The Ancient Library

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the son of Chenaanah, made him horns of iron and said: With these shalt thou push the Syrians." And Micaiah, the son of Imlah, is held responsible for prophesying evil to the king.1 The passages betray in the narrative the confusion between the act of making the future and that of predicting it. Indeed, a large part of divination is derived directly from magic, and to the end it retains for its object, in the illogical minds of its supporters, the modifica­tion of the future course of events. For the obj'ect of divination is never the idle curiosity which prompts the society lady to interview the Bond Street palmist. The inquirer desires to know what the future has in store in order that he may turn it to account, make sure of the good things, or in case of necessity cheat the Devil. Your fatalist needs no divination. The belief in the possibility of effecting this purpose of the questioner, and the introduction of conditionality into an order of Nature which the act of his questioning presupposes fore­ordained, is of course illogical. " Si enim nihil fieri potest, nihil accidere, nihil evenire, nisi quod ab omni aeternitate certum fuerit esse futurum rato tempore, quae potest esse fortuna ?

1 Numbers xxii., 2 Chronicles xviii. ; cf. the Homeric passage which heads the chapter. For the responsibility of manteis see below, p. 96.

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