Being a Translation of the First, Second, and Third Books and Selections from the Seventh and Eighth Books of the Policraticus of

John of Salisbury




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Copyright 1938 by the University of Minnesota

Reprinted 1972 by special arrangement with The University of Minnesota Press



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THE PORTIONS of the Policraticus which Professor Pike here presents in translation not merely make available a complete English version of the great twelfth-century masterpiece, but include those parts of the work which have the widest appeal to students of thought and manners, and best illustrate the author's learning, breadth of interests, and characteristic independence of mind. The accidental circumstances which cause these chapters to appear separately, rather than as integral parts of the complete version which Professor Pike might otherwise have given us, should not obscure the fact that they are portions of a single treatise, intimately linked in intention and argument with the rest.

The theme of the Policraticus is the art of rulership; and to understand the author's approach to that theme it is necessary to recognize that, in accordance with the orientation of his age and tradition, John of Salisbury was emphatically an exponent of what has sometimes been called the "good man" theory of government. He regards good government, that is to say, as being fully as much, if not more, a matter of the personal character of the ruler, and of the conformity of that character to morality and "divine law," than of human laws and institutional arrangements. It is probably not too much to say that he would not even have been able to perceive a distinction between the two. Since Machiavelli, the distinction has been in the ascendant; technical opinion has accepted the view that

'Tis not the mildness of the man that rules Makes the mild regimen, or, as Dr. Johnson put it, it is no more true that "who rules o'er free men should himself be free" than that "who drives fat oxen should himself be fat." Only in the last few years have certain extraordinary developments of our own time once more raised a doubt as to whether or not institutions alone can dispense with those personal virtues which, to John of Salisbury, constituted the essence of the problem of government.

It is John's conception of the art of government as essentially a matter of personal character which accounts for the inclusion in the

Policraticus of the portions of the work presented in this volume by Professor Pike. These sections deal broadly with two classes of subject matter: first, the vices and follies which are apt to prevail among princes and their entourage; and, secondly, the different types of philosophical ideas and viewpoints which may be expected to lead to wisdom on the one hand or folly on the other.

The chapters on the vices and follies of courts, dealing as they do with such subjects as hunting, gaming, music, theatricals, magic, dreams, superstitions, flattery, and the like, have always seemed to me, from the standpoint of the historical investigator, distinctly disappointing. Chapters such as these might be expected to afford a rich mine of detailed information concerning the life and habits of the twelfth century. Instead they are singularly devoid of contemporary flavor and the emphasis is on the abstract rather than the concrete. John is too deeply implicated in the tradition of the classic satirists who before him had castigated the vices of a degenerate age, and follows too closely in the footsteps of the patristic literature of the early Empire, to allow himself to give us the direct accounts of what was going on under his own eyes in the London and Paris and Rome of his own day, for which we would gladly exchange his wealth of quotation from Juvenal, Perseus, Horace, Martial, Tertullian, Jerome, Augustine, St. Isidore, and the rest.

But if these chapters are disappointing in the light they shed on John's times, they are not so in the light they shed on John himself. Puritanical and ascetic as their tone necessarily is, and sincerely as John accepts the ecclesiastical tradition to which he gives expression, he tempers that tone and tradition with a moderation and practical reasonableness which are peculiarly his own. Thus, for example, in speaking of hunting, after repeating the usual condemnations, he goes on to say that for his own part he is willing to regard it as in itself a matter of indifference unless carried to the immoderate degree where it unduly excites the spirits and subverts the reason. On the other hand, as a relaxation from labor, or a means of preventing corpulence, it deserves no reproach. Gaming likewise may be an innocent recreation. It is only intemperance which converts these pastimes

into vices.

John brings this same spirit of moderation and common-sense reasonableness to his discussion of the more profound and theoretical issues of philosophy with which he deals in connection with his treatment of superstition in the first book and in his critique of different

philosophical schools in the seventh book. In these portions of the work he traverses many of the familiar battlegrounds of earlier and later speculation — substance and accident, universal and particular, predestination and free will, scientific law and miracles, skepticism and absolutism — always seeking some common-sense via media between competing extremes of theory. It is interesting to compare the treatment of such themes in the Policraticus with their later development in the great age of scholastic philosophy. In the light of such a comparison, John's dialectics are pedestrian. Nor is he any match in subtlety for contemporaries or immediate predecessors like Abelard and Anselm; he is always the enlightened layman rather than the technical expert — a Cicero rather than an Aristotle of medieval thought. Yet far more than the technical philosophers he leaves definitely the impression of attempting to arrive by hard and sustained thinking at practical solutions of practical problems, and, in so far as possible, by the light of experience. Such an objective so pursued with urbanity, good taste, and honest conviction constitutes the essence of John's way of thought. The constant recurrence to experience is noteworthy in a medieval writer; equally noteworthy are the clean-cut clarity of style, the conscious fear of superstition, and the total absence of any spirit of mysticism.

In his deliberate avoidance of subtlety, his freedom from emotionalism, his sound scholarship and good taste, his insistence on the teachings of experience, and his suspicion of every form of extreme, John not merely foreshadows but represents an intellectual temper which was to become characteristically English; and incidentally, he produced a masterpiece which because of these qualities has still a real contribution to make to the cause of sober good sense in spite of all the changes in the trappings and forms of thought which have intervened in following centuries.

It is to be hoped that as a result of Professor Pike's labors, a somewhat wider circle of readers will be able to know at first hand that there was common sense, if not before Agamemnon, at least before the Age of the Enlightenment.

JOHN DICKINSON University of Pennsylvania August 23, 1938


THE PURPOSE of this volume is to make accessible in English the part hitherto untranslated of the Policraticus of John of Salisbury, the most pretentious and longest work of a writer who is regarded as the most learned man of his time.

There appeared in 1927, under the title The Statesman's Book in a political science series,1 an excellent translation by John Dickinson of that part of the Policraticus in which its author expounds his political philosophy. The portion of the Policraticus comprised in the Dickinson translation is a fairly systematic and lucid statement of its author's views on the state, its prince, its members, its administration of justice, its army, and the bond between its members. These matters are discussed in the fourth, fifth, and sixth books of the Policraticus. The selections from the seventh book on ambition and the wiles of the ambitious and those from the eighth book on tyrants and tyrannicide are more discursive. If the word Policraticus2 connotes "statesman's book," as it undoubtedly does, whatever its etymology, that is a fitting title for the translation of the part of the work just mentioned.

The portion of the Policraticus contained in this volume is far less coherent than the preceding; in fact it is so discursive that it may, not inaptly, be called an encyclopedia of the culture of the age.

The author has appended a secondary title to his Policraticus, which we translate Frivolities of Courtiers and Footprints of Philosophers. Now it happens that this title is exactly applicable to the part contained in this volume; and further, the title Frivolities of Courtiers covers books one to three, while Footprints of Philosophers fittingly applies to the selections from books seven and eight.

The frivolities discussed in the first three books are hunting and its abuse; gaming; music; the actor and conjurer of various types;

1 Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

2 John in common with several other medieval writers had a penchant for sonorous sounding titles that look like Greek but are not. Besides the Policraticus, John wrote a Metalogicon, which means a defense of logic; at least he so states in its preface and he should know. There is also an Entheticus, supposed by some to be a distortion for Nutheticus the Counsellor. See below, p. 4.

omens, including dreams, which are discussed at great length; astrology; and flattery, with a tirade against flatterers, in which the world is likened to a play, a comedy or tragedy as you please, with God and his angels as spectators. The selections from the seventh and eighth books form an outline of ancient philosophy. John here expresses his preference for the Academic school, which refuses to dogmatize on subjects which may wisely be regarded as admitting doubt.

The text followed is naturally that of C. J. Webb (Oxford, 1909). Wherever some explanation of the translation seemed necessary, notes have been added; Webb's notes have been used where available. Citation of sources, both classical and patristic, upon which John drew have been made more extensively than may seem necessary in a translation of this character. It is, however, important that the reader realize the great indebtedness of John to his predecessors and that he perceive for himself how imitative in general the formal literature of the twelfth-century renaissance is as illustrated by one of its foremost works.

Passages from the Bible are given in the Rheims-Douai version, as being nearer to the Vulgate, which John ordinarily quotes. For the convenience of the reader, references to the text of Latin and Greek writers are accompanied by page citations to the Loeb Classical Library (L. C. L.) edition where this is available. The translation of such passages, however, has been made independently.

I wish to express my appreciation of the assistance given me, in the preparation of the translation, by Professor Marbury B. Ogle, head of the department of classical languages in the University of Minnesota, whose knowledge of the Latinity of the period is evinced in his translation of Walter Map; by Professor A. C. Krey, of the department of history, who has put at my disposal his wealth of medieval lore; and by Professor Alburey Castell, of the department of philosophy, who read about one-half of the manuscript and whose criticisms have been invaluable. Many more of my colleagues' at the University of Minnesota and acquaintances in other institutions have been generous in assisting me on various points connected with their own specialties. To all of these I am deeply indebted. From Dr. Dickinson, the learned translator and commentator of the portion of the Policraticus not included in this volume, I have received very helpful suggestions.

JOSEPH B. PIKE University of Minnesota


John of Salisbury.........3

Book I ...

................. 6

Book II ..

................... 55

Book III .

................... 152

Selections from Book VII


Selections from Book VIII

Entheticus .


Index ....



JOHN OF SALISBURY was born between the years 1115 and 1120 at Old Sarum, situated on a hill near the Salisbury of the present day. He was first called Little John or John the Short, but afterward received the appellation by which he is universally known. The only record of his boyhood or early school-life days is contained in an interesting passage found in chapter twenty-eight of the second book of the Policraticus.1

Some time between his fifteenth and twentieth years he went to France to continue his studies. His most famous teacher at this period was Abelard, whom he always refers to as the Peripatetic of Pallet, from his philosophical leaning and his Breton birthplace. Abelard was then lecturing on the heights of Ste Geneviève at Paris, where he had reopened his school for a short time.

In 1137 John went to Chartres, where he studied grammar under William of Conches. The school of Chartres, owing to the influence of Bernard, its former head, was emphasizing the importance of the study of the poets and historians, and its humanistic tendencies made a deep impression upon John. He spent some three years studying not only the grammar for which he had come but also rhetoric and logic; in other words, the three elementary arts taught in medieval schools. Here he also received instruction from Richard L'Évêque and made the acquaintance of the celebrated Gilbert de la Porrée.

On his return to Paris in 1140 John supported himself by acting as tutor to young men of noble birth. Peter of Celle, afterward one of John's most intimate friends, may have been one of these. Among his other teachers at the time he speaks of Peter Helias, a commentator on Priscian; Adam du Petit Pont, a distinguished Aristotelian; William of Soissons, a logician; Gilbert de la Porrée, who had likewise come to Chartres from Paris; and Robert Pullen, an eminent theologian.

In the Policraticus2 John relates that he was present at the council of Rheims, held by Pope Eugenius III in 1148. On this occasion, it is

1 See below, p. 147. 2 See below, p. 109.

conjectured, John was introduced by St. Bernard of Clairvaux to Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, whose secretary he became. He held this position for a period of seven years. For twenty years he regarded Canterbury as his home. While holding the position of secretary to the archbishop, he became acquainted with Thomas Becket; this intimacy proved to be one of the potent influences in John's life. During this period he went on many missions to the Papal See; it was probably on one of these that he made the acquaintance of Nicholas Breakspear, who in 1154 became Adrian IV, the only Englishman to ascend the papal throne. The following year John visited him, remaining at Benevento with him for several months. He was at the court of Rome at least twice afterward.

In the year 1159 he published his two most important works, the Policraticus and the Metalogicon. They are both dedicated to the chancellor Thomas Becket, who at the time was in the retinue of Henry II, then directing the siege of Toulouse.

In 1161 Theobald died. Becket succeeded him as archbishop of Canterbury and John became his secretary. For some reason John had incurred the ill will of the king even during his service with Theobald, and this was so enhanced by his support of Becket's policies that he found it advisable to retire to France. Some years later the king forced Becket into exile and the two friends were together once more. On the archbishop's recall by the king, John went in advance to England to prepare for his return. He probably remained with his friend during the weeks immediately preceding his murder, and it appears that he was with Becket on the very day that the deed was perpetrated.

In 1176 John was called to the archbishopric of Chartres by the French king, Louis VII, a position which he held until his death in 1180.

John's works comprise, beside the Policraticus, the Metalogicon, a plea for the study of logic. In reality it is more than that; the first book develops into a defense of the two other arts of the trivium, rhetoric and grammar. Indeed, the work is a general treatise on the education of the day and presents an instructive picture of the intellectual life of the age. There are two poems with the title Entheticus. The longer, which consists of 1,852 lines, is an outline of the history of philosophy. It also contains an invective against some of the prominent politicians of the reign of Stephen. In the shorter Entheticus,3

3 See below, p. 413.

serving as an introduction to the Policraticus, John apostrophizes his book, bidding it speed to the one to whom it is dedicated. The Historia Pontificalis survives in an incomplete condition. It is a continuation of Sigebert's Chronographia, which is a history of the church to the Council of Rheims, 1148. John carries the narrative to the year 1163.

John's correspondence comprises 329 letters, some of them fairly long. It is in these that he appears to the best advantage. He may, without exaggeration, be called one of the world's greatest letter writers.



[12] THE PLEASURE of letters, agreeable in many respects, is especially so for the reason that all inconvenience due to interval of time or space is banished, friends are brought into the presence of one another, and matters worth knowing do not remain unknown because of their separation. For arts as well had inevitably perished, law disappeared, fidelity and religion itself crumbled, and even the proper use of language been lost, had not divine commiseration, to offset human frailty, provided mortals with the knowledge of letters.

The experiences of our ancestors, ever incentives and aids to virtue, would never have inspired or saved a single soul, had not the loyalty, zeal, and diligence of writers triumphing over sloth transmitted them to posterity.

Even as it is, the shortness of life, our obtuseness, our careless indifference, and our sterile activities permit us to know but little; and even this little is straightway driven from our minds by forgetfulness, that betrayer of knowledge, that ever hostile and faithless counterpart of memory. Who would ever have heard of an Alexander or a Caesar? Who would ever have felt admiration for the Stoics or Peripatetics, had not the testimony of writers given them their distinction? Who would ever have followed in the footsteps, so revered, of the apostles and prophets, had not Holy Scripture consecrated them to the service of posterity?

[13] Triumphal arches add to the glory of illustrious men only when the writing upon them informs in whose honor they have been reared, and why. It is the inscription that tells the spectator that the triumphal arch is that of our own Constantine,1 liberator of his country and promoter of peace. Indeed no one has ever gained permanent fame except as the result of what he has written or of what others have written of him. The memory of fool or emperor is, after a brief lapse of time, the same unless it be prolonged by

Note. The numbers in brackets are page citations in Webb's text, Vol. I. 1 There was a belief, unfounded, that Britain was the birthplace of Constantine.

courtesy of writers. How many great kings do you2 imagine there have been, with regard to whom there is nowhere in the world a thought given or a word uttered? Therefore there is no wiser policy for those who crave glory than to cultivate sedulously the favor of scholars and writers; for their own achievements, doomed to utter darkness unless illumined by the lamp of letters, avail them naught. Whatever popularity and renown are derived from other sources are as when Echo, of whom we read in fable, catches up the applause of the theater, no sooner begun than done.

In addition we can with utmost confidence draw upon letters for solace in sorrow, rest in labor, cheerfulness in poverty, self-restraint in pleasure and in wealth. When an active intellect devotes itself to reading and writing what is really worth while, the soul is purged of its defects and is revivified even in adversity by a mysterious and serene cheerfulness. One will find no human activity more agreeable or more profitable unless it be divinely inspired piety, which by prayer converses with Deity, or, with heart full of love, takes God into the soul and fondly meditates upon his wondrous ways. Believe me as one who knows, that all the sweetness of the world is as wormwood when compared with such experience, and all the more in proportion to the normality of one's senses and the keenness and unimpaired vigor of his mind.

Do not be surprised therefore that I am not mounting some round of that ladder which, as you once warned, is the sole means of rising [14] in the world. I am not involving myself in greater responsibilities, for I give you my reply in the words of Isocrates,3 who, when asked by friends why he took no part in the activities of the forum, replied "Of the specialties of this place I know naught; of mine own, this place knows naught." That is to say, I scorn the aspirations of courtiers and they mine.

You are further surprised that I do not sever or break the cord, if otherwise it cannot be untied, which has held me so long in bondage to the frivolities of court life, and still holds me. I am filled with regret and shame that, trained for a far different sphere, I have already wasted almost twelve years. It were more fitting that one suckled by a holier philosophy had, when weaned, passed into the ranks of philosophers rather than into the guild of courtiers.

2 The Policraticus, which appeared in 1159, was dedicated to Thomas Becket, chancellor of Henry II, who became archbishop of Canterbury three years later. 3 Macrobius, Sat. VII. i. Cf. Seneca, Ep. xxix. 10 (L. C. L., I, 208).

I feel that you too are in a similar situation except that you, more upright and wiser in pursuing the proper course, ever stand unshaken upon the firm foundation of righteousness. You do not bend like a reed with every breath of wind nor are you led astray by pleasure. To vanity, who lays down the law for the whole world, you yourself dictate. Consequently, when different states heap richly deserved encomiums upon you, as though constructing a triumphal arch, I too, a man of lowly origin, with the shrill pipings of my uncouth style have tossed, like a pebble on the heap of your laudations, this book to do you honor. Though it have no charm I am sure it cannot fail to please, as it is a proof of the author's loyal devotion.

I deal in part with the frivolities of court life, bearing more heavily upon those which I find harder to tolerate. In part, too, I busy myself with the teachings of the philosophers, leaving to the judgment of the wise what should be accepted or rejected in the tenets of each. To the end that my criticism offend no one, I found it necessary to address one entirely unaffected by any foible. I therefore determined to address myself to you, the most discriminating mind of our generation, and to point out to you what seemed to be worthy [15] of criticism in the conduct of men like myself. The consequence will be that if anyone as he reads or listens recognizes a weakness of his own, he will recall the adage "Change the name and the story fits you."4 The lesson will be the more effective since all know that matters of high import are your constant occupation. It was in this way that Seneca, by teaching others, gave warning to his dear Lucilius. Jerome writes specifically to Oceanus and Pammachius, but for the most part he is reprimanding the excesses of others. Let whosoever pleads the attractiveness of folly estimate the trouble it involves, the time it wastes, and as a wise man pass judgment upon what is said on the basis of the reason for saying it.

Should anyone think my words too severe, he may consider the remarks addressed not to himself but to myself as well and to those who, like me, crave improvement or to those who, having passed away, endure calmly any rebuke. I well know that the slaying of Achilles5 offends no one and that the present generation is being criticized while the past is being blamed as it deserves. Thus Horace, to discipline himself, permits his own slaves, in the license of the Saturnalia, to criticise their master.6

4 Horace, Sat. I. i. 69, 70 (L. C. L., p. 8).

5 Juvenal, Sat. i. 163 (L. C.L., p. 16).

° Horace, Sat. II. vii. 4, 5 (L. C. L., p. 224).

That sly dog Horace touches every fault

His friend displays, but makes him laugh withal,

And thus admitted plays about his heart.7

I have been at pains to use appropriate matter from other writers, provided I found it profitable and helpful, occasionally without giving credit; partly because I know that your familiarity with writers has for the most part already made it known to you; partly to inspire the ignorant with the love of reading. If anything appears incredible therein I trust to be forgiven, for I am not promising that all that has been here written down is true but that, false or true, it is helpful to the reader.

[16] I am not so senseless as to ascribe as true that once upon a time the tortoise spoke to winged fowl, or that the country rat received in his humble home the city rat,8 and similar stories; but I have no doubt as to the fact that such inventions serve the purpose of instruction. The very material which I for the most part use belongs to others, unless it be that whatever has been well said by anyone I make my own, and express, sometimes in paraphrase in my own words, and again, to inspire confidence and carry weight, in the words of the author.

Since I have begun to reveal my mental secrets, I shall expose my presumption more fully. All whom I meet who are in word or deed philosophers, I deem my retainers. What is more, I claim them as my slaves, to such an extent that they in their complete subservience are to offer themselves as bulwarks in my defense against the tongues of my traducers. Yes, and these I cite as my authorities. Of course I have never seen Alexander or Caesar, nor have I heard Socrates or Zeno, Plato or Aristotle debating, yet from these and others equally strangers to me I have drawn much for the edification of my readers.

That I may not seem to be disputatious, I make a concession: I confess that I have had recourse to lies when it has suited my purpose; and if my rival will on no other terms hold his peace (I too have my Cornificius9 and Lanvinus10) I grant that I have been guilty of mendacity, for I am familiar with the verse "Every man is a liar."11 Let him not imagine that his huge chest, swollen belly, cheeks puffed and red, his wanton tongue, insipid and quicker to tear to shreds

7 Persius, Sat. i. 116-17 (L.C.L., p. 328). 8 Horace, Sat. II. vi. 80 (L. C. L., p. 216). 9 A detractor of Virgil. 10 An envious elder contemporary of Terence.

11 Ps. cxv. 11.

his neighbor's character than to correct his own, shall save my Lanvinus. Unless he cease his abuse I shall disclose who he is, and he shall soon learn that the fact of his being no novice does not confer upon him nor guarantee unquestioned authority. Let him [17] refute my slander by reason or weight of influence. I shall not shrink from mending my ways even at the reproof of a foe. I shall even regard as friend one who points out my own mistakes.

Any discrepancy discovered between what I say and the statement of others does not constitute proof of falsification on my part since in military matters I have followed the historians, who frequently contradict one another, and in philosophy, accepting as I do the Academic system, I have admitted that which seems to the best of my judgment likely or probable.

I feel no shame in proclaiming myself a member of the Academic school, and I am faithful to their rule in all matters that appear doubtful to the sage. For although this sect is supposed to introduce an element of obscurity in all discussions, none is more devoted to the critical examination of truth, and we have it on the authority of Cicero,12 who in old age took refuge in this school, that none is more friendly to progress.

In statements made from time to time in regard to providence, fate, freedom of the will, and the like, I am to be regarded as a disciple of the Academy rather than as a dogmatic exponent of that which is still a matter of doubt. At times too I have employed the testimony of Holy Writ, a potent means of elucidating thought; in such a way, however, that nothing inimical to faith or morals will be discovered, since the same unchanging truth, so to speak, is the mother of both ancient and modern thought:

The features are not like in all, nor yet Unlike, as is but meet in sisters.13

I reserve the whole for your judgment, that a higher and juster claim to glory may be conceded you for your criticism, than to me for the authorship. The inequality of the different volumes is to be ascribed to the varied occupations by which my attention has been distracted to such a degree that at times I have with difficulty found time to write at all. However, while you were busied with the siege of Toulouse14 I began this work and freed myself for a time from

12 Cicero, Acad. II. iii. (L. C. L., p. 472); I. iv. 13 (L. C. L., pp. 422ff.). 13 Ovid, Met. ii. 13-14 (L. C. L., I, 60).

14 Toulouse was besieged by Henry II in 1159. Thomas Becket, the chancellor, organized the campaign.

the frivolities of court life, pondering the thought that leisure without letters is the death and burial of the living man.15

If anyone joins Lanvinus16 as disparager of unknown or imaginary writers, let him attack that resuscitated material derived from [18] Plato, Cicero's Dream of Africanus, and those philosophers who revel during the Saturnalia, or else be indulgent to my fantasies and to those of the classic writers, provided they are of service to the general public.

In addition I fervently pray that he who reads or listens to my work may deign to commend me in his prayers to the All-pitying Father and that he strive to obtain indulgence for my manifold sins. For I hope that I too am a god-fearing man, and with heartfelt words in my turn, I pray for those who need it that the All-powerful and All-pitying Father may purify all our thoughts and deeds. To the end that we may not be swept away by our own mistakes may the Angel of the Great Judgment with his spirit deign to illumine our minds.

Chapter One. The Greatest Danger to the Favorites of Fortune

THE MOST dangerous situation, in my opinion, that men of eminence have to face lies in the fact that the enticements of fawning fortune blind their eyes to truth. The world heaps upon them its wealth and its pleasures and thereby kindles and fosters their craving for self-indulgence. The soul, deceived by allurements of many kinds, proving false to its own inner light, by a sort of self-betrayal goes astray as the result of its desires amid the deceptions of the outer world. [19] Success, implacable foe of virtue, applauds its devotees only to harm them, and with its ill-starred prosperity escorts them on their joyous way to bring about their ultimate fall by first pledging them in cups of sweet wine and, when they are intoxicated thereby, mixing in the draught deadly poison or anything conceivably worse. The more brilliant the success the denser the clouds that gather around their dazzled eyes. As the darkness thickens truth vanishes, virtue withers with severed roots, and a crop of vices sprouts. The light of reason is extinguished, and the whole being is carried headlong into the abyss of destruction.

15 Seneca, Ep. lxxxii. 3 (L. C. L., II, 242). 16 See n. 10 above.

Thus the creature of reason becomes a brute;17 thus the image of the Creator is transformed into a beast by virtue of a sort of similarity in character; thus man degenerates and falls from his pinnacle, having become like to vanity18 for the reason that, swollen with pride because of honors acquired, pride has destroyed his understanding. Who more contemptible than he who scorns a knowledge of himself, who lavishly wastes upon life and squanders to his own disgrace time which has been sparingly meted out for life's needs — time, which alone cannot be replaced and if reclaimed at all, at a ruinously usurious rate? Who more brutish than he who, by lack of judgment and lustful passion disregards his own interests19 in attending to those foreign to him and unceasingly occupies himself not merely with the interests but even with the diversions of others? Who more bestial than he who, neglecting duties, rises at midnight, that with the aid of dogs keen of scent, his active huntsmen, his zealous comrades, and his retinue of devoted servants, at cost of time, labor, money, and effort, he may wage from earliest dawn till darkness his campaign against beasts?

Chapter Two. Impropriety

THAT which does not follow from principles of nature or duty is termed alienum, "belonging to another," if as a matter of fact it ever is proper to employ the word alienum to express that which with more propriety should never have belonged to anyone. The principles of nature are binding upon all alike; considerations of duty, [20] upon particular individuals. Consequently the dictates of duty and those of law are different, though obedience to natural law is a part of duty. Indeed, to violate the laws of nature is a sort of parricide, and to nullify the mandates of a parent and not to render due homage to the mother of us all is like a sacrilege.

That which reason admits on worthy grounds cannot be classified baldly as alienum, "foreign to the proper nature of man." For example, if seemly gaiety or expediency forms an element in an act and no one is harmed, there is no conflict with duty or nature. But if one or the other of these latter is assailed, we at once detect a flat case of impropriety and in no wise to be permitted. Transgression of this rule is always either an error or a crime.

17 Ps. xlviii. 21. 18 Ps. cxliii. 4.

19 Horace, Sat. II. iii. 19 (L. C. L., p. 154).

Chapter Three. Division of Functions in the Political Organizations of the Ancients

PAGAN philosophers, fashioning by precept and practice so-called political equity by which human government exists and thrives, decreed that each one should be content with his own activities and interests. They prescribed their own particular places and interests to those living in or about cities, also to the farmer or country man. The individual and the body of citizens were solicitous for the public welfare. Each received on the basis of his worth the resources of nature and the product of his own labor and industry. No one appropriated his neighbor's goods, since love of one's neighbor still persisted.

The dominating and central place in the city was consecrated to the Supreme Court,20 and from this the laws governing conduct, like streams of health and life, flowed down to the individual occupations which had been suitably apportioned according to the requirements of each activity. But among these hunting as a recreation or profession was not conceded to those who dwelt in the neighborhood of cities, since hunters, like farmers and other dwellers of the rural districts, are kept somewhat sequestered from cities and from the wellborn as a class. For it is quite unfair that noble natures be degraded by lowly pursuits and that those whose tasks are to be arduous and [21] burdensome be distracted by the vain pursuit of pleasure. Consequently hunting, if properly pursued, is viewed as an occupation or business; if not, as a waste of time or as vicious; and they who practice it in the face of duty are punished by law.

Chapter Four. Hunting, Its Origin, Its Forms, and Its Practice, Lawful and Otherwise

THE THEBANS, if we may credit history, were the first to decree that the knowledge of hunting should be imparted to all. They in particular formulated the rules of this profession, or shall we call it vice? As a result of this the Theban people became an object of suspicion to the world, as befouled with parricide, incest, deception, and perjury. They it was who transmitted the knowledge to the Phrygians,

20 Valerius Maximus, II. vi. 4. The Areopagus, originally a criminal court, evolved into the powerful legislative and administrative body of Athens.

an effeminate, spineless people, fickle and utterly lacking in modesty. The Thebans were held in little esteem by the Athenians and the Spartans (peoples of greater dignity, who clothed in the ornate veil of mythology historical facts, the secrets of nature, and the origin of customs). Their tales, however, served the useful purpose of admonition against defects of character and conduct, and the charm of their poetic form gave pleasure.

They fabled that the Dardanian hunter21 had been caught up to heaven by an eagle, to serve first as Jove's cupbearer and then for purposes of illicit and unnatural love; quite properly, seeing that volatility is the characteristic of a winged creature and that pleasure, blind to sobriety, blushes not to prostitute itself indiscriminately. A Theban chieftain,22 having unwittingly caught sight of the naked Artemis whom he had ever revered in the woods, started to rectify the mistake caused by his passion and marveled to find himself, though still with his human sensations, changed into an animal. When, under the form of a deer, he strove to drive away his own dogs, he was torn to pieces by their fangs, a deplorable result of the type of training they had received.

Perhaps a goddess was chosen to preside over hunting because the people did not wish to degrade their gods by making them preside [22] over an activity characterized by self-indulgence and vice. Venus, herself a hardy huntress, mourned the destruction of Adonis by the tusks of a boar. Maro,23 making a mockery of the hospitality of lofty Carthage, knew not how to consummate the desires of Aeneas and Dido until their companions were scattered in the hazards of the hunt, when he unlocked for the lovers the secrecy of a sylvan bower; possibly it thus happened because such a pursuit, owing to its consciousness of guilt, shuns the light, while the joy of lawful wedlock is illumined by the fire of hymeneal torches.

Can you name any man of distinction who has been an enthusiast in the sport of hunting? The heroic son of Alceus,24 although he pierced the bronze-hoofed hind and brought sweet calm to Erymanthus' grove,25 had in view not his own pleasure but the general good. Meleager slew the boar that ravaged Caledonia,26 not to give pleasure to himself but to free his country from the scourge. The founder of

21 Ganymede. 22 Actaeon.

23 I. e., Virgil. See Aen. iv. 160 ff. (L. C. L., I, 406).

24 Ibid., vi. 802 (L. C. L., I, 562). 25 Ibid., 803-04 (L. C. L., I, 562).

26 Ovid, Met. ii. 499 (L. C. L., I, 426ff.).

the Roman race27 laid low the seven huge stags not to sate his vanity and pleasure but to keep himself and his followers alive. It is from their purpose and result that deeds are judged. An act is seemly if the cause that preceded it is honorable. Who ever formed an army of hunters and dogs except for the purpose of battling beasts with courage not his own? Why shouldn't he? Perhaps he will bag a tiny beast, a timid hare, with his elaborate equipment. But if the booty be more glorious, a deer maybe or boar, and the hunter's efforts be conspicuous, spontaneous applause bursts out, the huntsmen are wild with joy, and the head of the victim with the usual trophies will be born before the conquering hero. One would think that the capture of the king of the> Cappadocians28 was being celebrated, to judge by the blare of trumpet and squeal of pipe proclaiming the victory. When a female animal is caught, then gloom prevails, or when a noble beast is laid low by the cunning of the trappers rather than by their prowess.

If a wild goat or hare be the victim, it is thought unworthy of the [23] glory of a triumph. Then, too, there are no exultant blasts of horn or trumpet from the eighth grade of Capricorn until the beginning of Gemini.29 The triumphant pipe and horn are silent unless a wolf or lion, more dreadful foe, or tiger or panther becomes our prey — a triumph which, thank God, is rarely ours. Despite this, the long space of the year is taken up with the various interests of the hunt.

In Asia the Albanians30 possess dogs more powerful than lions, which they fear as little as the most timid beast, thanks to the courage of the hounds and their own skill. In fact, there is no wild beast known braver or stronger than these dogs. They were brought into Asia from Africa by Hercules31 after he had vanquished the three-headed monster Geryon,32 and he bequeathed to them, as it were, the prowess of downing lions. In addition, this butchery requires skill and exacts it. It possesses its artists at whom you will marvel as he "Gesticulates with brandished knife,"33 and now with blunted sword, should you chance to be present at their sacred rites. Be care-

27 Virgil, Aen. i. 184ff. (L. C. L., I, 128).

28 Horace, Ep. I. vi. 39 (L. C. L., p. 288).

29 A period approximately from January 1 to May 22.

30 The inhabitants of ancient Albania, a district east of the Caspian Sea. See Solinus, Polyhist. xv. 6-8; cf. Pliny, N.H. VIII. xl. 149. 31 Justin, xlii. 3.

32 Virgil, Aen. viii. 202 (L. C. L., II, 74). 33 Juvenal, Sat. v. 121, 122 (L. C. L., pp. 121-22).

ful, however, not to misuse any of their hunting jargon in speaking, for you will be flogged or be branded with ignorance of all propriety in displaying your lack of knowledge of their technique. In our day this knowledge constitutes the liberal studies of the higher class. This forms the underlying principles of rectitude; this is the short cut for the blessed to the acme of happiness, a goal which our ancestors taught could be reached only by climbing the steep and laborious path of virtue.

The Gauls scoff at the people of Emilia and Liguria, asserting that they make their wills, arouse the neighborhood, and pray for arms if an invading tortoise threatens their frontiers. This reputation has risen from the fact that no attack of any kind has found them unprepared. How can our own people avoid derision since, with still greater commotion, more worry, trouble, and expense, they think it proper to proclaim formal war against wild beasts? Yet they pursue [24] with less ferocity those beasts which mankind justly regards as its greatest and most malignant enemies. The wolf, the fox, the bear, and all harmful animals are undisturbed while others are slaughtered, and are allowed to commit their depredations before the very eyes of the huntsmen.

Hannibal is said to have slain a Roman who at his bidding had killed in single combat an elephant.34 He remarked that the Roman was unworthy of living in that he could be forced to enter a contest with beasts, although it is nearer the truth to say that he did not wish a captive to be rendered famous by the glory of an unprecedented triumph, nor those beasts by whose valor he had terrorized nations to be maligned. Is one then worthy of life whose sole interest in it is the trivial one of waging cruel warfare against beasts?

Those who delight in that type of hunting in which birds are taught to pursue their kind, if you think that this sort of bird-catching is to be included in the term hunting, are afflicted with a milder form of insanity but with similar levity. Hunting on the ground, as it is more dependable, is also more profitable than that in the sky.

Devotees of hunting cite from ancient authorities Ulysses as the originator of their preoccupation. He was the first after the destruction of Troy to introduce into Greece birds equipped with bronze spurs and to incite them to attack their kind to the surprise and de-

34 Pliny, N.H. VIII. lxi. 6, 7.

light of the spectators. They have indeed chosen a potent patron and one

Who saw the ways of many men and towns.35

No foe escaped unharmed from his snares. His unarmed host raised the glory of Greece higher than did the armed crews of the thousand ships.

But he himself gave Circe credit for this art, the woman who is said to have worked by charms and potions upon the minds of men for the reason that she won them by her artful words and agreeable ways and transformed them to suit her every purpose. And so the [25] poisonous cup of illicit pleasure was passed to the Greeks, but when the cautious Ithacan had tasted he would not drink for fear that, degraded and spiritless, he be forced to live under a harlot's sway. But because in his wisdom he had had experience in every field, this wary man foresaw how, when his labors and his wanderings had ended and when his chaste Penelope and his dear Telemachus failed to recognize him, he could make good to Greece the loss of his companions, of whom she had been deprived by their long exile.

Admiration should also have been expressed for his faithful dog, from whom alone of that numerous household the lapse of even twenty years had not obliterated the memory of his master, and who had joyously greeted him on his return; there would, however, have been the danger that the fame of the hunting pack be enhanced had praise been lavished upon Argus.

Ulysses enjoined his son Telemachus to abjure this new type of amusement, remarking that he had introduced it only for the entertainment of those who, by loss of their fathers, had felt the burden of the Trojan war. I infer that the art of hunting is unprofitable inasmuch as a man of his prowess had not wished to impart it to his only son. And this you as well as I may infer from the fact that the inferior sex excels in the hunting of birds. For this you might be inclined to blame nature did you not know that inferior creatures are always more prone to rapine. Hunting is indeed a silly and very trying business and never balances the losses of its extravagance by the advantages of its successes.

It may be that such large numbers of men engage in hunting in order that under cover of it they may cut down their expenditures, rarely dining at home, often with their acquaintances. They court

35 Horace, A. P. 142 (L. C. L., p. 462).

solitude, wandering about forest glades and lakes clothed in coarse garments, content with cheap food. The sight of their inane amusement is the only consolation they have to offer their relatives and dependents who are being worked to death, starving and ill-clothed. As a matter of fact, Athens' first fall was at the date when she decreed [26] that the edict forbidding hunting be rescinded and that the art of hunting both animals and birds be recognized by the state, and practiced.

The seer of Mantua36 is said to have asked Marcellus, when the latter was enthusiastically engaged in playing havoc with birds, whether he preferred that a bird be produced for the capture of others or a fly be fashioned for the purpose of exterminating its kind. Referring the point to his uncle Augustus, on his advice Marcellus chose that a fly be formed to drive flies from Naples and free the city from an intolerable pest. The same was in fact accomplished, clear evidence that the common weal should take precedence of the individual's pleasures.

In the cave of the Centaur Chiron,37 if entire credence is to be given the Greeks, Achilles was taught to play the lyre and cithera.38 He was then taken into the forest and amid the slaughter of wild beasts, becoming inured to killing and to eating disgusting food, he lost his awe of nature and fear of death. Are we not told that Bacchus had the same trainer? In truth those who have such inclinations and desires are half-beast. They have shed the desirable element, their humanity, and in the sphere of conduct have made themselves like unto monsters. From levity to lewdness, from lewdness to lust, and finally, when hardened, they are drawn into every type of infamy and lawlessness.

Repose is sought after labor. Amusements are more delightful if hardships precede. Organisms utterly exhausted recruit themselves with greater avidity. To this day hunters smack of the Centaurs' training. Rarely is one found to be modest or dignified, rarely self-controlled, and in my opinion never temperate. They were indeed [27] imbued with these characteristics in the home of Chiron. Hence the warning to shun the Centaurs' feasts,39 from which no one goes unscathed.

36 I. e., Virgil, who was regarded as a magician in the Middle Ages. For this incident see Comparetti, Vergil in the Middle Ages, translated by Benecke, p. 267.

37 Ovid, Met. ii. 633 (L. C. L., I, 104); Fast. v. 380 (L. C. L., p. 288); c£. Claudian, On the Third Consulship of Honorius, 61 (L. C. L., I, 274).

38 Statius, Achilleis i. 106ff. (L. C. L., II, 516).

39 Ovid, Met. xii. 213 ff. (L. C. L., p. 194).

If credence may not be given to the stories which poets have distorted with figments of their imagination, we must at least believe that which, written by the hand of God, has acquired indisputable authority among all nations. First, therefore, must be counted Nimrod,40 a stout hunter before the Lord.41 We do not doubt that he was in disrepute, since all scholars condemn him. It is stated that he rose to such a pitch of pride that he feared not to scorn the laws of nature in that he reduced to servitude those of his own status and race whom she had created free and equal. Therefore tyranny, initiated by a huntsman to insult the Creator, finds its sole source in one who, amid the slaughter of beasts, wallowing in blood, learned to feel contempt for the Lord. He began indeed to grow powerful in the land for thus it was written: For the reason that he did not expect to receive power from the Lord.42 The beginning of his rule was Babylon and he spread into the land of Sennar where, when the whole earth was of one tongue and the same speech, the tower of Babel arose to the heavens. It was constructed not of stone but of brick covered with bitumen. It was not built upon a rock, on the firm foundation of which alone every edifice that is constructed waxes strong in the Lord. But shameless indiscretion, destroying harmony, also destroyed the unity of tongues and richly deserved the confusion that ensued in that it preferred to glory in itself rather than in the Lord. Hence the proverb: Even as Nimrod, the stout [28] hunter before the Lord,43 possibly because he was so inflated with pride that the lesson of the recent flood failed to teach him not to wax haughty in the eyes of the Lord and not to claim defiantly for himself the obedience which man owes to God; since it is a fact that the flood preceded the confusion of tongues. Babylon44 hath indeed made drunken all the earth with her golden cup. Against Jerusalem45 which is above, she hath pitched a camp doomed to inevitable destruction and they that serve therein are damned by the eternal curse of the blessed.

Esau46 also practiced hunting and deserved to be cheated of his father's blessing. In the forest he became hungry, with the result

40 The account of Nimrod, the tower of Babel, and Nimrod's tyranny is taken by John from Rufinus' version of Josephus. For the original Greek see Josephus, Antiq. i. 115 (L. C. L., IV, 54ff.).

41 Gen. x. 9. 42 Ibid., 10. 43 See above, n. 41.

44 Jer. li. 7; Apoc. xvii. 4, 5. 45 Gal. iv. 26.

46 Gen. xxv. 27ff.

that in his ravenous desire for food he sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, and passed on to his descendants the yoke of voluntary slavery so that they bent their necks to the younger brother who remained at home. Esau's hands were covered with a thick growth of hair; he was rough in action, with boorish manners, and had left at home his fine garments since he incessantly engaged in hunting and had cast aside the garb of virtue. He thirsted for his brother's blood and yet, placated by gifts, he was not ashamed to be courted by him who he knew was preferred by divine grace to himself in the matter of his father's blessing.

They boast that the originator of hunting with falcons was Maccabeus. It is generally believed however that, engaged as he was in more serious occupations, he passed his life without this diversion. He waged successful wars, restored freedom to his brothers, improved the laws, revised ceremonies, cleansed the holy places, adorned the façade of the temple whence he believed victory had come to him with garlands of gold. Into none of his acts

Did selfish pleasure steal and claim a share.47

Finally, falling in battle in defense of his brothers, he left them heirs to a righteous war.

You upon whom nature from the earliest years has enjoined the [29] rule of reason, consider the patriarchs, pass on freely to generals, proceed to judges, advance to kings, peruse the long line of prophets, examine the duties and pursuits of a devoted people; do you read in the whole range of ancient documents of anyone who has been a professional hunter? To be sure the Idumeans,48 Ishmaelites, and the tribes that knew not God. "Where are they that take their diversion with birds of the air?"49 asks the prophet or, if you will, his scribe, provided he be inspired. It is as if he makes the suggestion, though he does not say it, that those whose life is but sport have vanished along with their birds; and he does say in so many words that they have gone down into hell. Question your parents and they will cite your ancestors and say that they have never read of a hunter-saint. If, however, you should show partiality for the term hunter because the prophets promise that the Lord will send hunters50 to chase from the forests and high places those who have wandered astray, then you should know that it is the life of bestial men that

47 Lucan, Phars. ii. 391 (L.C.L., p. 86). 48 Ezek. xxxii. 29, 30. 49 Bar. iii. 17.

50 Jer. xvi. 16.

is reproved, and not the vanity of hunters that is commended. Nor should the fact that, as you assert, on the authority of pious but not canonical writings, Placidus (also named Eustachius),51 a glorious martyr indeed, was visited while hunting by the Lord impress you overmuch. This would be as foolish as to praise the madness of the persecutors of the Church for the reason that from among them Paul was called to be an apostle and became one of the distinguished preachers of the gospel.

Granted that there have been distinguished men who were devoted to hunting, an Alexander or perhaps a Caesar, you will never find among them a philosopher or one deemed a sage among his people. Nor were Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Soranus,52 or he whose wisdom and virtue centered admiration upon himself and who made as nothing all the marvels not only of his own city but of the world, Archytas of Tarentum.53

[30] But to return to those of our own fold who excel in respect to the truth of their doctrine, the example of their virtue, and the authority of their faith, we find no Saint Augustine, Lawrence, or Vincent; in fine no one of the band of Christian Fathers troubled by this crazy mania of hunting. We are instructed by painful examples in our own period also to guard against this type of feverish activity, in that divine wrath by many authentic miracles has smitten leaders while engaged in the hunt; for they who lived while they could like beasts have often died like dogs.

Kings themselves54 have not been spared by the hand of God, which, for their wickedness, has inflicted deserved and signal punishment. We do not mention their names and the circumstances not because of lack of instances — perhaps indeed because of the difficulty of choosing amid such abundance — but in reality that we may avoid, by touching wounds still sore, causing additional pain to the smitten hearts of those still mourning. We have in fact many instances at home.

Some inspired by this form of vanity have gone to such extreme of madness as to become enemies of nature, forgetting their own condi-

51 A Christian martyr of the reign of Hadrian.

52 A distinguished Greek physician. As to the question whether there were four persons of this name cf. Smith, Dictionary of Classical Biography.

53 For one marvel that Archytas made for his city see Aulus Gellius, X. xii. 9 (L.C. L., II, 244).

54 E. g., William Rufus, King of England; Richard, Son of Robert, Duke of Normandy; Fulk, Count of Anjou, King of Jerusalem; and John II, known as John the Good.

tion and scorning divine judgment by subjecting God's image to exquisite torture in enforcing their claim to wild beasts; for a beast's defense they have not feared to destroy man, whom the Only Begotten Son of God hast redeemed with his blood. Wild animals, which are gifts of nature and become the lawful property of those who get them, are claimed by presumptuous man even under the watchful eye of God; and the uniform right over all of them wherever they exist is upheld by him as though he had thrown his encircling net around the whole universe. A fact that excites surprise is the frequent practice of declaring it a crime to lay snares for birds, to weave nooses, to allure by tunes or whistle, or to trap them in any manner whatsoever. The punishment prescribed is confiscation of goods or loss of life or limb. You have heard it said that birds of the sky and fishes of the deep are common property, but those that hunting claims, wherever they nourish, belong to the royal treasury. Stay thy hand; [31] touch them not; for under pain of treason thou mayst fall a victim to the hunter.

Farmers are kept from their fields that wild beasts may have liberty to roam. That feeding ground for them may be increased farmers are deprived of their fields of grain, tenants of their allotments, the herds and flocks of their pasturage. Hives are excluded from flowery places and the very bees are scarcely allowed to roam at liberty.

You are correct in saying that although the gadfly and other pests which do not annoy wild beasts but the pets of the mighty, cannot be driven off by them with all their might; even the gnat employs its weapons to avenge man and properly turns its sharp sting against wild beasts. In this way, if you should be here you will be compelled to buy up or lose your own fields, year by year. Choose whichever you prefer of the two fundamental rights of citizenship, you are threatened with the loss of life or property, one or the other.

If any hunter should pass through your estate, set before him without delay and with due respect what you have on hand. What you have not and your neighbor has,55 purchase for his use for fear that in accord with power conferred by edict he may carry away your possessions despite you, and because of irreverence and contempt force you in the court of the hundred or that of the sheriff or of the king's itinerant justice or possibly in the king's court itself, to answer the charge of high treason. For the royal treasury is en-

55 Cf. Juvenal, Sat. iv. 55 (L. C. L., p. 60).

riched while the family is forced to go into debt to meet its obligations as well as it can.

That it may be evident that I am attacking with my pen hunting and other diversions of courtiers judiciously rather than in a spirit of hatred, I would gladly agree to count hunting among things called indifferentia (neither good nor evil) were it not for the fact that the inordinate pleasure that it causes impairs the human mind and undermines reason itself. It should not, however, be indiscriminately condemned on this score; wine intoxicates but the intoxication is the fault of the one who drinks; the old often exhibit a senility that is not the result of age but of their own defects. Therefore it is quite possible, depending upon the circumstances, time, manner, individual, and purpose, for hunting to be a useful and honorable occupation. For it is the individual that glorifies the pursuit when following the path of duty and not infringing upon the rights of others. That activity of a man is most seemly which is in greatest harmony with his duty. The philosopher, describing seemly conduct for indi-[32] vidual cases, puts it admirably: "That which is most consistent with his character is most seemly for each."56

What have you or I to do with the business of hunting? For one to neglect his own business and to devote himself with excess of enthusiasm to another's, is a disgrace indeed. For what has one whose distinction is based upon his public service to do with a private, not to say rural, occupation? A people should follow its leader; the teacher should disseminate knowledge; the judge should check delinquency; the industrious should be rewarded with the gift of power; private individuals should pursue humble, the well-born higher, servants menial, occupations.

For that which will be base for Seius and For Titius, men of honor each, will be Quite seemly for Crispinus.57

Thus, though a body have several members, all do not have the same function; each has its own to perform. Why therefore do you who do not surrender yours to the hunter claim the right to his? Would you not deem it unseemly should the hunter aspire to the regal or papal throne? It would be even more unseemly to descend from either of these exalted positions to the filthy and bloody work of the hunter.

56 Cicero, De Off. I. xxxi. 113 (L. C. L., p. 114). 57 Juvenal, Sat. iv. 13-14 (L. C. L., p. 58).

For innate love of virtue always strives to rise; inversely, vicious impulses naturally tend downward.

Its purpose may redeem an act if it be based upon necessity, if effective in point of utility, or conspicuous for its integrity, since intention has the power to change its entire complexion. For, remarks the philosopher, one's attitude stamps its character upon one's work. Esau went out to hunt at the bidding of his father,58 hence without blame, in order to appease his father's hunger and obtain the promised blessing as the just reward for his obedience. If this [33] could not have been done without guilt, such a patriarch as he would never have sent his son on such an errand, whom by virtue of his blessing he proposed to place over the nations. But perhaps delay brought on its own peril in that Esau tarried longer than permissible, though in a permitted task, since he was enamoured of this bad habit. No one may be deemed at fault who, under the sharp goad of necessity is forced to sustain life by following a lawful pursuit.

They who shun inactivity, who prepare themselves for the business of life by inuring their bodies to hardships, who do not allow themselves to become physically unwieldy and who maintain their personal dignity in all situations, are immune to sharp rebuke. An action becomes criminal not in itself but from its intention. No display of virtue gives an act distinction if its origin is rooted in pleasure. Pleasure is indeed a spurious source for virtue. I am not speaking of the pleasure which is the fruit of peace, patience, kindness, forbearance, and delight in the spirit of holiness.59 I refer to pleasure which, devoted to feasting, drinking, banquets, song and dance, sport, over-refinements of luxury, debauchery, and varied types of defilement, weakens even robust souls and, by a sort of irony on nature's part, renders men softer and more corrupt than women. Circumstances also palliate the blame attached to hunting or even justify its pursuit. Granted these circumstances, justification for the action is derived from them as it is in the majority of cases. Hunting then may be untimely from the point of view of religious ceremonies, natural order, or obligation of duty such as ought not to be neglected and should take precedence of other activities. But enough of this, as our purpose is not a formal treatise on hunting but that of deriving a little amusement at the expense of the frivolities of courtiers. Consideration must be given to place also; that is, hunting should 58 Gen. xxvii. 59 Gal. v. 22.

be pursued on preserves, on common or on public land, provided that no injury is done the community and provided the locality is not exempt from such disturbance by reason of its sanctity or renown. For the bold trespasser is caught in the law's net and punished. The activity, however, is laudable when moderation is shown and hunting is pursued with judgment and, when possible, with profit, with [34] the result that the advice of the dramatist Terence is followed: "Moderation in all things."60 For 'tis also true,

The wise is called a mad man, the just unjust, If he pursue e'en virtue beyond the realm Of sense.61

For nothing is less becoming than to cause a smile to pass over the countenances of the spectators as you with excess of zeal devote yourself to an activity of which you have no knowledge or, for that matter, which you have no intention of mastering. It is as if to be amusing, you should attempt to speak a tongue of which you are utterly ignorant.

There are indeed persons who are forever excluded not only from this but from certain other pursuits which are still more trifling and frivolous; for instance, those who are in holy orders and those who hold high judicial appointments. For conduct which, in the case of some, might appear a slight lapse, in the case of such as these would convey the impression of guilt. Indeed those considerations are always more weighty which break agreements entered into than those which hinder their formation. Furthermore the pursuit of hunting not only precludes advancement in holy orders for its votaries but even disqualifies one who has already attained the highest rank therein.

The following is a striking statement among many such attributed to Themistocles: "Magistrates should be forbidden the public games and other frivolities that the state may not appear trivial and advertise its own shortcomings by such lapse of dignity. If, however, it should happen that those of the governing class be unhampered by duties — a rare occurrence — they are permitted during the years of young manhood, by the dispensation of youth, to depart a little from their customary dignity and be somewhat more lenient toward themselves, because as they advance to maturity they will make

60 Terence, And. 60 (L. C. L., I, p. 60). 61 Horace, Ep. I. vi. (L. C. L., p. 286).

amends to the state by their service to it." Such are his words. Would that our own statesmen gave ear to it, for then, having attained years of discretion, they would allow serious affairs of state to take precedence of their own diversions. The state would then feel a surge of strength course through its entire frame and the appearance of perfect harmony would impart charm and it would attain the perfection of an exquisite beauty,

If each part keep, as it is meet, the part Allotted to it,62

[35] and if there be no confusion, but perfect harmony, in its various functions. This result may be attained if we but follow an unerring guide, nature.63 As it is

Workmen try the doctor's trade and doctors Handle tools,64

and our public servants are drafted from among hunters, from those of more humble pursuits, and even from criminals. With the rashness of ignorance the uninitiated dare to dabble in affairs of state.

Chapter Five. Gaming, Its Use and Abuse

LISTEN! As the noisy train of hunters leaves the courtyard, the hum of other amusements, though not so noisy, persists. It is a hackneyed proverb, "He who chases hares has naught but words to eat." If you will but turn your gaze upon your neighbors you will find them devouring life as well, which is passed entirely in faction, folly, fraud. Do you not think the gamester foolish who by grace of dice lives, nay rather perishes, and makes each throw the arbiter of his fate? Does that pursuit conform to reason, in devotion to which one becomes less devout?

Attalus Asiaticus, if credence is to be given profane historians, is said to have invented this form of amusement by changing slightly the subject matter available in mathematics. For in preceding ages the science of mathematics was merely tolerated because it was serviceable in the search for truth and also as a desirable element in a liberal education or because it inculcated principles of correct living.

62 Horace, A. P. 92 (L. C. L., p. 450).

63 Cicero, De Amic. 19 (L. C. L., p. 128).

64 Horace, Ep. II. i. 115-16 (L. C. L., p. 406).

Attalus, however, by an acute albeit sterile innovation, did not do away with the difficulties inherent in the subject (as a matter of fact many of them still remain) but he made it more attractive.

Greece had as yet not discarded the abacus nor mental arithmetic nor the game in which the establishment of a complete and perfect harmony with the marked pawn on the field of one's opponent con-[36] stituted a perfect victory. When on the same field the harmonic, arithmetical, or geometric mean of three terms is established, it is only a half-victory. Any other harmonies, although they fall short of winning, give public testimony to the luck or skill of the player. To be acquainted with mathematical games is an interesting and valuable accomplishment — so also the ability to recognize what opponents are vulnerable to surprise and in what way others are safer in their camp, knowing nothing of danger except that of being surrounded and taken captive by the foe.

We read that Ptolemy, Alexander, Caesar, and Pythagoras himself found relief from their more burdensome duties in contests of this kind. Even their amusements were calculated to prepare them to meet the problems of philosophy. On the defeat of Darius at the battle of Issus, gambling in its many forms was introduced into Greece along with the treasures of the conquered city. Hence dice, draughts, chess,65 ario66 or the Dardanian contest, the cast of six, tricolus, monarchus, quoits, taliorchas, wolf — skill in all of which is better forgotten than learned.

Who would not be ashamed to owe the favor of his own destiny not to his own character but to the cast of dice? Who would not resent allowing the foresight of the dice-box to take precedence of his own judgment? Is not the practice of any activity sufficiently condemned in which one becomes more depraved in proportion as his skill in it increases? Such indeed is the status of the gamester. Gambling is the mother of liars and perjury for she is prodigal as the result of her lust for others' possessions67 and, having no respect for private

65 The Latin word is tabula, table or board on which games are played. Isidore of Seville (Etym. xviii. 80) defines tabula as equivalent to alea (dice) or any game of chance. He says that it is played with the purgus (castle), calculi (counters), and tessera (draughts or dice). Webb cites Rashdell (Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, I, 195n), who states that the words ad scacos (chess) vel tabula are found in regulations governing gambling among students.

66 The Latin word is retained where the translator is not acquainted with the game or its English equivalent.

67 Sallust, Catil. v. 4 (L. C. L., p. 8).

property, as soon as she has squandered her own, gradually has recourse to theft and rapine.

Some esteem gambling, influenced by the fact that we read that Ulysses found amusement in it because it appears that acuteness of mind is, to a considerable degree, acquired by the long meditation it exacts. But to me it seems the more ruinous in that nothing is less profitable than to expend much labor on that by which one profits [37] little. For the importunity of the suppliant is inexpedient when by it the inexpedient is acquired, and zeal in requesting is folly where attainment produces no beneficial result. Would that thought and mental alertness, which in this case are wasted, might by all means be applied to nobler and better purposes! Gambling is absolutely banished from the domain of morals by the authority of him68 who, teaching the world in the person of his son, pronounced that it should be shunned by all. It arms men for strife; it incites enmity; it causes pitiful if not pitiable destitution. If you ask who makes this assertion, allow me to introduce him69

Who believed that he was born to help the world

And not himself.70

There are, however, times when, viewed from a certain aspect, games of chance are permissible. For example, if without evil consequences they alleviate the strain of heavy responsibilities and if without harming character they introduce an agreeable period of relaxation. Liberty to do as one pleases is justified if moderation controls the act. The lack of it impairs the efficacy even of real worth. The circumstances that regulate all freedom from restraint are dependent upon a preceding consideration of place, time, individual, and cause. It is this consideration which makes all transactions appear beautiful or condemns them as morally ugly. In each individual case many roles are to be considered, since nature, situation, and fortune each invests a man with its own garb and from these he must choose that which in his own case is becoming.

Chilo the Spartan was sent to Corinth for the purpose of forming a treaty with the people of that city and on arriving found the leaders and elders of the city engaged in playing draughts. Not at-

68 I. e., Cato the censor. See Cato, Dist. Prolog. 37 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets,

p. 595).

69 I. e., Cato of Utica.

70 Lucan, Phars. ii. 383 (L. C.L., p. 84).

tempting to transact his business, he returned and explained that he did not wish the glory of the Spartans whose valor had been conspicuous for the building of Byzantium71 to be dimmed, should it be said that they had made a treaty with a nation of gamesters. Then, [38] too, golden dice were presented to King Demetrius72 by the king of the Parthians to taunt him for his childish inconsistency. As a result of that gift it would seem that he should have cast off a senile adolescence which did not shrink in the slightest degree from trivial conduct though vested with the dignity of regal power.

In our days it is a proof of the intelligence of our nobles to be acquainted with the art of hunting; to be well grounded — and this is still more ruinous — in the principles of gaming; to tone down the manly voice into dulcet, effeminate strains; to forget their manhood and with vocal and instrumental music to disgrace their birth. It is from such parents that children are infected with their moral diseases. For what will the son do if not what he sees his father doing?73 If gaming with its ruin attracts the old, The noble heir will play as well, and with Toy dice-box imitate his sire.74

A greater effort should have been made to protect those of tender years from lustful pleasures whence vices spring, and precautions should have been taken that in their presence there be no questionable conduct on the part of their elders, because, as the same satirist says,

Bad examples in the home corrupt

The more and quicker, since they steal into

The mind with weight of mighty precedent.75

Admirable it was in Eleazar, when entreated to save his life by transgressing the law of God, to avoid such a dangerous precedent by saying: Who am I, Eleazar, at ninety years of age, to adopt the life of the stranger and to corrupt pious youth?76 The result is that in these times fathers leave degenerate sons who disgrace their manhood with effeminate vices.

71 A reference to the taking and rebuilding of Byzantium by Pausanias. 72 Justin, XXXVIII. ix. 9.

73 John v. 19. 74 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 4-5 (L. C. L., p. 264).

75 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 31-33 (L. C. L., p. 266). Juvenal's text reads "swifter" in place of "more,"

76 2 Macc. vi. 24ff.

Chapter Six. Music, Instruments, Melodies,

Their Enjoyment and Proper Use

[39] ONE SHOULD not slander music by charging it with being an ally of the frivolities of courtiers, although many frivolous individuals endeavor by its help to advance their own interests. Music is indeed one of the liberal arts and it has an honorable origin whether it claims Pythagoras, Moses, or Tubal,77 the father of those who play upon the harp, as the author of its being. Because of the great power exercised by it, its many forms, and the harmonies that serve it, it embraces the universe; that is to say, it reconciles the clashing and dissonant relations of all that exists and of all that is thought and expressed in words by a sort of ever varying but still harmonious law derived from its own symmetry. By it the phenomena of the heavens are ruled and the activities of the world and men are governed. Its instruments form and fashion conduct and, by a kind of miracle of nature, clothe with melodies and colorful forms of rhymes and measures the tone of the voice, whether expressed in words or not, and adorn them as with a robe of beauty.

To add our own testimony, the Fathers of the Church78 have highly praised music. Finally, by virtue of it the violence of the evil spirit is controlled, and thanks to it his power over his own subjects [40] is weakened. For when the evil spirit of the Lord took possession of Saul, David sang, harp in hand, until the spirit ceased to trouble the king.79 Even though the spirit which is concealed in the word be not yet revealed, it is most fitting that the soul, thanks to a kindred element, calm itself and forget all resentment when harmonies of like origin with itself and mysteries of nature in her kindlier aspects are revealed in sound.

The opinion or conviction is widespread that the soul consists of musical harmonies. The prince of all philosophers, Plato80 (if the Aristotelians will permit), since he postulated a soul consisting of divisible and indivisible elements and fashioned it of the same and divers nature, believed that it could exist only if he united the divers lines which in manifold division radiated from both elements by portions consisting of half as much again, of four thirds and nine

77 Gen. vi. 21. Tubal was the form of Jubal used in the Middle Ages.

78 E. g., Augustine, De Orig. An. Hum. 13.

79 1 Kings xvi. 23.

80 Tim. 35A, B (L. C. L., pp. 64ff.).

eighths, due regard being given to semitone81 and interval.82 Consequently under a few clear terms the variety, however great, of discordant elements may be shown to be closely related to the soul by reason of a harmony due to a similarity in their kindred natures. Hence, by a kind of course through concealed passages, it pervades the whole universe with its own vital force. Sense harmonizing with reason regulates and renders efficient the life of each nature and substance by decree of divine disposition. The soul therefore distributes nourishment to all things and thrives in each of them in its own essence except insofar as it is not submerged by the weight of corporeal mass or as the confusion of external commotion does not disturb the spirit's tranquility. When this assails it nothing can be more wholesome than for the soul to be recalled, so to speak, from the violence of tumult to itself by nature's tones, which are its own. What, in fine, can be more comparable to the spirit of man than tone? When it is molded in him, passing through all that surrounds it, with course as nimble as it is invisible, it fills the ear, and with its being penetrates dense bodies without impairing them; it, [41] as it were, by touch influences the mind and at its bidding depresses or exalts it. Although tone is by no means spirit, it certainly is a type of conveyance of spirit and is the medium of spirit — now human, now divine, and again prophetic. When heard in its more delicately uttered strains, it captivates with its beauty even austere minds and by the exhibition of a sort of charming gaiety drives gloom away. It is potent to wipe away the swirling clouds of dust and mist that have found lodgment in our minds.

Consequently the Christian Fathers, when they were spreading reverence for the Church, held that not only vocal but instrumental music should be turned to the service of the Lord for the purpose of improving morals and of turning men's minds to the love of God by inspiring a feeling of joy for goodness. If the authority of the Church Militant appears insignificant to you, even the Church Triumphant will not refrain from sounding the praise of music. The son of thunder saw its elders and revealed them to you and their voices were as the voice of harpers harping with their harps.83 But if you have not yet heard them, listen to the King exulting and desiring you

81 Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. II. i. 24; Boethius, De Mus. ii. 28: "That which we now call semitone, our ancestors named quarter tone." 82 Boethius, De Mus. ii. 30; iii. 4, 8. 83 Apoc. xiv. 2; Mark iii. 17.

to be a sharer in his kingdom and his triumph, for he says: Take up psalm and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant psaltery with the harp.84 Wherefore? you say. That you may praise him with the timbrel and choir. Praise him with strings and organs.85

This is the sole or principal use of music. The Phrygian mode and other corrupting types serve no purpose in wholesome training; rather develop the evil inherent in its devotee. Legitimate musical instruction grieves and laments its disfigurement by a vice that is not inherent in it and by the fact that a harlot's appearance is given to that which was wont to inspire virile minds with manly ideals. The singing of love songs in the presence of men of eminence was once considered in bad taste, but now it is considered praiseworthy for men of greater eminence to sing and play love songs which they themselves with greater propriety call stulticinia, follies.

The very service of the Church86 is defiled, in that before the face of the Lord, in the very sanctuary of sanctuaries, they, showing off [42] as it were, strive with the effeminate dalliance of wanton tones and musical phrasing to astound, enervate, and dwarf simple souls. When one hears the excessively caressing melodies of voices beginning, chiming in, carrying the air, dying away, rising again, and dominating, he may well believe that it is the song of the sirens and not the sound of men's voices; he may marvel at the flexibility of tone which neither the nightingale, the parrot, or any bird with greater range than these can rival. Such indeed is the ease of running up or down the scale, such the dividing or doubling of the notes and the repetitions of the phrases and their incorporation one by one; the high and very high notes are so tempered with low or somewhat low that one's very ears lose the ability to discriminate, and the mind, soothed by such sweetness, no longer has power to pass judgment upon what it hears. When this type of music is carried to the extreme it is more likely to stir lascivious sensations in the loins than devotion in the heart. But if it be kept within reasonable limits it frees the mind from care, banishes worry about things temporal, and by imparting joy and peace and by inspiring a deep love for God draws souls to association with the angels.

But how may these reasonable limits be realized? "My lips shall greatly rejoice" says the psalmist "when I shall sing to thee."87 If

84 Ps. lxxx. 2. 85 Ps. cl. 4.

86 For a freer translation of this paragraph, by Professor H.E. Woolbridge, cf. Oxford History of Music, II, 85 n. 87 Ps. lxx. 23.

therefore out of the abundance of the heart your mouth sing the praise of the Lord,88 if you make music with the spirit and the mind, if in fine you sing in wisdom,89 even without the use of words, you possess the secret of true moderation and, not so much with the rejoicing of the voice as with that of the mind, you soothe the ears of the Most High and wisely avert his wrath.

He who, however, expresses passion or vanity, who prostitutes the voice to his own desires, who makes music the medium of pandering, is indeed ignorant of the song of the Lord90 and is revelling with Babylonian strains in a foreign land. Such as he gives greater delight; why I know not, unless it be that

We strive for the forbidden ever, And long for the denied,91

[43] and that stolen waters are sweeter and hidden bread is more pleasant.92 The Phrygian mode, by decree of the philosophers, had long before been banished from the court of Greece, and all such melodies as lead to the abyss of lust and corruption.

Do you not recall that the mothers and wives of the Thracians poured out upon Orpheus all their indignation, even to the degree of arousing the ill will of the fates, because he had by his melodies rendered their males effeminate? (Granted that he moved the spirits of the nether world and appeased its stern lord and that thanks to his song, he won, though on ill-starred terms, his Eurydice's return.) Therefore plaints of men of his type can expect for the most part no happy outcome. Possibly the reason is that

Base gain can have no happy end.93

However, influences that weaken the character and subvert morals are everywhere borrowed from our own age, for we concede that it is superabundantly supplied with vices of its own. If you notice that any one of those somewhat addicted to such faults is at the same time dignified, moderate, and modest, be sure to count him among the strong men of our day. He is indeed a rara avis.94

Consequently a certain venerable man,95 the superior of some

88 Matt. xxii. 2, 4; Luke vi. 45. 89 1 Cor. xiv. 15.

90 Ps. cxxxvi. 4. 91 Ovid, Am. III. iv. 17 (L. C.L., p. 460).

92 Prov. ix. 17. 93 Ovid, Am. I. x. 48 (L. C. L., p. 362).

94 Juvenal, Sat. vi. 165 (L.C.L., p. 96).

95 St. Gilbert of Sempringham. A translation of his words cited by Webb follows: We do not permit our nuns to sing. We absolutely forbid it, preferring with the blessed Virgin to hymn indirectly in a spirit of humility rather than with Herod's notorious daughter to pervert the minds of the weak with lascivious strains.

seven hundred nuns, imposed the law upon his convents that all the canticles be stripped entirely of their melodious vestments and rest content with the enunciation alone that expressed the meaning of the psalms and lauds.

The holy man was indeed suspicious of languishing tones as being related to voluptuousness, which is the parent of lust. Does not such music intensify day by day the evil of feasting? As though there can be no deadly poisons except those that are administered! Is it not folly to throw straw on the fire, oil on the hearth,96 poison to the snake?

[44] Though the wickedness of deeds be obscured by a veil of words whose fundamental meaning is the same, it makes no difference. The Greek word for banqueting signifies dining together or drinking together; we with greater propriety term it convivium, living together.97 Do not feasts seem in themselves sufficiently inane unless enlivened with song? The Lord chid the custom, saying, Woe to you that arise up early in the morning to follow your drunkenness, to drink till the evening, to be inflamed with wine. The harp and the lyre, the timbrel and pipe, and wine are in your feasts. The work of the Lord you regard not, nor do you consider the works of his hands.98 Was it not at a feast that the king of Babylon99 saw the handwriting on the wall — Mene, Mene, Tekel — by which it was announced that his kingdom had been numbered, found wanting, and divided? By divine judgment, indeed, he who exposes the vessels of the Lord, that is human bodies, to the short-lived joys of passion and opens the chamber of the bridegroom to the foulness of the Evil Spirit is judged unworthy of his kingdom.

Argus had a head surrounded with A hundred eyes,1

all of which were not so much lulled to sleep as put out by the charm of a single pipe. Who art thou to boast of being more circumspect than he?

96 Horace, Sat. II. iii. 321 (L. C. L., p. 180). 97 Cicero, De Senect. 45 (L. C. L., p. 56). 98 Isa. v. 11, 12. 99 Dan. v. 24-28.

1 Ovid, Met. i. 625 (L. C. L., I, 46).

Chapter Seven. Contrast between Augustus and Nero

AT A FEAST Augustus was once seen playing upon a tamborine. A certain soldier branded the unseemly conduct with these words:

Dost see how debauchee with finger thrums Upon the orb?2

Struck by the biting remark, Augustus ever after kept body and mind free of such frivolity and was always grateful to his critic.

[45] Far otherwise Nero. The foulest not merely of emperors but of men, he is said to have been so enamoured of the sweetness of his voice that he denied himself not merely fruits and food injurious to it but, to preserve it, he purged himself with enemas and emetics and, by the prescription of doctors, often and for long periods supported a leaden plate upon his belly3 as he lay upon his back.

He took such delight in singing and playing that not even when the theater was rocking in an earthquake would he leave, if he had commenced, until he had finished what he had begun. Nor while he was singing was anyone allowed to go out. Consequently quite a few, bored with the performance, pretended to be dead and were carried out. He never addressed his soldiers except by the lips of someone else and he never engaged in any business affair or amusement without a throat specialist beside him to warn him to spare his vocal organs.

Musical instruments excited his great curiosity and he envied the proficiency of others with them. So intense was this feeling that he loved to be called the prince of harpists. This gave rise to the following:

A peer is born, his prince performs upon His harp. What next except the sawdust and The ring?4

Though he had the weight of the world upon his shoulders he had an aversion to all dignity. He consequently persecuted philosophers

2 Suetonius, Aug. 68 (L. C. L., I, p. 228). The Latin word orbis (orb) means both "a round drum" and "the world."

3 Suetonius says "chest"; this he did to strengthen his voice. 4 Juvenal, Sat. viii. 198-99 (L. C. L., p. 174). I have translated John's reading of Juvenal natus in place of mimus. A phrase of Claudian (Nupt. Honor, et Mariae, 35), principe natus, was possibly in his mind. Juvenal's text reads The prince performs upon his harp, his heir Upon the stage ...

as enemies to his imperial dignity and, being in awe of nobler natures than his own, he fell under the domination of actors whose low calling he was not ashamed to follow. Hence the following: What nobles do not grant, an actor will.5

Although he was so very avaricious that he assigned no duty without the comment, "You know of what I stand in need," or without adding, "He who presides over all is in need of all," nevertheless he did not hesitate to lavish immense sums upon mimics and actors. He honored them individually according to the pleasures he derived from each, with title of high dignity, naming some patricians and others senators; on these he conferred the names of distinguished and illustrious men.

Chapter Eight. Actors, Mimics, and Jugglers

[46] INDEED some still imitate Nero as far as they can (even if no one deigns to smirch himself with his foulness, although many curry favor with actors and mimics) and in displaying their vicious tendencies squander monstrous — shall we say, rather than marvelous — sums, in a sort of blind and despicable munificence.

That age6 however, to make a concession for the time being, possessed more respectable actors than ours, if we may apply the word respectable to that which is regarded as unworthy of any gentleman. I do not, however, assert that the actor is dishonorable when he follows his profession, although it is undoubtedly dishonorable to be an actor. Indeed there were once actors who by the magic of gesture, of language, and of voice reproduced vividly for the audience both fact and fiction. These were the contemporaries of Plautus and Menander and such as were intimate with our favorite Terence. Subsequently comedy and tragedy disappeared, since frivolity held universal sway. The actors of the legitimate drama were consequently forced into retirement. One will, however, discover that the status

5 Juvenal, Sat. vii. 90 (L. C. L., p. 144).

6 See Macrobius, Sat. III. xiv. Elsewhere John speaks thus of actors: Concerning actors and mimes, buffoons and harlots, panderers and other like human monsters which the prince ought rather to exterminate entirely than to foster, there needed to be no mention made in the law, which not only excludes all such abominations from the court of the prince but totally banishes them from among the people. Policraticus, IV, iv (Dickinson, p. 16). See also Book VIII, Chapter Twelve (pp. 369ff., below).

of the actor was for the most part that of the slave although his utility is emphasized by him who teaches the art of poetry, in the words,

Our dramatists desire to be of help And to amuse; to give expression to The jocund and the just.7

But our own age, descending to romances and similar folly, prostitutes not only the ear and heart to vanity but also delights its idleness with the pleasures of eye and ear. It inflames its own wantonness, seeking everywhere incentives to vice. Does not the shiftless man divert his idleness and court slumber with the sweet tones of instruments and vocal melody, with gaiety inspired by musicians and with the pleasure he finds in the narrator of tales or, and this is more disgraceful still, in drunken revels?

[47] Horace has given a prescription of better form:

Let those who need sound sleep anoint themselves And swim across the Tiber thrice.8

The preacher, too, says, Sleep is sweet to a laboring man whether he eat little or much.9 Exercise does indeed beget and foster liking for repose, which is destroyed by long continued ease and the languor bred by it. An idle man is especially under the dominion of his desires since idleness is a foe of the soul and banishes from it all interest in virtue. The moralist proclaims:

Dost see how sloth corrupts the idle frame; How waters motionless become defiled?10

What? you say; Listen! you will learn if you trust the same guide, as he also says,

'Tis questioned why Aegistus came to be Adulterer; the cause is clear to see, He had abundant ease.11

It is therefore the advice of a most learned man12 that the Enemy should find you occupied, that you may with success equal to your

7 Horace, A. P. 333-34 (L. C. L., p. 478).

8 Horace, Sat. II. i. 7-8 (L. C. L., p. 126). 9 Eccles. v. 11.

10 Ovid, Pont. I. v. 5-6 (L. C. L., p. 290).

11 Ovid, Rem. Am. 161-62 (L. C. L., p. 188).

12 I.e., St. Jerome, who says "See to it that you engage in some work, that the devil always find you occupied." Ep. cxxv (Ad Rusticum).

judgment oppose the shield of your occupations to his manifold temptations. Says the moralist,

That shameless siren idleness you must


But with us, actors give her new life. Tedium steals upon unoccupied minds and they are not able to endure their own company unless they are pampered by the solace of some pleasure. Therefore spectacles and the countless hosts of vanities by which they who cannot endure to be entirely idle are occupied, but to their greater harm. Better had it been for them to have idled away their time than to have busied themselves to their own ruin. Hence the procession of mimics, jumping or leaping priests, buffoons, Aemilian14 and other gladiators, wrestlers, sorcerers, jugglers, magicians, and a whole army [48] of jesters. They are in such vogue that even they whose exposures are so indecent that they make a cynic blush are not barred from distinguished houses. Then too, a surprising fact, they are not even turned out when with more hellish tumult they defile the air and more shamelessly disclose that which in shame they had concealed. Does he appear to be a man of wisdom who has eye or ear for such as these? Who would, however, not be glad to see and laugh when juggler is drenched with urine, his tricks disclosed, and when eyes that have been blinded with his magic find their power restored? It is pleasant and not in the least unbecoming for a man of honor to indulge occasionally in reasonable mirth, but it is disgraceful to lower personal dignity by excessive indulgence in it. From such spectacles also (especially if obscene) the eye of the honorable man should be turned lest the incontinence of his mind, as well, proclaim his lewdness. Pericles, his colleague, chiding Sophocles, the general, well said "It is fitting, Sophocles, that a general have not only continent hands but eyes."15 "Turn away my eyes that they may not behold vanity"16 said he to whom much was permitted because of his regal estate, for he knew, doubtless, that the groan uttered by another; "My eye hath wasted my soul,"17 is true. However, the wise man's mind detects what is helpful or fitting in cases as they occur, nor does he shun fables, stories, or spectacles in general, providing that

13 Horace, Sat. II. iii. 14-15 (L. C. L., p. 158).

14 So called perhaps because trained at the Aemilian school for gladiators men tioned by Horace, A. P. 32 (L. C. L., p. 452). 15 Cicero, De Off. i. 40 (L. C. L., p. 146). 16 Ps. cxviii. 37. 17 Lam. iii. 51.

they possess the requirements of virtue and honorable utility. You are not unaware that by the authority of the Christian Fathers the sacrament of holy communion is forbidden actors and mimics as long as they persist in their evil career. Hence you may infer in what a perilous position their supporters are if you but recall that perpe-[49] trator and confederate are to suffer like penalty. Why is it that people make gifts to actors, you ask. They court them for their worst qualities. Can he who courts wickedness be himself good? Although all who are wicked are indeed hateful, those who do less harm are easier to endure.

Chapter Nine. Derivation of the Word "Praestigium" and the Originator of the Art

LONG ago the Christian Fathers condemned those who practiced the more demoralizing forms of legerdemain, the art of magic, and astrology because they realized that all these arts, or rather artifices, derive from unholy commerce between men and demons. Very frequently their practitioners cite truth with the sole intent to deceive, and of these Our Lord warns the souls of his faithful; If they shall tell you and so it come to pass, believe them not.18

The word praestigium19 is said to have been invented by Mercury for the reason that he blinds20 the eyes. He was the most adept of magicians and could make invisible whatever he desired or, as it appears, change it into other forms. Indeed all manifestations of mathesis,21 if the penultimate syllable be pronounced long, may be referred to magic, and of this there are many different forms.

Chapter Ten. Magicians and the Reputed Origin of the Name

MAGICIANS do indeed exist and are so called because of the magni-[50] tude of their incantations;22 for they, by God's grace, cause

18 Deut. xiii. 1, 2; Matt. xxiv. 36.

19 "Illusion," "sleight-of-hand." 20 Latin praetringit.

21 John of Salisbury distinguished between ma'thesis (mathematics) and mathe'sis (astrology).

22 Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 9. Note that the etymology is derived from the fact that the first syllable of each word is the same. In general, classical and medieval derivations are as bizarre as this.

the elements to shudder, destroy the identity of things, often predict the future, cloud the minds of men, send dreams, and, so far as that goes, by the violence of their charms slay them — a fact known to Lucan for he says

Men's minds polluted by no poisonous draft, By incantations perish.23

That you may not lightly esteem Lucan's testimony, you are aware that Jannes24 and Jambres, magicians of Pharaoh (for Egypt is the mother of such kinds of superstition and sorcery), not only withstood Moses but vied in signs and miracles with him, though afterward quite reluctantly they were forced to acknowledge that the hand of God was in the signs of Moses.25

Chapter Eleven. Types of Magic

VARRO,26 most painstaking of scholars,-borrowed four types of magic from the four elements; pyromantia, aeromantia, hydromantia, and geomantia. You will see that many forms spring from these as origins, whether divination is performed by craft or divine inspiration. To illustrate, I shall subjoin the names of a few types.

Chapter Twelve. Definitions of Enchanters, Wizards, Soothsayers, Prophets, "Vultivoli,"27 "Imaginarii," Dream Interpreters, Palmists, Crystal-Seers, Astrologers, "Salisatores," Fortune Tellers, Augurs

ENCHANTERS28 are they who practice their art by means of words. Wizards are they who on altars29 make their unholy prayers and accursed sacrifices. On their necks the hand of the Lord weighs, for

23 Lucan, Phars. vi. 475 (L. C. L., p. 336).

24 2 Tim. iii. 8; Exod. vii. 11ff.; cf. Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 4.

25 Exod. viii. 19.

26 "Varro says that there are four types of divination, having to do with earth, water, air, and fire; hence the terras geomantia, hydromantia, aeromantia, and pyromantia." Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 15.

27 Where there seems to be no English equivalent the Latin word is retained.

28 Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 5.

29 Wizards, altars; the Latin words are arioli and arae, hence the etymology. See above, n. 22.

his prophet says "Thou dost not permit wizards and magicians to live."30

Soothsayers are they who consider the hours and prescribe the expedient time for action. Their error the apostle damns in the [51] words: "I am afraid of you lest perhaps I have labored in vain among you for ye observe days and months and seasons and years."31 Success should be attained not from time but from the name of God. Auspice-taking also has to do with the inspection of vitals. One Tages is said to have invented the art. Hence Lucan's remark,

May entrails be but false and may the lore Of Tages, founder of the art, be proved Sheer fiction.32

By the word vitals all that is covered by the outer skin is meant, as a consequence of which it is clear that those who base their prophecies on the dry bones of animals without blood, whether they expound the present or the past, are classed as soothsayers. For prophecy is the art by which, as the result of knowledge of the truth, the hidden is revealed, since it is conceded that the art deals not only with the future but also with the present, the future, and the past. If, however, use is made of blood we enter the domain of the Black Art,33 which is so called because it depends entirely upon investigation of the dead. Its essential character is that of being able to raise the dead for the purpose of ascertaining truth. It is indeed a trick of demons who mock and play with human frailty.

Prophets34 are those who are filled with the prophetic spirit. This works more frequently in maidens35 that it may delude the more, as if the unclean spirit were attracted by a mind and body undefiled.

Vultivoli36 are they who, for the purpose of working upon the [52] feelings of men, fashion in a somewhat soft substance (as wax or clay) images of those whose natures they are striving to distort. Virgil in his Pharmaceutria mentions this type of illusion:

The clay grows hard; the wax grows soft and so By this same fire, may Daphnis melt with love For me.37

30 Lev. xx. 6; Exod. xxii. 18. 31 Gal. iv. 10, 11.

32 Lucan, Phars. i. 636 (L. C. L., p. 48).

33 Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 11. 34 Ibid., 21.

35 Acts xvi. 16. 36 Literally, "they who change features."

37 Virgil, Ed. viii. 80 (L. C. L., I, 60).

Ovid also in the Heroides:

She dooms the absent, moulds the waxen forms And plunges slender needles into wretched Hearts.38

Their sorcery, although they do much harm, may be easily counteracted; for example, if the persons suspected, being confronted by someone, deny their crime or, having confessed, are compelled to revoke their incantation.

Imaginarii are they who send as it were the figures they fashion to the presiding spirits, that by them they may be informed on matters of doubt. Holy Scripture39 assures that such are idolaters and condemned by the judgment of divine majesty.

Dream interpreters40 are they who by some art claim they have the power of interpreting dreams.

Palmists are they who by inspecting the hands prophesy concerning things unknown.

Crystal-seers are they who by gazing into smooth and polished surfaces such as shining sword blades, basins, cups, and mirrors of various types, satisfy the curiosity of their clients; an art which Joseph41 too is said to have practiced, or rather feigned, when he accused his brethren of having stolen the cup in which he was accustomed to prophesy.

Astrologers42 are they (though this word has a wider application as well) who, from the position of the stars, the situation of the [53] firmament, and the movement of the planets, foretell the future, as illustrated in the lines,

A truth abiding fate on even balanced scales Our destinies doth weigh; or else between The Twins, the natal hour divides the lot Concordant of us twain. Assuredly there is Some star which links thy fate with mine,43

as if it were an established fact that the courses of the stars and their connection the one with the other fix, so to speak, a kind of fated

38 Ovid, Her. vi. 91-92 (L. C. L., p. 76). 39 Ezek. xxl. 21.

40 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. III. vi. 30 (L. C. L., I, 424).

41 Gen. xliv. 5.

42 Latin mathematici. Isidore states that this is the popular name for them, the learned one being genethliaci (calculator of nativities). Orig. VIII. ix. 23.

43 Persius, Sat. v. 47-51 (L. C. L., p. 372). In this quotation Persius refers to the concordant destinies of himself and his friend Cornutus.

course for things, which in reality results from the free action of the will. The error of the astrologist is repeated in the calculator of nativities,44 who specializes upon the hour of birth. Hence the satirist remarks

Unto astrologers thy nativity is known.45 They are sometimes termed horoscopi.46 To quote again,

O horoscope, thou bring'st before us, twins Of diverse temperament.47

This science flourished and doubtless was lawfully practiced to a certain extent until after the star in the heavens announced the birth of Christ, and with its strange, marvelous guidance led the Magi, then men of worth,48 to offer their adoration, the first fruits of piety. Thereafter, however, astrology was absolutely banned.49

Salisatores50 are they who, as a result of palpitation in the limbs or unexpected movements of the body, pronounce a future event favorable or unfavorable.

Fortune tellers51 are they who, under the name of false religion by a sort of superstitious observation of things, promise certain results: for example, the lots52 of apostles and prophets and those of fortune [54] tellers; the use of the Pythagorean table;53 the observation as well of every incident that may have significance for the matter under investigation.

44 Latin genelliaci; Gellius, N. A. XIV. i (L. C. L., III, 2); the genethliaci of Isidore. See above, n. 42.

45 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 248 (L. C. L., p. 282).

46 "Horoscopi are they who examine the time of men's birth with its diverse and varying destiny." Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 27. This is a purely medieval meaning of horoscopi. John is therefore at fault when he gives this meaning to the word in his quotation from Persius below. The word in classical Latin always means "nativity."

47 Persius, Sat. vi. 18-19 (L. C. L., p. 394). 48 Matt. ii.

49 "At first the interpreters of the stars were called Magi, who, as we read in the gospels, announced the birth of Christ; subsequently they were called mathematici. Their art was tolerated until the time of Christ, for after his teaching no one cast nativities." Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 25-26.

50 Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 29. 51 Ibid., 28.

52 This consisted in opening the Holy Scriptures at random and taking as an omen the first passage that met the eye. The custom was doubtless adopted from the Sortes Vergilianae of classical antiquity.

53 The Pythagorean table or globe (Latin tabula or spaera) was a method of divination. A diagram of the table with directions for its use in predicting the recovery or death of a sick person is contained in the reference cited by Webb: K. Gillert, Neues Archiv fur altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, V, 254.

The Phrygians54 are said to have been the inventors of augury which consists in the observation of the conduct of birds, expressed in voice and flight. There is, moreover, according to the augur's tradition, a flight that has to do with the feet as well as with the wings; vola55 indeed is the inner portion of the palm or foot; hence, in the sixth book of Virgil,56 the doves are described as volantes instead of gradientes (walking). It is indeed regarded as a good omen if walking doves, provided they are feeding, advance in front of travelers.

Chapter Thirteen. Omens in General

A ROMAN consul,57 having been sent on a military expedition and being unable to secure favorable auspices, directed that pigeons which had been starved for some time be sent on ahead and that kernels of wheat be spread on the road where he was to pass, in order that by their omen at least he might offset to some extent the unfavorable auspices. However, when they persisted in refusing food he ordered them hurled into the river that they at any rate might drink. Drowned in the swift current they served as a premonition that the consul and his army would perish in like manner. Such in fact was their fate.

Bees brought honey to the lips of the infant Plato,58 thus presaging that the eloquence of his style was to be of striking sweetness.

Hiero,59 afterward tyrant of Syracuse, a position won by his merit, had when an infant been exposed to die by his father, a nobleman, for the reason that his mother was a slave. The child was considered

54 Isidore, Orig. VIII. ix. 32.

55 Isidore says, "For vola means the middle of the foot and hand and, in the case of birds, the middle portion of the wing bone, by which the feathery portion of the wing is moved; hence volucres, birds." (Orig. XII. vii. 4). The translator knows no classical authority for the statement with regard to the wing's being called vola. See Servius, Comm. in Verg. Aen. vi. 198: "Some think that volando [flying] is equivalent to ambulando [walking] because the middle portion of the foot or hand is called vola."

56 Virgil, Aen. vi. 191 (L. C. L., I, 520).

57 P. Claudius Pulcher. When birds ate greedily the omen was favorable. Valerius Maximus, IV. iii. Cf. Cicero, De Div. II. viii. 29 (L. C. L., I, 292); Florus, Epit. I. viii. 29 (L. C. L., p. 84).

58 Cicero, De Div. I. xxxvi. 78 (L. C. L., p. 308); II. xxxi. 66 (L. C. L., p. 444); Valerius Maximus, I. vi.

59 Justin, xxiii. 4.

a dishonor to the line and an ignominious blot upon an illustrious name. The baby, bereft of human aid, was succored by the bees and kept alive for a number of days by the honey which they brought to it. Consequently, on the advice of soothsayers who prophesied that he was destined for the throne, he was recovered, acknowledged by his father, and given a careful education.

[55] Ants made a pile of grains of wheat on the cradle of little Midas,60 indicating that he would be very rich; hence poets fable that all that he touched became gold.

His cap fell from the head of Sulpicius61 when sacrificing, and this cost him his holy office.

Marcus Fabricius heard the squeaking of a shrew mouse and lost his office as prefect.62 If you place complete credence in the nonsense of the Spaniards63 and notice on beginning a task that your clothing has been gnawed by mice, desist from your undertaking. If as you go out you trip on the threshold, stop. If on the point of transacting business you suffer some loss, defer what you have begun lest you be entirely thwarted or what you do accomplish prove ineffectual. Wait until such time as you may begin again under better auspices. Everything has some significance. When you sally forth, birds which are named prophetic will indicate to you the secrets of the future. What are those birds, you ask. Why, those which the poets assert have been changed from human beings into the form of birds. Listen with attention to what the crow says. Be sure not to disregard its position when perched or flying. It is indeed significant whether it be on the right or left; in what position it be as it turns its eye upon your elbow as you walk along; whether it chatter, caw, or be quite silent; whether it go on ahead or follow; whether it await your coming as you pass, or fly away; and in what direction it go; for as Virgil says,

Had not a crow upon the left from high On hollow oak warned me to stay, as best I might, this new dispute, your Moeris here, Menalcas too, would not be living now.64

60 Valerius Maximus, I. lxii; see also n. 58 above. 61 Valerius Maximus, I. i. 5.

62 But Valerius Maximus, I. i. 5, says "dictator."

63 This expression had its origin in the wide acceptance of apocryphal writings by the Spaniards. "A multitude of apocryphal writings introduced by the Pricillianists usurped the place of the Scriptures." Smith, Dictionary of Christian Biography.

64 Virgil, Ecl. ix. 14-16 (L. C. L., I, 66).

[56] Virgil seems to have run counter to the art of augury in that the crow which he asserted saved his life has no knowledge of auspices of high import. Possibly in this instance the portent took place contrary to nature. Such was the case when the words which the crow perched on the Tarpeian rock proclaimed in Greek to the city when the richly deserved and long desired destruction of Domitian was impending, "It will be well." The interpretation of the augur was as follows:

The crow which lately perched upon Tarpeia's

Rock, because it could not say "It is,"

Cawed out "'Twill be."65

But you must forgive the scholar-poet, either because he is drawing a picture of rural simplicity or because the life of the poor seems of little importance to the rich, who assert that mankind is created to wait upon the few.

But the raven, which you are to watch with no less care, gives omens on matters of higher importance and everywhere takes precedence of the crow. Then too there is the swan, in augury the favorite bird of sailors66 since it has foreknowledge of the secrets of the waters, thanks to its being on such familiar terms with them. Don't you remember in Virgil that

Twice six swans rejoicing in the sky67

announced by prophecy of Venus the safe return of Aeneas' fleet? Swans when joyful promise favorable outcome not only to sailors but to all travelers, unless this be canceled by the coming of a more potent omen; for example, if the eagle contradicts, as he is the king of birds unless we except the eaglehawk (which is perhaps only the strongest specimen of the eagle kind) he nullifies credence in all other birds by virtue of his royal majesty. In Statius68 an army of Greeks might have been comforted by the prediction of the birds. But behold, a mightier host69 coming through space predicted on the authority of Amphiaraus the destruction of the Greeks as well.

