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She ran after the Uber, screaming for it to stop, until it had turned off her street toward Delancey. It turned out that Kashif had thought she was the next passenger, not the previous one, and so had hurried to a new address, which neither he nor the company would reveal, to pick up a person whose identity the company felt obliged to protect, to drop him or her off at an undisclosable destination. Near the corner of Bowery and Broome she saw herself reflected in the window of a restaurant-supply store and was startled by the image of her own desperation, which was when she texted me.

Eventually, she started checking dumpsters and alleys to see if someone had discarded the paintings, perhaps wanting only the leather portfolio case. Roosevelt Park. Two kids were play fighting, wrestling on the soccer field, one in a puffy red jacket, the other in a puffy blue jacket. No, they were really fighting. No: play fighting. At a red light on the corner of Twenty-third and Seventh, Miguel found my eyes in the rearview mirror, then explained to them that, when a driver gets a request from a customer, the driver has approximately fifteen seconds to tap the phone and accept the request, and this means that the already shitty Uber drivers are hurriedly trying to negotiate requests, paying no attention to the road.

Everything seemed designed for quick disassembly, desks and shelves composed of white particleboard, black laminated melamine. Each person we spoke to possessed only the power to refer us to another person of equal or greater powerlessness until we found ourselves facing a manager named Mike, who looked fifteen, his blond hair long and angular on top, the sides of his head freshly shaved.

Then I summoned Louie, played by Danny DeVito, the abusive dispatcher, and considered how much easier our search would be if we were interacting with Louie, how much more humane—or at least human—his nastiness was than this Kafkaesque chain of politely ineffectual customer reps. I wondered what the taxi garage in the establishing shot of the show had been turned into—condos, Chase, or Duane Reade?

Then I realized how ridiculous it was that my nostalgia for a previous mode of labor and travel was actually nostalgia for an earlier moment of TV, and the image of New York it had broadcast to me in Topeka in the form of reruns I watched with my dad, who looks a little like Judd Hirsch. We asked him, as we had asked everyone else, if someone could contact the subsequent rider without disclosing any data and ask him or her for information about the paintings, maybe offer a reward?

But, second, I said, as we passed the new Whitney, which loomed, in the advancing twilight, like a beached ocean liner made of steel and glass, these stories are really opportunities for the authors to assert the superiority of their own art, of literature, over painting. Sergeant Kingdom would I make that up? First of all, he explained, they hire rapists and murderers. Anybody who wants to be a cop just gets a gun and a smartphone and waits for a text?

I looked at Sonia. I could see her weighing the best chance she had to recover her paintings against the prospect of asking the police to harass an immigrant driver who was just following the rules. Somehow, it occurred to me only now to wonder whether, as a policy, Uber should reveal the number or address of a passenger; probably not. But what if Sonia had left, en route to the hospital, a kidney or a pair of corneas in a cooler of ice? This is all part of the artistic process now, I told Sonia back at her apartment, warming to the notion as the chilled vodka hit my bloodstream.

I swallowed some candied walnuts. If Sonia had staged this whole thing in order to make an iPhone documentary or a piece of invisible theatre, it would have been much more of its moment than any actual painting. Of the Uber. When an Uber driver accepts your request within the allotted fifteen seconds, he never sees your phone number—the app distorts it so he can contact you or take your call without having access to the actual digits. That must have been the exhaustion and the vodka; there are seventy-one units, I reported, Googling the building on my phone as we stood before it.

Five floors. Built in On average, forty-nine dollars per square foot. A faint rain was falling. Seventy-one apartments to buzz, in order to say, via the crackling intercom at 11 p. We entered the vestibule and looked at the tall panel of buzzers. I was about to suggest to Sonia that we leave when she pressed 1-A; instead of a voice on the intercom, we heard the interior door buzz and we walked in.

We stood for a minute trying to figure out if 1-A was to the east or west. Two disorienting things happened in rapid succession. First, I recognized the landscape, or, rather, recognized, via the landscape, the building: this, I remembered, was where I had met, at an unauthorized rooftop party on the Fourth of July several years ago willows of sparks over the East River; cloying rum punch , the young curator who had introduced me to a woman named Liz, with whom I became friends, and through whom I was introduced to Sonia—so this building into which her paintings had disappeared was linked to the origin of our relationship.

I showed the first page of my essay, showed my name, to Sonia, who just nodded and pointed to a sign that indicated the direction of 1-A. I put the book back on the rickety table beside a pile of Legos. But maybe the comparative unreality of writing is precisely its advantage, how it can be abstracted from any particular material locus. Not marble nor the gilded monuments are going to endure, but these rhymes—powerful in part because they are so easy to reproduce, transmit—are indestructible. We could hear the TV inside the apartment. Sonia knocked, and the door opened to reveal a confused twenty-something man in Lycra sportswear who smelled of sweat and, vaguely, of marijuana, probably vapor.

God by decree determines a thing; the angel by action fashions it; man submits himself to the will of the controlling spirit. God commands with the mastery of authority; the angel administers with the service of action; man obeys with the mystery of regeneration. But the present line of our thought has gone too far astray, which [1] would venture to raise the theme to the ineffable mystery of Godship, in the effort to grasp which the breath of our mind faints. Now a likeness to this most excellently ordered state arises in man. In the citadel of the head rests wisdom, who commands; to whom, as to a goddess, the other powers, as demi-goddesses, do obeisance.

For her, inborn understanding and ability in logic, as well I as the faculty to recall the past, which dwell in different -rooms of the head, are eager to do service.

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In the heart, as in the midst of the human city, magnanimity has established her dwelling-place, and, acknowledging. The loins, like outlying districts, give over the extreme parts of the body to passionate pleasures. These, not daring to oppose the direction of magnanimity, serve her will. In this realm. In other parts, also, of the human body is shown the likeness of the universe. For just as in the universe the boon of the sun's heat heals things which are sick, so in man a heat which proceeds from the depths of the heart enlivens and freshens the members of the human body.

And just as the moon in the workings of the universe is the mother of many humors, so in man the liver imparts a humor to his members. And just as the moon, when deprived of the light of the sun, pales, so the strength of the liver becomes inactive when widowed from the enlivening comfort of the heart. And just as in the absence of the sun the air is clothed in darkness, so without the aid of the heart the vital power pants in vain. In addition to these, see how the universe changes its appearance with the various successions of seasons-how now it rejoices in the boyhood of spring, now advances in the youth of summer, now matures in the manhood of autumn, now whitens in the old age of winter.

