Allan Kardec

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Chapter XXVI
Preliminary Observations. •— Questions sympathetic or antipathetic to the Spirits. —Questions on the Future. — On Past and Future Existences. — On Moral and Material Interests. — On the Fate of Spirits. — On the Health. — On Inventions and Discoveries. — On Hidden Treasures. — On the other World.

Preliminary Observations.

286.. Too much importance cannot be attached to the manner of putting questions, and still more to their nature. Two things are to be considered in those ad dressed to spirits —the form and the subject. As to the form, they should be compiled with clearness and precision, avoiding complexity. But there is another point not less important —the order that should pre side in their arrangement. When a subject requires a series of questions, it is essential that they be put together with method, so as to flow naturally into each other ; the spirits then answer much more readily and clearly than when they are put by chance, passing abruptly from one object to another. For this reason it is always best to prepare them in advance, intercalat ing those which, during a seance, are brought out by circumstances. The compiling is better done with the head quiet ; and this preparatory work is, as we have already said, a kind of anticipated invocation at which the spirit may have assisted, and be prepared to an swer. It will be remarked that, very often, the spirit answers by anticipation to certain questions, which proves him to have already known them.
The subject-matter of the question requires a still more serious attention, for it is often the nature of the request that draws forth a true or false reply ; there are those to which the spirits cannot or ought not to reply, from motives unknown to us : it is, therefore, useless to insist ; but what we should especially avoid are questions calculated to put their perspicacity to the proof. When a thing is, it is said they ought to know it ; but it is precisely because the thing is known to you, or that you have the means of verifying it for yourselves, that they do not give themselves the trouble of answering ; this suspicion annoys them, and nothing satisfactory is obtained.
Have you not daily examples of this with yourselves ? Would superior men, who are conscious of their value, answer all the foolish questions calculated to subject them to examination like scholars ? The desire of making a believer of such or such a person is not, for spirits, a motive for satisfying a vain curiosity ; they know that conviction will come sooner or later, and the means they employ to lead to it are not always those you think. Suppose a grave man, occupied with use ful and serious matters, incessantly harassed by the puerile questions of a child, and you will have an idea of what the superior spirits think of all the nonsense with which they are credited. It does not follow that very useful teachings and excellent advice may not be obtained from spirits ; but they answer according to the knowledge they themselves possess, according to the interest you deserve on their part and the affection they have for you, and according to the end proposed and the usefulness they see in the thing ; but if all our thoughts are limited to thinking them better fitted to teach us of the things of this world, they cannot have a very profound sympathy for us ; then they make visits very short or very often, according to the degree of their imperfection, evincing their annoyance for hav ing been uselessly troubled.
287. Some persons think it preferable to abstain from asking questions, and that it is best to wait the teaching of the spirits without calling it forth ; that is an error. Spirits, certainly, give spontaneous instruc tions of a very high bearing, which it would be wrong to neglect ; but there are explanations we should often await a long time were they not solicited. Without the questions we have asked, the Book on Spirits and the Book on Mediums would be still to make, or, at least, would have been much less complete, and a crowd of problems of great importance would be still to solve. Questions, far from having the least danger attending them, are of great utility as to instruction, when we know how to keep them within the prescribed limits. They have another advantage ; they help to unmask deceiving spirits, who, being more vain than learned, rarely undergo to their advantage the trial of questions of close logic, by which they are driven „ to their last intrenchments. As spirits truly superior have nothing to dread from such a censorship, they are the first to offer explanations on obscure points ; the others, on the contrary, fearing to meet a stronger party, take great care to avoid them ; thus, in general, they recommend to the mediums they wish to govern, and to make accept their theories, to abstain from all controversy at the place of their teachings.
If what we have already said in this work has been thoroughly understood, some idea can be formed of the circle in which it is best to confine the questions to be addressed to spirits ; yet, for greater certainty, we give below the answers that have been made on the princi pal subjects on which persons of slight experience are usually disposed to interrogate them.
288. Questions sympathetic or antipathetic to Spirits.
1. " Do spirits answer willingly to questions that are addressed to them ? "
" That is according to the questions. Serious spirits always answer with pleasure to those which have for their end good, and the means, to advance you. They do not listen to futile questions."
2. " Is it sufficient that a question be serious to ob tain a serious answer ? "
" No ; that depends on the spirit who answers."
