Edward Topsell


The history of four-footed beastsEdit

English originalEdit

Edward Topsell The history of four-footed beasts Unicorn


We are now come to the history of a Beast, whereof divers people in every age of the world have made great question, because of the rare vertues thereof; therefore it behoveth us to use some diligence in comparing together the several testimonies that are spoken of this beast, for the better satisfaction of such as are now alive, and clearing of the point for them that shall be born hereafter, whether there be a Unicorn; for that is the main question to be resolved.

Now the vertues of the horn, of which we will make a particular discourse by it self, have been the occasion of this question, and that which doth give the most evident testimony unto all men that have ever seen it or used it, hath bred all the contention; and if there had not been disclosed in it any extraordinary powers and vertues, we should as easily believe that there was a Unicorn in the world, as we do believe there is an Elephant although not bred in Europe. To begin therefore with this discourse, by the Unicorn we do understand a peculiar beast, which hath naturally but one horn, and that a very rich one, that groweth out of the middle of the forehead, for we have shewed in other parts of the history, that there are divers beasts, that have but one horn, and namely some Oxen in India have but one horn, and some have three, and whole hoofs. Likewise the Bulls of Aonia, are said to have whole hoofs and one horn, growing out of the middle of their fore-heads.

Likewise in the City Zeila of Æthiopia, there are Kine of a purple colour, as Ludovicus Romanus writeth, which have but one horn growing out of their heads, and that turneth up towards their backs. Caesar was of opinion that the Elk had but one horn, but we have shewed the contrary. It is said that Pericles had a Ram with one horn, but that was bred by way of prodigy, and not naturally, Zimeon Sethi writeth, that the Musk-cat hath also one horn growing out of the fore-head, but we have shewed already that no man is of that opinion beside himself. Ælianus writeth, that there be Birds in Æthiopia having one horn on their fore-heads, and therefore are called Unicornes: and Albertus saith, there is a fish called Monoceros, and hath also one horn. Now our discourse of the Unicorn is of none of these beasts, for there is not any vertue attributed to their horns, and therefore the vulgar sort of Infidel people which scarsely believe any herb but such as they see in their own Gardens, or any beast but such as is in their own flocks, or any knowledge but such as is bred in their own brains, or any birds which are not hatched in their own nests, have never made question of these, but of the true Unicorn, whereof there were more proofs in the world, because of the nobleness of his horn, they have ever been in doubt; by which distraction it appeareth unto me that there is some secret enemy in the inward degenerate nature of man, which continually blindeth the eyes of God his people, from beholding and believing the greatness of God his works.

But to the purpose, that there is such a beast, the Scripture it self witnesseth, for David thus speaketh in the 92. Psalm: Et erigetur cornu meum tanquam Monocerotis. That is, my horn shall be lifted up like the horn of a Unicorn; whereupon all Divines that ever wrote, have not only collected that there is a Unicorn, but also affirm the similitude to be betwixt the Kingdom of David and the horn of the Unicorn, that as the horn of the Unicorn is wholesome to all beasts and creatures, so should the Kingdom of David be in the generation of Christ; And do we think that David would compare the vertue of his Kingdom, and the powerful redemption of the world unto a thing that is not, or is uncertain or fantastical, God forbid that ever any man should so despight the holy Ghost. For this cause also we read in Suidas, that good men which worship God and follow his laws are compared to Unicorns, whose greater parts as their whole bodies are unprofitable and untamable, yet their horn maketh them excellent: so in good men, although their fleshy parts be good for nothing, and fall down to the earth, yet their grace and piety exalteth their souls to the heavens.

