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[365e] neither need we concern ourselves with eluding their observation.1 If they do exist and pay heed, we know and hear of them only from such discourses and from the poets who have described their pedigrees. But these same authorities tell us that the gods are capable of being persuaded and swerved from their course by ‘sacrifice and soothing vows’ and dedications. We must believe them in both or neither. And if we are to believe them, the thing to do is to commit injustice and offer sacrifice

1 For the thought compare Tennyson, “Lucretius”: “But he that holds/ The gods are careless, wherefore need he care/ Greatly for them?” Cf. also Euripides I.A. 1034-1035, Anth. Pal. x. 34.

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