— " But does not a serious question drive away trifling spirits ? "
" It is not the question that drives away trifling spir its ; it is the character of him zvho asks it."
3. " What are the questions especially antipathetic to good spirits ? "
" All those that are useless, or are asked from a mo tive of curiosity or test ; then they do not answer, but. withdraw."
—" Are there any questions antipathetic to imper fect spirits ? "
" Only those that might unmask their ignorance or their fraud when they try to deceive; otherwise they answer all, without troubling themselves about the truth."
4. " What is to be thought of persons who see in spirit communications only a distraction or a pastime, or a means of obtaining revelations on what interests them ? "
" These persons are very pleasing to inferior spirits, who, like them, wish to be amused, and are content when they have mystified them."
5. " Where spirits do not answer certain questions, is it the effect of their own will, or, rather, that a supe rior power is opposed to certain revelations ? "
" Both ; there are things that cannot be revealed, and others that the spirit does not know."
—" By strongly insisting, would the spirit end by an swering ? "
" No ; the spirit who does not wish to answer can always leave. It is, therefore, necessary to wait when you are told to do so ; and do not be obstinate in wish ing to make us answer. To insist upon having an answer when we do not wish to give one, is a certain means of being deceived."
6. " Can all spirits understand the questions put to them ? "
" Very far from it ; the inferior spirits are incapable of comprehending some questions, which does not, however, prevent them from answering well or ill, just as it happens among yourselves."
Remark. In some cases, and when the thing is use ful, it frequently happens that a more enlightened spirit comes to the assistance of the ignorant spirit, and breathes to him what he ought to say.
The contrast between the answers is easily recog nized ; and, besides, the spirit often acknowledges it him self. This happens only for spirits really ignorant, never for those who make a parade of false knowledge.
289. Questions on the Future.
7. " Can spirits tell us of the future ? "
" If man should know the future* he would neglect the present. And there is where you always insist upon having a precise answer; it is a great wrong, for the manifestation of spirits is not a means of divina tion. If you will, absolutely, have an answer, it will be given to you by a foolish spirit ; we tell you so always." (See Book on Spirits —Knowledge of the Future, No. 868.)
8. "Are there not future events sometimes spon taneously and truly announced by spirits ? "
" It may happen that the spirit may foresee things he thinks it useful to make known, or that he has a mission to make known ; but there is greater cause for suspecting it to be deceiving spirits, who are amusing themselves by making predictions. Only by taking all the circumstances together can we ascertain the degree of confidence they merit."
9. " What kind of predictions should we most mis trust ? "
" All that have no motive of general utility. Per sonal predictions may almost always be considered apocryphal."
10. " What is the motive of spirits who announce spontaneously events that do not come to pass ? "
" Most often it is to be amused by the credulity, the terror, or the joy they cause ; then they laugh at the disappointment. Yet these lying predictions have sometimes a more serious aim —that of putting to the test him to whom they are made, to see how he takes them, the nature of the sentiments, good or bad, they may awaken in him."
Remark. Such, for instance, as the announcement of what might excite cupidity or ambition, the death of a person, or a prospective inheritance, &c.
11. "Why do serious spirits, when they predict an event, ordinarily fix no date ; is it because they cannot, or will not ? "
" Both ; they may, in some cases, predict an event ; then it is a warning they give you. As to giving a precise date, often they ought not ; often, also, they cannot, because they do not know themselves. The spirit may foresee that a thing will take place, but the precise moment may depend on events not yet accom plished, and which God alone knows. Trifling spirits, who make no scruple of deceiving you, indicate the days and the hours, without troubling themselves with the issue. For this reason, all circumstantial predic tions should be distrusted. "
Once again, our mission is to make you progress ; we aid you as much as we can. He who asks wisdom of the superior spirits will never be deceived ; but do not believe that we lose our time listening to your nonsense, and telling your fortunes ; we leave that to frivolous spirits, whom it amuses, like mischievous children.
" Providence has imposed limits to the revelations that may be made to man. Serious spirits keep silence on everything forbidden to be made known. By in sisting on an answer, you are exposed to the impos tures of inferior spirits, always ready to seize every occasion to lay snares for your credulity."