65 The meaning of the augur's words is not so clear as that of the words quoted by Suetonius: "The crow which lately perched upon the top of the Tarpeian rock said 'It is well'; it could not say 'It will be well.'" Dom. 23 (L. C. L., II, 384).

66 Webb remarks that Isidore, making the same statement, quotes from Aemilius Macer's poem on birds: "The swan ever the happiest in augury because he sinks not beneath the waves." Orig. XII. vii. 19.

67 Virgil, Aen. i. 393 (L. C. L., I, 269).

68 Statius, Theb. iii. 525ff. (L. C. L., I, 488).

69 Ibid., 530, 531 (L. C. L., I, 488ff.).

For although the eagle is surpassed by certain birds, there is none more efficient in predicting what will come to pass. He can outstrip [57] all other birds in flight; he is nowhere excluded from the secrets of Jove himself, since he is said to possess such keenness of vision70 that from high heaven he can espy tiny fish in the depths of the sea and can fix his gaze upon the orb of the sun (something impossible for other living creatures). As a result of the keenness of his senses, he received by grace of Jove a knowledge of truth and of the mysteries of nature.

Who would dare to say that one who shares the plans of Jove is a false interpreter of the same? An eagle, flying above the field as the battle between the Locrians71 and the men of Croton was still raging, is said to have conferred the victory upon the former, who though few in number annihilated an innumerable host. We read that this sign was supported by a stranger one. Two young men of lofty stature and graceful bearing, clothed in white, preceded the Locrians, one on either side. It was commonly held that they were Castor and Pollux. Omens of this type are of greater significance when they appear in pairs. When Hiero,72 whom we have mentioned before, was beginning his military career an eagle suddenly perched on his shield as he advanced, indicating that he would be a doughty warrior and would become king. The day on which Alexander was born73 two eagles sat perched on the ridgepole of his father's house, an omen of double empire, in Europe and Asia.

Vultures portend difficulties, hardships, and rapine, such as accompanied the founding of Rome. The appearance of the phoenix is a strikingly happy omen. It appeared when Constantine was founding a new Rome74 under happier auspices. A bird of brilliant plumage75 gave its name to the city of the Pictavi, auguring by its voice and color the fickleness of that race. The heron presages times of [58] stress. The stork, being the bird of harmony, finds it or produces it. The crane [grus] always brings the advantageous; consequently the archaic word gruere whence is derived congruere, to be advantageous, and its antonym, ingruere. Hence the line

70 Isidore, Orig. XII. vii. 10, 11. Isidore also remarks that the word aquila is derived from acumen, keenness of vision. See above, p. 39, n. 22.

71 Justin, xx. 3. 72 Ibid., xxiii. 4. 73 Ibid., xii. 16.

74 I.e., Constantinople. Webb states that the appearance of phoenix on this occasion is not mentioned elsewhere.

75 I. e., the pie; Latin pica. City of the Pictavi, i. e., Poitiers.

Bis vitibus ingruit imber.76

One should not, however, disregard the significance of lesser birds, as when the chattering pie warns you to be cautious not only in many other matters but especially in the reception of strangers. If the bird commonly called albanellus77 flies across the road, passing from left to right, do not doubt the success of your entertainment; if it fly in the opposite direction you may expect the reverse.

Domestic fowls too are not without knowledge of this art. The crowing of the cock78 is auspicious for one's expectations, for a journey, or for undertaking a task. On the eve of Tiberius' birth79 his mother Livia, now in her own and now in the hands of her maids, kept warm an egg which had been taken from a setting hen, until it hatched a cock with a fine crest. As a consequence the augurs said that the boy about to be born would be emperor.

Omens from the horned owl, the screech owl, and the night owl are always unfavorable. The night owl, however, for the reason that it is not blinded by the darkness of night, points to the watchfulness of a man of discretion, as in the portent of the night owl said to have perched upon the spear of Hiero80 as he advanced to his first attack. This was an indication that he would be a man of great discretion. Dido heard the ill omened screech of an owl as she lay in the arms of Aeneas.81

If a hawk or other bird of that type seizes its prey in its accustomed way before the eyes of a traveler about to start on his journey, rapine threatens him while on his way. Ovid jokingly refers to this omen in the line,

We hate the hawk because he lives for war.82

[59] The kinglet itself, also called bistricus, at times does not disdain to prophesy. Even small birds by their coming and going indicate the diminution or the augmentation of the household. The calmer the flight of all birds the more favorable the omen. Consequently the augur Melampus, mentioned above,83 laments as he presages from the flight of birds the slaughter of the Greeks,

76 Virgil, Georg. ii, 410 (L. C. L., I, 144). Virgil's text reads "shade" instead of "storm."

77 An unidentified bird.

78 Pliny, N. H. x. 24. Cf. Cicero, De Div. II. xxvi. 56 (L. C. L., p. 434).

79 Suetonius, Tib. 14 (L. C. L., I, 314).

80 Justin, xxiii. 4. 81 Virgil, Aen. iv. 462 (L. C. L., I, 426).

82 Ovid, Ars Am. ii. 147 (L. C. L., p. 76).

83 See p. 46, end. But the above mentioned seer is Amphiaraus.

Thou see'st that no bird wings its course serene.84

You may ascertain the outcome of your journeys from beasts also. You are to avoid the hare; that is if it escape, for undoubtedly its fitting place is the table, not the road. You are to be grateful if you meet a wolf.85 He is indeed the herald of good news, though he is harmful if he sees you first. Hence the following:

His very voice fails Moeris; wolves have Seen him first.86

Hiero of Sicily,87 engaged in his school work, was writing in the company of his companions when a wolf suddenly appeared among them and ran away with his tablet, thus confirming the man's success by an unprecedented form of prodigy. Need more be said? Whosoever believes that the founder of the Roman line was suckled by a wolf will not deny its efficiency in augury. Hence some of the more attractive qualities of the Romans savor of the wolf. The earliest of them preserved for each other the fidelity which they had learned from their wolf-mother. The same characteristic was transmitted to their posterity.

If you meet sheep you should be thankful, remembering to avoid the goat of which the poet remarks,

Avoid a meeting with the goat; it butts.88

You may meet oxen threshing, but if they are plowing it is a better omen. Be not displeased if they cause an interruption in your journey because the pleasure of your entertainment will compensate you for the delay.

The mule brings bad luck; the ass is useless notwithstanding that it is most useful for bearing burdens. The horse sometimes brings [60] good luck but the most serviceable thing about him is his service to man. He does indicate disputes and battle. At times however the omen is modified as the result of his color or the service to which he is put. Consequently in Virgil, when Italy rises to view and old Anchises sees white horses, he cries out

Ah, war! 'Tis war thou bringest, O land Of our adoption.89

84 Statius, Theb. iii. 503-04 (L. C. L., I, 486ff.).

85 Pliny, N. H. viii. 34.

86 Virgil, Ecl. ix. 53 (L. C. L., I, 68). 87 Justin, xxiii. 4.

88 Virgil, Ecl. ix. 25 (L. C. L., I, 66).

89 Ibid., Aen. iii. 539 (L. C. L., I, 385).

The stag, the wild goat, the wild boar, the wild ass, and others of this type I would have you meet at table rather than on the road. Aeneas, having laid low stags to the number of the ships,90 turned by his prowess what seemed an ill omen to the service of himself and his companions.

A dog at heel is most comforting; if Hebrew tradition is reliable the very angel who accompanied Tobias91 did not scorn its companionship. Then too Cyrus,92 being exposed to die in the forest by his wicked grandfather, was suckled by a bitch and attained the throne of Persia. The locust, although its power is very limited, thwarts the desires of travelers perhaps for the reason that it causes those who are walking to stop (loco stare). To offset this the cicala speeds the traveler on his way and favors the completion of any undertaking. A spider, if it spin its web overhead, is thought to hold out the hope of coming wealth.

Meeting with a toad announces success to come, though for myself I can scarcely bear the sight of one. As a matter of fact there is nothing so potent as man, nothing so capable, and you will find no other creature who can with greater perspicacity expound truth. So if you wish to perfect yourself in this art you will with complete mental concentration note his station, natural gifts, gestures, carriage, and the meaning of what he says.

They tell us that it is ominous to meet a priest or monk. I too believe it is dangerous to meet not merely priests but philosophers [61] as well. It is also safer to meet slaves than those invested with high power. A woman walking with uncovered head is to be regarded as bringing ill luck unless, as we read in Pliny,93 she be a woman of the street or is notorious for numerous liaisons. Nor is it well to encounter one who is not ashamed to disfigure her head by removing her veil.

From what you hear at the beginning of any action you may prognosticate what is to follow.

Then leaning on the staff he bore in his

Right hand, the god replied: All things are wont

To be implied in their beginnings; words

90 Ibid., i. 192-93 (L. C. L., I, 254).

91 Tob. vi. 1.

92 Justin, i. 4.

93 Webb finds no such statement in Pliny.

We hear, we weigh with timid ear; the seer Consults the first bird seen.94

Beginnings do indeed prognosticate what is to come. The consul Petilius,95 storming the height in Sicily which was named Death, as his soldiers stripped for action remarked: "Today I shall have Death." It so chanced that he met death that day. Another consul also, on being appointed to carry on the war against the king of the Persians,96 asked his little daughter, whom he met at the door weeping, the reason for her tears. She replied that Persa had died, for so her puppy which had just died was named. The consul set out on the campaign but did not win his triumph for the very good reason that the Persian king had perished at the very time that the consul's daughter was crying because she had lost her puppy.

Even from the elements themselves and the state of the weather auspices may be deduced. A grateful dew or moderate shower mitigates the cruelty of chance. Periods when there is dew, a moderate amount of rain, or clear bright weather (if the undertaking be begun at once) are believed to be the precursors of good fortune. When for-[62] tune, which had long frowned upon the Phrygian exiles, at length as from a watchtower of grace regarded them more kindly, Above his head appeared a cloud of rain.97

Venus, paving the way for the hospitable reception of her shipwrecked son by Dido, gave him Achates as an attendant and concealed them in an enveloping cloud to introduce him to the favor of the queen.98

Peals of thunder also have various meanings. If they produce any harm whatsoever due to the bolt, they are of ill omen, hence the lines:

As I recall, the oaks oft struck by bolts Foretold this woe for me, had not my mind Been clouded.99

94 Ovid, Fast. i. 177-80 (L. C. L., p. 114). The correct text of the passage has "omens" in place of "all things," and the last line should say "At the first word ye prick up anxious ears."

95 Valerius Maximus, I. v. 9. The incident occurred in Liguria, not Sicily.

96 The king in question was Perses, king of Epirus, a fact which would spoil John's pun upon the word Persa, a Persian and the Puppy's name. See Cicero, De Div. I. xlvi. 103 (L. C. L., p. 334).

97 Virgil, Aen. v. 10 (L. C. L., I, 446).

98 Ibid., i. 411ff. (L. C. L., pp. 286ff.).

99 Ibid., Ecl. i. 16-17 (L. C. L. I. 4).

This too must be considered, whether the bolt descend in one path or scatter its flames all through the riven air; the latter is always somewhat sinister. Ancient history is unequal to the task of narrating how full of flashes the air was, how many whirling clouds of fire therein, how many hurtling bolts, at the time that Gaius Caesar was menacing his native land with civil war; at that time

Dark night saw stars it knew naught of.1

But if the heavens be not invaded by a tempestuous thunderstorm and if the rumbling be on the left, it is taken to announce Jove's approval. When Aeneas heard Jove's thunder on the left,2 he believed that he had won his favor by the sacrifice he had offered. However this may be, the fact that no one will feel the stroke of the bolt who has heard its crash or who has seen its flash may calm man's innate fear.

Tiberius Caesar3 used to wear a laurel crown upon his head when the sky was somewhat stormy because its leaves, they say, are invulnerable to lightning. He was indeed always in terror of thunder and would tremble violently when he heard it. There is, however, without a shadow of a doubt a far safer refuge for man; that is to cherish [63] in his heart faith in the Cross, in his head belief in justice, and with stainless fingers to mark his brow with the saving sign of his faith. He should have ever before his vision Him who, banishing all worldly fear, said to his flock "Fear not the signs of the sky which the gentiles fear, because I, your Lord God, am with you."4 It is said that these words, heard or uttered during a thunder storm, have protected many from the danger of lightning. But there is nothing which, because of threatening signs, so shakes the entire being as a guilty conscience which fears at every instant that it must atone for its sins. Hence, says the moralist with regard to the guilty,

They are the men who quake and pale each time The lightning gleams.5

On the other hand the just man has the boldness of the lion.6 So

1 Lucan, Phars. i. 526 (L. C. L., p. 40).

2 Virgil, Aen. ix. 630ff. (L. C. L., I, 154). 3 Suetonius, Tib. 69 (L. C. L., I, 390ff.).

4 Jer. x. 2.

5 Juvenal, Sat. xiii. 223 (L. C. L., p. 262). 6 Prov. xxviii. 1.

too it is said "Whatever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad."7 The brightness of flame, if it be such as not to burn with its heat, confers the prestige of fame. Though it scorch not, it is still fire, if Plato be acceptable on this point.8 "Fire has" says he "in my opinion two properties; one consuming and destructive, the other soothing and of harmless brightness." He asserts that the latter is the source of vision and exercises its function especially in the heavens. Fire as though sent from heaven played around the head of Ascanius,9 who accompanied his father on his perilous exile. This was a prediction that for Ascanius happiness would spring from the banishment and that he would found a great race.

The fame of Alexander of Macedon and Octavian Augustus10 was predicted at their birth by the miraculous appearance of fire. An accompanying breeze blesses with the hope of success one setting out on a military expedition. As long as the standards are born against the foe they will, on the testimony of the breezes, be triumphant; but if they are threatening their own country they arouse justifiable fear.

[64] Earth herself is also conscious of mysteries, but more frequently her tidings are of grave import because resting upon her own solid foundation she prefers a state of rest to disturbance. When therefore a rumbling is heard from her she is condoling bitter experience, and in order to show her affection for her children is protesting in a voice of sorrow. She is indeed the great and loving parent of all of us. She desired to protect the Phoenician queen from the embraces of her guest,11 but because Venus, the goddess of hospitality, had already prevailed, filled with heartfelt grief she rumbled, since rumbling with her takes the part of groaning. Again, as often as she trembles she foresees some danger for her children unless perchance she is suffering the pangs of birth. Then in truth she has a complete miscarriage or a premature delivery because, as often, when

The mountains are in labor, a puny mouse is born.12

7 Ibid., xii. 21.

8 Tim. 45B (L. C. L., p. 100). John knew no Greek; his acquaintance with the Timaeus was through the Latin version of Chalcidius. 9 Virgil, Aen. ii. 679ff. (L. C. L., I, 340). 10 Suetonius, Aug. 94 (L. C. L., I, 262ff.). 11 Virgil, Aen. iv. 166 (L. C. L., I, 406). 12 Horace, A. P. 139 (L. C. L., p. 462).

These are the instances by which one may see that she keeps her

watch over the greatest possible number.

Examples of the like are many; quite Enough to bore loquacious Fabius13

and whatosever house is built upon them cannot, methinks, be saved

by safety herself.14

13 Ibid., Sat. i. 13-14 (L. C. L., p. 4).

14 Terence, Adel. 760 (L. C. L., II, 298).



[65] ALL THAT is said or done serves the purpose of the sage and is a medium for practicing virtue. For even his leisure is labor, and as he weighs in the scale of reason the import of all things he seizes with wisdom and discretion, as with virtue's grasp, all that avails for happiness. You too inspire confidence in your extraordinary wisdom, both by the convincing proof of the rectitude of your conduct and by your philosophic attitude toward the frivolities of others. Consequently, let our treatise on frivolities continue its joyous progress, since your excellency commands its appearance in public, that it may exhibit astrologers along with practitioners of other trivialities, inasmuch as you guarantee safety to those whom you have emboldened to sally forth. What is to follow is therefore connected with what has preceded, and if any mistake or lapse in taste be in evidence in either we trust that your kindness and wisdom will make the necessary correction.

Chapter One. Omens Meaningless; Circumstances the Result of Each One's Faith

IT is a farmer's proverb, possibly one of Orfellus,1 that he who puts faith in dreams and augury will never be free of worry. We consider the statement perfectly sound. Of what significance is it in the sequence of events whether one sneeze once or several times, or that he [66] yawn, or in fine give vent to any sound? Such manifestations, for reasons with which physicians are acquainted, do indeed pertain to some extent to him who is subject to them. We grant this provided they be not supposed to impede or to promote the activities of others any more than do silly charms or certain amulets2 worn

1 A farmer friend of Horace. Horace, Sat. II. ii. 2, 3 (L. C. L., p. 136).

2 Isidore calls them execrable remedies condemned by the medical profession, whether in the form of enchantments, magic writing, or in formulae for banishing or retaining a person. Orig. VIII. ix. 30.

by the superstitious, practices condemned by the whole medical profession despite the fact that some people give them the high sounding name of supernatural phenomena.3 By the supernatural, the laws of which are most mysterious, they mean those manifestations of nature which cannot be compassed by human sense unaided. In fact there is no act or object whose origin is not due to some specific cause and purpose.4 As one has put it, "nothing upon earth is done without a cause."5 This is a statement generally accepted because nothing escapes the hand of the master builder of nature. It is consequently apparent that all things belong to the domain of the supernatural. I, for my part, whatever may be the nature of these things, firmly believe that only those things should be accepted which are the product of faith and are attributed to the glory of an omnipotent God; for I know that it has been written "and whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord,"6 in whom alone the way of man prospers.7 It was thus that the host of all the saints excelled.

One Cuthbert, the standard-bearer of our people in the law of God, placed the gospel of St. John upon the bodies of the afflicted and they were made well. A tunic of Saint Stephen8 was placed upon the body of a dead man and he arose. One possessed by devils has been cured by the Apostles' Creed which he was carrying. The Lord's Prayer repeated in perfect faith while herbs were being gathered or administered, has frequently produced the medicinal effect required.

[67] St. Benedict by the sign of the cross shattered the deadly cup as if he had used a stone instead of a sign.9 To carry upon one's person passages of the New Testament, to listen to or repeat them, has been found effective in many instances. Such and similar practices are not merely permissible; they are highly useful. But from others one should flee, not merely look upon them with contempt. It is indeed true that all things work for the good of those who

3 Latin physica, a feminine singular, normally means in medieval Latin "medicine." It is to be noted that the proponents of the use of amulets etc., give it a wider meaning approaching the classical physica, a neuter plural, "physics."

4 Plato, Tim. 28A (L. C. L., pp. 48ff.). See above, p. 53, n. 8.

5 Job v. 6.

6 Col. iii. 17. 7 Jer. xii. 1.

8 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, XXII. viii. 12, 16.

9 The brothers over whom St. Benedict presided, angered by stern discipline, offered him a cup containing a deadly potion. Before taking it Benedict made the sign of the cross, whereupon the cup was shattered. Gregorius Magnus, Dial. ii. 3.

love God.10 Unbelievers, reprobates, or even those who waver in their faith are subjected by God to many disillusionments. All omens however possess power only in proportion to the faith of him who receives them. Consequently Julius Caesar could be diverted from no undertaking whatsoever by any augury or other superstition. It chanced that sailing once for Africa, as he disembarked he slipped and fell; by exclaiming "Africa, I hold thee,"11 he averted the omen, as in fact he did get hold of it.

Furthermore his wife, Calpurnia,12 on the last night that he was to know on earth had a vision that she held in her arms his body pierced with wounds. She begged him not to attend the senate on the following day but could not prevail upon him. He could not endure the thought of ever acting timidly in anything, no matter what the portent. In the destruction of Massilia13 he was the first to turn the axe upon a grove that was reputed to be dedicated to the gods, thus proving that all superstition was quite foreign to his nature.

The apostle Mark, setting out for Alexandria to spread the gospel, when on disembarking he burst the latchets of his shoe offered thanks that his journey had been unimpeded. If one is called back as he starts on a journey he should not on that account, if indeed he has set out with the blessing of the Lord, give it up, unless he is persuaded that every recall is of bad omen because of the example of the raven which lost its charming hue when it was recalled by the crow and chose not to stop but to continue on its way.14 Such are the inanities that seduce the heedless mind; the mind of faith disregards them utterly.

Chapter Two. One Should Not Disregard Entirely the

Import of Natural Phenomena

[68] ALTHOUGH I assert that all omens are meaningless and credence should not be given to augury, I do not condemn the authenticity and value of those signs which have been conceded by divine ordinance for the guidance of man. In manifold ways indeed15 God

10 Rom. viii. 28.

11 Suetonius, Jul. 59 (L. C. L., I, 82, top).

12 Valerius Maximus, I. vii. 2.

13 Lucan, Phars. iii. 436ff. (L. C. L., p. 146).

14 Ovid, Met. ii. 547ff. (L. C. L., I, 48);

15 Heb. i. 1.

instructs his creatures; now by the sound of the elements, now by signs of animate and inanimate nature he makes manifest what is to come in accord with what he knows to be expedient for the elect. Certain preceding signs foretell the coming of storms or of fine weather, that man who is born for toil16 may in accord with these regulate his activities.

Consequently farmers and sailors, as the result of certain familiar experiences, infer what ought to be done at any particular time by conjecturing the state of the weather to come from that which has preceded. In this connection I think that birds, a subject treated in a former chapter, have not been neglected by mother nature. The gull,17 the kingfisher,18 the swan frequently disclose the secrets of nature. When about midwinter you notice the kingfisher building nests and brooding, you may be assured that fifteen days of fine weather will ensue. Sailors are accustomed to observe carefully these birds, and the period during which scarcely a breath of wind is felt is called halcyon days. One may reasonably conjecture that this period has been granted them by nature to permit the hatching of their young.

But when you see waterfowl diving joyfully, you may expect showers. When you hear a crow cawing in the morning19 it is calling for rain:

I do not think because of that, that they Possess a nature more divine, nor yet A greater judgment by the will of fate,20

[69] but because ever abiding in the air they feel more quickly within themselves its moods and hence experience joy or fear. Nor is it surprising that the bodies of animals too, though heavier than birds, are frequently affected by external influences, and by a sort of mysterious dispensation of nature necessarily feel in harmony with the elements.

The blessings or evils to which living bodies are subject the medical profession, with its rules, understands with a reasonable degree of certainty, if the periods are recurrent and of some duration, or even if only for the moment. Physicians learn to recognize the im-

16 Job v. 7.

17 Pliny, N.H. xxviii. 87.

18 Gellius, III. x. 5 (L. C. L., I, 268); Pliny, N. H. II. xlvii; Ovid, Met. xi. 745ff. (L. C. L., II, 172).

19 Virgil, Georg. i. 388 (L. C. L., I, 106); Pliny, N. H. XVIII. lxxxvii.

20 Virgil, Georg. i. 415-16 (L. C. L., I, 108).

minence of health, disease, or the state they term neutral, or even death itself by preceding symptoms, and at times, if they are acquainted with the causes, they effect remarkable cures. But if, to use their own words, "they do not know the causes"21 how can they effect a cure? Assuredly not by art; if at all, by chance. The judgment they pronounce as the result of their knowledge of symptoms, though attained with difficulty, often proves exceptionally sound.

Good weather22 and the different types of storms and tempests are indicated by many signs which the moon reflects as in a mirror. For a ruddy tint betrays wind;23 dark blue, rain;24 a combination of the two, showers and high winds. A bright sunrise promises sailors the serenity which its countenance wears, especially if on its fourth rising25 (for this is the most dependable sign)26 it is neither red with blunted horns nor dark with gathered moisture;

For all that day and those that follow in Its train until the ending of the month Shall be quite free of wind and rain.27

It is also of import whether the setting sun rejoice with symmetrical rays or blaze red with interposing cloud; whether it be brilliant with unobscured splendor or fiery with the driving winds; whether white with snow or spotted with impending rain.28 The atmosphere [70] as well, the sea itself, and the size or appearance of the clouds offer much information. Then too birds and fishes give definite signs of what is to come, and this the divinely inspired Virgil or Lucan29 feels; Varro also, in his instruction to harried sailors in his books on seafaring.

Chapter Three. Some Signs of General, Others of Specific Application; Significance of the Double Sun

THE SIGNS which occur in accordance with nature's laws in the case of the sun and the moon are quite definite and attested by many authors.

21 Celsus, i. Proem. 14 (L. C. L., I, 8 alibi).

22 From this point to the end of the chapter Vegetius is quoted.

23 Virgil, Georg. i. 430-31 (L. C. L., I, 110). 24 Ibid., 453 (L. C. L., I, 110).

25 Ibid., 432ff. (L.C.L., I, 110).

26 The statement in parentheses is not found in Vegetius.

27 Virgil, Georg. i. 434-35 (L. C.L., I, 110). This quotation is not found in Vegetius.

28 Virgil, Georg. i. 440ff. (L. C. L., I, 170). 29 Vegetius does not mention Lucan.

Who dares say the sun deceives?30

As often therefore as the sun appears double in the heaven, the earth beneath may expect floods. This rare and seemingly miraculous appearance is none the less a phenomenon of nature, there being in reality not two suns31 but a reflection in the clouds of the one. This is called parelion,32 which means a cloud of the semblance of the sun, a sign of considerable but not of general application, for some signs are specific and others general; specific when they affect individuals; general when they affect many, or all. Each type is thought to originate sometimes in the will of a kind creator, sometimes in nature's laws, and again in malicious spirits whom God permits to torment men.

To distinguish these, explain their operation, and deduce their causes is indeed a task difficult, indefinite, and often too deep for man's mind to compass. None the less there are volumes filled with discussion on such subjects, the result of the irresponsible fancies of the astrologers.

Aeneas asserts that

He followed destiny, his goddess Mother pointing out the way,33

[77] for the reason that Lucifer, identified with Venus, appeared to him as he took the auspices and continued with him until he reached Italy. It is human ingenuity that adjusts

The various eclipses of the sun, the labors of the moon,34 to the circumstances of life.

Chapter Four. Signs That Preceded the Final Destruction of Jerusalem

AN ANCIENT history (so called because its author is unknown and the subject matter ancient) states that on the eve of the destruction of Jerusalem for twelve consecutive nights, even in out-of-the-way regions, the moon was in eclipse. This possibly indicated the overthrow of Jewish disbelief and the banishment of superstition which very properly attended the illumination of the world by Christ through

30 Virgil, Georg. i. 463-64 (L. C. L., I, 112). 31 Seneca, N. Q. I. xi. 2. 32 See ibid.

33 Virgil, Aen. i. 382 (L. C. L., I, 268). 34 Ibid., Georg. ii. 478 (L. C. L., I, 148).

the agency of his apostles' teachings. It has indeed been written: The fool changes as the moon but the wise man remains steadfast as the sun.35

Many other incidents also occurred as divine judgment threatened the unbelievers. Should I begin to narrate them in detail as they are stated by writers, they alone would indeed take up all one's time and leisure. A few of them however, with Josephus as my authority, I shall briefly summarize for the reason that they are helpful in strengthening our faith and refuting the stubborn disbelief of the Jews. For [72] the punishment of the wretches was put off until forty years after the perpetration of their crime.

During these years36 all the apostles and particularly James, who was said to be the brother of our Lord,37 having been appointed bishop of Jerusalem was tireless in reminding the people of this wickedness and the fatal character of the deed they had committed. He warned them to repent if they could of what they had done, to weep if possible for their crime, and to quench the avenging flames with the flood of their tears. God by his patience was proving that he was desirous of their repentance; for God desires not so much the death of the sinner as his conversion and life.38 Moreover, in his divine majesty he was striving to soften the hardness of their hearts by signs and portents displayed in the sky and by showing the terrors of his threatening hand rather than by turning it against them. The credibility of the historian mentioned above will be adequate to vouch for this as well as for the other statements.

Let us therefore review what Josephus himself has confirmed in the sixth book of his history. "But," he remarks, "certain vile deceivers by their false ravings kept persuading the populace not to put faith in the self-evident signs and indications of heaven's wrath and indignation by which the destruction of the city and its people was being indubitably foretold.

"But as though paralyzed and bereft of sense, without eyes or souls, they disregarded all heaven's warnings. A bright star like a sword was seen to be raised threateningly over the whole city; a comet, too, blazed with deadly flame the whole year through. Then,

35 Ecclus. xxvii. 12.

36 From this sentence to the end of the chapter John quotes Eusebius (iii. 7, 8) in the Latin version of Rufinus. 37 Matt. xiii. 55; Mark vi. 3. 38 Ezek. xviii. 32; xxxiii. 11.

before the period of destruction and war, when the people were assembling to celebrate a festival on the eighth day of the month Xanticus,39 which is the same as April, at the ninth hour of the night such a blaze of light invested the altar and the temple that everyone thought it was broad day, and this persisted for half an hour. The thoughtless and ignorant interpreted this as a favorable sign, but its sinister import did not escape those learned in the law and approved teachers. At the same festival a calf that had been led to the sacrifice, as the very attendants were laying their hands upon it, gave birth to [73] a lamb. Then too the door of the inner temple, which looked toward the east, covered with plates of bronze and consequently of such weight that it required the united effort of twenty men to swing it, secured as it was with iron bolts and bars and fastened by pegs let deep into the pavement, suddenly flew open of its own accord at the sixth hour of the night and the twenty-first day of the month.

"Some days after this festival, on the twentieth day of Arthemesius, which with us is the month of March, there appeared a strange, almost incredible vision. It might have been deemed false but for the fact that the credibility of the eye was confirmed by the calamity and miseries that ensued. The whole surrounding atmosphere appeared crowded with chariots of war; cohorts of soldiers were seen amid the clouds and cities surrounded by rising hosts.

"Likewise on another feast day which is called Pentecost, as the priests at nightfall were entering the temple to perform as usual their holy office, on a sudden they detected a movement and a sort of rustling; then heard voices breaking out with these words: 'Let us move hence; let us move from this abode.' In addition another terrifying incident occurred. There was a certain man named Jesus, son of Ananias, of humble country stock. Four years before the war, when the city was at peace and prosperous, on the day called the Feast of the Tents,40 he suddenly burst forth: 'A voice from the east, a voice from the four winds, a voice above Jerusalem and her temple, a voice above bride and bridegroom, a voice above the people.' Ceaselessly, day and night, he passed through the streets crying these words. At last some of the leaders of the people, moved with indignation at what seemed an omen of evil, had the man arrested and flogged. But

39 A Macedonian word.

40 Called Senopigia, celebrated in memory of the forty years' sojourn of the Jews in the desert.

he, without a word in his own defense and with no plea to his captors, with undaunted persistence, kept repeating these same words. Then the leaders, realizing that the man's actions were of super-[74] natural origin, brought him before the Roman judge, in whose presence he was mercilessly flogged; but never a plea or a tear, only the same pitiable cry with its note of lamentation as the lashes fell, and then the added words, 'Woe, woe unto the people of Jerusalem.'"

The same historian proceeds with another incident of even greater import. He states that a certain oracle was discovered in sacred script which pointed out that at this same period a man would come forth from their land who would gain the dominion of the whole world. The historian himself surmises that the oracle pointed to Vespasian. But Vespasian held sway only over those people who were subject to Rome. Consequently the words are more plausibly applied to Christ, to whom the Lord said: "Ask of me and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the uttermost part of the earth for thy possession";41 and his sound went out at the same period into all the earth, through his apostles and their words, unto the ends of the world.42

Chapter Five. Calamity of the Besieged; Outcome of Their Perverse Obstinacy; Pity of Titus

THAT it may not be imagined that the many significant signs were indicative of an ordinary scourge or of perfunctory indignation of God against the impenitent Jews, a succinct account will be given of unendurable calamity and irreparable destruction and of such enslavement of an outcast and blinded people as has never been heard of or experienced in all of the ages.

The extent of suffering of the whole world at this period;43 how the land of Judaea itself was ravaged by war, famine, fire, and slaughter; the many thousands pitilessly slain, husbands with their wives and little children too, without number; the sieges of different cities and [75] then the harrowing sack of the great and flourishing city of Jerusalem itself; the horror of indiscriminate slaughter; the wars without end; and finally, in the words of the prophet, the abomina-

41 Ps. ii. 8. 42 Ps. xviii. 5; Rom. x. 18.

43 From this sentence to the end of Chapter Six John quotes from Rufinus' Latin version of Eusebius, iii. 5, 6.

tion of desolation in that once famous temple of God; and finally utter destruction by fire and flame. If one desires a more detailed account he may consult the pages of Josephus.

Of this we select only that which serves to illuminate the task we have undertaken. The principal point is that the people of Judaea on the feast of Pentecost assembled at Jerusalem as though herded by some hand bent on their destruction. The historian narrates that there were some three million souls there by the righteous judgment of God, at the stated time of vengeance, in order that they who at the feast of Passover had violated with bloodstained hands and blasphemous words their own saviour, Christ, Son of God, might be all shut as within a single prison on the very anniversary of the awful deed to receive the merited punishment of their deadly sin.

I shall not enumerate all that they suffered by the edge of the sword or engines of war. I shall merely set forth what they endured as the result of stark starvation, in the words of our historian, that they who read this account may understand how great the guilt to sin against Christ and with what severe penalties such arrogance is punished. Come then, let us take down the fifth volume of Josephus, for in it the whole tragic story may be perused.

"To remain or to perish," he continues, "was one and the same thing for the well-to-do; for had they remained in the city the charge would have been brought against them, for the purpose of securing their wealth, that they were plotting to desert. The demands of hunger increased the mob's arrogance, and their boldness grew with their hunger. There were no public supplies of grain, but marauders, forcing their way in, searched the houses, and if they found any food they would wreak vengeance upon the owners as though they had been deceived; if they found none they tortured them on the [76] pretext that they had been at pains to hide it. The very fact that they were still alive in the flesh was deemed proof that they were holding back provisions, for assuredly they had ere now perished had they not been concealing somewhere their hoarded stores. Those worn down by emaciation were left undisturbed. It seemed waste of time to slay those so soon to perish of starvation.

"Many, however, in secrecy spent all their means to purchase a measure of wheat (if they were wealthy, or barley if less well-to-do), shut themselves up, each in the privacy of his own home, and devoured the grain, some not even waiting to make it into bread; others, however, as well as their fear and destitution permitted,

cooked it. None waited to lay a table but snatched from the very fire their own scorched grain as though they were pilfering it, and devoured it. A pitiful sight it was when the stronger discovered and pounced upon even this meager store; for the weaker there was naught left but lamentation and tears.

"Although hunger vanquished all other pangs there was nothing that it undermined and destroyed so effectively as the sense of right and wrong. For all that in normal times was deemed worthy of respect was, in this desperate plight, disregarded. As a result wives snatched food from the hands and mouths of their husbands, children from their parents, and, more distressing still, mothers from their little babies. Even when their dear ones, before their eyes and in their arms, were perishing no one refrained from snatching from their very lips the food that would prolong his own life, were it but for a moment.

"But even those who partook of such meager and wretched food could not escape detection. Marauders were everywhere, and as soon as any one of them saw a closed door he took it as proof that those within were eating. Disregarding bolts and bars, they rushed in and, if I may use the expression, forced from the very jaws and recovered any food that had been already taken. Old men were beaten did they attempt to sell food; women were seized and dragged by their streaming hair as they strove to conceal such food as chanced to be [77] detected in their hands. No reverence for age, no pity for childhood; they would swing in the air and dash to the ground little children as they clung tenaciously to their pitiful morsels of bread.

"Crueler still were they to one who had anticipated the plunderers by consuming the food. They contrived cruel torture, stopping up the wretch's natural passages of evacuation and in other cases forcing sharpened stakes up the same. I shudder as I narrate what took place. They kept urging the wretches to digest, after that, one loaf or even a thimbleful of flour. The torturers were themselves not suffering the pangs of hunger. It might have seemed more endurable had it appeared that their acts were impelled by hunger. But either to secure future store for themselves or that they might not lose their knack of cruelty, even in the case of those who succeeded in making their way through the outposts of the foe to gather grass, if they chanced to meet them as they returned rejoicing in having escaped the hands of the foe, they would seize all that they had brought. If the victim besought, invoking God (that name once awe-inspiring), that they

would grant him but a small portion of what he himself had secured at the peril of his life, they would concede him absolutely nothing. It was regarded as a kindness if a single soul was allowed to depart with his life."

To the above Josephus adds a few details. "When the Jews had lost all hope of saving themselves by leaving the city the increasing severity of the famine continued to ravage their homes, their families, and their nation to a degree that the corpses of women and children were lying stark within the houses while the bodies of old men strewed the streets, the victims of starvation rather than of age. Youths and the more robust like specters wandered the streets and lanes, collapsing wherever starvation overtook them as they walked.

"The vast number of the dead and the weakness of the living prevented the burial of the bodies of one's kin; the uncertainty of his own life made each fearful. Finally, not a few would breathe their last over the bodies they were striving to bury. Many too as they followed the dead, before they could reach the tomb, would give [75] their last gasp. But neither the usual lamentation nor grief attended the dead because hunger had claimed all this for itself. Then too starvation had dried the fount of tears. The city was wrapt in deep silence and the pall of death was spread over all things.

"Harder to endure than all these woes, robbers alone flourished; they did not deem it wrong to strip and despoil the dead, not so much for plunder as to cap the climax of mockery and to test the keenness of their blades by hacking the bodies. At times it was the point to be tested and this was soon turned against some who were still breathing. When others, half dead, saw this they would extend their palms in supplication that upon themselves too, as a favor, they might do their awful work and more quickly free them from the agony of starvation. But with cruelty unbelievable, the death they of their free will were dealing they would deny when sought. When, however, with a groan the dying would turn their eyes to the temple, it was not their own death that caused their grief but the thought of the impunity of the brigands who were to survive them.

"At first orders were issued that the dead be buried at public expense because of the unbearable stench, but when funds failed owing to the hosts of dead the bodies were cast from the walls. When Titus was making his rounds and had seen the valleys choked with the bodies of the dead and his country reeking with human gore, with

a deep groan and with hand raised to heaven he called God to witness that this was not his work and that he sustained the burden of it against his will."

After some pages Josephus continues somewhat as follows: "I shall not hesitate to state my own views, for I think that if ever for a moment the Romans had ceased their operations against the impious citizens the city would have paid the penalty of being destroyed by the yawning earth, flood of water, or by the fires of Sodom and hurtling thunderbolts, because it would have begotten for our present age a race more ill-starred and vile than that which suffered the foregoing woes. Because of it the whole world had merited destruction."

[79] He continues in the same strain in the sixth book. "Those who were perishing of starvation throughout the entire city were beyond numbering, and the misery incapable of description. In every house where any food had been found, there straightway bloody war broke out between beloved parents and children, as they strove to tear the food not merely from each other's hands but even from their jaws.

"No faith was put even in the dead. In the very hour of their last agony they were searched by marauders to see if they had concealed any food in their bosoms. Others, as the result of hunger, with open jaws like mad dogs darted hither and thither, and as though driven by a sort of frenzy would rush back a second or third time to the same houses into which they had burst but a moment before. The sad plight turned everything into food, even that which dumb animals were not wont to eat. Finally they fell upon thongs and leathern belts or even their very shoes; stripping off the covering of shields also, they would endeavor to eat them. Some would devour wisps of moldy hay and would parcel out and sell minute portions of four drachms' weight of the refuse they had gathered."

Chapter Six. The Mary Who, Driven by Hunger, Ate Her Own Child

"BUT WHAT avail such details to illustrate the crushing burden of famine when compared with a deed which was committed there such as was never heard of among the Greeks or the barbarians? So horrible as to seem well nigh unbelievable. I would indeed have gladly passed in silence such a heinous deed for fear of giving the impression that I am pandering to man's interest in the horrible, had I not the

testimony of many men of our own generation that the awful thing was done. Furthermore I do not wish it thought that I am showing partiality to my own country by suppressing the words of those whose deeds she had to endure.

[80] "A certain woman of good breeding and wealth dwelt in a community beyond the Jordan. She was named Mary, daughter of Eleasarus, of the village of Bethezob, which means house of Ysopus. She found herself in Jerusalem along with the multitude that had flocked there and was, as everybody else, suffering the miseries of the siege. The remnants of her property which she had brought with her from her home and from which she was deriving a meager sustenance had been seized by the despots. Remnants is perhaps too strong a word for that which, from time to time, bands of marauders had been plundering. As a result this courageous woman was driven to such a pitch of frenzy caused by resentment that at times, with curses and reviling, she challenged the thieves to slay her. But none, either in wrath or in pity, would kill her, and whatever food she sought was itself being sought by others; there was by now none for anyone. Frightful hunger now assailed her vitals, penetrating her very being, and starvation at last drove her to fury. Impelled by the pangs of hunger and by rage, she steeled herself against the very laws of nature.

"She still carried at her breast a baby boy. Holding it out before her eyes she cried, 'Unhappy son of an unhappy mother, amid this war, famine, and pillage, for what brigand am I preserving you? Even were it possible to hope for life, still the yoke of Roman slavery presses down upon us. Now, however, starvation outweighs even slavery, and harder to endure than either, pillagers press us sorely. Come therefore, my son, be thy mother's sustenance, the cause of rage to robbers, the example of the ages, and the climax of the disasters of the Jews!' As she said this, she cut the child's throat. She then roasted the body, of which she ate one half and one half she concealed for future use. But lo! Suddenly a plundering band burst in and, detecting the smell of burned meat, threatened to kill her on the spot unless she point out the food they knew she had prepared. Her reply was: 'I have saved the choicest part for you,' and straight-[81] way she uncovered the baby's limbs that yet remained.

"A frightful shudder shook their frames; hardened as they were, their blood curdled in their veins and their tongues clave to the roofs of their mouths. But she with scowl of hate and more ruthless

than the brigands themselves, spoke out: ' 'Tis mine own son, fruit of my womb, and I did the deed. Eat, for I was the first to eat what I myself produced. Be not more scrupulous than a mother or weaker than a woman, for if pity prevail and you abhor my viands, I who have already partaken thereof will partake again of this.' Thereafter they who had left to the wretched mother of all her wealth this meal alone departed, quaking with fear.

"The whole city was straightway filled with the report of the frightful deed and each one conjured up before his eyes the crime that had been done, shuddering as though he himself had done it. All who were hard pressed by starvation were in the greater haste to perish, asserting that happy indeed were they whose lot it had been to pass away with ears undefiled by the story of such woe." Such is Josephus' account.

Chapter Seven. Of the Number of Those Taken Captive, Slain, or Who Had Starved to Death

FOLLOWING the same authority I shall append a brief account of the end of this appalling disaster. Our author, computing the number of those who had perished by hunger,44 thirst, or the sword, makes a grand total of eleven hundred thousand. He also declares that others — robbers, murderers, and marauders — as the result of feuds among themselves perished after the destruction of the city. He states that all the choice youth conspicuous for height and physical beauty were reserved for the triumph; that of the rest above seventeen years of age some were sent as slaves to work in the Egyptian mines and some distributed among other provinces to fight as gladiators or against wild beasts. Those under seventeen years were ordered distributed as slaves to the several provinces. Their number [82] reached the enormous sum of ninety thousand.

All this took place in the second year of the reign of Vespasian according to that which Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had predicted, for he saw, as though present, events that were to come. According then to the testimony of the Gospels, as he gazed he shed tears over the city and uttered these words as though addressing her: "If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that

44 From this sentence to the end of the biblical quotation below, "and thy children who are in thee," John quotes from Rufinus' version of Eusebius, iii. 7.

are to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straighten thee on every side and beat thee flat to the ground and thy children who are in thee."45 In this wise many divine warnings thundered on ears that in general were deaf to them, until the blood of the righteous46 and even that of the most righteous only begotten Son which was foully shed by the wicked, was sacrificed in accord with the righteous judgment of the Lord. They were therefore smitten with misfortune, trampled by wars, and banished from their native land by a blast of divine indignation, so that in that famous city one stone did not remain upon another.47 Great was the tribulation of that people whose hearts were harder than stone, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now.48

Chapter Eight. The Wandering of the Faithful Whom at That Time Christ Saved at Pella49

NOW THE congregation which had been gathered at Jerusalem was divinely ordered to go across the Jordan to a certain town named Pella, in order that after the servants of God had been taken away opportunity might be given for the vengeance which was to be wreaked upon the city. This Eusebius of Caesarea narrates at greater length in his Ecclesiastical History.

Chapter Nine. Witness to Christ Which Josephus Bears

[83] MOST justly indeed did they who laid sacrilegious hands upon the Son of God suffer all these woes, since by the testimony of the Scriptures and by his own miracles it was established that Christ was the true son of God. Consequently Josephus says "There was moreover in those days a wise man,50 Jesus, if indeed it be right to call him man. For he was a worker of miracles and a teacher of men

45 Luke xix. 42-44. 46 Matt. xxiii. 35.

47 Matt. xxiv. 2; Luke xix. 44. 48 Matt. xiv. 21.

49 This chapter is quoted from Rufinus' version of Eusebius, iii. 5. 50 The passage from this sentence to the end of the chapter is quoted from Rufinus' version of Eusebius, i. 14.

who love the truth and he joined unto himself many Jews and many gentiles, too. This was the Christ. When Pilate decreed that he suffer crucifixion those who had loved him from the beginning did not abandon him, and he in living form appeared unto them on the third day, for divinely inspired prophets had predicted that such and countless other miracles would be performed by him. To this day the name and sect of Christians, as they were called, persist."

Chapter Ten. Vespasian Is Said to Have Cured a Lame and a Blind Man

ACCORDING to some writers the finger of God by miraculous signs pointed out to Vespasian the way to punish the tribe who laid Judaea waste, and to Titus, his son, who utterly destroyed Jerusalem.51

Vespasian, before he was emperor, as he was sitting in judgment was approached by two cripples, one blind and the other lame. They begged alleviation of their infirmity for the reason that it had been indicated to them in dreams that the eyes would be restored if he would but gaze upon them and the defective leg be made whole if he would deign to touch it with his foot. At the insistence of his [84] friends he did, though unwillingly, as implored, and the cures were effected. His reign also and the death of Vitellius and Otho who were the successors of the monster Nero, were foretold by many signs in the heavens, some of them amazing.

Chapter Eleven.52 Signs That Violate Nature's Laws

THAT astounding things of this sort which happen in such cases are generally signs no one will doubt who recalls and believes the promise of the Gospel that "There shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars" etc.53 The signs that appeared on this occasion, however, I think without prejudice to a better theory should be classed with those that violate nature's laws; that is to say, the obscurity of the sun at the crucifixion,54 the rending of the veil of the

51 Suetonius, Vesp. viii. 1 (L. C. L., II, 298).

52 With content of Chapters Eleven and Twelve cf. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, xxi. 7, 8.

53 Luke xxi. 25. 54 Ibid., xxiii. 45; Matt. xxvii. 51-52.

temple, the bursting of the rocks, the yawning of the tombs, and the rising of the many bodies of saints that had fallen asleep. The eclipse could not have been a natural one, which latter is the result of the obscuration by the moon, since it is an established fact that it took place on the day before the fourteenth moon. It is of course barely possible that some unbelieving Jew gave vent to his incredulity by asserting that at the time Venus was in the ecliptic opposite to the sun, for it is indeed a large planet and, as astronomers say, the only one of five which casts a shadow like that of the moon.55 This, because it is not supported by reason, authority, or fact, is rejected as untrustworthy; for if Venus' body is so luminous, how could it produce such darkness?

Dionysius the Areopagite in a letter to Polycarp writes that he and several other philosophers had seen at that time the moon impinging upon the sun, contrary to the law of nature for it was not the period of their conjunction.56 Paul's preaching of this a little later was the cause of his conversion. I am aware that there are others who have a different story to tell on this score, but I give preference to Dionysius because he wrote of what he saw; others have drawn upon their imagination.

[85] Very often however there are signs which are not merely universal but also general, as for example the darkness which at the death of Christ spread over the entire world from the sixth to the ninth hour.57 The particular or less universal element in such signs covers the scope of the general by reason of its everlasting character; for that death did indeed unveil the face of Moses58 for all, rend persistent hardness, and make everlasting joy the first fruit of the resurrection.

Those signs also which it is said will foretell for fifteen days the day of judgment, if indeed they are to be, for they have no foundation in canonical writing, will not be subject to the laws of nature; that is to say if here, as elsewhere, by nature we mean the customary course of events and the hidden causes of phenomena for which a reasonable explanation can be given.

55 Martianus Capella, viii. 883.

56 Dionysius Areopagita, Ep. vii, in the version of Joannes Scotus. Dionysius the Areopagite, who flourished about the end of the fifth century, was erroneously supposed to have lived in the early Christian period.

57 Matt. xxvii. 45. Approximately from 12 to 3 P.M.

58 2 Cor. iii. 15. 16.

Chapter Twelve. Plato's Belief That There Is Nothing

Contrary to the Law of Nature for He Says That

Nature Is the Will of God

IF WE agree with Plato, who asserts that nature is the will of God,59 as a matter of course none of the above mentioned occurrences violate the laws of nature, since all things have occurred in accord with his will. He, as he enforces the laws of nature, has in view divine goodness as the ultimate goal. He, Plato continues, is the personification [86] of goodness; consequently entirely freed from envy. Hence He decreed that all nature should be like unto himself in so far as each of its parts is susceptible to divine happiness. If anybody postulates that this purpose of God is the real source of all things, I agree that his judgment is sound.60

Indeed the wisdom and goodness of God, in which originate all things, are with perfect truth called nature, and nothing works contrary to this because nothing annuls the purpose of God or interferes with those causes which have existed from eternity in the mind of him who in his understanding has made the heavens.61

So there exist in things primal causes of phenomena and primitive motives which in the preordained time work out their results; hence marvelous indeed, not because they have no motives but because these motives are hidden. As an example, moisture62 from the depths of the earth is drawn by the roots of trees and vines because they possess a sort of appetitive quality; it is then distributed by a natural process to the stems of plants and when perfected by its own digestive processes surges into the shoots and distributes what it does not need for its own existence to the leaves and fruits. When the latter are mature they foam with must, and after a proper interval of time our native wine is the result.

But if by God's hidden purpose the juice, when distributed by certain channels of nature and matured, is unexpectedly turned into wine without the intervention of time, we have a miracle because the extent of divine control transcends our understanding. But, as the philosopher says, "Let the mists of error be dissipated and the marvelous will cease to be."63

59 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 3, states that Socrates sought the cause of things in the will of God. See Plato, Phaedo, 99 (L. C. L., pp. 340ff.).

60 Plato, Tim. 29E, 30E (L. C. L., p. 54) in the version of Chalcidius.

61 Prov. iii. 19.

62 Augustine, De Gen. ad Litt. vi. 15.

63 Boethius, Consol. Phil. IV. met. v (L. C. L., p. 338, top).

I am not weakening faith in God's marvels and their authority. In fact, filled with humility, I venerate and marvel at the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God,64 knowing that the foolishness of God is wiser than men.65 For to fall into error in many matters is but human weakness, while to know naught but reality is the divine perfection of angels.

Chapter Thirteen. How God by Signs Deigns to Forewarn His Creatures

[87] THIS too is proof of divine pity; at times God forearms our ignorance by the warning of signs. It is indeed believed that the appearance of a comet proclaims the imminence of comitia [assemblies]. We all recall the line:

The comet that portends the fall of thrones.66

Anyone with a mere smattering of historical knowledge is aware of the signs that occurred also when destruction threatened Italy. Volumes written by historians treating of memorable events are filled with accounts of prodigies and portents. Finally under Elijah and Elisha you are aware that many true and miraculous signs were in evidence. The Men of Nineveh repented67 because of the disclosure of signs at the preaching of Jonah. Infidelity is halted by the evidence of signs, and wavering faith is strengthened. Hence the saying, "What sign showest thou unto us?"68 and "Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek wisdom."69

Chapter Fourteen. The Definition of Signs; Sleep

IN THIS discussion signs are understood to mean all that by any indication gives man an inkling of divine intention. A sign is something that makes an impression upon the senses and in addition has some significance.70 There are, however, some signs which make no im-

64 Rom. xi. 33.

65 1 Cor. i. 25.

66 Lucan, Phars. i. 529 (L. C. L., p. 40).

67 Matt. xii. 41; Luke xi. 32.

68 John ii. 18. 69 1 Cor. xxii.

70 Pseudo-Augustine, Dial. (Migne, P. L. xxxii. 1410).

pression upon the bodily senses and yet which convey truth or falsehood to the mind by the aid of some medium, or even directly, without the intervention of such mediation.

At times signs are true; at times false. Who is ignorant of the various meanings of dreams which experience approves and the authority of our forefathers confirms? In dreams especially, since it is [88] the sleeping state, the animal properties71 (that is to say the senses which are called corporeal but are in reality spiritual)72 are quiescent, but the natural properties are intensified.

It sometimes happens that the mind, refreshed by physical exercise, returns to its own sphere with freer sweep and contemplates truth with greater intuition; now figuratively or allegorically, now face to face. This matter of truth and error did not escape the notice of him who,73 depicting the gates of sleep, imagined one to be of ivory and the other of horn, since horn is penetrable for vision, which rarely errs, while ivory is of an opaque nature and even when worked down to a thin veneer is not transparent. Ivory is more like the teeth, horn more like the eyes. By the one gate true, by the other false

Dreams the Manes send to heaven.74

Chapter Fifteen. The Types, Forms, Causes, and Meaning of Dreams

THERE are many classes, manifold causes, various forms and meanings of dreams. We recognize the troubled dream,75 dream of hallu-

71 Latin virtutes, also called vis. See Pseudo-Augustine, De Spiritu et Anima, xxii (Migne, P. L. xl. 795).

72 Augustine, De Gen. ad Litt. iii. 5 alibi. 73 Virgil.

74 Virgil, Aen. vi. 896 (L. C. L., I, 570).

75 Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. I. ii. In this passage Macrobius defines and explains at considerable length different kinds of dreams. Somnium, dream, is the more general term; insomnium, troubled dream caused by physical or mental disturbance; phantasma, hallucination, a dream on the borderland of a state of being asleep and awake, when one sees strange vague forms flitting around him, to which type belongs ephialtes or nightmare (the two last classes contain no element of the prophetic); oraculum, prophetic dream, in which some person of eminence appears — priest or even god — who delivers oracular pronouncements; and visio, vision, which produces in exact detail an event that is to occur in the future. With regard to the word insomnium Macrobius (In Somn. Scip. V. i. 3, 7) gives this explanation: "Insomnia appear with sleep and disappear with it. Hence the name

cination, ordinary dream, prophetic dream, and visionary dream. Troubled dreams are in general the result of insobriety or drunkenness, different emotions, turmoil of feeling, or vestiges of thoughts. Hence the frenzied souls of lovers are always invaded by troubled dreams. This state Virgil distinctly alludes to:

O, Sister Ann, what dreams are these that hold

Me fast in terror and suspense? The hero's

Many deeds and high nobility

Of birth surge through my mind. Implanted in

My heart his features dwell and words,

Whilst woes of love deprive my frame

Of sleep and peace.76

These also attend grief or joy, anxiety and fear, and the flame of [89] uncontrolled desire.

Hallucination gives rise to strange kinds of forms, contradicting nature with respect to their substance, quantity, or arrangement, or number of their members. For example:

Nor foot nor head to one type corresponds — A graceful female form above becomes Below a monstrous fish.77

Physicians state that such appearances are the result of impaired mental or physical health, and devote their attention to the causes rather than to any meaning that may be attached to them. They assign to the same category ephialtes78 or nightmare, by which a person, as the result of various kinds of oppression, as though in semi-wakefulness or restless sleep imagines himself to be awake when in reality he is asleep, and feels himself crushed down by someone. All these types are in need of the doctor rather than of our verbal treatment, especially as the only reality that is apparent in them is the fact that they are very real but very disagreeable forms of mental ill health.

Somnium or a dream, however, which is the general term (though it may have a specific meaning as well) contains images of events

insomnium, not because it is seen during sleep, for this is a characteristic of all dreams, but because it inspires belief only during sleep itself, after which it leaves behind no significant meaning."

76 Virgil, Aen. iv. 9, 3-5 (L. C. L., I, 396).

77 Horace, A. P. 8, 9, 3, 4 (L. C. L., p. 450).

78 Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. I. iii. 7.

wrapped as it were in a cloak of disguise, and it is with this disguise that the art of interpreting dreams deals. The dream at times pertains to oneself, at times to another person; sometimes it is common to both of these, at others it is of public or general application.

In all cases, however, careful attention is to be given to the condition of the actors, to the facts, and to the circumstances, for as Nestor says, with regard to the public interests credence should be given to a king's dream79 or for that matter to that of any chief magistrate, be he a magistrate in fact or by virtue of a prediction soon to be fulfilled. Equal credence should be given when an omen involving the interest of the state has appeared to a number of people; for example, there is written evidence that a revelation was made to many Roman citizens concerning the mystery of the Incarnation, as a result, some believe, of a prophecy of the Sibyl. She indeed, instructed by the Holy Spirit, disclosed the mysteries not only of the Incarnation but of the passion, ascension after resurrection, and of the second coming, as you may discover for yourself in the Sibylline prophecies. This prophecy, which is found in the works [90] of many Christian writers, begins thus:

A sign of coming judgment, the earth oozed drops Of sweat.

If the initial letter of each verse of this prophecy be strung together in order of occurrence, the following words are formed to the everlasting confusion of the faithless Jews: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Our Saviour."80 To be sure the Latin alphabet is incapable of representing exactly some of the Greek letters. You will find, unless I am mistaken, these very verses in the work entitled The City of God by St. Augustine. The gist of this revelation is that the Jesus predicted is in fact the Son of the living God become flesh; the Universal Judge; the Eternal King, who will reward his faithful servants; the Source of life; and by virtue of His grace the Bestower of everlasting bliss.

79 Ibid., 15.

80 The Latin words of the text are Jesus Christus Teio Sother and indicate roughly what John means by the remark, "To be sure the Latin alphabet" etc., namely that Latin has no single letter to represent the th sound in Greek, nor its sound of u. The passage of The City of God mentioned later is found in Book xviii, Chapter 23.

In this passage Augustine also remarks that, on the authority of Varro, there were several Sibyls but that he himself believes the one mentioned to be the Sibyl of Eretria, a town of Boetia.

The words "in fact or by virtue of a prediction soon to be fulfilled," are used because the word magistrate refers sometimes to an official holding office at the time, and again, to an official elect. The destruction of Numantia81 became known to the younger Scipio at a period when he was little more than an ordinary soldier.

During the middle or latter part of autumn somnia or dreams usually tend to disappear, while the meaningless insomnia or troubled dreams hold sway when the leaves are falling. Virgil82 apparently noted this in that he burdens the falling leaves83 with various kinds of dreams in the book in which he investigates all the mysteries of philosophy. Different localities give rise to different kinds of sleep, so that some dreams are more numerous in one place and others in another. A swampy or lonely place is more productive of imaginary forms than a higher or more populous region. Information also is at one time conveyed more explicitly, at another more obscurely; it is revealed now directly to the mind and again by the medium of a third person.

[91] But when this knowledge is imparted directly in a flood of light, it becomes a vision by virtue of the fact that it seems to be presented to the eye in complete and concrete form. For example, Alexander recognized Cassander,84 whom he had never seen and by whom he was destined to be poisoned, because he had seen his living image in a dream. Further, one vision is more explicit as representing a clear picture of the event; another requires deeper consideration when an admixture of allegory clouds the meaning as in the following instance.

As Julius Caesar was crossing the Rubicon to invade his native land, for the purpose of indicating the terror of the citizens who were to be crushed by the lawlessness of a fellow citizen

A mighty figure of his quaking land Appeared unto the chief.85

It warned its captain not to involve his fellow citizens in war. For the figure of the state was a personification of public fear and of the

81 Two passages in Macrobius (In Somn. Scip. I. iii. 13, 16) indicate clearly that this was Carthage and not Numantia.

82 Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. I. vi; I. xv.

83 Servius, Comm. in Verg. Aen. vi. 282-84. Servius in this passage remarks that writers on dreams state that dreams are meaningless during the period when leaves are falling.

84 Valerius Maximus, I. vii. ext. 2. 85 Lucan, Phars. i. 186 (L. C. L., p. 16).

crushing of Rome by the terror of Caesar's name. Now if anyone believes there was no image of the state that could thus appear, the fact that there was may be substantiated by an appeal to history.

When the city fathers decided that the majesty of Rome be honored in tangible form, they had a female figure of exquisite workmanship, with a globe in her right hand, cast in bronze.86 When the figure, lovely in its perfectly harmonizing proportions, was finished [92] it deserved not criticism but admiration and unstinted praise from the people. There were a few however who contended that such legs were incapable of supporting such a massive frame. The sculptor replied that they would suffice on all occasions until the maid should become a mother. He believed naturally that a virgin could never have a child — a miracle which occurred on the birth of Christ. When this event happened the statue fell crashing to the ground, because the kingdom of man contracts as the kingdom of heaven expands.

When a communication is made in sleep by the agency of a second person and this individual is of honorable position, worthy of reverence, we have the oracular dream. As someone has remarked, an oracle is the pronouncement of divine will by the mouth of man.87 By man we mean anything that assumes the human form: a human being, angel, god, or what you will. Moreover, an individual is honorable and worthy of reverence either as the result of nature as in the case of a parent, of position as in the case of a master, of character as in a man of piety, of chance as in a magistrate, of religion as in a god, angel, or man consecrated to holy office.

From this it is apparent, if not directly yet by inference, that in respect to the art of interpreting dreams individuals not merely lacking honor but even accursed are included in the class worthy of reverence. On the one hand we find those of the Catholic Church paying their pious devotion to the true God and to those objects which are sacred because dedicated to his service; on the other we see heretics and devotees of superstitious cults displaying not due reverence but base servitude to false gods — nay, rather to real demons and their abominable rites.

This anomaly may be illustrated more broadly from pagan litera-

86 Webb calls attention to the fact that James of Voragine in the Legenda Aurea, chapter six, narrates a similar legend with regard to a statue of Romulus. 87 Seneca, Controv. Praef. 9.

ture. Aeneas,88 guided by oracles, found the promised land he was seeking, and there by the will — we shall not say of divinity but of demons — fixed his abode and planted the seed of the Roman race in the garden which he had chosen. This was the task that father Anchises,89 Jupiter, Apollo, and others too numerous to mention were promoting in dreams. Consequently if from that seed a tainted [93] race springs, impious toward God, cruel to man, eager to persecute our saints, rarely loyal, more often treacherous, servile in character, overweening in pride, foul with avarice, notorious for desires, swollen with insolence, unbearable because of all types of wickedness, it should not be regarded as anything miraculous, since their progenitor himself was a murderer90 from the beginning, as well as a traitor to truth who, goaded by envy, branded the world with death. Therefore the children of such a father, although incapable of filling up his measure,91 are wont notwithstanding to imitate his vices; though it is still a fact that into such a garden some plants have been introduced by the hand of the Lord, and these, watered by the apostles, have produced the fruit of virtue.

But if one considers the whole history of the Romans from the foundation of the city he will find them victims of vainglory and greed beyond all people of the earth, and they have harried the entire world by sedition and afflictions of many kinds. They themselves have so frequently felt the burden of their own tyranny and civil strife that scarcely one of their rulers has died a natural death. The satirist Juvenal has remarked most pertinently:

To Ceres' son-in-law few kings and tyrants

Have descended without bloodshed, in

A peaceful death.92

In Holy Scripture, too, many oracular dreams are recorded, as when Joseph more than once received instruction from an angel,93 or rather, he was forbidden to return to Herod.94 Peter was taught in the dream of the vessel of creeping creatures that all the peoples of the world were to be gathered together.95 After Constantinople had been visited by the apostles96 the banner of the Cross was raised

88 Virgil, Aen. iii (L. C. L., I, 348ff.).

89 Ibid., iv. 351-53 (L. C.L., I, 418); iv. 268ff. (L. C. L., I, 414).

90 John viii. 44. 91 Matt. xxiii. 32.

92 Sat. x. 112-13 (L. C. L., p. 200).

93 Matt. i. 20; ii. 13, 19. 94 Ibid., ii. 12.

95 Acts x. 10ff.; xi. 5.

96 Cf. James of Voragine, Legenda Aurea, xii (concerning St. Silvester).

over the imperial palace, and on the restoration of peace the mistress of the world by the voice of her scribes, advocates, and judges proclaimed that all victory, power, and dominion belonged to Christ. [94] As the first two classes of dreams are absolutely without significance and the last two present truth to the understanding as it were in visible form, He generally employs the intermediate class,97 which stretches before the body of truth a curtain, as it were, of allegory.

Chapter Sixteen. General Considerations with Regard to the Significance of Dreams and Other Signs

As THE work of artists who imitate nature is surpassed by the works of nature herself, so the significance of events, which is much more intricate than meaning conveyed by words, requires much shrewdness for the interpretation of dreams and the elucidation of riddles and signs. If an utterance has three or four meanings it is termed polixenus,98 that is to say, "conveying many meanings."

Any particular thing has inherent in it as many meanings of other objects as it has likenesses to them, on condition, however, that the more important is never the sign of the less important thing. Signs must always hold the superior position. Consequently any substance may signify man, since he possesses something in common with all things, as is quite clear in Peter's parable of the creeping creatures99 and in several other passages of Scripture. Then too the more striking the likeness the more naturally is the meaning conveyed. Now likeness is either essential, as similarity arising from genus or species, or accidental, as that due to quantity, quality, or other form of the accidental; or again it is the likeness of imitation, as when anyone is, for any motive whatever, patterned after another. In this sense the thing created may be quite like the creator, although they share in no essential or accidental property.

Effect also conforms to its cause, and reciprocally cause, if it be the lesser of the two, is said to be quite similar to effect. Just as judgment is identical in regard to similar events, so also the mark is the same; and because signs are frequently the same, the skill of the interpreter of dreams is in especial evidence, if with similar signs he displays caution and discretion in distinguishing different events.

97 I. e., somnia, dreams, as enumerated in the first paragraph of the chapter. 98 The word should be polysemos. 99 Acts x, 10ff.; xi. 5ff.

[95] Such are the general considerations; the particulars covering individual cases have a broader application. It must however not be forgotten that the meaning of signs has a more sinister or kindlier aspect corresponding to the status of the individual concerned. For some the handling of money is an omen of death, for others, of mischance. Thus the unexpected presence of Venus for no apparent reason is quite frequently the forerunner of misfortune. Hence the words of Hypsiphile bewailing the death of Archemorus:

Not once did Venus come before My startled vision but ill befell.1

For if, from vestiges of thought, or incited by the stimulus of Ceres or Bacchus, Venus appears, the vision is more justly to be attributed to meaningless and troubled dreams, all of which the interpreter's art rejects as without significance according to the words of the sage:

Regard not dreams; the mind of man awake But hopes for his desires, asleep beholds the same.2

At times however truth must be traced by antithesis. For example, when ruin was imminent for Pompey the Great3 sleep presaged the opposite of his dreams, and his destiny presented to the view of the doomed man the rejoicing of the city, the laudations of an enthusiastic people, and the plaudits of his own theater,4 as though all were well with the state.

A fact which at first sight seems foul and obscene at times may conceal the germ of that which is in reality honor and truth. Julius Caesar in his early life dreamed that he had defiled the couch of his own mother. Shocked by the abhorrent dream, he related the incident to the astrologers. Their interpretation was that the whole world was destined to come under his sway. It was thus that the aspiration of securing dominion of the world was implanted in that noble soul.

Finally who, on the face of it, was more just than Urias?5 Who more base and cruel than David, whom the charms of Bethsabee al-[96] lured to betrayal, murder, and adultery? All of which changes its aspect6 when Urias is understood to represent the devil, David

1 Statius, Theb. 621-22 (L.C.L., II, 48).

2 Cato, Dist. ii. 31 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 608).

3 Lucan, Phars. vii. 7ff. (L. C. L., pp. 368ff.).

4 Ibid., i. 133 (L.C.L., p. 12).

5 2 Kings xi.

6 Augustine, Contra Faustum, xxii. 37. Gregorius Magnus, Mor. Hi. 28 in Job,

ii. 13.

Christ and Bethsabee the Church besmirched by the stain of sin. The usual and as it were regular rule is for interpretation to proceed from like to like.

It is however certain that this class of visions which appear during sleep does not go by opposites since they are partly vision and partly oracle and since they can be grouped with ordinary dreams on account of the figurative element in them. At times they even fall under the general classification of these dreams. All this is quite apparent to the student of Scripture. The vision of Africanus,7 the Apocalypse of St. John the Apostle, the oracles of Daniel and Ezekiel, the dreams of Pharaoh and Joseph,8 give credence to what has been stated. The light of truth shines out more frequently in the case of certain personalities inasmuch as they possess well ordered minds; others are more prone to be led astray.

Augustus,9 on the eve of his decisive conflict with Antony,10 was seriously ill. In a dream he was ordered to take part next day in the battle in order to win it. He obeyed, was carried to the battlefield in a litter, and won a victory.

Socrates, from the altar of Venus at the Academy, saw a swan appear, thrusting its neck into the heavens, touching the region called the empyrean, passing out of sight, and singing in such loud and joyous strains as to charm the whole world. On the following day Aristides brought his little son Plato from the Academy to Socrates to be instructed in literature and morality by him. On seeing him Socrates,11 divining his mental powers from his bodily conformation, said: "This is the swan which Venus in the Academy consecrated to Apollo."

Plato, as he set out for Egypt to continue the studies in which he was interested, had a vision of his capture during the voyage and his sale into captivity. This was his fate on that voyage.12

7 Cicero calls it Scipio's Dream. 8 Gen. xli; xxxvii. 9 Valerius Maximus, I. vii. 1. 10 This should be Brutus; see citation above. 11 Apuleius, De Dogm. Plat. i. 1.

12 Webb states that this account of Plato's captivity is not found elsewhere as far as he could discover.

Chapter Seventeen. Dream Interpretation Not to Be Recommended

[97] IN DESCRIBING the methods of the interpreters of dreams I fear it may seem that I am not describing the art but am myself nodding, for it is no art or at best a meaningless one. For whoever involves himself in the deception of dreams is not sufficiently awake to the law of God, suffers a loss of faith, and drowses to his own ruin. Truth is indeed far removed from him, nor can he grasp it any more effectually than he who with blinded eyes gropes his way in broad daylight can lance a boil or treat a cancer.13

Although this drowsiness of infidelity in the form of dream interpretation is to be aroused by the goad of faith, and this mockery of craftiness (shall we call it, rather than of a craft) is to be battled with, we do not propose to block the path of the disposition of divine grace nor prevent the Holy Spirit14 from breathing where it will and according to its will suffusing obedient souls with its truth. But all who are credulous enough to put faith in dreams have patently wandered not only from the orbit of pure belief but also from that of reason.

Surely if ambiguous language is used which lends itself to many interpretations would not one be justly regarded as quite ignorant who, as a result of it, stubbornly makes some particular decision without taking into consideration these meanings? All things involve varied and manifold meanings, as has been stated above.15 Careful discrimination is to be made amid this multiplicity of meanings, lest by following one line too enthusiastically there be a tendency to fall into error. Hence the dream interpreter which is inscribed with the name of Daniel is apparently lacking in the weight which truth carries, when it allows but one meaning to one thing. [98] This matter really needs no further consideration since the whole tradition of this activity is foolish and the circulating manual of dream interpretation passes brazenly from hand to hand of the curious.

Daniel himself certainly had received from the Lord the gift of interpreting dreams and visions. God forbid that this prophet, who was aware that it had been prohibited by the law of Moses16 for any

13 I. e., any more than a blind man can be a surgeon.

14 John iii. 8.

15 I. e., particularly in Chapter Sixteen, above.

16 Lev. xix. 26.

of the faithful to pay attention to dreams, should be the one to reduce this inane practice to an art, for he well knew that the accomplice of Satan is transformed into an angel of light17 for the ruin of man and that the Lord sent upon him wicked angels.18

Joseph19 also, thanks to his gift of interpreting dreams, held the chief place in Egypt. His brothers, as if envying his dreams, sold him into slavery to the Ishmaelites but the hand of the Lord, by a miracle as pleasant as it was favorable to him, revealed the face of the future which was presented to the king as he slept and, as it were by the medium of dreams, raised Joseph not only from servitude to freedom but to the chief place among the nobles and grandees; so that only in respect to the royal throne was the king above him. Now were this possible with regard to a profession based upon human wisdom, I would be inclined to believe that one of his predecessors had won distinction before him, or I would readily think that a holy man filled with the spirit of piety had bequeathed the knowledge of acquiring distinction, if not to man in general, which would have been but right, at least to his own sons and brothers.

Furthermore Moses,20 trained in all the wisdom of Egypt, either was not acquainted with this art or scorned it, since in his abhorrence of impiety he banished it from God's people. However Daniel, a holy man, acquired the learning and wisdom of the Chaldeans,21 which assuredly a pious man would not have done if he had believed that the educational system of the Gentiles were sinful. He had too as fellow students those whom he rejoiced to have as sharers [99] in the law and justice of God. For Ananias, Azariah, and Michael received with him all that the Chaldeans had to teach. They too were inspired by God and refrained from partaking of the royal table. Their diet too was vegetarian; they were content with it and they attended the King on his military expeditions.

But behold! A unique gift which man was unable to confer had been conferred upon Daniel22 alone; he could solve the riddle of dreams and at the dictation of the Lord clarify the obscurity of allegory. To make his intimacy with divine favor more conspicuous, he knew what the king, when lying in bed, premeditated. Pondering upon his visions Daniel had the wisdom to expound the miracle of salvation, which then lay in shadow and took place or rather was to take place at the end of the ages.

17 2 Cor. xi. 14. 18 Ps. lxxvii. 49. 19 Gen. xli. 39ff

20 Acts vii. 22.

21 Dan. i. 4. 22 Ibid., ii.

Are interpreters of dreams thus wont to enter even into the thoughts of others, to banish darkness, to disclose the hidden, and to clarify the obscurity of allegory? If there be any who enjoys such special favor let him join Daniel and Joseph and like them attribute it to the Lord. But for him whom the spirit of truth has not illumined it is vain to place trust in the art, since every art has its source in nature and its development in experience and reason. But reason is so undependable in the case of interpreters of dreams that for the most part it knows not where to turn or what decision to make. That this is frequently the case may be gathered from a few instances.

A certain individual (his name escapes me though I remember that the great Augustine narrates the incident),23 much troubled by a matter which caused him to hesitate, demanded with great insistence the opinion of one to whom he was aware the matter at issue was well known. This person put off the request with promises, thwarting by his cunning the insistence of the other. It chanced that on the same night each had a dream, the one that he was giving the explanation as requested, the other that he was being instructed by his informant. The result was that when he awoke he marveled that he had obtained the knowledge without the help of the other and without [100] effort on his own part. Afterward, when as usual pleading that the promised information be given him, "What you asked," replied the other, "was done the night I came to instruct you." Who can explain such an incident unless on the supposition that good or bad spirits, influenced by the good or bad deeds of men, instruct or lead them astray?

Our Holy Mother24 the Catholic Church knows on the authority of Jerome himself how he was hurried before the tribunal of God the Judge for the reason that he had been too devoted to pagan books, where he was forced to assert that he would not merely not read them further but would not even keep them. Before this declaration he had been questioned and had said that he was a Christian. His judge rebuked him sharply for being not His disciple but Cicero's.

23 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, xviii. 18. Augustine's account is much clearer. The person questioned was a philosopher and the point in question had to do with Platonic philosophy. The questioner before he fell asleep had a vision in which the philosopher came to him and explained the point. When asked why he had not explained it before, the philosopher replied "I did not do it but dreamed I did." Augustine concludes "And thus what the one saw when sleeping, was shown to the other when awake by a phantasmal image."

24 Jerome, Ep. xxii. 30.

I do not dare affirm that this should be classed as a dream since this same truthful and learned teacher most solemnly states that it was not a shadowy dream but an actual experience and that the Lord did indeed visit him. To prove his assertion beyond the shadow of a doubt, on arising he displayed the livid welts and scars of wounds upon his body.

When spirits act thus in the case of human beings the devout soul should reject every image except that which leaves its innocence unimpaired. For should the dream add fuel to vice, perchance by inducing lust and avarice or by inspiring greed for dominion or anything of the sort to destroy the soul, undoubtedly it is the flesh or the evil spirit that sends it. This spirit, with the permission of the Lord because of their sins, wreaks its unbridled wickedness upon some men so violently that what they suffer in the spirit they wretchedly but falsely believe comes to pass in the flesh.

[101] For example it is said that some Moon or Herodias25 or Mistress of the Night calls together councils and assemblies, that banquets are held, that different kinds of rites are performed, and that some are dragged to punishment for their deeds and others raised to glory. Moreover babes are exposed to witches and at one time their mangled limbs are eagerly devoured, at another are flung back and restored to their cradles if the pity of her who presides is aroused.

Cannot even the blind see that this is but the wickedness of mocking demons? This is quite apparent from the fact that it is for the weaker sex and for men of little strength or sense that they disport themselves in such a cult. If in fact anyone who suffers from such illusion is firmly censured by someone or by some sign the malign influence is either overcome or yields, and, as the saying is, as soon as one is censured in the light the works of darkness cease.26 The most effective cure however for this bane is for one to embrace the true faith, refuse to listen to such lies, and never to give thought to follies and inanities of the sort.

25 Herodias was a north German divinity comparable with Diana. Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, page 1011, quotes the whole passage of our author. Cf. Index of Grimm's work, Herodias, for further information.

26 John iii. 19, 20.

Chapter Eighteen. Basis of Mathematics; Exercise of the

Senses; Powers of the Soul; Cultivation of Reason;

and Efficacy of Liberal Studies27

WOULD that the errors of astrologers28 were as easily removed from superior minds as evil spirits are effectively stilled in the light of true faith and sound knowledge of those illusions! Their error is, however, the more dangerous in that they seem to base it upon the firm foundation of nature and sound reason. It does indeed seem rash to people in general to abuse nature and foolish to dissent from what reason dictates. Astrologers therefore start with the truth, but the result is that though they advance further with her aid they, together with their followers, fall headlong into the snare of falsehood and the pit of delusion.

[102] They take as a sort of foundation of their teaching authentic ma'thesis,29 pronounced with the penultimate syllable short, which is of natural origin proved by reason and supported by experience. As a result of their own unsound views, allured by a false vision of reason, they slip to their own destruction into pseudo mathe'sis, pronounced with the penultimate syllable long.

To begin with they discuss creation and investigate it in its manifold forms, inquiring into its divisions, material, and forms. That they may the more readily do this, they measure the force of sensations and weigh the efficacy of intelligence. Because the obtuseness of the senses does not pass beyond the nature of corporeal things, gradually, thanks to other aids, they rise to more subtle considerations. For the sense of sight in the case of body by itself when actually present takes note merely of color, bulk, form; sound by itself affects the hearing; taste passes judgment on flavor, and the sense of smell is entirely occupied with odors. Touch discerns what is hard or soft, smooth or rough, heavy or light, hot or cold, wet or dry. At times it examines form and discerns bulk or weight. It is also sensitive to pleasure or pain. It permeates in general all parts of the sentient body and so closely is it connected with the vital principle that when it departs all life of the body is seen to depart as well.

27 Cf. the content of Chapters Eighteen-Twenty-Four with Augustine, De Civ. Dei, v. 1-11.

28 The Latin word is mathematici, which means mathematicians as well as astrologers, and the two meanings must be kept in mind in this passage. Cf. above, p. 39, n. 21.

29 See above, p. 39, n. 21.

If you inquire into the foregoing properties in the case of bodies not present your imagination, by drawing comparison from those which sense has learned to know, can bring them before you. This imagination will be dependable in proportion to the exactness of the likeness. Consequently Virgil's Tityrus complains that his imagination failed him through false analogy.

The city that they call Rome, O Meliboeus,

Fool that I was, methought like this of ours [103] To which we shepherds drive the tender offspring

Of our sheep; whereas she rears her head

Among the other cities as the cypress

Does among the bending osiers.30

But if the imagination shape a more intimate likeness of an object, it is exact and trustworthy; exemplified by Andromache's words in Virgil:

O thou in whom alone survives the form

Of my Astyanax! Such were his eyes

His hands, his face. E'en now he would be growing

Into man's estate with thee.31

If we turn to the abstract we must employ reason and understanding, since without the aid of intelligence it is incomprehensible and there can be no true understanding with regard to it without reason. So understanding when all else fails puts forth its own powers, and as though placed in the citadel of the soul embraces all that lies below, since the higher may not be comprehended by the lower. It now views things as they exist and again in other aspects; now each by itself and now in combination. It associates what is dissociated and, again, what is associated it dissociates and separates. Understanding therefore proceeds directly as long as it contemplates any particular object — for example when it apprehends a horse or a man. But when step by step it embraces several things, it is obliged to have recourse to combination; for example, its conception of a white man, or a horse running. It associates that which is dissociated as if it Should join a horse's neck to human head Laying on bright plumage everywhere,32 with the result, according to the poet,

30 Virgil, Ecl. i. 19-21, 24, 25 (L. C. L., I, 4).

31 Ibid., Aen. iii. 489-91 (L. C. L., I, 380). 32 Horace, A. P. 1-2 (L. C. L., p. 450).

A lovely woman's form above, below Becomes a black and ugly fish.33

Poets convey such conceptions to their readers by means of words when they describe a goat-deer, a centaur, or a chimera.

Understanding dissociates the associated, as when it forms the conception of form apart from matter, although without matter the form cannot exist at all except as a form of being and as the forms of forms attached thereto. From these are derived those which are ma-[104] terial and produce body.34 When understanding, being abstract and apart from the verity of reality, examines things otherwise than as they are, having formed them by combination it tends to error which is incident to opinion; and when it asserts that they exist or do not exist, it is, to speak plainly, mere opinion.

But although it dissociates what has been associated otherwise than it exists, provided it does so in a simple manner the conception will not be fruitless, for it paves the shortest way to a complete examination of knowledge. Such an understanding is the instrument of all philosophy, an instrument which sharpens the mind amazingly and distinguishes individual things, the one from the other, by the peculiar attributes of their nature.

If you do away with understanding that deals with the abstract the very keystone of the liberal arts will be destroyed, for without its assistance none of these can be understood or taught. And so understanding addresses itself to matter apart from form as it does to form apart from matter, and that which the power of virtue by itself is not sufficient to grasp it at times comprehends by a sort of lack of it, just as though darkness were seen by not seeing or silence were heard by not hearing.

Now no man exists who is not white or black or of some tint between, nor can there be man who is not forthwith some man, since for anyone to exist is the same as to be one in respect of number. As a matter of fact understanding deals with man in such a way that its regard does not fall upon anyone as a man, but it regards him from a general point of view, which is possible only in the singular number. For just as diversity of speech or of meaning so also that of understanding transcends by reason of its multiplicity the modes of its being, and man who can exist only as an individual is included in a general mental concept.

33 Ibid., 3-4 (L.C.L., p. 450).

34 Boethius, De Trin. ii.

Reason therefore defines what understanding had conceived,35 a rational, mortal, living creature, and it is evident to every careful philosophic thinker that such a definition applies to those alone who are subsumed under a higher category. And so, as reason considers similarities and dissimilarities, as it examines more minutely agreements of difference and differences of agreements, as it carefully investigates what individual things have in common with the greater number and what with the less, and contemplates with clear vision what must be present in each thing and what cannot be absent, it finds itself in the presence of many states, some universal, others particular.

[105] Defining these according to its own judgment and making numerous divisions, it turns its attention to the mysteries of nature herself with the result that no phenomena entirely escape its scrutiny. First it casts its keen glance upon matter, the foundation of everything, in which the handiwork of the Architect of nature is in evidence, by clothing it with its various properties and forms as with a sort of vestment and by shaping it with its own organs of sense whereby it becomes more capable of being grasped by the human mind.

Therefore that which sense perceives and which necessarily has form is first and unique substance. But that without which substance can neither exist nor be understood is essential to it and is generally called second substance. That however which is indeed present in substance and though substance persists can be absent from it is classed as an accidental property; singular if there be but a single individual, universal if, though not by nature yet by analogy, it be common to many. Such properties can doubtless be discovered more easily in the domain of understanding than in that of nature.

It is easy too in the domain of understanding to discover genera and species, differences, permanent and accidental properties which are called universal, while to seek the substance of things universal in the world of fact brings little profit and costs much toil, whereas in the mental world they are easy to find and attended with profit.

Now if anyone deal mentally with the fundamental similarity of things which differ in number alone he comprehends species; but if the harmony in things which differ in species occurs to the mind the broader classification, genus, spreads out before the mental vision.

Finally, the understanding is stirred to a comprehension of the

35 Ibid., Consol. Phil. V. pros, iv (L. C. L., pp. 388ff.).

universal by perceiving conformity in things which nature has made alike in respect to permanent or accidental properties; but when it ponders on the differences of similar things it approaches more intimately the works of nature which exist individually, in proportion to the exactness of the likeness, provided it views substance clothed with its own property and does not deviate from the natural state of things. But if, disregarding appearance, it strip substance, so to speak, of its vestment of form it does indeed exercise its own acumen and contemplates more freely and with greater fidelity what part of [106] nature exists in itself and what in other things by dividing it and setting apart each element, viz. substance, quantity, relation, quality, position, place, time, state, activity, and passivity.36

Now although these cannot exist each as an entity, each can be investigated as though it were. This speculation in which the nature of magnitude and multitude, which taken together compass and encircle the universe, is investigated is most useful as a compendium of the whole of philosophy.

Intelligence dealing with the abstract is surely no useless and idle thing when thus employed, for through it the mind ascends the ladder of the liberal arts step by step to the throne of perfect wisdom. The mind divides multitude,37 which by its own power increases to infinity just as magnitude diminishes to infinity, into two halves, as it views it, now simply and in itself and again as related to something else, assigning the one to arithmetic and reserving, as it should, the other for music.

It also cuts magnitude into two divisions, placing the one which is immovable under the jurisdiction of the geometricians, the other, namely the movable, under that of those who impart a knowledge of the stars and of the heavenly bodies. Indeed the ma'thesis as taught in the schools consists entirely of these four forms38 and attains the perfection of worldly wisdom by these four so-called paths of philosophy.

So the first step is to borrow the power of number from arithmetic; the second to draw upon music for the favor of proportion; the third to secure from geometry the science of mensuration; the fourth and last to attain the true position of the stars and to examine the nature of the heavenly bodies.

36 I. e., the ten types of predication or categories of Aristotle. 37 For this fourfold division of mathematics see Boethius, Arith. i. 1. 38 Here we have the well-known quadrivium: arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy.

[107] Of those who profess to impart a knowledge of the stars, some fall a victim to fable by reason of error due to opinion, and even Hyginus39 is caught in this snare; others content themselves solely with the sphere of the imagination, reserving for the judgment of the learned the question of what constitutes truth, being content provided they grasp its similitude. Both astronomy and astrology accept each of these classes as teachers in their fields. There are others who in teaching of the stars are indeed attentive to the interest of truth but are content if they merely attain the truth of the movement of the stars and of the systems of the constellations.

Chapter Nineteen.40 Difference between Astronomy and Astrology; Lore of Astrologers and Their Errors

BECAUSE it is plausible that there is some potency in the phenomena of the heavens, since on earth also it is believed that nothing is done which does not bestow from the hand of the Creator some beneficial result, inquisitive minds investigate the powers of celestial phenomena and endeavor to explain by the rules of their type of astronomy41 everything which comes to pass on this world below. Now astronomy is a noble and glorious science if it confine its disciples within the bounds of moderation, but if it be presumptuous enough to transgress these it is rather a deception of impiety than a phase of philosophy.

There is indeed much that is common to astronomy and astrology but the latter tends to exceed the bounds of reason and, differing in its entire aim, does not enlighten its exponent but misleads him. The following is common to each: dividing into zones, drawing parallels, turning the zodiac and its signs obliquely, encircling almost the whole celestial globe with the colures, measuring the eclipse of planets, making the outer celestial sphere independent of motion, drawing lines from the north to the south pole, dividing the signs of the zodiac by grades and points, maintaining the balance of the ris-[108] ing and setting constellations. Each agrees with physicians42

39 Hyginus, in his Poetica Astronomia.

40 John draws heavily upon Macrobius, In Somn. Scip., and Martianus Capella, Book viii, for the contents of this chapter. 41 Cf. above, p. 39, n. 21. 42 Martianus Capella, viii. 814.

in that they do not consider that fine, tenuous bodies are distributed along fixed paths as it were and segments of circles.

They also assert in common that the sun is the source of heat43 and they regulate both the increase and decrease of moisture by the motion of the moon, since sense proves it. But astrology, deriving its origin in the principles of philosophy, as stated above, goes too far and with rash pride infringes upon the prerogative of Him

Who counts the stars, whose names and signs and powers,

Courses, places, times, are known to Him


since the astrologer, thanks to his art, claims this power for himself. They wander farther from the knowledge of the truth in proportion to the arrogance with which they strive to force their way to it. Pondering therefore on the nature of the signs as they had perchance come to know it, they say that some of them as they roved aimlessly among the companion stars, are of masculine, others of feminine, gender, and that perhaps they would have multiplied by offspring were it not for the fact that being separated in space they were unable to embrace each other. They explore diligently the intentions of the planets which they regard as governing the twelve constellations, and this is something easy to ascertain from their relation, motion, and attraction, the one for the other, and for the hosts of stars.

Saturn45 therefore, because old and cold, is stern and harmful, malicious by nature, and morose because of age. Hence, inimical to all, he scarcely spares his own disciples. Next comes Jupiter, his opposite; benign, salutary, and so well disposed toward others that neither as the result of the maliciousness of his father nor the savagery of his subject Mars does he harm anyone, except that he does himself become stationary, to the detriment of the lower part of his orbit, or recedes, or suffers painful burning.

[109] Mars, haughty, unconquerable, pursues all but his own disciples, mollified at times by the approach of Jove or Venus, since she too is propitious and kindly disposed. Mercury is as the neighboring planets permit, since he himself is of unstable character and clings to the more powerful. As a consequence many consider him the

43 Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. II. vii alibi. 44 Sedulius, Carm. Pasch. i. 66-67.

45 Webb calls attention to the fact that Firmicus, Book vii, gives a similar description of the planets.

presiding deity of eloquence, for the reason that this when united with wisdom is most helpful, when joined to evil most harmful.

Although these were not the teachings of Lucan he nevertheless touched upon the erroneous doctrine when describing the fear of the city, and when he warned that by the inevitable proofs of astrology civil war is bound to come with Caesar's advance.46 For the learned poet (if it be proper to call one poet who by his veracious narration of events comes close to being an historian) intimated that it was fated that the evil of him who alone was lording it in heaven had undeniably to be endured. Though Figulus47 discusses the design of fate and the intention of the stars, not yet did he transmit complete knowledge of their visible bodies, for not one of the astrologers has settled the question whether the stars are composed of the four elements or of a fifth element which Aristotle postulates.48 For when children pose the question whether the stars are hard or soft, or some similar question, astrologers disdain to listen, although I have seen some famous men, wise in their own estimation, hard put to it on such points.

None the less they explain and prove to their own satisfaction what the deliberations of destiny are and what the purpose of the stars which they have discovered deals out to this world of ours. Possibly divine intention is thwarted, and it is no astrologer who propounds this, saying

What kind of ruin, O supernal beings Are you preparing for us? In what form Will your anger come? The day of doom For thousands coincides. Had that chill [110] And baleful planet Saturn lighted his

Dark fires in the zenith, then Aquarius Had poured out such rains Deucalion knew, And all of earth had been concealed below The waste of waters. Or if thy rays, O Phoebus, Were passing now above the fierce Nemean Lion, then fire had surged through all the worlds. Then ether kindled by thy car had burned. But all these planets now are still. But Mars!

46 Lucan, Phars. i. 469ff. (L. C. L., pp. 36ff.). 47 Ibid., 640ff. (L. C. L., pp. 48ff.).

48 Cicero states that Aristotle added a fifth to the usual four elements. Tusc. Disp. I. x. 22 (L. C. L., p. 26). Martianus Capella (viii. 814) says that the stars are composed of the fifth element.

What dreadful purpose have you as you light The Scorpion threatening with its fiery tail, And scorch its claws? For Jupiter, star benign, Is hidden deep down in the west, while Venus, Healthful planet, burns quite dim and Mercury's Swift course is stayed; alone Mars lords it in The heaven. Why have constellations fled Their course to move in darkness through the sky, The while sword-girt Orion's side shines all Too bright? War madness is upon us now; The might of sword shall take the place of law And reign for many years to come.49

From the state of the planets, the position of the constellations, and the combination of causes, how clearly and inevitably does war result! For this is of utmost importance to the teaching of the art, that it rest upon the natural or accidental abode of the planets. Since indeed all the planets except the sun and moon, which are content with one habitation each, rejoice in two, namely the natural and accidental. The natural habitat of each is that in which it was first created, if indeed the casters of horoscopes concede that they were created by the Lord.

