XL.  In surditate vero quidnam est mali? Erat surdaster M. Crassus, sed aliud molestius, quod male audiebat, etiamsi, ut mihi videbatur, iniuria. [Epicurei] Nostri Graece fere nesciunt nec Graeci Latine. Ergo hi in illorum et illi in horum sermone surdi, omnesque nos in eis linguis quas non intellegimus, quae sunt innumerabiles, surdi profecto sumus. ‘At vocem citharoedi non audiunt’. Ne stridorem quidem serrae, tum cum acuitur, aut grunditum cum iugulatur suis nec, cum quiescere volunt, fremitum murmurantis maris; et si cantus eos forte delectant, primum cogitare debent, ante quam hi sint inventi, multos beate vixisse sapientis, deinde multo maiorem percipi posse legendis iis quam audiendis voluptatem.
XL. Now, as to the evil of being deaf. M. Crassus was a little thick of hearing; but it was more uneasiness to him that he heard himself ill spoken of, though, in my opinion, he did not deserve it. Our Epicureans cannot understand Greek, nor the Greeks Latin: now, they are deaf reciprocally as to each other’s language, and we are all truly deaf with regard to those innumerable languages which we do not understand. They do not hear the voice of the harper; but, then, they do not hear the grating of a saw when it is setting, or the grunting of a hog when his 206throat is being cut, nor the roaring of the sea when they are desirous of rest. And if they should chance to be fond of singing, they ought, in the first place, to consider that many wise men lived happily before music was discovered; besides, they may have more pleasure in reading verses than in hearing them sung.