Like change of season, and the same variety, alter the age of man. For when the dawn of age arises in human nature, there begins man's early spring. When the chariot of life has gained the farther turning-posts, man basks in the summer of youth. But when longer existence shall have completed the ninth hour of age, so to speak, he passes beyond into the autumn of manhood. And when the day of his age sinks towards the west, as decay now announces the evening of life, the wintry frost of old age makes him grow white with its rime.

In all these things resounds unspeakably the working of my power. Yet I have determined to cover the face of my might in very many ways, preserving its mystery from commonness, for fear lest, if I should impart to man a close knowledge of myself, those matters, which at first are prized among men because unknown, would afterward, when known [1], be held of little worth. For, as the common proverb witnesses, communication of a thing is the mother of contempt. The trump of Aristotelian authority declares that he lessens the majesty of mysteries who divulges secrets to the unworthy.

But lest I should seem, in this my prerogative and power, to be detracting arrogantly from God, I profess most emphatically that I am the lowly disciple, of the Supreme Ruler. For I, as I work, am not able to press my step in the footprints of God as He works, but I contemplate Him in His activity from a long way off, as it were with longing. His operation is simple, mine is multiform; His work is faultless, mine is defective; His is marvelous, mine is transient; He is incapable of being born, I was born; He is the maker, I am the made; He is the Creator of my work, I am the work of the Creator; He works from nothing, I beg work from another; He works by His own divine will, I work under His name.

By His nod alone He orders a thing to exist; but my activity is the mark of the divine activity, and, compared with the divine power, thou canst see that my power is impotent. So mayest thou perceive that my achievement is defective, and consider that my strength is of trifling degree. Take counsel from the author of theological. For, according to his sure testimony, man by my working is born, by the might of God is born again. Through me he is called from not being into being; through Him he is led from being on into a better being.

For through me man is begotten unto death, through Him he is created unto life again. But the mystery of my profession is disregarded by the mystery of this second birth, for such a birth does not need such a midwife; but rather am I, Nature, ignorant of the nature of this birth. For the understanding is amazed at the things not understood, the perception is confused by the things to be perceived; and since here all theory of natural objects fails, let us revere the mystery of so great a thing by the strength of faith alone. And it is not strange if here theology does not extend me her friendship, since in many matters we are conscious, not of enmities, but of diversities.

I attain faith by reason, she attains reason by faith. I know in order that I may believe, she believes in order at she may know. I assent by perceiving and knowing, she perceives by assenting. I barely see the things that are visible, she comprehends in their reflection things incomprehensible. I by my intellect hardly compass trifles, she in her comprehension compasses immensities.

I, almost like a beast, walk the earth, she serves in secret heaven. Now, although it is not part of my office to treat of what has been said, yet I have allowed my discourse to stray thither, that thou mightest not doubt that, compared with the superlative might of God, my power is exceedingly small. But although my activity is deficient when compared with the divine power, nevertheless it exceeds human power, when balanced with it, greatly. And therefore in a comparison of three steps, we can find three grades of power; so that the power of God may be called the superlative, that of Nature the comparative, that of man the positive.

All this discourse gives thee, and without any questioning doubt, a close knowledge of me. And-to speak more intimately-I am Nature, who have sought after thee for my presence with the gift of my esteem, and thought thee worthy to bless with my conversation. When Nature unveiled to me through these words the face of her being, and by her reminder, as by a key, unlocked ahead for me the door to her acquaintance, the little cloud of stupor, which had lain close on my mind, lifted [1].

And by this reminder, as by some medicinal potion, the sick stomach, so to speak, of my mind cast out all the remnants of its illusion. Then, restored anew to myself from my mind's wandering, I fell headlong at the feet of Nature, and, in the place of a salutation, marked them with pressure of many a kiss.

Then, rising and composing myself, presented her in speech, with a reverent bowing of the head as to divine majesty. Fittingly I fled to the retreat of excuse, and with prayers made from the honey of humility I entreated her kindness not to assign the fact that I had paid her coming no joyous greeting to the fault of heedlessness, nor to impute it to arrogant displeasure, nor to ascribe it to the venoms of ingratitude.

But rather at her appearance I had been stupefied in the false death of ecstasy, as it were struck dumb at the strange presence of a marvelous apparition; and I. For the dark obscurity of the ignorance of weak humanity, and its impotent dumbness of amazement, and its frequent fits of stupor, are allied by a certain bond of brotherhood, inasmuch as, from the close association, frail human nature is always wont, like a pupil disciplined by a teacher instructing him and informing him of the laws of his race, both to be darkened by ignorance at the first sight of new subjects and in the attention to great principles, and to be smitten with stupor and to be overcome with amazement.

While this manner of excuse was gaining for me the kindly hearing of the queen, and was earning her favor the more agreeably, and besides was giving me the confidence that I should hear greater things, I laid before her consideration a certain unsettled doubt of mine, which was disturbing the welcome in my mind with extreme and pressing restlessness, and I' proceeded in these words of inquiry:.

Peace, love, virtue, government, power, order, law, end, way, light, source, life, glory, splendor, beauty, form, pattern of the world! Disclose the reason to me, who desire it, why thou, a stranger from the skies, seekest the earth, why thou offerest to our world the gifts of thv deity, why thy features are bedewed with a shower of weeping, what the tears on thy countenance foretell?

Weeping is a sufficient and faithful tongue of inner grief. Praefala igitur virgo hujus quaestionis solutionem in vestibulo excubare demonstrans. Then the virgin, showing that the answer to this question lay watchful on its threshold, said:. If thou wert willing to gather up in the loving sympathy of thy mind and to treasure in the closet of thy heart that which I would say, I would unfold the labyrinth of thy perplexity. To these words I returned, with strict restraint of my voice, a fitting reply.

For nothing,' said I, 'O heavenly queen, do I hunger with a more eager desire than the explanation of this question. He, stripped of the cloak of decency, and prostituted in the shameless brothel of unchastity, dares to stir tumult and strife not only against the majesty of his queen, but also to inflame the madness of intestine war against his mother. Other creations, on which l have bestowed the lesser gifts of my favor, throughout the rank of their activities are bound in willing subjection to the inviolability of my commands. But man, who exhausted the treasury of almost all my riches, tries to overthrow the natural impulses of nature, and arms against me the violence of wicked lust.

