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Title: King Alfred's Old English Version of St. Augustine's Soliloquies - Turned into Modern English
Author: Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo, 354-430
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "King Alfred's Old English Version of St. Augustine's Soliloquies - Turned into Modern English" ***

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Transcriber's note:

      In the Preface, Dr. Hargrove mentions the numbers at the
      top of each page which refer to the page and line of the
      corresponding text of the Old English. In this e-book
      version, these numbers have been preserved as sidenotes,
      placed at the nearest paragraph break.

Yale Studies in English
Albert S. Cook, Editor



Turned into Modern English



Professor of English, Baylor University


New York
Henry Holt and Company

    FEBRUARY 8, 1903
        AGED 25


Since the publication of my _King Alfred's Old English Version of St.
Augustine's Soliloquies_, which appeared in 1902, I have been at work on
this translation. With the faith that the unique importance of the work
justifies its being given this form for the benefit of the general
reader, and with the encouragement from scholars that my rendering will
be received in the kindly spirit which characterized the reception of my
former edition, I now venture this publication.

For those who care to use the two editions together it will be seen (1)
that the Alfredian additions to the Latin are set in italics; and (2)
that the numbers at the top of each page refer to the page and line of
the corresponding text of the Old English.

I must add that Professor Albert S. Cook has been my counsellor and
critic throughout the work.


    July 6, 1904.

  King Alfred's Old English Version
  St. Augustine's Soliloquies



I then gathered for myself staves, and stud-shafts, and cross-beams, and
helves for each of the tools that I could work with; and bow-timbers and
bolt-timbers for every work that I could perform--as many as I could
carry of the comeliest trees. Nor came I home with a burden, for it
pleased me not to bring all the wood home, even if I could bear it. In
each tree I saw something that I needed at home; therefore I exhort
every one who is able, and has many wains, to direct his steps to the
self-same wood where I cut the stud-shafts. Let him there obtain more
for himself, and load his wains with fair twigs, so that he may wind
many a neat wall, and erect many a rare house, and build a fair
enclosure, and therein dwell in joy and comfort both winter and summer,
in such manner as I have not yet done. But He who taught me, and to whom
the wood was pleasing, hath power to make me dwell more comfortably both
in this transitory cottage by the road while I am on this
world-pilgrimage, and also in the everlasting home which He hath
promised us through Saint Augustine and Saint Gregory and Saint Jerome,
and through many other holy Fathers; as I believe also for the merits
of all those He will both make this way more convenient than it hitherto
was, and especially will enlighten the eyes of my mind so that I may
search out the right way to the eternal home, and to everlasting glory,
and to eternal rest, which is promised us through those holy Fathers. So
may it be.

[Sidenote: 1.21--2.23]

It is no wonder that one should labor in timber-work, both in the
gathering and also in the building; but every man desireth that, after
he hath built a cottage on his lord's lease and by his help, he may
sometimes rest himself therein, and go hunting, fowling, and fishing;
and use it in every manner according to the lease, both on sea and land,
until such time as he shall gain the fee simple of the eternal heritage
through his lord's mercy. So may the rich Giver do, who ruleth both
these temporary cottages and the homes everlasting. May He, who created
both and ruleth both, grant me to be fit for each--both here to be
useful and thither to attain.

Augustine, bishop of Carthage, made two books about his own mind. These
books are called _Soliloquies_, that is, concerning the meditation and
doubts of his mind--how his Reason answered his mind when the mind
doubted about anything, or wished to know anything that it could not
before clearly understand.


Then said he, his mind often went fearing and searching out various and
rare things, and most of all about himself--_what[1] he was; whether his
mind and his soul were mortal and perishable, or ever-living and
eternal_; and again, about his God, what He was, and of what nature He
was; and what good it were best for him to do, and what evil best to
forsake. Then answered me something, I know not what, whether myself or
another thing; nor know I whether it was within me or without; _but this
one thing I most truly know, that it was my Reason_; and it said to me:

    [1] Passages in italics were added by Alfred to the original Latin.

_Reason._ If thou have any good steward that can well hold that which
thou gettest and committest unto him, show him to me; _but if thou have
none so prudent, search till thou find him; for thou canst not both
always keep watch and ward over that which thou hast gained, and also
get more_.

_Augustine._ _To what shall I commit what more I get, if not to my_

_R._ Is thy memory powerful enough to hold all things that thou thinkest
out and bidst it to hold?

_A._ Nay, nay; _neither mine nor any man's_ is so strong that it can
hold everything that is committed to it.

_R._ Then commit it to words and write it down. Howbeit methinks thou
art too feeble to write it all; _and though thou wert entirely sound_,
thou wouldst need to have a place retired and void of everything else,
_and a few wise and skilful men with thee who would hinder thee in no
wise, but give aid to thy ability_.

_A._ I have none of these, _neither the leisure, nor the help of other
men, nor a place retired enough to suit me for such work_; therefore I
know not what I shall do.

[Sidenote: 4.14--6.6]

_R._ I know then nothing better than that thou shouldst pray. Make known
thy wish to God, _Saviour of mind and body_, that thou mayst through
such salvation obtain what thou wishest. _And when thou hast prayed_,
write the prayer, _lest thou forget it_, that thou be the fitter for thy
task. And pray sincerely in few words and with full understanding.

_A._ _I will do even as thou teachest me, saying thus_:

O Lord, Thou who art the Creator of all things, grant me first to know
how to pray to Thee aright and acceptably, and that I may merit to be
worthy that Thou _for thy mercy_ wilt redeem and deliver me. On Thee I
call, O Lord, who madest all that could not else have sprung into being,
nor without Thee could even abide. I call to Thee, O Lord, who leavest
none of thy creatures to become naught. To Him I call who hath made all
creatures beautiful without any original substance. To Thee I call, who
never wroughtest any evil, but rather every good work. To Him I call who
teacheth to a few wise men that evil is naught.

O Lord, thou hast wrought all things perfect, and nothing imperfect; to
Thee is no creature untoward; though any thing will, it can not be so,
_for Thou hast shapen them all orderly, and peaceable, and so harmonious
that none of them can altogether destroy another, but the ugly ever
adorneth the beautiful_. To Thee I call, whom everything loveth that can
love, both those which know what they love, and those which know not
what they love. Thou who hast shapen all creatures very good, without
any evil--Thou who wilt not altogether _show thyself_ openly to any but
to them that are pure _in heart_, I call to Thee, O Lord, because Thou
art the Father of truth and wisdom, of the true and highest life, and of
the highest blessedness, and of the highest good, and of the highest
brightness, and of the intelligible light; _Thou who art the Father of
the Son who hath awakened us, and still arouseth us, from the sleep of
our sins_, and warneth us to come to Thee.

[Sidenote: 6.7--7.21]

To Thee I pray, O Lord, who art the highest truth, and through whom is
true all that is true. I pray to Thee, O Lord, who art the true life,
and through whom all things live that do live. Thou art the highest
blessedness, and through Thee are blessed all that are blessed. Thou art
the highest good[2] ... is and beautiful. Thou art the intelligible
light through which man knoweth. I pray to Thee, O Lord, who wieldest
all the world; whom we can not know bodily, _neither by eyes, nor by
smell, nor by ears, nor by taste, nor by touch_; although such laws as
we have, and such virtues as we have, we take _all those that are good_
from thy realm, _and from thy realm we draw an example of all the good
we perform_. For every one falleth who fleeth from Thee, and every one
riseth who turneth to Thee, and every one standeth who abideth in Thee;
he dieth who wholly forsaketh Thee, he is quickened who turneth to Thee,
and he liveth indeed who abideth in Thee. No one that is wise forsaketh
Thee, no one seeketh Thee except he be wise, and no one altogether
findeth Thee but the pure in heart. That is, he perisheth who forsaketh
Thee. _He who loveth Thee seeketh Thee; he who followeth after Thee hath
Thee. Thy truths which Thou hast given us awaken us from the sleep of
our sins._ Our hope lifteth us to Thee. Our love, which Thou hast given
us, bindeth us to Thee. Through Thee we overcome our foes, both
_spiritual and carnal_. Thou who forgivest, _draw nigh to me and have
mercy upon me_, because Thou hast bestowed upon us great gifts, to wit,
that we shall never entirely perish and thus come to naught.

    [2] An omission in the MS.

O Lord, who warnest us to watch, _Thou hast given us reason_, wherewith
to find out and distinguish good and evil, and to flee the evil. Thou
hast given us patience not to despair in any toil nor in any misfortune.
Nor is this a wonder, _because Thou dost verily rule well, and makest us
to serve Thee well_. Thou hast taught us to understand that _worldly
wealth_, which we looked upon as our own, is alien to us, and
transitory; and Thou hast also taught us to consider as our own what we
looked upon as alien to us, _to wit, the kingdom of heaven, which we
once despised. Thou who hast taught us to do no unlawful thing, and hast
also taught us not to mourn_ even though our riches should wane. _Thou
who hast taught us to subject our body to our mind._

[Sidenote: 7.21--9.11]

Thou who didst overcome death when Thou thyself didst arise, _and also
wilt make all men arise. Thou who makest us all worthy of Thee, and
cleansest us from all our sins, and justifiest us, and hearest our
prayers. Thou who madest us of thy household, and who teachest us all
righteousness, and always teachest us the good, and always dost us good,
and leavest us not to serve an unrighteous lord, as we did aforetime._
Thou callest us back to our way, and leadest us to the door, and openest
to us, and givest us the bread of _eternal_ life and the drink _of
life's well_. Thou who threatenest men for their sins, and who teachest
them to judge righteous judgments, and to do righteousness. Thou
strengthenedst us, and yet dost strengthen us, in our belief, in order
that unbelievers may not harm us. Thou hast given us, and yet givest us,
understanding, that we may overcome the error of those [who teach
that][3] men's souls have, after this world, no reward _for their
deserts, either of good or of evil, whichever they do here_. Thou who
hast loosed us from the thraldom of other creatures, _Thou always
preparest eternal life for us, and always preparest us for eternal

    [3] Supplied by translator to complete the sense.

