The Lion

The Lion

Of the great Cat, the Lion, the ancients give many wonderful stories, some of them not altogether redounding to his character for bravery:—“A serpent, or snake doth easily kill a lion, where of Ambrosius writeth very elegantly. Eximia leonis pulchritudo, per comantes cervicis toros excutitur, cum subito a serpente os pectore tenus attolitur, itaque Coluber cervum fugit sed Leonem interficit. The splendant beautie of a lion in his long curled mane is quickly abated, and allayed, when the serpent doth but lift up his head to his brest. For such is the ordinance of God, that the Snake, which runneth from a fearefull Hart, should without all feare kill a courageous Lyon; and the writer of Saint Marcellus life, How much more will he feare a great Dragon, against whom he hath not power to lift up his taile. And Aristotle writeth that the Lyon is afraid of the Swine, and Rasis affirmeth as much of the mouse.
“The Cocke also both seene and heard for his voice and combe, is a terror to the Lion and Basiliske, and the Lyon runneth from him when he seeth him, especially from a white cocke, and the reason hereof, is because they are both partakers of the Sunnes qualities in a high degree, and therefore the greater body feareth the lesser, because there is a more eminent and predominant sunny propertie in the Cocke, than in the Lion. Lucretius describes this terrour notably, affirming that, in the morning, when the Cocke croweth, the lions betake themselves to flight, because there are certain seedes in the body of Cockes, which when they are sent, and appeare to the eyes of Lions, they vexe their pupils and apples, and make them, against Nature, become gentle and quiet.”