XXVI. (140) Following the order which we have adopted, we proceed to speak of the third festival, that of the new moon. First of all, because it is the beginning of the month, and the beginning, whether of number or of time, is honourable. Secondly, because at this time there is nothing in the whole of heaven destitute of light. (141) Thirdly, because at that period the more powerful and important body gives a portion of necessary assistance to the less important and weaker body; for, at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses, and then she displays her own beauty to the beholders. And this is, as it seems, an evident lesson of kindness and humanity to men, to teach them that they should never grudge to impart their own good things to others, but, imitating the heavenly bodies, should drive envy away and banish it from the Soul.{17}{sections 142-144 were omitted in Yonge’s translation because the edition on which Yonge based his translation, Mangey, lacked this material. These lines have been newly translated for this volume.} (142) The fourth reason is that of all the bodies in the heaven, the moon traverses the zodiac in the least appointed time: it accomplishes its orbit in a monthly interval. For this reason the law has honored the end of its orbit, the point when the moon has finished at the beginning point from which it began to travel, by having called that day a feast so that it might again teach us an excellent lesson that in the affairs of life we should make the ends harmonious with the beginnings. This will happen if we hold the reins on our first impulses with the power of reason and do not permit them to refuse the reins and to run free like animals without anyone in charge of the herd. (143) With regard to the benefits which the moon provides to all on earth, why is it necessary to run through and detail them? Their proofs are obvious. Or isn’t it by its waxings that rivers and springs overflow, and again by its wanings that they diminish; that seas sometimes retreat and are drawn down through their ebb and flow, and at other times suddenly run full through the tide; that the air experiences all sorts of shifts in the form of clear weather, cloudy weather, and other changes? Don’t the fruits of cultivated crops and trees grow and come to maturity through the orbits of the moon which nurses and ripens each of the growing crops through dewladen and very gentle breezes? (144) But this is not the appropriate occasion, as I said, to speak at length about the praise of the moon by running through and enumerating the benefits which it provides to animals and to all on the earth. For these reasons and others similar to them, the new moon has been honored and taken its place among the feasts.