Presently the barber was brought by head and shoulders to the crowd, and examined; but he could give no account of his author, only one that he never saw or knew in his life before had told him the news. Yes indeed, answered Eustrophus; but I see not any thing that has fallen out like it. 18. But good and evil do not exist that there may be place and opportunity for prudence. He should be more afraid of doing than of suffering ill. Above all things, the hidden craft of Fortune appeared in their education at the city Gabii; for there they were secretly nursed and brought up, and the people knew nothing of their pedigree, that they were the sons of Sylvia and the grandchildren of king Numitor; which seems to be so ordered on purpose to prevent that untimely death which the knowledge of their royal race would occasion, and to give them opportunity of showing themselves hereafter by their famous exploits, and discovering the nobility of their extraction by their heroical actions. But all these things are disease and craziness of mind, transporting a man out of his own nature; and in this men testify against themselves.

Didst thou not offer such a one to Socrates? There is therefore prudence, though there is no evil; nor is it of necessity for evil to exist that prudence may have a being. 14. 31. 41. For which reason they also say, this deity was born a cripple in the dark, and they call him the elder Horus; for he was not the world, but a kind of a picture and phantom of the world to be afterwards. Perhaps all these reasons are not very pertinent to the discourse of the present dispute, it being better to allege that in this number there is a natural virtue of dividing, and that nature divideth many things by this number. It is not the last moment of punishment which contains all the punishment. That long time of peace therefore in Numa’s reign did prepare and fortify the Romans against all the wars which happened afterwards; for by its continuance, during the space of forty-three years, the body of the people was confirmed in that athletic habit which they acquired in the war under Romulus, and which generally prevailed henceforward against all their enemies. Having so said, he walked forth toward the market-place. Should you ask every suit at law as if it were a man, whence it had its original, whence it proceeded; you would find, that audacious anger generated one, furious obstinacy another, and unjust covetousness a third. In the same place he affirms, that there is nothing proper, nothing convenient for a vicious man, in these words: “On the same principle we declare that there is nothing foreign or strange to the good man, and nothing proper or rightfully belonging to the bad man, since the one is good and the other bad.” Why then does he break our heads, writing particularly in every one of his books, as well natural as moral, that as soon as we are born, we are appropriated to ourselves, our parts, and our offspring? 18. If he be a physician, Edition: current; Page: [226] certainly he is more troublesome than the disease; if your companion in a voyage, more insupportable than the qualms occasioned by the tumbling of the sea. And for my part I draw from hence a very strong argument on the behalf of the women. The priest of Apollo Ptoüs, who was always wont to return the oracle’s answers in Aeolic Greek, spake to him that was sent from the barbarians in their own barbarous language, so that none of the assistants understood a word; whereby they were given to understand, that it was not lawful for the barbarians to have the use of the Greek tongue to serve their pleasure. Neither must we imagine it was for nothing, that kings and great men have delivered their own children to be sacrificed, or that they sacrificed them themselves with their own hands; but they intended hereby to avert and appease the malice and rancor of some evil spirits, or to satisfy the violent and raging lusts of some, who either could not or would not enjoy them with their bodies or by their bodies. From the Prometheus Released of Aeschylus, Frag. For this being granted, how will the Gods be rather givers of good than evil?

