Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
From Phaedo

Plato (427?–347 B.C.)
Socrates is speaking.

.. THE MORAL 1 of the whole story, Simmias, is this: that we should do all that we can to partake of Virtue and Wisdom in this life. Fair is the prize, and the hope great. Not that I insist upon all the particulars of my tale,—no sensible man would; but that it or something like it is true concerning our souls and their mansions after death,—since we are agreed that the soul is immortal—this, it seems to me, is a proper opinion and enough to justify some venture of imagination in a believer. For the venture is noble: and it is right to relate such things, and fortify oneself as with enchantments. It was for this reason that I told the myth at so great length.
  Wherefore a man should be of good cheer about his soul, if in this life he has despised all bodily pleasures and ornaments as alien to her, and to the perfecting of the life that he has chosen. He will have zealously applied himself to Understanding, and having adorned his soul not with any foreign ornament but with her own proper jewels, Temperance, Justice, Courage, Nobility and Truth, he awaits thus prepared his journey to Hades … But a little while and you, Simmias and Cebes, and the rest of my friends will be departing: Me already, as they say on the stage, fate is calling: and in a few minutes I must go to the bath; for I think I had better bathe before drinking the poison, and not give the women the trouble of washing my body after I am dead.  2
Note 1. Plato. ‘Phaedo’, 114. Socrates, just before his execution, has been narrating a myth concerning the condition of souls in the next world, and this is his comment on it. [back]

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