Come now to my aid, Thou who art the only eternal and true
Deity--_Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost_--without any variableness or
turning, without any need or impotence, and without death. Thou who
always dwellest in the highest brightness and in the highest
steadfastness, in the highest unanimity and the highest sufficiency; for
to Thee there is no want of good, but Thou always dwellest thus full of
every good unto eternity. _Thou art Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost._

[Sidenote: 9.12--10.23]

Thee serve all the creatures that Thou didst create; to Thee is every
good soul subject; at thy command the heavens turn and all stars hold
their courses; at thy behest the sun bringeth the bright day, and the
moon light by night; _after the image of these_ Thou dost govern and
wield all this world, so that all creatures change even as day and
night. Thou rulest and fixest the year by the alternations of the four
seasons--to wit, spring, and summer, autumn, and winter; each of which
alternateth and varieth with the other, so that each of them is again
exactly what and where it formerly was; and so all stars change and vary
in the same manner--_likewise the sea and the rivers; in the same manner
all creatures suffer change. Howbeit, some vary in another manner, so
that the same come not again where they formerly were, nor become just
what they were; but others come in their stead, as leaves on trees; and
apples, grass, plants, and trees grow old and sere, and others come, wax
green, and grow, and ripen; wherefore they again begin to wither. And
likewise all beasts and fowls, in such manner that it is now too long to
reckon them all. Yea, even men's bodies wax old, just as other creatures
do; but just as they formerly lived more worthily than trees or other
animals, so shall they arise more worthily on Doomsday, so that never
afterward shall their bodies become naught nor wax old; and though the
body had decayed, yet the soul was ever-living since first it was

_And all the creatures, about whom we say that they seem to us
inharmonious and unsteadfast, have yet somewhat of steadiness, because
they are bridled with the bridle of God's commandments._ God gave
freedom to men's souls, that they might do either good or evil,
whichever they would; and promised good for a reward to them that do
good, and evil to them that do evil.

[Sidenote: 11.1--12.17]

With God is prepared _the well-spring of every good_, and thence is
prepared and granted to us every good of those which we have; He
shieldeth us against every evil. Nothing is above Him, but all things
are under Him, or with Him, or in Him. He created man in His own image,
and every man who knoweth himself knoweth that all this is true. To that
God I cry, and say:

Hear me, hear me, O Lord, for Thou art my God and my Lord, my Father,
and my _Creator_, and my _Governor_, and my hope, and my riches, and my
honor, and my house, and my inheritance, and my salvation, and my life.
Hear me, O Lord, hear me, _Thy servant_. Few understand Thee.

Thee alone I love truly above all other things; Thee I seek, _Thee I
follow_, Thee I am ready to serve; under Thy rule I wish to dwell, _for
Thou alone reignest_. I pray Thee to command me _what Thou wilt_; but
heal and open mine eyes that I may see Thy _wonders_, and drive from me
folly and _pride, and give me wisdom_ that I may understand Thee, and
teach me whither I should look to behold Thee; then shall I, methinks,
do gladly that which Thou commandest me.

I beseech Thee, Thou merciful, _benevolent, and beneficent Lord_, to
receive me, Thy fugitive; _since once I was formerly Thine, and then
fled from Thee to the devil, and fulfilled his will, enduring much
misery in his service. But if to Thee it seemeth as it doth to me_, long
enough have I felt the pains which I have now suffered, and longer have
I served Thy foes than I should those whom Thou hast [under Thy
feet].[4] Long enough have I been in the reproach and shame which they
brought on me; but do Thou receive me now, Thine own servant, for I am
fleeing from them. _Behold, did they not receive me even before I had
fled from Thee to them? Never again restore me to them, now that I have
sought Thee_, but open to me Thy door, and teach me how to come. I have
naught to bring Thee but good will, for I myself have nothing else, nor
know I aught better than to love the heavenly and the spiritual above
the earthly; and this I do, good Father, since I know naught better than
that. _But I know not how I shall now come to Thee except Thou teach
me_; teach it, then, to me, and help me. If it is by faith that they
find Thee who do find Thee, give me that faith. If by any other power
they find Thee who do find Thee, give me that power. If by wisdom they
find Thee who find Thee, then give me wisdom. Augment in me the hope _of
eternal life_, and increase Thy love in me.

    [4] Supplied from the Latin.

[Sidenote: 12.17--14.5]

O, how wonderful is Thy goodness, for it is unlike all other good
things. I desire to come to Thee; and all that I have need of on the way
I desire from Thee, and chiefly that without which I can not come to
Thee. If Thou forsake me, I perish; yet I know that Thou wilt not
forsake me _unless I forsake Thee; nor will I forsake Thee_, for Thou
art the highest good. There is none who rightly seeketh Thee that doth
not find Thee. He alone seeketh Thee aright whom Thou teachest aright to
seek Thee, and how he should seek Thee. O, good Father, free me entirely
from the error in which I have hitherto wandered, and yet wander; and
teach me the way in which no foe can encounter me before I come to Thee.
If I love naught above Thee, I beseech Thee that I may find Thee; and if
I desire any thing beyond measure and wrongly, deliver me from it. Make
me worthy to behold Thee.

Thou most ancient and most wise Father, I commit to Thee my body, that
Thou mayest keep it whole. Yet I know not what I ask--whether I am
asking a thing useful or useless to me or _to the friends whom I love
and who love me_; nor do I know how long Thou wilt keep it whole.
Therefore I commit and commend it to Thee, _for Thou knowest better than
I what I need_. Wherefore I pray Thee alway to teach me, while I am in
this body and this world, and help me alway to _utter the counsel which
is pleasing to Thee, and which is best and most righteous for me in this
life_. But above all other things I earnestly pray Thee to convert me
wholly to Thee, and let nothing overcome me on this way, to prevent me
from coming to Thee; and cleanse Thou me while I am in this world, and
make me humble. Give me loftiness of soul. Make me reasonable and just
and prudent and perfect; and, O God, make me a lover of Thy wisdom and a
perceiver of it, and make me worthy to dwell in Thy blessed kingdom.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: 14.5--15.15]

Now I have done as thou didst teach me; now I have prayed even as thou
badest me. _Then answered me my Reason and said_:

_R._ _I see that thou hast prayed_; but say now what thou hast merited,
or what thou wouldst have.

_A._ I would understand all, and know what I just now said.

_R._ Sum up, then, from _all that thou hast just spoken about, that
which seemeth to thee that thou most needest and most requirest to
know_; then clothe it in few words, and tell it to me.

_A._ _I will tell it to thee at once_: I would understand God and know
mine own soul.

_R._ Wouldst thou know any thing more?

_A._ _Many things I fain would know that I know not._ Howbeit there is
nothing I wish more to know than this.

_R._ Then inquire after and seek what thou askest, and tell me first
what thou knowest with most certainty, and then say to me: 'Sufficiently
known will _God and my soul be to me, if they shall be as well known to
me as this thing_.'

_A._ I can name nothing so well known to me as I would that God were.

_R._ What, then, can we do, if thou knowest not the measure? Thou
oughtest to know when it seemed to thee enough, and if thou ever come to
that limit, then thou shouldst go no further, but shouldst seek
something else, lest thou shouldst desire any thing beyond measure.

_A._ I know what thou wishest; I should illustrate to thee by some
example; but I can not, for I know naught like unto God, so that I can
say to thee: 'I should like to know God as well as I know this thing.'

[Sidenote: 15.16--17.8]

_R._ _I am astonished at thee_, why thou sayest that thou knowest
nothing like unto God, and yet dost not know what He is.

_A._ If I knew aught like unto Him, I would love that thing exceedingly.
Since I know naught like unto Him, I love nothing but Him and mine own
soul; howbeit, I know not what either of them is.

_R._ _Thou sayest that thou lovest naught but God and thy soul; if that
is true_, lovest thou then no other friend?

_A._ Why, if I love a soul, do I not love my friend? Hath not he a soul?

_R._ _If thou lovest thy friend because he hath a soul, why, then,
lovest thou not every thing that hath a soul?_ Why dost thou not love
_mice_ and _fleas_?

_A._ I love them not, because they are carnal animals, not men.

_R._ Have not thy friends likewise _bodies_, even as beasts have?

_A._ Yet it is not on this account I love them, but because they are
men, and have reason in their minds--that quality I love even in
_slaves_. Those that I hate, I hate because they turn the good of reason
into evil, _since I am allowed both to love the good and to hate the
evil_. Therefore I love all my friends, some less, some more; and him
whom I love more than another, I love him so much more than the other as
I perceive that he hath a better will than the other, and the desire to
make his reason more serviceable.

_R._ Thou understandest it well enough, and rightly enough. But if any
one should now say to thee that he could teach thee how thou mightest
know God as well as thou knowest Alypius thy servant, would that seem
enough to thee, or how much wouldst thou thank him for it?

_A._ I should thank him, but nevertheless I would not answer 'enough.'

_R._ Why?

_A._ Alypius is better known to me than God, yet even him I know not so
well as I would.

[Sidenote: 17.9--19.2]

_R._ Look to it now that thy desire be not beyond measure, now that thou
_comparest them together. Wouldst thou know God just as thou dost

_A._ Nay; nor do I make them the more alike, albeit I name them
together. But I say that one often knoweth more about higher than about
lowlier things. I know now about the _moon, how it will move to-morrow
and other nights_; but, I know not what I shall eat to-morrow, which is
a baser matter.

_R._ Then wouldst thou know enough about God, if He should be as well
known to thee as the _motion of the moon_--in what constellation it now
is, or into which it is going next?

