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It remains yet behind, that I treat of their beneficialness to man, and of their symbolical use; and some of them participate of some one of these, and others of both. It is most manifest therefore that they worship the ox, the sheep, and the ichneumon for their benefit and use; as the Lemniotes did the lark, for finding out the locusts' eggs and breaking them, and the Thessalians the storks, because that, as their soil bred abundance of serpents, they at their appearance destroyed them all, for which reason they enacted a law that whoever killed a stork should be banished the country. Moreover the Egyptians honored the asp, the weasel, and the beetle, observing in them certain dark resemblances of the power of the Gods, like those of the sun in drops of water. For there are many that to this day believe that the weasel engenders by the ear, and brings forth by the mouth, and is therein a resemblance of the production of speech; and [p. 132] that the beetle kind also hath no female, but that the males cast out their sperm into a round pellet of earth, which they roll about by thrusting it backwards with their hinder feet,—and this in imitation of the sun, which, while itself moves from west to east, turns the heaven the contrary way. They also compared the asp to a star, for being always young, and for performing its motions with great ease and glibness, and that without the help of organs.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
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