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3. The columns of the upper tier should be one fourth smaller than those of the lower, because, for the purpose of bearing the load, what is below ought to be stronger than what is above, and also, because we ought to imitate nature as seen in the case of things growing; for example, in round smooth-stemmed trees, like the fir, cypress, and pine, every one of which is rather thick just above the roots and then, as it goes on increasing in height, tapers off naturally and symmetrically in growing up to the top. Hence, if nature requires this in things growing, it is the right arrangement that what is above should be less in height and thickness than what is below.

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