33.

Having said these things, they obtained quarter; for they had the Thessalians for witnesses of all they said. But most people pursuing and taking hold of the fancied image of this beauty in boys and women, as it were seen in a mirror, reap nothing more assured and certain than a little pleasure mixed with pain.
Curse to this rage of mine, so given to roam; As when the man and wife at board and bed. After this, Osiris coming out of hell to assist his son Horus, first labored and trained him up in the discipline of war, and then questioned him what he thought to be the gallantest thing a man could do; to which he soon replied, to avenge one’s father’s and mother’s quarrel when they suffer injury. And is it not even so that philosophers, by reason of dissensions amongst themselves, have in the decision of some questions appealed to the nature of irrational beings, as to a strange city, and have submitted the final determination of such questions to the affections or to the dispositions of brutes, as being unbiassed and not corrupted by bribes?

47. Wherefore it is very difficult to give counsel to princes in matters of government; for they fear to receive advice as a thing seeming to command them, lest the force of reason should seem to lessen their power, by obliging it to submit to truth. Now if the Gods, changing their minds, should desire to hurt, afflict, overthrow, and quite crush us, they could not put us in a worse condition than we already are; as Chrysippus demonstrates that life can admit no greater degree either of misery or of unhappiness; so that if it had a voice, it would pronounce these words of Hercules: Now who can imagine any assertions more repugnant to one another than that of Chrysippus concerning the Gods and that concerning men; when he says, that the Gods do in the best manner possible provide for men, and yet men are in the worst condition imaginable? There is also a third sort of enthusiasm, proper to the Muses, which, possessing an even tempered and placid soul, excites and rouses up the gifts of poetry and music.

Then he reckons up every one of them by name. Another that would answer more courteously would say: He is not within; he is gone among the bankers; and perhaps he Edition: current; Page: [249] would add, Where he expects some friends. For example: he that formerly ran in debt, although he never paid it, owes nothing now, as being become another man; and he that was invited yesterday to supper comes the next night an unbidden guest, for that he is quite another person.

He returned no answer to the first calls; but at the third he replied, Here! Pittacus therefore did very well, who, when the king of Egypt sent him an oblation-beast, and ordered him to take out and set apart the best and worst piece of it, pulled out the tongue and sent to him, as being the instrument of many good things as well as the instrument of the greatest evils in the world. Some add also that Arueris was thus begotten, and that he was called by the Egyptians the elder Horus, and by the Greeks Apollo. A discussion arises as to the true nature and foundation of love, as it actually exists in the world. And what is more, how does he, declaring an animal to be made by refrigeration, think the sun to be animated, which is of fire and made of an exhalation changed into fire? And the reason of her going round so many times is because the sun finishes his passage from the winter to the summer tropic in the seventh month. But they judge more discreetly who suppose his name to be derived from σεύεσθαι or σοῦσθαι (which signifies to be borne along) and so make it to mean, that the motion of the universe is hurried and borne along violently. For as among metals gold, though mixed with much rubbish, will appear; so Nature, even in vicious deeds and affection, declares the love to posterity. Neither yet did the Athenians exclude the Aeginetans who were their adversaries from the inscription, nor convince the Corinthians of having fled from Salamis before the victory, Greece bearing witness to the contrary. Now then, the soul surviving after the decease of the body, the inference is the stronger that it partakes of punishment and reward.

17. Now in that triangle the perpendicular consists of three parts, the base of four, and the subtense of five, its square being equal in value Edition: current; Page: [116] with the squares of the two that contain it. 1. But if the benefit of speech were allowed to brutes, and if horses, cows, dogs, and birds were brought upon the stage, and the song were changed, and it were said that neither the bitch loved her whelps for gain, nor the mare her foal, nor fowls their chickens, but that they were all beloved gratis and by impulse of nature, then by the affection of all brutes this assertion would be approved as just and true. For as Nature, taking a grain of wheat for seed and diffusing it, produces many forms and species between, by which she brings her work to an end, but at last she shows again a grain of wheat, restoring the beginning in the end of all; so, while the rest of the numbers, when they are multiplied into others, terminate by the increase only those of five and six, multiplied by themselves, bring back and preserve themselves. For as they say that of present time, part is past and part to come; so of that which is doing, it will be said that part is done and part shall be done. And therefore as geometricians, when children are not able of themselves to apprehend the intelligible ideas of incorporeal and impassible substance, form and set before their eyes the tangible and visible imitations of spheres, cubes, and dodecahedrons; in like manner celestial love, having framed lovely mirrors to represent lovely objects, — things mortal and passible to represent things divine, and sensible objects to represent those perceptible only to the eye of reason, — shows them to us glittering in the forms, colors, and shape of youth in its prime, and first insensibly moves the memory inflamed by the sight of these objects. WITH THE TRANSLATORS’ NAMES. Moreover, those who are troubled with corporeal sickness send for physicians, for they are sensible what they stand in need of for the cure of their diseases; but these who are sick in mind shun philosophers, because they think themselves to act excellently in those very things in which they most offend. Now for the soul’s being engendered, and that after the birth, he chiefly uses this demonstration, that the children are for the most part in manners and inclinations like to their parents. Spears lean on spears, on targets targets throng. Diadumenus. But finding that the Corinthians only pitied his condition, without taking any farther notice of the matter, he returned home, and waited for the grand assembly of the Greeks at the Isthmus. And therefore, when they would pacify him and speak him fair, they make their court and addresses to these animals. When therefore his health fails, when some organ of his senses is disordered, or when his wealth is lost, is a wise man so careless as to think that none of these things concern him? 23. 3.

