Natural History of Pliny - Vol. 2

Natural History of Pliny - Vol. 2

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Natural History of Pliny - Vol. 2

Natural History of Pliny - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Such then is the present state of the world, and of the countries, nations, more remarkable seas, islands, and cities which it contains. The nature of the animated beings which exist upon it, is hardly in any degree less worthy of our contemplation than its other features; if, indeed, the human mind is able to embrace the whole of so diversified a subject. Our first attention is justly due to Man, for whose sake all other things appear to have been produced by Nature; though, oil the other hand, with so great and so severe penalties for the enjoyment of her bounteous gifts, that it is far from easy to determine, whether she has proved to him a kind parent, or a merciless step-mother.

In the first place, she obliges him alone, of all animated beings, to clothe himself with the spoils of the others; while, to all the rest, she has given various kinds of coverings, such as shells, crusts, spines, hides, furs, bristles, hair, down, feathers, scales, and fleeces. The very trunks of the trees even, she has protected against the effects of heat and cold by a bark, which is, in some cases, twofold.4 Man alone, at the very moment of . . .

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