Page:The Emperor Marcus Antoninus - His Conversation with Himself.djvu/446

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266
The Mythological Picture

lyable to this Imputation. And since the Case stands thus, what Advantage have they in reference to Virtue above others? Truly not much, as you have represented the Matter. But under favour what’s the Reason then these Gentlemen are lodg’d in the Second Court, for by their Apartments they seem to be next Neighbours to true Knowledge? And what of all that, says he? Don't you see several pass immediately from Debauchery to true Knowledge, from the first Court, to the third, without making a Visit to these Gentlemen of Education? And in what, then, does their Privilege consist? In earnest, I think they are either more lazy or more untoward than the rest, in Learning the Lessen they should do. How so, said I? Because, says he, those in the Second Court pretend to know more than they really do: Now their being thus conceited in their Ignorance, makes them more sluggish in their Advances to true Knowledge than otherwise they would be. Besides, don’t you observe that Opinion, and Uncertainty are perpetually trudging to them out of the First Court? So that in fine they are not a jot better than other Mortals, unless Repentance calls in at their Lodgings and they grow fully convinc’d that ’tis only Sham-Learning which they

have