Beetles

November 12 2012

The change from Life to Death is [...] the supreme peripeteia. “All men are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death that mortals realise the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.” [Footnote: Melville, Herman: Moby Dick, chap. lx.] This total change that deprives Life of Life itself must be of the same magnitude for every creature.

The poor beetle that we tread upon
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies;

[footnote: Shakespeare: Measure for Measure, Act. III, scene i, ll. 79-81.] [...].

A Study of History, Vol X, OUP, 1954

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