Friday, May 20, 2016


Food of Demons

Jerome, Letters 21.13.4 (to Damasus; tr. Charles Christopher Mierow):
The food of the demons is the songs of poets, secular wisdom, the display of rhetorical language. These delight all with their sweetness; but while they captivate the ears with fluent verses of charming rhythm, they penetrate the soul as well and bind the inmost affections. But when they have been read with the greatest enthusiasm and effort, they afford their readers nothing more than empty sound and the hubbub of words. No satisfaction of truth, no refreshment of justice is found. They who are zealous for these things continue to hunger for truth, to lack virtue.

daemonum cibus est carmina poetarum, saecularis sapientia, rhetoricorum pompa verborum. haec sua omnes suavitate delectant et, dum aures dulci versibus modulatione currentibus capiunt, animam quoque penetrant et pectoris interna devinciunt. verum ubi cum summo studio fuerint ac labore perlecta, nihil aliud nisi inanem sonum et sermonum strepitum suis lectoribus tribuunt; nulla ibi saturitas veritatis, nulla iustitiae refectio reperitur. studiosi earum in fame veri, in virtutum penuria perseverant.

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