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The Theological Tractates and The Consolation of Philosophy by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

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[159] Source unknown.

[160] Homer, _Il._ xii. 176.

VI.

Si uis celsi iura tonantis
Pura sollers cernere mente,
Aspice summi culmina caeli.
Illic iusto foedere rerum
Veterem seruant sidera pacem. 5
Non sol rutilo concitus igne
Gelidum Phoebes impedit axem
Nec quae summo uertice mundi
Flectit rapidos Vrsa meatus.
Numquam occiduo lota profundo 10
Cetera cernens sidera mergi
Cupit oceano tingere flammas.
Semper uicibus temporis aequis
Vesper seras nuntiat umbras
Reuehitque diem Lucifer almum. 15
Sic aeternos reficit cursus
Alternus amor, sic astrigeris
Bellum discors exulat oris.
Haec concordia temperat aequis
Elementa modis, ut pugnantia 20
Vicibus cedant umida siccis
Iungantque fidem frigora flammis
Pendulus ignis surgat in altum
Terraeque graues pondere sidant.
Isdem causis uere tepenti 25
Spirat florifer annus odores,
Aestas Cererem feruida siccat,
Remeat pomis grauis autumnus,
Hiemem defluus inrigat imber.
Haec temperies alit ac profert 30
Quidquid uitam spirat in orbe.
Eadem rapiens condit et aufert
Obitu mergens orta supremo.
Sedet interea conditor altus
Rerumque regens flectit habenas 35
Rex et dominus fons et origo
Lex et sapiens arbiter aequi
Et quae motu concitat ire,
Sistit retrahens ac uaga firmat.
Nam nisi rectos reuocans itus 40
Flexos iterum cogat in orbes,
Quae nunc stabilis continet ordo
Dissaepta suo fonte fatiscant.
Hic est cunctis communis amor
Repetuntque boni fine teneri, 45
Quia non aliter durare queant,
Nisi conuerso rursus amore
Refluant causae quae dedit esse.

VI.

If thou would'st see
God's laws with purest mind,
Thy sight on heaven must fixed be,
Whose settled course the stars in peace doth bind.
The sun's bright fire
Stops not his sister's team,
Nor doth the northern bear desire
Within the ocean's wave to hide her beam.
Though she behold
The other stars there couching,
Yet she uncessantly is rolled
About high heaven, the ocean never touching.
The evening light
With certain course doth show
The coming of the shady night,
And Lucifer before the day doth go.
This mutual love
Courses eternal makes,
And from the starry spheres above
All cause of war and dangerous discord takes.
This sweet consent
In equal bands doth tie
The nature of each element,
So that the moist things yield unto the dry,
The piercing cold
With flames doth friendship keep,
The trembling fire the highest place doth hold,
And the gross earth sinks down into the deep.
The flowery year
Breathes odours in the spring
The scorching summer corn doth bear,
The autumn fruit from laden trees doth bring.
The falling rain
Doth winter's moisture give.
These rules thus nourish and maintain
All creatures which we see on earth to live.
And when they die,
These bring them to their end,
While their Creator sits on high,
Whose hand the reins of the whole world doth bend.
He as their King
Rules them with lordly might.
From Him they rise, flourish, and spring,
He as their law and judge decides their right.
Those things whose course
Most swiftly glides away
His might doth often backward force,
And suddenly their wandering motion stay.
Unless His strength
Their violence should bound,
And them which else would run at length,
Should bring within the compass of a round,
That firm decree
Which now doth all adorn
Would soon destroyed and broken be,
Things being far from their beginning borne.
This powerful love
Is common unto all,
Which for desire of good do move
Back to the springs from whence they first did fall.
No worldly thing
Can a continuance have
Unless love back again it bring
Unto the cause which first the essence gave.

VII.

Iamne igitur uides quid haec omnia quae diximus consequatur?" "Quidnam?"
inquam. "Omnem," inquit, "bonam prorsus esse fortunam." "Et qui id,"
inquam, "fieri potest?" "Attende," inquit. "Cum omnis fortuna uel iucunda
uel aspera tum remunerandi exercendiue bonos tum puniendi corrigendiue
improbos causa deferatur, omnis bona quam uel iustam constat esse uel
utilem." "Nimis quidem," inquam, "uera ratio et si quam paulo ante docuisti
prouidentiam fatumue considerem, firmis uiribus nixa sententia. Sed eam si
placet inter eas quas inopinabiles paulo ante posuisti numeremus." "Qui?"
inquit. "Quia id hominum sermo communis usurpat et quidem crebro quorundam
malam esse fortunam." "Visne igitur," inquit, "paulisper uulgi sermonibus
accedamus, ne nimium uelut ab humanitatis usu recessisse uideamur?" "Vt
placet," inquam. "Nonne igitur bonum censes esse quod prodest?" "Ita est,"
inquam, "Quae uero aut exercet aut corrigit, prodest?" "Fateor," inquam.
"Bona igitur?" "Quidni?" "Sed haec eorum est qui uel in uirtute positi
contra aspera bellum gerunt, uel a uitiis declinantes uirtutis iter
arripiunt." "Negare," inquam, "nequeo." "Quid uero iucunda, quae in
praemium tribuitur bonis, num uulgus malam esse decernit?" "Nequaquam;
uerum uti est ita quoque esse optimam censet." "Quid reliqua, quae cum sit
aspera, iusto supplicio malos coercet, num bonam populus putat?" "Immo
omnium," inquam, "quae excogitari possunt, iudicat esse miserrimam." "Vide
igitur ne opinionem populi sequentes quiddam ualde inopinabile
confecerimus." "Quid?" inquam. "Ex his enim," ait, "quae concessa sunt,
euenit eorum quidem qui uel sunt uel in possessione uel in prouectu uel in
adeptione uirtutis, omnem quaecumque sit bonam, in improbitate uero
manentibus omnem pessimam esse fortunam." "Hoc," inquam, "uerum est,
tametsi nemo audeat confiteri." "Quare," inquit, "ita uir sapiens moleste
ferre non debet, quotiens in fortunae certamen adducitur, ut uirum fortem
non decet indignari, quotiens increpuit bellicus tumultus; utrique enim,
huic quidem gloriae propagandae illi uero conformandae sapientiae,
difficultas ipsa materia est. Ex quo etiam uirtus uocatur quod suis uiribus
nitens non superetur aduersis. Neque enim uos in prouectu positi uirtutis
diffluere deliciis et emarcescere uoluptate uenistis. Proelium cum omni
fortuna nimis[161] acre conseritis, ne uos aut tristis opprimat aut iucunda
corrumpat. Firmis medium uiribus occupate! Quidquid aut infra subsistit aut
ultra progreditur, habet contemptum felicitatis, non habet praemium
laboris. In uestra enim situm manu qualem uobis fortunam formare malitis;
omnis enim quae uidetur aspera nisi aut exercet aut corrigit punit.

[161] animis _codd. meliores._

VII.

Perceivest thou now what followeth of all that we have hitherto said?"
"What?" quoth I. "That," quoth she, "all manner of fortune is good."
"How can that be?" quoth I. "Be attentive," quoth she; "since that all
fortune, be it pleasing or unpleasing, is directed to the reward or
exercise of the good, and to the punishment and direction of the wicked,
it is manifest it is all good, since all is just or profitable." "Thy
reason is very true," quoth I, "and if I consider Providence and Fate,
which thou didst explicate a little before, thy opinion is well
grounded. But if thou pleasest let us account it among those which thou
not long since supposest incredible." "Why?" quoth she. "Because men
commonly use to say and repeat that some have ill fortune." "Shall we,"
quoth she, "frame our speech to the vulgar phrase, lest we seem to have
as it were forsaken the use of human conversation?" "As it pleaseth
thee," quoth I. "Dost thou not think then that that is good which is
profitable?" "Yes," quoth I. "But that fortune which either exerciseth
or correcteth is profitable?" "It is true," quoth I. "It is good then?"
"Why not?" "But this is the estate of them who being either virtuous
strive with adversity, or forsaking vices betake themselves to the way
of virtue." "I cannot deny it," quoth I. "Now, what sayest thou to that
pleasing fortune which is given in reward to the good, doth the common
people account it bad?" "No, but judgeth it exceeding good, as it is
indeed." "And what of the other which, being unpleasing, restraineth the
evil with just punishment, doth not the people think it good?" "Nay,"
quoth I, "they think it the most miserable that can be." "Look then,"
quoth she, "how, following the people's opinion, we have concluded a
very incredible matter." "What?" quoth I. "For it followeth," quoth she,
"out of that which is granted, that all their fortune, whatsoever it be,
who are either in the possession or increase or entrance of virtue, is
good: and theirs, which remain in vices, the worst that may be." "This,"
quoth I, "is true, though none dare say so." "Wherefore," quoth she, "a
wise man must be no more troubled when he is assaulted with adversity,
than a valiant captain dismayed at the sound of an alarum. For
difficulties are the matter by which the one must extend his glory, and
the other increase his wisdom. For which cause virtue is so called,
because it hath sufficient strength to overcome adversity.[162] For
you, that are proficients in virtue, are not come hither to be dissolute
with dainties or to languish in pleasures. You skirmish fiercely with
any fortune, lest either affliction oppress you or prosperity corrupt
you. Stay yourselves strongly in the mean! For whatsoever cometh either
short, or goeth beyond, may well contemn felicity, but will never obtain
any reward of labour. For it is placed in your power to frame to
yourselves what fortune you please. For all that seemeth unsavoury
either exerciseth or correcteth or punisheth.

[162] Boethius shows his independence in adopting for _uirtus_ a
different etymology from that given by Cicero, viz. _uir_ (of. 2
_Tusoul._ xviii.).

VII.

Bella bis quinis operatus annis
Vltor Atrides Phrygiae ruinis
Fratris amissos thalamos piauit;
Ille dum Graiae dare uela classi
Optat et uentos redimit cruore, 5
Exuit patrem miserumque tristis
Foederat natae iugulum sacerdos.
Fleuit amissos Ithacus sodales
Quos ferus uasto recubans in antro
Mersit inmani Polyphemus aluo; 10
Sed tamen caeco furibundus ore
Gaudium maestis lacrimis rependit.
Herculem duri celebrant labores.
Ille Centauros domuit superbos,
Abstulit saeuo spolium leoni 15
Fixit et certis uolucres sagittis,
Poma cernenti rapuit draconi
Aureo laeuam grauior metallo,
Cerberum traxit triplici catena.
Victor immitem posuisse fertur 20
Pabulum saeuis dominum quadrigis.
Hydra combusto periit ueneno,
Fronte turpatus Achelous amnis
Ora demersit pudibunda ripis.
Strauit Antaeum Libycis harenis, 25
Cacus Euandri satiauit iras
Quosque pressurus foret altus orbis
Saetiger spumis umeros notauit.
Vltimus caelum[163] labor inreflexo
Sustulit collo pretiumque rursus 30
Vltimi caelum meruit laboris.
Ite nunc fortes ubi celsa magni
Ducit exempli uia! Cur inertes
Terga nudatis? Superata tellus
Sidera donat." 35

[163] caelo _codd. mellores._

VII.