Consider how almost all things, according to the proclamation of my command, perform. The firmament, according to my principle and teaching, leads all things not in vain in daily circuit, and with identity of turning advances its course, and retreats from whither it has advanced. The stars, as they shine for the glory of the firmament itself, and clothe it with their splendors, and complete the short day of their journey, and compass the celestial space with their various orbits, serve my majesty.

The planets, according to the going forth of my command and order, restrain the rapid motion of the firmament, going to their rising with contrary steps, and afterward repairing to the place of their setting. Thus, too, the air, disciplined under my instruction, now rejoices with a kindly breeze, now weeps in the tears of the clouds as if in sympathy, now is angered by the raging of the winds, [1] now is shaken by the threatening rumble of thunder, now is parched in the furnace of heat, now is sharpened with the severity of cold.

The birds, which have been fashioned in various forms under my supervision and ordering, marvel greatly at my teachings, as they cross the floods of air on the oarage of their wings. Because of my intervening mediation, the sea is joined closely to the earth by the firm bonds of friendship, and does not dare to violate its solemn obligations of. Migne has also nunc coruscationibus illuminator, 'now flashes with lightning. At my mere [1] I will and wish it is now vexed into the wrath of the storm, now returns to the peace of tranquillity, now, borne aloft by its swelling pride, rises to the likeness of a mountain, now is leveled out into a smooth plain.

The fish, bound to their vow of my acknowledgment, fear greatly to detract from my rules and canons. By my order and edict, the rains are married to the earth in a kind of imperial embrace. They, laboring with untiring production at the creation of progeny, cease not to be parents of the various species of things.

The terrestrial animals beneath my examination and management do not profess activities at variance with the sovereignty which is over their obedience. The earth now whitens with the hoariness of frosts, now is fringed with flowery vegetation. The forest now has grown its leafy hair, now is shorn by the sharp razor of winter. Winter holds the buried seeds deep in the lap of mother earth, spring sets the captives free, summer ripens the harvests, autumn displays her riches. But why should I permit the course of my narration to stray to instances?

Man alone rejects the music of my harp, and raves under the lyre of frenzied Orpheus. For the human race, derogate from its high birth, commits monstrous acts in its union of genders, and perverts the rules of love by a practice of extreme and abnormal irregularity. Thus, too, man, become the tyro of a distorted passion, turns the predicate into direct contraposition, against all rules. Drawing away from power to spell of love aright, he is proved an unlettered sophist. He avoids the fitting relation of the Dionean art and falls to.

And while he subverts me with such pursuit, he also in his frenzy plots execution against me. I grieve that I have widely adorned men's natures with so many privileges and beauties, for they abuse and bring the honor of honor to disgrace, deform the fairness of the body with the ugliness of lust, mar the color of beauty with lurid paint - the hue of adulterous desire-and even, as they blossom into vices, deflower the bloom of Flora. Why did I deify the countenance of Helen with divine grace, who forced the use of her beauty awry into the abuse of harlotry, breaking her faith with her royal couch, and binding herself in marriage with Paris?

Pasiphae, also, driven by the madness of inordinate lust, in the form of a cow corruptly celebrated her bestial nuptials with a brute animal, and, concluding with a viler error, ended by the miscreated enormity of the bullock. Myrrha, roused by the stings of myrrh-breathing Venus, and fallen from the affection of a daughter to a lust for her father, filled and renewed with her father the office of her mother. Medea, cruelly treating her own son in order that she might erect the inglorious work of love, destroyed love's small and glorious work.

Narcissus, when his shadow falsely told of another Narcissus, was filled with dreamy thoughts, and, believing his very self to be another, ran to the danger of passion for himself. And many other youths, clothed by my favor with noble beauty, who have been crazed with love of coin, have turned their hammers of love to the office of anvils. Such a great body of foul men roam and riot along the breadth of the whole earth by whose seducing contact chastity herself is poisoned.

Of such of these men as profess the grammar of love, some embrace only the masculine gender, some the feminine, others the common or indiscriminate. Some, as of heteroclite gender, are declined irregularly, through the winter in the feminine, through the summer in the masculine. Some, in the pursuit of the logic of love, establish in their conclusions the law of subject and the law of predicate in proper relation. Some, who have the place of the subject, have not learned how to form a predicate.

Some only predicate, and will not await the proper addition of the subject's end. Others scorning to enter into the court of Dione devise a miserable sport below its vestibule. Against all these justice makes her complaint, the law is armed and together they strive to avenge their wrongs with the sword of retribution. Thou wilt not marvel, then, if I depart into these strange, unholy words, since unholy men dare to practice licentiousness.

For I throw them forth indignantly, to the end that virtuous men so may respect the character of chastity, and that the shameless may be restrained from the lewd practices of lust. Indeed, a knowledge of evil is expedient for security, for it punishes the guilty, branding them with the mark of shamelessness, and fortifies those who are without the armor of caution. Now my explanation has filed away and erased the worry of thy doubt.

For these reasons, then, did I pass from the secret places of the heaven's court above, and descend to the lowlands of this mortal earth, that I might, With thee as with my friend and confidant, lay down my sad burden of the accursed vices of men, and with thee determine what answering punishment should be given to such rebellion in crime, in order that the sting of the punishment might be made as great as the scourge of those crimes, and might equal them in retribution.

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For Jupiter, who carried away the Phrygian boy to the upper world, bore for him there a proportionate desire; and while he appointed him -as the charge of bearing him the cup at his table during the day, he made him his bedfellow on the couch at night. And Bacchus and Apollo, co-heirs of the paternal lewdness, turned to women, not in the power of godlike strength, but by the trick of superstitious glove, feigning to be boys.

Dost thou attempt to give faith to the dreamy fancies of the poets, which the activity of poetical art has portrayed? Does not philosophy's saner treatment file away and erase with higher understanding that which is learned in the child's cradle of poetic teaching? Can it be that thou dost not know how poets expose naked falsehood to their hearers with no protecting cloak, that they may intoxicate their ears, and, so to speak, bewitch them with a melody of honeyed delight; or how they cloak that same falsehood with a pretense of credibility, that, by means of images of objective things, they may mold the souls of men on the anvil of dishonorable assent ; or that in the shallow exterior of literature the poetic lyre sounds a false note, but within speaks to its hearers of the mystery of loftier understanding, so that, the waste of outer falsity cast aside, the reader finds, in secret within, the sweeter kernel of truth?

