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WE had always some difficulty started about κερασβόλος and ἀτεράμων, not what humor those words signified (for it is certain that some, thinking that those seeds which fall on the oxen's horns bear fruit which is very hard, did by a metaphor call a stiff untractable fellow by these names), but what was the cause that seeds falling on the oxen's horns should bear hard fruit. I had often desired my friends to search no farther, most of all fearing the discourse of Theophrastus, in which he has collected many of those particulars whose causes we cannot discover. Such are the hen's purifying herself with straw after she has laid, the seal's swallowing her rennet when she is caught, the deer's burying his cast horns, and the goat's stopping the whole herd by holding a branch of sea-holly in his mouth; and among the rest he reckoned this is a thing of which we are certain, but whose cause it is very difficult to find. But once at supper at Delphi, some of my companions—as if we were not only better counsellors when our bellies are full (as one hath it), but wine would make us brisker in our enquiries and bolder in our resolutions—desired me to speak somewhat to that problem.
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