Remark. Spirits see, or foresee, by induction, future events ; they see them fulfilled in a space of time which they do not measure as we do ; in order to give the exact date, they must identify themselves with our method of computing duration, which they do not always judge necessary ; this is often a cause of appar ent error."
12. "Are there not men endowed with a special faculty, which makes them foresee the future ? "
" Yes ; those whose souls are disengaged from mat ter ; then it is the spirit who sees ; and when it is use ful, God permits them to reveal some things for good ; but there are more impostors and charlatans. This faculty will be more common in the future."
13. What must be thought of spirits who predict a person's death at a certain day or hour ? "
" These are malicious jesters, — very malicious, — who have no other motive than to enjoy the fears they cause. Never believe them."
14. " How is it that some persons are warned by presentiment of the time of their death ? "
" Most often it is their own spirit, who knows it in his moments of liberty, and preserves an intuition of it on awakening. These persons, being prepared, are not frightened nor moved. They see in this separation of the body and soul only a change of situation, or, if you like better, and to be more common, the change from a thick coat to a silk one. The fear of death will dimin ish as spirit belief is extended."
290. Questions on Past and Future Existences.
15. "Can the spirits acquaint us with our past existences ? "
" God sometimes permits them to be revealed ac cording to the end ; if for your edification and instruc tion, they will be true, and in such case the revelation is almost always made spontaneously, and in a totally unforeseen manner ; but He never permits it to sat isfy a vain curiosity."
—"Why do some spirits never refuse to give such revelations ? "
" They arc bantering spirits, who amuse themselves at your expense. In general, you should regard as false, or, at least, suspicious, all revelations of this na ture that have not one eminently serious and useful aim. Mocking spirits please themselves in flattering self-love, by pretended origins. There are mediums and believers, who accept for current coin all that is said on this subject, and who do not see that the ac tual state of their spirit justifies in nothing the rank they pretend to have occupied ; a small vanity, with which the bantering spirits are as much amused as men. It would be more logical and more in conform ity with the progression of beings, that they should ascend, not have descended ; it would be more honor able to them. In order that these revelations should be worthy of confidence, they should have been made spontaneously by various mediums, strangers to each other, to whom they should have been anteriorly revealed : then there would be evident reason for believing them."
—" If we may not know our anterior individuality, is it the same as to the kind of existence we have had, the social position we have occupied, the qualities and defects that have predominated in us ? "
" No ; that may be revealed, because you may profit by it, for your advancement ; but in studying your present, you can yourselves deduce your past." (See Book on Spirits — Forgetfulness of the Past, No. 392-)
16. " Can anything be revealed to us of our future existences ? "
" No ; all that some spirits tell you on this subject is simply a jest, —easily understood to be so ; your future existence is not decreed in advance, for it will be what you yourself have made it, by your' conduct in the world, and by the resolutions you will have made when you shall have become spirits. The less you have to expiate, the happier you will be ; but to know where and how this existence will be, is impossible, except in the special and rare cases of spirits who are on the earth only to accomplish an important mission, because then their way is in some sort traced in advance.
291. Questions on Moral and Material Interests.
17. " Can one ask advice of spirits ? " " Yes, certainly ; good spirits never refuse to aid those who invoke them with confidence, principally on what concerns the soul ; but they repulse hypocrites, those who seem to ask for light, and yet delight in darkness?
18. "Can the spirits give advice on things of private interest ? "
"Sometimes, according to the motive. It depends, also, upon those to whom you address yourself. Ad vice concerning your private life is given with more certainty by the familiar spirit, because he attaches himself to a person, and interests himself in what con cerns him. This is the friend, the confidant of your most secret thoughts ; but often you tire him with questions so little to the purpose that he leaves you. It would be as absurd to ask about your private affairs of spirits who are strangers to you, as to address your self, for that purpose, to the first person you might meet on your road. You should never forget that puerility of questions is incompatible with the superi ority of the spirits. You must also take into account the qualities of the familiar spirit, who may be good or bad, according to his sympathies for the person to whom he attaches himself. The familiar -spirit of a wicked man is a wicked spirit, whose advice may be pernicious, but who removes and yields his place to a better spirit if the man himself becomes better. Like to like."
