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2. For—that you may learn what are our sentiments and opinions about that race—we think that they—if only they are true gods, that the same things may be said again till you are wearied hearing them45664566    Lit., “and to satiety.”—should have all the virtues in perfection, should be wise, upright, venerable,—if only our heaping upon them 507human honours is not a crime,—strong in excellences within themselves, and should not give themselves45674567    The ms. wants se, which was supplied by Stewechius. up to external props, because the completeness of their unbroken bliss is made perfect; should be free from all agitating and disturbing passions; should not burn with anger, should not be excited by any desires; should send misfortune to none, should not find a cruel pleasure in the ills of men; should not terrify by portents, should not show prodigies to cause fear; should not hold men responsible and liable to be punished for the vows which they owe, nor demand expiatory sacrifices by threatening omens; should not bring on pestilences and diseases by corrupting the air, should not burn up the fruits with droughts; should take no part in the slaughter of war and devastation of cities; should not wish ill to one party, and be favourable to the success of another; but, as becomes great minds, should weigh all in a just balance, and show kindness impartially to all. For it belongs to a mortal race and human weakness to act otherwise;45684568    i.e., not act impartially and benevolently, which may possibly be the meaning of contrariis agere, or, as Oehler suggests, “to assail men with contrary, i.e., injurious things.” All edd. read egere, except Oehler, who can see no meaning in it; but if translated, “to wish for contrary things,” it suits the next clause very well. and the maxims and declarations of wise men state distinctly, that those who are touched by passion live a life of suffering,45694569    Lit., “whom passion touches, suffer.” and are weakened by grief,45704570    So the ms., Stewechius, Hild., and Oehler, while the first four edd. and Oberthür merely add m to dolore, and join with the preceding pati—“suffer pain, are weakened.” and that it cannot be but that those who have been given over to disquieting feelings, have been bound by the laws of mortality. Now, since this is the case, how can we be supposed to hold the gods in contempt, who we say are not gods, and cannot be connected with the powers of heaven, unless they are just and worthy of the admiration which great minds excite?


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