To those who recommend persons to the philosophers
1That is an excellent answer of Diogenes to the man who asked for a letter of recommendation from him: "That you are a man," he says, "he will know at a glance; but whether you are a good or a bad man he will discover if he has the skill to distinguish between good and bad, and if he is without that skill he will not discover the facts, even though I write him thousands of times." 2For it is just as though a drachma asked to be recommended to someone, in order to be tested. If the man in question is an assayer of silver, you will recommend yourself. 3We ought, therefore, to have also in everyday life the sort of thing that we have in the case of silver, so that I may be able to say, as the assayer of silver says, "Bring me any drachma you please, and I will appraise it." 4Now in the case of syllogisms I say, "Bring me any you please and I will distinguish for you between the one that is capable of analysis and the one that is not." How so? Because, I know how to analyze syllogisms myself; I have the faculty which the man must have who is going to appraise those who handle syllogisms properly. 5But in everyday life what do I do? Sometimes I call a thing good, and sometimes bad. What is the reason? The opposite of what was true in the case of syllogisms, namely, ignorance and inexperience.
1 This is Wolf's interpretation of the rare word αναλυτικός, i.e., as referring to a syllogism. But Upton, Schweighauser, and others take it in the sense of "a person who is capable of analyzing syllogisms." The former interpretation fits the preceding sentence better, the latter the following sentence. As in § 3 the assayer of silver and the assayer of character are blended, so here apparently the transition from the syllogism to those who handle it is made somewhat abruptly.