XLIX. (203) Is it not then strictly in accordance with nature that while its two daughters, Counsel and Assent, were agreed together, and sleeping together, the mind is introduced as embarrassed by an ignorance of all knowledge? for we read in the scripture, “They knew not when they lay down, or when they rose Up.”{37}{#ge 19:35.} (204) For it was not likely that in his state he could clearly and distinctly comprehend either sleep or waking, or a stationary position or motion; but when he appears to have come to an opinion in the best manner, then above all other times is he found to be most foolish, since his affairs then come to an end, by no means resembling that which was expected; (205) and whenever he has decided on assenting to some things as true, then he incurs a reproach and condemnation for his facility in adopting opinions, those things which he previously believed as most certain now appearing untrustworthy and uncertain; so that, as matters are in the habit of turning out contrary to what was expected, the safest course appears to be to suspend one’s judgment.

L. (206) Having now discussed these matters sufficiently, let us turn to what follows the points already examined. We said, then, that under the name of drunkenness was signified that covetousness and greediness, which has often greatly injured many persons, and the votaries of which one may see, even though they may be amply filled in all the channels of their bodies, still unsatisfied and empty as to their desires. (207) These men, if, being distended by the abundance of the things which they have devoured, they nevertheless get breath again for a short time, like wrestlers who are tired, soon descend again to the same contest. (208) Moreover, the king of the Egyptian country, that is of the body, appearing to the minister of drunkenness, his cupbearer, to be angry with him; again at no great distance of time is represented in the sacred scriptures as reconciled to him remembering that passion which breaks down the appetites in the day of his perishable creation, not in the imperishable light of the uncreated luminary; for it is said that it was Pharaoh’s birthday, {38}{#ge 40:20.} when he sent for the chief butler out of his prison, that he might appear at his banquet; (209) for it is a peculiar characteristic of the man who is devoted to the passions, to think created and perishable things beautiful, because he is enveloped in night and dense darkness, as to the knowledge of imperishable things. On which account he embraces drunkenness as the beginning of all pleasures, and its minister the cupbearer.