Revengeful Atreus' son did ten whole years employ
In wars, till he his brother's loss repaid with ransacked Troy.
He setting forth the fleet of Greece upon the seas,
And knowing well that only blood the angry winds would please,
Forgot a father's part, and with his cruel knife
Unto the gods did sacrifice his dearest daughter's life.
Ulysses wailed the loss of his most faithful men,
Whom Polyphemus did devour enclosed in his den
But when his hands by sleight had made the Cyclops blind,
Most pleasant joy instead of former tears possessed his mind.
Hercules famous is for his laborious toil,
Who tamed the Centaurs and did take the dreadful lion's spoil.
He the Stymphalian birds with piercing arrows strook,
And from the watchful dragon's care the golden apples took.[164]
He in a threefold chain the hellish porter led,
And with their cruel master's flesh the savage horses fed.
He did th' increasing heads of poisonous Hydra burn,
And breaking Achelous' horns, did make him back return.[165]*
He on the Libyan sands did proud Antaeus kill,
And with the mighty Cacus' blood Euander's wrath fulfil.
That world-uplifting back the boar's white foam did fleck.
To hold on high the sphere of heaven with never bending neck
Of all his many toils the last was, and most hard,
And for this last and greatest toil the heaven was his reward.
You gallant men pursue this way of high renown,
Why yield you? Overcome the earth, and you the stars shall crown,"

[164] Literally, "his left hand weighted with the golden metal."

[165] Lit. "The river Achelous dishonoured in his brow (by the loss of
his horns) buried his shame-stricken face in his banks."

ANICII MANLII SEVERINI BOETHII

V.C. ET INL. EXCONS. ORD. EX MAG. OFF. PATRICII

PHILOSOPHIAE CONSOLATIONIS

LIBER QVARTVS EXPLICIT

INCIPIT LIBER V.

I.

Dixerat orationisque cursum ad alia quaedam tractanda atque expedienda
uertebat. Tum ego: "Recta quidem," inquam, "exhortatio tuaque prorsus
auctoritate dignissima, sed quod tu dudum de prouidentia quaestionem
pluribus aliis implicitam esse dixisti, re experior. Quaero enim an esse
aliquid omnino et quidnam esse casum arbitrere." Tum illa: "Festino,"
inquit; "debitum promissionis absoluere uiamque tibi qua patriam reueharis
aperire. Haec autem etsi perutilia cognitu tamen a propositi nostri tramite
paulisper auersa sunt, uerendumque est ne deuiis fatigatus ad emetiendum
rectum iter sufficere non possis." "Ne id," inquam, "prorsus uereare. Nam
quietis mihi loco fuerit ea quibus maxime delector agnoscere, simul cum
omne disputationis tuae latus indubitata fide constiterit, nihil de
sequentibus ambigatur." Tum illa: "Morem," inquit, "geram tibi," simulque
sic orsa est: "Si quidem," inquit, "aliquis euentum temerario motu nullaque
causarum conexione productum casum esse definiat, nihil omnino casum esse
confirmo et praeter subiectae rei significationem inanem prorsus uocem esse
decerno. Quis enim coercente in ordinem cuncta deo locus esse ullus
temeritati reliquus potest? Nam nihil ex nihilo exsistere uera sententia
est cui nemo umquam ueterum refragatus est, quamquam id illi non de
operante principio, sed de materiali subiecto hoc omnium de natura rationum
quasi quoddam iecerint fundamentum. At si nullis ex causis aliquid oriatur,
id de nihilo ortum esse uidebitur. Quod si hoc fieri nequit, ne casum
quidem huiusmodi esse possibile est qualem paulo ante definiuimus." "Quid
igitur," inquam, "nihilne est quod uel casus uel fortuitum iure appellari
queat? An est aliquid, tametsi uulgus lateat, cui uocabula ista
conueniant?" "Aristoteles meus id," inquit, "in Physicis et breui et ueri
propinqua ratione definiuit." "Quonam," inquam "modo?" "Quotiens," ait,
"aliquid cuiuspiam rei gratia geritur aliudque quibusdam de causis quam
quod intendebatur obtingit, casus uocatur, ut si quis colendi agri causa
fodiens humum defossi auri pondus inueniat. Hoc igitur fortuito quidem
creditur accidisse, uerum non de nihilo est; nam proprias causas habet
quarum inprouisus inopinatusque concursus casum uidetur operatus. Nam nisi
cultor agri humum foderet, nisi eo loci pecuniam suam depositor obruisset,
aurum non esset inuentum. Haec sunt igitur fortuiti causa compendii, quod
ex obuiis sibi et confluentibus causis, non ex gerentis intentione
prouenit. Neque enim uel qui aurum obruit uel qui agrum exercuit ut ea
pecunia reperiretur intendit; sed uti dixi, quo ille obruit hunc fodisse
conuenit atque concurrit. Licet igitur definire casum esse inopinatum ex
confluentibus causis in his quae ob aliquid geruntur euentum; concurrere
uero atque confluere causas facit ordo ille ineuitabili conexione
procedens; qui de prouidentiae fonte descendens cuncta suis locis
temporibusque disponit.

THE FIFTH BOOK OF BOETHIUS

I.

Having said thus, she began to turn her speech to treat and explicate
certain other questions, when I interrupted her, saying: "Thy
exhortation is very good, and well-seeming thy authority. But I find it
true by experience, as thou affirmedst, that the question of Providence
is entangled with many other. For I desire to know whether thou thinkest
chance to be anything at all, and what it is." "I make haste," quoth
she, "to perform my promise, and to show thee the way by which thou
mayest return to thy country. But these other questions, though they be
very profitable, yet they are somewhat from our purpose, and it is to be
feared lest being wearied with digressions thou beest not able to finish
thy direct journey." "There is no fear of that," quoth I, "for it will
be a great ease to me to understand those things in which I take great
delight, and withal, when thy disputation is fenced in on every side
with sure conviction, there can be no doubt made of anything thou shalt
infer." "I will," quoth she, "do as thou wouldst me have," and withal
began in this manner. "If any shall define chance to be an event
produced by a confused motion, and without connexion of causes, I affirm
that there is no such thing, and that chance is only an empty voice that
hath beneath it no real signification. For what place can confusion
have, since God disposeth all things in due order? For it is a true
sentence that of nothing cometh nothing, which none of the ancients
denied, though they held not that principle of the efficient cause, but
of the material subject, laying it down as in a manner the ground of all
their reasonings concerning nature. But if anything proceedeth from no
causes, that will seem to have come from nothing, which if it cannot be,
neither is it possible there should be any such chance as is defined a
little before." "What then," quoth I, "is there nothing that can rightly
be called chance or fortune? Or is there something, though unknown to
the common sort, to which these names agree?" "My Aristotle," quoth she,
"in his _Books of Nature_[166] declared this point briefly and very
near the truth." "How?" quoth I. "When," quoth she, "anything is done
for some certain cause, and some other thing happeneth for other reasons
than that which was intended, this is called chance; as if one digging
his ground with intention to till it, findeth an hidden treasure. This
is thought to have fallen thus out by fortune, but it is not of nothing,
for it hath peculiar causes whose unexpected and not foreseen concourse
seemeth to have brought forth a chance. For unless the husbandman had
digged up his ground, and unless the other had hidden his money in that
place, the treasure had not been found. These are therefore the causes
of this fortunate accident, which proceedeth from the meeting and
concourse of causes, and not from the intention of the doer. For neither
he that hid the gold nor he that tilled his ground had any intention
that the money should be found, but, as I said, it followed and
concurred that this man should dig up in the place where the other hid.
Wherefore, we may define chance thus: That it is an unexpected event of
concurring causes in those things which are done to some end and
purpose. Now the cause why causes so concur and meet so together, is
that order proceeding with inevitable connexion, which, descending from
the fountain of Providence, disposeth all things in their places and
times.

[166] _Phys._ ii. 4.

I.

Rupis Achaemeniae scopulis ubi uersa sequentum
Pectoribus figit spicula pugna fugax,
Tigris et Euphrates uno se fonte resoluunt
Et mox abiunctis dissociantur aquis.
Si coeant cursumque iterum reuocentur in unum, 5
Confluat alterni quod trahit unda uadi;
Conuenient puppes et uulsi flumine trunci
Mixtaque fortuitos implicet unda modos,
Quos tamen ipsa uagos terrae decliuia casus
Gurgitis et lapsi defluus ordo regit. 10
Sic quae permissis fluitare uidetur habenis
Fors patitur frenos ipsaque lege meat."

I.

In the Achaemenian rocks, where Parthians with their darts
In their dissembled flight do wound their enemies,
Tigris from the same head doth with Euphrates rise,
And forthwith they themselves divide in several parts;
But if they join again, and them one channel bound,
Bringing together all that both their waves do bear;
The ships and trees, whose roots they from the bank do tear,
Will meet, and they their floods will mingle and confound,
Yet run this wandering course in places which are low,
And in these sliding streams a settled law remains.[167]
So fortune, though it seems to run with careless reins,
Yet hath it certain rule, and doth in order flow."

[167] Lit. "Yet all these (apparently) random happenings are governed by
the shelving ground and the flowing course of the stream as it runs."

II.

"Animaduerto," inquam, "idque, uti tu dicis, ita esse consentio. Sed in hac
haerentium sibi serie causarum estne ulla nostri arbitrii libertas an ipsos
quoque humanorum motus animorum fatalis catena constringit?" "Est," inquit,
"neque enim fuerit ulla rationalis natura quin eidem libertas adsit
arbitrii. Nam quod ratione uti naturaliter potest id habet iudicium quo
quidque discernat; per se igitur fugienda optandaue dinoscit. Quod uero
quis optandum esse iudicat petit; refugit uero quod aestimat esse
fugiendum. Quare quibus in ipsis inest ratio, inest etiam uolendi
nolendique libertas. Sed hanc non in omnibus aequam esse constituo. Nam
supernis diuinisque substantiis et perspicax iudicium et incorrupta
uoluntas et efficax optatorum praesto est potestas. Humanas uero animas
liberiores quidem esse necesse est cum se in mentis diuinae speculatione
conseruant, minus uero cum dilabuntur ad corpora, minusque etiam, cum
terrenis artubus colligantur. Extrema uero est seruitus, cum uitiis deditae
rationis propriae possessione ceciderunt. Nam ubi oculos a summae luce
ueritatis ad inferiora et tenebrosa deiecerint, mox inscitiae nube
caligant, perniciosis turbantur affectibus quibus accedendo consentiendoque
quam inuexere sibi adiuuant seruitutem et sunt quodam modo propria
libertate captiuae. Quae tamen ille ab aeterno cuncta prospiciens
prouidentiae cernit intuitus et suis quaeque meritis praedestinata
disponit.

