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Garcia de Orta (latinized as Garcias ab Horto)

TextEdit

Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India, 31st colloquyEdit

Portuguese originalEdit

RUANO

Levaloei desta terra, e usarei delle, pois que cá fez os efeitos que dizeis; e mais será bem que me digaes se ha nesta terra muytos odres de camellos e de rinocerotes, como diz Plinio, que nelles o levam, pera vermos a cantidade delles por o seu coiro.

ORTA

Eu não vi odres de camellos desta terra; posto que no Decam e em o Guzarate ha alguns camellos, que tem os reys e os capitães pera levar o fato na guerra; mas nem sam tantos os que morrem como cavallos, pera que delles façam odres. E quanto he aos rinocerotes (a que os Indios chamam gandas), não os ha domesticos nesta terra; e pode ser que os aja bravos em Bengala ou no Patane, e nas terras que tem os Patanes os ha, e alguns fazem domesticos. E porem eu não vi algum rinocerote, mas sey que os de Bengala usam do como para a peçonha, cuidando ser o unicorneo; mas elle não o he, segundo a entençam dos que bem o sabem; porque o Nizamoxa pesára 200 vezes a ouro hum pouco de unicorneo exprimentado, e muyto melhor tomára o do renoceros. E sabei que no anno de 1512 foi apresentado a elrey Dom Manoel, que está em gloria, hum que lhe mandou elrey de Cambaia, o qual elle mandou ao Papa. E se deste animal quiserdes ver, lêde Plinio, libro 8, cap. 20; e Estrabo tambem fala deste animal.

RUANO

Pareceme isso que dizeis que não ha unicorneo na India; pois nam falais nelle, e dizeis que o não tem esse rey vosso amiguo, sinal he isso de o não aver na India; e pois nós tambem não sabemos onde aja o tal animal.

ORTA

Dizem tantas cousas incertas desse animal, que, por nam as saber bem, não as queria contar; porque as pessoas que mas contam, não as contam como testemunhas de vista. E comtudo vos direi o que ouvi a pessoa de autoridade em seus ditos. E contaramme, que soubera que entre o cabo das Correntes e de Boa Esperança viam huns animaes que, posto que folgavam com o mar, eram terrestres, e a feiçam da cabeça e cóma era de cavallo, e que comtudo não era cavallo marinho; e que tinha como do qual usava abaxandoo ou alçandoo abaxo e acima, e á parte direita e á esquerda, de modo que dizem ser como dedo; e que este animal peleja bravamente com o elefante; e que o fére com o como, o qual corno he de dous palmos, e dizem ser contra a peçonha: e esta he a fama comum.

RUANO

Dizem delle, que não querem beber os animaes, até que elle meta o como na agoa.

ORTA

Não somente dizem ser bom bebido contra a peçonha, e tem elle esta fama, e disseram pessoas dignas de fé que deram rosalgar a dous cães, e a hum deram dobrada cantidade da peçonha, e a este que a deram dobrada, deram a beber do como delle raspado, e este viveo; e o outro morreo, que tomou menos rosalgar a metade. E deste animal não sey outras cousas, e porém vi já alguns comos destes, e mostravam serem pegados na testa. Prezará a Deos que isto se venha a saber bem; e que elle descubra o que for mais seu servico; e nisto que escrevi quis ser mais curto que larguo, porque leixo que dizer aos que melhor souberem.

English translation (Clements Markham, 1913)Edit

RUANO

I will take it from this country and will use it, for it has the effects which you describe. It will be well that you should tell me if there are not many leathern bottles of camel and rhinoceros hide in this land, as Pliny says that they carry it, that we may see the quantity of it by this leather.

ORTA

I have not seen leathern bottles of camel skin in this country. There are some camels in the Deccan and Guzerat which take the kings and captains to war, but not so many camels die as horses, and of skins of the latter leather bottles are made. As for rhinoceroses, which the Indians call Gandas, they are not domesticated in our land. It may be that there are wild ones in Bengal or in Patane, and in the lands of the Patane some are made tame. I have never seen a rhinoceros, but I know that in Bengal they use the horn against poison, taking care that it is the unicorn. But it has not got one, according to the testimony of those who well know. For the Nizamoxa would weigh two hundred times of gold against a little proved unicorn, and much more for a rhinoceros. I know that in 1512 one was presented by the King of Cambay to the King Dom Manoel, now in glory, who sent it to the Pope. This animal is mentioned by Pliny (lib. 8, cap. 20), and by Strabo.

RUANO

From what you say it seems to me that the is no unicorn in India, for you do not speak of any, and the King, your friend, has not got one, a reason for thinking there are none here, and we do not know where this animal lives.

ORTA

There are so many uncertain things said about this animal, from its not being well known, that it is not worth while to recount them, for the persons who relate them are not eyewitnesses. But I will tell you what I heard from a person of authority. He told me that between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Corrientes he saw some animals which, though they were disporting themselves near the sea, were terrestrial. The shape of the head was like that of a horse, yet it was not a seahorse. It had a horn which it used, raising and lowering, and turning to right and left, in a way that made it like a finger, and this animal fought bravely like an elephant, but with its horn, which measures 2 palmos, and it is said to be an antidote against poison, this being the common fame.

RUANO

They say that these animals do not want to drink if they can put their horn into the water.

ORTA

Not only do they say that it is a good drink against poison, according to general belief, but persons worthy of credit say that arsenic was given to two dogs, one receiving a double dose. To the one with the double dose, the scraping of the horn was given him to drink. This one lived; the other that had taken the smaller dose of arsenic died. I know nothing more of this animal, but I saw some of its horns, and how they are fastened to the forehead. I pray to God that we may come to know more, and that what we discover may be for His service; and that what I write may be short rather than long, for I would only record what would be most useful.

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