The abode of the moon is Cancer; of the sun, Leo; of Mercury, Virgo; of Venus, Libra; of Mars, the Scorpion; of Jove, the Bowman; of Saturn, Capricorn; and all this by nature's law. By accident, Aquarius gives place to Saturn; Pisces to Jove; the Ram to Mars; the Bull to Venus; the Gemini to Mercury. The moon is kindly, and she along with other stars,50 whatever nonsense others utter, was created by God to rule the night.

What am I to say of the Sun who is captain, prince, and guide of the other luminaries? However much devotees of the planets cry out in opposition, I do not hesitate to pronounce him good and indis-[111] pensable, since he also illumines the day for all to see, regulates its orbit, divides the year into seasons, induces nature's changes, and does much more that would be tedious to mention. But though causes of many benefits reside in it and in other luminaries, there is none the less but one First Cause, of these themselves and of all things that rightfully exist. He has created the universe by His own majesty and power and has formed and strengthened it by the

49 Lucan, Phars. i. 648-68 (L. C. L., p. 50).

50 Gen. i. 16.

boundless quality of His wisdom and has been influenced by goodness alone to confer both substance and form upon it.

But astrologers and star-gazers in their endeavor to extend the influence of their profession fall to their own destruction into the pit of error, impiety, and deception. The rules of no art whatsoever are preserved intact except by being confined to their own proper field; especially since it is a common experience, according to the philosopher, that discoveries are frequently made regardless of rules. Every rule is adapted to a certain class of things. If it be transferred to another its truth is immediately exposed to distortion.

If mathematicians were content with the aim of approved mathematics, that of the schools, they would have the power to ascertain the position of the stars and from their signs to presage with sober judgment the character of periods according as they occur in nature and to pluck the ripe fruit of their speculations. But when they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes51 by assigning to constellations and planets excessive power, ascribing to them some sort of authority for their work, they end by wronging the Creator. Not knowing the celestial phenomena with which they deal as a sobering influence they are, according to the apostle, fools.52

See the great abyss of error into which they are cast by the very phenomena of the heaven! They ascribe everything to the constellations. Seest thou whether wrong is done Him who hath made heaven, earth, and all that is in them.53 In fine the stars impose such compulsion upon events that free will is destroyed. Ponder whether this too be right.

[112] Finally, some reach such a pitch of insanity that from the different positions of the stars they say an image54 can be formed by man which, if it be formed and preserved in the constellation through intervals of time by a sort of system of proportions, will by decrees of the stars receive the breath of life and will disclose to those who consult it the mysteries of hidden truth. And although it sometimes teaches what is just and right, as, for example, its wish to be preserved in its place in the universe or its desire that God alone be consulted when anything is sought, none the less it is quite certain that this is deception of the Evil Spirit, who in order to foster carelessness often seems to offer just and harmless precepts. No true believer is ignorant that this is indeed a form of idolatry.

51 Matt. xxiii. 5. 52 Rom. i. 22. 53 Ps. xlv. 6.

54 Cf. Paracelsus' remarks on homunculi and imagines. A. E. Waite, The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus, I, 124; II, 120.

Far more fittingly do those astronomers mount the heavens who, after the fashion of the disciples of the Academy, meet as they have a right to do, with the argument of probability whatever objection is made to them; and so some of them contend that the planets press against the outer motionless sphere with a sort of irrational movement of their own; others on the authority of Aristotle teach that the same are carried along with the firmament, neither of which theories is found, on the testimony of Mineius,55 to be incompatible with the rules of astronomy.

But the casters of horoscopes, by insisting overmuch on the science of celestial bodies for the purpose of divination, have destroyed not only the knowledge of these, but also of God. Those among them however seem to have some excuse for their error who, with Plotinus,56 do not deprive the Creator of the honor of His works but assert that law was established by Him once for all. This law no attempt can nullify since all things which He arranged are to be as He foresaw. Perhaps this is what Papinius meant when he said

He thus begins enthroned on high; his words Are weighty; fate then does as he decrees.57

[113] Its own capabilities have been bestowed by Him upon each and every created thing, among which it were in no way fitting that the celestial bodies be neglected or that they which were the more impressive should have least power. And so God bestowed as much as he thought proper upon them, and although he retained the chief governance in his own hands he assigned to them the less impressive duty of serving as signs. Though it is but infrequently that they serve the purpose of signs, yet by God's authority they perform that service. Hence perhaps the saying, "The heavens shew forth the glory of God and the firmament declareth the work of his hands."58 And no wonder when even birds and many other creatures, by God's provision and the kindness of nature, anticipate certain events by signs.

If therefore there are celestial indications of things which are undeniably to come to pass, since immutable destiny has so ordained, what is there to prevent that those things which are foretold by the testimony of the heavenly bodies be known by man and in turn

55 I. e., Capella. His full name was Martianus Mineius Felix. 56 Plotinus, Ennead. ii. 3.

57 Statius, Theb. i. 212-13 (L. C. L., p. 356). The poet's full name was P. Statius Papinius.

58 Ps. xviii. 2.

transmitted by him to man? Signs have indeed been given to man for his edification and not to those who, being acquainted with the celestial bodies, are not in need of them.

Chapter Twenty. Foreknowledge Not the Annihilation of

Nature; the Course of Events Not an Infringement upon

Foreknowledge; Freedom of Will Persists

along with Foreknowledge

THESE propositions of theirs are credible but beware the poison that is here concealed in the honey.59 They impose upon things a sort of fatality under the pretext of humility and reverence for God, possibly in the fear that His decrees be nullified unless necessity be a concomitant of events. Furthermore they intrude upon the especial function of divine majesty by arrogating a knowledge by which they foresee times and moments60 which, on the Son's testimony, have been reserved for the power of the Father, with the result indeed that things are hidden from the eyes of those to whom the Son of God has made known whatsoever he had heard from his Father.61 Then too they inflate men's minds with false pride or dishearten them with [114] cowardly despair, either by promising long life or worldly prosperity to such as deserve to be brought low, or on the other hand by threatening imminent death or mundane adversity for those who deserve to be raised up. They certainly are forbidden to lift the upper millstone, which is fear, or the lower, which is hope, between which the souls of the faithful are ground in the mill of this life. They do lift, not however so much to their own destruction and that of their clients as to affront Him who forbids.

But just as the course of events does not alter God's foreknowledge, so eternal disposition does not annihilate the laws of nature. For neither was it impossible for man not to sin because God had foreknowledge that he would sin nor was the Lord ignorant that he would sin because he had the power not to sin. Neither was he ignorant that he had the power not to die for the reason that he was to die because his sin deserved it; nor was it necessary that he die because the Lord had foreknowledge that he would. He was therefore made immortal after a fashion, as he was undoubtedly to die; it was

59 In the ensuing chapters John follows Augustine and Boethius. 60 Acts. i. 7. 61 John xv. 15.

guilt that brought death and this was not imposed upon him by nature's law. He would have had to be transferred from a state of immortality, in which he could not die, to one in which he would not have been able to die, had not the sin of disobedience, interrupting the course of justice, temporarily blocked his way to such glory.

So we see that, exercising complete freedom of will, he had the power to sin or not to sin, for by no harsh dispensation, no compulsion of fate, no spur of stipulation, nor yet by any fault of nature was he urged on to sin, and this as indubitable cause plunged man almost of his own free will into death. But because in wrongdoing he allowed the reins of discretion to slip from his hands, he lies prostrate, overwhelmed to such a degree that by the righteous judgment of God he is now unable to abstain from sin when he so desires, because he did not will to abstain from it when he had the power.

The only sphere in which he now exercises freedom of will is in that of iniquity and he rises to goodness only when forestalled and aided by the grace of God. Thus voluntarily leaving the path of justice he is led on to sin and death, with the result that burdened by the yoke of slavery he finds himself subject to the destiny of sin and death, although this was not brought about by the chain of fate but by the result of his own transgression. Otherwise there is no justice that will condemn man, since the blame would recoil not [115] upon him but upon his Maker. Consequently there are possibilities which will never come to pass; now these would by no means have been termed possibilities if just because they are not to be, they could not possibly come to pass. It is indeed possible that a naval engagement62 will take place, likewise that it will not. One of the alternatives is, however, definitely and unalterably true and foreordained.

62 Aristotle, De Interpr. ix (19A, 30ff.).

Chapter Twenty-One63 Can God Know the Unknown'? Change Is by No Means to Be Attributed to Him; Knowledge, Foreknowledge, Disposition, Foresight, and Predestination Are One and the Same Thing; There Is an Infinity of Things True; Consequently Their Number Cannot Be Increased or Diminished; Foreknowledge Does Not Impose Any Necessity upon Things

BEHOLD the horns of another dilemma and wheresoever I turn I seem involved in error. For if things which are not, nor will be, can be foretold, God can know what he does not know or something can occur without his knowledge. For a naval engagement which is not to be — as it can be waged so it can be known by those who wage it. Can that not be known by God which can assuredly both be and be known by man? If therefore God can know what he does not know he can assuredly also not know what he knows, for the reason that there can be no knowledge of contradictories, since one of the two must be false because it lacks the substance of truth. Besides, there is no knowledge of what is not true. How therefore can there be unvarying knowledge which is subject to decrease and increase of fact and which can be ignorant of what it knows, or can know that of which it is ignorant. For if we allow that it is changeable in spite of James's objection,64 then with Him there is change and shadow of alteration and the Father of enlightenment ceases to exist if that of which He has foreknowledge eludes Him.

[116] This indeed even the misguided pagans refuse to admit with regard to their demons, shall we call them, rather than divinities, for they say that the river Styx is impassable for the gods, asserting that it must be revered by all and at no point is it permissible to be passed by celestial beings. Forgetfulness is something that cannot touch the minds of heavenly beings. Must faith then accept that with reference to God which even paganism itself abhors? All agree that God knows that the one thing is not to be, although many do not concede that He can or cannot know that the other will be, for fear of seeming to brand Him with the mark of mutability or weakness.

Provided however, if such a thing be possible, that one does not sin as a result of the position or conjunction of the heavenly bodies,

63 For content of Chapter Twenty-One Webb calls attention to Abelard, Dialect. ii; Anal. Prior, iii; and Introd. ad Theol. iii. 64 Jas. i. 17.

let it be granted, since many so concede, that God can know what He does not know; yet no one maintains that for that reason He is changeable, for His knowledge does not decrease or increase a whit since that alone can be true in nature which He from the beginning had preordained by His immutable decree. While this is conceded, the utmost care must be exercised lest a knowledge of the forms of the verb introduced by Apollonius65 bring in an element of disbelief or falsehood. This possibility itself of coming to pass is fittingly ascribed not to the fickleness of Him who is not moved but to the complaisance of things which can be moved without objection on the part of nature.

God's knowledge therefore remains everywhere intact and immovable, and if there be any variability in anything it is a mutability due not so much to the One who knows as to the thing known. For what God's knowledge comprises is subject to change, but that knowledge itself knows naught of such changes and compasses and holds within its one sole and indivisible ken the totality of all that can be expressed in words or ascertained by any sense whatsoever. To such a degree does it comprehend under a single form and without motion that for it neither past nor future exists, just as it comprehends the local without location, the growing without beginning, the departing without end, the fluctuating without change, the temporal [117] without mutability and motion. Nor is this surprising in the state of eternity, except that all that is there is marvelous, since even with us contemplation grasps to a certain extent the abstract idea of movement and of rapidity.

Understanding also contemplates a large object without the idea of its expansion and a small one without that of its contraction; nor does it need place to enclose the local nor intervals of space to include the distant, and therein it follows the example of the Father of light but not keeping pace with Him, since it is subjected to many disturbing influences but He to none at all.

But though the ken of the divine in its purity includes things innumerable, the substance of Him who has foreknowledge is one and indivisible and in essence one for Him, since in His case to be and to have wisdom is one and the same. Besides, let him who can imagine who it was that united such diversity without being the cause of all

65 Sc. Apollonius Dyscolus, the grammarian. His book On Forms of Verbs is not extant, but Webb cites Egger, Apollonius Dyscole, pages 147ff., for information on this point.

things, for this cause, in order to be, needs the support of such union.

But the knowledge of the being created is in a far different situation. It is indeed not one and the same thing for spirit and soul to be and to have knowledge. Since the soul with its first impulse toward growth in power is directed toward the knowledge of things, and since, if this knowledge be so rooted that it can in no wise be torn from it without harm to nature, nature by its own character forms the soul and imparts to it the capacity of knowing. Therefore this state is fittingly called knowledge although at times the objects with which it deals are given the name of knowledge. Hence by interchange the name which belonged to the one passes to the other. So at all events the adjective "much" is applied to knowledge whereas this expression applies not to knowledge itself but to the facts with which knowledge deals.

If therefore we consider the immensity and singleness of God's wisdom, it is one, simple, and indivisible; if the great number of things with which it has to do, it is manifold and diverse. If one turn his attention to the substance of Him who possesses the will and power, the will and power are one; if to what He wishes and to what He can accomplish, the number of these is infinite; according to the saying of the prophet, "Great is our Lord and great is His power: and of His wisdom there is no number,"66 and again, "Great are the works [118] of the Lord sought according to all His wills,"67 and the following: "Who shall declare the powers of the Lord?"68

This is something at once uniform and diverse and though it knows naught of diversity as a whole, yet is called by various names and for various reasons; to wit, knowledge, foreknowledge, disposition, foresight, and predestination. Knowledge however has to do with things as they are, foreknowledge with what is to be, foresight with what is to be governed, predestination with what is to be saved. Predestination is also a preparation from time eternal for grace, through which each is called to life; as the Apostle puts it, "Whom he predestinated, them he also called and whom he called, them he also justified and them he also glorified."69 And again, "With thee is the fountain of life and in thy light we shall see light."70

In fine, that with boldness born of reverence we may end our explanation of God's knowledge, which itself knows no end: God's knowledge is the true comprehension and full knowledge of all that

66 Ps. cxli. 5. 67 Ps. ex. 2. 68 Ps. cv. 2.

69 Rom. viii. 30. 70 Ps. xxxv. 10.

is, has been, and is to be. All that He knows is true and only that, for He disdained to have acquaintance with the false, which however He judges and condemns.

His knowledge therefore is necessarily infinite in that it embraces universal truth, which is assuredly without number, or so limitless that it has no end save in the wisdom of God, which alone comprehends its own greatness. None of the things that he knows, therefore, come to naught, since they are true; for the beginning and cause of all things that have been regularly disposed, be they present, past, or future, is truth. As the psalmist says: "The beginning of thy words is truth; all the judgments of thy justice are forever."71 Yet heaven and earth shall pass away72 since this too is in accord with the words of truth; then surely after the vileness of the world has been cleansed away, a new heaven and a new earth shall be formed.

[119] Let each believe what his faith or his reason dictates; I, without prejudice to a better view, judge that truth is limitless, since in the case of all things which are and are not, they must necessarily be or not be from the beginning, and since of those which are contradictory, one or the other must of necessity be true. At one and the same time there grew up or rather came into being such a large number of true things that it is incapable of diminution or increase and remains infinite forever and forever, except in the wisdom of God. Unfailing knowledge therefore belongs to Him whom none of these things eludes, and this knowledge receives no increase since it comprises all of them.

God in his wisdom, that is, in His only begotten Word, arranged from all eternity the system of regulating these things. He created all of them in this eternity at the same time. In due order he set the system working by the agency of a destiny that seems to cause things to surge on the waves of chance, and conducted them each according to a prearranged order from the birth which brought them into being, even to the corruption which, as it were, severed the thread of existence and thrust them back into non-being.

This system is what the ancients were pleased to call Parcae73 or Fate,74 for the reason that the regulations of God's providence spare [parcere] no one from being subject to it, and because it receives

71 Ps. cxviii. 160.

72 Matt. xxiv. 13; Mark xiii. 31; Luke xxi. 33.

73 See Servius, Comm. in Verg. Aen. i. 22; Ecl. iv. 47.

74 Priscian, Partit. XII. vers. Aen. 116.

assurance of fulfillment from the Word of God, by which he has said all things for eternity and by which they are done.

Hence the Stoic believes that all things are unavoidable for fear of bringing to naught immutable knowledge. On the contrary, Epicurus thinks that there are no events which are the result of the regulation of providence for fear of imposing necessity upon things subject to change.

They are both equally mistaken since the one subjects the universe to chance and the other to necessity. There is therefore a changeless disposition of changeable things.75 Since this providence cannot be moved from its state of eternity it has freed the train of events from all bond of necessity.

And although the light inaccessible76 of God's wisdom incomparably surpasses the darkness of human knowledge, there is nevertheless that in which the obscurity of our vision is put, relatively, on a [120] footing with the clarity of His. For just as what I see is impending does not occur of necessity from the fact that I see it, so also what His eye contemplates is under no compulsion of coming to pass.

I know indeed that the stone or arrow which I have shot into the clouds will by nature's law fall back upon the earth as do all heavy bodies born by their own weight; yet there was no compulsion that they fall onto the earth either naturally or because I know they do. For there is the possibility of their falling or not falling; one or the other, though not of necessity, is nevertheless true. That which I know will, in any case, be. For if it is not to be, although it is thought to be, it nevertheless is not known, since there is no knowledge of that which is not; there is merely opinion.

However even if it cannot be, there is nothing that hinders that there be knowledge, for it deals not merely with the inevitable but with whatever exists, unless possibly you join the Stoics in deeming that existing things are one with inevitable things. Thus the things that He knows beforehand will all undoubtedly be fulfilled. There is the possibility however that all things that are to befall may not come to pass, so true is it that to bring things to pass, His vision as well as ours confirms the things which we alone with Him know beforehand will be, although all things by His disposition may be allotted their form of being insofar as they are good.

75 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, xv. 25. 76 1 Tim. vi. 16.

At other times however things do not present an image of the form of existence but offer testimony to its defect, owing to the fault of their own irregularity. Foreknowledge is therefore not the cause of things happening, nor is the fact that things have happened the cause of His foreknowledge; for in the one case the movement of things temporal would be the cause of eternal providence; in the other, streams of evil would flow from the uncorrupted fountain of goodness; but God is at least the Author of good. The common objection made, that if anything is known beforehand it will of necessity come to pass, rests upon no substantial foundation of truth, although there is the possibility that, when all things are freed from all necessity, one should put a limit to the dilemma by making the truth of a proposition depend rather upon the necessity of logical sequence than upon the necessity of the consequent itself.

Nor will you force me, although I acknowledge that the nature of events that have been disposed is changeable, to state that for this reason the knowledge of the One who disposes is subject to change; [121] since, according to the mystery of truth itself (I have in mind John, the son of thunder)" faith is resolved that, however great the instability of His subjects, what was made was life in Him through whom all things were made.78

And so His mighty dispositions live and flourish in the strength of their own stability, to such a degree that they can be shaken by no movement of nature nor be destroyed by mutability of time or chance.

Chapter Twenty-Two. The Impossible Is Not the Result of the Possible; the Most High, Who Alone Is All-Powerful, Knows What Consequences Follow from What Necessity

YET YOU persist in saying that unless anything that is foreseen by Him happens (comprehending as you do with full assurance that the stone will happen to fall back upon the earth), His disposition is belied. Therefore, because it is possible for the stone not to fall, you require me to elect from alternatives neither of which is generally accepted, namely, that I acknowledge that His providence can be belied (a thing from which true faith shrinks) or that I agree that from

77 Mark iii. 17. 78 John i. 3, 4.

the impossible the possible will in true sequence come to pass, which is illogical. I am indeed in difficulties; on the one hand for fear of belittling divine majesty, on the other of contradicting that which many acclaim and which is quite generally believed.

But inasmuch as it is better to incur the abuse of men than to be impious toward God, if I am unable to avoid both I prefer to seem illogical than lacking in faith. For all are not yet persuaded that the impossible does not result from the possible. Some accept this, whether correctly is for them to decide. But no man of sense will agree that the false is the result of the true. Truth indeed is the result of the false and the true, but truth only can be the result of the true. The possible is at times the result of the possible and the impossible, yet all impossibilities are not the result of any possibility whatsoever.

Perhaps they have persuaded you otherwise, for if all that they say is true all impossibilities are the result of one impossibility, and all possible false things whatsoever may be the result of any false thing [122] whatsoever. But had you derived the false from the true I would have justly complained and with the approval of all that I had been led away from the path of truth.

I am however not troubled by such unreasonableness to the extent that, though I find comrades in error, I rashly strive on my own part to support what is untenable. I prefer with the disciples of the Academy, if there be no other way out, to express doubt with regard to statements rather than to make false claims to knowledge and be so rash as to define what is unknown or obscure, especially on a matter on which nearly all the world would combat my assertion.

I am the more ready to give ear to the school of the Academy because it deprives me of none of the things I know and in many matters renders me cautious, being supported as it is by the authority of great men, since he in whom alone the Latin tongue finds whatever elegance it has to offset the arrogance of Greece turned to it in his old age. I mean of course Cicero, the originator of Roman style, whose work De Natura Deorum79 proves that he favored this school toward the end of his life.

Let the Stoics vaunt their startling axioms,80 which they call paradoxes, as being true, noble, and admirable. We with our dull wits81 approve nothing that appears false to everybody, or to the

79 Cicero, De N.D. I. v. 11, 12 (L. C. L., pp. 12ff.).

80 Gellius, N.A. xvii. 12 (L. C. L., III, 250). Cicero, Paradox. Proem. 4.

81 Cicero, De Amic. v. 19 (L.C. L., p. 128).

majority, or, especially, to individual philosophers who, in view of their ability, are more trustworthy. Not even if Cicero himself or Aristotle should derive the impossible from the possible do I think I should acquiesce. I shall imagine that I had been mystified under the guise of truth by some deceit.

In this way I avoid your snares and say that providence cannot be misled, but that there is the possibility that a thing foreseen may not come to pass. But I know the point you are wont to make, that the thing may possibly not have been foreseen. Granted, is my answer. What is your next step? Despite the objection of philosophy you say that what is, is not, that what was, possibly was not, and what has already passed can be revoked so that it was not.

[123] I do not indeed confine the infinite power of God within the narrow limits of my petty knowledge and reason, nor do I impose upon it a limit which it does not have, for I know that it can do all things. But all the same your false inferences are perfectly clear to me; first that you circumscribe limitless divine majesty within the narrow limits of finite human understanding and attribute to the immutable condition of eternity the likeness of things transitory and the vicissitudes of periods that succeed one another. But it should have been conceived from what has preceded that it is far otherwise here, and in these matters, than in the things considered before, since no disturbance at all influences the eternal state and since all created things are influenced by increase and decrease of accidental properties.

Now if man foresees any future event his mind is stirred to movement, with the result that its imaginative faculty conjures up the appearance of the future event and at one time stores it away in the secret chambers of memory and at another unfolds and unrolls it, so to speak, in the mirror of pure truth. It is in fact more natural that this mental disturbance be entirely lacking than that the mind should be continually occupied with it. Indeed if it is not providence it is either the parent of providence or is closely related to it by the consciousness of some bond or other. But when the activity preceding and the attendant vision of the future event conceived therefrom disappoint, the mental agitation is meaningless and vanishes like a shadow in dreams without the substance of truth.

The activity, however, in that it was really in the soul, cannot fail to have existed in it and it is impossible that the soul, which was stirred by the activity, did not exist before it was stirred. The condi-

tion of pure divinity is far different. Its single, simple, undiverted gaze, as before stated, contemplates all that is, was, and is to be; and is not moved by the course of mutable events but in itself, viewing at one and the same time the universe, exists unvarying;

Itself immovable, gives unto all things Their movement.82

Although on occasions words in the past or future tense are [124] attributed to Him, there is no hint that anything as a result of this is withdrawn from Him or is in the future for Him; merely the mutability of His subject universe, if accurate language is employed, is truthfully declared. When therefore we hear that He has known something beforehand, we by no means understand that by lapse of time His knowledge has evaded Him, but, if we follow the natural meaning, that time has preceded in which it is really believed that He had knowledge of that which was to be.

Thus it is assuredly certain that He has foreseen all things from eternity, not because time by its flux had withdrawn anything from his vision but because the gaze of Him who in universal time is first in nature, always compasses all things. Therefore His providence is not thwarted in its disposition because the sequence of events always attends it. Again, it cannot be thwarted because neither as the result of change of events, nor flight, nor uncertainty of time can anything be concealed from His eyes.

The disposition of man, however, can be and is thwarted; and an event, the image of which he has formed beforehand in his mind, in the course of time either does not come to pass at all or is displayed in another form. All however that is implied in the meaning of a word in the past tense is not to be attached to past events. If I assert that I lived when the logician of Pallet83 flourished I do not for that reason acknowledge that my life has slipped from me or passed me by. Or if I dissented from the Arians at the council of Rheims,84 held by Pope Eugenius III, I have not by grace of past time quarreled with the avowed soundness of his faith. But because at some time or other it was true for me to say, "I live now," "Thus I think," I acknowledge in subsequent time with discrimination and truth that "I lived then"

82 Boethius, Consol. Phil. III. met. ix. 3 (L. C.L., p. 262). Boethius' reading says "you" instead of "itself."

83 I. e., Abelard, born at Pallet near Nantes.

84 This council was held in 1148 to pass upon the teachings of Gilbert de la Porrée.

and "I thought thus"; I do not by that acknowledge that life or sensation has passed from me.

Yet I know that some may say that we are mistaken in looking forward to death;85 a great part of death has already passed; whatever time is behind us death possesses. But indeed if life had slipped from one once for all, he would indeed not have said this, or would have said it after having been restored to life. Therefore it is not [125] inevitable that what has been stated by a verb in the past tense is a thing of the past; and although many have been predestined, the predestination by which they have been elected is not a thing of the past.

The mark of predestination indeed, whatever tense of the verb is used so far as that goes, connotes the future rather than the past and indicates that he who is under discussion, unless he has already passed on, is to be saved. It is, as they say, a fecund word,86 and always includes within it the meaning of another word. And so it does not impose any activity upon the One who predestines but asserts that, thanks to the primal grace of God, the gate of salvation and the door of compassion is open to one, by which, as time goes on, he can be saved — nay, shall be saved — though there is the possibility of not being saved.

Do not quote me the statement of your favorite Aristotle87 that it is inevitable that what was, was, and what is, is, when it is; with the result that you infer that statements couched in the past tense are definitely true or definitely and of necessity false. You will receive little help from such objections, as even the very words of Aristotle raise the question and offer little or no help in solving the problem. Indeed declarations which unite to the past a future contingency impair the soundness of the rule. For example, yesterday it was true that you would read tomorrow, or, Plato once knew that you would sleep. In these declarations confidence in past time is shaken as the result of the addition of future time, as long, that is, as you had it in your power not to have slept, and Plato in his not to have known; not because an activity which was in his soul can not have been, but because the knowledge which was might have degenerated into opinion because of the mutability of things and the undependable

85 See Seneca, Ep. i. 2 (L. C. L., I, 2).

86 Varro, however, defines a fecund word as one which has various forms due to inflection. L. L. viii. 9. 87 Aristotle, De Interpr. ix.

character of time; if indeed there can be any knowledge of future contingencies, although beyond doubt there is opinion which imitates knowledge with a degree of probability.

Likewise there will be the possibility that what yesterday we predicted was true was not true, not because the past event is canceled, [126] since it by no means has passed so far as the assertion is concerned, but because a future event is awaited and because that depends upon the hazard of fortune for its existence. Then too, you yourself have the power to foresee some good which is likely to be good, though there is the possibility that it will not be good. You likewise have the power not to have foreseen a good, not because you have power not to foresee what you have foreseen but because there is the possibility that what you have foreseen is not good.

Furthermore you have the power to have made a promise or to have driven a good bargain and yet you have the power not to have made the promise or not to have driven the good bargain; notwithstanding you have not the power not to have promised or not to have made the bargain which you have made.

Moreover you preceded in the possession of the Sempronian property88 him who follows you, and if you precede another, that other preceded or followed you, or follows or will follow. Since therefore the result of what logically follows can fail to occur, the truth of a preceding cause may be impugned with the result that there is the possibility that you yourself who did precede did not precede.

However when you have entered a place, it is impossible that you have not entered it; when a thing has been done it is impossible that it be classed with things not done; and there is no recalling to nonexistence a thing of the past. All of these instances, be they mental conception, verbal expression, or accomplished acts of the past, are never able nor will be able thereafter not to have been; and yet such as were to be in the future, as long as an occurrence definite in its nature has not made them definite, are capable of not having been; but all things which are included under the name of any class whatsoever of things yet to occur, are included within the circle of such things, although more commonly they are naturally applied to quantity, relation, or to any one of the other categories.

88 An example taken from the jurists, e. g., Dig. XLIV. i. 16. Sempronius, like Seius, some paragraphs later is used to indicate any individual.

Why surprising then, that He who has all power can also not have foreseen what He had foreseen; since faith agrees that it is possible that those things which have been foreseen cannot come to pass and that those which have not, can; though they are not capable of coming to pass without being seen by providence; for Isaiah says, "If you be willing to walk in my commands and will harken to me, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you will not and will provoke me to wrath, the sword shall devour you because the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."89

[127] Behold, freedom of will is preserved herein, seeing that by saying "If you be willing" and "If you refuse," He promises to all punishment or reward — either the one or the other; not as a result of the irrevocable judgment or destiny of God but in accord with each one's deserts. The condition of winning favor conferred upon the will would have been useless indeed if the obligation of doing or not doing had been bound by the chains of providence or destiny.

Now if this suffice not my disputants, could not, on the testimony of the gospel, the Son in His passion have besought His Father to send to Him more than twelve legions of angels,90 although it is clear after the event that not this but the contrary, that which happened, had been foreseen? Let it not disturb the acute mind if, in the investigation of such majesty, examples fail us and we do not abound in reasons, since reason banishes admiration and the citing of examples excludes the unique. But His majesty, marvelous in its inexpressible uniqueness and unique in its marvelous greatness, surpasses the comprehension not only of men but of angels.

I know indeed that he who delves into the majesty of the Almighty91 will be crushed by its glory, and that according to His edict the beast will be stoned if it touch the mountain.92 Hence statements made in such matters are, without prejudice to better ones, the expression of the thought of the searcher of truth rather than that of one making rash statements for the purpose of attacking truth. But I confess that I am ignorant why, when He has rejected, He should choose another, except that with the Fathers93 I feel that in the former case the mysterious justice of God should be revered, in the latter that the manifest pity of grace should be embraced. For that

89 Isa. i. 19, 20.

90 Matt. xxvi. 53.

91 Prov. xxv. 27. 92 Heb. xii. 20. Cf. Exod. xix. 13.

93 Cf. Augustine, Ep. cxlix. 22; cxciv. 5.

one too who, caught up even to the third heaven, heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for man to utter,94 did not so much dispel this difficulty as marvel at the depth of the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God95 and with humble confession announce that His judgments were unsearchable and His ways past tracing out.

[128] He who glories that the mysteries and secrets of God are manifest to him asserts that His works are magnified beyond the understanding of man, and in his wide investigation he learns that the thoughts of the All High are most profound. What Solomon in Ecclesiastes preached to the ears of the faithful harmonizes with this truth: "There are some that day and night take no sleep with their eyes,"96 and he knew that man makes no accounting of all the works of God that are under the sun, and the more he shall labor in his search the less he shall find. Even though a wise man think to know it yet shall he not be able to find it.

If therefore the reason for the things under the sun cannot be discovered, who is to give an adequate account of the things above the sun? "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath instructed Him?"97 And so it is agreed that the explanation of all things is to be sought with such zeal for truth that pious endeavor acknowledges its own shortcomings and derives aid from all things, provided it be persuaded that divine majesty is to be honored with piety and that the depth of never failing pity is constantly to be embraced.

Finally the philosophers98 have seen to it that what has been predicated remains such as the subjects permit and that the specific meaning of all things that can be predicated is held within the bounds of natural things, but that when the heights of theology are ascended, this meaning is altered, as if stripped of its natural quality and force. Assuredly the meaning of words fails and human understanding itself gives ground when the vastness of divine majesty is in question and prevails in the realm of nature; in that part at least where there is increase and diminution, so that what has been is not able not to have been, or what has passed, not to have passed; provided however that what was true, namely that Seius perhaps would read, may none the less not have been true.

94 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4. 95 Rom. xi. 33.

96 Eccles. viii. 16, 17. 97 1 Cor. ii. 16.

98 Boethius, De Trin. iv, beginning.

Consequently what has passed cannot be recalled so as not to have been, and equally, what is dependent upon the hazard of fortune is not subject to the necessity of coming to pass, having, be it understood, expectation of the outcome of either case as the result of the compliance of nature. Thus perchance the operation of providence not being fulfilled, what is to be and has the power of not coming [129] to pass can even not have been foreseen.

I do not however, as remarked before, belittle omnipotent power nor prescribe any limit whatsoever to its boundless scope, by the audacity of my research. I do agree with many others that if God has foreseen any event it will come to pass; if it does not come to pass, he has not foreseen it. Hence, on credible grounds it is inferred, at least, that if there is the possibility of its not coming to pass, there is even the possibility that it has not been foreseen. Truth itself knows what will truly follow upon what, and natural reason weighs fully and perfectly the rational connection.

The Academy of the ancients makes to human beings the concession that whatever seems probable to each, that he has full right to defend. In our own times the logician of Pallet99 was wont to reject all conditions where the conception of the antecedent does not imply knowledge of the consequent or where denial of the consequent does not point the contrary of the antecedent, because all conceptions wish to be effectual in dictating a necessary consequence, although some of them are content with probability alone, provided it be great. For just as opinion subserves knowledge more clearly in proportion to its own perspicacity, so the more probable particular assertions of conditionality are, the more certainly do they foreshadow what must necessarily be true.

That you may not think that I waver on the unstable ground of opinion alone, I cite to support my contention the great Augustine1 who, in expounding the passage of the gospel where mention is made by our Saviour of the many mansions which are in the house of his Father, says "If not, I would have told you; because I go to prepare a place for you";2 that is to say, if they had not been foreordained I would have said, "I shall go and shall foreordain." For He selects for divine predestination (which secures many blessings of grace and favor for those who are to be saved according to the kind decree of

99 See above, p. 109, n. 83, and below, p. 259, n. 15; also Abailardus, Dial. III. Topica.

1 Tract. in Joann. lxviii. 1. 2 John xiv. 2.

Him who disposes) many mansions which have been prepared in his Father's house for his chosen.

[130] When therefore a holy father of such repute has placed such an interpretation on the passage that he explains thus: "If they had not been foreordained I would have said to you, 'I shall go and shall foreordain,'" it is credible as long as the outcome of events is hanging in the balance that, if it be the will of the Almighty, those who have not yet been foreordained can be foreordained for life and that the names of those who have already been enrolled in the book of life3 can be erased from the same if they merit it. Hence perchance the words: "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living and with the just let them not be written."4 And again: "Yet now thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me I pray thee out of thy book which thou hast written."5

"Whoever is born of God" saith the Evangelist "sinneth not but the generation of God preserveth him."6 The generation of God means eternal foreordination, all of whose children enter life, although it is possible that the same, because of transgression, stray from the righteousness which is the way of life. If you do not believe me, hearken then to Him who, if an angel from heaven contradict7 let him deservedly be anathema. "Father," He said "of those whom thou hast given me, I lost not one but do thou keep them."8 Had he not, I ask, already lost them in that they had been backsliders? Had he not even, so to speak, already lost Judas? Surely the Son had not received him in the holy mystery of his counsel, nor had the Father given to His Son him who had not been foreordained for life to be saved among the chosen. But if the others had been predestined, if they could not fall into sin, why did the Son so zealously intercede for them? Therefore they were to be saved; and yet as they were straying from the Lord it was possible that they deserved death, being bound to life by no compulsion of predestination.

A man glories that nothing will separate him from the love of Christ9 and yet chastises his body and brings it into subjection, lest in some way, after he has preached to others, he himself should be rejected.10 In the Apocalypse11 also the angels of the Church are

' Webb calls attention to the fact that Augustine (Enarr. in Ps. lxix. 29) states that this is not possible.

4 Ps. lxviii. 29. 5 Exod. xxxii. 31, 32. 6 1 John v. 18.

7 Gal. i. 8. 8 John xvii. 11, 12; xviii. 9.

9 Rom viii. 35. 10 1 Cor. ix. 27. 11 Apoc. ii. 5; iii. 11.

[131] warned to repent now, to do the first works lest their candlestick be moved, and to hold their place now lest they yield the same to another. Why so, if what was to be could not be changed? This consideration did not escape even the pagan philosophers for they say that the course of destiny is unchangeable not because it cannot be changed but because it certainly does not happen that it is changed at all. Hence the line:

Pharsalia might well have been erased From destiny's mighty scroll.12

Likewise the passage which the old man of Chartres13 used to quote when fortune was cruel: "Fate will find a way," etc.14

But it is impossible in the nature of things for that which has passed and been completed by the successful working out of divine disposition not to have been; though I dare not make any statement, one way or the other, that does harm to Him who disposes. Yet the most learned of teachers — I mean Jerome — says "I shall speak boldly; though God can do all things, he cannot raise up a virgin after her fall; He can however crown her, though defiled."15 According to the same interpreter,16 the apostle defines a virgin as one who is holy in body and soul." But it is beyond doubt that God can sanctify the soul by his miracles and can restore the corrupted flesh so that its very being which had perished may seem to be raised from the dead.

Now if experience, to use a figurative expression, has learned that it is impossible for what has been not to have been, it were unnecessary to have recourse to the case of the fallen virgin, since in all past occurrences by similar counsel or error the same discovery could have been made. I advisedly separate counsel from error for the reason that counsel ought to connote truth as you find it in Job: "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?"18

[132] But perhaps there is a state of virginity which it is impossible for any fallen woman to attain. The word possible is sometimes referred to the facility which is inherent in individual things as the result of the hazard of chance, or from natural disposition;

12 Lucan, Phars. vi. 313 (L. C. L., p. 326).

13 Bernard of Chartres.

14 Virgil, Aen. iii. 395 (L. C. L., I, 374); x. 113 (L. C. L., II, 178).

15 Jerome, Ep. xxii. 5. 16 Ibid., De Perp. Virg. B. Mariae, xx.

17 1 Cor. vii. 34. 18 Job xxxviii. 2.

at times it has in view nature itself; and finally it is applied to the source of all things, divine majesty, from which all the power not only of the domination of persons but also of things is derived. Hence the saying of Solomon: "All power is from God."19 Against this I shall not rear myself in defiance, which, I am sure, is the only thing which can cast both body and soul into hell.20

Chapter Twenty-Three. The Objection of a Modern Stoic

THERE remains the question propounded by that Stoic of yours whom I saw tarrying some time in Apulia. He, after many vigils, long fasting, great labor and hardship, at the cost of such an unsuccessful and useless exile, brought back to France the bones rather than the brains of Virgil. Now this Louis21 would inquire whether you could do any of those things which you have no intention at all of doing. When you conceded that you could, he would offer you a thousand gold coins to do it. If you perchance refused them, then he would direct that they be multiplied by any sum you pleased, to induce you to do that which could easily be done. At length, not understanding or ignoring the implicit contradiction, he would burst into a loud guffaw of scorn and derision and point you out to the bystanders as an object of ridicule in that you had rejected for no reason such a large sum.

You may gather many instances of this sort; I am not, however, spurred by such instances to the belief that all things are inevitable because they are known, or that no contingencies are known because [133] they are not inevitable. I really seem, along with the Peripatetics, a bit of an ignoramus22 in comparison with him who when confronted with this dilemma acknowledged, in the Attic Nights,23 that he did not know that he was not a cicala.

19 See Wisd. vi. 4, and cf. Rom. xiii. 1.

20 Matt. x. 28; Luke xii. 5.

21 See Schaarschmidt, Johannes Saresberiensis, p. 98, n. 2; Comparetti, Vergil in the Middle Ages, translated by Benecke, pp. 274-75.

22 Isidore, Diff. i. 505.

23 Webb remarks that no such statement seems to be found in Aulus Gellius.

Chapter Twenty-Four.24 Astrologers Rash in Presuming to Subject Unconcernedly the Future to Their Own Judgment

THEY also, although we disagree on many points, acknowledge as I myself do that they are not ignorant of all things, in that the stars converse with them and that they draw truth, as it were, from the very bosom of the celestial bodies. In fact the more conservative among them do not promise the fulfillment of events by the stars nor do they bind these events to necessity by the law of divine disposition, but because they are to occur and are announced beforehand, they do not fear to predict them.

But if the order of future events can be changed it is a risky thing to limit by definite judgment a matter indefinite by its very nature. But if it cannot be changed, what profit in scrutinizing with such minute attention what can by no diligence be avoided? But perhaps, although there is the possibility of its being otherwise, the fact is not uncertain and the undoubted system governing the constellations excuses rashness of judgment. For though it be possible that a fact be otherwise, none the less obvious signs presage that it will be as declared. "Nor" remarks the custodian of the stars "am I interested in whether it can be otherwise, provided I am in no doubt that the point at issue is to be as declared."

What then is this inevitability of the signs? For the most part assuredly the precarious outcome of events is a matter difficult to judge and the significance of signs themselves is varied and manifold. [134] Again variety produces ambiguity and in ambiguous things all explanation is risky. But granted that signs are uniform, how does that single meaning become known or what prevents it from being false? Nature, you say. But what nature? That of the world or that of divine will?

I do not presume to speak against divine will for I know that it has done all that it has willed.25 If that is what has been made known to you, it is well. You can indeed in that light26 see the light and bring forth unfailing truth from the book which, sealed for others, is open for you. In it all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge27 have been hidden and I have heard that no one28 has been allowed to open it except the Lamb who was slain and who by His own

24 Webb suggests a comparison of this chapter with Abelard, Dial. II Anal. Pr. III (Ouvr. Inéd., p. 288).

25 Ps. cxiii. 3. 26 Ps. xxxv. 2. 27 Col. ii. 3. 28 Apoc. v. 1ff.

courage killed death itself. Do not from now on marvel with the Apostle at the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God,29 since his judgments are comprehensible to you and his ways can be searched out by the guidance of the stars and the great deep of his Judgments30 can be forded by you.

But if you place your dependence on nature, which is of the world, that is on nature which is circumstanced by the constant course of events, it is vain to flatter yourself that you are conversant with the stars, since many things turn from this accustomed course of events and strike the sense with the greater amazement because they seem not only unusual but contrary to nature herself. For example, when an eclipse of the sun occurs at the time of full moon, or if the moon suffers eclipse about the time of conjunction31 or about full moon or past it. For He who has laid down the law for the stars, who regulates the cycles of time at the dictate of his will,32 who fits the occurrence of events to his own periods, when and as he wishes, is able to amaze nature by his power of producing some new or rare phenomenon from concurrent causes which were wont to respond quite otherwise. For who hath been his counsellor33 or who will say unto him "What doest thou?"34 It is indeed the Lord; let him do what is good in his sight.35

[135] Therefore He alone who disposes has the power to adapt periods of time to divine disposition and to diversify with periods the course of events, and though He has conceded to His creatures the knowledge of many things according to the measure of His pleasure, the Trinity has reserved to itself this particular function. And so He, through whose agency time itself has been created, dispenses the periods of time and knows what event is to be and when and for how long.

Periods of time also He paints with movement and variation of events as with different tints. He entangles the rolling wheel of time with a kind of connecting chain of events by which it is held. In order that He may convey to the understanding a thing incomprehensible in itself, He shapes it marvelously with characteristics of events as though they belonged to it.

It is not, says the word of the Most High, "for you to know the

29 Rom. xi. 33. 30 Ps. xxxv. 7.

31 Martianus Capella, viii. 871.

32 Isidore, Grig. V. xxxv. 1.

33 Isa. xl. 13. 34 Job ix. 12. 35 1 Kings iii. 18.

times,"36 that you may know fully what is to be, and when, and for how long; or to know changes, that you may comprehend the manner and variety of those things that are to be. Behold wherefor it is rash to subject the future to definite judgment; it has indeed been put in the power of the Father,37 not in the necessity of coming to pass. Further, what is set within this power can be, or not so be; for what is set in destiny is destined so to be.

Chapter Twenty-Five. An Incident Not Inevitable as a Result

of Its Omen; Hezekiah, Ahab, and the Ninevites; Things

That Are Announced by Omens May Be Changed

BUT PERHAPS Truth, speaking to her friends, says "It is not for you to reserve such a great prerogative for strangers, for example, the astrologers." Granted if the mind of faith acquiesce; but how great, as remarked before, is the certainty of omens? To be sure when

Constellations leave their course,38

it is believed that some strange occurrence is impending; for I do not go so far as to believe that great events are never preceded by warning signs, since I have learned that there is in sun, moon, and [136] in the very elements and their furniture,39 portentous meaning, derived from the Lord. But as to the existence of an art by which one can give truthful replies to all the questions with regard to the future, I am persuaded on the testimony and evidence of many things that either there is no such thing or that it has not yet been made known to man."

If I cannot persuade you of this in view of the arguments with regard to providence and destiny with which you unceasingly oppose me and of the examples from history which you cite me, I have at any rate persuaded myself not to yield to this untruth. I do not indeed consider that there exists such a close connection between signs and that which is signified, that the one necessarily follows upon the other. Unless the trivialities of the court detain you, I shall tell you why I so believe.

King Hezekiah was sick unto death.40 Do you not imagine that the

36 Acts i. 7. 37 Ibid.

38 Lucan, Phars. i. 663-64 (L. C. L., p. 50).

39 Gen. ii. 1.

40 4 Kings xxi. 1; Isa. xxxviii. 1.

King of Judah found a physician who could diagnose his case by the state of his urine, pulse, and many other symptoms? Then no doubt he, who was so far gone that he had no hope of living longer, had received the sentence of death in his body.41 Finally the Holy Spirit was announcing that death was at the door. What more convincing evidence do you require? What is convincing, to waive all the rest, if you doubt the testimony of the Holy Spirit?

Will you deny that Isaiah said in the spirit "Thou shall die and not live"?42 Yet he lived and did not die, for he was granted still fifteen years43 through the mercy of Him who has set future events within his powers. Perchance God's mercy following His threat, because Hezekiah was dead in respect to sin through repentance, offset the death with which nature and the weakness of living beings was threatening him.

Ahab also,44 an impious king, with the help of Jezebel, united to him not so much in marriage as in cruelty, had taken possession of the vineyard by the shedding of Naboth's blood and was awaiting impending death which the Lord had announced. If you do not [137] believe that the Lord had announced it, listen to the words of Elijah, for he said "Thus said the Lord: 'Thou hast slain and thou has possessed'";45 and again: "In the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood" and "The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the ramparts of Jezeel."46

When Ahab heard these words47 he rent his clothes and put sackcloth upon his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth. And the word of Jehovah came to Elijah, saying "Because Ahab humbleth himself before me, I will not bring evil in his days." Behold, the penalty which was due Ahab was deferred till the time of his descendants, but Jezebel, because she persisted in crime, was condemned to instant punishment. It was one and the same judgment which delivered the blood of Ahab and Jezebel to the dogs and yet this was in part changed and in part stood.

So also the Ninevites,48 freed from instant destruction by doing penance by order of their king and his nobles, at the preaching of Jonah changed the judgment of the Lord. Does the judgment of

41 2 Cor. i. 9.

42 4 Kings xx.1; Isa. xxxviii. 4.

43 4 Kings xx. 6; Isa. xxxviii. 4.

44 3 Kings xxi. 45 Ibid., 19.

46 2 Kings xxi. 23. 47 3 Kings xxi. 27-29.

48 Jonah iii.

Jove and Mars seem truer or more trustworthy than that of the Creator?

You surely are not agreeing with Plautus if you ascribe such power to the planets; for when the sycophant asked Mandrogerus49 whether those planets which by their rhythm rotate the whole are to be appeased, Mandrogerus replied that they are not easy to see nor to address, adding that they roll the atoms in their mouths,50 count the stars, and cannot change their abode. Thus from the disposition of the stars he imposes the destiny of events, and with delicate irony makes mockery of those who strain their eyes in the contemplation of planets which avoid the eye and disdain to speak. And since they roll the atoms in their mouths it is to be feared that if an atom [138] slip from the calculator of nativities he will slip up in his interpretation of the judgment of the heavens.

Therefore let their authority be impressive but on condition that the Creator's abide stable and unshaken. Assuredly whatever your Mars or Jupiter bestows upon you God is truthful, and you as long as you trust them more than you do Him are balefully deceitful. The stars are indeed deceitful in His sight51 and even His angels He chargeth with folly. Yet, to tell the truth, it is not the stars that betray you but you yourself. Charge to your own account the fact that you are deceived. For who compels you to have false values? Who persuaded you that impending events which you conjectured as the result of omens were immutable? Were you deceived because Figulus,52 prophesying, said

This world of ours forever strays and knows No law; its stars move to and fro with course Unfixed, or else if destiny guides them, Destruction now impends for Rome and all Mankind.53 And again he more explicitly adds:

Of what avail to beg the Gods to end

This war? With peace a tyrant comes. Pass through

O Rome, the endless line of woes; draw out

49 A character in the pseudo-Plautine play Querolus; see ii. 3. 50 This is the reading with which John was acquainted. In modern times the reading "in their orbit" has been suggested. Cf. Querolus, ed. Klinkhammer (1829). 51 Job xv. 15; iv. 18.

52 Sc. Publius Nigidius Figulus. Cf. above, p. 95, n. 47.

53 Lucan, Phars. i. 642-45 (L. C. L., pp. 48ff.).

For years to come, thy agony; thou art Now free, but only free for civil war.54

But doubtless thy many gods were unable to avert the coming war because they were many — nay, because they were not gods. This the one God and Lord could have compassed. For he knows how to change his judgment if thou by his good will would end thy evil ways.

Hence Nebuchadnezzar, at the advice of Daniel atoning for his sin by righteousness and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, escaped the stern impending judgment for a time, until in the court of Babylon boasting he said: "Is not this great Babylon which I have built for the royal dwelling-place in the midst of my power and [139] for the glory of my majesty?"35 So by his vaunting words he called down upon himself the judgment of the Lord which would pass him by.

Chapter Twenty-Six. The Judgment of the Lord Capable of Being Influenced,56 His Counsel Immutable; His Will the First Cause of All Things; Astrology the Way of Damnation

AND so, since the immutable judgment of God is capable of being influenced shall the communications of the wandering and restless stars be immovable? But in whatever way the judgment of the Lord is influenced, his counsel abideth forever. What indication of God's counsel and will is more definite than divine injunction and prohibition? Assuredly he will seem right in willing what he enjoins. To be sure he enjoined the patriarch to sacrifice his only son of great promise.57 Was the patriarch right in hearkening to the command? Entirely so, for the reason that the command of that will which is the first cause of all things and which never fails in its accomplishment is the surest proof. So truly indeed is that will the first cause that if the question be raised why anything is as it is, the correct answer is that He who has done all things whatsoever He pleased58

54 Ibid., 669-72 (L. C. L., pp. 50ff.).

55 Dan. iv. 24.

56 Augustine, Conf. i. 4 (L. C. L., I, 8). The distinction between judgment (sententia) and counsel (consilium or dispositio) of the Lord is discussed by John in Epistles 96, 137, and 185.

57 Gen. xvi. 58 Ps. cxiii. 11.

has so willed it. But if inquiry is made into why He willed, the question is meaningless for the reason that the cause of the first cause, to wit His will, is asked, and of that there is no cause at all.

It is in fact said, and truly said, that the prince has in his hands the power to judge with greater clemency than the laws, since he who has prescribed a law has also the power to modify or even abrogate it. Shall, therefore, the Creator of the heavens not dare to oppose the law which your Figulus has imposed upon the heavens? The prince alone is allowed and bound to be the interpreter when the question arises as to the letter and the spirit of a law.59 When the [140] law says one thing and justice, which is concerned with the public welfare, another the interpretation of the prince is to be sought, for it is impartial and indispensable.

When a question arises as to the written word and the sense the intention of the author is to be considered. Who, therefore, made you the interpreter of the heavenly bodies? How do you know what is expedient? Whence the boldness to ascribe to your — nay, to God's stars — the work of another? I grasp your subtle argument;

Thou who enkindleth Scorpion's flaming tail

And scorcheth threatening Claws, what awful purpose

Hast thou, Mars?60

But the father of lies,61 who taught that this power was to be ascribed to the celestial bodies, treacherously deals thus with you, that when he has smirched, with this stain, created man he may at the same time defame his creator. Finally, to fill with swelling elation the puny souls of wretched creatures treacherously deceived by the prophecy of an inevitable future, or to plunge them into the abyss of despair, is madness. This then is the fruit of the astrologers' art; and straying further than their planets in their wandering from the knowledge of piety they are brought, as a result of their long investigation of signs, down into hell together with him who was rising like the daystar,62 son of morning, and carry others along to share their fall.

But when such arguments are propounded and cited against you, what do you do? You laugh63 to be sure and indulge in excess of dis-

59 Cod. Justinian, I. xiv. 1.

60 Lucan, Phars. i. 658-60 (L. C. L., p. 50).

61 John viii. 44.

62 Isa. xiv. 12, 15.

63 Persius, Sat. i. 40, 41 (L. C. L., p. 320).

dain, casting ridicule upon simple faith. You rush back to the protection of providence and you, like another Antëus,64 plunge headlong into the inscrutable abyss.

You have posited as your refuge the light inaccessible,65 from which vantage you assail rustic faith as if the fountain of truth were the bulwark of error. Granted that I am unable to still this ancient dispute about providence and have not the power to solve the difficulties of all questions, for who so wise as to answer satisfactorily all questions of every ignoramus, not to mention yours?

[141] And finally Plato, the prince of all ancient philosophers, was not able, it is said (although the story is more truthfully told of Homer),66 to answer a certain question posed by sailors. In consequence, when he continued to be ruthlessly derided by his interlocutors, being as he was a very sensitive man and mortally pierced by the poisoned arrow of confusion, he breathed his last. For he was covered with shame, as though it were a reproach to the whole Academy that they had taunted the prince of philosophers of Greece with being ignorant of even the most insignificant matter.

Flavian however in his book entitled Footprints of Philosophers67 asserts that the followers of Xenephon, envious of Plato's fame, shamelessly invented this story, although most people state that he voluntarily gave up the ghost on account of a vow with regard to a number, on completing that year of his life which is the product of nine times nine, for the reason that after that period humanity experiences nothing but misery and pain.

I indeed confess that I know but little and like many others am ignorant of many things, and yet I do not reject, overcome by a sense of shame, the gift of life as Homer did. If therefore I am incapable of deciding the controversy between free will and fate, if I am unable to harmonize the discrepancy between fate and natural laws, is it for that reason any the less true that they exist? Just as in civil law68 it quite frequently happens that the defendant enjoys the advantage, so there are certain questions in philosophic investigation where the side of the Creator is seen to play the more im-

64 Lucan, Phars. iv. 593ff. (L. C. L., pp. 218ff.).

65 1 Tim. vi. 16.

66 The story is told in the Life of Homer by the so-called Herodotus. It was applied to Plato by Flavian, mentioned below. See Schaarschmidt, Johannes Saresberiensis, pp. 103, 104.

67 The title of a lost work of Flavian. 68 Dig. L. xvii. 125.

portant role. I believe however that this is the result of our own deficiency; for our understanding fails in regard to the first principles of nature. Among these I am justified in reckoning the consideration of providence, the investigation of matter, and many articles of our faith.

While you are answering one troublesome argument in regard to providence many more spring up, as did many heads when the Hydra's was severed. If we penetrate into the dense jungle of matter, [142] straightway we are as those in a dream who find themselves midway between some matter and none. When the origin of the soul is sought, our understanding raises original sin to oppose us. Finally, accept the Trinity in divine substance; save by virtue of faith how will you avoid the snares of Arius? Admit one simple indivisible divine substance; how will you escape the grasp of Sabellius69 except by reason of faith? And yet these are none the less truths though they may be assailed by many questions. Although God's wisdom has made itself visible to us in the mystery of the Incarnation, it has not made it so clear to our understanding that with it we can roam everywhere, apprehending the length and the breadth and the height and depth of all things.70

But if the way of astrologers were entirely praiseworthy the great Augustine71 would not have been so repentant at having been too favorably disposed toward their consultations. Add to this the fact that St. Gregory the Great, who vivified and entranced the whole Church with the honeyed eloquence of his preaching, not only ordered astrology banished from the court72 but, as is related by our ancestors, threw into the fire73

All that Apollo's shrine upon the Palatine contained74 of the proscribed works which claimed to reveal to mankind the intention of the heavenly bodies and the oracles of supernal beings. Why say more? Is it not sufficient that the universal Catholic Church execrates this pseudo-science and smites with deserved punishment those who would presume to practice it further? But for fear that I should seem not to be persecuting but to be pursuing the error of the

69 Webb cites our author's remarks on the Scylla of Sabellianism and the Charybdis of Arianism (Hist. Pontif. xiii) which he quotes from Gilbert Porrée.

70 Eph. iii. 18.

71 Conf. vii. 6 (L. C. L., I, 350ff.).

72 Gregorius Magnus, Mor. xxxiii. 10; Hom, in EVV. i. 10.

73 First mentioned by John. See Dictionary of Christian Biography, II, 788.

74 Horace, Ep. I. iii. 17 (L. C. L., p. 272).

devotees of the planets, let my discourse proceed on its accustomed course.

Those who become enslaved to this type of inquisitiveness can no more be truthful than they who seek the chief places at feasts75 and [143] fare sumptuously every day76 can be humble and abstemious. Finally, I have listened to many of them and am acquainted with many of them, but I recall not one who has persisted in this error on whom the Lord has not laid the heavy hand of condign punishment.77

Chapter Twenty-Seven. Soothsayers, Palmists, Prophets, and the Dethronement of Saul

WHAT shall I say of necromancers, whose impiety, at the instance of God, has already discredited itself, except that those are worthy of death who attempt to borrow knowledge from death? For it is a work of supererogation to discuss at length soothsayers, augurs, salisatores, wizards, prophets, divines, and others so numerous as to be tedious to recount, since none of them appear in public; but such of them as still exist practice the works of darkness in secrecy.78 For cogent reasons, however, some of their activities must be cursorily treated. Even if soothsayers79 hide themselves they still exist in their evil work. It has been stated before that some of them divine by inspecting the vitals of animals. (All parts covered by the epidermis are called vitals.) It is clear that those also who prophesy by inspecting the shoulder bones of rams or the bones of any other animal are to be reckoned among them.

Palmists80 also boast that they are acquainted with the truth which is hidden in the lines of the hand. It is unnecessary to attack with reasons an error which has no foundation in reason, although reason does assail them in that they lack reason.

There is one question which I in all seriousness put to you, if you will but listen to me. What do these mountebanks, since I doubt not that they are known to you, divulge when questioned with regard to matters of doubt? When the King's army was preparing to

75 Matt. xxiii. 6. 76 Luke xvi. 19.

77 See below, Book II, Chapter Twenty-Eight, p. 147.

78 Rom. xiii. 12.

79 See above, Book I, Chapter Twelve.

80 See n. 79.

[144] advance against the Snowdon Welsh,81 in what respect did the soothsayers, when consulted, give you warning to advance? To be sure the mystery of truth ought not to be required of him who, because of a chamberlain's compliance, should be regarded as the deviser of lies rather than the interpreter of hidden truth. In fact when anyone is to be branded as a liar, the common expression used is "a greater liar than a chamberlain."

Again, what has the palmist to offer when summoned and consulted? For at that crisis each, whoever he was, who practiced either art was consulted. As a matter of fact after the lapse of a few days, without warning, you lost your brother-in-law,82 who was your star, the son of morning as it were. The rest of it, which you know better than I, I purposely pass in silence since they, as a result of their lies, no longer deserve to be trusted.

The advice of prophets is the more pernicious in proportion as the deception of the evil spirit is more apparent in those whose intention, whether or no they lie, is to deceive. At times they deceive of set purpose, at times themselves are deceived by the error of their own blindness, but their constant aim is to appear in everything conversant with the future. This is the reason that they cloud their oracles with ambiguous language, that they may conceal their deception by some cloak of reason, should they chance to be discovered false and untrustworthy. So it is that they cease not to deceive until they bring destruction upon their disciples.

Who, since the beginning of time, was ever helped by the response of seers? Was it Croesus83 or Pyrrhus or any one of their predecessors or successors? The Theban chieftain, in hope of victory because of an oracle, was slain by the blade of his brother. To him, however, [145] his grandsire Laius seemed to promise successes in war. For what else did what he uttered after many circumlocutions mean,

Unto the Thebans victory is assured?84

But for fear that he be taxed with falsehood should the chieftain fall, to cover his deception with the ambiguous mark of truth he added,

81 King Henry invaded North Wales in 1157.

82 This brother-in-law, Webb suggests, may have been the son of Henry I and the daughter of a British prince, Rhys ap Tewdwr.

83 Cicero, De Div. ii. 56 (L. C. L., p. 116). 84 Statius, Theb. iv. 641 (L. C. L., I, 554).

Alas! thy father conquers by the sword.85

Thus invited to be a parricide, as though secure in the counsel of fate, he is dragged to destruction by the halter of impiety. A father's desire,86 a parricide himself, was also fulfilled in that the impious brothers whom he had cursed, praying that the harmony of the family should be destroyed by the sword, perished by mutual wounds, cut down by each other's swords.

Croesus, because of his faith in oracles, was confident that great kingdoms would be subject to him if he crossed the river Alis. But when it turned out otherwise, shifty Apollo by the ambiguity of a single word freed himself from the odium of mendacity. What of Pyrrhus? After vanquishing the Romans, whom he had often routed on the field of battle by his prowess, he, thanks to Apollo, promised himself dominion; but suffering a crushing defeat he paid the penalty in that he had not properly understood the ambiguity of the oracle.

Let us pass on to better known examples from the pages of history. At the time when that terrible tempest of civil war was shaking the state Apius, at the instance of Apollo, sought rest in the Euboean Gulf, but found death. The oracle, on the testimony of Lucan, is famous:

Thou shalt escape the threats of awful war, The ordeal shall not be for thee. Alone Thou art to rest in peace within the curve Of the Euboean coast.87

But lest the brand of falsehood be imprinted upon the page of history and not upon oracles, let sacred history, credence in which is still unshaken, be examined.

Saul, changing from prince to tyrant, abandoned by God because of his great crimes, leading hostile armies against the Lord's people and harassed by his fallen fortunes, would seek an escape therefrom. [146] He therefore consulted the Lord88 but Jehovah answered him not, neither by dreams nor by priests nor by prophets.

Samuel had, however, already announced to Saul89 that the Lord repented having made him king in that he had not fulfilled the com-

85 Ibid., 644 (L.C. L., I, 554).

86 I. e., Oedipus. 87 Lucan, Phars. v. 194-96 (L. C. L., p. 252).

88 1 Kings xxviii. 6. 89 Ibid., xv.

mandment of the Lord, because influenced by avarice he had spared King Agag who was exceeding rich in fat flocks of sheep and herds and raiment and rams and all that was beautiful in the eyes of the people. But whatever was vile and reprobate, that at the command of the Lord they destroyed, and though victory comes to no leader but from the hand of the Lord of hosts, Saul applauded his own prowess before the people for the gift bestowed and did not attribute glory to the Author of all blessings. For thus it was written: The word of the Lord came to Samuel saying "It repenteth me that I have made Saul king; for he hath forsaken me and hath not executed my commandments." And Samuel was grieved and he cried unto the Lord all night. And when Samuel rose early to go to Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel that Saul was come to Carmel and had erected for himself a triumphal arch, and returning, had passed on and gone down to Gigal.90

Then when Samuel upbraided him, under the pretense of religion he chose to excuse the crime of disobedience rather than to atone for it through repentance, which has been left as the second plank91 to the sinner after shipwreck; for he said "Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me and have brought Agag, the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites."92

But the people took the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice unto their Lord God in Gigal. Behold how he excused himself, and whatever fault there was, he either extenuated or attributed to the people. And Samuel said "Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifice and to hearken than to offer the fat of rams. Because it is like the [147] sin of witchcraft, to rebel; and like the crime of idolatry to refuse to obey. Forasmuch therefore as thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected thee from being king."93

Methinks indeed that the same fate awaits all who, raised to eminence, follow their own selfish ends, and under the cloak of power and dominion vent their haughty pride upon their subjects, putting law and license upon an equality as if their own necks were not subjected to the yoke of divine law and as though they were

90 Ibid., l0ff.

91 Jerome, Ep. cxxx. 9.

92 1 Kings xv. 20, 21. 93 Ibid., 22, 23.

under no obligation to exercise God's justice. Could the hardness or pride of his unfeeling breast, which by the iniquity of his tyranny had waxed strong in Saul's heart, have ever been softened, even at such thunder of divine resentment? By no means. For Saul said to Samuel "I have sinned because I have transgressed the commandments of the Lord and thy words, fearing the people and obeying their voice. But now bear, I beseech thee, my sin and return with me that I may adore the Lord." And Samuel said to Saul "I will not return with thee for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel."94

Do you not see what a different task it is to cure by words and exhortations wickedness when fortified by pride? "I sinned" he said "because I feared the people and obeyed their voice." Does he not confess his guilt in a manner to implicate others for whom, were he their prince, he should have made it easy rather than expedient for himself. Had he ever heard that Moses acted thus when God's wrath burst upon the people and the Lord said to him, "Let me alone that my wrath may be kindled against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of thee a great nation?"95

What therefore did he, constituted leader as well as loyal prince by the Lord at his good pleasure, do? "Either forgive them this trespass" he said "or if thou do not, strike me out of the book thou hast written."96 But in showing such affection was he seeking glory [148] for himself? For this clement prince, loving father, eloquent speaker, mighty in work and word,97 a leader walking in the justice of the commandments of God, said "The Egyptian will say 'He craftily brought them out that he might kill them in the mountains.'"98 Thus therefore even to his own detriment did he prefer the glory of God and the liberty of the people whose leader he was.

When David also by his fault provoked the Lord to anger99 and his subjects were enduring the penalty for their prince's fault, he saw the angel of the Lord smiting his people. And so he fervently prayed from the depths of his heart and added "I am he that have sinned, I have done wickedly; these that are the sheep what have they done?"1 A true king indeed and a prince, just and worthy to

94 Ibid., 24-26.

95 Exod. xxxii. 10. 96 Ibid., 31, 32.

97 Luke xxiv. 19. 98 Exod, xxxii. 12.

99 2 Kings xxiv.

1 Ibid., 17.

check the wrath of the Most High who, exposing himself in defence of his people to the scourging of the Lord, stayed the lash of his indignation.

Him indeed no excuse turns from His purpose except that one accuse himself before the tribunal of his own conscience; nothing moves Him to indulgence except that the guilty lay bare his own fault; nothing excites His pity except that the soul aflame with love abase itself utterly; nothing persuades that He should be merciful except that the mind stretch out the hand for atonement. For if one confess his fault, the confession is unavailing except that he be eager for forgiveness at the price of giving satisfaction.

"I have sinned," said Judas "in that I betrayed innocent blood."2 And so his confession was in all respects true, but it availed naught because he rushed to the noose which he deserved before he had recourse to the fountain of pity which he did not deserve and of which by his hardheaded stubbornness he had deprived himself.

Yet he repented having done what he did, but not with that feeling of devotion which sufficed to soften "the stone of help."3 Influenced by repentance indeed, he hanged himself. He therefore ended his life by a death richly deserved; but because he corrected not his wickedness, by no remedy of deliverance did he secure forgiveness for himself. For thus, even in hell, it is written, there is the sting of [149] repentance;4 though there is no correction for evil intention.

So doubtless Saul strove to place his sin upon the shoulders of others, and while pretending to wish to free himself from punishment through the prayers of Samuel, he entangled himself in a mesh of greater difficulties and subjected himself to the irreparable judgment of damnation.

The story continues: "And Samuel turned about to go away; but he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle and it rent. And Samuel said to him: 'The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day and hath given it to thy neighbor who is better than thee. And also the triumpher in Israel will not be moved to repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent.' Then he said: 'I have sinned; yet honor me now, I pray thee, before the ancients of my people and before Israel and return with me that I may adore the Lord thy God.'"5

Behold with what insane exultation he heard that he had been

2 Matt. xxvii. 4. 3 1 Kings vii. 12. 4 Mark ix. 43.

5 1 Kings xv. 27-30.

cast down by the Lord and yet, when deprived of his throne by implacable judgment, strove as if to rule against His will. He doubts not that the kingdom has been transferred to a better man, and yet having been deprived of it by irrevocable sentence, he by deceit usurps its glory. And so he falls while striving to scale the forbidden height and becomes worse than he was before, while desirous of being preferred to his better in opposition to God's purpose.

He does indeed confess his fault but refuses to bear its penalty; for this is the meaning of what he said; "I have sinned but honor me now, I pray thee"; as if he said, "Although justly dethroned for the guilt of crime, for the pride of arrogance, and for the wickedness of a tyrant, I have deserved scorn; yet let your patience in the sight of those who know not the counsel of the Lord render me glorious. Therefore return with me that I may proudly walk in the support of thy allegiance. Attended by such a retinue, esteemed because of such authority, let me adore thy God whom I dare no longer call mine own, in that I have departed from him in disobedience and, still in defiance, walk apart from him."

So haughty indeed had his spirit waxed that he esteemed himself not only more highly than man but even than God himself, by a kind of daring born of impiety. Indeed the higher the favor in which [150] he saw David, whom God had preferred, held, the keener the envy with which he secretly plotted against him with enmity as apparent as it was unjust; and the clearer it was that God had extolled him, the more eagerly did he endeavor not merely to belittle but to destroy him; and in his endeavor to steal or tear from him his regal power he put himself in direct opposition to God.6

It was therefore fitting that the spirit of God did not abide with him since he had made his heart not merely the habitation but the very foundation of such vileness. And so an evil spirit drove him from God, and from that time the power of his kingdom began to wane and day by day to slip from him, and the safety of his people to be undermined. The victories of his enemies becoming more numerous and striking broke down the spirit of both king and people.

He banished from his realm the one whom God himself had established on the throne. What therefore did he propose to do? Not assuredly to deliver the kingdom over to his better in order to submit to divine intention which was known to him and thereby to be

6 Ibid., xviii.

repentant, to his own advantage, for his past life; but he who had risen in pride against the Lord led his people out for battle at Mount Gilboa, where he was to receive his punishment and meet death. He, who in himself esteemed only what was lofty, deserved to die on a mountain top.

Therefore because truth itself had abandoned him this false and wicked prince fled for refuge to the fountain of lies. And he said to his servants "Seek me a woman who hath a divining spirit and I will go to her and inquire by her."7 Would a gentile or a disbeliever have said aught else? Is it not as though he said

I cannot move supernal beings; I'll raise The powers of hell,8

or, to put it in the plain language of mad impiety, "If God withholds the knowledge of truth from me, yet shall I know it despite him through the father of lies,9 and willy-nilly I shall explore his secret counsels through adverse powers." And his servants said to him "There is a woman that hath a divining spirit, at Endor."10

[151] He was unworthy of receiving man's counsel, in that despair had crushed him to such an extent that even from the lowest and meanest creatures he implored aid against omnipotence to save the throne of which God had deprived him. Therefore he disguised himself11 and put on other garments and went and two men with him and they came to the woman by night. All this was quite just because the holy spirit is just even in the case of the perverse. For it was fitting that he be stripped of royal garb, since he had seized upon an unholy way to serve, not God, but demons. He who had thrown away the dress of innocence and changed the gown of justice deserved not to be arrayed in robes of honor and glory.

And he went away after him indeed who standeth not in the truth12 and two men with him, dishonored and dishonorable in that they could attend even a king in such perfidy and not be deterred by faith. The king was fittingly attended by a retinue of two, since he was departing from the supreme and true Unity. They came to the woman by night, a fitting time indeed at which to discuss with the prince of darkness such matters as the death of kings, the destruc-

7 Ibid., xxviii. 7.

8 Virgil, Aen. vii. 312 (L. C. L., II, 24).

9 John viii. 44. 10 1 Kings xxviii. 7. 11 Ibid., 8.

12 John viii. 44.

tion of a people, and the public woe. Thus Solomon,13 by night too, is said to have received wisdom when, allured and corrupted by the love of women, he was on the point of withdrawing from the Lord. Peter14 also, deprived of the warmth of faith while by night he was warming himself at a fire of coals, lapsed into disloyalty which he intensified by the crime of perjury. Even the rest of the apostles,15 overcome by fear, fled by night. And Saul said to the woman, for the divining spirit more usually possesses women, "Divine unto me, I pray thee, by the divining spirit and bring me up whomsoever I shall say unto thee."16

Read books, thumb the pages of history, search all the nooks and corners of Scripture, you will scarcely anywhere find the word divination used in a good sense. Consequently Scripture asserts that repro-[152] bate prophets are diviners, not prophets, such as were the prophets of Achab17 who with God's permission, because he merited it, enticed him.

In fact, according to the command of God, the lying spirit went forth and took form in the mouths of all the prophets of Achab. It promised success, as he was about to go up to Ramoth-Galaad; Michaeas, the Morashite, alone cried out against it, for conscious of divine counsel he warned beforehand the Israelites whom he had seen scattered upon the mountains; and he was struck, because of the bitter truth he had told, by him who putting on horns of iron had said "With these horns thou shalt push the Syrians, Oh King!"

Moreover divination is not usually forthcoming without reward, inasmuch as it is practiced in the spirit of greed and villainy. Hence it is that the holy spirit upbraids Jerusalem, doomed to fall. "Thy princes have judged for bribes, thy priests have taught for hire, and thy prophets divined for money: and they leaned upon the Lord, saying: Is not the Lord in the midst of us? No evil shall come upon us."18 Therefore the Lord said "Zion shall be plowed as a field and Jerusalem shall be as a place to keep fruit." Therefore those who divine for money, although they exult in the name of prophet, are often liars, always mistaken, strangers to virtue and to the truth of prophecy. With the divining spirit he said, as it were, "because the

13 3 Kings iii. 5ff.; ix, beginning.

14 Matt. xxvi; Mark xiv; Luke xxii; John xviii.

15 Matt. xxvi. 56; Mark xiv. 50. 16 1 Kings xxviii. 8.

17 3 Kings xxii.

18 Mic. iii. 11; Ps. lxxix. 1.

spirit of God has left me, may the divining spirit support me and bring me up whomsoever I shall name unto thee." Assuredly,

Trick presses close on trick.19

The king gave himself over to a reprobate sense for he persuaded himself that the familiar spirit was the director of knowledge, had knowledge of the future, was conscious of secret counsel, and the interpreter of truth; he was also persuaded that it was gifted with such power that it could raise even the dead, and of such benignity that in all things unusual and difficult it would be complacent to its familiars.

Undoubtedly he had forgotten, or remembered to no purpose, the song of praise of the faithful Hannah: The Lord killeth and [155] maketh alive; he bringeth down to hell and bringeth back again. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich; he humbleth and exalteth; and (that which Saul had seen fulfilled in himself) he raiseth the needy from the dust to make him sit with princes and hold the throne of glory.20

Now he who does all this is indisputably a God of knowledge.21 And the woman said to him "Behold thou knoweth all that Saul hath done, how he hath rooted out the magicians and soothsayers from the land; why then dost thou lay a snare for my life to cause me to be put to death?" And Saul swore unto her by the Lord, saying "As the Lord livest, there shall no evil happen to thee for this thing."22 True it is indeed that he who abides in squalor becomes more squalid,23 and whom favor deserts, the last state of that man becometh worse than his first.24 The sorceress, conscious of sacrilege, grew pale, and the power established by God to root up sacrilege, in other instances timid, makes idolaters bold and lends to the sacrilegious regal authority when affairs of state are at issue or when wars of the Lord are waged.

"They that have divining spirits and wizards thou shalt not suffer to live" saith the Lord.25 But he to whom the words of the Lord are addressed and who carries the sword to punish malefactors and to glorify the good, not only gives immunity to such as these but strengthens this promise with the binding power of an oath. And it

19 Terence, And. 780 (L. C. L., I, 84). 20 1 Kings ii. 6-8. 21 Ibid., 3.

22 Ibid., xxviii. 9, 10. 23 Apoc. xxii. 11. 24 Matt. xlii. 45.

25 Exod. xxii. 18; 2 Kings xxviii. 3, 9.

thus came to pass that, in personal peril, he learned how wrapped together26 are the sinews of the testicles of leviathan,27 when he stretched for himself the snare of his own making from which he escaped only at the cost of his own salvation.

He is now fairly caught and confronts the horns of a dilemma. If the sorceress is spared, the command of the Lord that sorcery of this sort be banished from the land is disobeyed; if she is not spared, his solemn oath is disregarded. Whithersoever the impious man turns he is snared by the work of his own hands.28 Therefore the woman said [154] "Whom shall I bring up to thee?" And he said "Bring me up Samuel."29

There is one faith for all time: that God exists30 and that he is just and good and that he rewards those that believe in him and responds fully to the merits of all. Before the law, under the law, and under grace, no right thinker has ever doubted this. Without faith no one has ever entered into salvation. But whosoever errs in small things gradually lapses into greater. Thus Saul, first careless, then disobedient, afterward defiant, again obstinate, finally lapses into such a state of spiritual blindness that he does not preserve intact the article of faith before mentioned.

Indeed he did not believe that God is in all cases just, imagining that after this life power is granted evil spirits even over holy men. For he knew that the righteous Samuel had paid no attention to sorceresses during his life and had made no advances to them whatsoever. Yet now he hoped and sought that at command of a familiar spirit he would be raised up for him. He even wished that the dead man be forced to that to which he could not in life be impelled. He had in life never desired to indicate anything to the king except that which he had to by God's inspiration.

And when the woman saw Samuel31 she cried with a loud voice and said to Saul "Why hast thou deceived me? For thou art Saul." She believed indeed that she had been deceived, oppressed as she was even after the oath given, by the knowledge and presence of the prince. And the king said to her "Fear not; what hast thou seen?" And the woman said to Saul "I saw gods ascending out of the earth.32

26 Job xl. 12.

27 This should be behemoth, a Hebrew word meaning animal. Some think it refers to the elephant.

28 Ps. ix. 17. 29 1 Kings xxxviii. 11. 30 Heb. xi. 6.

311 Kings xxviii. 12. 32 Ibid., 13.

The reply of the sorceress might have deterred even a man of little faith from his undertaking, since she introduced a plurality of gods and indicated that their habitation was under the earth and in darkness. Then Saul said "What form is he of? And she said: An old man cometh up and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul understood that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and adored."33

[155] He inquired carefully into the form of the apparition, deceived perhaps by an error of the gentiles in supposing that in the lower world each had the garment and activity with which he was endowed on earth. Hence the lines:

As they esteemed their arms and chariots

Of war in life, and cared for their sleek steeds,

The same they prized when laid to rest

In earth.34

But would it not have been possible for the glory of the holy man to be brighter, or the garb which he wore while living to be changed after his death? Indeed it displays wisdom and conscientiousness for Scripture not to say that Samuel was brought up at the command of the familiar spirit, but to express discreetly the blindness of an impious meaning; for it says "When he heard the form and the garb of the man, Saul understood that it was Samuel." He understood, but assuredly he was deceived,35 and this is also proved by the words that followed: "He bowed down and adored." For if it had been Samuel he would by no means have allowed a human being to bow down to him, for he had believed in accordance with the law and had taught that the Lord God alone is to be adored.

Moreover the souls of the holy are immune to the influence of evil spirits. Finally, he would not have fostered the error of a man deceived, and that he did this is inferred from what follows. And Samuel said to Saul "Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?"36 For this is an example of the deception practiced by evil spirits in order that they may effectively conceal what they voluntarily do, and say to men that they were compelled to do so in order to seem to do it unwillingly.

33 Ibid., 14.

34 Virgil, Aen. vi. 653-55 (L. C. L., I, 550).

35 On the question whether it was really Samuel whom the sorceress raised up, Webb cites the loci classici of the medieval writers, Augustine, De Div. Quaest. ad Simplicianum, ii. 3, and Rabanus Maurus, De Magicis Artibus.

361 Kings xxviii. 15.

They pretend that they were under compulsion and feign that they were drawn forth by virtue of exorcism. That they be not under suspicion they feign that the rites of exorcism have been conceived, as it were, in the name of the Lord or in the belief of the Trinity or by virtue of the Incarnation or the Passion. These rites they hand on to men and obey them when they practice them, until they involve [156] both them and themselves in the crime of sacrilege and the pain of damnation.

They even fashion themselves at times into angels of light;37 their precepts are naught but honorable; they warn against the unlawful; their aim is purity; they are alive to the expedient, that they may like good and helpful friends be admitted on close terms of intimacy, may be listened to with good will, be deeply loved, and be readily heeded. They also assume the raiment of holy men to gain for themselves a greater and quicker esteem.

And Saul said "I am in great distress, for the Philistines fight against me and God is departed from me and would not hear me neither by the hand of prophets nor by dreams; therefore I have called thee that thou mayest shew me what I shall do."38

It was as though he baldly said: I have been cast headlong into the abyss of despair; men attack me; God deserts me; I flee to thee who in reality art the enemy of each, that as a teacher thou mayest instruct thy disciple what he should do in such straits. For although he believes that it was Samuel who was speaking, nevertheless it was in reality an angel of Satan. Nor could he plead ignorance since everyone must know that the mortal who demands adoration for himself is a disbeliever and is of perverse will. He also knew that it was forbidden to question wizards and soothsayers, or to harry a divining spirit with regard to the future.

Now if his ignorance of the personality of the apparition excuses him, simple folk will be better than the sophisticated, and the evil than the virtuous. And Samuel said (not indeed the real but the shadowy and fictitious Samuel, one worthy the impious and outcast questioner) "Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee and is become thine adversary?"39 The beginning of the reply harmonizes with faith and is in accord with reason. For what can a mortal do for him from whom God has departed and from whom he has stripped his honors?

37 2 Cor. xi. 14. 38 2 Kings xxviii. 15.

39 Ibid., 16.

But gradually the foe and enemy of faith turns to his natural role, mingling the false with the true and lies with the semblance of [757] truth. For he continues: "For the Lord will do to thee as he spoke by me; and will rend thy kingdom out of thy hand and give it to thy neighbor David. Because thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord, neither didst thou execute the wrath of his indignation upon Amalek. Therefore hast the Lord done to thee what thou sufferest this day. And the Lord also will deliver Israel with thee into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow thou and thy sons shall be with me, and the Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.40

A faithless apparition faithfully exposed the outcome of the war, but none the less with specious words deceived a faithless and unhappy soul. It confirmed the error of this wanderer and promised to him, still unrepentant, repose after death. For when it said "the Lord will accomplish what he spoke by me" it was without doubt pretending that it was Samuel through whom the Lord uttered to Saul his denunciation; but when it added "And tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me" what it announced was true but misleading. For he was on the following day, in despair, to lay violent hands upon himself,41 to descend to hell and have a place with him whom, in his avarice, pride, and obstinacy he had followed. But it falsely flattered Saul with the promise of rest, as in gesture and speech it simulated Samuel, for he was assured that an abode of rest had been granted him by the Lord among them that call upon his name.42

How then did the response of Samuel, or rather of the familiar spirit, profit Saul? He might perhaps, if not forewarned, have at least waited until pierced by the sword of another. But informed by a false oracle he fell upon his own sword and breathed his last while taking thought of his own fame. He might well have died more bravely in battle but he feared the breath of rumor, and by the counsel of a weak and despondent spirit elected death both of body and soul.

Let pagans boast of their courage; let their authors state each his own views as they proclaim the roll of honors of their heroes and as they herald the bravery of their great men; let Cato drink poison at

40 Ibid., 17-19.

41 1 Kings xxxi. 4. 42 Ps. xcviii. 6.

the well of these authors; let Vulteius43 arm the hands and souls of his men for self inflicted death; let Cleopatra absorb through her [158] breast into her vitals the deadly poison of the asp; let Lucretia44 condemn another's lust by the shedding of her own blood; I, at least, do not believe that it can ever come to pass that it be permissible, whatsoever the incentive be, for a man of his own free will to adjudge death unto himself; not even when chastity is at stake, although that teacher of teachers45 to whom I would give in the matter of sacred literature precedence over all others is seen to make an exception in a contingency of this sort.

Suicide is assuredly the resource of the desperate and of those who, although they still live in the body, are already dead by the death of the mind and have ceased to live in the spirit. It is indeed a death of those not living but of those already dead.

Run over the list of disbelieving kings. Jeroboam,46 Ahab, Jesabel,47 Nebuchadnezzar,48 Sennacherib,49 and others, whose errors I have not time to relate. What did they gain by their seers, who saw for them what was false and foolish but did not disclose to them their iniquity in order to cause their repentance? All of them indeed have vanished, following the prince of darkness, and while seeking what was not permitted them to know, or doing it in a manner not permitted, have suffered utter annihilation.

I have classed the kings of Israel with disbelievers because, although some of the kings of Judah were good and others bad, all of them were outcasts.

Relinquish thought of knowing secrets God Conceals, nor ask what heaven is50

says Cato, because what God has determined and decided for you, he has the power, without worry on your part, to carry out.51 Pertinently has the pagan author said

Deem every day that dawns thy last;

Grateful the added hour for which thou didst not hope.52

43 Lucan, Phars. iv. 540ff. (L. C. L., p. 214).

44 See Augustine, De Civ. Dei, i. 16-19.

45 I.e., Jerome, In Jonam, i. 12.

46 3 Kings xiii, xiv. 47 Ibid., xviii, xxii.

48 Dan. ii. 49 3 Kings xviii. 25.

50 Cato, Dist. ii. 2 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 604).

51 Ibid., 12 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 606).

52 Horace, Ep. I. iv. 13-14 (L. C. L., p. 276).

[159] Truth is everywhere consistent; never is it discordant even when it emerges from the very home of falsehood, just as purity, as long as it has the strength of its own innocence, is not polluted by the proximity of any contaminating influence whatsoever. In itself it is a proof that death inspires no fear, and it enjoins us to be prepared to accept it at each and every hour so that the less we take a continuation of life for granted, the more eagerly we may advance step by step along the path of virtue to the attainment of honor.

Death is inevitable and natural when an object is in a state of corruption. Corruption is the origin of death. Do away with corruption; seek purity and virtue; behold! thou hast entered upon the way of life and hast grasped, as it were, a guaranty of your divine nature. Grasped, do I say? Thou hast received. But, to speak in a greater spirit of faith, thou hast grasped and received, for it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.53

Who knows when death cometh, whether at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing or in the morning?54 For as Anselm says, "Nothing is more certain than death, nothing more uncertain than its hour."55 Assuredly it is not to be feared as an evil, but when it comes it is to be embraced with gratitude as an end of evil.

There is one thing to be shunned with all the strength of body and mind. What is that, you ask. Baseness and every kind of dishonor. For dishonor is the thing that makes death not an end of evils but the link that connects what precedes with what follows. To shun dishonor no oracle of seer nor consultation with familiar spirit is needed; reason given for this purpose is the trustworthy and helpful counselor.

When Cato,56 in Africa, found himself hemmed in by difficulties on all sides he did not deign to consult Jupiter Hammon, for he thought that reason sufficed to advise that liberty must be preserved and that not merely the yoke of Caesar's domination but even the slightest suspicion of baseness were to be shunned, though he did indeed err in casting away the gift of life by his own act. That this is unlawful is testified not only by the practice of true believers but by the decree of nations57 and the edicts of philosophers.

53 Rom. ix. 16. 54 Mark xiii. 35.

55 Anselm, Medit. vii, beginning.

56 Lucan, Phars. ix. 566ff. (L. C. L., pp. 546ff.).

57 Cod. Justinian, IX. 1. 1.

[160] The prince of ancient philosophers, Pythagoras,58 and Plotinus59 are not so much the originators as the promulgators of this prohibition, for they said that it was absolutely forbidden a soldier on duty to leave the stronghold and post entrusted to him without orders from a commander or prince. The figure they employed was a very felicitous one, for life on earth is a military service.60

What if oracles of seers or the responses of familiar spirit order otherwise? Undoubtedly they should be disregarded because no one owes allegiance to anyone who endangers his own integrity. If you do not believe me, consider if you will Numa,61 the most blameless perhaps of the Roman kings except Titus. When tempted to take human life, by the demand for a head to be sacrificed, he decreed that a head of lettuce be cut, thus rendering harmless the will of even an evil divinity. When the divinity added the words "of a man," he promised that he would offer up a head of hair. When the unclean spirit thirsted for blood as well, he replied that a fish should be sacrificed. Since his reason could not be outwitted in a manner to incriminate him, on the testimony of unclean spirits he was pronounced quite worthy to converse with the gods.

There is no reason that anyone should shield his own error under the pretext of exorcisms, for they have been established to diminish the power of demons and to break the tie of intimacy which they have with man, and can accomplish nothing in virtue of their own power unless they gain their potency from direction given by God.

Furthermore the Holy Spirit flees from false knowledge and disdains as its habitation the body, which is subject to sin.62 The black art is entirely fictitious, illusory, and knows not the essence of truth. The Holy Spirit seems indeed to be present while invoked by prayer and offerings, and the sacrilegious desire of the erring soul is [161] satisfied with the result that attends its solicitations. So far is it from being present however that when its protection is withdrawn it allows those whom such faithlessness has stirred to be drawn by divers mockeries of demons, down to hell.

The Holy Spirit by the general voice of the Church, against which

58 Cicero, De Sen. xx. 73 (L. C. L., p. 84). 59 Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. I. xiii. 9. 60 Job. vii. 1.

61 Ovid, Fast. iii. 339ff. (L. C. L., p. 144).

62 Wisd. i. 5.

not even the gates of hell shall prevail,63 forbids that it be lured to such abominations. When therefore, by its grace, the authority of the Church contemns and rejects exorcism, they who misuse rather then use it sin against the Spirit, and though it has withdrawn from them they strive to retain for themselves its potency and efficacy.

Chapter Twenty-Eight. Crystal Seers; Malignant Spirits at

Times Foresee the Future Because of the Subtlety of Nature,

of Long Experience in Events, and of the Revelations of

Higher Powers; They Often Deceive, Either Deceiving

Themselves or Being Deceived; They Follow the

Indubitably Wicked Ways of the Crystal Seers

CRYSTAL seers falsely flatter themselves that they offer no sacrifices, that they harm no one, that often they are helpful in detecting theft and purging the world of malefactors, and that they seek only truth that is helpful and practical. The wicked are not so.64 "He that gathereth not with me" He said "scattereth, and he who is not with me is against me."65 In practicing such arts despite the prohibition of God, what else are the wicked doing than lifting up the heel66 against Him who prohibits them?

Excessive is the sacrifice that he offers who casts out the Holy Spirit and prostitutes his mind to idolatry; excessive is the sacrifice of him who solicits with the voice that is consecrated to God the polluted ears of demons; excessive is the sacrifice that he makes who lends the movement of his body to the performance of execrable rites. What then has he who has delivered over his brain, tongue, and body to demons, reserved for his Creator? Has he done no harm to truth who seeks his perfection in such corruption? Truly in such matters no one may plead ignorance, for it is common knowledge, [162] or ought to be, that such a stigma on the faith has been upbraided and condemned by anathema.

The soldier in this world indeed is not exempted from the obligation of his oath, or the ward from that of his age, or the woman from the infirmity of her sex, or the farmer from the task of cultivation at which he works for the public weal. For although in loss

63 Matt. xvi. 18.

64 Ps. i. 4. 65 Matt. xii. 30. 66 John xiii. 18.

of property ignorance of law may be pleaded, in the subversion of the faith no such plea is permissible, the decision being that he who ignores is ignored, that he who is unwise as the result of guilt shall be instructed by penalty, and that he who has neglected to learn seemly conduct shall be wisely punished. For how could anyone have learned to free himself from great distress without effort while he was at the same time painfully learning the painful lesson of mortal sin? One who is capable of straying from the faith as result of worry of soul and acts of the body is not able to enjoy tranquillity of faith without great effort. For whoever indulges in these frivolous superstitions hath denied the faith67 and is worse than an unbeliever, and although he acknowledge God in word,68 he denies Him in his evil works. It is no more easy for a man of such character to be steadfast than it is for a corrupt judge who hankers after gifts and who has recompense in view.

But that which influences the minds of the simple, to wit that the secrets of the future can be made manifest only by the hand of Him in whose power are times and seasons,69 does not touch the crux of the matter. For although there is but one Arbiter of the future, who is the Lord God of all, none the less the future at times becomes known to men through signs.

Why is it strange if they sometimes have foreknowledge70 of things of subtle nature and if, as the result of long experience and the revelations of superior powers, they are warned with regard to many matters? If therefore spirit when weighed down by the bulk of body and retarded by its vestment of clay, whose keenness has been blunted by the corruption of turbulent sensation, conjectures what [163] is to come from what precedes or from indications derived from certain things — what prevents spirit, loosed from all bodily ties and unretarded by impeding bulk, from measuring beforehand the outcome of events impending or to occur after long lapse of time?

Now one who was born, as it were, the day before and is destined to die after a few days, deduces in the intervening period like from like and draws conclusions as to the future from causes that have become known to him in the meantime. Will not then one not merely ancient71 but long established of days, who from the day that he was born72 is full of wisdom and perfect in his ways, be able

67 1 Tim. v. 8. 68 Titus i. 16. 69 Acts i. 7.