We have shewed already in the story of the Rhinocerot, that Reem in Hebrew signifieth a Unicorn, although Munster be of another opinion, yet the Septuagints in the translation of Deut. 33. do translate it a Unicorn, for the Rhinocerot hath not one horn, but two. Rabbi Solomon, David Kimhi, and Saadius do always take Reem and Karas for a Unicorn, and they derive Reem from Rom, which signifieth Altitudinem, height, because the horn of the Unicorn is lifted up on high. Hereunto the Arabians agree, which call it Barkeron; and the Persians, Bark; the Chaldeans, Remana. In the 39. of Job, the Lord speaketh in this manner to Job: Numquid acquiescet Monoceros ut serviat tibi, aut ut moretur juxta præsepia tua? Numquid ligabis Monocerotem fune suo pro sulco faciendo, aut complanabit glebas vallium post te? That is to say, will the Unicorn rest and serve thee, or tarry beside thy cratches? Canst thou binde the Unicorn with a halter to thy plough to make furrows, or will he make plain the clots of the Vallies? Likewise in the prophesie of Esa. the 34. chap, and in many other places of Scripture, whereby God himself must needs be traduced, if there be no Unicorn in the world.

Besides the Arabians, as And Bellun. writeth, call this beast Alcherceden, and say that it hath one horn in the fore-head which is good against poysons. The Grecians call it Monokeros, from whence Pliny and all the ancient Grammarians do call it Monoceros, yet the divines both elder and later do name it by a more learned proper Latine word Unicornis. The Italians, Alicorno, Unicorno, Liocorno, Leocorno; the French, Licorne; the Spaniards, Unicorno; the Germans, Einhorne; and the Illyrians, Gednorozecz: And thus much for the name. All our European Authors which write of beasts, do make of the Unicorn divers kindes, especially Pliny, Ludovicus Romanus, Paulus Venetus, Nicolaus Venetus, Æneas Sylvius, Albertus Magnus, out of whose words we must gather the best description that we can of the Unicorn. The Arcean Indians (saith Pliny) do hunt a certain wilde beast which is very curst, untamable, having one horn, which in the head resembleth a Hart, in the feet an Elephant, in the tail a Boar, and in the residue of the body a Horse; the horn he saith, is about two cubits long, and the voice like the lowing of an Ox, somewhat more shrill, and they deny that this beast is ever taken alive, Ælianus writeth hereof in this manner, there are (saith he) certain Mountains in the midst of India, unto the which the passage is very difficult, where are abundance of wilde beasts, and among other Unicorns, which the Indians call Cartazonons, who in their ripe age are as big as a Horse, and their mane and hairs are yellow, excelling in the celerity of their feet and bodies, having feet cloven like an Elephants, the tail of a Boar, and one black horn growing out betwixt their eye-brows, not smooth, but rough all over with wrinckles, and the same groweth to a most sharp point, these things (saith Ælianus) by comparing of whose words with Pliny, it is apparent they describe in these words but one and the same beast, and so also doth Phyles; whereby I gather, that it is no other beast then the wilde Ass, or at the least the wilde Ass cometh nearest to the Unicorn of all others, for they agree in these things; first, in that both of them have one horn in the middle of the fore-head; secondly, in that both of them are bred in India; thirdly, in that they are both about the bigness of a Horse; fourthly, in their celerity and solitary life; fifthly and lastly, in their exceeding strength and untamable natures; but herein they differ both in their feet and colours, for the feet of the wilde Asses are whole and not cloven like the Unicorns, and their colour white in their body, and purple on their head; and Ælianus saith, that the horn also differeth in colour from the Unicorns, for the middle of it is only black, the root of it white, and the top of it purple, which Bellonius doth interpret, that the superficies or upper face of the horn is all purple, the inner part white, and the inward part or middle black; but of this Indian wilde Ass we have spoken already, and therefore I will adde nothing in this place but the words of Philostratus in the life of Apollonius, who writeth in this manner;

There are many wilde Asses which are taken in the Fens, near the River Hiphasis in whose fore-head there is one horn, wherewith they sight like Buls, and the Indians of that horn make pots, affirming that whosoever drinketh in one of those pots, shall never take disease that day, and if they be wounded, shall feel no pain, or safely pass through the fire without burning, nor yet be poysoned in their drink, and therefore such cups are only in the possession of their Kings, neither is it lawful for any man except the King, to hunt that Beast, and therefore they say that Apollonius looked upon one of those Beasts, and considered his nature with singular admiration.

