It has been observed that the height of a man from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot is equal to the distance between the tips of the middle fingers of the two hands when extended in a straight line.
Cincinnatus was ploughing his four jugera of land upon the Vaticanian Hill,the same that are still known as the Quintian Meadows,when the messenger brought him the dictatorship, finding him, the tradition says, stripped to the work.
The agricultural population, says Cato, produces the bravest men, the most valiant soldiers, and a class of citizens the least given of all to evil designs . A bad bargain is always a ground for repentance.
Natural History. Book xviii. Sect. 26.
Note 1. This is alluded to by Cicero in his letters to Atticus, and is mentioned by Ælian (Animated Nature, book vi. chap. 41). It is like our proverb, Rats leave a sinking ship. [back]
Not unlike the bear which bringeth forth In the end of thirty dayes a shapeless birth; But after licking, it in shape she drawes, And by degrees she fashions out the pawes, The head, and neck, and finally doth bring To a perfect beast that first deformed thing. Du Bartas: Divine Weekes and Workes, first week, first day. [back]