70 Augustine, De Divinatione Daemonum; cf. De Civ. Dei, ix. 22.

71 Dan. vii. 9. 72 Ezek. xxviii. 15, 17.

with greater ease to do this? Who so dull and egregiously stupid as not to rise to the best of his ability in such a span of time, to the prophesying of things that are to be? Moreover, propitious powers which with affection and devoted obedience zealously serve the Lord are indeed able to reveal secrets to seers and are at times supposed to do so.

Yet it is not forthwith true that discredited seers perceive and predict; rather on occasion they hasten to announce what they suspect or fear, with the result that they appear to be aware of secrets. For example, about the time of the birth of our Lord the demons presiding over the temples of Egypt predicted their abandonment and their own departure. Hence, in the writings of Trismegistus,73 the words concerning the extermination of the religion of idolatry: "The time will come, Egypt, when the fables of thy religion shall alone survive."

Often what seers do of necessity and under compulsion they pretend to do of their own accord, as if wroth with men to whom they feign to be hostile. Often too they lie, either deceiving or themselves deceived. But at any rate, though what they announce be true, they are either to be repressed or to be avoided. Hence in Deuteronomy: If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet or a dreamer of dreams [164] and he foretell a sign and a wonder and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying: "Let us go and follow strange gods which thou knowest not, and let us serve them," thou shalt not hear the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God trieth you that it may appear whether you love him or not.74

From this it is indeed clear that although things happen which are stated by those divining not according to God, they are not to be accepted in the sense that what is anticipated by them takes place, or what they worship is worshipped. Nor did the apostle in the Acts of the Apostles spare the unclean spirit because, in the case of the maid having a spirit of divination, it presented testimony of the truth to the Apostles and their preaching.75 But nothing is more effective against such a plague than for one to refuse absolutely to give ear to such deception. I thank God that He held out for my

73 I. e., The Hermetic Books. See Apuleius, Asclepius, xxiv; cf. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, xiii. 1-3.

74 Deut. xiii. 1-3. 75 Acts xvi. 16ff.

defense, even in my earliest years, the shield of his gracious purpose. During my boyhood I was placed under the direction of a priest, to teach me psalms. As he practiced the art of crystal gazing, it chanced that he after preliminary magical rites made use of me and a boy somewhat older, as we sat at his feet, for his sacrilegious art, in order that what he was seeking by means of finger nails moistened with some sort of sacred oil or crism, or of the smooth polished surface of a basin, might be made manifest to him by information imparted by us.

And so after pronouncing names which by the horror they inspired seemed to me, child though I was, to belong to demons, and after administering oaths of which, at God's instance, I know nothing, my companion asserted that he saw certain misty figures, but dimly, while I was so blind to all this that nothing appeared to me except the nails or basin and the other objects I had seen there before.

As a consequence I was adjudged useless for such purposes, and, as though I impeded the sacrilegious practices, I was condemned to have nothing to do with such things, and as often as they decided to practice their art I was banished as if an obstacle to the whole procedure. So propitious was God to me even at that early age.

[165] But as I grew older more and more did I abominate this wickedness, and my horror of it was strengthened because, though at the time I made the acquaintance of many practitioners of the art, all of them before they died were deprived of their sight, either as the result of physical defect or by the hand of God, not to mention other miseries with which in my plain view they were afflicted. There were two exceptions. — the priest whom I have mentioned and a certain deacon; for they, seeing the affliction of the crystal gazers, fled (the one to the bosom of the collegiate church76 — the other to the refuge of the monastery of Cluny) and adopted holy garb. None the less I am sorry to say that even they, in comparison to others in their congregations, suffered many afflictions afterward.

Now if the consensus of opinion and the authority of the Catholic Church do not suffice to combat this error, the example of its evils are enough to root it out. Moreover, as no one can drink the chalice77 of the Lord and the chalice of demons, or serve two masters, God

76 I. e., a church in which there is a college or chapter of canonics. 77 1 Cor. x. 27.

and Mammon,78 so no one attains the grace of God and practices this type of sorcery. But why, with a prick as of an awl, do I assail a view inimical to the faith and to morals while I have the power to pierce it with a thrust of the sword of the Spirit79 plunged to the hilt? Let it therefore be smitten but once with the strong hand80 and with the arm of Him who divided the Red Sea in sunder to submerge the Egyptians; and a second time81 there will not be need, for there is none that can deliver out of his hand.82

Therefore let Him unsheath the sword of Moses and lay low the Egyptian abomination and hide them in the sand of their sterility,83 that they may not appear in the eyes of the faithful. Let Him speak the word and pronounce sentence of condemnation against errors which we for long now have been working to drive from His home. His word is indeed a sharp two-edged sword,84 living and active, [166] sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern thoughts.85

Foolish is he who fears not this threatening sword. And behold, it threatens before the face of the Church, in sight of all. In fine it is turned against all, for He hath said "For when thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee, beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations. Neither let there be found among you anyone that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire, or consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens; neither let there be any wizard, nor charmer, nor anyone that consulteth pythonic spirits or fortune tellers, or that seeketh truth from the dead; for the Lord abhorreth all these things and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming. Thou shalt be perfect and without spot before the Lord thy God. These nations whose lands thou shall possess hearken to soothsayers and diviners, but thou art otherwise instructed by the Lord thy God."86

Who therefore can doubt that these, which the words of the prophet, nay of the Holy Spirit, extirpate with such pains, are wicked practices and not merely a weakening but a destruction of the faith? In the words of God they are abominations; and man

78 Matt. vi. 24. 79 Eph. vi. 17. 80 Ps. cxxxvi. 12, 13.

811 Kings xxvi. 8. 82 Deut. xxxii. 39.

83 Exod. ii. 12. 84 Apoc. i. 16.

85 Heb. iv. 12. 86 Deut. xviii. 9-14.

thinks to rise above man by following their teaching.87 On account of such crimes nations have been blotted out and yet man in his rashness is confident that he is advanced by them.

Chapter Twenty-Nine. Physicians Theoretical88 and Practical

YET IT is permissible that one be consulted with regard to the future on condition that he possess the spirit of prophecy, or that as the result of his knowledge of medicine he recognize from natural signs what is taking place in bodies of living creatures, or if he infers the character of time impending by indication derived from his experi-[167] ence. To these latter however no one should give ear in such a way as to make it prejudicial to faith or religion. Even the first are not to be given a hearing except in what they speak from the Lord, which never is inimical to religion because truth cannot be contrary to truth nor good to good.

Physicians however, placing undue emphasis upon nature, in general encroach upon the rights of the author of nature by their opposition to faith. I am not accusing all of them of error although I have heard very many of them arguing about the soul, virtue and its works, growth and decay of body, the resurrection of the same, and creation in a manner contrary to the tenets of faith.

Of God himself they at times speak as if

They were the earthborn giants storming Heaven's starry heights,89

and in vain attempt, along with Enceladus, were eager to deserve that Aetna's mighty molten mass be piled upon them. But in these matters they well may be at fault because their talents, great as they are, lack profound knowledge of the difficulties that are inherent in them. When understanding fails by the lack of the guiding principle of faith, which is the keystone, there is left naught but opinion. But when the question concerns matters of less exalted import, for example animal structure, cause and cure of disease, physicians are not at all lacking except in the failure of their efforts, when that occurs. Theoretical physicians do indeed perform their function, and

87 There is a pun in the sentence, as if the Latin word abominationes were abhominationes.

88 Cf. Enth. 449 and Boethius, In Porph. Dial. i. 89 Lucan, Phars. iii. 316 (L. C. L., p. 136).

(perchance in view of their regard for you they will draw more generously upon their resources) you will learn from them the cause and nature of each and every thing. They are the guardians of health, sickness, and the neutral state. They confer, so far as words go, health and maintain it; they give advice that obtains for you the neutral state; they foresee illness and instruct as to the cause; they indicate its beginning, growth, crisis, and decline.

Need more be said? As I listen to them it seems to me they have the power to raise the dead. They are considered not inferior to Aesculapius or Mercury. Yet I am perfectly amazed and greatly [168] disturbed by the fact that they engage in such heated arguments and as a result are divided into factions. Of one thing I am convinced, that contraries can not at the same time be true.

What am I to say of the practicing physicians? Far be it from me to say anything detrimental to them; I have too frequently fallen into their hands as atonement for my sins. Their resentment is not to be aroused by words; rather are they to be soothed by compliance. I do not wish them to deal harshly with me nor yet do I dare entertain the views that all acclaim. I shall therefore say with the holy man Solomon90 that medicine is from the Lord God and no wise man will despise it.

There is indeed no one more indispensable than the doctor, provided he be a man of faith and wisdom. Who may sound the praises of him who as builder of salvation and protector of life imitates the Lord and performs his function in that he as agent and servant regulates and dispenses the salvation which He effects and as Lord and Prince grants?91 Nor is it pertinent that some who sell pseudo favor and who wish to appear quite just by refusing to receive a penny until the patient is convalescent are far from just, in that they ascribe to their own skill the kindly work of time — nay, the gift of the Lord, notwithstanding that he whom God and the recuperating power of nature restore would have been restored without the physician's effort. To be sure, nowadays there are a few doctors who constantly advise one another with the words "Take your fee while the patient

90 This name should be Siracida, which means the son of Sirach; his name was Jesus and he was the author of Ecclesiasticus. See Ecclus. xxxviii. 4, "The Most High hath created medicines out of the earth and a wise man will not abhor them."

91 John plays upon the meaning of salus in this sentence, the ordinary meaning of which is "health." In theology it means "salvation." The doctor attends to the health of the body, God to the salvation of the soul.

is still in pain." I am not disturbed when their activities are mutually inimical, since I am aware that the effects of contraries are generally the same.

But when anyone succumbs under their ministrations they will then necessarily adduce reasons by which it will be clear that it would not have been possible to prolong the patient's life further. And, as is whispered about, they concoct refreshing drinks and prepare nourishing and delicious food for those whom they have weak-[169] ened by long fasting and who are now as good as dead. Perhaps you are waiting for me to repeat the popular remark that they are those who in the pursuit of their profession kill men.92 By no means; Heaven forbid that I repeat this insult. If you are really anxious to hear it, consult Seneca,93 Pliny,94 and Sidonius, who will shout it loud and in your ears.

92 Sidonius Apollinaris, Ep. II. xii. 3 (L. C. L., I, 472).

93 Seneca, De Benef. VI. xxxvi. 2 (L. C. L., Seneca's Moral Essays, III, 440).

94 Pliny, N. H. XXIX. i. 18.



[170] BY ATTACKING the follies of the frivolous I become the foe of the many, and for this reason I decided to go into retirement and hold my peace; but the unsettled state of my affairs forced me to give up the former, and my feelings the latter, course. On finding himself under a regime one is wise to obey the will of the ruler; so one goaded by the spur of emotion cannot help betraying his feelings. Consequently exultation is the result of the thrill of joy; hope engenders gaiety; fear, panic; and grief finds expression in tears. To every one of us joy or sorrow pays its respects in turn. But the feeling of sorrow is deeper and the more universal, for who does not more often experience the sting of suffering than the caress of pleasure? Rare is the person who possesses the strength to protect himself entirely from the assault of fortune's whole host. He who does conquer by virtue of his own resistance is attacked in the life or the fortune of his friend or relative. He is hardly human who is not shaken by his own material losses, while he is not quite a man who remains unmoved by what happens to others.

Philosophers have, however, already raised the question whether anything which pertains to man is foreign to him. Progress in virtue has solved this difficulty, since the great comedian1 thinks that nothing human is alien to man, and our Heavenly Master teaches that man shall love his neighbor as himself.2 Hence it is clear that the disciple who does not rejoice with the truth3 and whose wrath does not blaze against enemies of the public weal is unworthy the [171] Great Teacher. To the best of its ability the present work directs its attention to these and will attack their folly with the weapon it knows how to use.

1 Terence, Hauton.; Tim. 77 (L. C. L., I, 124).

2 Matt. xix. 19; Mark xii. 31. 3 1 Cor. xiii. 6.

Chapter One. Welfare, Universal and Public

PUBLIC welfare which fosters the state and its individual citizens consists in sanctity of life, for life is man's most cherished possession and its sanctity his greatest blessing. Now man is made up of a rational soul and of corruptible flesh, according to the definition of ancient philosophers.4 Flesh, however, derives its life from the soul, since from no other source can the body possess it, being always quiescent by virtue of its paralyzing inertia and moving only by virtue of the spiritual element. The soul as well has its own life, for God is its life — a thought which a modern writer has impressively and with truth expressed, albeit in the lighter form of verse:

The soul of life is God, the body's life is soul;

At flight of soul the body dies; And soul is lost when God's support is gone.5

As, therefore, it is the nature of the body to be alive and active, to yield to the soul's impulses by reason of its own structure, and to obey it as by a sort of harmony with it, so the soul derives life from the fact that it possesses activities in its own realm, undoubtedly receives its impulses from God, obeys him with complete devotion, and acquiesces in all things. In proportion as it fails so to respond, it fails to live. The body too falls victim to the torpor of death in any of its parts that cease to be animated by the soul. As long therefore as the body is alive in all its parts, it is entirely subject to the soul, which is diffused not part to part but exists as a whole and functions in each and every part.

God also takes entire possession of the soul that lives the perfect life, governs it, and vitalizes the whole to such an extent that no nook or cranny eludes Him. But why use the expression nook or [172] cranny or the word part in speaking of the soul? For it has no parts, being single in its nature and knowing absolutely naught of division. Such parts as it could, however, it claimed from the Dispenser of all good. What parts were these, you ask? Assuredly the virtues through which it has its being, performs its holy functions, and tests itself. If therefore it does not grow by multiplication or any increase in size, none the less, despite the persistence of its inherent singleness, it expands in reason and understanding because it attracts good and repulses evil. When, however, spirit (for God is

4 Augustine, Serm. CL. iv. 5: "Man consisting of rational soul and mortal flesh." 5 Ibid., De Lib. Arbit. II. xvi. 41; Serm. CLVI. vi. 6; De Civ. Dei, XIII. xxiv. 6.

spirit6) fills these parts, the life of the soul becomes complete and perfect. For when the understanding, in so far as it has the power and is permitted, apprehends God, who is the perfection of goodness, when inclination, uncontaminated, seeks the good it sees, and reason points the way in order that no one, attracted to good by his own healthy impulse, may stray to right or left, then the soul's life attains as it were the glory of immortality.

Perhaps this is what he felt who said, as joy suffused his being, "My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God."7 He who proceeds along this path does indeed experience neither hopes nor fears, sadness nor sorrow, caused by any failure as the result of departure from the supreme and true good. Perhaps too this is the reason that the words of the prophet invite the souls of the faithful, saying: Be converted to me with all your heart,8 that the angel of joy or grief, fear or hope, may not turn from my face, may not displease my will.

This life fills every created thing because without it there is no substance for its creation. For all that is exists by reason of sharing in it. But, though it be by nature in all things, by grace it dwells only in the rational. They exist therefore because truth is in them; they are enlightened because wisdom is in them; they love the good because the source of goodness and charity is in them. For all angelic, even human, virtue is a mark of divinity stamped as it were upon the rational creature.

[173] The holy spirit dwelling within impresses upon the soul the seal of sanctity, streams of which it widely diffuses, revealing the gifts of its varied favors. This seems to me the only real safeguard of life: that the mind, by the life-giving power of the spirit, be illuminated for the acquisition of knowledge and be inspired with the love of honor and zeal for virtue.

Therefore knowledge precedes the cultivation of virtue, for no one can truly seek that of which he is ignorant; nor can evil be effectively shunned unless it be known. Further, the treasures of knowledge are disclosed to us in two ways; first, by the use of reason understanding discovers what is capable of being known; second, revealing grace discloses what has been hidden by presenting it to our eyes.

It is then through nature or through grace that each one can arrive at the recognition and knowledge of truth of those things that

6 John iv. 24.

7 Ps. lxxxiii. 3. 8 Joel ii. 12.

are indispensable. What is more remarkable, every one of us carries in his heart a book of knowledge, opened by the exercise of reason. In this are portrayed not only the forms of all visible things and nature in general; the invisible things9 of the Fabricator of all things are also written down by the very hand of God. So true it is that they to whom the list of duties to be performed are made known by gift of nature or of grace can by no means be excused on grounds of ignorance.

As has been written: For what of God is known is manifest in them, for God revealed it to them.10 Yet I do not enlarge the fringes of corrupt nature11 nor raise the phylacteries against grace as though nature possessed any good which it did not receive;12 since it is certain that without grace13 we can do nothing. Therefore the recognition of truth and the cultivation of virtue is the general and universal safeguard of the individual, of the state, and of rational nature; while its contrary is ignorance and her hateful and hostile offspring, vice. Ignorance is indeed fittingly called the mother of vice, for she is never so barren as not to produce a useless crop of hateful things. The moralist remarks

No incense to the gods avails to plant A mite of wisdom in the brain of fools.14

[174] Recognition connotes certitude and applies either to learning or to faith. Let the rule of faith be deferred however, as it will be discussed in its own time and place. Learning then involves knowledge of self, which cannot be attained if it fail to measure its own strength or if it be ignorant of the strength of others.

Chapter Two. Man's First Contemplation in His Aspiration for Wisdom; the Fruits of Such Contemplation

THE FIRST task of man aspiring to wisdom is the consideration of what he himself is: what is within him, what without, what below, what above, what opposite, what before, and what after.

Next perhaps comes that which those whose task it was to hand down to posterity the first principles of philosophy thought ought

9 Rom. i. 20. 10 Ibid., 17.

11 Matt. xxiii. 5.

12 1 Cor. iv. 7. 13 John xv. 5.

14 Persius, Sat. v. 120-21 (L. C. L., p. 380).

to be investigated; that is to say the substance,15 quantity, relation, quality, position, place, time, state, activity, and passivity of individual things; the peculiar properties in all of these; whether they admit of increase, can tolerate contraries, and whether anything is found opposed to them.

So far they displayed wisdom and zeal, and yet they were somewhat careless in that, amid such light cast upon things, they attained to no knowledge of themselves and lost the knowledge of the light inaccessible;16 being vain in their thoughts and professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and their foolish heart was darkened.17 This is proved by the fact that, giving themselves up to dishonorable passions, they would do that which was seemly neither to their sex, age, nor fortune, nor even to nature, and they degraded the persons of all by the testimony of their works. They were given over to a reprobate sense, and this is clear to those who are more fully acquainted with the Apostle. The strongest proof18 of all, however, is this: that credence is granted each on the basis of his faith and sincerity. For the works that each does19 offer testimony concerning himself, while he who does not know himself, [175] what of profit does he know? "If thou knowest not thyself, O fairest among women, go forth and follow after the steps of the flocks."20

There is an oracle of Apollo which is thought to have come down from the skies; Noti seliton,21 that is, Know thyself. With this in mind, the moralist writes:

Learn, puny beings, to know the cause of things; Why we are born and what our lives should be; What course we have to run in life; How just to miss the danger of the turn; What limit should be placed upon our wealth; What prayer we may address to God above; What use to make of gold acquired in mart; How much to spend on country and on kin; What role has been assigned to you by God, For you to play upon the stage of life.22

15 See above, p. 92, n. 36.

16 1 Tim. vi. 16. 17 Rom. i. 21ff.

18 Matt. vii. 16, 20; John x. 37. 19 John v. 36. 20 Cant, i. 7.

21 Noti seliton, i. e., gnw~di seauto/n; Juvenal, Sat. xi. 27 (L. C. L., p. 222).

22 Persius, Sat. iii. 66-72 (L. C. L., p. 360).

Such contemplation bears fourfold fruit: benefit to self, affection for neighbor, scorn for the world, and love of God. Is not that a good tree23 which bringeth forth such sweet fruit and produces such advantages? Surely he will not vaunt himself who is a little one24 in his own eyes. Who will not blush at his own poverty as he thinks over the number of desirable things that he has or has not? But if he recount the number of his undesirable possessions he finds abundant cause for reasonable grief and humility.

Who seeks comfort from God is thrown back upon himself wherever he turns, saying "I have been humbled, O Lord, exceedingly; quicken thou me according to thy word."25 Or again, he says "For I am ready for scourges and my sorrow is continually before me."26

Chapter Three. Pride the Root of All Evil; Concupiscence a Widespread Leprosy Injecting All

PRIDE is verily the root of all evils and the fuel that feeds the fires of death.27 Streams dry up if cut off from their source; nor do limbs [176] of trees wax vigorous when the root is cut away. Vices wither, if arrogance be killed; but if fertilizer be heaped about their roots the branches swell and the sterility of barren wastes begins to put forth leaves. If you turn water into a spring the overflow forms streams; if you increase the fire of the hearth28 the blaze breaks out again in the fuel. So if you foster the poison of the arrogance innate in corrupt nature you cannot prevent, even if you wish, the deadly virus from infecting the very vitals. Love of self is not so much related to all; rather it is innate in all, and if it be excessive it becomes a moral fault. Every virtue is marked by its own boundaries, and its essence is moderation. If one exceed this he is off the road, not on it.29 If this love gain the upper hand no one can hope for cure. It is a leprosy, the most incurable imaginable. If you are ignorant that

23 Matt. vii. 17; Luke vi. 43. 241 Kings xv. 17.

25 Ps. cxviii. 107.

26 Ps. xxxvii. 18.

27 Gregorius Magnus, Mor. xxxiv. 23 in Job, xli. 47.

28 Cf. above, p. 34, n. 96.

29Cf. Policraticus, IV, ix (beginning): "Let him [i.e., the prince] incline neither to the right nor to the left. To incline to the right is to put overemphasis even upon virtues. To incline to the right in the works of virtue is to transgress the bounds of moderation and moderation is virtue's essence." (Dickinson, p. 43).

concupiscence is a leprosy, consult Giezi.30 If the patient feel ashamed to confess his symptoms, convince him by the spot upon his body. But why do I intimate that Giezi should be consulted, as if he were the only sufferer?

Interview the world, for the whole world is infected. Even question me for I am one of the sufferers. Yes, concupiscence is a wretched and deplorable leprosy. Possibly you fail to catch my meaning. Not knowing infirmity yourself and being immune to vice and therein above mankind you are ignorant of the scourge of concupiscence; but my trustworthy witness in heaven joins me in asserting that all are corrupt31 and have become abominable; there is none that doeth good; no, not one. Whether you are such an one is for you to decide. I know Paul is not, who cries out at the assault of this scourge and laments "Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"32 I know that he is not who from the breast of truth drank streams of wisdom when he thundered against the world infected with this disease: "All that is in this world is the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life."33 Whoso does not temper this love, let him fear the leprosy and quake at the blindness of the eyes which it threatens.

[177] So if they who do not repress concupiscence, which is the especial source of evil and fosters it, suffer the loss of salvation, what will happen to those who inflame it with the zeal of time-servers and as it were add fuel to the flames of vice. What will those do, or rather, what will they suffer, who stop their ears to truth, do not shut their eyes in their admiration for things corruptible and corrupting, but stretch out their hands and call into play the keenness of every sense.

Then, as if their own wickedness were not sufficient for the day,34 the deceit of one crowds upon the deceit of the other.35 As a matter of fact I make rather free use of Terence's words,36 as flatterers, plaintiffs, informers, traducers, the envious, the self-seeking, the haughty, the quarrelsome, the superstitious, the profligate, and traitors to all duties assemble to keep the furnace of concupiscence burning. It is easier to find all these than to count them because they are

30 4 Kings v. 24ff.

31 Ps. xiii. 1. 32 Rom. vii. 24. 33 1 John ii. 16.

34 Matt. vi. 34. 35 Terence, And. 779 (L. C. L., I, 84).

36 Cicero, De Amic. xxiv. 89 (L. C. L., p. 169), "Complaisance gets us friends; plain speaking, hate." But the whole passage should be read.

found almost everywhere in the world. All law is directed against such as these, all its statutes conspire against them, and against these same a day will come when all living creatures will take up arms against them as foes of the safety of the state.

Chapter Four. The Flatterer; the Timeserver; the Wheedler; None More Pernicious than They

THE FLATTERER is the enemy of all virtue and forms as it were a cataract over the eye of him whom he engages in conversation. He is the more to be avoided, as he never ceases harming under the guise of friendship, until he has blinded keen vision and put out the modicum of light that seemed present. Added to this he stops up the ears of his listeners that they may not hear the truth. I hardly know anything that can be more disastrous than this. The words of Laelius, or rather of Cicero, are well known: "We must despair of the welfare of the man whose ears are closed to the words of truth."37

[178] What more treacherous than to hoodwink by verbal flattery, beguiling manners, and deceptive gesture him to whom you owe allegiance, and to plunge him blinded by all the deceptions of vanity into degrading vice and down into the bottomless abyss? What more odious than deception and guile, by which, in the guise of love and fidelity, villainous treachery and enmity are practiced against a frank and guileless, and what is far more contemptible, against a loving friend.

Men of this type always speak to give pleasure, never to tell the truth. The words of their mouths are wicked guile which, even when friends are in error, bellows Bravo! Bravo! to their undoing. That you may be better acquainted with them I cite Terence's Gnatho. Listen to what he says;

Does one say nay, 'tis nay I say. If he Says yes, why yes it is. In fine My never-failing rule is to agree.38

The Gnathos form a class by themselves;

They're mimics all. Dost laugh, he's shaken

37 Cicero, De Amic. xxiv. 90 (L. C. L., p. 198).

38 Terence, Eun. 252-53 (L. C. L., I, 258).

With a greater roar; he weeps when friends' Tears flow, but does not grieve; you order Fire when cold spell comes; his overcoat he dons; You say 'tis hot; he sweats.39

At this point Umbricius40 remarks

We're not on equal footing, he and I;

He's ready, night or day, to take the look

His neighbor's face then wears, prepared to throw

His arms in air and shout his praise, if he

But belch a good full belch or do aught else

Which is not nice for modest pen to write.41

This is indeed conduct unbecoming not merely a friend but even a free man; for real and genuine freedom degenerates into the appearance of virtue, and infamy reduces to degrading servitude those whom it has infected.

To turn actor or mimic brands with infamy those whom innate or acquired dignity seems to have delivered from the disgrace of such a mean calling. Then too, he who puts on another's expression, [179] allowing another's feelings one after another to flit over his own face, is plotting against the sanctity of his own sensations

And caters then to others' wanton ease.42

If he disavow the actor in words, in character and degradation he acknowledges the same. This is characteristic of the timeserver who lives at another's beck and call and who, before expressing his own opinion, awaits that of all the others.

The wheedler,43 who also goes by the name timeserver and flatterer, since the same thing is marked by many traits, pries into men's minds and assays their wishes, to make his own humors harmonize with those of anyone you will. His purpose is to pilfer like a pickpocket the good graces of him with whom he is dealing; for he is aware that from confluence of sentiment and harmony of interests, streams of friendship bubble forth as it were. The same likes and dislikes (as the historian remarks44) form the firm foundation of friendships. Naturally, for

39 Juvenal, Sat. Hi. 100-03 (L. C. L., p. 38). 40 Ibid., 21 (L. C. L., p. 32).

41 Ibid., 104-07 (L. C. L., pp. 38ff.). 42 Persius, Sat. i. 22 (L.C. L., p. 318). 43 Ibid., v. 176 (L. C. L., p. 386). 44 Sallust, Catil. xx. 4 (L. C.L., p. 34).

Who believes you feel the same as he, Applauds your play with might and main.45

When the wheedler has got his clue he becomes so flattering, so fawning, and lays on the honey of adulation so thick that he lulls virtue to sleep, and by dipping it in Lethean waters46 overcomes all forms of that moderation without which a good life is impossible.

So Thais sent me many thanks?47

(It is entertaining and appropriate that this writer of comedy make his frequent appearance in this work of ours.) The reply is "A thousand." It would indeed have been sufficient had the answer been "Many"; but because it is a trick of the flatterer to exaggerate all things and then add a bit thereto wherewith to enhance his claim, his answer is "A thousand."48 Nor does a lie cause flush of shame; for he who could persuade himself to blot man's honor with such a [180] stain, for any cause whatsoever, will surely persuade himself to accomplish his purpose

With honor if he can; if not, in any way.49

But to be literal, one who is called flatterer in the strict sense of the word is he who whitewashes another's faults, and, that the latter may not see himself, spreads before the eyes of his victim a cloud, as it were, of vanity and fills his ears with false encomiums. Says the moralist:

Then too this tribe, most deft to praise, extols The speech of lout, the hideous face of friend; The invalid's scrawny neck he likens To the shoulders broad of Hercules, as He dangles Antëus high above the ground; He marvels at a squeaky voice that sounds Far worse than squawking cry of cock that pecks The ravished hen.50

However, it should cause no surprise if abandoned beings, with which this feculent world inimical to morals is defiled, are impelled to such degrading conduct. What I consider surprising is this, that

45 Horace, Ep. I. xviii. 65-66 (L. C. L., p. 372). 46 Virgil, Aen. vi. 714 (L. C. L., I, 554). 47 Terence, Eun. 391 (L. C. L., I, 274).

48 Ibid., 392 (L. C. L., I, 274).

49 Horace, Ep. I. i. 66 (L. C. L., p. 256). 50 Juvenal, Sat. iii. 86-91 (L. C. L., p. 38).

they find a crowd to believe them, to acquiesce in what others say on matters of import to themselves rather than in their own judgment, and that everyone is seeking something outside himself51 and disdaining to learn how poorly furnished his own mind is.52 There is indeed nothing which, not to say divine majesty but every soul swollen with the yeast of pride is unable to swallow when he himself is praised.53

Chapter Five. Cunning of Flatterers; the Manifold Deception and Companions of Flattery and Its Consequence

THERE are those who, when they enjoy the society of friends and guests, do not tolerate vulgar and commonplace flattery any more than they would use cheap perfume and rancid ointment which disgusts everybody. What more degrading than to follow the example of the actor; to make up the face, to change Costumes, to study one's movements, and to play oneself the role of actor rather than [181] to view the actor in his role. How lacking in taste, when some one opens wide his mouth and belches forth his gale of vapid flattery to speed you on your way, for you to spread your ears and expand your chest to catch the swelling blast!

Because it is so apparent to everyone, this servile type of flattery is almost universally scorned. There is however another type, more to be feared because more insidious, which is carefully disguised under the veil of caution and as it were of criticism, correction, or some other laudable service. You will find that not a few have acted thus in their inordinate desire to appear kindly disposed. Laelius says (not he who formulated the principles of friendship, but the one who advised civil war and fanned its fury, otherwise known as Lentulus)

Our sole complaint is this; thy patience hath Too long now held in leash thy strength. Hast thou no faith in us? As long as life Has power to move our breathing forms, as long As arms have strength to hurl the valiant spear, Shalt thou endure to don the toga of

51 Persius, Sat. i. 7 (L. C. L., p. 316). 52 Ibid., iv. 52 (L. C. L., p. 362).

53 Juvenal, Sat. iv. 70, 71 (L. C. L., p. 62).

Disgrace or bow to haughty senate's rule? Is there no fame to win in civil war?54

Thus it is also in Roman comedy55 that masters are mocked by the cunning of their slaves, who, after giving utterance to their strictures, allow the rebuttal of their own reasons and pretend that they have at length been convinced only to mislead their old masters further and receive thanks for the treachery of their betrayal. They do all in their power to keep up this form of deception to prevent themselves from ever being taxed with treachery; thus truth becomes the slave of their lies.

Thus too as gossip mongers56 they gather scandal with which to tickle the ears of the curious, that in this way they may more readily attain their ends. They are also careful to observe the opportune moment so as not to make an ill-timed presentation of any matter, but to do it at luncheon time or when one is gay with wine or enjoying some other pleasure. Virgil remembers caution of this sort when he states that her sister was sent by Dido to call Aeneas back; for

'Twas she alone who knew the hour propitious For approach.57

[182] Who can refrain from laughter when a worthless lackey58 is bedizened with the badge of office, and amid the grins and jeering of the audience Dama is transformed into Marcus;

What now, art slow to lend when Marcus gives His word; hast fear when Marcus sits as judge? Does Marcus speak, it must be so. Just here May Marcus please to place his seal and name.59

The good will of all is indeed to be cultivated, for it is the source of friendship and the first step to affection, but cultivated without staining honor, by zealous service, by the path of virtue, by the fruit of service, and by sincerity of speech. Add too steadfast consistency in word and deed, and truth, which is the foundation of all duty and good. Virtue seeks the esteem of the good and even of all men, if that be possible, but scorns to attain it by degrading means. Esteem

54 Lucan, Phars. i. 361-66 (L. C. L., p. 30).

55 The comedies of Terence only are referred to.

56 Cicero, De Leg. III. xvi. 35 (L. C. L., p. 500).

57 Virgil, Aen. iv. 423 (L. C. L., I, 424).

58 Persius, Sat. v. 76 (L. C. L., p. 376).

59 Ibid., 79-81 (L. C.L., p. 376).

is in particular a noble and delicate sentiment which scorns all that is not becoming. All splendor that does not derive its luster from esteem is suspect to it. Can it therefore lie to please, call good evil or evil good, goad on an ill balanced friend to act still more insane? Furthermore though all adulation is disgraceful, that is more pernicious which uses authority of personality, nature, or position to incite vice. To be sure philosophers call a thing plausible60 which appeals to all, to the majority, or to the wiser, or that which gains the approval of the master in his own field. If therefore Plato or Socrates commends one for wisdom, Aristotle for mental keenness, Cicero for eloquence, Pythagoras for interest in mathematics, Horace for metrical skill, Ovid for smoothness of verse,61 why should he not believe them? Indeed, incentives to vice steal more quickly and effectively into the minds of individuals,

When they steal in with great names to support.62

[183] Yet the mind in full possession of its faculties is not seduced by this because no man knoweth what is in man but the spirit of man that is in him.63 Consequently the levelheaded shepherd in Virgil, wiser than philosophers and great men of our time, says

The shepherds call me bard as well, but them I do not trust.64

Then too:

If thou becometh pale with greed at sight Of gold, if all you get you spend for thrills Of sensual joys,65

though all your neighbors call you self-controlled and chaste, you would not believe them even under oath. Keep well in mind what you learned at school;

Beware to trust in others more than in Thyself about thy self.66

I would hardly dare to say who takes the palm in vice, he who defiles his tongue with adulation or he whose heart leaps with joy

60 Aristotle, Top. I. i (100B, 21ff.).

61 Ovid, Trot. IV. x. 25-26 (L. C. L., p. 198).

62 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 32-33 (L. C. L., p. 266). 63 1 Cor. ii. 11.

64 Virgil, Ecl. ix. 33-34 (L. C. L., I, 66ff.). 65 Persius, Sat. iv. 47-48 (L. C. L., p. 362). 66 Cato, Dist. i. 14 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 598).

thereat. In the latter the blindness of arrogance is condemned, in the former the treachery of causing it. Deception is everywhere condemned, but blindness as well, which in every case is accompanied by haughty pride. Granted that the flatterer be the worse, the victim is no less contemptible, for he would not have been caught in the snare of another's tongue had he not been his own flatterer as well. Should he who is a self flatterer accuse another of flattery? For wherein he accuseth another, he condemneth himself. For he doeth the same things which he judgeth.67 "Woe to them" saith the Lord "that sew cushions under every elbow and make pillows for the heads of every age."68

Assuredly they sew cushions who lay snares for ears, who pile on agreeable and empty praise with which to soothe the feelings, who commend the works of men to lull them to repose by heralding their fame and by the sweet allurement of popular favor; for the use of pillows and cushions is the voluptuousness of sleep.

[184] The cushion therefore is placed under every elbow when not only the specific action but all that has to do with it is commended. The head of every age is placed upon the pillow as long as any one takes delight, as the result of words of flattery, in all that he has done during his whole life.

And again, "The people build up a wall and they daub it."69 Whosoever builds a wall instead of a house because of the defect of a deadened mind is rearing a structure of vicious works. He who makes a door in a wall alone wheresoever he enters finds himself out of doors. He who with deadened mind dwells upon his faulty works is sundered from the society of the blessed; therefore whosoever flatters and applauds the evil works of anyone daubs the wall that has been built up.

Although it is base to flatter anyone it is far worse when flattery attacks men of established authority, or of rank. So true is this that provision has been made by the rules of sacred canon that clerics who are known to be the slaves of flattery shall be without exception rejected. Rightly so because all flattery is accompanied by deception, fraud, betrayal, the infamy of lying, and as a consequence servile ignominy, the blinding of one's neighbor and the utter loss of all honor. Should not then the flatterers be ejected, not only from the clergy, but from the entire body of the faithful as well?

67 Rom. ii. 1. 68 Ezek. xiii. 18.

69 Ibid., 10.

Chapter Six. Incredible Increase of Flatterers; Supplanting

by Them of Men of Honor Unlike Themselves in

Houses of Distinction

THIS scourge of flatterers, notwithstanding God's indignation, has grown to such an extent that if perchance it came to an open break I fear that they would have the power to expel the honorable and meritorious rather than suffer expulsion themselves; for the foul inundation of their cancerous disease seeps into all so that there is rarely anyone left uncontaminated. Everyone naturally strives to be on good terms with those with whom he lives. This is an attitude not only permissible but also honorable, as is all else that nature, the parent of virtues and the best guide to good living,70 has brought into being.

[185] But as soon as such affection abandons the rule of moderation the flatterer is borne on headlong. He rushes to and fro, having recourse to legitimate and illegitimate means, to honor and dishonor. He becomes a trapper of good will and an incestuous seeker of favors, with the result that, after having previously debauched his friend by blandishments, following the practice of harlots he steals away his fortune, weakens his faculties, gathers to himself all the plunder, and turns everything to his own profit. The result is that no servile obsequiousness71 worries him, no complaisance seems unbecoming, and he assumes a role for every service, provided he may fraudulently anticipate the gains thereof.

Who, pray, are these in such gorgeous attire, who haughtily strut about surrounded by a retinue of footmen, accompanied by a band of companions and messmates, saluted first in the market place,72 sitting in the first places at feasts, their ears tickled by the sound of their first names and by such words as have power to reach the sensitive ears of nobles, raised on high and held there by the oarage of fortune's wings,73 setting the style and changing the fashions of every house? Flatterers to be sure who are ready to live at the beck and call of others, provided they may swindle them out of everything.

Truth is stern and is generally the mother of annoyance in not deigning to flatter anyone; but the wormwood she dispenses is more helpful and more grateful to sound sense than the dripping honey-

70 Cicero, De Amic. v. 19 (L. C. L., p. 128). 71 Cod. Justinian, x. 24.

72 Matt. xxiii. 6-7.

73 Virgil, Aen. i. 301 (L. C. L., I, 262); vi. 19 (L. C. L., I, 506).

comb of a harlot's lips.74 Better the wounds of a friend, on the testimony of the pious Solomon, than the deceitful kisses of the flatterer;75 naturally faith is ever to be preferred to treachery. Faith cannot remain pure when one thing is done and another pretended, especially when there is the will and spirit to harm. The expression [186] good faith,76 if we follow the Stoics, derives from the fact that what has been said is made good.

Light of my life, my salvation, my refuge, most generous and kind of men, model of life, mirror of virtue, and other farfetched epithets of the sort — are they not to be called poisonous rather than adulatory? There are indeed those who do not shrink from the role of buffoon in proffering their friendship. "Poison is administered only in sugar coated pills"77 says a wise man. No plot is more insidious than that which is formed under the guise of service and in the name of intimacy. What one regards as complaisance, imagines to be friendship, or esteems as affection is in reality a plot.

Never, according to the story78 (for the poet's myths serve the purpose of divulging truth), would Juno have tricked Semele to a death by fire had she not assumed the disguise of her nurse and pretended affection for her. One imagines that service is being rendered him; in fact he is being subjected to the extreme of wretched slavery for

When into ready ear he pours a little Of the poison of his nature and His wickedness,79

I'll swear he would clear out the whole pack80 of those who speak the truth and disdain to submit to the ignominy of being a fawner. He who, I'll not say opposes, but even fails to fall in with the sensual enjoyments of an influential friend, however foul he be, is shown the door and is fortunate too if not regarded as a foe. Nor is consent sufficient to win his good graces. One must approve, commend, applaud his madness. After he has indulged in every vice he must be praised as though he had done some good deed. As identity of interests is a sign of love, so on the basis of dissent one is accused of enmity. Consequently the satirist says

74 Prov. v. 3. 75 Ibid., xxvii. 6.

76 Cicero, De Off. I. vii. 23 (L. C. L., p. 24).

77 Jerome, Ep. cvii. 6.

78 Ovid, Met. iii. 253ff. (L. C. L., I, 142).

79 Juvenal, Sat. iii. 122-23 (L. C. L., p. 40). 80 Horace, Sat. I. ix. 47, 48 (L. C. L., p. 108).

Just what have I to do at Rome? I can Not lie; if book is bad, I do not praise Or crave; the motive of the stars is dark [187] To me; to plot a father's death I neither can

Nor will; insides of frogs I've never scanned; To bear the gift or note of paramour To newly married girl is not my forte; To be a thief I've taught no one, and so I'm in no governmental post abroad; I'm useless as a trunk with both its arms Lopped off.81

Therefore I flee from the city filled with such obscenities; I abandon the victims poisoned with the venom of flattery to their adulators.

Asturias and Catulus may live

Therein; and they that transmute black

To white.82

Don't imagine that the vice of a single city merely is depicted; vice is now characteristic of the whole world. So far as that goes, take the Roman world. I remember having heard that the Roman pontiff83 was wont to deride the Lombards, saying that they took off their hats to all with whom they held discourse, with the idea of gaining their good will at the beginning of the discussion and of fattening their heads with oil of commendation,84 as it were.

Solomon said: My son, if sinners shall entice thee, consent not to them,85 for they themselves lie in wait for their own blood and practice deceits against their own souls.86 Restrain thy foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil and make haste to shed blood.87

81 Juvenal, Sat. Hi. 41-48 (L. C. L., p. 34).

82 Ibid., 29-30 (L. C. L., p. 34).

83 I. e., Hadrian IV. 84 Ps. cxl. 5.

85 Prov. i. 10. 86 Ibid., 18. 87 Ibid., 15-16.

Chapter Seven. Imposition of Flatterers to Be Avoided from the Start; Its Rapid Progress as the Result of Gifts or the Exacting Duties They Perform

BEHOLD, the wise man, instructing the whole world in the person of his son, renders the favor of timeservers suspect to all, and warns all, and that too from the very start, for the reason I imagine that the first attack of flatterers is made on one who is traveling the path [188] of rectitude. This is perhaps the meaning of the parable of the harlot, avoidance of whom he prescribes. He says:

For the lips of a harlot are like a honeycomb dripping, and

her throat is smoother than oil. But her end is bitter as wormwood and sharp as a two-edged


Her feet go down into death and her steps go in as far as hell. They walk not by the path of life, her steps are wandering

and unaccountable. Now therefore, my Son, hear me and depart not from the

words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her and come not nigh the doors

of her house.88

Although these words are thought to apply particularly to heretical sects, they are not inappropriate to the deception of timeservers. If therefore it is not permitted to approach the doors of the harlot's house, much less is she to be admitted to the heart within the breast.

Now though the vice of flattery has many forms, for some ply their trade by expression of countenance, others by words, and still others by deed or gift, it is most effective when gifts give force to the pretence, or complaisance under unusual circumstances offers its testimony. If you believe otherwise:

Thou knowest ill thy times, if thou dost believe That honeycomb is sweeter than the cash That one receives.89

The test of pure affection in our degenerate days is the frequency of gifts. It is the art of arts; if thou desirest to please, thou shalt give gifts.

88 Prov. v. 3-8.

89 Ovid, Fast. i. 191-92 (L. C. L., p. 14).

If thou canst serve a dish of steaming tripe, Canst give a shivering friend a threadbare coat;90

you will be a second Mercury to him, or if you wish more, be Apollo,

More beautiful than Phoebus or his sister.91

Nor is there any reason that you should fear that the person you support with your gifts may withhold his approbation. Maintenance is but a petty gift, a dubious favor falsely so named. Gifts must be constantly repeated, otherwise the name of friendship perishes. One [189] cannot count on the magnitude of a gift; he must temper the soul kindled with the fire of greed by a frequent refresher, and appease the insatiable hunger of avarice by a constant feeding with benefactions.

It is said to be a characteristic of eagles' that when they have glutted their crops with a generous meal they abstain from eating for a fortnight, or as some say for forty days, and disregard any amount of food that may be accessible to them, being content with the one filling meal.

Far different is the situation of the rich, nay, rather of those that put their favor up at auction, for they resemble somewhat more closely men under the necessity of being often fed because they are often hungry. They can hardly prolong their fast for forty days; rather are they indignant with their friends if they do not fill the void of their avarice.

In ancient times it was customary to represent the graces naked,92 for the reason that staunch friendship and true fidelity, without which grace is a mere name, cannot be clothed in any robe of pretense. But when we consider men, since they love not their friends but themselves in each instance, there is need of the garb of pretense that they may appear engaging. In their estimation, because favor is not to be had for nothing, it is not favor but bait for profit. It takes on the face of the harlot,93 nor blushes at any vice in its pursuit of money. There is that ancient complaint of the wise man lamenting the wane of friendship;

90 Persius, Sat. i. 53-54 (L. C. L., p. 320). 91 Petronius, Sat. 109 (L. C. L., p. 226). 92 See Servius, Comm. in Verg. Aen. i. 724. 93 Jer. iii. 3.

The name of friendship once so dear to man, Is offered up for sale; a courtesan, She waits her fee.94

This results from the fact that if there is no advantage to be gained it is the rare person, non-existent I may say, who cherishes friendship for its own sake. In the cycles of eternity, in such a lapse of time, amid such a multitude of varied persons, as Laelius put it, scarce three or four pairs of friends are found.95 This fact too our [190] Petronius laments, although it would seem in another's role. He says

The name of friendship yet endured as long As there was something in it for a man. The ups and downs of fortune in the game Of life are varied; when I win, you smile My friend; I lose, you turn your back in flight. Behold a troupe upon the stage; one plays The role of son; another that of sire; The third a nabob is. Down goes The curtain and the play is done. The real Appears as mask is cast aside.96

Chapter Eight. The Comedy or Tragedy of This World PETRONIUS does indeed employ an appropriate simile, because almost everything that takes place in the seething mob of the irreligious is more like comedy than real life. It has been said that the life of man on earth is a warfare.97 If the spirt of the prophet had had any conception of our times, he would have been correct in saying that the life of man on earth is a comedy, where each forgetting his own plays another's role. Perhaps the oracular utterance of the prophet intended to teach that those not yet swallowed up by the earth wage continuous war; for, prisoners of their own vice, they are dragged to punishment like an ox to the altar. In pursuit of their own passions, although they are seen in body inhabiting the surface of the earth, in reality they have been swallowed up and are going down alive into hell.98

94 Ovid, Pont. II. iii. 19-20 (L. C. L., p. 332).

95 Cicero, De Amic. iv. 15 (L. C. L., p. 124). 96 Petronius, Sat. So (L. C. L., p. 160).

97 Job vii. 1. 98 Num. xvi. 30.

Using another figure of speech we may say that the earth is everywhere inhabited by those whose intercourse is not in the heavens,99 nor are they aware that they possess anything in the sky; all they comprehend is what they see on the surface of the earth.

Constant warfare is also proclaimed for those (if we may return to fable) who know their water of Tantalus, vulture of Ticinum, [191] wheel of Ixion, urn of Danaides, or stone of Sisyphus, their worldly desires being impossible to satisfy as long as they are absent from God.1 Their life is a warfare and assuredly a worry.

Now if this figure does not appeal to you, you may be taught by another interpretation, that life on earth is a trial;2 and this, if we take the literal meaning of the word, usually implies evil. In this trial, at any rate, or warfare, although the Lord has reserved for himself seven thousand men,3 almost the entire world, according to the opinion of our friend Petronius, is seen to play the part of actor to perfection, the actors gazing as it were upon their own comedy and what is worse, so absorbed in it that they are unable to return to reality when occasion demands. I have seen children imitate so long those afflicted with stuttering that even when they wished to they were unable to speak in the normal way; for usage, as someone has said,4 is difficult to unlearn, and habit becomes second nature;5

You pitch it forth with fork but it comes back Again.6

As a consequence the moralist wisely and indeed happily remarks "Accustom yourself from an early age to the best way to live; practice will make it agreeable to you."7

So this comedy of the age affects the thought of even great men. The different periods of time take on the character of shifts of scene. The individuals become subordinate to the acts as the play of mocking fortune unfolds itself in them; for what else can it be that invests at one moment some unknown upstart with wide flung power

99 Phil. iii. 20.

1 2 Cor. v. 6.

2 The Latin word is tentatio; this is the reading of an ancient Latin version of the old testament, according to the testimony of Jerome, Augustine, and others. See Gregorius Magnus, Mor. V. iii. 6.

3 3 Kings xix. 18.

4 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. I. i. 5 (L. C. L., I, 22).

5 Cicero, De Fin. V. xxv. 74 (L. C. L., p. 476); De Invent. i. 2, 3.

6 Horace, Ep. I. x. 24 (L. C. L., p. 316).

7 Cicero, Ad Heren. IV. xvii. 24.

and raises him to a throne and again hurls another born to the purple from his imperial height down into chains, dooms him to [192] captivity, and casts him forth into extreme misery? Or, and this is his usual fate, stains the blades of ignoble men or even vile slaves with the blood not merely of rulers but of princes.

If fortune wills, she makes a consul teach; She wills again and lo! the teacher takes The consul's seat.8

The life of man appears to be a tragedy rather than a comedy in that the end is almost invariably sad; for all the sweetness of the world, however entrancing it may be, grows bitter, and mourning taketh hold of the end of joy.9 However prosperous the unjust may be in their lives, however enriched by association with the successful, and however much fortune is at their beck and call, at the end of their course she casts them down and she at length becomes as bitter as wormwood.10 Job says

Why then do the wicked live, are they advanced and

strengthened with riches? Their seed continueth before them, a multitude of kinsmen

and of children and of children's children in their sight. Their houses are secure and peaceable and the rod of God is

not upon them. Their cattle have conceived and failed not; their cow has

calved and is not deprived of her fruit. Their little ones go out like a flock and their children dance

and play. They take the timbrel and the harp and rejoice at the sound

of the organ. They spend their days in wealth and in a moment they go

down to hell.11

What sadder exit to former joy! What unhappy end of a happy life! This is the way of those who are not in the labor of men12 nor are they scourged like other men. The counsel of God indeed casts them down13 while they were lifted up. All this is assuredly to be

8 Juvenal, Sat. vii. 197-98 (L. C. L., p. 152). 9 Prov. xiv. 13. 10 Prov. v. 4.

11 Job xxi. 7-13. 12 Ps. lxxii. 5. 13 Ibid., 18.

ascribed to Him rather than to fortune, which is itself from Him or, as I am inclined to believe, does not exist at all;

Thou shouldst not deem the goddess fortune blind. There's no such being as she.14

[193] Homer also,15 in that masterpiece of his, disclaimed any knowledge of fortune; in fact she is nowhere named in that long poem. He preferred to commit the control of the universe to God alone, whom he calls moera, rather than to ascribe anything to the hazard of fortune, which by general consent is regarded as no goddess, and is furthermore called blind and is so represented in art. It is idle to accuse her of blindness since she is nowhere to be found in the domain of nature.

Consequently it is also proved that no such thing as chance exists if one define it as an unforeseen occurrence, since nothing takes place without a proper cause or reason preceding,16 and since a trustworthy preacher teaches us that nothing upon earth takes place without a cause.17 None the less, because some things happen contrary to the purpose and to the expectation of those interested in them, they are included in the term chance, although they are just as truly foreseen in the mind of the Dispenser as are those things which are seen by the laws of nature to be confined by the bonds of necessity. In like manner also it is apparent that these very happenings are connected with the primal cause of all things in such a way that all things are referred to it, and in my opinion this cause itself necessarily follows by the affirmation of all things that of necessity exist.

Perhaps the more prudent will smile at my lack of wisdom in agreeing that the existence of God is a corollary of the existence of all things. It is the Peripatetics who have taught me that cause is inferred, and with probability, from effect. Furthermore the expounders of our faith of necessity infer a cause deriving from all things, of which, by which, and in which cause18 are all existing things, and without which nothing has been created or can exist.

The fact therefore that we are seen to ascribe some event to for-

14 Cato, Dist. iv. 3 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 614).

15 Macrobius, Sat. V. xvi. 8.

16 Plato, Tim. 28A, in the Latin translation of Chalcidius. For the Greek see L. C. L., pp. 48ff.

17 Job v. 6.

18 Rom. xi. 36; John i. 3.

tune does not prejudge the case in her favor. But since we are addressing men we use the words in vogue among men, discussing with our dull wits,19 as before remarked, various questions, but giving no profound explanation of any. Now if this be indulgently conceded, what prevents our listening to what the pagan philos-[194] ophers have written for general edification? It has been said "For what things soever were written, were written for our learning,"20 that through patience and the comfort of the scriptures we may have hope.

As long as peace is absent from the sons of Adam, who have been born to labor, prepared for flagellation, conceived in sin, reared in toil, rushing rather than traveling toward death, than which there is no sadder sight, patience is necessary, an effective consolation which, derived from the balm of joy in the conscience and from the boundless clemency of God, fosters and strengthens those predestined for life by inspiring them with hope of the future. "O keeper of men" said Job, expressing in his own person the calamities of mankind, "why hast thou set me opposite to thee and I am become burdensome to myself?"21 There really is no one who, when his faults begin to cry out within him, does not find cause and matter for grief, since on the testimony of Philosophy herself it is man's lot to have what he does not want and to want what he does not have.22 Consequently the soul of the believer for whom the joys of real beatitude are deferred, seeks the upper with the nether watery ground.23

To lend an attentive ear to the fantasies of the gentiles, the end of all things is tragic, or if the name of comedy be preferred I offer no objection, provided that we are agreed that, as Petronius remarks,24 almost all the world is playing a part. A certain distinguished author25 of our own time, albeit in the language of the unbelievers, has felicitously expressed the same thought;

Blind destiny allots his puny tasks

To man. Our age supplies amusement, nay,

Derision, to the gods.

19 Cicero, De Amic. v. 19 (L. C. L., p. 128).

20 Rom. xv. 4. 21 Job vii. 20.

22 Boethius, Consol. Phil. III. pros. iii (L. C. L., p. 236). 23 Joshua xv. 19.

24 See above, p. 172.

25 Supposed to be Bernard Silvester.

It is surprising how nearly coextensive with the world is the stage on which this endless, marvelous, incomparable tragedy, or if you will comedy, can be played; its area is in fact that of the whole world.

[195] It is most difficult for anyone excluded to be admitted, or admitted to be excluded, as long as he wears this muddy vesture of decay. To be thrown off it must be of such fine texture indeed that it can be passed through the eye of a needle26 without touching it at all. Otherwise no one makes his exit intact, perhaps for the reason that the Styx,27 nine times wound around, hems in this all so spacious stage. "I have seen" says Ecclesiastes "all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity";28 and this is because all things that withdraw from the firm ground of truth become subject to the vanity which so graces our comedy; for not willingly was the creature made subject to vanity.29

Although this habitation of ours is entirely enclosed by nine circles, or rather spheres,30 all of us must none the less make our exit, and inexorable Charon in that bark as decrepit as himself will ferry us across. Others will ever take our place, and thus ephemeral man abides in his kind just as, though water flows by, the river we know remains in its bed. It is written; Where are the princes of the nations knowing war from the beginning? And who take their diversions with the birds of the air and hoard up gold wherein men trust, joining house to house and field to field, even to the end of the place? And there is no end of their getting.31 Straightway is added that of which all have been persuaded by unvarying experience: They have gone down to hell and others are risen up in their place.32

None the less those departing hence have been kindly dealt with in that they are not taken from this drama of fortune to be cast into exterior darkness,33 where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, nor do they have to pass from the snow waters which Job, the holy man, mentions to excessive heat.34 Kindly have they been dealt with in that they await their Elysian Fields, which the sun of

26 Matt. xix. 24; Mark x. 25; Luke xviii. 25.

27 Virgil, Georg. iv. 480 (L. C. L., I, 230); Aen. vi. 439 (L. C. L., I, 536).

28 Eccles. i. 14. 29 Rom. viii. 20.

30 Cicero, De Somn. Scip. 4 (De Re Pub. VI. xvii. 17) (L. C. L., p. 270).

31 Bar. iii. 16-18, 26; Isa. v. 8. 32 Bar. iii. 19.

33 Matt. viii. 12.

34 Job. xxiv. 19.

justice illumines with his light.35 But why do my words exclude [196] the Elysian Fields from the confines of things mutable? They are indeed, as far as possible, included, stretching away with the broadness of good souls to whom it has been granted by the Father of lights36 to devote their entire energy to the knowledge and love of good. Hence the moralist addresses the restless man in search of an empty happiness outside himself;

Thou seekest that which lieth everywhere In Ulubrae as well, if thou dost have But a contented mind.37

Chapter Nine. Elysian Fields of This World; the Faith of

Our Time and That of the Fathers Our Predecessors, the

Same; the Guardians of Virtue the Directors

of This Mundane Stage

THEREFORE the world has its own Elysian Fields; Its own sun it knows, and stars,38

since virtue has been given to all to enjoy as a kind of solar ray from the fountain of light, and it glorifies all things that it bathes with its radiance. This is the reason that they also upon whom the glory of this ray is seen to have descended, as by a reflection of itself, immediately gain distinction in the eyes of their inferiors and are glorified by this claim to virtue.

God forbid that any glorieth except him who glorieth in the Lord;39 for not he who commendeth himself or men commend is approved, but he whom God commendeth; and this approval is won only by real virtue, not by its semblance however striking. This last comprises, I believe, all distinction in character due to natural endowment and the exercise of mental power without grace, which philosophers promise themselves as reward. For this very reason they become vain40 in their thoughts because of their confidence in the

35 Mal. iv. 2. 36 Jas. i. 17.

37 Horace, Ep. I. xi. 29-30 (L. C. L., p. 324). 38 Virgil, Aen. vi. 641 (L. C. L., I, 550).

39 2 Cor. x. 17-18. 40 Rom. i. 21-22.

freedom of the will, and professing themselves wise, they become fools. Consequently the moralist writes:

But 'tis enough to pray to Jove who gives And takes away, that he may grant to me My life and means; I shall myself provide [197] The mental balance of the sane.41

Another also says:

Thou hast, O Fortune, naught of power if one Possess but wisdom; goddess art thou in The sky because we put thee there.42

Cato too, though he knew not the true God and was led astray by the superstitions of the gentiles, nevertheless in Lybia scorned the oracles of Jove, his god, for he judged that he himself was sufficient to do that which he had to do.43

Indeed even the image of virtue possesses an aura, so to speak, of beauty and charm, so that whatever is perceived in its image by virtue of it is thought to be beautiful and seemly. Not in every case however is that which dwells in the darkness of ignorance becoming; nor can anyone be distinguished except in the faith of Him who is the true light and who illumines every man that comes into this world.44 From this it is apparent that there can be no true virtue but in the knowledge and worship of the true God. Ezekiel's vision45 did not leave this unsaid, for it asserted that the creed of those that had preceded and of those that had followed Christ was the same. Indeed the faith of the holy men of the Old and of the New Testament differs in this, that the latter already rejoice in the fulfillment of that which the former awaited and desired to be fulfilled.

Let therefore the semblance of virtue be revered, provided it be understood that without faith and love there can be no substance of virtue;

For who is there that can embrace The very self of virtue?46

Who now clothes himself in even the shadow of the virtues in which we see that gentiles excelled, albeit having no Christ they did not

41 Horace, Ep. I. xviii. 111-12 (L. C. L., p. 376). 42 Juvenal, Sat. x. 365-66 (L. C. L., p. 220). 43 Lucan, Phars. ix. 566ff. (L. C. L., pp. 546ff.). 44 John i. 9.

45 Gregorius Magnus, Hom. in Ezek. II. iv. 7. 46 Juvenal, Sat. x. 141 (L. C.L., p. 202).

attain the fruit of true blessedness? Who imitates the diligence of Themistocles,47 the gravity of Fronto,48 the continence of Socrates, [198] the honor of Fabricius,49 the innocence of Numa, the modesty of Scipio, the patience of Ulysses, the frugality of Cato, or the pity of Titus? Who does not admire and venerate, since

Honesty is praised but shivers in the cold.50

Moreover the before mentioned and similar really great and praiseworthy men shone forth like luminaries of their age, lighting up their time, torch-bearers of their contemporaries toward that justice and truth which, by divine dispensation, had lighted the way for them. Thus, as the generation of the faithful succeeded one another, never has mankind been without its luminaries to dispel the darkness of its night and alleviate the affliction of its blindness, men indeed noble on the score of virtue, conspicuous for the honors of their achievement, men by whose example others are ever carried onward in their pursuit of justice. Did not Abel51 teach innocence and Enoch purity of conduct? What patience in hope and effort did not Noah possess? Did Abraham ever fail to do faithfully whatever he was bidden? Isaac teaches the chastity of marriage and Jacob endurance in toil. Joseph rewards his brothers who plotted his death by repayment in kindness, and by so doing teaches that by the good good should be returned for evil.

Among the many thousands of unbelievers, hardened people who constantly irritated God, the clemency of Moses is conspicuous; and amid impending adversity the greatness of the soul of the faithful Joshua is manifest. Job serves as a pattern of patience. John the Baptist, precursor of the grace of our Saviour, by preaching penitence and flight from wickedness extorted an avowal of truth and whetted the tongues of all the faithful to attack injustice and condemn iniquity.

Why should I cite the fathers of the New Testament, whose examples serve to form character and teach the fundamental principles of a good life? These do indeed belong to the seven thousand52 [199] men whom the Lord reserved for himself and whose knees

47 Valerius Maximus, VIII. vii. ext. 15.

48 Jerome, Ep. cxxv. 12.

49 Boethius, Consol. Phil. II. met. vii (L. C. L., p. 218).

50 Juvenal, Sat. i. 74 (L. C. L., p. 8).

51 Gregorius Magnus, Mor. vi. Praef. 13.

52 3 Kings xix. 18.

were not bowed before Baal, nor their souls prostituted to any vanity whatsoever. These are those who are deemed mad by fools53 in that they do not wish to share in the insanity of others. It is believed that they will end without honor because they have disdained to corrupt the dignity of nature by donning the costume of the actor on the stage of this world. These are perhaps those who from the lofty pinnacle of virtue look down upon the stage of the world, and scorning the drama of fortune are not in any way allured to take parts in acts of vanity and madness. They are already enjoying their Elysian Fields, see much that is profitable to themselves, and direct to such purpose all that they see; for when the soul of the true believer is lifted from the earth54 then at length it will draw all things to itself. They view the world-comedy along with Him who towers above to watch ceaselessly over men, their deeds and their aspirations; for since all are playing parts, there must be some spectators.

Let no one complain that his acting is marked by none, for he is acting in sight of God, of his angels, and of a few sages who are themselves also spectators at these Circensian Games. Rather should one himself blush if on such a brilliantly lighted stage his movements be unseemly and he completely discredit himself by his farcical antics.

Chapter Ten. The Characters Form Their Own Guild and Lose Their Significance When Dissociated; Cleopatra, Augustus, Scipio; the Roman Victims of Vanity; Aim of the Art of Flattery

Now IN this comedy of fortune the characters choose one another, and if they separate from one another the appearance of the entire act changes, as if you should do away with the role of a Gliscerium or Pamphilium.55 When one of the two is withdrawn the name of the other becomes meaningless; as, for example, if you withdrew the suspicious old man and the lovers there would be no role at all for Davus to play; hence the following:

53 Wisd. v. 4.

54 John xii. 32.

55 Glycerium, Pamphilium, and Davus are characters in Terence's play The Woman of A ndros.

[200] Labienus was of good repute as long

As he could serve in Caesar's ranks; but now A worthless fugitive he roams the land And sea, with chief who has no men to lead.56

If the decree of chance dissociates the roles to which the actors are habituated and which they have made for themselves, the usual result is that each role appears incapable of developing its own line of action, and it loses caste as though the reason for its action had been canceled. Cleopatra's enticements lost their force when she found no Caesar or Antony. She did indeed bend to her will by her gifts Caesar, conqueror of the world; and a harlot's charm and courtesan's face overcame the invincible spirit of an unconquered man. It was a poet who, giving expression to the seduction of her blandishments, added:

Her face it was that plead her case, her charms Incestuous that won it, too.57

But when Julius shuffled off this mortal coil, she who had gloried in her liaison with the Great Captain dared to essay the enslavement of the Chief of the Romans, and not in vain, since she found Antony ripe for all her plans; for he thought to equal Caesar's glory, did he but occupy his couch. He succeeded to Pompey's influence and, as he imagined, to Caesar's right, and was a man who placed greater faith in the hazard of fortune than in the consciousness of virtue.

Next when the presumptuous and wanton creature undertook to seduce Augustus, on being rebuffed she regarded his love of honor as an insult to herself and felt impelled to make war upon him whom she had found to be stronger than Caesar. She had recourse to every art of harming, and at last taken prisoner she cast herself at Augustus' feet58 and even then made her appeal to the commander's eyes; but all in vain her beauty bowed before the virtue of the prince.

When, in despair, she saw that she was spared to grace the triumph of his victory, evading the guards she slipped away and betook herself to the royal mausoleum; and there, clothed as was her wont in regal raiment and sweet with precious perfumes, the coffin all heaped

56 Lucan, Phars. v. 345-47 (L. C. L., p. 264). In the last line Lucan's correct text would read: With him he willed to take my place. 57 Ibid., x. 105 (L. C.L., p. 596). 58 Florus, II. xxi (L. C. L., p. 236).

round with costly objects, she stretched herself beside her Antony, and clasping the asp to her breast she relaxed in death as though in [201] sleep. Psylli59 were summoned at Augustus' behest, whose practice it was to suck venom from the veins; being called too late they were of no avail; a worthy death for a poisonous courtesan created to corrupt character and assail the virtue of noble men.

She had formerly dominated kings; afterward not to be pitied despite her pitiable plight, she made her exit — a tragedy perhaps for her, but a comedy for the Roman Empire that she had been striving to overthrow. The fact that he remained invincible in his encounter with the notorious woman is especially counted among Augustus' most distinguished titles to renown.

However, in the case of Scipio Africanus conduct no less great is noted. After his unprecedented victory over Hannibal he won striking commendation for his unprecedented victory over self. Now Hannibal60 had slaughtered the Romans until their very foes were glutted and until he ordered his soldiers to show consideration, at least for their own swords. A causeway of the bodies of the slain was laid in the torrential stream of the Vergellus. Two pecks of rings were sent to Carthage, from which she made a golden shield to honor her god Mars, who is the patron deity of Lybia, for the brilliant victory. Rome would undoubtedly have seen her last day had Hannibal known how to take advantage of his victory as well as he knew how to win it.

To avenge this loss Scipio Africanus61 was sent from Italy, and recovered with such dispatch the lost territory, extending from the Pyrenees to the Pillars of Hercules and the ocean, that it is difficult to say whether he did it with greater speed or ease. He even restored their strikingly beautiful girls and youths to the barbarians nor allowed any one of them to come before his eyes for fear that it might appear that he had enjoyed some foretaste of unsullied virginity, though it were only with his eyes. How Hannibal yielded and how the well-known laurel on the flagship presaged a decisive victory [202] Livy, the historian of the Punic War,62 has narrated.

Moreover, despite the fame of such a victory, who ever conducted himself with greater modesty than Scipio? He in his great success

59 Suetonius, Aug. 17 (L. C. L., I, 146).

60 Florus, i. xxii (L. C. L., p. 100).

61 Ibid., xxii (L. C. L., p. 112).

62 Florus' work is an epitome of Livy; see Livy, xxxii. i. 12 (L. C. L., IV, 156).

never allowed himself to be saluted as master or victor except by Hannibal and a few of his accomplices who, by breaking the treaty, treacherously disavowed its just terms. Those whom he had punished as flatterers or public enemies and who disregarded his efforts to control them he expelled from the army, this too notwithstanding the fact that the race of Aeneas had not yet lost its weakness for hearing agreeable things, and so still delighted in flattery. Though they had indeed been most staid at the beginning, at the time when they especially deprecated their origin from the frivolous Trojans there is the well-known testimony of history63 that they were constant sufferers from this affliction. Hence the saying: "Every Roman is corrupted, or corrupts by flattery." Certain it is that they can all be overcome, if not by word, at least by wily gifts; and those whom gifts do not dislodge are taken captive by public honors.

Romulus dedicated the founding of his city64 to his divinities by the sacrilege of parricide and the shedding of a brother's blood; then haunted by spirits65 he atoned for his brother's murder by an empty honor, the pretense of a partnership in power.

Their emperors too, whom according to their custom the Roman people loyally murdered, with still greater loyalty they defied, concealing thereby palpable treason under the form of meaningless solace just as if they were administering soothing potions to one whom they had already destroyed. They also declared falsely that their rulers had attained the status of divinities, as though the hand of the All Powerful were not sufficient to rule His heaven and His world without calling on human tyrants.

Thus local divinities were formed, or as others preferred to call them, heroes,66 whom the pagan Romans did not think worthy [203] even of human status. A term was thus derived by which princes distinguished for their virtues and purity of faith dare, even rejoice, to be called divi, divine; for the ancient and vicious practice long persisted, contrary to the teaching of the Catholic faith.

But when it comes to words, the Roman had already excelled the pagan Greeks — for he had himself so perfectly taught the art of flattery that he passed easily from the taught to the teaching race. The Roman people invented forms by which we lie to our masters, using the plural number to show respect when addressing a single

63 Orosius, Adv. Paganos, IV. xiii. 17. Cf. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, ii. 13. 64 Jerome, Ep. cxxv. 15. 65 Ovid, Fast. v. 451ff. (L. C. L., 292ff.).

66 Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. I. ix. 7, 8.

individual, and has transmitted them to its kindred and to posterity by the authority of its name. If you ever look into the matter, conjure up that period when Julius Caesar, I don't know whether to say stripped off or perfected the role of dictator, and having been made all things, seized all things.

To me, at any rate, the vision of that period frequently occurs when all that the subjects had or did was regulated at the nod of the master, and although their souls struggled against it they were prepared to pronounce a sentence of exile or death upon themselves. Hence forsooth results terror-inspiring despotism; hence the sting of agonizing and burning thoughts shakes terror stricken hearts and claims for itself authority over all. Matters go so far indeed that priests distort divine law, elders know not wisdom, the judge is ignorant of law, the official knows no authority and the subject no discipline, the freeborn scorns liberty, and, in fine, the entire people peace and tranquillity.

As long as all, collectively and individually, are born along at the will of a single head, they are deprived" of their own free will. Was not this the state of affairs when

The august senate was prepared to sit And vote his will did he demand a throne, A temple, or the slaughter of themselves, Or e'en the violation of their kin.67

In this alone was destiny kind to the citizens that

There were more things that Caesar blushed to order, Far more, than that Rome blushed to do.68

Were not the views of the tyrant passed on to his successors in tyranny, for the people suspected that he preferred that laws be disregarded by himself rather than that they be observed by humbler beings? Herein the semblance of liberty is preserved: if each pretends that he desires that which is enjoined and makes or rather [204] seems to make a virtue of necessity69 by uniting consent and necessity and by gratefully embracing that which is incumbent upon him. There is however no iota of real and pure liberty when flattery claims all for itself and vanity does the same, leaving nothing for truth and nothing for virtue.

67 Lucan, Phars. Hi. 109-10 (L. C. L., p. 122); v. 307 (L. C. L., p. 260). 68 Ibid., iii. 111-12 (L. C. L., p. 122). 69 Jerome, Apol. Adv. Ruf. iii. 2.

But you are not to doubt that there is such a thing as adulation without pretense, since Gnatho70 speaking for flatterers acknowledges

My triumph comes when I do best deceive.

As it is the function of the orator to persuade with his eloquence, or the doctor to cure with his medicine, so it is that of the flatterer to deceive with honeyed words; for

Sweetly sounds the pipe as fowler traps his bird;71

and poison is administered in honeyed cup to do its work more quickly. But

It is not always in the doctor's power

To cure the ill,72

and an orator does not always attain his aim when this depends upon someone else. So the flatterer does not always deceive or triumph over his friend. It is not however that he has failed in his intention, if he has neglected none of the circumstances conducing to his purpose. Ulysses73 did not escape the sirens' songs because he found anything lacking in their melody but because he met the incentives to lust and the delusive attraction of harlotry with the strength of impregnable virtue.

What wiles did the tempting Pharisees74 and the plotting Herodians not employ to ensnare Him in His words with their guileful tongues, in whose mouth there was no guile?75 "Master," said they "we know that thou are a true speaker and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man; for thou dost not regard the person of men." What more persuasive? But the guileful intention [205] and the envious purport were disclosed in the following question, which ran: "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?" Behold! a noose for the feet of one innocent is made ready, and wickedness stretched her snares, but to no purpose. Should he advise that tribute be paid, he would completely enslave the chosen people of the Lord, seed of their children and the glorious heritage of the

70 Gnatho, the character in Terence's play the Eunuch. No such line is found in the play as we now know it.

71 Cato, Dist. i. 27 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 600).

72 Ovid, Pont. I. iii. 17 (L. C. L., p. 280).

73 Ambrose, Expos. in Luc. iv. 2, 3.

74 Matt. xxii. 16ff. 75 1 Pet. ii. 22.

Lord, to tithes, first fruits and ceremonies of the law. But should he reply to the guardians of public safety that the tribute was to be disregarded, he would be justly seized by the publicans as an instigator of sedition and as guilty of treason. But because a net is spread in vain before the eyes of them that have wings,76 the meshes of the whole calumny were loosened; for when he was shown a coin of the tribute he ordered that his own image should be rendered unto each; and so the things that are Caesar's are to be rendered to Caesar that God may not be defrauded of His.

It is indeed not given to all to escape the snares of flattery in this way, since some do not see them and others, though they do, cannot avoid them. One thing however is certain; that virtue no more attracts those given to the vice of flattery than that they who spend their lives in a scullery are accompanied by an agreeable aroma.

Chapter Eleven. Givers of Gifts and Those Who Promise; Promising Not Conducive to Virtue

THE ART of flattery is very effective when you appear to be negligent of your own interests and attend to those of others; speaking of your own profit never or rarely, but always, or at least often, of his whose favor you are currying. In addition don't hold out your hand lest, if anything should be put into it even against your wish, you should receive it; rather let the Jordan run into the mouth of him77 who in his greed for everything also thinks that everything should by right be his.

The hungry gullet of certain insatiable animals grudges to others food that belongs to all, until itself is sated; in so far as the needs of others are relieved, it suspects that it is being defrauded. So too the man of means thinks that he is being deprived when anything for any reason whatsoever is conferred upon another. Crassus78 [206] should be a warning against greed. It is said that he, under

76 Prov. i. 17. 77 Job xl. 18.

78 As I am unable to construe the Latin from here to the end of the paragraph, I have expressed in the translation what seems to me might have been the meaning of the original in the light of what Florus states. "The head of Crassus was cut off and with his right hand was taken to the King and treated with mockery which was not undeserved; for molten gold was poured into his gaping mouth, so that

pretext of a military campaign, coveted beyond all others the gold of Parthia and as a consequence had to drink down molten gold.

Jugurtha repeatedly crushed and disarmed the Roman army and undermined the majesty of the city itself by giving on some occasions larger bribes and on others greater promises.79 This is a course open to those whose custom it is to bestow gifts, and they often profit by it. In general a promise given to assist one is of no avail; on the contrary, as though it were a means of evasion, it generally destroys the effect of the favors already granted, and the more effectively in proportion to the wisdom and dignity of the man with whom one is dealing. This is true, for a guileless man is more easily imposed upon by his associates and his downfall is more readily brought about.

Ovid, who filled not the city but the world with his poetry of wanton love, says in his instructions to the seducer and lascivious lover;

Be lavish with thy promises, for they

Can do no harm; with them we all can play

The rich man's part.80

The philosopher81 however asserts that very rarely is this procedure expedient, and for good reason: for if there is no opportunity of making good the promise it is a rash thing to promise82 what you cannot do. But if its accomplishment is within your power, unless you show the will to do the favor, your promise does not inspire gratitude, while your lie blackens your character.

Now if one fulfill his promise after some interval, the appeal of generosity and the charm of the act itself are dimmed for the reason that he who procrastinates appears reluctant.83 Consequently an outstanding poet has written; [207] Delay but smirches what the giver gives;

the dead and bloodless flesh of one whose heart had burned with the lust for gold was itself burnt with gold." i. 46 (L. C. L., p. 212).

79 Sallust, in his Jugurtha, in several passages speaks of Jugurtha's skillful employment of bribery. Cf. also Florus, I. xxxvi (L. C. L., pp. 160ff.).

80 Ovid, Ars Amat. 443-44 (L. C. L., p. 42).

81 Webb states that he has been unable to identify the author of this view. Cf. Cicero, De Off. III. xxv. 95 (L. C. L., p. 372).

82 Cf. Cato, Dist. i. 25 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 600).

83 Seneca, De Benef. II. v. 4 (L. C. L., Seneca's Moral Essays, III, 58).

The gift quick given carries more of favor And of fame.84

Moreover, who can be so certain of the future as to be sure that he can some day do what he has put off? Did not that counsellor of truth,85 defender of the faith, vase of election (I am speaking of the teacher of the gentiles) disappoint the longing of the hearts of the faithful whom he had kept in suspense with regard to his coming? What else did that excuse of his do, wherein he states that there was not to him It is and It is not, but only It is? And he protests that he did not use lightness.

If he could not do what he wished because God hindered (he assuredly wished to do what he had promised) what man of wisdom can promise with any assurance that which depends upon the whim of nature, since he may be readily hindered for many a cause? In addition anyone may at times for good reasons change his intention. This is so, for a person may seem deserving of a favor at a given moment and yet as the same circumstances develop, be found undeserving. At times one, although he has reformed and wrests by his deserts favor even from the hand of a stranger, as the popular saying is, is found undeserving.

In such cases to change one's mind is often no fault; on the contrary, a virtue; for, to allow ourselves to be instructed by fable,86 Theseus would not have been bereft of his only son87 had he been willing to change his mind. Phoebus,88 too, under the goad of sorrow at Phaeton's fall would not have tended the herds of Admetus, had it been permitted him to change the wish by which, under Stygian oath,89 he had bound himself to his aspiring son.

Should you scorn the material of fable, the unbelieving king90 (this you find in the Gospels) would better have broken his rash and traitorous oath than have polluted the supper and have caused [208] the downfall of his royal power by extinguishing the light of the word, by putting away the messenger of grace and by slaying the herald of truth, as everything favors the incestuous union and bends to the will of the dancer.

84 These lines are not found in Ovid. Webb conjectures that they are by some unknown medieval writer.

85 I. e., St. Paul. 2 Cor. i. 15ff.; 1 Thess. ii. 17, 18.

86 Cicero, De Off. I. x. 32 (L. C. L., p. 32); III. xxv. 94 (L. C. L., p. 370).

87 Hippolytus.

88 Cicero, De Off. III. xxv. 94 (L. C. L., p. 370).

89 Ovid, Met. ii. 101 (L. C. L., p. 66).

90 Sc. Herod. Matt. xiv. 3ff.; Mark vi. 17ff.

It is a rule of ethics91 that all promises are not to be kept, for example if they are disastrous for the recipient or harmful to him who has given them. It has become a law governing friendship92 that only what is honorable may be required of friends or be conferred by them. Provision has been made by law itself that no promise is to be fulfilled the doing of which would result in shame or sorrow. Finally a preceding promise either cancels or lessens the gratitude for the favor. Just as spears which are seen before they strike inflict less severe wounds but those which are entirely unexpected inflict deeper wounds, so in the case of benefits, that which is the result of a promise is less acceptable while that which is conferred unsolicited inspires the greater gratitude.

Although a mere promise93 in the judgment of those termed learned in the law does not obligate its fulfillment, everyone who makes a promise has engaged his hand to truth,94 and though civil law takes no cognizance he is bound to good faith by natural law. But what plaintiff will act more sternly than good faith, if it begin to accuse? If conscience take action, who will absolve? True it is that

A bad example is a source of woe

To him who does the thing; his first atonement

Is, the culprit damns himself at conscience's bar.95

But if she justifies, who is to condemn?96 Undoubtedly the Lord is the one to inspire fear at such a moment, when the day of man97 is [209] scorned and conscience finds naught to condemn. But if its own works accuse the soul, if conscience appears as a witness against it, and truth weighs the cause of justice what judge, I ask, will pronounce a more severe sentence upon it after it has been indicted and found guilty of mendacity, than truth? Although the judge is indeed said to be the living voice of law it is truth that generally reviews his sentence, while the sentence pronounced by truth remains irrevocable because its justice is forever98 and its law is truth; while often in court, "more law, less justice,"99 as the saying is.

91 Cicero, De Off. I. x. 32 (L. C. L., p. 32). 92 Ibid., De Amic. xiii. 44 (L. C.L., p. 154). 93 Cf. Cod. Justinian, VIII. xxxvii. 5. 94 Cf. Prov. vi. 1.

95 Juvenal, Sat. xiii. 1-3 (L. C. L., p. 246). 96 Rom. viii. 33, 34.

97 Jer. xvii. 16. Jerome explains "the day of man" as meaning the prosperous of this world.

98 Ps. cxviii. 142. 99 Cicero, De Off. I. x. 33 (L. C. L., p. 34).

Whoever therefore makes a promise becomes a debtor and by the verdict of truth is compelled to make good the guaranty. Then too as far as compulsion is required, the obligation is diminished; hence the philosopher's dictum I mentioned at the beginning of the chapter:1 Be not hasty in making a promise for fear, though you wish to, you may not be able to fulfill it, or lest on good grounds you may not wish to, or, it may be, that after having performed it you may lose or diminish gratitude for the reason that previously "thou hast thyself ensnared with the words of thy mouth.2

It may be however not merely permissible but even desirable to make a promise; to waive all other examples for the present, Christ himself promised and sent the Paraclete3 to his disciples. And to the same who had left all for his sake, when they asked what they were to have he promised seats in the regeneration and also power to pass judgment, which they were to have along with him.4 From which it is agreed that the cause is what commends a resolution or an undertaking; consequently it is evident from this that the philosopher's rule5 need not be violated.

Chapter Twelve. Financial Agents and Private Secretaries of

the Wealthy; Friendships Only between the Virtuous; a Rich

Man Holds the Place of Acquaintance Rather than Friend;

Familiarity with the Rich though Seemingly Advantageous

Often Dangerous; One Must Live a Blameless Life

BUT IF you are ambitious to outstrip those who are lavish with both promises and gifts, in the esteem of him with whom you are currying [2/0] favor, you should associate yourself with his financial interests and prove yourself economical, for the good reason that one who is privy to his secrets and careful of his purse cannot fail to satisfy a careful head of a family. Acceptable are even the vices of him who compensates faults of character by frugality in expenditure. "The best revenue" says Cicero (if by chance you are unfamiliar with the words) "is frugality."6 The poor but thrifty man's pocket is easily filled but far more

1 See above, p. 187, and n. 81.

2 Prov. vi. 2. 3 John iv. 26; xvi. 7.

4 Matt. xix. 27, 28. 5 See above, p. 187, and n. 81.

6 De Re Pub. IV. vii. 7 (L. C. L., p. 236).

easily is the rich but prodigal man's emptied. The deepest treasure chest has a bottom; the most generous store of water flows away through small outlet; a bubbling spring is exhausted if the copious gushing sources that feed it are cut off.

The crack is slight that oft leaves pitcher dry.7

So it is that ample riches are exhausted by very small expenditures provided the drain be continuous, and a great inheritance is dissipated by the subtraction of small amounts provided they be frequent, unless the prodigal be fortunate enough to discover a currency that may be spent more than once.

Extravagance is ever ravisher

Of wealth, and on its heels with humble tread

Comes stalking Poverty.8

The necessities of life must therefore be used sparingly, and something must be added to the capital, which shrinks by the constant drawing off of parts. Although but paltry portions of the estate are used for current expenses the careful proprietor is grateful to be kept informed as to his financial situation, for that is doubly lost which slips away unnoticed. Then too,

Your gain, from whatsoever source, smells good.

A saw there is, to be forever on thy lips;

'Tis worthy of the gods; quite good for Jove to write;

"None asks from whence you get your pile of gold;

You've got to get it, just the same."9

To dwell on such matters is to bind to you with closer ties the well-to-do; it is possible to bind even a Proteus,10 elusive with his shifting shapes. If favor based on truth fails, there remains the attainment of even a deeper intimacy.

Though you fail to attain both goals, participation in private matters and careful management of expenditures, you must worm [211] your way into his secrets at any cost. You are not ignorant, are you, that they who aim to rule rulers,

Desire to know the secrets of the house And thence to be the cause of fear?11

7 Perhaps this is a verse of some unknown writer. 8 Claudian, In Ruf. i. 35-36 (L. C. L., I, 28). 9 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 204-07 (L. C. L., p. 278). 10 Horace, Sat. II. iii. 71 (L. C. L., p. 158). 11 Juvenal, Sat. iii. 113 (L. C. L., p. 40).

The more carefully these secrets are guarded the more persistently are they to be pried into; for

To Verres he is dear who has the power

To launch a charge 'gainst Verres when he list.12

It has indeed been a question whether affection or friendship can exist between vicious men. The decision was finally reached that this bond can exist only between the virtuous.13 To be sure there is a harmony between rakes and rascals, but this is as far removed from friendship as light is from darkness. Though at times evil as well as good men may have similar desires or dislikes14 they do not thereby attain the rank of friendship. Consequently Sallust,15 most outstanding of Roman historians, and even Cicero16 laid down the rule that what is called real friendship among good men goes by the name gang among evil ones. Although the vicious man cannot be a friend because his vices prevent, and though he may not be an object of respect, yet he will be an object of fear if by his cognizance of secrets he can strike terror into the heart of his confederate. The words of the moralist are to the point:

He never thinks he owes you aught; he never Makes a gift, who shares with you a secret That is not vile to know.17

There is too the much disputed point as to whether the rich or powerful man is capable of love. It has finally been agreed that such as they are never, or rarely, capable of this sentiment18 and particularly in those cases where it is apparent that they love themselves rather than others. Contraries cannot exist in the same person; as the wealthy are possessed of great greed, so they possess very little [212] love, for these are traits diametrically opposed.

Furthermore as some one says: "Every rich man is unjust or the heir of the unjust, and it is most rare that coins do not roll away unless bound together by the solder of love and greed."19 They are acquired by watchfulness and effort on the part of the craving soul, but are retained and preserved by worry still more bitter. The moralist says

12 Ibid., 53-54 (L.C.L., pp. 34ff.)

13 Cicero, De Amic. xviii. 65 (L. C. L., p. 176).

14 Sallust, Cat. xx. 4 (L. C. L., p. 34). 15 Jug. XXXI. xiv. 15 (L. C. L., p. 200).

16 Perhaps De Re Pub. III. xiii. 23 (L. C. L., pp. 200ff.).

17 Juvenal, Sat. iii. 51-52 (L. C. L., p. 34).

18 Cicero, De Amic. xvii. 64 (L. C. L., p. 174). 19 The origin is not known.

It's just as brave a thing to guard what you Have won as to acquire the same. There's chance In that, in this there must be craft.20

Since the one is rated as chance and the other as craft, who can preserve his wealth very long without intense mental application? There is indeed an old proverb, "Where your love is, there are your eyes; and where there is watchful concentration of thought, there is the heart centered."21 Wherefore though riches abound for the most part without the desire of them, nay with repugnance for them, the philosopher of the faith22 forbids to set the heart upon them and the teacher of the gentiles23 says that they who desire to become rich fall into temptation and into the snares of the devil. He who is greater than either, the First Begotten of the dead24 and the Prince of the kings of the earth, asserts that God and Mammon cannot be served at the same time,25 since

The wealth that each one has acquired Becomes the slave or master of himself,26

but rarely or never does it become the slave of the wealthy man. From which it is clear that the rich are more likely to be unjust than their heirs. How then is affection to reign where injustice rules? In any case the rich man realizes that he is merely an acquaintance, never or rarely a friend.

We have been speaking not of him who possesses wealth but of him who is enamored of it. As a consequence it is plain that however great the intimacy from which the favor of the more influential appears to derive, this favor exacts great caution on the part of the subordinate. Otherwise all his enticements finally

Exhale far more of aloes than of honey.27

[213] But the surest way to succeed is to become the confidant of secrets. Of course it is. Respect increases; authority wanes; unpleasantnesses are kept at a distance; advantages are in evidence; the number of friends increases; votaries become more devoted; and fortune seems to breathe the radiance of its full favor and happiness upon its

20 Ovid, Ars. Amat. ii. 13-14 (L. C. L., p. 66).

21 The origin of this proverb is not known, but cf. Matt. vi. 21.

22 Sc. David; Ps. lxi. 11. 23 Sc. Paul; 1 Tim. vi. 9. 24 Apoc. i. 5. 25 Matt. vi. 24.

26 Horace, Ep. I. x. 47 (L. C. L., p. 318). 27 Juvenal, Sat. vi. 181 (L. C. L., p. 96).

favorites. The end however of all these is more bitter than any wormwood,28 or even if it is not bitter it arouses the apprehension of bitterness to come.

It is indeed a hazardous thing to share the secrets of the wealthy and influential man. If he through carelessness divulges a secret, who is to blame but the confidant? All the gossip that his valets, hairdressers, mummers, or other riff-raff of the sort without whom our wealthy patron with his fine sensibilities cannot get along, spread abroad in the brothel or tavern or divulge to the public in order to enhance their own reputation because of their intimacy with the man of power — all this, I say, becomes the basis for the calumniation of him who seemed to have held an important place in his patron's counsels. If you desire to know in advance about events, investigate the brothels and question camp-followers.

There is no secret so deep but that there will be some leak.29 If you do not believe me, just give ear to what the bard of Aquinum30 has to say:

O Corydon, O Corydon, dost think That rich man's secret ever can be kept? His slaves may keep it, yet his beasts will speak, His dogs, his doorposts and his marble floors. "The windows shut; pull close the curtains, too." They will but shout it out. "Let all be quite Alert." Yet what he does at second time The cock doth crow, the nearby tavern-host Will know before the sun comes up.31

I'll say more; should he bury his secret in the earth, even the growing reed will divulge it and blazon it abroad, since Midas hath the ears of ass.32

[214] Pallas33 also was not able to hide her Erichthonius effectually enough to prevent the gossip crow from learning about him and broadcasting it. As a consequence the bird lost its beautiful color and was branded the gossip because it was the betrayer of another's deed.

28 Prov. v. 4. 29 Luke viii. 17; xii. 2.

30 Sc. Juvenal.

31 Juvenal, Sat. ix. 102-08 (L. C. L., p. 188). 32 Persius, Sat. i. 121 (L. C. L., p. 328). 33 Ovid, Met. ii. 553ff. (L. C. L., pp. 98ff.).

Moreover private secretaries of the wealthy are, so to speak, pack animals who have to bear the burden of their owner's faults. Any fault the latter commits becomes a brand of dishonor for the former; unless possibly the general view with regard to the man of influence is that no advice can pervert him. If his malady is the usual one, if there is a general impression that he is crafty and tricky, the reputation of the whole household is purged; as if a malady of the head in cases of illness would counteract pain in the sides.34 On the other hand, if his sway is regarded as benign and courteous his household, like pack animals, carry as it were on the shoulders of their reputation all his indiscretions. All the good that is done is attributed to the benignity and courteousness of the directing head.

If at any time a heavier reckoning threatens, the rich man will surrender your life like skin for skin35 to safeguard his own reputation. To attribute his own faults to you he will not hesitate to expose you to those penalties which are attached to high crimes. But, and this is rather surprising, he will rejoice if by his cunning he has rewarded your worry and effort by bestowing upon you a gift of infamy and by actually charging you with unspeakable crimes or pretending that you are guilty of them. There is hardly an evil in the state which is not pinned on the counsellors of the wealthy, since excuse is unavailing because the man in power molds every service to his own purpose; and no wise man tarries long over the counsel of the short sighted, for he himself sees everything and passes judgment.

Do you imagine that the conscience of him whose baseness you have the power to bring out into the light of day and display to all can be carefree? For everyone that doth evil hateth the light,36 and every work is seen to bear the imprint of its originator. Painted harlots in fear of being accused by the light seek the shadows, and dread [215] lest they be homelier than they really are if they display themselves to the gaze of the spectators in broad daylight. Therefore all their vigilance strives for this, that the dazzled eyes may see in them what is not there and that those who see may become blind.37

34 There would seem to be almost a play upon the word sides here. Cf. Policraticus, V, ii (Dickinson, p. 65). One sentence reads "Those who always attend upon the prince are likened to the sides."

35 Job ii. 4.

36 John iii. 20. 37 John ix. 39.

In the case of those who depend upon the complexion that nature gave them it is far otherwise, for

The one obscurity doth love, and one

Doth wish to court the light, nor dreads to meet

The keen acumen of the judge.38

The sharing of secrets appears to confer some happiness, yet it destroys peace of mind to a considerable degree. It would be difficult if not impossible to enumerate all those who have descended into hell by this path or who have writhed under the infliction of extreme penalties.

