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Chapter XV.—Of Fascination.

Nay, but true and absolute and pure virginity fears nothing more than itself.  Even female eyes it shrinks from encountering.  Other eyes itself has.  It betakes itself for refuge to the veil of the head as to a helmet, as to a shield, to protect its glory against the blows of temptations, against the dam of scandals, against suspicions and whispers and emulation; (against) envy also itself.  For there is a something even among the heathens to be apprehended, which they call Fascination, the too unhappy result of excessive praise and glory.  This we sometimes interpretatively ascribe to the devil, for of him comes hatred of good; sometimes we attribute it to God, for of Him comes judgment upon haughtiness, exalting, as He does, the humble, and depressing the elated.328328    Comp. Ps. cxlvii. (in LXX. and Vulg. cxlvi.) 6; Luke i. 52.  The more holy virgin, accordingly, will fear, even under the name of fascination, on the one hand the adversary, on the other God, the envious disposition of the former, the censorial light of the latter; and will joy in being known to herself alone and to God.  But even if she has been recognized by any other, she is wise to have blocked up the pathway against temptations.  For who will have the audacity to intrude with his eyes upon a shrouded face? a face without feeling? a face, so to say, morose?  Any evil cogitation whatsoever will be broken by the very severity.  She who conceals her virginity, by that fact denies even her womanhood.


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