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The Works of Philo


{**Yonge's title, A Treatise of the Life of a Man Occupied with Affairs of State, or On Joseph.}

I. (1) There are three different modes by which we proceed towards the most excellent end, namely, instruction, nature, and practice. There are also three persons, the oldest of the wise men who in the account given to us by Moses derive three names from these modes, whose lives I have now discussed, having examined the man who arrived at excellence in consequence of instruction, and him who was self-taught, and him who attained to the proposed end by practice. Accordingly, proceeding in regular order, I will now describe the life of the man occupied in civil affairs. And again, Moses has given us one of the patriarchs as deriving his name from this kind of life, in which he had been immersed from his earliest youth. (2) Now, this man began from the time he was seventeen years of age to be occupied with the consideration of the business of a shepherd, which corresponds to political business. On which account I think it is that the race of poets has been accustomed to call kings the shepherds of the people; for he who is skilful in the business of a shepherd will probably be also a most excellent king, having derived instruction in those matters which are deserving of inferior attention here to superintend a flock of those most excellent of all animals, namely, of men. (3) And just as attention to matters of hunting is indispensable to the man who is about to conduct a war or to govern an army, so in the same manner those who hope to have the government of a city will find the business of a shepherd very closely connected with them, since that is at is were a sort of prelude to any kind of government. (4) Therefore, as this man's father perceived in his son a very noble ability, and too great to be left in the obscurity of a private station, he admired him, and cultivated his talent, and loved him more than his other sons; because, too, he was the son of his old age, which last cause is one of the strongest incentives to affection possible. And like a man fond of virtue, he cherished and kindled the natural good disposition of his son by excessive and most diligent care and attention, in order that it might not only not be smothered, but might shine forth more brilliantly.

II. (5) But envy is at all times an adversary to great good fortune, and at this time it attacked a house which was prospering in all its parts, and divided it, setting all the brothers in enmity against one, who displayed an ill feeling on their own parts, sufficient to counterbalance the affection of his father, hating their brother as much as their father loved him; but they did not divulge their hatred by words, but kept it in their own bosoms, on which account it very naturally became more grievous and bitter; for passions which are repressed, and which are not allowed to evaporate in language, are more difficult to bear. (6) This man, therefore, indulging a disposition free from all guile and malice, and having no suspicion of the ill will which was secretly cherished against him by his brethren, having seen a dream of favourable import, related it to them, as if they were well affected towards him. "For," said he, "I thought that the time of harvest was arrived, and that we had all gone down to the plain to gather the crops, and had taken sickles in our hands to reap the harvest, and on a sudden my sheaf appeared to stand up, right, and to be raised up, and to erect itself; and I thought that your sheaves, as if at an appointed signal, ran up and fell down before it, and worshipped it with great Earnestness."{1}{#ge 37:7.} (7) But they being men of acute intelligence, and shrewd in divining the nature of a matter thus intimated to them by means of a figure, with very felicitous conjectures, replied, "Dost thou think that thou shalt be king and lord over us? for this is what you are now intimating by this lying vision of yours." So their hatred was kindled against him more exceedingly than before, as it was continually receiving some fresh pretext for its increase. (8) And he, suspecting nothing, a few days afterwards saw another dream, still more astonishing than the former one, and again he related it to his brethren; for he thought that the sun, and the moon, and the eleven stars, all came and worshipped him, so that his father marvelling at what had thus happened, laid these events up in his mind, cherishing them, and considering within himself what was to happen. (9) But he reproved his son gravely, from a fear that he might be doing wrong in some respect, and said to him, "Shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, be able to fall down and worship thee? for by the sun you appear to indicate your father, and by the moon your mother, and by the eleven stars your eleven brethren? Let no such an idea ever come into your mind, O my son. But rather let all recollection of these visions which have appeared to you be forgotten, and let them pass from your mind; for to hope and expect a superiority over those of your family and kindred, is a detestable thing in my opinion, and I think, indeed, in that of every one else, who has an regard for equality and the principles of justice that subsist among kinsman." (10) But his father, being afraid lest from his meeting with his brothers there might arise some quarrel and disturbance with them, inasmuch as they bore ill will against him on account of the dreams which he had seen, sent them away to keep their flocks at a distance, but retained him at home till a fitting season, knowing that time is said to be a powerful physician for all the passions and diseases of the soul, and a remover of grief, and an extinguisher of anger, and a healer of fear; for it softens and mitigates everything, even such things as are, according to their own nature, hard to be cured. (11) But when he conjectured that no hatred was any longer abiding in their hearts he sent this his son forth to salute his brethren, and also to bring him word how they and their flocks of sheep were.

III. (12) This expedition of his was the origin both of great evils and also of great good, each of them being excessive beyond all expectation; for he, obeying the commands of his parents, went to visit his brethren; but they, seeing him coming towards them while at a great distance, conversed one with another, saying nothing of good omen, inasmuch as they did not choose even to call him by his name, but called him a dreamer, and a seer of visions, and such appellations as these. (13) And to such a height did they carry their rage that (I will not say all of them, but) the greater portion of them plotted his death; and designed, after having slain him, for the sake of not being detected, to throw him into a deep pit dug in the earth, for there are a great many such places in that district dug as receptacles for the rain water. (14) And they were very near incurring that most excessive pollution of fratricide, as they would have done if they had not been, though with difficulty, persuaded by the advice of their eldest brother, who counselled them not to meddle with such a pollution but merely to cast him into one of these pits, thinking then to contrive some means of saving him, so that when they had all departed he might send him back again to his father without having suffered any harm. And after they had agreed to this he came forward and saluted them; and they took him as though he had been an enemy, and stripped him of all his garments, and let him down into a vast pit, and then, having stained his cloak with the blood of a kid, they sent it to his father on the pretence that he had been slain by a wild beast.

IV. (15) But on that day it happened by some chance that certain merchants who were accustomed to convey their merchandise from Arabia to Egypt were travelling that way, and so the eleven brethren drew Joseph up out of the pit and sold him to them; the one of them who was the fourth in respect of age instigating this contrivance; for in my opinion, he was afraid lest his brother might be treacherously slain by the others, who had conceived an irreconcilable hatred against him, and therefore he proposed that he should be sold, substituting slavery for death, the lighter evil for the greater. (16) But the eldest, for he was not present when he was sold, looking down into the pit, and not seeing him whom he had left there a short time before, cried out and lamented loudly, and rent his clothes, and tossed his hands up and down like a madman, and beat his breast and tore his hair, saying, (17) "What has become of him? Tell me, is he alive, or is he dead? If he is dead, show me his corpse that I may weep over his body, and so alleviate my grief. When I see him lying dead I shall be comforted; for why should we bear ill will to the dead? There is no envy excited against those who are out of sight. And if he is alive, to what country has he departed? (18) Where is he kept? for I am not, as he was, an object of suspicion, so as to be distrusted by you." And when they replied that he had been sold, and when they showed him the money which they had received for him, he said, "A fine trade, indeed, you have been driving? Let us divide the gain: let us wear crowns of victory after thus rivalling the slavedealers, and bearing off from them the prizes of iniquity; (19) we may well pride ourselves now that we have surpassed them in barbarity, for they indeed traffic in the liberty of strangers, but we in that of those who are most nearly related to and most dear to us. Surely here is newly contrived a great disgrace and a shame which will be known far and wide. Our fathers left behind them in every part of the world memorials of their virtue and excellence; we shall leave behind us the guilt of a charge of faithlessness and treacherous inhumanity which can never be effaced; for the reputation of extraordinary actions penetrates everywhere; those which are praiseworthy being admired, and those which are blameable meeting with blame and accusation. (20) In what manner now will our father receive the news of what has happened? You will now, as far as depends upon us, have made the life of him who has hitherto been wonderfully happy and fortunate, not worth living; which will he pity, the child who has been sold, for his slavery? or those who have sold him, for their inhumanity? I am sure he will pity us much the most; since to do wrong is a more terrible evil than to suffer wrong, for the one has for an alleviation two consolations of the greatest influence, hope and pity; but the other is destitute of both these mitigations, and is more unfortunate in the judgment of every one. (21) But why do I mourn and bewail in this manner? It is better for me to be silent, lest I too should be treated in some terrible manner; for ye are most merciless men in your dispositions, and implacable; and the rage which was kindled in each of you is still furious and vehement."

V. (22) But when their father heard, not the truth indeed, that his son had been sold, but a falsehood that he was dead, and that he had been slain by wild beasts, he was smitten in his ears by the news that was reported to him, and in his eyes by what was shown to him (for they brought to him his son's coat rent and torn and defiled with quantities of blood); and being wholly bewildered by the exceeding greatness of the calamity, he lay for a long time without speaking, not being able even to lift up his head, the calamity overwhelming and completely prostrating him; (23) then suddenly pouring forth as it were a stream of tears with bitter lamentations, he bedewed his cheeks, and his chin, and his breast, and all the garments on his chest, saying at the same time such words as these, "It is not thy death that grieves me, O my son, but such a tomb as has fallen to your lot; for if you had been buried in your own land I should have been comforted; I would have cherished you, I would have tended you in sickness if you had died before me, I would have given you my last embrace, I would have closed your eyes, I would have wept over your dead body lying before me, I would have buried you sumptuously, I would have omitted none of the customary observances. (24) "Again, even if you had died in a foreign land, I should have said, nature has claimed what was due to, and what belonged to her; and therefore, O my mind, be not cast down; for living men have indeed their separate countries, but the whole earth is the grave of the dead; and all men are destined to a speedy death; for even the longest lived man is but short lived if compared with eternity; (25) but if it was necessary that he should die violently and by treachery, it would have been a lighter evil to me for him to have been slain by men, who would have laid out his corpse, and have pitied him so far as to scatter dust over him, and at least to have concealed his body; and even if they had been the most merciless of all people, what more could they have done than have thrown him out unburied, and so got rid of him? And then, perhaps, some one of the passers by on the road, standing by, and beholding him, and conceiving pity for our common nature, would have thought him worthy of some care, and of burial; but now, as the saying is, O my son, thou has become a feast, and a banquet for savage and carnivorous wild beasts, who will eat and devour thy bowels; (26) I am compelled to endure distresses which I never had imagined, I am without any cause practised in enduring many miseries; I am a wanderer, a stranger, a slave, living under compulsion, having even my very life plotted against by those whom it least became to do so. And I have seen many things, and I have heard many things, and I have suffered many things, all of which have been incurable evils, which however I have learnt to bear with moderation, so as not to yield to them. "But nothing has ever happened more intolerable than this misfortune which has now befallen me; which has consumed and destroyed all the vigour of my soul; (27) for what can be a greater or more pitiable calamity? The garment of my child has been brought to me, who am his father; but of him himself there is no portion brought, not a limb, not a small fragment, but he has been wholly and entirely destroyed and devoured, not being able even to receive burial; and it seems to me that even his garment would never have been sent to me at all if it had not been by the way of a reminder of my grief, and as a refreshment of my memory as to the sufferings which he endured, so as to afflict me with a never to be forgotten and never ending sorrow." He indeed bewailed his son in these terms; but the merchants sold his son in Egypt to one of the king's eunuchs who was his chief cook.

VI. (28) It is worth while, however, after having thus explained the literal account given to us of these events, to proceed to explain also the figurative meaning concealed under that account; for we say that nearly all, or that at all events, the greater part of the history of the giving of the law is full of allegories; now the disposition which we have at present under consideration, is called by the Hebrews Joseph; but the name being interpreted in the Greek language means, "the addition of the Lord," a name most felicitously given, and most appropriate to the account given of the person so called; for the democratic constitution in vogue among states is an addition of nature which has sovereign authority over everything; (29) for this world is a sort of large state, and has one constitution, and one law, and the word of nature enjoins what one ought to do, and forbids what one ought not to do: but the cities themselves in their several situations are unlimited in number, and enjoy different constitutions, and laws which are not all the same; for there are different customs and established regulations found out and established in different nations; (30) and the cause of this the want of union, and participation existing not merely between the Greeks and the barbarians, or between the barbarians and the Greeks, but also between the different tribes of each of these respective nations. Then they, as it would seem, blaming those things which do not deserve blame, such as unexpected occurrences or opportunities, deficiency of crops, badness of soil, their own situation either as being by the sea-side, or inland, or insular, or on the continent, or anything of that sort, are silent as to the real truth. The real truth is their covetousness, their want of good faith towards and confidence in one another, on which account they have not been satisfied with the laws of nature, but have called those regulations, which have appeared to be for the common advantage of the agreeing and unanimous multitudes, laws, so that the individual constitutions do naturally appear rather in the light of additions to the one great general constitution of nature; (31) for the laws of individual cities are additions to the one right reason of nature; and so also the man who is occupied with political affairs is an addition to the man who lives in accordance with nature.

