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35. Finally, if you think it right, returning to our inquiry, we ask this of you, whether you think that all stories about the gods,45004500 The ms., first four edd., and Hild. read de his—“about these,” corrected in the others dîs or diis, as above. that is, without any exception,45014501 Lit., “each.” have been written throughout with a double meaning and sense, and in a way45024502 Pl. admitting of several interpretations; or that some parts of them are not ambiguous at all, while, on the contrary, others have many meanings, and are enveloped in the veil of allegory which has been thrown round them? For if the whole structure and arrangement of the narrative have been surrounded with a veil of allegory from beginning to end, explain to us, tell us, what we should put and substitute for each thing which every story says, and to what other things and meanings we should refer45034503 Lit., “call.” each. For as, to take an example, you wish Jupiter to be said instead of the rain, Ceres for the earth, and for Libera45044504 i.e., Proserpine. The readiness with which Arnobius breaks the form of the sentence should be noted. At first the gods represent physical phenomena, but immediately after natural events are put for the gods. In the ms. two copyists have been at work, the earlier giving Libero, which is rather out of place, and is accordingly corrected by the later, Libera followed by LB., Oberthür, Orelli, Hild., and Oehler. and father Dis the sinking and casting of seed into the earth, so you ought to say what we should understand for the bull, what for the wrath and anger of Ceres; what the word Brimo45054505 The ms. reads primo. Cf. c. 20. means; what the anxious prayer of Jupiter; what the gods sent to make intercession for him, but not listened to; what the castrated ram; what the parts45064506 Proles. of the castrated ram; what the satisfaction made with these; what the further dealings with his daughter, still more unseemly in their lustfulness; so, in the other story also, what the grove and flowers of Henna are; what the fire taken from Ætna, and the torches lit with it; what the travelling through the world with these; what the Attic country, the canton of Eleusin, the hut of Baubo, and her rustic hospitality; what the drought of cyceon45074507 [κυκεὼν, a draught resembling caudle. See p. 499, note 10.]means, the refusal of it, the shaving and disclosure of the privy parts, the shameful charm of the sight, and the forgetfulness of her bereavement produced by such means. Now, if you point out what should be put in the place of all these, changing the one for the other,45084508 Lit., “by change of things.” we shall admit your assertion; but if you can neither present another supposition in each case, nor appeal to45094509 The ms. omits ad, supplied by Ursinus. the context as a whole, why do you make that obscure,45104510 So all edd., except Hild. and Oehler, reading obscur-atisfor the ms. -itatibus. by means of fair-seeming allegories, which has been spoken plainly, and disclosed to the understanding of all?
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