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Now being thus wicked and incontinent in reference to the aforesaid lustful desires, it is no less easy to be proved that men are more intemperate than beasts, even in those things which are necessary, that is to say, in eating and drinking, the pleasure of which we always enjoy with some benefit to ourselves. But you, pursuing the pleasures of eating and drinking beyond the satisfaction of nature, [p. 230] are punished with many and tedious diseases, which, arising from the single fountain of superfluous gormandizing, fill your bodies with all manner of wind and vapors not easy for purgation to expel. In the first place, all sorts of beasts, according to their kind, feed upon one sort of food, which is proper to their natures; some upon grass, some upon roots, and others upon fruits. They that feed upon flesh never mind any other sort of food. Neither do they rob the weaker animals of their nourishment. But the lion suffers the hart, and the wolf the sheep, to feed upon what Nature has provided for them. But man, such is his voracity, falls upon all, to satisfy the pleasures of his appetite; tries all things, tastes all things; and, as if he were yet to seek what was the most proper diet and most agreeable to his nature, among all the creatures is the only all-devourer. And first he makes use of flesh, not for want, as having the liberty to take his choice of herbs and fruits, the plenty of which is inexhaustible; but out of luxury and being closed with necessaries, he seeks after inconvenient and impure diet, purchased by the slaughter of living creatures; by that means showing himself more cruel than the most savage of wild beasts. For blood, murder, and flesh are proper to nourish the kite, the wolf, and dragon; but to men they are delicious viands. Then making use of all, he does not do like the beasts, which abstain from most creatures and are at enmity only with a few, and that only compelled by the necessities of hunger; but neither fowl nor fish nor any thing that lives upon the land escapes your tables, though they bear the epithets of human and hospitable.

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load focus English (Harold Cherniss and William C. Helmbold, 1957)
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