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But now this in its true intention is no such thing. But they make their lamentation for the fruits; and their prayers to the Gods, who are the authors and bestowers of those fruits, that they would be pleased to produce and bring up again other new ones in the place of them that are gone. Wherefore it is an excellent saying among philosophers, that they that have not learned the true sense of words will mistake also in the things; as we see those among the Greeks who have not learned nor accustomed themselves to call the brazen and stone statues and the painted representations of the Gods their images or their honors, but the Gods themselves, are so adventurous as to say that Lachares stripped Minerva, that Dionysius cropped off Apollo's golden locks, and that Jupiter Capitolinus was burned and destroyed in the civil wars of Rome. They therefore, before they are aware, suck in and receive bad opinions with these improper words. And the Egyptians are not the least guilty herein, with respect to the animals which they worship. For the Grecians both speak and think aright in these matters, when they tell us that the pigeon is sacred to Venus, the serpent to Minerva, the raven to Apollo, and the dog to Diana, as Euripides somewhere speaks:
Into a bitch transformed you shall be,
And be the image of bright Hecate.

But the greater part of the Egyptians worshipping the very animals themselves, and courting them as Gods, have not only filled their religious worship with matter of scorn [p. 129] and derision (for that would be the least harm that could come of their blockish ignorance); but a dire conception also arises therefrom, which blows up the feeble and simple minded into an extravagance of superstition, and when it lights upon the more subtle and daring tempers, outrages them into atheistical and brutish cogitations. Wherefore it seems not inconsonant here to recount what is probable upon this subject.

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