Of Canicula. chap. 26.
THE Bitch is called Canicula, and is called mother of Houndes, and in her the mother is euenlong set in the length of the wombe, and hath manye beates set it in two rowes, eyther afore other, eudlong the wombe. Which teates waxe greate in time of conception. And the Bitch whelpeth manye whelpes at once, but always blinde: But she loueth them most tenderly, and defendeth them with barking and biting: and if the Whelpes goe out of the couch ofte, the Bitch fetcheth them agayne, and hea∣reth them in hir mouth betwéen hir téeth, without anye biting • grieuing • and heareth: first home the best and the fay∣rest, for him shée loueth best, and giueth him first sucke, and stretcheth to him the teate; ••Aristotle sayth, libro. 5. In time of generation and conception seuen daies the Bitch del•ue•eth her of vncleare matter, and then waxeth sicke, and the mother in her appayreth and hath no will to worke in generation, but flyeth and •ayda•h, but after purgation shee kindeleth the better, and whelpeth the more liuelye. And after the whelping shee casteth out much fleamatik humour and thicke, and therefore then her bodye is cleane, an hée sayth. Also in Bitches, milke is founde many dayes before the whelping, and sooner in greye Bitches then in other: and first she milke is thicke, and thinne afterward, and is good and conuenient after whelping, and com∣monly Bitches liue lyttle time for great trauaile and running about. And when the Bitch desireth for to pisse, she rea∣reth not vp the legge as the male doeth, but bendeth her downewarde behinde, as it were sitting. And the Bitch is lesser in bodye then the male, & more smaller and more féeble in might and strength: and most best to nourish and bring vppe the whelps, and more soft and mild in heart, excepte it bée when shée nourisheth her whelpes, and is more able to bée taught then the male, and more nimble in bodye for plyauntnesse of members, and more swifte. But for féeblenesse of sinewes she dureth lesse in course and in running. Gentlenesse and nobilytie of hounds and of Bitches is knowen by length of face and of the snoute, and by breadth of the breast, and by smalnesse of the wombe and flarike. And a gentle hounde is small about the reines and flanke, and also in the wombe, and is broade before about the breast, and hath long eares and plyaunt, and long legges and small, and that is needfull, to bée the more swifte in course & in running & his tayle is more long and crooked then the tailes of other houndes, and hath lesse flesh then a dogge and shorter haire, and more thinne and smooth. For if hée were too roughe and hairie, he shoulde be too hot in course and in running: If hée were too fleshie, hée shoulde be ouerset with flesh and run the worse: And if the tails were long downe betwéen the legges, it should let greatly the course and running. And also by han∣ging downe of the taile hée is accounted fearefull and not hardye. Also gentle houndes be cruell and fierce in pursuing and in taking of wilde beastes,* and bee full milde and softe to men and to tame beastes.
Page [unnumbered]And if it happen sometime that he réeseth against straunge men, anone hée ceaseth, and withdraweth the réese. Also gentle houndes when they take an Hart or an Hare, they deuoure not anone the beast that they take, but kéepe the pray to their Lorde, and holde them content with the bowelles and other vile partes, as bloud & other such, for theyr portion and part, and though they haue no parte of the praye of one beast: yet for all that they spare not to pursue and take another.