Thursday, September 24, 2015

... penalties for enjoyment ...

Such then is the present state of the world, and of the countries,  nations, more remarkable seas, islands, and cities which it contains.  The nature of the animated beings which exist upon it, is hardly in any degree less worthy of our contemplation than its other features;  if, indeed, the human mind is able to embrace the whole of so diversified a subject.  Our first attention is justly due to Man, for whose sake all other things appear to have been produced by Nature;  though, on the other hand, with so great and so severe penalties for the enjoyment of her bounteous gifts, that it is far from easy to determine, whether she has proved to him a kind parent, or a merciless step-mother.

-Pliny the Elder (AD 23 – August 25, AD 79),  Natural History

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