THE EIGTH BOOKE OF THE HISTORIE OF NATVRE,
C. PLINIVS SECVNDVS
Of land beasts. The praise of Elephants: their wit and understanding.
PASSE wee now to treat of other living creatures, and first of land beasts: among which, the Elephant is the greatest, and commeth neerest in wit and capacitie, to men: for they understand the language of that country wherein they are bred, they do whatsoever they are commaunded, they remember what duties they be taught, and withall take a pleasure and delight both in love and also in glorie: nay more than all this, they embrace goodnesse, honestie, prudence, and equitie, (rare qualities I may tell you to be found in men) and withall have in religious reverence (with a kind of devotion) not only the starres and planets, but the sunne and moone they also worship. And in very truth, writers there be who report thus much of them, That when the new moon beginneth to appeare fresh and bright, they come down by whole heards to a certaine river named Amelus, in the deserts and forrest of Mauritania, where after that they are washed and solemnly purified by sprinkling & dashing themselves all over with the water, and have saluted and adored after their manner that planet, they returne againe into the woods and chases, carrying before them their yong calves that be wearied and tired. Moreover, they are thought to have a sense and understanding of religion and conscience in others; for when they are to passe the seas into another countrey, they will not embarke before they be induced thereto by an oath of their governours and rulers, That they shall returne againe: and seen there have been divers of them, being enfeebled by sicknesse (for as bigge and huge as they be, subject they are to grievous maladies) to lie upon their backes, casting and flinging hearbs up toward heaven, as if they had procured and set the earth to pray for them. Now for their docilitie and aptnesse to learne any thing; the king they adore, they kneele before him, and offer unto him guirlands and chaplets of flowers and green hearbs. To conclude, the lesser sort of them, which they call Bastards, serve the Indians in good stead to care and plough their ground.
When Elephants were put to draw first.
THE first time that ever they were known to draw at Rome, was in the triumph of Pompey the great, after he had subdued Affricke, for then were two of them put in geeres to his triumphant charriot. But long before that, it is said that Father Bacchus having conquered India, did the like when he triumphed for his conquest. Howbeit, in that triumph of Pompey, Procilius affirmeth, That coupled, as they were, two in one yoke, they could not possible goe in at the gates of Rome. In the late solemnitie of tournois and sword-fight at the sharpe, which Germanicus Cæsar exhibited to gratifie the people, the Elephants were seen to shew pastime with leaping and keeping a stirre, as if they daunced, after a rude and disorderly manner. A common thing it was among them to fling weapons and darts in the aire so strongly, that the winds had no power against them; to flourish also beforehand, yea, and to encounter and meet together in fight like sword-fencers, and to make good sport in a kind of Moriske daunce: and afterwards to goe on ropes and cords: to carie (foure together) one of them laid at ease in a litter, resemblng the maner of women newly brought a bed: last of all, some of them were so nimble and well practised, that they would enter into an hall or dining place wher the tables were set full of guests, & passe among them so gently and daintily, weighing as it were their feet in their going, so as they would not hurt or touch any of the companie as they were drinking.
The docilitie of Elephants.
THIS is knowne for certaine, that upon a time there was one Elephant among the rest, not so good of capacitie, to take out his lessons, and learn that which was taught him: and being beaten and beaten againe for that blockish and dull head of his, was found studying and conning those feats in the night, which he had been learning in the day time. But one of the greatest wonders of them was this, that they could mount up and climbe against a rope; but more wonderfull, that they should slide downe againe with their heads forward. Mutianus, a man who had in his time beene thrice Consull, reporteth thus much of one of them, that hee had learned to make the Greeke characters, and was woont to write in that language thus much, This have I written, and made an offering of the Celticke spoiles. Likewise hee saith, that himselfe saw at Puteoli, a certaine ship discharged of Elephants embarked therein: and when they should bee set ashore, and forced to goe forth of the vessell, to which purpose there was a bridge made for them to passe over, they were affrighted at the length thereof, bearing out so farre from the land into the water: and therefore to deceive themselves, that the way might not seeme so long, went backward with their tailes to the banke, and their heads toward the sea. They are ware, and know full well that their onely riches (for love of which, men lay wait for them) lieth in their armes and weapons that Nature hath given them: king Iuba calleth them their hornes: but Herodotus, who wrote long before him, and the custome of speech, hath tearmed them much better, Teeth. And therefore when they are shed and fallen off, either for age, or by some casualtie, the Elephants themselves hide them within the ground. And this in truth is the onely yvorie: for, all the rest, yea and these teeth also so farre as lay covered within the flesh, is of no price, and taken for no better than bone. And yet of late daies, for great scarcitie & want of the right teeth, men have been glad to cut and saw their bones into plates, and make yvorie thereof. For hardly can wee now come by teeth of any bignessse, unlesse wee have them out of India. For all the rest that might bee gotten in this part of the world betweene us and them, hath been emploied in superfluities onely, and served for wanton toies. You may know young Elephants by the whitenesse of these teeth: and a speciall care and regard have these beasts of them, above all. They look to one of them alwaies, that the point be sharpe; and therefore they forbeare to occupie it, least it should bee blunt against they come to fight: the other they use ordinarily, either to get up roots out of the earth, or to cast down any bankes or mures that stand in their way. When they chance to bee environned and compassed round about with hunters, they set formost in the ranke to bee seene, those of the heard that have the least teeth: to the end, that their price might not bee thought worth the hazard & venture in chase for them. But afterwards, when they see the hunters eager, and themselves overmatched and wearie, they breake them with running against the hard trees, and leaving them behind, escape by this raunsome as it were, out of their hands.
The clemencie of Elephants: their foresight and knowledge of their owne dangers: also the fell fiercenesse of the Tygre.
A WONDER it is in many of these creatures, that they should thus know wherefore they are hunted, and withall take heed and beware of all their dangers. It is said, that if an Elephant chaunce to meet with a man wandering simply out of his way in the wildernesse, hee will mildly and gently set him into the right way againe. But if he perceive a mans fresh footing, before he espie the man, he will quake and tremble for feare of being forelaied and surprised: he will stay from farther following the sent, looke about him every way, snuffe and puffe for very anger. Neither will he tread upon the tract of a mans foot, but dig it out of the earth, and give it to the next Elephant unto him, and he againe to him that followeth, and so from one to another passeth this intelligence and message as it were, to the utmost ranke behind. Then the whole heard makes a stand, and cast round about to returne backward, and withall put themselves in battell array: so long continueth that strong virulent smell of mens feet, and runneth through them all, notwithstanding for the most part they be not bare, but shod. Semblably, the Tigresse also, how fierce and cruell she be to other wild beasts, and careth not a whit for a very Elephant; if she happen to have a sight of a mans footing, presently, by report, conveigheth away her young whelpes, and is gone. But how cometh she to this knowledge of a man? where saw she him ever before, whom thus she feareth? For surely such wild woods and forests are not much travelled & frequented by men. Set case that they may well wonder at the straunge sight and noveltie of their tracts, which are so seldome seene, how know they that they are to bee feared? Nay, what should bee the reason, that they dread to see a man indeed, being as they are, farre bigger, much stronger, and swifter by many degrees than a man? Certes, herein is to bee seene the wonderfull worke of Nature, and her mightie power; that the greatest, the most fell and savage beasts that be, having never seene that which they ought to feare, should incontinently have the sence and conceit, why the same is to be feared.
The understanding and memorie of Elephants.
THE Elephants march alwaies in troupes. The eldest of them leadeth the vaward, like a captaine: and the next to him in age, commeth behind with the conduct of the arrereguard. When they are to passe over any river, they put formost the least of all their companie, for feare, that if the bigger should enter first, they would, as they troad in the channell, make the water to swell and rise, and so cause the fourd to bee more deepe. Antipater writeth, that king Antiochus had two Elephants, which he used in his warres above all the rest; and famous they were for their surnames, which they knew well ynough, and wist when any man called them thereby. And verily, Cato reciting in his Annales the names of the principall captaine Elephants, hath left in writing, That the elephant which fought most lustily in the point of the Punick war, had to name Surus, by the same token, that the one of his teeth was gone. When Antiochus upon a time would have sounded the fourd of a certaine river, by putting the Elephants before, Ajax refused to take the water, who otherwise at all times was wont to lead the way. Whereupon the king pronounced with a lowd voice, That looke which Elephant passed to the other side, he should be the captaine and cheefe. Then Patroclus gave the venture: and for his labour had a rich harnish and caparison given him, & was all trapped in silver (a thing wherein they take most delight) & made besides, the soveraigne of all the rest. But the other that was disgraced thus, and had lost his place, would never eat any meat after, but died for very shame of such a reprochfull ignorminie. For among other qualities, marvellous bashfull they are. for if one of them be overmatched and vanquished in fight, he will never after abide the voice and braying of the conqueror, but in token of submission, giveth him a turfe of earth, with vervaine or grasse upon it. Upon a kind of shamefaced modestie, they never are seene to engender together, but performe that act in some couvert and secret corner. They go to rut, the male at five yeares of age, the female not before she is ten yeares old. And this they doe every third yeare: and they continue therein five daies in the yeare (as they say) and not above: for upon the sixt day they all to wash themselves over in the running river: and before they be thus purified, returne not to the heard. After they have taken one to another once, they never chaunge: neither fall they out and fight about their females, as other creatures doe most deadly and mortally. And this is not for want of love and hote affection that way. For reported it is of one Elephant, that he cast a fancie and was enamoured upon a wench in Ægypt that sold nosegaies and guirlands of floures. And least any man should thinke that hee had no reason thereto, it was no ordinarie maiden, but so amiable, as that Aristophanes the excellent Grammarian, was wonderfully in love with her. Another there was, so kind and full of love, that hee fansied a youth in the armie of Ptolomæus, that scarce had never an haire on his face, and so entirely hee loved him, that what day soever hee saw him not, hee would forbeare his meat, and eat nothing. King Iuba likewise reporteth also of an Elephant that made court to another woman, who made and sold sweet ointments and perfumes. All these testified their love and kindnesse, by these tokens: joy they would at the sight of them, and looke pleasantly upon them: make toward them they would (after their rude and homely manner) by all meanes of flatterie: and especially in this, that they would save whatsoever people cast unto them for to eat, and lay the same kindly in their laps and bosomes. But no marvell is it that they should love, who are so good of memorie. For the same Iuba saith, That an Elephant tooke knowledge and acquaintance of one man in his old age, and afer many a yeere, who in his youth had been his ruler and governor. He affirmeth also, that they have by a secret divine instinct, a certain sence of justice and righteous dealing. For when king Bacchus meant to bee revenged of 30 Elephants, which he had caused to be bound unto stakes, and set other 30 to run upon them, appointing also certaine men among to pricke & provoke them thereto; yet for all that, could not one of them be brought to execute this butcherie, nor be ministers of anothers crueltie.
When Elephants were first seene in Italie.
THE first time that Elephants were seene in Italie, was during the warre of king Pyrrhus: and they called them by the name of Lucæ boves, i. Lucane oxen, because they had the first sight of them in the Lucanes countrey, and it was in the 472 yeere after the citties foundation. But in Rome it was seven yeers after ere they were seene, and then they were shewed in a triumph. But in the yeere 502, a number of them were seene at Rome by occasion of the victorie of L. Metellus Pontifex over the Carthaginians: which Elephants were taken in Sicilie. For 142 of them were conveied over upon plankes and flat bottomes, which were laid upon ranks of great tunnes and pipes set thicke one by another. Verrius saith, that they were caused to fight in the great Cirque or shew place, and were killed there with shot of darts and javelins for want of better counsell, and because they knew not well what to doe with them: for neither were they willing to have them kept and nourished, ne yet to bee bestowed upon any kings. L. Piso saith they were brought out only into the shew-place or cirque aforesaid, and for to make them more contemptible, were chased round about it by certaine fellowes hired thereto, having for that purpose certaine staves and perches, not pointed with yron, but headed with bals like foiles. but what became of them afterward, those authours make no mention: who are of opinion, that they were not killed.
Their fights and combates.
MUCH renowned is the fight of one Romane with an Elephant, at what time as Anniball forced those captives whom he had taken of our men, to skirmish one against another to the utterance. For the onely Romane that remained unslaine in that unnaturall conflict, hee would needs match with an Elephant, and see the combate himselfe, assuring him upon his word, that if he could kill the beast, he should be dismissed and sent home with life and libertie. So this prisoner entered into single fight with the Elephant, and to the great hearts greefe of the Carthaginians slew him out-right. Anniball then sent him away indeed according to promise and convenant; but considering better the consequence of this matter, and namely, that if this combate werre once by him bruited abroad, the beasts would bee lesse regarded, and their service in the warres not esteemed: made afte rhim certaine light horsemen to overtake him upon the way, to cut his throat, so making hiim sure for telling tales. Their long snout or trunke which the Latins call Proboscis, may be easily cut off; as it appeared by experience in the wars against king Pyrrhus. Fenestella writeth, That the first fight of them in Rome, was exhibited in the grand Cirque, during the time that Claudius Pulcher was Ædile Curule, when M. Antonius and A. Posthumius were Consuls: in the 650 yeere after the citie of Rome was built. In like manner, 20 yeer after, when the Luculli were Ædiles Curule, there was represented a combat betweene buls and Elephants. Also in the second Consulship of Cn. Pompeius at the dedication of the temple to Venus Victoresse, 20 of them, or as some write, 17 fought in the great shew place. In which solemnitie the Gætulians were set to launce darts and javelines against them. But among all the rest, one Elephant did wonders: for when his legs and feet were shot and stucke full of darts, he crept upon his knees, and never staied till he was gotten among the companies of the said Gætulians, where hee caught from them their targuets and bucklers perforce, flung them aloft into the aire, which as they fell, turned round, as if they had beene trundeled by art, and not hurled and throwne with violence by the beasts in their furious anger: and this made a goodly sight, and did great pleasure to the beholders. And as strange a thing as that was seene in another of them, whose fortune was to bee killed out of hand with one shot: for the dart was so driven, that it entred under the eie, and pierced as farre as to the vitall parts of the head, even the ventricles of the braine. Whereupon all the rest at once assaied to breake forth and get away, not without a great hurrie and trouble among the people, notwithstanding they were without the lists, and those set round about with yron grates and barres. [And for this cause, Cæsar the Dictatour, when afterwards hee was to exhibite the like shew before the people, cast a ditch round about the place, letting in the water, and so made a mote thereof: which, prince Nero afterwards stopped up, for to make more roume for the knights and men of armes.] But those Elephants of Pompey being past all hope of escaping and going cleere away, after a most pitifull manner and rufull plight that cannot be expressed, seemed to make mone unto the multitude, craving mercie and pitie, with greevous plaints and lamentations, bewailing their hard state and wofull case: in such sort, that the peoples hearts earned againe at this piteous sight, and with teares in their eies, for very compassion, rose up all at once from beholding this pageant, without regard of the person of Pompey that great Generall and Commaunder, without respect of his magnificence and stately shew, of his munificence and liberalitie, where he thought to have woon great applause and honour at their hands; but in lieu thereof fell to cursing of him, and wishing all those plagues and misfortunes to light upon his head; which soone after ensued accordingly. Moreover, Cæsar the Dictatour in his third Consulship exhibited another sight of them, and brought forth 20 to maintaine skirmish against 500 footmen: and a second time hee set out 20 more, with woodden turrets upon their backes, containing 60 defendants apeece: and he opposed against them 500 footmen, and as many horse. After all this, Claudius and Nero the Emperours brought them forth one by one into sigle fight with approved, expert, and accomplished fencers, at the end of all the other solemnitie, when they had done their prises. This beast, by report of all writers, is so gentle to all others that are but weake, and not so strong as himselfe, that if he passe through a flocke or heard of smaller cattell, it will with the nose or trunke which serveth in steed of his hand, remoove and turne aside whatsoever beast commeth in his way, for feare he should go over them, and so crush and tread under his foot any of them, ere it were aware. And never doe they any hurt, unlesse they be provoked thereto. Alwaies walke they by troups together, and worst of all other can they away with wandering alone, but love companie exceeding well. If it fortune that they be environed with horsemen, looke how many of their followers be feeble, wearie, or wounded, those they take into the mids of their squadron: and as if they were marshalled and ordered by a Serjeant of a band, or heard the direction of some General, so skilfully and as it were with guidance of reason, doe they maintaine fight by turnes, and succeed one another in their course. The wild sort of them, after they be taken, are soonest brought to bee tame and gentle, with the juice or decoction of husked barley.
The manner of taking Elephants.
THE Indians are wont to take Elephants in this manner: the governor driveth one of them that are tame, into the chase and forrests, and when he can meet with one of them alone, or single him from the heard, he all to beateth the wild beast untill he hath made him wearie, and then he mounteth upon him and ruleth him as well as the former. In Africk they catch them in great ditches which they make for that purpose: into which, if one of them chance to wander astray from his fellowes, all the rest immediatly come to succor him; they heap together a deale of boughs, they roll down blocks and stones, and whatsoever may serve to raise a banke, and with all that ever they can doe, labour to plucke him out. Before-time, when they meant to make them tractable, their manner way, by a troupe of horsemen to drive or traine them by little and little a long way in a certein lawn or vallye, made by mans hand for the nones, ere they wer aware, and when they wer enclosed within ditches or banks, there they would keep them from meat so long, untill for very hunger they would be glad to come to hand for food: & by this they might know they were gentle and tame enough to be taken, if they would meekely take a braunch of a bough presented and offered unto them. But now a daies, since they seek after them for their teeth sake, they make no more adoe but shoot at their legges, which otherwise naturally are tender enough and the softest part of their whole bodie. The Troglodites, a people bounding upon Æthiopia, who live onely upon the venison of Elephants flesh, use to clime trees that be neere their walke, and there take a stand: from thence (letting all the heard to passe quietly under the trees) they leape downe upon the buttockes of the hinmost: then, hee that doth this feat, with his left hand laieth fast hold upon his taile, and setteth his feet and legges fast in the flanke of the left side, and so hanging and bending backward with his bodie, he cutteth the ham-strings of one of his legs with a good keene bill or hatchet that he hath of purpose in his right hand: which done, the Elephant beginneth to slacke his pace, by reason that one of his legges is wounded: the man then maketh shift to get away and alighteth on foot, & for a farewell he hougheth the sinewes likewise of the other ham: and all this doth he in a trice with wonderfull agilitie and nimblenes. Others have a safer way than this, but it is more subtill and deceitfull: they set or sticke in the ground a great way off, mightie great bowes readie bent; to hold these fast, they chuse certaine tall, lustie, and strong fellowes, and as many others as sufficient as they, to draw with all their might and maine the said bowes against the other, and so they let flie against the poore Elephants as they passe by, javelins and bore-speares, as if they shot shafts, and sticke them therewith, and so follow them by their bloud. Of these beasts, the females are much more fearfull than the male kind.
The manner of taming Elephants.
AS furious and raging mad as they be sometime, they are tamed with hunger and stripes: but men had need to have the helpe of other Elephants that are tame alreadie, to restrain the unruly beast with strong chaines: of all times, when they goe to rut they are most out of order and starke wood; down go the Indian stables and beast stals then, which they over-turn with their teeth: and therefore they keepe them from entring into that fit, and separate the females apart from the males, making their parkes and enclosures asunder, as they doe by other beasts. The tamed sort of them serve in the warre, and carrie little castles or turrets with armed souldiers, to enter the squadrons and battailons of the enemies: and for the most part, all the service in the warres of the East, is perfourmed by them, and they especially determine the quarrell: these be they that breake the rankes, beare down armed men that are in the way, and stamp them under foot. These terrible beasts (as outragious otherwise as they seeme) are frighted with the least grunting that is of a swine: be they wounded at any time or put into a fright, backeward alwaies they goe, and doe as much mischiefe to their owne side that way, as to their enemies. The African Elephants are affraid of the Indian, and dare not look upon them; for in truth the Indian Elephants be farre bigger.
How they breed and bring forth their young: and of their nature otherwise.