Alas for me, why did I look and why

Pollute mine eyes?39

said he who merited exile, whether because of his cognizance of another's deed or because of his own guilt is uncertain. It is certain, however, that knowledge of another's evil deeds is disadvantageous. Whether secrets are known or not, there is no greater safeguard than the preservation of one's own innocence.

A philosopher40 has laid down the principle that one should live among foes as though among friends and among friends as if in the midst of foes. The satirist adds

To live the life of rectitude there's much

To lead you on, but most of all because

You need not fear the prattling tongues of slaves.

The vilest part of evil slave we know

To be his tongue.41

This precept of the satirist should be heeded, not only because of the tongues of slaves but because of the daggers and poison of the powerful and the plots of everybody else as well.

38 Horace, A. P. 363-64 (L. C. L., p. 480). 39 Ovid, Trist. ii. 103 (L. C. L., p. 62).

40 Sc. Bias; Cicero, De Amic. xvi. 59 (L. C. L., p. 168). Valerius Maximus, VII. iii. ext. 3.

41 Juvenal, Sat. ix. 118-21 (L. C. L., p. 188).

Chapter Thirteen. Suit May Be Brought to Recover What

Has Been Exacted by Flattery; Perverts and Procurers; Their

Punishment; Chastity Inviolable unless the

Mind Itself Consents

[216] AND YET he can by no means appear to be a flatterer who desires nothing except to please his victim, by his own unaided effort if possible, if not by employing a substitute, wife or some other woman connected by duty or affection. Affection is the more effective bond because it approaches closer to nature, and whatever is joined by the tie of affection is united to the very soul. There is assuredly no more deadly form of adulation than that which proceeds by the path of affection. Consequently husbands are often too cordial, expose themselves too readily to rivals, and quite often invite to their table the destroyers of their domestic happiness; as the proverb runs, "The unsuspicious lover trusts his chaste bride rather than the eyes which play him false."

Is he not effectively hoodwinked who allows his own eyes to be blinded by the assertion of a woman who deceives quite constantly for the sole reason that she is very rarely caught? As a domestic tyrant42 she is at her best; in delivering a curtain lecture she can outtalk the professional orator and is a veritable artist when it comes to giving a scene the exact coloring she desires. The more cautious she is the more she is to be suspected.

If fraud43 is the basis of a contract it is null and void, and every action that has proceeded from it or on account of it is revoked. The heirs of the deceased44 are liable jointly and forever with regard to the property which was acknowledged to have come into their possession. But who more fraudulent than the flatterer? Possibly you object and say that I am not acquainted with all of them. Conceded; but I feel that from many samples I have learned to know them all.

Duillius,45 advanced in years, decrepit in body, and with a weak heart, returned home plunged in grief because in the course of a quarrel he had been taunted with having a foul mouth and evil [217] smelling breath. He complained bitterly to his wife that she had never suggested asking medical advice. "I would have done

42 Petronius, Sat. 37 (L. C. L., p. 56).

43 Dig. IV. iii. Cf. XVIII. i. 43. 44 Cod. Justinian, iv. 17. 45 Jerome, Ad Jovin. i. 46.

so" she replied "had I not thought that such was the odor of all men's breath." One may praise the chastity of that union and laud a woman for bearing such an infliction in her husband with great patience, so that he learned of this bodily infirmity not as a result of his wife's disgust but by the abuse of his enemy.

I make some such reply to flatterers for I consider all of them in bad odor. They are all redolent of fraud and deception, and whithersoever they turn they waft to sensitive nostrils not a smell but a stench. Therefore all that is acquired by the art of flattery may with justice be torn from the clutches even of the heir. I do not imagine that plaintiffs would meet with any obstacle should they be bold enough to lay claim to all that they have bestowed upon sycophants. But "Who is wise and he shall understand these things?"46 And who is capable enough to meet the situation, when not only in every home but in every social gathering the army of flatterers is so numerous that if even a discreet person should venture so much as to open his lips in condemnation,

Their host would well defend them and their wall Of close locked shields.47

As it is, the man who has a conscience and pursues the path of virtue suffers cold, thirst, and the many insults of angry fortune; but

On purple broidered couch the flatterer Is basely stretched in drunken sleep.48

He becomes intoxicated with good things, is flushed with wine, and by various shifts fashions a heaven to suit himself. He has the first places49 at feasts and the seat of importance at gatherings; he is familiarly announced by his first name; he receives the first salutations; he pronounces his opinions first in courts of law; all that he says is wit unalloyed; all that he does is the essence of justice and liberty.

Come now! Just venture to display a bit of common sense. Straightway a great crowd of sycophants will come and, like the Jews, will [218] force you to submit to their superior throng.50 So they are safe by reason of their great numbers and their craft. The result

46 Os. xiv. 10; 2 Cor. ii. 16.

47 Juvenal, Sat. ii. 46 (L. C. L., p. 20).

48 Petronius, Sat. 83 (L. C. L., p. 166).

49 Matt. xxiii. 6.

50 Horace, Sat. I. iv. 141-43 (L. C. L., p. 60).

is that they have the power to conquer even kings and princes. By a miracle the unarmed element of the people prevails over the armed and makes a powerful attack upon manhood by the medium of effeminacy. I had intended to pass perverts by in silence who, being dishonorable, are and are seen to be worthy of their dishonor. Respect for morals imposes silence, and modesty by natural instinct diverts its gaze from them. Need more be said?

If talent fail us, then rage makes us write.51

Their profession is that of prostituting their own chastity and of assaulting and violating that of others. Yet not simply their own chastity, since marriage itself is defiled and the one mate abets the adultery of the other. As the bride leaves the bridal chamber do not imagine her consort to be a husband; he is a procurer. It is he who leads her forth, exposes her to libidinous eyes, and if the hope52 of tainted money flashes before his vision, with crafty display of affection he sells her into prostitution.

A daughter at all comely, or any one else of the household that takes the fancy of a man of property, is merchandise displayed for sale to attract the customer.53 But though natural resentment causes a twinge of pain to those who admit or allure sharers to their couch, resentment is assuaged by the money made in the transaction, or at least it mitigates their suffering. If the matter is discussed seriously and all parties are free to express their views, the sorrow54 is not like that with which one sees his own body defiled by another's lust. For other sins55 are without the body but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. This, Adam says, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,56 so that there are no longer two, man and woman, but one flesh. This assuredly cannot be sundered without pain nor shared without ill will;

A throne, and love, cannot be shared by two.57

As good faith58 exists not for those who share a throne, so it is with [219] those who share a couch. It is in reality easier to cede to another the treasures of a kingdom than the affection of a mate.

51 Juvenal, Sat. i. 79 (L. C. L., p. 8).

52 Persius, Prol. 12 (L. C. L., p. 310).

53 Sallust, Jug. xxxv. 10 (L. C. L., p. 212).

54 Lam. i. 12. 55 1 Cor. vi. 18.

56 Gen. ii. 23, 24; Matt. xix. 6.

57 Ovid, Ars. Amat. in. 564 (L. C. L., p. 158).

58 Lucan, Phars. i. 92 (L. C. L., p. 8).

But these are no mates, they are procurers. The final surrender to the wealthy is supposed to have been made when the violation of faith inspires faith in faith.

Why do I complain that they sell their wives and daughters into prostitution when as a matter of fact, though the laws forbid, yet nature, in a sort of way, puts up with it. They rise against nature herself like a new set of giants waging a new war against heaven. They make an offering of their sons to Venus and compel them to pave the way for the virgins with their offering of dolls.59 In the one case they do wait for maturity but in the other it is enough if the craving of another's lust can be assuaged. It is a shame that men who have reached years of discretion do not withdraw from such foul connections; nature created them in the image of the nobler, but so far as they can they sink down into the weaker sex, effeminate as the result of vice and corruption of morals, though thanks to nature they have not the power to lose their sex completely.

When the rich lascivious wanton is preparing to satisfy his passion he has his hair elaborately frizzled and curled;60 he puts to shame a courtesan's make-up, an actor's costume, the dress of a noble, the jewels of a maiden, and even the triumphal robes of a prince. Thus arrayed he takes the feet of the figure reclining by him in his hands, and in plain view of others caresses them and, not to be too explicit, the legs as well. The hand that had been encased in glove to protect it from the sun and keep it soft for the voluptuary's purpose extends its exploration. Growing bolder he allows his hand to pass over the entire body with lecherous caress, incites the lascivious thrill that he has aroused, and fans the flame of languishing desire.61

Such abomination should be spat upon rather than held up to view, and I would have been ashamed to insert an account of it in this work had not the apostle, in his epistle to the Romans, written [220] even more explicitly on the theme. "For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. In like manner the men, also leaving the natural use of women, have burned in their lusts one toward another, men with men working that which is filthy, so that they were given to a reprobate sense and did those things which were not convenient, and being

59 Before marriage it was customary for a Roman maiden to offer memento of her girlhood to Venus. 60 Jerome, Ep. liv. 13. 61 Juvenal, Sat. xi. 167 (L. C. L., p. 232).

under the domination of all vices they provoked the indignation of God and the sting of punishments upon themselves."62

The trumpet of the apostle did indeed make this proclamation loudly in the ears of the Romans, at the time when Nero, most impious of emperors, and notorious for his savage excesses, endeavored to make the boy Sporus63 into a woman by castrating him. From that period dates the proverb, "The use of handsome boys is abuse." And another: "The attraction of beauty is less attractive to the man of wisdom, the more attractive it is to the sordid seducer." It is indeed more difficult for a weaker force of defenders to protect what is sought by a superior force. It is easier for a cheat to secure it by stealth and deception from one off his guard, or for the violator of chastity to wrest it from the unwilling by violence.

The Fathers however long ago laid down the rule that chastity64 cannot be lost unless there is first corruption of the mind. When, as the great Augustine pointed out, a body suffers violence with no preceding lust on its part, it is a case of tribulation rather than contamination. It is possible therefore that chastity be preserved where no corruption can exist unless it be voluntary, to wit in purity of mind, and there chastity can be preserved forever. Nor is it anything to boast of if the flesh remains intact where the mind is polluted with foul corruption.

As it is now, even if there be no one to seduce or violate, the training of our youth from their earliest years is so bad that they with lascivious glances, expression, bodily movements, the very dress they wear, and enticements scarcely permitted harlots, themselves solicit seduction.

The many laws directed against this evil are held in no respect nor are they feared, although the Emperor had decreed that it be severely punished. For he says "When a male becomes a bride and a female groom, what is their desire? When sex loses its place and [221] it is not wrong to know that which is not for one's good, when the act of love is perverted and love is sought and is not found, then do we order statutes to rear their heads and teeth to be put into the law, that those who are guilty or likely to be, may be cowed by the avenging sword and stern penalties."65

62 Rom. i. 26-28. John does not in this passage quote exactly the Vulgate as we know it.

63 Suetonius, Nero, 28 (L. C. L., II, 130).

64 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, I. xviii. 65 Cod. Justinian, IX. ix. 31.

Nor does he spare them that consent, but imposes capital punishment, since even divine law66 inflicts like punishment upon them that do and them that consent. On the authority of the great bishop, I mean Ambrose of Milan, he defined those that consent as they who conceal an error of which they are cognizant, or condone when they have the power to correct it.

But why continue the discussion of a shameful and odious theme? To bring the matter to a fitting conclusion, without doubt God shall rain snares67 upon them that they escape not; fire and brimstone and storms of wind shall be the portion of their cup. Along with their instigators, whom Sodom has devoured, they will be a stench and everlasting reproach68 to the ages. How then, I pray, will the favor of the rich profit them? What enjoyment or pleasure can there be in things temporal which is not blotted out by such pain and shame?

Chapter Fourteen. Flatterers Deserve Punishment as Enemies

to God and Man; Truth Should Be Embraced with Gratitude

and Patience Cherished as Appealing to Reason and as

Supported by the Examples of Past Generations

BUT AS the common proverb says, "That God who gives present succor is to be revered before others." For that reason sycophants, provided only they attain their aim, do not care by what means. [222] Caelius Balbus69 has expressed it admirably. "Sire," he said to Augustus "Your wisdom is conspicuous in many ways but especially in the fact that they who to laud you do injustice not only to the gods but to you yourself and your people have not yet made you entirely mad. They lessen reverence for the gods, whom they put on a footing with you; they accuse you of lacking wisdom by presuming to insist, in opposition to the condition that nature has imposed upon you, that you are comparable to deity; they brand the people, whom they persuade to revere mortal instead of immortal gods, with the stigma of superstition. You will indeed show that there is a spark of divinity in you if you will but order to torture all those who, with [223] intent to deceive, applaud your divinity. For who of the gods

66 Lev. xx. 15; Rom. i. 32. 67 Ps. x. 7. 68 Jer. xxiii. 40.

69 An unknown author. As to theories with regard to his identity, cf. Webb's note on the passage.

would show mercy to him by whom he knows that he has been deceived? Who would not fall with violence upon him who gouges out Jove's eyes of gold or tries to blind Vesta by carrying off her silver and her gems? Who with fingernails so rash as to dig from Mars' head its eyes of diamonds and not be punished? It surely is a still graver fault to cheat the gods invisible and immortal and lay an ambush of deceit to trap them, for the reason that the fabric of the gods visible is maintained and governed by them. If therefore you are wise, Augustus, you will rise up against the enemies of the gods and show that if you are not a god you are at least a worshipper of the gods, and if you should banish those who blind and scorn the gods, you would be avenging the injustice done each of you." Thus Caelius.

The guild of flatterers however has prevailed, as the present state of affairs makes plain. So true indeed is this that if any ordinary man with a sense of propriety should suggest that the vice of fawning and of scurrility be controlled, he would be deemed envious and inimical to the rich. The ears of this class are quite sensitive and they are already become deaf to truth, nor do they admit the entrance of any words of criticism whatsoever without deep resentment.

In this it is evident how much our own age has fallen from the conception of virtue held by our ancestors, since they taught, by what they said and did, that rarely or never is virtue practiced without a [224] display of forbearance. Hence we read that Aristippus as he turned away from a slanderer remarked "You are the master of your tongue, but I am the master of my ears."70 When someone said to Antisthines "So and so slandered you," "Not me" he replied "but the one who recognizes the criticism as applying to himself. But, though he cares to slander me I care not, because the hearing ought to be more hardy than the tongue, since each man has two ears and but one tongue. Yet to a certain extent I do care because he confesses by his very conduct that I am his superior, since it is the experience of the superior character to be subjected to slander and the practice of the inferior to utter it. Consequently I would rejoice were it not for the fact that I feel pity for an unfortunate fellow creature."

Another instance. Titus Tatius remarked to Metellus, who was

70 This saying is quoted by Diogenes Laertius, II, viii. 70 (L. C. L., I, 198). John knew scarcely any Greek. It has been conjectured that he had access to a possible Latin version by his contemporary Aristippus, archdeacon of Catania. Cf. Webb's note on the passage.

speaking ill of him, "It is easy to speak in disparagement of me, inasmuch as I do not intend to reply." What has Xenephon to say? To an abusive person he replied "You have learned to abuse, and I, with conscience as my witness, have learned to scorn abuse." Diogenes too, when a friend made the announcement to him: "My friend, everybody disparages you," replied "It is inevitable that wisdom be wounded by those who lack it, for it proves that he whom the tongue of slander attacks is the better man."

What is Plato's testimony? Forbearance is the mainstay of philosophy, since Socrates too says that the wise man takes no offense but remains immovable in the face of all fortune by the strength of his own virtue. Lest you imagine that forbearance has such an attraction for philosophers only, emperors themselves furnish numerous examples to proclaim its merit.

Who more famous or greater in Greece than Alexander? Antigonus, his teacher, broke his lyre and remarked as he flung it away "You are now old enough to be king and should be ashamed to allow the attraction of dissipation to dominate the kingdom's head." [225] This Alexander took with extreme forbearance although in general he was most impatient and outdid his father in vice as well as in virtue.

We read also that a pirate71 who had been taken captive gave him a neat and truthful answer. When Alexander asked what it was that impelled him to make the sea unsafe, he replied "That which caused you to do the same on land; but whereas I do it with one ship I am called a pirate; you, because you do it with a large fleet, are called an emperor. If Alexander were alone and should be taken, he would be a pirate. If the people hung upon the nod of Dionides, Dionides would be emperor. As a matter of right there is no difference between us except that he is the worse who is the more ruthless in plundering, the more contemptible in disregarding justice, and the more brazen in disregard for laws. These I flee, but you wage wars against them; I have a degree of respect for them; you flout them. It is bad luck and financial difficulties that have made me a thief; it is intolerable pride and insatiate greed that have made the same of you. Should fortune smile perhaps I would become a better man, but with you the more fortunate you are, the worse you will become!"

71 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, iv. 4; Cicero, De Re Pub. III. xiii. 24 (L. C. L., p. 202).

Alexander marveled at the moral courage of the man who dared to reproach him as he deserved. "I'll make an experiment" he told him "and see whether you will be a better man. I shall change your luck that your shortcoming may not as formerly be attributed to it but to your own character." So he had him enrolled in his service, that he might thereafter lead a soldier's life without transgressing the laws.

Let us not however borrow our material for illustrating the virtues from the Greeks alone. When some criticized Scipio Africanus72 for lack of martial spirit, he replied "My mother bore me to be a ruler, not to be a rookie." Marius73 too, when challenged to single combat by a German, said that were he desirous of death he would end his life with a rope, and that it was not battle but victory that the wise man sought.

Julius Caesar, first emperor of the Romans, displayed great forbearance on numerous occasions. Much perturbed by his increasing [226] baldness he used to comb his thinning locks down from the crown toward the forehead. Once an angry soldier said to him "It will be an easier task, Caesar, for you to find a cure for your baldness than to find that I ever have or ever will show the least cowardice while serving in the Roman army."74

He was accustomed to wear the senatorial tunic, with fringed sleeves falling to the wrist and with loose belt. This gave occasion to Sulla to say to the nobles, by way of warning, to be on their guard against a boy slovenly belted.75 Moreover Caesar was very fond of pearls; he would sometimes compare them by weighing them in his hand.76 When therefore he ordered Caelius to take certain measures authorized by the senate, he, being loath because it seemed unjust, replied "I shall do it, but only when your greed for pearls is sated."

Perhaps these instances will seem beyond the mark, being such as a man of spirit would do better to conceal. But there were also slanderous books written about him; and comic songs directed against him were given publicity, as the notorious one sung by the soldiers at the time of the Gallic triumph:

'Twas Caesar subdued Gaul, Nichomedes His Caesar, but Nichomedes did not Enjoy a triumph for this subjugation.77

72 Frontinus, Strat. IV. vii. 4 (L. C. L., p. 308). 73 Ibid., 5 (L. C. L., p. 308).

74 Suetonius, Jul. 45 (L. C. L., I, 62).

75 Ibid. 76 ibid., 47 (L. C. L., I, 64). 77 Ibid., 49 (L. C. L., I, 66).

The occasion for this was the fact that Nichomedes, King of Bythinia, was said to have made Caesar submit to his desires, Caesar being considerably younger and having been admitted by the king to unusual intimacy.

Cicero, also, quite bitterly and openly derided Caesar for his readiness to admit new members into the Senate.78 For when he was asked by his host, Publius Mallo, to help his stepson to secure the position of provincial senator he remarked, in a crowded room, "He will have it at Rome if you desire; at Pompeii it would be a difficult matter." In a letter79 as well to Gaius Cassius, one of the dictator's assassins, he wrote "I wish you had invited me to your banquet of the Ides of March; there would indeed have been nothing left over; as it is, your leftovers worry me."

But Augustus, glory of the Roman Empire and blessed of fortune, proved himself much more forbearing than his uncle. For when Antony,80 who looked down upon his mother's origin, said that Augustus was by birth an African and by nature a baker he laughed away the taunt. He likewise received Antony as a member of the [227] family when he married his sister.

On another occasion, when he had expressed himself quite angrily to a man of private station, the latter said "Speak as you choose, for I have taught my ears to be attentive, my tongue to be silent, and my hands to be still. In all these particulars blame your own authority; considering my forbearance there is no other charge that can be brought."

Augustus not only observed forbearance in his own conduct but recommended it to others. Consequently when Tiberius81 complained in a letter that many were speaking ill of him, the latter wrote "Dear Tiberius, do not be over-indignant that there is some one who speaks ill of you; it is enough if we can prevent anyone doing us evil." He likewise received with such affability all who approached him, whoever they were, that he once twitted an individual for displaying as much timidity in presenting him with a petition as he would have shown were he giving a peanut to an elephant.

He disliked adulation as much as Nero82 was enamored of it. As a consequence he always shrank from being called Master,83 as

78 Macrobius, Sat. II. iii. 11. 79 Ibid., 13.

80 Suetonius, Aug. 4 (L. C. L., I, 126).

81 Ibid., 51 (L. C. L., I, 206).

82 Ibid., Nero, 20 (L. C. L., II, 116). 83 Ibid., Aug. 53 (L. C. L., I, 206).

though it were a term of insult or reproach. On one occasion as he descended the Sacra Via a desperate character addressed the word tyrant to him. "If I were" Augustus replied "you would not be saying so."84 It was also a practice85 that as often as he entered the city no execution should take place. Curtius,86 a Roman knight and a Roman epicure, on being served with a scrawny thrush at the emperor's table asked if he might send it back; and on Augustus saying "Of course," he sent it flying through the window.

[228] A soldier87 who was a skilled bird catcher trapped an owl that had disturbed the emperor's sleep. This he brought to the emperor in anticipation of receiving a large reward. The emperor praised him and ordered him paid a thousand pieces. The soldier was so bold as to remark, "I would rather see it alive," and let it go. The defiant soldier marched off; many admired and the emperor took no offense.

A veteran88 had been summoned to court. His situation was critical, and in public he asked the emperor to appear in his defense. The emperor immediately dispatched to him a distinguished lawyer whom he had chosen and to whom he had recommended the litigant. The veteran however called out in a loud voice "But I, Sire, in your hour of need at Actium, sought no substitute. I fought for you with my own hands," and he bared his scars. The emperor turned scarlet and appeared to defend him; he did not so much fear being thought haughty as ungrateful.

A young man89 bearing a striking resemblance to the emperor came to Rome; when brought into the Emperor's presence, the latter questioned him: "Tell me, young man, was your mother ever in Rome?" He replied that she never had been. He did not let it rest at that, however, and remarked "My father often was." He won general recognition and the intimacy of the emperor by the keenness and urbanity of his wit.

Augustus90 had composed some bantering verses directed against Pollio. "I" said Pollio "keep still. It is not easy to play the scribe against him who has the power to proscribe." Not quick to take umbrage, he was slow to make friends; but once made, he was steadfast in keeping them.91

84 The source of this anecdote is unknown.

85 Suetonius, Aug. 57 (L. C. L., I, 214). 86 Macrobius, Sat. II. iv. 22.

87 Ibid., 26. 88 Ibid., 27. 89 Ibid., 20. 90 Ibid., 21.

91 Suetonius, Aug. 66 (L. C. L., I, 224).

Among the discreditable things attributed to Augustus92 by a certain individual was that of having won his adoption by submitting to the desires of his uncle. This was based on a rumor that Julius had admitted him on terms of great intimacy, and there was even mention of violation of chastity. Another who was angry with him reproached him saying that it was his custom to singe his legs with a torch to make the hair grow more downy.

I remember having stated in the first book that when he was playing a drum a man of the lower class chanted:

Dost see how debauchee with finger thrums Upon the orb?93

When someone started disparaging him because he was short of [229] stature and he began to be called a dwarf, he remarked that he would have to wear thicker soled shoes.94 Tiberius95 also, though we read that he was culpable on many counts, was quite calm in the face of reproach and stood it well, for he said that in a free state men's tongues and minds should be free.

To pass on to worse types, Domitian96 was quite patient under criticism. It is stated that the orator Licinius made mockery of him by saying that it was no wonder that he had a bronze beard, since he had a hard face and a heart of lead. The reason for this was that his words were always impudent, for they proceeded from the fatness of the iniquity97 which he had conceived in his heart. For iniquity98 is described as sitting on a talent of lead.

Vespasian, whom I mentioned in the second book99 in my description of the destruction of Jerusalem, endured patiently the abuse of the meanest. An example: an old herdsman1 loudly reproached him thus: "The fox can change his hide but not his nature"; for the reason that he was by nature most greedy for money, nor did his avarice decrease with his increasing years. Vespasian is said to have made this reply: "We should laugh at men of this type, correct our own conduct, and punish the guilty."2

92 Ibid., 68 (L. C. L., I, 228). 93 Ibid.

94 On Augustus' thick soled shoes, see ibid., 73 (L. C. L., I, 238).

95 Ibid., Tib. 28 (L. C. L., I, 38).

96 Sc. Gnaius Domitius. Ibid., Nero, 2 (L. C. L., II, 88).

97 Ps. lxxii. 7.

98 Zach. v. 7, 8, according to an ancient version cited by Jerome.

99 See above, Book II, Chapters Four and Ten. 1 Suetonius, Vesp. 16 (L. C. L., II, 310).

2 This reply of Vespasian is not found in Suetonius.

What am I to say of his son, Titus? He atoned for the greed of his father with such liberality that he was universally called the darling and the delight of mankind.3 He made it a fixed rule of conduct* not to send away anyone who approached him with a request without giving him, in some way or other, encouragement or assistance. Consequently when members of his household asked him why he promised more than he could perform, he replied that no one should [230] depart unhappy after conversing with his emperor.

Again, recollecting during dinner that he had done nothing for anyone all day long, he said with compunction and grief "My friends, I have wasted today." After his return from the destruction of Jerusalem I have yet to learn of anyone to whom he gave offense. It is possible that our Lord chose him to avenge the innocence and the crucifixion of the Redeemer, for he crushed and wiped out a blinded people with a clear conscience, acting as he did, not only with innocence but with piety.

When the hour of his death drew near,5 as he was being carried along in his litter, it is said that he raised his eyes to the sky and complained, somewhat at length, that he was being deprived undeservedly of life and that there was not a single act of which he had occasion to repent, with one sole exception. What this was he did not then himself disclose nor was it known to anyone. Why should I mention the forbearance of one whose benignity was such that he found it hard to believe that anyone, as long as he did not molest his fellow citizens, should have any grievance against him? His rule was so kind and gentle6 that he desired to help all and punish none. Those convicted of conspiring against him he let off unharmed and admitted them to their former footing of intimacy.

Domitian too, who next to Nero waged the most bitter war against heaven,7 displayed to his people something of the same virtue; though on occasions he raged against them for no reason at all. He was a creature utterly futile, with nothing manly about him except his title to the empire. That he might conceal under the pretext of state business his mental apathy and bodily indolence he claimed for himself some hours of privacy each day,8 during which he did absolutely nothing but catch flies and impale them upon a stylus.

3 Suetonius, Tit. 1 (L. C. L., II, 320). 4 Ibid., 8 (L. C. L., II, 330).

5 Ibid., 10 (L. C.L., II, 336). 6 Eutropius, vii. 21.

7 Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. in. 17.

8 Suetonius, Dom. 3 (L. C. L., II, 344).

Someone once asked Metellus9 whether anyone was inside with Nero. He very pertinently replied "Not even a fly." Although the sacrilegious prince heard of this he preferred to conceal his knowledge rather than to punish the fault.

[231] But why set forth examples of forbearance when it is plain to everyone that nothing which can be shaken by a light breath of air can be firm and stable? Who is to believe in the strength of a man whom the impact of words moves, whose tranquillity it upsets, the structure of whose morals it shakes, and the very vigor of whose soul it drains away? Consequently a general law was passed that no one was to suffer severe penalties because of mere words, for the emperor, confirming the statutes of Theodosius, Arcadius, and Honorius, said "If anyone, lacking self-control and a sense of propriety, feels that he must attack us with insolent, ill-natured abuse or, as the result of a mind fuddled with drink, belittles our times it is our will that no penalty be inflicted and that he suffer no hardship or severe treatment; for if his action is the result of lack of principle, it is to be disdained; if because of unsound mind, it is to be pitied; but if from injustice done him, it should be forgiven. Consequently all are to be unmolested and all such cases left to our decision, that from the character of the individuals we may weigh their words and decide whether the matter is to be passed over in silence or investigated further."10 From this we may infer that he who loves virtue and who observes the law as laid down is unmoved by men's words:

That sly dog Horace touches every fault

His friend displays, "but makes him laugh withal,

And thus admitted plays about his heart.11

It is a trait of the philosopher, and one approved by the great Augustine,12 to prefer to be criticized by anyone whomsoever rather than be praised by one who is mistaken or who flatters; for no critic need be feared by the lover of truth. Then too, our critic is either friend or foe. If a foe offers an insult he has to be endured; if a friend makes a mistake he is to be put right; if he should do the instructing he should be given attention. He who gives erroneous praise confirms the error, while a flatterer allures and leads into

9 Metellus, probably a mistake; Suetonius gives the name as Vibius Crispus.

10 Cod. Justinian, IX. vii. 1.

11 Persius, Sat. i. 116-17 (L. C. L., p. 328).

12 Ep. cxl. 32, 74; Enarr. in Ps. CXL. v. 13; Serm. cclxvi. 8 in Ps. cxl. 5.

error. Therefore the king, faithful to God and elected by His good pleasure, leaving to kings and princes, if they be wise enough to use it, an example of justice, humility, and fortitude, says "The just man shall correct me in mercy and shall reprove me; but let not the [232] oil of the sinner fatten my head."13 In harmony with this the moralist writes

False honors give delight to whom? Who is

Afraid of lying calumny but he

Who is himself replete with flaws and lies?14

Chapter Fifteen. It Is Lawful to Flatter Only Him Whom It Is Lawful to Slay; the Tyrant a Public Enemy

BUT ON whom ought this oil of the sinner to be bestowed which the predecessor of the Kings of the faith15 reproves and for the purchase of which the words of the Gospel16 send the foolish virgins who were excluded? On him forsooth who is filthy,17 who by the just judgment of God is filthy still, and who strives to shine in the esteem of the vulgar rather than to glow with the fire of love and its works. Hence even in secular literature,18 the caution is given that one must live one way with a friend and another with a tyrant. For it is lawful to flatter him whom it is lawful to slay. Further it is not merely lawful to slay a tyrant but even right and just.19 He that taketh the sword is worthy of perishing with the sword.20 But the words by taking the sword refer to the one who usurps it in his temerity, not to him who receives from God the right to use it.

Especially is he who receives power from God the slave of the laws and the servant of right and justice; but he who usurps power oppresses justice, and makes the laws slaves to his own will. Therefore it is fitting that justice arm herself against him who disarms the laws, and that the power of the state treat him with severity who strives to palsy the hand of the state.

13 Ps. cxl. 5.

14 Horace, Ep. I. xvi. 39-40 (L. C. L., p. 352).

15 Sc. David. 16 Matt. xxv. 1ff.

17 Apoc. xxii. 11.

18 Cicero, De Amic. xxiv. 89 (L. C. L., p. 196). 19 Cicero, De Off. III. vi. 32 (L. C. L., p. 298). 20 Matt. xxvi. 52.

[233] Though treason takes many forms there is none more deadly than that which is aimed against the very body of justice. The whole state has a case against tyrants, and were it possible, even more than the whole state; for if it be permissible that all prosecute those charged with treason, how much more, then, those who trample down the laws which have the right to rule over rulers themselves! Truly there will be no one to avenge a public enemy, and he who does not prosecute him sins against himself and against the whole body of the secular state.



[90] PASSING out of the courtier's hall1 I would have avoided the society of the frivolous had not the weight of your injunction held me on the very threshold as I was leaving. For when I would lay bare to you2 the anxieties of my heart and would lament my misspent life, you enjoined me to persist with stout heart until such time as God should reveal his intention further and alter my state for the better. You persuaded me, by citing the example of laborers who banish or lessen the tedium of their work with the melody of old songs, to make good my loss of possessions and time. For to travelers also the road seems easier and shorter when enlivened by the narration of an interesting tale or by the notes of a melodious voice. In this way you directed me to center my interest upon reading or some other occupation and, if no other be possible, to commiserate myself and the vicissitudes of fortune, if only to myself and to the Muses.3 It is indeed a great step in advance, for one aspiring to philosophy, to deplore the lack of virtue in himself.

My reply to you is suggested by the lines of a writer of comedy:

You all can give, when you are well, advice That's good for invalids; but take my place, You'll change your mind as well.4

Thus it is that the words of songs which cannot be sung at all, or are not accustomed to be in a strange land, are required of captives whose instruments are hung upon the willows.5 For although virtue knows naught of the injustice of captivity nor can be deprived of its own function, most rare is the man who has the strength to satisfy [91] both courtiers and philosophers, since their interests seem for the most part inimical. Consequently it seems you are enjoining

Note. The numbers in brackets from this point on refer to Vol. II of Webb's text.

1 At this point John passes from the subject of Frivolities of Courtiers to that of Footprints of Philosophers.

2 Sc. Thomas Becket, the chancellor. 3 Cicero, Brut. l. 187.

4 Terence, And. 307-10 (L. C. L., I, 32). 5 Ps. cxxxvi. 2-4.

an impossible task, especially since I am subject to authority6 and do many things, though unwillingly, in the line of obedience; even in respect to those matters which are to be done on my own initiative I find time for but few. Night and day are taken up with the necessary business of others so that there is no time for one's own private affairs, and yet you direct me to write. I am, in fact, a man deficient in knowledge and diction;7 and am I to dispense to others what I have not myself received?8

If plowman wearing cowhide boots who has No lore of Morning Star, shall ask to steer A ship, Palaemon would proclaim aloud That modesty had perished from the earth9

And so, if you wish me to write, grant me or rather obtain from Him who is the Lord of all knowledge10 the knowledge whereby I may write, grant me freedom of time and space, and spare me annoyance of domestic necessities.

For if there were no slave to serve his needs Nor decent roof above his head, the snakes Of Virgil would not writhe as Furies' locks.11

Moreover I fear that by submitting and girding myself for service at my honor's expense I should challenge the tongues of rivals, who with great alacrity criticize the failings of others but are exceedingly slow to imitate their virtues. As to your wish that if other means fail I should lament, to myself and to the Muses, fortune's cast, it would be quite easy in view of my mental worry, since on the testimony of Gregory Nazianzen12 men like nothing better than to [92] talk about and attend to what is not their business; but this seems foreign to the working of an orderly mind, for it is fitting that a wise man set his mind in order so that he may oppose to every assault of fortune, without complaint, the shield of reason as though it were a philosopher's revolving head-quarters.13

6 Matt. viii. 9.

7 2 Cor. xi. 6. 8 Cf. Matt. x. 8; 1 Cor. iv. 7.

9 Persius, Sat. 102-04 (L. C. L., p. 378).

10 1 Kings ii. 3.

11 Juvenal, Sat. vii. 69-70 (L. C. L., p. 142).

12 Gregory Nazianzen, Ep. VII ad Caesarium fratrem: "Men are more zealous philosophers with regard to the affairs of others than to their own."

13 The expression is elucidated by a quotation from Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 14: "For in winter he would turn the opening of the cask toward the south; in the

One who quarrels with his own condition in life, unless possibly he is halfheartedly lamenting the corrupting influence of sin, has not yet started upon the philosopher's path. I may indeed justifiably complain about myself, for I have been brought to such a pitch of misery by the insistence of my faults that I seem ready for scourges,14 and in the night my bone is pierced with sorrow;15 and they that feed upon me do not sleep. Since therefore my sorrow is ever before me,16 do you imagine that it can be assuaged by pen or strident pipe? However I shall with God's assistance follow as well as I can your exhortation, and despite the many worldly possessions and delights with which you are surrounded I shall dedicate to you the gift, such as it is, of a jejune heart and arid tongue.

I shall not indeed place my trust in subtlety of thought or charm of style; but in the sincerity of my life's devotion I shall rival any orator whomsoever, in my assurance that you, since you are a disciple of Him who preferred the two mites of the widow17 to the impressive offerings of the rich, will esteem this above the gold of the wise or the silver of the eloquent. The simplicity of my style shall be worthy of your approval, and you as a devout reader will not note the superficial meaning of the words but the source of the thought and the thought to which they lead.

The serious is to mingle with the trivial, the false with the true in such a way that all may logically contribute to the attainment of supreme truth. Let it cause no disquiet if some of the accounts which are written here are found to be stated differently elsewhere, since even historical facts, in the confusing vicissitudes of events, are discovered to be contradictory; yet they are serviceable for the principal harvest, that of utility and rectitude. I do not care to run the risk of formulating truth; my intention is merely to share ungrudgingly [93] with my readers for their betterment what I have read in different writers. Even the Apostle18 does not say "what things soever were written are true," but "what things soever were written were written for our learning"; although the sum total of those things

summer time toward the north; and whatever was the position of the sun, Diogenes' head-quarters would turn with it."

14 Ps. xxxvii. 18.

15 Job xxx. 17.

16 Ps. xxxvii. 18. 17 Mark xii. 41ff. 18 Rom. xv. 4.

about which he speaks may be narrowed down to those alone which are written in the law and the prophets, concerning whose truth no one doubts except him who is not in harmony with the Catholic faith.

Certain things which I have not found in books I have culled from daily usage and experience as though from a sort of history of manners. It will be understood that such questions as appear to belong to the field of more dignified philosophy have been proposed in the spirit of the Academy rather than in that of the stubborn partisan; that is to say, each one is to retain his freedom of judgment for the examination of truth, and the authority of writers is to be discounted where a more plausible view contradicts them.

My intention is, however, to deal in particular with those topics wherein error does not involve perdition and not to venture with rash presumption a definition of those matters in which no mistake can be made without peril. Again, let no one suppose that anything is said to do him harm, since there is to be no detraction of individuals, only an assault upon those vices that ought to be shunned. In this I think that I shall show indulgence to the bad as well as to the good since in the case of the latter, their actions are approved, and of the former, their vices being branded, they can profit by becoming better. But enough of this! I must however state concisely my reason for following the Academic in preference to the other schools.

Chapter One. The Disciples of the Academy More Discreet

than Other Philosophers Who Blinded by Their Rashness

Have Been Delivered up to a Reprobate Sense

THAT the philosophers of the ancients were distinguished for genius and for the progress they made in their fields is no longer an oft repeated opinion but a universally accepted view. By study and discipline these men of genius made a way for themselves to the consideration of problems almost incomprehensible from their very nature. Thanks to them many discoveries were made known to pos-[94] terity which give us pleasure and excite our admiration. They measured bit by bit the earth; they formulated the rules which governed the heavens; they investigated the varied causes of processes

of nature; and clearing their eyes, figuratively speaking, of dross, they contemplated the Artisan19 of the Universe.

As though therefore with the bulk of giants, with strength no longer human, they became swollen with pride and proclaimed war against the grace of God with the strength of their reason and with confidence in the freedom of their will, as if in following fable they were about to lay upon the captured sky20 the violent hands of these qualities by which they were being raised up. They were therefore cast down even as they were being raised up, and professing21 themselves to be wise they became fools, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 The consequence was that they who had become fully acquainted with almost everything were in fatal error with regard to the greatest matters, and in the confusion of their various opinions they became ignorant of even the least.

Now if the material of fable be despised (although the mind of the wise man does not shun to be taught even by the enemy,23 since the peculiar people24 of God is resplendent in vessels of silver and gold, raiment and the adornment of the Egyptians),25 if, let me repeat, we despise the stories of the pagans, we may draw upon Scripture, for it was thus that the confusion of tongues was caused by God coming down from his place on high while the impious people were laying the foundations of Babylon in the plain of Sennar26 and while the tower of pride and the structure of dissension was rising to the sky. When the bond of speech was thus broken for the impious people their scattering followed of necessity.

Just so, as the philosophers27 reared on high the structure, so to speak, of their own genius in a war against heaven, the unity of the truly unchangeable and never failing truth was withdrawn from

19 Cf. Cicero, De N.D. I. viii. 18, 19 (L.C. L., p. 20).

20 Ovid, Met. i. 184 (L. C. L., I, 14).

21 Rom. i. 22. 22 Rom. i. 21.

23 Ovid, Met. iv. 428 (L. C. L., I, 208). 24 Deut. vii. 6; xxvi. 18.

25 Exod. xii. 35, 36. Cf. Isidore, Quaest. in Exod. xvi: "The words 'in gold, silver, and raiment of the Egyptians' signified certain doctrines which are worth while learning from the practice of the heathen."

26 Gen. xi. 1-9.

27 Cf. the language of Isidore (Quaest. in Gen. ix) in speaking of the heretics and the unity of faith: "Just as they, after one tongue, were divided into many, so too heretics, after unity of faith, divided in confusion among themselves, separated from one another by diversity of error as by a dissonance of tongues; and confusion suddenly arising from discord about dogma, again separated those whom a fatal union in conspiracy of pride had armed against God."

them. Enveloped in the cloud of their ignorance they lost the higher knowledge, that is to say the knowledge of those things that are true by virtue of the one and only truth. As a result they were convicted [95] by their own works of being delivered up to a reprobate sense,28 and as though their guide, in other words the Spirit of Truth,29 had withdrawn, they with their insane delusions were divided into various sects. Their condition was even the more pitiable in that they had not the slightest notion that their own shortcomings were the cause of it.

Thus it is that the Stoic by worshiping his "providence"30 binds everything by the law of necessity; the Epicurean on the contrary, by upholding the freedom of the universe, eliminates disposition and maintains that all things toss on the waves of chance. The partisans of each of these two sects stand diametrically opposed and contend with regard to almost every single article of creed. As though bound by an oath to Pallas they talk only of "paradoxes" and "authoritative doctrines"31 and affirm that these are everywhere valid.

The disciples of the Academy, avoiding the pitfall of falseness, are more discreet in that they do not at all deny their own shortcomings, but taking their stand upon the platform of lack of knowledge they are skeptics with regard to almost every point. This course is far safer than to define rashly that about which there is uncertainty. The position of the school is also strengthened by the fact that both Heraclides of Pontus and our own Cicero,32 generally acknowledged to be men of rare gift, finally joined it. So did others, but the list is too long to enumerate. Is it not fitting then that those recommended by their moderation in assertion and by the example of such disciples be given precedence over others?

28 Rom. i. 28. 29 John xvi. 13.

30 Greek pro/noen. See Cicero, De N. D. I. viii. 18 (L. C. L., p. 20).

31 Cf. Cicero, De Fin. II. vii. 20 (L. C. L., p. 102).

32 Cicero, Acad. I. iv. 13 (L. C. L., p. 422).

Chapter Two. Error of the Academies; Who of Their

Number Should Be Imitated and What to Be Viewed

as Doubtful by a Man of Wisdom

I DO NOT however claim that all those who go by the name Academic have lived up to the rule of moderation, for the sect is split and in [96] part is vulnerable to ridicule and in part to criticism. What is more absurd33 than to waver on every question, to have no convictions on anything, and yet to claim the name of philosopher? For they who are in doubt about everything for the reason that they have no criterion are as far from faith as they are from knowledge.

Now although belief, viewing as through a glass34 the verity of things not present, does not attain the crown of knowledge, yet it possesses assurance, for the obscurity of doubt is excluded. Further, if the Academic is doubtful of every single thing, he is sure of none; unless peradventure he possesses this very uncertainty as to whether, when contraries exist in the same thing, he could be at one and the same time doubtful and certain. But he does feel uncertain as to whether he doubts, in not grasping the very fact that he does not know.

Now since man excels other animals in that he exercises reason and understanding (for in the field of the senses, which, though they are of the soul, are said to be of the body, he is easily surpassed by them; he cannot equal the lynx in keenness of vision, the hog in hearing, the vulture or dog in scent, the monkey in taste, or the spider in touch), since, I repeat, man is superior in his powers of discrimination and of understanding,35 who would not be convinced that man is superior to beast? Or rather, who would not believe that man is inferior and if I may say so, more brutish, if his reason failed to discriminate or his understanding to comprehend? Even the brute is seen to attain a kind of semblance of reason. A dog distinguishes its own feelings, remembers kindnesses, learns to associate with man as the result of practice and experience, and by proving itself faithful beyond other animals to his friend is ennobled by a sort of in-

33 Cicero, Acad. II. ix. 29 (L. C. L., p. 504).

34 1 Cor. xiii. 12.

35 Cf. Hugo of St. Victor in a work, De Bestiis, attributed to him: "When a dog discovers the tracks of a hare or a deer and comes to a fork of the path, it silently considers, and substituting the cunning of its inference from odors for the verbal syllogism it says to itself 'It turned either in this or that direction.'" (Migne, P. L. clxxxvii. 86-87).

stinct for reason and understanding. The camel has a retentive memory for injuries, and the rhinoceros (known also as unicorn) recognizes the purity of the virgin to the extent that it is usually trapped in the act of rushing to embrace one.36

[97] Other animals follow the scent of the panther,37 and, a more surprising thing, fishes in the deep are attracted by the sight of gold. It was for this reason that the Emperor Nero,38 notorious for his cruelty and extravagance, used to fish, we are told, with golden nets. Need more be said?

The lioness grim pursues the wolf, the wolf The goat, the wanton goat the clover flower.39

In this manner most animals are drawn along by their own pleasure. Now this could not happen methinks if they, dumb creatures though they be, were in any doubt about their own feelings. Therefore what temerity, rather what insolence, for those who are ignorant with respect to each and every thing to fasten upon the profession of philosophy! For as the word knowledge is derived etymologically from that which is "known," so reason from that which is "reasoned," in other words established and fixed.

Reason in the case of a man who can be persuaded of nothing and always in all things wavers on the slippery ground of opinion is indeed a meaningless thing. For what has philosophy to give to him who wavers forever in opinion and for whom it extinguishes the light as it points the way to happiness, as if it were to put out the eye of a traveler to whom it is about to point out the way, that he may travel with greater safety and not go astray.

Is not he who has been blinded under great handicap? In such a contingency what has he who is torn in such different directions to follow? Surely the traveler who does not follow one route never

36 This strange statement is somewhat clarified by a passage in a work entitled Physiologus, included in Mai's Classici Auctores, vii. 595: "They lead a young virgin to the haunt of the rhinoceros or unicorn and send her alone into the forest; on seeing her it leaps to the bosom of the maid and embraces her. In this way it is captured and exhibited."

37 The work De Bestiis (see note 35 above) contains this statement: "The panther immediately on awakening gives vent to a reverberating roar and at the same time emits an odor so excessively sweet that it surpasses all spicy scents and aromatic potions. When therefore all the wild animals both far and near hear its voice, they gather and follow this exquisitely sweet scent."

38 Suetonius, Nero, 30 (L. C.L., II, 134).

39 Virgil, Ed. ii. 63-65 (L. C. L., I, 14).

reaches his destination; he who gives ear to every word40 shall never know tranquillity. Does not he who, when he remembers sleep, doubts whether he has slept resemble one in a stupor or one afflicted with idiocy or insanity rather than a philosopher? When sated with food does he not know whether he is hungry? Has he no knowledge [98] of the things that he has but just done? Finally, in what manner shall he profit by philosophical investigation whom reason cannot persuade to take any definite stand or follow any course, but who always remains uncertain in the face of all problems? Such in fact is the Academic, since he cannot be compared with dumb animals and yet is not worthy the name and honor of man, much less of philosopher.

Against their shallow doctrines indeed the great father and loyal teacher of the Church, Augustine,41 and Cicero as well, with cogent reasoning and in polished style have spoken quite at length. However Cicero, on his own testimony, passed over to those who express doubt on all philosophic questions. Even our Augustine does not assail them, since he himself somewhat frequently employs Academic moderation in his works and propounds many matters as ambiguous which would not seem to be in question to another arguing with greater confidence and just as safely. To me, however, no one seems to speak with greater safety who is circumspect in language just to guard himself from slipping into error.

Those things are of doubtful validity for the man of wisdom which are supported by the authority of neither faith, sense, nor apparent reason, and which in their main points lean toward either side. Such are questions concerning providence, concerning the substance, quantity, power, efficacy, and the origin of the soul; fate and adaptability of nature; chance and free will; material, movement, and the elements of bodies; the progression of multitude and the division of magnitude; as to whether they have no limits at all or at length reach only those limits inaccessible to reason; time and place; number and speech; the same and the other; what produces the greatest friction; the divisible and the indivisible; substance and form of articulate expression; the status of universals; use, beginning, and end of virtues and vices; whether everyone who possesses one virtue possesses all; whether all sins are equal and to be punished [99] equally; likewise the cause of things and their attraction or

40 Cf. Eccles. vii. 22. 41 In his three-part work called Against the Academics.

repulsion; the ebb and flow of the ocean; the source of the Nile; increase and decrease of humors of animal bodies in relation to the motion of the moon; the various mysteries of hidden nature; duties and the various kinds of situations which arise in reference to agreements and quasi agreements; to misdemeanors and quasi misdemeanors or to other matters; nature and her works; truth and first principles of things in reference to which human ingenuity is at a loss; whether angels possess no form of their own or what sort of bodies they do have; and what are the things it is pious to ask of God himself, who is beyond the comprehension of the whole of rational nature and is exalted above all that can by grasped by the mind.

In such manner it might be possible to enumerate very many subjects which for the philosopher admit of doubt; a doubt however entirely unsuspected by the rabble. Consequently in such matters I am ready to believe that the Academics express doubt with a forbearance proportionate to the pains I find they have taken to avoid the pitfall of rashness. So true is this indeed that when writers in passages not ordinarily subject to doubt use words that express it such as "probably" or "perhaps," they are said to have used them with Academic moderation. The reason for this is that the Academics were more forbearing than other sects, for they shunned both the stigma of rash definition and the pitfall of falseness.

Chapter Three. Derivation of the Word, Academic; the

Type of Fear or Mental Disturbance That according to

Agellius and the Stoics May Assail the Sage

THE ACADEMICS derive their name from the Academia where Plato was born. He made this place of his birth famous by choosing it as the seat of his studies, by the throng of his disciples, and the fame of [100] his achievements. He preferred it to other places42 for the reason that it seemed best suited, as the result of being subject to frequent shocks of earthquake, to inspire fear, by which when its nature has been learned, faults may be corrected, and self-restraint be

42 Cf. Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 9. "Plato ... to be able to devote himself exclusively to philosophy chose the Academia, a villa far from the city, not only deserted but unhealthful, that the assaults of lust might be broken because of the mind's constant preoccupation with disease."

more consistently preserved. For fear, being related to self-restraint, is not unknown to the philosophers; not a fear, to be sure, that upsets the mind and blinds the eye as though by confusion of reason and intelligence, but one that tranquilizes the mind and, as though an incentive to humility, renders man better fitted for all the tasks of virtue.

In his work, the Attic Nights,43 Agellius, a man felicitous in style and of wide information, writes that he was once traveling by sea with a philosopher, a man distinguished among the Stoics. Now one of their widely accepted doctrines44 was that there was no place in the mind of the sage for fear, since everything is the result of necessity and since it is folly to fear what cannot be avoided. On the other hand fear is a unique remedy, by which the man of intelligence may equip himself with strength and fortitude and by the power of endurance may receive all the shafts of fate as upon the stout shield46 of unshaken courage.

When therefore the ship began to toss in the rough sea, for the wind was violent and the sky threatening, the philosopher under the stress of fear became pale; finally the storm passed, the sea became calm, and as usual there was opportunity for chatting and conversing with one another. One of the passengers, a wealthy self-indulgent Asiatic, twitted the philosopher because, contrary to the tenet of his sect, he had become pale with fear. As for himself, though far from being a philosopher, he had remained unperturbed in the face of impending destruction. The philosopher, however, answered in the words of Aristippus, Socrates' disciple. Under similar circumstances, when a similar accusation was made against him, Aristippus replied that his critic had reason not to be worried about the soul of a perfect nonentity, while he himself was bound to fear for the soul of an Aristippus.

Then, after the question of the rich man had been thus parried, Agellius approached the Stoic, not in a spirit of banter but with the desire to learn, and in a friendly manner asked the cause of his fear, since it was a tenet of his school not to fear the approach of death

43 This long passage extending to the words "that it is reasonable to seek and avoid" (page 224) may be compared with that of Augustine, De Civ. Dei, ix. 4, which is taken from Aulus Gellius, N.A. XIX. i (L. C. L., III, 348ff.). John's Agellius is of course Aulus Gellius.

44 This passage extending to the end of the paragraph is not taken from Augustine.

45 Cf. Eph. vi. 16.

as they were agreed that death was the indubitable end of life. The [101] latter, seeing that the man was fired with the zeal of learning, took from his traveling bag a work by the Stoic Epitectus*6 in which were written those principles which were in harmony with the teachings of Zeno and Aristippus, the reputed founders of the School.

On examining the book, Agellius learned that it was a Stoic doctrine that it was within man's power to regulate the coming and going of mental conceptions which they call phantasiae, and they assert that when they come as the result of terrifying experiences, the mind even of the sage is affected. The result is that for brief periods he trembles when frightened, is gloomy when sad, expansive when glad, and is affected by desires, as if these emotions had forestalled the function of thought and reason; yet not because of that did a consciousness of evil find lodgment in his mind, nor were these states approved or any concession made to them. For in this matter they wish to retain control, and they believe that the difference between the mind of a sage and that of a fool is that the fool by mental consent yields to his passions while the sage, although he is necessarily subject to them, none the less retains unshaken a true and sound view with regard to things that it is reasonable to seek and avoid.

Such were their tenets, on the authority of Agellius, and as far as they go they were discriminating and true. They are in error, however, in ascribing the repression and castigation of those passions which are unavoidable to their own unaided strength without grace; for it is of God that showeth mercy,47 not of him that runneth nor of him that willeth that these passions are turned to the use of righteousness. Let this suffice to show that humility is meted out by fear and that the first road to philosophy is being laid out and paved, for it has been written that the beginning of wisdom48 and the fruit of humility is fear of the Lord.49

46 I. e., Epictetus.

47 Rom. ix. 16.

48 Ps. ex. 10; Ecclus. i. 16. 49 Prov. xxii. 4.

Chapter Four. Alleged Origin of Philosophy; Pythagoras

of Samos the Founder of Philosophy for the Peoples

of Italy; His Teachings

[102] THE VERY word philosophy50 was invented by Pythagoras of Italy who carried such authority51 with the ancients that his opinion, as by a prejudgment, outweighed the views of all others. It was in fact sufficient, to give currency to any view, to teach that "he himself" had uttered it. For in his case the intensive pronoun he himself by a kind of usurpation performed the function of a proper name.52

He was a native of the island of Samos,53 the son of a wealthy merchant whose name was Maratus,54 but he himself was far richer than his parent, in that his father's business was unable to amass a sum sufficiently impressive to excite the son's cupidity; instead it inspired his contempt. So, being endowed with qualities that would make a great philosopher, he set out first for Egypt and afterward for Babylon, to gain a thorough knowledge of the movement of the heavenly bodies and to investigate the origin of the universe; and thus he attained great wealth of learning.

On his way back he stopped at Crete and Sparta to make himself familiar with the laws of Minos and Lycurgus, which enjoyed great celebrity at that period. Equipped with all this lore he landed at the city of Croton, whose morals had been undermined and which was rich in everything except examples of virtue. Its inhabitants, disgusted with their misfortune and in hatred for the arms which they had unsuccessfully taken up against the Locrians, might have devoted themselves to a life of pleasure had they not been prevented by the philosopher Pythagoras. This makes it apparent how much one man excels another,55 since the personality of a single individual [103] reformed a people on the verge of demoralization.

Therefore his practice was to praise virtue constantly, to expose the vices of excess, and to announce the fall of profligate cities and explain the causes of it. He inspired so much zeal for temperance in

50 Cicero, Tusc. Disp. V. iv. 10; Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 2; Isidore, Orig. XIV. vi. 31.

51 Cicero, De N.D. I. v. 10 (L. C. L., p. 12).

52 His disciples would introduce their master's statements with the Greek words equivalent to the Latin ipse dixit, "he himself said."

53 From this point to the words "revered him as a god" in the last paragraph of the chapter, see Justin, XX. iv. par. 3-18.

54 Maratus is a mistake for Demaratus.

55 Terence, Eun. 232 (L. C. L., I, 256).

the populace that it seemed incredible that any of them could be self-indulgent. He gave frequent instruction to wives apart from their husbands and to children apart from parents. The women he would teach modesty and obedience to their husbands; the men self-control and love of letters; and he would emphasize to all the importance of temperance as the veritable mother of virtues.

By the persistence of his preaching he was successful in inducing the women to lay aside gold-embroidered raiment and other adornments of their position as if they were objects of extravagance, to carry all of them to the temple of Juno, and to dedicate them to the goddess herself; thus teaching the lesson that a married woman's true adornment is modesty, not dress. His victory over the self-willed women serves to indicate what resistance he overcame in the case of the young men. But when three hundred young men, taking an oath of brotherhood, began to live together as though they were secretly conspiring against Pythagoras,56 they aroused the enmity of the state. They took refuge together in one house where the populace wished to burn them alive. In the tumult that ensued, about sixty perished and the remainder went into exile.

It was with Pythagoras,57 then, that Italian philosophers as a class originated, as well as the name philosophy itself. So great was his fame in that branch known as speculative philosophy58 that there was hardly a single philosopher who could be compared to him. So great was his desire to do no harm that he is thought to have abstained from all animal food. So great was his interest in justice that his influence continued even after his death to govern the peoples of that part of Italy59 which in ancient times was called Magna [104] Graecia. Although formerly such men as Were seen to excel other men were called sages,60 when he was asked what he professed he replied that he was a philosopher, that is a lover of wisdom, for it seemed to him most arrogant to proclaim himself a sage.

Then, after having spent twenty years at Croton in improving the morals of the city, he moved to Metapontum, where he died. So

56 against Pythagoras. These words are not contained in Justin. The young men are ordinarily described as disciples of Pythagoras, and the conspiracy as one against the state.

57 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 2.

58 Boethius, In Porph. Dial, i; cf. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 4: "It is stated that Pythagoras preferred to devote the power of his intellect to contemplative philosophy."

59 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 2. 60 Ibid.

greatly was he admired that the state transformed his home into a temple and revered him as a god. Perhaps they took the hint from words that he himself had uttered, namely that a philosopher's home is a shrine of wisdom and a true temple of God. It is related that he even persuaded men that souls were immortal.61 and that after the dissolution of the body they would receive the reward of their former life; yet he is also said to have introduced impiously the fable of the thousand year cycle.62

Chapter Five. Ionic School of Philosophy; Influence of

Socrates; Teaching of Plato; the Views Held of

Him after His Death

A SECOND school of philosophy63 was known as Ionic and had its origin among the more remote Greeks. Its founder was Thales of Miletus, one of the so-called seven wise men. After having gained some renown along with others for his investigations of nature, he won much greater distinction for his predictions of lunar and solar eclipses as a result of his knowledge of astronomical calculation.

[105] Anaximander succeeded him, and he left as his successor his own disciple Anaximenes. Diogenes was also a disciple of Thales and Anaxagoras, who taught that the divine mind was the creator of the visible world. Archelaus followed the latter, and his disciple we are told was Socrates, Plato's master.

Plato, on the authority of Apuleius,64 was first called Aristotiles but afterward Plato, from his broad shoulders. He attained such eminence in philosophy by the vigor of his genius, his zeal for study, his personal charm, and the sweetness and fluency of his diction that, as though seated on philosophy's throne, he seemed to dictate by a sort of authority precepts not only to the philosophers who succeeded him but even to those who had preceded him.

61 Jerome (Apol. adv. Ruf. iii. 39, 40) and Augustine (Contra Acad. III. xvii. 37) also attributed this doctrine to Pythagoras.

62 The magnus annus mentioned by the Pythagoreans was a period of 15,000 years. That Pythagoras postulated a thousand year period seems not to be mentioned elsewhere.

63 From this point to the words "Plato's master" John quotes Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 2.

64 See Apuleius, De Dogm. Plat. i. 1. But Apuleius says that he was first named Aristocles.

Socrates is stated to have been the first to turn the attention of philosophy as a whole to the correction and improvement of morals,65 though before his time all philosophers had devoted their attention to the investigation of physics, that is to the phenomena of nature. This was indeed a wise and proper course, since everything should be turned to one's advantage and since it profits little to be acquainted with the works of God,66 which are all good and consequently like their Creator,67 unless one make it his chief aim not to be evil himself. The fame therefore of the life and death of Socrates68 left a number of followers, who divided into various sects on the basis of his sayings, concerning which a few remarks shall be made in due time.

Afterward Plato69 with his commanding influence checked the resulting confusion, turned universal attention to himself, and held it for a considerable period. There are those who believe70 that Plato was not the son of Aristo but that he had a more illustrious origin. An apparition of Apollo, it was whispered, had lain with his [106] mother Perictione, who, it is an established fact, had derived her lineage from Solon, that wise law-giver of Athens. Plato was born in the month which is called Thargelion by the people of Attica, the very day on which it is believed Latona gave birth to Apollo and Diana on Delos; they say too that Socrates was born on the preceding day.

Such therefore71 was the origin of one who not only excelled the virtues of heroes but is said to have equaled the powers of gods. For Speusippus, who had his information from family records, praises the keenness of his mind displayed in his lessons when he was a boy, as well as his admirably modest character, and relates that the period of his youth was devoted to unflagging study; he testifies that the promise of such qualities was made good in his manhood. Such was Plato's parentage, and he had two brothers, Glaucus and Adamantus.72

65 See Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 3.

66 Gen. i. 31; Ecclus. xxxix. 21.

67 Plato, Tim. 29E (L. C. L., p. 50), in the version of Chalcidius as always.

68 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 3. 69 Ibid., 4, beginning.

70 Apuleius, De Dogm. Plat. i. 1.

71 From this point to the words "they are all mutually helpful," on page 229, John is quoting Apuleius, De Dogm. Plat. i. 2, 3.

72 A mistake of John's for Adimantus. Some lines later we find Heraclides for Heraclitus.

His teachers were Dionysius in reading and writing and Aristo, a native of Argos, in gymnastics. He made such progress in athletics that he was victor in the contest for wrestling at the Pythian games. He had some talent for painting and was persuaded that he possessed skill in the composition of tragedies and dithyrambs. Carried away by enthusiasm for lyric poetry he desired to be entered as a contestant, but Socrates banished from his mind this unworthy ambition and took pains to implant there a desire for true distinction. Formerly he had indeed had some training in the doctrines of Heraclides, but when he became one of Socrates' disciples he not only surpassed all others in talent and knowledge of the doctrines taught, but even gave great distinction by his labors and the elegance of his style to his master's philosophy, for he imparted to it great dignity as a result of his perfect assimilation of the thought and by the impressiveness of his diction.

On the death of Socrates Plato devoted himself to the system of Pythagoras. Although he realized that this was a magnificent structure reared upon a foundation of careful reasoning, yet his own inclination led him to prefer to imitate the moderation and morality he found in nature herself. He next joined Theodorus of Cyrene to study geometry. Then on to Egypt to engage in astronomical study. There he is thought by many to have made the acquaintance of the [107] inspired writings of the prophets.73 Thence he returned to Italy and became a follower of Archytas, a Pythagorean of Tarentum. He would have turned his attention to the Indians, Medes, and Magians, had not the Asiatic wars prevented. For this reason he made a careful study of the doctrines of Parmenides and Zeno. All of these, which separately had excited the interest of the great philosophers, he gathered together in his works. He was thus the first to teach that the various interests of philosophy are not only not inimical but are even necessary to one another, for the reason that they are all mutually helpful.

Many of Plato's74 pupils of both sexes attained eminence in philosophy. He left an estate consisting of a garden connected with the Academy, of two servants, and of a bowl with which he made libations to the gods. The only gold he possessed was the earring

73 John probably misunderstood his source at this point. It is likely that Apuleius refers not to the Hebrew prophets but to the Egyptian seers.

74 From this point to the end of the paragraph John is quoting De Dogm. Plat. i. 4.

which he wore in boyhood as a sign of noble birth. The evilly disposed criticized, on different grounds, his three journeys to Sicily; but he went there the first time to view the phenomena connected with the eruption of Aetna and to investigate the cause of it; the second time at the request of Dionysius to be present at the Syracusan games and to study the laws of the provincial towns of the island; the third time to restore the exile Dio to his native country. This restoration he had himself secured from Dionysius as a favor.

Diligent as was Plato in all these activities, at no time did he let his interest in the study and obligations of philosophy flag. Consequently, since philosophical interest is centered partly in practical works and partly in contemplation,75 Socrates dealt with the practical side, instilling a morality by which life is lived for the purpose of attaining happiness; Pythagoras placed the emphasis on the contemplative side, by which talent is trained and the field of knowledge extended; finally, to Plato is due the credit of perfecting philosophy by uniting these two branches and then dividing this whole into [108] three parts: ethics, physics, and logic, that is, the moral, the natural, and the rational. By the last, truth is distinguished from the false, and without it there can be no discussion of the questions which belong to either the practical or contemplative side.

It has been thought by some that in his travels Plato had seen and heard the prophet Jeremiah in Egypt and had read the prophetic writings,76 but investigation of the chronology of the chronicles proves to us that they could not have been contemporaries, since the date of the birth of Plato precludes the possibility of his having lived at the period when Jeremiah prophesied, as one hundred years intervened between them. Then too the writings of the prophets came into Egypt sixty years after Plato's death, in the reign of Ptolemy, who because of his interest in letters had summoned from Jerusalem the seventy translators.

None the less such a view prevailed, and this was due to the fact that much is found in Plato's works which is in harmony with the words of the prophets. For in the Timaeus,77 in the course of his subtle investigation of the causes of the universe, he indubitably appears to mention the Trinity which is God, postulating an efficient

75 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 4.

76 Ibid., 11.

77 Plato, Tim. 27Cff. (L. C. L., p. 48).

cause in the power of God, a formal cause in his wisdom, and a final cause in his goodness, which by itself induced Him to make every creature a participant in His goodness in so far as its nature allowed it to be capable of goodness. Yet Plato appeared78 to have understood and taught one substance in these three, asserting as he does that there is one master artisan and creator, God. He says that He, [109] because of His distinction in goodness and loving affection, is the father of all, and that because of his infinite majesty, power, wisdom, and goodness it is as difficult to discover Him as it is impossible adequately to declare Him when discovered. Plato79 seems also to attribute to Him the role of rewarder80 of those hoping in Him and revering Him, saying that wise is the philosopher81 revering God who approaches wisdom with head and heart and that such an one is a lover of God. As He is the marvelous cause of the structure of the universe, so He is at the same time the never failing and unique fountain at which felicity may be quaffed.82

Moses is authority83 for the statement that in the beginning God created heaven and earth and amid them placed water and air; Plato, that in the beginning, so that the universe which was to be solid and visible might be seen and touched, God laid down the first two elements of earthly body, fire, and earth, and between them he placed in harmonious proportion the mean terms united in an indissoluble bond except in so far as the will of the creator, which alone is the most dependable connection to secure such stability, allows them to be disunited. All indeed that is united in nature is dissoluble, but that this bond of union so desirable be broken is not the will of God, who wills only the good.84

Moses said "He who is, hath sent me to you,"85 and he judged that He, by virtue of the verb in the singular number with its special significance, is He who is always the same, so that for Him there is no past or future and that He is immune to all movement. He rejected, in favor of this verb expressing being, those verbs that

78 Ibid., 29E (L.C.L., p. 54). 79 Ibid., 28C (L.C. L., p. 50).

80 Cf. Heb. xi. 6.

81 Apuleius, De Dogm. Plat. ii. 22, 23; Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 1, 5.

82 Ps. xxxv. 9, 10.

83 Gen. i. 1, 7; Plato, Tim. 41B (L. C. L., p. 88); Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 11.

84 Plato, Tim. 30A (L. C. L., p. 54). By the expression mean terms, used above, John means the fire and water of Plato.

85 Exod. iii. 14. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 11.

in company with time hasten on toward non-being and at each and [110] every moment by various movements proceed on the way to death. But with regard to man it is indeed plain that his life is not a state correctly expressed by the substantive verb but is a passage from the womb to the grave,86 and a flitting shadow as it were of existence.

Plato also said that that alone is permanent that always is, and is unchanged by movement. Those things however that are subject to motion are not; they only seem to be; they abide nowhere but ever vanish and are in flight and have no substantive existence. Morever there is much that is common to the Platonists and to our writers, so that they are quite inexcusable in keeping the truth of God in falsehood.87

Our great Augustine88 is authority for the statement (if I recall correctly the writings attributed to him that I have read) that there is found in the works of the Platonists that which the blessed evangelist thundered higher than the skies, and greater than the human mind can grasp, although the ear after a fashion can hear it; there is found, I was remarking, these words at the beginning of the Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" and so on until the passage where he says "And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it."89 As for myself, had I not read it in the writings of the Fathers, I never would have thought that it had ever been granted to any unbeliever to open his lips in a prophecy of such light that the eye of the world could not endure to look upon it. However the apostolic privilege, and that too of intimate familiarity,90 enhanced that which the word of faith illumined by steadfastness in good work, while philosophers have proved vain,91 not only in their thoughts but in their works.

Plato wrote many works, yet his contemplation does not obscure his merits as a statesman, nor did necessity for action blunt the keenness of his contemplation. If the work entitled Plato's Teaching92 is deemed inadequate, Origen,93 Jerome, and Augustine, with

86 Job x. 19. 87 Rom. i. 18, 20.

88 Augustine, Conf. VII. ix. 13 (L. C. L., I, 364ff.).

89 John i. 1-5.

90 I. e., with Christ. See John xii. 20.

91 Rom. i. 21.

92 Written by Apuleius. 93 Jerome, Apol. adv. Ruf. iii. 40.

their statements based on the testimony of all philosophers, are sufficient to guarantee his fame.

[111] Concerning his death there are contradictory accounts, but it is quite likely that he who had lived a guiltless life and had to the best of his ability followed the precepts of philosophy did not give up his life because he was derided.94 The story that some relate, to the effect that he died of shame for the reason that he could not answer a question propounded to him by some sailors, was apparently the result of a mistake in the name. All that is told of Plato in the Greek anecdotes, Valerius Maximus95 tells of Homer; by him too the story was spread that there were those who said that the name Homer became a synonym of Plato because of the perfection of his wisdom, the charm of his style, and the broadness of his shoulders. It is a well-known fact that there have been men of distinction who have been called by each other's name.

Plato died96 at the age of eighty-one, held in such general esteem and with an influence so unimpaired that there was for a time doubt whether he should be classed with gods or demigods. But in a subsequent age when the merit of his virtues, as if too good to be true, were merging so to speak into ancient fables, Labeo wrote that Plato should be venerated among the demigods,97 that it might be taught that there had existed someone greater than man and less than God.

Chapter Six. Aristotle; Opinion Held of Him; His Studies;

Doubt Roused among the Academics by His Different

Arguments; Their Rule

IT SEEMED that the sun had fallen from the sky the day that Plato, prince of philosophers, departed from the human scene. It was as if those who believed that their problems should be referred to the throne of wisdom which he had long occupied mourned the extinction of the light of the world. But when Aristotle, his pupil, a man of notable talent but inferior to Plato in elegance of style98 (though

94 See p. 125, with notes 66 and 67.

95 Valerius Maximus, IX. xii. ext. 3.

96 Cicero, De Sen. v. 13 (L. C. L., p. 22). Seneca, Ep. lviii. 31 (L. C. L., I, 404).

97 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, ii. 14; cf. viii. 13. 98 See Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 12.

[112] he easily surpassed many) succeeded him as teacher, he shone like the star of morning upon men. He illumined the world, as though by many rays of wisdom, by teaching the principles of a many sided philosophy; it was as if he by wiping away the mist before men's eyes had given their minds the power to gaze upon the vision of truth.

Aristotle founded the Peripatetic School," so named because he was wont to carry on his discussions as he paced to and fro. He had through his great reputation and his art of persuasion won over many disciples to his heresy even during the life of his teacher. He did indeed discuss all branches of philosophy and laid down principles for each, but more than others he brought the rational1 to such a degree into his own field that he seemed to have excluded all other philosophers from the possession of it. Yet he had such a high reputation among them that he richly deserved to have his name stand as a synonym for the whole body of philosophers.2 Just as the word city connotes Rome3 and the word poet, Virgil, so the name philosopher4 was by common consent centered in Aristotle. He was fluent, but richer in thought than in diction and clever in answering the arguments of his opponents. He is said to have been the first to divide his studies into two classes, esoteric and exoteric.5 His familiars and as it were members of his household would be admitted to the esoteric; the exoteric were open not merely to outsiders but even to foreigners and visitors .

There were those who believed him to be the son of the demon Incubus because of his bodily agility, the clarity of his mind, and [113] his love of fame. To attain this he worked in every way to anticipate others.6 Valerius Maximus bears witness7 that when scarcely able to keep the spark of life alive in his aged and withered frame, and buried in literary seclusion, he so valiantly threw his energies into saving his native city that though bedridden in Athens he rescued the city, leveled to the ground as it was, from the hands of the Macedonians who had laid it low. So too, after its overthrow and

99 Ibid.

1 Cf. Cicero, Top. ii. 6. Boethius, Comm. in Porphyr. i.

2 Cf. Metal. ii. 16 (873C).

3 Cf. Quintilian, Inst. Orat. VIII. v. 9 (L. C. L., III, 286).

4 Cf. Metal. v. 7 (920A); Enthet. de Dogm. Philos. 827, 828 (983B).

5 See Aulus Gellius, N.A. XX. v (L. C. L., III, 430ff.).

6 Cf. Enthet. de Dogm. Philos. 862 (984A).

7 Valerius Maximus, V. vi. ext. 5.

destruction, its restoration was the result of Aristotle's intimacy with Alexander.8

Though Aristotle is thought to have introduced confusion in the use of nouns and verbs,9 his vogue increased not only because of the subtlety of his thoughts but also because of the marvelous attractiveness of his style,10 in which he seems to have deservedly held next place to Plato.11 That he was inordinately fond of praise12 is established by the fact that when he had turned over to his pupil Theodoctes13 a work on the art of oratory for him to publish, regretting afterward that he had yielded to another such a title to praise and fame, in a volume of his own continuing the discussion of certain topics he added that he had expressed himself more clearly on these matters in the work of Theodoctes. Consequently Valerius Maximus remarks "Did I not feel such respect for his great and extensive learning I would say that he was a philosopher who deserved to be turned over to another philosopher with higher ideals for the strengthening of his character. However, glory is not neglected even by those who attempt to bring it into contempt; for they continue to add their own names to volumes, that what they profess to despise they may attain by the medium of memory."14

Aristotle was the one by whose arguments it was brought about that the Academy received inspiration from the clash of ideas rather than from upheavals of nature.15 Though he was classed as Peripatetic rather than Academic, none the less the fact that he shook their confidence with regard to almost every point was the especial reason that the Platonists who were left began to express doubt about [114] almost all matters. "It was after the death of Plato16 that Eusippus,17 son of his sister and Xenocrates, his favorite pupil, suc-

8 I have rendered what seems to me may have been the meaning of John's words. The sentence appears to be without construction. Valerius, whom John has been following, is sufficiently clear: "The city's destruction and overthrow was not so well known as the work of Alexander, as its reconstruction was that of Aristotle." The city referred to is Stagira. 9 See Boethius, De Syll. Categ. i.

10 See Cicero, Top. i. 3. Quintilian, Inst. Orat. X. i. 83 (L. C. L., IV, 46).

11 Cf. Cicero, De Fin. V. iii. 7 (L. C. L., pp. 396ff.); Tusc. Disp. I. x. 22 (L. C. L., p. 26).

12 See Valerius Maximus, VIII. xiv. ext. 3. 13 A mistake for Theodectes.

14 See above, n. 12.

15 See above, Chapter Three, first paragraph (pp. 222-23).

16 The passage within quotation marks, with the exception of the parenthesis, is taken from Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 12. 17 A mistake for Speusippus.

ceeded as head of the school known as Academic; hence they themselves and their successors are called Academic from the locality, as they are called Platonists from their master. Of these the Greeks, Plotinus, Iamblicus, and Porphyrius, gained great fame (the last named was the bitterest assailant of the Catholic faith). In both the Greek and Latin tongues the African Apuleius stands out as a very distinguished man." Even the tyro in philosophy can appreciate the Socratic and Platonic flavor in the charm of his character and the copiousness of his diction.

From these men derive many others who preferred to discuss matters of doubt with no preconceived notions rather than to attempt rashly to define, especially since they believed that the truth is hidden with regard to those questions whose pros and cons are debatable on grounds of probability. Consequently it is a very ancient rule of the Academics that each may of his own right defend that which appeals to him as probable.

Chapter Seven. Some Things Proved by the Evidence of the Senses, Others by That of Reason, Still Others by that of Religion; Belief in Any Doctrine Requires Some Stable Foundation Unnecessary to Be Proved; Some Things Known Per Se to the Enlightened, Others to the Uninformed; the Extent to Which Doubt Is to Be Encouraged; Obstinacy the Greatest Obstacle in the Search of Truth

THERE are a number of things which are accepted on the evidence of sense, reason, or religion. Doubt in these bears the stamp of weakness, error, or criminality. To question whether the sun is bright, snow white, or fire hot is the mark of one lacking in reason; but to question whether three is larger than two and whether the whole contains its half as well, whether four is twice two is the mark of a thoughtless person or of one whose reason is sluggish or entirely [115] lacking. In fact he who questions whether God exists and whether he is powerful, wise, and good is not merely irreligious; he is lacking in faith and deserves to be taught his lesson by punishment. There are in all philosophical systems certain first and, to use Cratinus'18 words, primal principles concerning which, according to

18 This Cratinus has not been identified.

the same authority, it is not permitted to doubt except for those whose effort is devoted to the task of not knowing anything. For as there are certain things that impress themselves upon the bodily senses so that they cannot pass unnoticed by those endowed with senses, and others more subtle that are not felt unless they are invited to more familiar intimacy, considered more carefully, and investigated, so there are some so manifest by their own light that they cannot escape the eye of reason and are seen by all in common but more or less distinctly in proportion to the capacity and endowments of the individual.

There are still others that require as it were investigation, and because they attend upon the former cannot escape the careful investigator. Yet both to the former and to the latter certain things seem to be anterior, and these the reasoning of philosophy lays as a foundation of belief with the request that they be freely accorded in the hope that progress may be made. So geometricians first lay down certain postulates19 which serve as the foundation of the whole science. They then add ordinary mental conceptions,20 and thus, as in orderly array, they advance to the demonstration of their propositions. Yet these claims in themselves are so consonant with reason that he who does not concede them, even to an enemy, appears perverse.21

We are by no means discussing here those questions which pertain to the domain of religion, since there too certain postulates are made which, in order that faith may be more meritorious, transcend the experience of reason. These, though reason may not impel, must be a concession to piety. That belief should be accorded sacraments where reason fails is but what Christ has deserved of us by his [116] many benefits and great miracles. Not to believe in Him is just as impious as it is perverse to dissent stubbornly from what is probable. For who except an insane or perverse individual would deny that a straight line can be drawn from any point to any other opposite point? Just as in the case of buildings it is necessary to have some fixed and stable base on which the structure to be reared may rest, so in every doctrine well-considered reason must demand some stable starting point. Otherwise any superstructure the builder may add totters as if he were building on shifting sand22 or yielding

19 Boethius, Interp. Euclid, i; Cassiodorus, De Art. et Sci. vi.

20 See Boethius, Interp. Euclid, i. 21 Ibid., Ar. Top. viii. 4 (160B, 12). 22 Cf. Matt. vii. 26.

bitumen, or writing on a flowing stream. The more certain inspires confidence in the less certain.

If therefore nothing follows unless something precedes, if all movement proceeds from a state of rest, what progress in proof can there be for one who is never in a state of rest or in an acquiescent mood? To him for whom all things are equally probable nothing can be proved. But of those things that are manifest, some are known to all, others to the better informed in proportion to the capacity of each.

That every number is either odd or even is so generally known that children too are not ignorant of it, though the license of their age allows them

To play at odd and even, to mount the broom-Stick steed, to build their tiny houses and To harness little mice to toy-land carts.23

The fact that the number of places which the multiple24 is distant from unity is the same as the number of (multiple) superparticulars25 of its own kind which precede it is known only to those who have devoted some attention to mathematics. The more sophisticated mathematician however knows that that which is and the being of a thing are different. Thus it is in the several systems that some things are known to their own specialists which are unknown not only to the masses but even to other philosophers. Religion too has certain first principles which universal reason or piety has dictated, and these, in the service of God and in training character, contribute to the attainment of blessedness. There is one principle that all religions have, and that is that there is a God, powerful, wise, good, [777] awe-inspiring, and lovable. The view of the Epicureans who deny a God and subject all things to chance has long since been rejected26 on the authority of God who became man. Therefore to oppose principles or facts know per se or to argue about them is the mark of an irrational, senseless, or what is worse, culpable being. Nor yet is it right to doubt what derives from principles, provided it be clear that it does follow. In the meantime the matter may be discussed until the connection of it with the principles or their conclusions is established. For to entertain doubts with regard to

23 Horace, Sat. II. ii. 248-49 (L. C. L., p. 172).

24 Boethius, De Arithm. ii. 2. 25 Ibid., i. 24. 26 Cicero, De Off. I. ii. 6 (L. C. L., p. 8).

details has its advantage; indeed it was on such matters that the discussion of the Academics on probabilities turned, until they attacked truth. What difference, you may ask, does it make, or who profits, when men invariably question on all topics, ever learning and never attaining to the knowledge of truth27 because they had learned that they possess no reliable knowledge? It is for this reason that Cicero lays down the law of the Academics, that he whose purpose it is to devote himself to philosophy shall question as long as a matter remains obscure; as the truth on the bases of probability shines out he should acquiesce. He says "We who pursue the probable and cannot proceed further than seems plausible to us are prepared to refute without feeling anger and be refuted without displaying stubbornness."28 For these two tendencies militate much against the discovery of truth: either for one to become incensed at another who is speaking the truth or to labor stubbornly in defense of the false. As the moralist says,

Wrath bars the mind from seeing the truth.29

Incarnate truth itself abandoned those who, in Corozan and in Bethsaida,30 stiff-necked, resisted the Holy Ghost.31 But stubbornness blinded32 the Jews as well, so that the veil of the temple, which by the Lord's permission was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, still held their eyes.33

Chapter Eight. Virtue the Sole Way to Philosophy and

Beatitude; the Three Classes of Aspirants and

the Three Sects of Philosophers

[118] As ALL men cannot do all things,34 as the spirit breatheth where he will,35 and as it frequently happens that a variety of interpretations on the part of the many is put upon the pronouncements of learned men, many sects have sprung up founded on the

27 2 Tim. iii. 7.

28 Cicero, Tusc. Disp. II. ii. 5 (L. C. L., p. 150). The phrases "without feeling anger" and "without displaying stubbornness" have been transposed by John.

29 Cato, Dist. ii. 4 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 604).

30 Matt. xi. 21; Luke x. 13. 31 Cf. Acts vii. 51.

32 John xii. 40.

33 2 Cor. iii. 15; Heb. x. 20; Matt. xxvii. 51.

34 Virgil, Ed. viii. 63 (L. C. L., I, 60), 35 John iii. 8.

words of Socrates and Plato. All are however hastening toward the same goal but by different paths. The goal toward which all rational beings are striving is true happiness. There is no one without the desire for this, but all are not traveling one road to attain it. None the less, one way has been pointed out for all, but like the king's highway it branches into many paths.

This way is virtue, for without its aid no one attains happiness. Perhaps some one without virtue's works and no doubt without any works at all is drawn to happiness, but no one proceeds to it except by the steps of virtue. Virtue is what happiness deserves and happiness is the reward of virtue. These then are the two summa bona, the one of the journey, the other of the homecoming. For nothing takes precedence of virtue while the exile is estranged from God;36 nothing is better than felicity while the citizen enjoys his rights and rejoices with his Lord. These two things take precedence over all other things because virtue embraces all that is to be accomplished and felicity all that is to be hoped for. Felicity, however, surpasses virtue because in all things the object is superior to the effort. For one is not happy in order to do right, but he does right in order to live happily. Consequently that saying of Socrates in the Saturnalia of Macrobius has found favor: "Many men wish to live that they may eat and drink; I drink and eat that I may live."37

[119] Therefore the one unique summum bonum is beatitude, but next to it there is another which, if compared to some others, is superior to them in the very fact that it approaches more intimately that which is solely and uniquely the summum bonum. Human incapacity gains the power of comprehending the one or the other only by the guidance of philosophy. For whoever starts on his way without her, like a blind man treading slippery ground toward the heights, falls in his presumption.

Consequently Chrysippus asserts that she dominates things human and divine; nor can she ever receive adequate praise since she it is who drives out vices, points out and bestows virtues, and in man's infirmity restores, as it were, divine completeness. To convey his meaning more forcibly he says that all who are not alert (a quality deriving from her) because of her or for her are similar to brutes, nay, are brutes in human form — an amazing monstrosity of nature. He asserts that there are three classes of men, for he calls all others

36 2 Cor. v. 6.

37 II. viii. 16.

brutes. Some enjoy the good fellowship of Philosophy: these are sages; others enter her service for enjoyment: these are philosophers; still others aspire to the service: that is to say those who desire to become but are not yet philosophers, for it is clear that there are many who are not yet practicing philosophers yet emulate the philosopher's life, if not in actual practice yet in desire.

I approve his views with the greater feeling of security as it seems to me that philosophy is supported by the authority of the Holy Ghost, for the prophet says: My soul hath coveted to long for thy justifications at all times;38 and in this it appears to me that he has pictured the three classes before mentioned. When Plato39 says that the sage is a worshipper of God, what else is the sage to be considered [720] but one who is engaged with the justifications of the Lord40 and who, soothed by the consciousness of good works, has with his whole soul already had a foretaste of the sensation of true felicity? There is no doubt that he who has known the sweetness of beatitude has experienced this, and the cup of things desirable has been filled to overflowing for him who in life tastes41 and sees how sweet is the Lord. The philosopher too, whose aim is the attainment of wisdom, is on the word of Plato a lover of God, for he subdues his vices and applies his mind to the task of becoming intimate with nature, that by such knowledge he may attain true beatitude.

This it is that renders man happy to break the bonds of wickedness and by advancing as it were in contemplation, to attain the right of gazing upon the bright unfailing light of good men, for

O happy he who had the wit to learn The causes that produced the world;42

and so the poet says (for incentives to virtuous conduct appeal to us from whatsoever sources culled)

O happy souls who first took thought to know

All this and mount the mansions of the sky;

We well may think they reared their heads above

The vices and the whims of men. Their soaring

Souls nor love nor wine did break;

Nor tasks of state nor toils of war; no mere

Ambition tempted them nor glory with

38 Ps. cxviii. 20. 39 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, viii. 5, 8, 11.

40 Cf. Ps. cxviii. 16, 23, 48, 117. 41 Ps. xxxlii. 9.

42 Virgil, Georg. ii. 490 (L. C. L., I, 150).

Her painted cheeks nor greed of mighty wealth. They brought the distant stars within our ken And made the sky itself a subject for Their wit. 'Tis thus the sky above is stormed; No need that Ossa be reared high upon Olympus and that Pelius' peak should touch The highest stars.43

There is however no duty, civil or military, with which philosophy does not deal since she alone banishes vices and without her there is no proper conduct among men. As the occupation of justifications, [121] that is the execution of the commandments of God, makes the sage (for the prophet too says: By thy commandments I have had understanding44), so the preparation of the mind for their execution is the truest philosophy.

There are however those who are not yet executing them nor preparing themselves to execute them, yet approve what they admire in others and on God's authority are desirous of being molded according to them. The higher grade therefore is made up of those who are occupied with justifications; the next, of those whose minds have been freed from faults, so that as a result of love these minds are occupied with justifications; the lowest class, of those who long to be freed that they may be able to desire passionately the state of wisdom itself; now these, though they are not yet, desire to be philosophers. The prophet had assumed their role when he said "My soul hath coveted to long for thy justifications at all times."45

The beauty of wisdom is indeed so great that if, as Plato says,46 she could be seen with the eyes of the body men would be so wonderfully kindled by her that they would fall passionately in love with her at first sight. Her does the constant soul love;47 he seeks her out from youth, and his old age48 is that of gravity of character and his childhood of ignorance and of the hazard of vice. "I loved wisdom" he says "above health and beauty and chose to have her instead of light; all good things came to me together with her."49 If therefore all good things are accessories of wisdom the contempt for philosophy forsooth is the exclusion of all good things. Hence it is inferred that

43 Ovid, Fast. i. 297-308 (L. C. L., p. 22).

44 Ps. cxviii. 104. 45 Ibid., 20.

46 Cicero, De Off. I. v. 15 (L. C. L., p. 16); De Fin. II. xvi. 52 (L. C. L., p. 140).

47 Wisd. viii. 2. 48 Ibid., iv. 8, 9. 49 Ibid., vii. 10, 11.

the more scrupulously one pursues philosophy, the more conscientiously and correctly does he make his way to blessedness. For she metes out the virtues by which progress is made in every moral duty. But because the ancients, although in part they believed that souls were immortal, had not yet received instruction on the eternal [122] life which is to follow this, found the summum bonum in virtue, than which it is true there is nothing better except intimacy with Him who is supremely good and is the summum bonum. The exercise of virtue is indeed a superlative good, and the first fruit thereof is God himself. Since therefore virtue is the only thing that makes for happiness, men taking advantage of the teaching of the learned class have endeavored to reach her throne by various paths. The Stoic, to show his contempt for worldly goods, meditates upon death;50 the Peripatetic investigates truth; Epicurus plays with pleasure. Though all have a single aim they impart to their auditors various theories as roads to beatitude. With regard to these one is free to question and doubt, until as a result of a comparison of views truth shines out as though from the clash of ideas. We shall speak of these later at greater length. Let it suffice for the present that we have indicated how far it is permissible to imitate the hesitation of the Academics.

Chapter Nine. Arrogance of the Illiterate Masses; Spirit in

Which to Read the Potentially Helpful and Harmful; Wisdom

Not Attained by Talent nor Work without Grace

THERE are, however, few who deign to imitate the Academics, since each chooses his model according to whim rather than on the basis of reason. This is so for some are distraught by their own opinions, others by the opinions of the learned, and still others as the result of association with the masses. For what doubt can he entertain who swears by the words of his teacher51 and is interested not in what is said but in who said it? All that he has imbibed in childhood he blurts out vehemently,52 imagining it drawn from the abstruse depths of philosophy. He who becomes the slave of his teacher's point of

50 Seneca, Ep. lxx. 18 (L. C. L., II, 66).

51 Horace, Ep. I. i. 14 (L. C. L., p. 252). 52 Ibid., xviii. 18 (L. C. L., p. 368).

view is prepared to argue even the question of goat's wool,53 regards as incredible anything that he has never heard before, and is deaf [123] to reason. For him all that his teacher has set forth is genuine and sacrosanct.

He however who has spent his time in learning by heart a few facts and is so hampered by his restricted vocabulary that should you deprive him of one or two of his words he would be tongue-tied and more silent than any statue,54 will nevertheless be the first to contradict and will prove quite stubborn in his opposition. One would think him made of stone and regard him as one who had learned in the lecture room of Pythagoras55 or in some monastery the practice rather than the necessity of silence. If any of this type should fall into your hands for instruction you would be justified in imitating Timotheus, who was a master of the piper's art. Quintilian, in his work on the education of the orator,56 narrates that Timotheus would demand and, what is more, get twice as large a tuition from those who had previously received poor instruction as from those who came to him entirely untutored. Error exacts a double effort, since the seeds of faulty instruction must first be eradicated and good ones planted with care.

Consider the leading teachers of philosophy of our own day, those who are most loudly acclaimed, surrounded by a noisy throng of disciples. Mark them carefully; you will find them dwelling on one rule, or on two or three words, or else they have selected (as though it were an important matter) a small number of questions suitable for dispute, on which to exercise their talent and waste their life. They do not however succeed in solving them but hand down to posterity for solution by their disciples their problems, with all the ambiguity with which they have invested them.

In their lecture room they invite you to battle with them, become pressing, and demand the clash of wit. If you hesitate to engage, if you delay but for a moment, they are upon you. If you advance and, though unwillingly, engage them and press them hard, they take refuge in subterfuge; they change front; they torture words; with tricks of magic they transform themselves until you marvel at the

53 Ibid., 15 (L. C. L., p. 368). The question whether goat's hair could be called wool became proverbial for discussion on trivial matters.

54 Horace, Ep. II. ii. 83 (L. C. L., p. 430).

55 Aulus Gellius, N. A. I. ix. 1-5 (L. C. L., I, 44ff.). 56 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. II. iii. 3 (L. C. L., I, 218).

reappearance of the slippery, changing Proteus.57 But he can be trapped more easily if you insist on understanding his meaning and intention despite his voluble and erratic language. He will finally [124] be vanquished by his own meaning and be caught by the words of his mouth, if you can grasp their significance and hold it firmly.

The points of dispute of our modern Proteus however are as useless as they are trivial. If in disgust over time wasted on such trifles you press your attack he again has recourse to evasion. As if taking refuge in the bosom of Mother Earth like Antaeus,58 he strives to recover his strength in the element in which he was born and brought up. Such a roundabout way; so many detoursl As though it were necessary to traverse a labyrinth to reach the common place!