VII. (32) And it is not without a particular and correct meaning that Joseph is said to have had a coat of many colours. For a political constitution is a many-coloured and multiform thing, admitting of an infinite variety of changes in its general appearance, in its affairs, in its moving causes, in the peculiar laws respecting strangers, in numberless differences respecting times and places. (33) For as the master of a ship collects together all the means which may tend to ensure him a favourable voyage with reference to and in dependency on the changes of the wind, not always guiding his vessel in one and the same way; and as a physician does not apply one and the same means of cure to every sick person, nor even to one person if his disease varies in its character, but watches the periods of its abatement, and of its intensity, and of its becoming full or empty, and the alterations of the causes of the sickness, and so varies his remedies as much as possible to secure the safety of his patient, applying one remedy at one time and another at another; (34) in the same manner I conceive that the man immersed in political affairs is of necessity a multiform man, assuming many different appearances, one in time of peace and another in time of war; and a different character according as those who are opposed to him are numerous or few in number, withstanding a small number with vigorous resolution, but using persuasion and gentle means towards a large body. And in some cases where there is much danger, still for the sake of the common advantage he will take the place of every one, and manage the business in hand by himself; in other cases, where it is merely a question of labour he will let others minister to him as his assistants. (35) It was appropriately said that the man was sold. For the haranguer of the people and the demagogue, mounting the tribunal, like slaves who are being sold and exposed to view, is a slave instead of a free man, by reason of the honours which he seems to be receiving, being led away by ten thousand masters? (36) The same person is also represented as having been torn by wild beasts; and vainglory, which lies in wait for a man, is an untameable wild beast, tearing and destroying all who give into it. And they who have been purchasers are likewise sellers; for there is one master only to the citizens who live in any city; but there is a multitude of masters, one succeeding another in a certain succession and regular order. But those who have been sold three times change their masters like bad slaves, not remaining with their original ones, by reason of the speedily satisfied irregularity of their dispositions, always thirsting after novelty.

VIII. (37) This is enough to say on this part of the subject. Accordingly, the young man, having been conducted into Egypt, and there, as has already been stated, having become the slave of a eunuch, gave in a few days such proofs of virtue and excellence of disposition, that he had authority over his fellow servants given to him, and the management of the whole household committed to his charge; for already his master had learnt by many circumstances to perceive that his servant in all his words and in all his actions was under the immediate direction of divine providence. (38) Accordingly, in consequence of this opinion of his purchaser, he was appointed superintendent of his house, apparently indeed by his master, but, in fact and reality, by nature herself, which procured for him the government of a mighty city, and nation, and country. For it was necessary that one who was destined to be a statesman should be previously practised and trained in the management of a single household; for a household is a city on a small and contracted scale, and the management of a household is a contracted kind of polity; so that a city may be called a large house, and the government of a city a widely spread economy. (39) And from these considerations we may see that the manager of a household and the governor of a state are identical, though the multitude and magnitude of the things committed to their charge may be different, as in the case too with the arts of painting and statuary; for the good statuary or painter, whether he is making many and colossal figures, or only few and those of a small size, is still the same person, and the art which he is practising is the same art.

IX. (40) But while he is earning a very high reputation in the matters connected with the management of his master's house, he is plotted against by the wife of his master, because of the incontinent love which she had conceived for him; for she, being maddened by the beauty of the young man, and being unable to restrain the violence of her frenzy and passion, addressed a proposal of illicit intercourse to him; but he resisted it vigorously, and would not at all endure to approach her, by reason of the orderly and temperate disposition implanted in him by nature and habit. (41) But when she, inflaming and exciting her lawless desire, kept continually tempting him, and continually throwing herself in his way, and continually failing in her object, she at last, in the violence of her passion, had recourse to force, and seizing hold of his cloak dragged him vigorously toward the bed, her passion endowing her strength with greater vigour, as it often does strengthen even the weak. (42) But he, proving more powerful than even the alluring opportunity, uttered a cry becoming a free man, and worthy of his race, saying, What are you forcing me to? We, the descendants of the Hebrews, are guided by special customs and laws of our own; (43) in other nations the youths are permitted, after they are fourteen years of age, to use concubines and prostitutes, and women who make gain by their persons, without restraint. But among us a harlot is not allowed even to live, but death is appointed as a punishment for any one who adopts such a way of life. Therefore, before our lawful marriage we know nothing of any connection with any other woman, but, without ever having experienced any similar cohabitation, we approach our virgin brides as pure as themselves, proposing as the end of our marriage not pleasure but the offspring of legitimate children. (44) I, therefore, having kept myself pure to this day, will not begin now to transgress the law by adultery which is the greatest of all sins, when I ought rather, even if in past time I had lived in an irregular manner, and had been led away by the impulses of youth, and had imitated the licentiousness of the natives, still not to seek to pollute the marriage of another man, an offence which who is there would not avenge with blood? For though different nations differ in other points, still all agree in this alone, that all men think him worthy of ten thousand deaths who does so, and give up the man who is detected in adultery without trial to the husband who has detected him. (45) But you, pressing me thus to load myself with guilt, would add even a third pollution in my case, since you bid me not merely commit adultery, but also to violate my mistress and my master's wife, unless, indeed, this is to be looked upon as the reason for which I entered your house, that I might neglect the duties which a servant ought to perform, and get drunk, and become intoxicated with hopes fit for my master who has bought me, polluting his marriage, and his house and his family. (46) Nevertheless I am induced to honour him not merely as my master, but also as one who has before now been my benefactor. He has committed to my care the whole management of his household; there is nothing whatever, be it great or small, which is withdrawn from my superintendence, except you who are his wife. In return for these kindnesses is it fitting for me to requite him with such an action as you recommend to me? I will rather, as becomes me, endeavour with honourable service to requite the kindness of which he has set me the example, and which is due him. (47) He, being my master, has made me, who was a captive and a slave, a free man and a citizen by his great goodness, as far at least as depended on him; and shall I, who am a slave, compare myself to my master as if he were a stranger and a captive? And with what disposition can I commit this unholy action? and with what face can I be impudent enough to look upon him? The consciousness of guilt which I shall have contracted will not suffer me to look him in the face, even if I should be able to be undiscovered, but in fact I shall never escape detection, for there are innumerable witnesses of all the things which are done privily who may not be silent. (48) I forbear to say that, even if no one else should know it, or being privy to it should not divulge it, still I nevertheless shall be a witness against myself by my complexion, by my look, by my voice, as I said a little while ago, being convicted by my own conscience; and if no one else informs against me, shall I not fear nor respect, justice the assessor of God, and the overlooker of all human actions?

X. (49) He put all these arguments together and philosophised in this way till she ceased to importune him; for the desires are powerful, to cast in the shade even the most powerful of the outward senses, which he, being aware of, fled from them, leaving his garment in her hands, as she had seized hold of him. (50) This circumstance gave her an opportunity to contrive a story, and to invent a plausible tale against the young man, by means of which she might revenge herself on him; for when her husband came from the public assembly, she, pretending to play the part of a modest and orderly woman, even among the intemperate habits by which she was surrounded, said to him, with excessive indignation, "You brought a servant into us, a slave of the Hebrews, who had not only corrupted his soul, since you, in a simple manner without due inquiry, committed your household to him, but has even dared to assault my body. (51) For he was not contented with seducing only his fellow servants, inasmuch as he has become a most lascivious and debauched man, but he has attempted to defile even me, his mistress, and to use force to me; and the proofs of his insane lust are visible and clear; for when, having been very ill-treated by him, I cried out, calling to my aid assistants from within; he fled, from fear of being apprehended." (52) And showing his garment, she appeared to give a proof of the truth of what she said; and his master thinking that it was true, ordered his officers to conduct the man to prison, erring in two most important points: first, that without giving him any time to defend himself, he, without a trial, condemned one who had done no wrong, as if he had committed the greatest crimes; secondly, because the garment which the woman displayed as having been left behind by the young man, was indeed a proof of violence, but not of that which he had committed, but rather of that which had been offered to him, and of the fortitude with which he endured it from the woman; for if he had been offering violence, it was probable that he might have laid hold of the garment of his mistress; but it was owing to his having had violence offered to him that he was deprived of his own. (53) But perhaps he should be pardoned for his excessive ignorance, inasmuch as he lived chiefly in the cook's house, being filled with blood, and smoke, and ashes, his reasoning having no opportunity to become tranquillised and to enjoy leisure in itself, because it was confused still more, or, at all events, not less than the body.

XI. (54) I have already sketched out three characters of the man immersed in civil business; that of him who is occupied as a shepherd, that of the regulator of a house, and that of the man possessed of fortitude: and we have now discussed the two first of these sufficiently. But the temperate man is no less connected with the regulation of political affairs than those two are; (55) for temperance is a beneficial and saving thing for all the affairs of life; and in affairs of state it is most especially so, as those who wish to understand the matter may learn from numerous and easily obtained proofs. (56) For who is there who does not know that great calamities have befallen nations, and districts, and whole countries all over the world, both by land and sea, in consequence of intemperance; for the most numerous and most serious wars have been kindled on account of love, and adultery, and the wiles of women; by which the most numerous and most excellent portion of both of the Grecian and barbarian race has been destroyed, and the youth of the cities has perished. (57) And of the consequences of intemperance, are domestic seditions, and wars, and evils upon evils in unutterable number. It is plain that the consequences of temperance, are stability, and peace, and the acquisition and enjoyment of perfect blessing.

XII. (58) It is worth while, however, to proceed in regular order, and by this course to exhibit what is intended to be intimated by this figurative history. The man who brought this servant of whom we are speaking is said to have been a eunuch; very naturally, for the multitude which purchases the services of a man skilful in affairs of state is truly a eunuch, having in appearance, indeed, the organs of generation, but being deprived of all the power requisite for generating; just as those persons who have a confused sight though they have eyes, are nevertheless deprived of the active use of them, inasmuch as they are not able to see clearly. (59) What, then, is the resemblance of eunuchs to the multitude? That the multitude too is unable to generate wisdom, but that it studies virtue; for when a multitude of men, brought promiscuously together from all quarters and of different races, meets in the same place, what is said indeed may be proper and becoming, but what is intended and what is done is quite contrary; since the multitude embraces what is spurious in preference to what is genuine, because it is carried away by false opinion, and has not studied what is truly honourable. (60) On which account (though it seems a most unnatural thing), a wife is represented as cohabiting with this eunuch; for the multitudes court desire, as a man courts a woman; for the sake of which it says and does everything, making it its counsellor in everything which should and should not be spoken, trifling or important, being not at all accustomed to attend to considerations of calm wisdom; (61) therefore the sacred historian very appropriately calls him the chief cook. For a cook studies nothing beyond the insatiable and immoderate pleasures of the belly, in the same manner the multitude, which is occupied with public affairs, studies only those pleasures and allurements which are conveyed by means of the hearing, by which the energies of the mind are relaxed, as one may say the nerves of the soul are in a manner loosened. (62) And who is there who is not aware of the great quarrel which exists between physicians and cooks; since the first exert all their diligence and ingenuity in preparing things which are salutary, even if they are not pleasant; but the others, on the contrary, prepare only what is pleasant, disregarding what is advantageous? (63) Therefore, the laws which exist among a people and those who govern in accordance with the laws resemble physicians, and so also do those counsellors and judges who have a regard to the common safety and security of the state, and who use no flattery to the people. But the chief body of the younger men resembles cooks; for their object is not to supply what will be beneficial to the people, but only to contrive for the present moment to reap gratification.