THE common sort of men thinke, that they goe with young ten yeeres: but Aristotle saith, that they goe but two yeeres, and that they breed but once and no more in their life, and bring not above one at a time: also that they live commonly by course of nature 200 yeers, and some of them 300. Their youthfull time and strength of age beginneth when they be three-score yeeres old: they love rivers above all things, and lightly ye shall have them evermore wandring about waters; and yet by reason otherwise of their bigge and unweldie bodies, swim they cannot. Of all things they can worst away with cold; and that is it they are most subject unto, and feele greatest inconvenience by: troubled they be also with the chollicke, and ventosities, as also with the fluxe of the bellie: other maladies they feele not. I find it written in histories, that if they drinke oile, the arrowes and darts which sticke in their bodies will come foorth and fall off: but the more that they sweat the sooner will they take hold and abide in stil the faster. The eating of earth breeds the consumption in them, unlesse they feed and chew often thereof: they devoure stones also. As for the trunkes and bodies of trees, it is the best meat they have, and therin take they most delight. If the date trees be too high that they cannot reach the fruit, they will overturne them with their forehead, and when they lie along, eat the dates. They chew and eat their meat with their mouth: but they breath, drinke, and smell, with their trunke, which not improperly is called their hand. Of all other living creatures, they cannot abide a mouse or a rat, and if they perceive that their provander lying in the manger, tast and sent never so little of them, they refuse it and will not touch it. They are mightily tormented with paine, if they chaunce in their drinking to swallow down an horsleech (which worme, I observe, they begin now to call, a bloud-sucker:) for so soone as this horsleech hath setled fast in his wind-pipe, he putteth him to intollerable paines. Their hide or skin of their backe, is most tough and hard; but in the belly, soft and tender: covered their skin is neither with haire nor bristle, no not so much as in their taile, which might serve them in good stead to drive away the busie and troublesome flie, (for as vast & huge a beast as he is, the flie haunteth and stingeth him) but full their skin is of crosse wrinckles lattise-wise; and besides that, the smell thereof is able to draw and allure such vermine to it: and therfore when they are laid stretched along, and perceive the flies by whole swarmes setled on their skin, sodainly they draw those cranies and crevises togither close, and so crush them all to death. This serves them instead of taile, maine, and long haire. Their teeth beare a very high price, and they yeeld the matter of greatest request, and most commendable, for to make the statues and images of the gods: but such is the superfluitie and excess of men, that they have devised another thing in them to commend; for they find forsooth a speciall daintie tast in the hard callous substance of that which they call their hand: for no other reason (I beleeve) but because they have a conceit that they eat yvorie, when they chaw this gristle of their trunke. In temples are to be seene Elephants teeth of the greatest size: howbeit in the marches of Africke where it confineth upon Æthyopia, they make of yvorie the verie principals and corner posts of their houses: also with the Elephants tooth, they make mounds and pales both for to enclose their grounds, and also to keepe in their beasts within parke, if it be true that Polybius reporteth, from the testimonie of king Gulußa.
Where the Elephants are bred: how the Dragons and they disagree.
ELEPHANTS breed in that part of Affricke which lyeth beyond the deserts and wildernesse of the Syrtes: also in Mauritania: they are found also among the Æthiopians and Troglodites, as hath been said: but India bringeth forth the biggest: as also the dragons, that are continually at variance with them, and evermore fighting, and those of such greatnesse, that they can easily claspe and wind round about the Elephants, and withall tye them fast with a knot. In this conflict they die, both the one and the other: the Elephant hee falls downe dead as conquered, and with his heavie weight crusheth and squeaseth the dragon that is wound and wreathed about him.
The wittinesse and pollicie in these creatures.
WONDERFUL is the wit and subtiltie that dumb creatures have, & how they shift for themselves and annoy their enemies: which is the only difficultie that they have to arise and grow to so great an heigth and excessive bignesse. The dragon therefore espying the Elephant when he goeth to releese, assaileth him from an high tree and launceth himself upon him; but the Elephant knowing well enough he is not able to withstand his windings and knittings about him, seeketh to come close to some trees or hard rockes, and so to crush & squise the dragon between him and them: the dragons ware hereof, entangle and snarle his feet and legges first with their taile: the Elephants on the other side, undoe those knots with their trunke as with a hand: but to prevent that againe, the dragons put in their heads into their snout, and so stop their wind, and withall, fret and gnaw the tenderest parts that they find there. Now in case these two mortall enemies chaunce to reencounter upon the way, they bristle and bridle one against another, and addresse themselves to fight; but the principall thing the dragons make at, is the eye: whereby it commeth to passe, that many times the Elephants are found blind, pined for hunger, and worne away, and after much languishing, for very anguish & sorrow die of their venime. What reason should a man alleadge of this so mortall warre betweene them, if it be not a verie sport of Nature and pleasure that shee takes, in matching these two so great enemies togither, and so even and equall in every respect? But some report this mutuall war between them after another sort: and that the occasion thereof ariseth from a naturall cause. For (say they) the Elephants bloud is exceeding cold, and therefore the dragons be wonderfull desirous thereof to refresh and coole themselves therewith, during the parching and hote season of the yeere. And to this purpose they lie under the water, waiting their time to take the Elephants at a vantage when they are drinking. Where they catch fast hold first of their trunke: and they have not so soone clasped and entangled it with their taile, but they set their venomous teeth in the Elephants eare, (the onely part of all their bodie, which they cannot reach unto with their trunke) and so bite it hard. Now these dragons are so big withall, that they be able to receive all the Elephants bloud. Thus are they sucked drie, untill they fall down dead: and the dragons again, drunken with their bloud, are squised under them, and die both together.
IN Æthyopia there be as great dragons bred, as in India, namely, twentie cubites long. But I marvelll much at this one thing, why king Iuba should thinke that they were crested. They are bred most in a countrey of Æthyopia, where the Asachæi inhabite. It is reported, that upon their coasts they are enwrapped foure or five of them together, one within another, like to a hurdle or lattise worke, and thus passe the seas, for to find better pasturage in Arabia, cutting the waves, and bearing up their heads aloft, which serve them in steed of sailes.
Of monstrous great Serpents, and namely of those called Boæ.
Megasthenes writeth, that there be serpents among the Indians grown to that bignesse, that they are able to swallow stags or buls all whole. Metrodorus saith, That about the river Rhyndacus in Pontus, there be Serpents that catch and devour the foules of the aire, bee they never so good and flight of wings, and sore they never so high. Well knowne it is, that Attilius Regulus, Generall under the Romanes, during the warres against the Carthaginians, assailed a Serpent neere the river Bagrada, which caried in length 120 foot: and before he could conquer him, was driven to discharge upon him arrowes, quarrels, stones, bullets, and such like shot, out of brakes, slings, and other engines of artillerie, as if he had given the assault to some strong towne of warre. And the proofe of this was to be seene by the markes remaining in his skin and chaws, which, untill the warre of Numantia remained in a temple or conspicuous place of Rome. And this is the more credible, for that wee see in Italie other serpents named Boæ, so big and huge, that in the daies of the Emperour Claudius there was one of them killed in the Vaticane, within the bellie whereof there was found an infant all whole. This Serpent liveth at the first of kines milke, and thereupon taketh the name of Boæ. As for other beasts, which ordinarily of late are brought from all parts into Italie, and oftentimes have there been seene, needlesse it is for mee to describe their formes in parrticular curiously.
Of Scythian beasts, and those that are bred in the North parts.
VERY few savage beasts are engendred in Scythia, for want of trees and pasturage. Few likewise in Germanie, bordering thereupon. Howbeit, that country bringeth forth certain kinds of goodly great wild boeufes: to wit, the Bifontes, mained with a collar, like Lions: and the Uri, a mightie strong beast, and a swift: which the ignorant people call Buffles, whereas indeed the buffle is bred in Affrica, and carieth some resemblance of a calfe rather, or a stag. The Northerne regions bring forth wild horses, which there are found in great troupes: like as in Asia and in Affricke there are to bee seene wild asses. Moreover, a certaine beast, called the Alce, very like to an horse, but that his eares are longer; and his necke likewise with two markes, which distinguish them asunder. Moreover, in the Island Scandinavia, there is a beast called Machlis, not much unlike to the Alce abovenamed: common he is there, and much talk we have heard of him, howbeit in these parts hee was never seene. Hee resembleth, I say, the Alce, but that hee hath neither joint in the hough, nor pasternes in his hind-legs: and therefore hee never lieth downe, but sleepeth leaning to a tree. And therefore the hunters that lie in await for these beasts, cut downe the tree whiles they are asleepe, and so take them: otherwise they should never bee taken, so swift of foot they are, that it is wonderfull. Their upper lip is exceeding great, and therefore as they grase and feed, they goe retrograde, least if they were passant forward, they should double that lip under their muzzle. There is (they say) a wild beast in Pæonia, which is called Bonasus, with a maine like an horse, otherwise resembling a bull: marie, his hornes bend so inward with their tips toward his head, that they serve him in no steed at all for fight, either to offend, or defend himselfe; and therefore, all the helpe that he hath, is in his good footmanship; and otherwhiles in his flight by dunging, which hee will squirt out from behind him three acres in length. This ordure of his is so strong and hot, that it burneth them that follow after him in chase, like fire, if haply they touch it. A strange thing it is, and wonderfull, that the Leopards, Panthers, Lions (and such like beasts) as they go, draw in the points of their clawes within their bodie, as it were into sheaths, because they should neither breake nor waxe blunt, but bee alwaies keene and sharpe: also, that when they run, they should turne the hooked nailes of their pawes backe, and never stretch them forth at length, but when they meane to assaile or strike anything.
THE Lions are then in their kind most strong and courageous, when the haire of their main or coller is so long, that it covereth both necke and shoulders. And this commeth to them at a certaine age, namely, to those that are engendered by Lions indeed. For such as have Pards to their sires, never have this ornament, no more than the Lionesse. These Lionesses are very letcherous, and this is the very cause that the Lions are so fell and cruell. This, Affricke knoweth best, and seeth most: and especially in time of a great drought, when for want of water, a number of wild beasts resort by troups to those few rivers that be there, and meet together. And hereupon it is, that so many strange shaped beasts, of a mixt and mungrell kind are there bred, whiles the males either perforce, or for pleasure, leape and cover the females of all sorts. From hence it is also, that the Greekes have this common proverbe, That Africke evermore bringeth forth some new and strange thing or other. The Lion knoweth by sent and smell of the Pard, when the Lionesse his mare hath plaied false, and suffered her selfe to be covered by him: and presently with all his might and maine runneth upon her for to chastise and punish her. And therefore when the Lionesse hath done a fault that way, shee either goeth to a river, and washeth away the strong and ranke savour of the Pard, or els keepeth aloofe, and followeth the Lion farre off, that hee may not catch the said smell. I see it is a common received opinion, that the Lionesse bringeth forth young but once in her life, for that her whelpes in her kinling, teare her belly with their nailes, and make themselves roume that way. Aristotle writeth otherwise, a man whom I cannot name, but with great honour and reverence, and whome in the historie and report of these matters I meane for the most part to follow. And in very truth king Alexander the great, of an ardent desire that he had to know the natures of all living creatures, gave this charge to Aristotle, a man singular and accomplished in all kinds of science and learning, to search into this matter, and to set the same downe in writing: and to this effect commanded certaine thousands of men, one or other, throughout all the tract, as well of Asia as Greece, to give their attendance, & obey him: to wit, all Hunters, Faulconers, Fowlers, and Fishers, that lived by those professions. Item, all Forresters, Park-keepers, and Watiners: all such as had the keeping of heards and stockes of cattell: of bee-hives, fish-pooles, stewes, and ponds: as also those that kept up foule, tame or wild, in mew, those that fed poultrie in barton or coupe: to the end that he should be ignorant of nothing in this behalfe, but be advertised by them, according to his commission, of all things in the world. By his conference with them, he collected so much, as thereof he compiled those excellent bookes de Animalibus, i. of Living creatures, to the number almost of fiftie. Which being couched by me in a narrow roume, and breefe Summarie, with the addition also of some things els which he never knew, I beseech the readers to take in good worth: and for the discoverie and knowledge of all Natures workes, which that most noble & famous king that ever was desired so earnestly to know, to make a short start abroad with mee, and in a breefe discourse by mine owne paines and diligence digested, to see all. To returne now unto our former matter. That great Philosopher Aristotle therfore reporteth, that the Lionesse at her first litter bringeth forth five whelpes, and every yeare after, fewer by one: and when she commeth to bring but one alone, shee giveth over, and becommeth barren. Her whelpes at the first are without shape, like small gobbets of flesh, no bigger than weasels. When they are sixe months old, they can hardly go, and for the two first, they stirre not a whit. Lions there be also in Europe (onely betweene the rivers Achelous and Nestus) and these verily be farre stronger than those of Affricke or Syria. Moreover, of Lions there be two kinds: the one short, well trussed and compact, with more crisp and curled maines, but these are timerous and but cowards to them that have long and plaine haire; for those passe not for any wounds whatsoever. The Lions lift up a legge when they pisse, as dogges doe: and over and besides that, they have a strong and stinking breath, their very bodie also smelleth ranke. Seldome they drinke, and eat but each other day: and if at any time they feed till they be full, they will abstaine from meat three daies after. In their feeding, whatsoever they can swallow without chawing, down it goes whole: and if they find their gorge and stomack too full, and not able indeed to receive according to their greedie appetite, they thrust their pawes downe their throats and with their crooked clees fetch out some of it againe, to the end they should not be heavie and slow upon their fulnesse, if haply they be put to find their feet and flie. Mine author Aristotle saith moreover, that they live verie long: and he prooveth it by this argument, That many of them are found toothless for very age. Polybius who accompanied [Scipio] Æmylianus in his voyage of Affrick, reporteth of them, That when they be grown aged, they will prey upon a man: the reason is, because their strength will not hold out to pursue in chase other wild beasts. Then, they come about the cities and good towns of Affrick, lying in await for their prey, if any folk come abroad: & for that cause, he saith, that whiles he was with Scipio he saw some of them crucified & hanged up, to the end that upon sight of them, other Lions should take example by them, and be skared from doing the like mischiefe. The Lion alone of all wild beasts is gentle to those that humble themselves unto him, and will not touch any such upon their submission, but spareth what creature soever lieth prostrate before him. As fell and furious as hee is otherwhiles, yet he dischargeth his rage upon men, before that he setteth upon women, and never preyeth upon babes unlesse it be for extreame hunger. They are verily persuaded in Libya, that they have a certaine understanding, when any man doth pray or entreat them for any thing. I have hard it reported for a truth, by a captive woman of Getulia (which being fled was brought home againe to her master) That shee had pacified the violent furie of many Lions within the woods and forrests, by faire language and gentle speech; and namely, that for to escape their rage, she hath been so hardie as to say, shee was a sillie woman, a banished fugitive, a sickely, feeble, and weake creature, an humble suiter and lowly suppliant unto him the noblest of all other living creatures, the soveraigne and commaunder of all the rest, and that shee was too base and not worthie that his glorious majestie should prey upon her. Many and divers opinions are currant, according to the sundrie occurrences that have hapned, or the inventions that mens wits have devised as touching this matter, namely, that savage beasts are dulced and appeased by good words and faire speech: as also that fell serpents may bee trained and fetche out of their holes by charmes, yea and by certaine conjurations and menaces restrained and kept under for a punishment: but whether it be true or no, I see it is not yet by any man set downe and determined. To come againe to our Lions: the signe of their intent and disposition, is their taile; like as in horses, their ears: for these two marks and tokens, certainly hath Nature given to the most couragious beasts of all others, to know their affections by: for when the Lion stirreth not his taile, he is in a good mood, gentle, mild, pleasantly disposed, and as if hee were willing to be plaied withall; but in that fit he is seldome seene: for lightly hee is alwaies angrie. At the first, when hee entreth into his choller, hee beateth the ground with his taile: when hee groweth into greater heats, he flappeth and and jerketh his sides and flanks withall, as it were to quicken himselfe, and stirre up his angry humor. His maine strength lieth in his breast: hee maketh not a wound (whether it be by lash of taile, scratch of claw, or print of tooth) but the bloud that followeth, is blacke. When his belly is once full, all his anger is past, and he doth no more harme. His generositie and magnanimitie he sheweth most in his daungers: which courage of his appeareth not onely herein, That he seemeth to depise all shot of darts against him, defending himselfe a long time onely with the terrible aspect of his countenance, and protesting as it were that he is unwilling to deale unlesse he be forced thereto in his owne defence, i. se defendendo, and at length maketh head againe, not as compelled and driven thereto for any perill that he seeth, but angred at their follie that assaile and set upon him: but herein also is seen rather his noble heart and courage, That be there never so many of hounds and hunters both following after him, so long as hee is in the open plaines where he may be seene, hee maketh semblance as though he contemned both dog and man, dismarching and retiring with honour, and otherwhiles seeming in his retreat to turne againe and make head; but when he hath gained the thickets and woods, and gotten once into the forrests out of sight, then he skuds away, then hee runneth amaine for life, as knowing full well that the trees and bushes hide him, that his shamefull dislodging and flight is not then espied. When he chaseth and followeth after other beasts, hee goeth alwaies saltant or rampant; which he never useth to doe when he is chased in sight, but is onely passant. If hee chaunce to be wounded, hee hath a marveilous eye to marke the partie that did it, and be the hunters never so many in number, upon him he runneth onely. As for him that hath let flie a dart at him, and yet missed his marke and done no hurt, if he chaunce to catch him, he all to touzeth, shaketh, tosseth, and turneth him lying along at his feet, but doth him no harme at all besides. When the Lionesse fighteth for her young whelpes, by report, she setteth her eies wistly and entirely upon the ground, because she would not be affrighted at the sight of the chasing-staves of the hunters. Lions are nothing at all crafty & fraudulent, neither be they suspicious: they never look askew, but alwaies cast their eie directly forward, & they love not that any man should in that sort looke side-long upon them. It is constantly beleeved, that when they lie a dying they bite the earth, and in their very death shed teares. This creature, so noble as he is, and withall so cruell and fell, trembleth and quaketh to heare the noise of cartwheeles, or to see them turne about; nay he cannot abide of all things charriots when they be void and emptie: frighted he is with the cocks comb, and his crowing much more, but most of all with the sight of fire. The Lion is never sick but of the peevishness of his stomacke, loathing all meat: and then the way to cure him, is to tie onto him certaine shee apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes at him, may move his patience and drive him for the verie indignitie of their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then, so soone as he hath tasted their blood, he is perfectly well againe: and this is the onely remedie. Q. Scævola the sonne of Publius, was the first at Rome that in his Curule Ædileship exhibited a fight and combat of many Lions togither, for to shew the people pastime and pleasure: but L. Sylla, who afterwards was Dictatour, was the first of all others that in his Pretorship represented a shew of an hundred Lions with manes and collars of haire: and after him, Pompeius the Great shewed 600 of them fighting in the grand Cirque, whereof 315 were male Lions with mane. And Cæsar Dictatour brought 400 of them into the shew-place. The taking of them in old time was a verie hard peece of worke, and that was commonly in pit-fals: but in the Emperor Claudius his daies it chaunced, that a shepheard or heardman who came out of Gætulia, taught the manner of catching them: a thing (otherwise) that would have been though incredible, and altogither unbeseeming the name and honour of so goodly a beast. This Getulian I say, fortuned to encounter a Lion, and when he was violently assailed by him, made no more adoe but threw his mandilion or cassocke full upon his eies. This feat or cast of his was soone after practised in the open shew-place, in such sort, that a man would hardly have beleeved, but he that saw it, that so furious a beast should so easily be quailed and daunted so soone as ever hee felt his head covered, were the things never so light; making no resistance, but suffering one to doe what he would with him, even to bind him fast, as if in very truth all his vigor and spirit rested in his eyes. Lesse therefore is it to be marveiled at, that Lysimachus strangled a Lion, when as by commaundement of Alexander the Great, he was shut up alone togither with him. The first that yoked them at Rome and made them to draw in a charriot, was M. Antonius. And verily it was in the time of civill warre, after the battaile fought in the plaines of Pharsalia, a shrewd fore-token and unhappie presage for the future event, and namely, for men of an high spirit and brave mind in those daies, unto whom this prodigious sight did prognosticate the yoke of subjection: for what should I say, how Antonie rode in that wise with the courtisan Cytheris, a common Actresse in Enterludes upon the stage? to see such a sight, was a monstrous spectacle, that passed all the calamities of those times. It is reported, that Hanno (one of the noblest Carthaginians that ever were) was the first man that durst handle a Lion with his bare hand, and shewe him gentle and tame, to follow hiim all the citie over in a slip like a dogge. But this devise and tricke of his turned him to great domage, and cost him his utter undoing: for the Carthaginians hereupon laid this ground, that Hanno, a man of such a gift, so wittie and inventive of all devises, would be able to persuade the people to whatsoever his mind stood; and that it was a daungerous and ticklish point to put the libertie of so great a state as Carthage was, into the hands and managing of him, who could handle and tame the furious violence of so savage a beast: and thereupon condemned and banished him. Moreover we find in histories, many examples also of their clemencie and gentlenesse, seene upon divers casuall occasions. Mentor the Syracusan, fortuned in Syria to meet with a Lion, who after an humble manner, in token of obedience and submission, seemed to tumble and wallow before him: he astonied for very feare, started backe and began to flie, but the wild beast followed him still, and was readie at every turne to present himselfe before him, licking the verie tracks of his footsteps as he went, in flattering manner, as if he would make love unto him. Mentor at length was ware that the Lion had a wound in his foot, and that it swelled therewith: whereupon he gently plucked out the spill of wood that had gotten into it, and so eased the beast of his paine. This accident is for a memoriall represented in a picture at Syracusa. Semblably, Elpis a Samian being arrived and landed in Afrricke, chaunced to espie nere the shoare, a Lion, gaping wide and seeming afar off to whet his teeth at him in menacing wise: he fled apace to take a tree, and called upon god Bacchus to help him (for then commonly we fall to our praiers when we see little or no hope of other helpe:) but the Lion stopped him not in his flight, albeit he could have crossed the way well enough; but laying himselfe downe at the tree root with that open mouth of his wherewith he had skared the man, made signes to move pitie and compassion. Now so it was, that the beast having lately fed greedily, had gotten a sharpe bone within his teeth which put him to exceeding paine; besides that, he was almost famished: and he looked pittifully up to the man, shewing how he was punished himself among those very weapons wherwith he was to annoy others, and after a sort with dumb & mute praiers besought his helpe. Elpis avised him well a pretie while, and besides that hee was not very forward to venture upon the wild beast, he staied the longer and made the lesse hast, whiles he considered rather this straunge and miraculous accident, than otherwise greatly feared. At the last hee commeth downe from the tree, and plucketh out the bone, whiles the Lion held his mouth handsomly to him, and composing himselfe for to receive his helpfull hand as fitly as possibly he could. In recompence of which good turne, it is said, that so long as this ship of his lay there at anchor, the Lion furnished him and his companie with good store of venison readie killed to his hand. And upon this occasion, Elpis after his returne, dedicated a temple in Samos to god Bacchus, which upon this reason the Greekes called kichno'toV Dionuvsou, i. of Gaping Bacchus: or, swtu'roV navon Dionuvsou, i. The chappel of Bacchus the Saviour. Can wee marveile any more from henceforth, that wild beasts should marke and know the footing of a man, seeing that in their extremities and necessities, they have recourse to him alone for hope of succour? And why went not they to other creatures? or who taught them that the hand of man was able to cure them? unlesse this be the reason peradventure, That griefe, anguish, and extreame peril, forceth even saveage beasts to seeke all meanes of helpe and reliefe.
