Welsh Folk Lore
All Mythical Creatures Page 2
Of Serpents Topsell has written a "Historie," which, if not altogether veracious, is very amusing; and I shall quote largely from it, as it shows us "the latest thing out" in Serpents as believed in, and taught, in the time of James I. He begins, ...
But we must leave warm climes, and birds of Paradise, and speak of "Birds shut up under the Snow." "There are in the Northern Countries Wood-Cocks, like to pheasant for bigness, but their Tails are much shorter, and they are cole black all o...
"We find three kinds of sponges mentioned; the first are thick, very hard, and rough, and are called tragi: the second are thick, and much softer, and are called mani: of the third, being fine, and of a closer texture, tents for sores are made; th...
The Alle Alle
"There is also in this Lake (the White Lake) a kind of bird, very frequent; and in other Coasts of the Bothnick and Swedish Sea, that cries incessantly all the Summer, Alle, Alle, therefore they are called all over, by the Inhabitants, Alle, Al...
No one would credit the industrious Ant, whose ways we are told to consider, and gather wisdom therefrom, was avaricious and lustful after gold; but it seems it was even so, at least, in Pliny's time; but then they were abnormally large:--"The hor...
When not taken from living specimens, or skins, the artists of old drew somewhat upon their imaginations for their facts, as is the case with this Antelope, of which Topsell gives the following description:--"They are bred in India, and Syria, ...
The Barnacle Goose
Of all extraordinary beliefs, that in the Barnacle Goose, which obtained credence from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries, is as wonderful as any. The then accepted fact that the Barnacle Goose was generated on trees, and dropped alive in t...
The Basilisk And Cockatrice
Aldrovandus portrays the Basilisk with eight legs. Topsell says it is the same as the Cockatrice, depicts it as a crowned serpent, and says:--"This Beast is called by the Graecian Baziliscos, and by the Latine, Regulus, because he seemeth to be...
As Pliny not only uses all Aristotle's matter anent Bears, but puts it in a consecutive, and more readable form, it is better to transcribe his version than that of the older author. "Bears couple in the beginning of winter. The female then reti...
The Busy Bee, too, according to Olaus Magnus, developed, in the regions of the North, a peculiarity to which it seems a stranger with us, but which might be encouraged, with beneficial effect, by the Temperance Societies. The Bees infested d...
Aldrovandus gives us a picture of a curly-legged Cat, but, beyond saying that it was so afflicted (or ornamented) from its birth, he gives no particulars. Topsell, too, is singularly silent on the merits of Cats; but yet he mentions some interesti...
This extraordinary combination of man and animal is very ancient--and the first I can find is Assyrian. Mr. W. St. Chad Boscawen, in one of his British Museum Lectures (afterwards published under the title of From under the Dust of Ages), speaking...
Aldrovandus gives us the accompanying illustration of a Chimaera, a fabulous Classical monster, said to possess three heads, those of a lion, a goat, and a dragon. It used so to be pictorially treated, but in more modern times as Aldrovandus re...
"There is also another Monster like to that, called Circhos, which hath a crusty and soft Skin, partly black, partly red, and hath two cloven places in his Foot, that serve for to make three Toes. The right foot of this Animal is very small, but t...
The largest of the Saurians which we have left us, is the Crocodile; and it formerly had the character of being very deceitful, and, by its weeping, attracted its victims. Sir John Mandeville thus describes them:--"In this land, and many other pla...
The Mimick Dog
The Harpy And Siren
The Saw Fish
Senses Of Fishes