the earth. For our natural disposition is, as it were, the soil; the
tenets of our teacher are, as it were, the seed; instruction in youth
is like the planting of the seed in the ground at the proper season;
the place where the instruction is communicated is like the food imparted
to vegetables by the atmosphere; diligent study is like the cultivation
of the fields; and it is time which imparts strength to all things
and brings them to maturity.
Having brought all these requisites to the study of medicine, and
having acquired a true knowledge of it, we shall thus, in traveling
through the cities, be esteemed physicians not only in name but in
reality. But inexperience is a bad treasure, and a bad fund to those
who possess it, whether in opinion or reality, being devoid of self-reliance
and contentedness, and the nurse both of timidity and audacity. For
timidity betrays a want of powers, and audacity a want of skill. There
are, indeed, two things, knowledge and opinion, of which the one makes
its possessor really to know, the other to be ignorant.
Those things which are sacred, are to be imparted only to sacred persons;
and it is not lawful to import them to the profane until they have
been initiated in the mysteries of the science.