17. By what feelings, then, was I animated? For it was in truth
too shameful; and woe was me who had it. But still what was it?
"Who can understand his errors?" We laughed, because our hearts
were tickled at the thought of deceiving those who little imagined what
we were doing, and would have vehemently disapproved of it. Yet,
again, why did I so rejoice in this, that I did it not alone? Is
it that no one readily laughs alone? No one does so readily; but yet
sometimes, when men are alone by themselves, nobody being by, a fit
of laughter overcomes them when anything very droll presents itself to
their senses or mind. Yet alone I would not have done it alone I
could not at all have done it. Behold, my God, the lively
recollection of my soul is laid bare before Thee alone I had not
committed that theft, wherein what I stole pleased me not, but rather
the act of stealing; nor to have done it alone would I have liked so
well, neither would I have done it. O Friendship too unfriendly!
thou mysterious seducer of the soul, thou greediness to do mischief out
of mirth and wantonness, thou craving for others' loss, without
desire for my own profit or revenge; but when they say, "Let us go,
let us do it," we are ashamed not to be shameless.