Demetrius the Philosopher, so well seen in the speculations of Natures workes, and the causes thereof, maketh mention of as memorable a case as the former, touching a Panther: for as hee saith, there was a Panther desirous to meet with a man, and therefore lay in the mids of an high-way until some passenger should come by, and sodainly was espied of the father of Philinus the Philosopher, who travailed that way. The man (for feare) began to retire and go backe againe, but the wild beast kept a tumbling and vaunting all about him; doubtlesse and by all apparance after a flattering sort, as if it would have had somewhat; and such a tossing and tormenting of it selfe she made, so piteously, that it might soone be sene in what griefe and paine the Panther was. The poore beast had but lately kindled, and her young whelpes were falne into a ditch, afarre off: well, the first point that the man shewed of pittie and commiseration was, not to be affraid; and the next was, to have regard and care of her: follow hee did the Panther, as she seemed to traine and draw him by his garment (which with her clawes she tooke hold of full daintily) untill they were come to the pit or ditch abovesaid. So soone then as he knew the occasion of her griefe and sorrow, and withall, what might bee the reward of his courtesie, even as much as his life came to, hee drew foorth her little ones that were falne downe into the said pit: which done, she and her whelpes togither leaping and shewing gambols for joy, accompanied him, and through the wildernesse directed him all the way, untill he was gotten forth. So as it appeared in her, that she was thankefull unto him and requited his kindnesse, albeit their passed no covenant nor promise betweene them of any such recompense: a rare example to be found even amongst men. This storie and such like, give great colour of truth to what Democritus reporteth; namely, That Thoas in Arcadia saved his life by the meanes of a dragon. This Thoas being but a verie child, had loved this dragon when he was but young, exceeding well, and nourished him: but at last, being in some dread of the serpents nature, and not well knowing his qualities, and fearing withall the bignesse that now hee was growne unto, had carried him into the mountaines and deserts: wherein it fortuned that hee was afterwards set upon and environed by theeves: whereupon he cried out, and the dragon knowing his voice, came foorth and rescued him. As for babes and infants cast forth to perish, and sustained by the milke of wild beasts, like as Romulus and Remus our first founders, were suckled by a shee wolfe: such things in mine opinion are in all reason to be attributed more to fortune and fatall destinies, than to the nature of those savage beasts. The Panthers and Tygers, are in a manner the only beasts (that for their variety of spotted skins, and *furres which they yeeld) in great request, and commendable: for other beasts have each one a proper colour of their owne, according to their kind. Lions there be all blacke, but those are found in Syria onely. The ground of the Panthers skin, is white, beset all over with little blacke spots like eyes. It is said, that all four-footed beasts are wonderfully delighted and enticed by the smell of Panthers; but their hideous looke and crabbed countenance which they bewray so soone as they shew their heads, skareth them as much againe: and therefore their maner is, to hide their heads, and when they have trained other beasts within their reach by their sweet savour, they flie upon them and worrie them. Some report, that they have one marke on their shoulder resembling the moone, growing and decreasing as she doth, sometime shewing a full compasse, and other-whiles hollowed and pointed with rips like hornes. In all this kind and race of wild beasts, now a daies they call the male **Variæ and Pardi: and great abundance there is of them in Affricke and Syria. Some there be againe, that make no other difference betweene the Luzernes, Leopards, and these Panthers, but onely this, that the Panthers be white; and as yet I know no other markes to discerne them by. There passed an old Act and ordinance of the Senate, forbidding expressely that any Panthers of Affricke should be brought into Italie. Against this edict, Cn. Aufidius a Tribune of the commons, put up another Bill unto the people; and graunted it was, That for the solemnitie of the games Circenses, they might be brought over. Scaurus was the first man who in his Ædileship exhibited a shew unto the people of 150 Luzernes togither. After him, Pompeius the Great brought forth 410. The Emperor Augustus, 420: who also in the yeere that Q. Tubero and Fabius Maximus were Consuls together (upon the 4 day before the Nones of May, at the dedication of the Theatre of Marcellus) was the first of all others that shewed a tame tygre within a cage: but the Emperour Claudius, foure at once.
Of the Tygre, and his nature: of Camels, Chamelopardales, and when they were first seene at Rome.
TYGRES are bred in Hircania and India: this beast is most dreadfull for incomparable swiftnesse, and most of all seen it is in the taking of her young: for her litter (whereof there is a great number) by the hunters is stolne and carried away at once, upon a most swift horse for the purpose; lying in wait to espie when the dam is abroad: and shifteth this bootie from one fresh horse to another, riding away upon the spurre as hard as they can. But when the Tigresse commeth and finds her nest and den emptie (for the male Tigre hath no care nor regard at all of the young) she runnes on end after her young ones, and followeth those that carried them away, by the sent of their horse footing. They perceiving the Tigresse to approach by the noise that shee maketh, let fall or cast from them one of her whelpes: up shee taketh it in her mouth, and away she runneth toward her den swifter, for the burden that shee carrieth: and presently she setteth out againe, followeth the quest after her fawnes; and overtaketh the hunter that had them away. Thus runneth she too and fro, untill she see that they be embarked and gone, and then for anger that she hath not sped of her purpose, she rageth upon the shore and the sands, for the losse of her fawnes.
As for Camels, they are nourished in theLevant or East parts among other heards of great cattaile. Two kinds there be of them, the Bactrians, and the Arabicke; and herein they differ: the Backtrians have two bunches upon their backes; the other, but one apeece there, but they have another in their breast, wherupon they rest and lie. Both sorts want the upper row of teeth in their mouthes, like as bulls and kine. In those parts from whence they come, they serve all to carrie packes like labouring horses, and they are put to service also in the warres, and are backed of horsemen: their swiftnesse is comparable to that of horses: they grow to a just measure, and exceed not a certaine ordinarie strength. The camell in his travailing, will not goe a jote farther than his ordinarie journey, neither will carrie more than his accustomed and usuall lode. Naturally they hate horses. They can abide to be foure daies together without drinke; and when they take occasion to drinke and meet with water, they fill their skin full enough to serve both for the time past and to come: but before they drinke, they must tample with their feet to raise mud and sand, and so trouble the water, otherwise they take no pleasure in their drinking. They live commonly 50 yeeres, and some of them an hundred. These creatures also otherwhile fall to be mad, so much as it is. Moreover, they have a devise to splay even the very females, to make them serviceable for the warres; for if they be not covered, they become the stronger and more couragious.
Two other kinds of beasts there be, that resemble in some sort, the Camels: the one is called of the Æthyopians, the Nabis, necked like an horse, for legge and foot not unlike the boeufe, headed for all the world as a camell, beset with white spots upon a red ground, whereupon it taketh the name of Camelopardalus: & the first time that it was seen at Rome, was in the games Circenses set out by Cæsar Dictatour: since which time, hee commethh now and then to Rome, to be looked upon more for sight than for any wild nature that he hath: whereupon some have given her the name of a Savage sheepe.
Of the Chaus and Cephus.
THE Hind-wolfe, which some call Chaüs, and the Gaules were wont to name Rhaphius (resembling in some sort a wolfe with Leopards spots) were shewed first in the solemnitie of the games and plaies exhibited by Cn. Pompeius the Great. He also brought out of Æthyopia other beasts, named ***Cephi, whose fore-feet were like to mens hands, and the hinder feet and legges resembled those of a man. He was never seene afterwards at Rome.
Of the Rhinoceros.
IN the same solemnities of Pompey, as many times else, was shewed a Rhinoceros, with one horne and no more, and the same in his snout or muzzle. This is a second enemie by nature to an Elephant. He fileth that horne of his against hard stones, and maketh it sharpe against he should fight; and in his conflict with the Elephant, he layeth principally at his bellie, which he knoweth to be more tender than the rest. He is full as long as he, his legges are much shorter, and of the boxe colour.
Of Lynces or Onces, and Marmozets or Apes, called Sphinges: of Crocutes, Monkies, Indish boeufs, Leococrutes; Eales. Æthiopian bulles, the Mantichore, and Lycornes: of the serpents called Catoblepes, and the Basiliske.
ONCES are common, so are Marmozets, with a browne duskish haire, having dugs in their breast. Æthiopia breedeth them, like as many other monstrous beasts: to wit, horses with wings, and armed with hornes, which they call Pegasi. Also the Crocutes [a kind of mastive dogges] engendered between a dog and a wolfe: these are able to crash with their teeth whatsoever they can come by, and a thing is no sooner downe their swallow and got into their stomacke, but presently they digest it. Moreover, the †the Monkies with blacke heads, otherwise haired like Asses, differing from other Apes in their crie. The Indians have certaine boeufes with one horn, and others with three. Also the Leocrocuta, a most swift beast, as big almost as an hee-asse, legged like an Hart, with a neck, taile, and breast of a Lion, headed like these grayes or badgers, with a cloven foot in twaine: the slit of his mouth reacheth to his eares: instead of teeth, an entire whol bone. They report, that this beast counterfeiteth a mans voice. They have among them besides all these, another beast named Eale, for bignesse equal to the river-horse, tailed like to an Elephant, either blacke or reddish tawnie of colour: his mandibles or chawes resemble those of a bore: he hath hornes above a cubit long, which he can stirre or moove as hee list; for being in fight, hee can set them both or one of them as hee will himselfe, altering them every way; one while streight forward to offend, other whiles bending byas, as he hath reason to nort or push, to ward or avoid his enemie. But the most fell and cruell of all others in that countrey, be the wild bulls of the forrest, greater than our common field bulles: most swift, of colour brended, their eyes gray or blewish, their haire growing contrarie, their mouth wide and reaching to their ears: their hornes likewise hard by, mooveable; their hide as hard as a flint, checking the dent of any weapon whasoever, and cannot be pierced: all other wild beasts they chase and hunt; themselves cannot be taken but in pit-fals: in this their wildnesse and rage they die, and never become tamed. Ctesias writeth, that in Æthiopia likewise there is a beast which he calleth Mantichora, having three rankes of teeth, which when they meet togither are let in one within another like the teeth of combes: with the face and eares of a man, with red eyes; of colour sanguine, bodied like a lyon, and having a taile armed with a sting like a scorpion: his voice resembleth the noise of a flute and trumpet sounded together: very swift he is, and mans flesh of all others hee most desireth. In India, there be found boeufes whole hoofed, with single hornes: also a wild beast named ††Axis, with a skin like a fawn or hind-calfe; howbeit marked with more spots, and those whiter. This beast is consecrated to Bacchus, and under his protection. The Orsians of India hunt Apes, and take a number of them, white all over. But the most fell and furious beast of all other, is the Licorne or Monoceros: his bodie resembleth an horse, his head a stagge, his feet an Elephant, his taile a bore; he loweth after an hideous manner; one blacke horn he hath in the mids of his forehead, bearing out two cubits in length: by report, this wild beast cannot possibly be caught alive. Among the Hesperian Æthyopians, there is a fountaine named Nigris, the head (as many have thought) of the river Nilus, and good reasons there be to carrie it, which we have alleadged before: neere to which spring, there keepeth a wild beast called Catoblepes, little of bodie otherwise, heavie also and slow in his limmes besides, but his head onely is so great that his bodie is hardly able to beare it; hee alwaies carrieth it downe toward the earth, for if hee did not so, he were able to kill all mankind: for there is not one that looketh upon his eyes, but hee dyeth presently. The like propertie hath the serpent called a Basiliske: bred it is in the province Cyrenaica, and is not above twelve fingers-breadth long: a white spot like a starre it carrieth on the head, and setteth it out like a coronet or diademe: if he but hisse once, no other serpents dare come neere: he creepeth not winding and crawling by as other serpents doe, with one part of the bodie driving the other forward, but goeth upright and aloft from the ground with the one halfe part of his bodie: he killeth all trees and shrubs not only that he toucheth, but that he doth breath upon also: as for grasse and hearbs, those hee sindgeth and burneth up, yea and breaketh stones in sunder: so venimous and deadly is he. It is received for a truth, that one of them upon a time was killed with a launce by an horseman from his horseback, but the poison was so strong that went from his bodie along the staffe, as it killed both horse and man: and yet a sillie weazle hath a deadly power to kill this monstrous serpent, as pernicious as it is [for may kings have been desirous to see the experience thereof, and the manner how he is killed.] See how Nature hath delighted to match everything in the world with a concurrent. The manner is, to cast these weazles into their holes and cranies where they lye, (and easie they be to knowe, by the stinking sent of the place all about them:) they are not so soone within, but they overcome them with their strong smell, but they die themselves withall; and so Nature for her pleasure hath the combat dispatched.
IT is commonly thought likewise in Italie, that the eye-sight of wolves is hurtfull; in so much, as if they see a man before he espie them, they cause him to loose his voice for the time. They that be bred in Affricke and Ægypt, are but little, and withall nothing lively but without spirit. In the colder clime, they be more eger and cruel. That men may be transformed into wolves, and restored againe to their former shapes, we must confidently beleeve to be a lowd lie, or else give credit to all those tales which wee have for so many ages found to be meere fabulous untruths. But how this opinion grew first, and is come to be so firmely setled, that when wee would give men the most opprobrious words of defiance that we can, wee tearme them †††Versipelles, I thinke it not much amisse in a word to shew. Euanthes (a writer among the Greekes, of good account and authoritie) reporteth, that hee found among the records of the Arcadians, That in Arcadia there was a certain house and race of the Antæi, out of which one evermore must of necessitie be transformed into a wolfe: and when they of that familie have cast lots who it shall be, they use to accompanie the partie upon whome the lot is falne, to a certaine meere or poole in that countrey: when he is thither come, they turne him naked out of all his clothes, which they hang upon an oke thereby; then he swimmeth over the said lake to the other side, and being entred into the wildrenesse, is presently transfigured and turned into a wolfe, and so keepeth companie with his like of that kind for nine yeeres space: during which time, (if he forbeare all the while to eat mans flesh) he returneth againe to the same poole or pond, and being swomme over it, receiveth his former shape againe of a man, save onely that hee shall looke nine yeeres elder than before. Fabius addeth one thing more and saith, That he findeth againe the same apparell that was hung up in the oke aforesaid. A wonder it is to see, to what passe these Greekes are come in their credulitie: there is not so shamelesse a lye, but it findeth one or other of them to uphold and maintaine it. And therefore Agriopas, who wrote the Olympionicæ, telleth a tale of one Dæmœnetus Parrhasius, That he upon a time at a certain solemne sacrifice (which the Arcadians celebrated in the honour of Iupiter Lycæus) tasted of the inwards of a child that was killed for a sacrifice, according to the manner of the Arcadians (which even then was to shed mans blood in their divine service) and so was turned into a wolfe: and the same man ten yeeres after, became a man againe, was present at the exercise of publicke games, wrestled, did his devoir, and went away with victorie home againe from Olympia. Over and besides, it is commonly thought and verily beleeved, that in the taile of this beast, there is a little string or haire that is effectuall to procure love, and that when he is taken at any time, hee casteth it away from him, for that it is of no force and vertue unlesse it be taken from him whiles he is alive. He goeth to rut in the whole yeere not above twelve daies. When he is very hungrie and can get no other prey, he feedeth upon the earth. In the case of presages and fore-tokens of things to come, this is observed, That if men see a wolfe abroad, cut his way and turne to their right hand, it is good; but if his mouth be full when he doth so, there is not a better signe nor more luckie in the world again. There be of this kind that are called Hart-wolves, such as wee said that Pompey shewed in the grand Cirque, brought out of Fraunce. This beast (they say) be he never so hungry when hee is eating, if he chaunce to looke backe, forgetteth his meat, slinketh away, and seeketh for some other prey.
AS touching Serpents, wee see it ordinarie that for the most part they are of the colour of the earth wherein they lie hidden: and an infinite number of sortes there be of them. The Serpent Cerastes hath many times foure small hornes, standing out double, with moving whereof shee amuseth the birds, and traineth them unto her for to catch them, hiding all the rest of her bodie.
