|« Prev||Appendix.||Next »|
Appendix.50365036 This section, which is found in the ms. after the first sentence of ch. 44, was retained in the text of both Roman editions, marked off, however, by asterisks in that of Ursinus, but was rejected by Gelenius and later editors as the useless addition of some copyist. Oehler alone has seen that it is not “a collection of words gathered carelessly and thoughtlessly” (Hildebrand), and maintained that we have in it the corrections of Arnobius himself. If the three paragraphs are read carefully, it will be observed that the first is a transposition and reconstruction of the first two sentences of ch. 39; the second a revision of the interrogations in ch. 41, but with the sentence which there precedes placed after them here, whilst the third is made up of the same sentences in a revised and enlarged form. Now this must be regarded as conclusive evidence against the hypothesis that these sentences were originally scribbled carelessly on the margin, and afterwards accidentally incorporated in the text. Cf. p. 532, n. 10.
We do not deny that all these things which have been brought forward by you in opposition are contained in the writings of the annalists. For we have ourselves also, according to the measure and capacity of our powers, read these same things, and know that they have been alleged; but the whole discussion hinges upon this: whether these are gods who you assert are furious when displeased, and are soothed by games and sacrifices, or are something far different, and should be separated from the notion even of this, and from its power.
For who, in the first place, thinks or believes that those are gods who are lost in joyful pleasure at theatrical shows50375037 Lit., “motions.” and ballets, at horses running to no purpose; who set out from heaven to behold silly and insipid acting, and grieve that they are injured, and that the honours due to them are withheld if the pantomimist halts for a little, or the player, being wearied, rests a little; who declare that the dancer has displeased them if some guilty fellow passes through the middle of the circus to suffer the penalty and punishment of his deeds? All which things, if they be sifted thoroughly and without any partiality, will be found to be alien not only to the gods, but to any man of refinement, even if he has not been trained to the utmost gravity and self-control.50385038 Lit. “to the heights (apices) of gravity and weight,” i.e., of that constancy of mind which is not moved by trifles.
540For, in the first place, who is there who would suppose that those had been, or believe that they are, gods, who have a nature which tends to50395039 Lit., “of hurting and raging.” mischief and fury, and lay these50405040 i.e., evil dispositions. aside again, being moved by a cup of blood and fumigation with incense; who spend days of festivity, and find the liveliest pleasure in theatrical shows50415041 Lit., “motions.” and ballets; who set out from heaven to see geldings running in vain, and without any reason, and rejoice that some of them pass the rest, that others are passed,50425042 So the ms., according to Crusius, inserting transiri, which is omitted by Hild., either because it is not in the ms., or because he neglected to notice that Orelli’s text was deficient. If omitted, we should translate, “that some pass, leaning forward, and rush with their heads towards the ground.” rush on, leaning forward, and, with their heads towards the ground, are overturned on their backs with the chariots to which they are yoked, are dragged along crippled, and limp with broken legs; who declare that the dancer has displeased them if some wicked fellow passes through the middle of the circus to suffer the punishment and penalty of his deeds; who grieve that they are injured, and that the honours due to them are withheld if the pantomimist halts for a little, the player, being wearied, rests a little, that puer matrimus happens to fall, stumbling through some50435043 Lit., “of something.” unsteadiness? Now, if all these things are considered thoroughly and without any partiality, they are found to be perfectly50445044 Lit., “far and far.” alien not only to the character of the gods, but to that of any man of common sense, even although he has not been trained to zealous pursuit of truth by becoming acquainted with what is rational.50455045 [For puer matrimus (one whose mother is yet living), see p. 486, note 11, supra. And for the argument, here recast, turn to cap. 41, p. 534.]
|« Prev||Appendix.||Next »|
►Proofing disabled for this book
► Printer-friendly version