Sometimes poets combine historical events and imaginative fancies, as it were in a splendid structure, to the end that from the harmonious joining of diversities a finer picture of the story may result. But yet, when the great body of the gods is spoken of by the poets idly and vainly, or the very deities are said to have stealthily withdrawn their hands from the chastening rods of Venus, there dawns the shadow of untruth, nor in such matter is the poet found varying from his peculiar quality.

For surely, when the dreams of Epicurus are put to sleep, the madness of Manichaeus cured, the intricacies of Aristotle argued out, the fallacies of Arius refuted. In Him is no spot found, Him no evil fault attacks, with Him no tempting passion abides. Here is splendor never failing, life untiring and immortal, a fountain always springing, a fruitful conservatory of being, the great source of wisdom, the primal origin of goodness Then what of it if many, as in the case of the poets, have distorted the ultimate categories of love for purposes of literature?

The view either that there are gods, or that they wanton at the sports of love is false [1] reme and darkens to depths of extreme falsehood. I Now I see, mother, that my question savors of a most childlike ignorance. Still, if another very small inquiry, which promises at least a certain worth, may dare to appear in thy hearing for consideration, my wish would be to question thee of a certain matter, not merely in query but in lament.

Have I not before this extended to thee free reins to ask without any hindrance or restraint by me? For since, as we have said before, many men have taken arms against their mother in evil and violence, they thereupon, in fixing between them and her a vast gulf of dissension, Lay me the hands of outrage, and themselves tear apart my garments piece by piece, and, as in them, force me, stripped of dress, whom they ought to clothe with reverential honor, to come to shame.

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This tunic, then, is made with this rent, since by the unlawful assaults of man alone the garments of my modesty suffer disgrace and division. But should it commend itself to thy favor, I would eagerly strive to learn what irrational reason, what indiscreet discretion, what- misguided affection, has so forced man's little spark of reason to slumber, that, he, drunk, with the Lethean cup, of sensuality, not only has become an apostate from thy laws, but also unrighteously rebels against them. Let keenness expel the intellect's stupidity, let constancy of attention check flooding thoughts.

For as I make my beginning in a loftier and nobler style, and desire to weave the line of my story, I do not wish as before to explain my principles on a dead level of words, nor yet to pollute unholy subjects with new profanities of speech, but rather to gild with the olden ornaments of chaste words matters of shame, and to deck them in the various colors of beautiful expression. For it is fitting to purple the dross of the aforesaid vices with glowing phrase, to perfume the foulness of evil with the odor of sweet words, in order that the stench of such great filth may not go abroad far upon the winds, and bring many to indignation and loathing disgust.

Sometimes, no doubt, as we have touched on hitherto, since speech should be related to the matters of which we speak, deformity of expression ought to be molded I to ugliness of subject. But in the coming theme, in order that evil words may not offend the readers' hearing, nor establish an abode in the mouth of a virgin, wish to give to these monstrous vices a cloak of well-sounding phrases. Then God added to this worldly palace various kinds of things, and these, though separated by the strife of different natures, He governed with harmony of proper order, furnished with laws and bound with ordinances.

And thus He united with mutual and fraternal kisses things antagonistic from the opposition of their properties, between which the space had made its room from contraries, and He changed the strife of hatred into the peace of friendship. All things, then, agreeing through invisible bonds of union, plurality returned to unity, diversity to identity, dissonance to harmony, discord to concord in peaceful agreement.

But after the universal Maker had clothed all things with the forms for their natures, and had wedded them in marriage with portions suitable to them individually, then, wishing that by the round of mutual relation of birth and death there should to perishable things be given stability through instability, infinity through impermanence, eternity through transientness, and that a series of things should be continually woven together in unbroken reciprocation of birth, He decreed that similar things, stamped with the seal of clear confirmity, be brought from their like along the lawful path of sure descent.

Me, then, He appointed a sort of deputy, a coiner for stamping the orders of things, for the purpose that I should form their figures on the proper anvils, and should not let the shape vary from the shape of the anvil, and that through my activity and skill the face of the copy should not be changed by additions of any other elements from the face of the original. Accordingly, obeying the command of the Ruler, in my work I stamp, so to speak, the various coins [1] of things in the image of the original, exemplifying the figure of the example, harmoniously forming like from like, and have produced the distinctive appearances of individual things.

Yet beneath the mysterious, divine majesty, I have so performed this work and service that the right hand of spiritual power should direct my hand in its application, since the pen of my composition would stray in sudden error, should it not be guided by the supreme Supporter. Without the help, however, of an assisting worker, I could not perfect so many classes of things. Therefore, since it pleased me to sojourn in the grateful palace of the eternal region, where no blast of wind destroys the peace of pure serenity, where no dropping night of clouds buries the untired day of open heaven, where no violence of tempest rages, where no rioter's madness impends in thunder, in the.

While, in the progress of this narrative, mention was being made of Cupid, I slipped a question of the following tenor into an interruption, with which I had broken in, saying:. Did I not fear to incur disfavor from thy kindness by rude division of thy speech, and by the burden of my questions, I would desire to know, from thy discernment and by thy delineation, the' nature of Cupid, on whom thy speech has touched before with some slight mention.

For though various authors have pictured his nature under the covering wrap of allegory, they have yet left us no marks of certainty. And his authority over the human race is seen from experience to be so powerful that no one, whether marked with the seal of nobility, or clothed in the beauty of exceptional wisdom, or fortified with the armor of courage, or robed in the garment of loveliness, or honored with distinctions of other graces, can except himself from the comprehensiveness of the power of love.

For thou dost eagerly try to explore his tangled maze, though thou oughtest rather to be applying thy mind's attention the more closely to my discourser rich in treasures of thought. But nevertheless, before it advances into the course of my further speech, since I sympathize with the weakness of thy humanity, I am obliged to dispel, as far as in my small ability lies, the shadows of thine ignorance.

Besides I am bound to the solving of thy problems by solemn obligation and promise. So, either through describing with faithful description, or defining with correct definition, a matter that is non-demonstrable I shall demonstrate, one that is inextricable I shall untangle, albeit this, which is not bound in obedience by connections with any substance, and does not desire the scrutiny of the intellect, cannot be stamped with mark or any description.

