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repeated the outline or carried the effigy of the griffin, the pelican, the dolphin. Sculptured lions ramped at cathedral doors, lizards peeped from crevices, and all about the sanctuary were the figures of foxes and ferrets, harts and hedgehogs, panthers and partridges, the whale, the crocodile, the tortoise, and a hundred other flying, walking, creeping, or swimming things.

Though St. Bernard denounced this as “the foul and tattered vesture of pagan allegory,” every animal was a text, or was designed to be. The lion typified majesty, the ox patience, the ram spiritual leadership, the turtle dove constancy, the skinsloughing snake the repentant believer, the salamander the righteous who extinguish the flames of desire. The sun-staring, youth-renewing eagle was an admonition to those grown old in sin to face the day star of revelation. Ravens symbolized Jews who battened on the carrion of the Law. Sometimes virtues and vices were pictured as women riding animals or bearing animal devices-Humility on a panther, Chastity on a unicorn, Devotion on an ibex, Patience with a swan helmet, Love with a pelican shield, Lust with a siren-buckler.

Animal symbolism had also its secular phases. Amorous troubadours likened themselves to flame-walled salamanders; or, disappointed in love, likened woman to the double-natured dragon and the hooting owl. By degrees the secular impulse invaded the churches. Animal sculptures were admitted as such and not as cipher characters of divine script; and satire, inspired or tolerated by the regular body of clergy, raided the sheepfold of allegory. This was directed against the preaching friars and the failings of the monastic orders, all the actors in the beast-epos of Reynard the fox entering the sanctuary as its auxiliaries. The animals overran windows, balustrades, cornices, and capitals; foxes were significantly depicted in palmer weeds; a stall in the cathedral at Amiens showed Reynard preaching to a flock of fowls and with pious gesture reaching for the nearest hen. Death, “the sarcastic and irreverent skeleton,” capered among the creatures in the dance macabre. At the outset an attack on religious abuses, the secular phase became in effect a lampoon of the very rites of the church.

Among other figures that caricatured its principal ceremonies under its own roof, says Evans in his authoritative study of the period, were "apes in choristers' robes, swine in monks' hoods, asses in cowls chanting and playing the organ, sirens in the costume of nuns with their faces carefully veiled and the rest of their persons exposed, stags in chasubles ministering at the altar and wolves in the confessional giving absolution to lambs.” The ass, which the east had long celebrated for its devoted service and which has a high niche in biblical story, attained a place in the churches of the west which neither fact fully accounts for. There was thought to be some mystic relation between its anatomy and the architecture of a cathedral. In a catechism of the last century used in a French town it was recited among other details that the head of the ass signified the bell of the town cathedral, its paunch the poor-box and its tail the aspergill for sprinkling holy water. In the one-time popular Feast of the Ass, a living ass was led up the nave into the chancel, the chants were sung in a braying tone, and the officiating priest dismissed the congregation with a loud heehaw.

The ceremony has passed. Most of the beast figures have been removed from the cathedrals. Animal symbolism still lives, but more in letters than in stone.

Chapter V. The Fabulous Beasts

In the world that was, the fabulous animals that roved the land were creatures of unusual interest, though of limited number. More species were to be found in the deep. Thither, Pliny explains, fall the seeds from the innumerable figures of beasts impressed as constellations upon the heavens, and these seeds, being mixed together in the watery element, produce a variety of monstrous forms.

With animal life abounding in the thickets and fields of the earth, and for every bird and beast a fable, there was less incentive to invent new species of them than there was to make stories of ghosts, dæmons and faeries, or of men with beast attributes or lineage or some quality of caricature in their anatomy. With the coming of heraldry the category of strange creatures is greatly enlarged, but the shapes added by blazonry do not purport to be living things and have no place in geog. raphy or in literature, save in massive volumes where the quaint designs and quainter jargon of a curious erudition are preserved.

The ancient had naïve 'ideas about cross-breeding. Every unusual animal seemed a hybrid of two known species. These were produced in hot climates. Hence, says Pliny, arose the saying, common even in Greece, that “Africa is always producing something new.” The males and females of various species in that singular land, he thought, coupled promiscuously with each other, but not always with impunity. “The lion recognizes, by the peculiar odor of the pard, when the lioness has been unfaithful to him, and avenges himself with the greatest fury.

