it, thus writes: "For as if you had adored what we were then saying, you were suddenly taken with a desire, proceeding not from any natural cause, to come to us, prostrate yourself on the ground, embrace our knees, and use all those gestures to us which are ordinarily practised by those who adore and pray to the gods.
And Colotes seems properly to resemble those young children who are but beginning to learn their letters.
Now such are all those whom Colotes has reviled and railed at in his book. Amongst whom, Democritus in his writings advises and exhorts to the learning of the science of politics, as being the greatest of all, and to the accustoming one's self to bear fatigues, by which men attain to great wealth and honor.
For in what corner of the uninhabitable world have you, O Colotes, written your book, that, composing all these accusations against such personages, you never have lighted upon their works, nor have taken into your hands the books of Aristotle concerning Heaven and the Soul, nor those of Theophrastus against the Naturalists, nor the Zoroaster of Heraclides, nor his books of Hell, nor that of Natural Doubts and Difficulties, nor the book of Dicaearchus concerning the Soul; in all which books they are in the highest degree contradictory and repugnant to Plato about the principal and greatest points of natural philosophy?
For they always strike and are stricken, not being able by this means to compose or make an animal, a soul, or a nature, nay, not so much as a mass or heap of themselves; for that as they beat upon one another, so they fly back again asunder. But Colotes, as if he were speaking to some ignorant and unlettered king, again attacks Empedocles for expressing the same thought:
But granting a little to Colotes, that there is nothing so vain, useless, and odious as the seeking into one's self, let us ask him, what confession of human life is in this, and how it is that a man cannot continue to live, when he comes once thus to reason and discourse in himself: "Go to now, what am I? Am I a composition, made up of soul and body; or rather a soul, serving itself and making use of the body, as an horseman using his horse is not a subject composed of horse and man?
The doctrine then of retaining the assent is not, as Colotes thinks, a fable or an invention of rash and light-headed young men who please themselves in babbling and prating; but a certain habit and disposition of men who desire to keep themselves from falling into error, not leaving the judgment at a venture to such suspected and inconstant senses, nor suffering themselves to be deceived by those who hold that in doubtful matters things which do not appear to the senses are credible and ought to be believed, when they see so great obscurity and uncertainty in things which do appear.
Colotes besides perceives not that he is himself found guilty of the same offences in regard to theory and practice which he objects against Socrates. For this is one of the sentences and propositions of Epicurus, that none but the wise man ought irrevocably and unchangeably to be persuaded of anything.
But this Colotes, as if he were not a hair's breadth distance from wisdom, takes it to be one and the same thing to say, "Man is not" and "Man is a NON ENS."
Colotes therefore has bedashed and bespattered himself and his master with that dirt, in which he says those lie who maintain that things are not more of one quality than another. But is it in this alone, that this excellent man shows himself To others a physician, whilst himself Is full of ulcers?