Then let there be given this representation of the subject, as I have determined it, let this issue as the explanation of a nature inexplicable, let this be the conception of a subject unknown this theory be given of a matter not ascertainable and yet, withal, in chastened and lofty style:. Love is peace joined with hatred, faith with fraud, hope with fear, and fury mixed with reason, pleasant shipwreck, light heaviness,, welcome Charybdis, healthy sickness, satisfied [1] hunger, famished satiety, s drunken thirst, deceptive delight, glad sorrow, joy full of pains, sweet evil, evil sweetness, pleasure bitter to itself, whose scent is savory, whose savor is taste.

Does not Cupid, working many miracles by changing things into their opposites, transform the whole race of men? When the monk and the adulterer have both been foreign to a man, he yet compels these [2]' two to possess and dwell in him at the same time. While his madness rages, Scylla lays aside her fur , the good Eneas begins to be a Nero, Paris lightens with his sword, Tydeus -s is gentle in love, Nestor becomes young and Melicerta old, Thersites begs Paris for his beauty, Davus begs Adonis and into Davus goes all of Adonis, rich Crassus is in want and Codrus has abundance in poverty, Bavius produces poetry, the muse of Maro is dull, Ennius is eloquent, Marcus is silent, Ulysses becomes foolish, Ajax in his folly is wise.

He who in time past saw through the stratagem of Antaeus and vanquished him, is vanquished by this prodigy, which subdues all others. If this madness infect a woman's mind, she runs into any conceivable crime, and beyond; the daughter treacherously kills her father, the sister her brother, the wife her husband, anticipating the hand of fate. And thus in the evil progression she hews her husband's body, and with stealthy sword. Even the mother is forced not to know the name of parent, and, while she is giving birth, gives birth also to lies. The son is horrorstricken to find in his mother a stepmother, in faith deceit, in piety guile.

Thus in Medea two names fight equally, for at one time she desires to be both mother and stepmother. The sister knows not her station or how to keep herself a sister, when Byblis has become too far a friend of Caunus. So also Myrrha, too subject to her sire, was a parent with her progenitor, and a mother with her father. But why should I tell more?

Under the spear of Cupid must each lover go, and pay him his dues. He wages war against all; his rule excepts hardly a one; he smites all things with the anger of his lightning, and against him neither probity nor prudence will be of effect, nor beauty of form, nor abundance of riches, nor the height of nobility. Thefts, lies, fear,[1] anger, fury, deceit, violence, error, sadness poetry is strange dominions. Here a on, moderation to be unrestrained, faith to have no faith. Displaying the sweet, he adds the bitter, instils poison, and finishes best things with an evil end.

Attracting he seduces, laughing he jeers, with smarting ointment he anoints, laying hold he corrupts, loving he hates. Yet thou canst thyself bridle that madness, if thou fleest-no stronger medicine is given.

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If thou wouldst escape Love, shun his places, his times; both place and time give him nourishment. If thou followest him, he attends ; by fleeing, he is put to flight; if thou retreatest, he retires; if thou fleest, he flies. Now the theory of the art of love has appeared clearly to thee from my skillful presentation, and through the book of experience thou wilt be able to acquire for thyself its practice.

And it is not strange if in this portrayal of Cupid I intersperse slight signs of blame, although he is allied to me by the connection of own blood-relationship. Disparaging malice, 'with its deep rust, did not drive me to these upbraiding and reproving censures, nor the intensity of burning hate breaking forth from within, nor the tyrant of jealousy raging furiously without, but the fear lest I should seem to strangle, clear and eloquent truth by silence.

I do not deny honorableness to the essential nature of love if it is checked by the bridle of moderation if it is restrained by the reins of sobriety, if it does not transgress the determined boundaries of the dual activity, or its heat boil to too great a degree. But if its spark shoots into a flame, or its little spring rises to a torrent, the rankness of the growth demands the pruning-knife, and the swelling and excess requires an assuaging medicine; for all excess disturbs the progress of well-regulated temperance, and the pride of unhealthy extravagance fattens, so to speak, into imposthumes of vices'.

The former poetical discourse, then, which strayed into playful jest, is set before thee as a treat for thy childishness. Now let the style, which had slightly wandered toward the boyish and light verses of thv youth, return to the ordered theme of the narration previously planned. As I showed in touching on the subject before, I appointed Venus to build up a progeny from the living creatures of earth, that in her work of producing things she might shape in the rough various materials, and lay them before me. But I, in the manifold formation of their natures, was to add the execution of the final and polishing hand.

And in order that faithful tools might exclude the confusion of poor work, I have assigned to her two lawful hammers, by which she may bring the stratagems of the Fates to naught, and present to view the multiform subjects of existence. Also I appointed for her work anvils, noble instruments, with a command that she should apply these same hammers to them, and faithfully give herself up to the forming of things, not permitting the hammers to leave their proper work, and become strangers to the anvils. But since for the production of progeny the rule of marital coition, with its lawful embraces was to connect things unlike in their opposition of sexes, I, to the end that in her connections she should observe the orthodox constructions of grammatical art, and that the nobility of her work should not mar its glory by ignorance of any branch of knowledge, taught her, as a pupil worthy to be 6s taught, by friendly precepts under my guiding discipline, what rules of the grammatical art she should.

For although natural reason recognizes, as grammar corroborates, two genders specially, namely masculine and feminine-albeit some men, deprived of the sign of sex, can be thought of in my opinion by the designation of neuter-yet I enjoined Cypris, with the most friendly admonitions, and under the most powerful thunder of threats, to solemnize in her connections as reason demands, only the natural union of the masculine with the feminine gender.

For, since according to the demand of nuptial custom the masculine gender takes to itself its feminine gender, if the joining of these genders should be celebrated irregularly, so that members of the same sex should be connected with each other, that construction would not earn pardon from me, either by the help of evocation or by the aid of conception. For if the masculine gender by some violent and reasonless reasoning should demand a like gender, the relation of that connection could not justify its vice by any beauty of figure, but would be disgraced as an inexcusable and monstrous solecism.

Furthermore, my command enjoined Cypris that, in her constructions, she have regard to the ordinary rules for nouns and adjectives, and that she appoint that organ which is especially marked with the peculiarity of the feminine sex to the office of noun, and that she should put that organ characterized y the signs of the masculine sex in the seat of the adjective.