The Amphisbæna hath two heads, as it were, that is to say, one at the taile, as if shee were not hurtfull ynough to cast her poison at one mouth only. Some are skaled, others spotted and painted: but generally, the venome of them all is most deadly. There bee of them, that from the boughes of trees shoot and launce themselves: in such manner, as that we are not onely to take heed of Serpents, as they goe and glide about the ground, but also to looke unto them that flie as a dart or arrow sent out of an engine. The Aspides swell about the necke when they purpose to sting: and no remedie is there for them that are stung or bitten by them, unlesse the parts that are wounded, bee cut off presently. This pestilent creature, as venomous as hee is, hath one point yet of understanding, or affection rather: you shal not see them wandering abroad but two and two together, the male and female, as if they were yoked together; and unneth, or not at all, can they live alone without their mate: so that if the one of them bee killed, it is incredible how the other seeketh to bee revenged. It pursueth the murderer, it knoweth him againe amongst a number of people, be they never so many: him it courseth, and laieth for his life: notwithstanding what difficulties soever, it breaketh through all, be it never so farre thither, and nothing may impeach this revenging humor, unlesse some river be betweene to keepe it backe, or that the partie make speed and escape away in great hast. And I assure you, I am not able to say, whether Nature hath beene more free and prodigall in sending among us such noisome things, or giving us remedies againe for them. For to begin withall: she hath affourded to this hurtfull creature but a darke sight, and a dim paire of eies; and those not placed in the fore-part of the head, to see forward and directly, but set in the very temples. And hereof it is, that these Serpents are raised oftener by their hearing than sight.
Of the Rat of India, called Ichneumon.
BESIDES the foresaid infirmitie, there is mortall warre betweene them and the Ichenumones or rats of India. A beast this is, well knowne to the Aspis, in this regard especially, that it is bred likewise in the same Ægypt. The manner of this Icheneumon is, to wallow oftentimes within the mud, and then to drie it selfe against the Sunne: and when hee hath thus armed himselfe as it were with many coats hardened in this manner, he goeth forth to combat with the Aspis. In fight he sets up his taile, & whips about, turning his taile to the enemie, & therin latcheth and receiveth all the strokes of the Aspis, and taketh no harm thereby: and so long maintaineth he a defensive battell, until he spie a time, turning his head ato-side, that he may catch the Aspis by the throat, & throttle it. And not content thus to have vanquished this enemie, he addresseth himselfe to a conflict with another, as hurtfull every way and dangerous as the former.
Of the Crocodile, Scinke, and River-horse.
THE river Nilus nourisheth the Crocodile: a venomous creature, foure footed, as daungerous upon water as the land. This beast alone, of all other that keepe the land, hath no use of a tongue. He onely moveth the upper jaw or mandible, wherewith he biteth hard: and otherwise terrible hee is, by reason of the course and ranke of his teeth which close one within another, as if two combes grew together. Ordinarily, he is above eighteene cubites in length. The female laieth egs as big as geese doe: and sitteth ever upon them out of the water. For a certaine naturall fore-knowledge she hath, how farre Nilus the river will that yeare rise when hee is at the highest, and without it will shee bee sure to sit. There is not another creature againe in the world, that of a smaller beginning, groweth to a bigger quantitie. His feet be armed with clawes for offence, and his skin so hard, that it wil abide any injurie whatsoever, and not be peirced. All the day time the Crocodile keepeth upon the land, but hee passeth the night in the water: and in good regard of the season he doth both the one and the other. When hee hath filled his bellie with fishes, he lieth to sleepe upon the sands in the shore: and for that he is a great and greedie devourer, somewhat of the meat sticketh evermore betweene his teeth. In regard wherof commeth the wren, a little bird called there Trochilos, and the king of birds in Italie: and shee for her victuals sake, hoppeth first about his mouth, falleth to pecking and piking it with her little neb or bill, and so forward to the teeth, which she cleanseth; and all to make him gape. Then getteth shee within his mouth, which he openeth the wider, by reason that he taketh so great delight in this her scraping and scouring of his teeth and chawes. Now when he is lulled as it were fast asleepe with this pleasure and contentment of his: the rat of India, or Ichneumon abovesaid, spieth his vantage, and seeing him lie thus broad gaping, whippeth into his mouth, and shooteth himselfe downe his throat as quicke as an arrow, and then gnaweth his bowels, eateth an hole through his bellie, and so killeth him.
Within the river Nilus there breeds another Serpent called Scincos, like in forme and proportion somewhat to the Croccodile, but not all so big as the Ichneumon: the flesh whereof serveth for a singular Antidote or countre-poyson; as also for to provoke the heat of lust in men.
But to returne againe to the Crocodile: the mischefe that he doth is so great, that Nature is not content to have given him one mortall enemie and no more; and therefore the Dolphins also enter the river Nilus in despight of the Crocodiles, that take themselves for kings there, as if this river were their peculiar kingdome: but seeing they be otherwise inferior to the Crocodiles in strength, who alwaies drive them away from preiding or feeding there, they devise to overmatch him in slie craft and subtiltie, and so kill him. And in truth they have certain fins or wings as it were upon their backe, as trenchant and keene as knives, properly made as it were, for this purpose. For surely all creatures are herein naturally very skilfull and cunning, to know not onely their owne good, and what is for them, but also what may hurt and annoy their enemies. Ware they bee what offensive weapons they have, and of what force they are: they are not ignorant of fit occasions and opportunities to take their vantage, ne yet of the weake parts of their occurrents, by which they may asssaile and conquer them the sooner. Thus the Dolphins knowing full well, that the skin of the Crocodiles bellie is thin and soft, make as though they were afraid of them as he commeth, and so dive under the water, untill he have gotten under his bellie, & then punch and cut it with the foresaid sharp-pointed finnes. Moreover, there is a kind of people that carie a deadly hatred to the Crocodile, and they bee called Tentyrites, of a certaine Island even within Nilus, which they inhabite. The men are but small of stature, but in this quarrell against the Crocodiles, they have hearts of Lions, and it is wonderfull to see how resolute and courageous they are only in this behalfe. Indeed, this Crocodile is a terrible beast to them that flie from him: but contrarie, let men pursue him or make head againe, hee runneth away most cowardly. Now, these Islanders be the onely men that dare encountre him affront. Over and besides, they will take the river, and swim after them, nay they will mount upon their backes, and sit them like horsemen: and as they turne their heads, with their mouth wide open to bite or devour them, they will thrust a club or great cudgell into it crosse overthwart, and so holding hard with both hands each end thereof, the one with the right, and the other with the left, and ruling them perforce (as it were) with a bit and bridle, bring them to land like prisoners: when they have them there, they will so fright them onely with their words and speech, that they compell them to cast up and vomit those bodies againe to bee enterred, which they had swallowed but newly before. And therefore it is, that this is the only Island which the Crocodiles will not swim unto: for the very smell and sent of these Tentyrites is able to drive them away, like as the Pselli with their savour put Serpents to flight. By report, this beast seeth but badly in the water: but be they once without, they are most quicke-sighted. All the foure Winter months they live in a cave, and eat nothing at all. Some are of opinion, that this creature alone groweth all his life: and surely a great time he liveth.
The same river Nilus bringeth foorth another beast called Hippopotamus, i. a River-horse. Taller hee is from the ground than the Crocodile: hee hath a cloven foot like a boeufe: the backe, maine, and haire of an horse: and he hath his neighing also. His muzzle or snout turneth up: his taile twineth like the bores, and his teeth likewise are crooked and bending downewards as the bores tuskes, but not so hutfull: the skin or hide of his backe unpenetrable [whereof are made targuets and head-peeces of doutie proofe, that no weapon will pierce] unlesse it be soked in water, or some liquor. He eateth down the standing corne in the field: and folke say, that he setteth downe beforehand where he will pasture and feed day by day: and when he setteth forward to any field for his releefe, he goes alwaies backeward, and his tracts are seene leading from thence, to the end, that against his return he should not be forelaied, nor followed by his footing.
Who first shewed the River-horse and Crocodiles at Rome. Also the medicinable meanes found out by the said dumbe creatures.
Marcus Scaurus was the first man, who in his plaies and games that hee set out by his office of Ædileship, made a shew of one Water-horse, and foure Crocodiles, swimming in a poole or mote made for the time during those solemnities.
The River-horse hath taught Physicians one devise, in that part of their profession which is called Chirurgerie. For he finding himselfe over-grosse and fat, by reason of his high feeding so continually, getteth forth of the water to the shore, having espied afore where the reeds and marshes have been newly cut: and where he seeth the sharpest cane and best pointed, hee setteth his bodie hard to it, for to pricke a certaine veine in one of his legges, and thus by letting himselfe bloud, maketh evacuation: whereby his bodie, otherwise enclining to diseases and maladies, is well eased of the superfluous humour: and when he hath thus done, he stoppeth the orifice again with mud, and so stancheth the bloud, and healeth up the wound.
What Physicall hearbes certain creatures have shewed us, to wit, the Harts and Stags, the Lizards, Swallowes, Torteises, the Weasell, the Storke, the Bore, the Snake, Dragon, Panther, Elephant, Beares, stocke Doves, house Doves, Cranes, and Ravens.
THE like devise to this, namely of clystres, we learned first of a foule in the same Ægypt, which is called Ibis (or the blacke Storke.) This bird having a crooked and hooked bill, useth it in steed of a syringe or pipe, to squirt water into that part, whereby it is most kind and holsome to void the doung and excrements of meat, and so purgeth and cleaneth her bodie. Neither have dumbe creatures directed us to these feats onely practised by the hand, which might serve for our use to the preservation of our health and cure of diseases. For the Harts first shewed us the vertue of the hearbe Dictamnus or Dittanie, to draw out arrows forth of the bodie. Perceiving themselves shot with a shaft, they have recourse presently to that hearbe, and with eating thereof, it is driven out againe. Moreover, they also when they are stung with the Phalangium, a kind of spider, or some such venomous vermine, cure themselves with eating crai-fishes, or fresh-water crabbes.
There is a certaine hearbe called Calaminth, most soveraigne and singular against the biting of Serpents: wherewith the Lizards, whensoever they have fought with them, cure their wounds by applying it thereto.
Celendine [the greater] a most holesome hearbe for the eiesight, the Swallowes taught us how to use. For with it they helpe their young ones, when their eies be sore, & put them to griefe.
The land Torteise by eating of a kind of Saverie or Marjaram, which they call Cunila bubula, armeth himselfe against poyson, when he should fight with Serpents.
The Weasell useth Rue as a preservative, when hee purposeth to hunt for Rats, in case hee should joine in fight with any of them.
The Storke feeling himselfe amisse, goeth to the hearbe Organ for remedie. And the Bore, when hee is sicke, is his owne Physician, by eating yvie and crab-fishes, such especially as the sea casteth up to shore.
The Snake by restinesse and lying still all Winter, hath a certaine membrane or filme growing over her whole bodie: but having recourse to Fennell, with the juice thereof she casteth that old coat that cloggeth her, and appeareth fresh, slicke, and young again. Now the manner of this her uncasing, is this: she beginneth first at the head, and turneth the skin over it, and thus she is a whole day and a night a folding it backeward, before the inside of that membrane can bee turned outward, and so she is cleane rid of it. Moreover, when by lying still and keeping close all the Winter time, her sight is become dim and darke, shee rubbeth and scoureth her selfe with the said hearbe Fennell, and therewith annointeth and comforteth her eies. But if the skales that are overgrowne her skin, be hard and stiffe, not willing to part and be removed, shee maketh no more adoe, but scratcheth them with sharpe juniper prickes.
The Dragon finding a certatine loathing of meat, and overturning of her stomacke in the Spring time, cureth and helpeth the same with the juice of the wild Lectuce.
The barbarous people when they hunt the Panthers, rub the gobbets of flesh, which they lay as a bait for them, with Aconitum (a kind of poyson-full hearb.) The beasts have no sooner touched the flesh, but presently their throat swelleth, and they are readie to bee stifled and choked: whereupon some men have called this venomous hearb Pardalianches, i. Libard baine, or choke Libard. But the wild beast hath a remedie against this, namely, the ordure and excrements of a man: yea, and at other times also, when he is not thus poysoned, so eager he is thereof, that when the sheepheards for the nonce have hanged them up aloft in some vessell above their reach, although they leape up at them, hee is readie to faint with mounting on high, and straininig to get the same, and in the end killeth himselfe therwith, and lieth dead on the ground. And yet otherwise he is too untoward for to be killed, and so long it is ere he will die, that when he is paunched, and his very gutscome forth of his bellie, he will live still, and fight.
The Elephant if he chaunce to let the [Lizard] Chameleon goe downe his throat among other hearbs or leaves, (which this Lizard alwaies is like unto in colour) hee goeth streightwaies to the wild Olive, the onely remedie he hath of this poyson.
Beares, when they have eaten Mandrage apples, licke up Pismires to cure themselves withall.
The Stag and Hind feeling themselves poysoned with some venomous weed among the grasse where they pasture, goe by and by to the Artichoke, and therewith cure themselves.
The Stock-doves, the Iaies, Merles, Blackbirds, Ousels, recover their appetite to meat, which once in a yeare they loose, with eating Bay-leaves that purge their stomacke. Partridges, House-doves, Turtledoves, and all Pullein, as Hens, Cockes, and Capons, doe the like with Parietarie of the wall. Duckes, Geese, and other water-foules purge with the hearbe Endive or Chicorie. Cranes and such like helpe themselves that way with the Marrish reed.
The Raven when he hath killed the Chameleon, and yet perceiving that hee is hurt and poysoned by him, flieth for remedie to the Lawrell, and with it represseth and extinguisheth the venome that he is infected withall.
The Prognostication of weather, taken by the observation of dumbe creatures.
MOREOVER, the same universall Nature hath given a thousand properties besides unto beasts: and namely, hath endued very many of them with the knowledge and observation of the aire above, giving us good meanes by them diverse waies, to fore-see what weather wee shall have, what winds, what raine, what tempests will follow: which to decipher in perticular, it is not possible, no more than to discourse throughly of their other qualities they have, respective to the societie with every man. For they advertise and warne us beforehand of dangers to come, not onely by their fibres and bowels (about the skill and presage whereof, the most part of the world is amused) but also by other manner of tokens and significations. When an house is readie to tumble downe, the mice goe out of it before: and first of all, the spiders with their webs fall down. As for the flight of birds and their fore-tokening, called Augurie, there is an Art of it, and the knowledge thereof is reduced into a method, in so much as at Rome there was a colledge of Augures instituted: by which it may appeare in what account and regard that sacerdotall dignitie and profession was. In Thracia, which is a cold and frozen countrey, the Fox also will not passe over any river or poole that is frozen, before hee trie the thicknesse of the yce by his eare, and otherwise it is a beast most quicke of hearing. And observed it is, that men never venture therupon, but when he goeth to releese, or returneth from thence, and then he laieth his eare close to the yce, and guesseth thereby how thicke the water is frozen.
What citties and nations have been utterly destroied by little beasts.
NOTHING is more certain and notorious than this, that much hurt and dammage hath ben known to come from small contemptible creatures, which otherwise are of no reckoning and account. M. Varro writeth, That there was a towne in Spaine undermined by Connies: and another likewise in Thessalie, by the Moldwarpes. In Fraunce, the inhabitants of one citie were driven out and forced to leave it, by Frogs. Also in Affricke the people were compelled by Locusts to void their habitations: and out of Gyaros an Island, one of the Cyclades, the Islanders were forced by Rats & Mice to flie away. Moreover, in Italie the citie Amyclæ was destroied by Serpents. In Æthyopia, on this side the Cynamolgi, there is a great countrey lieth wast and desert, by reason that it was dispeopled sometime by Scorpions, and a kind of Pismires called Solpugæ. And if it be true that Theophrastus reporteth, the Treriens were chased by certaine worms caled Scolopendres. but now let us returne to other kinds of wild beasts.
Of the Hyæna, Crocutta, Mantichora, Bievers, and Otters.
AS touching Hyænes, it is commonly beleeved, that they have two natures, and that every second yeere they chaunge their sexe, being this yeere males, and the next yeere females. Howbeit, Aristotle denieth it. Their necke and the mane therewith, together with the backe, are one entire bone without any joynt at all, so as they cannot bend their necke without turning the whole bodie about. Many strange matters are reported of this beast, and above all other, that hee will counterfet mans speech, and comming to the sheepheards cottages, will call one of them forth, whose name he hath learned, and when he hath him without, all to worrie and teare him in peeces. Also it is said, that hee will vomit like a man, thereby to traine dogs to come unto him, and then will devour them. Also, this beast alone of all others, will search for mens bodies within their graves and sepulchres, and rake them forth. The female is sildome taken. Hee chaungeth his eies into a thousand diverse colours. Moreover, if a dog come within his shadow, he presently looseth his barking, and is quite dumbe. Againe, by a kind of magicall charme or enchantment, if he goe round about ay other living creature but three times, it shall not have the power to stirre a foot, and remoove out of the place. The Lionesses of Æthyopia, if they bee covered with any of this kind, bring forth another beast called Leocrocuta, which likewise knoweth how to counterfet the voice both of man, and of other beasts. He seeth continually with both eies: hee hath one entire bone in steed of teeth in either jaw (and no gombs at all) wherewith he cutteth, as with a knife. Now these bones, becuase they should not waxe dull and blunt with continuall grating one against the other, they are enclosed each of them within a case or sheath.
Iuba reporteth, that the Mantichora also in Æthyopia resembleth mens language. Great store of Hyenes be found in Affricke: which also yeeldeth a multitude of wild asses. And one of the males is able to rule and lead a whole flocke of the female asses. This beast is so jealous, that they looke narrowly to the females great with young: for so soone as they have foled, they bite off the cods of the little ones that be males, and so gueld them. But contrariwise, the she asses when they be big, seeke corners, and keepe out of their way, that they might bring forth their young secretly without the knowledge of the Stallions: for desirous they are to have many males: so letcherous they be, and glad evermore to be covered.
The Bievers in Pontus gueld themselves, when they see how neere they are driven, and bee in danger of the hunters: as knowing full well, that chased they bee for their genetoires: and these their stones, Physicians call Castoreum. And otherwise, this is a daungerous and terrible beast with his teeth. For verily, hee will bite downe the trees growing by the river sides, as if they were cut with an axe. Looke where he catcheth hold of a man once, he never leaveth nor letteth loose untill hee have knapped the bones in sunder, and heard it cracke againe. Tailed hee is like a fish, otherwise he resembleth the otter. Both those beasts live in the water altogether, and carrie an haire softer than any plume or downe of feathers.
Of Frogs, Sea-calves, and star-Lisards called Stelliones.
THE venomous frogs and todes called Rubetæ, which live both on land, and also in the water, yeeld many good things medicinable. It is said, that their manner is to let goe and cast from them all that is good within them, reserving onely to themselves all the poyson: and when they have beene at their food, take the same up againe. The Sea-calfe likewise liveth both in the sea, and upon the land: and hath the same nature and qualitie that the beiver is, for hee casteth up his gall, which is good for many medicines: and so he doth his runnet in the maw, which is a singular remedie for the falling sicknesse: for well is he ware, that men seeke after him for these two things. Theophrastus writeth, That the Lisards called Stelliones, cast their old coat, like as snakes doe, but when they have so done, they eat it up againe, and so prevent men of the helpe thereby for the said falling evill. He reporteth besides, that their stings and bitings in Greece be venomous and deadly: but in Sicilie harmelesse.
Of red and fallow Deere.