XIII. And the desire of the multitude, like an incontinent woman, loves the man who is experienced in state affairs, and says to him: Go forth, my good man, unto the multitude among which you are dwelling, and forget all your own individual disposition, and the pursuits, and discourses, and actions in which you have been brought up. And be guided by me, and attend to me, and do every thing which is agreeable to me; for I cannot endure any thing that is austere and obstinate, and foolishly fond of truth, and pertinaciously adhering to justice, which puts on an air of importance and dignity on all occasions, which yields in no point, and never proposes to itself any object but plain expediency, without any thought of gratifying the hearers. And you do not know the innumerable calumnies which some persons load you with, uttering them to my husband and your master, the multitude; for up to this time you appear to me to have been behaving like a free man, and you seem not at all to know that you are the slave of a very tyrannical master. But if you had understood that independence of action belongs to a free man, but obedience to the orders of others to a slave, you would then, laying aside your self-willed obstinacy, have learnt to look upon me who am his wife, being desire, and to do every thing with a reference to my gratification, by which means you yourself also will receive the greatest pleasure.

XIV. But the statesman is not in reality ignorant that the people has the authority of a master, but still he will not admit that he himself is its slave, but looks upon himself as free, and as entitled to consider mainly the gratification of the soul. And he will say in plain words: I have not learnt to be a slave to the will of the populace, nor will I ever study such a practice, but being desirous to attain to the government and administration of the city like a good steward or well-intentioned father, I will save it in a guileless and honourable manner, without any hostile character. And while I cherish these sentiments I shall be open to examination, concealing nothing, and not hiding any thing like a thief, but keeping my conscience clear as in the light of the sun and of day; for the truth is the light. And I shall fear none of the evils with which they menace me, not even if they threaten me with death; for hypocrisy is in my eyes a more grievous evil than death. And why should I encounter what I look upon in such a light? For even if the populace be a despot, am I therefore a slave, I who am bom of as noble ancestors as any one in the world, entitled to be enrolled as a free citizen in the greatest and most admirable state in this whole world? For as I am not influenced by gifts, nor by exhortations, nor by a love of honours, nor by a desire of power, nor by insolence, nor by a desire of seeming different from what I am, nor by intemperance, nor by cowardice, nor by injustice, nor by any other motive partaking of either passion or wickedness; what can, then, be the dominion of which I have need to fear? Surely it can only be the dominion of men. But they claim authority, indeed, over my body, but none at all over me; for I estimate myself by the more excellent part of myself, namely, by the mind in accordance with which I have determined to live, thinking but little of my mortal body, which sticks to me like a limpet, and even if it is injured by something or other, I shall not be grieved at having got rid of cruel masters and mistresses who are settled within, inasmuch as I shall have escaped the most formidable necessity. If, therefore, it shall be necessary for me to act as a judge, I will decide, neither adhering to any rich man for the sake of his riches, nor gratifying a poor man by reason of my compassion for his misfortunes, but putting out of sight the rank and outward circumstances of those respecting whom I am to judge, I will honestly pronounce in favour of what shall appear to me to be just. And if I am called to counsel I will bring forward such opinions as shall appear to me to be for the common advantage, even though they may not be palatable. And if I am a member of the assembly, leaving flattering speeches to others, I will adopt only such as are advantageous and salutary, reproving, admonishing, correcting, and studying not a frantic and insane license of speech, but a sober freedom. And if any one dislikes improvement, let such a one find fault with parents, and guardians, and teachers, and with all who have the care of youth, because they reprove their own children, or their orphan wards, or their pupils, and sometimes even beat them; and yet they are not to be accused of evil speaking, nor of insolent violence, but on the contrary, they must be looked upon as friends and real well-wishers; for it would be utterly unworthy for me who am experienced in affairs of state, and who have all the interests of the people entrusted to me in discussions respecting what is for the advantage of the commonwealth to behave worse than a man would who has studied the art of a physician; for he would not in the least regard the brilliant position or the accredited good fortune of his patient, nor whether he is of noble birth or of large fortune, nor whether he is the most renowned monarch or tyrant of all his contemporaries, but would attend to one object alone, that, namely, of preserving his health to the best of his power. And if it should be necessary to use excision or cautery, he, though a subject, or as some might say a slave, would cut or burn his governor or his master. But I, who have got for my patient not one man but a whole city sick with those more grievous diseases which the kindred desires have brought upon it, what ought I to do? Shall I, abandoning all idea of what will be of general advantage to the whole state seek to please the ears of this or that man with an ungentleman-like and thoroughly slavish flattery? I would rather choose to die than to speak merely with the object of gratifying the ear, and to conceal the truth, disregarding all thought of what is really advantageous. "Now then," as the tragedian says: "Now then let fire, let biting steel come on; Burn, scorch my flesh, and glut your appetite, Drinking my dark, warm blood; for here I swear, Sooner shall those bright stars which deck the heaven Descend beneath the earth, the earth itself Soar upwards to the sky, than servile words Of flattery creep from out my mouth to thee." But the people, when it is the master, cannot endure a statesman of so masculine a spirit, and one who keeps so completely aloof from the passions, from pleasure, from fear, from grief, from desire; but it arrests its well-wisher and friend and punishes him as an enemy, in doing which it first of all inflicts upon itself the most grievous of all punishments, namely, ignorance; in consequence of which state it does not itself learn that lesson which is the most beautiful and profitable of all, namely, obedience to its governor, from which the knowledge how to govern subsequently springs.

XV. Having now discussed this matter at sumcient length let us see what follows next. The young man, having been calumniated to his master by his master's wife, who was in love with him, and who had invented against him the accusation to which she herself was liable, is not allowed to make any defence, but is led away to prison. And while he was in the prison he displayed such exceeding virtue that even the most abandoned persons there marvelled and were amazed, and looked upon it as an alleviation of their calamities to have found such a man as the averter of evil from them. And of the cruelty and inhumanity of which gaolers are full there is no one who is ignorant. For they are both by nature pitiless, and also by constant practice they are made more and more brutal, and increase in ferocity day by day, never seeing or saying, or doing any good thing, but committing only acts of violence and barbarity. For as men who have very strongly knit bodies, when besides their natural strength they add to it the practice of wrestlers, become stronger still, and acquire an irresistible power and a surpassing perfection of body, so in the same manner when an untameable and implacable nature adds habit to its natural ferocity, it becomes inaccessible to, and immovable by any kind of pity or any single respectable or humane feeling. And as those who associate with good men are improved in their disposition by such association, rejoicing in the pleasant and good persons with whom they are living; so also do they who are living with the wicked take the impression of their wicked ways; for habit is a very powerful thing to put a force upon nature, and to make it resemble itself: now keepers of prisons live among thieves and robbers, and housebreakers, and men of insolence and violence, and murderers, and adulterers, and plunderers of temples, from every one of whom they contract some wickedness, and collect a sort of contribution: and from their manifold mixture, make up one thoroughly confused and wholly polluted iniquity.

XVI. Nevertheless, even such a man as this was propitiated by the virtue of this young man, and not only gave him liberty and security, but even entrusted to him a share of authority over all the prisoners; so that in word, indeed, and as far as the title went, he continued to be the goaler; but in reality he had made over all the active part of the work to the young man, in consequence of which conduct of his the prisoners were benefited in no slight degree. Accordingly they no longer thought fit to call the place a prison, but a house of correction: for instead of tortures and punishments which they had previously undergone night and day, being beaten and bound with chains, and suffering every imaginable kind of ill-treatment; they were now admonished with the language and doctrines of philosophy, and also by the life and conduct of their teacher, which was more effective than any discourse in the world; for he, by placing his own life full of temperance and every kind of virtue before them, as a picture and well-constructed model of virtue, changed even those who had appeared to be utterly incurable, so that the long diseases of their souls now got a respite, since they were afflicting themselves for what they had hitherto done, and were repenting of it, and uttering such expressions as these, "Where was there all this good formerly which we originally failed to find? For behold! now it shines forth to such a degree that we are ashamed to face it, seeing our deformity in it as in a looking-glass."

XVII. While they then were being improved in this manner two of the king's eunuchs are brought into the prison; the one being his chief butler, and the other his chief baker, having been accused and condemned for malversation in the offices committed to their charge. And Joseph took the same care of them that he took of the others, praying that he might be able to make all those who were entrusted to his care in no respect inferior to irreproachable persons. And when no long period had elapsed, he went to visit his prisoners on one occasion, when he saw these eunuchs more full of perplexity, and more downcast than they had been before; and conjecturing from their excessive grief that some strange event had befallen them, he inquired the reason of their sorrow. And when they answered him, that they were full of distress and perplexity because they had seen dreams, and because there was no one who could interpret them to them, he said "Be of good cheer, and relate them to me; for so, if God will, you shall be led to understand them; for he is willing to reveal, to those who are desirous of the truth, those things which are concealed in darkness." Then the chief butler spoke first, and said, "I thought that a great vine grew up, having three roots, and one very vigorous trunk, and flourishing, and bearing bunches of grapes as if in the height of autumn, and when the grapes became dark and ripe I picked the bunches, and squeezed the grapes into the king's cup, in order to convey to my sovereign a sufficient quantity of unmixed wine." And Joseph, pausing for awhile, said, "Thy vision announces good fortune to thee, and a recovery of thy former situation; for the three roots of the vine signify figuratively three days, after which the king will remember thee, and will send for thee from hence, and will pardon thee, and will permit thee to resume thy former rank, and shalt again pour him out wine for confirmation of thy authority, and shalt give the cup into thy master's hand." And the chief butler rejoiced when he heard these things.

XVIII. And the chief baker, gladly receiving this interpretation, and rejoicing in the idea that he too had seen a favourable dream (though his dream was of a very contrary character), being deceived by the fair hopes which were held out to the other, spoke as follows:—"And I, too, fancied that I was carrying a basket, and that I was holding three baskets full of cakes upon my head. And the upper basket was full of all sorts of cakes which the king was accustomed to eat; and there were in it confections and delicacies of all kinds imaginable for the king's food: and the birds flew down and took them from off my head, and devoured them insatiably till they had eaten them all up; and none of the things which I had so skilfully prepared were left." Joseph replied, "I wish that the vision had not appeared to you, or that, having appeared, it had been concealed in silence; or that, if any one would speak of it, he had done so at a distance, so that I might not have heard him, and that his account had been given out of the reach ot my ears, for I disliked to bs a messenger of evil: for sympathise with those who are in distress, being greatly grieved at what befalls them by reason of my own humanity. But since interpreters of dreams are bound to speak the truth, since they are interpreters of the divine oracles, and prophets of the divine will, I will explain your dream to you, and conceal nothing; for to speak truly is in every case the best thing, and is, moreover, the most holy of all holy speeches. The three baskets are a symbol of three days: and after three days the king will command you to be crucified, and your head to be cut off, and the birds will fly down and feast upon your flesh, until you are wholly devoured." And the chief baker, as was natural, was confused at this, and cast down greatly, expecting the fate which was thus denounced against him, and being full of misery in his mind. But when the three days had passed, the king's birth-day came, on which all the natives of the country made an assembly and a feast, and especially those in the king's palace. Therefore, while the magistrates were feasting, and while all the household and all the servants were revelling as in a public banquet, the king, remembering his eunuchs who were in prison, commanded them to be brought; and when he had seen them he confirmed the interpretation of their dreams which Joseph had given, ordering one of them to be crucified, and to have his head cut off, and restoring to the other the office which he had formerly enjoyed.