The stork provides her young with lizards and

With snakes she finds upon the barren fields;

These young when fledged hunt down the same themselves.

The vulture flies from carrion of dogs and beasts

And from the gibbet with its rotting fruit

To bring the dainty morsel to its brood;

These little ones when grown and nested in a tree

Their own, then seek the selfsame food. Again

The noble bird that waits on Jove, in wooded

Glade hunts for the hare and fawn and serves

This prey to its eyrie. Just so too when strong

The eaglets hasten urged by hunger's pang

To food they first had tasted when they chipped

The egg.59

If therefore you hoist them with their own petard you may well pity them their poverty in almost every capacity. Some seem to excel in details; others offer for sale all branches of philosophy, and yet in the details they are without the proper philosophic background. There are some who hope to attain perfection as the result of excellence in one branch; there are others who devote their energy to the whole field though they lack the knowledge of its parts. I find it hard to say which are in greater error, since perfection is not derived from one and no one has the power to devote himself faithfully to

57 Ovid, Fast. I. 363ff. (L. C. L., I, 26ff.). 58 Lucan, Phars. iv. 593ff. (L. C. L., p. 218). 59 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 74-85 (L. C. L., p. 270).

all. However he who seeks perfection in all from one is the more [125] absurd, while he who claims proficiency in all is the more arrogant. It is the mark of the indolent to occupy himself with one thing to the exclusion of all else; of the dilettante to embrace them all.

At any rate he who makes a wide survey in order to select his specialty displays discretion and is the more devoted to his choice after having weighed the value of others. Perhaps that is the intention of the moralist60 who enjoins the reading of books. In the primer of precepts also,61 in which little children receive their first lessons in order that the instruction and practice of virtue which their tender minds have absorbed may not readily be forgotten (since the jar as well long retains the odor of

That which it once when new absorbed62),

Cato or someone else (for the author is uncertain) said

Read much but having read keep reading much.63

I am inclined to think that there is nothing more helpful than this for one aspiring to knowledge, except keeping the commandments of God,64 which is undoubtedly the one and only way of progress in philosophy.

All reading should be done in such a way that some of it when finished should be disregarded, some condemned, and some viewed en passant, that the subject matter be not entirely unknown; but above all careful attention should be given to those matters which lay the foundation of the life of the state, be it by the law of the state or else by ethical principles, or which have in view the health of body and soul. Since then the chief branch among the liberal arts, without which no one can teach or be taught properly, is to be merely greeted en passant and as it were from the door,65 who can

60 Cato, Dist. 26 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 594).

61 John evidently considered the moralist who "enjoins the reading of books" and the author of the Distichs of Cato different individuals. Consult pages 585-88 of Minor Latin Poets.

62 Horace, Ep. I. ii. 69-70 (L. C. L., p. 266).

63 Cato, Dist. iii. 18 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 612). The translation of the Latin as we know the text would read "Read much, but having read, dispense with much."

64 1 Cor. vii. 19.

65 Seneca, Ep. xlix. 6 (L. C. L., p. 412).

imagine that time should be devoted to other branches which being difficult to understand or impractical and harmful do not conduce to the betterment of man? For even those things that are required for man's use prove very harmful if they occupy his attention to the exclusion of all others.

[126] Does anyone doubt the desirability of reading the historians, the orators, and the authorities on approved mathematics,66 since without a knowledge of them men cannot be, or at least usually are not, liberally educated? -Indeed those who are ignorant of those writers are termed illiterate even if they can read and write. But when such writers lay claim to the mind as though it belonged exclusively to them, although they praise learning they do not teach; rather they hinder the cultivation of virtue. This is the reason that Cicero67 when dealing with the poets, to make his remarks more effective, burst out "The shout of approbation of the populace, as though it were some great and wise teacher qualified to recommend, puts the stamp of genius upon whom it wishes. But they who are so lauded, what darkness do they spread, what fears engender, and what passions inflame!" It is they who commend debauchery and adultery, foster arts of deception, teach theft, rapine, incendiarism, and set before the eyes of an untutored people all the examples of evil that are, have been, or can be imagined. What conflagration kindled in the sky,68 inundation of the sea, or quaking of the earth works such havoc with the nations as do those writers with our morals?

The most popular of the comic writers,69 in the Eunuch, records how a young man's lust flares up as he gazes upon a painting on the wall representing how the god shakes the dome of heaven with his thunder, rains a shower of gold through the sky-light, and seduces Danaë shut up with her seven guards. The populace sees, marvels, and praises similar scenes in each and every painting. It is the rare spectator that pays any attention to edifying themes.

A thing, Sir, lacking rime and reason too [127] Cannot be guided straight by reason. Hence

The curses that love brings with it, abuse

60 See above, Book II, Chapter Eighteen, p. 88, and p. 39, n. 21. 67 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, ii. 14, quoting Cicero, De Re Pub. iv. 9 (L. C. L., p. 238).

68 I. e., by Phaeton.

69 I. e., Terence; see Eun. 584ft. (L. C. L., p. 584).

And jealousy and quarrels, reconcilement,

War; then peace again. Should you desire

To make these insecurities secure

By sense, you'll do about as much as if

You set yourself the task of being

Sensibly insane. And now you say

In anger to yourself, "What! I return

To her who treats me so; another man

As well and how much more? Not II

To die were better; she shall perceive that I

Am more a man." One tiny tear squeezed out

By rubbing hard her eyes will quench the flame

Of your indignant words. She'll turn the trick;

And you will be the one upon the rack.70

It is evident that the reasoning of the slave is employed to anticipate the reproaches of the harlot; but whatever is said to this effect is received as if the slave were calling back the infatuated lover to his mistress.

Elsewhere however Cicero highly commends writers. He says "He alone who fears no contempt himself casts contempt upon poets and writers in other branches of artistic literature, as well as upon the historians. They know what virtue is and offer the material for philosophic study, for they brand vices; they do not teach them. Their works are attractive too on account of the help and pleasure they give to the reader.71 They make their way amid dangers which threaten character, with the intention of securing a foothold for virtue.

"Amid weapons, fires, through storms at sea, and despite so many disturbances, such sedition and plots on the part of nations, Ulysses experienced Scylla and Charybdis in order to make his way back finally in his old age to his native land. He lost his men as the result of the various vicissitudes of exile, but it was their own weakness and [128] their love of pleasure that destroyed them. Yet the narrative of all this is interesting, for the mischance even of a friend, though bitter, serves as a warning; and the closer the intimacy with the unfortunate one the greater the force of the warning, so true it is that example is

70 Terence, Eun. 57-70 (L. C. L., I, 240).

71 The meaning of the Latin words grata sunt is not clear. The rendering gives what I conceive to have been the thought of the author.

often more effective than precept. Evils are more easily avoided the more clearly they are foreseen. With difficulty and, so to speak, alone Ulysses escaped; but then too there are few who surmount their difficulties and attain the enjoyment of philosophy and their hereditary delights, if we may use the expression."72

Quite in harmony with Cicero, if you deign to listen to the lyric poet although his lyre is silent,73 is Flaccus (perhaps you prefer to call him Horace), who congratulates himself that he had found in Maeonia's son more that was honorable and helpful than had been formulated on the precepts of many Stoics.

While you declaim at Rome, my Maximus, Out in Praeneste I have read again The works of him who teaches us what is The beautiful, the base, the wise to do, And what is not, with greater grace and truth Than Cantor or Chrysippus; for the tale In which because of Paris' love the Greeks And Trojans clashed in long protracted war, Contains the passions wild of foolish kings And peoples. Antenor moves to cut away The causes of the war. And Paris what? To reign in peace and live in bliss, no one Can force him to it!

Within, without the walls of Troy we see The sins of faction, craft, and crime and lust And wrath. The kings commit their folly, Achaeans pay the price.74

I myself am of the opinion of those who believe that a man cannot be literate without a knowledge of the authors. Copious reading however by no means makes the philosopher, since it is grace alone that leads to wisdom. Hence Augustine, that teacher of the Church whom no one keeps in mind as much as he should, criticized Varro, and yet in order to show that he was a very scholarly man he added, [129] after other remarks in which he gives him unique praise, "Finally, Cicero himself in the book entitled Academica testifies to

72 Webb conjectures that the passage quoted here came from a portion of the De Re Publica no longer extant.

73 I. e., the quotation is from the Epistles, not the Odes. 74 H9orace, Ep. I. ii. 1-4, 6-11, 15, 16, 14 (L. C. L., p. 262).

his merits in the statement that he himself engaged in the argument that took place there with Varro, a man (mark his words) easily surpassing all in keenness and, undoubtedly, in knowledge. He does not say 'most fluent' or 'most eloquent' since he was in that line deficient, but says 'easily surpassing all in keenness and undoubtedly in knowledge.'75

"Moreover, in the first book, while praising Varro's literary output, he says 'When I found myself a stranger and a wanderer in my native city, your books like welcoming friends led me home, as it were, so that at length I was able to recognize who and where I was. It has been you who have spread before us the pages of our country's past, you who have described the law of our ritual and our priests, our public and domestic life, and the names, types, and significance of our habitations, regions, and places and of all else human and divine.' Yet this man so distinguished and of such outstanding knowledge, who read so much that we marvel that he had any time to write and who wrote more than we believe any human being could have read — this man, I repeat, of such great talent and such learning, had he been the assailant and destroyer of divine matters on which he wrote and had he stated that they belonged to the domain not of religion but of superstition, would not I imagine have written more that deserved ridicule, scorn, and execration."

If therefore a man, as Cicero testifies,76 most keen and undoubtedly of great learning, may be charged with superstition and convicted on the evidence of his own writings, and if it be conceded that superstition by reason of its falsehood is opposed to virtue, which consists of truth alone, and that wisdom cannot exist without virtue, who can believe that from reading alone, without the presence of grace which illumines, creates, and gives life to the virtues, man can attain wisdom?

75 This and the following paragraph are quoted from Augustine; see De Civ. Dei, vi. 2.

76 Cf. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, vi. 2, beginning.

Chapter Ten. All Writings Should Be Read; the Benediction That Was Given the Original People and the Sons of Noah;

the Authority of No Gentile Should Outweigh Reason [130] IT MAY be assumed that all writings77 except those that have been disapproved should be read, since it is believed that all that has been written and all that has been done have been ordained for man's utility although at times he makes bad use of them. For the angels too were, so to speak, ordained on account of the soul, but the corporeal world, according to the statement of the Fathers, for the use of the body.

In the beginning God blessed man, saying: Increase and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the air and all living creatures that move upon the earth. And in addition he conceded to them as their food every herb bearing seed and all trees according to their use78 (for before the flood they are thought to have abstained from flesh79). Those also whom the ark that foreshadowed the Church80 rescued from the destruction of the flood he blessed, and laid down the law, saying: Increase and multiply and fill the earth. And let the fear and dread of you be upon all beasts of the earth and upon all the fowls of the air and all that move upon the earth; all the fishes of the sea are delivered into your hand. And everything that moveth and liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I delivered them all to you; saving that flesh with blood thou shalt not eat.81

Behold! The same grace of benediction, the same authority of position, and the same favor of food was for the most part conferred upon the first born and upon the sons of Noah, for increase and multiplication express extension of grace; the domination of earth and the terror of beast indicate the privilege of power, and the [131] universality of food that of liberty; all things are clean to the clean.82

I do not recall that the privilege of this benediction was granted at any other period than at that when innocence was granted at creation or was recovered by the medium of the sacrament and repentance. For that reason perhaps it was said both to these immediately after the flood and to those who lived before sin came

77 Cf. Rom. xv. 4. 78 Gen. i. 28-29. 79 Jerome, Adv. Jovin. i. 18.

80 This idea is based upon the words in 1 Pet. iii. 20ff.

81 Gen. ix. 1-4. 82 Titus i. 15. Cf. Rom. xiv. 20.

into the world, "Increase and multiply," that the increase and multiplication of that at any rate which God conferred through nature and restored by grace be attained. This is the order: to increase in themselves and, as it were, to multiply in their descendants; in themselves, for progress in merit; in their numerous descendants, by a kind of propagation of virtues. I do not remember that when nature is defiled by sin, any order is given to increase and multiply.

Although what has been previously said may be taken literally since all things are adapted to man's needs, and although those very things which seem to be deadly even to sight, smell, and hearing, not to mention touch and taste (which latter class are more dangerous), become food for man or are changed into food, nevertheless the investigator with mystic tendencies will be able to discover another meaning as well. The historical interpretation however is strengthened by the fact that we frequently see fish and wild beasts of sound health whose flesh is quite edible devouring poisonous reptiles, and by the fact that poisons themselves are used in medicaments by which mankind is not only preserved but its infirmities cured.

But since historical significance is to be examined first, any meaning that excels in forming for the mind faith and faith's works, that is to say good character, is the more desirable and clearly the more useful. The aim always to be sought in reading is that man should constantly surpass himself in virtue. But since the foregoing passage of Scripture can be directed effectively to many purposes, I agree that by grace derived from the blessing of God it can be adapted also to the task of inspiring free will for the increase and multiplication of virtue, and after virtues have been multiplied by grace, to the task [132] of subduing the earth; for when man has subdued this within himself he attains dominion over self and over others, with the result that being favored above all living creatures, he inspires fear and terror in all that moves upon the earth.

Therefore all things serve as food for him because in all creatures the Lord speaks to him in words of his salvation. It is clear that he is fed in all things by which the life of man profits for its own regulation and for that of character. For it is agreed that all building of character83 is by the Lord, and when anyone either by work or by word or in any other way is instructed for virtue he is profitably fed by things granted him by the Lord. For all the instruction of salva-

83 Eph. ii. 21.

tion is, as it were, the word of God, and true teaching by whomsoever offered must be accepted for the reason that truth is always uncorrupted and incorruptible.

Before and after the flood the use of all things was conceded, provided there was abstinence from the use of blood; and before and after baptism, provided he avoided sin, no one was anywhere prevented from receiving instruction. If the apostle is the odor of death unto death84 for some, what hinders that the vessel of death be of advantage to another for life? When therefore it is said "Eat whatever you wish except blood" it is as if it were figuratively said "Provided you avoid sin, read what you wish." Just as in meat diet there are some kinds which are digested beneficially, some are turned into unassimilated humors, and others are, by an expulsive force, entirely ejected; there are some which if moderately indulged in are advantageous to those in good health but harmful to others threatened with illness; some are good for the feeble, but not so good for the sound and convalescent, for these in themselves do not strengthen; they give indeed little nourishment to the delicate, more to the common organs which require, so to speak, a richer diet.

Just so in books there is something profitable for everybody provided, be it understood the reading is done with discrimination and that only is selected which is edifying to faith and morals. There is matter which is of profit to stronger minds but is to be kept from the artless; there is that which an innately sound mind rejects; there is that which it digests for character building or perfecting eloquence; there is that which hardens the soul and causes spiritual indigestion in matters of faith and good works. There is scarcely a piece of writing in which something is not found either in meaning [133] or expression that the discriminating reader will not reject. The safe and cautious thing to do is to read only Catholic books. It is somewhat dangerous to expose the unsophisticated to pagan literature; but a training in both is very useful to those safe in the faith, for accurate reading on a wide range of subjects makes the scholar; careful selection of the better makes the saint.

We ought as it were to imitate bees. We read in the book entitled Saturnalia and in the epistles of Seneca85 to Lucilius: "Bees roam about and sip flowers, then arrange what they bring in, distribute it in combs, and by a mixing process and by their own peculiar scent

84 2 Cor. ii. 16. 85 Seneca, Ep. lxxxiv. 5, 6 (L. C. L., II, 278ff.).

change the taste of the various ingredients into one flavor. Whatever we have acquired by our varied reading [let us also turn to virtue's purpose, that all may combine into a category of things to be transacted by the directing force of reason]. For in the mind as well things are preserved better when kept separate, and this very separation, aided by a sort of leaven by which the whole is seasoned, mixes together the various samples to produce a single savor. The result is that even if the origin of the combination is apparent it appears to be something else than that from which we know it is derived. This is what we see nature doing in our body without any effort on our own part; the food which we receive, as long as it retains its own original quality and floats about intact, is an unwholesome weight on the stomach; but when it is changed from that which it was, then it is that it changes into tissue";86 for blood is set apart by divine commandment for the avoidance of sin.87

The shepherd of the Church88 was enjoined to kill and eat crawling and unclean things; now although this specifically applies to his summoning of the gentiles it may teach, by reason of the similarity of the case, that when we have slain our errors we have nothing to fear from the doctrines of the gentiles. As long as the Pythagoreans [134] teach innocence, frugality, and contempt for the world they should be given a hearing; when they thrust souls which they have lifted to the sky back into bodies of beasts, even a Plato, if he be so taught, should be slain. In this particular he overreached himself in following Pythagoras, because he taught that as the dead are formed from the living, so the living from the dead and that they pass into various bodies according to their characters; consequently the lines:

Myself (for I remember well the fact) Euphorbus was, the son of Panthoüs, And in the Trojan war, the heavy spear Of Menelaus lodged full in my Left breast.89

86 Macrobius, Sat. i. Praef. 5-7. The words within the brackets are substituted by John for the original which reads: "let us also write down that it may thereby be reduced to order." After the words "into tissue" Macrobius ends with the words "and into blood." For this last John substitutes his own remark, "blood is set apart" etc. Cf. above, p. 251, with notes 79 and 81; also the first sentence of the paragraph beginning near the top of p. 253.

87 See Gen. ix. 4. 88 I. e., St. Peter. See Acts xiff. 89 Ovid, Met. xv. 160-62 (L. C. L., II, 376).

Therefore let the pagan writers be read in a way that their authority be not prejudicial to reason; for the burning weed,90 as the rose is plucked, sometimes burns the hand of him who touches it.

Wisdom is as it were a spring from which rivers go out91 watering all the land, and its divine pages not only fill with delight the place of its birth but also make their way among the nations to such an extent that they are not entirely unknown even to the Ethiopians. It is from this source that the flowering, perfumed, fruitful works of the pagan world spring, and should perchance any artless reader enter their field let him keep in mind this quotation:

Flee hence, O ye who gather flowers

Or berries growing on the ground; the clammy

Snake is hiding in the grass.92

It is no sluggard who carries off the apples of the Hesperides guarded by the ever sleepless dragon,93 nor one who reads as though not awake but drowsing and dreaming as if eager to reach the end of his task. It is certain that the pious and wise reader who spends time lovingly over his books always rejects errors and comes close to life in all things. Hence the saying of the teacher of teachers, Jerome: Love the knowledge of the Scriptures and you will not love the errors of the flesh.94

Chapter Eleven. What Constitutes True Philosophy, the Aim of All Writing

[135] HEREIN lies true philosophy, and it is the most pleasant and salutary advantage that wide reading confers. Wisdom itself embraces a knowledge of all things,95 directs all things, and itself fixes the proper limit of deeds, words, and thoughts everywhere in the life of man. There is however that for which even she knows not how to fix a boundary; there is that for which she establishes a mode in the fact that it has no limit. Whatever wisdom does and whatever she says leads to the truth, that with true philosophers she has no

90 I. e., the thistle. Cf. Isidore, Orig. XVII. ix. 44, "it is called urtica because its touch burns [adurat] the body."

91 Gen. ii.10ff. 92 Virgil, Ed. iii. 92-93 (L. C. L., I, 26).

93 Macrobius, Sat. I. xx. 3. 94 Jerome, Ep. cxxv. 11.

95 Cf. Seneca, Ep. lxxxviii. 33; lxxxv. 32, 33 (L. C. L., II, 368; 304).

limit; for her substance is of that which nowhere has an end. If indeed, according to Plato,96 the philosopher is he who loves God, what else is philosophy if not the love of the divine?97 This is something that brooks no limit, otherwise philosophy herself would be restricted, and this is inexpedient; for that which is restricted also ceases to be, and if God's love be extinguished the word philosophy vanishes into thin air.

So also the Incarnate Wisdom of God, though He limits many things, enjoins that love for God be limitless; except that this mode is prescribed for charity, that God be loved with love that has no limits; for Jesus said "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."98 He likewise had said before "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength."99 He also added "On these two words dependeth the whole law and the prophets."1 If therefore all that has been written attends on the prophets and the law, that is to say, if all teaching has the aim of subjecting man to the law of God, who doubts that all things are accredited to the law of God; who doubts that all things are accredited to the realm of charity? Whoever then by the agency of philosophy acquires or spreads charity has attained [136] his aim as a philosopher. Consequently this is the true and unvarying rule of philosophers, that each one busy himself in all that he reads or learns, does, or abstains from doing, with advancing the cause of charity. Charity is never meaningless and apart; it conducts honor, self-control, and sobriety, modesty, and the whole army of venerable virtues to man as to the temple of the Lord and dedicates him to piety.

All that has not this aim in the arts and in literature is not philosophic doctrine but the idle fable and pretext of those over whose impiety the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.2 All their chattering seems flat, silly, and senseless to the true philosopher. Listen not to me but to the prophet speaking of such things: "The wicked have told me fables but not as thy law."3 Therefore to give expression to truth and justice is common both to those who are philosophers and to those who are not; to tell the truth and lies, to teach good and evil, is not a characteristic of philosophers. It is only at times that the

96 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, VIII. v. 8, 11. 97 Boethius, In Porphr. Dial. I.

98 Matt. xxii. 39. 99 Ibid., 37.

1 The Vulgate reads "in these two commandments," ibid., 40.

2 Rom. i. 18. 3 Ps. cxviii. 85.

mere imitator of the philosopher teaches righteousness, but he who practices the righteousness which he teaches really is a philosopher.

Chapter Twelve. The Absurdity of the Frivolous Who

Deem Wisdom but Words; Inspired Books Should

Be Read in One Way and Secular in Another

THOSE who suppose that philosophy consists of words alone are subject to an especial and shameless form of error; they are in error in thinking virtue but words, in regarding a consecrated wood nothing but firewood.4 For virtue is esteemed for its works, and virtue is the inseparable companion of wisdom. Consequently it is a fact that they who cling to words prefer to seem rather than to be wise. They wander around the streets; they tread the thresholds5 of the learned; [137] they raise trivial questions; their words are involved to obscure their own meaning and that of others; they are more eager to argue than to weigh, if a difficult point comes up. Vaunting rather than loving wisdom, they fear to betray their own ignorance, and with false modesty they prefer to remain in ignorance rather than to search and learn, especially if others are present who, they imagine, know what they do not.

One cannot put up with their airs. They talk offhand on any subject; they pass judgment on everybody; they blame others; praise themselves; boast that they have discovered again that which is in reality commonplace, having come down to our times through the ages from the ancients and on the evidence of books. They multiply their words so that often they are harder to understand by reason of the weight and multitude of words than because of the difficulty of the theme. When one of them has succeeded in making himself incomprehensible, he thinks that he has won the right of being regarded as a philosopher superior to others.

Often one who knows very little propounds much that even Pythagoras himself would not be able to clarify. At times he goes over and over the same subjects, and because he does not know where to turn he flounders pitifully; he wears bare the same theme and circles

4 Horace, Ep. I. vi. 31, 32 (L. C. L., p. 288). "To regard a sacred wood as firewood" is a proverb applied to materialists who would cut down even sacred groves. 5 Martial, Epigr. X. x. 2 (L. C. L., II, 158).

around the same point.6 Hearing him at a distance you marvel that a third Cato7 has descended from the sky. He will seem a jack-of-all-trades;8 if you ask his profession or trade, he is

A teacher, rhetorician, geometrician, Painter, trainer, augur, tight-rope walker, Doctor, or astrologer; he knows It all.9

He far outstrips your hungry mountebank the Greek.10 Should you command11 he'll even fly the skies, and with greater skill than Daedalus he'll conduct you where you will through empty space. If you come to him for instruction, if you inquire carefully into the meaning of what authors have written, or if you examine the written word, straightway he will upbraid your insensibility and call you dumber than an Arcadian ass.12 As long as you ask the meaning embedded in the written word your wits are heavier than lead; the [138] written word is useless and you must not worry about what it has to say. If you insist, you are warned to avoid it as dangerous, for the letter killeth.13 Be careful not to be the serpent, which eats earth all the days of its life.14

What you must do is to disport yourself, chat, or argue, for he who uses the most words is regarded as the greatest scholar. No attention need be given to the source or subject of the opinions that anyone expresses, provided he keeps talking. It makes not the slightest difference on what reasoning anyone relies, provided he succeed in giving not its reality but its shadow. What is true or false, probable or improbable, are idle questions, seeing that the semblance of probabilities is preferred to all else. Whatever your decision, some analogy will immediately nullify it; for what applies in one example will, despite all, apply in another. None the less it is a fact that what is plausible is not for that reason true, and what seems false is not always false. If you endeavor to demonstrate the dissimilarity of similar propositions, you are undertaking a thankless task. Your opponent will either shout you down or will mock your superfluous effort, since there must be some dissimilarity in all similar things;

6 Ovid, Met. ii. 721 (L. C. L., I, 110).

7 Juvenal, Sat. ii. 40 (L. C. L., p. 20). 8 Ibid., iii. 75 (L. C. L., p. 36). 9 Ibid., 76-77 (L. C. L., p. 75). 10 Ibid., 78 (L. C. L., p. 75).

11 Ibid., 78ff. (L. C. L., p. 75).

12 Ibid., VII. 160 (L. C. L., p. 150); Persius, Sat. iii. 9 (L. C. L., p. 344). 13 2 Cor. iii. 6. 14 Gen. iii. 14.

otherwise they would not be called similar rather than more properly identical. To teach why this is not so is judged not only stupid but worthy of derision.

You are immediately asked whether you wish to harangue the meeting. They say that they had agreed to listen to a Peripatetic [logician]15 not to a Hermagoras [philosopher];16 though as a matter of fact in their rambling and wandering about, rather than in the careful investigation of truth, they imitate the Peripatetics. If however this discussion is carried on and similarities and dissimilarities are sought with the aim of acquiring fluency in delivery, the practice [139] is indeed praiseworthy. I am inclined to think that nothing else is more beneficial for youth, provided they do not allow their eyes to be blinded in a thick cloud of deception. For nothing is more useful, nothing more conducive to the attainment of fame and wealth by the young man, than fluency of speech, which is the result of the possession of an abundance of facts in the mind and an abundance of words in the mouth.

To pour out a flood of words without mastery of the subject is the trait of a fool, not of a teacher or a student. You will see many of this type dragging out the day with a long discourse but saying very little or nothing at all. You are worn out with listening; he, were he not an unusually verbose man, might well be thoroughly exhausted with his talking. You have not yet caught the drift of his remarks or what he means; you are expecting the end; he has hardly completed his introduction. Endure to the end however and see at what he is aiming. Finally sum up what he has strung together; there will rise before your mind

Dreams as it were of sick man conjuring up Deceptive shapes that neither head or foot Can be allotted to a single form.17

One would imagine him a man with clouded brain who in default of reason cannot control his tongue; one would believe him passing sleepless nights, and that his reason put to sleep, derangement alone were awake in him. Should one moved to pity advise him to be sparing of himself he flies into a rage, devises all sorts of abuse,18 and

15 The word Peripatetic with the meaning logician was in use in John's time.

16 Hermagoras was really a rhetorician rather than a philosopher though he did touch upon some philosophic questions connected with his work.

17 Horace, A. P. 7-9 (L. C. L., p. 450). 18 Ibid., Ep. I. xv. 30 (L. C. L., p. 346).

wrangles alike with those who pity and those who sneer; he spews upon friend and foe alike.

If once you have started you must put up with him or suffer the abuse of a violent tongue. Therefore stop unless you prefer to be smirched with a foul tongue; for filth too, the more it is stirred up, the worse it smells. You recall the words of a man of sound sense:

The crazy bard they fear to touch, and flee If they be wise; the children chase and dare To follow him.19

[140] Although in private life among the seriously minded a man of this type seems with good reason useless, he is however acceptable to the populace, which takes delight in matters that provide it with cause for gaiety and jocularity; for he is the best medium of arousing mirth, is more effective than any mimic. To avoid his enmity you must bear patiently what he has to say and humor the madman who spares no one. If perchance you desire to check him, in the kindest manner beg him to put more thought into his instruction and argument and keep the balance by subtracting words. For he who regulates language according to the requirement of the theme and makes the theme appropriate to the occasion is following the most effective rule governing the whole of oratory. Such eloquence gives rise to praise with which truth, the friend of virtue and all the moral duties, is in accord.

To be verbose and misleading in speech is characteristic of a counter-hopper, of one who disregards reputation entirely and who arouses the hate and contempt of men of character. The Spirit of wisdom is authority for the saying, "He that speaketh sophistically is hateful."20 Yet the ability to detect the sophistries of false reasoners is of no slight advantage; without the ability to detect these, whoever advances to the examination of truth and to the discussion of facts is comparable to the useless soldier who marches unarmed against a well trained and well equipped foe. It is therefore permitted that one debating for purposes of training practice deception in his turn and, as in an officers' training camp in the midst of civilians, play at campaigning; but when the debater's attention is directed to the serious side of philosophy, sophisms are not in evidence. If per-

19 Ibid., A. P. 455-56 (L.C.L., p. 486). 20 Ecclus. xxxvii. 23.

chance they should come to view on either side they are to be rebuked by men of wisdom, just as in the state the deception of the wicked in business transactions is held in check. To make language harmonize with facts and facts with the times and to censure wisely intruding fallacies is not a matter of a few days nor an easy task. As a result many advancing to the fray turn back and, making a display of a portion of the wardrobe of philosophy, vaunt themselves in the presence of the uninformed as if philosophy had fallen completely [141] under their jurisdiction. For as someone has remarked (I remember the lines but the author's name escapes me),

The lad that can combine two halves in one Thus poses and thus talks, as if he had Now mastered all the arts.

With regard to genera and species such an imposter offers a new theory that had escaped Boethius and was unknown to Plato, one that he had lately by happy chance found in abstruse writings of Aristotle. He is prepared to solve the ancient question, laboring with which the world has already grown old and on which more time has been spent than the line of the Caesars has consumed in subduing and ruling the world, more money squandered than Croesus possessed with all his wealth. For this has engaged the attention of many so long that at length, since they spend their whole life in search of it alone, they have discovered neither this nor anything else; possibly for the reason that what alone could be discovered did not suffice for the curiosity in them.

Just as in the shadow cast by any body it is vain to seek a firm foundation of substance, so in those matters which are intelligible only and can be universally conceived but cannot universally be, nowhere can the substance of a more tangible existence be detected. To spend one's life on these points is equivalent to accomplishing nothing and to wasting one's efforts; they are but the mist of fleeting things, and the more eagerly they are sought the more quickly they fade away.

Authorities explain this problem in many ways and in various terms, and since they employ words without discrimination they appear to have upheld various views and have left for disputatious individuals much controversial matter. Hence it is that our disputant having grasped sensible and other individual things, since these are said to be the sole realities, divides them into various states, and ac-

cording to this classification he establishes in the individual things themselves the explicitly specific and the explicitly general.

[142] There are some who adopt forms in the fashions of the mathematicians and refer to them all that is said with regard to universals; others banish concepts and maintain that they come under the names of universals. There were those also who said that even words were genera and species; but their view has already been exploded and has readily disappeared along with its exponent.21 However there are still found those22 following in their footsteps, although they blush to acknowledge either the originator or the view, clinging merely to names; they attribute to words what they deny to objects and concepts.

Each one possesses mighty influence In his support,23

and from the words of authorities who have indiscriminately employed names for things and things for names, he contributes his own theory or, if you will, error.

From such sources a luxuriant growth of discussion springs up, and each one gathers that from which he may be able to support his own heresy. There is no escaping from genera and species, and you may put into this harbor from whatsoever place the discussion sets out. Suddenly you will be surprised to discover in yourself that painter described by the poet,24 who for all requirements knew how to paint only a cypress tree. Thus Rufus is crazy over Naevia, from whom, on the testimony of Coquus,25 no plight can estrange him, for


Whatever Rufus does, for Rufus there Is only Naevia; in joy, in grief, When silent, he talks alone of her. He dines, he toasts, he asks, denies or nods, But Naevia is all. No Naevia suppose, He will be dumb.26

21 I. e., Roscelin, Abelard's teacher.

22 A reference to Abelard himself.

23 Lucan, Phars. i. 127 (L. C. L., p. 12).

24 Horace, A. P. 19, 20 (L. C. L., p. 450).

25 Coquus or Cocus, i.e., Martial. It has been suggested that the name was applied to him through a misunderstanding of the line in Martial, VI. lxi. 8 (L. C. L., I, 394), "Cooks alone buy their learned lays," which was mistranslated "They only buy the learned lays of Cook."

26 Martial, Epigr. I. lxviii. 1-4 (L. C. L., I, 72).

That subject seems best suited for philosophical discussion in which there is a somewhat free scope for assuming what you wish and less certainty, owing to the difficulty of the subject or the lack of skill of your disputant. Very often just as the soldier has his eyes open for rough and narrow places on the route, to impede more easily the progress of the foe, so one will raise difficult questions suggested by books or arguments or, if another subject is brought forward, will purposely slip off into these side tracks as if by accident. If you fail to satisfy him (for there is no one who has the ability to explain all that even fools can ask) straightway, what knowing winks, grimaces, waving of arms, shouting, jumping about, and gestures that would seem grotesque in any actor or mimic! Especially unsatisfactory will you prove unless you reply in his own words and say only what he is accustomed to hear.

Yet he himself with all his hair-splitting is absolutely ignorant of the solution. In one point however he has perhaps been somewhat careful of his own interest, in that he has pocketed all the proceeds of his bombast. None the less quite easily, like a bladder pricked by a needle, all the loquacity that was resounding in the bellows of his ignorant throat dies away at times if a man of sense inject a single remark.

I cannot imagine that those are more fitted for philosophic discussion who meet every remark with a long formal speech, as if in reply to every question they had to deliver a public address. A rule has been handed down that he who says more or less than has been asked him is ignorant of the proper line to be followed in debate. Besides, when anyone is to be instructed, that only should be stated which aids in solving the question. Consequently it is evident that they who read everything in connection with every question, and while investigating one point strive to settle all, do not possess the correct technique of teaching, for they are either ignorant of the proper method or by disguising their calling are possibly making a display of their own endowments, and, as Cicero27 puts it, they show what they themselves, rather than what their profession, can accomplish.

[144] Therefore they who fill their elementary Porphyry28 with

27 Cicero, De Invent, i. 6, 8.

28 Webb cites in the original the following passage from the Metalogus (ii. 16) as illustrative of the misuse by the twelfth-century logicians of the Isagoges of Porphyry, an introduction to Aristotle's Categories. "But because Porphyry wrote

all the divisions of philosophy, blunt the keenness of mind and the memory of those who are to be introduced to the subject. They disconcert the prospective student with their solemnity to such a degree that he feels he has undertaken a burden too heavy for his strength. I would perhaps concede that the Holy Scriptures whose every tittle29 is filled with holy signs, should be read with such solemnity for the reason that the treasure of the Holy Ghost by whose hand they have been written cannot be entirely plumbed. For although on the face of it the written word lends itself to one meaning only, manifold mysteries lie hidden within, and from the same source30 allegory often edifies faith and character in various ways. Mystical interpretation leads upward in manifold ways, so that it provides the letter not only with words but with reality itself.

But in liberal studies where not things but words merely have meaning, he who is not content with the first meaning of the letter seems to me to lose himself, or to be desirous of leading his auditors away from an understanding of truth that they may be held by him for a longer period. I really think our poor Porphyry foolish if he wrote in such a manner that his meaning can be understood only by those who have previously read Aristotle, Plato, and Plotinus. For myself I take leave of anyone who presumes to introduce me to any study by such a short cut, since I shall indeed follow the one who [145] expounds the letter and by opening up the surface, so to say, imparts the historical meaning.

for this elementary book [sc. Aristotle's Categories] a somewhat more elementary work, antiquity believed that his should be read before reading Aristotle himself. Right enough, if properly used in a way not to cloud the student's mind and waste his time. For it is scandalous for anyone to squander his life in memorizing five paltry discourses with the result that he has no time left to prosecute those studies for which the former should have served merely as an introduction. Consequently as Porphyry's work was an introduction to more advanced studies it was entitled Isagoges [Introductions]. Now they who employ this in such a way that no place is left for the advanced studies nullify the significance of the title, for if these studies are neglected there is no reason for the existence of the introductory work.

29 Cf. Luke xvi. 17.

30 Cf. Cassianus, Coll. IV. viii. De Spir. Scien. Webb remarks, "Cassian divides the exposition of knowledge into historical interpretation and spiritual understanding; the latter he divides into allegory which has reference to Christ or the Church, tropologia referring to morals and anagoge [mystical interpretation] to the future life and the Church Triumphant."

Chapter Thirteen. Requirements and as It Were Keys of

Philosophy; Simplicity a Friend of Virtue; the Meaning of

Wrestling with the Angel or Feeding It; Leaving One's

Country and Its Advantage at the Call of Wisdom

THE OLD man of Chartres31 has briefly stated what the keys of knowledge32 are which open the traveler's way for those studying philosophy with the hope of gazing upon the vision of truth. Though I am not attracted by the music of his verse I approve his idea and believe that it should be faithfully imprinted upon the minds of students of philosophy. He says

A humble mind, the zeal to learn, a life Of quiet, the silent search, a lack of wealth, A foreign land, these are the keys that open When we read, the doors to light our night Of ignorance.33

So to the humble,34 God giveth grace; and on those35 who, initiated by fear, adhere faithfully to Him, in love and in the performance of His commandments, He conferreth a knowledge of truth. For on the testimony of the sage those who trust36 in the Lord shall know the truth, but God resisteth the proud.37 Who shall be a philosopher without His consent or shall succeed in anything against His will? It is humility neither to scorn him who takes the part of teacher nor yet knowledge, unless perhaps it be such as religion has disapproved.

[146] If, as we are wont to say, no one can successfully undertake anything contrary to the bent of his talent,38 who shall attain knowledge without Him who is the Lord of all knowledge39 and in Whom40 are hidden all the treasures of wisdom? To attempt this is indeed a very great task, more difficult and far greater than, in the words of the fable, to tear his club from Hercules' hand.41 Nay, it is in fact far less, since it is nothing; if however that which is absolutely nothing can be said to be greater or less than anything. Whoever

31 I.e., Bernard of Chartres. See above, p. 116, and n. 13. 32 Luke xi. 52.

33 Cf. remarks of Hugo of Saint Victor on these lines, which he attributes to a "certain wise man." Erud. Didasc. iii. 13-20.

34 1 Pet. v. 5. 35 Ps. cx. 10; John vii. 17; 1 John v. 2.

36 Wisd. iii. 9. 37 1 Pet. v. 5.

38 Cicero, De Off. I. xxxi. 110 (L. C. L., p. 112).

39 1 Kings ii. 3. 40 Col. ii. 3.

41 Macrobius, Sat. V. iii. 16.

therefore enters upon the path of philosophy should knock humbly at the door of His grace in Whose hand42 is the book of all knowledge, and this only the Lamb who was slain opens, in order to lead his straying servant to the way of wisdom and happiness. It is in vain for anyone to flatter himself with regard to his own capacity, his retentive memory, his studious application, and his fluency of tongue, because if these should be employed without direction, the more effective they seem, the farther they go astray; for the more swiftly a horse advances along the wrong road the longer it will take its rider to reach home.

There is however a simplicity joined to humility by which the understanding of the learner is greatly assisted. For humility acquiesces in what the better informed have written, and simplicity, whenever any statement appears to have been incorrectly made, will turn [147] it to better use by the interpretation of faith. He is indeed a blunderer who seeks to lord it over writings by which he should be instructed, and by taking their meaning captive strives to force them, despite resistance, to his own way of thinking; for to seek in them what they have not is to obscure one's own understanding, not to learn another's meaning. Were not the eyes of the apostles43 held that they should not know wisdom, which was following them with burning love, because they were slow of heart to believe the things that the prophet had been speaking, seeking what was far from the minds of the prophets, and not taking heed of Christ who lay hidden in the letter?

But because with burning zeal of love they were seeking what lay hidden, wisdom which was being sought was present and opened their eyes so that they understood the Scriptures, and they reproached their own slowness when they saw the Lord. For zealous investigation is profitable only when the desire for knowledge has as its end Christ. But He is known only in the breaking of bread because the intention of the Scriptures is not seen at all unless a rebirth of faith or character is granted the soul. Any one who with his talent or learning tampers with the Holy Scriptures for his own pleasure is excluded as it were from the sanctuary of philosophy and remains a stranger to the understanding of truth.

42 Apoc. v. 1ff. Webb suggests that the people of the Middle Ages identified the book of knowledge, which is unlocked only by a knowledge of the seven arts, with the book of the Apocalypse, sealed with the seven seals.

43 Luke xxiv. 13ff.

The Sodomites too, when desiring to corrupt the angels,44 rebukers of evil and guests of a just man, were struck with blindness, and wandering around the wall, groping at midday, and wrapped in dense darkness, were overwhelmed by the righteous judgment of God. So while proud and malignant they stray near the wall of the Scripture, they do not attain the feeling of faith which abides in the home of the simple man,45 with whom there is the communication of God and who sees the Angel,46 rebuker of evil. The angel is indeed the Scripture which is acknowledged to have been sent down by God into the Sodom of the world to chide the evil of men. He said "Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear to my words, ye people of Gomorrha!"47

[148] One must therefore serve the Scriptures, not have domination over them, unless perchance one believe that he deserves to have dominion over angels. At any rate we read that just men adored48 and gave them to eat; and shall the temerity of man wish to be preferred to them? They are however fed with the food of faith and good works, for the Samaritan woman also thus fed49 the Angel of the Great Judgment50 at the well; and perhaps it shall not profit to have adored them if the food is withdrawn. Is it not written that the patriarch51 was alive with the desire of seeking? He it was who seeing the ladder the top of which touched heaven, also saw angels ascending and descending and the Lord himself leaning against the ladder. Jacob wrestled with the angel until the dawn brightened, and did not rest, fatigued by the angel so as to yield, until one of his thighs was withered; and accomplishing his purpose he brought back with him from the departing angel the gift of its blessing.

These things happened to him in spirit or in figure, but on the testimony of the apostles52 they serve us figuratively. Therefore58 on the path of our peregrinations let us grapple with the angels of the Scriptures, and wrestling in tireless struggle with them, not yield until the dawn of truth shines bright. Nor does it suffice to know truth alone unless the thigh of the love of temporal things54 wither-

44 Gen. xix.

45 Prov. iii. 32. 46 Cf. Num. xxii. 23ff.

47 Isa. i. 10. 48 Gen. xviii. 2ff.

49 John iv. 6ff. 50 I.e., Christ.

51 I. e., Jacob; see Gen. xxviii. 12ff.; xxxii. 24ff.

52 1 Cor. x. 11.

53 John now returns to the moral interpretation of Gen. xxxii.

54 Cf. Gregorius Magnus, Hom. in Ezek. II. ii. par. 13.

ing, we may the more readily attain from the angelic blessing access to true virtue, the more our love for things eternal is aroused and the more we halt in our desire for things temporal. For such a struggle leads to the result that God in person who is the highest truth, on the testimony of Man Triumphant, is seen face to face. Indeed whatever good appears in faith and good works is a sort of vision of the divine.

[149] Right it is that dawn without the blessing does not free the angel because a knowledge of truth without grace of good works does not produce the fruit of good conscience. Then too we are inspired with zeal for investigation not only by domestic but also by foreign examples. For Solon,55 who always burned with the highest enthusiasm for wisdom, on the day of his death as his friends sat by him talking together, raised his head all but overwhelmed by death and when asked why he did so replied "That I may know the subject you are discussing and then die." Indolence would indeed have moved from the abode of men had they entered it with the spirit with which Solon left it! The industrious Carneades,56 a veteran in the service of wisdom, completed his ninetieth year in study; for him indeed interest in philosophy ended only with life itself.

Cato57 in his eighty-sixth year was actively engaged in public life, with the spirit of a youth, the strength of a mature, and the dignity of an old, man. No one noticed the slightest lapse of memory on his part, weakness of lungs, flabbiness of flesh, numbness of limbs, or hesitation in speech. He who had become acquainted with Latin literature quite late in life was eager to master the Greek as well; after having won for himself a reputation for oratory, he made it his aim to become proficient in the knowledge of law also. His remarkable son,58 worthy of having such a father as Cato, was so enthusiastic for learning that not even in the senate chamber when the members were gathering did he refrain from constantly reading Greek works; by such industry he proved that some lack time but that others rise superior to it.

That a peaceful life59 is a necessity even the moralist teaches, for he thinks that the training of the scholar is unavailing if a crowding noisy throng is hammering at his door. He says

55 Valerius Maximus, VIII. vii. ext. 14.

56 Ibid., ext. 5. 57 Ibid., 1. 58 Ibid., 2.

59 The third key of knowledge. See above, p. 265, quotation from Bernard.

Where is there place for genius if not in breast Inspired by song alone, that shuts out all But it, when swept away by Arra's lord [150] And Nysa's! Lofty needs to be the soul

(Not one that's worried at the cost of shawl To keep it warm) to conjure up the cars And steeds of war, the faces of the gods, Or to describe the frightful Furies' mien Which froze the blood of the Rutulian chief.60

For the blind man of the Gospels,61 whom the multitude that went before and that followed62 equally rebuked, that he should hold his peace, teaches that the multitude shuts off the light of truth. Indeed, as the Lord says,63 he who abides in turmoil is troubled by many things, than which nothing is more inimical to zeal for one's interests and to the pursuit of morality. For if zeal is,64 as Cicero declares, an ardent turning of the mind to the accomplishment of something which gives great pleasure, naturally a troubled mind torn in different directions is by no means devotedly occupied with the sole task of virtue.

But zealous application65 is of the greatest help when virtue is reinforced as the result of a silent exercise of his own best judgment in respect to all that a man reads or hears; for there reason ponders and weighs in the balance the benefit derived from all things.

A tranquil existence however is impossible if it lack the necessities of life; and again, if the mind luxuriates in pleasure, affluence extinguishes the light of reason. Consequently poverty,66 the breeder of men,67 the guard of true humility, and the ally of virtue is added to the preceding keys of philosophy that it, with its spirit of moderation, may check luxury and by its incentive force man to remember who he is and oblige him to press on without interruption in his task of virtue. An honorable thing, as the sage says, is cheerful poverty; yet it is no poverty if cheerful, but something to be pre-

60 Juvenal, Sat. 63-68 (L. C. L., p. 142).

61 Luke xviii. 35ff.; Cf. Matt. xx. 30ft.; Mark x. 46ff.

62 Matt. xxi. 9. 63 Luke x. 41-42.

64 Cicero, De Invent, i. 25, 36.

65 The fourth key of knowledge; see n. 59 above.

66 The fifth key; see n. 59 above.

67 Lucan, Phars. i. 165-66 (L. C. L., p. 14).

ferred to the riches of Croesus. Consequently Democritus,68 though he had wealth so great that his father was easily able to serve a banquet to the host of Xerxes, retained but a small sum and turned [157] his patrimony over to his country that he might with more tranquil mind devote himself to letters. Dwelling several years in Athens, he devoted every moment of time to the attainment of knowledge and lived unknown in that city, a fact that he himself has stated in one of his works. The well-known Theban, Crates,69 also hurled a considerable sum of gold into the sea, exclaiming "To perdition with you, ye evil desires! I shall drown you that I be not drowned myself." Then too, Anaxagoras,70 on returning to his native land after a long sojourn abroad and finding his possessions gone, remarked "I would not have been safe had they not perished." An oracular saying of Socrates'71 is cited to the effect that he would teach no one of means72 unless he approached the shrine of instruction convinced of his own need and poverty; for there will always be something more that is attractive or necessary for learners to know. Philosophy exacts sojourn in a foreign land73 — nay, makes at times her own a foreign land — nor does she ever feel the burden of exile. This is because she drives away domestic worries, which are of the flesh, with the result that the man entirely devoted, as it were, to the spirit, regards as foreign all that impedes the progress of wisdom. Everywhere he is at home and everywhere in his own country, because everywhere abides with him and everywhere abides with wisdom. Perhaps this is the meaning of the Lord's invitation to the patriarch,74 when enjoining him to go out of his country and away from his kindred, that, setting out on his pilgrimage, he may multiply into a great nation and may be successful in acquiring the very land that he is leaving, scorning at wisdom's call all things that are of the world. Indeed virtue increases by the experience of moderate indigence, and courage is more easily overcome by riches than by labors. But he who entangles the foot of his affection in a connection with things temporal to which we may say he was born, becomes a slave, loses his stature, successfully acquires and becomes owner of all things which are trampled by the affection of the pure heart under the foot of the mind, as it were.

68 Valerius Maximus, VIII. vii. ext. 4.

69 Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 9. 70 Valerius Maximus, VIII. vii. ext. 6.

71 Ibid., VII. ii. ext. 1. 72 Ibid., VIII. vii. ext. 8.

73 The sixth key. 74 Gen. xii. 1ff.

[152] But who is disposed even to enter this arduous road? Who is to attack the strong angel?75 Or who, if he does attack, perseveres? Yet the face of truth is not seen without the risk of struggle, and had not the bitterness of poverty and exile preceded, the union with Rachel and Leah76 had not been sweet; nor would numerous offspring have grown had not the solitude of the faltering passed over the Jordan supported by the staff of virtue.77 Accompanied by a double retinue, one of spiritual, one of corporeal blessings, he returns a rich man who, an exile even among relatives, has long pursued the arduous task of pure contemplation and right doing. They who strive to attain the heights of philosophy by any other path go astray; under the urge of hunger they will dispose of their first birthright if indeed they can find a brother78 to bestow the pottage of wisdom for a price. For as Aristippus is said to have stated, to abstain from the pursuit of reading is to indulge in vice.

Chapter Fourteen. The Pupil's Seventh Key

IN QUINTILIAN'S work on the education of the orator79 love for his teacher is laid down as the pupil's seventh key,80 and accordingly instructors are to be loved and respected as parents are; for as the latter are creators of the bodies, so the former are the creators of the souls of their listeners (not generating of themselves the substance of spirit but engendering as it were wisdom in the minds of their listeners by making over their nature for the better). Such attachments are of great assistance to study, for pupils are glad to listen to those whom they love; they believe what they are told by them, desire to be like them; under the impulse of loyalty and affection they are eager and glad to form those throngs of pupils; do not become angry when rebuked; are not confused when praised, and will themselves well deserve to be held very dear because of their devotion to study. For as the function of teachers is to teach, so that of auditors to show themselves teachable; otherwise neither without the help of the

75 A reference to Jacob wrestling with the angel. Gen. xxxii. 24ff.

76 Gen. xxix. 77 Gen. xxxii. 10. 78 Gen. xxv. 29ff.

79 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. ii. 9 (L. C. L., I, 270ff.). The passage within parentheses is not from Quintilian; in fact the sentence before the parentheses also has been rephrased by John.

80 I. e., in addition to those of Bernard of Chartres.

[153] other avails. Just as man owes his origin to each of two progenitors and as you labor in vain if you scatter seed on ground that has not been broken and softened by the furrow, so eloquence cannot mature unless there be a spirit of harmony between the teacher and the taught.

So states Quintilian in his rules governing eloquence, but what he says applies as well to instruction in wisdom. Assuredly eloquence is not attained without rules for wisdom, and he is not merely ridiculous but somewhat lacking in sense who, though not instructed by philosophy how to speak with a degree of accuracy, forces his way into the forum of those who have ears to hear.

The book entitled Christian Teaching sets forth several other keys81 for the understanding of the Scriptures, and these Tichonius has enumerated. They by no means clash with those just mentioned; rather they all depend upon one, for zeal in investigation embraces all of them. As for the rest, language was established by the teaching of the gentiles, with the intention that it be explicitly applied to the instruction of the faithful. However the one unique key of keys, as it were, is that that openeth and no man shutteth, locketh and no man openeth,82 without which no man attains the understanding of truth; and whoever does not grasp it and does not hold tight to it, him I deem a madman, not a sage.

Chapter Fifteen. The "Summum Bonum" of Epicurus and His Followers; the Path to Enjoyment Beset by Many Hardships

MANY and difficult are the tests by which the qualities of those pursuing the path of philosophy are tried because there is no path to the top except over steep places. However all hardships are mitigated by the expectation of advancement, and as the advantages of the effort are weighed the mind is steeled to meet every difficulty. All are [154] indeed making for the summit but by different paths; yet none methinks attains it or even essays it without toil. Though there are three schools of philosophy which are themselves split into various

81 See Augustine, De Doctr. Christ. III. xxx. par. 42. Tichonius was a Donatist mentioned by Augustine.

82 Apoc. iii. 7.

sects, all, but in different ways, toil in their effort to reach the goal they have set themselves.

Epicurus and his whole drove83 assert that the happy life is that which is always filled with such joy that there is no place for even the slightest suggestion of sadness or even perturbation. It is indeed a true and excellently turned definition; yet from it the masses which followed him strayed to physical delights, imagining that in pursuing them they would be supremely happy. Nor can I be persuaded that Socrates was the source Of any such theory for he taught such purity of character that posterity believed him to possess not merely a human but a divine spirit. But because it is easy for the best of sentiments to be distorted by those who hear or repeat them, what should have been the instrument of virtue has been diverted by writers to the profit of filthiness. Flesh then has concluded (for assuredly no man endowed with sense holds the opinion) that to think, say, and do all that mind, tongue, and hand covet and to thwart oneself or to repress one's inclination in nothing is the life of a man enjoying supreme happiness, simply because nothing is more fascinating than love and amusement,84 nothing more agreeable than a parasite's life or the life of those who feast sumptuously every day85 and are inflamed with wine86 and wear gorgeous apparel.

Does one ever reach this goal without toil? How many obstacles to such a life do the vicissitudes of human destiny raise? To be free to use one's means ad libitum, wealth is required; the man who lacks it does not use them in this way, either because he does not have them or is sparing for fear of losing them. But granted the resources, a man will bravely sally forth with them in the midst of his many rivals [155] who are hurrying on in their excessive greed. He must have power to keep what he has. Personal influence is therefore also required. Is such a position acquired without paying the price, that is to say, without toil and trouble?

But to be an object of contempt in such matters is a hard, intolerable lot, for the reason that the love of self-interest is inborn in every man so that even he who does not try to be good desires to appear good and hopes that the judgment of others will err in weighing his worth; for goodness is attained not by the love of one's own interests

83 Cf. Horace, Ep. I. iv. 16 (L. C. L., p. 276): "A hog from the drove of Epicurus."

84 See ibid., vi. 65-66 (L. C. L., p. 290).

85 Luke xvi. 19. 86 See Isa. v. 11.

but by the love of justice. Therefore the respect of one's associates is sought, but this itself vanishes like a breath unless it be extended by grace of fame; now this respect, which gives birth to glory and maintains it, has its origin in many sources, but its especial strength is derived from the practice of the virtues.

It is therefore patent how toilsome is the passage to happiness by the route of pleasure, for its votaries gather wealth to maintain themselves, seek grandeur to be upheld by power, position to inspire respect and to avoid contempt, and aim at glory to win fame. Yet that life which Epicurus describes is not acquired by all these means — a life that knows naught of sadness or trouble; because either these conditions do not concur for any one person or do not produce the effects they promise; nay, very often, as though diametrically opposed, they produce results contrary to the expectation of the seekers themselves. If you do not believe me turn over the pages of the Consolation of Philosophy with some attention, and it will be apparent that these things go by contraries. Although this book is not the expression of the Incarnate Word, yet in the estimation of those who rely on reason it is of no slight importance, since for the purpose of checking grief in a spirit however deeply wounded,87 it has remedies to offer suitable for every one.

Neither Jew nor Greek under the pretext of religion would decline to use its remedies, since in the case of the wise in belief and the foolish in disbelief the ingenious working of such a lively intellect makes it impossible for any religion to disdain the remedy it offers unless one has lost his reason. Its author is profound in thought but easy to understand and has a distinguished style free of triviality; he is a forceful orator and an effective guide; at one time plausibly [156] persuading, at another impelling with the goad of necessity to the course that must be pursued. If, as you must, you yield yourself to him, you will see that things are sought with excess of zeal or sought on account of something else, and that that for the sake of which they are sought is by no means a result of them. That however for the sake of which they are sought might have been more truly discovered and in a shorter way had it been sought from no other source than from itself. But now for the most part, as evil increases, it is not sought even if it does present itself but is considered negligible in comparison with those other things. For although all good

"Petronius, Sat. 111 (L.C.L., p. 230).

things are accessories of wisdom and it is conceded that she is to be sought above health and beauty, she herself is held in little esteem and only her accessories are valued.88

Who pursues philosophy to attain wisdom? You will see many, though not pursuing philosophy yet imitating philosophers, to obtain worldly wealth and prosperity. But it is more likely that wealth hinders the pursuit of philosophy rather than contributes anything to it, for one cannot loyally serve God and Mammon.89 Do not fear that anyone will abandon his native land to embrace voluntary poverty in order to have leisure for study, for philosophy itself is regarded as useless labor unless attended by the reward of opulence. Curiosity to know is the incentive for some; vanity under the goad of pride impels others to the wish of seeming to know; while greed of gain fires the ambition of still others. Rare is the person who essays in humility and love the path of wisdom that he may be taught himself or may teach others, for everything is referred to the shallow standards of filthy pleasure or futile utility; these are the aim of a soul astray. Meanwhile philosophy is the passport of but few because another way seems far shorter; for as the saying is, love of [757] genius never made any man rich.90

Chapter Sixteen. The Love of Wealth; the Soul Finds No Contentment Therein

THEY whose sole interest is the acquisition of wealth desire to spread the belief that nothing in life is comparable to the course which they have chosen in preference to all others. To satisfy their insatiable desire different things are tried by different men. No peril is formidable if hope is raised by the glint of enticing gold.91 Love of money well-nigh conquers nature herself and brings almost impossible things within the realm of possibility. Nothing seems vile or sordid to the miser; when the people hiss92 him he knows how to console himself; he even applauds himself as soon as he contemplates the coins in his chest. You may well believe that the words of Petronius apply to everybody.

88 Wisd. vii. 11, 10, 9. 89 Matt. vi. 24.

90 Petronius, Sat. 83 (L. C. L., p. 166). 91 Persius, Sat. Prol. 12 (L. C. L., p. 310). 92 Horace, Sat. I. i. 66, 67 (L. C. L., p. 8).

Each one who now possesses cash may sail On favoring breeze and temper destiny Just as he lists. He may take Danaë to wife And tell Acrisius to believe what he Told Danaë. He may write verse, declaim; His fingers snap at all the world; win each And every case; in fact quite vanquish Cato In his line. As lawyer he may have His "Proven" or the opposite and be A Labeo and Servius all in one. I've said enough; with cash in hand, desire That which you crave and it will come. Your safe Has Jove shut up within.93

As long as one can make money, no region of the world appears inaccessible, and the greater flame of avarice will conquer even its torrid zone. Consequently:

He vends his wares from rising sun to that Which warms the western region with its rays.94

He dashes headlong against his foe:95

Then comes the crash of battle; in a trice Quick death or joyous victory is won.96

Another delights to sit on the thresholds of proud houses, that from his intimacy with the great he may more easily attain the wealth [158] desired. If he can, he serves in some capacity; if not, it suffices to be entered on the list of courtiers, since even this by itself is a source of gain. He regards the topic of parsimony as quite unimportant (though parsimony is more lucrative than any revenue97) for he whom another's purse supports most effectively spares his own. He performs his duties at court until he is grey, nay until he becomes bald in service. It is rare that one who has served until he becomes

93 Petronius, Sat. 137 (L. C. L., p. 310).

94 Horace, Sat. I. iv. 29-30 (L. C. L., p. 4).

95 Virgil, Georg. in. 236 (L. C. L., p. 170). 96 Horace, Sat. I. i. 7-8 (L. C. L., p. 4).

97 See Cicero, De Re Pub. IV. vii. 7 (L. C. L., p. 236): "I consider frugality the best revenue both for private families and for states."

grey at court, even if turned out, returns home. If such people move away they die of starvation because, as Sidonius says: No bread suits their palates as well as the bread of others,98 for it is sweeter and derives something of its sweetness from belonging to another. He who has always spent what belongs to others knows not how to spend his own.

If honorable service is not to be had he does not blush to play the role of a parasite or mimic. What indignities he has to suffer before he secures his release! Think of Trebius99 dining at Virro's.1 His plan is always the same and he holds the same conviction,

So that he thought the highest bliss was that Of living on another's fare,

and of enduring with patience indignities

That neither Galba nor Sarmentus would,

at Caesar's ill assorted board.2

Innumerable are the ways by which, openly and secretly, this class hastens to make its profit. One not falling victim to the love of money is at times conquered by greed for its trappings. Horses, apparel, spurred falcons, hunting dogs, numerous herds of cattle and smaller beasts, and the varied furniture of the world (since it exceeds human capacity to enumerate each) are preferred to money by many, [159] and they exhaust the strength of their whole being in acquiring and keeping these possessions. For the frenzy of avarice in the abstract is based upon two considerations: that it covets to excess the possessions of others or guards its own too tenaciously; and that he who seeks to excess what he lacks, makes demands beyond the law of necessity or utility. That which is withdrawn for use is clung to with excessive greed; but who can doubt that those things which slip from their owners without being used are useless to them?

It is agreed that avarice is not only to be avoided but detested, particularly from the fact that it removes and sequesters its votaries far from the celestial, from association with divinity and the enjoyment of celestial beatitude. The nearer all things are to the celestial the less covetous and grasping they are. The winged creatures of the

98 Sidonius Apollinaris, Ep. III. xiii. 3.

99 Juvenal, Sat. \. 19 (L. C. L., p. 70). 1 Ibid., 39 (L. C. L., p. 70).

2 Ibid., 1-4 (L. C.L., p. 68).

heaven3 neither sow nor do they reap nor spin nor gather into barns nor pile up stores, but disregard all solicitude for the morrow.4 On the other hand mice and creeping things store up for the future, and they are said to be the generations for whom the earth is food; they live on the same sparingly, fearing that some day even that earth may fail them into which they themselves none the less will undoubtedly be resolved.

Let each entertain his own views; I, however, do not believe that the miser can ever attain his prayer, any more than that Epicurus will agree that a hungry, thirsty, fainting wretch is enjoying the pleasure of perfect delight. Both of them, to be sure, are hungry, except that the miser's hunger is the deadlier in that he always wants and can never be sated. Greater indeed is the greed of the mind than that of the body; and unless God pours in his being, it can never be satisfied; for since the element of spirit5 in virtue of its nature contains corporeal matter in such a manner that it is itself filled by no amount of matter, and since one object having taken possession of its own space does not prevent another from being [160] situated in space (the more received, for the more is there room), it is as clear as day that a corporeal object cannot fill soul, which is spirit. The whole universe is narrow as compared to the quantity of soul.6 From this it is patent that in this whole the soul finds no repose, unless one is foolish enough to believe that it is the view of Epicurus that one shut within narrow prison walls and lying upon a couch of thorns is enjoying voluptuous repose.

Chapter Twenty-Two. Hypocrites; Ezekias Who Lost the Treasures That He Displayed

MEN OF wisdom assert that it is difficult or quite impossible to rejoice in the present with the world and to exult for eternity in company with Christ; and assuredly it is a most pitiable plight to be tortured along with the world and be scourged for eternity in company with the devil. If therefore they who have hope only in this life7 are sad hypocrites8 who disfigure their faces that they may ap-

3 Matt. vi. 26. 4 Ibid., 34.

5 Cf. Augustine, De Gen. ad Litt. XII. xxiii.

6 Augustine wrote a treatise entitled The Quantity of the Soul.

7 1 Cor. xv. 19. 8 Matt. vi. 16.

pear righteous to men, and if, as it were sounding trumpets before them,9 they herald the works of their justice, in vain do they await recompense from the Lord since they have received their reward in [202] the present life. With regard to those10 who honor the Lord with words and attire only, it is agreed on His authority that He is himself far from them for the reason that their hearts are far from him, while their works incur loss of salvation and minister unto the Prince of Babylon, Satan; for all things that are done for display are traveling the road to death.

The book of Kings11 narrates that when Ezekias, King of Jerusalem, received from the Lord by the hand of Isaias a sign of his health and safety, the shadow of the clock retreating ten degrees (a thing seemingly contrary to nature since the shadow goes forward, not back), Berodach Baladan, son of Baladan, King of the Babylonians, sent a letter and gifts to Ezekias, for he had heard that Ezekias had been sick. And Ezekias rejoiced at their coming and he showed them the house of his aromatic spices and the gold and the silver and divers precious odors and ointments and the house of his vessels and all that he had in his treasures. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominions that Ezekias shewed them not.

And Isaias the prophet came to King Ezekias and said to him: What said these men or from whence came they to thee? And Ezekias said to him: From a far country they came to me out of Babylon. And he said: What did they see in thy house? Ezekias said: They saw all the things that are in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them. And Isaias said to Ezekias: Hear the word of the Lord! Behold the day shall come that all that is in thy house and that thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day shall be carried into Babylon; nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy sons also that shall issue from thee whom thou shalt beget, they shall take away and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the kings of Babylon.

On the surface the truth of the account according to the Hebrews is, on the authority of Jerome,12 quite evident in the fact that Ananias, Azarius, and Mizel, with Daniel, were taken in captivity to [203] Babylon and there castrated to serve in the palace of the king according to the custom of the gentiles; the only difficulty is the

9 Ibid., 2. 10 Isa. xxix. 13; Matt. xv. 8.

11 4 Kings xx. 12 Jerome, Comm. in Dan. i. 3.

statement that children without blemish13 were ordered by the king to be brought in to learn the tongue of the Chaldeans,14 and there is agreement that not only the treasures15 of the king of Judah were transferred to Babylon, but, as we read, a great part of the vessels of the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem were carried off and profaned. It is however pertinently stated that after the Lord had granted a miracle to the king messengers of the Babylonians approached with gifts; because when, through the wonderful clemency of God, one's virtue is more clearly in evidence, then in particular is one molested by messengers of confusion.16 But it is a mark of lack of wisdom to exult at such a time because the messengers should not only be held suspect but be carefully shunned as deadly foes, since they are to be feared17 even when bearing gifts.

He therefore who shows the aromatical spices18 of his good works, the gold of his virtue, the silver of his eloquence, the odours of his thoughts, the ointments of his pity, the use and beauty of his vessels, and all that with caution and prudence he has set aside in the treasures of conscience, should hearken to the word of the Lord and should know as a certainty that all things that are seen to fight for glory are destined to receive the wages19 of confusion and death. The very sons that succeed him are castrated for the prince of the Babylonians because those things that on other occasions have the merit and fruit of virtue become useless to the doer when they are performed for mere glory's sake. The just Rewarder20 spurns hypocrites and accepts the adoration of virtue only in what is good.21 His eyes can be blinded by no deception or guile because He sees in secret22 and searches the deep-places of the heart.23 He distinguishes between appearances and things,

[204] That bronze beneath the gold may not ring false.24

Hence hypocrisy has received its name from that of the Epicureans, for it is indeed the spit and image of them.25

13 Dan. i. 3ff. 14 I. e. the Chaldean and Hebrew tongues were one.

15 4 Kings xxiv. 13; Dan. i. 2; v. 2. 16 Babylon means confusion. Gen. xi. 9.

17 Virgil, Aen. ii. 49 (L. C. L., I, 296).

18 4 Kings xx. 13; Isa. xxxix. 2. 19 Rom. vi. 23. 20 Heb. xi. 6.

21 John iv. 23. 22 Matt. vi. 6, 18. 23 Jer. xvii. 10; 1 Cor. ii. 10.

24 Persius, Sat. v. 106 (L. C. L., p. 378).

25 Webb thus explains this last sentence: "Hypocrisy has received its name from the name of the Epicureans because hypocrites are good merely in appearance, being in reality Epicureans, that is, votaries of pleasure."

Chapter Twenty-Three. The Carthusians in that They Hold Avarice in Check with the Reins of Moderation, and the New Order of Grandmont in that Its Scorn of All Mundane Affairs and Its Lack of Thought for the Morrow Spurn All Things and Exclude Avarice, Are the Farthest Removed from the Stigma and Name of Hypocrites; Who the Secular Priests Are and Those of the Regular Orders; the Rule of Active and of Idle Monks; the End of Hypocrisy

THE CARTHUSIANS and the new order of Grandmont,26 firmly planted on the summit of ancient virtues under the guidance of our Saviour, display the greatest caution and conscientiousness in avoiding the name and stigma of hypocrites; for they have indeed fixed limits to their desires, nay even to their necessities, hold in check avarice with the reins of moderation, and at times even deprive themselves of necessities for fear that avarice under cover of necessity may plot against them.

They are undoubtedly great men and to be counted among the exceptional since not only few orders but even few individuals in our now aging world with its many passing centuries have been conspicuous for having set limits to their own desires. It is inevitable that something be ever wanting to the fortune incomplete,27 and the greed itself of desire, continually reaching for something more, [205] is an indication of unaccomplishment. I use the word indication; I would better have said a palpable defect of conscience. Therefore he who foresees the way by which he can be satisfied has in a sort of way, and that a glorious one, attained perfection. Although I believe that no one, or at least few, of the pagans have yet attained this goal, yet I am convinced that several have had it in mind, since the moralist too says "Fix a definite goal for thy desires;"28 for without this the aspirations of the human mind stretch to infinity and to that which can by no means be grasped.

Moreover the Grandmontines have chosen an exceedingly arduous life and, conquerors as it were not only of avarice but of nature herself, they have closed their doors against all commands of necessity

26 Grandmont near Limoges, to which the order had been transferred from Muret after the death of its founder, St. Stephen.

27 Horace, Carm. III. xxiv. 64 (L. C. L., p. 256).

28 Horace, Ep. I. ii. 56 (L. C. L., p. 266).

and have cast off solicitude for the morrow.29 To scorn all worldly delights is not enough for them; under whatever pretext one knocks at their doors he is not admitted and departs in confusion; Christ alone enters there on whose grace they rely, casting their thoughts upon Him30 who feeds the little ones and giveth to beast and young ravens their food.31 He clothes the lilies of the field32 and He provides with their necessities all who put their hope in Him or obey his covenant, so that nothing is lacking them who do not withdraw themselves from his will.

They therefore cast their entire care upon Him in whose care the faithful are,33 and they avoid the perplexities of discretion so carefully that to some their entire life seems a testing since the Christian Fathers thus describe its nature: a testing takes place where one entrusts the rein of duty to divine miracle though he be not yet bereft of human aid. Furthermore I believe the life that pleases God is one that knows no covetousness, is devoted to innocence, and is ever watchful for the work of charity. What therefore shall cloaked hypocrisy claim for herself in the case of either of the two orders since they are both free from covetousness? For it is a very sound rule that evils do not spring from the root of charity and that from the growth of covetousness no good will be garnered. Nor is there [206] any reason that God be displeased when an offering of good will is made to Him; but there is reason for offense if in any fat oblation one still withhold from Him His own will. Therefore he who arranges to do his own will arouses God's ire; but he who defers his own will and bows to His gives pleasure to the Most High, since in this alone consists the sum of true righteousness. Consequently the following passage in the Gospels: My judgment is just, saith the Lord, because I seek not my own will but the will of Him that sent me.34

Moses also in Leviticus says: Every oblation that is offered to the Lord shall be made without leaven; neither shall any leaven or honey be burnt in the sacrifice to the Lord.35 So it is, for there is the offering of the leaven of pride and honey every time that anyone

29 Matt. vi. 34.

30 Ps. liv. 23. 31 Ps. cxlvi. 9.

32 Matt. vi. 28, 30.

33 1 Pet. v. 7.

34 John v. 30. 35 Lev. ii. 11.

disregarding humility and strict commands makes an offering at the dictate of his own will. But he who subjects his own will to legitimate command, whatever his offering may be, it does not contain the pride of leaven nor the sweetness of honey that are excluded from the sacrifice. And so those who forget their own will, seeking ever the means of pleasing Him whose approval they wish, scorning the praise which is of men,36 neither having nor desiring to have wealth, what portion can they be said to have with the hypocrites?37

The following may cause you surprise. It is said that a certain individual joined the order of the Carthusians that he might from this society of saints be called to high position; but, recanting, he disclosed by the evidence of his works his intention. However he had his judge and was never able to do anything to sully the glory of that most holy order. I have never heard that anyone so far has been called to high position from Grandmont and I hope no one ever will be, or if he be, that he will prove himself one who will never by any act stain the glory of these men of unique distinction. Some have Basil, others Benedict, still others Augustine, but the Grand-[207] montines have as their exclusive master our Lord Jesus Christ.

Although I have expressed less appreciation of these two orders than they deserve, I have, as God is my witness, set forth nothing to affront others who are advancing along the straight path in their own orders. The Cistercians are holy men, so are the Cluniacs; holy are monks and the regular canonical priests, and among these from time to time a particular one reflects peculiar sanctity as star differeth from star in brightness.58 However much one order differs from another there will perhaps be discovered in each of them those who may equal the greatest saints. The title of first rank and unique glory among saints belongs to virgins; among the continent however and those of the married state there are some who take precedence of many virgins. The Catholic Church avows that martyrs take precedence of confessors; and yet to a certain extent we may put some confessors on a footing with some martyrs.

Nor is there any reason that any secular priest, like myself for example, should compare himself to the orders already mentioned, because it is scarcely possible that any such can be on a footing with

36 Rom. ii. 29. 37 Matt. xxiv. 51. 38 1 Cor. xv. 41.

even indifferent cloister brothers. For if any one of us should fast from the thirteenth of September until Easter every day;39 keep vigil by night continually; abstain from the eating of meat; remain ignorant of the carnal form of love; never fail, or rarely and then for good reason, the appointed hour; not exceed the bounds of sobriety; should set a careful watch of silence before his mouth;40 obliterate daily excesses by daily atonement; perform unhesitatingly and promptly the orders given him; and endure with patience not merely harsh words but wounds, so as to be dumb before his [208] shearer,41 who would not esteem him a man of outstanding virtue and striking merit and reverentially herald him as a man of the apostolic age and a perfect pattern of Christ? Such of necessity is the conduct of even an idle cloister brother. They differ from their zealous brothers in that the latter perform those duties by choice while the former are forced by the goad of necessity and often yield to it very reluctantly.

Yet there are those found in the common garb, some of whom I would not venture to call seculars since there is nothing in such individuals that ought to be called secular, unless it be the bond formed by the secular passion of carnal love; for as circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing but the observance of the commandments of God,42 so if the religious orders will pardon me, the monk is nothing and the canonic is nothing if the observance of commands is disregarded. Such matters have value in the last analysis when the law is obeyed. If then one observes the law without them, I would by no means term him secular. However let us humor those of the religious orders and call those secular who are not distinguished by wearing the black robe. There is no harm done the reputation unless the life be also secular.

Some express indignation because I pronounce such views with regard to those belonging to the religious bodies while I am myself a secular in garb and a sinner in my associations. In answering these I appeal not to Caesar43 but to Benedict.44 He did criticize wandering and vagabond monks, yet he clearly expressed his appreciation of the cloister brothers. My authority is Jerome although

39 Webb explains thus: "sc. until 3 P. M. but in Lent until evening." St. Benedict, Reg. 41.

40 Ps. cxl. 3. 41 Isa. liii. 7. 42 1 Cor. vii. 19. 43 Acts xxv. 11. 44 St. Benedict, Reg. i.

some of the monks do not give him a kindly hearing because he seems to a certain extent to have given preference to clerics. He is, I repeat, my authority that dress makes no difference in the matter of piety. In every garb he who feareth God and worketh justice is acceptable to him.45 Jerome also says "Avoid dark as well as light dress."46 Adornment as well as slovenliness are to be shunned, for the one betokens luxury and the other ambition. Not to walk proudly because you wear no linen garment but not to have the price of linen is what is praiseworthy.

[209] It is quite apparent that he describes a class of men of our time, that is to say a class that professes a sort of irregular rule. Listen to what he has to say in this connection and see whether you can recognize them from his description. "Besides" he remarks "it is absurd and unseemly to brag with a full purse that you have no handkerchief or napkin. There are those who do not contribute much for the poor that they may receive more and under pretext of alms, acquire wealth. This should be called venery rather than almsgiving. It is in this way that beasts and birds and even fish are caught. A small bait is put upon the hook that the purses of matrons may be hooked by it. It is indeed better not to have anything to contribute than to beg shamelessly in order that you may make contributions."47

The brothers of the hospice or others have no cause to complain of me, for he who is speaking is a teacher of the Church. Possibly Jerome did not have them in mind. They know their rule though I do not know mine. Yet I do know the rule of truth by which I am convinced that religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulations and to keep oneself unpolluted by the world.48 This rule applies to all laymen as well, and happy they if they faithfully keep it. Moreover the prophet, speaking in his own person, expresses the rule of those dwelling in the holy peace of God: "I set the Lord always in my sight for he is at my right hand that I be not moved; therefore my heart hath been glad."49 And Mary apart from the crowd and, in the Gospel, sitting at the Lord's feet that she might hear his word,50 gives expression to the same rule.

45 Acts x. 35.

46 Jerome, Ep. lii (ad Nepot. de Vita Clericorum et Monacharum).

48 Jas. i. 27. 49 Ps. xv. 8, 9. 50 Luke x. 39.

47 Ibid.

However, to close the discussion on hypocrites, let us proclaim what Job has to say of them. "This" he says "I know from the beginning since man was placed upon the earth, that the praise of the wicked is short and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment. If his pride mount even up to heaven and his head touch the clouds, in [210] the end he shall be destroyed like a dunghill."51

Chapter Twenty-Four. They Who Envy and They Who Disparage

BEHOLD how wretched the end of hypocrites, who on the testimony of holy writ shall be destroyed like a dunghill, than which nothing is filthier. It is therefore in vain that they aspire to the shadow of good works, for were their works good they would assuredly not be destroyed. That they might fulfill the lusts of the flesh52 which lusteth against the spirit they endured much in hunger,53 in thirst, in cold, in nakedness, and the like, with which the precious pearl54 of Christ might have been bought. For the works of the flesh consist not in uncleanness alone or gluttony, since the apostle speaking to the Galatians proves that they are manifest55 in many vices such as fornication, uncleanness, avarice, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelry, and such like; and they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. Therefore works, whether they be referred to the end of uncleanliness or luxury or to the outcome of vainglory or avarice, because they are deprived of their end, incur death. Hence the same apostle says: Let us not be made desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another.56 He expresses indeed with wisdom and felicity the vices by which foul dealing is made known, since swollen arrogance readily challenges that from which it thinks to procure victory for self and jealousy envies those whom it supposes superior or equal. I can indeed believe nothing more pitiable than this, [211] though no misery arouses less pity than the calamity of those who have voluntarily cast away beatitude. Who can sympathize with those who because of the gall of malice prefer to be miserable rather than happy?

51 Job xx. 4-7. 52 Gal. v. 16, 17. 53 2 Cor. xi. 27.

54 Matt. xiii. 46. 55 Gal. v. 19-21. 56 Gal. v. 26.

The Christian Fathers have long since agreed that beatitude rests upon virtue and that there can be no virtue without charity. The fruit of this is indeed most agreeable on the testimony of the apostle,57 who clearly opposes to the works of the flesh the works of the spirit, which avail for life, and these are peace, patience, longanimity, goodness, joy, mildness, continency, and chastity. Therefore they who lop off these branches of virtue from the soil of their heart and destroy the root of charity whence they spring, by what path do they advance to beatitude? There is nothing that is more inimical to charity than the poison of envy. Envy is, as philosophers agree, the moroseness that originates at sight of the prosperity of another. If however one is rendered morose by the sight of the prosperity of a tyrant or wicked citizen, he is by no means disfigured by the stain of envy; for it is abhorrent even to the good to see success crown the efforts of those who are thought to be intent on evil to the destruction of the many.

If therefore jealousy is aroused by the success of others it is self-evident that it is far removed from charity, which seeks not its own but its neighbors' good. Charity regards nothing as its own in blessings and nothing in misfortune as alien to it; it pities the woes of others and expends upon its neighbors its own goods, for it unites minds so that they have the same likes and dislikes.

The great Augustine58 says: Away with envy! Mine is yours and yours is mine. And possibly a thing shall not be mine or yours but ours. Envy is a vice which desires that what it wishes present in [212] itself be at the same time absent from its neighbor; and if it is not absent it suffers the torture of the damned; and often it suffers on seeing present in its neighbor that which it does not desire. Quite right indeed, for the moralist says

How just is envy which straightway attacks And wrings the heart of its creator.59

Nor should you deem slight a torment greater than which Sicilian tyrants could not devise.60

Ovid has depicted with felicity and truth this scourge, though with a poet's imagination:

57 Gal. v. 19-23.

58 In Joann. Tract. XXII. vii. par. 8.

59 Verses quoted by Jerome, In Gal. v. 21. 60 Horace, Ep. I. ii. 58, 59 (L. C. L., p. 266).

Her face is pale, her body shrunk, the eyes

Awry, her teeth all foul and black;

Her breast is green with gall and tongue spread o'er

With venom. Never does she smile save at

The sight of others' woes; she never sleeps,

Alert with sleepless cares. Unwelcome too

The sight of man's success and at the sight

She pines away; she rends while rent herself;

She is her self-made torturer.61

The description is no less true although the author62 personifies an abstract idea, since in this the essence of the figure which is named sarcographia consists in the fact that it clothes with poet's license abstract ideas with bodily form. It should be particularly noted that the flame of envy cannot be quenched by any power of kindness or nature. For the poet represents Envy as aroused by the strength and beauty of Pallas; a sister63 too, goaded by jealousy, could not endure the thought of the happy mating of her sister and [213] could by no inducement be prevailed upon to keep the pledge made to the divinity and to her sister.

Oft did she wish to die and see no sight Like that.64

Envy incited the patriarchs to the crime of a brother's murder65 that it might not be allowed the innocent youth to reveal with impunity the grace which the Spirit was revealing to him. An innocent brother was therefore condemned to slavery, a father to bereavement; and iniquity in order to frustrate the disposition of the grace of God, brought upon itself from a just judge hunger, the yoke of slavery, calamity of exile, calumny from the Egyptians, and Pharaoh's cruelty. Joseph's hands66 served in labors, and those labors that followed in clay and brick67 and in straw itself68 are reckoned unseemly.

You may see many spurred by this same goad of envy to oppose such obstacles as they can to grace and to strive to impede the dis-

61 Ovid, Met. ii. 775-82 (L. C. L., I, 114).

62 Sc. Ovid. Ibid., 773-74 (L. C. L., I, 114).

63 A reference to the fable of Aglauros, who envied her sister Hersa. Ibid., 708ff. (L. C. L., I, 110).

64 Ibid., 812 (L. C.L., I, 116).

65 Gen. xxxvii ff.

66 Ps. lxxx. 7. 67 Exod. i. 14. 68 Exod. v. 7.

position of the Most High. If perchance, as though in dreams, they conjecture the advancement of anyone, they oppose it and struggle to expose a brother as it were to the Ishmaelites; if they do not slay him they soil cleanliness itself,69 and to conceal their own crime they exhibit the blood-stained coat70 of their innocent brother.

This description it seems to me is applicable to many who are consumed by envy at every stroke of good fortune and would be willing to find fortune unkind to themselves provided others be more grievously harmed. And, to believe Aesop and Avianus,71 you may see one who will find pleasure in gouging out one of his own eyes provided that his neighbor should lose both of his. The only way of avoiding envy is to become miserable; for there is an old proverb widely known which says that misery is the only thing that knows naught of envy and wretched is the state of the man whom no one envies.

[214] It is said that Plato on noticing the envy of his fellow students asked Socrates how he could avoid man's envy. Socrates replied "Be a Thersites." While therefore the envious are suffering they desire others to share their misery, searching in all ways to do harm, and they regard innocence itself as a sort of image of death. Consequently Virgil (that from one you may learn all),72 branding the envious man, says

And should'st thou not have done some harm Thou would'st have died at once.73

Nothing is less becoming a philosopher or man of weight and character than such an attitude. Consequently Socrates (not he of antiquity but the one whom Cassiodorus in his Tripartita Historici74 praises as a narrator of exploits) said that Julian in banishing barbers and cooks from the palace acted not merely as an emperor but also as a philosopher; but that to disparage and to tear to pieces was the act of neither a philosopher nor a prince. When for any reason whatsoever endeavors fail, recourse is had to spiteful detraction. This is veritably a true offspring of envy and gives convincing proof that charity is lacking. Sometimes it destroys the good fortune of another and sometimes diminishes it; it either feigns evils which do

69 Horace, Sat. I. iii. 56 (L. C. L., p. 36). 70 Gen. xxxvii. 31ff.

71 Avianus, Fab. 22 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, pp. 714ff.). 72 Virgil, Aen. ii. 65, 66 (L. C. L., I, 298). 73 Ibid., Ecl. iii. 15 (L. C. L., p. 16).

74 vi. 1.

not exist or magnifies and enhances such as do exist. Charity75 dealeth not perversely; but envy alone rejoices in perversity.

The apostle, though he enumerates many sins of the heathen, finally and as it were at the apex, or shall we say the bottom, of evil things, placed those who disparage, and marked them, so to speak, with an especial brand, as enemies of the goodness of God. For my part I am inclined to believe that they are more hateful to God76 than others in that they with secret hatred sound the praises of others in order to be more readily believed and do more harm; they simulate friendship, yet append to the tail of their remarks a bit that contradicts their preceding laudations.

[215] Our Protheüs is happy in his son,

In wife as well; is one on whom all luck Had smiled, if you suppress his crime Of killing Phocus.77

Does not the stain of such a murder obliterate not merely all gifts of fortune but also the fame of virtue, however great?

A similar example from an orator: "I acknowledge Julius Fortunatus to be a gallant man and that he is acknowledged to have surmounted many difficulties; but I would have marveled how he ever could have escaped condemnation for extortion before an impartial court had I not been acquainted with the power of his eloquence."78 Is this not venom and does it not extinguish in a sort of way the splendor of good work and the life, so to speak, of virtue?

Much has been said above of the clan of Gnathos, that is, flatterers; but which am I to call the worse, Gnathos or disparagers? I am not quite clear as to this. I find however each vice punished by death among the ancients. The Athenians79 executed Timagoras because he flattered King Darius in the Persian manner; and the senate of the Spartans ordered the death of Caristolus for the reason that he chose to revile the acts of great men rather than openly to censure them in a manly way; for it has always been allowed in well regulated states that each one use his own judgment and openly criticize what appears to him ill advised action; since liberty approves

75 1 Cor. xiii. 4. 76 Rom. i. 30.

77 Ovid., Met. xi. 266-68 (L. C. L., II, 138). Ovid has Peleus, not Protheus. 78 Webb conjectures that the quotation may be from the missing portion of the De Re Publica of Cicero.

79 Valerius Maximus, VI. iii. ext. 2.

a freedom of criticism that is based upon Charity and it is only the madness of tyrants that fears it or impedes it.

Furthermore you will see disparagers and envious people as numerous at court as if they had flowed into it as into the cesspool of the whole world.80 There is no gathering of diners, unless it be a religious one, which the sting of jealousy does not infest; and everywhere those illustrious because of brilliant services are the more [216] sharply attacked by the poisonous fang of envy.

For who outshines those merits lowlier than

His own, consumes with his own glow; his light

Burned out, the same will then be loved.81

But slaves more than others censure masters, and subjects rulers. For just as slaves as a class, so subjects are for the most part prone to complain, to charge that they are unjustly kept down, that their services are inadequately rewarded or that official duties are improperly administered. You will rarely find anyone who will not speak disparagingly in the case of some superior, although often all is going well. Reread the writers of comedies, turn over the pages of the authors of tragedies; quite generally you will discover that the slaves of a household lack gratitude towards their masters. Not merely at court but also in school, in the monastery, and in the chapter, you will be surprised to find this attitude prevailing; if indeed domestic vices are to be considered along with public morals.

The venerable Father Gilbert, bishop of Hereford,82 was wont to relate to me the attitude of those residing in cloisters, as experienced in his own person. On entering the monastery,83 still afire with the glowing zeal that he had recently experienced, he criticized the sloth of the officials. Shortly afterward, receiving a slight promotion, he felt pity for his fellow monks but yet no compassion for his superiors. He soon rose in the rank of prior; feeling sympathy for priors he ceased not to censure abbots. He was himself made abbot, and, won over to the abbots, he began to scan the faults of bishops. At length, raised to the episcopate, he spared bishops.

[2/7] He did not however judge that he was himself a victim of envy, but being a man of sense he gave felicitous expression to a sort

80 Sallust, Cat. xxxvii. 5 (L. C. L., p. 64).

81 Horace, Ep. II. i. 13-14 (L. C. L., p. 396).

82 Sc. Gilbert Foliot, afterward bishop of London. 83 I. e., of Cluny.

of characteristic born and bred in men. Perhaps this father I have been describing imposed this attitude upon himself in order that, having voluntarily joined a group engaged in particular pursuits, he might be given a kindlier hearing.

Julius Caesar,84 on hearing of the death of Cato, at length felt sympathy for the labors and suffering of the deceased and mourned the passing from the human scene of a distinguished citizen. Yet he frankly acknowledged that Cato for his part had envied him his valor and that he on his side now envied Cato his glory. The old gentleman in the Andria teaches the shortest cut to popularity without envy by stating that his son gratified everybody but harmed none.85

Augustine, a Father of enviable beatitude, said that painstaking humility will avoid the dog's fang, or unshaken verity blunt it, since by no other virtue can one escape the stabs of detraction; yet a sane mind never rejects the cure that free criticism may effect, although verbal abuse and libelous books are punished by law; for

If one compose defamatory verse

Against a man, there is the court and law;86

and long ago a law against slanderers was approved and the chorus of the abusive, emboldened by foolish impunity,

Cravenly fell silent when right To harm was gone.87

84 Valerius Maximus, V. i. 10.

85 Terence, And. 62ff. (L. C. L., I, 10).

86 Horace, Sat. i. 82-83 (L. C. L., p. 132).

87 Ibid., A. P. 284 (L. C. L., p. 474).



THEY who sail the sea are wont to be grateful and to express their gratitude to those by whose kindness they have escaped perils; fires are lighted, shouts are raised, and signals hoisted by which the seething Scylla, the turbulent Charybdis, hidden rocks, and the Syrtes that suck in and hold their victims may be avoided and sailors saved. It is also quite right to be deservedly grateful to those who give warning of what imperils man's salvation; he who does not so feel deserves, because of his ingratitude, to suffer the loss of salvation. No one is ignorant that salvation is obstructed by vices, and it is in the interest of all that they for the sake of the love we bear our neighbors be branded, that they may be avoided.

Human life is more stormy than any sea, nor can its dangers be avoided unless warning signals are raised. To such a task I am spurred on in the interest of the general good and by your1 commands, although I am conscious of nothing in myself that would challenge the attention of an audience, since I am utterly without defenses or defenders; nor does my life furnish material to serve the purpose of moral edification, nor my knowledge that of teaching, nor my conduct that of example.

Consequently many cry out against me that I should be silent, and say that the praise, even of virtue, is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner.2 Only those do this to whom vice is attractive and who are rushing on to death listening to no warning, or else those who [227] are unwilling to be saved. For those to whom virtue is attractive regard what is said and not who says it, and are grateful for anything from whatsoever source that is in the interest of virtue. Therefore the reader should regard not who I am but what I write and why; and if he finds that I have spoken evil, as an impartial judge moved neither by envy, partiality, or dislike, or any other

1 Sc. Thomas Becket, the chancellor.

2 See Ecclus. xv. 9.

emotion, let him give testimony of the evil; but when I have spoken well, let him not strike me.3

But to me it is a very small thing4 that my integrity is gratuitously disparaged by the perverse whom I have desired to better, if the favor of your good will is to support me. Whatever I suffer at the hands of the present generation I hope that, God vouching for me, and the affection by which I am urged to write supplying me with courage, the favor of posterity will not be denied my efforts. The judgment of the present, inspired by hatred or love, is very frequently reversed. Nothing is intentionally inserted in the present work which has not the support of reason or the precedent of former writers. But in these matters I leave to the reader the course to be pursued, that I may keep my name free from the vice and taint of false assertion. Enough of this. Let us now cross to the camp of the Epicureans5 and bring to public notice what has there been definitely ascertained. For those who are in all things slaves to their own desires are recognized as undoubtedly belonging to that school.

Chapter One. The Parasite Type Exemplified by Gnatho

Dependent upon the Braggart Captain Type such as Thraso;

the Seven Chief Vices and Their Attendant Sins according

to the Blessed Gregory; Vainglory Has a Noble Origin

IN THE whole troupe of the Epicureans Thraso6 is an outstanding character, and though he be not really the first, he is to be regarded either as the very first or not the least among the first. For though he is a silly creature, the whole company of Gnathos serves him. Per-[228] haps the author of the comedy introduced Gnatho as the slave of a braggart captain as a happy suggestion that, in the life of man and in the exhibition of character, the parasite type serves under the braggart captain type. Yet the one depends upon the other to such a degree that they cannot exist without each other. For the activities of a Gnatho are fruitless unless there be a braggart captain; perhaps the arrogance of a Thraso will subside if the deceit of a Gnatho cease to foster it.

