This was ordained, perhaps, from reasons of political
expediency; for our ancestors wished to have some
excuse for not holding elections sometimes. And
so lightning is an unfavourable sign only in case of
an election; in all other cases we consider it the
best of auspices, if it appears on the left side. But I
shall speak of auspices in another connexion—now
I am going to discuss lightnings.
"There is, then, no statement less worthy
of a natural philosopher than that anything can be
foretold with a certainty by uncertain signs. Of
course I do not think you are credulous enough to
believe that Jove's thunderbolt was made on Mount
Aetna by the Cyclopes.