Now if they do not mean this of a woman but of a Goddess, they must needs hint that the earth, by reason of its solidity, is in its own nature unfruitful and barren. For Thespesius, when he least suspected any such thing, and before he was aware, was got among his kindred, his acquaintance, and companions, who, groaning under the horrid pains of their cruel and ignominious punishments, with mournful cries and lamentations called him by his name. For as, when we are newly awaked and come into a bright and dazzling light, we forget whatever appeared to the soul in our dreams; so the sun seems to stupefy our recollection and impoison our understanding, when we change from the former life and enter this world, so that in our pleasure and admiration we forget all other considerations besides that of the present life.
1. The divines of Delphi were far from the truth when they asserted that there was a combat between Apollo and a Dragon about the possession of this oracle. Nor would this be any great harm either, would they save us these Gods in common, and not make them to be peculiar to the Egyptians, nor confine these names to the river Nile, and only to that one piece of ground which the river Nile waters; nor affirm their fens and their lotuses to be the subject of this mythology, and so deprive the rest of mankind of great and mighty Gods, who have neither a Nile nor a Buto nor a Memphis. The great Genius of the Romans was not propitious for a day only, or for a little time, like that of the Macedonians; it was not powerful by land only, like that of the Laconians, or by sea only, like that of the Athenians. For first insinuating that it is best for us not to live, and in a sort counselling us to die, he will excite us rather to any thing else than to be philosophers; for neither can he who does not live philosophize, nor he who shall live long wickedly and ignorantly become wise.” And going on, he says that it is convenient for the wicked also to continue in life. Nor is this the worst; but they are angry with Menander for saying upon the stage. For indeed the great and wonderful work of generation is properly the work of Venus, where Love is only an assistant when present with Venus; but his absence renders the act itself altogether irksome, dishonorable, Edition: current; Page: [274] harsh, and ungrateful. This gentle writer, endeavoring, as much as in him lies, to deprive Themistocles of the glory of this, and transfer it to another, writes thus word for word: “Whilst things were thus, Mnesiphilus, an Athenian, asked Themistocles, as he was going aboard his ship, what had been resolved on in council. The same Herodotus, that he may still be like himself, says that the Persians learned the defiling of the male sex from the Greeks.† And yet how could the Greeks have taught this impurity to the Persians, amongst whom, as is confessed by almost all, boys had been castrated before ever they arrived in the Grecian seas? As for those passionate affections which at the beginning of conjugal love raise certain fits, which are somewhat sharp and biting, most fortunate Zeuxippus, I would not have you fear them, like an ulcer or scarification. She, on the other side, met him no less cheerfully; and leading him by the hand to the altar of the Goddess, after she had poured forth a small quantity of hydromel well tempered with a rank poison, as it were an atonement offering to the Goddess, she drank off the one half of that which remained herself, and gave the other half to the Galatian. Hear what he says: Add to this of Solon that other of Aeschylus: These are proper judges of love; but others there are who deride all those that would have lovers inspect thighs and haunches, like so many sacrificers and diviners.

Groups, Plutarch, Plutarch’s Morals. The elder of these two, Anthemion, was his cousin, and Pisias the most earnest of his lovers. For words may be in vain and to no purpose, as well as deeds. Then dote upon the flowery youth of boys. And therefore nothing can be a God to men that is either without soul or under their power. These men, replied Cleombrotus, will not be moved by what you say; for first, they will not yield to mathematicians in point of certainty, seeing they may be more easily mistaken in their comprehension of time, it being so slippery in its motions and with such distant periods, than these men in the measures of their oil, about which they are so exact and careful because of the strangeness of the thing. Therefore let us only beseech Memory, the mother of the Muses, to be propitious and assist us in the discovery of the fable. 11. One of these things is not said amiss; and I think also that the other is not unapprehended by me. Title names The second remedy is to take into serious consideration the practice of the opposite virtue, by always hearing, remembering, and having ready at hand the due praises Edition: current; Page: [243] and encomiums of reservedness and taciturnity, together with the majesty, sanctimony, and mysterious profoundness of silence. So, if black should be wholly lost from among the colors, and any one should therefore contend that sight is also lost, for that there is no longer the sense of discerning black and white, what should hinder us from answering him: It is no prejudice to us, if we have not what you call sight, but in lieu of that have another sense and faculty, by which we apprehend colors that are white and not white. Elegant therefore was that which was said by Euripides. throwing the septenary out of its seat, they consecrate the quinary to the God, as being more suitable to him.


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