_A._ Nay; I wish that He were better known to me than the moon which I
see with mine eyes. Yet I do not know but that God may, for some secret
reasons, which we know not, change it in another wise; then should I be
perplexed in what I now imagine I know about it. _But I would have such
knowledge about God, in my reason and in my understanding, that nothing
could disturb me, nor bring me into any doubt._

_R._ Dost thou believe, therefore, that I can make thee _wiser about God
than thou now art about the moon_?

_A._ _Yea_; I believe it, but I should prefer to know it, for we believe
all that we know, and we are ignorant of many things which we believe.

_R._ Methinks that thou dost not trust the external senses--_eyes, ears,
smell, taste, and touch--as a means of clearly understanding what thou
wouldst, unless thou comprehend it in the mind by the reason_.

_A._ _That is true_; I trust them not.

_R._ Wouldst thou know thy servant, whom we were just now speaking of,
with the outer senses, or with the inner?

_A._ I know him now as well as I can know him with the external senses;
but I should like to know his mind with my mind; then I should know what
_was his loyalty toward me_.

[Sidenote: 19.3--20.17]

_R._ Can one know otherwise _than with the mind_?

_A._ _It doth_ not _seem to me that I can know it_ as I would.

_R._ Dost thou, then, not know thy servant?

_A._ How can I know him, seeing I am not certain that I know myself? It
is said in the law that one shall love his neighbor even as himself. How
then do I know in what way I should love him, if I do not know whether I
love myself? Nor do I know how he loveth me; yet I know that it is the
same with him in regard to me.

_R._ If thou with the inner sense wouldst know God, why pointest thou me
to the outer senses, as if thou wouldst see Him bodily, just as thou
formerly saidst thou sawest the moon? I know not therefore how thou
teachest it to me, nor can I teach it to any one, by the outer senses.
But tell me whether it seemeth enough for thee to know God as Plato and
Plotinus knew him?

_A._ I dare not say that it would seem to me enough, because I know not
whether it seemed to them enough in regard to that which they knew. I
know not whether it seemed to them that they needed to know more of Him,
but even so they formerly seemed to me.[5] When I prayed, methought I
did not so fully understand that which I besought as I would. But I
still could not forbear to speak about it, just as it seemed to me that
I needed, and just as I supposed it was.

    [5] Doubtful rendering of and _swā-swā mē ēr pūhton_.

_R._ _Methinks now it seemeth to thee that_ it is one thing _to know,
and quite another only to suppose_.

_A._ _Yea, so methinks; therefore I would now that thou tell me what
difference there is between these, or what one certainly knoweth._

_R._ _Knowest thou that thou didst learn the science which we call
geometry? In that science thou learnedst on a ball, or an apple, or a
painted egg, that thou mightest by the painting understand the motion of
the heavens and the course of the stars. Knowest thou that thou didst
learn in the same science about a line drawn along the middle of the
ball? Knowest thou what was there taught thee about the positions of the
twelve stars and the path of the sun?_

[Sidenote: 20.17--22.10]

_A._ Yea; I know well enough what the line signifieth.

_R._ _Now that thou sayest thou doubtest this no whit_, dost thou not
fear the Academicians, _those philosophers who said that there was never
anything certain beyond a doubt_?

_A._ Nay; I do not fear them much, _for they said that there never was a
wise man_. Therefore I am not at all ashamed not to be wise, for I know
that as yet I am not wise; but if I ever become as wise as they, then I
will do as they teach, _until I can say that I know without doubt what I
seem to myself to know_.

_R._ I do not object at all to thy doing so. But thou sayest thou
knowest about the line _which was painted on the ball on which thou
learnedst the revolution of this heaven_; I would know whether thou also
knowest about the ball _on which the line is drawn_.

_A._ Yea; I know both. _No man can mistake that._

_R._ Didst thou learn with the eyes or with the mind?

_A._ With both: first with the eyes, then with the mind. The eyes
brought me to the understanding; but after I had perceived it, I left
off looking with the eyes, and reflected, _for it seemed to me that I
could contemplate much more of it than I could see, after the eyes had
fixed it in my mind. Just so a ship bringeth one over the sea; when he
cometh ashore, he letteth the ship stand, for it seemeth to him that he
can travel more easily without it than with it._ However, it seemeth
easier to me to travel by skiff on dry land than to learn any science
with the eyes, but without the reason--though the eyes must at times
give aid.

_R._ _Therefore thou must needs look rightly with the eyes of the mind
to God, just as the ship's anchor-cable is stretched direct from the
ship to the anchor, and fasten the eyes of thy mind on God, just as the
anchor is fastened in the earth. Though the ship be out among the
sea-billows, it will remain sound and unbroken if the cable holdeth,
since one end of it is fast to the earth and the other to the ship._

[Sidenote: 22.11--24.7]

_A._ _What is that which thou callest the mind's eyes?_

_R._ _Reason, in addition to other virtues._

_A._ _What are the other virtues?_

_R._ _Wisdom, and humility, and honor, and moderation, and
righteousness, and mercy, and prudence, and constancy, and benevolence,
and chastity, and abstinence. With these anchors thou art able to fasten
to God the cable that shall hold the ship of thy mind._

_A._ _May the Lord God make me entirely as thou teachest me [to be]. I
would if I could, but I can not understand how I shall be able to obtain
these anchors, or how I shall fasten them, except thou teach it to me
more clearly._

_R._ _I could teach thee, but I ought first to ask thee how many of this
world's lusts thou hast renounced for God. After thou hast told me that,
then I can say to thee without any doubt that thou hast obtained so many
of the anchors as thou hast renounced the lusts of the world._

_A._ _How can I forsake that which I know and am familiar with, and have
been used to from childhood, and love that which is unknown to me except
by hearsay? Howbeit, I feel sure that if I knew what thou sayest about
me as certainly as what I here see for myself, I would love that, and
despise this._

_R._ _I wonder why thou speakest so. Suppose now if a letter with seal
from thy lord should come to thee, canst thou say thou art not able to
understand him by that, nor to recognise his will therein? If thou
sayest that thou canst know his will therein, say then whether it
seemeth to thee better to follow his will, or to follow after the wealth
which he gave thee over and above his friendship._

_A._ _Whether I will or not, I must speak truly, unless I am prepared to
lie. If I lie, God knoweth it. Therefore I dare speak only the truth, so
far as I can know it. Methinks it is better to forsake the gift, and
follow the giver, who is to me the steward both of the riches and of his
friendship, unless I can have both. I should like, however, to have
both, if I could follow both the wealth and also his will._

[Sidenote: 24.7--25.23]

_R._ _Full rightly hast thou answered me, but I would ask thee whether
thou supposest that thou canst have all that thou now hast without thy
lord's friendship._

_A._ _I do not suppose that any man is so foolish as to think that._

_R._ _Thou understandest it rightly enough, but I would know whether
thou thinkest that what thou hast is temporal or eternal._

_A._ _I never supposed it to be eternal._

_R._ _What thinkest thou about God and the anchors which we spake
of--are they like these, or are they eternal?_

_A._ _Who is so mad as to dare say that God is not eternal?_

_R._ _If He is eternal, why lovest thou not the eternal Lord more than
the temporal? Lo, thou knowest that the Eternal will not leave thee,
except thou go from Him; and thou must needs depart from the other
whether thou will or no; thou must either leave him, or he thee. Howbeit
I perceive that thou lovest him very much, and also fearest and dost
well; very rightly and very becomingly thou dost. But I wonder why thou
dost not love the Other much more, Him who giveth thee both the
friendship of the worldly lord and His own, and, after this world, life
eternal. The Lord is the ruler of you both--thine and thy lord's whom
thou so immeasurably lovest._

_A._ _I confess to thee that I would love Him above all other things, if
I could understand and know Him as I would. But I can understand very
little of Him, or nothing at all, and yet at times, when I think
carefully of Him, and any inspiration cometh to me about the eternal
life, then I by no means prefer this present life to that, nor even love
it so much._

_R._ _Wishest thou now to see Him and clearly understand Him?_

_A._ _I have no wish above that._

_R._ _Keep, then, His commandments._

[Sidenote: 25.24--27.13]

_A._ _What commandments?_

_R._ _I named them to thee before._

_A._ _Methinks they are very burdensome and very manifold._

_R._ _What one loveth, methinks, is not burdensome._

_A._ _Nor doth any work seem burdensome to me if I can see and have what
I work for. But doubt begetteth heaviness._

_R._ _Thou graspest it well enough in speech, and well enough thou
understandest it._ But I can say to thee that I am the faculty of
Reason, which argueth with thee--the discursive faculty whose province
it is to explain to thee in such wise that thou mayest see God with thy
mind's eyes as clearly as thou now seest the sun with the eyes of the

_A._ _Almighty God reward thee! I am truly grateful for thy promise to
teach it to me so clearly. Although I was ignorant, yet I emerge from
this condition to a clearer vision of Him_, if I come to see Him as I
now see the sun. _Howbeit I do not see the sun so clearly as I would
like to. I know very little better what the sun is, though I look on it
every day. Still it seemed good to me that I might thus clearly see

_R._ _Now consider very earnestly what I formerly said to thee._

_A._ _I will, so much as possible._

_R._ First know of a truth that the mind is the eye of the soul;
secondly, thou must know that it is needful for one to see what one
looketh at; the fourth is what one would see. For every one having eyes
first looketh at that which he would see till he hath beheld it. When he
hath beheld it then he truly seeth it. But thou must know that I who now
speak with thee am Reason, and I am to every human mind what looking is
to the eyes. Three things it behooveth the eyes of every human body to
have; the fourth is what it seeketh and would draw to them. One is that
thou hast and usest and lovest that which thou formerly didst hope for.

[Sidenote: 27.13--29.13]

_A._ _Alas! Shall I ever come to that which I hope for, or shall that
ever come to me which I desire?_

_R._ Add now love as a third besides faith and hope; for the eyes of no
soul are entirely sound--especially to see God with--if lacking these
three. Seeing, then, is knowing.

