The Consolation of Philosophy

By Boethius; P. G. Walsh | Go to book overview

aimlessly without a guide; or alternatively, if there is any one thing
towards which all things hasten to make their way, this will be the
highest of all goods.'

'My pupil,' said she, 'how happy this makes me! You have 40

implanted in your mind the signpost to the very centre of truth.
And this has brought home to you the point which a little earlier
you said you did not know.'✳
'What was that?' I asked.

'The end of all things,' she replied. 'It is surely that which is 41

desired by all, and because we have concluded that this is the
good, we must now proclaim that the end of all things is the good.

'He who with deep reflection tracks the truth,✳
Determined not to stray along false paths,
Must turn the beam of his mind's eye within,
Compel his far-flung thoughts to circle home,

Must draw his mind away from search abroad5
To lodge it in its treasure-house within.
Then what the cloud of error has long hid
Will shine more brilliantly than Phoebus' rays.

The body's weight imparts forgetfulness,✳
yet does not banish all light from the mind. 10
For sure a spark of truth holds fast within,
Which learning fans and coaxes into flame.
Or how, when challenged, could you answer true,
If embers were not lodged deep in your hearts?

Indeed, if Plato's Muse sounds forth the truth, 15

What each man learns, forgetful he recalls.✳


Chapter 12

At this point I said: 'With Plato I emphatically agree. Your 1

reminder has brought these things home to me for a second
time. To begin with, the contamination of the body made me lose
my memory, and thereafter I lost it again when I was downcast
with the weight of grief.'

She then observed: 'If you reconsider what we earlier agreed,

2
you will not be far from recalling what some little time ago you
confessed that you did not know.'

'What was that?' I asked.

-65-

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The Consolation of Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface and Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Introduction xi
  • Summary of the Treatise li
  • A Note on the Text liii
  • Bibliography liv
  • Book I 3
  • Chapter 1 3
  • Chapter 2 5
  • Chapter 3 6
  • Chapter 4 8
  • Chapter 5 13
  • Chapter 6 15
  • Chapter 7 18
  • Book 2 19
  • Chapter 1 19
  • Chapter 2 21
  • Chapter 3 23
  • Chapter 4 25
  • Chapter 5 28
  • Chapter 6 32
  • Chapter 7 34
  • Chapter 8 37
  • Book 3 40
  • Chapter 1 40
  • Chapter 2 41
  • Chapter 3 44
  • Chapter 4 46
  • Chapter 5 48
  • Chapter 6 49
  • Chapter 7 50
  • Chapter 8 51
  • Chapter 9 53
  • Chapter 10 57
  • Chapter 11 61
  • Chapter 12 65
  • Book 4 71
  • Chapter 1 71
  • Chapter 2 73
  • Chapter 3 77
  • Chapter 4 80
  • Chapter 5 94
  • Book 5 97
  • Chapter 1 97
  • Chapter 2 99
  • Chapter 3 100
  • Chapter 4 104
  • Chapter 5 108
  • Chapter 6 110
  • Explanatory Notes 115
  • Index and Glossary of Names 166
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