The Consolation of Philosophy

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

cannot lawfully be banished from it?✳ Indeed, if a person resides within the protection of its rampart, he need never fear sentence of banishment; but once he ceases to desire a home there, he likewise ceases to deserve it. So what engages me is the sight not so much 6 of this residence as of your demeanour. What I look for is not library walls adorned with ivory and glass, but your mind's abode; for I have installed there not books, but what gives books their value, the doctrine found in my writings of old.

'What you say about your services to the common good is true; 7 indeed, considering the great number of your achievements, your account was spare. You mentioned the allegations made against 8 you; the world knows whether they are false or true. You were right to assume that you needed make only passing reference to the crimes and deceits of those who laid charges against you, for they are all on the lips of the people at large, and are better and more fully known to them. You have also sharply rebuked the role of the 9 senate. In addition, you have expressed regret at the charges made against me, and you have lamented the damaging harm done to my reputation. Finally, in the white heat of your resentment, you 10 inveighed against Fortune; you complained that your merits have not won commensurate rewards, and at the close of your fierce verses, you prayed that the peace which prevails in the heavens might also govern the earth. This welter of disturbed emotions 11 weighs heavily upon you; grief, anger, and melancholy✳ are tearing you apart. So in your present state of mind, you are not as yet fit to face stronger remedies. For the moment, then, I shall apply 12 gentler ones, so that the hard swellings where the emotions have gathered may soften under a more caressing touch, and may become ready to bear the application of more painful treatment.'


Chapter 6

'When Apollo,✳ with his rays,
Roasts the Crab's oppressive days,✳
Seeds in plenty which you sow
In the furrows will not grow.✳
Robbed of any hope of grain, 5 Acorns from the oaks obtain!✳

-15-

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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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