THE Bucke or Stag, albeit that he be the most gentle and mild beast in the world, yet is he as envious as the rest, & loth to part with that which is good for others. Howbeit, if he chance to bee overlaied with hounds, then gently of himselfe hee hath recourse to a man. Likewise, the Hinds when they are to calve, chuse rather some place neere to the paths and waies that are beaten with mans steps, than secret corners, for feare of other wild beasts. They begin to goe to rut after the rising of the starre Arcturus, which is much about the fift of September: they goe eight months: and otherwhiles bring two calves at once. Finding themselves that they are sped, they part companie with the Stags. But they againe seeing themselves forsaken, fall into a kind of rage for heat of lust, and dig pits in the ground where they lie hidden. Then begin their muzzles to looke blacke, and so continue, untill such time as some raine wash away that colour. The Hinds before they calve, purge themselves with the hearbe Seselis or Siler-mountaine, whereby they have lesse paine in their bearing, and more speedie & easie deliverance. After they are lightened of their burden, they know where two hearbes be, which they have presently recourse unto, Woke Robin, and the foresaid Siler-mountaine. When they have eaten well thereof, they returne presently to their young. And (for what secret reason in Nature, God knowes) their first milke must have a tast and talang of those two hearbs. Their little ones they practise and exercise to use their legs from the very beginning, so soon as they be come into the world: teaching them even then how they should run away and flie. To high & steepe cragged rockes they bring them, and there shew them how to leape, and withall acquaint them with their dens and places of harbour. And now by this time, the Stags being past the heat of the rut, fall hard to their meat, and feed apace. But so soone as they find themselves to be growne very fat, they seek lurking places, and there abide, confessing as it were how heavie and unweldie they be for fatnesse, and how uncommodious it is unto them. At other times alway they use in their flight to make staies, and take their breath, & as they stand still, to look behind them. But when they espie once the hounds and hunters to be neere unto them, then they fall to running afresh. And this they doe for a pain that they have in their guts, which are so weake and tender, that with a small blow or stripe given unto them, they will burst within their bellies. When they perceive the hunt is up, and heare the hounds crie, they presently run, but ever downe the wind, to the end that the sent of their feet should passe away from them. They take great pleasure and delight in the sound of sheepheards pipes, and their song withall. When they set up their eares, they are most quick of hearing: when they let them hang downe, they bee as deafe. Moreover, they are very simple and foolish creatures: amused, yea, and amased they will bee at every thing, and keepe a wondering at it: insomuch, as if an horse, a cow, or an heifer approch neere unto them, they will stand gazing at it, and never regard the hunters neere by: or if they happen to spie him, they will looke at his verie bow, and sheive of arrowes, as at straunge and wonderous things. They passe the seas swimming by flockes and whole heards in a long row, each one resting his head upon the buttockes of his fellow next before him: and this they doe in course, so as the foremost retireth behind to the hindmost, by turnes one after another: and this is ordinarily observed by those sailers that passe from Cilicia to Cypres. And yet in their swimming they descrie no land by the eye, but only by their smelling have an aime thereat. The males of this kind are horned, and they (above all other living creatures) cast them everie yeere once, at a certaine time of the spring: and to that purpose a little before the very day of their mewing, they seek the most secret corners and most out of the way, in the whole forrest. When they are pollards, they keepe close hidden, as if they were disarmed: and all this they do, as if they envied that men should have good of any thing that they had. And in very truth, the right horn (they say) can never be found, as if it had some rare and singular vertue in Physicke. A straunge and marveilous thing, considering that in the parkes they chaunge them every yeere, insomuch as it is thought verily, that they hide them within the earth. But burne whether of them ye will, the left as well as the right, this is certein, That the smell and perfume thereof driveth serpents away, and discovereth them that are subject to the fits of the falling disease. A man may also know their age by their heads, for every yeere they have one knag or braunch more in their horns than before, untill they come to six: after which time, they come new ever alike; so as their age cannot be discerned any more by the head, but the marke is taken by their mouth and teeth: for as they grow in age, they have few or no teeth at all, ne yet grow the braunches out at the root, whereas all the while they were younger, they used to have them breake forth and standing out at the very fore-head. After they be guelded once, neither cast they their hornes which they had before, neither grow there any if they had none when they were libbed. At the first when they breake out againe, like they be to the glandules or kernels of drie skin, that new put forth: then grow they with tender stalkes, into certaine round and long knobs of the reed mace, covered all over with a certaine soft plume downe like velvet. So long as they be destitute of their hornes, and perceive their heads naked, they goe foorth to releese by night; and as they grow bigger and bigger, they harden them in the hot sunne, eftsoons making proofe of them against trees; and when they perceive once that they be tough and strong enough, then they goe abroad boldly. And certeinely some of them have been taken with green Ivie sticking fast and growing in their hornes, remaining there since time that they ran them (when they were but tender) against some trees, for triall whether they were good or no, and so chaunced to race the Ivie from the wood of the tree. You shall have them somtime white of colour, and such an one was the hind that Q. Sertorius had about, which he persuaded the people of Spaine to be his soothsayer, and to tell him of things to come. This kind of Deere maintaine fight with serpents, and are their mortall enemies: they will follow them to their verie holes, and there (by the strength of drawing and snuffing up their wind at the nostrils) force them out whether they will or no: and therfore there is not so good a thing again to chase away serpents, as is the smoke and smell of an Harts horn burnt. But against their sting or biting, there is a singular remedie, with the runnet in the maw of a fawne or Hind-calfe killed in the dams belly. It is generally held and confessed, that the Stagge or Hind live long: for an hundred yeer after Alexander the Great, some were taken with golden collars about their necks, overgrowne now with haire and growne within the skin: which collars, the said king had done upon them. This creature, of all diseases is not subject to the fever, but he is good to cure it. I have knowne great ladies and dames of state, use every morning to eat the venison of red Deere, and thereby to have lived to a great age and never had the ague: but it is thought this is a certaine remedie and never faileth, in case the stag be strucken starke dead at once with one wound and no more.
Of the shag-haired and bearded Stagge like to a Goat: as also of the Chamæleon.
OF the same kind is the Goat-hart, and differing onely in the beard and long shag about the shoulders, which they call Tragelaphis: and this breedeth no where but about the river Phasis. Affricke in a manner is the onely countrey that breedeth no stags and hinds: but contrariwise, it bringeth Chamæleons; although India hath them ordinarily in greater number. In shape and quantitie it is made like a Lisard, but that it standeth higher and streighter than the Lisards do, upon his legges. The sides, flankes, and bellie, meet togither, as in fishes: it hath likewise sharpe prickles, bearing out upon the backe as they have: snouted it is, for the bignesse not unlike to a swine, with a very long taile thin and pointed at the end, winding round and entangled like to vipers: hooked clawes it hath, and goeth slow, as doth the tortoise: his bodie and skin is rough and skalie, as the crocodiles: his eyes standing hollow within his head, and those be exceeding great, one neere unto the other with a verie small portion betweene, of the same colour that the rest of the bodie is: he is alwaies open eyed, and never closeth them: hee looketh about him not by mooving the ball of his eye, but by turning the whole bodie thereof: hee gapeth evermore aloft into the aire, and is the onely creature alive that feedeth neither of meat nor drinke, but hath his nourishment of aire onely: about wild fig-trees hee is fell and daungerous, otherwise harmelesse. But his colour naturally is very straunge and wonderfull, for ever and anon hee chaungeth it, as well in his eye, as taile and whole bodie besides: and looke what colour he toucheth next, the same alwaies he resembleth, unlesse it be red and white. When he is dead, he looketh pale and wan: very little flesh he hath in head and chawes, and about the joynt where his taile is graffed to his rumpe; but in all the bodie besides, none at all. All his blood is in his heart, and about his eyes: among other his bowelss, he is without a splene. Hidden hee lyeth all winter long, as Lisards doe.
Of the Buffe, or Tarandus: the Lycaon, and the Thos.
IN Scythia there is a beast called Tarandus, which chaungeth likewise colour as the Chamæleon: and no other creature bearing haire doth the same, unlesse it be the Lycaon of India, which (by report) hath a maned necke. As for the Thos (which are a kind of wolves somewhat longer than the other common-wolves, and shorter legged, quicke and swift in leaping, living altogether of the venison that they hunt and take, without doing any harme at all to men) they may be said, not so much to chaunge their hew, as their habite and apparell: for all winter time they be shag-haired, but in summer bare and naked. The Tarandus is as bigge as an oxe, with an head not unlike to a stagges, but that it is greater, namely, carrying braunched hornes: cloven hoofed, and his haire as deepe as is the Beares. The hide of his backe is so tough and hard, that thereof they make brest-plates. He taketh the colour of all trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, and places wherein he lieth when he retireth for feare; and therefore seldome is he caught. But when he list to looke like himselfe and be in his owne colour, he resembleth an Asse. To conclude, straunge it is that the bare bodies of a beast should alter into so many colours: but much more straunge it is and wonderfull, that the haire also should chaunge.
Of the Porkpen.
THE Porkpens come out of India and Affricke: a kind of Urchin or Hedgehog they be: armed with pricks they be both; but the Porkpen hath the longer sharpe pointed quilles, and those, when he stretcheth his skin, he sendeth and shooteth from him: when the hounds presseth hard upon him, hee flyeth from their mouthes, and then taketh vantage to launce at them somewhat farther off. In the winter he lyeth hidden, as the nature is of many beasts to doe, and the Beares above the rest.
Of the Beares, and how they breed and bring forth their young.
THEY ingender in the beginning of winter, not after the common method of other four-footed beasts, but lying both along, clasping and embracing one another: then they goe apart into their dennes and caves, where the shee beare thirtie daies after is discharged of her burden, and bringeth forth commonly five whelpes at a time. At the first, they seeme to be a lumpe of white flesh without all forme, little bigger than rattons, without eyes, and wanting hair; onely there is some shew and appearance of clawes that put forth. This rude lumpe, with licking they fashion by little and little into some shape: and nothing is more rare to be seen in the world, than a shee beare bringing forth her young: and this is one cause that the male beares are not to be seene in 40 daies, nor the female for 4 moneths. If they have no holes and dennes for the purpose, they build themselves cabbins of wood, gathering together a deale of boughes and bushes, which they couch and lay artificially together, to beate off any showre, so as no raine is able to enter; and those they strew upon the floore with as soft leaves as they can meet withall. For the first fourteen daies (after they have taken up their lodging in this manner) they sleepe so soundly, that they cannot possibly be wakened, if a man should lay on and wound them. In this drowsinesse of theirs, they grow wondrous fat. This their grease and fat thus gotten, is it that is so medicinable, and good for those that shed their haire. These 14 dayes once past, they sit upon their rumpe or buttocks, and fall to sucking of their fore-feet, and this is all their food whereof they live for the time. Their young whelpes, when they are starke and stiffe for cold, they huggle in their bosome and keepe close to their warme breast, much like to birds that sit upon their egs. A straunge and wonderfull thing it is to be told, and yet Theophrastus beleeveth it, That if a man take beares flesh during those daies, and seeth or bake the same, if it be set up and kept safe, it will grow neverthelesse. All this time they dung not, neither doth there appeare any token or excrement of meat that they have eaten: and very little water or aquositie is found within their bellie. As for blood, some few small drops lie about the heart only, and none at all in the whole bodie besides. Now when spring is come, forth they goe out of their denne; but by that time, the males are exceeding overgrowne with fat: and the reason thereof cannot be readily rendred: for as we said before, they had no more but that fortnights sleepe to fat them withall. Being now gotten abroad, the first thing that they doe, is to devoure a certaine hearb named Aton, i. Wake-robin, and that they doe to open their guts, which otherwise were clunged and growne togither: and for to prepare their mouthes and teeth again to eat, they whet and set the edge of them with the yong shoots and tendrons of the briers and brambles. Subject they are many times to dimnesse of sight: for which cause especially they seeke after hony-combes, that the bees might settle upon them, and with their stings make them bleed about the head, and by that meanes discharge them of that heavinesse which troubleth their eyes. The Lions are not so strong in the head, but beares be as weake and tender there: and therefore when they be chased hard by hunters and put to a plunge, ready to cast themselves headlong from a rocke, they cover and arme their heads with their fore-feet and pawes, as it were with hands, and so jumpe downe: yea and many times, when they are baited in the open shew-place, we have knowne them laid streaking for dead with one cuffe or box of the eare given them with a mans fist. In Spaine it is held for certaine, that in their braine there is a venimous qualitie; and if it be taken in drinke, driveth men into a kind of madnesse, so as they will rage as if they were beares: in token whereof whensoever any of them be killed with baiting, they make sure worke and burn their heads all whole. When they list, they will go on their two hinder feet upright: they creepe downe from trees backward: when they fight with bulls, their manner is to hang with all their foure feet, about their head and hornes, and so with the very weight of their bodies wearie them. There is not a living creature more craftie and foolish withall, when it doth a shrewd turne. We find it recorded in the Annals of the Romanes, that when M. Piso and M. Meßala were consuls, Domitius Ænobarbus an Ædile Curule, upon the 14 day before the Calends of October, exhibited 100 Numidian beares to be baited and chased in the great Cirque, and as many Æthiopian hunters. And I marveile much, that the chronicle nameth Numidian, since it is certein, that no bears come out of Africk.
Of the Rats of Pontus, and the Alpes: also of Urchins and Hedgehogs.
THE Rats of Pontus, which be onely white, come not abroad all winter: they have a most fine and exquisite tast in their feeding; but I wonder how the Authours that have written this, should come to the knowledge of so much. Those of the Alpes likewise, i. Marmottanes, which are as bigge as Brockes or Badgers, keepe in, during winter: but they are provided of victuals before-hand which they gather together and carrie into their holes. And some say, when the male or female is loden with grasse and hearbs, as much as it can comprehend within all the foure legges, it lieth upon the backe with the said provision upon their bellies, and then commeth the other, and taketh hold by the taile with the mouth, and draweth the fellow into the earth: thus doe they one by the other in turnes: and hereupon it is, that all that time their backs are bare, and the haire worne off. Such like Marmotanes there by in Ægypt; & in the same manner they sit ordinarily upon their buttocks, and upon their two hinder feet they goe, using their fore-feet in stead of hands.
Hedgehogs also make their provision before-hand of meat for winter, in this wise. They wallow and roll themselves upon apples and such fruit lying under foot, and so catch them up with their prickles, and one more besides they take in their mouth, & so carrie them into hollow trees. By stopping one or other of their holes, men know when the wind turneth, and is changed from North to South. When they perceive one hunting of them, they draw their mouths & feet close togither, with all their belly part, where the skin hath a thin down: & no pricks at all to do harme, and so roll themselves as round as a foot-ball, that neither dog nor man can come by any thing but their sharpe-pointed prickles. So soon as they see themselves past all hope to escape, they let their water go and pisse upon themselves. Now this urine of theirs hath a poisonous qualitie to rot their skin and prickles, for which they know well enough that they be chased and taken. And therefore it is a secret and a special pollicie, not to hunt them before they have let their urine go; and then their skin is verie good, for which chiefly they are hunted: otherwise it is naught ever after and so rotten, that it will not hang togither, but fall in peeces: all the pricks shed off, as being putrified, yea although they should escape away from the dogs and live still: and this is the cause that they never bepisse and drench themselves with this pestilent excrement, but in extremitie and utter despaire: for they cannot abide themselves their own urine, of so venimous a qualitie it is, and so hurtfull to their owne bodie; and doe what they can to spare themselves, attending the utmost time of extremitie, insomuch as they are ready to be taken before they do it. When the Urchin is caught alive, the devise to make him open again in length, is to besprinkle him with hot water; and then by hanging at one of their hin-feet without meat they die with famine: otherwise it is not possible to kil them and save their case or skin. There be writers who bash not to say, That this kind of beast (were not those pricks) is good for nothing, and may well be missed of men: & that the soft fleece of wooll that sheep bear, but for these pricks were superfluous & to no purpose bestowed upon mankind: for with the rough skin of these Urchins,¶ are brushes and rubbers made to brush & make clean our garments. And in very truth, many have gotten great gaine and profit by this commoditie and merchandise, and namely, with their craftie devise of monopolies, that all might passe through their hands only: notwithstanding there hath not ben any one disorder more repressed, and reformation sought by sundry edicts and acts of the Senate in that behalfe: every prince hath been continually troubled hereabout with grievous complaints out of all provinces.
Of the Leontophone, the Once, Badgers, and Squirrels.
TWO other kinds there be of beasts, whose urine worketh straunge and wonderfull effects. The one is called Leontophonos, and he breedeth in no countrey but where there be lions: a little creature it is, but so venimous, that the lyon (king of beasts, before whome all others tremble) for all his might and puissance, dieth presently if hee tast never so little thereof. And therefore they that chase the lion, get all the Leontophones that they can come by, burne their bodies, and with the pouder of them bestrew and season as it were the pieces of other flesh they lay for a bait in the forrest, and thus with the verie ashes (I say) of his enemie, kill him; and deadly and pernicious it is to the lion. No marveile therefore if the lion abhorre and hate him, for so soon as he espieth him, he crusheth him with his pawes, and so killeth him without setting tooth to his bodie. The Leontophone for his part againe, is as readie to bedrench him with his urine, knowing right well that his pisse is a verie poison to the Lion.
In those countries where the Onces breed, their urine (after it is made) congealeth into a certain ycie substance, and waxeth dry, & so it comes to be a certain precious stone like a carbuncle, glittering and shining as red as fire, and called it is Lyncurium. And upon this occasion many have written, that Amber is engendred after the same manner. The Onces knowing thus much, for verie spight and envie, cover their urine with mould or earth, and this maketh it so much the sooner to harden and congeale.
The Grayes, Polcats, or Brocks, have a cast by themselves, when they be affraid of hunters: for they will draw in their breath so hard, that their skin beeing stretched and puffed up withall, they will avoid the biting of the hounds tooth, and checke the wounding of the hunter; so as neither the one nor the other can take hold of them.
The Squirrils also foresee a tempest comming, and where the wind will blow: for looke in what corner the wind is like to stand, on that side they stop up the mouth of their holes, & make an overture on the other side against it. Moreover, a goodly broad busht taile they have, wherewith they cover their whole bodie. Thus you see how some creatures provide victuals against winter, others battle and feed with sleepe only.
Of the Viper, land-winkles or Snailes, and Lizards.
OF all other serpents, it is said, that the Viper alone lieth hidden in the ground during winter, whereas the rest keepe within cranies and clifts of trees, or else in the hollow chinkes of stones: and otherwise they are able to endure hunger a whole yeer, so they be kept from extreame cold. All the while during their retreat and lying close within, they sleep as if they were dead and deprived of their power to poison.
In like manner doe Periwinkles and Snailes; but not onely in the winter season, but in summer againe they lie still, cleaving so hard to rocks and stones, that although by force they be plucked off and turned with their bellies upward, yet they will not out of their shell. In the Baleare Ilands there be a kind of them called Cavaticæ, which never creep out of the holes within the ground, neither live they of any grasse or greene hearb, but hang together like clusters of grapes. Another sort there is of them, but not so common, hiding themselves within the cover of their shell, sticking ever fast unto them: these lie alwaies under the ground, and were in times past digged up onely about the Alpes, along the maritime coasts: but now of late they be discovered in Veliternum also, where men begin to get them out of the earth. But the best of them all and most commendable, are those in the Iland Astypelæa.
As touching Lisards (deadly enemies to the Snailes or Winkles above named) men say, they live not above sixe moneths. In Arabia, the Lizards bee a cubite in length: and in the mountaine Nisa of India, they bee foure and twentie foot long; some tawnie, some light red, and others blew of colour.