Now there was one Damis in his company, who asked him whether he did believe that the vulgar report of the Unicorns horns were true or no, Apollonius made this answer: Adhibeo si hujus regionis immortalem regem esse intellexero, qui enim mihi aut alteri cuiquam poculum ita salubre potest dare, nónne verisimile est ipsum quotidie illo uti, & ex eo cornu frequenier vel ad crapulam usq; bibere, nemo enim ut puto illum calumniabitur qui in tali poculo etiam inebrietur. That is to say, I would believe that report, if I found in this Countrey a King that were immortal and could never dye, for if a man would give me such a cup, or any other man, do not you think that I would believe he drunk in the same cup? and who would blame a man if he drunk in such a cup till he were drunk? for it were lawful to use that horn unto surfeiting: whereby we may gather the minde of that wise man concerning the Asses horn, and the Unicorns; namely, that they may give one some ease against accicidental diseases, although they cannot prolong a mans life the space of one day: these things said he. There be Beasts (saith Aristotle) as the Oryx and Indian Ass, which are armed with one horn, and the cloven footed Oryx is no other then the whole footed Ass, for in the middle of their forehead they have one horn, by which both sides of their head are armed, Cum medium pariter commune utriq; extremo sit, Because the middle is equally distant from both the extremes; and the hoof of this Beast may well be said to be cloven and whole, because the horn is of the substance of the hoof, and the hoof of the substance of the horn, and therefore the horn is whole, and the hoof cloven; for the cleaving either of the horn or of the hoof cometh through the defect of nature, and therefore God hath given to Horses and Asses whole hoofs, because there is greatest use of their legs, but unto Unicorns a whole and entire horn, that as the ease of men is procured by the helps of Horses, so the health of them is procured by the horn of the Unicorn. These things (saith Aristotle.) And Strabo also writeth, that there are Horses in India, which have Harts heads, with one horn, of which horn their Princes make cups, out of which they drink their drink against poyson: and therefore by this which hath been said it appeareth unto me, that either the Indian Ass is a Unicorn, or differeth from it only in colour; and the objection of the hoofs is answered by Aristotle. Unto this discourse I will adde the travails of Ludovicus Roman, wherein he saw two Unicorns at Mecha in Arabia, where Mahomets Temple and Sepulcher is. There are preserved (saith he) within the walls and Cloysters of that Temple two Unicorns, which by way of miracle they bring forth to the people, and truly not without cause, for the sight is worthy admiration.

Now their description is on this sort: One of them and the elder was about the stature of a Colt of two years and a half old, having a horn growing out of his fore-head of two cubits length, and the other was much less, for it was but a year old, and like a Colt of that age, whose horn was some four spans long, or thereabouts. The colour of them was like a Weaseled coloured Horse, the head like the head of a Hart, the neck not long, and the mane growing all on one side. The legs slender and lean, like the legs of a Hinde, the hoofs of the fore-feet were cloven like a Goats feet, and the hinder-legs are all hairy and shaggy with the outside; the Beasts although they were wilde, yet by Art or superstition, they seemed to be tempered with no great wildeness; it was said that the King of Æthiopia, did send them to the Sultan of Mecha, with whom he is constrained to observe perpetual amity. Now these Unicorns are of another kinde, then the Unicorns of Pliny and Ælianus, because their Unicorn hath a whole hoof, and this cloven, but this objection was answered before: and although Pliny and Aristotle do acknowledge no other Unicorn then the Oryx, whose horn is black, as hard as Iron, and sharp at the point, yet it is clear that there is another Unicorn beside that.

Now Paulus Venetus saith, that in the Kingdom of Basman, which is subject to the great Cham, that there are Unicorns somewhat lesser then Elephants, having hair like Oxen, heads like Boars, feet like Elephants, one horn in the middle of their fore-heads, and a sharp thorny tongue, wherewith they destroy both man and beast: and besides he addeth, that they muddle in the dirt like Swine. Now if it were not for the horn in the middle of the fore-head, I would take this Beast for a Rhinocerot, but because the horn of the Rhinocerot groweth out of the nose, I deem this to be a second kinde of Unicorn; for there is no man that shall read this story, but will think that the learned Author had reason to discern betwixt the eyes and the fore-head, and therefore there can be no exception taken to my observation.