XIX. But the chief butler, after he was released, forgot him who had foretold his release to him, and who had alleviated all the misfortunes which had befallen him, perhaps, indeed, because every ungrateful man is forgetful of benefits, and perhaps, too, because of the providence of God, who designed that the prosperity of the young man should not be owing to man, but rather to himself; for after two years he, by means of a dream, and by two visions, predicted to the king the good and evil which was about to happen to his land, each of the visions indicating the same thing, so as to produce a firmer belief in them. For he thought that seven oxen were coming slowly up out of the river, fat and very well fleshed, beautiful to look upon, and that they began to feed by the river; after which seven others, equal in number, destitute of flesh in a strange degree, and very lean, came up, exceedingly ill-favoured, and they too fed alongside of the others. Then, on a sudden the better oxen were devoured by the inferior ones, and yet those who ate them were in none, not even in the very slightest degree, increased in bulk in their bodies, but were still leaner than before, or, at all events, not less lean; and when he had awakened and gone to sleep a second time, he had a second vision appear to him; for he thought that seven ears of wheat sprang up from one root, equal in magnitude, and that they grew and flourished, and rose up to a height with great vigour; and then that seven other ears, thin and weak, grew up near them, and the root with good ears was devoured by the weak ears when they too had grown up. Seeing this sight he remained sleepless all the rest of the night, for cares stinging and wounding him kept him awake, and at dawn he sent for the sophists and related his dream; and as none of them was able, by any probable conjectures, to trace out the truth, the chief butler came forward and said, "O master, there is a hope that you may find the man whom you are seeking; for when I and the chief baker had done evil against you you ordered us to be committed to prison; and in that prison there was a servant of the chief cook, a Hebrew, to whom both the chief baker and I related some dreams which had appeared to us, and he answered them with such felicity and accuracy of interpretation, that all that he foretold to either of us came to pass, the punishment to the chief baker, which was appointed to him, and I found you favourable and merciful to me."

XX. Therefore the king hearing these things, orders men to go in haste and summon the young man before him; but they having cut his hair, for the hair, both of his head and of his beard, had grown very long while he was kept in prison, and having given him a splendid garment instead of a sordid one, and having adorned him in other ways, led him before the king; who, perceiving from his appearance that he was a free-born and noble man (for there are certain outward characteristics which are stamped upon the persons of some people whom one sees, which are not visible to all, but only to such as have very clear-sighted eyes in their mind), said, "My soul forebodes that my dreams will not be altogether permanently hidden in uncertainty; for this young man exhibits an appearance of wisdom, by which he will be able to reveal the truth, and, as it were, dissipate the darkness by light, and the ignorance of the sophists at our court by his knowledge," And then he related to him his dream. But Joseph, without being at all dismayed at the rank and majesty of the speaker, conversed with him rather as a king with a subject than like a subject with a king, using freedom of speech, though mingled with respect, and he said: God has shown you before what he is about to do in your country. Do not imagine that the two visions which have appeared to thee are two different dreams; they are but one and the reduplication of them is not superfluous, but is intended to produce the conviction of a firmer belief; for the seven fat oxen, and the seven flourishing and vigorous ears of corn, show seven years of great fertility and plenty; and the seven lean and ill-favoured oxen which came up after the fat ones, and the seven withered and shrivelled ears of corn, denote seven other years of famine; therefore the first period of seven years thus denoted will arrive first, having great and abundant fertility of crops, in which the river will every year overflow all the land of Egypt with inundations, and all the plains, as if they had never been irrigated or fertilised before. And after these years there will come a period of seven years entirely contrary to them bringing with it a terrible want and scarcity of necessary things, during which time the river will not overflow, nor will the earth be fertilised, so that it will forget its former prosperity, and so that all that was left from the former abundance of the crops will be consumed. This then is the interpretation of the dreams which have appeared to you. But there is something divine which prompts me and communicates some suggestions to me which may be salutary in this disease; and the most terrible disease of all cities and countries is famine, which must be checked or mitigated to some degree that it may not be so exceedingly strong as to devour the inhabitants; how then can it be mitigated? That which shall be more than sufficient of the crop in the seven years, during which the plenty lasts, after having taken so much as is adequate to the nourishment of the people, and that will be perhaps a fifth part, must be stored up in granaries in the cities and villages, not removing the crops to any great distance but storing them in the countries to which they belong, and keeping them there for the relief of the people who dwell in each district; and it will be well to bring together the crop with the sheaves, not thrashing it out, nor winnowing, nor sifting it at all, for four reasons. First of all, because if it is thus protected by the straw it will remain uninjured a longer time; secondly, in order that every year the people may be reminded of the former period of plenty while they are threshing and winnowing; for the imitation of the former real blessings is calculated to produce a second pleasure; thirdly, in order to prevent any exact calculation of the quantity stored up, as, while the crop is in the ear and in the sheaf, it is of uncertain amount and not easily to be described; that so the hearts of the people of the land may not faint beforehand at the consumption of what has been treasured up, but may use with cheerfulness the nourishment of the corn which is thus provided for them, (for hope is of all things the most strengthening), and so may to a certain extent feel relief in the bitter disease of scarcity; fourthly, because in this way fodder may also be provided for the cattle, as the straw and the chaff derived from the threshing of the wheat will be of use to them in this way. And you must appoint a man to superintend all these measures, of great prudence, and great acuteness, and well approved in all matters, who may be able without incurring hatred or envy to do all that I have here described in a proper manner, without giving to the multitude any reason to suspect the impending famine; for it would be a sad thing for them to anticipate their distress, and so to faint in their souls through despair; and if any one should inquire the reason of all this being done, the superintendent may say that, as in peace it is right to provide things that may be necessary in war, so also it is desirable in years of plenty to provide against want; and that wars and famines are in their nature uncertain, and in short so are all the different events which befall men unexpectedly at different times; for which therefore it is necessary to be prepared; and not when such things have befallen one, then to seek a remedy when it is no longer of any avail."

XXI. And when the king had heard these words, and had seen that the interpretation of the dreams did thus with felicity and accuracy of conjecture arrive at the truth, and that the advice which the young man gave appeared to be of exceeding use in the way of providing against the uncertainty of the future, he ordered those who were about him to approach nearer so that they might hear what he said; and then he spoke as follows: Can we, O men, find any man equal to this man who has the spirit of God resting on him? And when they all praised his words, and raised their voices in accordance with them, he looked on Joseph as he was standing before him and said: The man whom you advise me to seek out is near at hand; the wise and intelligent man whom we have need of is at no great distance; you yourself are he whom, in accordance with your recommendation, we ought to seek for, for you do not appear to me to have been inspired by anything short of God himself, when you said what you have now said to me. Go then, and take the superintendence of my household and the government of all Egypt; and no one will blame my indifference or easiness, as if I were yielding to indolence and selfish love of ease, under this calamity so difficult to be remedied; for great natures are often tested without requiring a long time for their examination, compelling men by their intrinsic weight and power to be rapid, and to discard all delay in receiving them, and some affairs do not admit of any delay or procrastination when the occasions compel us to necessary promptness of action. After speaking thus, Pharaoh appointed Joseph his lieutenant in the kingdom, or rather, if one is to speak the exact truth, actual king, leaving to himself only the name of kingly power; but in reality yielding up the whole sovereignty to him, and behaving in every respect so as to confer honour on the young man. Therefore he gave him a royal seal, and a sacred robe, and a golden circlet to go round his neck, and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had, and commanded him in that state to go round the city, a herald also going round with him, and announcing his appointment to those who were ignorant of it. Moreover, he changed his name with reference to his interpretation of dreams, giving him an appellation according to the language of the country, and he gave him for his wife the most beautiful and noble of all the women in Egypt, the daughter of the priest of the sun. These things happened when Joseph was about thirty years of age. And such is the end of pious persons; for, even if they stumble they do not wholly fall, but rise again after an interval, and are re-established in a firm and solid manner, so as not to be completely prostrated. For who would ever have expected that in one day the same man would become a master from having been a slave, and from having been a prisoner would rise up the most illustrious of men, and that the under turnkey of the keeper of the prison would become the king's lieutenant, and that he would dwell in the king's palace instead of in the gaol, having the highest honour in the whole land instead of being held in the greatest disrepute? Nevertheless these things really did come to pass, and similar things often will come to pass when it seems good to God. Only let there be one single spark of excellence and virtue implanted in the soul, and that must some day or other be fanned into a flame and shine forth.

XXII. But since we have proposed to ourselves to give not only an explanation of the literal account given to us, but also of its more figurative meaning, we must say what is necessary to be said concerning that also. Perhaps now some persons of rash and inconsiderate dispositions will laugh; nevertheless, I will speak without concealing anything. And I will say that the statesman is at all times an interpreter of dreams, not classing him by this statement among the charlatans and vain chatterers, and men who put forth sophistical pretences by way of making money, or among those who profess the explanation of visions which have appeared to persons in their sleep in the hope of acquiring gain; but I mean that the statesman is accustomed to interpret accurately the great, and common, and universal general dreams, not only of sleeping but also of waking persons. And this dream, to speak the truth, is the life of man; for as in the visions which appear to us in sleep, which seeing we do not see, and hearing we do not hear, and tasting and touching we do not either taste or touch, and speaking we do not speak, and walking we do not walk, and while appearing to exert other motions or to win other positions wo are not in reality in any such motions or positions; but they are mere empty fancies without any truth in them of the mind which fancies to itself a sketch, and makes to itself a representation of things which are not, as if they were; and in like manner the fancies which occur to waking people resemble the dreams of sleepers. They have come, they have departed; they have appeared, they have disappeared; before they could be scarcely comprehended they have flown away. And let every one who dreams in this way inquire within himself and he will find a proof of these things within, and without any proofs from me he will know the truth of what I say, especially if he happens to be at all an old man. He was at one time an infant, and after that a child, and then a boy, and then a youth, and subsequently a young man, and then a man, and last of all an old man, but he was not all these things at the same time. Did not the infant disappear before the child, and the child before the boy, and the boy before the youth, and the youth before the young man, and the young man before the full-grown man, and the man in the prime of life before the old man? and did not old age disappear in death? Perhaps, also, every one of the different ages of life yields in vigour to the one which comes next to it, and so dies before its time, nature by these means teaching us not to fear the death which comes upon all men, inasmuch as we have found it easy to bear the previous deaths, the death that is of the infant, and that of the child, and that of the boy, and that of the youth, and that of the young man, and that of the full grown man, not one of whom exist any longer when old age has arrived.

