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Males are heavier than females, and the bodies of all animals are heavier when they are dead than when alive; they also weigh more when asleep than when awake. The dead bodies of men float upon the back, those of women with the face downwards; as if, even after death, nature were desirous of sparing their modesty.1

(18.) We find it stated, that there are some men whose bones are solid, and devoid of marrow,2 and that one mark of such persons is the fact that they are never thirsty, and emit no perspiration. At the same time, we know that by the exercise of a resolute determination, any one may resist the feeling of thirst; a fact which was especially exemplified in the case of Julius Viator, a Roman of equestrian rank, but by birth one of the Vocontii, a nation on terms of alliance with us. Having, in his youth, been attacked by dropsy, and forbidden the use of liquids by his physicians,3 use with him became a second nature, and so, in his old age, he never took any drink at all. Other persons also, have, by the exercise of a strong determination, laid similar restraints upon themselves.

(19.) It is said that Crassus, the grandfather of Crassus, who was slain by the Parthians, was never known to laugh; from which circumstance he obtained the name of Agelastus.4 There are other persons again, who have never been seen to weep. Socrates, who was so famous for his wisdom, always appeared with the same countenance, and was never known to appear either more gay or more sad than ordinary. This even tenor of the mind, however, sometimes degenerates into a sort of harshness, and a rigorous and inflexible sternness of nature, entirely effacing all the human affections. The Greeks, among whom there have been many persons of this description, are in the habit of calling them ᾿απαθεῖς.5 A very remarkable thing, too, is the fact, that among these persons are to be found some of the greatest masters of philosophy. Diogenes the Cynic, for instance, Pyrrho, Heraclitus, and Timon, which last allowed himself to be so entirely carried away by this spirit, as to become a hater of all mankind. Less important peculiarities of nature, again, are to be observed in many persons; Antonia,6 for instance, the wife of Drusus, was never known to expectorate; and Pomponius, the poet, a man of consular rank, was never troubled with eructation. Those rare instances of men,7 whose bones are naturally solid and without marrow, are known to us as men "of horn."8

1 This is incorrect; the human body, after death, does not float until decomposition has commenced, when it becomes more or less buoyant, in consequence of the formation of gases, which partially distend the cavities; but we do not observe any difference in the two sexes in this respect.—B.

2 This statement is altogether incorrect.—B.

3 The total abstinence from liquids in dropsy, was a point much insisted upon by medical practitioners, even in modern times; but it is now generally conceived to have been derived from a false theory, and not to be essential to the cure of the disease, while it imposes upon the patient a most severe privation. A moderate use of fluids is even favourable to the operation of the remedies that are employed in this disease.—B.

4 From the Greek ἀγελαστὀς, "one who does not laugh." Cicero refers to this peculiarity in the character of Crassus, in his treatise De Finibus, B. v. c. 92; and in the Tusc. Quest. B. iii. c. 3, he informs us, on the authority of Lucilius, that Crassus never laughed but once in his life.—B. And then, on seeing a donkey eating thistles; upon which he exclaimed, "Similem habent labia lactucam," "Like lips, like lettuce."

5 "Without passion;" equivalent to our English word "apathetical."—B.

6 The daughter of M. Antony by Octavia. She was the mother of Germanicus Cæsar, and the grandmother of the emperor Caligula, whom she lived to see on the throne, and who is supposed to have hastened her death. She was celebrated for her beauty and chastity-a rare virtue in those days.

7 Pliny, B. xxxi. c. 45. says, that this state of the bones is found in fishermen, from their being exposed to the action of the sea and salt water; but both the fact and the supposed cause are without foundation.—B.

8 "Cornei."

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