Thus should it be that neither the adjective should be able to fall into the place of the noun, nor should the noun remove into the region of the adjective. And since each is influenced by the other, by the laws of necessity the adjective is attracted according to its modifying quality, and the noun as is proper in a thing retentive of substantive nature. Besides this, I added that the Dionean conjugation should not admit into its uniform use of transitive construction either a defective use, or the circuity of reflexiveness, or the excess of double conjugation-it being rather contented with the direct course of single conjugation-nor should suffer by the irruption of any wandering influence to such degree that the active voice should become able by a usurping assumption to cross over into the passive, or the latter by an abandonment of its peculiar nature to turn into the active, or, retaining under the letters of the passive the nature of the active, to assume the law of the deponent.

Nor is it strange if many conjugations, characterized by the mark of fullest grammatical strength, suffer repulse from the dwelling of the art of Venus; for though she admits into the bosom of her friendship those which follow her rules and direction, yet those which in the boasting of a most eloquent contradiction [1] try to overthrow her laws, she suspends in the exclusion of an eternal anathema. The voice of controversial logic, moreover, will acknowledge that very many powerful connections draw upon divers stores of strength-though there are some which have no freedom to go beyond their own stations and restraints.

And since I knew that Venus was entering into conflict and sharp argument against the active opposition of the Fates, I gave [2] her, according to the maxims of controversial learning, and to the end that she should not fall into the closing trap Of a conclusion at the hands of Atropos through any. So might she the more safely carry on the contest and dispute against the wiles of the adversary, and by her earnestness refute the false arguments [2] of her opponents.

Moreover, I added that a syllogistic conclusion in the due order of three propositions should be arranged, but that it should be content with an abridgment to two terms, following none of the Aristotelian figures; being of such sort that in every proposition the major extreme should perform the office of the predicate, and the minor should be the subject, and be bound by its laws.

In the first proposition the predicate should cling to the subject, not in the manner of true inherence, but simply by the way of external connection, as with a term predicated from a term. In the minor proposition the major term should be joined to the minor more closely by the reciprocal pressure of the kisses of relation. But in the conclusion there should be celebrated, in the truer bond of closest inherence, the fleshly connection of subject [3] and predicate.

It was also part of my plan that the terms in the conclusion of love should not, by any pernicious and retrograding conversion, following the laws of predication by analogy, change their places and stations. And to the end that no false consequent, born from terms like and equal, should be able to hinder the work of Venus, I distinguished the terms with special marks, that she might plainly recognize with familiar insight and easy perception what term, from the law of their.

Furthermore, just as it has been my purpose to attack with bitter hostility [1] certain practices of grammar and logic, and exclude them from the schools of Venus, so 'I have forbidden to the arts of Cypris those metonymic uses of rhetoricians which Mother Rhetoric embraces in her wide bosom, and inspires as her speech with many graces; for I feared lest if, in the pursuit of too strained a metaphor, she should change the predicate from its protesting subject into something wholly foreign, cleverness would be too far [2] converted into a blemish, refinement into grossness, fancy into a fault, ornament into a gaudy show.

With these distinctive marks of splendor and nobility, the earthly presence of Venus came into thy native sphere. Most energetically she labored with the aid of her instruments in weaving the series of human birth, mending with a slender needle those parts that had been sundered by the hands of the Fates, and more subtly still joining these one to another. And thus did she once, with the most obedient care, perform to me the dues of her tributary administration. But [3] since the soul, when glutted from its birth with a satiety of the same thing [4] comes to loathe it, and its desire to accomplish is extinguished by attack on the daily labor, the uniform character of the work so many times repeated tired [5] and disgusted Cytherea, [6] and the effect of continued labor.

She, then, wishing rather to be pampered in unfruitful love than to be exercised in fruitful labors, though she had been entrusted, as related, with the busy work of a festal activity, began to be young and childish over the joys of extreme idleness. Now with whom sluggish inactivity has gained a stronghold, by him all service of virtue is rejected, and the unproductiveness of sloth is wont to form its abundance of misshapen offspring; draining a flood of drink, he wantons in excessive licentiousness, and his unrestrained gormandizing of food throws back like vomit from its surfeit.

Venus stung by these fatal passions, began as a concubine , defiling the chastity of her marriage-bed [1] in the polluting sin of adultery against her husband Hymen, to commit fornication with Antigamus. Enmeshed in the ruin-bringing suggestions of her adulterer, she has unreasonably changed a spontaneous work into a mechanical, a normal into an abnormal, a refined into a gross, and, corrupting my precept taught her, has denied the hammers the association of their proper anvils, and condemned them to the adulterous anvils.

Moreover, the natural anvils bewail the absence of their hammers, and are seen sadly to demand them. And she who was wont to hold out the shield of defense to that sword of Atropos which severs all things, now has become bound to the latter in a mutual alliance on firm consideration, and permits the sickle of fate to run out far into the grain of the human race, and does not repair the loss [2] with renewed [3] birth from any fresh seed.

But rather, destroy-. Reading tori castitatem pests adulterationis incestans, with Migne. Placing a comma before damnum , and omitting the one after it, with Migne. While in her wild fornication she was continuing the illicit actions of concubinage with the adulterer, she conceived offspring from him, and became the parent of a bastard for a son.

Though this latter does not rejoice in any pleasure or delight, or wish to bask in any of the joys of mirth, yet she, to the end that he might be called. To Dione, then, were given two sons, divided by differences in kind unlike by law of their birth, dissimilar in the marks of their qualities, ill-agreeing in the variance of their occupation.

For Hymen, who is related to me by the bond of brotherhood from the same mother, and whom a stock of excellent worth produced, begot to himself from Venus a son Cupid. But Antigamus, scurrilous and descended from a race of ignobility, by his adultery with Venus has lightly become the father of an illegitimate son, Mirth. A solemn marriage accounts for the birth of the former; a low and notorious concubinage denounces the descent of the latter.

In the former [1] shines glooms his father's culture and courtesy; in the latter [2] the grossness of his father's brutality. The former dwells by gleaming springs, silvery in white splendors; the latter continually frequents places cursed with perennial barrenness. The latter pitches his tent on the desert plain; the former is pleased with the wooded valley. The latter without cease spends the night in taverns; the former continues days and nights under. The former [1] wounds those whom he pursues with golden hunting-spears; the latter [2] lances those whom he strikes with iron javelins.