XXIII. And are not all the other things, relating to the body, dreams? Is not beauty an ephemeral thing, wasting away almost before it comes to its prime? And is not health an unsure thing by reason of the weaknesses which lie in wait to upset it? Again, is not strength a thing easily destroyed by diseases arising from innumerable causes? and is not the accuracy of all our outward senses easily overturned by the entrance of any vicious humour? As to external things, who is there who is ignorant of the uncertainty of them? In one day vast riches have often come absolutely to nothing? Numbers of persons who have been of the highest consideration, and who have enjoyed the highest honours that the earth affords, have come into disrepute from causes which they neglected or despised. The most mighty powers and authority of kings have been overthrown, and have disappeared in a very brief moment of time. There is an example to testify to the truth of my argument in Dionysius, who lived at Corinth, who had been tyrant of Sicily, and who, after he was expelled from his dominions, took refuge in Corinth; and though he had been so mighty a sovereign, became a schoolmaster. There is another witness to the same point in Croesus, the king of Lydia, the wealthiest of all monarchs, who, having conceived the hope of destroying the kingdom of the Persians, not only lost all his men, but was taken prisoner, and was at the point of being burnt alive. And there are witnesses of dreams not only among men, but also among cities, and nations, and countries; Greece is such, and the region of the barbarians, and inhabitants of continents, and islanders, and Europe and Asia, and the west, and the east; for absolutely nothing whatever has ever remained in its original condition; but everything has in every particular been subject to change. Egypt had once the supreme authority over many nations, but now it is a slave. The Macedonians at one time were so nourishing and powerful that they had obtained the supreme dominion over the whole world; but now they pay yearly tribute, which is levied on them by their masters, to the collectors of the revenue. Where is the house of the Ptolemies, and the glory of all the individual successors of Alexander which at one time shone over all the bounds both of earth and sea? Where is the liberty of so many independent nations and cities? On the other hand, where is the slavery of those which were subject to them? Did not the Persians at one time reign over the Parthians? and do not the Parthians now, through the changes of human affairs, and through the extraordinary and total alterations which are continually taking place, rule over the Persians? Some persons natter themselves with ideas of long and interminable prosperity; but they find that their good fortune is only the beginning of great calamities; and hastening forward as if to an inheritance of good things, they find instead, terrible reverses; and on the contrary it has often happened, that when they have expected evil fortune they have met with good. Athletes, who have prided themselves on their personal good condition, and power, and vigour of body, and who have hoped to obtain an indisputable victory, have often been either refused permission to contend for the prize at all, not having been approved of, or else, after they have descended into the arena, they have been defeated; while others who have despaired of arriving even at the second honours, have been crowned with the garland of victory, and have carried off the first prize. Again, some persons setting sail in the summer (for that is the season for fair voyages) have been shipwrecked; while others, who have expected to be overwhelmed by reason of being forced to put to sea, have reached their harbour uninjured, without having even incurred any danger. As some merchants hasten forward as if to confessed gain, being ignorant of the losses which are awaiting them; while others who have anticipated losses, have in effect met with great profits—so very uncertain is fortune on either side, whether for good or evil; and human affairs are as it were, weighed in a scale, being lightened or depressed according as the weights in each scale are unequal. And a terrible indistinctness and dense darkness is spread over human affairs. And we wander about as if in a deep sleep, without being able to arrive at anything with perfect accuracy of reasoning, or to seize hold of anything with a firm and retentive grasp; for all things are like shadows and phantoms. And as in processions, what comes first passes by quickly and escapes the sight; and as in torrents, the stream which is hurried by outruns, by its swiftness and rapidity, the comprehension of man, so likewise do the affairs of life, being rapidly borne onwards, and passing by swiftly, appear indeed, to be stationary, but in fact, do not stand still a moment, but are continually being dragged onwards. And men awake too, who, as far as the uncertain character of their comprehensions goes, are in no respect different from people asleep, deceiving themselves, think themselves competent to contemplate the nature of things with reasoning powers which cannot err; in whose case every one of their external senses is a hindrance to knowledge, being hurried by spectacles, and by peculiarities of flavours or odours, to which they incline, and by which they are perverted, and in consequence of which they prevent any part of the soul from being in a sound state, and from advancing without stumbling as if along a level road. And humble pride, and great littleness, and all other similar states which are made up of inequality and anomaly, compel men to walk in a sort of giddiness, and create great dizziness and perplexity.

XXIV. Since, then, life is full of all this irregularity, and confusion, and indistinctness, it is necessary that the statesman as well as the philosopher should approach the science of the interpretation of dreams, so as to understand the dreams and visions which appear by day to people who believe themselves to be awake, being guided by probable conjectures and rational probabilities, and in this way he must explain each separate one, and show that such and such a thing is honourable, another disgraceful, that this is good or that is bad; that this thing is just, that thing is on the contrary unjust; and so on in the same way with respect to prudence, and courage, and piety, and holiness, and expediency, and usefulness; and in like manner of the opposite things, with respect to what was not useful nor reasonable, what was ignoble, impious, unholy, inexpedient, pernicious, and selfish. Moreover, he warns you in this way: is this something belonging to another? do not covet it. Is it your own? use it as not using it. Have you great abundance? share it with others; for the beauty of riches is not in the purse, but in the power it gives one to succour those who are in need. Have you but little? do not envy those who have much; no one will pity a poor man who is always envious. Are you in high reputation, and are you held in much honour? be not insolent on that account. Are you lowly in your fortunes? still let not your spirit be depressed. Does everything succeed with you according to your wish? fear a change. Do you often stumble? hope for good fortune hereafter; for the changes of human affairs are apt to be in a direction opposite to the course they have formerly taken. The moon and the sun, indeed, and the whole of the heaven has clearness bright and distinct, inasmuch as all things are alike which exist permanently in the heaven; and as they are all measured by the rules of truth itself, in harmonious order and in the most admirable agreement. But as for earthly things, which are full of great disorder and confusion, they are inharmonious and discordant, to speak with perfect correctness, so that dense darkness has overtaken some of them, while others resemble the most brilliant light, or rather they are themselves the clearest and purest of light. If, therefore, any one should wish to look closely into the nature of things, he will find that heaven is everlasting day, free from all participation in night or in any kind of shade, inasmuch as it is surrounded uninterruptedly by a brilliant display of inextinguishable and unadulterated light. And in the same proportion as among us those who are awake are superior to those who are asleep, so also in the universal world the things of heaven are superior to the things of earth; since the one enjoys an everlasting wakefulness which knows no sleep, on account of its energies which never stray, and never stumble, and which proceed rightly and successfully in every thing; while the others are oppressed by sleep, and if they wake up for a short time they are again pulled down and buried in slumber; because they are unable to look steadfastly and correctly at any thing with their souls, but are always straying and stumbling. For they are overshadowed by false opinions, by which they are compelled to submit to dreams, and are always behind the real truth, and are unable to comprehend any thing with a firm and tenacious grasp.

XXV. Moreover, Joseph is figuratively said to have been mounted upon the second best chariot which the king had, for the following reason. The statesman stands in the second rank next to the king; for he is not a private individual nor a king, but some one on the confines between the two. Being indeed superior to a private individual, and inferior in respect of authority to an absolute and independent king, having the people for his king, on behalf of whom he has determined to do every thing with a pure and perfectly guileless good faith; and he is borne as it were on high in a well-built chariot, being lifted on high both by the things committed to his charge and by the people, and especially so when he contains in his mind every thing, whether small or great, without any one ever opposing or resisting him, but all being cheerfully governed by him under God to their own safety like sailors enjoying a fair voyage. And the ring which the king gives him is the most manifest proof of confidence which the people, his king, places in the statesman, and also of that trust with which the statesman relies on the people which is as powerful as a king. And the golden circlet round his neck appears to indicate figuratively both high reputation and punishment at the same moment. For as long as all the affairs which concern the administration of the state proceed prosperously as far as he is concerned, he is proud, and is looked upon with veneration, and is honoured by the multitudes. But the moment that any unforeseen mishap occurs to him, not indeed intended, for such error deserves reproach, but arising from pure chance, which always deserves pardon, he is not the less dragged downwards by the ornament around his neck, and is humbled, his master all but saying to him in plain words, "I, indeed, gave you this circlet, to be around thy neck, to be both an ornament while my affairs were going on well, and a halter when they were proceeding unfavourably."

XX. Moreover, I have also heard people discussing this passage with great apparent accuracy in a more figurative manner and according to quite a different interpretation. And their notion of it is this. They say that the king of Egypt means our mind: the governor of the region of the body in every individual in us, and who like a king claims the supreme power. And by him when he has become devoted to the service of the body three objects are especially laboured at as being accounted worthy of exceeding care, namely, meat, and sweetmeats, and drinkables. With reference to which fact he also employs three persons to superintend the objects aforesaid, his chief baker, and his chief butler, and his chief cook. The one of whom presides over those things which relate to eating, the second over those things which belong to drinking, and the last to those sweetenings and sauces which belong to the confections. And they are all eunuchs; because the man who is devoted to pleasure is barren and unproductive of every thing which is most necessary, such as modesty, temperance, continence, justice, and every kind of virtue. For there is no one thing so hostile to another as pleasure is to virtue, for the sake of which most people neglect all those matters which alone it is worth while to attend to, gratifying their unrestrained appetites, and submitting to all the commands which they impose upon them. Therefore, the chief cook is not committed to prison at all, nor does he fall into any misfortune, because his sauces and sweetenings are not among the things which are very necessary, not being pleasures but only provocations to pleasure, such as are easily extinguished. But of the two who are occupied in the employment of the miserable belly, the chief baker and the chief butler, since eating and drinking are of all the things which are useful to life those which, have the greatest power to keep the being together, and those who have the management of those things, if they bestow great care upon them, do very justly obtain praise; while, if they neglect them, they are thought worthy of anger or punishment. But there is a difference in their punishments, because the need of the two things is different; that of food being the most indispensable, but that of wine not being very useful; for men can live without any wine, using only the pure drink of spring water. On which account there is a reconciliation made with, and pardon bestowed upon, the chief butler, as upon one who has erred in the least important particular. But the offences of the chief baker admit of no reconciliation and of no forgiveness, but incur an anger which leads to death, as he has been guilty of wrong in the most necessary matters; for want of food is followed by death. On which account he who has erred on these points very appropriately is put to death by hanging, suffering an evil similar to that which he has inflicted; for he also has hanged, and suffocated, and stretched out the famishing man by means of hunger.

XXVII. This is enough to say on this subject. Accordingly Joseph, being appointed the king's lieutenant, and having undertaken the government and superintendence of the whole of Egypt, went forth in order to become acquainted with all the natives, and investigated all the laws that were established in the different cities, and caused a great affection for himself to arise in the breasts of those who saw him, not only because of the services which he conferred upon every one of them, but also by the unspeakable and unrivalled graces of his appearance and by the courtesy with which he associated with them. But when, in accordance with the interpretation of the dreams, the first seven years of fertility arrived, he collected one-fifth of the produce every year by means of his subordinate officers and others who were employed under him in the public offices, and by this means he collected such a vast quantity of sheaves of corn as no one recollected as having ever existed at any previous time. And the most evident proof of this is that they could not possibly be counted, even although thousands and thousands of persons were occupied in the task, whose sole business it was to devote all their energies to count them. And when these seven years had passed, during which the plain of Egypt was fertile, the famine began, which, as it proceeded and increased, was not confined to Egypt; for as it became diffused, and from time to time extended, so as to be always comprehending fresh cities and countries in succession, it reached to tbe farthest borders of the land, both in the eastern and western direction, so as to reach at last over the whole world all around. Accordingly, it is said that no general pestilence ever extended so widely, not even that which the sons of the physicians call "the creeping pestilence;" for that also attacks all parts at once, and proceeding onwards rapidly like fire, utterly and completely devours the whole mass of the ulcerated body. Accordingly, they selected the men of the highest reputation in every district, and sent them into Egypt to procure corn; for already the prudence of the young man was celebrated in all quarters, who had, thus provided abundant food against a time of necessity. And he at first commanded all the treasure-houses to be opened, calculating that he should make the people more cheerful when they had beheld the store that was provided, and that in some degree he should be feeding their souls rather than their bodies on good hopes. After that, by means of those to whom the office of regulating the distribution of corn was committed, he sold it to all who wished to buy, keeping a constant eye on the future, and seeing what was impending even more clearly than the present.

XXVIII. And at this crisis, his father also, [Genesis xliii. 1] since his necessary food had by this time become scarce, not being aware of the good fortune of his son, sent ten of his sons to buy food, keeping the youngest at home, who was the uterine and own brother of the king's lieutenant. And they, when they had arrived in Egypt, met their brother as if he were a stranger, and being amazed at the dignity with which they beheld him surrounded, they addressed him with prostration according to the ancient fashion, their dreams now receiving confirmation and fulfilment. And he, when he beheld those who had sold him, immediately recognised them all, though he was not in the least recognised by any one of them himself, since God was not yet willing to reveal the truth on account of some necessary causes which at that time it was better should be buried in silence; and therefore he either altered the countenance of their brother who governed the country, so as to give him a more dignified appearance, or else he perverted the accurate judgment of the mind of those who beheld him. But he acted not like a young man who, being the lieutenant and magistrate invested with such extensive powers, and having attained to the authority next to that of the king himself, to whom the east and west looked up, and elated with the pride of manhood and the vastness of his authority, might now that the opportunity of revenge had presented itself, have shown his remembrance of the ill-treatment which he had received; but he bore what happened with self-restraint, and governed his own soul, and with great prudence feigned a perfect ignorance of and strangeness to them, and both by his looks, and by his voice, and by all the rest of his behaviour he pretended to be displeased at them. He said to them, "My men, you say nothing peaceful; but some one of the king's enemies has sent you forth as spies, and you, performing a base service for him, have expected to escape detection. But nothing that is done treacherously does escape detection, even if it be enveloped in profound darkness." And when they endeavoured to make excuses for themselves, they argued that he was accusing them of what had never taken place, for that they had not come from a hostile people, and that they were not themselves imbued with any unfriendly feelings towards the people of the country, and that they could never have been induced to undertake such an office as that of spies, for that they were by nature men, of peace, and that they had learnt, almost from their childhood, from a most holy, and pious, and religious father, to honour stability and tranquillity; and that their father was a man who had had twelve sons, the youngest of whom, as he was not yet of an age to bear a long journey, was remaining at home, while we, whom you see here are ten more, and the remaining one is not.

