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27. Now we may apply this very argument to Venus in exactly the same way. For if, as you maintain and believe, she fills men’s minds with lustful thoughts, it must be held in consequence that any disgrace and misdeed arising from such madness should be ascribed to the instigation of Venus. Is it, then, under compulsion of the goddess that even the noble too often betray their own reputation into the hands of worthless harlots; that the firm bonds of marriage are broken; that near relations burn with incestuous lust; that mothers have their passions madly kindled towards their children; that fathers turn to themselves their daughters’ desires; that old men, bringing shame upon their grey hairs, sigh with the ardour of youth for the gratification of filthy desires; that wise and brave39953995    i.e., those who subdue their own spirits. “Constancy” is the εὐπάθεια of the Stoics. men, losing in effeminacy the strength of their manhood, disregard the biddings of constancy; that the noose is twisted about their necks; that blazing pyres are ascended;39963996    Referring to Dido. and that in different places men, leaping voluntarily, cast themselves headlong over very high and huge precipices?39973997    As despairing lovers are said to have sought relief in death, by leaping from the Leucadian rock into the sea.


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