_A._ If then there be sound eyes, that is, perfect understanding, what
is then wanting to it, or what is more needful?

_R._ The soul's vision is _Reason and Contemplation_. But many souls
look with these, and yet see not what they desire, because they have not
entirely sound eyes. But he who wisheth to see God must have the eyes of
his mind whole; that is, he must have an abiding faith and a just hope
and a full love. When he hath all these, then hath he life blessed and
eternal. The vision which we shall catch of God is knowledge. That
knowledge is between two things--between that which understandeth and
that which is understood--and is fastened on both _even as love is
between the lover and the one loved. On both it is fastened, as we said
before concerning the anchor-cable that the one end was fast to the
ship, and the other to the land._

_A._ _Then if it ever again happeneth that I can see God as thou now
teachest me that I should behold Him, would I need all three of the
things that thou formerly spakest about, namely: faith and hope and

[Sidenote: 29.13--30.27]

_R._ What need then is there of faith, when one seeth that which he
formerly exercised faith toward, and again knoweth that which he
formerly hoped for? But love never waneth--it abideth greatly increased
when the understanding is fixed on God; nor hath love ever any end.
_Omni consummatione uidi finem; latum mandatum tuum nimis_:[6] _that is,
of everything in the world I shall see the end, but the end of thy
commandments I shall never see_. That is the love about which he
prophesied. But, although the soul be perfect and pure while it is in
the body, it can not see God as it desireth, because of the sorrow and
tribulation of the body, except with much labor through faith and hope
and love. _These are the three anchors which sustain the ship of the
mind in the midst of the dashing of the waves. Yet the mind hath much
comfort because it believeth and clearly knoweth that the misfortunes
and unhappiness of this world are not eternal. So the ship's master,[7]
when the ship rideth most unsteadily at anchor and the sea is roughest,
then knoweth of a truth that calm weather is coming. Three things are
needful to the eyes of each soul: One is that they be whole; the second,
that they should look at what they would see; the third, that they may
see what they look at. For the three is God's help necessary, for one
can neither do good nor any thing without His aid. Therefore He is
always to be entreated that He be ever helpful; therefore also He
inspireth us and inciteth us first to be well-wishing, and afterwards
worketh with us that which He willeth till such time as we perfect it
with Him; and especially He worketh with us as with some powerful tool,
just as it is written[8] that with each well-working person God is a
co-worker. We know that no man can perform any good unless God work with
him; howbeit no man must be so idle as not to begin something through
the strength that God giveth him._

    [6] Ps. 119. 96, inexactly quoted.

    [7] Translating MS., _ho feut_, emended to _hlāford_ at the
    suggestion of Professor Cook. Cf. translator's ed. of the OE.
    version, 29. 20.

    [8] 1 Cor. 3. 9.

_A._ _Thou teachest me the right way. Now I know what I ought to do; but
I do not know whether I can or can not._

_R._ _Thou oughtest not to despair because thou canst not come at once
to that which thou desirest for thyself. Can he who would learn a
science ever do so in a short time, a little more or a little less?
Thine is the science of all sciences, to wit, that one should seek after
God and look toward Him and see Him._

[Sidenote: 30.27--32.7]

_A._ _Well thou advisest me; but I recall what thou didst formerly
promise me, and very joyfully I abide that promise; thou didst promise
to teach me how to see God with the eyes of my mind as clearly as I now
see the sun with the eyes of my body._

_R._ _Well thou remindest me; I will do for thee what I promised._ Call
to mind now that thou canst see with thy body's eyes three things in
regard to the sun: One is that it existeth; another, that it shineth;
the third, that it lighteth up many things with its shining. _All the
things which are bright, when the sun shineth on them, shine against it,
each after its own kind. But those things which are not bright shine not
against the sun, although it shineth on them. But the sun shineth,
nevertheless, on them, and yet he who looketh toward it can not see it
wholly just as it is. All this and more thou canst observe concerning
God. He is the high Sun. He always abideth, lighting up with His own
light both the sun which we see with bodily eyes and all creatures both
spiritual and terrestrial. Therefore he seemeth to me a very foolish man
who wisheth to understand Him just as He is, while we are yet in this
world. Behold! I suppose that no one is so foolish that he becometh
sorrowful because he can not see and understand, just as it is, the sun
which we look at with corporeal eyes; but every one rejoiceth that at
least he can understand according to the measure of his understanding.
He doth well who desireth to understand the Eternal and Almighty Sun;
but he doth very foolishly, if he wisheth to know Him perfectly while he
is in this world._

_A._ _Very wonderfully and very truly thou teachest, and very much thou
hast comforted me and brought me into good hope._ But I pray still for
what thou aforetime didst promise me.

_R._ Two things I promised that I would accomplish _and teach thee, to
wit, to understand God and thyself. But I would know how thou desirest
to understand that--whether thou wouldst believe without experience, or
know by experience._

[Sidenote: 32.8--33.19]

_A._ _I would know it by experience, for I know nothing of it surely._

_R._ That is no wonder. I did not explain it to thee in such wise that
thou couldst know it by experience; for there is yet something which
thou must first know, to wit, whether we both are whole.

_A._ Thou must know whether thou findest any health, either in me, or in
thyself, or in us both. _It becometh thee to teach and me to listen; and
it becometh me to answer what I understand according to the measure of
my understanding, if so be I understand it at all; if I do not
understand it at all, then must I admit it and leave it to thy

_R._ Wishest thou to know more than about God and thyself?

_A._ I answer thee that I do not _wish anything_ more earnestly; but I
dare not promise thee that I shall not desire any thing else than that;
for it is verily hidden from me, albeit something cometh into my mind
which, methinks, nothing can hinder me from furthering and performing.
When another thing cometh which seemeth to me more right and reasonable,
then I leave off that which I formerly held enough; and therefore at
times it happeneth that something is so fixed in my mind, that I think I
shall never let it go so long as I live. Howbeit there cometh to me then
some trouble which occupieth me so that I can never leave it, nor can I
perform it although I can not think of any better [thing to be done].[9]
But three things have troubled me most: One is, I fear that I must part
with my friends whom I love most, _or they with me--either for life or
for death_; the second is, I fear sickness, _both the known and the
unknown_; the third is, I fear death.

    [9] Supplied by translator.

_R._ _I hear now what thou lovest most next to thine own reason and
God_: They are, the life of thy friends, and thine own health, and thine
own life. _Of these five things thou art afraid that thou shalt lose
some, because thou lovest them all very much._ If thou didst not love
them, then thou hadst not dreaded that thou wouldst lose them.

[Sidenote: 33.19--35.8]

_A._ I admit what thou sayest to me.

_R._ Therefore methinks that I see thee very sad and greatly cast down
in thy mind, because thou hast not such health as thou hadst; nor hast
thou all thy friends with thee _so agreeable and harmonious as thou
wouldst. Nor doth it seem to me any wonder that thou art sad for that

_A._ Thou understandest it rightly; I can not gainsay that.

_R._ If then it ever happen that thou shalt find thyself full whole and
full strong, and hast all thy friends with thee, both in mind and in
body, _and in that same work and in that same will which pleaseth thee
best to do_, wilt thou then be happy at all?

_A._ Yea, verily; if it should now suddenly happen, I do not know _how
on earth_ I would begin.

_R._ Hast thou not then still some trouble, such as immoderate sorrow,
either of mind or of body--seeing now thou hast those two things? Wert
thou, therefore, foolish in heart, when thou didst wish that thou
shouldst see with such eyes the high and everlasting Sun?

_A._ Now thou hast overcome me withal, so that I by no means know how
much of health I have, nor how much of sickness.

_R._ That is no wonder. No man hath such sound eyes that he can look any
length of time toward the sun which we here see, much less if he have
weak eyes. But those that have weak eyes can be more at ease in the
darkness than in the light. Methinks, though, that it seemeth to thee
that thou hast sound eyes. _Thou thinkest of the health of thy soul's
eyes, but thou dost not think of the great light which thou wishest to
see. Be not wroth with me, albeit I question thee and examine thee, for
I needs must do that. Methinks thou dost not understand thyself._

[Sidenote: 35.9--37.3]

_A._ _I am in no wise wroth with thee, but rejoice in what thou sayest,
because I know that thou seekest my good._

_R._ Wishest thou any wealth?

_A._ Long ago I resolved that I should despise it. I am now three and
thirty years old, and I was one less than twenty when I first resolved
that I would not love wealth overmuch. Though enough should come to me,
I would not rejoice very much, _nor enjoy it too immoderately, nor would
I gain more to keep than I could fitly make use of, and keep and support
the men on, whom I must help_; and the residue I think as orderly to
divide as I best am able so to do.

_R._ Wishest thou any honor?

_A._ I confess to thee that I did wish that till recently desire failed.

_R._ Desirest thou not a beautiful wife, and withal modest and well
instructed and of good manners and subject to thy will, and one who hath
much substance and would not engross thee in any thing, nor hinder thee
from enjoying leisure at thy will?

_A._ Dost thou not praise her overmuch that I may wish her all the more?
For methinks there is nothing worse for him _that willeth to serve God
than to take a wife--though some one hath said_ that it is better to
take one for the rearing of children. Howbeit I say that _it is better
for priests not to have a wife. Therefore I decided that I would take
none, because I wished to be the freer to serve God_.

_R._ I hear now that thou dost not think to take a wife; but I would
know whether thou still hast any love or lust _after any uncleanness_.

_A._ _Why askest thou more about that?_ I do not now desire that; but if
lust ever cometh to me, I dread it _as an adder_. Ever the less is my
desire for it, and ever the more I wish to see the light, even as I lust
the less after this manner.

_R._ How about food? How much dost thou desire that?

