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That which much promoted it, beside the common proverb, was an expression in Theocritus, a very ancient poet, où oéyéŋ, Aúkov
slees, Edere non poteris vocem, Lycus est tibi visus; which Lycus was rival unto another, and suddenly appearing, stopped the mouth of his corrival. Now Lycus signifying also a wolf occasioned this apprehension ; men taking that appellatively which was to be understood properly, and translating the genuine acception : which is a fallacy of equivocation, and in some opinions begat the like conceit concerning Romulus and Remus, that they were fostered by a wolf—the name of the nurse being Lupa—and founded the fable of Europa, and her carriage over the sea by a bull, because the ship or pilot's name was Taurus. And thus have some been startled at the proverb, bos in lingua, confusedly apprehending how a man should be said to have an ox in his tongue, that would not speak his mind; which was no more than that a piece of money had silenced him; for by the ox was only implied a piece of coin stamped with that figure, first current with the Athenians, and after among the Romans.3
Of the long life of the Deer. The common opinion concerning the long life of animals is very ancient, especially of crows, choughs, and deer, in moderate accounts exceeding the age of man, in some the days of Nestor, and in others surmounting the years of Artephius or Methuselah. From whence antiquity hath raised
feare of death that made them cry out at all ; but an assured certainty of their neer approaching glorification made them kiss their persequutors, as promoters to eternity, and to sing in the midst of their torments aloud! Soe that, instead of clamours,” I put "shouts,” wherewith they daunted those wolves, and made them stand amazed at their courage ; which they concluded must needs proceed from the hope of something after death, to bee farr better then the present life, and by this meanes were many of them converted.— W:.
first current with the Athenians, &c.] Wherewith the embassadors, stopt Demosthenes his mouth, that hee should not inveigh against their countrye.- Wr.
proverbial expressions, and the real conception of their duration hath been the hyperbolical expression of many others. From all the rest we shall single out the deer, upon concession a long-lived animal, and in longevity by many conceived to attain unto hundreds; wherein, permitting every man his own belief, we shall ourselves crave liberty to doubt, and our reasons are these ensuing.
The first is that of Aristotle, drawn from the increment and gestation of this animal, that is, its sudden arrivance unto growth and maturity, and the small time of its remainder in the womb. His words in the translation of Scaliger are these-De ejus vite longitudine fabulantur; neque enim aut gestatio aut incrementum hinnulorum ejusmodi sunt, ut præstent argumentum longævi animalis ; that is, “ fables are raised concerning the vivacity4 of deer, for neither are their gestation or increment such as may afford an argument of long life.” And these, saith Scaliger, are good mediums conjunctively taken, that is, not one without the other. For of animals viviparous, such as live long go long with young, and attain but slowly to their maturity and stature. So the horse, that liveth about thirty, arriveth unto his stature about six years, and remaineth about ten months in the womb,--so the camel, that liveth unto fifty, goeth with young no less than ten months, and ceaseth not to grow before seven,-and so the elephant, that liveth an hundred, beareth its young above a year, and arriveth unto perfection at twenty: On the contrary, the sheep and goat,
. which live but eight or ten years, go but five months, and attain to their perfection at two years : and the like proportion is observable in cats, harės, and conies. And so the deer, that endureth the womb but eight months, and is complete at six years, from the course of nature we cannot expect to live an hundred, nor in any proportional allowance much
rwacity.) i. e. long life. The passage is from the Hist. Animal. lib. vi. c. xxix.
5 above a year.] The periods here assigned to the horse, camel, and elephant, are all shorter than the fact. That of the horse is twelve months, the camel eleven and a half, and the elephant twenty.
6 five months.] The 1st of August was (of old) cald Lammas day, bycause the rams, going then to the flocks, made the fall of the lambs alwayes about the Nativitye ; the 19th of December terminating the full time of gestation, i. e. five months, or twenty weeks.-Wr.
more than thirty. As having already passed two general motions observable in all animations, that is, its beginning and increase, and having but two more to run through, that is, its state and declination, which are proportionally set out by nature in every kind, and naturally proceeding admit of inference from each other.
