The mass of men has no intelligence for eternal truth, though it- is clear and obvious; that which they daily encounter, continues strange to them; whither their own road leads is hidden from them ; what they do when they are awake, they forget, as if it were done in sleep ; the order of the world, glorious as it is, for them does not exist. Truth seems to them in-credible ; they are deaf to it, even when it reachestheir ears; to the ass chaff is preferable to gold, andthe dog barks at everyone he does not know. Equally incapable of hearing and speaking their best course would be to conceal their ignorance. Irrational as they are, they abide by the sayings of the poets and the opinions of the multitude without considering that the good are always few in number; that the majority live out their lives like the beasts, only the best among mortals preferring one thing, namely undying glory, toall besides ; and that one great man is worth more thanthousands of evil persons. Even those who have earned the fame of superior wisdom in most cases fare very little -better at the hands of Heracleitus. He sees in them far more diversity of knowledge than real intelligence. On Hesiod and Archilochus, on Pythagoras, Xenophanes and Hecatams, but above all, on Homer, he passed the severest judgments; a few only of the so-called sevenwise men are treated by him with more respect.
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