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The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, by Fabre d'Olivet, [1917], at

15. Consult, deliberate, and freely choose.

In explaining this line from a moral standpoint as Hierocles has done, one readily feels that to deliberate and choose in that which relates to moral conduct, consists in seeking for what is good or evil in an action, and in attaching oneself to it or fleeing from it, without letting oneself be drawn along by the lure of pleasure or the fear of pain. b But if

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one penetrates still deeper into the meaning of this line, it is seen that it proceeds from principles previously laid down regarding the necessity of Destiny and the power of the Will; and that Pythagoras neglected no opportunity for making his disciples feel that, although forced by Destiny to find themselves in such or such a condition, they remained free to weigh the consequences of their action, and to decide themselves upon the part that they ought to take. The following lines are, as it were, the corollary of his counsel.


181:b Aurea Carm., v. 27.

Next: 16. Let fools act aimlessly and without cause, Thou shouldst, in the present, contemplate the future