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Those animals are looked upon as stupid and lumpish which have a hard, rigid heart, while those in which it is small are courageous, and those are timid which have it very large. The heart is the largest, in proportion to the body, in the mouse, the hare, the ass, the stag, the panther, the weasel, the hyæna, and all the animals, in fact, which are timid, or dangerous only from the effects of fear. In Paphlagonia the partridge has a double heart. In the heart of the horse and the ox there are bones sometimes found. It is said that the heart increases every year in man, and that two drachmæ in weight are added1 yearly up to the fiftieth year, after which period it decreases yearly in a similar ratio; and that it is for this reason that men do not live beyond their hundredth year, the heart then failing them: this is the notion entertained by the Egyptians, whose custom it is to embalm the bodies of the dead, and so preserve them. It is said that men have been born with the heart covered with hair, and that such persons are excelled by none in valour and energy; such, for instance, as Aristomenes,2 the Messenian, who slew three hundred Lacedæmonians. Being covered with wounds, and taken prisoner, he, on one occasion, made his escape by a narrow hole which he discovered3 in the stone quarry where he was imprisoned, while in pursuit of a fox which had found that mode of exit. Being again taken prisoner, while his guards were fast asleep he rolled himself towards a fire close by, and, at the expense of his body, burnt off the cords by which he was bound. On being taken a third time, the Lacedæmonians opened his breast while he was still alive, and his heart was found covered with hair.

1 In spite of what Schenkius says in confirmation of Pliny, this is very doubtful. Of course it must increase from childhood, but the increase surely does not continue till the fiftieth year.

2 See an account of him in the Messeniaca of Pausanias.

3 In this part of the story may have originated that of the escape of Sindbad the Sailor, when buried in the vault with the body of his wife.— See the "Arabian Nights."

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