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29. Now, since it is so, cease, I pray you, cease to rate trifling and unimportant things at immense values. Cease to place man in the upper ranks, since he is of the lowest; and in the highest orders, seeing that his person only is taken account of,35923592    Capite cum censeatur. that he is needy, poverty-stricken in his house and dwelling,35933593    Lit., “poor in hearth, and of a poor hut.” and was never entitled to be declared of illustrious descent. For while, as just men and upholders of righteousness, you should have subdued pride and arrogance, by the evils35943594    So the ms., reading malis, for which Ursinus suggested alis, “on the wings of which.” of which we are all uplifted and puffed up with empty vanity; you not only hold that these evils arise naturally, but—and this is much worse—you have also added causes by which vice should increase, and wickedness remain incorrigible. For what man is there, although of a disposition which ever shuns what is of bad repute and shameful, who, when he hears it said by very wise men that the soul is immortal, and not subject to the decrees of the fates,35953595    i.e., to death. would not throw himself headlong into all kinds of vice, and fearlessly35963596    The ms. reads securus, intrepidus—“heedless, fearless;” the former word, however, being marked as a gloss. It is rejected in all edd., except LB. engage in and set about unlawful things? who would not, in short, gratify his desires in all things demanded by his unbridled lust, strengthened even further by its security and freedom from punishment?35973597    Lit., “by the freedom of impunity.” For what will hinder him from doing so? The fear of a power above and divine judgment? And how shall he be overcome by any fear or dread who has been persuaded that he is immortal, just as the supreme God Himself, and that no sentence can be pronounced upon him by God, seeing that there is the same immortality in both, and that the one immortal being cannot be troubled by the other, which is only its equal?35983598    Lit., “the one (immortality)…in respect of the equality of condition of the other”—nec in alterius (immortalitatis) altera (immortalitatas) possit æqualitate conditionis vexari; the reference being clearly to the immediately preceding clause, with which it is so closely connected logically and grammatically. Orelli, however, would supply anima, ἀπὸ τοῦ κοινοῦ, as he puts it, of which nothing need be said. Meursius, with customary boldness, emends nec vi alterius altera, “nor by the power of one can the other,” etc.


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