The Horse

Aldrovandus gives us a curious specimen of a horse, which the artist has

drawn with the slashed trunk breeches of the time. He says that

Fincelius, quoting Licosthenes, mentions that this animal had its

skin thus slashed, from its birth, and was to be seen about the year

1555. Its skin was as thick as sole-leather. It was, probably, an ideal


Topsell gives us some fine horse-lore, especially as to t
eir love for

their masters:--"Homer seemeth also to affirme that there are in

Horsses divine qualityes, understanding things to come, for, being tyed

to their mangers they mournd for the death of Patroclus, and also

shewed Achilles what should happen unto him; for which cause Pliny

saieth of them that they lament their lost maisters with teares, and

foreknow battailes. Accursius affirmeth that Caesar three daies

before he died, found his ambling Nag weeping in the stable, which was a

token of his ensewing death, which thing I should not beleeve, except

Tranquillus in the life of Caesar, had related the same thing, and he

addeth moreover, that the Horsses which were consecrated to Mars for

passing over Rubicon, being let to run wilde abroad, without their

maisters, because no man might meddle with the horses of the Gods, were

found to weepe abundantly, and to abstaine from all meat.

"Horsses are afraid of Elephants in battaile, and likewise of a

Cammell, for which cause when Cyrus fought against Croesus, he

overthrew his Horse by the sight of Camels, for a horse cannot abide to

looke upon a Camell. If a Horse tread in the footpath of a Wolfe, he

presently falleth to be astonished; Likewise, if two or more drawing a

Charriot, come into the place where a Wolfe hath trod, they stand so

still as if the Charriot and they were frozen to the earth, sayth

AElianus and Pliny. AEsculapius also affirmeth the same thing of a

Horsse treading in a Beare's footsteppes, and assigneth the reason to be

in some secret, betweene the feete of both beastes....

"Al kind of Swine are enemies to Horses, the Estridge also, is so feared

of a Horse, that the Horsse dares not appeare in his presence. The like

difference also is betwixt a Horse, and a Beare. There is a bird which

is called Anclorus, which neyeth like a Horse, flying about; the Horse

doth many times drive it away; but because it is somewhat blind, and

cannot see perfectly, therefore the horsse doth oftentimes ketch it, and

devoure it, hating his owne voice in a creature so unlike himself.

"It is reported by Aristotle, that the Bustard loveth a Horsse

exceedingly, for, seeing other Beastes feeding in the pastures,

dispiseth and abhorreth them; but, as soone as ever it seeth a Horsse,

it flyeth unto him for joy, although the Horsse run away from it: and,

therefore, the Egyptians, when they see a weake man driving away a

stronger, they picture a Bustard flying to a Horsse....

"Julius Caesar had a horsse which had cloven hooves like a man's

fingers, and because he was foaled at that time when the sooth-sayers

had pronounced that hee should have the government of the world,

therefore he nourished him carefully, and never permitted any man to

backe him but himselfe, which he afterwards dedicated in the Temple of


"If one do cut the vaines of the pallet of a horse's mouth, and let it

runne downe into his belly, it will presently destroy and consume the

maw, or belly worms, which are within him. The Marrow of a horse is also

very good to loosen the sinewes which are knit and fastned together, but

first let it be boiled in wine, and afterwards be made cold, and then

anointed warmly either by the Fire, or Sun. The teeth of a male horse

not gelded, or by any labor made feeble, being put under the head, or

over the head of him that is troubled or startleth in his dreame, doth

withstand and resist all unquietnes which in the time of his rest might

happen unto him. The teeth also of a horse is verye profitable for the

curing of the Chilblanes which are rotten and full of corruption when

they are swollen full ripe. The teeth which do, first of all, fall from

horses, being bound or fastned upon children in their infancie, do very

easily procure the breeding of the teeth, but with more speed, and more

effectually, if they have never touched the ground....

"If you anoint a combe with the foame of a horse, wherewith a young man

or youth doth use to comb his head, it is of such force as it will cause

the haire of his head neither to encrease or any whit to appeare. The

foame of a horse is also very much commended for them which have either

pain or difficulty of hearing in their ears, or else the dust of horse

dung, being new made and dryed, and mingled with oyle of Roses. The

griefe or soreness of a man's mouth or throat, being washed or annointed

with the foame of a Horse, which hath bin fed with Oates or barly, doth

presently expell the paine of the Sorenesse, if so be that it be 2 or 3

times washed over with the juyce of young or greene Sea-crabs beaten

small together." But I could fill pages with remedial recipes furnished

by the horse.