XXIX. When he heard this, and heard those who had sold him all speak of him as dead, what think you did Joseph feel in his soul? for even if he did not utter the feelings which then encompassed him, still they unquestionably were burning within his breast, and exciting, and kindling strange emotions within him; nevertheless, with deep wisdom and humanity does he address them, saying, "If, in good truth, you have not come hither to spy the land, then, in order to prove your good faith to me, remain here some short period, and write a letter and send for your youngest brother, and let him come to you; or if, for your father's sake, you are anxious to depart, lest he perchance may be alarmed at your protracted absence, in that case depart all the rest of you, but let one of you remain behind as a hostage, until you return again with your youngest brother; and if you do not obey, then the most terrible death shall be your punishment." He then threatened them in this manner, looking sternly at them, and giving every sign of violent anger, as far as appearances could go, and so he left them. But they, being full of consciousness and depression, afflicted themselves for their former treachery towards their brother, saying, "That wickedness which we committed is the cause of all our present evils, since justice, which takes the regulation of all human affairs, is now contriving some punishment for us; for having been quiet for a short time it is now awakened, displaying its nature, which is at all times relentless and implacable towards those who are deserving of punishment, and how can we deny that we are deserving of it? We in a merciless manner disregarded our brother when he besought us and supplicated us, though he had done no wrong, but had only, in the fulness of his natural affection, related to us, as to his nearest relations, the visions which had appeared to him in sleep; for which cause we, the most brutal and savage of men, became enraged, and committed (for we must not now deny the truth) most impious actions; therefore let us now expect to suffer these things and even worse, we who, though we are almost the only men in the whole world who are called noble by birth, by reason of the exceeding virtues of our fathers, and grandfathers, and ancestors, have nevertheless disgraced our kindred, hastening to cover ourselves with notorious infamy." But the eldest of the brethren, who also at the very beginning had opposed them when they were originally concocting their treachery, said to them, "Repentance is useless after the thing has been done; I exhorted you, I entreated you, pointing out to you how enormous the impiety you were meditating was, I begged you not to indulge your passion; but though you ought to have assented to me, you yielded to your own inconsiderate folly; therefore, we now are reaping the fruit of your self-will and impiety, and now the treachery which we exercised towards him is required at our hands; and he who requires it is not man, but either God, or reason, or the law of God."

XXX. The brother whom they had sold heard them conversing in this manner without saying anything himself, as, he had hitherto spoken to them by an interpreter. And being overcome by his feelings, he was unable to restrain his tears, and turned away that he might not be seen by them, and pouring forth hot and incessant tears, and so, having relieved himself for a short time, he wiped his eyes and returned to them, and commanded the second in age of the brothers to be bound in the sight of them all, since he, as it were, corresponded to himself, who was the youngest but one; for in a large number the second corresponds to the last but one, as the first does to the last. Perhaps too, he bound him because the greatest share of the guilt belonged to him, as he was almost the original author of the plot against him, and as it was he who excited the others to the enmity which they displayed against him; for if he had arrayed himself on the side of the eldest when he gave his merciful and humane counsel, being younger than he, but older than all the rest, perhaps, and indeed most probably, the iniquity would have been checked, in consequence of those who had the highest rank and honour agreeing and co-operating together in the matter, which fact would have carried great weight with it; but now, he, departing from the merciful and more excellent side of the question, went over to the unmerciful and cruel one, and putting himself forward as the leader of it, he in this way encouraged those who were inclined to join him in his audacious action, so that they unshrinkingly carried out their nefarious purpose. This is the reason why he appears to me to have been selected from the whole body for the purpose of being bound. But the others now prepared for their return home, since the governor of the country had given charge to the officers to whom the sale of the wheat was entrusted to fill all the bags of his brothers, as though they had been strangers, and privily to replace in the mouths of their sacks the money which they had brought, without mentioning to any one that they had so restored it; and in the third place, to give them also abundant food which might be sufficient, and more than sufficient for them, on the way, in order that the corn which they had bought might be conveyed undiminished to their father. But while they were on their way, and expressing, as was natural, their compassion for their brother who was in prison, and being equally grieved also for their father's sake at this second calamity which he was to hear of, his flourishing family of children being thus diminished and curtailed at every journey, and saying that he would never believe that he was kept in prison, because those who had been once stricken with misfortune are always dreading a repetition of the same calamity, evening overtook them, and having relieved their beasts of their burdens, they lightened them, but received themselves heavier anxiety than ever in their minds; for in times of rest to the body, the mind receives the impression made by unexpected events more readily, so as to be very severely weighed down and oppressed by them.

XXXI. For one of them, having opened one of the sacks, saw in the mouth of it his purse full of money; and when he had counted it, he found the whole price which he had paid down for the corn restored to him; and being amazed, he brought it to his brothers; and they, not imagining that it was meant as a favour to them, but rather, suspecting that it was a plot against them, were in great despondency and wishing to examine all their sacks, set off again for fear of being pursued, and made all imaginable speed, almost, as one may say, running without stopping to take breath, and so they completed a journey which should have taken many days, in a short time. Then, one after another embracing their father, with copious tears, they all clung to him, and kissed him; and while he returned their embraces, although his soul speedily began to forebode some new calamity, for while they were thus approaching and saluting him he perceived the absence of the son who was left behind, and in his own mind blamed him for his slowness in being behind the others; for he was looking at them as they came in, being anxious to behold the number of his children complete. But when no one from without came in besides, they, seeing that he was in a state of agitated suspense, said, "O my father! doubt is worse than even the certain knowledge of unexpected calamities; for when one is certainly apprised of such, one may discover a road to safety: but ignorance and doubt are the cause of error and perplexity; listen then, to the sad story which we have to tell, but which still must be told. The brother whom you sent along with us to buy corn, and who has not returned with us, is alive; for we must release you from the more terrible apprehension that he may be dead; but he is alive, and is remaining in Egypt with the governor of the country, who, whether it be from any false accusation which has been laid against us, or from any suspicion which he has himself conceived, charged us with being spies. And when we said all that the time would allow us to say in our defence, and mentioned you as being our father, and the brothers who were not of our company, one of them being dead, and the other remaining with you, who we said tarried behind at home on account of his age, inasmuch as he was still a child, making known and revealing to him all the circumstances of our family by reason of our absence of all suspicion, we availed nothing; but he said, that the only proof that could be given him of our truth and honesty would be the coming of our youngest brother to see him; for which reason he also detained the second of us, as a pledge and surety for his coming. Therefore his command is most grievous to us. But the occasion is also more imperious than even his command, which we must necessarily submit to from our want of necessaries, since Egypt is the only country which can supply us, who are thus oppressed by famine, with necessary food."

XXXII. But he, groaning most bitterly, said, "Whom shall I lament first? the youngest but one, who was not the last, but the first to encounter the series of disasters which has befallen our family? or the second, on whom the second evil has fallen, namely, captivity, which is only inferior in misery to death? or the youngest, who is now to undertake that most detestable journey, since go he must, without being warned by the calamities which have befallen his brethren? and I, torn to pieces as to all my limbs and all my parts (for children are the limbs of their parents), am in danger of becoming utterly childless who was so short a time ago accounted happy in the number and excellence of my children." But the eldest replied, "I give you my two sons as hostages, the only children that I have, slay them if I bring not back again to you, safe and sound, the brother whom you entrust to my hand, and who, by his visit to Egypt, will effect two things of the greatest importance for us; first, he will give a most evident proof that we are not spies and enemies; and, secondly, he will enable us to recover our brother, whom we have left in captivity."

But as his father was much grieved and said that he did not know what to do, because while he had but two sons of one mother, one of them was now dead, and the other was left desolate and almost alone, so that he dreaded the journey, and though alive would die from fear before he could accomplish it, from a recollection of those fearful events which his elder brother had encountered; while he wa.s speaking thus, the brethren put forward as their spokesman him who was the boldest among them, and by his nature inclined to take the lead, and who was eloquent in speech, and he said what seemed good to them all; for they agreed, as their necessary food was falling short, for the corn which they had previously bought was now exhausted, and as the famine was again pressing upon and overwhelming them, to go for more in one united body, but not to go at all if the youngest still remained behind; because the governor of the country had forbidden them to appear before him without him.

And their father, calculating like a wise man that it was better to expose one son to the uncertain and doubtful danger of the future, than to encounter the certain loss of so large a family, which the whole house must endure if they continued to be overwhelmed by the present scarcity, that most incurable of diseases, says to them, "But if the necessity which presses upon us is more powerful than my wishes, we must yield: for perhaps, perhaps I say, nature may be devising something better which she does not choose as yet to reveal to our minds. Depart, therefore, taking with you your youngest brother as you have determined; but do not go in the same manner as ye went in before. For formerly you had only need of money to buy corn, since no one knew you, and since you had not at that time suffered any intolerable calamity. But now you require presents also; for three reasons. First of all, to propitiate the governor and dispenser of corn, to whom you say that you are known. Secondly, in order that so you may the more speedily recover him who is held in captivity, by thus paying down a large ransom for him. And thirdly, for the sake of as far as possible removing any idea of your being spies. Therefore, taking presents of all that our land supplies, offer them to the man as a kind of first fruits, and take double money, both that which you paid before, for perhaps it was restored to you through the oversight of some one, and also another sum sufficient to buy corn; and take with you also my prayer, which we offer to God our Saviour, that you who are strangers may go acceptably to the natives of the country, and that you may return in safety, giving back to your father those necessary pledges, his children, and bringing back the brother whom you have left in bondage, and also the youngest, as yet unacquainted with trouble, whom you are now taking with you." And so they took their departure and hastened towards Egypt.

XXXIII. Then a few days afterwards they arrived in Egypt, and when the governor of the country saw them he was greatly pleased, and ordered the steward of his house to prepare a sumptuous dinner, and to bring the men in that they might partake of his salt and of his table. And when they were brought in to dinner they were in a state of great suspense, as not knowing what would be done with them, and were in confusion, suspecting that they might perhaps have a false accusation of theft brought against them on the ground of their having taken away the price of the corn that they had bought and which they had found in their sacks, as if they had done so wilfully. So then they came up to the steward of the house, and made a defence on a subject on which no one ventured to accuse them, purging their consciences, and, at the same time, displaying the money which they had brought back and offering to return it. But he cheered them with favourable and humane language, saying, "There is no one so impious as to found a false accusation on the graces of God, who is all-merciful. He it is who has rained treasures into your sacks, giving you not only food but also riches out of his abundant store." So they being comforted, then arranged in order the presents which they had brought from home to display them to the governor. And when the master of the house came in they offered them to him. And when he had inquired of them how they were, and whether their lather, of whom they had previously spoken, was still alive, they answered nothing concerning themselves, but concerning their father they replied that he was alive and well. And when he had prayed for him, and addressed them in the most favourable and God-fearing manner, looking upon his brother by the same mother, when he saw him he could not restrain his tears, but being now overcome by his feelings, he turned himself about before he made himself known to them, and going out on a pretext as if some urgent cause compelled him (for it was not a favourable opportunity for him to tell them the truth), he wept in a secret chamber of his house and poured forth abundance of tears.