II.

"I observe it," quoth I, "and I acknowledge it to be as thou sayest. But
in this rank of coherent causes, have we any free-will, or doth the
fatal chain fasten also the motions of men's minds?" "We have," quoth
she, "for there can be no reasonable nature, unless it be endued with
free-will. For that which naturally hath the use of reason hath also
judgment by which it can discern of everything by itself, wherefore of
itself it distinguished betwixt those things which are to be avoided,
and those which are to be desired. Now every one seeketh for that which
he thinketh is to be desired, and escheweth that which in his judgment
is to be avoided. Wherefore, they which have reason in themselves have
freedom to will and nill. But yet I consider not this equal in all. For
the supreme and divine substances have both a perspicuous judgment and
an uncorrupted will, and an effectual power to obtain their desires. But
the minds of men must needs be more free when they conserve themselves
in the contemplation of God, and less when they come to their bodies,
and yet less when they are bound with earthly fetters. But their
greatest bondage is when, giving themselves to vices, they lose
possession of their own reason. For, having cast their eyes from the
light of the sovereign truth to inferior obscurities, forthwith they are
blinded with the cloud of ignorance, molested with hurtful affections,
by yielding and consenting to which they increase the bondage which they
laid upon themselves, and are, after a certain manner, captives by their
own freedom. Which notwithstanding that foresight of Providence which
beholdeth all things from eternity, foreseeth, and by predestination
disposeth of everything by their merits.

II.

[Greek: Pant' ephoran kai pant' epakouein][168]
Puro clarum lumine Phoebum
Melliflui canit oris Homerus:
Qui tamen intima uiscera terrae
Non ualet aut pelagi radiorum 5
Infirma perrumpere luce.
Haud sic magni conditor orbis;
Huic ex alto cuncta tuenti
Nulla terrae mole resistunt,
Non nox atris nubibus obstat. 10
Quae sint, quae fuerint ueniantque
Vno mentis cernit in ictu;
Quem, quia respicit omnia solus,
Verum possis dicere solem."

[168] disponit [Greek: Pant' ephoron kai pant' epakogon] _sic Peiper et
similiter editores priores. Versum in rectum locum Engelbrecht restituit,
quam quidem emendationem noster interpres uidetur praesensisse._

II.

Sweet Homer[169] sings the praise
Of Phoebus clear and bright,
And yet his strongest rays
Cannot with feeble light
Cast through the secret ways
Of earth and seas his sight,
Though 'all lies open to his eyes.'[170]
But He who did this world devise--

The earth's vast depths unseen
From his sight are not free,
No clouds can stand between,
He at one time doth see
What are, and what have been,
And what shall after be.
Whom, since he only vieweth all,
You rightly the true Sun may call."

[169] Cf. _Il._ iv. 277, _Od._ xii. 323.

[170] This line renders the Greek with which Boethius begins the poem,
adapting Homer's phrase "all surveying, all o'erhearing." See the
critical note on p. 372.

III.

Tum ego: "En," inquam, "difficiliore rursus ambiguitate confundor."
"Quaenam," inquit, "ista est? Iam enim quibus perturbere coniecto."
"Nimium," inquam, "aduersari ac repugnare uidetur praenoscere uniuersa deum
et esse ullum libertatis arbitrium. Nam si cuncta prospicit deus neque
falli ullo modo potest, euenire necesse est quod prouidentia futurum esse
praeuiderit. Quare si ab aeterno non facta hominum modo sed etiam consilia
uoluntatesque praenoscit, nulla erit arbitrii libertas; neque enim uel
factum aliud ullum uel quaelibet exsistere poterit uoluntas nisi quam
nescia falli prouidentia diuina praesenserit. Nam si aliorsum quam prouisae
sunt detorqueri ualent, non iam erit futuri firma praescientia, sed opinio
potius incerta, quod de deo credere nefas iudico. Neque enim illam probo
rationem qua se quidam credunt hunc quaestionis nodum posse dissoluere.
Aiunt enim non ideo quid esse euenturum, quoniam id prouidentia futurum
esse prospexerit, sed e contrario potius, quoniam quid futurum est, id
diuinam prouidentiam latere non posse eoque modo necessarium hoc in
contrariam relabi partem, neque enim necesse esse contingere quae
prouidentur, sed necesse esse quae futura sunt prouideri--quasi uero quae
cuius rei causa sit praescientiane futurorum necessitatis an futurorum
necessitas prouidentiae laboretur, ac non illud demonstrare nitamur, quoquo
modo sese habeat ordo causarum, necessarium esse euentum praescitarum
rerum, etiam si praescientia futuris rebus eueniendi necessitatem non
uideatur inferre. Etenim si quispiam sedeat, opinionem quae eum sedere
coniectat ueram esse necesse est; atque e conuerso rursus, si de quopiam
uera sit opinio quoniam sedet, eum sedere necesse est. In utroque igitur
necessitas inest, in hoc quidem sedendi, at uero in altero ueritatis. Sed
non idcirco quisque sedet quoniam uera est opinio, sed haec potius uera est
quoniam quempiam sedere praecessit. Ita cum causa ueritatis ex altera parte
procedat, inest tamen communis in utraque necessitas.

Similia de prouidentia futurisque rebus ratiocinari patet. Nam etiam si
idcirco quoniam futura sunt, prouidentur, non uero ideo quoniam prouidentur
eueniunt, nihilo minus tamen ab deo uel uentura prouideri uel prouisa
necesse est euenire,[171] quod ad perimendam arbitrii libertatem solum
satis est. Iam uero quam praeposterum est ut aeternae praescientiae
temporalium rerum euentus causa esse dicatur! Quid est autem aliud
arbitrari ideo deum futura quoniam sunt euentura prouidere, quam putare
quae olim acciderunt causam summae illius esse prouidentiae? Ad haec sicuti
cum quid esse scio, id ipsum esse necesse est, ita cum quid futurum noui,
id ipsum futurum esse necesse est. Sic fit igitur ut euentus praescitae rei
nequeat euitari. Postremo si quid aliquis aliorsum atque sese res habet
existimet, id non modo scientia non est, sed est opinio fallax ab scientiae
ueritate longe diuersa. Quare si quid ita futurum est ut eius certus ac
necessarius non sit euentus, id euenturum esse praesciri qui poterit? Sicut
enim scientia ipsa impermixta est falsitati, ita id quod ab ea concipitur
esse aliter atque concipitur nequit. Ea namque causa est cur mendacio
scientia careat, quod se ita rem quamque habere necesse est uti eam sese
habere scientia comprehendit. Quid igitur? Quonam modo deus haec incerta
futura praenoscit? Nam si ineuitabiliter euentura censet quae etiam non
euenire possibile est, fallitur; quod non sentire modo nefas est, sed etiam
uoce proferre. At si ita uti sunt, ita ea futura esse decernit, ut aeque
uel fieri ea uel non fieri posse cognoscat, quae est haec praescientia quae
nihil certum nihil stabile comprehendit? Aut quid hoc refert uaticinio illo
ridiculo Tiresiae?

Quidquid dicam, aut erit aut non.

Quid etiam diuina prouidentia humana opinione praestiterit; si uti homines
incerta iudicat quorum est incertus euentus? Quod si apud illum rerum
omnium certissimum fontem nihil incerti esse potest, certus eorum est
euentus quae futura firmiter ille praescierit. Quare nulla est humanis
consiliis actionibusque libertas quas diuina mens sine falsitatis errore
cuncta prospiciens ad unum alligat et constringit euentum. Quo semel
recepto quantus occasus humanarum rerum consequatur liquet. Frustra enim
bonis malisque praemia poenaeue proponuntur quae nullus meruit liber ac
uoluntarius motus animorum. Idque omnium uidebitur iniquissimum quod nunc
aequissimum iudicatur uel puniri improbos uel remunerari probos quos ad
alterutrum non propria mittit uoluntas, sed futuri cogit certa necessitas.
Nec uitia igitur nec uirtutes quidquam fuerint, sed omnium meritorum potius
mixta atque indiscreta confusio. Quoque nihil sceleratius excogitari
potest, cum ex prouidentia rerum omnis ordo ducatur nihilque consiliis
liceat humanis, fit ut uitia quoque nostra ad bonorum omnium referantur
auctorem. Igitur nec sperandi aliquid nec deprecandi ulla ratio est. Quid
enim uel speret quisque uel etiam deprecetur, quando optanda omnia series
indeflexa conectit? Auferetur igitur unicum illud inter homines deumque
commercium sperandi scilicet ac deprecandi. Si quidem iustae humilitatis
pretio inaestimabilem uicem diuinae gratiae promeremur, qui solus modus est
quo cum deo colloqui homines posse uideantur illique inaccessae luci prius
quoque quam impetrent ipsa supplicandi ratione coniungi. Quae si recepta
futurorum necessitate nihil uirium habere credantur, quid erit quo summo
illi rerum principi conecti atque adhaerere possimus? Quare necesse erit
humanum genus, uti paulo ante cantabas, dissaeptum atque disiunctum suo
fonte fatiscere.

[171] euenire prouisa _codd. meliores._

III.

Then I complained that I was now in a greater confusion and more
doubtful difficulty than before. "What is that?" quoth she, "for I
already conjecture what it is that troubleth thee." "It seemeth," quoth
I, "to be altogether impossible and repugnant that God foreseeth all
things, and that there should be any free-will. For if God beholdeth all
things and cannot be deceived, that must of necessity follow which His
providence foreseeth to be to come. Wherefore, if from eternity he doth
not only foreknow the deeds of men, but also their counsels and wills,
there can be no free-will; for there is not any other deed or will, but
those which the divine providence, that cannot be deceived, hath
foreseen. For if things can be drawn aside to any other end than was
foreknown, there will not be any firm knowledge of that which is to
come, but rather an uncertain opinion, which in my opinion were impious
to believe of God. Neither do I allow of that reason with which some
suppose that they can dissolve the difficulty of this question. For they
say that nothing is therefore to come to pass because Providence did
foresee it, but rather contrariwise, because it shall be, it could not
be unknown to Providence, and in this manner the necessity passes over
to the other side. For it is not necessary, they argue, that those
things should happen which are foreseen, but it is necessary that those
things should be foreseen that are to come--as though our problem were
this, which of them is the cause of a thing, the foreknowledge of the
necessity of things to come, or the necessity of the foreknowledge of
things to come, and we were not trying to prove that, howsoever these
causes be ordered, the event of the things which are foreknown is
necessary, even though the foreknowledge seemeth not to confer necessity
of being upon the things themselves. For if any man sitteth the opinion
which thinketh so must needs be true, and again on the other side, if
the opinion that one sitteth be true, he must needs sit. Wherefore,
there is necessity in both, in the one of sitting and in the other of
truth. But one sitteth not because the opinion is true, but rather this
is true because one hath taken his seat. So that though the cause of
truth proceedeth from one part, yet there is a common necessity in both.

