By George C. Druce
"Among the bigger wild animals the elephant has continually held a number one position. because the lion hasaroused admiration and worry in guy, so has the elephant aroused interest and wonderment; and this isn't fabulous after we ponder its nice dimension and extraordinary visual appeal. Visits of elephants to this nation within the center a long time are yet infrequently recorded. the main attention-grabbing is that of the elephant provided by means of Louis of France to King Henry III in 1255, as similar via Matthew Paris. It was once stored on the Tower and lived 4 years, and we're instructed that many folks flocked to determine the unusual sight. it's been preserved to us pictorially, for there's a great representation of it in MS. Parker sixteen at Corpus Christi university, Cambridge, and others no longer so stable in MS. Nero D i. and MS. Julius D vii. on the British Museum. The miniature within the MS. at Corpus (plate I) indicates us an elephant of the African species status mounted to a stake via the ankle, including its keeper who holds a knotted membership and is feeding it. it's very quite drawn, being good proportioned, the ears huge and tusks projecting from the higher jaw as in nature. Its trunk is also normal, yet its ft infrequently so passable. at the flooring of the miniature is written the identify of its keeper, Henry of Florence, and an announcement that the dimensions of the beast could be measured through the peak of the fellow. The texts of those manuscripts supply a long description of elephants, together with many info taken from Aristotle and Pliny, and quotations from Bernardus Silvester and Horace. Illustrations of elephants are rather a number of in medieval manuscripts, in particular the bestiaries and manuscripts of Alexander’s Romance; they usually ensue freely in ecclesiastical carving and heraldry. The choice is given to the elephant with the fort on its again, that's possibly typical in view of the widespread references in early writers to using elephants in struggle, and the final approval for this kind. The elephant and chateau as such, although, performs no half within the legend as instructed within the bestiary, even though it figures principally within the illustrations."
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