"Such signs, as I have shown before,
certainly could not come within your classification
of the kinds of divination 'dependent on observation.' Therefore they are not the result of immemorial usage, but they are the inventions of art—
if there can be any art in the occult. But what
relationship have they with the laws of nature?
Assuming that all the works of nature are firmly
bound together in a harmonious whole (which, I
observe, is the view of the natural philosophers and
especially of those men1
who maintain that the
universe is a unit), what connexion can there be
between the universe and the finding of a treasure?
For instance, if the entrails foretell an increase in
my fortune and they do so in accordance with some
law of nature, then, in the first place, there is some
relationship between them and the universe, and
in the second place, my financial gain is regulated
by the laws of nature. Are not the natural philosophers ashamed to utter such nonsense? And yet
a certain contact between the different parts of
nature may be admitted and I concede it. The
Stoics have collected much evidence to prove it.
They claim, for example, that the livers of mice
become larger in winter; that the dry pennyroyal2
blooms the very day of the winter solstice, and that
its seed-pods become inflated and burst and the seeds
enclosed therein are sent in various directions;
that at times when certain strings of the lyre are
struck others sound; that it is the habit of oysters
and of all shell-fish to grow with the growth of the
moon and to become smaller as it wanes; and that
trees are considered easiest to cut down in winter
and in the dark of the moon, because they are then
free from sap.