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Horns, too, of various forms have been granted to many animals of the aquatic, marine, and reptile kind, but those which are more properly understood under that name belong to the quadrupeds only; for I look upon the tales of Actæon and of Cippus even, in Latin story, as nothing more nor less than fables.1 And, indeed, in no department of her works has Nature displayed a greater capriciousness. In providing animals with these weapons, she has made merry at their expense; for some she has spread them out in branches, the stag, for instance; to others she has given them in a more simple form, as in the " subulo," so called from the resemblance of its horns to a " subula,"2 or shoemaker's awl. In others, again, she has flattened them in the shape of a man's hand, with the fingers extended, from which circumstance the animal has received the name of " platyceros.3 To the roebuck she has given branching horns, but small, and has made them so as not to fall off and be cast each year; while to the ram she has given them of a contorted and spiral form, as though she were providing it with a cæstus for offence. The horns of the bull, again, are upright and threatening. In this last kind, the females, too, are provided with them, while in most it is only the males. The chamois has them, curving backwards; while in the fallow deer4 they bend forward. The strepsiceros,5 which in Africa bears the name of addax, has horns erect and spiral, grooved and tapering to a sharp point, so much so, that you would almost take them to be the sides of a lyre.6 In the oxen of Phrygia, the horns are moveable,7 like the ears; and among the cattle of the Troglodytæ, they are pointed downwards to the ground, for which reason it is that they are obliged to feed with the head on one side. Other animals, again, have a single horn, and that situate in the middle of the head, or else on the nose, as already stated.8

Then, again, in some animals the horns are adapted for butting, and in others for goring; with some they are curved inwards, with others outwards, and with others, again, they are fitted for tossing: all which objects are effected in various ways, the horns either lying backwards, turning from, or else towards each other, and in all cases running to a sharp point. In one kind, also, the horns are used for the purpose of scratching the body, instead of hands.

In snails the horns are fleshy, and are thus adapted for the purpose of feeling the way, which is also the case with the ce- rastes;9 some reptiles, again, have only one horn, though the snail has always two, suited for protruding and withdrawing. The barbarous nations of the north drink from the horns of the urus,10 a pair of which will hold a couple of urnæ:11 other tribes, again, point their spears with them. With us they are cut into laminæ, upon which they become transparent; indeed, the rays of a light placed within them may be seen to a much greater distance than without. They are used also for various appliances of luxury, either coloured or varnished, or else for those kinds of paintings which are known as " cestrota,"12 or horn-pictures. The horns of all animals are hollow within, it being only at the tip that they are solid: the only exception is the stag, the horn of which is solid throughout, and is cast every year. When the hoofs of oxen are worn to the quick, the husbandmen have a method of curing them, by anointing the horns of the animal with grease. The substance of the horns is so ductile, that even while upon the body of the living animal, they can be bent by being steeped in boiling wax, and if they are split down when they are first shooting, they may be twisted different ways, and so appear to be four in number upon one head. In females the horns are generally thinner than in the males, as is the case, also, with most kinds of wool-bearing animals.

No individuals, however, among sheep, or hinds, nor yet any that have the feet divided into toes, or that have solid hoofs, are furnished with horns; with the sole exception of the Indian ass,13 which is armed with a single horn. To the beasts that are cloven-footed Nature has granted two horns, but to those that have fore-teeth in the upper jaw, she has given none. Those persons who entertain the notion that the substance of these teeth is expended in the formation of the horns, are easily to be refuted, if we only consider the case of the hind, which has no more teeth than the male, and yet is without horns altogether. In the stag the horn is only imbedded in the skin, but in the other14 animals it adheres to the bone.

1 The suddenness of their appearance, no doubt, was fabulous; but we have well-authenticated cases in recent times of substances growing on the human head, to all appearance resembling horns, and arising from a disordered secretion of the hair. Witness the case of Mary Davies, a so-called horn from whose head is preserved in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. The story of Cippus, the Roman prætor, is told by Ovid, Met. B. xv. 1. 565, et seq.

2 A spitter, or second year stag, according to Cuvier.

3 "Broad-horned." The Cervus dama of Linnæus.

4 "Dama." The Antelope redunca of Linnæus, Cuvier thinks.

5 No doubt a kind of antelope.

6 "Lyras" seems preferable to "liras."

7 There are several varieties of oxen, in which the horns adhere to the skin, and not to the cranium.

8 B. viii. cc.29–31.

9 The Coluber cerastes of Linnæus. See B. viii. c. 35.

10 The drinking-horns of our Saxon ancestors are well known to the antiquarian.

11 The " urna" was half an "amphora," or nearly three gallons.

12 See B. xxxv. c. 41.

13 The rhinoceros. See B. viii. c. 39.

14 He surely must except the Phrygian oxen with the moveable horns, which he has previously mentioned.

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