XXVIII. And it is with particular beauty and propriety that he calls the soul of the wicked man multitude: for it is truly a company which has been collected and brought together from all quarters, and composed of a promiscuous body of numerous and antagonist opinions, being, though only one in point of number, of infinite variety by reason of its versatility and diversity; (153) on which account, besides the word “mixed,” there is also added the epithet “great;” for he who looks at one end only is truly simple, and unmixed, and plain; but he who proposes to himself many objects of life is manifold, and mixed, and rough, in real truth: on which account the sacred scriptures say, that the practiser of virtue, Jacob, was a smooth man, and that Esau, the practiser of what is shameful, was a hairy or rough man. (154) On account, then, of this mixed and rough multitude collected together from mixed opinions collected from all imaginable quarters, the mind which was able to exert great speed when it was fleeing from the country of the body, that is, from Egypt, and which was able in those days to receive the inheritance of virtue, being assisted by a threefold light, the memory of past things, the energy of present things, and the hope of the future, passed that exceeding length of time, forty years, in going up and down, and all around, wandering in every direction by reason of the diversity of manners, when it ought rather to have proceeded by the straight and most advantageous way. (155) This is he who not only rejoiced in a few species of desire, but who also chose to pass by none whatever entirely, so that he might obtain the whole entire genus in which every species is included; for it is said that, “the mixed multitude that was among them desired all kinds of Concupiscence,”{77}{#nu 11:4.} that is to say, the very genus of concupiscence itself, and not some one species; and sitting down they wept. For the mind is conscious that it is possessed of but slight power, and when it is not able to obtain what it desires, it weeps and groans; and yet it ought to rejoice when it fails to be able to indulge its passions, or to become infected with diseases, and it ought to think their want and absence a very great piece of good fortune. (156) But it very often happens to the followers of virtue, also, to become languid and to weep, either because they are bewailing the calamities of the foolish, on account of their participation in their common nature, and their natural love for their race, or through excess of joy. And this excess of joy arises whenever on a sudden an abundance of all kinds of good coming together are showered down to overflowing, without having been previously expected; in reference to which kind of joy it is that the poet appears to me to have used the expression–Smiling amid her Tears.{78}{homer’s Iliad 6.484.} (157) For exceeding joy, the best of all feelings, falling on the soul when completely unexpected, makes it greater than it was before, so that the body can no longer contain it by reason of its bulk and magnitude; and so, being closely packed and pressed down, it distils drops which it is the fashion to call tears, concerning which it is said in the Psalms, “Thou shalt give me to eat bread steeped in Tears;”{79}{psalm 80:5.} and again, “My tears have been my bread day and Night;”{80}{psalm 42:3.} for the food of the mind are tears as are visible, proceeding from laughter seated internally and excited by virtuous causes, when the divine desire instilled into our hearts changes the song which was merely the lament of the creature into the hymn of the uncreated God.