And the like is to be inferred of Providence and future things. For even
though they be foreseen because they shall be, yet they do not come to
pass because they are foreseen, notwithstanding it is necessary that
either things to come be foreseen by God, or that things foreseen do
fall out, which alone is sufficient to overthrow free-will. But see how
preposterous it is that the event of temporal things should be said to
be the cause of the everlasting foreknowledge! And what else is it to
think that God doth therefore foresee future things, because they are to
happen, than to affirm that those things which happened long since, are
the cause of that sovereign providence? Furthermore, as when I know
anything to be, it must needs be; so when I know that anything shall be,
it must needs be to come. And so it followeth that the event of a thing
foreknown cannot be avoided. Finally, if any man thinketh otherwise than
the thing is, that is not only no knowledge, but it is a deceitful
opinion far from the truth of knowledge; wherefore, if anything is to be
in such sort that the event of it is not certain or necessary, how can
that be foreknown that it shall happen? For as knowledge is without
mixture of falsity, so that which is conceived by it cannot be otherwise
than it is conceived. For this is the cause why knowledge is without
deceit, because everything must needs be so as the knowledge
apprehendeth it to be. What then? How doth God foreknow that these
uncertain things shall be? For if He judgeth that those things shall
happen inevitably, which it is possible shall not happen, He is
deceived, which is not only impious to think, but also to speak. But if
He supposeth that they shall happen in such sort as they are, so that He
knoweth that they may equally be done and not be done, what
foreknowledge is this which comprehendeth no certain or stable thing? Or
in what is this better than that ridiculous prophecy of Tiresias
"Whatsoever I say shall either be or not be"[172]? or in what shall the
divine providence exceed human opinion, if, as men, God judgeth those
things to be uncertain the event of which is doubtful? But if nothing
can be uncertain to that most certain fountain of all things, the
occurrence of those things is certain, which He doth certainly know
shall be. Wherefore there is no freedom in human counsels and actions,
which the divine mind, foreseeing all things without error or falsehood,
tieth and bindeth to one event. Which once admitted, it is evident what
ruin of human affairs will ensue. For in vain are rewards and
punishments proposed to good and evil, which no free and voluntary
motion of their minds hath deserved. And that will seem most unjust
which is now judged most just, that either the wicked should be punished
or the good rewarded, since their own will leadeth them to neither, but
they are compelled by the certain necessity of that which is to come. By
which means virtues and vices shall be nothing, but rather there will
follow a mixed confusion of all deserts. And--than which there can be
nothing invented more impious--since that all order of things proceedeth
from Providence, and human counsels can do nothing, it followeth that
our vices also shall be referred to the author of goodness. Wherefore
there is no means left to hope or pray for anything, since an unflexible
course connecteth all things that can be desired! Wherefore that only
traffic betwixt God and men of hope and prayer shall be taken away: if
indeed by the price of just humility we deserve the unestimable benefit
of God's grace; for this is the only manner by which it seemeth that men
may talk with God, and by the very manner of supplication be joined to
that inaccessible light before they obtain anything; which if by the
admitting the necessity of future things, they be thought to have no
force, by what shall we be united and cleave to that Sovereign Prince of
all things? Wherefore mankind must needs (as thou saidest in thy verse a
little before), being separated and severed from its source, fail and
fall away.

[172] Hor. _Sat._ ii. 5. 59.

III.

Quaenam discors foedera rerum
Causa resoluit? Quis tanta deus
Veris statuit bella duobus,
Vt quae carptim singula constent
Eadem nolint mixta iugari? 5
An nulla est discordia ueris
Semperque sibi certa cohaerent?
Sed mens caecis obruta membris
Nequit oppressi luminis igne
Rerum tenues noscere nexus. 10
Sed cur tanto flagrat amore
Veri tectas reperire notas?
Scitne quod appetit anxia nosse?
Sed quis nota scire laborat?
At si nescit, quid caeca petit? 15
Quis enim quidquam nescius optet
Aut quis ualeat nescita sequi?
Quoue inueniat, quisque[173] repertam
Queat ignarus noscere formam?
An cum mentem cerneret altam, 20
Pariter summam et singula norat?
Nunc membrorum condita nube
Non in totum est oblita sui
Summamque tenet singula perdens.
Igitur quisquis uera requirit, 25
Neutro est habitu; nam neque nouit
Nec penitus tamen omnia nescit,
Sed quam retinens meminit summam
Consulit alte uisa retractans,
Vt seruatis queat oblitas 30
Addere partes."

[173] quisque _codex Bambergensis_ s. xi.: quis _codd. meliores._

III.

What cause of discord breaks the bands of love?
What God between two truths such wars doth move?
That things which severally well settled be
Yet joined in one will never friendly prove?
Or in true things can we no discord see,
Because all certainties do still agree?
But our dull soul, covered with members blind,
Knows not the secret laws which things do bind,
By the drowned light of her oppressed fire.
Why then, the hidden notes of things to find,
Doth she with such a love of truth desire?
If she knows that which she doth so require,
Why wisheth she known things to know again?
If she knows not, why strives she with blind pain?
Who after things unknown will strive to go?
Or will such ignorant pursuit maintain?
How shall she find them out? Or having so,
How shall she then their forms and natures know?
Because this soul the highest mind did view,
Must we needs say that it all nature knew?
Now she, though clouds of flesh do her debar,
Forgets not all that was her ancient due,
But in her mind some general motions are,
Though not the skill of things particular.
He that seeks truth in neither course doth fall;
Not knowing all, nor ignorant of all,
He marketh general things which he retains,
And matters seen on high doth back recall,
And things forgotten to his mind regains,
And joins them to that part which there remains."

IV.

Tum illa: "Vetus," inquit, "haec est de prouidentia querela Marcoque
Tullio, cum diuinationem distribuit, uehementer agitata tibique ipsi res
diu prorsus multumque quaesita, sed haud quaquam ab ullo uestrum hactenus
satis diligenter ac firmiter expedita. Cuius caliginis causa est, quod
humanae ratiocinationis motus ad diuinae praescientiae simplicitatem non
potest admoueri, quae si ullo modo cogitari queat, nihil prorsus
relinquetur ambigui. Quod ita demum patefacere atque expedire temptabo, si
prius ea quibus moueris expendero. Quaero enim, cur illam soluentium
rationem minus efficacem putes, quae quia praescientiam non esse futuris
rebus causam necessitatis existimat, nihil impediri praescientia arbitrii
libertatem putat. Num enim tu aliunde argumentum futurorum necessitatis
trahis, nisi quod ea quae praesciuntur non euenire non possunt? Si igitur
praenotio nullam futuris rebus adicit necessitatem, quod tu etiam paulo
ante fatebare, quid est quod uoluntarii exitus rerum ad certum cogantur
euentum? Etenim positionis gratia, ut quid consequatur aduertas, statuamus
nullam esse praescientiam. Num igitur quantum ad hoc attinet, quae ex
arbitrio eueniunt ad necessitatem cogantur?" "Minime." "Statuamus iterum
esse, sed nihil rebus necessitatis iniungere; manebit ut opinor eadem
uoluntatis integra atque absoluta libertas.

Sed praescientia, inquies, tametsi futuris eueniendi necessitas non est,
signum tamen est necessario ea esse uentura. Hoc igitur modo, etiam si
praecognitio non fuisset, necessarios futurorum exitus esse constaret. Omne
etenim signum tantum quid sit ostendit, non uero efficit quod designat.
Quare demonstrandum prius est nihil non ex necessitate contingere, ut
praenotionem signum esse huius necessitatis appareat. Alioquin si haec
nulla est, ne illa quidem eius rei signum poterit esse quae non est. Iam
uero probationem firma ratione subnixam constat non ex signis neque petitis
extrinsecus argumentis sed ex conuenientibus necessariisque causis esse
ducendam. Sed qui fieri potest ut ea non proueniant quae futura esse
prouidentur? Quasi uero nos ea quae prouidentia futura esse praenoscit non
esse euentura credamus ac non illud potius arbitremur, licet eueniant,
nihil tamen ut euenirent sui natura necessitatis habuisse; quod hinc facile
perpendas licebit. Plura etenim dum fiunt subiecta oculis intuemur, ut ea
quae in quadrigis moderandis atque flectendis facere spectantur aurigae
atque ad hunc modum cetera. Num igitur quidquam illorum ita fieri
necessitas ulla compellit?" "Minime. Frustra enim esset artis effectus, si
omnia coacta mouerentur." "Quae igitur cum fiunt carent exsistendi
necessitate, eadem prius quam fiant sine necessitate futura sunt. Quare
sunt quaedam euentura quorum exitus ab omni necessitate sit absolutus. Nam
illud quidem nullum arbitror esse dicturum, quod quae nunc fiunt, prius
quam fierent, euentura non fuerint. Haec igitur etiam praecognita liberos
habent euentus. Nam sicut scientia praesentium rerum nihil his quae fiunt,
ita praescientia futurorum nihil his quae uentura sunt necessitatis
importat. Sed hoc, inquis, ipsum dubitatur, an earum rerum quae necessarios
exitus non habent ulla possit esse praenotio. Dissonare etenim uidentur
putasque si praeuideantur consequi necessitatem, si necessitas desit minime
praesciri nihilque scientia comprehendi posse nisi certum; quod si quae
incerti sunt exitus ea quasi certa prouidentur, opinionis id esse caliginem
non scientiae ueritatem. Aliter enim ac sese res habeat arbitrari ab
integritate scientiae credis esse diuersum. Cuius erroris causa est, quod
omnia quae quisque nouit ex ipsorum tantum ui atque natura cognosci
aestimat quae sciuntur; quod totum contra est Omne enim quod cognoscitur
non secundum sui uim sed secundum cognoscentium potius comprehenditur
facultatem. Nam ut hoc breui liqueat exemplo, eandem corporis rotunditatem
aliter uisus aliter tactus agnoscit. Ille eminus manens totum simul iactis
radiis intuetur; hic uero cohaerens orbi atque coniunctus circa ipsum motus
ambitum rotunditatem partibus comprehendit. Ipsum quoque hominem aliter
sensus, aliter imaginatio, aliter ratio, aliter intellegentia contuetur.
Sensus enim figuram in subiecta materia constitutam, imaginatio uero solam
sine materia iudicat figuram. Ratio uero hanc quoque transcendit speciemque
ipsam quae singularibus inest uniuersali consideratione perpendit.
Intellegentiae uero celsior oculus exsistit; supergressa namque
uniuersitatis ambitum ipsam illam simplicem formam pura mentis acie
contuetur.

