ever much it is to be deprecated, does it not prove an authority of the human mind over the body, which extends even to the annihilation thereof?"
"The arrogance of humanity!" answered the physician; "that is the original sin that adheres to us all. What you speak of may just as well be the result of physical causes, what men call instinct in animals without reason. For example, a marten or a rat which is caught by one foot in a trap will bite off that foot with its own teeth and run away. A yet more striking example: in my travels in lower Italy I often saw the peasants enjoy a cruel pleasure in throwing a scorpion into the centre of a pretty large circle of glowing cinders. The poor animal tried to fly, and shot from one side to the other, but was everywhere stopped by the glowing ring; it raised its head as if entreating the mercy of the bystanders, but all laughed and cheered, and no one offered it means of exit; then it shot into the circle in a rage, hunted by anxiety and despair, and tried to force the glowing cinders with its claws, but quickly retreated and writhed through its whole body. When it no longer saw means of escape, it crouched in the middle of the circle far away from the flames. Without motion it lay as if dead, but suddenly putting out the sting of its tail, it reared itself with all its might, stabbed itself through, and was dead. Tell me, did the scorpion feel its independent spiritual individuality?"