Nicolaus Venetus an Earl saith, that in Masinum or Serica, that is, the Mountains betwixt India and Cathay, (as Æneas Sylvius writeth) there is a certain Beast having a Swines head, an Oxes tail, the body of an Elephant (whom it doth not only equal in stature, but also it liveth in continual variance with them) and one horn in the fore-head: now this if the Reader shall think it different from the former, I do make the third kinde of the Unicorn; and I trust that there is no wise man that will be offended at it: for as we have shewed already in many stories, that sundry Beasts have not only their divisions, but sub-divisions, into sub-alternal kindes, as many Dogs, many Deer, many Horses, many Mice, many Panthers, and such like, why should there not also be many Unicorns? And if the Reader be not pleased with this, let him either shew me better reason, (which I know he shall never be able to do) or else be silent, lest the uttering of his dislike, bewray envy and ignorance.

Now although the parts of the Unicorn be in some measure described, and also their Countries, namely, India and Æthiopia, yet for as much as all is not said as may be said, I will add the residue in this place: And first of all there are two Kingdoms in India, one called Niem, and the other Lamber or Lambri; both these are stored with Unicorns: And Aloisius Cadamustus in his fifty Chapter of his Book of Navigation, writeth that there is a certain Region of the New- found World, wherein are found live Unicorns; and toward the East, and South, under the Equinoctial there is a living creature (with one horn which is crooked, and not great) having the head of a Dragon, and a beard upon his chin, his neck long, and stretched out like a Serpents, the residue of his body like to a Harts, saving that his feet, colour, and mouth are like a Lions: and this also (is not a fable or rather a Monster) maybe a fourth kinde of Unicorn; and concerning the horns of Unicorns, now we must perform our promise, which is to relate the true history of them, as it is found in the best Writers. This therefore growing out of the fore-head betwixt the eye-lids is neither light nor hollow, nor yet smooth like other horns, but hard as Iron, rough as any file, revolved into many plights, sharper than any dart, straight and not crooked, and every where black except at the point.

There are two of these at Venice in the Treasury of S. Marks Church, as Brasavolus writeth, one at Argentoratum, which is wreathed about with divers Spires. There are also two in the Treasury of the King of Polonia, all of them as long as a man in his stature. In the year 1520, there was found the horn of a Unicorn in the River Arrula, near Bruga in Helvetia, the upper face or outside whereof was a dark yellow, it was two cubits in length, but had upon it no plights or wreathings. It was very odoriferous (especially when any part of it was set on fire) so that it smelled like musk: assoon as it was found, it was carryed to a Nunnery called Campus regius, but afterwards by the Governor of Helvetia it was recovered back again, because it was found within his territory. Now the vertues of this horn are already recited before, and yet I will for the better justifying of that which I have said concerning the Unicorns horn, add the testimony of our learned men which did write thereof to Gesner, whose letters according as I finde them recorded in his work, so I have here inserted and translated word for word. And first of all the answer of Nicholas Gerbelius unto his Epistle, concerning the Unicorns horn at Argentoratum, is this which followeth, for, saith he, The horn which those Noblemen have in the secrets of the great Temple, I have often seen and handled with my hands; It is of the length of a tall man, is so be that you shall thereunto add the point thereof: for there was a certain evil disposed person amongst them, who had learned (I know not of whom) that the point or top of the same horn would be a present remedy both against all poyson, and also against the Plague or Pestilence: Wherefore that sacrilegious thief plucked off the higher part or top from the residue, being in length three or four fingers.

