XIV. (103) Again, of all the attributes of Apollo, what is there which in the least degree resembles his characteristics? He wears a crown emitting rays all around, the artist who made it having given a most admirable representation of the beams of the sun; but how can the sun, or in fact any light at all, be a welcome object to him, and not rather night, or anything else, if there be such more completely enveloped darkness, or even anything darker than darkness itself, for the performance of his lawless actions? Since good actions do require the brilliancy of noonday for their proper display, but shameful actions, as they say, are suited to the extreme depths of Tartarus, into which they ought to be thrust in order to be concealed from sight, as is becoming. (104) Let him also transpose the things which he bears in each of his hands, and not pollute the proper arrangement, for let him bear his arrows and his bow in his right hand, for he knows how with good aim to shoot at and to pierce men and women, and whole families, and populous cities, to their complete destruction. (105) And let him either at once throw away his graces altogether, or else let him keep them in the shade in his left hand, for he has defaced their beauty, directing all his eyes and exciting all his desires against vast properties, so as to plunder them in an iniquitous manner, in consequence of which their owners were murdered, finding themselves unfortunate through their good fortune. (106) But no doubt he with great felicity gave a new representation of the medical skill of Apollo, for this god was the inventor of healing medicines, {7}{this is one of the attributes of Apollo of which he boasts to Daphne, Met. l. 461 (as it is translated by Dryden)–“Medicine is mine; what herbs and simples grow / In fields and forests, all their powers I know, / And am the great physician called below. / Alas, that fields and forests can afford / No remedies to heal their lovesick lord. / To cure the pains of love no plant avails, / And his own physic the physician fails.”} so as to cause health to men, thinking fit himself to heal the diseases which were inflicted by others, by reason of the excessive mildness and gentleness of his own nature and habits, (107) but this man, on the contrary, loads those who are in good health with disease, and inflicts mutilations on those who are sound, and in short visits the living with most cruel death, caused by the hand of man before the time of their natural death, preparing every imaginable engine of destruction in abundant plenteousness, by means of which, if he had not himself been previously put to death in accordance with justice, everything glorious or respectable in every city would long ago have been destroyed. (108) For his designs were prepared against all those in authority and all those possessed of riches, and especially against those in Rome and those in the rest of Italy, by whom such quantities of gold and silver had been treasured up that even if all the riches of all the rest of the habitable world had been collected together from its most distant borders, it would have been found to be very inferior in amount. On this account he began, he, this hater of the citizens, this devourer of the people, this pestilence, this destructive evil, began to banish all the seeds of peace from his country, as if he were expelling evil from holy ground; (109) for Apollo is said to have been not only a physician but also an excellent prophet, by his oracular predictions announcing what was likely to conduce to the advantage of mankind, in order that no one, being overshadowed by uncertainty, going on without seeing his way before him like a blind man, might hastily fall into unexpected evils as if they were the greatest benefits; but that men having previously acquired a knowledge of the future as if it were really present, and looking at it with the eye of their mind, might guard against future evils just as they can see evils actually before them with the bodily eye, and in this way secure themselves against any irremediable disaster. (110) Is it fitting now to compare with these oracles of Apollo the ill-omened warning of Gaius, by means of which poverty, and dishonour, and banishment, and death were given premature notice of to all those who were in power and authority in any part of the world? What connexion or resemblance was there between him and Apollo, when he never paid any attention to any ties of kindred or friendship? Let him cease, then, this pretended Apollo, from imitating that real healer of mankind, for the form of God is not a thing which is capable of being imitated by an inferior one, as good money is imitated by bad.