The former [3] intoxicates his guests with a nectar not bitter; the latter [4] ruins with the sour drink of absinthe. Now my discourse has traced on the chart of thy mind the manner in which the ruinous evil of idleness has produced inordinate love; how the excess and deluge of drink has brought to pass love's raging lust; how, taking its rise in gluttony, the ivory-white leprosy of licentiousness has destroyed great numbers. Up to this point I have sung a sorrowful song of suffering and lament over those lying sick with the acute fever of sensual passion.

Now as to the rest, whom the unhealthy rout of other vices confounds, let us tune the cithara of our complaint to the manner of elegiac song. For many, while they shun and avoid the abysmal mouths of greedy Charybdis, yet are miserably shipwrecked by unthought peril in the depths of black Scylla. And very many, while they escape the ruinous rush of the vehement flood, become stuck in the greedy slime of the sluggish fen.

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Others, while they avoid with care and caution the precipices of the steep mountain, dash themselves together on the level plain by their own headlong haste. Such matters, then, as I cast into thy mind, fasten there by the nail of retentive memory, and by watchfulness of soul shake off slothful sleep, so that, stirred by my maternal feelings, thou mayest sympathize and condole over the ruin of desperate men, and, armed with the shield of early admonition, meet the monstrous force of vices, and, if any herb of base seed dare to sprout in the.

All the beauty of virtue is banished; the bridles of madness are loosed for evil ; the day of justice fades; hardly the shadow of its shadow is left surviving; lacking light, abounding in night, it bewails the extinguished star of its glory. While the lurid lightning of crime blasts the world, the darkness of guile clouds the planet [1] of faith, and no stars of the virtues redeem the abyss of that darkness.

The evening of faith lies upon the world, and the night of the chaos of falsehood is everywhere. Faith sickens with fraud; fraud, too, deceives itself by fraud, and thus guile is upon the heels of guile. In the sphere of conduct, morals lack morality; laws lack law; justice loses the righteousness of its course. For all justice is executed without justice, and law flourishes without law. The world grows worse, and now its golden age departs.

The poverty of iron clothes it; of old the glory of gold invested it. Now guile does not seek the robe of hypocrisy, nor does the foul odor of vice look for the balsams of the virtues to furnish a mantle for its stench. The nettle, indeed, does [2] cloak its pov-. But crime puts off all ornaments, nor colors itself with the light of justice.

For vice strips itself openly; falsehood becomes the tongue of its own madness. What safety remains when guile arms the very mothers against their own bowels, when brotherly love labors in untruth, when the right hand lies to its sister? The law of goodness-to esteem good men-is considered false, and the law of piety is impiety, and to be pure is to all a cause of disgrace. Without shame inhuman man repudiates the proper practices of humanity. Then, degenerate, he takes up the base actions of a brute.

Inasmuch, then, as it has been told how the whole world is endangered by the almost universal fire of impure love, there now remains to be shown how it is ship-wrecked on the most universal flood of intemperance. Seeing that intemperance is a sort of preface to the performance and excitement of love, and antecedent to the amorous consequent, note that certain daughters of the old Idololatria, who was in time past completely crushed, make the attempt to renew the power of their mother in the immediate present, and, by certain magic songs, to revive her from the dead.

In their meretricious employment they brighten their appearance with the countenance of deceiving delight, and fraudulently lure on their lovers. Also with sad joy, with friendly cruelty, with hostile friendship, like sirens they sweetly bear on their lips the melody of pleasure, even into destruction itself, leading on their lovers through to the shipwreck of idolatry.

One of them, to speak by a fictitious name, can be called by the fit appellation Bacchilatria. This Bacchilatria, who steals the spark of reason from her lover, and exposes him to the darkness of brutish sensuality, after the manner of a harlot so intoxicates him that he is forced to desire wine beyond measure; so much indeed, that the drinker, in being bound to Bacchus by the chain of intemperate enjoyment, is thought to exhibit the majesty of his cult.

Therefore the man Bacchilatra very frequently prefers that Bacchus-like relics of his own shrine-should not be separated from him by interval in space, and does not allow his god to delay too long in the walls of alien vessels; but that the divinity of the god may assist him the more intimately, he shuts him up in the jar of his own belly. But because most often the vessel of the stomach can not bear the divinity of so great a guest, the same god disgracefully goes off in liquid either through the arctic pole of the eastern door, or through the antarctic pole of the western region.

Many times, also, the worshiper of Bacchus designs a guest-chamber for him in the cups of goblets of very precious material, in order that his clear deity may shine out the more divinely in a vessel of gold. Thence this same goblet, which rivals the glories of the ether in its brightness, and strives with the green light of the emerald in its freshness, and far surpasses most savors in the excellence of its savor, incites the sons of drinking by its falsely divine qualities, so that they honor wine with ineffable love, as if it were the mystery of an - unutterable godship.

And, then, that nothing of the god remain undrained, they pierce through Bacchus to the very dregs, and so force their god ignobly to descend to the Tartarean depth of the belly.


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Thus, while they drop to the most general class of drinking, they rise to the superlative degree of drunkenness. This evil not only is made an enemy to men of plebeian stock, but even causes the haughty necks of prelates to bend. And they to whom those delights of Bacchus, which the favor of nature has showered upon him, are not sufficient, though they usurp the attractions of learning, swallow also, in the voracious Charybdis of their gullet, Bacchus now rejoicing in a marriage with roses, now exhaling fragrance from various flowers, now claiming distinction from association with hyssop, now enriched externally with other gifts.

And to such a degree, indeed, is this true that with no sea they suffer the shipwreck of drunkenness, without sorrow its sadness, without infirmity its sickness, without an opiate its sleep.

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Those who, fired with drunken energy, employ their time in hymns, break in on the verses with unnecessary interjection, and rudely let in the tempest of inebriation. Not only the aforementioned passion for drink, but also a canine greediness for eating, entices very many. The abnormal desires of such, and their gross thoughts, dream of preparations of food.

While they pay too fully their due of food to the daily tax-collector, he, more than loaded, has to pay back his debtor. They prize whatever they hold in the coffer of the stomach, and although neither rust can consume that trust with the tooth of corrosion, nor the guile of the stealthy thief snatch it away, nevertheless it vanishes more ignobly in the baser robbery of digestive heat. That they may more carefully fawn upon this tax collecting stomach, they urge the purse to disgorge its treasure, the coffer to vomit its coins. Though within they enrich the belly with wealth of foods, without they are situated in sheer, naked, and lonely poverty.