19. "Can the familiar spirits favor material interests by revelations ? "
" They can and do sometimes, accbrding to circum stances ; but be assured that good spirits never lend themselves to serve cupidity. The bad will display to your eyes a thousand attractions, to incite it, and mys tify you, at last, by deception. Be very sure, also, that if your lot is to undergo a certain vicissitude, your protecting spirits may aid you to support it with more resignation, may sometimes soften it ; but in the inter est of your future, it is not permitted them to deliver you from it ; as a good father does not give to his child all he may desire."
Remark. Our spirit protectors can, in many cases, indicate to us the better way, without, at the same time, leading us in a leash ; otherwise we should lose all initiative, and would not dare to take a step with out having recourse to them, and this to the prejudice of our perfecting. To progress, man often has to gain experience at his own expense ; for this reason wise spirits, even while advising us, leave us to our own energy, as a skillful teacher does for his pupils. In the ordinary circumstances of life, they counsel us by inspiration, and thus leave us all the merit of the good, as they leave us all the responsibility of the bad choice. It would be an abuse of the condescension of the familiar spirits, and a mistake as to their mis sion, to question them every instant about the most ordinary things, as do some mediums. There are those who, for a yes or no, take the pencil, and ask advice for the most simple action. This habit denotes poverty of ideas ; at the same time, it is a presumption to suppose we have always a spirit at our command, having nothing else to do but to be occupied with us and our small interests. It will also serve to destroy one's own judgment, and reduce one's self to a passive part, profitless for the present life, and most surely prejudicial to future advancement. If it is childish to interrogate the spirits for trifling things, it is not less so on the part of the spirits who occupy themselves spontaneously with what one. might call the details of the household : they may be good, but assuredly they are very terrestrial.
20. " If a person, in dying, leaves his affairs embarrasseJ, can one ask his spirit to aid - in disentangling them, and can one also question him upon the real estate he has left, in a case where the estate may not be known, if such questioning be in the interests of justice ? "
" You forget that death is a deliverance from the cares of the world ; do you think that the spirit who is happy in his liberty willingly returns to take up his chains, and occupy himself with things he no longer cares for, to satisfy the cupidity of those who, perhaps, are re joiced at his death, in the hope that it will be profitable to them ? You speak of justice, but the justice is in cheating their covetousness ; it is the beginning of the punishment which God reserves for their greediness for the goods of the world. Besides, the confusion which the death of a person sometimes leaves, makes a part of the trials of life, and it is not in the power of any spirit to deliver you from them, because they are in the decrees of God "
Remark. The above answer will, doubtless, disap point those wh6 imagine that spirits have nothing bet ter to do than to serve us as auxiliary clairvoyants, to guide us, not toward heaven, but on the earth. Another consideration comes to the support of this answer. If a man, during his life, has left his affairs in disorder from negligence, it is not likely that, afterhis death, he will take more care, for he would be happy to be freed from the trouble they caused him, and however little he may be elevated, he will attach less importance to them as spirit than as man. As to the unknown goods he may have left, he has no reason to interest himself for greedy heirs, who would prob ably think no more of him if they did not hope to gain something ; and if he is still imbued with human pas sions he may take a malign pleasure in their disap pointment. If, in the interest of justice and of persons he loves, a spirit deems it useful to make revelations of this kind, he makes them spontaneously, and for that there is no need of being a medium, or of having recourse to one ; he leads to the knowledge of the things by apparently accidental circumstances, but never on a question put to him about it ; inasmuch as this question cannot change the trials to be suffered, it would rather tend to increase them, because it is almost always an indication of cupidity, and proves to the spirits that they think of him only from interested motives. (See No. 295.)
292. Questions on the Fate of Spirits.
21. "May we ask of spirits information of their situ ation in the world of spirits ? "
" Yes ; and they give it willingly, when the question is dictated by sympathy or the desire of being useful, and not by curiosity."
22. " Can spirits describe the nature of their suffer ings, or their happiness ? "
" Perfectly ; and these revelations are of great in struction for you, for they initiate you into the true nature of future pains and recompenses, destroying the false ideas you have had on this subject ; they tend to reanimate faith and your confidence in the goodness of God. The good spirits are glad to describe to you the happiness of the chosen ; the bad can be con strained to describe their sufferings to incite them to repentance ; they sometimes find a comfort in it ; the unhappy pour out their complaint in the hope of com passion. "
Do not forget that the essential, exclusive end of Spiritism is your advancement, and it is to attain it that the spirits are permitted to initiate you into the future life, offering you examples by which you may profit. The more you identify yourself with the world that awaits you, the less you will regret the one in which you now are. This is, in short, the actual end of the revelation."