AMONG those domesticall creatures that converse with us, there be many things worth the knowledge: and namely, as touching dogges (the most faithfull and trustie companions of all others to a man) and also horses. And in verie truth, I have heard it credibly reported, of a dogge, that in defence of his master, fought hard against theeves robbing by the high way side: and albeit he were sore wounded even to death, yet would he not abandon the dead bodie of his master, but drave away both wild-foule and savadge beast, from seizing of his carkasse. Also of another in Epirus, who in a great assembly of people knowing the man that had murdered his master, flew upon him with open mouth, barking and snapping at him so furiously, that he was readie to take him by the throat, untill hee at length confessed the fact that should cause the dog thus to fome and rage against him. There was a king of the Garamants exiled, and recovered his royall state againe by the meanes of 200 dogs that fought for him and against all those that made resistance, and brought him home maugre his enemies. The Colophonians and Castabaleans, maintained certaine squadrons of mastive dogges, for their warre-service: and those were put in the vaward to make head and front of the battaile, and were never known to draw backe and refuse fight. These were their trustiest auxiliaries and aid-souldiers, and never so needie as to call for pay. In a battell when the Cimbrians were defeated and put all to the sword, their dogges defended the baggage, yea, and their houses (such as they were) carried ordinarily upon charriots. Iason the Lycian had a dogge, who after his master was slaine, would never eat meat, but pined himselfe to death. Duris maketh mention of another dogge, which he named Hircanus, that so soone as the funerall fire of king Lysimachus his master was set a burning, leapt into the flame. And so did another at the funerals of king Hiero. Moreover, Phylistus reporteth as strange a story of king Pyrrhus his dogge: as also of another belonging to the tyrant Gelo. The Chronicles report of a dog that Nicomedes king of Numidia kept, which flew upon the queene Cosingis his wife, & all to mangled and worried her, for toying and dallying over wantly with the king her husband. And to go no farther for examples, even with uss here at Rome, Volcatius a noble gentleman (who taught Ceselius the civile law) as he returned home one evening late, riding upon an hackney from a village neere the citie, was assailed by a theefe upon the high way, but he had a dog with hi that saved him out of his hands. Cælius likewise, a Senatour of Rome, lying sick at Plaisance, chance to be assailed by his enemies, wel appointed and armed; but they were not able to hurt and wound him, by reason of a dogge that he had about him, untill such time as they had killed the said dogge. But this passeth all, which happened in our time, and standeth upon record in the publicke registers, namely, that in the yeere that Apius Iunius and P. Silus were Consuls, at what time as T. Sabinus and his servants were executed for an outrage committed upon the person of Nero, sonne of Germanicus: one of them that dyed had a dog which could not be kept from the prison dore, and when his master was throwne downe the staires (called Scalæ Gemoniæ) would not depart from his dead corps, but kept a most piteous howling and lamentation about it, in the sight of a great multitude of Romans that stood round about to see the execution and the manner of it: and when one of the companie threw the dogge a peece of meat, he streightwaies carried it to the mouth of his master lying dead. Moreover, when the carkasse was throwne into the river Tiberis, the same dog swam after, & made all the means he could to beare it up aflote that it should not sinke: and to the sight of this spectacle and fidelitie of the poore dogge to his master, a number of people ran forth by heapes out of the citie to the water side. They be the onely beasts of all others that know their masters; and let a straunger unknowne be come never so sodainly, they are ware of his comming, and will give warning. They alone know their owne names, and all those of the house by their speech. Be the way never so long, and the place from whence they came never so farre, they remember it and can goe thither againe. And surely, setting man aside, I know not what creature hath a better memorie. As furious and raging as they be otherwhiles, yet appeased they will be and quieted, by a man sitting down upon the ground. Certes, the longer we live, the more things we observe and marke still in these dogges. As for hunting, there is not a beast so subtle, so quicke, and so fine of sent, as is the hound: he hunteth and followeth the beast by the foot, training the hunter that leads him by the collar and leash, to the very place where the beast lieth. Having once gotten an eye of his game, how silent and secret are they notwithstanding? and yet how significant is their discoverie of the beast unto the hunter? first, with wagging their taile, and afterwards with their nose and snout, snuffing as they doe. And therefore it is no marveile, if when hounds or beagles be over old, wearie, and blind, men carrie them in their armes to hunt, for to wind the beast, and by the very sent of the nose to shew and declare where the beast is at harbour. The Indians take great pleasure to have their salt bitches to be lined with tygres: and for this purpose, when they goe proud, they couple them and tie them togither, and so leave them in the woods for the male tygres: howbeit they reare neither the first nor second litter of them, supposing that the dogs thus bred, will be too fierce and eger; but the third, they nourish and bring up. Semblably, thus do the Gaules by their dogges that are engendred of wolves: and in every chase and forrest there be whole flocks of them thus engendred, that have for their guide, leader, and captaine, one dogge or other: him they accompanie when they hunt; him they obey and are directed by: for surely, they keepe an order among themselves, of government and mastership. This is knowne for certaine, that the dogges which be neere unto Nilus, lap of the river, running still and never stay while they are drinking, because they will give no vantage at all to be a prey unto the greedie Crocodiles. In the voyage that Alexander the Great made into India, the king of Albania gave him a dogge of an huge and extraordinarie bignesse. And Alexander taking great delight and contentment to see so goodly and so faire a dog, let loose unto him first Beares, afterwards wild Bores; and last of all, fallow Deere. But this dog making no reckoning of all this game, lay still couchant, and never stirred nor made at them. This great Commaunder Alexaneder a man of a mightie spirit and high mind, offended at the lazinesse and cowardise of so great a hounde, commaunded that he should be killed, and so he was. Newes hereof went presently to the king of Albanie. Whereupon he sent unto him a second dog, with this message, That he should not make triall of this too against such little beasts, but either set a Lion or an Elephant at him: saying moreover, that hee had in all but those two of that kind: and if hee were killed likewise, hee were like to have no more of that race and breed. Alexander made no stay, but presently put out a Lion, and immediately hee saw his backe broken, and all to rent and torne by the dog. Afterwards he commaunded to bring forth an Elephant, and in no fight tooke he greater pleasure, than in this. For the dog at the first with his long rough shagged haire, that overspread his whole bodie, came with full mouth, thundering (as it were) and barking terribly against the Elephant. Soone after he leapeth and flieth upon him, rising and mounting against the great beast, now of one side, then of another: maintaining combate right artificially, one while assailing, another while avoiding his enemie: and so nimbly he bestirreth him from side to side, that with continuall turning about too and fro, the Elephant grew giddie in the head, insomuch as he came tumbling downe, and made the ground to shake under him with his fall. Bitches breed and beare young every yeere lightly once: and the due time for them to be with whelpes, is when they are full a yeere old. They goe with young threescore daies. Their puppies come blind into the world: and the more milke they sucke, the later it is ere they receive their sight: but as it is never above twentie daies ere they see, so they open not their eies under seven daies old. Some say, that if bitch bring but one at a litter, it will see by nine daies: if twaine, it will be ten daies first: and the more puppies shee hath, the more daies it will be in that proportion ere they see. Moreover, that the bitch-whelpe that commeth of the first litter, see strange bugs and goblins. The best of the whole litter is that whelpe, that is last ere it begin to see: or else that which the bitch carrieth first into her kennill. The biting of mad dogs are most dangerous to a man, as we have said before, especially during the dog-daies, while the dog-star Syrius is so hote: for they that are so bitten, lightly are afraid of water, which is a deadly signe. To prevent therefore that dogs fall not mad, it is good for thirtie or fortie daies space, to mingle hens or pullins dung especially with their meat: againe, if they be growing into that rage, or tainted alreadie, to give them Ellebore with their meat.
Against the biting of a mad Dog.
THE sure and soveraigne remedie for them that are bitten with a mad dog, was revealed lately by way of Oracle: to wit, the root of a wild rose, called the sweet Brier or Eglantine. Columella writeth, That when a whelpe is just fortie daies old, if his taile be bitten off at the nethermost joint, & the sinew or string that commeth after, be likewise taken away, neither the taile will grow any more, nor the dog fall ever to bee mad. I have my selfe observed, that among the prodigies it is reported, how a dog sometime spake, as also that a serpent barked, that yeere when Tarquine the prowd was deposed and driven out of Rome.
Of Horses, and their nature.
THE same Alexander the Great, of whom erewhile wee spake, had a very straunge and rare horse, whom men called Bucephalus, either for his crabbed and grim looke, or else of the marke or brand of a buls head, which was imprinted udpon his shoulder. It is reported, that Alexander being but a child, seeing this faire horse, was in love with him, and bought him out of the breed and race of Philonicus the Pharsalian, and for him paied sixteene talents. He would suffer no man to sit him, nor come upon his backe, but Alexander; and namely, when hee had the kings saddle on, and was also trapped with roiall furniture: for otherwise hee would admit any whomsoever. The same horse was of a passing good and memorable service in the warres: and namely, being wounded upon a time at the assault of Thebes, he would not suffer Alexander to alight from his backe, and mount upon another. Many other strange and wonderfull things hee did: in regard whereof, when he was dead, the king solemnized his funerals most sumptuously; erected a tombe for him, and about built it built a citie that bare his name, Bucephalia. Cæsar Dictatour likewise had another horse, that would suffer no man to ride him but his maister: & the same horse had his forefeet resembling those of a man: and in that manner standeth he pourtraied before the temple of Venus, Mother. Moreover, Augustus Cæsar, late Emperour of famous memorie, made a sumptuous tombe for an horse that he had, whereof Germanicus Cæsar compiled a poëme. At Agrigentum there be seene Pyramides over many places where horses were entombed. Iuba reporteth, That queene Semiramis loved a great horse that she had, so farre forth, that shee was content hee should doe his kind with her. The Scythians verily take a great pride and gglorie much in the goodnesse of their horses and Cavallerie. A king of theirs happened in comat nd single fight upon a challenge to bee slaine by his enemie, and when hee came to despoile him of his armes and roiall habite, the kings horse came upon him with such furie, flinging and laying about him with his heeles, and biting withall, that hee made an end of the conquerour-champion. There was another great horse hoodwinked because hee should cover a mare: but perceiving after that he was unhooded that he served as a stalion to his own dam that foled him, ran up to a steepe rocke with a downefall, and there for greefe cast himselfe downe and died. We find also in record, That in the territorie of Reate there was a mare killed and all to rent an horsekeeper upon the same occasion. For surely these beasts know their parentage, and those that are next to them in bloud. And therefore wee see that the colts will in the flocke more willingly keepe companie and sort with their sisters of the former yeere, than with the mare their mother. Horses are so docible and apt to learne, that we find in histories, how in the armie of Sybaritanes, the whole troop of horsemen had their horses under them, and used to leape and daunce to certaine musick that they were wonted and accustomed unto. They have a fore-knowledge when battell is toward, they will mourne for the losse of their maisters: yea, and otherwhiles shed teares and weepe pitiously for love of them. When king Nicomedes was slaine, the horse for his owne saddle, would never eat meat after, but for very anguish died with famine. Philarchus reporteth, That king Antiochus having in battell slaine one Centaretus, a brave horseman of the Gallogreekes or Galatians, became maister of his horse, and mounted upon him in triumphant wise: But the horse of him that lay dead in the place, and upon whom Antiochus was mounted, for very anger and indignation at this indignitie, passed neither for bitt nor bridle, so as he could not be ruled; and so ran furiously among the crags and rockes, where both horse and man came downe headlong, and perished both together. Philistus writeth, that Dionysius was forced to leave his horse sticking fast in a quave-mire, and got away: but the horse after hee had recovered himselfe, and was gotten forth, followed the tracts of his maister, with a swarme or cast of bees setling in his mane: and this was the first presage of good fortune that induced Denis to usurpe the kingdome of Sicilie. Of what perceivance and understanding they be, it cannot be expressed: & that know those light horsemen full well that use to launce darts and javelines from horsebacke, by the hard service that they put their horses to; which they performe with great dexteritie & resolution in straightening, winding, and turning their bodies nimbly every way. Nay, ye shall have of them to gather up darts and javelines from the ground, and reach them againe to the horseman. And commonly we see it to be an ordinarie matter with them in the great race or shew place, when they are set in their geires to draw the chariots, how they joy when they are encouraged and praised; giving no doubt a great proofe, and confessing that they are desirous of glorie. At the Secular solemnities, exhibited by Claudius Cæsar, in the Circensian games, the horses with the white liverie (notwithstanding their driver and governor, the charioter, was cast and flung to the ground even within the barres) wan the best price, & went away with the honour of that day. For of themselves they brake and bare downe whatsoever might empeach them of running the race throughout: they did all that ever was to bee done against their concurrents and adversaries of the contrarie side, as well as if a most expert chariot-man had beene over their backes to direct and instruct them. At the sight whereof, men were ashamed to see their skill and art to be overmatched & surmounted by horses. And to conclude, when they had performed their race, as much as by law of the game was required, they stood still at the very goale, and would no farther. A greater wonder and presage was this in old time, that in the Circensian games exhibited by the people, the horses after they had flung and cast their governour, ran directly up to the Capitoll, as well as if hee had stood still in his place, and conducted them; and there fetcht three turnes round about the temple of Iupiter. But the greatest of all was this which I shall now tell, That the horses of Ratumenas, who had woon the price in the horse-running at Veij, threw their maister downe, & came from thence, even out of Tuscane, as far as to the foresaid Capitoll, carrying thither the Palme branch and chapelet of Victorie woon by Ratumenas their maister: of whom the gate Ratumena took afterwards the name at Rome. The Sarmatians minding to take a great journey, prepare their horses two daies before, and give them no meat at all: onely a little drink they allow them, and thus they will ride them gallop 150 miles an end, and never draw bridle. Horses live many of them 50 yeeres, but the mares not so long. In five years they come to their full growth, whereas stone horses grow one yeere longer. The making of good horses indeed, and their beautie, such as a man would chuse for the best, hath beene most elegantly and absolutely described by the Poët Virgill. And somewhat also have I written of that argument, in my booke which I lately put foorth, as touching Tournois and shooting from horsebacke: and in those points required, and there set downe, I see all writers in manner to agree. But for horses that must bee trained to runne the race, some considerations are to be had and observed, different from horses of other use and service. For whereas to other affaires and emploiments they may be brought when they are two yeere old colts, and not upward; to the Lists they must not bee brought to enter into any maistries there, before they be full five yeeres of age. The female in this kind goe eleven moneths compleat with yong, and in the twelfth they fole. Commonly the stalion and the mare are put together, when both of them are full two yeares old: and that about the Spring Æquinoctiall, that is to say, in mid-March: but if they be kept asunder untill they are full three years of age, they breed stronger colts. The Stalion is able to get colts untill he be three and thirtie yeers old: for commonly when they have served in the race, and run full twentie years, they are discharged from thence, & let goe abroad for to serve mares. And men say that they will hold to fortie years with a little helpe put to the forepart of his bodie, that he may bee lifted up handsomely to cover the mare. Few beasts besides are lesse able to engender and leape the female often, nor sooner have ynough of them. For which cause they be allowed some space between every time that they doe their kind. And in one yeare the most that the Stallion is able to doe that way, is to cover fifteene mares, and that is somewhat with the oftenest. If ye would coole the courage, and quench the lust of a mare, share and clip her mane. And yet are mares sufficient to beare every yeare, untill they come to fortie. It is reported, that an horse hath lived threescore and fifteene yeares. Mares only of all other females, are delivered of their foles, standing on their feet: but love them more than any other doe their young. These foles verily, by report, have growing on their forehead, when they bee newly come into the world, a little blacke thing of the bignesse of a fig, called Hippomanes, and it is thought to have an effectuall vertue to procure and win love. The dam hath not so soone foled, but she bites it off, and eats it her selfe: and if it chance that any bodie preventeth her of it, and catcheth it from her, shee will never let the fole sucke her. The very smell and sent thereof, if it bee stollen away, will drive them into a fit of rage and madnesse. If peradventure a young fole loose the damme, the other mares of the common heard that are milch nurces, give their teats to this poore orphan, and reare it up in common. They say that for three daies after they be newly foled, the young colts cannot lay their mouth to the ground, and touch it. Moreover, the hotter stomacked that an horse is, the deeper hee thrusteth his nose into the water as hee drinketh. The Scythians chuse rather to use their mares in warre-service than their stone-horses: the reason is this, that their staling is no hinderance to their pace in running their carriere, as it doth the horse, who must needs then stand still. In Portugall, along the river Tagus, and about Lisbon, certaine it is, that when the West wind bloweth, the mares set up their tailes, and turne them full against it, and so conceive that genitall aire in steed of naturall seed: in such sort, as they become great withall, and quicken in their time, and bring foorth foles as swift as the wind, but they live not above three yeares. Out of the same Spaine, from the parts called Gallicia and Asturia, certaine ambling jennets or nags are bred, which wee call Thieldones: and others of lesse stature and proportion every way, named Asturcones. These horses have a pleasant pace by themselves differing from others. For albeit they bee put to their full pace, a man shall see them set one foot before another so deftly and roundly in order by turnes, that it would doe one good to see it: and hereupon horse-breakers (maisters) have an art by cords to bring an horse to the like amble. A horse is subject to the same diseases in manner that a man is: and besides, to the turning of the bladder, like as all other beasts that labour, either in draught or cartage.
Varro writeth, that Q. Axius, a Romane Senatour, bought an Asse which cost him foure hundred thousand Sesterces: a price in my conceit above the worth of any beast whatsoever: and yet (no doubt) hee was able to doe wondrous good service in carrying burdens, plowing the ground, and principally in getting of mules. The chapmen that use to buy these Asses, have a speciall regard to the place from whence they come, and where they bee bred. For in Achaia or Greece, those of Arcadia be in greatest request: and in Italie, those of Reate. This creature of all things can worst away with cold: which is the cause that none of them are bred in Pontus. Neither doe they engender as other such like beasts in the Spring Æquinoctiall, i. about mid-March: but in mid-Iune, about the time of the Sunne-steed, when daies be at the longest. Hee Asses, the more you spare them in their worke, the worse they are for it. The females are at the least thirtie moneths, or two yeares and a halfe old before they bring any young: but three yeares is the ordinarie and due time indeed. They goe as long as mares, and just so many months, and after the same manner doe they fole. But after they be covered, they must be forced to runne presently, with beating and laying upon them, or else they will let goe their seed againe; so slipperie is their wombe, and so unapt to keepe that which once it hath conceived. They are seldome seene to bring foorth two at once. The shee Asse, when shee is about to folee, seeketh some secret blind corner to hide her selfe, that shee might not bee seene of any man. Shee breeds all her life time, which commonly is untill she be thirtie yeeres old. They love their yong foles exceeding well: but as ill, or rather worse, can they abide any water. To their little ones they will goe through fire; but if there be the least brooke or rill betweene, they are so affraid of it, that they dare not once dip their feet therein. And verily drinke they will not, but of their accustomed fountaines, within the pastures where they use to goe: but they will be sure to chuse their way, and goe drie to their drinke, and not wet their hoofe: neither will they goe over any bridges where the planks are not so close drawn together and jointed, but that they may see the water through, under their feet, or the railes of each side so open, that the river is seene. A strange nature they have by themselves. Thirstie they are, but bee they never so drie, if you chaunge their watering place (as in travelling upon their way) they must be forced to drinke with cudgels, or else unloden of their burdens. Wheresoever they bee stabled, they love to lie at large and have roume ynough. For in their sleepe they dreame, and have a thousand fancies appearing to them: insomuch, as they fling about them with their heeles every way: now if they were not at libertie, and had void space ynough, but should beat against some hard thing in their way, they would soone be lame, & halt withall. They be very gainefull and profitable to their maisters, yeelding more commoditie than the revenues of good farmes. It is well knowne, that in Celtiberia a shee Asse ordinarily with very breeding may bee worth unto them 400000 Sesterces. For the foling and bringing foorth of Mules, the principall thing to be regarded in the shee Asse, is the haire about the eares and eie-lids. For howsoever the whole bodie besides bee of one and the same colour, yet shall the mules foled, have as many colours as were there, all over the skin. Mecænas was the first that at feasts made a daintie dish of young Asse foles, and preferred their flesh in his time before the venison of wild Asses. But when he was dead and gone, they were not thought so good meat, nor accepted any whit. If an Asse be seene to die, looke soone after, that the whole race and kind of them will follow to the very last.