In quo illud maxime considerandum est: nam superior comprehendendi uis
amplectitur inferiorem, inferior uero ad superiorem nullo modo consurgit.
Neque enim sensus aliquid extra materiam ualet uel uniuersales species
imaginatio contuetur uel ratio capit simplicem formam, sed intellegentia
quasi desuper spectans concepta forma quae subsunt etiam cuncta diiudicat,
sed eo modo quo formam ipsam, quae nulli alii nota esse poterat,
comprehendit. Nam et rationis uniuersum et imaginationis figuram et
materiale sensibile cognoscit nec ratione utens nec imaginatione nec
sensibus, sed illo uno ictu mentis formaliter, ut ita dicam, cuncta
prospiciens. Ratio quoque cum quid uniuersale respicit, nec imaginatione
nec sensibus utens imaginabilia uel sensibilia comprehendit. Haec est enim
quae conceptionis suae uniuersale ita definiuit: homo est animal bipes
rationale. Quae cum uniuersalis notio sit, tum imaginabilem sensibilemque
esse rem nullus ignorat, quod illa non imaginatione uel sensu sed in
rationali conceptione considerat. Imaginatio quoque tametsi ex sensibus
uisendi formandique figuras sumpsit exordium, sensu tamen absente
sensibilia quaeque conlustrat non sensibili sed imaginaria ratione
iudicandi. Videsne igitur ut in cognoscendo cuncta sua potius facultate
quam eorum quae cognoscuntur utantur? Neque id iniuria; nam cum omne
iudicium iudicantis actus exsistat, necesse est ut suam quisque operam non
ex aliena sed ex propria potestate perficiat.

IV.

"This," quoth she, "is an ancient complaint of providence, vehemently
pursued by Marcus Tullius in his _Distribution of Divination_,[174]
and a thing which thou thyself hast made great and long search after.
But hitherto none of you have used sufficient diligence and vigour in
the explication thereof. The cause of which obscurity is for that the
motion of human discourse cannot attain to the simplicity of the divine
knowledge, which if by any means we could conceive, there would not
remain any doubt at all; which I will endeavour to make manifest and
plain when I have first explicated that which moveth thee. For I demand
why thou thinkest their solution unsufficient, who think that free-will
is not hindered by foreknowledge, because they suppose that
foreknowledge is not the cause of any necessity in things to come. For
fetchest thou any proof for the necessity of future things from any
other principle, but only from this, that those things which are
foreknown cannot choose but happen? Wherefore if foreknowledge imposeth
no necessity upon future events, which thou didst grant not long before,
why should voluntary actions be tied to any certain success? For
example's sake, that thou mayest see what will follow, let us suppose
that there were no providence or foresight at all. Would those things
which proceed from free-will be compelled to any necessity by this
means?" "No." "Again, let us grant it to be, but that it imposeth no
necessity upon anything; no doubt the same freedom of will will remain
whole and absolute.

But thou wilt say, even though foreknowledge be not a necessity for
things to happen, yet it is a sign that they shall necessarily come to
pass. Wherefore now, even if there had been no foreknowledge, the events
of future things would have been necessary. For all signs only show what
is, but cause not that which they design. And consequently it must first
be proved that all things fall out by necessity, that it may appear that
foreknowledge is a sign of this necessity. For otherwise, if there be no
necessity, neither can foreknowledge be the sign of that which is not.
Besides it is manifest that every firm proof must be drawn from
intrinsical and necessary causes and not from signs and other farfetched
arguments. But how is it possible those things should not happen which
are foreseen to be to come? As though we did believe that those things
will not be which providence hath foreknown and do not rather judge that
although they happen, yet by their own nature they had no necessity of
being, which thou mayest easily gather hence. For we see many things
with our eyes while they are in doing, as those things which the
coachmen do while they drive and turn their coaches and in like manner
other things. Now doth necessity compel any of these things to be done
in this sort?" "No. For in vain should art labour if all things were
moved by compulsion." "Wherefore, as these things are without necessity
when they are in doing, so likewise they are to come without necessity
before they be done. And consequently there are some things to come
whose event is free from all necessity. For I suppose no man will say
that those things which are done now were not to come before they were
done. Wherefore these things even being foreseen come freely to effect.
For as the knowledge of things present causeth no necessity in things
which are in doing, so neither the foreknowledge in things to come. But
thou wilt say: This is the question, whether there can be any
foreknowledge of those things whose events are not necessary. For these
things seem opposite, and thou thinkest that, if future things be
foreseen, there followeth necessity, if there be no necessity, that they
that are not foreknown, and that nothing can be perfectly known unless
it be certain. But if uncertain events be foreseen as certain, it is
manifest that this is the obscurity of opinion and not the truth of
knowledge. For thou thinkest it to be far from the integrity of
knowledge to judge otherwise than the thing is. The cause of which error
is because thou thinkest that all that is known is known only by the
force and nature of the things themselves, which is altogether
otherwise. For all that is known is not comprehended according to the
force which it hath in itself, but rather according to the faculty of
them which know it. For to explicate it with a brief example: the sight
and the feeling do diversely discern the same roundness of a die. The
sight standing aloof beholdeth it altogether by his beams; but the
feeling united and joined to the orb, being moved about the compass of
it, comprehendeth the roundness by parts. Likewise sense, imagination,
reason and understanding do diversely behold a man. For sense looketh
upon his form as it is placed in matter or subject, the imagination
discerneth it alone without matter, reason passeth beyond this also and
considereth universally the species or kind which is in particulars. The
eye of the understanding is higher yet. For surpassing the compass of
the whole world it beholdeth with the clear eye of the mind that simple
form in itself.

In which that is chiefly to be considered, that the superior force of
comprehending embraceth the inferior; but the inferior can by no means
attain to the superior; for the sense hath no force out of matter,
neither doth the imagination conceive universal species, nor is reason
capable of the simple form, but the understanding, as it were looking
downward, having conceived that form, discerneth of all things which are
under it, but in that sort in which it apprehendeth that form which can
be known by none of the other. For it knoweth the universality of
reason, and the figure of imagination, and the materiality of sense,
neither using reason, nor imagination, nor senses, but as it were
formally beholding all things with that one twinkling of the mind.
Likewise reason, when it considereth any universality, comprehendeth
both imagination and sensible things without the use of either
imagination or senses. For she defineth the universality of her conceit
thus: Man is a reasonable, two-footed, living creature, which being an
universal knowledge, no man is ignorant that it is an imaginable and
sensible thing, which she considereth by a reasonable conceiving and not
by imagination or sense. Imagination also, although it began by the
senses of seeing and forming figures, yet when sense is absent it
beholdeth sensible things, not after a sensible, but after an imaginary
manner of knowledge. Seest thou now how all these in knowing do rather
use their own force and faculty than the force of those things which are
known? Nor undeservedly; for since all judgment is the act of him who
judgeth, it is necessary that every one should perfect his operation by
his own power and not by the force of any other.

[174] _De diuin_, ii.

IV.

Quondam porticus attulit
Obscuros nimium senes
Qui sensus et imagines
E corporibus extimis
Credant mentibus imprimi, 5
Vt quondam celeri stilo
Mos est aequore paginae,
Quae nullas habeat notas,
Pressas figere litteras.
Sed mens si propriis uigens 10
Nihil motibus explicat,
Sed tantum patiens iacet
Notis subdita corporum
Cassasque in speculi uicem
Rerum reddit imagines, 15
Vnde haec sic animis uiget
Cernens omnia notio?
Quae uis singula perspicit
Aut quae cognita diuidit?
Quae diuisa recolligit 20
Alternumque legens iter
Nunc summis caput inserit,
Nunc decedit in infima,
Tum sese referens sibi
Veris falsa redarguit? 25
Haec est efficiens magis
Longe causa potentior
Quam quae materiae modo
Impressas patitur notas.
Praecedit tamen excitans 30
Ac uires animi mouens
Viuo in corpore passio.
Cum uel lux oculos ferit
Vel uox auribus instrepit,
Tum mentis uigor excitus 35
Quas intus species tenet
Ad motus similes uocans
Notis applicat exteris
Introrsumque reconditis
Formis miscet imagines. 40

IV.

Cloudy old prophets of the Porch[175] once taught
That sense and shape presented to the thought
From outward objects their impression take,
As when upon a paper smooth and plain
On which as yet no marks of ink have lain
We with a nimble pen do letters make.
But if our minds to nothing can apply
Their proper motions, but do patient lie
Subject to forms which do from bodies flow,
As a glass renders empty[176] shapes of things,
Who then can show from whence that motion springs
By force of which the mind all things doth know?
Or by what skill are several things espied?
And being known what power doth them divide,
And thus divided doth again unite,
And with a various journey oft aspires
To highest things, and oft again retires
To basest, nothing being out of sight,
And when she back unto herself doth move,
Doth all the falsehoods by the truth reprove?
This vigour needs must be an active cause,
And with more powerful forces must be deckt,
Than that which from those forms, that do reflect
From outward matter, all her virtue draws.
And yet in living bodies passion's might
Doth go before, whose office is to incite,
And the first motions in the mind to make.
As when the light unto our eyes appears,
Or some loud voice is sounded in our ears,
Then doth the strength of the dull mind awake
Those phantasies which she retains within;
She stirreth up such notions to begin,
Whose objects with their natures best agree,
And thus applying them to outward things,
She joins the external shapes which thence she brings
With forms which in herself included be.

[175] The Porch, _i.e._ the Painted Porch ([Greek: stoa poikilae]) at
Athens, the great hall adorned with frescoes of the battle of Marathon,
which served as lecture-room to Zeno, the founder of the Stoic sect.

[176] Cf. Quin potius noscas rerum simulacra uagari
Multa modis multis nulla ui cassaque sensu.

"But rather you are to know that idols or things wander about many in
number in many ways, of no force, powerless to excite sense."--Lucr. iv.
127, 128 (trans. Munro).

V.

