324. Those who speak falsities from deceit or purposely, uttering them in a tone imitative of spiritual affection (and still more if they mingle with them truths from the Word, which are thus falsified), were by the ancients called sorcerers (on whom see the Apocalypse Revealed, n. 462), also pythons, and serpents of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These falsifiers, liars, and deceivers may be likened to men who talk to those they hate in a bland and friendly manner, and while talking hold behind them a dagger with which to kill. They may also be likened to those who poison their swords and thus attack their enemies; or to those who mix hemlock with water, or who poison with wine and sweetmeats. They may also be likened to handsome and seductive harlots infected with venereal diseases; to stinging shrubs, which when brought near to the nostrils, hurt the olfactory fibers; to sweetened poisons; and also to ordure, which when dried emits in autumn a fragrant odor. Such are described in the Word by leopards (see the Apocalypse Revealed, n. 572).