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48424. If you will open your minds’ eyes, and see the real42044204    Orelli, without receiving into the text, approves of the reading of Stewechius, promptam, “evident,” for the ms. propriam. truth without gratifying any private end, you will find that the causes of all the miseries by which, as you say, the human race has long been afflicted, flow from such beliefs which you held in former times about your gods; and which you have refused to amend, although the truth was placed before your eyes. For what about them, pray, have we indeed ever either imagined which was unbecoming, or put forth in shameful writings that the troubles which assail men and the loss of the blessings of life42054205    Lit., “the benefits diminished by which it is lived.” should be used to excite a prejudice against us? Do we say that certain gods were produced from eggs,42064206    The ms. reads ex Jovis; the first five edd. Jove—“from Jove,” which is altogether out of place; the others, as above, ex ovis. Cf. i. 36. like storks and pigeons? Do we say that the radiant Cytherean Venus grew up, having taken form from the sea’s foam and the severed genitals of Cœlus? that Saturn was thrown into chains for parricide, and relieved from their weight only on his own days?42074207    The ms. reads et ablui diebus tantis…elevari; LB., Hild. and Oehler, statis or statutis…et levari—“and was loosed and released on fixed days;” Elm., Oberthür, and Orelli receive the conjecture of Ursinus, et suis diebus tantum…rel., as above. that Jupiter was saved from death42084208    Cf. iii. [cap. 41, p. 475, and cap. 30, p. 472]. by the services of the Curetes? that he drove his father from the seat of power, and by force and fraud possessed a sovereignty not his own? Do we say that his aged sire, when driven out, concealed himself in the territories of the Itali, and gave his name as a gift to Latium,42094209    i.e., hiding-place. Virg., Æn., viii. 322: Quoniam latuisset tutus in oris. because he had been there protected from his son? Do we say that Jupiter himself incestuously married his sister? or, instead of pork, breakfasted in ignorance upon the son of Lycaon, when invited to his table? that Vulcan, limping on one foot, wrought as a smith in the island of Lemnos? that Æsculapius was transfixed by a thunderbolt because of his greed and avarice, as the Bœotian Pindar42104210    Pyth., iii. 102 sq. sings? that Apollo, having become rich, by his ambiguous responses, deceived the very kings by whose treasures and gifts he had been enriched? Did we declare that Mercury was a thief? that Laverna is so also, and along with him presides over secret frauds? Is the writer Myrtilus one of us, who declares that the Muses were the handmaids of Megalcon,42114211    ms. Meglac. daughter of Macarus?42124212    The ms. and most edd. give filias, making the Muses daughters of Macarus; but Orelli, Hild., and Oehler adopt, as above, the reading of Canterus, filiæ, in accordance with Clem. Alex.

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