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[127] And, further, what is the need of a method which, instead of being direct, is so circuitous and roundabout that we have to employ men to interpret our dreams? And if it be true that God consults for our advantage he would say: 'Do this,' 'Don't do that,' and not give us visions when we are awake rather than when we are asleep.

[p. 515] 62. "And further, would anybody dare to say that all dreams are true? ' Some dreams are true,' says Ennius, ' but not necessarily all.' Pray how do you distinguish between the two? What mark have the false and what the true? And if God sends the true, whence come the false? Surely if God sends the false ones too what is more untrustworthy than God? Besides what is more stupid than to excite the souls of mortals with false and lying visions? But if true visions are divine while the false and meaningless ones are from nature, what sort of caprice decided that God made the one and nature made the other, rather than that God made them all, which your school denies, or that nature made them all? Since you deny that God made them all you must admit that nature made them all. By 'nature,' in this connexion, I mean that force because of which the soul can never be stationary1 and free from motion and activity. And when, because of the weariness of the body, the soul can use neither the limbs nor the senses, it lapses into varied and untrustworthy visions, which emanate from what Aristotle2 terms 'the clinging remnants of the soul's waking acts and thoughts.' These 'remnants,' when aroused, sometimes produce strange types of dreams. Now if some of these dreams are true and others false, I should like very much to know by what mark they may be distinguished. If there is none, why should we listen to your interpreters? But if there is one, I am eager for them to tell me what it is, but they will grow confused when I ask and will not answer.

1 Insistens= etiamsi insistit a cogitationis opera, Giese.

2 Aristot. περὶ ἐνυπνίων ch. 3.

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