XXXIV. Then when he had washed his hands he restrained his sorrow by the power of reason, and coming back again he feasted the strangers, returning to them the brother who had come with them before, and who had been kept as a hostage for the appearance of the youngest. And with them there also feasted others of the nobles of the Egyptians. And the manner of their entertainment was to each party in accordance with their national customs, since Joseph thought it wrong to overturn ancient laws, aud especially at a banquet where the pleasures should be more numerous than the annoyances. And as he commanded them all to sit down in order according to their age, as the men had not yet learnt the fashion of lying down on occasions of banqueting, they marvelled to see whether the Egyptians would adopt the same habits as the Hebrews, having a regard to regular order, and knowing how to distinguish between the honours due to the eldest and the youngest. Perhaps, too, they thought this man wrho manages all the common business of the house, because the country has hitherto been less refined in matters relating to eating, has now not only introduced regularity and good order into great matters, by which the affairs of peace and war are accustomed to be brought to a successful issue, but also into those things which are usually accounted of less importance, most of which, indeed, refer mainly to amusement. For the object of banquets is cheerfulness, and they do not at all allow the guests to be too solemn and austere-looking. While they were praising the arrangements of the feast in this quiet way, tables are brought indeed, of no great costliness or luxury, as, by reason of the famine, their host did not think it proper to revel too much amid the distresses of others; and they, like men of sense and understanding, praised this part of his conduct also, because he had thus avoided an unseemly magnificence, which is a thing calculated to provoke envy, saying that he was maintaining the character at the same time of one who sympathised with the needy, and also of a liberal entertainer, placing himself between the two, and avoiding all cause for blaming him in either particular. Therefore his preparations for the entertainment escaped all ill-will being suited to the time, and what was wanting was made up by continual cheerfulness, and by pledging one another in wine, and by good wishes, and by exhortations to eat what there was, which to persons of gentleman-like and accomplished minds was more pleasant than all the sumptuous dishes and liquors which men fond of eating and of epicurism provide for eating and drinking, which are in reality deserving of no serious care, but by which they do in truth display their little-mindedness with great pomp.

XXXV. And on the next day he sent, the first thing in the morning, for the steward of his household, and commanded him to fill all the sacks of the men which they had brought with them with corn, and a second time to put back in the mouths of their sacks the price which they had brought with them, and to pat in the sack of the youngest the most beautiful of his silver caps out of which he himself was accustomed to drink; and he cheerfully did as he was commanded, taking care that no one was a witness of his actions. And they, not knowing any of the things which had been done thus secretly, departed, rejoicing in all the good fortune which had befallen them beyond all their expectations; for what they had expected was this, to have a false accusation laid against them, as if they had stolen the money which had been restored to them, and never to recover their brother whom they had left as a hostage, and perhaps also, besides that, to lose their youngest brother who would be seized upon by force by the man who had been so determined that he should be brought. But what had happened to them was better than their most sanguine prayers, since, in addition to having no false accusations laid against them, they had also been admitted to the bread and salt of the governor, which among all men is a token of genuine friendship, and had also recovered their brother without his having received any injury, without having had recourse to the intercession and entreaty of any mediator, and were also taking back their youngest brother in safety to their father, having escaped all suspicion of being spies, and bearing with them an abundant quantity of food, and having good and well-founded hopes for the future, for they thought that even if necessary food was repeatedly to fail them, they should never again themselves be in exceeding want as before, but might return joyfully to the governor of the country as to a friend and not a stranger.

XXXVI. But while they were feeling disposed in this way, and revolving such thoughts in their souls, a sudden and unexpected confusion came upon them, for the steward of the household, being commanded to do so, ran after them as if to attack them, bringing with him a vast multitude of servants, waving his hands, and making signs to them to stop, and then coming up to them out of breath he said, "You have now set the seal to all the accusations that have been brought against you; you have returned evil for good, and turned back upon the same road of iniquity as before; you have not only stolen and carried off the price of the corn, but you have committed even a greater offence than that, for wickedness which has obtained forgiveness gets more shameless; you, you very grateful and very peaceful men, have stolen the most beautiful and most valuable drinking cup belonging to my master, the very cup in which he pledged you; you who did not even know what was meant by the name of spy, and who brought back double money to restore that which you had previously paid and professed to have found in your sacks,—a trick, as it should seem, and a bait to enable you to catch and snare a more valuable prize; but wickedness does not always prosper, but though always endeavouring to escape notice it is detected." While he was running on in this way against them they stood motionless and speechless, those most grievous of all evils, sorrow and fear, falling upon them thus suddenly, so that they were unable even to open their mouths, for the advent of unexpected evils makes even those who are eloquent actually speechless; but at length they recovered themselves, and lest they should seem to be silent, because they were self-convicted by their own consciences, they spoke and said, "How shall we reply and defend ourselves, and to whom? for you who are our accuser are going to be our judge also; you, who even if others had accused us ought to have been our advocate from the experience that you have already had of us. The money which on the former occasion we found replaced in our sacks, we brought back again in order to restore it, though no one had convicted us of having received it again, and do you suppose that after that we became so completely changed as to requite our entertainer with injury and theft? This was not so; and never let it enter your mind that we have done any such thing; but whichever of us brethren is found to have the cup let him die the death; for if any such wicked deed has been done there are many reasons why we should suffer death in atonement of it; in the first place, because covetousness and a desire for the property of others is a most wicked thing; secondly, because to attempt to injure those who have done one good is a most impious action; thirdly, because for men who are proud of the nobility of their birth to dare to destroy the reputation of their ancestors by scandalous actions of their own is a most shameful disgrace; and since if any one of us has stolen the cup of the governor he is liable to all these reproaches, let him die as one who has performed actions worthy of ten thousand deaths."

XXXVII. And while speaking thus they unloose the burdens from off their beasts and take them down, and encourage the steward with all diligence to search them, and to look for the cup, and he, not being unaware that it was lying in the sack of the youngest, inasmuch as he himself had secretly placed it there, behaved cunningly, and began with the eldest, and so went on in regular order, taking them according to their ages, and searching, while each willingly brought forward his sack and displayed its contents, till he came to the last, in whose possession the sought-for cup was found, so that they all when they saw it lifted up their voices, and lamented, and rent their clothes, groaning heavily, and shedding tears, and before his execution bewailing their brother while he was still alive, and bewailing also their father no less than him, because he had foretold the calamities which would happen to his son, on which account he was unwilling to permit their brother to travel with them when they wished him to do so. And being downcast and confused they returned back by the same road to the city, being quite overwhelmed at what had happened, and looking at what had taken place as a plot, and not suspecting their brother of covetousness. Then when they were brought before the governor of the country they displayed their real affection and brotherly love with genuine feeling, for falling all together at his knees as if they were all liable to be punished for the theft, a wickedness too great to be mentioned, they all wept over him, and besought him, and gave themselves up to him, and offered to submit to voluntary slavery, and called him their master, speaking of themselves as foreign captives, as slaves, as bought with a price, and omitting no name whatever indicative of the most complete slavery; but he, wishing to try them still more, addressed them in a most angry manner, and with the greatest possible severity, and said to them, "May I never be guilty of such an action as to condemn such a number to captivity for the sin of one, for how can it be right to summon those persons to share in a punishment who have had no share in the commission of the offence? Let him alone be punished, since he alone has committed the crime. I know therefore that by your laws you condemn the man who has been found guilty of theft to be put to death in front of the city; but I, wishing to act in all respects in a gentle and most merciful manner, will mitigate the punishment, and adjudge him to slavery instead of to death."

XXXVIII. And when they were grieved at his threat, and wholly overwhelmed at the false accusations brought against them, the fourth in age, and he was one of a daring character, combined with modesty, and full of true courage, inasmuch as he had studied freedom of speech without impudence, came forward and said, "I entreat you, O master! not to give way to your passion; nor, because you are placed in the rank next to the king, to be in a hurry to condemn us before you have heard our defence. When on our former journey hither, you inquired of us concerning our brother and our father, we answered you: Our father was an old man, aged, not more because of the power of time, than because of his uninterrupted misfortunes, by which he has been constantly exercised like a wrestler, and has passed his whole life amid labours and calamities hard to be borne. "And our brother is very young, a mere child, loved beyond all measure by his father, since he is the son of his old age, and because also he had but him and one other child by the same mother, and this one alone is left, since the elder died a violent death. And when you commanded us to bring our brother hither, and threatened us that, if he did not come, you would not permit us to come into your sight, we departed in great depression of spirits; and with difficulty, when we had arrived at home, did we declare the commands which we had received from you to our father. And he at first wholly refused, being greatly alarmed for the child; but as necessary food was becoming scarce, and as not one of us dared to come hither to buy food without our youngest brother, by reason of your vehement commands; he was at last, with difficulty, persuaded to send him with us, blaming us bitterly for having confessed that we had another brother, and pitying himself very much for being about to be separated from him; for he is but a child and wholly ignorant of business, and not only of business in a foreign land, but even of such as is transacted in his own city. How, then, shall we approach our father who is under the influence of such feelings? And with what eyes shall we be able to behold him without this his youngsst son? He will die most miserably if he only hears that his son has not returned; and then all those who delight in hatred and in evil-speaking, and who rejoice in such misfortunes of their neighbours, will call us murderers and parricides, and the greater part of the accusation will fall upon me; for I promised my father to give him up many things, confessing that I received my brother as a pledge, which I was to restore whenever he was reclaimed from me. And how shall I be able to restore him unless you are prevailed upon to show us mercy? I entreat you, then, to have pity on the old man, and to give a thought to the evils by which he will be grieved, if he does not receive back again him whom he has unwisely entrusted to my hands. Nevertheless, do you exact punishment for the injuries which you imagine to have been done to you; and that punishment I will volunteer to submit to. Set me down as your slave from this day forth. I will cheerfully undergo the fate of those who have been just bought, if you will only be willing to let the child go free; and not only shall you, if you will give him his liberty, receive thanks from him and me, but also from him who is not present, but who will then be relieved from his anxiety, the father of these men here, and of all the family; for we are all your suppliants, having fled for succour to your right hand, and may we never fail to obtain it. Let, then, compassion for the age of the old man seize your heart, who during his whole life has constantly devoted himself to the labours of virtue. He has brought all the cities of Syria to receive him, and to submit to his authority, and to do him honour; even though he guides himself by foreign customs and laws very different from them, and although he is in all respects very unlike the natives of the land. But the excellence of his life, and the consistency and uniformity of his actions with his words, and of his words with his actions, have prevailed, so that he has been able to win over those who, out of regard for their national customs, were not at first well-disposed towards him. You will do him such a favour that it will not be possible for him to receive a greater. For what can be a more valuable gift to give to a father, than to allow him to receive back a son of whose safety he has despaired?"

XXXIX. But all this conduct was but an experiment, just as the former circumstances had been too, because the governor of the country was desirous to see what kind of good-will they had towards him who was his brother by the same mother. For he had been afraid that they felt some kind of natural dislike towards him, as children of a stepmother often do to the family of a previous wife of their father, who may have been held in equal honours by him. It was with this view that he both reproached them as spies and inquired about their family, for the sake of knowing whether his brother was still alive, or whether he had been put out of the way by treachery. And he retained one while he allowed the rest to depart, after they had agreed to bring back their youngest brother with them, whom he desired to see above all things, and so to be relieved of his bitter and grievous sorrow on his account. And when he arrived, and when he beheld his brother, he was then in a slight degree relieved from his anxiety, and he invited them to an entertainment, and while he was feasting them he regaled his own brother by the same mother with more costly viands and luxuries than the rest, looking carefully at every one ot them, and judging from their countenances whether there was any envy secretly cherished in their hearts. And when he saw them all cheerful, and all eager, and earnest for the honour of the youngest, conjecturing now by two strong proofs that there was no hatred smouldering beneath, he devised a third mode of trial likewise, bringing a charge against their youngest brother, that he appeared to have committed a theft; for this was likely to be the clearest possible proof of the disposition of each of them and of the affection which they bore to their brother, who was thus falsely accused. From all which circumstances he now clearly saw that his mother's offspring was not looked upon with hostile feelings and was not plotted against, and he also received a very probable impression respecting the events which had befallen himself, and learnt to think that he had suffered what he had, not so much because of the treachery of his brethren, as through the direction of the providence of God who sees things afar off, and who beholds the future no less than the present.

