22. Then began I assiduously to practise that for which I came to
Rome the teaching of rhetoric; and first to bring together at my
home some to whom, and through whom, I had begun to be known; when,
behold, I learnt that other offences were committed in Rome which I
had not to bear in Africa. For those subvertings by abandoned young
men were not practised here, as I had been informed; yet, suddenly,
said they, to evade paying their master's fees, many of the youths
conspire together, and remove themselves to another, breakers of
faith, who, for the love of money, set a small value on justice.
These also my heart "hated," though not with a "perfect hatred;"
for, perhaps, I hated them more in that I was to suffer by them,
than for the illicit acts they committed. Such of a truth are base
persons, and they are unfaithful to Thee, loving these transitory
mockeries of temporal things, and vile gain, which begrimes the hand
that lays hold on it; and embracing the fleeting world, and scorning
Thee, who abidest, and invitest to return, and pardonest the
prostituted human soul when it returneth to Thee. And now I hate
such crooked and perverse men, although I love them if they are to be
corrected so as to prefer the learning they obtain to money, and to
learning. Thee, O God, the truth and fulness of certain good and
most chaste peace. But then was the wish stronger in me for my own
sake not to suffer them evil, than was the wish that they should become
good for Thine.