There was a belief, which lasted nearer to the present time, that the savage dogs of India, two of which would make no scruple of attacking the lion, had tigresses for their dams. Diodorus noted that eastern Arabia produced beasts of double nature and mixed shape, and he deemed it reasonable that "by

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the vivifying heat of the sun in southern parts of the world many sorts of wonderful creatures are there bred.” Among these he cites the crocodiles and river horses of Egypt. He strains a point in support of his theory in the account of what he calls the Struthocameli of Arabia, “who have the shape both of a camel and an ostrich.” He describes their bodies “big as a camel, newly foaled,” their small heads with large black eyes, their long necks, the “hairy feathers” on their wings, their strong thighs, and “cloven hoofs.” This creature, says the Sicilian geographer, "seems both terrestrial and volatile, a land beast and a bird”-after all, only an inexact yet graphic portrait of the ostrich. That this fowl is a cross between a camel and a bird is an Arab notion; according to Aristotle it is of an equivocal nature, part bird and part quadruped. So its Persian name signifies, and sacred writers liken its voice to the bellowing of a bull.

Even the breezes take part in the creation of hybrids, so men have thought. That there is actual generative power in the wind is a belief older than the discovery of its function in carrying the fertilizing pollen of plants. Pliny records the popular belief that barren eggs are breeze-begotten; hence their name of Zephyria. The modern “wind-egg” for an egg without a shell laid by a fat hen, but supposed by Doctor Johnson not to contain the principle of life, comes from a similar notion. Male sheep are conceived when the northeast wind blows, and females when the south wind blows, according to the Romans. One of the heroic ballads of the Tartars personifies the wind as a foal which courses about the earth. The fable about Portuguese mares, widely credited by the ancients and roundly asserted by Pliny, is an echo of sailor reports on the fertility of Lusi. tania: “In the vicinity of Olisipo and the river Tagus, the mares, by turning their faces toward the west wind as it blows, become impregnated by its breezes, and the foals thus conceived are remarkable for their fleetness; but they never live beyond three years."

The Unicorn

Best known animal of legend is the unicorn. There are two veritable unicorns, or animals with one horn-the rhinoceros

and the narwhal. The accepted description of this animal gives it the narwhal's straight and spirally twisted horn but none of the parts of the rhinoceros. It is pictured with the legs of a buck, the tail of a lion, and the head and body of a horse. Its markings suggest the zebra's; its head is red, its body white, its eyes blue, while its horn is red at the tip, white at the base and black in between. The high authority of Aristotle has determined these points.

The ancients mention five different animals as having one horn set in the middle of the forehead. The most famous of these were the Egyptian oryx and the Indian ass. Pliny says the oryx gazes at the Dog Star when it rises, and sneezes in a sort of worship. It has the stature of a bull, the form of a deer, and hair that sets forward instead of backward. The Indian ass is described by Ctesias as having the traditional shape and hues of the unicorn, solid hoofs, and a horn a cubit in length. Filings of this horn, if taken in a potion, are an antidote to poison. Drinking cups made from it give immunity also from epilepsy. The Indian ass is so fleet it can be seized only when it leads its foal to pasture. In defense of its young it uses its horn, teeth, and feet, killing horses and men. It is sought for the horn and huckle bones, the latter, Ctesias declares, “the most beautiful I have ever seen”; they are as heavy as lead, he says, and of the color of cinnabar.

The third animal was the monoceros, on which the Orsæan Indians preyed. It had the head of the stag, the feet of the elephant, and the tail of the boar, while the rest of its body was horse-like. The single black horn projecting from the middle of its forehead was two cubits long. It lowed like a bull, was of ferocious nature, wandered alone, and could not be taken alive. The two other unicorns of ancient story were the singlehorned horse and the single-horned ox.

There was a second growth of the fable in the Middle Ages and the unicorn took on new dignities. It was the only animal that would attack the elephant, disembowelling the pachyderm with one blow of its sharp-nailed foot; and it charged the lion at sight. The king of beasts was constrained to kingly craft, dodging behind a tree. His assailant, says Topsell, "in the swiftness of his course runneth against the tree, wherein his

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