[Sidenote: 37.4--39.13]

_A._ I desire none of those meats which I have renounced; I desire those
which I have thought right to eat, when I see them. What shall I say
more either about meat, or drink, or baths, _or riches, or honor, or any
worldly lusts_? Nor do I wish any more of these than I shall need to
have for my bodily comfort and to keep my strength. _Howbeit I need much
more for the wants of those men which I must take care of, and moreover
this I needs must have._

_R._ Thou art right. But I would know whether thy old _covetousness and
greediness be entirely extirpated and uprooted from thy mind, so that it
can not still grow_.

_A._ _Why askest thou that?_

_R._ I speak of the things which thou before saidst to me that thou
hadst decided to leave off and for nothing would turn back to again,
namely: overmuch wealth, and _immoderate honor, and inordinately rich
and luxurious living_; and therefore I now ask whether, either for the
love of them or for the love of any thing, thou wilt return to them
again. I heard formerly that thou saidst that thou lovedst thy friends,
next to God and thine own reason, above other things. Now I would know
whether thou, for their love, wouldst lay hold of these things again.

_A._ I will lay hold of all again for their love, if I can not else have
their companionship--_yet it doth not please me so to do_.

_R._ Very reasonably thou dost answer me and very rightly. _Howbeit I
understand that the lusts of the world are not entirely uprooted from
thy mind, although the trench be prepared; for the roots can sprout
thence again._ Yet I impute that not to thee as a fault, for thou layest
hold of it not for the love of those things but for the love of this
thing which it is more right to love than that. _I never ask about any
man, what he doth; but yet I ask thee now why thou lovest thy friends so
much, or what thou lovest in them, or whether thou lovest them for their
own sake or for some other thing._

[Sidenote: 39.14--41.19]

_A._ I love them for friendship and for companionship, _and above all
others I love those who most help me to understand and to know reason
and wisdom, most of all about God and about our souls; for I know that I
can more easily seek after Him with their help than I can without_.

_R._ How then if they do not wish to inquire _after the One whom thou

_A._ I shall teach them so that they will.

_R._ But how then if thou canst not, and if they be so foolish as to
love other things more than that which thou lovest, and say that they
can not or will not?

_A._ _I, nevertheless, will have them_: they will be helpful to me in
some things and I likewise to them.

_R._ But how then if they disturb thee, _and if the infirmities of the
body hinder thee_?

_A._ That is true; _howbeit I would not fear at all the infirmities, if
it were not for three things: One of these is heavy sorrow; another is
death; the third is that I can not seek nor truly find what I desire
just as thou madest me know_. Toothache hindered me from all learning,
but yet it did not altogether snatch from me the remembrance of that
which I formerly learned. Howbeit I suppose, if I should understand
certainly that which I yearn to understand, sorrow would seem to me very
little, or else naught, compared with faith. Yet I know many a pain is
much sharper than toothache, albeit I never suffered any sharper. I
learned that Cornelius Celsus taught _in his books_ that in every man
wisdom is the highest good and sickness the greatest evil. The saying
appeareth to me very true. Concerning the same thing the same Cornelius
saith: 'Of two things we are what we are, to wit, of soul and of body.
_The soul is spiritual, and the body earthy._ The best faculty of the
soul is wisdom, and the worst affliction of the body is sickness.'
Methinks moreover that this is not false.

[Sidenote: 41.19--43.12]

_R._ Have we not now shown clearly enough that wisdom is the highest
good? Is it not also beyond a doubt that it is to every man the best of
all the virtues? And is it not his best work to search after wisdom,
and love it whenever he findeth it? But I would that we two might now
search out who the lovers of this wisdom should be. _Dost thou not know
that every man who loveth another very much liketh better to caress and
kiss the other on the bare body than where the clothes come between? Now
I understand that thou lovest wisdom very much, and wishest so much to
know and feel it naked that thou wouldst not that any cloth were
between; but it will seldom so openly reveal itself to any man. At those
times when it will show any limb thus bare, it doth so to very few men;
but I know not how thou canst receive it with gloved hands. Thou must
also place the bare body against it, if thou wilt feel it._ But tell me
now, if thou lovedst a certain beautiful woman very immoderately and
above all other things, and if she _fled from thee_ and would
reciprocate thy love on no other condition than that thou wouldst
renounce every other love for hers alone, _wouldst thou then do as she

_A._ Alas! what a hard thing thou dost enjoin upon me! _Didst thou not
formerly admit that I loved nothing above wisdom, and moreover I too
admitted it, albeit thou saidst then that_ whoever loveth one thing for
the sake of another, he doth not of a truth love that former thing for
which he professeth love, _but really that for which he loved the former
thing and thought to obtain it_. Therefore I assert that I love wisdom
for no other thing than for its own sake. I love all the world--each
thing as I consider it profitable, and especially that thing most which
helpeth me to wisdom; and moreover those things which I fear most to
lose. Howbeit I do not love any thing else in such wise as I love
wisdom. Every thing which I love most I grant, while I love it most, to
no man but to myself, _except wisdom alone_. It I love above all other
things, and yet of my free will I would grant it to every man, so that
all who are on this earth might love it and search after it, yea, find
it, and then use it; for I know that each of us would love the other by
so much more as our will and our love were more in unison.

[Sidenote: 43.13--44.24]

_R._ _Said I not formerly that he who would feel the bare body must feel
it with bare hands? And I say also, if thou wilt behold wisdom itself
thus bare, that thou must not allow any cloth between thine eyes and it,
nor even any mist; albeit to that thou canst not come in this present
life, though I enjoin it upon thee, and though thou wish it._ Wherefore
no man ought to despair, though he have not so sound eyes as he who can
look the sharpest; even he who can look the sharpest of all can not
himself see the sun just as it is while he is in this present life. Yet
no man hath such weak eyes that he can not live by the sun and use it,
if he can see at all, unless he be purblind. _Moreover, I can teach unto
thee other parables about wisdom. Consider now whether any man seeketh
there the king's home where he is in town, or his court, or his army, or
whether it seemeth to thee that they all must come thither by the same
road; on the contrary, I suppose they would come by very many roads:
some would come from afar, and would have a road very long and very bad
and very difficult; some would have a very long and very direct and very
good road; some would have a very short and yet hard and strait and foul
one; some would have a short and smooth and good one; and yet they all
would come to one and the same lord, some more easily, some with more
difficulty; neither do they come thither with like ease, nor are they
there alike at ease. Some are in more honor and in more ease than
others; some in less, some almost without, except the one that he
loveth. So is it likewise with wisdom. Each one who wisheth it and who
anxiously prayeth for it, he can come to it and abide in its household
and live near it; yet some are nearer it, others farther from it; just
so is every king's court: some dwell in cottages, some in halls, some on
the threshing-floor, some in prison; and yet they all live by the favor
of one lord, just as all men live under one sun, and by its light see
what they see. Some look very carefully and very clearly; some see with
great difficulty; others are stark blind, yet use the sun. But just as
the visible sun lighteth the eyes of our body, so wisdom lighteth the
eyes of our mind, which is our understanding. And just as the eyes of
the body are more sound, thus to use more of the sun's light_, so is it
also with the mind's eyes, that is, the understanding: just by so much
as that is sounder, by so much more may it see the eternal sun, which is
wisdom. Every man that hath sound eyes needeth no other guide nor
teacher to see the sun, except health. If he hath sound eyes, he may
himself look at the sun. On the contrary, if he hath unsound eyes, then
he needeth that one teach him to look first on the wall, then on gold,
and on silver; when he can more easily look on that, [then let him
look][10] on fire, before he looketh at the sun. Then after he hath
learned that his eyes do not at all avoid the fire, let him look on the
stars and on the moon, then on sunshine, before he looketh on the sun
itself. And just so with the other sun that we formerly spake of, that
is, wisdom. He who wisheth to see it with his mind's eyes must begin
very gradually, and then little by little mount nearer and nearer by
steps, _just as if he were climbing on a ladder and wished to ascend
some sea-cliff. If he then ever cometh up on the cliff, he may look both
over the shore and over the sea, which then lieth beneath him, and also
over the land that formerly was above him._ But if it seemeth good to
us, let us stop here for this day, and to-morrow seek further after the
same thing which we before sought after.

    [10] Supplied by translator.

[Sidenote: 44.25--46.10]

_A._ _Nay, not at all; but I humbly pray thee that thou weary not, nor
leave off the conversation here; but say somewhat more clearly about it
so that I may more clearly feel and understand something concerning this
wisdom, and bid me what thou wilt._ I will understand it, if it lies in
my power.

_R._ I know not anything to command thee of which thou hast more need
for the science which thou wishest to know, than that thou despise, so
much as thou art able, worldly honors, _and especially intemperate and
unlawful ones_, because I fear that they may bind thy mind to themselves
and take it with their snare, just as one catcheth wild beasts or
fowls, so that thou canst not accomplish what thou wishest; for I know
that the freer thou art from the things of this world, the more clearly
thou shalt understand about the wisdom which thou desirest; and if it
ever happen that thou canst so entirely forsake them that thou desirest
naught of them, then shall I be able to say to thee forsooth (believe me
if thou wilt), that in that very hour thou shalt know all that thou
wishest now to know, and shalt have all that thou wishest to have.

