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Chapter II.—The Origin of Female Ornamentation, Traced Back to the Angels Who Had Fallen.8989    Comp. with this chapter, de Idol., c. ix.; de Or., c. xxii.; de Cult. Fem., l. ii. c. x.; de Virg. Vel., c. vii.

For they, withal, who instituted them are assigned, under condemnation, to the penalty of death,—those angels, to wit, who rushed from heaven on the daughters of men; so that this ignominy also attaches to woman.  For when to an age9090    Sæculo. much more ignorant (than ours) they had disclosed certain well-concealed material substances, and several not well-revealed scientific arts—if it is true that they had laid bare 15the operations of metallurgy, and had divulged the natural properties of herbs, and had promulgated the powers of enchantments, and had traced out every curious art,9191    Curiositatem.  Comp. de Idol., c. ix., and Acts xix. 19. even to the interpretation of the stars—they conferred properly and as it were peculiarly upon women that instrumental mean of womanly ostentation, the radiances of jewels wherewith necklaces are variegated, and the circlets of gold wherewith the arms are compressed, and the medicaments of orchil with which wools are coloured, and that black powder itself wherewith the eyelids and eyelashes are made prominent.9292    Quo oculorum exordia producuntur.  Comp. ii. 5.  What is the quality of these things may be declared meantime, even at this point,9393    “Jam,” i.e., without going any farther.  Comp. c. iv. et seqq. from the quality and condition of their teachers:  in that sinners could never have either shown or supplied anything conducive to integrity, unlawful lovers anything conducive to chastity, renegade spirits anything conducive to the fear of God.  If (these things) are to be called teachings, ill masters must of necessity have taught ill; if as wages of lust, there is nothing base of which the wages are honourable.  But why was it of so much importance to show these things as well as9494    Sicut.  But Pam. and Rig. read “sive.” to confer them?  Was it that women, without material causes of splendour, and without ingenious contrivances of grace, could not please men, who, while still unadorned, and uncouth and—so to say—crude and rude, had moved (the mind of) angels? or was it that the lovers9595    i.e., the angelic lovers. would appear sordid and—through gratuitous use—contumelious, if they had conferred no (compensating) gift on the women who had been enticed into connubial connection with them?  But these questions admit of no calculation.  Women who possessed angels (as husbands) could desire nothing more; they had, forsooth, made a grand match!  Assuredly they who, of course, did sometimes think whence they had fallen,9696    Comp. Rev. ii. 5. and, after the heated impulses of their lusts, looked up toward heaven, thus requited that very excellence of women, natural beauty, as (having proved) a cause of evil, in order that their good fortune might profit them nothing; but that, being turned from simplicity and sincerity, they, together with (the angels) themselves, might become offensive to God.  Sure they were that all ostentation, and ambition, and love of pleasing by carnal means, was displeasing to God.  And these are the angels whom we are destined to judge:9797    See 1 Cor. vi. 3.  these are the angels whom in baptism we renounce:9898    Comp. de Idol., c. vi.  these, of course, are the reasons why they have deserved to be judged by man.  What business, then, have their things with their judges?  What commerce have they who are to condemn with them who are to be condemned?  The same, I take it, as Christ has with Belial.9999    Comp. 2 Cor. vi. 14–16.  With what consistency do we mount that (future) judgment-seat to pronounce sentence against those whose gifts we (now) seek after?  For you too, (women as you are,) have the self-same angelic nature promised100100    See Matt. xxii. 30; Mark xii. 25; Luke xx. 35, 36; and comp. Gal. iii. 28. as your reward, the self-same sex as men:  the self-same advancement to the dignity of judging, does (the Lord) promise you.  Unless, then, we begin even here to pre-judge, by pre-condemning their things, which we are hereafter to condemn in themselves, they will rather judge and condemn us.


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