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Chapter XVIII.—Second Nature.

“On this account, they who live in the country sin much less than they do, not having been p. 255 indoctrinated in those things in which they have been indoctrinated who dare do these things, having learned from evil instruction to be impious.  For they who from their childhood learn letters by means of such fables, while their soul is yet pliant, engraft the impious deeds of those who are called gods into their own minds; whence, when they are grown up, they ripen fruit, like evil seeds cast into the soul.  And what is worst of all, the rooted impurities cannot be easily cut down, when they are perceived to be bitter by them when they have attained to manhood.  For every one is pleased to remain in those habits which he forms in childhood; and thus, since custom is not much less powerful than nature, they become difficult to be converted to those good things which were not sown in their souls from the beginning.

Next: Chapter XIX