XXXV. (191) But after these events only a short time elapsed, when they became oppressed by famine through the scarcity of provisions, as if one necessary thing after another was to foil them in succession: for thirst and hunger are very cruel and terrible mistresses, and having portioned out the afflictions between them, attacked them by turns; and it so fell out that when the first calamity was relaxed the second came on, which was most intolerable to those who had to bear it, inasmuch as having only just fancied that they were delivered from thirst, they now found another evil, namely famine, lying in ambush to attack them; (192) and not only was their present scarcity terrible, but they were also in despair as to the supply of necessary food for the future; for when they saw the vast and extensive desert around them, so utterly unproductive of any kind of crop, their hearts sank within them. For all around were rugged and precipitous rocks, or else a salt and brackish plain, and stony mountains, or deep sands reaching up and forming mountains of inaccessible height; and moreover there was no river, neither winter torrent nor ever-flowing stream; there were no springs, no plant growing from seed, no tree whether for fruit or timber, no animal whether flying or terrestrial, except some few poisonous reptiles born for the destruction of mankind, and serpents, and scorpions. (193) So then the Hebrews, remembering the plenty and luxury which they had enjoyed in Egypt, and the abundance of all things which was bestowed upon them there, and contrasting it with the universal want of all things which they were now experiencing, were grieved and indignant, and talked the matter over with one another, saying:– “We left our former abodes and emigrated, from a hope of freedom, happy only in the promises of our leader; as far as his actions go, we are of all men the most miserable. (194) What will be the end of this long and interminable journey? Everyone else, whether sailing over the sea or marching on foot, has some limit before him at which he will eventually arrive; some being bound for marts and harbours, others for some city or country; but we alone have nothing to look forward to but a pathless desert, and a difficult journey, and terrible hopelessness, and despair; for as we advance, the desert lies before us like an ever open, vast, and pathless sea which widens and increases every day. (195) But Moses having raised our expectations, and puffed us up with fine speeches, and filled our ears with vain hopes, racks our bodies with hunger and does not give us even necessary food. He has deceived this vast multitude with the name of a settlement in a colony; having first of all led us out of an inhabited country into an uninhabitable district, and now sending us down to the shades below, which is the last journey of life.”