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28. And yet, that we may not be as ignorant when we leave you as before, let us hear from you35813581    The ms. reads ne videamu-s, changed in both Roman edd. into -amur—“that we may not be seen by you (as ignorant), how say you,” etc. Gelenius proposed the reading of the text, audiamus, which has been received by Canterus and Orelli. It is clear from the next words—quemadmodum dicitis—that in this case the verb must be treated as a kind of interjection, “How say you, let us hear.” LB. reads, to much the same purpose, scire avemus, “we desire to know.” how you say that the soul, on being enwrapt in an earthly body, has no recollection of the past; while, after being actually placed in the body itself, and rendered almost senseless by union with it, it holds tenaciously and faithfully the things which many years before, eighty if you choose to say so, or even more, it either did, or suffered, or said, or heard. For if, through being hampered by the body, it does not remember those things which it knew long ago, and before it came into this world,35823582    Lit., “before man.” there is more reason that it should forget those things which it has done from time to time since being shut up in the body, than those which it did before entering it,35833583    Lit., “placed outside.” while not yet connected with men. For the same body which35843584    Quod enim. deprives of memory the soul which enters it,35853585    Rebus ingressis. should cause what is done within itself also to be wholly forgotten; for one cause cannot bring about two results, and these opposed to each other, so as to make some things to be forgotten, and allow others to be remembered by him who did them. But if souls, as you call them, are prevented and hindered by their fleshly members from recalling their former knowledge,35863586    So read by Orelli, artes suas antiquas, omitting atque, which he says, follows in the ms. It is read after suas, however, in the first ed., and those of Gelenius, Canterus, Hildebrand; and according to Oehler, it is so given in the ms., “its own and ancient.” Oberthür would supply res—“its own arts and ancient things.” how do they remember what has been arranged35873587    So the ms., reading constitut-a, followed by all edd. except those of Ursinus, Hildebrand, and Oehler, who read , “how do they remember when established in the bodies,” which is certainly more in accordance with the context. in these very bodies, 445and know that they are spirits, and have no bodily substance, being exalted by their condition as immortal beings?35883588    Lit., “of immortality.” how do they know what rank they hold in the universe, in what order they have been set apart from other beings? how they have come to these, the lowest parts of the universe? what properties they acquired, and from what circles,35893589    Cf. ch. 16, p. 440. in gliding along towards these regions? How, I say, do they know that they were very learned, and have lost their knowledge by the hindrance which their bodies afford them? For of this very thing also they should have been ignorant, whether their union with the body had brought any stain upon them; for to know what you were, and what to-day you are not, is no sign that you have lost your memory,35903590    Lit., “of a lost memory.” but a proof and evidence that it is quite sound.35913591    Lit., “of (a memory) preserved.”


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