XXXIV. (126) And this will also be proved by the oracle which was given to the all-wise Moses, in which these words are contained: “Behold, is there not Aaron thy brother, the Levite? I know that he will speak for thee; and behold he will be coming forth to meet thee, and he will rejoice in himself when he seeth Thee.”{42}{#ex 4:14.} For here the Creator says, that he knows that uttered speech is a burden to the mind, because it speaks; for he represents it, that is to say, articulate sound, as the organ, as it were, of all this concrete being of ours. (127) This speech speaks, and discourses, and interprets both in your case and mine, and in that of all mankind, the things conceived in the mind, and it moreover comes forward to meet the things which the mind conceives; for when the mind being excited towards any object connected with it receives an impetus, either because it has been moved internally by itself, or because it has received some remarkable impressions from external circumstances, it then becomes pregnant and labours to bring forth its conceptions. And, though it tries to deliver itself of them, it is unable to do so till sound, like a midwife, acting either through the medium of the tongue or of some other of the organs of speech, receives those conceptions and brings them to light. (128) And this voice is itself the most manifest of all the conceptions. For, as what is laid up is hidden in darkness until light shines upon it and exhibits it, in the same manner the conceptions are stored away in an invisible place, namely, the mind, until the voice, like light, sheds its beams upon them and reveals everything.

XXXV. (129) Very beautifully, therefore, was it said that speech goes forth to meet the conceptions, and that it runs on endeavouring to overtake them, from its desire of giving information respecting them, for everything has the greatest affection for its own proper employment; and the proper employment of speech is to speak, to which employment therefore it hastens by a kind of natural kindred and propriety. And it rejoices and exults when, shedding its rays upon it as it were, it accurately sees and overtakes the sense of the matter exhibited; for then, seizing it in its embrace, it becomes its most excellent interpreter. (130) At all events, we repudiate those chatterers and interminable talkers, who, in the long passages of their conversations, do not properly keep to their conceptions, but merely connect long and empty and, to say the truth, lifeless sentences. Therefore the conversation of such men as these is indecorous, and is justly condemned to groan; as, on the other hand, it is inevitable that that conversation which proceeds from a proper consideration of the objects of its consideration must rejoice, since it comes in an adequate manner to the interpretation of the things which it saw and comprehended vigorously; (131) and this is a matter within the knowledge of almost every one from his daily experience. For, when we thoroughly understand what we are saying, then our speech rejoices and exults, and is rich in most emphatic and appropriate expressions, with which, using great copiousness and fluency of unhesitating diction, it sets before the hearer what it desires to exhibit to him in a most evident and efficient manner. But when the comprehension of the conceptions is doubtful, then the speech stumbles and exhibits a great deficiency of suitable and felicitous expressions, and speaks very inappropriately; on which account it is tedious and wearisome and wanders about, and instead of persuading its hearers it pains their ears.