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31. Another part of my ‘smoke’ which p. 535 you frequently laugh at is my pretence, as you say, to know what I do not know, and the parade I make of great teachers to deceive the common and ignorant people. You, of course, are a man not of smoke but of flame, or rather of lightning; you fulminate when you speak; you cannot contain the flames which have been conceived within your mouth, and like Barchochebas, 3194 the leader of the revolt of the Jews, who used to hold in his month a lighted straw and blow it out so as to appear to be breathing forth flame: so you also, like a second Salmoneus, 3195 brighten the whole path on which you tread, and reproach us as mere men of smoke, to whom perhaps the words might be applied, 3196 “Thou touchest the hills and they smoke.” You do not understand the allusion of the Prophet 3197 when he speaks of the smoke of the locusts; it is no doubt the beauty of your eyes which makes it impossible for you to bear the pungency of our smoke.



Son of a Star; the leader of the Jewish revolt against Hadrian, a.d. 132–5.


King of Elis whom Jove destroyed for imitating thunder and lightning by his chariot and brazen bridge and torches.


Ps. civ. 52


Supposed to refer to Rev. 9:7, 17

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