Gesta Romanorum Vol. I (1871)/Of good Inspiration

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Gesta Romanorum Vol. I  (1871) 
Anonymous, translated by Charles Swan
Of good Inspiration



Seneca mentions, that in poisoned bodies, on account of the malignancy and coldness of the poison, no worm will engender; but if the body be struck with lightning, in a few days it will be full of them. (28)


My beloved, men are poisoned by sin, and then they produce no worm, that is, no virtue; but struck with lightning, that is, by the grace of God, they are fruitful in good works.

Note 28.Page 131.

Seneca's observations are singular: 'Illud æquè inter annotanda ponas licet, quòd et hominum, et cœterorum animalium quæ icta sunt, caput spectat ad exitum fulminis: quòd omnium percussarum arborum contra fulmina hastulæ sergunt. Quid, quòd malorum serpentium, et aliorum animalium, quibus mortifera vis inest, cum fulmine icta sunt, venenum omne consumitur? Unde, inquit, scis? In venenatis corporibus vermis non nascitur. Fulmine ictâ, intra paucos dies verminant." Nat. Quæst. lib. ii. 31.[1]

  1. There are other no less notable effects of lightning. The head of man or other animal struck by it always points in the direction whence the lightning issued: the twigs of all trees that are struck rise straight up in the direction of the lightning. Let me add, too, when venomous serpents or other animals whose bite is fatal are struck with lightning, all the poison disappears. How, you say, can I tell that? In the dead bodies of poisonous animals worms are not produced. But when struck with lightning they breed worms within a few days. trans. 1910, John Clarke (Wikisource contributor note)