Quod si in corporibus sentiendis, quamuis afficiant instrumenta sensuum
forinsecus obiectae qualitates animique agentis uigorem passio corporis
antecedat quae in se actum mentis prouocet excitetque interim quiescentes
intrinsecus formas, si in sentiendis, inquam, corporibus animus non
passione insignitur, sed ex sua ui subiectam corpori iudicat passionem,
quanto magis ea quae cunctis corporum affectionibus absoluta sunt, in
discernendo non obiecta extrinsecus sequuntur, sed actum suae mentis
expediunt? Hac itaque ratione multiplices cognitiones diuersis ac
differentibus cessere substantiis. Sensus enim solus cunctis aliis
cognitionibus destitutus immobilibus animantibus cessit quales sunt conchae
maris quaeque alia saxis haerentia nutriuntur, imaginatio uero mobilibus
beluis quibus iam inesse fugiendi appetendiue aliquis uidetur affectus,
ratio uero humani tantum generis est sicut intellegentia sola diuini. Quo
fit ut ea notitia ceteris praestet quae suapte natura non modo proprium sed
ceterarum quoque notitiarum subiecta cognoscit. Quid igitur, si
ratiocinationi sensus imaginatioque refragentur, nihil esse illud
uniuersale dicentes quod sese intueri ratio putet? Quod enim sensibile uel
imaginabile est, id uniuersum esse non posse; aut igitur rationis uerum
esse iudicium nec quidquam esse sensibile, aut quoniam sibi notum sit plura
sensibus et imaginationi esse subiecta, inanem conceptionem esse rationis
quae quod sensibile sit ac singulare quasi quiddam uniuersale consideret.
Ad haec, si ratio contra respondeat se quidem et quod sensibile et quod
imaginabile sit in uniuersitatis ratione conspicere, illa uero ad
uniuersitatis cognitionem adspirare non posse, quoniam eorum notio
corporales figuras non possit excedere, de rerum uero cognitione firmiori
potius perfectiorique iudicio esse credendum, in huiusmodi igitur lite nos
quibus tam ratiocinandi quam imaginandi etiam sentiendique uis inest nonne
rationis potius causam probaremus? Simile est quod humana ratio diuinam
intellegentiam futura, nisi ut ipsa cognoscit, non putat intueri. Nam ita
disseris: Si qua certos ac necessarios habere non uideantur euentus, ea
certo euentura praesciri nequeunt. Harum igitur rerum nulla est
praescientia, quam si etiam in his esse credamus, nihil erit quod non ex
necessitate proueniat. Si igitur uti rationis participes sumus ita diuinae
iudicium mentis habere possemus, sicut imaginationem sensumque rationi
cedere oportere iudicauimus, sic diuinae sese menti humanam submittere
rationem iustissimum censeremus. Quare in illius summae intellegentiae
cacumen, si possumus, erigamur; illic enim ratio uidebit quod in se non
potest intueri, id autem est, quonam modo etiam quae certos exitus non
habent, certa tamen uideat ac definita praenotio neque id sit opinio sed
summae potius scientiae nullis terminis inclusa simplicitas.

V.

And if in sentient bodies, although the qualities of outward objects do
move the organs of sense, and the passion of the body goeth before the
vigour of the active mind, provoking her action to itself and exciting
the inward forms which before lay quiet; if, I say, in perceiving these
corporal objects the mind taketh not her impression from passion, but by
her own force judgeth of the passion itself, which is objected to the
body; how much more do those powers exercise the action of their mind
and not only follow the outward objects in their judgment, which are
free from all affections of the body? Wherefore in this sort have
diverse and different substances knowledges of many kinds. For only
sense destitute of all other means of knowledge is in those living
creatures which are unmovable, as some shell-fish and other which stick
to stones and so are nourished; and imagination in movable beasts who
seem to have some power to covet and fly. But reason belongeth only to
mankind, as understanding to things divine. So that that knowledge is
most excellent which of itself doth not only know her own object, but
also those which belong to others. What then, if sense and imagination
repugn to discourse and reason, affirming that universality to be
nothing which reason thinketh herself to see? For that cannot be
universal, they argue, which is either sensible or imaginable; wherefore
either the judgment of reason must be true and nothing at all sensible,
or because they know that many things are subject to the senses and
imagination, the conceit of reason is vain, which considereth that which
is sensible and singular as if it were universal. Moreover if reason
should answer that she beholdeth in her universality all that which is
sensible or imaginable, but they cannot aspire to the knowledge of
universality, because their knowledge cannot surpass corporal figures
and shapes, and that we must give more credit to the firmer and more
perfect judgment about the knowledge of things, in this contention
should not we, who have the power of discoursing as well as of
imagination and sense, rather take reason's part? The very like
happeneth when human reason doth not think that the divine understanding
doth behold future things otherwise than she herself doth. For thus thou
arguest: If any things seem not to have certain and necessary events,
they cannot be certainly foreknown to be to come. Wherefore there is no
foreknowledge of these things, and if we think that there is any, there
shall be nothing which happeneth not of necessity. If, therefore, as we
are endued with reason, we could likewise have the judgment proper to
the divine mind, as we have judged that imagination and sense must yield
to reason, so likewise we would think it most reasonable and just that
human reason should submit herself to the divine mind. Wherefore let us
be lifted up as much as we can to that height of the highest mind; for
there reason shall see that which she cannot behold in herself. And that
is, how a certain and definite foreknowledge seeth even those things
which have no certain issue, and that this is no opinion, but rather the
simplicity of the highest knowledge enclosed within no bounds.

V.

Quam uariis terras animalia permeant figuris!
Namque alia extento sunt corpore pulueremque uerrunt
Continuumque trahunt ui pectoris incitata sulcum
Sunt quibus alarum leuitas uaga uerberetque uentos
Et liquido longi spatia aetheris enatet uolatu, 5
Haec pressisse solo uestigia gressibusque gaudent
Vel uirides campos transmittere uel subire siluas.
Quae uariis uideas licet omnia discrepare formis,
Prona tamen facies hebetes ualet ingrauare sensus.
Vnica gens hominum celsum leuat altius cacumen 10
Atque leuis recto stat corpore despicitque terras.
Haec nisi terrenus male desipis, admonet figura,
Qui recto caelum uultu petis exserisque frontem,
In sublime feras animum quoque, ne grauata pessum
Inferior sidat mens corpore celsius leuata. 15

V.

What several figures things that live upon the earth do keep!
Some have their bodies stretched in length by which the dust they sweep
And do continual furrows make while on their breasts they creep.
Some lightly soaring up on high with wings the wind do smite
And through the longest airy space pass with an easy flight.
Some by their paces to imprint the ground with steps delight,
Which through the pleasant fields do pass or to the woods do go,
Whose several forms though to our eyes they do a difference show,
Yet by their looks cast down on earth their senses heavy grow.
Men only with more stately shape to higher objects rise,
Who with erected bodies stand and do the earth despise.
These figures warn (if baser thoughts blind not thine earthly eyes)
That thou who with an upright face dost look upon the sky,
Shouldst also raise thy mind aloft, lest while thou bearest high
Thine earthly head, thy soul opprest beneath thy body lie.

VI.

