LIII. (155) And in this way when we are at entertainments, and when we are about to come to the enjoyment and use of luxuries that have been prepared for us, let us approach them taking reason with us as a defensive armour, and let us not fill ourselves with food beyond all moderation like cormorants, nor let us satiate ourselves with immoderate draughts of strong wine, and so give way to intoxication which compels men to act like fools. For reason will bridle and curb the violence and impetuosity of such a passion. (156) I myself, at all events, know that it has done so with regard to many of the passions, for when I have gone to entertainments where no respect was paid to discipline, and to sumptuous banquets, whenever I went without taking Reason with me as a guide, I became a slave to the luxuries that lay before me, being under the guidance of masters who could not be tamed, with sights and sounds of temptation, and all other such things also as work pleasure in a man by the agency of his senses of smell and taste. But when I approach such scenes in the company of reason, I then become a master instead of a slave: and without being subdued myself win a glorious victory of self-denial and temperance; opposing and contending against all the appetites which subdue the intemperate. (157) “Thou shalt be armed,” Moses therefore says, “with a Peg.”{70}{#de 23:12.} That is to say, you, by the aid of reason, shall lay bare the nature which each of the separate passions has, eating, and drinking, and indulging in the pleasures of the belly, and you shall distinguish between them, that when you have so distinguished you may know the truth. For then you shall know that there is no good in any of these things, but only what is necessary and useful. (158) “And bringing it over, you shall cover what is Indecorous,”{71}{#de 23:14.} speaking very appropriately. For come to me, O my soul, bring reason to everything by which all unseemliness of flesh and of passion is concealed, and overshadowed and hidden. For all the things which are not in combination with reason are disgraceful, just as those which are done in union with reason are seemly. (159) Therefore the man who is devoted to pleasure goes on his belly, but the perfect man washes his whole belly, and he who is only advancing towards perfection washes the things in his belly. But he who is now beginning to be instructed proceeds out of doors when he is intent upon curbing the passions of the belly by bringing reason to work upon the necessities of the belly, and reason is called symbolically a peg.