Re: Ch. 12 - Reason Embattled
I often wish people would be more ready to offer literal interpretations of poetic language (more than one if they see ambiguity) - so that I could be a little more sure that I am not missing something that they are seeing. I suppose their reluctance is in part due to a reluctance to patronize the reader by pointing out something obvious - but I also wonder whether they are not at some level afraid to come out into the open in case they have misinterpreted or missed something. So, with apologies if this is too simpleminded to be worth saying:Take physic, pomp
physic is medicine. Pomp, I take it, is a reference to himself. i.e. I gloss it as
Take the medicine, you proud, pompous old man!
The medicine being, of course, the act of exposing himself to the elements in order that he may better understand the misery of the poor who have no protection.That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
superflux means abundance, so "shake the superflux to them" means treat them to the benefits of your wealth with generosity.
What is the connection to secularism? I suppose Jacoby sees this as a powerful poetic statement of the principle on which a non-theistic philosophy should be based - that the rich and powerful should take time to recognize the suffering of those less fortunate and be moved to help and protect them.