In the world of knowledge, the essential Form of Good is the limit of our inquiries, and can barely be perceived; but, when perceived, we cannot help concluding that it is in every case the source of all that is bright and beautiful –in the visible world giving birth to light and its master, and in the intellectual world dispensing, immediately and with full authority, truth and reason –and that whosoever would act wisely, either in private or in public, must set this Form of Good before his eyes.
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- Whenever a person strives, by the help of dialectic, to start in pursuit of every reality by a simple process of reason, independent of all sensuous information — never flinching, until by an act of the pure intelligence he has grasped the real nature of good — he arrives at the very end of the intellectual world.
- Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike.
- Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depends on simplicity.
- The wisest have the most authority.
- In particular I may mention Sophocles the poet, who was once asked in my presence, How do you feel about love, Sophocles? are you still capable of it? to which he replied, Hush! if you please: to my great delight I have escaped from it, and feel as if I had escaped from a frantic and savage master. I thought then, as I do now, that he spoke wisely. For unquestionably old age brings us profound repose and freedom from this and other passions.
- Old age has a great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have relaxed their hold and have escaped, not from one master, but from many.