3 John xviii. 23. 4 Cor. iv. 3.

5 Seneca, Ep. ii. 5 (L. C. L., I, 8).

6 A character in the Eunuch of Terence.

Possibly you do not highly esteem the Eunuch, but Terence has in that play depicted the life of very nearly all of us; and he has the more felicitously censured everybody in proportion to the care with which the plot of the drama has exposed vice without hurting individuals. If you require a nobler spokesman there are many in evidence who have curbed cenodoxia.7 Now cenodoxia, on the evidence of the Fathers, is the vainglory which fills the mind and ears and confers upon mortals no other advantage with regard to substantial virtue. Since pride is the beginning of all sin, vainglory is her first offspring.8 From this poisonous root of pride the seven chief vices spring. They are called chief vices in reference to the lesser ones which sprout innumerable from them as from the heads of hydras.

Note briefly if you will how Pope Gregory of blessed memory depicts in his Moralia this pestiferous tree. He thus distinguishes the original branches of this growth: first vainglory, second envy, third anger, fourth moroseness, fifth avarice, sixth gluttony, seventh self-indulgence. Hence our Saviour, because he grieved that we were held captive by these vices of pride, came filled with the spirit of sevenfold grace for the spiritual battle of liberation. Now though of the vices five are spiritual and two carnal, each one of them is so closely akin to the others that it springs only from one of the others. The [229] individual branches have smaller branches spreading so widely from them that they almost cover the whole world that lies in their malignant shadow. From vainglory spring disobedience, boastfulness, hypocrisy, strife, stubbornness, discord, and presumptuous innovation. From envy are born hate, whispering, detraction, exultation at the adversity of one's neighbor, and dejection at his prosperity. From wrath are produced quarrels, bombast, disrespect, outcry, indignation, and blasphemy. From moroseness proceed malice, rancor, pusillanimity, desperation, insensibility with regard to precept, and mental instability in relation to the illicit. From avarice emerge betrayal, fraud, deception, perjury, restlessness, violence, and a hardening of the heart against mercy. From gluttony are created unseemly joy, scurrility, immodesty, loquacity, and a blunting of the senses with regard to things intellectual. From self-in-

7 Cassianus in the eleventh book of his De Coenobiorum Institutis defines cenodoxia thus, "which we may name vain or empty glory."

8 From this point to the sentence "So speaks Gregory," near the end of the chapter, cf. Gregorius Magnus, Mor. xxxix. 87-89.

dulgence are generated mental blindness, inconsideration, inconstancy, precipitation, self-love, hatred of God, love of the present life, horror, and despair of the future.

The same teacher explains how the principal vices proceed one from the other. For the first offspring of pride,9 by possessing and corrupting the mind, gives birth to envy because forsooth, seeking the influence of an empty name, it is consumed with envy lest another succeed in attaining it. Envy then gives birth to wrath because the tranquillity that belongs to clemency is lost to the extent that the mind is lacerated by the internal wound of jealousy and because the pressure of the hand that is laid upon it is more painful, as when an aching limb is touched. From wrath moroseness springs because the more violently the perturbed mind is convulsed, the more it is driven to speak evil; and when it has lost its sweet tranquillity it is fed by nothing but the grief resulting from its perturbation. Moroseness tends to avarice because the heart, since in its perplexity it has lost the blessing of inner joy, seeks consolation outside itself; and the more it longs to attain external blessings the more it lacks that joy in which it may find inner refuge.

[230] Indeed each one of these brings the fruit of its own destruction, since vainglory takes away God; envy, one's neighbor; wrath, one's self; moroseness becomes incapable of solace, and avarice, in its aimless quest of things external, becomes emaciated with the starvation of its own voracity. That it may satisfy the needs of its own leanness, it has recourse to the two evils of the flesh which attend it. Of these it is clear that self-indulgence is the child of gluttony since in the distribution of the bodily members the genitals are seen to be appended to the lower part of the belly. Consequently when the one is overnourished the other naturally arises in its insolence.

So speaks Gregory; nay, the Holy Spirit through the lips of Gregory. From this it is clear that the firstborn of pride must be destroyed by him who seeks salvation; for if it but start to grow it produces by itself, as before said, the whole jungle of vices. Although in some it may be the chief vice, it is by no means possible that it exist alone. If anyone is spurred on by vainglory he necessarily rushes headlong over the precipice of vices. For this reason it is rated as the noble vice,10 and it wins over frail human character to such a degree that

9 I. e., vainglory.

10 See Boethius, Consol. Phil. II. pros. vii. 4-9 (L. C. L., p. 212): "And this is

it is almost native to minds of distinction. It has a noble origin as well and does not recognize the cost of its progress until it topples from the height of its own aspiration. Vices do spring, the one from the other, but vainglory fixes the roots of its very being even in virtue. Each one more easily becomes puffed up with pride in that in which he excels others, unless he be sustained by the grace of moderation.

Chapter Two. Rare Is He Who Scorns Glory; the Three

Sources from Which the Substance of Praise Is Drawn; True

Praise, Perfect Praise, and That Which Is Neither;

Moderation in Bestowing Gifts

[231] THERE is scarcely an individual who is free from the fault of vainglory and who does not covet that praise which is of men.11 Some set out for its attainment equipped with virtue, others with the semblance of virtue, still others with natural or fortuitous endowments. For orators have postulated that material of approbation is derived from three sources: from the mind or body or from external circumstances.12 Now mental or physical endowments are either natural gifts or the result of application or of cause or chance. There are, in these, definite grades relative to the status of those possessing or seeking them. The first grade of approval is that which is the result of mental endowment; the second is that of physical health and attractiveness; the third and last, that which involves approbation due to externalities. This, as I have mentioned above,13 Apuleius also taught.14

Praise due to the endowments of mind is true and often perfect if these qualities form such an integral part of it that they are inseparable.15 There is indeed no doubt that it is impossible that

the one thing that can entice highly gifted minds that have as yet not received the finishing touch of virtue, that is to say the lust of glory and reputation for services rendered the state." In the Entheticus, 875, John writes "'Tis the last frailty that leaves the exalted mind," in which connection Webb cites Milton (Lycidas, 71): "That last infirmity of noble mind."

11 Rom. ii. 29.

12 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. III. vii. 12 (L. C. L., I, 468ff.).

13 Policraticus, VI, xx (Dickinson, pp. 243ff.)

14 De Deo Socr. 21-24.

15 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. III. vii. 15 (L. C. L., I, 470).

they be taken from it against its will; otherwise it might possibly be true but not perfect praise. Commendation depending on qualities of the body has a resemblance to the true but never to the perfect type; for its qualities can always be taken away from it despite it, because its nature is such as to be weakened and corrupted continually. The favor enjoyed by the adventitious is perfunctory, for it does not possess true nor perfect, not even plausible, merit. It must be satisfied with imitating the commendable since indeed it readily turns in either direction, and unless it be aided by the use [232] that its possessor makes of it, it is more likely to deserve censure than approval.

Wealth, influence, and favor, since they confer much power, put character to a severe test; and the possessor of them is made sometimes better and sometimes worse. Furthermore ideas or physical acts, although they be palpably good or absolutely bad, incur at times vituperation or praise at the will of him who passes judgment. Aristotle however thinks16 that the place where panegyrics or denunciations are delivered makes a very considerable difference, for much depends upon the character of the audience as well as upon generally accepted convictions. He teaches in his Rhetoric that general credence is given particularly to those virtues which people approve of in the person praised; or, on the other hand, in the case of one denounced, the same credence is granted those vices which all dislike, and as often as possible the advantages accruing to the people individually should be emphasized17 (for all approve the expedient, while views on integrity are divergent).18

Literary activities will win less honor in Sparta than in Athens, endurance and fortitude perhaps more. The inhabitants of the former city deemed it honorable to live by plunder; those of the latter held law in respect. Frugality would probably be hated by the Sybarites, while to the ancient Romans self-indulgence was the greatest crime.

The person praised must also be considered, since voluntary good conduct forestalls praise in cases where action must be taken and since a thing is held honorable or base according to the reputation of the person concerned. If therefore one wins praise in the right way, that is by virtue, he rests upon a foundation of praise laid by

16 Ibid., 23 (L.C.L., I, 474). 17 Ibid., 24 (L. C. L., I, 474).

18 The words within parentheses are added by John.

himself; but should he seek glory from any other source he is clearly deficient in understanding, nor will he attain the fame for which he is apparently striving. If we consider virtuous actions themselves, those which have their source in liberality and magnanimity are rated of greater influence; for those which are the more aspiring or which are beneficial to the greater number are held in higher esteem and appear to be outstanding. Of these, however, liberality excels by far, for it mitigates indignation, blunts the tongue of slander, checks the hand of the foe, and covereth a multitude of sins from [233] the eyes of men.19

Those therefore who court or fear the tongues of men squander their fortunes, throw gifts to the populace, serve lavish banquets, and flatter young and old. Most of them, conducting themselves like swine rather than men, devote themselves to feasting and intoxication, foster mimics and actors, reward the vilest arts, receive rascals, and incite the tongues of slanderers to sate the malice of their own shamelessness by compensating their silence or virulent raillery with reward they ill deserve.

There are those among them who reckon that the greatest, in fact the sole, use of wealth is that of multiplying their fleshpots, of feeding daily, of knowing no limit to the table or to the number of guests, and of giving no heed to the control of their households. Should you see their retainers gathering you would imagine a convocation of the people, not a company gathered for luncheon or dinner. This, to be sure, among the wealthy class, though the less well-to-do follow in this respect in the footsteps of the mighty in so far as their humble means permit. For the seeker of fame exceeds his resources and regards not what he is capable of doing but what gives pleasure to others, and this he is in haste to do. Granted that one exercise his liberality for purposes of glory rather than to satisfy conscience, since the way to no virtue should be closed, nevertheless it is unlawful and infamous to court with benefactions mimics and others of indecent callings.

Valerius Maximus20 cites the fact that the city of Massilia was such a strict guardian of dignity that it did not allow actors of mimes to appear on the stage if the plots of their plays contained to any considerable extent representation of debauchery, lest the habit of seeing such sights might give license of imitating them as well. Can

19 1 Pet. iv. 8. 20 See Valerius Maximus, II. vi. 7.

it therefore be honorable that they who, not listened to on the stage even by the gentiles, should be heard at table by Christians, nay even by the clergy?

The Spartans21 ordered the books of Archilocus excluded from their city because they judged that the reading of them was not [234] conducive to good morals. They did not wish that the minds of their children should be steeped in such reading for fear that it would do more harm to their character than good to their intellect; consequently they punished with banishment the greatest or assuredly the next to the greatest poet, because he had attacked the home that had become hateful to him with the slander of his obscene verse. The wantonness of Ovid's poetry incurred practically the same sentence.22 Is that which abstemious sobriety would not dare to hear to be heard over our cups?

This same city of Sparta, believing that false and mendacious rites should be banished, shut its gates against all who under any religious pretense sought to foster indolence.23 Those however who are subject to superstition constitute the larger portion of those who are tormented with the love of praise. Then too they who are of the opinion that two is the opposite of one,24 the two because of quantity and the one because of quality, reckon that as the miserly differs from the generous man, so also does the prodigal, by a kind of opposition; since indeed timidity is opposed to bravery by the quality of evil, for it fears to be as bold as it should be, so boldness differs from it by quantity, for it presumes to be bolder than it should.

Prodigality therefore25 lavishes reasonable and unreasonable expenditures on matters that will be kept in mind but for a short time, if at all. On the testimony of Cicero, Theophrastus in a book entitled Wealth is said to have commended such extravagance. He says much that is striking but displays lack of judgment in becoming prolix on the topic of the lavishness and elaborateness of gifts to the populace and in supposing that the reward of wealth is the opportunity for such expenditures. With how much greater dignity and truth does Aristotle chide such lavish expenditure, especially since

21 Ibid., VI. iii. ext. 1.

22 Ovid was banished to Tomi.

23 Valerius Maximus, II. vi. 7.

24 Boethius, In Categ. Arist. iv (Migne, P. L. lxiv. 281).

25 From here to end of paragraph see Cicero, De Off. II. xvi. 55-57 (L. C. L., pp. 224ff.).

it relieves no necessity nor increases dignity and since this very delight experienced by the cajoled populace is of such brief duration, as is also that of the fickle donor, who soon becomes bored as [235] the memory of his pleasure dies in him. Aristotle rightly conjectured that these are things that are attractive to the weaker sex, to slaves, and to children who are quite like slaves, but can by no means meet the approval of a man of position who weighs actions with unerring judgment.

Valerius Maximus26 and Cicero27 as well relate that Philip reproved such lavish expenditure in the case of Alexander; in fact these are the very words of his letter: "What defect of reason has led you to hope that those whom you have corrupted with money will be faithful to you? Can it be that you do as you do to induce them to believe that you are not their king but their servant and steward? You are aware28 what is degrading in a king and that the correct word is corruption, not largess, for he who receives is made worse and more prone to go on expecting the same thing. What greater folly than to act in such a way that you are unable to do that which you are fond of doing? Rapine is the attendant of excessive giving, for when your means fail you are forced to lay hands on the property of others. So, though you are prodigal in order to curry favor, you do not secure as much favor from those to whom you give as you incur hatred from those from whom you have taken. Consequently your fortune should not be so locked up that liberality cannot open it, nor so unguarded that it is accessible to everyone. There should be moderation in each direction, and this should be regulated according to your circumstances."

It is indeed discriminating on Philip's part, or on that of whoever of his countrymen said this, to check immoderate spending, which does indeed seem to bring fame, but after the fashion of a harlot; for when the money is gone, so is she; for the love of a harlot29 is very properly compared to the favor which is won by money, not work.

26 VII. ii. ext. 10. 27 De Off. II. xv. 53-55 (L. C. L., pp. 222ff.).

28 From this point to the end of the paragraph John quotes as from Philip's letter what are in reality remarks of Cicero. See ibid.

29 I. e., Thais, the courtesan in Terence. See following chapter.

Chapter Three. Every Profession Has Its Thrasos; Characters Like Those in the "Eunuch" of Terence in Every Household of the Vainglorious; Vainglory, Like a Harlot, Follows the Purse

[236] IT is possible, as we have said,30 to find in every profession its braggart captain who courts, with his attention and gifts, a Thais; that is to say a distinguished name and, so to speak, the favor of fame. Nor does it lack its Gnatho31 to deceive, its Phaedria to grasp at praise, its young man to pervert gifts, or slave Parmenio to mock his foolish master.

In the comedy entitled the Eunuch listen to Gnatho and see if you cannot recognize him in the retinue of the vainglorious. He says

There is a class of men that claims to be The head of everything but 'tis not so. It's they I trick. I do not aim to make Them laugh at me; O no! I smile on them And even stand amazed at their quick wits. All that they say, I praise. Do they say nay, 'Tis nay, say I. If one says aye, 'tis aye For me. In fact I've made a pact with mine Own soul to be in harmony with them In every single thing. This is the trade, As things now go, that pays by far the best.32

Have you seen anywhere such a character? In fact you recognize that no one of those considered lucky dogs is without a slave of this type. So true it is that you will find everywhere a fellow smart enough to transform in a trice foolish into crazy men.33

Consider how Thraso regards himself. Says he "It's a gift I have of always acting in a way to make myself agreeable. Why, the king always thanked me heartily for anything I did. He didn't do this to [237] others. I was the apple of his eye. He entrusted me with his whole army; his strategy too. If ever he became bored with men's society or disgusted with business cares, when desirous of repose to purge his mind of worry he used to carry me off alone with him. All envy me and secretly slander me; much I care! They are frightfully envious. On my side I would chide some, bitterly mock others, so

30 Policraticus, VI, iii (Dickinson, pp. 184-85).

31 The characters mentioned in this chapter are from the Eunuch of Terence.

32 Terence, Eun. 248-53 (L. C. L., I, 256ff.). 33 Ibid., 254 (L. C. L., I, 258).

that everybody present would die of laughter. As a matter of fact, from that time on all began to fear me."34 Indeed he is great in his own eyes35 and there is none like him in the whole world of comedy.

Therefore he deserved to be introduced to Thais when Phaedria, who was no less crazy about her, was shut out.36 He grieves at his exclusion; is instructed by his level headed servant to leave the harlot alone and to be of good cheer because should he approach the fire he will become uncomfortably warm. He advises him not to suffer the insults of harlots who, with one fictitious tear which they have with difficulty squeezed out, can quench the lover's wrath and, by presuming to accuse him, force him to pay the penalty of their revenge, for it is as hard for one to love wisely as to be rationally insane.

He is therefore present at the conference of Phaedria and Thais on condition that he keep to himself the truth he hears and carefully guard it; but if there be insincerity and deception he is to speak out at once. He is a vessel full of cracks. He leaks all over. He accuses each of them and each he mocks, since he sees that one is deceiving and that the other is incurably insane.37

So the excluded lover groans in agony and cries:

O Thais, would that you and I shared love Alike and that there were equality

Between us two! That you should have the pangs

I know or else that I care naught for things That you have done!38

Thais in reply:

Torment thyself not thus, I pray, my life, My dearest Phaedria; not love, regard For any man, made me do this. There was No other way.39

Says Phormio:

Quite so; methinks, poor girl, 'twas love that made [238] You shut the door on him!40

34 Ibid., 395-433 (L. C.L., I, pp. 274ff.).

35 Cf. 1 Kings xv. 17; Job i. 8.

36 John now proceeds to outline the plot of the play. 37 Terence, Eun. 46ff. (L. C. L., I, 240ff.).

38 Ibid., 91ff. (L. C.L., I, 244).

39 Ibid., 95-97 (L.C.L., I, 244). 40 Ibid., 98 (L.C.L., I, 244).

Need more be said? The crafty harlot sees to it that one lover yield the principal role to another for several days until the one admitted is cleaned out of his money more thoroughly than if he had suffered bankruptcy. Thais, who receives only the lavish and reckless, has to be humored. Meanwhile the excluded lovers deliberate on what gifts to send her, for he who has sent the last present has the greatest influence with her. But after she has cleaned out the first she turns him out, delegating to him the sad business of grief, and lets the other return.

So the captain goes quite off his head and in his wild grief decides that it were better to die than to submit to such outrageous insult. He assembles his retinue, maps out his campaign, and gathering his forces decides to take the brothel by storm. He marches out, pondering and muttering his tale of woe. He talks big and utters wild threats, but when it comes to action, remembering his former love, he recalls the soldier's precept by which, on Scipio's authority, it is evident that a wise commander should try all else before having recourse to arms.41

He therefore in this spirit meets his Thais by appointment, and pleads his case without recourse to violence:

Dear Thais, tell me first of all, when I Bestowed that maid on thee, didst say to me That I alone should have thy next three days?42


What then? (In not denying she appears to concede the point.)

Thraso. Why, under my very nose, thou lettest thy love in.

And she:

What quarrel with him hast thou?

[239] (Now see how when a mistress defends him, one may not even exchange words with one's rival!) And he:

Along with him thou didst withdraw from me.

Then she replies

My pleasure 'twas.

41 Ibid., 789 (L. C. L., I, 316). 42 Ibid., 792-96 (L. C. L., I, 316).

And he:

Return me Pamphila or, if you Prefer, I'll take her off by force.

(It seems a fair and just request since the return of a thing given for a consideration may be demanded if the condition has not been complied with.)

Why say more? At the harlot's outcry her associates and compatriots assemble; a mob forms; the captain argues; resistance is offered him as he essays force "or reason. He is called a stupid rascal and told to hold his tongue and stay his hand because if he causes any commotion or difficulty, they promise to prolong his memory of the place, the day, and his jailor by raising welts upon his back. When he questions Thais, she directs him to secure the advice of a lawyer. The captain having wasted his efforts and lost his fortune, is compelled to return crestfallen.

Such is the advantage poor lovers reap, with the added indignity that another squanders the wealth they have lost. And to increase their indignation, he who steals it from the harlot does not think that he has succeeded unless he blazons abroad in the hearing of everybody their stupidity and ill luck and his own success.

Listen to what Chaerea, the crafty seducer of the maiden Pamphila, who was given to Thais, says as he leaves the house after having cheated the harlot:

Is no one here? No living soul. No one To follow me? No one. May I not now Burst out in joy? By God, it is an hour I could consent to die lest some mischance In life occur to spoil my perfect bliss. There is no bore around to follow me About, to torture me by dinning questions [240] In my ear: Why I exult and laugh?

Whence do I come and whither go? Why this Disguise and what my plan and if perchance I'm mad or sane?43

When all these questions have been put he says: Come, I beseech you, Antipho, let me tell you all: the day of feasting, the joyous occurrence, my good fortune; a story to be narrated by all until the

43 Ibid., 548-56 (L.C.L., I, 288ff.).

end of time. He then gives an account of the stratagem inspired by his frenzy.

Summing up the entire plot I think that all the incidents may be applied to the present by the fact that it is perfectly apparent that trust should not be placed in friendship that prostitutes itself. Friendship which is a result of sincerity is substantial, secure, and fixed, but that which owes its origin to the money chest and pocket book is undependable, insecure, and misleading; and it withers when its means of sustenance fail.

As long as fortune smiles you have the mien

Of friends; she frowns, you basely turn to flee.44

Everything that is a matter of barter passes from hand to hand and falls to the richer and more avaricious buyer. Yet nothing is more unfair than that a market at which a thing once bought does not profit unless it continues to be bought, and that each one claims the thing that is sold by another unless reparation is made him on the basis of its value. Who is it that has sold popular favor? If this is to be regarded as a piece of state property let it be purchased from the public. For it is not lawful to sell public property piecemeal to individuals.

It has become a proverb that careless lavishness has no bottom.45 Moreover if he whom popular favor has raised to office demands, as Thraso did, the celebrity that he has purchased, he will be reviled and stripped of his position, and fame like another Thais, even more fickle than any Thais, will deprive him of the rank he has assumed, belittle, and reject him. His rival offers insult, his serious critic46 exults. Gnatho hardly utters a word as long as there is hope, or he becomes absolutely silent when all is lost. He transfers his allegiance to others, for his principle is always to stick to the prosperous.

44 Petronius, Sat. 80 (L. C. L., p. 160).

45 Cicero, De Off. II. xv. 55 (L. C. L., p. 226).

46 Exemplified by Parmenio in the Eunuch.

Chapter Four. Avarice the Worst of Vices; One Suspected of

Avarice Universally Disliked; the Two Sources of Generosity

and Which the Preferable; Considius and Gillias

[241] ALTHOUGH prodigality is palpably at fault, I think that there should be no place for avarice. No vice is worse and none more execrable, especially in those who are at the head of states or who hold any public office. Not only avarice itself but even the breath of it should be avoided. It is quite impossible that he who deservedly incurs the suspicion of avarice in the minds of grave and circumspect men be regarded as loyal to anyone or be worthy of affection.

Since praise and favor derive as it were from two sources, that is from deeds and from money, the latter is the easier, especially for the affluent; but the former is much more impressive and magnificent and more becoming a strong and distinguished character. For they who are liberal with deeds of goodness and with their time will find more who will assist them in their benefactions, the more they themselves assist. Finally, the habit of doing good prepares them better and makes them more proficient for winning the good will of many people.

If however one possesses wealth, there is nothing more glorious than the type of liberality which expresses itself in giving, especially since even Socrates, it is said, being asked what the essence of beatitude was, replied "Giving to those deserving."47 I think that the explanation of Socrates' definition is found in the belief that the honor resulting from relieving the necessities of others belongs as well to those who have deserved such help. For it is indeed a just deed to give gifts to the richly deserving and a pious deed to give succor to the needy; in such a way however that attention be given to that in each instance which can without shame or blame be exposed to the gaze of the sage, since we should imitate Him who maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad and raineth upon the just and the unjust.48 For if we see a destitute actor or mimic,49 [242] we should assuredly not foster evil; but after having reproved it and if possible corrected it, we are bound in the spirit of brotherly love to supply his natural wants. It is quite proper to give to everyone that asketh us50 our compassion or the solace of our love. At

47 Cf. Publilius Syrus, Sent. 68 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 22), "He receives a kindness who gives to a worthy man."

48 Matt. v. 45. 49 See above, p. 39, top. 50 Luke vi. 30.

times however it is more beneficial to chide the sluggard and to disconcert the harlot or actor than to lavish upon them what they are demanding. To come to the point; whatever charity pays out will be paid back by the Lord; what vanity spends, vanishes.

In the case of Quintus Considius,51 liberality that may serve as a good example with some profit to himself as well has been noted in the pages of Valerius. At the period when the state was in such disorder as a result of Catiline's mad schemes that even the affluent could not pay the debts they owed because of the sudden fall in the value of property, Considius, though he had lent fifteen million sesterces, did not allow any of his debtors to be sued by his agents either for the principle or interest; and so far as was in his power he alleviated the bitterness of the general disorder by his own calmness, by asserting that he trafficked in his own money, not in the lifeblood of his fellow citizens.

Nowadays those whose main delight is business, after having brought home their blood money will be convinced of the impropriety of their exultation if they will deign to read carefully the resolution of the senate in which thanks were expressed to Considius.

With him Valerius joins Gillias52 of Agrigentum, who it is generally agreed was the very spirit of liberality personified. He was conspicuous for his wealth but was much more richly endowed with generosity than with money; always busy paying out rather than gathering in money, to such an extent that his house was generally [243] regarded as a sort of factory of munificence. From this source buildings dedicated to public service were constructed; from this spectacles offering entertainment to the people originated; from this came sumptuous banquets and the means to make good the deficit in the public supply of grain.

Such were the gifts for the general public; in cases of private necessity money was paid out to secure food for those struggling against need; dowries for girls weighed down by poverty were provided; and alleviation was secured for those shattered by the losses they had suffered. Visitors too Gillias would entertain most generously both in his town and country houses and load them with varied gifts on their departure. Once he fed and clothed five hundred knights from Gela who had been driven ashore on his estate

51 Valerius Maximus, IV. viii. 3.

52 From here through the next to the last sentence of the chapter John is quoting Valerius Maximus, IV. viii. ext. 2.

by the violence of a storm. In a word one might say that he was no ordinary mortal but a benignant source of good fortune.

All therefore that Gillias possessed was, as it were, the common patrimony of all; and for his preservation and continued prosperity not only the city of Agrigentum but also the surrounding country never ceased to pray. On the other hand, though there are places that contain treasure under lock and key, would you not deem the former expenditure greatly to be preferred to such hoarding? Finally, all that wisdom ordains is approved; what rashness presumes never attains the meed of true praise.

Chapter Five. The Two Natural Emotions, Love of Justice

and Devotion to Self-Interest; Their Consequences, Love

of Liberty and Love of Domination; Comparison of Caesar

and Cato; of Alexander and Aristotle; of Augustus and

Plato; Those Who Seek Glory in Unusual Ways

HOLY SCRIPTURE specifies that two passions have existed in man from the beginning, to wit the craving for justice and the craving [244] for self advancement. One of these is a matter of will and the other of necessity. The greater the longing for justice which is a matter of will grows, so much the better and worthier of great happiness it is; for no one can wish overmuch for justice unless perchance one can be either too just or too happy. Furthermore, if the longing for self advancement exceed the measure of necessity it verges upon guilt, and by a realization of its cupidity gives birth to vices. The love of justice therefore, since it is a soldier in the service of charity, seeks the things that are of God, while devotion to self-interest is occupied with its own advancement and relegates the things that are of God and of one's neighbor to second place.53

Character has its origin in these two sources: good, if one does for another what he would have another do for himself and refrains from imposing upon another what he would not wish another to impose upon himself; bad, if one harms another or does not help him when he has the power. Instances of both types are numerous. From the first originate love of liberty, of country, and ultimately of those outside its bounds. For he who loves himself and his country

53 Cf. Augustine, De Gen. ad Litt. xi. 14, 15.

cannot fail to love liberty, and in due course whosoever truly loves his neighbor will love him outside this circle since consistent charity54 demands it. From the second comes greed for dominion, for praise and for fame. So strong is this that it is counted with the virtues in the estimation of those who pass judgment without due deliberation. Those of good judgment class it with the major vices, although the virtues, in the estimation of the inexperienced who none the less are rated as wise, seem to form its basis.

Consequently the ancient Romans,55 as their history teaches and even commends, were greedy for praise and liberal with money. Scorning riches they sought great renown and esteemed honor above all personal advantage whatsoever; for this reason they had a pas-[245] sionate ardor, subjecting life and even death to it. Other longings were outweighed in their case by this one great longing. Since it seemed inglorious to serve but glorious to rule and command, at first with all ardor they desired the freedom of their country and then her dominion, for their first war was for freedom; after that they fought for dominion.

There were nevertheless those who, disregarding greed, were content with justice so far as it was conceded to gentiles. Others were never satisfied, and under the name of magnanimity, anticipating the impossible, they sought the highest fame and glory. The virtue of a Cato seems far nearer truth than does that of Caesar. This is apparent from Cato's own statement. He says "Do not imagine that our forefathers raised our country from a small to a great power by force of arms. Were this so we would find her now enjoying! the greatest prosperity, for we have a greater number of allies and citizens, of arms and horses, than they had. There were other things that made them great that we do not possess: domestic industry, a just foreign policy, a spirit free for deliberation, not under the dominion of crime or lust. In place of these virtues we now have self-indulgence and greed, public poverty and private opulence. We laud wealth and pursue sloth. The distinction between good and evil men has been lost. Ambition monopolizes all the reward of merit. And no wonder, since each of you takes council in his own interests; since in the home you are slaves to pleasure and in the

54 Charitas ordinata is thus defined by Abelard: "Consistent charity is that by which we love each one the more, the better and more worthy he is." Probl. Hel. Solut. 23.

55 From this point as far as the sentence beginning "Cicero himself could not deny" etc. John is quoting Augustine, De Civ. Dei, v. 12.

forum, to money and influence. The result is that the state is left exposed to attack."56

The virtue of the few who strive for fame, honor, and power in the right way (that is by virtue itself) was praised even by Cato, with the result that the public treasury was rich and private fortunes small. Hence, after the corruption of morals, he postulates the contrary; public poverty, private opulence.

[246] Cicero himself57 could not deny this fact in the work which he wrote entitled The State, where he speaks of the education of the head of a state and says that he should be nurtured on glory; and in that connection states that his own forebears performed many admirable and illustrious deeds in their passion for glory. Not only did they fail to offer resistance to this vice but they even considered that it should be stimulated and inflamed, regarding it beneficial to the state. In his work On Philosophy Cicero also has given expression to this universal and generally accepted view: "Esteem fosters the arts, and by glory all are fired with zeal for study."

Things that are held in disrepute in each community are always neglected.58 Therefore it were undoubtedly better59 to resist this type of greed than to yield to it. For as the blessed Augustine says in his work The City of God, "the more one is like God, the freer he is of this impurity." Although this is not completely eradicated from the heart in this life because it ceases not to tempt even minds well advanced on the path of wisdom, at least the greed for glory is outweighed by the love of justice. For he holds the sounder view who recognizes that love of praise is a vice. It is the view not only of Augustine but even of the pagan writers, that this glory is nothing, to use a figure, but the swelling of a blast of wind quite similar to smoke,60 which dims the sight; the higher it rises the more quickly it dissipates, while the lower it descends the thicker it becomes; when it reaches the higher region it fades away; an excellent comparison, for love of praise derives its origin from the prince of all vanity.

They are possessed by excess of self-love who, in their endeavor

56 Augustine is quoting Sallust, Cat. lii. 19-23 (L. C. L., p. 104).

57 From this point as far as the sentence, "Therefore it were undoubtedly better" etc. John is quoting Augustine, De Civ. Dei, v. 13.

58 Augustine quotes this from Tusc. Disp. I. ii. 4 (L. C. L., p. 6).

59 From this point to the words "by the love of justice," John quotes Augustine, De Civ. Dei, v. 14.

60 Cf. Virgil, Aen. xi. 708 (L. C. L., II, 282); Horace, Ep. II. i. 177 (L. C.L., p. 410); Statius, Theb. x. 711-12 (L. C. L., II, 370).

to grasp unsubstantial clouds61 and in their striving to seize something solid in vacuity, are forgetful of themselves, though at the same time they with their partial eyes have only themselves in view. They are not willing to grasp the fact of their own existence and to show good judgment in regarding that fact for their own im-[247] provement. Rather do they run after visionary shadows of mere opinion, since they scorn others as compared to themselves and aspire to the impossible, making assumption on the basis of the deceptive image of things. So Narcissus62 in fable, captivated by the mere reflection of himself, was changed into a flower as he foolishly gazed upon himself, and vanished as does a child, a flower without fruit.63

It was also the view of many and of those who beyond others were distinguished in ancient philosophy, that Alexander64 and Aristotle65 were begotten by divinities for the reason that in all things they sought their own glory.66 They related that Plato also,67 on account of the almost divine wisdom in which he excelled,68 and Augustus, on account of his personal power and tranquil destiny, derived their origin from the gods. Indeed they might have more properly inferred the contrary, either that they were not of divine lineage or were degenerate sons of gods, were it not for the fact that the pagan gods are demons; and incubi, spirits of vanity and evil, leave definite signs in their offspring, if they have any.

The true Son of God, God made man, sought not his own glory,69 in all the glorious things he did, but the glory of the Father; and for that reason he is invested with the greater glory because he referred to Him of whom are all things,70 the glory of his own good works. So too every truly wise, truly powerful, and truly good man refers all his praiseworthy works to the sole source of all good things, that is to say to the supreme Creator of them, the indivisible Trinity.

Alexander,71 with his insatiable greed of fame, when his retainer

61 Horace, A. P. 230 (L. C. L., p. 468).

62 Ovid narrates the fable, Met. Hi. 339ff. (L. C. L., I, 148ff.).

63 Ausonius, Epigr. 99 (L. C. L., II, 210).

64 See Justin, xi. 11; Solinus, ix. 18. 65 See above, p. 234, and n. 4.

66 See John vii. 18. 67 See Apuleius, De Dogm. Plat. i. 1.

68 See above, p. 233.

69 See John viii. 50. 70 1 Cor. viii. 6.

71 Valerius Maximus, VIII. xiv. ext. 2.

Anacarsus,72 on the authority of his teacher Democritus, told him that there were innumerable worlds, exclaimed "Alas, miserable me! I have not yet become master of one." Truly miserable and worthy of his misery, all of whose virtues had been consumed by his insatiate and insatiable hunger for fame! Ancient tragedy reviled [248] him, for the reason that the possession which sufficed as the habitation of all the gods was too contracted for a mortal man.

But though the craving for fame is always seen to be at fault, more deadly is the error of those who deem it worth while to gain notoriety even by crime. When Pausanias73 asked Hermocles how he could become suddenly famous and the latter had replied that should he kill some famous man the deed would redound to his own glory, he straightway slew Philip and attained the fame he sought; for he made himself known to posterity both by the assassination and by the notoriety of its penalty, as he was hanged from a gibbet; and the golden crown which Myrtalis,74 who is also known as Olympias, placed upon his head brought him no solace. Yet as an act of vengeance75 for the lawless prostitution of chastity which Philip had not punished, nay, had condoned, the crime of sacrilege may, on the authority of Trogus, be forgiven.

A man was discovered76 who intended to set fire to the temple of Diana at Ephesus, that as a result of the destruction of that exquisite structure his name might be spread through the whole world; but put to the rack, he confessed his mad scheme. Had not the genius of the eloquent Theopontus77 included him in his history, the Ephesians' policy would have been wise, for they decreed that the memory of the vile creature be buried in silence. With similar, nay, greater madness they are seen to aim at glory who lay waste with the fires of self-indulgence not the temple of Diana at Ephesus, which deserved destruction because of the character of its worship, but the temple of the Holy Ghost,78 the entire man, that is, body and soul, that they may by this act become known to men. For [249] they seek fame and generally attain honor from that from which it were more fitting that they suffer disgrace and punishment.

72 The name should be Anaxarchus.

73 Valerius Maximus, VIII. xiv. ext. 4.

74 See Justin, IX. vii. 10. 75 See ibid., vi.

76 See Valerius Maximus, VIII. xiv. ext. 5.

77 The name should be Theopompus.

78 1 Cor. vi. 19.

Chapter Six. Self-Indulgence and Lust; the Fivefold Entrance to Death; Which Sensual Pleasures Most Deadly, the Triple Type of Banquets according to Portunianus;" the Bane of Gluttony; the Banquet of Dido and That of Evander in Virgil

THE DISCUSSION has reached a point where either virtue or public opinion must be impugned. For a struggle against flesh and blood80 is already imminent, and in view of the outcry of the Epicureans it appears that we are closing the door to liberality and taking joy from life when we contract the paths of that wicked pair, self-indulgence and lust. For self-indulgence is, as Valerius says, an alluring vice81 and one that is considerably easier to criticize than to shun. The book also which the prophet is enjoined to devour82 is indeed sweet as honey in the mouth, but the belly is made bitter when it comes to digesting the sweetness of its words and changing them into good works.

Lust is a connection and child of luxury; its result is uncleanliness and its inevitable end, confusion; therefore let what is first in origin, and the cause, be first discussed. Although the enticements of luxury enter equally through the gates of the five senses,83 that of the ear seems to approach closer to cleanliness and that having its origin in taste or touch, to filthiness; while the delight of smell and sight holds a position between; for at times it is not quite cleanly, yet does not descend to the depths of filthiness. Since death84 does indeed enter through the windows of the eye when one takes [250] delight in the exhibtions of the circus, the contest of athletes, the adaptability of actors, the shapely forms of women, the sparkle of gems, gorgeous raiment, precious metals, and all else by which the liberty of the mind is enslaved.

Again, if the ear be charmed by the organ's tones and the notes of the human voice, the mind's virility becomes effeminate as the result of the poet's verse, the acts of comedy and tragedy, the humor and wiles of mimics, and all else of the sort that enters the mind by way of the ear. Sweet scents and different perfumes, Syrian

79 This should be Postumianus, a character in the Saturnalia of Macrobius. Cf. Schaarschmidt, Johannes Saresberiensis, p. 91, n. 2.

80 Eph. vi. 12. 81 Valerius Maximus, IX. i. introd.

82 See Apoc. x. 9, 10. 83 See Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 8.

84 From this point to the words "to perform what it does not do," on page 315, John is quoting Jerome. See ibid.

balsam, musk, ermine — that these are appropriate to dissolute character none but a dissolute man will deny. Terence and Coquus85 teach that foreign perfumes are characteristic of the dissolute and of lovers.

Then too greed for food is the mother of avarice, and it weighs down and binds to earth the mind as with fetters. Consequently, for the fleeting pleasure of the palate, land and sea are scoured; and that mead and costly viands may pass down the gullet, one sweats away his life in labor. The very walls of Jerusalem, although they seem to be built solidly upon rock, crumble and are razed to the ground when a Nabuzardan, prince of cooks,86 sits upon the throne.

To caress the bodies of others and to burn with lust for women is akin to madness. All that any of the senses strive for is mere jest and mockery in comparison to that which this frenzy, to quote the word of Terence,87 brings. Hence our desires, our wrath, our joys, our emulation, our worries; and when passion's fire is quenched by a sort of repentance, we are again inflamed and seek that which when done causes us to repent a second time. Therefore when [251] through these gates storming columns, so to speak, enter the citadel of our mind, as St. Jerome says, where will its liberty be, where its courage, where its thought of God, especially since the remembrance of touch depicts for itself even past delights, and recollection of vices forces the soul to suffer and in a fashion to perform what it does not do?

Perhaps this is the reason that when the apostle, though he advises that we must wrestle with all vices, speaks explicitly against fornication he says, indicating not contact but flight, "Fly fornication."88 For this in the act itself is usually forgetful of God and when past, by recurring to the memory, arouses deadly lust. Not to mention others whom their simplicity has led to make mistakes, Origen, that keenest and most learned of Christian philosophers, unsurpassed for the fervor of his faith, castrated himself, as the Ecclesiastical History89 relates, as the most effective means of escape

85 See p. 262, n. 25.

86 A name usually applied to Nabuzardan by writers of the Middle Ages. It is a translation of a phrase in Hebrew meaning "prince of those who kill," meaning ordinarily "leader of them who slay," i. e., "soldiers."

87 See Terence, Eun. 300, 301 (L. C. L., I, 262).

88 1 Cor. vi. 18. 89 Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. vi. 8.

from fornication and as a precaution against any possible suspicion, so that from then on he might dwell without reproach among virgins. What is even more surprising, we read that certain philosophers put out their own eyes90 to avoid being taken prisoners by the allurements of the external world. At any rate they were inflamed with admirable zeal for the good and the honorable, although they were deficient in common sense.

A saying of Aristotle91 is well known, as it deserves to be, to the effect that the beginnings of carnal pleasure should be consigned to oblivion and only their conclusion be remembered. He submits to the mind for its consideration pleasures sated and subject to regret, that they be not readily repeated, and directs that the delight taken in them be banished from sight to prevent their return.

If we indulge to excess in gluttony it will be in vain for the apostle to say to us "Fly fornication," because flight from fornication and enslavement to gluttony92 are either entirely impossible or at least very difficult; for that part of gluttony which deprives the body of its vigor is always accompanied by adultery. Bacchus [252] generally takes Venus by assault, and yet in the sanctuary of pleasure they meet and no one objects. If Bacchus prevail,93 it is Venus that is extinguished, not pleasure. There should be either no intoxication or enough to deprive us of our prowess; any intermediate state is harmful. In either case we are withdrawing from God, but where the greater evil lies, I shall not venture to say. Even now to one of the two the name of error is not assigned, because it drives away the stigma of greed and seems to possess the semblance of inborn generosity. For though acts of generosity are praised at different times as the result of place, time, amount, personages, and recurrence, that form is believed particularly commendable which is more in evidence in matters of nutriment and other necessities and also in those of the refinements of life. Therefore he who admits everybody to his table exercises generosity in its most perfect form assuredly, and the more he admits the more generous he is; but very few come under this category.

Next in order is the man who, although he does not admit everybody, provides those whom he does receive with such food and wine,

90 See Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 9.

91 See Valerius Maximus, VII. ii. ext. 11.

92 Cf. Horace, Sat. II. vii. 111 (L. C. L., p. 234). 93 Macrobius, Sat. VII. vi. 8.

pillows them upon such couches, and seats them at table in such a way that nothing more elegant can even be imagined. Course follows course; one kind of food is stuffed with another; this is flavored with that and violence is done nature by compelling one kind to surrender its native savor and adopt that of another; fish pickles are compounded; nothing is less esteemed than fish sauce that does not offer a mixture of several ingredients along with the receipt for the same. In such matters, however, that which gains the approval of actors, mimics, and newsmongers becomes the style; for it is all a matter of opinion, not of truth. The cooks are in a turmoil of worry; elaborate regulations are formulated; night and day the dictator of the establishment ponders on what the administrative problems for the daily banquets are for that particular day. From every quarter he searches for incentives to gluttony94 and for the means of whetting jaded appetites, regarding all his labors useless unless he has satisfied the whims of intemperance.

[253] There are those who drown the courses in the cups and who suppose, as though on the authority of a Homeric decree, that thorough soaking in strong wine and brandy is an incentive to genius, a fuel for valor, and a sort of fount of merriment. Therefore they arise in the fashion of the Phaeacians,95 and he who is the harder drinker is deemed the better man. There is a common saying, "The better a gamester at his game, so much the more worthless he";96 and surely he who is the harder drinker excels in evil and iniquity.

Israel, turning traitor to its Bestower of Safety, sacrificed its sons and its daughters to devils;97 so these degrading the spirit by swilling wine and brandy, extinguishing the spark of reason, prostituting their entire being to filthiness, and consecrating themselves to the spirit of Bacchanalians, what more intimate sacrifice can they make? But yet there are those who look with contempt upon these practices, since they seem to proclaim a vulgar and, if I may use the term, a plebeian feast (since feasts are named, some philosophic, some civil, and others plebeian). At these banquets it is generally regarded as redounding to your credit if you so lavish your means

94 Sallust, Jug. lxxxix. 7 (L. C. L., p. 328).

95 For the Phaeacians see Homer, Od. vii. 98, 99 (L. C. L., I, 238), and viii. 248, 249 (L. C. L., I, 274).

96 Publilius Syrus, Sent. 33 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 18). 97 Deut. xxxii. 15, 17; Ps. cv. 37.

on one entertainment that for the next three months you wander, a shameless and hungry guest, from house to house.

Such conduct is often a mark of prodigality; at times of avarice also; for as the common saying is, "When a miser once starts, he exceeds all bounds." You may see many a person who lives parsimoniously the whole year and who then to free himself from the stigma of avarice, calls together bons vivants, parasites, and the brotherhood of jesters, who are attracted by the savory odor of another's kitchen.98 Those to whom he wishes to show especial honor he plies with large and small cups and stuffs with food, and considers that he fails in friendship and in joviality until he appeases ravenous appetites."

[254] Such a practice is so far from being refined that it is more intimately connected with barbarian vices than with civilized life, since indeed the theory of civil banquets is one of moderation that opulence may enliven sobriety and yet, though satisfying, avoid intoxication; such banquets supply abundance of food and drink, and dispensing as from a horn of plenty, they are sparing in all things in such a way that they may be lavish in all things and are lavish in such a way as to be sparing. They do not neglect the household accounts; but honor, as Portunianus says, does not allow them to disclose their bill of expenditures. Nothing is more aggravating than a host who appears to be calculating the cost of his entertainment.

Consequently some of those who pride themselves upon their tactless liberality do not appear to me to be acting as good citizens should. They hold their servants to a strict accounting every night and weep, as it were, by night over necessary expenditures which they have incurred by day. Disputes arise; threats are made; servants are accused of theft or folly; they are turned adrift or even at times put to the rack on the charge of mismanagement; again, they are compelled to refund what they had been ordered to disburse. All are implicated and thrown into a panic, as the master with groans of agony pursues the money that has slipped through his fingers.

It even happens frequently that a master entering a latrine, in that very place where modesty avoids the human glance, has had a strict accounting of expenditures with his servants; quite properly, as no place seems better adapted for the discussion of sordid details. I would not use the word sordid if the careful householder

98 Juvenal, Sat. v. 162 (L. C.L., p. 82). 99 Ibid., vi. 428 (L.C.L., p. 118).

does this to ascertain what his financial situation is, provided such conduct is permitted by his rank and reputation. But for one to spend his life in this way and center all his thoughts upon the matter in such a manner as to be one thing and seem another, for such conduct I find the word sordid quite appropriate.

On the testimony of Portunianus,1 the rule for civil banquets should be that much latitude be allowed them according to the taste of the company, and that merry sobriety be not banished. For [255] guests should be humored to the extent that the freedom of gaiety nowhere degenerate into shameful self-indulgence, since this is indeed to be shunned as the most implacable foe of all peoples.

Diogenes2 asserts that all tyrants, the destruction of cities, wars foreign and domestic are the result not of the desire for a simple sustenance of fruit and vegetables but for flesh and the delicacies of the table. He would indeed have been more correct had he made self-indulgence, which does not consist in tickling the palate alone, the mother and nurse of wars foreign and domestic; but he included the whole in a part in restricting that which belongs to food, drink, sensual pleasure, and gorgeous apparel to the idea of the palate; for self-indulgence is especially conspicuous and especially fatal in the case of those whose thought and constant practice it is to feast sumptuously every day.3 Intemperance in this respect subverts good morals, is prejudicial to the welfare of the whole man, and unless curbed destroys the entire fabric of the human body.

Hippocrates is authority for the statement that when fat heavy bodies have reached the limit of growth, bleeding is necessary that they may have room for further development; otherwise distress resulting from the distension of the overgrown body results in paralysis and the most fatal types of disease. It is quite impossible by nature's law for bodies to remain stationary; they must either grow or deteriorate by their own impulse; and if a living organism is not capable of growth, it cannot survive at all.

[256] It is said that Galien4 prescribed as a very effective and beneficial medical device abstinence from food every tenth day, asserting that it was hardly possible for one, unless he was of weak constitution, to be subject to the more severe diseases if he abstained

1 See n. 79, above.

2 See Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 11. 3 See Luke xvi. 19.

4 Probably a mistake for Galen.

from food every tenth day or followed a very simple diet all his life. There are in addition those who fast every sixth day or at least follow that practice as a minimum; this is a very direct service to health and religion as experts tell us.

Pompeius Trogus relates that the most notorious tyrant of Sicily, Dionysius, as a result of his devotion to high living and gluttony lost his eyesight. Nothing indeed brings on blindness more surely or more quickly than the constant practice of gluttony because, as Portunianus says, greediness consumes food but devours the eyes. Galien, the learned interpreter of Hippocrates, says on the authority of Jerome,5 in his plea for medicine, that athletes whose life and profession is a matter of feeding can neither live nor keep well long; and that their souls, enveloped with excess of blood and fat as if with mud, are incapable of subtle or divine thought and are forever taken up with thoughts of meat, of 'eructation, and of stuffing the belly.

We also read that some sufferers from arthritis and gouty humors, when reduced by the confiscation of their property to the simple fare of the poor, recovered their health; they were freed from the worry of keeping up their establishments and of providing lavish entertainment, cares which crush both body and soul. Horace ridicules the hankering for viands that when eaten leave nothing behind but regret;

Contemn the pleasures of the flesh, for they When purchased at the price of pain, do harm.6

[257] And when he was describing himself on his charming farm as sleek and fat for jaws of Epicurus, these were his mocking words:

Regard's! thou me all sleek and fat with pink And tender flesh, when thou dost wish to have Thy joke about a hog from Epicurus' Drove.7

But one must avoid excess in the cheaper varieties of food as well. For nothing makes the mind so sluggish as a full and inflamed stomach completely upset and expressing its distress in the belching and rumbling of flatulence. It is a poor sort of fast and a poor sort

5 Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 11.

6 Horace, Ep. I. ii. 55 (L. C. L., p. 266). 7 Ibid., I. iv. 15-16 (L.C.L., p. 276).

of refreshment after the fast, when we are distended with the feasting of the previous day and when our throat serves the purpose of a latrine connection. In our desire to whet the appetite by a longer abstinence from food, we devour so much that the night of the following day cannot digest it. And so, fasting is not the appropriate word; it should be named surfeit and disgusting indigestion. So far Jerome. Although he is speaking of fasting, quite apart from consideration of religion he commends the great advantage of temperance in its effect upon the matter of health.

The following is a true and discriminating statement of Portunianus: "No one dines in a civilized fashion unless he formulates rules of frugality and moderation for himself regarding food and drink." Lack of moderation in eating and drinking banishes temperance, the controller of all duties. At its instigation man becomes slow to hear,8 swift to speak, and swift to take offense, also prone to lust and rash for any outrageous conduct. He who is a traitor to moderation very easily slips from the gracious type to the common type of banqueting. Virgil, the most faithful imitator of Homeric perfection,9 intimates this; for he, recalling the reception of Ulysses by the king of the Phaeacians, introduces Aeneas to the banquet of Dido and felicitously gives expression to the self-indulgence of the Phaeacians and Africans10 in describing one banquet;

When now at length the feasting stops its course, They place huge bowls and crown the wine. [258] The din arises to the roof and voices

Roll through ample halls, while blazing

Chandeliers depend from golden roof

And links with flame subdue the night. And now

The queen demands and fills with wine the heavy

Golden bowl adorned with gems which once

Was used by Belus, then by Belus' kin.

Then silence falls within the hall: "O Jove

(Men say thou gavest laws to host and guest)

Grant thou this be a day of joy for us

Of Tyre and those who came from Troy, and that

The coming ages keep it in their hearts.

May Bacchus who bestows our joys and Juno

8 Jas. i. 19. 9 See Macrobius, In Somn. Scip. I. vii. 7.

10 Cf. Macrobius, Sat. V. ii. 10, 11.

Too, be present with us; and ye

O men of Tyre, show your good will to us

And celebrate this feast." She spoke and poured

A huge libation and, when done, just touches

With her lips the cup. She passes it

With challenge on to Bitias and he

None loath drains from the foaming bowl a copious

Draught of wine. The other lords in turn.

Long haired lopas thrums his golden lyre

And sings what mighty Atlas taught; whence came

The race of men and beasts, the rain and fire

Of heaven. Arcturus too, he sings and then

The Pleiades and Hyades, the double

Constellation of the Wain; and why

The winter's suns are quick to plunge in Ocean's

Stream and what delays the tardy nights.

The Tyrians thunder their applause; the Trojans

Too. And then the ill-starred Dido whiled

Away the night in aimless talk and drank

Deep draughts of love.11

Have you not a vivid picture of the beginning, progress, and ending of a luxurious feast? The poet's introductory line,

When now at length the feasting stops its course,

indicates that extravagance had preceded and that the luxury of the entertainment had been oppressive. Elsewhere, describing the sobriety of a more frugal table whose pleasure consists merely of partaking of necessary food, he says

As soon as hunger was appeased.12

However, because eating renders men silent but drinking loquacious, he is wise to include noisy confusion and other indications of high living which are the results of heavy drinking.

Even in the custom of the feasts of the early Christians it is possible to discover superstitious practices whereby the favor of divinity [259] is sought; and He is, as it were, invited by devout prayers Who is repelled by high living and unclean practices that are repellant to pious minds, since God is indeed either not temperate or else in-

11 Virgil, Aen. i. 723-41, 743-49 (L. C. L., I, 290, 292). 12 Ibid., 216 (L.C.L., I, 256).

ebriety offends Him. The amount of each drink is prescribed for each,13 but no limit to their number; and he is superior to others who, either by capacity or guile, lays out and worsts his competitors.

There you will find a man to drink as many Noggins as the years that Nestor lived; As many too as made the span of Sibyl's Hoary age.14

Drink frees the mind of cares, relaxes it, and cannot conceal the joy it inspires; it bursts into song from which it tends to wantonness. Long-haired lopas15 does not sing the follies and bucolics of lovers but those themes which are appropriate to the elegance of a cultured, and the dignity of a philosophic, company. Would that in Christian gatherings those themes were kept in mind which the unkempt lopas with his flowing locks sang at Dido's luxurious banquet! Would that pastoral lays and lover's follies were silent in the home of the wise, and that those themes which benefit or charm without being base or demoralizing sounded in the ears of all!

Felicitously does the learned poet indicate in the song of the bard the dignity of the ancients who in a social gathering admitted nothing that was not edifying by reason of the instruction it offered in nature or in morals. Desultory conversation followed the applause at Dido's banquet; this paved the way, and the infatuated queen's soul drank in long draughts of inevitable and fatal love, which the philosopher defines16 as a passionate desire for union.

[260] It is well known, on the authority of historians, that the self-indulgence of Capua17 proved invaluable to the city of Rome; for throwing her arms around Hannibal, a foe unconquered in the field, with her enticements she delivered him over to the Roman soldiers to conquer. It was she who invited a most alert general and savage army with lavish feasts, flowing wine, and illicit love to dreams of delight. Then it was that Punic savagery was crushed and broken when the Street of Perfume and the Road to Capua first became a Roman camp. What therefore is more vile and deadly than those vices by which virtue is trodden under foot, victories wither, glory is

13 Ovid, Fast. in. 532 (L. C. L., p. 158).

14 Ibid., 533-34 (L. C. L., p. 160). Ovid's text as now established would mean, "And a woman of the Sybil's years, if cups could turn the trick." 15 Virgil, Aen. i. 740 (L. C. L., I, 292). 16 See Aristotle, Top. VI. vii. 146A, 9. 17 See Valerius Maximus, IX, i. ext. 1.

lulled to sleep and turned to infamy, and the powers of mind and body are so assailed that one does not know whether it is to be regarded more fatal to be conquered by them or by the foe?

The city of Volsinii, wealthy, of good morals, and law abiding, was regarded as the capital of Etruria. But after she lapsed into self-indulgence she fell into the deep abyss of injustice and baseness, with the result that she submitted to the insolent domination of slaves. At first only a few of them dared to take seats in the senate; afterward they pre-empted all the offices of state, ordered that wills be written in their favor, forbade public or social gatherings of the free born, and married the daughters of their owners. Finally they passed a law to the effect that their violation of widows as well as brides should not be subject to punishment and that no virgin should marry a freeborn citizen until the flower of her virginity had been culled by one of their number.

Aesop, the tragedian,18 depicts a wild, self-indulgent youth of whom it is stated on good authority that he was wont to sprinkle his drinks with a liquid made by dissolving pearls of great value in vinegar, in order that he might have the satisfaction of swallowing a large patrimony in a single drink. Metellus Pius19 is criticized by those [261] who write of memorable events20 because he allowed his hosts to receive him with altars and incense, gazed with joy upon walls covered with tapestries to honor his arrival, permitted elaborate games to intervene between inordinate feasts, attended banquets clad in robes embroidered with palm branches, and received upon his head, as though it were that of divinity, crowns let down from the paneled ceiling. And where did this take place? Not in Greece nor in Asia, whose self-indulgence is wont to corrupt integrity itself, but in a rough and warlike province which used to blind the eyes of Roman armies with showers of Lusitanian darts. Xerxes21 with his display of regal wealth went to such extremes in self-indulgence that he officially proclaimed a reward for the one who should devise any new type of pleasure. While he was enslaved to this and to his whims and fancies his mighty empire fell, and he escaped at Salamis with barely one ship.

But inasmuch as you have heard in Virgil the account of the lavish

18 Ibid., ext. 2. 19 Ibid., 5.

20 Specifically Valerius Maximus, whose work bore the title Memorable Deeds and Sayings.

21 Valerius Maximus, IX. i. ext. 3.

banquet given with a woman's extravagance, you may find the sobriety of a more frugal table and a more sedate company on the occasion when Aeneas was received with courtesy and kindness at Evander's palace. Since the heroes were forming a pact, the king pledges peace by giving his right hand and, as a solicitous host, opens the proceedings with courteous words of greeting.

These words then done, the food and drink he bade

Replaced. He sees his guests well seated on

The seats of turf. Especially Aeneas

Sits upon soft skin of shaggy lion

That drapes the maple throne.

Then chosen youths and holy priests bring in

Without delay the roasted flesh of bulls

And put the gifts of kneaded Ceres on

In baskets while the wine is served. They eat,

Aeneas and the Trojan youth together, chine

Of whole ox and vitals of the lustral rites.22

There23 all is of gold, and its gleam proves it pure; here24 are seats of turf, a throne of maple, and, as is fitting a brave man, the shaggy pelt of a lion which he himself has taken. Here chosen youths supply food to maintain life; there maids serve luxuries that are death. There at length, and scarcely then, they ceased to feast; here hunger is appeased and the ravenous appetite assuaged with frugal fare. [262] There lopas of the flowing locks enlivened the self-indulgent throng; here the priest consecrates the simple refreshment on the altar, to divine use. Here, after the meal, serious business is discussed, and for the purpose of creating a strong state a strong force is raised; there even divinity was invoked with lavish prayer to show favor to self-indulgence. Therefore laws were passed, as we read in the work entitled Saturnalia,25 for the purpose of checking self-indulgence. A casual mention of these laws at the end of the description of the civil banquet will be neither tedious nor entirely useless.

22 Virgil, Aen. viii. 175-83 (L. C. L., II, 72).

23 I. e., at Dido's feast. 24 I. e., at Evander's feast.

25 Macrobius, Sat. III. xvii.

Chapter Seven. Food Laws and Other Sumptuary Laws of the Ancients Designed to Restrain Excess; Their Distinction according to Portunianus; Antony's Intemperance and Julius Caesar's Frugality; Remarks on Augustus, Nero, Gaius Caligula, Vitellius, and Metellus

THE FIRST of this type of law26 applying to the people of Rome was the Lex Orchia, which prescribed the maximum number of guests. It did not however effectively check extravagance but allowed each one at will to squander his means upon a few. The Lex Faunia then followed; this fixed limit for expenditure as well. Following the Faunian law one was drafted binding upon everybody. Not only the citizens of Rome but all throughout Italy were brought under the provision of a sumptuary law; for this was the gist of the Lex Didia. To these was added the Lex Licinia, which laid down a rule for the number of guests, the expenditure, and the care to be observed as to place, day, and hour. It also fixed the definite days on which it was permissible to hold banquets, to make it unlawful to revel at the banquet every day.

Therefore even in an age of sobriety expenditure for feasts was restricted by the enactment of laws, since indeed the root of self-indulgence began to put forth from the very beginning. Hence the [263] ancient proverb, "Good laws are the result of bad habits." The Lex Cornelia, a sumptuary law, was also added to the preceding. It was not intended to prohibit the extravagance of banquets nor to fix a limit for gluttony, but to impose lower prices for commodities. But on what commodities! On what choice and almost unheard of kinds of delicacies! What fish and tidbits did it specify and yet fix lower prices for them! I would venture to say that the low price of edibles incites even men of moderate means to purchase supplies of viands and to become enslaved to gluttony. Can therefore a person on whose table such delicacies are almost gratuitously placed appear excessively luxurious?

Moreover Lucius Silla,27 the consul Lepidus, and Anius Restio are said to have had food laws passed, for so Cato terms sumptuary laws. They differ however in that food laws cut the throat of gluttony while sumptuary laws, as Portunianus says, check other types of self-indulgence. However he highly praises this characteristic of perfect

26 For the long passage that follows see Macrobius, Sat. III. xvii. 2-13.

27 So John writes the name of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the famous dictator.

freedom, that though many laws with regard to dining and expense were brought before the people, liberty long exercised the most strict censure since it regarded nothing obscene because it did not look with favor upon any secrecy. It in fact enjoined28 that luncheons and dinners should be served with open doors that a limit to luxury might be fixed on the evidence of the eyes of the citizens. Portunianus is safe in approving this because, with a people faultless and in the light of posterity golden, frugality was honored, and contempt could not be shown nor shame he felt for poverty; nor was there any fear that anyone would, uninvited, inconsiderately force his entrance to a stranger's table.

It is however not deemed unseemly29 for one to join, though not invited, a group engaged in general conversation; but to force one's [264] way unbidden into a banquet prepared for others is mentioned with disapproval by Homer,30 even in the case of a brother. Now although these laws that, so to speak, threw open or broke down doors, although excellent in the opinion of Portunianus,31 were ineffectual though abrogated by no one, because of the obstinacy of self-indulgence and the impregnable harmony existing among vices.

Antony,32 although he never obeyed a sumptuary law, as he was a man rash, ineffective, and given to every type of self-indulgence, none the less proposed one to check extravagance. Thanks to his lavishness he succeeded Pompey the Great by virtue of an edict of Gaius Caesar; and a mean sycophant, contemptible for his vices, thus triumphed over a man who had triumphed over the world. Caesar was imposed upon by a semblance of merit because Pompey was commonly regarded as eminent by virtue of his lavish expenditure, his distribution of viands, and his retinues of brigands and actors.

Those popular leaders are therefore fortunate who are of necessity forced to flatter the vilest of creatures to maintain their popularity. No tyrant in any state approached closer to the legitimate prince33 than did Caesar; for though he oppressed his country yet the Roman People approved all his decrees, doubtless through fear of sedition caused by the passions surviving the civil war. The opinion prevailed however that because he was endowed with the greatest

28 Macrobius, Sat. III. xvii. 1. 29 Ibid., I. vii. 10.

30 Iliad, ii. 408 (L. C. L., I, 80); Plato, Symp. 174C (L. C. L., p. 86). 31 Macrobius, Sat. III. xvii. 13. 32 Ibid., 14.

33 For the difference between "prince" and "tyrant" see Policraticus, IV, i (Dickinson, pp. 3ff.).

of virtues, that is with clemency, the people approved his measures as being for the most part favorable to their interests. Consequently Cicero says in his praise,34 "None of your virtues are more admirable or acceptable than your compassion."

[265] Antony therefore found it easy to trick a kind heart by the pretense of striking virtue. He as a matter of fact imagined that all that was on land or sea35 or even in the sky had been created to satisfy his gluttony. Entirely obsessed by this sort of enjoyment, he became desirous of turning the Roman Empire into an Egyptian kingdom. Cleopatra, his wife, who could not brook being worsted by the Romans nor outdone in extravagance, made a wager that she could spend ten million sesterces on one dinner. This seemed incredible to Antony, and without hesitation he accepted the wager. Numatius Plancus,36 who was chosen umpire in this estimable contest, was worthy of the role. Next day Cleopatra, to pique Antony's interest, prepared a really sumptuous feast, but not one calculated to excite his surprise inasmuch as he recognized that all that was being served came from their ordinary larder.

Then the queen with a smile called for a saucer, into which she poured some strong vinegar. She took from one of her ears a large pearl which she quickly immersed in the liquid; and when it shortly dissolved, as this jewel will, she swallowed the solution. Although in doing this she had won the wager, since the pearl was indubitably worth ten million sesterces, none the less she raised her hand and would have taken the pearl from the other ear had not Numatius Plancus, sternly exercising his power as umpire, quickly announced that Antony had lost the wager.

The size of the pearl may be inferred from the fact that after the queen had been vanquished in battle and Egypt taken, the pearl which matched it was taken to Rome and cut in two. The halves were inserted in the statue of Venus in the temple which, because of its monstrous size, was named the Pantheon. For these and similar reasons Antony, the incontinent and notorious public enemy not of the Roman People, be it said, but of the virtues, richly deserved that

34 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, ix. 5, who quotes Cicero, Pro Lig. xii. 37.

35 From this point to the words below, "was named the Pantheon," John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. III. xvii. 15-17.

36 The name is Munatius in Macrobius. Our established text of Macrobius seems to say "[Antony] who was worthy of the umpire Munatius Plancus, who was appointed arbiter of this estimable contest."

his edict with regard to expenditures, which he published at the period of the triumvirate, should have neither the name nor the force of a law.

That there was however a necessary place for laws governing foods is apparent from the fact that it was the spirit of self-indulgence that forced regulation of the selection of food. Marcus Varro37 testifies [266] to this. After telling what the best products of Italy were and the localities where they were raised, he gives the palm to the fish of the Tiber in these words found in the eleventh book of his work On Human Affairs: "The Campanian district produces the best grain; the Falernian, the best wine; the Casinian, the best olive oil; the Tusculan, the best figs; the Tarentinian, the best honey; and the river Tiber, the best fish." He continues "But among fish the pike holds first place and particularly those that are caught between the two bridges." Many persons have mentioned this fact; among others, Gaius Titius,38 who lived in the time of Lucinius,39 in an oration delivered in support of the Faunian Law. His words are worth quoting for the reason that they will not only testify to the excellence of the pike caught between the two bridges but also provide ready means of illustrating the generally prevailing manners of the period.

Speaking of prodigal men as they walk and chat together on their way to the Forum to hear cases, he says "They are devoted to gambling, drenched in perfume, and surround themselves with harlots. At three in the afternoon they have a slave despatched to the place of assembly to ascertain what business has been transacted in the forum; who supported and who opposed the particular measures; what tribes voted for or against them. They then proceed to the place of assembly so as not to neglect their duty completely. On the way there is no jar in any comer which they do not fill, since their bladders are distended with wine. They reach the place of assembly in bad temper and bid those speak whose case is on the docket. The litigants state their cases; the judge calls the witnesses and himself goes out to the latrine. On returning he says he has heard everything. He calls for the documents; he examines the writing; he can scarcely articulate, he is so soaked in wine. As he retires to deliberate he delivers himself as follows: 'What business have I with these triflers? Time were better spent by us in drinking mead mixed with Greek

37 From this point to the end of the paragraph John is quoting Macrobius Sat. III. xvi. 12-16.

38 A mistake for Tatius. 39 A mistake for Lucilius.

wine. We are dining on a fat thrush and a pike of prime quality caught between the two bridges.'"

Such are Titius' remarks, but Pliny too40 has felicitously touched upon the gluttony of his time. Writing of the sturgeon, the price [267] of which had fallen although it was scarce, he says, after a preamble, "It is not now held in esteem, and I am surprised at this since it is so difficult to procure." Such frugality as this however did not last very long.

In the principate of Severus, Sammonicus Serenus, a learned man of his age, says in support of Pliny's words "There is no doubt that this fish was not held in high regard in the time of Trajan, who however stated that it was esteemed by the ancients. I myself give testimony with the greater confidence because I see that it has recovered its popularity at banquets after its exile, so to speak; for greatly to my indignation at the return of such luxury, I note that this fish is ushered in by servants adorned with crowns, to the accompaniment of music."

It would be tedious to narrate all the facts that caused the introduction of food restrictions or that resulted from the passage of such laws, since the corruption of morals is a subject that cannot be treated in a short article and since a great deal is unknown to our age which the ancients may well have expressed either in words or in conduct.41 For just as

Greece captured, captured her rude conqueror And introduced her art in rustic Latium,42

so all nations followed the good and bad examples of their Roman conquerors. Since the latter indeed invited in a spirit of superstition, rather than of religion, the divinities or demons, let us say, of other nations43 and felt that they were acquiring a great religion in not rejecting any false one, so also anything anywhere in the world that they had heard of as being admirable they transferred to the city, that there might be a source from which to secure for themselves the favor of all, and glory.

[268] It appears that William I, king of the English, to whose prowess Normandy, whose capital was Caen, and at length Great

40 See Macrobius, Sat. III. xvi. 5-7.

41 Cf. ibid., xvii. 1, 12.

42 Horace, Ep. II. i. 156-57 (L. C. L., p. 408). 43 Cf. Macrobius, Sat. III. ix. 2.

Britain44 yielded, did something similar. Assuming the crown of the kingdom and having established peace, he dispatched ambassadors to foreign nations to bring back to him from illustrious houses whatever appeared to them magnificent or marvelous.

There flowed therefore into an island almost unique in the world in being content with its own resources, all the magnificence or rather luxury that could be found anywhere. It was indeed a laudable ambition of a great man who desired to pour into his own country the excellence of all the rest of the world. But in my judgment it would have been more praiseworthy had he promulgated a rule of moderation for a people which he had conquered by arms, and which had previously been conquered by their own self-indulgence. It would assuredly have been better worth while to support such a rule by word and deed than to have encouraged license by the example of many great men.

Portunianus relates that Gaius Caesar after having reestablished peace in the city took a different course. Following up the principle of the sumptuary law he decided that his establishment, which was unassuming and not imperial, should content itself with three dishes not served in course, as the main part of the meal, although he allowed special sweets to be introduced in it according to the requirement or rank of individuals or by reason of generosity or of the solemnity of the day.

Ordinary dishes are those that are passed to all. They are called by the Greeks catholica, that is general. Special dishes are those which, because of necessity or courtesy, are for some reason introduced into the menu already ordered. They are so named because they are wont to be served individually between the usual or general dishes. That pulmenta [dishes, relishes, food] do not consist merely of ordinary vegetables or of the leguminous variety, is clear not only from much [269] else but particularly from the fact that the patriarch Isaac45 ordered a dish [pulmentum] to be prepared for him from the game procured by his son.

Sweets [bellaria] signify every type of dessert, since at that portion of the meal the more attractive delicacies are usually served. Marcus Varro employs the word; he says "Sweets are especially those sweet

44 The Latin text reads maior Britannia, Greater Britain, to distinguish it from minor Britannia, Brittany.

45 Gen. xxvii. 4.

dishes which are not sweet";46 which may possibly be explained by the fact that those edibles which necessity craves are more agreeable to the one who eats them than are those which are concocted to stimulate the appetite.

It may possibly seem petty minded to check in this fashion the extravagance of the main part of the meal, or to mention in such connection a sumptuary law; none the less none of those who indulge their gluttony at the expense of their morals or possessions are greater or more impressive men than Caesar. Such people are self-indulgent, are slaves to vanity, and strive to excuse their own worthlessness or negligence under the name of generosity.

Who more abstemious than Caesar Augustus,47 who when at the height of his power was content with inferior bread and the cheap fish commonly called spinatici and ripiliones and who dined only at the dictates of necessity or of a friend? Who a greater glutton or spendthrift than Nero? Yet he will never be great nor receive the praise of any man of wisdom any more, even less than a Gaius Caligula or a Vitellius; for the latter48 also indulged beyond measure in luncheons, dinners, and suppers.

Notorious beyond others was the dinner to which he was invited by his brother, with its two thousand choicest fish and seven thousand birds. This feast he himself outdid at the dedication of a punchbowl49 which on account of its huge size he called the shield of Minerva. At this feast he mixed together pheasant and peacock [270] brains, flamingo tongues, and lamprey chitterlings for which all parts of the sea had been scoured.

Was Metellus,50 the luxurious pontifex whose dinner it is easier to describe than to understand, in any respect greater than Julius or Augustus? For he too gave a famous, or rather infamous, dinner and served a meal introductory to it which Portunianus calls an antepasto, of such extravagance that it exceeded not only the splendor of a state banquet but even the luxury of the Egyptians. The following is the menu of the dinner proper: hors d'oeuvres;51 sea urchins,

46 Macrobius, Sat. II. viii. 3, from Aulus Gellius, N. A. XIII. xi. 6, 7 (L. C. L., II, 440). Gellius, after quoting Varro's remark, makes a statement which will clarify John's comment upon it: "For harmony between delicacies and digestion is not to be counted on."

47 Suetonius, Aug. 76 (L. C. L., I, 240). 48 Ibid., Vit. 13 (L. C. L., II, 266).

49 Suetonius, whom John is quoting, says "platter" rather than "bowl."

50 Macrobius, Sat. III. xiii. 6ff.

51 From this point to the words "shameless to mention," John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. III. xiii.

raw oysters ad libitum, giant mussels; ordinary mussels; thrush smothered in asparagus, milk-fed chicken; scalloped oysters and mussels, black mussels, white mussels, a second serving of ordinary mussels, oysters, sea nettles, fig-pecker, loin of kid, loin of boar, boar's claws, fatted fowl in pastry blanket, scarlet and purple fig-peckers; main courses, sow's udder, boar's head, scalloped fish, scalloped udder, duck, boiled teal, stuffed hare, roast fowl, cornstarch52 and Picene rolls.

Who then is to accuse others of extravagance when the table of pontiffs is heaped high with so many dishes? Even the sorts of edibles are shameful to mention and are unknown to a great extent to our countrymen, who are nevertheless fond of the splendor of luxury. If anyone is desirous of knowing what they are he may look over the Saturnalia and peruse the civil regulations of Portunianus.

That we may not be obliged to go far afield for examples of vice, our own age has added its errors to those of our ancestors. I myself recall having been present at a dinner given by a certain rich man [271] in Apulia53 which lasted from the ninth hour of the day until almost the twelfth hour of the night, and that too about the time of the summer solstice. This host of Canosa54 loaded his board with delicacies from Constantinople, Babylon, Alexandria, Palestine, Tripoli (one of the Barbary states), Syria, and Phoenicia, as though Sicily, Calabria, Apulia, and Campania were not capable of providing a banquet with delicacies.

Abundant means, discipline of servants, attentive service, courtesy of host are characteristics which are better and more fully exemplified in a man of unique eloquence who excels all whom I have ever seen in the elegance of his use of the three tongues. This is John,55 treasurer of York, for he too was present.

But there is something that cannot be uttered or heard without shame to true believers; on the testimony of Macrobius many things appeared shameful and wanton to disbelievers which appeal to our age and in this reign of luxury are termed magnificent. For Titius,56

52 Strictly amylum, which is translated "cornstarch," was a very fine quality of flour; it was used in making sauces and as a medicine.

53 John traveled in Apulia twice. See Webb's note on this passage.

54 A flourishing town of Apulia in John's time. The banquet lasted approximately from 2 P. M. to 6 A.M.

55 I. e., John Belmeis or Belemains, bishop of Poitier, at one time treasurer of York in the papacy of Hadrian.

56 Macrobius, Sat. III. xiii. 13. For the name Titius see above, note 38.

in support of the Faunian law, upbraids his age for serving on the table Trojan hog. This dish was so named because the hog teemed as it were with the other animals with which it was stuffed, as the famous Trojan horse teemed with armed men.

If you have the opportunity, read Trimalchio's Dinner57 by Petronius and you will marvel at a hog pregnant in the same manner; but possibly our varied and unprecedented luxury has destroyed our capacity for surprise. There are indeed many things which, sophisticated as we are by our own use or abuse of them, do not excite our surprise but which seemed to our ancestors worthy of surprise, even of amazement. We now no longer say Trojan hog but Domestic hog and in this way extend the term Trojan to apply to a considerable [272] number of stuffed dishes. Marcus Varro in his third book On Agriculture remarks "It has lately become a practice to fatten hares, since at times we take some of them from the warren and make them fat by shutting them up in caves and enclosed places. Luxury had devised a plan for fattening snails as well."58 So writes Varro. None of these practices now bears the stigma of luxury; rather all that incites gluttony is a mark of good fellowship.

Chapter Eight. The Philosophic Banquet; Its Connection with the Civil Banquet and Its Sumptuary Laws

LET us now pass from the civil59 to the philosophic banquet, although those who look more deeply into the reality of things regard the former as connected with the latter; since indeed philosophy, the guiding spirit of all things, cannot be absent from civil banquets because there is absolutely nothing having to do with duties or the state with which she does not have prior dealings. She it is who prescribes moderation in all things, and in the regulation of duties she deigns to take a hand even in matters plebeian and common. Besides nothing else goes right unless she herself declares by deed what she teaches by word. For what is the advantage of bandying words in the schools about the duties of virtue if they do not have their foundation in the acts of life?

Those banquets are named plebeian which do not tend to moder-

57 Petronius, Sat. 49 (L. C. L., p. 86).

58 Macrobius, Sat. III. xiii. 14, 15.

59 See above, p. 317, end.

ation and which, as though freed from the laws of philosophy, as a result of lack of discipline either admit hunger because of want or frenzy because of luxury and greed. Should guests assemble at the home of a Nasidienus,60 the sordid surroundings would disgust. The disorderly house is foul with whispering;61 the avarice of the host [273] provokes the mockery of his guests to gluttony so that, having poured whole decanters of wine into huge goblets62 they murmur to each other the lines of Horace;

Unless we drink him into bankruptcy We all shall die quite unavenged.63

The purpose sought by every means is that of bankrupting every head of a house whose money and efforts are wasted.

If, on the other hand, guests sit down at the board of a Cepheus,64 the lavishness and lack of sense border upon insanity, and the transition from the god of wine to the god of war is quite easy. For this is the meaning of those banquets of the centaurs65 in fable, where the bounty of Bacchus ceases only when blood begins to flow. Such is the conduct at vulgar banquets which are not controlled by the discretion of philosophy. If you see guests gathering where sobriety has no place, do not imagine that centaurs of fable are gathering, but real ones, for they are half savage and they are swollen in vanity by the breath of their spirit or the spirit of Bacchus.

Banquets attended by the plebs, that is to say the poorer class, are sometimes philosophic, sometimes civil. Unless one regard the banquets of Socrates,66 Alcipiades, Epitectus67 and other philosophers as lacking the characteristics of the civil banquet. They are however civil (to proceed in our own dull witted way),68 are not indeed dissolute but somewhat freer and more lavish, which comes nearer to general hilarity (moderation being preserved be it understood) than to philosophic severity. Individuals like Nasidienus are not admitted to

60 See Horace, Sat. II. viii (L. C. L., p. 238).

61 A reference to ibid., 78 (L. C. L., p. 244). 62 See ibid., 39 (L. C. L., p. 240).

63 Ibid., 34 (L. C.L., p. 240).

64 For the dinner of Cepheus see Ovid, Met. v. 1ff. (L. C. L., I, 238ff.).

65 See ibid.,xii. 210ff. (L. C. L., II, 194ff.).

66 Socrates and Alcibiades attended the feast of Agatho; cf. Macrobius, Sat. II, i. 3.

67 A mistake for Alcibiades and Epictetus; the latter was in fact a slave, not merely a plebeian.

68 Cicero, De Amic. v. 19 (L. C. L., p. 128).

such nor anyone else who by gravity of demeanor and forbidding ex-[274] pression puts a damper upon the high spirits of the guests. All that boils in the pot or is prepared in the kitchen or has been gathered in the storeroom or adorns the table is flat and insipid if the joyful countenance69 which is a sign of good will does not add its seasoning. Even Jupiter,70 as fable tells, accepted the hospitality of a poor hut and regarded as a great delicacy what the meager resources of the pious Philemon served him. This applied specifically to him but holds good as well for anyone, because

Above all else there was the cheery face And eager rich good will.71

To conduct a civil banquet successfully the feast is to be enlivened with joyous expression, generous hand, and scrupulous courtesy; and what is required is to be dispensed to each guest with due regard to personage, place, and time, but not gloomily or under compulsion72 since even God loves the cheerful giver. For the advantage of guests even a Catius is permitted

To formulate new rules that would nonplus Pythagoras and him accused by Anytus, And even learned Plato.73

Philosophic banquets are quite faultless and defined by their own rules so that they who take part in them may devote themselves to their duties without troubling themselves about food and drink. They are indeed characterized by sobriety, and free from all self-indulgence; they do not hinder a Socrates from his pursuit of ideal nor deter a Plato from his investigation of natural virtue; nor do they impair the memory of a Critias for historical facts. Timaeus is not prevented from expounding the cause of all phenomena nor is anyone retarded in the performance of any duty whatsoever. Here neither will a morose and clouded brow be classed among desirable things nor will Crassus be greatly admired who, Cicero on the authority of Lucilius informs us, smiled but once in his life.74 And so pleasures are in attendance but not those of wantonness; dignity also [275] but not such as to banish gaiety. These banquets too have

69 Ecclus. xxxv. 11. 70 Ovid, Met. viii. 620ff. (L. C. L., II, 448).

71 Ibid., 677-78 (L. C. L., I, 452).

72 2 Cor. ix. 7. 73 Horace, Sat. II. iv. 2-3 (L. C. L., p. 186). 74 Cicero, De Fin. V. xxx. 92 (L. C. L., p. 496).

their own sumptuary or food laws, not however for the purpose of saving food but of saving souls. They do not fear to be lavish in commodities in so far as utility or honor requires since these have no value in the eyes of the sage save their use.

It appears that the blessed Jerome formulated an excellent sumptuary law in the interest of sobriety, the pleasure of which is very delightful as well as very beneficial. He says "Reason should guide us in the quantity and quality of the food we eat. This should not overburden the body nor hinder the freedom of the soul because we are under the necessity of eating, taking exercise, sleeping, and digesting; and after this, with our heightened vitality, we have to withstand the temptation of lust. Wine is a luxury and drunkenness is a disgrace.75 All who indulge in these are to be regarded as lacking in wisdom. We should not partake of food hard to digest or of that which, having been eaten, causes us suffering because of the fact that it has been procured with such expenditure of effort, and wasted.

"Vegetables, fruits, and leguminous plants are quite easy to procure, do not require the artistry of expensive cooks, and feed man without causing him worry. When indulged in with moderation they are the more easily digested because they are not greedily devoured, in that they offer no incentive to gluttony. No one can overload the stomach with two or three plain dishes until it is distended, a result that is produced by elaborate meals and delicious savors when the pans steam with different odors and force their captives, so to speak, to eat them after hunger has already been appeased. Hence also disease arising from excessive eating and the fact that many relieve the discomfort of inordinate gluttony by vomiting; what they have disgustingly crammed down they disgustingly throw up."76

Possibly Jerome appears excessively severe, for his precept is very difficult to follow. So be it! Let us reject Jerome, disregard the authority of the Stoics, and shut out the Peripatetics, provided that we give a hearing to Epicurus, the exponent of pleasure.77 Seneca and [276] many other distinguished philosophers, not to mention our own writers, testify that his works are filled78 with references to vegetables, fruits, and other plain foods and that he says that these should be our food because meats and delicacies are procured at the cost of great effort and suffering and that more suffering is incurred in secur-

75 Jerome quotes Prov. xx. 1.

76 Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 10. 77 Ibid., 11. 78 See ibid.

ing than delight in consuming them; whereas our bodies require merely food and drink. Where there is bread and water and the like, there nature is satisfied; anything more belongs not to the necessities of life but to the vice of pleasure. Eating and drinking satisfy not the longing for delicacies but hunger and thirst. They who live upon meat require other food as well, while those who live upon plain fare do not require meat. Again we are not able to devote our energies to wisdom if our minds always dwell upon the table which exacts excessive labor and worry. The demands of nature are quickly satisfied; hunger and cold can be avoided by plain clothing and food.

So Epicurus teaches, though he has incurred the stigma of infamy because of the foul herd that followed him. Then too Aristotle79 warns of the pleasures that should especially be shunned. For since sensual pleasures arise from the fivefold source of the senses, he says that those of sense and touch (that is to say of food and the belly) are the only ones that man and animals have in common, and consequently he who is taken up with the pleasures of wild beasts is counted among them as a wild animal. The rest of the pleasures derived from the other three senses belong solely to man. Who therefore with the slightest sense of human decency will pride himself on these two pleasures, that of sexual intercourse and that of eating, which men share with the pig and the ass?

So much for Aristotle! Socrates80 used to say that many wished to live in order to eat and drink but that he himself drank and ate in order to live. Consequently the satirist writes

[277] Mark well the deadly sin, to put one's life

Before disgrace and on account of life To lose the reason for it.81

Valerius narrates82 that in early times the use of wine was unknown to Roman women. They were kept in ignorance of it that they might not yield to further disgraceful conduct, since the next step in intemperance after Father Bacchus is usually illicit love. He says that his ancestors established the banquet as a holy rite,83 and it was named the feast of relatives, at which only relatives and kindred were present, so that if any dispute arose among those related, it might

79 Macrobius, Sat. II. viii. 10ff. 80 Ibid., 16.

81 Juvenal, Sat. viii. 83-84 (L. C. L., p. 164).

82 Valerius Maximus, II. i. 5. 83 Ibid., 8, 9.

be settled at the sacred rites of the table and amid gaiety of spirits by calling upon the aid of conciliators.

Youth used to render full and discreet respect to age as though elders were the common parents of all youths. For this reason, without fail, on the day when the Senate met they would escort to the chamber one of the conscript fathers, either a relative or friend of the family, and wait patiently at the doors until the time arrived to complete their service by conducting him home. By thus voluntarily mounting guard they were wont to strengthen both body and mind for the tireless performance of their public duties; making a slight advance into the glory of their own virtues they themselves gained wider experience as the result of modest contemplation of what they had done. When invited to dine they would inquire carefully who the other guests were so as not to take their places at table before the arrival of a senior, and when the meal was over they would have the courtesy to be the first to rise and depart.

From these facts it is apparent how careful and restrained the elders also would be during the meal when their juniors were present. They would put into the form of verse for pipe accompaniment the glorious achievements of their ancestors that they might arouse a spirit of emulation. What more noble than this! What more helpful [278] as well, than emulation? Youth rendered its due homage to age; age having run its course bestowed upon those just entering active life the support of its favor. What Athens, what school or what foreign discipline am I to prefer to this domestic training? It was from this that the Camilli, the Scipios, the Fabricii, the Fabii, and the Marcelli sprang. Not to be tedious by enumerating each luminary of the Roman Empire, it was due to this that the most brilliant portion of the high heaven, the deified Caesars, blazed forth. Such are the words of Valerius.

Plato84 too, though he was wealthy for his time and station, and though Diogenes trampled upon his cushions with his muddy feet, in order to have more leisure to devote to philosophy selected the Academy, a villa far from the city and not only deserted but pestilential, that he might stem the tide of passion by the worry caused by incessant sickness, and that his disciples might feel no other pleasure save that of the things they learned.

The road to all systems of training is barred if sobriety, the at-

84 This sentence is quoted from Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 9.

tendant of wisdom, is pushed aside; and this assuredly cannot be possessed by those who cry out in the company of the uninformed that all things have been made hard for abstainers.85 I myself am acquainted with a man far inferior to Plato (except that he is a Christian and I do not believe that it is right that even a Plato be given precedence to a Christian),86 I know a man,87 I repeat, subjected to constant assaults of disease, not however beyond what he can endure, who rejoices that the lascivity of the flesh has been crushed, the spirit aroused and strengthened in the knowledge of God, in contempt for the world and in exercise of virtue. His sole desire was that he might retain control of soul and body88 and not be drawn away from his activities by the violence of disease. He expected, even embraced, at the hand of the Lord, a sort of flagellation, light to be sure and such as could be endured by a none too robust man.

[279] Therefore the Platonists89 dwelt in groves and porticos of temples that, reminded by the sanctity of the narrow confines in which they lived, they should ponder on nothing but the virtues. Such meditation they do not engage in whose god90 is the belly, whose expectation91 is confusion, and whose glory is dung, fire, and worms.

The apostle too seems to prescribe a sumptuary law for those whom he instructs in true philosophy when he says "Having food and clothing let us be content."92 However (to deal gently with my fellow men to the best of my meager ability) all that the compulsion of necessity or the requirements of any true integrity in one's own case or that of his friends exacts, provided judgment is exercised and the license of misuse is ruled out, should be included in the consideration of food and clothing. For this too philosophy concedes to her clients, only restraining the intemperance of excess.

85 See Horace, Carm. I. xviii. 3 (L. C. L., p. 56). 86 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, ii. 14.

87 John refers to himself; see above, page 150.

88 1 Thess. v. 23.

89 Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 9.

90 Phil. iii. 19. 91 1 Macc. ii. 62; Ecclus. vii. 19.

92 1 Tim. vi. 8, according to an ancient version cited by Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 11.

Chapter Nine. Excellent Rules for Civility in Sacred Scriptures; Nothing so Civil as Virtue; Rules of Civility to Be Observed at Banquets; Respect

IT HAS been said93 that philosophy is the directress94 of the whole field of civility and of all action and that she regulates the performance of all that should take place at banquets. Since therefore there are several precepts governing civility, it seems that the rule for it laid down by Him who excels all philosophers and sages and who surpasses any of them in civility should be given precedence over later ones. He says: When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place lest perchance one more honorable than thou be invited; and he that invited thee say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest place. But sit down in the lowest place that when he who invited thee cometh, he may say [280] to thee, Friend, go up higher. Then shall thou have glory before them that sit at table with thee.95 Then, as though strengthening this passage with a general statement, He continues: Because everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.96 Although this appears to be a religious edict rather than one governing civility, I myself do not recognize a division between the civil and the religious, as nothing is more characteristic of civility than perseverance in the pursuit of virtue.

Moreover He does not approve a law that breaks down doors97 nor does He exclude joyousness nor shun a somewhat generous table; yet He does not seek to arouse gluttony for He says: My beeves and fallings are killed.98 When the fond father prepares the festive board for the return of his prodigal son he permits music and song to add to the festivity; the fatted calf is killed, and that mean garments may not disfigure the beauty of the entertainment a ring, a robe, and adornment are brought from the wardrobe by obedient servants.

As the doors are open to those deserving generosity, so they are closed to the base. For the foolish virgins, though they knock at the door, suffer rebuke99 to mark their folly; perhaps that they may not be cast out were they to be admitted; for it is agreed that

93 See above, Chapter Eight, p. 334, end.

94 Cf. Cicero, Tusc. Disp. V. ii. 5 (L. C. L., p. 428).

95 Luke xiv. 8-10. 96 Ibid., 11.

97 See above, Book VIII, Chapter Seven, p. 327. 98 Matt. xxii. 4. 99 Ibid., xxv. 1ff.

It is far worse to show a guest the door Than to refuse to give him entrance first;1

and yet he is cast out without censure, if by his unseemly conduct he mar the feast; since indeed he who had no wedding garment was cast out.2

Although this has a mystic meaning, none the less, on the face of it, it offers the rudiments of civility. That too which the apostle enjoins sounds true to the letter: If any brother be a fornicator or covetous or a server of idols, do not so much as eat with such an one.3 It is for this therefore that the generous house has a door, that it may shut out the lascivious, the criminal, and the wicked. For this it has [281] its concierge or doorkeeper that no fool may force his way in and that there be one to receive with respect and to address courteously those worthy to enter, to put strangers at ease, to instruct those who are embarrassed by the novelty, and when opportunity affords, to present them to the master. There is abundance without extravagance, gaiety without lasciviousness, unrestricted, nay liberal, enjoyment of all things; yet virtue is kept intact.

The supper of Herod4 or Pharaoh5 becoming immoderately gay over the grace of the danseuse and under the stimulation of wine, had its tragic end with the shedding of human blood. This the dignity even of the gentiles does not approve. Valerius vouches for the fact that Portius Cato6 deprived Lucius Flaminius of his seat in the senate because he beheaded a certain condemned criminal, at the stated time, to be sure, but to please the fancy and the curiosity of a woman with whom he had a liaison and who was dining with him. Then too the censors Lucius Flaccus7 and his colleague drove Duronius from the senate because as tribune of the plebs he annulled a law that had been passed checking expenditures on banquets. The cause of his expulsion is striking. How impudently Duronius ascends the rostra to utter the words "We have been harnessed, Citizens, in an unbearable manner; you have been bound and tied by the grievous bond of servitude; for a law has been passed ordering you to be frugal! Let us therefore abrogate this order covered with the dust of hoary antiquity! For what is the good of liberty if it is not permitted those who so desire to ruin themselves by luxury?"

