The third topic is that which immediately concerns those who are making proficiency, that which concerns the security of the other two, so that not even in sleep any appearance unexamined may surprise us, nor in intoxication, nor in melancholy. "This," it may be said, "is above our power." But the present philosophers neglecting the first topic and the second, employ themselves on the third, using sophistical arguments, making conclusions from questioning, employing hypotheses, lying. "For a man must," as it is said, "when employed on these matters, take care that he is not deceived." Who must? The wise and good man. This then is all that is wanting to you. Have you successfully worked out the rest? Are you free from deception in the matter of money? If you see a beautiful girl, do you resist the appearance? If your neighbor obtains an estate by will, are you not vexed? Now is there nothing else wanting to you except unchangeable firmness of mind? Wretch, you hear these very things with fear and anxiety that some person may despise you, and with inquiries about what any person may say about you. And if a man come and tell you that in a certain conversation in which the question was, "Who is the best philosopher," a man who was present said that a certain person was the chief philosopher, your little soul which was only a finger's length stretches out to two cubits. But if another who is present "You are mistaken; it is not worth while to listen to a certain person, for what does he know? he has only the first principles, and no more?" then you are confounded, you grow pale, you cry out immediately, "I will show him who I am, that I am a great philosopher." It is seen by these very things: why do you wish to show it by others? Do you not know that Diogenes pointed out one of the sophists in this way by stretching out his middle finger? And then when the man was wild with rage, "This," he said, "is the certain person: I pointed him out to you." For a man is not shown by the finger, as a stone or a piece of wood: but when any person shows the man s principles, then he shows him as a man.
Let us look at your principles also. For is it not plain that you value not at all your own will, but you look externally to things which are independent of your will? For instance, what will a certain person say? and what will people think of you? will you be considered a man of learning; have you read Chrysippus or Antipater? for if you have read Archedemus also, you have everything. Why are you still uneasy lest you should not show us who you are? Would you let me tell you what manner of man you have shown us that you are? You have exhibited yourself to us as a mean fellow, querulous, passionate, cowardly, finding fault with everything, blaming everybody, never quiet, vain: this is what you have exhibited to us. Go away now and read Archedemus; then, if a mouse should leap down and make a noise, you are a dead man. For such a death awaits you as it did- what was the man's name? Crinis; and he too was proud, because he understood Archedemus.
Wretch, will you not dismiss these things that do not concern you at all? These things are suitable to those who are able to learn them without perturbation, to those who can say: "I am not subject to anger, to grief, to envy: I am not hindered, I am not restrained. What remains for me? I have leisure, I am tranquil: let us see how we must deal with sophistical arguments; let us see how when a man has accepted an hypothesis he shall not be led away to anything absurd." To them such things belong. To those who are happy it is appropriate to light a fire, to dine; if they choose, both to sing and to dance. But when the vessel is sinking, you come to me and hoist the sails.