(57) But those men who are of peaceable character are at liberty to keep themselves not only within their walls, but also even within tents, and there to live in privacy, safe from the designs of any enemies, having vast and countless herds of domestic animals to help their enjoyment; since boars and lions, and animals of that kind, are by their own instinct driven to a distance from cities, not being inclined to expose themselves to danger in consequence of the devices of men. (58) And if any men, being influenced by a spirit of laziness and indolence, living without arms and without preparation, dwell fearlessly among the haunts of wild beasts, then if anything happens to them they must blame not nature but themselves, because when they might have guarded against any such disasters, they have neglected them. Accordingly, before now, I have seen at the horse-races some persons acting in a most careless manner, who, when they ought to have sat still and to have beheld the races in an orderly manner, standing in the middle have been knocked down by the horses’ feet and by the wheels, and have met with a proper reward for their folly. (59) We have now, then, said enough on this subject.

But of reptiles, those which are venomous have not been called into existence by an immediate providence, but by the natural consequences of events, as I said before; for they are brought into life when the moisture which is in them changes to a more violent heat; and some are vivified by putrefaction, as, for instance, the putrefaction of meat produces maggots, and that which is caused by perspiration produces lice; but all those which are produced out of a kindred substance, and which have their generation in accordance with the usual spermatic principles which I have mentioned before, are very naturally ascribed to an immediate providence. (60) And I have also heard two accounts given of them as having been created for the advantage of mankind, which I should not think it well to conceal. Now one of them is the following.