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To which purpose Xenocrates, one of the familiar friends of Plato, was wont to allege the example of triangles, which agree very well with the subject; for that triangle which has equal sides and equal angles he compared unto the divine and immortal nature; and that which has all three unequal, to the human and mortal nature; and that which has two equal and one unequal, to the nature of Daemons, which is endued with the passions and perturbations of the mortal nature, and the force and power of the divine. Even Nature has set before us sensible figures and resemblance of this; of the Gods, the sun and the stars; of mortal men, the comets, flashings in the night, and shooting-stars. And this similitude is taken up by Euripides, when he saith:
He that but now was fleshy, plump, and gay,
As a fall'n star his glories melt away;
Like that extinguished on the ground he lies,
Breathing his soul into the ambient skies.

And for a mixed body representing the nature of Daemons, we have the moon; which some, observing it to be subject to increase and decrease and wholly to disappear, have thought very agreeable to the mutable condition of Daemons; and for this reason they have termed her a terrestrial star, others Olympic earth, and others the inheritance and possession of Hecate, both heavenly and earthly. As one [p. 18] then that should take from the world the air, and remove it from between the moon and the earth, would dissolve the continuation and composition of the universe, by leaving an empty place in the midst, without any contexture to hold the two parts together; so those that do not allow Daemons oppose all communication and conference of the Gods with men, seeing they destroy that nature (as Plato says) which serves as an interpreter and messenger between them both; or else they constrain us to perplex and confound all things together, by mixing the divine nature with human passions, and plucking it down from heaven, as the women of Thessaly are said to do the moon. Even this fiction has met with belief in some women, because Aglaonice, the daughter of Hegetor, being skilful in astrology, made the vulgar believe, whenever the moon was eclipsed, that by means of some charms and enchantments she brought it down from heaven. But as to us, let us not think there are any oracles or divinations without some divinity, or that the Gods are not pleased with sacrifices, and our services, and other ceremonies. And, on the other hand, let us not think that God is present in them, or employs himself personally about them; but rather believe that he does commit them to his officers, the Daemons, who are the spies and scouts of the Gods, wandering and circuiting about at their commands,—some beholding and ordering the sacred ceremonies and oblations offered to the Gods, others being employed to revenge and punish the high misdemeanors and enormous injustices of men. There are, moreover, others, to whom Hesiod gives a very venerable name, calling them the distributers of riches and donors of largesses among mortals; for the Gods have allowed them the privilege, and granted them a royal commission to see them duly distributed. He informs us here, by the way, that to be beneficent and liberal of favors is the proper office of a king. For there is a difference of [p. 19] virtue between these Daemons, as much as between men. For there are some of them in whom still there are some small remains (though weak and scarcely discernible) of the sensitive and irrational soul, which, like a small quantity of excrements and superfluities, stay still behind. Others there are, in whom there abideth a greater measure of these gross humors, the marks and traces of which are to be seen in many places, in the odd and singular ceremonies and sacrifices and the strange fables which prevail.

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