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20. And, that we may show you more clearly and distinctly what is the worth of man, whom you believe to be very like the higher power, conceive this idea; and because it can be done if we come into direct contact with it, let us conceive it just as if we came into contact. Let us then imagine a place dug out in the earth, fit for dwelling in, formed into a chamber, enclosed by a roof and walls, not cold in winter, not too warm in summer, but so regulated and equable that we suffer neither cold35373537    Lit., “a feeling of cold.” nor the violent heat of summer. To this let there not come any sound or cry whatever,35383538    Lit., “sound of voice at all.” of bird, of beast, of storm, of man—of any noise, in fine, or of the thunder’s35393539    Lit., “of heaven terribly crashing.” terrible crash. Let us next devise a way in which it may be lighted not by the introduction of fire, nor by the sight of the sun, but let there be some counterfeit35403540    So the later edd., adopting the emendation of Scaliger, nothum—“spurious,” which here seems to approach in meaning to its use by Lucretius (v. 574 sq.), of the moon’s light as borrowed from the sun. The ms. and first four edd. read notum, “known.” to imitate sunlight, darkness being interposed.35413541    According to Huet (quoted by Oehler), “between that spurious and the true light;” but perhaps the idea is that of darkness interposed at intervals to resemble the recurrence of night. Let there not be one door, nor a direct entrance, but let it be approached by tortuous windings, and let it never be thrown open unless when it is absolutely necessary.


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