Quoniam igitur, uti paulo ante monstratum est, omne quod scitur non ex sua
sed ex conprehendentium natura cognoscitur, intueamur nunc quantum fas est,
quis sit diuinae substantiae status, ut quaenam etiam scientia eius sit,
possimus agnoscere. Deum igitur aeternum esse cunctorum ratione degentium
commune iudicium est. Quid sit igitur aeternitas consideremus; haec enim
nobis naturam pariter diuinam scientiamque patefacit. Aeternitas igitur est
interminabilis uitae tota simul et perfecta possessio, quod ex collatione
temporalium clarius liquet. Nam quidquid uiuit in tempore id praesens a
praeteritis in futura procedit nihilque est in tempore constitutum quod
totum uitae suae spatium pariter possit amplecti. Sed crastinum quidem
nondum adprehendit; hesternum uero iam perdidit; in hodierna quoque uita
non amplius uiuitis quam in illo mobili transitorioque momento. Quod igitur
temporis patitur condicionem, licet illud, sicuti de mundo censuit
Aristoteles, nec coeperit umquam esse nec desinat uitaque eius cum temporis
infinitate tendatur, nondum tamen tale est ut aeternum esse iure credatur.
Non enim totum simul infinitae licet uitae spatium comprehendit atque
complectitur, sed futura nondum transacta iam non habet. Quod igitur
interminabilis uitae plenitudinem totam pariter comprehendit ac possidet,
cui neque futuri quidquam absit nec praeteriti fluxerit, id aeternum esse
iure perhibetur, idque necesse est et sui compos praesens sibi semper
adsistere et infinitatem mobilis temporis habere praesentem. Vnde non recte
quidam, qui cum audiunt uisum Platoni mundum hunc nec habuisse initium
temporis nec habiturum esse defectum, hoc modo conditori conditum mundum
fieri coaeternum putant. Aliud est enim per interminabilem duci uitam, quod
mundo Plato tribuit, aliud interminabilis uitae totam pariter complexum
esse praesentiam, quod diuinae mentis proprium esse manifestum est. Neque
deus conditis rebus antiquior uideri debet temporis quantitate sed
simplicis potius proprietate naturae. Hunc enim uitae immobilis
praesentarium statum infinitus ille temporalium rerum motus imitatur cumque
eum effingere atque aequare non possit, ex immobilitate deficit in motum,
ex simplicitate praesentiae decrescit in infinitam futuri ac praeteriti
quantitatem; et cum totam pariter uitae suae plenitudinem nequeat
possidere, hoc ipso quod aliquo modo numquam esse desinit; illud quod
implere atque exprimere non potest, aliquatenus uidetur aemulari alligans
se ad qualemcumque praesentiam huius exigui uolucrisque momenti, quae,
quoniam manentis illius praesentiae quandam gestat imaginem, quibuscumque
contigerit id praestat ut esse uideantur. Quoniam uero manere non potuit,
infinitum temporis iter arripuit eoque modo factum est ut continuaret eundo
uitam cuius plenitudinem complecti non ualuit permanendo. Itaque si digna
rebus nomina uelimus imponere, Platonem sequentes deum quidem aeternum,
mundum uero dicamus esse perpetuum. Quoniam igitur omne iudicium secundum
sui naturam quae sibi subiecta sunt comprehendit, est autem deo semper
aeternus ac praesentarius status; scientia quoque eius omnem temporis
supergressa motionem in suae manet simplicitate praesentiae infinitaque
praeteriti ac futuri spatia complectens omnia quasi iam gerantur in sua
simplici cognitione considerat. Itaque si praesentiam pensare uelis qua
cuncta dinoscit, non esse praescientiam quasi futuri sed scientiam numquam
deficientis instantiae rectius aestimabis; unde non praeuidentia sed
prouidentia potius dicitur, quod porro ab rebus infimis constituta quasi ab
excelso rerum cacumine cuncta prospiciat. Quid igitur postulas ut
necessaria fiant quae diuino lumine lustrentur, cum ne homines quidem
necessaria faciant esse quae uideant? Num enim quae praesentia cernis,
aliquam eis necessitatem tuus addit intuitus?" "Minime." "Atqui si est
diuini humanique praesentis digna collatio, uti uos uestro hoc temporario
praesenti quaedam uidetis, ita ille omnia suo cernit aeterno. Quare haec
diuina praenotio naturam rerum proprietatemque non mutat taliaque apud se
praesentia spectat qualia in tempore olim futura prouenient. Nec rerum
iudicia confundit unoque suae mentis intuitu tam necessarie quam non
necessarie uentura dinoscit; sicuti uos cum pariter ambulare in terra
hominem et oriri in caelo solem uidetis, quamquam simul utrumque conspectum
tamen discernitis et hoc uoluntarium illud esse necessarium iudicatis, ita
igitur cuncta despiciens diuinus intuitus qualitatem rerum minime perturbat
apud se quidem praesentium, ad condicionem uero temporis futurarum. Quo fit
ut hoc non sit opinio sed ueritate potius nixa cognitio, cum exstaturum
quid esse cognoscit quod idem exsistendi necessitate carere non nesciat.
Hic si dicas quod euenturum deus uidet id non euenire non posse, quod autem
non potest non euenire id ex necessitate contingere, meque ad hoc nomen
necessitatis adstringas; fatebor rem quidem solidissimae ueritatis sed cui
uix aliquis nisi diuini speculator accesserit. Respondebo namque idem
futurum, cum ad diuinam notionem refertur, necessarium, cum uero in sua
natura perpenditur, liberum prorsus atque absolutum uideri. Duae sunt
etenim necessitates, simplex una, ueluti quod necesse est omnes homines
esse mortales, altera condicionis, ut si aliquem ambulare scias, eum
ambulare necesse est; quod enim quisque nouit, id esse aliter ac notum est
nequit, sed haec condicio minime secum illam simplicem trahit. Hanc enim
necessitatem non propria facit natura sed condicionis adiectio; nulla enim
necessitas cogit incedere uoluntate gradientem, quamuis eum tum cum
graditur incedere necessarium sit. Eodem igitur modo, si quid prouidentia
praesens uidet, id esse necesse est, tametsi nullam naturae habeat
necessitatem. Atqui deus ea futura quae ex arbitrii libertate proueniunt
praesentia contuetur. Haec igitur ad intuitum relata diuinum necessaria
fiant per condicionem diuinae notionis; per se uero considerata ab absoluta
naturae suae libertate non desinunt. Fient igitur procul dubio cuncta quae
futura deus esse praenoscit, sed eorum quaedam de libero proficiscuntur
arbitrio; quae quamuis eueniant, exsistendo tamen naturam propriam non
amittunt, qua priusquam fierent etiam non euenire potuissent. Quid igitur
refert non esse necessaria, cum propter diuinae scientiae condicionem modis
omnibus necessitatis instar eueniet? Hoc scilicet quod ea quae paulo ante
proposui, sol oriens et gradiens homo. Quae dum fiunt, non fieri non
possunt; eorum tamen unum prius quoque quam fieret, necesse erat exsistere,
alterum uero minime. Ita etiam quae praesentia deus habet, dubio procul
exsistent, sed eorum hoc quidem de rerum necessitate descendit, illud uero
de potestate facientium. Haud igitur iniuria diximus haec si ad diuinam
notitiam referantur necessaria, si per se considerentur necessitatis esse
nexibus absoluta; sicuti omne quod sensibus patet, si ad rationem referas,
uniuersale est, si ad se ipsa respicias, singulare. 'Sed si in mea,'
inquies, 'potestate situm est mutare propositum, euacuabo prouidentiam, cum
quae illa praenoscit forte mutauero.' Respondebo: propositum te quidem tuum
posse deflectere, sed quoniam et id te posse et an facias quoue conuertas
praesens prouidentiae ueritas intuetur, diuinam te praescientiam non posse
uitare, sicuti praesentis oculi effugere non possis intuitum, quamuis te in
uarias actiones libera uoluntate conuerteris. Quid igitur inquies? Ex meane
dispositione scientia diuina mutabitur, ut cum ego nunc hoc nunc aliud
uelim, illa quoque noscendi uices alternare uideatur? Minime. Omne namque
futurum diuinus praecurrit intuitus et ad praesentiam propriae cognitionis
retorquet ac reuocat nec alternat, ut aestimas, nunc hoc nunc illud
praenoscendi uice, sed uno ictu mutationes tuas manens praeuenit atque
complectitur. Quam comprehendendi omnia uisendique praesentiam non ex
futurarum prouentu rerum, sed ex propria deus simplicitate sortitus est. Ex
quo illud quoque resoluitur quod paulo ante posuisti indignum esse, si
scientiae dei causam futura nostra praestare dicantur. Haec enim scientiae
uis praesentaria notione cuncta complectens rebus modum omnibus ipsa
constituit, nihil uero posterioribus debet. Quae cum ita sint, manet
intemerata mortalibus arbitrii libertas nec iniquae leges solutis omni
necessitate uoluntatibus praemia poenasque proponunt. Manet etiam spectator
desuper cunctorum praescius deus uisionisque eius praesens semper
aeternitas cum nostrorum actuum futura qualitate concurrit bonis praemia
malis supplicia dispensans. Nec frustra sunt in deo positae spes precesque;
quae cum rectae sunt, inefficaces esse non possunt. Auersamini igitur
uitia, colite uirtutes, ad rectas spes animum subleuate, humiles preces in
excelsa porrigite. Magna uobis est, si dissimulare non uultis, necessitas
indicta probitatis, cum ante oculos agitis iudicis cuncta cernentis."

VI.

Seeing, therefore, as hath been showed, all that is known is not
comprehended by its own nature but by the power of him which
comprehendeth it, let us see now, as much as we may, what is the state
of the divine substance that we may also know what His knowledge is.
Wherefore it is the common judgment of all that live by reason that God
is everlasting, and therefore let us consider what eternity is. For this
declareth unto us both the divine nature and knowledge. Eternity
therefore is a perfect possession altogether of an endless life, which
is more manifest by the comparison of temporal things, for whatsoever
liveth in time, that being present proceedeth from times past to times
to come, and there is nothing placed in time which can embrace all the
space of its life at once. But it hath not yet attained to-morrow and
hath lost yesterday. And you live no more in this day's life than in
that movable and transitory moment. Wherefore, whatsoever suffereth the
condition of time, although, as Aristotle thought of the world, it never
began nor were ever to end, and its life did endure with infinite time,
yet it is not such that it ought to be called everlasting. For it doth
not comprehend and embrace all the space of its life together, though
that life be infinite, but it hath not the future time which is yet to
come. That then which comprehendeth and possesseth the whole fulness of
an endless life together, to which neither any part to come is absent,
nor of that which is past hath escaped, is worthy to be accounted
everlasting, and this is necessary, that being no possession in itself,
it may always be present to itself, and have an infinity of movable time
present to it. Wherefore they are deceived who, hearing that Plato
thought that this world had neither beginning of time nor should ever
have any end, think that by this means the created world should be
coeternal with the Creator. For it is one thing to be carried through an
endless life, which Plato attributed to the world, another thing to
embrace the whole presence of an endless life together, which is
manifestly proper to the divine mind. Neither ought God to seem more
ancient than the things created, by the quantity of time, but rather by
the simplicity of His divine nature. For that infinite motion of
temporal things imitateth the present state of the unmovable life, and
since it cannot express nor equal it, it falleth from immobility to
motion, and from the simplicity of presence, it decreaseth to an
infinite quantity of future and past, and since it cannot possess
together all the fulness of its life, by never leaving to be in some
sort, it seemeth to emulate in part that which it cannot fully obtain
and express, tying itself to this small presence of this short and swift
moment, which because it carrieth a certain image of that abiding
presence, whosoever hath it, seemeth to be. But because it could not
stay it undertook an infinite journey of time, and so it came to pass
that it continued that life by going whose plenitude it could not
comprehend by staying. Wherefore, if we will give things their right
names, following Plato, let us say that God is everlasting and the world
perpetual. Wherefore, since every judgment comprehendeth those things
which are subject unto it, according to its own nature, and God hath
always an everlasting and present state, His knowledge also surpassing
all motions of time, remaineth in the simplicity of His presence, and
comprehending the infinite spaces of that which is past and to come,
considereth all things in His simple knowledge as though they were now
in doing. So that, if thou wilt weigh His foreknowledge with which He
discerneth all things, thou wilt more rightly esteem it to be the
knowledge of a never fading instant than a foreknowledge as of a thing
to come. For which cause it is not called praevidence or foresight, but
rather providence, because, placed far from inferior things, it
overlooketh all things, as it were, from the highest top of things. Why,
therefore, wilt thou have those things necessary which are illustrated
by the divine light, since that not even men make not those things
necessary which they see? For doth thy sight impose any necessity upon
those things which thou seest present?" "No." "But the present instant
of men may well be compared to that of God in this: that as you see some
things in your temporal instant, so He beholdeth all things in His
eternal present. Wherefore this divine foreknowledge doth not change the
nature and propriety of things, and it beholdeth them such in His
presence as they will after come to be, neither doth He confound the
judgment of things, and with one sight of His mind He discerneth as well
those things which shall happen necessarily as otherwise. As you, when
at one time you see a man walking upon the earth and the sun rising in
heaven, although they be both seen at once, yet you discern and judge
that the one is voluntary, and the other necessary, so likewise the
divine sight beholding all things disturbeth not the quality of things
which to Him are present, but in respect of time are yet to come. And so
this is not an opinion but rather a knowledge grounded upon truth, when
He knoweth that such a thing shall be, which likewise He is not ignorant
that it hath no necessity of being. Here if thou sayest that cannot
choose but happen which God seeth shall happen, and that which cannot
choose but happen, must be of necessity, and so tiest me to this name of
necessity, I will grant that it is a most solid truth, but whereof
scarce any but a contemplator of divinity is capable. For I will answer
that the same thing is necessary when it is referred to the Divine
knowledge; but when it is weighed in its own nature that it seemeth
altogether free and absolute. For there be two necessities: the one
simple, as that it is necessary for all men to be mortal; the other
conditional, as if thou knowest that any man walketh, he must needs
walk. For what a man knoweth cannot be otherwise than it is known. But
this conditional draweth not with it that simple or absolute necessity.
For this is not caused by the nature of the thing, but by the adding a
condition. For no necessity maketh him to go that goeth of his own
accord, although it be necessary that he goeth while he goeth. In like
manner, if providence seeth anything present, that must needs be,
although it hath no necessity of nature. But God beholdeth those future
things, which proceed from free-will, present. These things, therefore,
being referred to the divine sight are necessary by the condition of the
divine knowledge, and, considered by themselves, they lose not absolute
freedom of their own nature. Wherefore doubtless all those things come
to pass which God foreknoweth shall come, but some of them proceed from
free-will, which though they come to pass, yet do not, by coining into
being, lose, since before they came to pass, they might also not have
happened. But what importeth it that they are not necessary, since that
by reason of the condition of the divine knowledge they come to pass in
all respects as if they were necessary? It hath the same import as those
things which I proposed a little before--the sun rising and the man
going. While they are in doing, they cannot choose but be in doing; yet
one of them was necessarily to be before it was, and the other not.
Likewise those things which God hath present, will have doubtless a
being, but some of them proceed from the necessity of things, other from
the power of the doers. And therefore we said not without cause that
these, if they be referred to God's knowledge, are necessary; and if
they be considered by themselves, they are free from the bonds of
necessity. As whatsoever is manifest to senses, if thou referrest it to
reason, is universal; if thou considerest the things themselves, it is
singular or particular. But thou wilt say, 'If it is in my power to
change my purpose, shall I frustrate providence if I chance to alter
those things which she foreknoweth?' I answer that thou mayest indeed
change thy purpose, but because the truth of providence, being present,
seeth that thou canst do so, and whether thou wilt do so or no, and what
thou purposest anew, thou canst not avoid the divine foreknowledge, even
as thou canst not avoid the sight of an eye which is present, although
thou turnest thyself to divers actions by thy free-will.

