But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool’s life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before. It is said that Deucalion and Pyrrha created men by throwing stones over their heads behind them:

   Inde genus durum sumus, experiensque laborum,
   Et documenta damus qua simus origine nati.

Or, as Raleigh rhymes it in his sonorous way,

   "From thence our kind hard-hearted is, enduring pain and care,
   Approving that our bodies of a stony nature are.“

So much for a blind obedience to a blundering oracle, throwing the stones over their heads behind them, and not seeing where they fell.

Thoreau, Walden
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