Now this pestilence, not contented with plebeian humility, extends itself quite deeply among prelates. These, degrading the office of baptism, baptize in the base font of spice salmon, pike, and other fish which are exceptional in equal excellence, and have been crucified in various martyrdoms of cookery, to the end that, by coming from such a baptism, they may acquire a varied and agreeable savor. Furthermore, on the same table the beast of the earth is drowned in the flood of spice, the fish swims in it, the bird is. And while so many species of animals are confined in the single prison-house of a belly, the creature of the sea wonders that the tribes that go on foot and the tribes of the air are buried With it in the same sepulchre.

If freedom to go out is given them, the width of the door hardly suffices for their egress. These evils form the bridge over which the brothels of licentiousness are reached. They are the preliminaries through which one enters into the art of stealing. They are the source of diseases. They beget poverty. They are the nurses of discord, [1] the sisters of madness, the mothers of excess, the seekers after impurity.

Because of them humanity transgresses the limits of modesty, disregards the restraints of temperance, breaks to pieces the seals of chastity, pays no heed to the graciousness of my bounty. For though my liberality distributes to men so many dishes of food, and rains upon them such flowing cups, yet they, ungrateful for my favors, misusing lawful things in ways beyond all measure of law, and loosening the bridles of the throat, at the same time overstep the limits of eating and extend the lines of drinking indefinitely.

They who seduce their palates with the tang of salts, that they may drink much and often, are still more often made to thirst. There is also another daughter of Idololatria, whom, if characteristic name is to have similarity in its sound to her real nature, it is fitting to call with apt word Nummulatria. She is Avarice, through whose influence money is deified in men's minds, and the dignity of divine worship is extended to a coin. Through her influence, also, when a coin speaks, the trump of Ciceronian eloquence is hoarse; when a coin goes to war, the lightnings of Hector's warfare cease; when money battles, the strength of Hercules is subdued.

For if one is armed with money as with a silver breastplate, the rush of the Ciceronian torrent, the splendor of the onset of Hector, the might and bravery of Hercules, the cunning craft of Ulysses, count only for light trifles. For to such a degree has the hunger for possession burned that subtle dialectics are silent, the culture of rhetoric languishes.


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If money murmurs at the ear of an umpire, the lyre of Orpheus, the song of Amphion, the muse of Virgil, are smothered by its voice. Now the rich man, shipwrecked in the deep of wealth, thinks after money with the fires of dropsical thirst, and is set like a Tantalus in its midst. And the poor man, though he is not able really to practice actual avarice, yet within preserves a spiritual parsimony.

O shame! Mass of metal secures honor, which is considered in proportion to the metal's weight. Not Caesar now, but money, is all; for [1] like a mediator it runs through the honors one by one, from the smallest to those of the widest scope. Our patriarch now is money; for it sets some on the supreme throne of an archbishopric, raises others to the honor of a bishop's eminence, fits others for archidiaconal offices, makes others equal to employments in other positions of dignity. What further? Money conquers, money reigns, money commands all.

What profits it in the chariot of Ptolomean subtlety to follow elusive astronomy in its swift flight, the prophecies of the stars, to track the free wanderings of the planets; with Euclid to search the inner secrets of the puzzles of geometry, with the intellect to descend into the depths of the sea, to touch the height of heaven by measurements that can be comprehended; with the Milesian to find the harmonious combinations of musical chords; with Pythagoras to examine the.

But wisdom alone surpasses every possession. Though this noble property be scattered abroad, it reunites; though spent, it returns; though confiscated, it gains an increase. Through it the splendid treasure of science is produced in the mysterious secret places of the mind, and the enjoyment of internal delight is acquired. It is the sun from which the mind becomes like day in the midst of shadows ; it is the eye of the heart, the rapturous paradise of the spirit.

It turns the earthly into the heavenly by the power of godlike change, the perishable into the immortal, man into God. It is the true cure for error, the only solace for human misfortune, alone the morning-star of the night of humanity, the special redemption from thy misery.


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No fog of the air blurs its keenness, the thickness of earth does not bar its working, nor depth of water dim its vision. Although among those who are like brutes in bestial sensuality it sickens by reason of their gross vice, yet among those who have raised the spark of reason into its original fire it does not lack the favor of sounding fame. For though wisdom despises flattering applause and unsubstantial. Therefore, if among certain men thou seest -money reigning, knowledge lying prostrate, wealth militant, wisdom in exile, yet do thou with victorious spirit throw down and trample under foot the ignoble hoards of riches, and with the love of inner affection follow after knowledge; for so thou wilt be able with unimpeded gaze to look further into the resting-place of Mother Wisdom.

Then she, turning the course of her speech to severest censure and invective, said:. While the passion for having makes the stomach of the mind dropsical, the mind thirsts as it drinks, and, like another Tantalus, burns in the very water, and the abundance of wealth gives intensity to the thirst. So the satiated man hungers, the drunken thirsts, the one with plenty longs, the individual covets everything, and by that very covetousness is made poor, and stays wealthy without, but.

The wretch has nothing when he thinks that he has nothing, since [1] his longings balance his riches with poverty. Many enemies invade the lodging of the heart and the walls of his greedy mind, and with great tumult disturb the whole stronghold of the human breast. For fear marches upon the understanding, and likewise covetousness shakes it, and loots the whole city of the mind.

Thus the avaricious wretch is agitated by a twofold crowd of cares. And while he fears things worthy to be feared, his mind itself often dreams new terrors and creates fear, and suffers misfortune in the fear of misfortune, and considers adversity and loss with utter consternation. Thus the dreams of terror picture various 3calamities, and fright conjures up falsehood of wife and knavery of thief and assault of enemy, and imagines swords threatening the neck, and the dire thunderbolts of those in power.

Now it thinks on the evils of fire, now it conceives of the wrath of the ocean, now it is shipwrecked on blank fear. The mind of the rich man lingers over a coin, while he buries it in his chest, and the buried coin becomes dead to the miser's use. Not he, but the chest, possesses it, and claims the whole value of the money for itself. That the coffer may serve him various dishes of coins, the rich man inflicts the pangs of hunger on his own belly.

The belly dreads avarice, and cannot understand why it is denied its proper revenues, and asks aid of the coffer, but the coffer turns to it deaf ears.