Rohde (Rheinisches Museum, i., 1895) regards them as spirits of the storm, which at the bidding of the gods carry off human beings alive to the under-world or some spot beyond human ken.
I do not know why it is, but stories in which animals are made to talk and act like human beings have never appealed to me very strongly.
But just as the subject of every science is the manifestation of this unknown essence of life while that essence itself can only be the subject of metaphysics, even the manifestation of the force of free will in human beings in space, in time, and in dependence on cause forms the subject of history, while free will itself is the subject of metaphysics.
The number of human beings admits neither of increase nor of decrease, and a regular process of metempsychosis goes on continually.
The root idea arises from the analogy of the acts of human beings which are observed to have certain purposes: hence it was natural to assume that the whole sum of existence with its amazing complexity and its orderly progress can be explained only on the assumption of a similar plan devised by a conscious agent.
But human beings are not machines.
Other features frequently met with are the Paradise in the Far East, miniatures of towns, plants, animals, human beings and monsters, and an indication of the twelve winds around the margin.
ASTROLOGY, the ancient art or science of divining the fate and future of human beings from indications given by the positions of the stars (sun, moon and planets).
In 1859 the discovery of the famous Comstock Lode in Western Nevada led to the building of Virginia City, a prosperous community on the side of a mountain where human beings under ordinary conditions would not have lived, and eventually brought a new state into existence.
These seven hells are subdivided into innumerable compartments corresponding to every species of sin, where the demons torture the poor deluded human beings who have suffered themselves to be led astray whilst on earth.