It is a condition entailed upon us by nature that we should be born in accordance with her dictates, and a er a certain fashion prescribed by her. I myself have every reason to believe that there was no deviation from the usual course in my particular instance – and that I neither sprang out of the head of my father, as sin from the head of Satan;52 nor started out of the ground like one of the Dragon’s teeth, sown by that ancient woolgatherer, surnamed Jason.53 Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the perpetual emptiness of my father’s skull precluded any possibility of doubt about the matter, so far as he was concerned; – and my mother, – dragon enough, although she was, Heaven knows! had only lost, when I was born, one double pronged grinder, which, I am well certi ed, having reverently sprinkled with salt, she committed to the devouring ames.54