[Sidenote: 46.10--48.6]

_A._ When shall that be? I do not believe that it will ever be that I
shall not yearn at all after this world's honors, unless one thing
happen, namely: that I see _those honors which thou promisest me.
Howbeit I know not that it would please me so well to yearn no more
after this world's honors._

_R._ Now methinks thou dost not answer me with reason. Methinks that
thou speakest very much as if thine eyes should say to thy mind: 'We
will never avoid the darkness of the night until we can see the sun
itself.' Thus, methinks, the eyes do, if they avoid that part of the
sun's light which they can see. It can not happen even to the soundest
of all eyes that they can look from this world and see the sun as it is.
By this thou mayest conclude that thou oughtest not to sigh though thou
canst not see wisdom naked with the eyes of thy mind just as it is; for
thou canst never do that _while thou art in the darkness of thy sins.
But enjoy the wisdom which thou hast, and have joy in the part which
thou canst understand, and seek more with thy whole heart. Wisdom itself
knoweth what thou art worthy of, and how much it may show itself to
thee. There is naught worse in a man than to suppose that he is worthy
of what he is not. The physician knoweth better than the sick whether he
can be healed or not, or whether he can be healed by mild or by severe
treatment. Therefore thou must not excuse thyself too much, nor sigh too
much after aught. The eyes of thy mind are not so wholly sound as thou
dost suppose._

[Sidenote: 48.7--49.18]

_A._ Cease, O cease! Do not vex me, nor increase my sorrow. Enough have
I, though thou increase it not. _Thou seekest it at times so high, at
times so deep, that I understand now that I am not such as I supposed,
but I am ashamed that I supposed that which was not. Truly enough thou
hast said. The Physician_ whom I wish to heal me knoweth how _sound my
eyes_ are. He knoweth what He wisheth to show me. To Him I commit
myself, and to His goodness I entrust myself. May He do unto me
according to His will! On Him I call, that He may make fast my soul to
Him. I will never again say that I have _sound eyes until I see wisdom

_R._ I know no better advice for thee than thou formerly saidst. But
leave off woe and sorrow, _and be measurably happy_. Thou wert formerly
too immoderately sorrowful, _for sorrow injureth both mind and body_.

_A._ Thou wouldst restrain my weeping and my sorrow, and still I
perceive no limit to my misery and misfortunes. Thou bidst me leave off
sorrow lest I, _either in mind_ or in body, be weaker; yet I find no
strength, _either in mind_ or body, but am full nigh in despair. But I
beseech thee, if thou in any wise canst, to lead me by some shorter way,
somewhat nearer the light _of the understanding_ which I long ago
desired and yet could not come by in my ignorance; notwithstanding that
I may afterwards be ashamed to look again toward the darkness which I
formerly desired to forsake, if ever I draw nigh to the light.

_R._ Let us now end this book here properly, and name a shorter way in
another book, if we can.

_A._ Nay, nay; let us not leave this book yet until I am able to
understand that which we are after.

_R._ Methinks I ought to do as thou bidst me. Something draweth me on, I
know not what, _but I surmise it is the God thou seekest after_.

_A._ _Thanks be to Him that adviseth thee, and to thee also, if thou
praise Him._ Lead whither thou wilt: _I will follow after thee if I

[Sidenote: 49.19--52.2]

_R._ Methinks thou desirest still to know that same thing about God and
thy soul which thou didst formerly desire.

_A._ Yea, that alone I desire.

_R._ Wishest thou aught more? Wishest thou not to know truth?

_A._ How can I, without truth, know aught of truth, _or what wilt thou
say, without truth, that God is? For we hear it read in the Gospel that
Christ said that He is the way, the truth, and the life._

_R._ Rightly thou sayest; but I would know whether it seemeth to thee
that the true and truth are one [and the same thing].

_A._ Two things, methinks, they are, _just as wisdom is one thing, and
that which is wise is another_; and likewise chastity is one thing, and
that which is chaste is another.

_R._ Which, then, doth seem to thee better, the true or truth?

_A._ Truth; for all that is true is so because of truth; and every thing
that is chaste is so because of chastity; _and he who is wise is so
because of wisdom_.

_R._ _Thanks be to God that thou understandest it so well. Howbeit I
would know whether thou suppose, if a wise man were dead, wisdom would
be dead._ Or again, if a chaste man were dead, chastity would be dead.
Or if a truthful man were dead, would truth then be dead.

_A._ Nay, nay, verily; that can not come to pass.

_R._ _Well dost thou understand it._ But I would know whether thou
suppose that wisdom is gone, or chastity, or truth, when the man passeth
away; _or whence they formerly came, or where they are, if they exist?
Or whether they be corporeal, or spiritual?_ For no man doubteth that
every thing that is existeth somewhere.

_A._ _Very searching is thy question, and pleasant for him to know who
can know it. What is wanting to him who knoweth that?_

_R._ _Canst thou recognize the righteous and the unrighteous?_

[Sidenote: 52.3--53.19]

_A._ _Yea, to some extent; not, however, as I would. But I would like to
know what thou formerly didst ask._

_R._ _I wonder why thou hast so completely forgotten what thou only a
little before didst admit that thou knewest._ Didst thou not say before
that thou knewest truth to be eternal, although the true man passed
away? And now thou sayest, 'If it existeth.'

_A._ That same thing I say still. I know that it abideth, although the
true man passeth away.

_R._ All that is true abideth while it doth exist; _but that which thou
callest truth is God. He ever was, and ever will be, immortal and
eternal. God hath all knowledge in Himself sound and perfect. He hath
made two eternal things, to wit, angels and men's souls, to which He
gave some portion of eternal gifts, such as wisdom and righteousness,
and many others which it seemeth to us too numerous to count. To angels
He giveth according to their capacity, and to the souls of men He giveth
gifts according to the capacity of each. These same they need never
lose, for they are everlasting, and to men He giveth many and divers
good gifts in this world, although they be not eternal. Howbeit they are
serviceable while we are in this world. Dost thou yet understand that
souls are immortal? If thou hast understood it, do not conceal it from
me, but confess it. If it is otherwise, tell me then._

_A._ _Thanks be to God_ for the part I know. I will now consider this
and hold it as I best can, and if I have doubts about any thing, I will
promptly tell them to thee.

_R._ Believe firmly in God, and commit thyself wholly to God, and seek
not too much the fulfilling of thine own will above His; but be His
servant, not thine own; and confess that thou art His servant. Then He
will raise thee ever nearer and nearer to himself, and will not let any
adversity befall thee. Howbeit if He permit any adversity to befall
thee, it will be for thy good, although thou canst not understand it.

[Sidenote: 53.20--54.6]

_A._ That I both hear and believe, _and this instruction I will follow
as I best can_, and will pray God that I may fulfil it _as thou long ago
didst instruct me; do thou now teach me, if thou wilt_.

_R._ Do this for me first, and _tell me again, after thou hast studied
this, what thou likest of this; and if thou doubtest aught about any of
these things, then tell it to me_.

_Here endeth the anthology of the first book._


_Here beginneth the anthology of the second book._

_A._ Alas! Long have we been unoccupied, yet we have not sought after
_what thou didst promise me_.

_R._ _Let us make amends for it_; let us carry it forward into another

_A._ Yea, let us indeed.

_R._ Let us believe that God is our Helper.

_A._ Truly would I that we believed it, if I had power. _But methinks
faith is not in our power, in such measure as we seek, unless_ God give
it to us.

_R._ _Both faith and all the good that we shall have. Therefore I know
not what else we can do without His help. Howbeit I advise thee that
thou begin it._ Pray in as few words as thou most sincerely canst, _and
ask for that which is and may be most needful for thee_.

_A._ _Then said I_: 'Lord, Lord, Thou who remainest unchangeable, grant
me these _two things which I always wished_, to wit, that I may
understand Thee and myself.' _Now I have done as thou didst instruct
me_; truly have I prayed.

_R._ _Now I hear what thou wishest to know. Howbeit I would first learn
from thee whether thou knowest without doubt_ that thou dost exist or
not; _or that thou dost live or dost not live_.

_A._ _These are two things which_ I certainly know.

_R._ What now wishest thou to know?

_A._ Whether I be immortal.

_R._ I hear that thou wouldst live always.

_A._ That I confess.

_R._ Wilt thou, then, know enough if I cause thee to know that thou
mayest live always?

[Sidenote: 56.13--58.22]

_A._ That is a very good desire; _yet say what I ask thee about: whether
I shall live always; and then I would know whether I, after the parting
of the body and the soul, shall ever know more than I now know of all
that which I have long wished to know; for I can not find any thing
better in man than that he know, and nothing worse than that he be

_R._ Now I know all that thou wishest: One thing is, thou wouldst exist;
another, thou wouldst live; the third, thou wouldst know. And I know
also why thou wishest these three things: Thou wouldst exist in order to
live, and thou wouldst live in order to know. And these three things I
hear that thou certainly knowest: Thou knowest that thou art, and thou
knowest that thou livest, and thou also knowest that thou knowest
something, albeit thou knowest not all that thou wouldst know.

_A._ That is true. _These three things I know, and these three things I
desire. I would exist in order that I may live. What would I care
whether I existed, if I lived not? Or what would I care for life, if I
knew nothing?_

_R._ _Now I hear that thou lovest all that thou dost love on account of
these three things, and I know also which of the three things thou
lovest most. Thou lovest to exist because thou wouldst live, and thou
wouldst live in order to know. Thus I perceive that thou lovest wisdom
above all other things. That, methinks, is the highest good, and also
thy God._

_A._ _Truth thou sayest to me. What is the highest wisdom other than the
highest good? Or what is the highest good except that every man in this
world love God as much as he loveth wisdom--whether he love it much, or
little, or moderately? So much as he loveth wisdom, so much doth he love

_R._ _Very rightly thou hast understood it. But I would we began again
where we were before. Now thou knowest that thou art, and that thou
livest, and that thou knowest something, albeit not so much as thou
wouldst; and a fourth thing thou wouldst also know, to wit, whether the
three things all be eternal or not, or whether any of them be eternal;
or, if they are all eternal, whether any of them after this world in the
eternal life shall either become worse or wane._

[Sidenote: 58.22--59.27]

_A._ _All my yearning hast thou understood very well._

_R._ _About what doubtest thou now? Didst thou not before confess that
God is eternal and almighty, and hath created two rational and eternal
creatures, as we before said, namely: angels and men's souls, to which
He hath given eternal gifts? These gifts they need never lose. If thou
now rememberest this and believest this, then knowest thou beyond doubt
that thou art, and always wilt be, and always wilt love, and always wilt
know something, albeit thou mayest not know all that thou wouldst. Now
thou knowest about those three things that thou askedst about, namely:
(1) Whether thou art immortal; (2) Whether thou shalt know something
throughout eternity; (3) Whether thou, after the parting of the body and
the soul, shalt know more than thou now knowest, or less. After the
fourth we shall still seek--now that thou knowest the three--until thou
also know that._