23. " In invoking a person whose fate is unknown, may we know from himself if he is still living ? "
" Yes, if the uncertainty concerning his death is not a necessity, or a trial for those w.ho are interested in knowing it."
" If he is dead, can he give us the circumstances of his death, so that they can be verified ? " " If he attaches any importance to it, he will do it ; otherwise he cares little about it."
Remark. Experience proves that, in such case, the spirit is not impressed by the motives of interest there may be to know the circumstances of his death ; if he chooses to reveal them, he does it of himself, either through a medium or by visions or apparitions, and can then give more exact indications ; if he does not desire it, a deceiving spirit may perfectly counterfeit him, and be amused by the vain search he causes.
It frequently happens that the disappearance of a person, whose death cannot be officially confirmed, creates confusion in family affairs. It is only in very rare and exceptional cases that we have known the spirits show the way of getting at the truth, after being asked to do so ; if they wish to do it, doubtless they can, but often it is not permitted if the embarrassments are trials for those who might be interested in disen tangling them.
It is, therefore, but a chimerical hope we follow, when we take such means of recovering an inherit ance ; the most certain thing about it will be the money spent in the effort.
There are not wanting spirits well disposed to flatter such hopes, who make no scruples of inciting to pro ceedings of which one is often very happy to be re lieved at the expense of a little ridicule.
293. Questions on the Health.
24. " Can spirits give us advice for our health ?"
" Health is a condition necessary for the work one should accomplish in the world ; for this reason they willingly attend to it ; but as there are ignorant and learned among them, it is not proper for that, any more than for anything else, to address yourself to the first comer."
25. " In addressing one's self to the spirit of a med ical celebrity, is one more certain of obtaining good advice ? "
" Terrestrial celebrities are not infallible, and have, often, systematic ideas which are not always true, and from which death does not immediately deliver them. Terrestrial science is a very small thing compared with celestial science ; the superior spirits alone have this last science ; without having names known among you, they may know much more than your learned men about everything. Science alone does not make spirits superior, and you would be very much astonished at the rank certain learned men occupy among us. The spirit of a learned man may not know more than when he was in the world, if he has not progressed as a spirit."
26. " Cannot the learned, after becoming a spirit, recognize his scientific errors ? "
" If he have reached a sufficiently high degree to be rid of his vanity, and to understand that his develop ment is not complete, he recognizes and avows them without shame ; but .if he is not sufficiently dematerialized, he may preserve some of the prejudices with which he was imbued in the world."
27. " Could a doctor, by invoking those of his pa tients who are dead, obtain from them some enlight enment on the cause of their death, the faults he may have committed in the treatment, and thus acquire an addition to his knowledge ? "
" He can ; and that would be very useful should he have the assistance of enlightened spirits, who could supply the defects in the knowledge of some of the patients. But for that he must make this study in a serious and assiduous manner, with a humanitary design, and not as a means of easily acquiring knowl edge and fortune."
294. Questions on Inventions and Discoveries.
28. "Can spirits guide in scientific researches and discoveries ? "
" Science is the work of genius ; it must be acquired only by labor ; for by labor alone is man advanced on his road. What merit would there be if he had only to question the spirits in order to know everything ? Any simpleton could become learned at that price. Industry alone can give us inventions and discoveries. Then there is another consideration ; everything must come in its time, when ideas are ripe 'to receive it : if man had this power I13 would overturn the order of things, pushing forward fruit before its season.
" God has said to man, Thou shalt draw thy nourish ment from the earth by the sweat of thy face : admi rable figure ! which pictures his condition here below. He must progress in everything by the effort of labor ; if we give him things already made, of what use would be his intelligence? He like the scholar whose duty another person performs."
29. " Are the ' savant ' and the inventor never assist ed by spirits in their researches ? "
" O, that is very different. When the time has come for a discovery, the spirits charged with its direction seek the man capable of conducting it to a good end, and inspire him with the necessary ideas, in such a way as to leave him all the merit of it ; for these ideas he must elaborate and work out. It is thus with all the grand achievements of human intelligence. The spirits leave each man in his sphere ; of him who is fit only to cultivate the earth, they will not make a confidant of God's secrets ; but they know how to draw from obscurity the man capable of seconding His designs. Do not allow yourselves to be carried away, by curiosity or ambition, into a path which is not the end of Spiritism, and which will lead only to the most ridiculous manifestations."
