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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

26 If any one perchance thinks that we are speaking wicked calumniesà

If any one perchance thinks that we are speaking wicked calumnies, let him take the hooks of the Thracian soothsayer, which you speak of as of divine antiquity; and he will find that we are neither cunningly inventing anything, nor seeking means to bring the holiness of the gods into ridicule, and doing so: for we shall bring forward the very verses which the son of Calliope uttered in Greek, and published abroad in his songs to the human race throughout all ages: --

|With these words she at the same time drew up her garments from the lowest hem,

And exposed to view formatas inguinibus res,

Which Baubo grasping with hollow hand, for

Their appearance was infantile, strikes, touches gently.

Then the goddess, fixing her orbs of august light,

Being softened, lays aside for a little the sadness of her mind;

Thereafter she takes the cup in her hand, and laughing,

Drinks off the whole draught of cyceon with gladness.|

What say you, O wise sons of Erectheus? what, you citizens of Minerva? The mind is eager to know with what words you will defend what it is so dangerous to maintain, or what arts you have by which to give safety to personages and causes wounded so mortally. This is no false mistrust, nor are you assailed with lying accusations: the infamy of your Eleusinia is declared both by their base beginnings and by the records of ancient literature, by the very signs, in fine, which you use when questioned in receiving the sacred things, -- |I have fasted, and drunk the draught; I have taken out of the mystic cist, and put into the wicker-basket; I have received again, and transferred to the little chest.|

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