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It is related in our Annals, that by certain sacred rites and imprecations, thunder-storms may be compelled or invoked1. There is an old report in Etruria, that thunder was invoked when the city of Volsinium had its territory laid waste by a monster named Volta2. Thunder was also in- voked by King Porsenna. And L. Piso3, a very respectable author, states in the first book of his Annals, that this had been frequently done before his time by Numa, and that Tullus Hostilius, imitating him, but not having properly performed the ceremonies, was struck with the lightning4. We have also groves, and altars, and sacred places, and, among the titles of Jupiter, as Stator, Tonans, and Feretrius, we have a Jupiter Elicius5. The opinions entertained on this point are very various, and depend much on the dispositions of different individuals. To believe that we can command nature is the mark of a bold mind, nor is it less the mark of a feeble one to reject her kindness6. Our knowledge has been so far useful to us in the interpretation of thunder, that it enables us to predict what is to happen on a certain day, and we learn either that our fortune is to be entirely changed, or it discloses events which are concealed from us; as is proved by an infinite number of examples, public and private. Wherefore let these things remain, according to the order of nature, to some persons certain, to others doubtful, by some approved, by others condemned. I must not, however, omit the other circumstances connected with them which deserve to be related.

1 The following conjecture is not without a degree of probability; "Ex hoc multisque aliis auctorum locis, plerique conjiciunt Etruscis auguribus haud ignotam fuisse vim electricam, licet eorum arcana nunquam divulgata sint." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 3, 50.

2 Alexandre remarks in this place, "An morbus aliquis fuit, qui primum in agros debacchatus, jam urbi minabatur, forsitan ab aëris siccitate natus, quem advenientes cum procella imbres discusserunt? "Lemaire, i. 350.

3 For a notice of Piso, see Lemaire, i. 208.

4 We have an account of the death of Tullus Hostilius in Livy, i. 31.

5 "ab eliciendo, seu quod precationibus cœlo evocaretur, id nomen traxit." This is confirmed by the following lines from Ovid, Fast. iii. 327, 328:—
"Eliciunt cœlo te, Jupiter: unde minores
Nunc quoque te celebrant, Eliciumque vocant."

6 "beneficiis abrogare vires."

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