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59. If that which it has pleased us to know is within reach, and if such knowledge is open to all, declare to us,38113811    So the ms.; but all edd. except Hild. and Oehler omit nobis. and say how and by what means showers of rain are produced, so that water is held suspended in the regions above and in mid-air, although by nature it is apt to glide away, and so ready to flow and run downwards. Explain, I say, and tell what it is which sends the hail whirling through the air, which makes the rain fall drop by drop, which has spread out rain and feathery flakes of snow and sheets of lightning;38123812    So the ms., reading folgora dilatarit, followed by LB. whence the wind rises, and what it is; why the changes of the seasons were established, when it might have been ordained that there should be only one, and one kind of climate, so that there should be nothing wanting to the world’s completeness. What is the cause, what the reason, that the waters of the sea are salt;38133813    Salsa, corrected from the ms. sola. or that, of those on land, some are sweet, others bitter or cold? From what kind of material have the inner parts of men’s bodies been formed and built up into firmness? From what have their bones been made solid? what made the intestines and veins shaped like pipes, and easily passed through? Why, when it would be better to give us light by several eyes, to guard against the risk of blindness, are we restricted to two? For what purpose have so infinite and innumerable kinds of monsters and serpents been either formed or brought forth? what purpose do owls serve in the world,—falcons, hawks? what other birds38143814    Alites et volucres; i.e., according to Orelli, the birds from whose flight auguries were drawn, as opposed to the others. and winged creatures? what the different kinds of ants and worms springing up to be a bane and pest in various ways? what fleas, obtrusive flies, spiders, shrew, and other mice, leeches, water-spinners? what thorns, briers, wild-oats, tares? what the seeds of herbs or shrubs, either sweet to the nostrils, or disagreeable in smell? Nay more, if you think that anything can be known or comprehended, say what wheat is,—spelt, barley, millet, the chick-pea, bean, lentil, melon, cumin, scallion, leek, onion? For even if they are useful to you, and are ranked among the different kinds of food, it is not a light or easy thing to know what each is,—why they have been formed with such shapes; whether there was any necessity that they should not have had other tastes, smells, and colours than those which each has, or whether they could have taken others also; further, what these very things are,—taste, I mean,38153815    So Heraldus, whose punctuation also is here followed, omitting id est sapor—“that is, taste,” which Meursius and LB., followed by Orelli, amend, ut est—“as taste is” in each thing. and the rest; and from what relations they derive their differences of quality. From the elements, you say, and from the first beginnings of things. Are the elements, then, 457bitter or sweet? have they any odour or38163816    Vel is here inserted in all edd., most of which read, as above, oloris, which is found in the ms., in later writing, for the original, coloris—“colour,” retained by Ursinus, LB., and Oehler. stench, that we should believe that, from their uniting, qualities were implanted in their products by which sweetness is produced, or something prepared offensive to the senses?


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