But yet thou wilt inquire whether God's knowledge shall be changed by
thy disposition, so that when thou wilt now one thing, and now another,
it should also seem to have divers knowledges. No. For God's sight
preventeth all that is to come and recalleth and draweth it to the
presence of His own knowledge; neither doth He vary, as thou imaginest,
now knowing one thing and now another, but in one instant without moving
preventeth and comprehendeth thy mutations. Which presence of
comprehending and seeing all things, God hath not by the event of future
things but by His own simplicity. By which that doubt is also resolved
which thou didst put a little before, that it is an unworthy thing that
our future actions should be said to cause the knowledge of God. For
this force of the divine knowledge comprehending all things with a
present notion appointeth to everything its measure and receiveth
nothing from ensuing accidents. All which being so, the free-will of
mortal men remaineth unviolated, neither are the laws unjust which
propose punishments and rewards to our wills, which are free from all
necessity. There remaineth also a beholder of all things which is God,
who foreseeth all things, and the eternity of His vision, which is
always present, concurreth with the future quality of our actions,
distributing rewards to the good and punishments to the evil. Neither do
we in vain put our hope in God or pray to Him; for if we do this well
and as we ought, we shall not lose our labour or be without effect.
Wherefore fly vices, embrace virtues, possess your minds with worthy
hopes, offer up humble prayers to your highest Prince. There is, if you
will not dissemble, a great necessity of doing well imposed upon you,
since you live in the sight of your Judge, who beholdeth all things."

SYMMACHI VERSVS

Fortunae et uirtutis opus, Seuerine Boethi,
E patria pulsus non tua per scelera,
Tandem ignotus habes qui te colat, ut tua uirtus
Vt tua fortuna promeruitque [Greek: sophos].
Post obitum dant fata locum, post fata superstes
Vxoris propriae te quoque fama colit.

EPIGRAM BY SYMMACHUS[177]

Boethius! model of all weal and worth,
Unjustly from thy country driven forth,
Thy fame, unfamed at last, yet one shall praise,
One voice the cry of approbation raise;
What life denied, through death kind heaven giveth;
Thine honour in thy wife's for ever liveth.

[177] This epigram was found by Barth in a Merseburg codex, and first
printed in his _Adversaria_ (1624). If genuine (and the faithful
reproduction the error SYMMACHIVS for SYMMACHI VS or VR, i.e. VERSVS, is in
its favour), the author may be either the son or the father-in-law of
Boethius. Some readers may prefer to rank this poem with the epitaph on
Elpis, the supposititious first wife of Boethius, on whom see Obbarius, _De
cons._ p. xii. At any rate it is as old as the times of Hrabanus Maurus,
who imitated it in a poem also first published by Barth. See Peiper,
_Cons._ p. xxxviiii.

INDEX

Aaron.
Abel.
Abraham.
abstraction.
academical studies.
Achaemenian rocks.
Achelous.
Achilles, statue of.
Adam.
[Greek: aeides, to].
Aemilius Paulus.
_aequiuocus_.
_aeternitas_.
Agamemnon, _see_ Atrides.
age, the former.
Agrippina.
Albinus.
Alcibiades.
Alexander Aphrod..
allegorical method.
Anaxagoras.
Anaxarchus.
angels.
Antaeus.
Antoninus (Caracalla).
Apollodorus.
Apuleius.
Arcturus.
Arians
Aristotle,
on nature;
_De physicis_;
_Protrepticus_;
Arius.
Atrides.
Augustine, St.
Auster.

Bacchus.
baptism.
Basil, informer.
Being.
Boethius,
life;
the first scholastic;
an independent philosopher;
his philosophic ambition;
his achievement;
a Christian;
perhaps a martyr;
son-in-law of Symmachus;
his wife;
his sons;
early training;
youthful poetry;
premature old age;
his learning;
his library;
his lofty position;
his principles;
the champion of the oppressed;
of the Senate;
his accusers;
his accusation;
sentence.
Booetes.
Boreas.
Brutus.
Busiris.

Cacus.
Caesar, _see_ Gaius.
Campania.
Canius.
Cassiodorus.
categories, the ten.
Catholic Church,
faith;
religion.
Catholics.
Cato.
Catullus.
Caucasus.
Centaurs.
Cerberus.
Ceres.
Chremes.
Christ,
advent of;
baptism;
life and death;
resurrection and ascension;
nature;
person;
divinity;
humanity;
Perfect Man and Perfect God.
Christian faith,
religion.
Cicero,
_De diuinatione_;
_Tusc_.
Circe.
Claudian.
Claudianus, Mamertus,
_coemptio_.
Conigastus,
_consistere_,
_Consolation of Philosophy_,
method and object.
consulate.
corollary, see _porisma_.
Corus.
Crab.
Croesus.
Cyclops.
Cynthia.
Cyprian, informer.
Cyrus.

Dante.
David.
Decoratus.
demons.
Devil.
dialectic.
difference.
Diogenes Laertius.
Dionysius.
divine nature, eternal,
substance.
divinity of Christ, _see_ Christ,
_diuisio_.
Dorset, Countess of.

[Greek: Eisagogae], Porphyry's.
Eleatic studies.
elements.
Elpis.
_Enneades_.
Epicureans.
Epicurus.
_esse_.
_essentia_.
eternity.
Etna.
Euphrates.
Euripides.
Euripus.
Eurus.
Eutyches.
Eutychian error.
Eutychians.
Evander.
Eve.
evil is nothing.

Fabricius.
Fame.
fatal order.
Fate.
fire, nature of.
Flood.
form.
Fortune.
free-will.
Furies.

Gaius Caesar (Caligula).
Gaudentius.
geometricians.
Germanicus.
Giants.
Gilbert de la Porree.
Glory.
God, categories applied to,
without difference;
is what He is;
is Pure Form;
is [Greek: ousia, ousiosis, huphistasthai];
One;
Triune;
is good;
goodness;
happiness;
everlasting;
omnipresent;
just;
omnipotent;
incomprehensible;
one Father;
true Sun;
Creator;
Ruler;
Mover;
Judge;
sees all things;
foresees all things;
His knowledge;
His providence;
cannot do evil;
wills only good;
prayer to Him not vain.
good, the prime.
good, all seek.
goodness is happiness, is God.
grace.
Greek.

Happiness is God.
Haureau.
_Hebdomads_.
Hecuba.
Hercules.
heresy, see Arius, Eutyches, Nestorius, Sabellians.
Hermus.
Herodotus.
Hesperus.
Holder.
Homer.
Horace.
human nature, humanity of Christ, _see_ Christ.
humanity.

Iamblichus.
_id quod est_.
_id quod est esse_.
Indus.
_instrumentum_.
Isaac.
Ishmael.
Ixion.

Jacob.
Jerusalem.
Jesus.
Jews.
Iohannes Scottus.
John the Deacon.
Jordan.
Joshua.
Judah.

Kanius, _see_ Canius.
[Greek: kata parathesin].

Latin.
lethargy.
Livy.
Lucan.
Lucifer.
Lucretius.
Lybia.
Lybian lions.
Lydians.
Lynceus.

Macedonius. _see_ Aemilius Paulus.
Macrobius.
Mary, the Blessed Virgin,.
mathematical method.
mathematics.
matter.
Medea.
Mercury.
Moses.
Muses.
music,
Boethius on.

Nature,
phenomenal;
nature;
nature of plants.
Neoplatonism.
Neritius, son of, _see_ Ulysses.
Nero.
Nestorius.
Nicocreon.
Nicomachus.
_nihilo, ex_..
Noah.
Nonius.
Notus.
number.

[Greek: oion epei].
[Greek: onos luras].
Opilio.
Orpheus.
[Greek: ousia].
[Greek: ousiosis].
[Greek: ousiosthai].

[Greek: PI].
_Palatini canes_.
Papinianus.
Parmenides.
Parthiaus.
Paulinus.
Paulus, see Aemilius Paulus.
Pelagius.
Perses.
_persona_.
Person defined.
Pharaoh.
Philosophy,
appearance of;
character;
function;
power.
Phoebe.
Phoebus.
physics.
Plato,
and Boethius;
and S. Thomas;
and the Academy;
his muse;
Reminiscence;
quoted or referred to, _Gorg._;
_Tim_;
_Meno_;
_Phaedo_;
_Rep_.
Plotinus.
Plurality.
Pluto.
Polyphemus.
Porch.
_porisma_.
Porphyry.
praetorship.
praevidence.
predicaments, _see_ categories.
Providence.
Ptolemy.
purgation.
Pythagoras.

Ravenna.
realism.
Red Sea.
_reductio ad absurdum_.
Regulus.
relation, category of.
religion, the Christian.
Resurrection.
rhetoric.
Roman liberty,
republic.
Rusticiana.

Sabellians.
Sackville, Thomas.
_sacrilegium_.
saints.
Saturn.
Saul.
scripture.
_sempiternitas_.
senate.
Seneca.
Simon.
Sinai.
Sirius.
Socrates.

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