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50. You say that there are good men in the human race; and perhaps, if we compare them with the very wicked, we may be led37493749    Lit., “a comparison of the worst may effect that we,” etc. to believe that there are. Who are they, pray? Tell us. The philosophers, I suppose, who37503750    So all edd. except Hildebrand, who gives as the reading of the ms., qui-d—“what! do they assert.” assert that they alone are most wise, and who have been uplifted with pride from the meaning attached to this name,37513751    Lit., “by the force of,” vi,—an emendation of Heraldus for the ms. in.—those, forsooth, who are striving with their passions every day, and struggling to drive out, to expel deeply-rooted passions from their minds by the persistent37523752    So most edd., reading pertinacifor the ms. -ium—“by the opposition of persistent virtues,” which is retained in both Roman edd., Gelenius, Canterus, Hildebrand, and Oehler. opposition of their better qualities; who, that it may be impossible for them to be led into wickedness at the suggestion of some opportunity, shun riches 453and inheritances, that they may remove37533753    So Stewechius and later edd., reading ut…auferant, except Hildebrand, who gives as the ms. reading, et…-unt—“shun…and remove,” etc. The first four edd. read ne…afferant—“that they may not bring upon themselves,” etc. from themselves occasions of stumbling; but in doing this, and being solicitous about it, they show very clearly that their souls are, through their weakness, ready and prone to fall into vice. In our opinion, however, that which is good naturally, does not require to be either corrected or reproved;37543754    So the ms. and first four edd., Orelli (who, however, seems to have meant to give the other reading), and Oehler, reading corri-p-i, for which the others read -igi—“corrected,” except Hildebrand, who without due reason gives -rumpi—“corrupted.” nay more, it should not know what evil is, if the nature of each kind would abide in its own integrity, for neither can two contraries be implanted in each other, nor can equality be contained in inequality, nor sweetness in bitterness. He, then, who struggles to amend the inborn depravity of his inclinations, shows most clearly that he is imperfect,37553755    In the ms. imperfectum is marked as a gloss, but is retained in all edd., while improbabilem is omitted, except in LB., when im is omitted, and probabilem joined to the next clause—“however he may strive to be acceptable,” in order to provide an object for “strive;” and with a similar purpose Orelli thrusts in contrarium, although it is quite clear that the verb refers to the preceding clause, “struggles to amend.” blameable, although he may strive with all zeal and stedfastness.


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