For which wicked offence, both he himself was cast out of that company, and not any ever afterwards of that family might be received into this society by an Ordinance gravely and maturely ratified. This pulling off the top brought a notable deformity to that most splendant gift. The whole horn from that which sticketh to the fore-head of this beast, even unto the top of the horn is altogether firm or solid, not gaping with chops, chinks or crevises, with a little greater thickness then a tile is usually amongst us. for I have oftentimes comprehended almost the whole horn in my right hand. From the root unto the point it is even as wax candles are rowled together most elegantly severed and raised up in little lines.

The weight of this horn is of so great a massiness, that a man would hardly believe it, and it hath been often wondred at, that a beast of so little a stature could bear so heavy and weighty a burden. I could never smell any sweetness at all therein. The colour thereof is like unto old Ivory, in the midst betwixt white and yellow. But you shall never have a better pattern of this, then where it is sold in little pieces or fragments by the Oylmen. For the colour of our horn is life unto them. But by whom this was given unto that same Temple I am altogether ignorant.

Another certain friend of mine, being a man worthy to be believed, declared unto me, that he saw at Paris with the Chancellor, being Lord of Pratus, a piece of a Unicorns horn, to the quantity of a cubit, wreathed in tops or spires, about the thickness of an indifferent staffe (the compass thereof extending to the quantity of six fingers) being within and without of a muddy colour, with a solid substance, the fragments whereof would boil in the Wine, although they were never burned, having very little or no smell at all therein.

When Joannes Ferrerius of Piemont had read these things, he wrote unto me, that in the Temple of Dennis, near unto Paris, there was a Unicorns horn six foot long, wherein all those things which are written by Gerbelius in our Chronicles were verified, both the weight and the colour: but that in bigness it exceeded the horn at the City of Argentorate, being also hollow almost a foot from that part which sticketh unto the fore-head of the Beast, this he saw himself in the Temple of S. Dennis, and handled the horn with his hands as long as he would. I hear that in the former year (which was from the year of our Lord 1553.) when Vercella was overthrown by the French, there was brought from that treasure unto the King of France, a very great Unicorns horn, the price whereof was valued at fourscore thousand Duckets. Paulus Poæius describeth an Unicorn in this manner; That he is a Beast, in shape much like a young Horse, of a dusty colour, with a maned neck, a hairy beard, and a fore-head armed with a horn of the quantity of two cubits, being separated with pale tops or spires, which is reported by the smoothness and Ivory whiteness thereof, to have the wonderful power of dissolving and speedy expelling of all venom or poyson whatsoever.

For his horn being put into the water, driveth away the poyson, that he may drink without harm, if any venomous Beast shall drink therein before him. This cannot be taken from the Beast being alive, forasmuch as he cannot possibly be taken by any deceit: yet it is usually seen that the horn is found in the Deserts, as it happeneth in Harts, who cast off their old horn through the inconveniences of old age, which they leave unto the Hunters, Nature renewing another unto them.

The horn of this Beast being put upon the Table of Kings, and set amongst their junkets and bankets, doth bewray the venom if there be any such therein, by a certain sweat which cometh over it. Concerning these horns, there were two seen, which were two cubits in length, of the thickness of a mans arm, the first at Venice, which the Senate afterwards sent for a gift unto Solyman the Turkish Emperour: the other being almost of the same quantity, and placed in a silver pillar, with a short or cutted point, which Clement the Pope or Bishop of Rome, being come unto Marssels, brought unto Francis the King for an excellent gift. Furthermore concerning the vertue of such a gift, I will not speak more of this Beast, then that which divulged same doth perswade the believers.

Petrus Bellonius writeth, that he knew the tooth of some certain Beast in time past, sold for the horn of a Unicorn, (what Beast may be signified by this speech I know not, neither any of the French men which do live amongst us) and so a small piece of the same being adulterated, sold sometimes for 300. Duckets. But if the horn shall be true and not counterfeit, it doth notwithstanding seem to be of that creature which the Ancients called by the name of a Unicorn, especially Ælianus, who only ascribeth to the same this wonderful force against poyson and most grievous diseases, for he maketh not this horn white, as ours doth seem, but outwardly red, inwardly white, and in the midst or secretest part only black.

