This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
At any other time, I replied, I question not but I shall give you full satisfaction. But now, sir, after such a large pot as you have seen me take, I boldly affirm, that all passions which have been fixed in the soul a long time raise ill humors in the body, which by continuance growing strong enough to be, as it were, a new nature, being excited by any intervening accident, force men, though unwilling, to their accustomed passions. Consider the timorous, they are afraid even of those things that preserve them. Consider the pettish, they are angry with their best and dearest friends. Consider the amorous and lascivious, in the height of their fury they dare violate a Vestal. For custom is very powerful to draw the temper of the body to any thing that is suitable to it; and he that is apt to fall will stumble at every thing that lies in his way. So that we need not wonder at those that have raised in themselves an envious and bewitching habit, if according to the peculiarity of their passion they are carried on to suitable effects; for when they are once moved, they do that which the nature of the thing, not which their will, leads them to. For as a sphere must necessarily move spherically, and a cylinder cylindrically, according to the difference of their figures; thus his dis [p. 332] position makes an envious man move enviously to all things; and it is likely they should chiefly hurt their most familiar acquaintance and best beloved. And that fine fellow Eutelidas you mentioned, and the rest that are said to overlook themselves, may be easily and upon good rational grounds accounted for; for, according to Hippocrates. a good habit of body, when at height, is easily perverted, and bodies come to their full maturity do not stand at a stay there, but fall and waste down to the contrary extreme. And therefore when they are in very good plight, and see themselves look much better than they expected, they gaze and wonder; but then their body being nigh to change, and their habit declining into a worse condition, they overlook themselves. And this is done when the effluvia are stopped and reflected by the water rather than by any other specular body; for this breathes upon them whilst they look upon it, so that the very same particles which would hurt others must hurt themselves. And this perchance often happens to young children, and the cause of their diseases is falsely attributed to those that look upon them.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.