¶Of Elephante. cap. 42.
THe Elephant is called Elephas, and Elephantus also, and hath that name of Elphio in Gréeke, that is to saye, an hill, and that for great quantitie of his body: but the Indies call him Barro, & therefore his voyce is called Barritus, and his téeth are called Ehur, and his snowte and wroote is called Promuscis, or Proboscis, for therewith he bringeth his meate to his mouth, as Isido. sayth, libro. 12. and sayeth, that this Beast is sharpe in wrath and in battayle. Uppon these beasts the Medes and Perses vsed to fight in towers of trée, and threwe & shot out darts, as it were out of towers and Castles. These beasts haue wit and minde passing other beastes, and goe in feare in their manner going, and voyd & flye the mouse, and doe the déede of ge∣neration backward: and the female fo∣leth in water or in wood, and leaueth hir foale where she foaleth, because of dra∣gons that be enemies to them, and span∣neth them and slaieth them: she goeth with foale two yeares, and gendereth not but once, & he lyueth thrée hundred yeare, as Isid. saith li. 12. And lib. 8. ca. 1. Pli. saith, that among beasts ye Elephant is most of vertue: so ye vneth among men is so great redines sound. For as he tel∣leth, in ye new Moone they come together in great companies, and bath and wash them in a riuer, & come so together in the new of ye Moone, & lot each to o∣ther, & turne so againe to their owne pla∣ces, & they make the young go before in the turning againe, & kéepeth them busi∣ly, & teach them to do in the same wise: and when they be sicke, they gather good hearbs, and ere they vse the heards,* they heaue vp the head and looke vp towarde heauen, & pray for help of God in a cer∣taine Religion: and they be good of wit, & learne well, & are easie to teach, inso∣much yt they be taught to know ye king, & to worship him, and busieth to do him reuerence, & to bend ye knées in worship of him. Also ca. 5. it is said, that if Ele∣phants sée a man comming against them that is out of the way in wildernes, for that they wold not afray him, they will draw themselues somewhat out of the way, & then they stint, & passe little & lit∣tle before him, and teach him the way, & if a dragon come against him, they fight with ye dragon, & defend ye man, & put them forth to defend the man strongly & mightely, and doe so namely when they haue young foales: for they dred yt the man séeketh their foales, & therfore they purpose first to deliuer them of ye man, yt they may more safely féed their yoūg, & keep them ye more warely. Also li. 8. ca. 6. Alway they goe together, & the eldest leadeth ye company, & the next in age hel∣peth in the doing. When they shal passe ouer a riuer or a water, they send ye yoūg before, lest ye foord were let by cōming of ye more Elephants, & so they might not passe conueniently. Also among them is a strange shamefastnes: for if one of thē be ouercome, he ye is ouercome, flyeth the voice of ye victor, & they doe ye déedes of generation in priuy places, when ye male is fiue yeres old, & the females x. yere, & that but in two yeare, as he telleth: & in these two yeare, but onely fiue daies, & seldome the sixt day, as he saith: and be full perillous in time of generation, and namely the wilde Elephants, for they throw downe houses and stables of the Indians, and therefore the Indians hide that season their tame female Elephāts.
And Elephants bée best in chiualrie Page 363 when they be tame: for they beare to∣wers of tree, and throw down scaffolds, and ouerturne men of armes, and that is wonderful, for they dread not men of armes ranged in battayle, and dread and flye the voyce of the least sounde of a Swine. Also cap. 40. with forhead and snowte he throweth down high palmes, and eateth the fruite thereof. Also be∣twéene Elephants and Dragons is per∣petuall wrath and strife: For that one hath enuie at that other, for great might and strength, and for quantitie of body, and the Dragon loueth to drinke the E∣lephauntes bloude, to coole his burning heate, for that bloud is most colde, as it is sayde before in the same Booke, wher he intreateth of the Dragon. Looke there.