1 Ovid, Trist. V. vi. 13 (L. C. L., p. 232).

2 Matt. xxii. 11-13. 3 Cor. v. 11. 4 Mark vi. 21ff. 5 Gen. xl. 20ff.

6 Valerius Maximus, II. ix. 2. 7 Ibid., 5.

There is also another mark of civility in sacred literature; actions are preceded by grace. It is well known that the most liberal, courteous, and fair-spoken of fathers, who fed five thousand guests on five [282] loaves8 was accustomed to say grace before He broke bread.9 The saying of the sage also is famous: that philosophy, which is a unique gift of the gods and the discipline of disciplines, ought to be honored with an introduction.10 It is also regarded as civil and conformable to sacred script either to keep entirely silent at table in order to hear what is profitable or to deliver an edifying discourse from which others may profit or derive innocent pleasure; since indeed our Lord at meals11 frequently mingled parables and words of eternal life12 for his auditors.

Very gloomy and almost foreign to civility are meals where only the belly is filled, unaccompanied by the pleasure of conversation, and where there is the loud noise as of hissing geese and silly gossip. Nor is He one to forbid music, since it is such an innocent art that Socrates took the trouble to learn it in old age.13

Damoetas, Lyctian Aegon too shall sing For me is civil;

Alphesibeus then shall imitate

The dancing Satyrs14

verges upon the vulgar. Straightforward language,15 then, which is opposed to vice and inimical to self-indulgence but which does not convey the slightest suspicion of miserliness to to be employed.

The rebuke to Polemio is witness to the fact that though natural character may in the case of the intemperate be lulled into a stupor, it cannot be entirely obliterated. He was a young man of Athens16 notoriously addicted to self-indulgence, taking pleasure not only in its enticements but in its infamy. Once after having left a banquet not after the sun had set but after it had risen, he noticed on his way home the open door of the philosopher Xenocrates. Tipsy as he

8 Matt. xiv. 13ff.; also passages in Mark, Luke, and John.

9 Matt. xiv. 19; xv. 36; xxvi. 26; also passages in Mark, Luke, John, and Corinthians.

10 Macrobius, Sat. I, xxiv. 21.

11 Matt. xxvi. 21ff.; also passages in Luke. 12 John vi. 69.

13 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. I. x. 13 (L. C. L., I, 166).

14 Virgil, Ecl. v. 72-73 (L. C. L., I, 40).

15 Cicero, De Invent, i. 20, 29 explains aperta narratio. 16 Valerius Maximus, VI. ix. ext. 1.

was, reeking with perfume, a garland on his brow, and clothed in translucent silk, he entered the lecture room crowded with learned [283] men. Nor content with such an unseemly intrusion he sat down, intending to weaken the effect of the brilliant lecture and wise precepts with the flippancy of intoxication. When expressions of indignation, as was natural, arose, Xenocrates with no change of expression, but merely dropping his theme, began to speak on moderation and temperance. Polemio, partially restored to reason by the impressive discourse, first took the garland from his head and cast it aside; shortly after he drew back his arm within his cloak and as time went on lost the hilarious expression of a reveler. Finally he gave up his life of self-indulgence and, cured by the health-giving properties of a single lecture, became a great philosopher after having been a notorious wastrel. So his mind roamed about in wickedness, did not dwell in it; it stayed for a short time but by no means made its fixed abode there.

Finally there is one thing upon which the interest of the whole body of philosophers is fixed, and that is an honorable end, a joyous and happy exit. Now this cannot be unless philosophy stations respect to guard all duties and the servants of all duties. Reverence, as Cassianus says, is the parent of all honorable counsel, the guardian of duties, the teacher of innocence; is dear to her neighbors, acceptable to strangers, thoughtless of her own profit in her interest for the general prosperity, and wears at all times a kindly expression; to such a degree indeed that she is said to be acceptable even to those who lack her virtues.

At Athens an old man far advanced in years entered the theater to attend the plays, and when none of his fellow citizens made place [284] for him he happened to reach the section where the Spartan delegation sat. They showed their respect for gray hair and advanced years by rising and giving him the place of honor among them. When the audience saw this by loud applause it expressed its appreciation of this exhibition of respect by the citizens of a foreign power. It is narrated that one of the Spartans then remarked "So the Athenians know what is right but neglect to do it."17

17 Ibid., IV. v. ext. 2.

Chapter Ten. Regulations Governing Banqueting Taken Almost Literally from the "Saturnalia" of Macrobius

POSSIBLY the statements derived from sacred writings seem somewhat uncivil and quite superstitious; so, to deal gently with our own writings, let the regulations governing banquets as propounded by pagan philosophers be given a hearing. There are indeed quite a number who have laid down precepts governing this branch of duties, but for the present a few will suffice. Chief among other books we have the Saturnalia, a work of a character, if properly used, that precludes the necessity of drawing from other sources. In the present chapter we have decided to imitate its author, following not so much in his footprints as with his very stride, and to supply the deficiencies of our own pantry from his simple larder. Macrobius is distinguished for his thought, rich in his diction, exhibiting such attractiveness of character that he seems in his explanation of the principles and the arrangement of banquets to pass on to us the charm of a Socrates. He says

"I know that philosophy,18 the directress of all things, will make it her first rule to weigh in her own mind the character of guests assembled; and if she discovers the majority in the company to be versed in her field or at least friendly to it, she will allow the conversation to turn upon herself; because just as a few consonants occurring among many vowels will easily tone down into the harmony of the voice, so a smaller number of the uninitiated rejoicing in the company of experts will either chime in if they possibly can or be enchanted by listening to the discussion of such topics. But if the [285] majority have not been instructed in this field of learning, she will authorize the initiated present to keep her in the background and will permit loquacity, which appeals to the greater number, to have full sway lest the minority of the elect be thrown into confusion by the more tumultuous rabble.

"This is one of the qualities of philosophy, that though the orator can gain his fame only by speaking, the philosopher practices his profession just as well by keeping timely silence as by talking. So therefore the few scholars who may be present will, though reserving the point in their own minds, agree with their uninstructed fellow guests for the purpose of banishing any suspicion of discord.

18 From this point to the words "What has this, you ask, to do with philosophy?" on page 347, John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. VII. i. 9-17. Eustathius, a character in the Saturnalia, is speaking.

"No wonder that an educated man will do what Pisistratus, Tyrant of Athens, once did. He could not make his sons listen to the good advice he gave them, and dissension for that reason arose between him and his children. When he discovered that this was a cause of rejoicing for rivals, because they hoped that as a result of the discord innovations might be effected in the palace, he summoned the whole body of citizens. He stated that he had indeed been angry at the conduct of his children in not submitting to the will of their father but that it had on second thought appeared more fitting a father's affection, for him to yield to the judgment of his children; consequently the state should understand that the king's offspring were in harmony with their father. By this stratagem he destroyed the hopes of the party plotting against the peace of the ruling family. So in every domain of life, and especially in the gaiety of the banquet, all that seems discordant must by all honorable means be reduced to one harmonious sound.

"Thus the banquet of Agatho, because it had men like Socrates, Phaedrus, Pausanias, and Erysimachus, heard nothing but philosophic discussion. On the other hand the board of Alcinous or of Dido, as though dedicated to pleasure alone, had the one its lopas, the other its Polyphemus, to sing accompanied by the lyre. Nor were there wanting at Alcionus'19 banquet male dancers, while at Dido's Bitias gulped down his wine so greedily that he completely drenched himself. If anyone either at the Phaeacian or the Phoenician banquet [286] had interspersed with the convivial stories discussions drawn from the field of philosophy, would he not have marred the pleasure and harmony of those occasions and at the same time have caused well deserved mirth at his own expense?

"Philosophy's first duty then will be to appraise the guests. Then when she sees that there is room for her, she will not speak in the midst of the wine cups of her deep abstruse problems nor start discussion on difficult and debatable themes but on easy practical questions. For if anyone of those whose specialty it is to dance for the entertainment of guests at banquets, should challenge any of his collaborators to a running race or a boxing match to display further his own physical prowess, he would be banished from the banquet as quite impossible. So sometimes philosophical discussion is to be carried on at table, but only that the wine bowl, the function of

19 Alcinous is the correct form.

which is to inspire joy, may contain the proper ingredients by having mixed with the wine not merely the essence of the Nymphs20 but also that of the Muses.

"If, as must be acknowledged, in all gatherings either silence or talk is to prevail, we must ask ourselves whether silence or suitable discourse is the appropriate atmosphere for banquets. If indeed as at Athens in Attica the Areopagites maintain silence as they consider cases, so at feasts silence is to reign, there is need of no further discussion as to whether there should be philosophic discussion at table or not. But if we are not to have silent banquets, why, when conversation is permitted, is conversation of distinction prohibited, especially since words no less than joy-inspiring wine enliven a banquet?

"What has this, you ask,21 to do with philosophy? Why, nothing is so closely related to wisdom as to fit conversation to time and place by taking into consideration the individuals who are present. The narration of examples of virtuous conduct inspires some, of kind actions others, and of discretion still others, with the result that those who were wont to act quite differently are often impelled to mend their ways. Again philosophy, should the turn of the conversation demand, will smite those ensnared by vice though they do not realize it (since Father Bacchus strikes with a goad whose point is concealed [287] by the twining ivy) because she will not declare herself so censorious at a banquet as openly to reprimand vice. Moreover those subject to these vices will, if they realize the attack, fight back; and the feast will be thrown into such confusion that it will seem as if the guests have been bidden under some such command as this:

That now success has crowned your work, my men, In joy attend the bodies' needs and have The hope that battle is in store.22

If therefore occasion for necessary reprimand arises it will be delivered by a philosopher in such a way as to be veiled but effective.

"Is it at all surprising that the sage strikes, as I have remarked, those who do not realize it, since at times he rebukes in such a manner that the victim himself takes delight in it? He shows not merely

20 In popular etymology the word nympha, nymph, was connected with lympha, water.

21 From this point to the words "Macrobius shortly after," on page 348, John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. VII. i. 20-25. He omits 18 and 19, which contain quotations from Homer in the original Greek.

22 Virgil, Aen. ix. 157-58 (L. C. L., II, 122).

by his stories but by his questions the power of philosophy, which never gives expression to anything without point. Let no honorable act or gathering exclude philosophy for it so adapts itself that it appears to be necessary everywhere and its absence a sacrilege."

Macrobius shortly after makes a distinction between personal abuse and gibes, which latter are sometimes employed by the sage in such a manner as to be free from bitterness and the cause of timely gaiety. He then instructs on civility and wit in putting questions.

"He therefore who wishes23 to be an agreeable adviser will ask such questions as are easy for his protégé to answer and such that he is sure that he has learned by sedulous application. For one who is invited to display his learning takes pleasure in it because he dislikes to have what he has learned remain uncommunicated, especially if the knowledge which he has worked hard to attain is shared with but few and is unknown to most, as for instance in the fields of astronomy, logic, and similar branches. Men seem to attain the fruit of their labors only when they have the opportunity of imparting their learning without fear of the charge of self advertising; he is free of this fear who does not impose his knowledge but is invited to impart it.

"On the other hand, it is a cause of great bitterness of spirit if you question a person in the presence of many on a subject that he has [288] not thoroughly mastered. He is forced to say he does not know, which is regarded as inimical to self-respect, or by a random reply to expose himself to the hazard of truth or falsehood, which often results in the betrayal of ignorance; all this damage to self-esteem he will attribute to his counsellor.

"So too great travelers by land and sea rejoice when they are questioned with regard to places on land or sea unknown to many, are glad to reply, and to describe them verbally or point them out on the map; for they deem it an honor to bring before the eyes of others what they have seen with their own. Then there are officers and soldiers; how eager they always are to tell of their own deeds of bravery, and yet they hold their tongues in fear of being censured for arrogance. Do they not consider that they have been rewarded for their efforts if they are invited to narrate their achievements to those desirous of hearing them? So true it is that this kind of narrative carries with it an aroma of fame that if there chance to be present

23 From this point to the words "As Virgil says," on page 349, John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. VII. ii. 4-9.

envious rivals they endeavor to interrupt the questions by raising an uproar and interjecting other topics to prevent the narration of such facts as are wont to win praise for the narrator. It is most grateful also for one who has escaped past perils or successfully survived hardships to be asked to tell of them. He who is still held in the shadow of danger even for a little while shudders to recall it and fears to hear it mentioned." As Virgil says,

Perchance e'en this in time to come will be A pleasure to recall.24

"It is a pleasure to him23 if you ask a person to tell about a stroke of good fortune of a friend, a thing which he did not dare to mention on his own initiative or even to leave unsaid for fear on the one hand of being thought boastful and on the other envious.

"Enthusiastic hunters should be questioned on the winding trail in the woods, the maze of the lairs in the forest, and the results of the chase. If a devout man be present give him the opportunity of stating by what religious observations he has won divine protection and how ceremonies have profited him; for such people do regard it as a sort of religious duty not to permit the aid of deities to be passed in silence. There is the added fact that they are desirous of being thought to be on good terms with divinities. If an elderly person be [289] present you have an opportunity of seeming to do him a good turn by asking questions even on matters that in no way affect him, for loquacity is dear to that period of life."

But to return to gibes. "Those that are characterized26 by a degree of urbanity and are free from bitterness are to be introduced in moderation at banquets; these are such as touch upon certain physical defects and give rise to little or no resentment; for instance, should you say something about one's baldness or nose or stooping frame or Socratic squatness. The less of an affliction these peculiarities are, the less sting the points have. On the other hand a remark directed against blindness cannot be heard with equanimity. King Antigonus put Theocritus of Chios to death, notwithstanding the fact that he had sworn to spare him, because of a gibe which he uttered. When Theocritus was being dragged before him as if for execution, to his

24 Virgil, Aen. i. 203 (L. C.L., I, 254).

25 From this point to the words "But to return to gibes," John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. VII. ii. 12-14.

26 From this point to the words "The taunt is also commended," page 350, John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. VII. iii. 11-13.

friends who were trying to console him by assuring him that he would experience the king's clemency as soon as the king laid eyes upon him, he replied 'Then it is all up with me.' Now Antigonus had lost one eye, and the inopportune gibe cost its perpetrator his life.

"I would not deny that philosophers also have had recourse to this kind of taunting when their indignation has been aroused. A freedman of the king who had been raised to sudden riches, invited several philosophers to a banquet. On the occasion, mocking their hairsplitting questions, he said that he would like to know why the dish of which he was partaking was of uniform color though its ingredients were black and white beans. The philosopher Aridices, in a burst of indignation, cried out 'And will you be kind enough to explain why similar weals are the result of black and white thongs.'

"The taunt is also commended27 if the status of the one who utters it is the same, viz., if the one who is poor mocks another because of his poverty, or one of obscure origin twits another on the same score. [290] Tarsus Amphias, who had attained wealth after having been a gardener, on casting certain aspersions upon the humble birth of a friend, went on to say 'But we two are of like stock,' which remark was enjoyed equally by everybody. Direct gibes are those which fill the one against whom they are directed with delight, as when you abuse a brave man for being prodigal of his own safety and willing to die for others or when you reproach a generous man because he squanders his own means by showing himself less considerate of himself than of others.

"It was thus that Diogenes used to praise under the form of abuse his own teacher Antisthenes, the Cynic. 'He himself he used to say 'changed me from a rich man to a beggar and made me live in a tub instead of a house.' That was putting it more tactfully than to say 'I am under obligation to him for making me a philosopher and a man of consummate wisdom.' Therefore though there is but the one name, gibe, different effects are produced by its use. For this reason, among the practices instilling strict discipline of life in vogue with the Spartans, Lycurgus instituted this type too; young men were to utter gibes without rancor and to learn to endure what others directed against them; but should any one of them fly into a rage because of such attack he was not permitted thereafter to attack others.

27 From this point to the sentence "Now because anger at banquets" etc., on page 351, John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. VII. iii. 20-22.

"Now because anger28 at banquets frequently lies in wait to displace joy, witticisms must be used with discretion; and questions at banquets are to be put to all and answered by all. The ancients did not find this type so insignificant; quite to the contrary, Aristotle, Plutarch, Apuleius, and Fronto made some collections of them. Nor should that which aroused the interest of so many philosophers be disregarded."

On the other hand, in the training of the rhetorician and the practice of the orator, gibes held a far more favorable position, since in their fields the perturbation of an adversary often meant the winning of the argument. Consequently it is said that this device was quite familiar to Cicero.29

Frequently there is a place for personal abuse also in lawsuits, provided that it does not degenerate into insult; even if this is not [291] avoided in deference to the litigant, it ought to be out of respect for the judge and the audience; for offence is given

To those who have a horse, a sire, and means,30

whenever anyone takes refuge in insult without the best of reasons; but he who shows patience in enduring it, appears to have deserved the good will of all in view of his self-control. Banquets exclude abuse for fear that all the pleasure of the occasions be embittered by its gall. What contributes to discreet gaiety, however, is everywhere to be sought. Pleasant laughter and gay wit at a dinner are more attractive than any special form of amusement, since indeed the moralist has felicitously remarked

Adversity is wont to show the temper Of the guest as of the chief; prosperity To conceal the same.31

Indulgence in wine, although it is usually said that God has made all things hard for abstainers,32 has its limit too, even if there are those who believe, on Plato's authority,33 that it should be indiscriminately used.

28 From this point to the words "On the other hand," a few lines farther on, see Macrobius, Sat. VII. iii. 23, 24.

29 Macrobius, Sat. VII. iii. 7-10.

30 Horace, A. P. 248 (L. C. L., p. 470).

31 Ibid., Sat. II. viii. 73-74 (L.C.L., p. 244). 32 Ibid., Carm. I. xviii. 3 (L. C. L., p. 56).

33 See Gellius, XV. ii. 3 (L. C. L., III, 62).

A lover of the wine cup, Homer, they Accuse because he praises wine.34

Plato too they prove a lover of it. Assuredly each of them did praise the use of wine, which strengthens the system, sharpens wit, and warms the flagging mind to action.

But it is related on better authority that Plato35 approved a gayer and more generous pledging, though with small and moderate cups as was in vogue with certain so-called toastmasters and sober chairmen of banquets. The following is what he lays down in the first and second books of his Laws, as not without advantage to men. "He thought that the mind36 was refreshed and restored for the performance of the sober duties of life by honorable relaxation induced by moderate drinking; that men gradually became more gay because [292] better fitted for taking up again their interests; and at the same time, if there were deep lying errors in them due to love and desire, all of these would be revealed with no great harm by the frankness inspired by wine, and would be easier to correct and cure.

"Plato likewise said that the practice of this kind for the purpose of avoiding immoderation in the use of wine should not be overlooked and that no one seemed on really good grounds to be absolutely continent and temperate whose life had not been tested among the perils of evil and by the enticements of pleasure. For if perchance either his inclination impelled, chance induced, or necessity forced one to whom the merriment and all the graces of the banquet were unknown and who had absolutely had no experience of them to participate in pleasures of this sort, he is quickly weakened, taken captive, and retains no control over mind and thought. Consequently we must contend as on a battlefield with sensual pleasures and must fight hand to hand with this freedom in the use of wine that we may be safe against them, not as the result of flight or absence but that we may with strength of mind, courageous presence, and moderation defend intemperance and continence that, the mind being warmed and refreshed, we may wash away any gloom and coldness or paralyzing shyness that it may contain."

Plato's authority may have power to influence many, but it seems

34 Horace, Ep. I. xix. 6 (L. C. L., p. 380).

35 Gellius, XV. ii. 4 (L. C. L., III, 62).

36 From this point to the words "Plato's authority," at the bottom of the page, John is closely, sometimes literally, following Aulus Gellius, XV. ii. 5-8 (L. C. L., III, 62ff.).

to me that an encounter with Bacchus, or for that matter with any pleasure of the flesh, is a very arduous and dangerous task for any but strong minds. If Lot, a just man, worthy of being saved from the conflagration of Sodom, goaded by wine fell a victim to incest;37 if Noah saved from the flood because of his faith and perseverance in good, a second father of the human race and a medium of salvation, bared his thighs,38 who is safe in such an encounter unless perchance he imagines himself superior to such patriarchs?

However, not to contend against Plato's dictum, granted that it be the braver course to struggle with sensual pleasures, it is, none the [293] less, the safer course to flee and evade the conflict he advises. I do not recall that I have ever read of anyone who has challenged carnal pleasures who has not fallen in the encounter. Perhaps this is the significance of the phantasies of the poets which never recount orgies without frenzy, nor blush to stain the rites of Bacchus with blood, parricide, and manifold abominations.39

Moreover the rule must prevail in regard to banquets that the duty of marshaling the household, directing the establishment, and controlling the retinue of slaves is to be entrusted to one individual, that no lack of taste or of preparation be in evidence; that nothing may occur to cause amazement or shame; that the master may not be compelled to worry anew over domestic matters and, as the saying is, to carry his guests on his shoulders.

One who is desirous of being a courteous guest should avoid the practice of giving advice and discussing confidential matters for the reason that at dinner, that is in the gay intercourse with friends dining together, everything should be aboveboard, and nothing in an atmosphere of trust and love ought to be hidden. Were it possible their eyes should penetrate the very heart as they gaze upon one another. No place, or scarcely any, is less fitted to give or receive counsel since confidential words are indeed far from agreeable to those who are excluded from the secret; the very fact of the exclusion conveys the impression of lack of confidence.

Even in what is openly spoken the rule laid down by Gaius Claudius Caesar,40 a man of unusual talent and great wisdom, in the first book of his Analogia41 should be strictly adhered to. He says "As

37 Gen. xix. 29ff. 38 Ibid., ix. 20ff.

39 Cf. Ovid, Met. v. 1ff. (L. C. L., I, 238ff.); xi. 1ff. (L. C. L., II, 120ff.); xii. 210ff. (L.C.L., II, 180ff.).

40 This should be Gaius Julius Caesar. 41 Macrobius, I. v. 3; vii. 12.

sailors avoid the rocky shore, so should one avoid the unusual or strange word." The ancients also laid down the law for the number of dinner guests; they should not be fewer than the Graces, who do not exceed three, not more than the Muses, which makes twelve. The opinion has prevailed however, in the judgment of those who take a truer view, that in this matter the discretion of the host has great latitude.

Chapter Eleven. The Annoyance and Burdens of Wedlock

according to Jerome and Other Philosophers; the Bane of

Lust; the Fidelity of the Woman of Ephesus and Her Like

[294] As SOBRIETY is necessary at banquets, so modesty must attend all things, since lust springs from satiety and manifold disasters from lust. From these nothing but pangs of conscience come, and fortunate are the mourners if their repentance be fruitful. Hence it seems to the view of a blunted conscience that carnal pleasure is not perfect without the satisfaction of lust. It is stated that this was Epicurus' view. But whatever the meaning of the grunting of the drove of swine42 that followed him, my opinion is that no philosopher approved such a filthy and dangerous view; much less Epicurus who was great enough to found a philosophical school of his own.

On the authority of Seneca43 many of his sayings are outstanding. These may be found scattered through the works of the philosophers and have in part been collected and set forth in a book the title of which is the Footprints or Teachings of Philosophers.44 The sentiment quoted seems to be less the view of a philosopher than that of a decrepit old Silenus45 who is certainly more brutish than the ass upon which he rode, if he could in his wickedness be prevailed upon to believe it. Perhaps this is what is hinted in the phantasies of the pagans which tell that the crazy old man,46 flushed with wine, while the others were obeying nature and refreshing with sleep their weary frames (Lotis in particular), was taken captive; and he whom neither age nor respect could check was at length, to the derision of all, [295] recalled by the braying of his ass.

42 Horace, Ep. I. iv. 16 (L. C. L., p. 276).

43 Seneca, Ep. viii. 8; xxi. 9 (L. C. L., I, 40; 146).

44 A work by Flavian. See p. 125 and n. 67.

45 Ovid, Fast. i. 413ff. (L. C. L., pp. 30ff.).

46 John's paraphrase of this incident is not very exact.

All lustful pleasure is therefore vile with the exception of that which is excused by the bond of matrimony. This, thanks to the license granted, covers any shame that may be inherent in it. "Our ancestors," as Nonius Marcellus47 remarks, "have handed down the tradition that the word nuptiae [marriage] is derived from nubendo [veiling] because it veils, that is hides, the shame of human frailty." The custom even prevails that those whom the authority of the Church has united for carnal intercourse are veiled with an altar cloth or some other kind designated by the Church, that the couch which on the recommendation of Christ is being spread may be under the protection of chastity, and may conceal the stains of its own fragility so as to be entirely without lewdness and shame. Nuptial torches are carried before, flambeaux and other lights are kindled, because the glory of conjugal goodness illumines the real marriage couch which is being spread in the presence of all, the incentive not being lust but the honorable intention of the contracting parties. For it is Hymen that loves light; it is Cupid with his swift shafts that kindles the furtive flame and lurks in nooks and corners.

However honorable and useful marital union may be, it is more fecund in worry than in joy. For example it begets children in pain48 nor does it produce any fruit which bitterness does not precede or follow. Consequently when, as Valerius relates the incident, Socrates,49 that earthly oracle of human wisdom if we may so call him, was asked by a young man whether he should take unto himself a wife or abjure marriage entirely, he replied that whichever he did, he would regret it. "On the one hand" he continued "loneliness, childlessness, the dying out of your stock, and an outsider as your heir will be your destiny; on the other eternal worry, one quarrel after another, her dower cast in your face, the haughty disdain of her family, the garru-[296] lous tongue of your mother-in-law, the lurking paramour, and worry as to how the children will turn out." In the chain of trying circumstances he left to the young man no opportunity for a happy choice.

The whole chorus of correct thinkers chant the same tune, with the result that if any are repelled by the strict doctrine of the Christian religion they may learn chastity from the pagans. Not that I would at all depreciate conjugal chastity, but I am not at all inclined to

47 No such passage is found in the extant portion of Nonius Marcellus. 48 See Gen. iii. 16. 49 Valerius Maximus, VII. ii. ext. 1.

think that the fruit of the hundredth50 or sixtieth part should be united with that of the thirtieth.

Zeno, Epitectus,51 Aristotle, Critolaus, and many Epicureans are said to have expressed this opinion. On the authority of Jerome52 there is said to be a Golden Book on marriage by Theophrastus. In this the question whether a wise man should take a wife is raised. The author, after having explained that were she beautiful, of good disposition, honorable birth, and if he were healthy and wealthy, under such circumstances a wise man marries. However he immediately adds "But such a combination is rarely found in marriage; therefore a wise man should not take a wife."

He goes on to state that in the first place the study of philosophy is hampered, and no one can serve two masters, wisdom and wife. Married women make many demands; costly garments, gold and gems, allowance, much furniture, couches, and gilded salons. Then night after night a never ending plaint: "So-and-so is better dressed than I am when she goes out; another is honored by all; I, poor thing, am looked down upon in the company of other women. Why were you ogling the woman next door? What was that you were saying to the maid? What were you bringing home when you came from the forum?" We can't have a friend or companion. She mistrusts the affection of another and yet she mistrusts her own hatred.

[297] If there should be a teacher of renown in any of the cities, we can neither leave our wife nor take our burden with us. It is difficult to support a poor one; it is a torment to put up with a rich one. Add the fact that there is no choice, but whoso falls to one's lot has to be taken, be she bad tempered, be she a fool, ugly, haughty, or disgusting; whatever the defect, we find it out after marriage. A horse, an ass, an ox, a dog, and the cheapest slaves, clothing too and basins, a wooden chair, a goblet, and earthen pitcher are first examined and then bought. The only article not shown is a wife before marriage, for fear that she may displease.

Attention must always be given to her appearance, and her beauty praised for fear if you look at another she may think herself unattractive. She must be called My Lady; notice must be taken of her

50 See Matt. xiii. 23. According to Jerome (Adv. Jovin. i. 3) the thirtieth part signifies brides, the sixtieth part widows, and the hundredth part virgins.

51 I. e., Epictetus.

52 From this point to the words "Such and similar are the remarks of Theophrastus," on page 358, John is quoting Jerome, Adv. Jovin. i. 47.

birthday; one must swear by her life; she must be wished many happy returns of the day; respect must be shown her nurse and personal maid, the family man-servant, her handsome flunkey and her marcelled steward; for a protracted and safe liaison her eunuch too, under which names adulterers lurk. All who have her favor must be loved, however distasteful they are to us.

If you entrust your whole establishment to her, you are reduced to a state of servitude; if you reserve some department for your personal direction she thinks you lack confidence in her. Her feelings will change; she will hate and abuse you and if you are not soon on your guard, she will have recourse to poison. If you admit beldames, goldsmiths, soothsayers, tradesmen in jewels and silks, her chastity is imperiled; if you shut the door on them, there is your unjust suspicion. After all what does a strict guard avail, as a lewd wife cannot be watched and a chaste one does not have to be? Necessity is but a poor protection for chastity and only she is to be called pure who has had the opportunity to sin did she so desire.

A beautiful woman is quick to inspire love; an ugly one's passions are easily stirred. What many love is hard to protect; what no one desires to have is a humility to possess. It involves less misery to possess an unattractive than to keep under surveillance a beautiful woman. No one is safe for whom everyone languishes. One pays court with his handsome presence, another with his wit, a third with his talent, and still another with his generosity. A person assailed from all sides will in some way have to yield the stronghold. Now if a wife [298] is taken to provide a housekeeper for your establishment or to care for your ailing health or to banish your loneliness, a faithful slave will run a house better and obey his master's authority and regulations better than a wife will, for she imagines that she is mistress in proportion as she thwarts the will of her husband; that is to say, does as she pleases, not as she is ordered.

Friends and favorite slaves who are bound by benefits are better qualified to sit by the sickbed than she who charges up against us her tears in hope of a legacy and lets them flow to secure her aim, and by making a show of her solicitude destroys our tranquillity of mind when ill. If she be indisposed, we must be sick with her and never leave her side. If, on the other hand, she be a good, sweet wife, a rara avis indeed, we suffer with her the pangs of her labor and are tortured by her peril.

A man of wisdom however can never be lonely; he has the com-

pany of all who are or ever have been good men, and he is free to transfer his thoughts wherever he desires. What he cannot embrace in the flesh he can in the spirit, and if men fail him he will converse with God. Never will he be less alone than when he is alone.53 Furthermore, to marry for the purpose of begetting children, either that our name may not die out or to have a refuge in old age and natural heirs, is utter folly; for how can it affect us when we depart from this world if another is not addressed by our name, since even sons are not for that reason always given the father's name and since there are countless others who go by the same name? What safeguard against old age is it to bring up one who may perhaps die before you or turn out badly, or certainly, when he attains manhood, will feel that you are slow to die? The best and more dependable heirs are friends and connections whom you yourself select rather than those whom, whether you want them or not, you are forced to have. A safe legacy is possible as long as you are alive: namely to use wisely your substance rather than to leave for uncertain purposes what you have acquired by your own efforts.

Such and similar are the remarks of Theophrastus. They in them-[299] selves are sufficient to explain the perplexities of the married state and the calamities that overtake its cherished joy. Publius Clodius54 is said to have wittily remarked that it is arrogant in one who has been twice shipwrecked to blame Neptune.55 It may with equal discrimination be said that it is arrogant for one who has taken a second wife to accuse Venus of hostility. Who would pity the man who once freed from fetters fled back to chains? He is assuredly unworthy of the honor of liberty and leisure who rushes back to the yoke of servitude he has but just thrown off. Consequently they seem hardly human who, serving not only under the banner of philosophy but as well under that of religion, are unable to keep from the embraces of women. Often one who before he has enrolled under either banner (if indeed philosophy and religion can be considered separately, since no one can be a force in philosophy without religion) has lived a life of self-restraint, as soon as he has made a place for himself and has acquired leisure, exercises all his in-

53 Cf. Cicero, De Off. III. i. 1 (L. C. L., p. 270); De Re Pub. I. xvii. 27 (L. C. L., p. 48).

54 John uses this name for Publilius Syrus.

55 Pubilius Syrus in Gellius, XVII. xiv. 4 (L. C. L., II, 256); Macrobius, Sat. II. vii. 11.

genuity in selecting and marrying a wife or, what is more vile, does not shrink from courting and seducing the wives of his neighbors.

At times it is the immodesty of women which runs wild, because, as Herodotus56 writes, a woman lets fall her modesty along with her garments — runs wild, I say, reveals and exposes before an abashed public the secrets of the marriage bed and complains of the coldness of her husband. She advances this as adequate cause for separation and divorce because he is but half a man and unfitted for the marital state in that he is not quick to reciprocate.

Godfrey de Herouville,57 a friend of mine, quite properly disconcerted the audacity of one of these women in a suit of the fol-[300] lowing type. When he was appointed her counselor by the judge who was, as was thought, about to hear the divorce case, and the well-bred lady in the presence of friends and supporters was explaining, as was natural, to her counsel the merits of her case, this lawyer of experience examined her as to whether she had ever had another husband. On her reply that she had not, he inquired whether she was still a virgin, stating that this was a point about which it was most essential for him to ask and be informed, lest she be trapped by the discerning judge in something she might happen to say. She asserted that she was; diffidently, however, for her statement did not carry conviction. He then asked whether as soon as they were wont to go to bed, she and her husband kissed and embraced. To all of this she assented. "How then do you know," asked the lawyer "my chaste, wise, and shy maiden, that he has not played the role of a potent husband with you and performed the complete rites of matrimony? Who has explained to you what the act of love is, that you should say that he who with a husband's right has fondled you as often as he desired has not possessed you during those many embraces and kisses? For it is an undoubted fact that certain animals perform the sexual act by kissing; others conceive by lightly touching one another; there are still others who become pregnant because of their own heat by the agency of the temperate air and produce offspring." At this point her face was suffused with blushes and she merely said that she had no answer at all for sophisms of the sort. But disciples of philosophy (that is, clerics) are fortunate in that not one of them proves cold or has in court been branded with infamy of this type.

56 See Jerome, Adv. Jovin. i. 48. Cf. Herodotus, i. 8 (L. C. L., I, 12). 57 Nothing further seems to be known of this individual.

Cicero,58 after his divorce from Terentia, when asked to marry the sister of Hertius flatly refused, saying that he could not devote undivided attention both to a wife and to philosophy. Philip,59 king of Macedon, against whom Demosthenes thundered in his Philippics, was shut out by his angry wife when he attempted to enter her chamber as usual. When this happened he held his tongue but consoled himself by quoting a line from a tragic poet.

[301] The rhetorician Gorgias recited at Olympia a noble work on harmony at the time the Greeks were quarreling among themselves. His personal enemy, Melanthius, remarked "A man who cannot effect harmony among three in one house, his wife, the maid, and himself, is propounding precepts of harmony for us." As a matter of fact his wife was jealous of the beauty of the maid and kept harassing her husband, a strictly moral man.

Consequently, that jealousy might have no foothold and peace be restored between married people it became the practice of the wealthier class not to have any female in the house more attractive than the mistress. When Socrates tried to stop his two wives, who were quarreling, they finally turned upon him, gave him a good beating, followed him up as he fled, and afterward from an upper story where they were lodged drenched him with urine.

Writers have much to say everywhere against the frivolity of the sex. Possibly at times much of this is invention; yet nothing prevents telling the truth with a laugh60 and expressing in story, a form which philosophy does not reject, what is detrimental to morality. For it is made clear in this way how easily women are infatuated, how they cherish hatred, and how quickly they forget. They forget natural affection at times and at times arm themselves against their own children and again, against their own vitals. There are others who are most modest although a satirist calls a woman of perfect chastity

A rare bird on earth, most like a coal Black swan;61

while a tragic writer62 says there is no female so modest that she will not be stirred with passion at the advances of a stranger.

58 Jerome, Adv. Jovin. i. 48.

59 From this point to the words "Consequently, that jealousy" etc. John quotes Jerome, Adv. Jovin. i. 48. The story later about Socrates is from the same source. 60 Horace, Sat. I. i. 24 (L. C. L., p. 6). 61 Juvenal, Sat. vi. 165 (L.C.L., p. 96). 62 I.e., Eumalpus, a character in Petronius, Sat. 110 (L.C.L., 228).

Petronius tells of a matron of Ephesus63 of such famous virtue that she drew the women of surrounding cities to see her. This woman then had lost her husband, and not content to follow the cortege in the ordinary way with flying and dishevelled hair, or to beat her [502] breast in view of the multitude, she even followed the deceased into the tomb; and when the body was placed in a crypt, in the Greek manner, she began to keep vigil and to weep continually, night and day, over it. Thus demeaning herself and trying to starve herself, neither parents nor relatives could lead her away. Finally the magistrates were rebuffed and went their way, and this woman of such unexampled devotion, lamented by all, was dragging out her fifth day without sustenance. Her devoted maid was sitting by the stricken creature commending her tears of grief, and as often as the light placed in the tomb burned out, replenishing it. Her mistress was the sole subject of conversation throughout the whole city; men of all classes acknowledged that she shone out as the true and unique pattern of chastity and love.

Meanwhile the military governor of the province had ordered some bandits crucified close to the lowly abode in which the wife was lamenting the recent death of her husband. Next night, when the soldier on guard at the crosses to prevent anyone's taking down the bodies for burial noticed a light shining brightly among the tombs and heard the sounds of lamentation, he desired, with the curiosity characteristic of our kind, to find out who was there and what was taking place. Therefore he descended into the vault, and seeing a very beautiful woman he stood stock still in amazement as though he were viewing something supernatural, or visitations from the nether world. Then when he noticed the body lying there and had taken in the tears and the face gashed with the finger nails, considering, as was the fact, that the woman was not able to endure the burden of her loss, he fetched to the tomb his luncheon and began to urge the grief-stricken creature not to persist in her needless grief; not to rend her breast with fruitless sobbing; that it is the same with all of us, the same last dwelling place; and all the rest by which harrowed souls are restored to sanity.

Shocked by this consolation of a stranger, she with greater violence lacerated her breast, tore her hair, and laid the locks upon the body of the dead. The soldier did not however withdraw, but in the same [303] persuasive way attempted to give the poor woman food until

63 Petronius, Sat. 111 (L. C. L., pp. 228ff.) John quotes Petronius almost verbatim.

the maid, bribed by the fragrance of the wine, I'm sure, stretched out in surrender her hand to receive the hospitality offered. Refreshed by the food and drink, she then began the task of storming the stubborn fortress of her mistress's will, and said she "What will it profit you to have starved yourself to death? To have buried yourself alive? To have given up the ghost before the fates decree and damn?

Dost think that ashes of the dead and buried

Souls care aught for this?64

Do you desire the dead to live again contrary to the will of fate? Will you not banish your woman's folly and enjoy the boon of light as long as it is right? This very body of the dead should admonish you to live."

No one is reluctant to listen when he is being urged to live or to partake of food. And so, deprived of food and drink for several days, the widow allowed her stubborn resistance to be broken down. No less greedily did she eat than had her maid, who had first succumbed. For the rest, we know what generally tempts human flesh when filled with food and drink. The soldier stormed the fortress of her virtue with the same enticements with which he had forced upon her the wish to live. The young soldier appeared to her to lack neither a facile tongue nor pleasing looks, while the maid paved the way to favor by quoting forthwith:

Dost fight against e'en pleasing love, nor have In mind in whose land thou abid'st?65

Need I tarry longer? The lady surrendered her body as well as her will, and the victorious soldier had his way. They lay together not merely that one night which consummated the nuptials, but the next and even the third day, the doors of the tomb tightly closed that any acquaintance or stranger on coming to the sepulchre might suppose that a chaste wife had breathed her last upon the body of [304] her spouse. As it was, the soldier, fascinated with the woman's beauty and the intrigue, would buy everything good that his means permitted and as soon as night had fallen bring it to the tomb. Now the relatives of one of the executed brigands, when they noticed that the guard was relaxed, during the night took down the body from the cross and gave it burial rites. When the soldier, outwitted while

64 Virgil, Aen. iv. 34 (L. C. L., I, 398). 65 Ibid., 38-39 (L. C. L., I, 398).

neglecting his duty, saw on the following day one cross without its corpse, he feared execution. He explained to the woman what had happened and added that he would never await a judge's sentence but with his sword would pass judgment upon his own craven conduct. The lady, who was as softhearted as she was virtuous, cried out "The gods forbid that I should see at one and the same time the death of the two beings most dear to me. I prefer to hang up the dead rather than to slay the living." After these words she directed the body of her husband to be taken from its place and fastened to the cross. The soldier benefited by the ingenuity of the clever lady, and on the following day the people marveled how a dead man had mounted the cross.

You may call what Petronius narrates in these words history or fiction as you choose. That this so happened at Ephesus, Flavian66 also vouches, and he relates that the woman paid the penalty both of her impiety and of her traitorous crime.

Petronius is indeed not the only one to picture and ridicule the absurdities of women. The blessed Jerome67 writes that all of Euripides' tragedies are made up of abuse of women and that Epicurus, although his disciple Metodorus68 had a wife Leontium, says that a sage should rarely risk matrimony since much inconvenience is inherent in marriage, and that as riches, honors, physical health, and other states which we call indifferent and are neither good nor bad but as though midway between become either good or bad accord-[505] ing to what is done and its result, so wives are situated on the confines of things good or evil. Therefore, he concludes, it is a serious thing for the wise man to be subjected to the chance of drawing a good or bad one.

If therefore the vexation of marriage, though the state is undoubtedly a good one as it was instituted by the Lord, is so great that the sage fears it, who except one bereft of sense would approve sensual pleasure itself, which is illicit, wallows in filthiness, is something that men censure, and that God without doubt condemns? For since these two forms of physical delight, gluttony and carnal love, are characteristic of beasts, the one seems to possess the filth of swine and the other the stench of goats.

As modesty is conspicuous among the virtues, so wantonness is the most degrading of the vices; and though the former is becoming

66 The author of Teachings of Philosophers, mentioned above, page 354. 67 Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 48. 68 A mistake for Metrodorus.

in either sex, it is woman's peculiar crown. It is the saying of a great scholar69 that modesty is to be especially cherished, for when it is lost, all virtue crumbles. It is the chief of feminine virtues; it commends the poor, extols the rich, reclaims the ugly, and adorns the beautiful woman. She deserves well of her ancestors whose blood she does not defile with illegitimate offspring; well of her children who need not blush for their mother nor have doubts about their father; and especially of herself, whom she frees from the indignity of submitting to a stranger's body. There is no greater calamity of captivity than that of being the victim of another's lust. The adornment of men who are elected to the consulate is eloquence; military glory confers everlasting fame and consecrates the triumphs of a new line; many are the qualities which in themselves have ennobled distinguished talent, but woman's peculiar virtue is modesty.

Jerome also testifies that before the Christian religion cast its beams upon the world, women faithful to one man were the adornment of their sex. They it was who were accustomed to offer sacri-[306] fices to female Fortune; no priest nor flamen was ever twice married; Athenian neophytes castrated themselves by sipping during a long period hemlock, with the result that after they were admitted to the priesthood they had ceased to be men.

My work would be inordinately protracted, were I to run over the statements with regard to this matter made by orators, writers of tragedy and comedy, satirists, and poets, not to mention writers on ethics and philosophy. Yet I think that all these have not sufficed, I will not say to blot out this evil or check it, but even to pillory it adequately. If I should say that many by experience have learned that

No better she who treads the paving stones Than she who rides on shoulders of her Syrian Slaves,70

it would be condemned as a slur upon women.

There is nothing better or more desirable than a modest woman; there are none that can be imagined more genial than those men who cannot or do not wish to be continent, but it is folly to expect praise from those actions which more properly deserve indulgence than glory, provided to be sure that they have been tempered by the quality of moderation; otherwise not indulgence but punishment

69 I. e., Jerome, Adv. Jovin. i. 49.

70 Juvenal, Sat. vi. 350-51 (L. C. L., p. 110).

and ignominy attend the stain of either type of lust, unless it be that he who has turned himself into a goat or a swine is to be regarded as a proper person.

Chapter Twelve. Some Strive to Pattern Themselves after

Brutes and Insensate Creatures; the Degree of Kindness That

Should Characterize Intercourse with Slaves; the

Pleasures of the Other Three Senses

THEY who make pleasure, not to say dissipation, of taste and touch the highest good of life are more akin to the goat and to swine than to any other kind of animal. But this does not excuse dissipation in the other senses, since the fact that man disgraces his human dignity is apparent, if not when he imitates the goat and swine yet certainly when he imitates the lion and leopard, the panther or satyr, the [507] peacock, the nightingale, or the parrot or any other type of brute or insensate creature he may choose.71

Indeed he who has been honored with that form of creation should more properly aspire to the purity of the angels so that in the crown of true and eternal beatitude he may be similar to their perfection. For the unshaken authority of the Fathers has ordained that God alone is of higher dignity than man's mind, and that all those things that man in his blindness marvels at have been made for the purpose of serving him by Him who created man that He might make him a participant of His eternal beatitude.

Who therefore if he should aim to attain the mean and lowly status of a slave would not be putting little value on the will of a governing God? I do not however mean to suggest that slaves should be held in contempt, unless of course they live lives of servile vice. For just as the only true liberty is that of being the servant of virtue and of performing her duties, so the one and only servitude is that of being under the yoke of vice. Whoever thinks that either status is the result of any other cause is at fault, since indeed all mankind upon the earth has a similar origin, consists of and is nourished by the same elements, breathes the same air from the same beginning, enjoys the same heaven, and lives and dies along with all others of his kind.

Consequently Praetextatus in the Saturnalia, curbing Evangelus

71 Cf. this passage about imitating animals with that on pages 372-73, below.

employs these arguments. "They are slaves,72 it is said; nay, they are men. They are slaves, nay fellow slaves, if you but remember that fortune has equal power over you. You may yet see him a free man; he may see you a slave. Do you know at what age Hecuba began to be a slave, and Croesus, and Darius' mother, and Plato himself? Finally, why are we so horrified at the word slavery? He is indeed a slave, but of necessity. Perhaps he is a slave with a free spirit. This will be in his disfavor if you can point out anyone who is not a slave. One is a slave to his passions, another to greed, another to [308] ambition; all to hope and all to fear. Yet voluntary slavery is the lowest type. We spurn as worthless and wretched one who is weighed down by the yoke placed upon him by destiny, but the one we carry on our own shoulders we do not allow to be criticized. You may find among slaves one more powerful because of his money; you may find a master pressing his lips to the hands of others' slaves in the hope of making money.

"I shall therefore not estimate the value of men on the basis of chance but on that of character. Each gives himself his own character; chance assigns his status. As he is a fool who does not inspect the horse he intends to buy, but its blanket and harness, so he is a greater fool who thinks that a man is to be rated by his garb or status. There is no need, my Evangelus, that you seek a friend only in the forum and senate; if you are wide awake, you will find him in your home as well; just try living on kindly terms with a slave, even on terms of good fellowship, and permit him to converse with you and occasionally give you good advice.

"Our ancestors did away with all resentment toward masters and all contempt toward slaves by calling the master father of the family, and slaves members of the family. Therefore take my advice! Let your slaves cherish rather than fear you and let not that seem inadequate to you which is sufficient for the gods; for what is cherished is loved, nor can love be mingled with fear.

"What do you suppose was the origin of the arrogant proverb which is constantly quoted: 'As many slaves as we have, so many foes'? We do not have them but make them foes when we are unbearable, haughty, insolent, and cruel to them and when our capriciousness forces us to fly into a rage, with the result that whatever

72 From this point to the sentence "Such were.the remarks of Praetextatus," on page 367, John follows Macrobius, Sat. I. xi. 7-15, who has himself quoted Seneca, Ep. lvii. 1-4 (L. C. L., I, 300ff.).

does not answer to our will provokes wrath and fury. In our homes we assume the role of tyrants, and we wish to visit upon our slaves not as much as is proper but as much as is permitted. For to omit other types of cruelty, there are those who while greedily stuffing themselves with the good things of the table do not permit the at-[309] tending slaves to move their lips even for the purpose of speaking. Every murmur is checked with the rod, and not even accidental sounds escape the lash; a cough, sneeze, or hiccough is punished with a sound beating. The result is that they who are not permitted to speak in the presence of the master talk about him; but they who have been accustomed to talk not only in the presence of, but with their master, and whose lips were not sealed, were prepared to risk their necks for him and to divert upon their own heads the peril that threatened him. They were accustomed to talk at table but to hold their tongues upon the rack."

Such were the remarks of Praetextatus. He added many striking instances of the fidelity of slaves73 such as would have been glorious in men of the highest birth and worthy of being imitated by anyone whomsoever. Nothing is seemly that does not proceed from virtue, while baseness and vice involve each other in ill boding corruption. It is solely this impulse from vice that causes each one to stumble, with the result that he demeans himself and binds himself in servitude to those circumstances that he was born to dominate.

They who rush to spectacles or give unseemly ones at their own homes, or themselves wish to entertain the foolish with their frivolities (since the enticements of vanity do not attract the truly wise) are captivated by the allurement of the eye. Although they do not come crashing down, they fall just the same from the dignity of their station and degenerate into that state of slavery which they disavow. What other function has the mimic, actor, parasite, and monstrosities of the sort74 except that of impugning the stupid slavery of the well-to-do?

Those who are captivated by melodious tones (granted that hearing is the purest and most refined of the senses) are slaves as well but under a lighter yoke, if no vices prevail in other fields. Scarcely anyone is enslaved by the sense of smell unless perchance he lives the life of a lotus-eater. I have no charges to make against singers or musicians since (on the testimony of Quintilian,75 Valerius,76 Flav-

73 Macrobius, Sat. I. xi. 16ff. 74 Terence, Eun. 696 (L. C. L., p. 304).

75 lnst. Orat. I. x. 13 (L. C. L., I, 166). 76 Valerius Maximus, VIII. vii. ext. 8.

[310] ianus, and many others) Socrates even in old age studied music, for he believed that if music were lacking he would be without that which was the capstone of wisdom.

Yet to occupy oneself overmuch with this, displays lack of philosophic seriousness. Is anything to be regarded as becoming in a wise man which even in the case of the other sex does not escape the brand of turpitude? Sallust77 criticized Sempronia not because she knew how to sing and dance but because she knew how only too well. He remarks "She sings and dances better than is proper for a virtuous woman." Yet to sing excellently, if this perfection can be attained without levity, is clearly desirable. For in all things that are frankly desirable, the greater the incentive to good in them the more desirable they are. But there are things that excite suspicion from the company they keep. Lucius Silla,78 a famous man, is said to have sung excellently, but the taint of lust and cruelty smirched this endowment.79

It was also Cato's view80 that singing well was not the trait of a serious man. As a consequence he called Marcus Cecilius,81 a senator of noble birth, a lewd philanderer and said that he gave exhibitions of the tango, in these words: "He dismounted from his nag; then would exhibit his tangos and crack jokes," and elsewhere, "Moreover he sang when he pleased; at times quoted and acted out Greek verses; repeated jokes and did his tangos." On the other hand, pleasure of the ear is consonant with honor, which is the friend of virtue, or at least is cognizant of no baseness.

The pleasure of the eye, however, introduced the profession of the actor and mimic, and this Scipio Africanus Aemilianus82 sharply criticized in a speech against the Judiciary Law of Tiberius Gracchus. "Our freeborn maidens and youths are taught dishonorable conduct; they go accompanied by pimps, the harp, and the lute to [5/7] the school for actors; they learn to sing songs that our ancestors viewed as disgraceful for the freeborn; they go, I repeat, to the school of dancing, surrounded by pimps. When I was told this I could not be convinced that nobles would have their children taught

77 Macrobius, Sat. III. xiv. 5.

78 Ibid., 10; as usual John writes Silla for Sulla.

79 Valerius Maximus, VI. ix. 6. 80 Macrobius, Sat. III. xiv. 10.

81 Ibid., 9. The name in Macrobius is Caelius simply.

82 From this point to the sentence beginning "It is therefore clear" etc., on page 369, John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. III. xiv. 6-8. The sentences within parentheses are not found in Macrobius.

such things. But when I was conducted to the school of dancing, on my word I saw more than two hundred boys and girls. Among these (and this is a thing that aroused my great pity for the state) I noticed the son of a man who was a candidate for public office, a boy not less than twelve years of age, wearing the emblem of the freeborn, dancing with castanettes [crotala]. (Croton in Greek means 'striking'; hence from it cymbals were named; or it indicates a musical instrument which in sound reproduces the cry of the stork, which among the Egyptians was called crotalus. Crotala was also the name given to hollow balls, which when small bits of metal were introduced into them gave forth different sounds according to the amount and kind of metal used.) Why! Not even a lewd slave boy could with any decency perform this dance."

It is therefore clear how deeply Africanus was moved83 on seeing the son of a candidate dancing with castanettes, since not even the expectation and purpose of attaining office, an occasion on which he was bound to keep himself and his family free from all criticism, could prevent his doing such a thing. As a matter of fact this was not (by others than Africanus) regarded as base. Subsequent to the period84 when the public morals of the city were at their best, that is to say between the first and second Punic wars, the freeborn sons of senators were accustomed to attend a school of dancing, and there they were taught to dance with castanettes.

The art of dancing was not prohibited even at banquets of the heroic age.85 The symposium of Socrates is well known from the eminence of the philosophers who attended it; and yet there was one,86 even in their austere presence, to demand the introduction of a dancer, she a girl of phenomenal suppleness with the enticement [312] of sweet voice and wanton dancing, that she might work her wiles upon the devotees of philosophy.

Cicero is authority87 for the statement that actors were not deemed disreputable. He himself, as Furius Albinus88 mentions, was on familiar terms with Roscius and Aesop; so close was their intimacy that Cicero looked after their property and other interests. This fact is clear from many sources but particularly from his letters. The oration in which he berates the Roman people for rioting while Roscius

83 Macrobius, Sat. III. xiv. 8. 84 Ibid., 4.

85 Ibid., II. i. 2. 86 Ibid., 5.

87 From this point to the sentence beginning "If, following the precedent of Cicero," on page 370, John is quoting Macrobius, Sat. III. xiv. 11.

88 A character in the Saturnalia of Macrobius.

was acting is famous. It is also an established fact that he was accustomed to match himself with this actor to see whether the latter with his gestures could express more often the same idea, or he himself with his flow of eloquence and command of words. This circumstance inspired Roscius with such confidence in his art that he composed a book in which he compared the histrionic and oratorical arts.

This is the Roscius who was highly esteemed by Silla and who was presented with a gold ring by him when dictator. He was so popular and famous that he received from the public treasury for his personal use a salary of one thousand denarii per day, in which the rest of the company had no share. It is also known that Aesop, equally famed, left a fortune of twenty million sesterces. If, following the precedent of Cicero and the other worthies mentioned before, it seems that actors are to be admitted into the company of sages, would that men similar to Roscius and Aesop be selected and at least be patrons rather than assailants of literature, which no good or wise man has ever hated. It would of course be too much to expect them to be able to make or understand books, as those two did.

Valerius states that Cicero scorned literature.89 Though he did, he was himself an inexhaustible source of it. Perhaps this was because he regarded literary activity second to business. He devoted himself to it however notwithstanding his scorn for it, and his contempt has been far more productive than the devotion of many [313] others. I cannot however readily believe that any man of letters could be induced to take up acting as a profession, although it is easy enough to find many who are not ashamed to act and to take the actor's sordid role since they do employ the technique90 without however deriving any advantage from it.

It is said that St. Jerome91 excluded from table three clerics because he saw that they were uncouth, deeming it unseemly that any uncouth person be found in the society of a man of honor and dignity; this is indeed worthy of higher praise than if he had admitted them in order to be praised by them. As regards acting, there is to be sure some pleasure of the eye connected with it, but it can scarcely be practiced or accepted without degradation.

89 John misinterprets his authority here. Valerius Maximus (III. ii. 3) refers to C. Marius, not to Cicero. 90 Ad Herenn. III. xv. 26. 91 Vita Hieron. (Migne, P. L. xxii. 192).

There is also that form of pleasure noticeable in the case of a man of position, resulting from extravagance which likes to display itself in the color, style, or novelty of costly clothing. For as the moralist says:

Maltinus walks with tunic hanging low; There will be one quite smart in his, Drawn up above his filthy groin.92

Another excludes shivering winter from the sundial and when all lies stiff and stark with frost, sweats in his light robe while even silk fabrics gall or oppress his tender flesh. One with more folds in his tunic than an onion has layers,93 buried in pelts and topcoats, will throw a cloak over his mantle, and, rounded out like a ball, is better fitted to roll than to walk. Another wears now a woolen cloak and again shorts,94 his only purpose being to be deemed different from others. Still another affects such exquisite refinement in dress that, as a result of the excessive splendor of his toilet, he seems to verge on the sordid; for whatever is unseemly and pollutes, as it were, or [314] rather banishes respectability, is sordid and is to be counted among things sordid.

What necessity introduces is not to be criticized, because all cannot do all things95 and there is one whose nature demands what would be burdensome if not entirely unbearable for another. This is the principle, the observation of which philosophy requires; each one should avoid all notoriety, enjoining upon himself rectitude of conduct that he may not be open to criticism; caution in speech, that he may be exposed to no contempt; modesty in dress, that he may not be conspicuous, for notoriety connotes lack of moderation.

To this very day Hortensius' folly is censured. This is the man after whom those males who used powder on their faces are called Hortensiani, not because he was the first of those to indulge in the practice but because he was the most conspicuous. In fact his name sufficed to brand his age.96 He was, and intentionally, very soft spoken and a man who displayed great elegance in dress. He clothed himself with a care that verged upon indecency. To be sure that he

92 Horace, Sat. I. ii. 25-26 (L. C. L., p. 20). 93 See Persius, Sat. iv. 30, 31 (L. C. L., p. 360). 94 Horace, Ep. I. xi. 18 (L. C. L., p. 322). 95 Virgil, Ecl. viii. 63 (L. C. L., I, 60).

96 From this point to the sentence "No such conduct" etc., on page 372, John quotes Macrobius, III. xiii. 4, 5.

made a good appearance when he went out, he paraded before a mirror. Gazing at himself he would so drape the toga upon his person that the ingenious knot would hold the pleats, which had been formed with care, and the drapery flowing as intended would mold itself to his shape. One day when he was making his stately progress, the cynosure of all eyes, a colleague of his accidentally collided with him in the narrow street and disarranged his toga. Hortensius swore out a warrant for assault against the offender. He really considered it a capital offense that a fold on his shoulder had been displaced. No such conduct is becoming a wise or good man. Why, respectable matrons and maidens about to become brides blush at such solicitude about their trousseaux, more readily and excusably on account of their dower of beauty. So it is the more surprising with what audacity of the age

Our males now wear a style of dress scarce fit For female's use.97

How do soldiers act and how do clerics?

All this is indeed reminiscent of the deceptive artificiality of the harlot. What has a man to do with a mirror except for the purpose that Flavian testifies Plato carried one; namely to see by the lines of the face, which is the most faithful witness to good and evil, what [315] change from its natural expression foreign travel, serious study, wider experience, and advancing years had made. His purpose was to preserve or elevate nature, that it be not corrupted by labor or unusual ways of living.

To pass on to other themes; who of those who try to imitate the qualities of brutes would deign to be a brute? Or who will not think that he is superior if the intelligence with which he has been endowed be compared with theirs? Would any admirer of physical strength wish to be a lion or a leopard? Naturalists tell us that other animals are attracted by the scent of the lynx and the panther. But I do not think that human beings who please the sense of smell and attract with their musk and exotic spices would wish to change into a panther or lynx if they could. In particular I cannot believe that he who plays the part of a satyr would care to be one; nor yet will those who preen themselves be able to change into the plumage of a peacock. Let others sing all together and burst into a riot of

97 Lucan, Phars. i. 164-65 (L. C. L., p. 14).

melody — not one will rival the peacock or parrot. Is it therefore not unseemly and an insult to man's eminence to cast aside his own talent in which he excels and aspire to that of others in which he is excelled.

However, if moderation is displayed, I do not judge it unbecoming a sage to dwell at times upon these pleasures of the senses; as has been often said,93 nothing is unseemly except that which is beyond measure. It is customary for the sage to rest occasionally, not for the purpose of giving up his pursuit of virtue but to acquire new strength and vigor. Laelius and Scipio, that famous pair of friends, used to gather sea shells and pebbles and, on the unimpeachable authority of Scaevola who tells of their recreation, would play a game of ball when fatigued by their public activities.

This same Scaevola is said to have devoted some of his time to [316] dice and draughts after he had given long and careful attention to the legal questions of the citizens and to religious matters. For he, as in serious matters so in recreation, played the role of a human being whom nature does not permit to undergo the strain of uninterrupted labor.

Socrates, who is said to have been acquainted with philosophy in all its aspects, was aware of this and consequently was not abashed on the occasion when Alcipiades laughed at him as he was playing hobbyhorse with his little children. Homer as well, the divinely gifted bard, had no other thought in mind when he placed the tuneful lyre in Achilles' impetuous hands than to temper slightly their martial zeal with a peacetime pursuit.

To sum up: it is a proof of levity and vileness to follow the profession of actor, dancer, or that of other panderers of the sort. To find one's pleasures in those fields leads sometimes to idleness and sometimes to dishonor. Modestly pursued for purposes of recreation, they are excused under the license of leisure; but if for dissipation, they fall under the head of crime.

Discretion with regard to place, time, amount, person, and cause, mentioned above," readily draws the proper distinction in these matters; on this point perhaps my ready tongue may have dwelt too long, but this is the origin and source of moderation in its widest sense without which no duty is properly performed. On it is based the knowledge of what is becoming in individual cases;

98 See above, pp. 364-65.

99 See above, p. 23.

For what is base for Leius and for Tatius

Men of rectitude, is for Crispinus just the thing to do.1

It is therefore a patent error for the foundation of fame and glory, to consume one's life in such things as are either idle occupations or profligate activities. He who promotes wantonness is a partner in such sin, and he who prefers to further it by providing means or by other support rather than to punish it by rebuke and by withholding assistance seems to be the author of another's demoralization. Ambrose2 is authority for the statement that he who gives to such char-[317] acters commits a great sin, for he is fostering the worst that is in them.

Chapter Thirteen. In Praise of Frugality; Quintilian's Harsh

Criticism of Seneca; How Suspicion of Avarice May Be

Avoided without Sacrificing Frugality

I SEEM to be proceeding against self-indulgence for the purpose of praising frugality. The saying of Publius Clodius,3 that frugality is wretchedness with good repute,4 is quoted against me in derision by the unintelligent who live foolishly and talk indiscreetly. These are those who do not wish to avoid self-indulgence or are unable to do so, and imagine that whatever is said in favor of virtue is a defense of avarice. It is quite otherwise. No one doubts that self-indulgence is in itself base. Although frugality is, as it were, the praiseworthy origin of virtue and good works,5 it does not attract all; nor do they believe that avarice, which is an incentive to evil, can be avoided unless frugality also is banished. This is an ignorant view for, as the moralist writes,

The foolish, while avoiding vice, rush on

And fall into its opposite.6

They withdraw from the mean between vices,7 which is the field of virtue.

1 Juvenal, Sat. IV. xiii. 14 (L. C. L., p. 58).

2 Webb says that there is a statement somewhat like this in Ambrose, De Off. II. xxi. 109.

3 See below, p. 390, n. 91.

4 Publilius Syrus, Sent. 223 (L. C. L., Minor Latin Poets, p. 42).

5 Cicero, Tusc. Disp. III. viii. 16 (L. C. L., p. 244).

6 Horace, Sat. I. ii. 24 (L. C. L., p. 20).

7 Ibid., Ep. I. xviii. 9 (L.C.L., p. 368).

There are some however whose frugality must be checked, since they are by nature too prone to avarice. Then there are others upon whom it must be enjoined rather forcibly, since they are prodigal of their substance, scorn a budget, are wasteful, and fail to discriminate between use and abuse. Horace relates8 that Servius Opidius of Canusium made a discrimination on this basis in his last will and testament when he realized that his two sons were victims of these vices, one being penurious and the other extravagant. Candidly, however, it is generally understood that frugality is to be classed among virtues inasmuch as it is that which in the reign of Saturn tempered the golden age and regulated all its duties. It was also frugality that detained Astraea and Chastity9 so long upon [318] earth, until, as self-indulgence waxed, in the reign of Jove, they took flight to the realm above.

The fable applies to us; it teaches us that justice and chastity cannot be preserved without frugality, for the urge of self-indulgence excludes justice, and the pleasure involved in its practice banishes modesty. For it is said: He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.10 The saying of Clodius quoted above11 in no wise casts a slur upon the honor of frugality but seems rather to commend its propriety. For it is agreed that what is assumed to support or to accuse what is of evil repute is by no means evil. Thus a dusky tint lessens the effect of black, and what is swollen is honored with the name of plumpness.

Frugality is a regulating virtue having nothing to do with use or misuse. It exhibits no lack of enthusiasm nor timidity,12 but its budget is balanced. It is sparing with regard to commodities but more so with regard to itself. It prohibits the use of practically nothing but shows no favor at all to self-indulgence, since it is indeed most thrifty. For its recommendation, the statements with regard to its practice made by Zeno, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the whole chorus of philosophers will suffice. But since these are ancient authorities and their precepts not well known, let our own Seneca13 at least be heard. He extols it so highly that all who have attempted

8 Ibid., Sat. II. iii. 168ff. (L. C. L., p. 166).

9 See Juvenal, Sat. vi. 14ff. (L. C. L., p. 84).

10 Prov. xxviii. 20. 11 See above, n. 3.

12 Horace, A. P. 171 (L. C. L., p. 464).

13 Webb states that he knows of no passage in Seneca to which the statement can definitely refer. For an explanation of the phrase "our own Seneca" see note 15 below.

to add anything at all to what he has said appear to be wasting time rather than to be improving upon him.

There are however those14 who dare to think slightingly of him, trusting to the weight of Quintilian's judgment. They endeavor to give currency to their own judgment by disparaging one who is very popular with many, with the intention of appearing in the eyes of the ignorant to surpass the glory of those whose virtues they are unable to imitate. They appear to me to lack sense, for though [319] ready to follow any lead, they show no veneration for him who, we are agreed, won the friendship of the Apostle Paul15 and who was given a place in the catalogue of saints by the learned Father Jerome.16

That you may be able to pass judgment for yourself on Quintilian's judgment, these are the very words with which, after having enumerated the authors, he discredits Seneca: "I have purposely put off the discussion of Seneca in different branches of literature because of a false opinion widespread, to the effect that I condemn and even dislike him. This results from my en'deavor to recall to a stricter standard a corrupt literary style affected with every fault. At that time he was the only author in the hands of our younger generation. I did not attempt to banish him entirely but I could not allow him precedence over his betters, whom he never ceased to disparage for the reason that he was conscious that his style differed from theirs and he feared that he could not attract those who admired them. He had admirers rather than imitators, and they were as inferior to him as he was to the classic writers. One might have wished that they would become Seneca's equals or at least be next in excellence to him, but only his faults were attractive to them. In these they imitated him, each to the best of his ability; and by boasting that they were writing in the same style, they discredited him. He had however many excellent qualities: a quick and well stored mind, great industry, a vast fund of knowledge, in which however he was led astray by those to whom he entrusted certain of his investigations. He dealt in every type of literature; orations, poems, letters, and dialogues by him are cited. In philosophy, though unsystematic, he was an outstanding assailant of vice. There are many brilliant aphorisms and

14 E. g. Aulus Gellius, XII. ii (L. C. L., II, 360ff.).

15 A reference to the now acknowledged pseudo correspondence between Seneca and St. Paul.

16 Jerome, De Vir. Ill. xii.

much that is morally edifying to be found in his works, but the style [320] is corrupt for the most part and very harmful in that it abounds in faults that are attractive. One could wish that he had expressed himself with his own genius but with another's judgment. For if he had not scorned the work of his contemporaries, if he had had stronger convictions and had not been so enamoured of his own work, had he not weakened the weight of his thought by affecting an exceedingly concise style, he would have been approved by the judgment of the learned rather than by the admiration of the young. Even as it is, he should be read by the mentally robust and by those who have been adequately fortified by a more severe standard, if only because he will train their critical faculties to distinguish between the two styles. There is much in him to approve, as I have said, much to admire; but discretion is required in making the selection. Would that he himself had exercised it! His ability was worthy of higher aspirations but it accomplished that to which it aspired."17 Such is Quintilian's criticism of Seneca. Whether his views were sound I leave to the judgment of the wiser. His ascribing to him fine discrimination in the field of morals though expressed in a corrupt style, should not, I think, be gainsaid. Therefore his moral teaching should be accepted, and each should in that field declare his preference; and it will be apparent that the streams of virtue originate in the pure fount of frugality. His Epistles should be read; his work On Benefits; those books also in which he brilliantly expressed the views of the ten orators in the form of discussions carried on by scholars; those which he published under the title Researches in Nature, and the works on philosophy which Quintilian criticized as lacking in precision. He will be everywhere found the loyal guardian of virtue, everywhere the foe of vice, so much so indeed that Fronto (grandson, according to some, of Plutarch and mentioned in Juvenal's first book in the words,

The trees of Fronto and his marble halls Cry out18)

asserts that he so effectually banishes human error that he seems to reshape a golden age, recall the gods exiled from mankind, and [321] restore the bond that had existed between them before.

17 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. X. i. 125-31 (L. C. L., IV, 70ff.).

18 Juvenal, Sat. i. 12 (L. C. L., p. 2). The Fronto in Juvenal is probably not the Fronto who was tutor of M. Antoninus. Cf. Policraticus, VIII, xix (Dickinson, P. 363).

I readily agree that Quintilian was the greater scholar and excelled in keenness and weight of diction, but Seneca was more subtle and he was as far superior to Quintilian in ethics as he was inferior in rhetoric. Even Quintilian himself19 regards frugality as among the great and special blessings and is so emphatic in his testimony that his word alone seems to be sufficient.

Who does not praise frugality and who does not deem it indispensable? That I be not accused by the self-indulgent of being miserly in my praise of frugality, I shall state that I believe and concede that it is not inconsistent with liberality. My witnesses are Cicero20 and Julius Caesar21 and others whom no one will presume to accuse of being niggardly. Against this latter fault much has been previously said; the obligations of liberality may be readily ascertained by perusing the work On Duties.22

That the characteristics of real liberality may be brought out we may say that the nobler, more praiseworthy, and, without the possibility of contradiction, the best form of generosity is that which disregards the possibility of reward; to give with expectation of return is foreign to liberality, but it is in harmony with avarice. A miser will at times be lavish to secure a greater return. Hence Coquus'23 words:

The lavish gifts thou send'st to widows and To aged men, Gargilianus, wouldst Thou think it right for me to call Munificence? Thou art the foulest and The dirtiest being alive, if thou canst call Thy crafty wiles by name of gifts; 'tis thus That lying hook is kind to greedy fish And cunning bait deceives the foolish beasts. 'Tis I shall teach thee what it is to lavish And to give, if thou dost not yet know, Just give, Gargilianus, unto me.24

[522] Do you want to see a generous man? Do you want to hear of genuine and fruitful lavishness? Cast your eyes upon him who,25 full

19 Inst. Orat. X. iii. 26 (L. C. L., IV, 104).

20 Tusc. Disp. III. viii. 16-18 (L. C. L., p. 246); De Off. I. xiv. 44 (L. C. L., p. 48); II. xvi. 55-57 (L. C. L., pp. 324ff.).

21 See above, p. 331.

22 Cicero, De Off. I. xiv (L. C. L., pp. 46ff.). 23 I. e., Martial; see above, p. 262, n. 25.

24 Martial, Epigr. iv. 56 (L. C. L., p. 268). 25 I. e., Job.

of worms,26 lies in dung and scrapes the corrupt matter from his body with a potsherd.27 Hear what a just, man28 who shuns evil says; he assuredly does not say "The cithern and the lyre, the lute and the harp and every kind of music at my banquets."29 He does not say: "I feasted sumptuously every day,30 scouring all the elements for my delicacies31 and gathering with much effort that with which to make dung or with which to distend the belly and cause it readily to seeth with lust." He does not say "I was clothed in purple, fine linen, and embroidery,32 striving

For what, close woven by the China loom, The needle of the Nile33

overlays with false images of a bootless life, and I gorgeously attired was blazing with golden garments." He did not say

The beggars, mimics, parasites, and others Of that ilk,34

noisy huntsmen, lying flatterers, worthless actors, and greedy buffoons, wily courtesans, gossip mongers, spreaders of false news, tellers or prophets of idle tales, flowed from all sides to me." He does not say "I fed lions and bears, monkeys, and like foul monstrosities of nature." Come, are not these the things for which the liberality of our age is conspicuous? Can there be lavishness without them? What he did say was "Let my shoulder35 fall from its joint and let my arm with its bones be broken if I have denied to the poor what they desired and have made the eyes of the widow wait; if I have eaten my morsel alone and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; if the stranger stayed without and if my door was not open to the traveler; [323] if I have despised the passerby because he did not have clothing and the poor man that had no covering; if his sides have not blessed me and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep." Which seems to you the more generous, this man or Anthony,36 who thought he had not done justice to liberality unless he pan-

26 Job xvii. 14.

27 Job ii. 8. 28 Job i. 1.

29 Isa. v. 12. 30 Luke xvi. 19.

31 Juvenal, Sat. xi. 14 (L. C. L., p. 220).

32 Luke xvi. 19; Exod. xxvi. 1.

33 Lucan, Phars. x. 142 (L. C. L., p. 600).

34 Horace, Sat. I. ii. 2 (L.C.L., p. 18).

35 Job xxxi. 22, 16, 17, 32, 19, 20.

36 Concerning him see Macrobius, Sat. III. xvii. 15.

dered to the gullet and all the vices of self-indulgence? Do you not see that the suspicion of avarice may in many ways be avoided without sacrificing frugality? The apostle commends the blessing of hospitality,37 by which courteous hosts so pleased God that they deserved to entertain angels. Abraham38 met men descending the way; he led into his home the angels overcome by his humility and entreaty. Yet by no means did he place before them incentives to gluttony, nor at great expense and with culinary art did he serve in Trojan style39 the calf which he had taken from the herd.

Lot40 also ushered into his home with insistent devotion the angels who came to punish self-indulgence, and though he did not serve them for purposes of gluttony or other forms of self-indulgence, there was nothing lacking in the way of charity; so much so that he preferred to expose his virgin daughters rather than his guests to the fury of the Sodomites.

When a festival was being celebrated in Tobias' house, "Go" he said "and bring God-fearing men of our own tribe."41 For he thought that a festival could not be celebrated unless charity added some one to the members of the family. But in all these cases there is the same order of well-regulated charity. For those who walk in the way42 of morality, that is in the law of God, carry greater weight with those whom Abraham saw descending along the road. They are correctly described as descending whom grace elected to present to the eyes of the devout father of the house for the purpose of the visit and of offering him the opportunity of doing them a service. Thus [324] father Tobias first recognizes his tribe that especially recognized the Lord, and among them he preferred to the others not those whom blood or the enticements of the empty world commended but those to whom divine fear gave distinction.

The holy man did not indeed summon those who speak from the belly or who utter vanities but those who presented the image of the God he revered. But did the day of the festival, the throng of brothers, or the rich viands deter the holy man from acting according to his custom? Indeed in the midst of the joy of the banquet, chidden by his brothers, he set out to bury after sundown because it was not permitted earlier, a Hebrew43 who he had heard had been slain by the impious. He did not fear to give offence to

37 Heb. xiii. 2. 38 Gen. xviii. 2ff.

39 Macrobius, Sat. III. xiii. 13; cf. above, pp. 333-34.

40 Gen. xix. 1ff. 41 Tob. ii. 1, 2.

42 Ps. cxviii. 1. 43 Tob. ii. 3ff.

the king provided he performed the duty of charity. He was quite like unto him who preferred to suffer a marked injury from his wanton fellow citizens to himself and to his children rather than to his guests.

The disciples44 employed persuasion that they might keep the Lord when he made as though he would go farther, and setting a precedent for us they constrained him, and they were seen to yield first place to him whom they afterward recognized as the Lord when he broke bread. We do not read that other delicacies, unless possibly such as necessity exacted, were placed before him. Our own England45 too produced Alban, famous for his role of host. He preferred to expose himself, rather than the Christian guest he had received, to the weapons of tyrants.

But why mention the faithful, since infidels too are accustomed to protect against foes at their own risk those whom they had been entertaining for the space of four days. Anyone who, before the fifth day, denied humane protection to an hostis, that is a stranger, incurred the stigma of crime. We know on the authority of Cicero46 that the word hostis was used in ancient times in place of the word peregrinus [stranger] because of the fairness with which guests were to be treated. Whoever proved himself unkind to them according to ancient law, is ignorant of the spirit of fairness. This usage is made [325] clear by the laws of the twelve tables and by the specific enactment which reads: The day appointed for a case with a foreigner [cum hoste].

He who displays kindliness to a guest, and in addition charity, withholds none of the things that he can be reasonably expected to offer. He gives up for his guests his very life, but keeping in mind his duty, if he is discreet, he impels none to do what is base nor does he urge that to which he would not wish himself urged. Consequently all courtesy and reasonable generosity is to be shown to the foreign guest, and the stranger is to show greater gratitude by ever remembering the kindness shown him. This gratitude is destroyed neither by opposing religious belief nor preceding enmity.

The blessed Gregory,47 bishop of Gneocesaria,48 overtaken in the Alps by night and a storm, stopped at a shrine of Apollo, who is revered by the natives of the neighborhood. He was entertained

44 Luke xxiv. 29ff.

45 Bede. Hist. Eccl. i. 7 (L. C. L., I, 34ff.). 46 De Off. I. xii. 37 (L.C.L., pp. 34, 35).

47 Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. vii. 25. 48 I. e., Neocaesarea.

most courteously by the officiating priest, though he was a heathen. Mindful of his courteous reception and at the request of the priest he freed Apollo from the ban by which he had deprived him of the right of delivering oracles and mocking the spirits of the dead. The facts given in greater detail may be found in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea. On his authority it is established that the priest pursued with laments the blessed Gregory, charging him with ingratitude and complaining that his courtesy had been inadequately repaid. The holy man gave him the following note to take back to the God Apollo: "Gregory to Apollo: I permit thee to return to thy place and to engage in thy accustomed activities."

After the priest had delivered the note to the idol, the demon being released, began in his usual way to practice deception with his oracles. Consequently the priest, amazed at the majesty of Him whose humble servants could in this way hold sway over pagan gods and suspend and torture with a word, turned in scorn from his Apollo, and following Gregory, became his adherent. He who had been priest of Apollo turned apostle of Christ and made such [326] progress in faith and religion that he is believed to have succeeded the blessed Gregory as head of the church of Gneocesarea. Thus the hospitality of the priest was rewarded first by worldly preferment and finally by heavenly salvation.

Finally, although there was no rule in force among the moralists governing the exercise of urbanity toward guests, St. Benedict,49 in his chapter on guests, seems to expound a frugal type of kindness, not merely in a religious but in a courteous and urbane spirit as well. What however is read in the book of Cistercian observances and followed by many, and which refers to two passages of instruction on hospitality, is foreign to all civility not to say humanity; if indeed it be true that in rules of such perfection is it found that meat shall not be served to guests50 nor anything bought for them; notwithstanding the fact that perfection cancels even fasts51 on account of a guest and makes many concessions with regard to its own rigor in the interest of kindly feeling. A pagan writer52 also appears to emphasize virtue more royally and intimately by ordaining that what is in the house be set before guests cheerfully but temperately,

49 St. Benedict, Reg. liii.

50 There were such rules of the Cistercian order; cf. Webb's note on the passage.

51 See n. 49 above.

52 Perhaps a reference to Juvenal, Sat. xi. 56ff. (L. C. L., p. 224).

And what is not within the house but which

A neighbor has, let that be bought as well.53

I am inclined to believe that it is preferable and more consistent for virtue to relax somewhat and to unbend, for another pagan54 has remarked that it is occasionally agreeable and as consistent with good fellowship as with virtue to play the fool at fitting [327] time. Augustine55 too and Jerome56 have indicated much that is pertinent to this theme. Then too the blessed Gregory57 disapproved the raising of a certain person to the episcopate as being a miser, on the ground that he had heard that he had never entertained anyone in his home. I cannot however believe that a Christian Father of his character would desire that a lavish banquet be prepared for invited guests. Who then doubts that the curse of avarice can be avoided by frugal means? Or who will dare to bring the charge of avarice against Abraham, Lot, Tobias, and Job? You have already listened to the description of the blessed Job. Now, if you will, listen to Marcus Caelius' description of Antony.

"On entering" he says "they found him prostrate in a drunken stupor, loudly snoring; they heard heavy breathing and belching; they saw his gorgeous female guests stretched across the couches and others lying all about. In wild terror at the arrival of the foe they were endeavoring to arouse Antony; they called him by name; in vain they lifted him by the shoulders; some were coaxingly whispering in his ear, others shouting loudly, and some even striking him. When he recognized the voices and touch of each of them, he tried to throw his arms around the one who happened to be next to him. Being awakened he was unable to sleep, and being intoxicated he was unable to keep awake. In half stupor, half asleep, he was lying now in the arms of his captains and again in those of his concubines. All this was quite true or quite likely. It was indeed the perfection of plausibility, of violent upbraiding, and of realism."58 In fine, we must persevere in virtue or despair of glory; glory has indeed no other source.

53 Ibid., vi. 152 (L. C. L., p. 332).

54 Horace, Carm. IV. xii. 28 (L. C. L., p. 332).

55 See Augustine, Serm. clxxix. 3; ccxxxvi. 3.

56 Jerome, Adv. Rufin. ii. 17; Comm. in Tit. i. 8, 9.

57 Gregorius Magnus, Ep. xiv. 11.

58 Quintilian, Inst. Orat. IV. ii. 123-24 (L. C. L., II, 116).

Chapter Fourteen. Nothing More Fruitful for Glory than

the Praise and. Favor of the Good, Particularly of Writers;

Intimacy with the Ease More Harmful than Beneficial;

Glory the Product of One Good Act or Even Saying

[328] THERE is a difference between the desire for worldly glory and the consuming passion of desire.59 For although it is natural for those who are excessively eager for worldly glory to strive passionately for dominion, yet they who desire true glory, though it be that of human praise, are careful not to offend good opinion. It is of much consequence who the one is who pleases, as well as whom he pleases and why; it is no source of glory to be praised by him whose intimacy is redolent of ignominy. The praise of one zealous supporter has profited many and has been sufficient for the acquisition of glory, while the commendation of the many has often been a source of infamy.

There is a well-known topic on intimacy60 in the writers on rhetoric which treats of similarity of character, and it has been stated often that friendship and commendation derive from it. The wise man says "I do not desire to be praised by those whose accusation is praise, nor do I fear to be blamed by those whose blame is praise." When therefore actors, mimics, parasites, and riff-raff of that sort approve, except in the case of one61 of those who deserves praise on the evidence of his life, is it not palpable folly to curry favor with those who are quite sordid, whose support can be acquired only by base means?

Mark Antony contributed to human monsters of this sort the ample patrimony of Pompey62 and the wealth of almost the whole world, and yet he did not win distinction as the result of their encomiums but for that very reason cut a meaner figure with posterity. Had he deserved the gratitude of a single sage or writer of distinction, an inkling of his celebrity might have trickled down to posterity.

[329] Virgil perpetuated the glory of Marcellus,63 who was without great distinction himself; and with a poet's license,64 distort-

59 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, v. 19. 60 See Cicero, De Invent, i. 25, 35.

61 E. g. a Roscius or an Aesop. Cf. above, pp. 269-70.

62 Mark Antony bought up the confiscated estate of Pompey. Florus II. xviii. 5 (L.C.L., p. 314).

63 See Virgil, Aen. vi. 860ff. (L. C. L., I, 566ff.).

64 Cf. Cicero, De Orat. III. xxxviii. 153; Quintilian, Inst. Orat. X. i. 28 (L. C. L., IV, 18).

ing history, persuaded posterity that Dido,65 although she was in reality a chaste woman, had been seduced by a guest whom she by virtue of chronology could never have seen. Nisus and Eurylus66 would not have been heard of in our time had not Virgil's divine poetry rescued them from oblivion. He is still keeping his promise and does not permit their names to be buried in oblivion;

Live ye in happiness; if aught my song Avail, no lapse of years shall take you from A remembering age.67

What is the reason that they who barter for the favor of buffoons at the high price of ignominy do not seek to win the good will of honorable men of experience, in particular of writers? Can it be that they do not wish their inanities to be transmitted to posterity? Lucilius would have been unknown but for the fame conferred upon him by the Epistles of Seneca. Virgil, Varus,68 and Lucan added more to Caesar's fame than that immense exchequer of which he plundered the city and the world.69 No one would have heard of the sagacity of the Ithacan or of the prowess of the son of Pelides had not the divine genius of Homer made them known. Consequently nothing seems to me wiser for a man desirous of glory than to secure the good will of devoted writers; nothing more foolish than to court a Tigellius,70 who had not the power to acquire fame even for himself.

There are many moral qualities71 that many highly esteem, [330] although the many do not possess them; the rarer they are, the more notable. Through them therefore many mount to glory, to empire, to dominion. Everyone however who desires rule and dominion but who does not aspire to glory, in virtue of which man fears to displease those who judge him favorably, as a rule seeks to secure what he craves even through the most barefaced crimes. In like manner he who covets glory either strives for it in the proper way or fights for it with guile and wile, wishing to appear good,

65 See Macrobius, Sat. V. xvii. 5, 6.

66 Virgil, Aen. v. 294ff. (L. C. L., I, 464); ix. 176ff. (L. C. L., II, 124). 67 Ibid., ix. 446-47 (L. C. L., II, 142).

68 A mistake for Varius.

69 Lucan, Phars. iii. 114ff. (L. C. L., pp. 122ff.).

70 Horace, Sat. I. ii. 3; x. 80, 90 (L. C. L., pp. 18, 122).

71 This paragraph, to the words "No one was a greater glutton," is quoted with a few revisions from Augustine, De Civ. Dei, v. 19; the words within parentheses are interpolated by John.

though he is not. For this reason it is a great virtue for one possessing virtues to scorn glory because his contempt is in the sight of God but is not apparent to the mind of man. In the case of those who praise him, although he lightly esteems the fact of their praise, he does not lightly esteem the fact of their love. For this reason a man strives the more eagerly for praise, especially from him to whom he owes whatever just praise he has. He who, though scorning praise, lusts for dominion, surpasses beasts in the vices of cruelty and excess.

Such, on the testimony of the great Augustine, were the Romans; (for when their vices are enumerated no race is worse; when their virtues, none is found better. They subjugated other races not by cruel despotism but by their clement rule; but what moderation acquired, cruelty or excess destroyed.) After they lost their interest in the good opinion of the world they still retained their lust for dominion.

The emperor Nero was the first to attain the summit and as it were the citadel of this vice. His self-indulgence was so great that it was supposed that nothing virile was considered by him worthy of respect, and so great his cruelty that were he not known he would have been thought to possess no element of effeminacy. No one was a greater glutton than he; no one took greater pleasure in consorting with singers and actors; no one more extravagant, since indeed to strip himself of every vestige of refinement and nobility he never wore a garment twice.72 Yet who so abandoned as to praise him?

[331] Demosthenes, before the merit of his eloquence became known, is said to have sought to attract attention by affecting a somewhat elaborate style of dress, for he knew that ermine makes the judge;73 yet after he attained name and fame by his eloquence he contented himself with the toga, saying that he desired his glory to depend upon himself rather than upon gorgeousness and studied elegance of apparel.

All shades of color, every rank, and wealth Itself became Aristippus. Clothed. Just as he lists, he strides right through The crowds.74

72 Suetonius, Nero, 30 (L. C. L., II, 30). 73 Juvenal, Sat. vii. 135, 136 (L. C. L., p. 138). 74 Horace, Ep. I. xvii. 23-28 (L. C. L., p. 262).

Him whom honor all his own raises high, no dishonor of another can pull down. The support of praise that depends upon things outside oneself seems like something one has secured on sufferance. Actually one is rendered more distinguished by reason of renown in one outstanding virtue than by the most gorgeous trappings of extravagance and all the cajolery of vanity. So, since the power of every virtue resides in itself, justice shines out the brighter.

Of this truth Themistocles bears testimony and is an example.75 By salutary advice he had forced the Athenians to take refuge in their fleet. Then after Xerxes and his forces had been driven from Greece he started to restore his ruined country to its former estate, and by secret efforts was gathering means by which to secure leadership in Greece. He made a statement in assembly to the effect that he had worked out a plan, and if it should prove successful, he asserted that nothing would be greater or more advantageous for the Athenian state, but that it would be ill-advised to publish it; and he asked that someone be selected to whom he might explain it in confidence. Aristides was therefore selected (or, according to others, Aristotle, although chronology proves that Themistocles and Aristotle were not contemporaries). After he had been informed that Themistocles wished to set fire to the Spartan fleet which was beached at Gythium, in order that when it was destroyed dominion of the sea might pass to the Athenians, he appeared before his fellow citizens and reported that Themistocles had in mind a plan that, though advantageous, was far from honorable. Forthwith [332] the assembly acclaimed that what was not honorable was by no means expedient. Thus by edict honor took precedence of sagacity; nay, the inference was that it was cunning rather than sagacity, if it was opposed to honor.

Zaleucus76 had provided a city of the Locrians with a wholesome and useful code of laws. His son, condemned on a charge of adultery, was, according to a statute formulated by his father, to suffer the penalty of being blinded. The whole city, to show its regard for the father, was desirous of remitting the penalty, but for some time he objected. Finally prevailed upon by the entreaties of his people, he first put out one of his own eyes and then one of his son's, thus leaving vision to each of them.

75 Valerius Maximus, VI. v. ext. 2. The passage within parentheses is interpolated by John. 76 Ibid., ext. 3.

In this way he rendered to the law its due, taking his stand with admirable impartiality midway between the compassion of a father and the justice of a lawmaker. Does not the memory of such individuals cling in the mind more tenaciously than if they had maintained an army of rascals or had presented to the gaze of a guileless populace their changes of raiment?77

How grateful we should be to the wisdom of Solon! "The proof of felicity" he said "is the last day, and the pyre confirms for the seer the honor of his name, since beginnings are subjected to chance and only the end enshrines philosophy."78 Again, man has nothing to fear except that the end exclude philosophy.

Consequently when he saw one of his friends in bitter grief,79 he led him up to the citadel and urged him to cast a glance over all of the buildings lying below. "Ponder well" said he "how much grief has been under those roofs in time gone by, still resides there, and will yet be there in the centuries still to come. Cease lamenting the distress of mortals as though it were your own, because if you but correctly ponder the matter, cities are naught else than miserable enclosures of human disasters."

That king80 was indeed a man of fine judgment who, it is said on the authority of Valerius, before he placed the royal turban [333] upon his head, considered the new fabric for some time and then said "Thou noble rather than happy cloth, if one could attain deeper understanding of the many worries, perils, and miseries with which thou art filled, one would not wish to pick thee up, even if thou wert lying before him on the ground."

Aristophanes81 remarked that a lion should not be reared in a city, but if it were, it was but fitting to humor it. For he warned that youth of distinguished birth and high spirits should be held in check, but that if they were nurtured on excessive favor and lavish indulgence, they could not be prevented from attaining power because it is foolish and useless to try to thwart the strength you have fostered.

Aristotle,82 on sending his disciple Calisthenes to Alexander, advised him never to talk with the king except on agreeable subjects, that he might in the royal hearing either be safer by reason of his silence or more acceptable because of his conversation. But Calis-

77 4 Kings v. 5.

78 Valerius Maximus, VII. ii. ext. 2. 79 Ibid.

80 Ibid., ext. 5. 81 Ibid., ext. 7. 82 Ibid., ext. 11.

thenes, chiding Alexander for exulting over the enthusiastic greeting of the Persians, in endeavoring to improve his morals lost his own life. Likewise Aristotle used to say one should never talk about oneself in praise or censure, since the first is vanity and the second folly.

Argesilaus,83 on hearing that an uprising had taken place by night against Sparta, immediately abrogated the laws of Lycurgus which forbade the death penalty's being inflicted upon those who had not been condemned. After the guilty had been seized and put to death he restored the laws, at one and the same time seeing to it that salutary punishment should not, on the one hand, be contrary to law, nor on the other hand hindered by it.

Hannibal,84 when defeated in a naval engagement, fearing that he would pay the penalty for losing the fleet, averted the charge by cunning. After the disastrous engagement, before the bad news reached home, he despatched one of his friends to Carthage. On entering the senate the messenger immediately asked whether Hannibal was to engage the surviving troops of the Romans. The senate [334] shouted that he was. "He has fought" said the messenger "and has been vanquished," not leaving them free to condemn an act on which they themselves had passed favorable judgment.

Gorgias of Leontini,85 the teacher of Isocrates and of many other men of great talent, lived a life of such integrity that on being asked in his one hundred and seventh year why he desired to continue living so long, replied "Because I have nothing with which to accuse my old age." I imagine this was the result of his popularity and his profound learning,86 in which he excelled to such an extent in his own time that he was the first to ask an audience on what subject any of them desired him to speak. Consequently the whole of Greece joined in setting up in the temple of Apollo at Delphi a solid gold statue in his honor, although up to that time it had authorized only gilded ones.

Many instances of like nature will occur to one that can present material for true renown if one will also examine the sharp sayings or practices of the ancients,87 the strategemmata88 and the strategemmatica. Moreover (since mention has often been made of strategem-

83 Ibid., ext. 15. 84