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Then with a smile looking upon Autobulus, he continued: But, sir, I perceive you design to have an airy skirmish with these images, and try the goodness of this old opinion, as you would a picture, by your touch. And Autobulus replied: Pray, sir, do not endeavor to cheat us any longer; for we know very well that you, designing to make Aristotle's opinion appear the better, have used this of Democritus only as its shade. Therefore I shall pass by that, and impugn Aristotle's opinion, which unjustly lays the blame on the new fruit. For both the summer and the early autumn bear testimony in its favor, when, as Antimachus says, the fruit is most fresh and juicy; for then, though we eat the new fruit, yet our dreams are less vain than at other times. And the months when the leaves fall, being next to winter, so concoct the corn and remaining fruit, that they grow shrivelled and less, and lose all their brisk agitating spirit. As for new wine, those that drink it soonest forbear till February, which is after winter; and the day on which we begin we call the day of the Good Genius, and the Athenians the day of cask-opening. For whilst wine is working, we see that even common laborers will not venture on it. Therefore no more accusing the gifts of the Gods, let us seek after another cause of vain dreams, to which the name of the season will direct us. For it is called leaf-shedding, because the leaves then fall on account of their dryness and coldness; except the leaves of hot and oily trees, as of the olive the [p. 435] laurel, or the palm; or of the moist, as of the myrtle and the ivy. But the temperature of these preserves them, though not others; because in others the vicious humor that holds the leaves is constipated by the cold, or being weak and little is dried up. Now moisture and heat are necessary for the growth and preservation of plants, but especially of animals; and on the contrary, coldness and dryness are very noxious to both. And therefore Homer elegantly calls men moist and juicy; to rejoice he calls to be warmed; and any thing that is grievous and frightful he calls cold and icy. Besides, the words ἀλίβας and σκελετός are applied to the dead, those names intimating their extreme dryness. But more, our blood, the principal thing in our whole body, is moist and hot. And old age hath neither of those two qualities. Now the autumn seems to be as it were the old age of the decaying year; for the moisture doth not yet fall, and the heat decays. And its inclining the body to diseases is an evident sign of its cold and dryness. Now it is necessary that the souls should be indisposed with the bodies and that, the subtile spirit being condensed, the divining faculty of the soul, like a mirror that is breathed upon, should be sullied; and therefore it cannot represent any thing plain, distinct, and clear, as long as it remains thick, dark, and condensed.
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