Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXV - The Consolation of Philosophy
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
XXV - Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy [520 AD]
King Alfred’s Version of the Consolations of Boethius. Done into Modern English, with an Introduction by Walter John Sedgefield Litt.D. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
WHEN Philosophy had spoken this discourse she began once more to sing, and her words were on this wise: ‘Now will I with song declare how wondrously the Lord guideth all His creatures with the bridle of His power, with what order He hath established and controlleth all creatures, and how He hath bound them and fastened them in bonds unbreakable, so that each created thing is held fast locked to its kind, even that to which it was created; yea, everything save man and certain angels—these at times leave their kind. Lo, the lion, even if he be quite tame and firmly fettered, and very fond moreover and also afraid of his master, yet let him once happen to taste blood, and straightway he forgetteth his recent tameness, and remembereth the wild habits of his fathers. He beginneth to roar, and to break his bonds asunder; first he rendeth his master, then everything whatsoever he may get hold of, whether man or beast. So with wild birds of the forest; they may be thoroughly tamed, yet once they find themselves in the greenwood, they set at naught their teachers, and live after their kind. Though their teachers offer them the food wherewith they tamed them once, they heed it not, if only they may have the woods to enjoy; far pleasanter is it, they think, to hear other birds singing, and the forest’s answering echoes. Again, it is in the nature of trees to rear themselves aloft; though thou draw down to earth a branch as far as thou hast power to bend it, even as thou lettest it go it will spring up and hasten to its natural state. The sun too doth so; though he sink after midday lower and lower earthwards, yet again he seeketh his natural course and wendeth by hidden ways towards his rising; then mounteth he high and ever higher, as far as is his nature to soar. And so each creature doth; it hasteneth towards its natural state, and is glad if it may reach this. Not one creature is there that doth not wish to reach the place wherefrom it started, where it findeth rest, and naught to trouble. Now that rest is in God, nay, it is God. But each creature turneth round on itself, as a wheel doth, and turneth in such a way as to come back to its starting point, and to be once more that which it before was, as soon as it hath returned to where it was, and to do again what it did before.’