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[1343b] [1] and mankind like the rest from their common mother the earth.

And besides all this, agriculture contributes notably to the making of a manly character; because, unlike the mechanical arts, it does not cripple and weaken the bodies of those engaged in it, but inures them to exposure and toil and invigorates them to face the perils of war. For the farmer's possessions, unlike those of other men, lie outside the city's defences.

When we turn our attention to the human part of the household, it is the woman who makes the first claim upon it; <for the natural comes first, as we have said,> and nothing is more natural than the tie between female and male. For we have elsewhere laid down the premiss1 that Nature is intent on multiplying severally her types; and this is true of every animal in particular. Neither the female, however, can effect this without the male, nor the male without the female; whence the union of the sexes has of necessity arisen.

Now among the lower animals, this union is irrational in character; it exists merely for the purpose of procreation, and lasts only so long as the parents are occupied in producing their brood. In tame animals, on the other hand, and those which possess a greater share of intelligence, it has assumed a more complex form; for in their case we see more examples of mutual help, goodwill, and co-operation. It is, however, in the human species that this complexity is most marked; since the co-operation between woman and man aims not merely at existence, but at a happy [20] existence. Nor do mankind beget children merely to pay the service they owe to Nature, but also that they may themselves receive a benefit; for the toil they undergo while they are strong and their offspring is still weak is repaid by that offspring when it in turn is grown strong and the parents by reason of age are weak.

At the same time Nature, by this cycle of changes, fulfills her purpose of perpetuating existence; preserving the type when she is unable to preserve the individual.2 And so with this purpose in view Divine Providence has fashioned the nature of man and of woman for their partnership. For they are distinguished from each other by the possession of faculties not adapted in every case to the same tasks, but in some cases for opposite ones, though contributing to the same end. For Providence made man stronger and woman weaker,

1 Cf. Aristot. Pol. 1.1.

2 Cf. Aristot. De Gen. An. 731b.

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