Of Dracone. cap. 38.
THe Dragon is called Draco, and is most greatest of all Serpents, as Isi∣dore saith lib. 12. The Gréekes call him Draconia, and ofte he is drawen out of his den, and réeseth vp into the aire, and the aire is moued by him, & also the Sea swelleth against his venime, & he hath A creast with a lyttle mouth, and draw∣eth breath at small pipes and straight, & reareth his tongue, and hath téeth lyke a saw, & hath strength, & not only in téeth, but also in his tayle, and grieueth both with biting & with stinging, & hath not so 〈…〉 as other serpents: for to Page [unnumbered] the ende to slay any thing, to him ve∣nime: is; not néedfull: for whom he fin∣deth he slayeth, and the Elephant is not ••re from him, for all his greatnesse of body, for he lurketh in the waye, where the Elephant goeth, and bindeth & span∣neth his legs and strangleth and slateth him. The Dragon bréedeth in I•de and in Aethiopia, there as is great burning of continuall heat, as Isidore saith li. 12.
Plin. li. 8. ca. 13. speaketh of the dra∣gon and saieth, that the Dragon is xx. cubites great, and bréedeth among the Aethiopes. Ofte foure or fiue of them, fasten theyr tayles togethers, and tea∣reth vp the heads, & sayle ouer sea, and ouer riuers, to get good meate. Also cap. 12. besayeth. Betwéene Elephants and Dragons is euerlasting fighting, for the Dragon with his tayle bindeth & span∣neth the Elaphaunt, and the Elephaunt with his foote, and with his nose throw∣eth downe the Dragon, and the Dragon with his tayle, bindeth and spanneth the Elephants legges and maketh him fall: but the Dragon buyeth it full sore, for while he slayeth the Elephant, the Ele∣phant falleth vppon him, & slayeth him?
Irem ca. 14. The Elephant séeing the Dragon vpon a tree, busieth him to break the tree to suite the dragon, and the dra∣gon leapeth vpon the Elephant, and bu∣sieth to bite him betwéene the nosethrile, and assayleth the Elephants eyen, and maketh him blynde some time, and leapeth vppon him some time behinde, and byteth him, and sucketh his bloude, and at the last, after long fighting, the Elephant wexeth féeble for great blindnesse insomuch, that he fal∣leth vpon the Dragon, and slayeth in his dieng, the Dragon that him slayeth.
The cause why the Dragon desireth his bloud, is coldnes of the Elephants bloud by the which the Dragon desireth to coole himselfe, as Isi. saith super illum locum Leuitic. 14. Attraxerunt ventum sicut Dracones, They drew winde as Dra∣gons.
There Ierome sayth, that the Dra∣gon is a full thirstie beast, insomuch, that vnueth he may haue water inough to quench his great thirst: and openeth his mouth therefore against the winde, to quench the burning of his thirste in that wise. Therfore when he séeth ships sayle in the sea in great winde, he flieth against the saile, to take ther cold wind, and ouerthroweth the ship somtime for greatnesse of body and by strong réese a∣gainst the saile, and when the shipmen sée the Dragon come nigh, and knowe his comming by water that swelleth a∣gainst him, they strike the sayle anone, & scape in that wise.
Also Solinus saith, that Aethiopians vse Dragons bloude, against burning heate, and eate the flesh against diuers euills, for they can depart the venimme from his flesh: and he hath venim on∣ly in his tongue and in his gall, & ther∣fore they cut off the tongue, and throw away the gall, in which the venime is receiued: and so when the venim is ta∣ken away, they vse the other deale of the bodie, both in meate and in medicine. And it séemeth, that Dauid toucheth this, where he sayth: Dedisti eum efcam populis Aethiopium, Thou gauest him for meate to the people of Aethi∣opia.
Also Plin. saith, that for might of the venime, his tongue is alway areared, & somtime he setteth the ayre on fire, by heate of his venime, so that it séemeth that he bloweth and casteth fire out of his mouth: and sometime he bloweth out outragious blastes, and thereby the aire is corrupted and infected, and there∣of commeth pestilent euilles, and they dwell somtime in the sea, and sometime swine in riuers, and lurke sometime in caues and in dens, & sléepe but seldome, but wake nigh alway. And they deuour beasts and sowles, and haue right sharp sight, and sée therefore their pray a farre out of mountaines, and fight with biting strokes and stinging, & setteth him most on the eyen and nose of the beast that he fighteth with.
Therefore Plin. saith li. 8. That hée grieueth most the Elephant in the eyen and in the mouth, and maketh him ofte blinde, so that sometime the Elaphaunt maye not eate and dyeth therefore in that wise.
Page 361Also of the Dragon Arist. speaketh lib. 7. and sayth, that the Dragons biting, that cateth venemous beastes is peril∣lous, as the Dragons biting that eateth Scorpions, for against his biting vnneth is any remedy or medicine founde. Also lib. 28. Plinius sayth, that all venemous beasts flye and voyd the greace and fat∣nesse of the dragon: and his greace med∣led with honnie, cureth and healeth dim∣nesse of eyen. Also libr. 7. Aristot. saith, those Fishes dye; that are bitten of the Dragon.
(*Of the wonderfull greatnesse of Dragons and how manye sortes hath bene, and of the mischiefes they haue done, read the Chronicle of the Doome.)