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Chapter XXIII.—Repetition Continued.

Then Peter, having heard my answer with pleasure, said:  “I congratulate you because you have answered thus, not because you speak of these things easily, but because you profess that you remember them; for the most sublime truths are best honoured by means of silence.  Yet, for the credit of those things which you remember concerning things not to be spoken,545545    That is, that I may be sure that you remember these things. tell me what you retain of those things which we spoke of in the second place, which can easily be spoken out, that, perceiving your tenacity of memory, I may the more readily point out to you, and freely open, the things of which I wish to speak.”  Then I, when I perceived that he rejoiced in the good memory of his hearers, said:  “Not only am I mindful of your definition, but also of that preface which was prefixed to the definition; and of almost all things that you have expounded, I retain the sense complete, though not all the words; because the things that you have spoken have been made, as it were, native to my soul, and inborn.  For you have held out a most sweet cup to me in my excessive thirst.  And that you may not suppose that I am occupying you with words, being unmindful of things, I shall now call to mind the things which were spoken, in which the order of your discussion greatly helps me; for the way in which the things that you said followed by consequence upon one another, and were arranged in a balanced manner, makes them easily recalled to memory by the lines of their order.  For the order of sayings is useful for remembering them:  for when you begin to follow them point by point in succession, when anything is wanting, immediately the sense seeks for it; and when it has found it, retains it, or at all events, if it cannot discover it, there will be no reluctance to ask it of the master.  But not to delay in granting what you demand of me, I shall shortly rehearse what you delivered to me concerning the definition of truth.”


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