15. Under a puerile and sometimes ridiculous image, if one regards its form only, allegory often conceals the greatest truths. Is this a more absurd fable than that of Saturn, who is represented as a god devouring stones whom he takes for his children? But at the same time what can be more profoundly philosophically true than this figure if we seek its moral? Saturn is the personification of time. All things being the work of time, he is the father of all that exists. Moreover, all is destroyed by time. Saturn devouring stones is the emblem of destruction by time of even the most enduring forms, which are his children since they are formed by time. And what escapes this destruction according to this same allegory? Jupiter, the emblem of superior intelligence, of the indestructible spiritual principle. This image is so natural, that in modern language, without allusion to the ancient fable, it is said of a thing defaced by time that it has been devoured, corroded, or ravaged by it.
All pagan mythology is in reality only a vast allegorical picture of the good and bad sides of humanity. He who seeks the spirit of it ever finds it a complete course in the highest philosophy, which is also true of our modern fables. The absurdity is to mistake the form for the moral of it.