But it cannot be denyed, that this our Unicorns horn was taken from some living wilde Beast. For there are sound in Europe, to the number of twenty of these horns pure, and so many broken; two of the which are shown in the treasury of Saint Marks Church at Venice, (I heard that the other was of late sent unto the Emperor of the Turks for a gift by the Venetians) both of them about the length of six cubits: the one part which is lowest being thicker, and the other thinner, that which is thicker, exceedeth not the thickness of three inches just, which is also attributed unto the horn of the Indian Ass, but the other notes of the same are wanting.

I do also know, that which the King of England possesseth to be wreathed in spires, even as that accounted in the Church of S. Dennis, then which they suppose none greater in the world, and I never saw any thing in any creatures more worthy praise then this horn. The substance is made by nature, not Art, wherein all the marks are found which the true horn requireth. And forsomuch as it is somewhat hollow (about the measure of a foot which goeth out of the head, and the bone growing from the same is comprehended) I conjecture that it never falleth, as neither the horns of a Musk-cat, a wilde Goat, and an Ibex do: but the horns of these beasts do yearly fall off, namely, the Buck, the Hart, Field-goat, and Camelopardal. It is of so great a length, that the tallest man can scarsely touch the top thereof, for it doth fully equal seven great feet. It weigheth thirteen pounds with their assize, being only weighed by the guess of the hand, it seemeth much heavier. The figure doth plainly signifie a wax candle, (being folded and wreathed within it self) being far more thicker from one part, and making it self by little and little less towards the point, the thickest part thereof cannot be shut within ones hand, it is the compass of five singers, by the circumference, if it be measured with a thread, it is three fingers and a span.

That part which is next unto the head hath no sharpness, the other are of a polished smoothness. The splents of the spire are smooth and not deep, being for the most part like unto the wreathing turnings of Snails, or the revolutions or windings of Wood-bine about any Wood. But they proceed from the right hand toward the left, from the beginning of the horn, even unto the very end. The colour is not altogether white, being a long time somewhat obscured. But by the weight it is an easie thing to conjecture, that this Beast which can bear so great burden in his head, in the quantity of his body can be little less then a great Ox.

There are found oftentimes in Polonia certain horns which some men guess to be of the Unicorns, of the Unicorns, by a double argument. First, because they are found several, never by twains which as yet is heard, although sometimes they may be found with the skull and bones of the rest of the body: furthermore, because their strength or vertue is approved against great and most grievous diseases: concerning which thing Antonius Schnebergerus, a Physitian of great learning amongst the Sarmatians, and an excellent observer of nature, writ unto me some five year past, to see some of these horns, having sent them by the labour of my very good friend Joachinnus Rhæticus, a most excellent Physitian in Sarmatia, and incomparable in the Mathematick Arts in this age.

The first of these horns (saith he) I saw being of the length of my fadom, with a duskish or darkish colour: the point thereof being exceeding sharp and smooth. The compass about the root of the horn did exceed six spans. The outside was plain, with no turnings of spires: the substance easie to be crumed, the figure crooked, the colour exceeding white within, which is it be drunk in Wine, doth draw over it self a dark colour. Eight such divisions were joyned to the same, as you shall see in the greater part which I send, but that part is not of the horn, but either the entrance of the palat, or some other things as I conjecture.

This horn was found under the earth, (not deeper then a foot, in a solitary and high place, as between two hils, through which a River runneth) by Countrey-men that were digging to lay the foundation of a house. But the horn was smitten with an Ax, and severed into very small pieces: but that noble and excellent man Joannes Frikasz (in whose field the horn was found, being distant from Cracovia two miles) by all diligence he could, lest that the small pieces should be cast abroad, took deliberate heed, that they should be taken out of the earth. from the root to the top it was all round and smooth, but touching it with ones tongue, it cleaveth fast unto it, the tooth was as big as a man could gripe in his hand, being in the upper or outward part bony or hollow within, white in the middle, and toward the end somewhat reddish.