XL. After this he had recourse to a reconciliation and agreement with his brethren, being influenced by his own affectionate disposition, and from his desire to cause no shame to his brethren, and to give no cause of reproach against them because of their conduct towards him, he did not choose that any of the Egyptians should be present on the occasion of his first making himself known to them. But he ordered all the servants to leave the apartment, and suddenly pouring forth a stream of tears, and signing to them with his right hand to approach nearer to him, that no one else might be able by chance even to hear any thing that passed, he said unto them, "I, being about to reveal a matter which has long been kept in the shade, and which has appeared to be hidden by the long lapse of time, do now by myself disclose it to you by yourselves. I myself am that brother whom you sold to go into Egypt, I whom you now behold standing here." And when they were all amazed at seeing him beyond all their expectation, and were greatly agitated, and, as if under the influence of some violent attraction, cast their eyes down to the ground, and stood motionless, mute, and speechless, he said, "Be not cast down; I give you complete forgiveness for all the things which you have done to me. Do not think that you want any one else as a mediator. I, of my own absolute power and of my own voluntary inclination, come of my own accord to an agreement with you; being guided by two especial signs, first, by my piety towards my father, to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude, and also, secondly, by my own natural humanity, which I feel towards all men, and especially towards those of my own blood. And I think that it was not you, but God, who was the author of the events which happened to me, because he desired that I should be the servant and minister of his graces and gifts which he thought fit to bestow on the human race in the time of their greatest necessity. And in the very outset you may receive a proof of what I say in the things which you see. I am the governor of all the land of Egypt, and the honours which I enjoy are next to those of the king himself, and the aged monarch honours me, though I am only a young man, as if I were his father; and I am honoured and obeyed not only by the people of the country but also by numerous other nations, whether they are subject to Egypt or independent; for they all have need of me, the governor of the land, by reason of their present scarcity. For silver and gold, and what is still more necessary than either of these things, namely, food, is all stored up in my treasure-houses alone, and it is I who distribute and dispense what they want for their unavoidable necessities to each individual, so that nothing is wanting either for food or for the satisfying of their natural wants. And I have not detailed all this to you from a wish to exalt myself or to give myself airs, but that you may know that it is no one of you or any man whatsoever that has been the cause of my being first a slave and afterwards a prisoner. For on one occasion a false accusation was brought against me, and I was thrown into prison. But he who changed that extremity of calamity and misfortune into the highest and most complete good fortune was God, with whom all things are possible. Since these then, are my opinions, do not fear any longer, but discard all your sorrow and anxiety, and change to a joyful cheerfulness; and it will be well for you to hasten to your father, and to be the first to take him the good news of my being found, for reports are quick in penetrating everywhere."

XLI. So they one after another began to pour forth praises of him without ceasing, and panegyrized him with unmodified encomium, each relating some different circumstance to his credit, one extolling his forgiving spirit, another his affection towards his family, and another his accuteness; and the whole company of them extolled his piety, and attributed to God the happy end to which everything had been brought, and being no longer melancholy or out of humour at the unexpected events which befell them, on their first arrival or at their original difficulties; they also praised his excessive patience and fortitude, combined with modesty, when he, who had experienced such vicissitudes of fortune, neither when he was a slave, allowed himself to say a single word to the injury of his brothers, as having sold him, nor, when he was led away to prison, did he in his despondency say a single word that he should not have said, nor, though he remained there a long time, as prisoners usually do, did he, as is so much the custom, compare his misfortunes with those of his fellow prisoners so as to reveal anything, but kept silence as if he had no knowledge of the cause of the events that had happened to him. Nor again, when he was interpreting the dreams either to the eunuch or to the king, which was a favourable occasion for relating his own story, did he ever say a word about his own nobility of birth, nor yet when he was appointed lieutenant of the king, and received the superintendence and government of the whole of Egypt, even with the view of not being thought an ignoble and obscure person, but one who was really descended of noble ancestors, not a slave by nature, but one who had been exposed to intolerable treachery, and calamities at the hands of persons from whom he was least entitled to expect it. Moreover in addition to all this, great praise was bestowed on his affability and courtesy; for being acquainted with the insolence and rudeness of other governors, they marvelled at the absence of pretence and display which they saw in him, and they admired his kindness too, who, though the moment that he beheld them after their first journey he might have put them to death, or on the last occasion either, merely by refusing to supply them with food when oppressed with hunger, was not content with not punishing them, but even gave them necessary food gratuitously as though they had been persons worthy of favour, ordering the price they had paid to be restored to them: and all the circumstances of their treachery towards him, and of their selling him, were so wholly concealed from, and unknown to any one, that the magistrates of the Egyptians sympathised with him in his joy, as if this was the first occasion of the brothers of the governor having arrived; moreover they invited them to hospitality, and made haste to relate their arrival to the king, and everything everywhere was full of joy, no less than would have been the case if the plain had suddenly become fertile, and the famine had changed into abundance.

XLII. But the king, when he heard that Joseph had a father and a numerous family, advised him to press his father to remove into Egypt with all his house, promising to give them the most fertile district in Egypt on their arrival. Therefore Joseph gave his brothers chariots, and waggons, and a great multitude of beasts of burden, loaded with all necessary things, and a number of servants, that they might conduct his father into Egypt in safety. But when they arrived at home, and told their father their story about their brother, which was so apparently incredible and beyond all his hopes, he did not much believe them; for even though those who brought the account were trustworthy, still the greatness and extraordinary character of the circumstances which they reported, did not allow him to believe them easily: but when the old man saw the vast preparation, and the supplies of all necessary things, at such a time, in such abundance, corresponding to the good fortune of his son which they were reporting to him, he praised Grod that he had made complete that part of his house which seemed to be deficient; but his joy immediately begat fear again in his soul, respecting his departure from his national laws and customs; for he knew that youth is by nature prone to fall, and that in foreign nations there is great indulgence given to error; and especially in the country of Egypt, a land in a state of utter blindness respecting the true God, in consequence of their making created and mortal things into gods. Moreover, the addition of riches and glory is a snare to weak minds, and he also recollected that he had been left to himself, as no one had gone forth out of his father's house with him to keep him in the right way, but he had been left solitary and destitute of all good instructions, and might therefore be supposed to be ready to change and adopt their foreign customs. Therefore, when that Being who alone is able to behold the invisible soul, saw him in this frame of mind, he took pity on him and appearing unto him by night while he was lying asleep, said unto him: "Fear nothing about your departure into Egypt; I myself will guide you on your way, and will give you a safe and pleasant journey; and I will restore to you your long lamented son, who was once many years ago believed by you to have died, but who is not only alive, but is even governor of all that mighty country." So Jacob, being filled with good hopes, rose up in the morning with joy, and hastened on his way; and when his son heard that he was near, for scouts and watchers who were placed along the road gave him notice of everything, he went with speed to meet his father when he was at no great distance from the borders of the land; and they met one another near the city, which is called the city of heroes, and they fell into one another's arms placing their heads on each other's necks, and soaking their garments with tears, and satisfying themselves abundantly with long enduring embraces, and unwillingly at last loosing one another, they proceeded to the palace. And when the king beheld them he was amazed at the dignity of Jacob's appearance, and he received and saluted him not as the father of his lieutenant but as his own, with all possible respect and honour; and after showing him not only all the ordinary but also many extraordinary marks of respect, he gave him a most excellent district of land of the greatest fertility; and hearing that his sons were skilful breeders of cattle, having great substance in flocks and herds, he appointed them overseers of all his own flocks and herds, and committed to their charge his goats, and his oxen, and his sheep, and all his innumerable animals of every kind.

XLIII. And the young man, Joseph, displayed such excessive good faith and honesty in all his dealings, that though the time and the circumstances of the time gave him innumerable opportunities of making money, so that he might, in a short period, have become the richest man of that age or kingdom, he still so truly honoured genuine riches before illegitimate wealth, and the treasure which sees rather than that which is blind, that he stored up all the silver and gold which he collected as the price of the corn in the king's treasury, not appropriating a single drachm of it to his own use, but being satisfied with nothing beyond the gifts which the king bestowed on him voluntarily, in acknowledgment of his services. And in this manner he governed Egypt, and other countries also with it, and other nations, while oppressed with the famine, his manner too admirable for any description to do it justice, distributing food to all in a proper manner, and looking, not only at the present advantage, but also at what would be of future benefit: therefore, when the seventh year of the scarcity arrived, he sent for the farmers (for there was now a prospect of fertility and abundance), and gave them barley and wheat for seed, taking care that no one should appropriate what he gave for other purposes, but should sow what he received in the fields, to which end he selected men of honesty and virtues as overseers and superintendents, who were to take care that the sowing was properly performed. And when a long time after the famine his father died, his brothers were filled with secret misgivings, and feared lest now he should remember the evil that they had done to him, and should retaliate upon them and afflict them, and so they came to him and besought him earnestly, bringing with them their wives and their children. And he wept and said, "The occasion indeed is a natural one, to fill with secret apprehension those who have done intolerable things, and who are convicted more by their own consciences than by anything else; for the death of our father has revived in you the ancient fear which you entertained before our reconciliation, that I had merely bestowed pardon on you for the sake of not grieving our father; but I do not change my disposition with the changes of time, nor, after I have agreed to a reconciliation and forgiveness, will I ever do anything inconsistent with such agreement; for I have not been postponing revenge and watching for opportunities to wreak it, but I once for all gave you immunity from all punishment, being influenced partly by feelings of respect for my father, for I must speak the plain truth, and partly by natural necessary affection for you. But if I did every thing that was merciful and humane for my father's sake while he was alive, I will also adhere to it now that he is dead. But in my real opinion no good man ever dies, but such will live for ever and ever, without growing old, in an immortal nature which is no longer bound up in the necessities of the body. And why should I remember only that father who was created and born? We have also the uncreated, immortal, everlasting God for our father, who sees all things and hears all people, even when silent, and who always sees even those things which lie hidden in the recesses of the mind, and whom I look upon and invoke as a witness of my sincere reconciliation; for 'I am (and do not you be astonished at my words), I am in the place of God,' [Genesis 50:19] who has changed your evil designs against me so as to bring forth from them an abundance of good things. Be ye therefore fearless, and know that for the future you shall enjoy still better fortune than hitherto you have while our father was still alive."

XLIV. Having encouraged his brethren with these words he confirmed his promises still more by actions, leaving out nothing which could show his care for his brethren. And after the famine, when the inhabitants were now full of joy at the fertility and prosperity of the country he was honoured by all men, who thus recompensed him for the benefits which they had received from him in the season of their despair. And the report of him became noised abroad, and filled all the cities with his glory and reputation. And he lived a hundred and ten years, and then died at a good old age, having enjoyed the greatest perfection of beauty, and wisdom, and eloquence of speech. The beauty of his person is testified to by the violent love with which he inflamed the wife of the eunuch; his wisdom by the evenness of his conduct in the indescribable variety of circumstances that attended the whole of his life, by which he wrought regularity among things that were irregular, and harmony among things that were discordant. His eloquence of speech is displayed in his interpretation of the dreams, in his affability in ordinary conversation, and by the persuasion which followed his words; in consequence of which his subjects all obeyed him cheerfully and voluntarily, rather than from any compulsion. Of these hundred and ten years he spent seventeen, till the expiration of his boyhood, in his father's house; and thirteen he passed amid unforeseen events, being plotted against, and sold, and becoming a slave, and having false accusations brought against him, and being thrown into prison; and the remaining eighty years he spent in authority and in all manner of prosperity, being the most excellent manager and administrator both of scarcity and plenty, and the most competent of all men to manage affairs under either complexion of circumstances.

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