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21. And, I ask, what reason is there, what unavoidable necessity, what occasion for the gods knowing and being acquainted with these handicrafts as though they were worthless mechanics? For, are songs sung and music played in heaven, that the nine sisters may gracefully combine and harmonize pauses and rhythms of tones? Are there on the mountains39753975    The ms., followed by LB. and Hild., reads sidereis motibus—“in the motions of the stars;” i.e., can these be in the stars, owing to their motion? Oehler conjectures molibus—“in the masses of the stars;” the other edd. read montibus, as above. of the stars, forests, woods, groves, that39763976    The ms., both Roman edd., and Oehler read habetur Diana—“is Diana esteemed;” the other edd., ut habeatur, as above. Diana may be esteemed very mighty in hunting expeditions? Are the gods ignorant of the immediate future; and do they live and pass the time according to the lots assigned them by fate, that the inspired son of Latona may explain and declare what the morrow or the next hour bears to each? Is he himself inspired by another god, and is he urged and roused by the power of a greater divinity, so that he may be rightly said and esteemed to be divinely inspired? Are the gods liable to be seized by diseases; and is there anything by which they may be wounded and hurt, so that, when there is occasion, he39773977    i.e., Æsculapius. of Epidaurus may come to their assistance? Do they labour, do they bring forth, that Juno may soothe, and Lucina abridge the terrible pangs of childbirth? Do they engage in agriculture, or are they concerned with the duties of war, that Vulcan, the lord of fire, may form for them swords, or forge their rustic implements? Do they need to be covered with garments, that the Tritonian39783978    i.e., Minerva. [Elucidation II. Conf. n. 4, p. 467, supra.] maid may, with nice skill,39793979    “With nice skill…for them,” curiose iis; for which the ms. and first five edd. read curiosius—“rather skilfully.” spin, weave cloth for them, and make39803980    The ms. reads unintelligibly et imponere, for which Meursius emended componat, as above. them tunics to suit the season, either triple-twilled, or of silken fabric? Do they make accusations and refute them, that the descendant39813981    Mercury, grandson of Atlas by Maia. of Atlas may carry off the prize for eloquence, attained by assiduous practice?


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