_A._ _Very orderly thou dost explain it, but I will yet say to thee what
I firmly believe, and about what I yet doubt. I do not doubt at all
about God's immortality and about His omnipotence, for it can not be
else respecting the trinity and the unity, which was without beginning
and is without end. Therefore I can not otherwise believe, for He hath
created so great and so many and so wonderful visible creatures; and He
ruleth them all and directeth them all, and at one time adorneth them
with the most winsome appearances, while at another time He taketh away
their adornments and beauties. He ruleth the kings who have the most
power on this earth--who like all men are born, and also perish like
other men. Then He letteth them rule while He willeth. For such and for
many such things I do not know how I can doubt His eternity; and also
about the life of our souls I do not now doubt any more. But I doubt yet
about the eternity of souls, whether they are immortal._

[Sidenote: 59.28--60.29]

_R._ _About what dost thou doubt? Are not all the holy books well nigh
full of the immortality of the soul? But methinks that too long to
enumerate now in full, and too long for thee to hear._

_A._ _I have heard a good deal of it, and I also believe it; but I
desire rather to know it than to believe it._

_R._ _I wonder why thou yearnest to know so very much and so certainly
what no man in the prison of this present life ever so certainly could
know as thou wishest, although many yearn to understand it more clearly
in this present life than many others believe it from the sayings of
these and truthful men. No one can ever understand all that he would,
till the soul be parted from the body; nor indeed before Doomsday so
clearly as he would. And yet the holy Fathers that were before us knew
very truly about that which thou before didst ask, to wit, about the
immortality of men's souls, which was so clear to them that they had no
doubt, since they despised this present life[11] ... they would be
parted; and just as they endured the greatest torments in this world, so
they would afterward have the greater reward in the eternal life.
Through the sayings of such men we should infer that we can not
understand it as clearly as they could; howbeit as regards the
immortality of the soul, if thou dost not yet assent to it, I will make
thee to understand it, and I will also cause thee to be ashamed that
thou understoodest it so slowly._

    [11] A break in the MS.

_A._ _Even so do! Cause me to be ashamed therefor._

_R._ _Behold, I know that thou hast to-day the lord whom thou trustest
in all things better than thyself; and so also hath many a servant who
hath a less powerful lord than thou hast; and I know that thou hast also
many friends whom thou trustest well enough, though thou dost not trust
them altogether so well as thou dost thy lord. How seemeth it to thee
now, if thy lord should tell thee some news which thou never before
heardest, or if he should say to thee that he saw something which thou
never sawest? Doth it seem to thee that thou wouldst doubt his
statement at all, because thou didst not see it thyself?_

[Sidenote: 60.29--61.29]

_A._ _Nay, nay, verily; there is no story so incredible that I would not
believe it, if he should tell it. Yea, I even have many companions,
whom, if they should say that they themselves saw or heard it, I would
believe just as well as if I myself saw or heard it._

_R._ _I hear now that thou believest thy lord better than thyself, and
thy companions quite as well as thyself. Thou dost very rightly and very
reasonably, in that thou hast such good faith in them. But I would that
thou shouldst tell me whether Honorius, the son of Theodosius, seem to
thee wiser or more truthful than Christ, the Son of God._

_A._ _Nay, verily nay; nowhere near! But methinks that it is difficult
for thee to compare them together. Honorius is very good, although his
father was better; the latter was very devout and very prudent and very
rightly of my lord's kin; and so is he who still liveth there. I will
honor them just as a man should a worldly lord, and the others of whom
thou didst formerly speak just as their masters, and as one should the
king who is the King of all kings, and the Creator and Ruler of all

_R._ _Now I hear that the Almighty God pleaseth thee better than
Theodosius; and Christ, the Son of God, better than Honorius, the son of
Theodosius. I blame thee not that thou lovest both, but I advise thee to
love the higher lords more, for they know all that they wish and can
perform all that they wish._

_A._ _All that thou sayest is true. I believe it all._

_R._ _Now I hear that thou trustest the higher lord better. But I would
know whether it seem to thee that thy worldly lords have wiser and truer
servants than the higher lords have. Trustest thou now thyself and thy
companions better than thou dost the Apostles, who were the servants of
Christ Himself? Or the Patriarchs? Or the Prophets, through whom God
Himself spake to His people what He would?_

_A._ _Nay, nay; I trust not ourselves so well, nor anywhere near, as I
do them._

[Sidenote: 61.30--62.30]

_R._ _What spake God then more often, or what said He more truly through
His Prophets to His people than about the immortality of souls? Or what
spake the Apostles and all the holy Fathers more truly if not about the
eternity of souls and about their immortality? Or what meant Christ,
when He said in His Gospel: 'The unrighteous shall go into eternal
torments, and the righteous into eternal life'? Now thou hearest what
said Christ and His Apostles; and I heard before that thou didst doubt
nothing of the word of Honorius and his servants. Why doubtest thou,
then, about the words of Christ, the Son of God, and those of the
Apostles, which they themselves uttered? They spake to us more of such
like words than we can count, and with many examples and proofs they
explained it to us. Why canst thou, then, not believe them all, and why
saidst thou before that thou wert their man?_

_A._ _So I say still, and say that I believe them, and also know exactly
that it is all true that God either through Himself or through them
said; for there are more of these occurrences in the holy books than I
can ever count. Therefore I am now ashamed that I ever doubted about it,
and I confess that I am rightly convinced, and I shall always be much
happier when thou dost convince me of such things than I ever was when I
convinced another man. All this I knew, however, before; but I forgot
it, as I fear also that I shall this. I know also that I had so clean
forgotten it that I should never have remembered it again, if thou hadst
not cited me clearer examples, both about my lord and about many

_R._ _I wonder why thou couldst ever suppose that men's souls were not
eternal, for thou clearly enough knewest that they are the highest and
the most blessed of the creatures of God; and thou knowest also clearly
enough that He alloweth no creature entirely to pass away so that it
cometh to naught--not even the most unworthy of all. But He beautifieth
and adorneth all creatures, and again taketh away their beauty and
adornments, and yet again reneweth them. They all so change, however,
that they pass away, and suddenly come again and return to that same
beauty and to the same winsomeness for the children of men, in which
they were before Adam sinned. Now thou canst perceive that no creature
so fully passeth away that it cometh not again, nor so fully perisheth
that it doth not become something. Now that the weakest creatures do not
pass away entirely, why then supposest thou that the most blessed
creature should entirely depart?_

[Sidenote: 62.30--63.34]

_A._ _Alas! I am beset with wretched forgetfulness, so that I can not
remember it as well as before. Methinks now that thou hadst explained it
to me clearly enough by this one example, though thou hadst said nothing

_R._ _Seek now in thyself the examples and the signs, and thou canst
know well what thou before wouldst know, and what I explained to thee by
the concrete examples. Ask thine own mind why it is so desirous and so
zealous to know what was formerly, before thou wert born, or ever thy
grandfather was born; and ask it also why it knoweth what is now present
and what it seeth and heareth every day; or why it wisheth to know what
shall be hereafter. Then I suppose it will answer thee, if it is
discreet, and say that it desireth to know what was before us for the
reason that it always existed since the time that God created the first
man; and therefore aspireth to what it formerly was, to know what it
formerly knew, although it is now so heavily weighed with the burden of
the body that it can not know what it formerly knew. And I suppose that
it will say to thee that it knoweth what it here seeth and heareth,
because it is here in this world; and I suppose also that it will say
that it wisheth to know what shall happen after our days, because it
knoweth that it shall ever be._

_A._ _Methinks now that thou hast clearly enough said that every man's
soul ever is, and ever shall be, and ever was since God first made the
first man._

_R._ _There is no doubt that souls are immortal. Believe thine own
reason, and believe Christ, the Son of God, and believe all His
sayings, because they are very reliable witnesses; and believe thine own
soul, which always saith to thee through its reason that it is in thee;
it saith also that it is eternal, because it wisheth eternal things. It
is not so foolish a creature as to seek that which it can not find, nor
wish for that which doth not belong to it. Give over now thy foolish
doubting. Clear enough it is that thou art eternal and shalt ever

[Sidenote: 63.34--64.35]

_A._ _That I hear and that I believe and clearly know, and I am rejoiced
as I never was at anything. Now I hear that my soul is eternal and ever
liveth, and that the mind shall ever hold all that my mind and my reason
gathered of good virtues. And I hear also that my intellect is eternal.
But I wish yet to know what I before asked about the intellect: whether
it shall, after the parting of the body and the soul, wax or wane, or
shall stand still in one place, or do as it before did in this
world--for a time wax, then for a time wane. I know now that life and
reason are eternal, albeit I fear that it shall be in that world as it
is here in children. I do not suppose that the life there shall be
without reason, any more than it is here in children; in that case there
would be too little winsomeness in that life._

_R._ _I hear now what thou wouldst know, but I can not tell thee in a
few words. If thou wilt know it clearly, then shalt thou seek it in the
book which we call_ De Videndo Deo. _In English the book is called_ Of
Seeing God. _But be now of good cheer, and think over what thou hast now
learned, and let us both pray that He may help us, for He promised that
He would aid every one who called on Him and rightly wished it; and He
promised without any doubt that He would teach us after this world that
we might very certainly know perfect wisdom and full truthfulness, which
thou mayest hear about more clearly in the book which I have before
named to thee_--De Videndo Deo.

