>NATURE -- Thou forgettest that the life of the world is a perpetual cycle of production and destruction, so combined that the one works for the good of the other. By their joint operation the universe is preserved. If either ceased, the world would dissolve. Therefore, if suffering were removed from the earth, its own existence would be endangered.
>ICELANDER -- So say all the philosophers. But since that which is destroyed suffers, and that which is born from its destruction also suffers in due course, and finally is in its turn destroyed, would you enlighten me on one point, about which hitherto no philosopher has satisfied me? For whose pleasure and service is this wretched life of the world maintained, by the suffering and death of all the beings which compose it?
>Whilst they discussed these and similar questions, two lions are said to have suddenly appeared. The beasts were so enfeebled and emaciated with hunger that they were scarcely able to devour the Icelander. They accomplished the feat however, and thus gained sufficient strength to live to the end of the day. But certain people dispute this fact. They affirm that a violent wind having arisen, the unfortunate Icelander was blown to the ground, and soon overwhelmed beneath a magnificent mausoleum of sand. Here his corpse was remarkably preserved, and in process of time he was transformed into a fine mummy. Subsequently, some travellers discovered the body, and carried it off as a specimen, ultimately depositing it in one of the museums of Europe.
How would lit respond to the icelander?