I am convinced, Socrates, said Cebes, and have nothing more to object ; but if my friend Simmias, or anyone else, has any further objection, he had better speak out, and not keep silence, since I do not know how there can ever be a more fitting time to which he can defer the discussion, if there is anything which he wants to say or have said.
But I have nothing more to say, replied Simmias ; nor do I see any room for uncertainty, except that which arises necessarily out of the greatness of the subject and the feebleness of man, and which I cannot help feeling.
Yes, Simmias, replied Socrates, that is well said : and more than that, first principles, even if they appear certain, should be carefully considered ; and when they are satisfactorily ascertained, then, with a sort of hesitating confidence in human reason, you may, I think, follow the course of the argument ; and if this is clear, there will be no need for any further inquiry.
That, he said, is true.
But then, O my friends, he said, if the soul is really immortal, what care should be taken of her, not only in respect of the portion of time which is called life, but of eternity ! And the danger of neglecting her from this point of view does indeed appear to be awful. If death had only been the end of all, the wicked would have had a good bargain in dying, for they would have been happily quit not only of their body, but of their own evil together with their souls. But now, as the soul plainly appears to be immortal, there is no release or salvation from evil except the attainment of the highest virtue and wisdom. For the soul when on her progress to the world below takes nothing with her but nurture and education ; which are indeed said greatly to benefit or greatly to injure the departed, at the very beginning of its pilgrimage in the other world.