_Here endeth the anthology of the second book which we call_


_Then said I: Now thou hast ended the sayings which thou hast selected
from these two books, yet hast not answered me about what I last asked
thee, to wit, about my intellect. I asked thee whether, after the
parting of body and soul, it would wax or wane, or whether it would do
both as it before did._

_R._ _Did I not say to thee before that thou must seek it in the book
which we then spake of? Learn that book, then thou wilt find it there._

_A._ _I do not care now to study all that book; but I would that thou
tell me that[12] ... the glory of the good, that their own torment may
seem the more to them, because they would not by their Father's advice
merit the same honors while they were in this world. And the good see
also the torments of the wicked in order that their own glory may seem
the more. The wicked see God as the guilty man who is condemned before
some king; when he seeth him and his own dear ones, then seemeth to him
his punishment the greater. And so also the dear ones of the king see
their punishment, so that their honors always may seem to them the
greater. No man ought to suppose that all those that are in hell have
like torments, nor that all those that are in heaven have like glory;
but every one hath according to his merits, punishment as well as glory,
whichever he is in. The like have their like. Moreover, it is not to be
supposed that all men have like wisdom in Heaven; for every one hath it
in the measure which he here merited. As he toileth better here and
better yearneth after wisdom and righteousness, so hath he more of it
there; likewise more honor and more glory. Hath it now been clearly
enough explained about wisdom and about the vision of God?_

    [12] A break in the MS.

[Sidenote: 66.5--67.9]

_A._ _Yea; truly enough I believe that we need not lose aught of the
wisdom which we now have, although the soul and the body part. But I
believe that our intellect shall thereby be very much increased, though
we can not all know before Doomsday what we would know. Howbeit I
believe that after Doomsday naught will be hidden from us, neither of
that which is in our days, nor of that which was before us, nor of that
which shall come after us. Thou hast now related to me many examples,
and I myself have seen in the writings of the sacred books more than I
can reckon, or even can remember. Thou didst show me also such reliable
testimony that I can do nothing else but believe it; for if I believe
not weaker testimony, then know I very little or naught. What know I
except that I wish we knew about God as clearly as we would? But the
soul is weighed down and busied with the body so that we can not, with
the eyes of the mind, see any thing just as it is, any more than thou
canst see at times the sun shine, when the clouds shoot between it and
thee, although it shineth very brightly where it is. And even though
there be no cloud between thee and it, thou canst not see it clearly
just as it is, because thou art not where it is; nor can thy body be
there; nor can thy bodily eyes come any nearer there, nor even see that
far. Not even the moon, which is nearer us, can we see just as it is. We
know that it is larger than the earth, and yet it doth not seem at times
larger than a shield on account of the distance. Now thou hast heard
that we can not with the eyes of the mind ever see any thing of this
world just as it is; yet from the part of it which we see we must
believe the part which we do not see. But it is promised us beyond any
doubt that, as soon as we come out of this world and the soul is
released from the prison of the body, we shall know every thing which we
now desire to know, and much more than the ancients, the wisest of all
on the earth, could know. And after Doomsday it is promised that we may
see God openly--yea, see Him just as He is; and know Him ever afterwards
as perfectly as He now knoweth us. There shall never be any wisdom
wanting to us. He who granteth us to know Himself will conceal naught
from us. Howbeit we shall know then all that we now wish to know, and
also that which we do not now wish to know. We shall all see God, both
those who here are worst, and those who here are best. All the good
shall see Him, to their comfort, and joy, and honor, and happiness, and
glory; and the wicked shall see Him just the same as the good, though to
their torment, for they shall see[13] ... might or could in this world,
or whether they had any remembrance of the friends whom they left behind
in this world._

    [13] Omission in the MS.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: 67.9--68.10]

_Then answered he his own thoughts and said: Why supposest thou that the
departed good who have full and complete freedom shall know what they
wish to know, either in this present life or in that to come? Why
supposest thou that they have no memory of their friends in this world,
inasmuch as the wicked Dives feared the same torments for his friends in
hell as he had merited? It was he whom Christ spake of in His Gospel
that besought Abraham to send Lazarus the beggar to him that he, with
his little finger, might place a drop of water on his tongue and
therewith cool his thirst. Then said Abraham: 'Nay, my son; but consider
that thou didst withhold from him all comforts when ye were both in the
body, thou having every good, and he every misfortune. He can not now do
more for thy comfort than thou wouldst then do for him.' Then said the
rich man: 'Abraham, if that can not be, send him to my five brethren who
are still on the earth where I was, that he may tell them in what
punishment I am, and may admonish them to take warning not to come
hither.' Then said Abraham: 'Nay, nay; they have the books of the holy
Fathers with them on earth. Let them study them and believe them. If
they do not believe them, neither will they believe Lazarus, though he
come to them.'_

[Sidenote: 68.11--69.14]

_Now we can hear that both the departed good and the wicked know all
that happeneth in this world, and also in the world in which they are.
They know the greatest part--though they do not know it all before
Doomsday--and they have very clear remembrance of their kin and friends
in the world. And the good help the good, every one of them another, as
much as they can. But the good will not have mercy on their wicked
friends, because the latter do not wish to depart from their evil, any
more than Abraham would not pity the rich man who was his own kin
because he perceived that he was not so humble to God as he ought
rightly to be. The wicked, then, can neither do their friends nor
themselves any good, because they were formerly, when they were in this
world, of no aid either to themselves or to their friends who had passed
away before them. But it shall be with them even as it is with men, who
are in this world brought into the prison of some king and can see their
friends all day and ask about them what they desire, albeit they can not
be of any good to them, nor the prisoners to them; they have neither the
wish nor the ability. Wherefore the wicked have the greater punishment
in the world to come, because they know the glory and the honor of the
good; and all the more because they recall all the honor which they had
in this world; and moreover they know the honor which those have who
shall then be left behind them in this world._

[Sidenote: 69.14--70.5]

_Howbeit the good, then, who have full freedom, see both their friends
and their enemies, just as in this life lords and rulers often see
together both their friends and their enemies. They see them alike and
know them alike, albeit they do not love them alike. And again the
righteous, after they are out of this world, shall recall very often
both the good and the evil which they had in this world, and rejoice
very much that they did not depart from their Lord's will, either in
easy or in hidden things, while they were in this world. Just so some
king in this world may have driven one of his favorites from him, or he
may have been forced from the king against both of their wills; then
hath he many torments and many mishaps in his exile, yet he may come to
the same lord whom he before was with, and there be much more worshipful
than he was. Then he will recall the misfortunes which he had there in
his exile, and yet not be the more unhappy. But I myself saw or_
[_believed_] _what more untrustworthy men told me than those were who
told what we are seeking. Must I not needs do one of two things--either
believe some men or none? Methinks now that I know who built the city of
Rome, and also many another thing which existed before our day, all of
which I can not sum up. I know not who built the city of Rome for the
reason that I myself saw it. Nor even know I of what kin I am, nor who
my father or mother was, except by hearsay. I know that my father begat
me and my mother bare me, but I do not know it because I myself saw it,
but because it was told me. Howbeit not so trustworthy men told that to
me as those were who said that which we now for a long time have sought
for; and still I believe it._

_Therefore methinks that man very foolish and very wretched who will not
increase his intelligence while he is in this world, and also wish and
desire that he may come to the eternal life, where nothing is hid from

_Here end the sayings which King Alfred collected from the book which we
call in...._



    I. The Foreign Sources of Modern English Versification. CHARLTON M.
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   II. Ælfric: A New Study of his Life and Writings. CAROLINE LOUISA
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  III. The Life of St. Cecilia, from MS. Ashmole 43 and MS. Cotton
     Tiberius E. VII, with Introduction, Variants, and Glossary. BERTHA
     ELLEN LOVEWELL, Ph.D. $1.00.

   IV. Dryden's Dramatic Theory and Practice. MARGARET SHERWOOD, Ph.D.

    V. Studies in Jonson's Comedy. ELISABETH WOODBRIDGE, Ph.D. $0.50.

   VI. A Glossary of the West Saxon Gospels, Latin-West Saxon and West
     Saxon-Latin. MATTIE ANSTICE HARRIS, Ph.D. $1.50.

  VII. Andreas: The Legend of St. Andrew, translated from the Old
     English, with an Introduction. ROBERT KILBURN ROOT. $0.50.

 VIII. The Classical Mythology of Milton's English Poems. CHARLES
     GROSVENOR OSGOOD, Ph.D. $1.00.

   IX. A Guide to the Middle English Metrical Romances dealing with
     English and Germanic Legends, and with the Cycles of Charlemagne
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    X. The Earliest Lives of Dante, translated from the Italian of
     Giovanni Boccaccio and Lionardo Bruni Aretino. JAMES ROBINSON
     SMITH. $0.75.

   XI. A Study in Epic Development. IRENE T. MYERS, Ph.D. $1.00.

  XII. The Short Story. HENRY SEIDEL CANBY. $0.30.

 XIII. King Alfred's Old English Version of St. Augustine's
     Soliloquies, edited with Introduction, Notes, and Glossary. HENRY
     LEE HARGROVE, Ph.D. $1.00.

  XIV. The Phonology of the Northumbrian Gloss of St. Matthew. EMILY
     HOWARD FOLEY, Ph.D. $0.75.

   XV. Essays on the Study and Use of Poetry by Plutarch and Basil the
     Great, translated from the Greek, with an Introduction. FREDERICK
     M. PADELFORD, Ph.D. $0.75.

  XVI. The Translations of Beowulf: A Critical Bibliography. CHAUNCEY B.
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XVIII. The Expression of Purpose in Old English Prose. HUBERT GIBSON
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  XIX. Classical Mythology in Shakespeare. ROBERT KILBURN ROOT, Ph.D.

   XX. The Controversy between the Puritans and the Stage. ELBERT N. S.
     THOMPSON, Ph.D. $2.00.

  XXI. The Elene of Cynewulf: An Old English Poem, translated into
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 XXII. King Alfred's Old English Version of St. Augustine's
     Soliloquies, turned into Modern English. HENRY LEE HARGROVE, Ph.D.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious typographical and printer errors have been corrected without
comment. Other than obvious errors, the author's spelling, grammar,
and use of punctuation are retained as in the original publication.

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