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Chapter IV.—Waiving the Question of the Authors, Tertullian Proposes to Consider the Things on Their Own Merits.

Grant now that no mark of pre-condemnation has been branded on womanly pomp by the (fact of the) fate 112112     Exitu. of its authors; let nothing be imputed to those angels besides their repudiation of heaven and (their) carnal marriage: 113113     Matrimonium carnis.   let us examine the qualities of the things themselves, in order that we may detect the purposes also for which they are eagerly desired.

Female habit carries with it a twofold idea—dress and ornament.  By “dress” we mean what they call “womanly gracing;” 114114     Mundum muliebrem.  Comp. Liv. xxxiv. 7. by “ornament,” what it is suitable should be called “womanly disgracing.” 115115     Immundum muliebrem.   The former is accounted (to consist) in gold, and silver, and gems, and garments; the latter in care of the hair, and of the skin, and of those parts of the body which attract the eye.  Against the one we lay the charge of ambition, against the other of prostitution; so that even from this early stage 116116     Jam hinc; comp. ad. Ux., i. 1 ad init. and ad fin., and 8 ad fin. (of our discussion) you may look forward and see what, out of (all) these, is suitable, handmaid of God, to your discipline, inasmuch as you are assessed on different principles (from other women),—those, namely, of humility and chastity.


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