But as to what I have heard the Epicureans allege against the Daemons which Empedocles brings in, — as, that it is impossible they can be happy and long-lived if they be bad and viciously affected, because vice in its own nature is blind and naturally precipitates itself into such mischiefs as destroy life, — that, I must tell you, is vain and idle. After this, relating the action of Sardis, he, as much as in him lies, diminishes and discredits the matter; being so audacious as to call the ships which the Athenians sent to the assistance of the Ionians, who had revolted from the King, the beginning of evils, because they endeavored to deliver so many and so great Grecian cities from the barbarians.† As to the Eretrians, making mention of them only by the way, he passes over in silence a great, gallant, and memorable action of theirs. How then do these agree, both that God is no way the cause of any dishonest thing, and again, that not even the least thing imaginable can be otherwise done than according to common Nature and its reason? Eudoxus also saith that the Egyptian fable of Jupiter is this, that being once unable to go because his legs grew together, he for very shame spent all his time in the wilderness; but that Isis dividing and separating these parts of his body, he came to have the right use of his feet. But herein lies the greatest danger, lest he that is able to do all things that he desires should desire those things that he ought not: The word’s no sooner said, but th’ act is done.*. Upon the fourth Isis was born in Panygra. “For the shield indeed was shown, nor can it be denied,” says he, as if he had seen it himself. Three generations afterwards came one Idmon, a Samian, no way of kin or otherwise related to Aesop, but only descended from those who had purchased Aesop in Samos; to whom the Delphians paid those forfeitures which he demanded, and were delivered from all their pressing calamities. Now if any one shall say, What is all this to Apollo? Pompeius Magnus, one and the same man, achieved all those great and stupendous things, by the assistance of that public Fortune which Edition: current; Page: [215] waited upon the Roman arms with success; and after all this, he sank under the weight of his own fatal greatness. But power joined with a corrupt and depraved inclination adds the fuel of madness to the fire of the passions. For the same persons are sometimes more and sometimes less transported beyond themselves, and more or less inebriated, according to the present disposition of their bodies. And they over and above produce in men most dangerous and atheistical opinions, while they give the names of Gods to those natures and things that have in them neither soul nor sense, and that are necessarily destroyed by men who need them and use them. For the Grecians both speak and think aright in these matters, when they tell us that the pigeon is sacred to Venus, the serpent to Minerva, the raven to Apollo, and the dog to Diana, as Euripides somewhere speaks: But the greater part of the Egyptians worshipping the very animals themselves, and courting them as Gods, have not only filled their religious worship with matter of scorn Edition: current; Page: [129] and derision (for that would be the least harm that could come of their blockish ignorance); but a dire conception also arises therefrom, which blows up the feeble and simple minded into an extravagance of superstition, and when it lights upon the more subtle and daring tempers, outrages them into atheistical and brutish cogitations. For every natural virtue produceth the effect to which it is ordained better or worse, according as its season is more or less proper; and it is likely God gives us signs whereby we may know whether the opportunity be gone or not. Like the swift tunny, frighted from his prey. But most men, being deceived by a false opinion, esteem it the chiefest good in ruling to be subject to no authority; and thus the Persian king accounted all his servants and slaves except his wife, whose master he ought more especially to have been. 27. But this is also yet against the common conceptions, that he who is a man should not rejoice when coming from the greatest evils to the greatest goods. 32.

58. I am the man. His asserting (says Heracleon) that they be not the Gods who preside over the oracles (because we are to suppose them free from all worldly care), but Daemons, or the Gods’ officers or messengers, does not scandalize me; but to attribute to these Daemons all the calamities, vexations, and plagues which happen to mortal men, — snatching these violently (we may almost say) from the verses of Empedocles, — and in the end to make them to die like them, this, in my mind, savors of bold presumption. Now these two general principles appear first in number; for the multitude is indeed no number, unless a certain form of the matter resulting out of indeterminate infinity is cut off, and bounded within respective limits, either shorter or longer. And in my opinion, the words στέϱγειν and στέϱγεσθαι, which signify dearly to love and dearly to be beloved again, differing but one letter from Edition: current; Page: [301] στέγειν, which signifies to contain or endure, seem to me to import and denote that mutual kindness called conjugal, which is intermixed by time and custom with necessity. On the other side, they that attribute the name of Venus to the moon, although they have no convincing proof, still have hit upon a certain similarity. There is an old story, friend Terentius Priscus, that heretofore eagles or swans, flying from the opposite bounds of the earth, met together where now stands the temple of Apollo Pythius, in the place now called the Navel; and that some while after, Epimenides the Phaestian, willing to satisfy his curiosity, enquired of the oracle of Apollo with regard to this story, but received such an answer as made him never a jot the wiser; upon which he said: Thus fitly did the God chastise this bold enquirer into ancient traditions.

For it is manifest, says he, that had they not been willing they had never been ravished.‡ Let us then say, that the Gods also acted foolishly, in inflicting their indignation on the Spartans for abusing the daughters of Scedasus the Leuctrian, and in punishing Ajax for the violation of Cassandra.

And therefore I deem it much the better way to keep close to what is probable and consentaneous to reason.

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