BETWEENE the hee Asse and a Mare is a mule engendred, and foled in the twelfth moneth: a beast of exceeding strength to beare out all labour and travell. For breeding of such mules, they chose Mares that are not under foure yeares old, nor above ten. Men say, that they will drive away one another in both kinds, and not accompanied together, unlesse they tasted the milk and sucked the dam when they were young, of that kind which they would cover. And for this purpose they use to steale away either the young Asse foles, and set them in the darke to the teats of the Mare, or els the young colts to sucke of the shee Asse. For there is a kind of Mule also that commeth of a stone horse and a female Asse: but of all others they be untoward and unruly, and so slow withall, that it is unpossible to bring them to any good service: & much more (as all things els) if they be farre in age when they engender. If when a shee Asse hath taken the horse, and bee sped, there come an Asse and cover her againe, she will cast her fruit untimely, and loose all: but it is not so if an horse cover her after an Asse. It is observed and found by experience, that seven daies after an Asse hath foled, is the best time to put the male unto her, and then soonest will she be sped: as also, that the hee Asses being wearie with travell, will better cover the females than otherwise, if they be restie. That Asse is held for barren, which is not covered, nor conceiveth, before she have cast her sucking or foles-teeth: whereby the age is knowne: as also she which standeth not to the first covering but looseth it. In old time they used to call those Hinuli, which were begotten betweene an horse and an Asse: and contrariwise Mules, such as were engendred of an Asse and a Mare. Moreover, this is observed, that if two beasts of divers kinds do engender, they bring forth one of a third sort, and resembling neither of the parents: also, that such begotten in this manner, what kind of creatures soever they bee, are themselves barren and fruitlesse, unable either to beare or beget young. And this is the cause that the shee mules never breed. Wee find verily in our Chronicles, that oftentimes Mules brought forth young foles, but it was alwaies taken for a monstrous and prodigious signe. And yet Theophrastus saith, That in Cappadocia ordinarily they doe beare and bring foles: but they are a kind by themselves. Mules are broken of their flinging and wincing, if they use often to drinke wine. It is found written in many Greeke authors, That if an hee Mule cover a Mare, there is engendred that which the Latines call Hinnus, that is to say, a little Mule. Betweene the Mares and wild Asses made tame, are engendred a kind of Mules, very swift in running, and exceeding hard hoofed, lanke and slender of bodie, but fierce and courageous, and unneth or hardly to be broken. But the Mule that commeth of a wild Asse and a female Asse, passeth all the rest. As for wild Asses, the very best and floure of them be in Phrygia and Lycaonia. In Affricke, the flesh of their foles is held for excellent good meat, and such they call Lalisiones. It appeareth in the Chronicles of Athens, that a Mule lived 80 yeares. And reported thus much there is of it, That when they built the temple, within the citadell thereof, this old Mule being for age able to doe nothing else, would yet accompanie other Mules that laboured and caried stones thither, and if any of them were readie to fall under their lode, would seeme to releeve and hold them up, and (as it were) encourage them to his power: insomuch as the people tooke so great delight and pleasure therein, that they made a decree, and tooke order that no corne-maisters that bought and sold grain, should beat this Mule away from their raunging sives (when they cleansed or winnowed their corne) but that the might eat under them.
Of Buls, Kine, and Oxen.
THE Boeufes of India are as high by report as Cammels, and foure foot broad they are betweene the hornes. In our part of the world, those that come out of Epirus, are most commended, and beare the greatest price above all others; and namely those, which they say are of the race and breed of king Pyrrhus, who that way was very curious. For this prince because hee would have a principall good breed, would not suffer the Buls to come unto the Kine and season them, before they were both foure yeares old. Mightie big they were therefore, and so they continue of that kind unto this day. Howbeit, now when they be but heyfers of one year, or two years at the most (which is more tollerable) they are let goe to the fellow and breed. Buls may well engender and serve kine when they bee foure yeare old: and one of them is able all the yeare long to goe with ten kine, and serve their turne. They say moreover, that a Bull, after hee hath leapt a cow, and done his kind, if he goe his way toward the right hand, he hath gotten an oxe calfe: but contrariwise, a cow calfe, if he take the left hand. Kine commonly take at their first seasoning: but if it chaunce that they misse and stand not to it, the twentieth day afer they seeke the fellow, and goe a bulling againe. In the tenth month they calve: and whatsoever falleth before that tearme, never proveth nor commeth to good. Some write, that they calve just upon the last day of the tenth month complete. Seldome bring they foorth two calves at a time. Their seasoning time commonly continueth thirtie daies, namely, from the rising of the Dolphin starre, unto the day before the Nones of Ianuarie. Howbeit, some there be that goe to fellow in Autumne. Certes, in those countries where the people live altogether of milk, they order the matter so, that their kine calve at all times, so as they are not without their food of fresh milke all the yeare long. Buls willingly leape not above two kine at most in one day. Boeufes alone of all living creatures can grase going backward: and verily among the Garamants they never feed otherwise. Kine live not above fifteene yeares at the utmost: Buls and Oxen come to twentie. They be in their full strength when they are five yeares old. It is said, that they will grow fat, if they be bathed with hote water, or if a man slit their hide, and with a reed or pipe blow wind betweene the flesh and the skin, even into their entrailes. Kine, Buls, and Oxen, are not to be despised as unkindly, although they looke but illfavouredly, and bee not so faire to the eie: for in the Alpes, the least of bodie are the best milch kine. And the best labouring Oxen are they which are yoked by the head, and not the necke. In Syria they have no dewlaps at all hanging under the neck, but bunches standing up on their backs in steed therof. They of Caria also, a countrey in Asia, are illfavoured to be seen, having between their necks & shoulders a tumor or swelling hanging over; besides, their horns are loose, and (as it were) out of joint: and yet by report they are passing good of deed, and labor most stoutly. Furthermore, it is generally held for certaine, that the black or white in this kind are simply the worst for worke, and condemned. Buls have lesse and thinner hornes than either Kine or Oxen. The best time to bring the Oxe or Bull to the yoke, and make him draw, is at three yeares of age: after, it is too late; and before, with the soonest. A yong Stere is soonest trained and taught to draw, if he be coupled in one yoke with another that hath beene wrought alreadie and beaten to his worke. For this beast is our companion, and laboureth together with us, in earing and plowing the ground: and so highly regarded was the Oxe in old time of our forefathers, that we find it registred upon record, That a certaine Romane was judicially endited, accused, & condemned by the people of Rome, for that (to satisfie the mind of a wanton minion and catamite of his, who said he had not eaten any tripes all the whiles he was in the countrey) he killed an Oxe, although he was his owne: yea, and for this fact was banished, as if hee had slaine his Grangier and Bailife of his husbandrie. Buls are knowne to bee of a good kind and courageous, by their fierce and grim countenance, for they alwaies looke crabbed and frowning: their eares are overgrowne with stiffe haires, and their hornes so standing, as if they were ever disposed and readie to fight. But all his threatening and menaces appeare in his forefeet; with them hee gives warning, and as he is more and more angrie, hee bestirreth himselfe now with the one foot, and then with another, in course and by turnes, stamping and pawing with them against the ground, raising and flinging the dust about him aloft into the aire: and of all other beasts, he alone after this manner enchaufeth himselfe, and giveth an edge unto his anger. I my selfe have seen them fight one with another for the maistrie: I have seene them, being turned and swong round about in their fall, caught up with the hornes of others, and yet rise againe and recover themselves: I have seene them lying along, to be raised aloft from the ground; and when they have run all amaine with full pace, galloping in their chariots, yet staied and stood still when they should, as if the charioters had caused them to rest. The Thessalians were they who devised with prauncing horse to ride gallop close to the Buls head to take them by the horne, wrth their necks downe, and so kill them. The first that exhibited this pleasant shew unto the people at Rome, was Cæsar Dictatour. The Bull yeeldeth the principall and most sumptuous sacrifice of all other unto the gods, and therewith are they best pleased. This beast alone, of all those that are long tailed, when it first commeth into the world, hath not the taile of the full measure and perfect length, as others: but it groweth still, untill it reach downe to the very heeles, and touch the ground. And hereupon it is, that in chusing of cavles to sacrifice with, those are allowed for good and sufficient, whose taile commeth downe to the joint of the haugh or gambrill: for if it be shorter, they will not be received and accepted of the gods. This also is noted by experience, that calves so little (that they bee brought on mens shoulders to the altars for to bee killed) lightly are not sufficient to appease the gods. Neither are they pacified and well pleased with a beast that is lame and maimed; nor with that which is not appropriat unto them, but to some other gods; ne yet with it that reculeth from the altar, and is loth to come to it. In the prodigies that wee read of auncient times, wee find very often that Kine and Oxen have spoke: upon the report of which straunge token, the Senate was ever wont to assemble in some open place abroad, and not to sit either in hall or chamber.
Of the Boeufe or Oxe, named Apis.
IN Ægypt also they had an Oxe, which the people of that countrey adored and worshipped as a god, under the name of Apis. This beast was marked in this manner: with a white spot on his right side, like to the horns or tips of the new moone croissant; a knot or bunch under the tongue, which they called Cantharus: by their religion, it was not lawfull to suffer him to live above a certein number of yeers; at the end of which tearme, they drowne him in a certain well or fountaine of their priests, and so shorten his life; and then with great sorrow fall to seeke another to substitute in his place: untill they find him, they mourne and waile, and in token of griefe and sorrow, they shave their heads. But long they never are before they meet with another: and when they have him, hee is by the priests brought to Memphis: where hee hath two temples, which they call Thalami, i. bed-chambers: out of which, all the people of Ægypt, as from an oracle, are enformed truly of things to come. For if this oxe enter into the one of them, it is a good luckie signe; but if hee goe into the other, then it portendeth great misfortune and infortunitie. And these be generall presages to the whole nation. As for privat persons, he foretelleth them of things to come, by the manner of taking meat at their hands who come to know what fortune they shall have. He turned away his head from the hand of Germanicus Cæsar, & would eat no meat when he offered it him; but he died for it, and that not long after. Hee is kept secret and close for the most part: but if at any time hee get forth and come abroad to be seene of the multitude of people, hee goeth with a guard of tipstaves to make way for him; and then a companie of pretie boyes goe chaunting before him canticles and songs, in his honour and praise: for it seemeth that he taketh heed to what they sing, and is well pleased and contented thus to be worshipped. Now these quiresters beforesaid, presently fall into a kind of furious rage, and withall, are inspired with the gift or prophesie, and so fore-tell what will ensue. Once a yeere there is presented unto him, a cow, which hath markes likewise as hee hath, but differing from his: and alwaies upon what day this cow is found, the same day by report, it dieth. At Memphis, there is a place within Nilus, which the inhabitants name Phiola, because it is made in fashion of a pot or boll: and therein duely everie yeere the Ægyptians drowne two cups, one of silver, and another of gold, during seven daies, dedicated to solemnize the nativitie of their god Apis. And this is one thing to be wondered at, That in that seven-night space, there is not one that taketh hurt by Crocodiles: but let the eigth day come once, within six houres they returne to their former mischeivous crueltie.
The nature of sheepe, and their breeding.
SHEEPE likewise are in great request, both in regard that they serve as sacrifices to pacifie the gods, and also by reason that their fleece yeeldeth so profitable an use: for even as men are beholden to the boeufe for their principall food and nourishment which they labour for, so they must acknowledge, that they have their cloathing and coverture of their bodies from the poore sheepe. The ramme and ewe both, are fit for generation from two yeeres of age upward untill they come to nine, and some also untill they be ten yeers old. The lambes that they yeane first, are but little ones. They goe all generally to rut about the setting of Arcturus, that is to say, upon the third day before the Ides of May: and their heat lasteth unto the full of the Ægle star, namely, the tenth day before the Calends of August. They be with young 150 daies. If any take the ramme after that time, the fruit that they beare commeth to no good, but proove weake. And such lambs as fall after that season, they calle din old time Cordos, i. late lambs. Many men doe prefer these winter lambs before those that come in spring: the reason is, because it is much better they should be strong before the heat of summer and the long daies, than against the cold of winter and the shortest daies: and they thinke, that this creature onely taketh good by being yeaned in the mids of winter. It is kind and naturall for rammes to make no account of young hogrels, but to loath them; for they had rather follow after old ewes. Himselfe also is better when he is old, and more lustie to leape the ewes. To make him more mild and gentle, they use to bore his horne about the root neere unto his eares. If his right cullion or stone be tied up, he getteth ewe lambs; but if the left be taken up, hee getteth ramme lambes. If ewes be alone by themselves without the flocke when it thundreth, they cast their lambes. The onely remedie is to gather them togither, that by companie and fellowship they may have helpe. They say, that if the North winds blow when they take the ramme, they will bring forth males; but if the South winds be up, females. Moreover, great regard there is had in this kind, to the mouthes of the rammes: for looke what colour the veines be under their tongue, of the same will the fleece be of the lambes, that is to say, of sundrie colours, in case the veines were divers coloured. Also the chaunge of water and drinkes maketh them to alter their hew. In summe, two principall kinds there be of sheepe, that is to say, the one reared within house, and the other abroad in the field: the first is the tenderer, but the other more pleasant meat and delicate in tast; for those within-house feed upon briers and brambles. The clothes and coverings made of the Arabicke wool, are chiefe of all.
Divers kinds of wooll and clothes.
THE best wooll of all other, is that of Apulia: then, that which in Italie is named the Greeke sheepes wooll, but in other countries is named Italian. In the third ranke, the Milesian sheepe and their wooll, carrie the prize. The wooll of Apulia is of a short staple, and specially in request for cloakes and mantles, and nothing else. About Tarentum and Canusium, the richest of this kind are found: as also at Laodicea in Asia. As for whitenesse, there is none better than that which groweth along the Po, namely, about Piemount and Lombardie: and yet never to this day, a pound of it hath exceeded the price of an hundred sesterces. In all places they use not to sheare sheepe: for the manner of plucking their fells continueth still in some countries. Sundrie sorts of colours there be in wooll, and so many, that we are not able to give severall names so much as to those that wee call Native, i. growing upon the sheepes backe. For blacke sheepes, Spaine is chiefe; Pollentia for white; and grey, the tract of Piemont neere to the Alpes: Asia for red hath no fellow, and such kind of wools are called Erythrææ. In Boeotia likewise, that is to say, in the kingdome of Granade and Andalusia, the same colour is to be found. Neere to Canusia, the sheepe be deepe yellow or tawnie: and about Tarentum, they are of a browne and duskish colour. Generally, all kind of woolls newly shorne or plucked, unwasht and greasie still, be good and medicinable. About Istria and Liburnia, the sheepes fleece resembleth haire rather than wooll, nothing at all good for to make frized clothes with a high nap: but serveth onely for the artizan or workman in Portugall, whose artificiall weaving in net or scutcheon worke with squares, commendeth this wooll. The like wooll is common about Pissenæ in the province Narbonensis, i. Languedoc in Fraunce: and such is found in Ægypt: the cloth made thereof, after it is worne bare, is then died, and serveth new againe, and will weare still and last a mans life. The course rough wooll with the round great haire, hath been of auncient time highly commended and accounted of in tapestrie worke: for even Homer himselfe witnesseth, that they of the old world used the same much, and tooke great delight therein. But this tapestrie is set out with colours in Fraunce, after one sort, and among the Parthians after another. Moreover, wool of it selfe driven togither into a felt without spinning or weaving, serveth to make garments with: and if vinegre be used in the working therof, such felts are of good proofe to bere off the edge and point of the sword; yea and more than that, they will checke the force of the fire. And the last cleansing and refuse thereof (when it is taken out of the coppers and leads of those that have the fulling and dressing thereof) serveth for flock-worke and to stuffe mattresses: an invention (as I suppose) which first came out of Fraunce: for surely these flockes and quilted mattresses, are at this day distinguished and knowne one from another by French names. But I am not able easily to set downe at what time first this workmanship began: for certein it is, that in old time men made them pallets and beds of straw, or else lay upon bare mattes, like as now adayes souldiers in the campe make shift with haire rugges. As for our mantles, friezed deep both without and within, they were invented and came to be used first, no longer since than in my fathers dayes: as also these hairie counterpoints and carpets. For the studded casocckes that Senatours and noblemen of Rome doe weare, begin but now for to be woven after the manner of deepe frieze rugges. Wooll that is blacke, will take no other hew, nor bee dyed into any colour. As touching the manner how to die other wools, wee will speake in convenient place, namely, when we shall treat of the purples and sea shell fishes, and of certain hearbes good for that purpose. M. Varro writeth, That within the temple of Sangus, there continued unto the time that he wrote his booke, the wooll that ladie Tanaquil, otherwise named Caia Cæcilia, spun: together with her distaffe and spindle: as also, within the chappell of Fortune, the very roiall robe or mantle of Estate, made with her owne hands after the manner of water-chamlot in wave worke, which Servius Tullus used to weare. And from hence came the fashion & custome at Rome, that when maidens were to be wedded, there attended upon them a distaffe, dressed and trimmed with kembed wooll, as also a spindle and yearne upon it. The said Tanaquil was the first that made the coat or cassocke woven right out all through, such as new beginners (namely, young souldiours, barristers, and fresh brides) put on under their white plaine gowns, without any guard of puple. The waved water chamelot, was from the beginning esteemed the richest and bravest wearing. And from thence came the branched damaske in broad workes. Fenestelia writeth, That in the latter time of Augustus Cæsar they began at Rome to use their gownes of cloth shorne, as also with a curled nap. As for those robes which are called Crebræ and Papaveraræ, wrought thicke with floure-worke resembling poppies; or pressed even and smooth; they be of greater antiquitie: for even in the time of Lucilius the Poet, Torquatus was noted and reprooved for wearing them. The long robes embrodered before, called Prætextæ, were devised first by the Tuscanes. The Trabeæ were roiall robes, and I find that kings and princes onely ware them. In Homers time also they used garment embrodered with imagerie and floure-worke: & from thence came the triumphant robbes. As for embroderie it selfe and needle worke, it was the Phrygians invention: and hereupon embroderers in Latine bee called Phrygiones. And in the same Asia, king Attalus was the first that devised cloth of gold: and thence come such clothes to be called Attalica. In Babylon they used much to weave their cloth of divers colours, and this was a great wearing among them, and cloths so wrought were called Babylonica. To weave cloth of tissue with twisted threeds both in woofe and warpe, and the same of sundrie colours, was the invention of Alexandria, and such clothes and garments wer named Polymita. But Fraunce devised the scutchion, square, or lozenge damaske-worke. Metellus Scipio, among other challenges and imputations laid against Capito, reproched and accused him for this, That his hangings and furniture of his dining-chamber, being Babylonian worke or cloth of Arras, were sold for 800000 sestercies: and such like of late daies stood prince Nero in 400 hundred thousand sesterces, i. 40 millions. The embrodered long robes of Servius Tullus, wherewith hee covered and arraied all over the Image of Fortune, by him dedicated, remained whole and sound unto the end of Seianus. And a wonder it was, that they neither fell from the image, nor were moth-eaten in 560 yeeres. I have my selfe seene the sheepes fleeces upon their backes whiles they be alive, died with purple, and scarlet in grain, and the violet liquor of the fish Murex: by the means of certaine barks of a foot and a halfe long dipped in these colours, and so imprinted and set upon their fleeces: as if riotous wantonnes and superfluitie should force Natures worke, and make wooll to grow of that colour. As for the sheepe it selfe, she is knowne to be kindly enough by these markes, if she be short legged, and well woolled under the bellie; for such as were naked there and pilled, they condemned and held for naught, and those they called Apicæ. In Syria, sheepe have tailes a cubit long, and they beare most wooll there. To lib lambs before they be five moneths old, it is thought to be with the soonest, and daungerous.
Of a beast called Musmon.
THERE is in Spaine, but especially in the Isle Corsica, a kind of Musmones, not altogether unlike to sheepe, having a shag more like the haire of goats, than a fleece with sheepes wooll. That kind which is engendred betweene them and sheepe, they called in old time Umbri. This beast hath a most tender head, and therefore in his pasture is to be forced to feed with his taile to the sunne. Of all living creatures, those that beare wooll are most foolish; for take but one of them by the horne and lead him any whither, all the rest will follow, though otherwise they were affraid to go that way. The longest that they live in those parts, is 9 yeers; however in Æthiopia they come to 13. In which countrey, goates also live 11 yeeres, whereas in other countries of the world, for the most part, they passe not eight. And both sorts, as well the one as the other, be sped within foure leapings.
Of Goats, and their breeding.