But there was found all the Beast, as by the greatness of his bones might easily be perceived, being bigger in quantity then a Horse. It is most certain that it was a four-footed Beast, by the bones of the shoulders, thighs and ribs. But if this horn were the tooth of an Elephant, as some do suppose, you would marvail why two (which I have heard) were never found together. But the teeth or rather horns of Elephants are neither so crooked that they might come almost to half a circle as they did. The strength of this horn a penny weight thereof being put in Wine or water of Borage, healeth old Fevers, as also tertian or quartern Agues of three years continuance, and cureth many diseases in mens bodies, as asswaging the pain of the belly, and making of those to vomit, who can by no means ease their stomachs. Hitherto shall suffice to have spoken concerning one of those four horns which I saw. The other was like unto this, but less pure; for the colour was outwardly most black, inwardly most white, being found in the River. The third, and fourth most hard, so that a man would think it were by the touching thereof stone or iron, being solid even unto the point, for I have not seen them wholly, but the part of one, to the length of a cubit; of the other, to the length of half a cubit, with a dark colour, being almost of the same thickness as the two former: But forasmuch as the two former have no rifts or chinks in them, these have by their longitude, being like herbs bending or wreathing in their stalks.

There was another found in a certain field, so much appearing out of the earth, that the rude or Countrey sort did think it to be some pile or stake. Many also are cured and freed from shaking Feavers by the medicinal force of these, the cause whereof I suppose to be this, because the former are softer, for as much as one of them will ly in the water for so long a time, but the other under the earth being scarse well hid. I afterwards saw a fifth like unto the first, none of them being straight or direct up, but also crooked, some almost unto a half circle: Hitherto Schnebergerus, who also addeth this: That there are more of these to be found in Polonia, and therefore for the most part to be contemned.

There are moreover found in Helvetia some of these horns: one in the River Arula against the Town of Bruga, the other in the last year, in the River of Birsa, but it was broken, even as the third with that famous Earl of the Cymbrians, William Warner in a Tower near unto the City Rottavit, who gave unto Gesner a good piece thereof, who found another piece as he was a fishing at Birsa in the River. And it is no great marvail that they are found there, where through length of time they are broken into small pieces, and carryed by the force of the waters into divers places.

But it is most diligently to be observed, whether they are found in the earth, as also to be known whether that great horn be of this beast, which hangs alone in the great Temple at Argentaur, by the pillar, for it hath hanged there many years before, as now it appeareth, for that doth plainly seem the same magnitude, thickness, and figure which Schnebergerus hath described in his own horn, that we have allowed before for wilde Oxen. The Ancients have attributed singular horns to the Unicorn, whom some have cald by other names as it is said: and furthermore to the Oryx (a wilde Beast unknown in our age except I be deceived) which Aristotle and Pliny call a Unicorn, Ælianus a Quadrucorn. Oppianus doth not express it, but he seemeth to make it a two horned Beast. Simeon Sethi doth also write, that the Musk-cat or Goat which bringeth forth Musk, hath one horn. Certain later writers (as Scaliger reporteth) say, that there is a certain Ox in Ethiopia which hath one horn coming out in the midst of his fore-head, greater then the length of a foot, bending upwards, the point being wreathed overthwart, and they have red hair, whereby we gather that the horn of all Unicorns is not pure. But the reason why these horns are more found in Polonia, then in any other place, I cannot well guess, whether from thence we shall suspect them to be of certain Uries, which at this day abide in the Woods of Sarmatia; in times past, there were many more, which have lived both in greater and larger Woods, neither were they killed with so often hunting: some whereof it is most like have come to great age, as appeareth by their great and stately horns, which things we leave to be considered of others. I suppose that the Apothecaries never have the true horn of a Unicorn, but that some do sell a kinde of false adulterated Horn, other the fragments of this great and unknown horn, of which we have spoken, and not only of the horn, but also of the bones of the head; some of which are so affected by longinquity of time, that you may take a threefold substance in them, although it be broken by a certain distance, one being for the most part whitish and pale, the other whiter and softer, the third stony and most white.

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