The other ground that brings its long life into question, is the immoderate felicity, and almost unparalleled excess of venery, which every September may be observed in this animal, and is supposed to shorten the lives of cocks, partridges, and sparrows. Certainly a confessed and undeniable enemy unto longevity, and that not only as a sign in the complexional desire and impetuosity, but also as a cause in the frequent act, or iterated performance thereof. For though we consent not with that philosopher, who thinks a spermatical emission, unto the weight of one drachm, is equivalent unto the effusion of sixty ounces of blood, yet considering the exolution and languor ensuing that act in some- -the extenuation and marcour in others, and the visible acceleration it maketh of age in most, we cannot but think it much abridgeth our days. Although we also concede that this exclusion is natural, that nature itself will find a way hereto without either act or object; and although it be placed among the six non-naturals, that is, such as, neither naturally constitutive, nor merely destructive, do preserve or destroy according unto circumstance; yet do we sensibly observe an impotency, or total privation thereof, prolongeth life; and they live longest in every kind that exercise it not at all. And this is true, not only in eunuchs by nature, but spadoes by art; for castrated animals, in every species, are longer lived than they which retain their virilities; for the generation of bodies is not merely effected, as some conceive of souls, that is, by irradiation, or answerably unto the propagation of light, without its proper diminution; but Therein a transmission is made materially from some parts, with the idea of every one; and the propagation of one is, in a strict acception, some minoration of another. And, therefore, also, that axiom in philosophy, that the generation of one thing is the corruption of another, although it be substantially true concerning the form and matter, is also dispositively verified in the efficient or producer.
As for more sensible arguments, and such as relate unto experiment, from these we have also reason to doubt its age, and presumed vivacity ; for where long life is natural, the marks of age are late; and when they appear, the journey unto death cannot be long. Now the age of the deer (as. Aristotle long ago observed) is best conjectured by view of the horns and teeth. From the horns there is a particular and annual account unto six years, they arising first plain, and so successively branching; after which the judgment of their years, by particular inarks, becomes uncertain. But when they grow old, they grow less branched, and first do lose their aurvtñpes, or propugnacula, that is, their browantlers, or lowest furcations next the head; which, Aristotle saith, the young ones use in fight, and the old, as needless, have them not at all. The same may be also collected from the loss of their teeth, whereof in old age they have few or none before in either jaw. Now these are infallible marks. of
age, and when they appear, we must confess a declination; which notwithstanding (as men inform us in England, where observations may well be made), will happen between twenty and thirty. As for the bone, or rather induration of the roots of the arterial vein and great artery, which is thought to be found only in the heart of an old deer, and therefore becomes more precious in its rarity, it is often found in deer much under thirty, and we have known some affirm they have found it in one of half that age. And therefore, in that account of Pliny, of a deer with a collar about his neck, put on by Alexander the Great, and taken alive an hundred years after, with other relations of this nature, we much suspect imposture or mistake. And if we grant their verity, they are but single relations, and very rare contingencies in individuals, not affording a regular deduction upon the species. For though Ulysses' dog lived unto twenty, and the Athenian mule unto fourscore, yet do we not measure their days by those years, or usually say they live thus long. Nor can the three hundred years of John of times, or Nestor, overthrow the assertion of Moses,* or afford a reasonable encouragement beyond his septuagenary determination.
The ground and authority of this conceit was first hiero.. glyphical, the Egyptians expressing longevity by this animal; but upon what uncertainties, and also convincible falsities they often erected such emblems, we have elsewhere delivered. And if that were true which Aristotle * delivers of his time, and Pliny was not afraid to take up long after, the Egyptians could make but weak observations herein: for though it be said that Æneas feasted his followers with venison, yet Aristotle affirms that neither deer nor boar were to be found in Africa. And how far they miscounted the lives and duration of animals, is evident from their conceit of the crow, which they presume to live five hundred years ; and from the lives of hawks, which (as Ælian delivereth) the Egyptians do reckon no less than at seven hundred.
* Psalm xc.
The second, which led the conceit unto the Grecians, and probably descended from the Egyptians, was poetical; and that was a passage of Hesiod, thus rendered by Ausonius.
Ter binos deciésque novem super exit in annos,
And thrice is that surpassed by the crow. So that, according to this account, allowing ninety-six for the age of man, the life of a deer amounts unto three thousand four hundred and fifty-six ; a conceit so hard to be made out, that many have deserted the common and literal construction. So Theon, in Aratus, would have the number of nine not taken strictly, but for many years.
In other opinions, the compute so far exceedeth the truth, that they have thought it more probable to take the word genea,
* Histor. Animal. lib. viii.
was first hieroglyphical, &c.] Obtained from Horapollo. The antelope is mentioned by Dr. Young, with the bullock, the ram, and the tortoise, as being sometimes representations of the things which they resemble, and sometimes having probably a metaphorical sense (S. E. B. Egypt, 75-78). Champollion mentions the gazelle, but not the deer.