To know whether I am a monster more complicated and more furious than Typhon

From Plato’s Phaedrus:

Socrates: But I have no leisure for [this subject] at all; and the reason, my friend, is this: I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous,  when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things. And so I dismiss these matters and accepting the customary belief about them, as I was saying just now, I investigate not these things, but myself, to know whether I am a monster more complicated and more furious than Typhon or a gentler and simpler creature, to whom a divine and quiet lot is given by nature. [Fowler translation]

[229ε]… ἐμοὶ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὰ οὐδαμῶς ἐστι σχολή: τὸ δὲ αἴτιον, ὦ φίλε, τούτου τόδε. οὐ δύναμαί πω κατὰ τὸ Δελφικὸν γράμμα γνῶναι ἐμαυτόν: γελοῖον δή μοι φαίνεται. [230α] τοῦτο ἔτι ἀγνοοῦντα τὰ ἀλλότρια σκοπεῖν. ὅθεν δὴ χαίρειν ἐάσας ταῦτα, πειθόμενος δὲ τῷ νομιζομένῳ περὶ αὐτῶν, ὃ νυνδὴ ἔλεγον, σκοπῶ οὐ ταῦτα ἀλλ᾽ ἐμαυτόν, εἴτε τι θηρίον ὂν τυγχάνω Τυφῶνος πολυπλοκώτερον καὶ μᾶλλον ἐπιτεθυμμένον, εἴτε ἡμερώτερόν τε καὶ ἁπλούστερον ζῷον, θείας τινὸς καὶ ἀτύφου μοίρας φύσει μετέχον

They don’t know the palace – they’ve only seen the toilets

Chamfort – Maximes 14

There are two sorts of moralists and political theorists – those who have seen only the hateful or ridiculous side of human nature (and this is the greatest number: Lucian, Montaigne, La Bruyere, La Rochefoucauld, Swift, Mandeville, Helvetius, etc.) and those who view it only from its good side and in its perfections (such are Shaftesbury and some others).  The first group do not know the palace, of which they’ve only seen the toilets.  The second are enthusiasts who turn their eyes from what offends then – but which exists no less for that.  There is truth in the middle.

Il y a deux classes de Moralistes et de Politiques, ceux qui n’ont vu la nature humaine que du côté odieux ou ridicule, et c’est le plus grand nombre : Lucien, Montaigne, La Bruyère, La Rochefoucauld, Swift, Mandeville, Helvétius, etc. Ceux qui ne l’ont vue que du beau côté et dans ses perfections ; tels sont Shaftersbury et quelques autres. Les premiers ne connaissent pas le palais dont ils n’ont vu que les latrines. Les seconds sont des enthousiastes qui détournent leurs yeux loin de ce qui les offense, et qui n’en existe pas moins. Est in medio verum.

or, as Pascal says of things generally (Sellier 479), ‘et même à la fin de chaque vérité il faut ajouter qu’on se souvient de sa vérité opposée’