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We must not treat legend as if it were history at all, but we should adopt that which is appropriate in each legend in accordance with its verisimilitude. Whenever, therefore, we speak of material we must not be swept away to the opinions of some philosophers,1 and conceive of an inanimate and indifferentiated body, which is of itself inert and inactive. The fact is that we call oil the material of perfume and gold the material of a statue, and these are not destitute of all differentiation. We provide the very soul and thought of Man as the basic material of understanding and virtue for Reason to adorn and to harmonize, and some have declared the Mind to be a place for the assembling of forms and for the impression of concepts, as it were.2 [p. 141]

Some think the seed of Woman is not a power or origin, but only material and nurture of generation.3 To this thought we should eling fast and conceive that this Goddess also who participates always with the first God and is associated with him in the love4 of the fair and lovely things about him is not opposed to him, but, just as we say that an honourable and just man is in love if his relations are just, and a good woman who has a husband and consorts with him we say yearns for him ; thus we may conceive of her as always clinging close to him and being importunate over him and constantly filled with the most dominant and purest principles.

1 Cf. 370 f, supra, and Diogenes Laertius, vii. 134.

2 Cf. Aristotle, De Anima, iii. 4 (429 a 27).

3 Cf. Moralia, 651 c, and 905 c.

4 Cf. 372 e, and 383 a, infra.

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