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But we must remember that we are not to make use of fables as if they were doctrinal throughout, but only to take that in each of them which we shall judge to make a pertinent resemblance. And therefore, when we treat of matter, we need not (with respect to the sentiments of some philosophers) to conceit in our minds a certain body void of soul and of all quality, and of itself wholly idle and unactive. For we use to call oil the matter of an unguent, and gold the matter of a statue, though they are not destitute of all quality. And we render the very soul and mind of a man as matter to reason, to be dressed up and composed into science and virtue. There have been some also that have made the mind to be a receptacle of forms and a kind of imprimary for things intelligible; and some are of opinion again that the genital humidity in the female sex is no active property nor efficient principle, but only the [p. 118] matter and nutriment of the production. Which when we retain in our memories, we ought to conceive likewise that this Goddess, which always participates of the first God and is ever taken up with the love of those excellencies and charms that are about him, is not by nature opposite to him; but that, as we are used to say of a good natured woman, that, though she be married to a man and constantly enjoys his embraces, yet she hath a fond kind of longing after him, so hath she always a strong inclination to the God, though she be present and round about him, and though she be impregnated with his most prime and pure particles.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
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