The Consolation of Philosophy

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

Book 2

Chapter 1

She fell silent✳ for a little while, and her quiet reticence riveted my 1 attention. Then she resumed her discourse.

'If I have fully grasped the causes and the nature of your 2 sickness, you are wasting away because you are yearning and pining for your earlier fortune. The interpretation which you have put on your changed circumstances has corrupted your mental faculties. I well know the manifold deceits of that monstrous lady, 3 Fortune;✳ in particular, her fawning friendship with those whom she intends to cheat, until the moment when she unexpectedly abandons them, and leaves them reeling in agony beyond endurance. But if you recall what she is, her ways and her worth, you 4will realize that you neither had, nor have lost, anything of worth through your association with her. I imagine that you need no 5 urging at all to recognize this, for in her very presence, even as she fawned on you, you would assail her with manly words, and attack her with sentiments gathered from my shrine. But no sudden 6 change of circumstances occurs without causing some mental turmoil, which is why even you for the moment have abandoned your usual serenity.

'But now it is time for you to sample and imbibe a soothing 7 medicine with a pleasant taste. Once you have absorbed it, it will prepare the way for stronger draughts. So let me now apply the 8 persuasion of sweet-sounding rhetoric,✳ which walks on the right path only when it does not abandon our precepts, and let it alternate with music, that native servant of our dwelling, between lighter and graver measures.

'What is it then, mortal man, that has plunged you into 9 melancholy and grief? You have, I believe, undergone a strange and unfamiliar experience. You think that Fortune has changed towards you, but you are mistaken. Her ways and her nature are 10

-19-

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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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