Remark. A more enlightened knowledge of Spirit ism has calmed the fever for discoveries which, in its incipiency, were expected to be reached by this means. It was supposed persons had only to ask of the spirits recipes to color the hair or to make it grow, to cure .corns on the feet, &c. We have seen many persons who thought their fortunes made, and who received only more or less ridiculous processes for it. It is the same when persons desire, by the aid of spirits, to pry into the mysteries of the origin of things ; some spirits having, on such subjects, systems often worth no more than those of men, and which it is prudent to receive with the utmost reserve.
295. Questions on Hidden Treasures.
30. " Can spirits discover to us hidden treasures ? "
" The superior spirits are not engaged in such mat ters ; but mocking spirits often indicate treasures that do not exist, or can make you fancy one in a spot in a directly contrary direction from where it is ; and that has its usefulness in order to show that tfue fortune is in labor. If Providence destines hidden riches for some one, he will find them naturally ; otherwise not."
31. "What are we to think of the belief of spirit guardians for hidden treasures ?"
" Spirits who are not dematerialized are attached to things. Misers who have hidden their treasures might still watch over and guard them after their death, and the trouble of seeing them carried away is one of their punishments, until they understand how useless they are to them. There are also spirits of the earth, charged to direct its interior transformations, who have been allegorically made the guardians of natural riches."
Remark. The question of hidden treasures is in the same category as that of unknown inheritances ; very silly would he be who should reckon upon the pretended revelations that might be made to him by the jokers of the invisible world. We have said that when spirits will or can make such revelations, they do it spontaneously, and have no need of mediums for that. We give an example. A lady lost her husband, after thirty years of married life, and found herself on the brink of being expelled from her home, without any resource, by her step-son, to whom she had been as a mother. Her despair was at its height, when, one evening, her husband appeared to her, told her to follow him into his study ; there he showed her his writing desk, which was still under seal, and by a kind of second sight he made her see its interior ; he pointed out a secret drawer that she had not known, explained to her its mechanism, and added, " I fore saw what would happen, and wished to make sure of your comfort : in this drawer is my last will ; I have given you the use of this house, and a yearly income :" then he disappeared. When the day came to remove the seals, no one could open the drawer ; then the lady related what had happened to her. She opened it as her husband had told her, and there found the will, in terms exactly as he had mentioned.
296. Questions on other Worlds.
32. " What degree of confidence may we place in the descriptions spirits give us of the different worlds ? "
" That depends on the degree of real advancement the spirits who give these descriptions may have reached ; for you understand that ordinary spirits are as incapable of teaching you, in that respect, as an ignoramus in the world is to describe all the countries of the earth. You often ask scientific questions about these worlds that these spirits cannot solve : if they are sincere, they speak according to their personal ideas ; if they are trifling spirits, they amuse them selves by giving you absurd and fantastic descriptions ; inasmuch as these spirits, who are not deprived of imagination in the wandering state, any more than on earth, draw on this faculty for the recital of many things that have no reality. Yet, there is no absolute impossibility of having some enlightenment on these worlds ; good spirits are even pleased in describing to you those who inhabit them, in order to serve as in struction and for your advancement, and to induce you to follow the road that will lead you thither ; it is a means of fixing your ideas of the future, so as not to leave you with a vague impression."
" What certainty can we have of the exactness of these descriptions ? "
" The best is the agreement between them ; but remember, they have your moral advancement for their object, and that, consequently, it is on the moral state of the inhabitants you may receive the best teachings, and not on their physical or geological state. With your actual knowledge you could not even com prehend it ; its study would not serve your progress here below, and you will have every means of making it when you are there."
Remark. Questions on the physical constitution and astronomical elements of the worlds enter into the order of scientific researches, of which the spirits ought not to spare you the trouble ; otherwise an astronomer would find it very convenient to have them make his calculations, which, doubtless, he would not hesitate to do. If spirits could, by revelation, spare the labor of a discovery, it is probable that they would do so in favor of a " savant " modest enough to avow openly the source, rather than to allow those to profit by it who deny them, and for whose self-love, on the - contrary, they often contrive deceptions.

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