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The entrails of serpents and lizards are of remarkable length. It is related that—a most fortunate omen—Cæcina of Volaterræ beheld two dragons arising from the entrails of the victim; and this will not be at all incredible, if we are ready to believe that while King Pyrrhus was sacrificing, the day upon which he died, the heads of the victims, on being cut off, crawled along the ground and licked up their own blood. In man, the entrails are separated from the lower part of the viscera by a certain membrane, which is called the " præcordia,"1 because it is extended in front of the heart; the Greeks have given it the name of " phrenes." All the principal viscera have been enclosed by Nature, in her prudent foresight, in their own peculiar membranes, just like so many sheaths, in fact. With reference to the diaphragm, there was a peculiar reason for this wise provision of Nature, its proximity to the guts, and the chances that the food might possibly intercept the respiration. It is to this organ that is attributed quick and ready wit, and hence it is that it has no fleshy parts, but is composed of fine sinews and membranes. This part is also the chief seat of gaiety of mind, a fact which is more particularly proved by the titillation of the arm-holes, to which the midriff extends; indeed, in no part of the body is the skin more fine; for this reason it is, also, that we experience such peculiar pleasure in scratching the parts in its vicinity. Hence it is, that in battles and gladiatorial combats, many persons have been known to be pierced through the midriff, and to die in the act of laughing.2

1 Or diaphragm; from "præ," "before," and "cor," the " heart."

2 With Sardonic laughter, as Hardouin remarks.

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