GOATS bring forth foure kids otherwhiles, but that is very seldome. They goe with young five moneths as ewes do. Shee goats waxe barren with fatnesse. When they become once to be three yeers old, they are not so good to breed: ne yet when they are elder, and namely, being past foure yeeres of age. They begin at the seventh moneth, even whiles they sucke their dammes. And as well the bucke as the Doe are held the better for breed, if they be nott, and have no hornes. The first time that the shee goats are leaped, they stand not to it: the second leaping speedeth better, and so forward. They chuse willingly to take the bucke in the moneth of November, that they might bring kids in March following, when all shrubs put forth and begin to sprout and bud, for them to brouze. And this is sometime when they be a yeere old, but they never faile at two yeeres: yea and when they be full three, they are not utterly decayed and done, but are good still: for they beare 8 yeeres. Subject they be in cold weather, to cast their young and yeane untimely. The Doe, when she perceiveth her eies dimme and over-cast either with pin and web or cataract, pricketh them with the sharpe point of some bulrush, and so letteth them blood: but the bucke goeth to the brier and doth the like. Mutianus reporteth, that he had occcasion upon a time to marke the wit of this creature: It happened, that upon a narrow thin planke that lay for a bridge, that one goat met with another comming both from divers parts: now by reason that the place was so narrow that they could not passe by, nor turne about, ne yet retire backwards blindly, considering how long the planke was and so slender withall; moreover, the water that ran underneath ran with a swift streame, and threatned present death if they failed and went besides: Mutianus (I say) affirmeth, that he saw one of them to lye flat down, and the other to goe over his backe. As for the male goats, they are held for the best which are most camoise or snout nosed, have long eares, and the same slit in, with great store of shag haires about their shoulders. But the marke to know the kindest females is this, they have two lappets, locks, or plaits as it were of haire, hanging downe along their bodie on either side from their necke. They have not all of them horns, but some are nott; but in those which are horned, a man may know their age by the number of knots therein more or lesse: and in very truth, the nott shee goats are more free of milk. Archelaus writeth, that they take their breath at the eares, and not at the nostrils: also that they be never cleere of the ague. And this haply is the cause, that they are hotter mouthed, and have a stronger breath than sheepe, and more egre in their rut. Men say moreover, that they see by night as wel as by day: and therfore they that when evening is come, see nothing at all, recover their perfect sight again by eating ordinarily the liver of goats. In Cilicia and about the Syrtes, the people clad themselves with goats haire, for there they shere them as sheepe. Furthermore it is said, that goats toward the sun-setting, cannot in their pasture see directly one another, but by turning taile to taile: as for other houres of the day, they keepe head to head, and raunge together with the rest of their fellowes. They have all of them a tuft of haire like a beard hanging under their chin, which they call Aruncus. If a man take one of them by this beard and draw it foorth of the flocke, all the rest will stand still gazing thereat, as if they were astonied: and so will they doe if any one of them chaunce to bite of a certaine hearb. Their teeth kill trees. As for an olive tree, if they doe but licke it, they spoile it for ever bearing after: and for this cause they be not killed in sacrifice to Minerva.
Of Swine, and their natures.
SWINE goe a brimming from the time that the Westerne wind and Favonius beginneth to blow, untill the spring Æquinoctiall: and they take the bore when they be eight moneths old: yea and in some places at the fourth moneth of their age, and continue breeding unto the seventh yeere. They farrow commonly twice a yeere: they be with pigge foure moneths. One sow may bring at one farrow twentie pigges, but reare so many she cannot. Nigridius saith, that those pigs which are farrowed ten daies under or ten daies over the shortest day of the yeer, when the sun entreth into Capricorn, have teeth immediatly. They stand lightly to the first brimming, but by reason that they are subject to cast their pigges, they had need to bee brimmed a second time. Howbeit the best way to prevent that they do not slip their young, is to keep the bore from them at their first grunting and seeking after him, nor to let them be brimmed before their ears hang downe. Bores are not good to brim swine after they be three yeers old. Sowes when they be wearie for age that they cannot stand, take the bore lying along. That a sow should eat her owne pigs, it is no prodigious wonder. A pig is pure & good for sacrifice, five daies after it is farrowed; a lambe, when it hath been yeaned 8 daies; and a calfe, being 30 daies old. But Cornucannus saith, That all beasts for sacrifice which chew cud, are not pure and right for that purpose, untill they have teeth. Swine having lost one eye, are not thought to live long after; otherwise they may continue untill they be fifteen yeers old, yea and some to twentie. But they grow to be wood and raging otherwhiles: and besides are subject to many maladies more, and most of all to the squinancie, and wen or swelling of the kernels in the necke. Will ye know when a swine is sicke or unsound, pluck a bristle from the back and it will be bloodie at the root: also he will carrie his neck atone side as he goeth. A sow, if shee be over-fat, soone wanteth milke; and at her first farrow bringeth fewest pigs. All the kind of them love to wallow in dirt and mire. They wrinkle their taile; wherein this also is obsered, That they be more likely to appease the gods in sacrifice, that rather writh & turn their tailes to the right hand, than the left. Swine will be fat and well larded in sixtie daies; and the rather, if before you begin to franke them up, they be kept altogither from meat three daies. Of all other beasts, they are most brutish; insomuch as there goeth a pleasant byword of them, and fitteth them well, That their life is given them in stead of salt. This is known for a truth, that when certaine theeves had stolne and driven away a companie of them, the swineheard having followed them to the water side (for by that time were the theeves embarged with them) cried aloud unto the swine, as his manner was: whereupon they knowing his voice, leaned all to one side of the vessell, turned it over, and sunke it, tooke the water, and so swam againe to land unto their keeper. Moreover, the hogges that use to lead and goe before the heard, are so well trained, that they will of themselves go to the swine-market place within the citie, and from thence home againe to their masters, without any guide to conduct them. The wild bores in this kind, have the wit to cover their tracks with mire, and for the nones to runne over marish ground where the prints of their footing will not be seene; yea and to be more light in running, to void their urine first. Sowes also are splaied as well as camels, but two daies before, they be kept from meat: then hang they by the fore-legs, for to make incision into their matrice, and to take forth their stones: and by this meanes they will sooner grow to be fat. There is an Art also in cookerie, to make the liver of a sow, as also of a goose, more daintie (and it was the devise of M. Apicius) namely, to feed them with drie figges, and when they have eaten till they bee full, presently to give them mead or honyed wine to drinke, untill they die with beeing overcharged. There is not the flesh of any other living creature, that yeeldeth more store of dishes to the maintenance of gluttonie, than this; for fiftie sundrie sorts of tastes it affourdeth, whereas other have but one apeece. From hence came so many edicts and proclamations published by the Censors, forbidding and prohibiting to serve up at any feast or supper, the belly and paps of a sow, the kernels about the necke, the brizen, the stones, the wombe, and the fore-part of the bores head: and yet for all that, Publius the Poët and maker of wanton songs, after that he was come to his freedome, never (by report) had supper without an hogges belly with the paps: who also to that dish gave the name, and called it Sumen. Moreover, the flesh of wild bores came to be in great request and was much set by: in such sort, as Cato the Censor in his invective orations, challenged men for brawne. And yet when they made three kinds of meat of the wild bore, the loine was alwaies served up in the mids. The first Romane that brought to the table a whole bore at once, was P. Servilius Rullus, father of that Rullus, who in the time that Cicero was Consull, published the law Agraria, as touching the division of lands. See how little while agoe it is since these superfluities began, which now are taken up so ordinarily everie day. And yet the thing was noted and recorded in the Annales, as strange and rare; no doubt for this intent, To represse these inordinate enormities. One supper then or feast was taxed and reprooved therein at the beginning: but now, two and three bores at a time are served up whole and eaten together.
Of Parkes for wild beasts.
THE first man of the long robe that devised parkes as well for these bores as other Deere and savage beasts, was Fulvius Lippinus, who in the territorie of Tarquinij, began to keep and feed wild beasts for his game. And long it was not but others followed his steps, namely, L. Lucullus and Q. Hortensius. Sowes of the wild kind bring forth pigges but once a yeere: and the bores in briming time are exceeding fierce and fell: then they fight one with another: they harden their sides rubbing them against the bodies of trees, and all to wallow themselves in the mire, and coat their backs with durt. But they are not so raging then, but the sowes in their farrowing are much worse, and lightly it is so in all other kind of beasts. Wild bores are not meet for generation before they be a yeere old. The wild bores of India have two bowing fangs or tuskes of a cubit length, growing out of their mouth, and as many out of their foreheads like calves hornes. The bristly haire of the wild sort, is like to brasse: but of others, blacke. In Arabia swine will not live.
Of beasts halfe savage.
THERE is no creature engendreth so soone with wild of the kind, as doth the swine: and in good sooth such hogges in old time they called Hybrides, as a man would say, halfe wild: insomuch as this tearme by a translation, hath been attributed to mankind. For so was C. Antonius, colleague with Cicero in the Consulship, nicknamed. And not in swine onely, but also in all other living creatures, looke where there be any tame and domesticall, you may find also wild and savage of the same kind, seeing that even of wild men there be so many sorts in divers places, as we have before said. As for the goats kind, how many and how sundrie resemblances are to be found in them of other beasts? For among them you shall have the roe bucke, the shamois, the wild goat called the Eveck, wonderfull swift, albeit his head be loden with huge hornes like to sword scabberds: by these they hang and poise themselves from rockes, namely, when they mind to leape from one to another, for by swinging too and fro they skip and jump the more nimbly, and fetch a jerke out to what place they list, as it were forth of an engine. Of this kind, be the Oryges, the onely beasts (as some thinke) of all others, that are said to have their haire growing contrariwise and turning toward the head. To these belong the Does, and a kind of fallow Deere called Pygargi, as also those that are named Strepsicerotes, and many other not farre unlike. As for the former sort, they come out of the Alpes: these last rehearsed, are sent from other parts beyond-sea.
Of Apes and Monkeys.
ALL the kind of these Apes approach neerest of all beasts, to the resemblance of a mans shape: but they differ one from another in the taile. Marveilous craftie and subtle they be to beguile themselves: for by report, as they see hunters doe before them, they will imitate them in every point, even to besmeare themselves with glew and birdlime, and shoo their feet within grins and snares, and by that meanes are caught. Mutianus saith, that he hath seene Apes play at chesse and tables; and that at first sight they could know nuts made of waxe from others. He affirmeth moreover, that when the moone is in the waine, the monkeys and marmosets (which in this kind have tailes) be sad and heavie, but the new moone they adore and joy at, which they testifie by hopping and dauncing. As for the eclipse of sunne or moone, all other four-footed beasts also doe greatly dread and feare. The shee Apes of all sorts are wonderous fond of their little ones: and such as are made tame within-house, will carrie them in their armes all about so soone as they have brought them into the world, keepe a sheweing of them to every bodie, and they take pleasure to have them dandled by others, as if thereby they tooke knowledge that folke joyed for their safe deliverance: but such a culling and hugging of them they keepe, that in the end with very clasping and clipping they kill them many times. Apes that be headed and long snouted like dogs, and thereupon called Cynocephali, are of all other most curst, shrewd, & unhappie: like as the Marmozets and Monkies called Sphinges & Satyri, are the gentlest & most familiar. As for those which they call Callitriches, they be clean of another form and shape all over in a manner. They have a beard on their visage, and the fore-part of their taile spreadeth broad. But this creature is said to live in no other climate but in Æthyopia where it breedeth.
Of Hares and Connies.
OF Hares also there be many sorts. Upon the Alpes and such high mountaines, they bee of colour white, so long as the snow lieth; and it is verily thought, that all Winter long they live with eating of snow: for surely, when it is thawed and melted, all the yeare after they be browne and reddish as before: and a creature it is otherwise bred in extreame and intollerable cold. Of the Hares kind are they also, which in Spaine they call Connies, which are exceeding fruitfull, and of wonderfull encrease: in such sort, that having devoured all the corne in the field before harvest in the Baleare Islands, they brought thereby a famine upon the people. There is a most daintie dish served up at the table, made of Leverets or Rabbets, either cut out of the dams bellies, or taken from them when they be suckers, without cleaning them at all of the garbage; and such the Latines call Laurices. It is knowne for certaine, the Islanders of Majoricke and Minoricke made meanes to the Emperour Augustus Cæsar for a power of souldiours to destroy the infinite increase of Connies among them. Ferrets are in great account for chasing and hunting of these Connies. The manner is to put them into their earths, which within the ground have many waies and holes like mines; and thereupon these creatures are called Cuniculi: and when they are within, they so course the poore Connies from out of their earth, that they are soon taken above ground at the mouth of their holes. Archelaus writeth, that looke how many receptacles and waies of passage, the Hare hath for his dung and excrements, so many yeares old he is just. And verily, some have more than others. The same writer is of opinion, that every Hare is both male and female, and that any of them can breed without the Bucke. Certes herein Nature hath shewed her bountie and goodnesse, in that she hath given this creature (so good to eat, and so harmelesse otherwise) the gift of fertilitie and fruitfull wombe. The Hare, naturally exposed to be a prey and game for all men, is the onely creature, unlesse it be the Connie againe called Dasipus, which after it be once with young, conceiveth againe upon it: insomuch, as at one time she hath some Leverets sucking of her, others in her bellie; and those not of the same forwardnesse, for some of them are covered with haire, others are naked without any downe; and there be again of them, that as yet are not shapen at all, but without all forme. Moreover, men have assaied to make cloth of Hares and Connies haire: but in the hand they are not so soft, as is the furre upon the skin or case: neither will they last, by reason that the haire is short, and will soone shed.
Of beasts halfe tame.
AS for Hares, seldome be they made tame, and to come to hand: and yet justly they cannot be called simply wild. For many other such creatures there be besides, that neither are savage, ne yet tame and gentle, but of a middle nature betweene both. As namely among flying foules in the aire, the Swallow: likewise the Bee: and among fishes, the Dolphin in the sea.
Of Mice and Rats, Dor-mice, Reere-mice, and Bats.
IN the ranke of those that be neither tame nor wild, many have ranged the Mice and Rats that haunt our houses. A creature this is of no small reckoning for presaging somewhat to a state, by some strange and prodigious tokens. By gnawing the silver shields and bucklers at Lavinium, they portended and fore-shewed the Marsian warre. Unto Carbo the lord Generall, by eating of his hose-garters and shoe-strings at Clusium, they prognosticated his death. Many sorts there be of them in the countrey of Cyrene: some with a broad flat forehead, others with a sharp pointed: and there be of them seene to have sharpe prickles, like to urchins and hedgehogs. Theophrastus reporteth, That these vermine having dispeopled the Island Gyaros, and driven away the inhabitants, gnawed & devoured everything they could meet withal, even to their very yron.And surely it seemeth that it is their nature so to doe: for even among the Chalybes, they serve them so in eating their yron and steele within their very forges. Yea, and in gold mines they play the like part: and therefore when they be caught, their bellies be ript by the pioners in the mine, where they evermore find their stollen gold againe. See what a delight this creature taketh in theeving. We read in the Chronicles, that whiles Anniball lay in siege before Casilinum, a rat was sold within the towne for two hundred Sesterces ; the man who bought it at that price, lived; but the partie who sold it for greedinesse of mony, died for hunger. By the learning of the Soothsaiers, observed it is, that if there be store of white ones bred, it is a good signe, and presageth prosperitie. And in truth our stories are full of the like examples, and namely, that if rats be heard to crie or squeake in the time of ceremoniall taking the Auspices and signes of birds, all is marred, and that businesse cleane dasht. Nigidius saith, that rats lie close hidden all Winter like as Dor-mice. By the edicts of the Censors, and principally by an act of M. Scaurus, in his Consulship, provided it was, and streight order taken, that no Rats, Mice, or Dor-mice should be served up to the table at their great suppers and feasts: like as all shell fish or foule set out of forraine countries farre remote. Counted are Dor-mice betweene tame and wilde: and verily he that first devised to keepe wild Bores in parkes, found the meanes also to nourish and feed these creatures in great tunnes, pipes, and driefats. In the experiment and triall whereof, this hath beene found and observed, That willingly these little creatures will not sort together, unlesse they were countreymen (as it were) and bred in one and the same forrest: and if it chaunce that there bee entermingled among them any strangers, namely, such as had either some river or mountain between the places where they were bred, they kill one another with fighting. They young Dor-mice are exceeding kind and loving to their sires that begat them: for when they bee old and feeble, full tenderly they will feed and nourish them. They renue their age every yeare, by sleeping all Winter: for they lie by it close, snug all the while, and are not to bee seene. But come the Summer once, they bee young and fresh againe. And thus the field Mice likewise take their rest, and doe the same.
What creatures live not but in certaine places.
A WONDERFULL thing it is to see, that Nature hath not onely brought forth divers creatures in sundrie countries: but also in one region under the same climate, hath denied some of them to live in every quarter thereof. And namely in the forrest of Moesia within Italie, these Dor-mice are found but onely in one part thereof. And in Lycia the wild goats, roebucks, and does, never passe the mountaine that confine upon the Syrians: no more than the wild Asses transmount that hill which devideth Cappadocia from Cilicia. Within Hellespont the Stags and Hinds never goe forth and enter into the marches of other countries: and those that bee about Arginussa passe not the mountaine Elatus: which may be knowne by this, that all upon that hill have their eares marked and slit. In the Island Poroselenum, the Weazels will not crosse over the high way. And about Lebadia in Boeotia, those moldwarpes or wants that are brought thither from other parts, will not abide the very soile, but flie from it; which neere by, in Orchomenus undermine & hollow all their corn fields: and such store there is of them, that I have seen all the hangings, carpets, counterpoints, and coverlets of chambers, made of their skins. See how men for no religion and feare of the gods, will bee kept from taking their pleasures and making their delights of these creatures, otherwise prodigious and portending things to come. The strange Hares that be brought into Ithaca, will not live there, but seeking to get away, are found dead about the very bankes of the sea side. In the Island Ebusus there bee no Connies at all: and yet in Spaine and the Baleare islands there are so many, that they pester the whole countrie. The Frogs were ever in Cyrenæ naturally mute, and would not crie: but brought there were thither out of the continent, such as would crie in the water: and that whole kind still remaineth vocall. In the Island Seriphos you shall not yet heare a Frog to crie: let the same bee carried foorth to other places, they will keep a singing as well as the rest. And (by report) the like happeneth in a lake of Thessaly named Sicendus. In Italie the hardie shrewes are venomous in their biting: but passe over the Apennine once, there are no more such to be found. In what countrey soever they be, let them goe over the tract of a cart wheele, they die presently. In Olympus, a mountaine of Macedonie, there are no Wolves, ne yet in the Island Candie: and there verily are to bee found no Foxes nor Beares, and in one word, no hurtfull and noisome beast, unlesse it bee a kinde of spider called Phalangium, whereof wee will speake more in due time and place. And that which is more wonderfull, in the same Island there are no Stags and Hinds, save only in the region and quarter of the Cydoniates. No wild Bores likewise, nor the fowle called the Godwit or Attagene, ne yet Urchins. To conclude, in Affricke yee shall find no wild Bores, no Stags and Hinds, no Roe-buckes and Does, ne yet Beares.
What creatures are hurtfull to strangers.
NOW, some living creatures there be that doe no harme at all to the inhabitants of the same countries, but kill all strangers. And namely, certaine Serpents in Tirinthe, which are supposed to breed of themselves out of the very earth. Semblably, in Syria there be Snakes, and especially along the bankes of Euphrates, that will not touch the Syrians lying along asleep: nay, if a man that leaneth upon them bee stung or bitten by them, hee shall find no hurt or mischeefe thereby. But to men of all other nations whatsoever, they are most spightfully bent: them they will with great greedinesse eagerly assaile and flie upon, yea, and kill them with extreame paine and anguish. And therefore it is, that the Syrians destroy them not. Contrariwise, Aristotle reporteth, That in Latmos (a mountaine of Caria) the Scorpions will doe no harme to straungers, marrie the inhabitants of the same countrey they will sting to death. Now let us proceed to other living creatures besides those of the land, and discourse of their sundrie sorts and kinds.
* i. the Lubernes, or Luzernes.
** i. Luzernes, or Libards.
*** Semivulpes.† Cercopitheci.
†† As some think, a Musk-cat.
††† i. Turn-coats.
¶ Or rather instead of tazels that shearmen use.
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