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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

23 If you give a grape to him when hungryà

If you give a grape to him when hungry, a must-cake, an onion, a thistle, a cucumber, a fig, will he know that his hunger can be appeased by all these, or of what kind each should be to be fit for eating? If you made a very great fire, or surrounded him with venomous creatures, will he not go through the midst of flames, vipers, tarantulæ, without knowing that they are dangerous, and ignorant even of fear? But again, if you set before him garments and furniture, both for city and country life, will he indeed be able to distinguish for what each is fitted? to discharge what service they are adapted? Will he declare for what purposes of dress the stragula was made, the coif, zone, fillet, cushion, handkerchief, cloak, veil, napkin, furs, shoe, sandal, boot? What, if you go on to ask what a wheel is, or a sledge, a winnowing-fan, jar, tub, an oil-mill, ploughshare, or sieve, a mill-stone, ploughtail, or light hoe; a carved seat, a needle, a strigil, a laver, an open seat, a ladle, a platter, a candlestick, a goblet, a broom, a cup, a bag; a lyre, pipe, silver, brass, gold, a book, a rod, a roll, and the rest of the equipment by which the life of man is surrounded and maintained? Will he not in such circumstances, as we said, like an ox or an ass, a pig, or any beast more senseless, look at these indeed, observing their various shapes, but not knowing what they all are, and ignorant of the purpose for which they are kept? If he were in any way compelled to utter a sound, would he not with gaping mouth shout something indistinctly, as the dumb usually do?
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