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43. But what the meaning of this is, is already clear to all. For because you are ashamed of such writers and histories, and do not see that these things can be got rid of which have once been committed to writing in filthy language, you strive to make base things honourable, and by every kind of subtlety you pervert and corrupt the real senses45434543    Lit., “natures.” of words for the sake of spurious interpretations;45444544    Lit., “things.” and, as oft times happens to the sick, whose senses and understanding have been put to flight by the distempered force of disease, you toss about confused and uncertain conjectures, and rave in empty fictions.

Let it be granted that the irrigation of the earth was meant by the union of Jupiter and Ceres, the burying of the seed45454545    So most edd., reading occultatiofor the ms. occupatio. by the ravishing of Proserpine by father Dis, wines scattered over the earth by the limbs of Liber torn asunder by the Titans, that the restraining45464546    So all edd., reading com-, except Hild. and Oehler, who retain the ms. reading, im-pressio—“the assault of,” i.e., “on.” of lust and rashness has been spoken of as the binding of the adulterous Venus and Mars.

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