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It was formerly a very difficult matter to catch the lion, and it was mostly done by means of pit-falls. In the reign, however, of the Emperor Claudius, accident disclosed a method which appears almost disgraceful to the name of such an animal; a Gætulian shepherd stopped a lion, that was rushing furiously upon him, by merely throwing his cloak1 over the animal; a circumstance which afterwards afforded an exhibition in the arena of the Circus, when the frantic fury of the animal was paralyzed in a manner almost incredible by a light covering being thrown over its head, so much so, that it was put into chains without the least resistance; we must conclude, therefore, that all its strength lies in its eyes. This circumstance renders what was done by Lysimachus2 less wonderful, who strangled a lion, with which he had been shut up by command of Alexander.3

Antony subjected lions to the yoke, and was the first at Rome to harness them to his chariot;4 and this during the civil war, after the battle on the plains of Pharsalia; not, indeed, without a kind of ominous presage, a prodigy that foretold at the time how that generous spirits were about to be subdued. But to have himself drawn along in this manner, in company with the actress Cytheris,5 was a thing that surpassed even the most monstrous spectacles that were to be seen at that calamitous period. It is said that Hanno, one of the most illustrious of the Carthaginians, was the first who ventured to touch the lion with the hand, and to exhibit it in a tame state. It was on this account that he was banished; for it was supposed, that a man so talented and so ingenious would have it in his power to persuade the people to anything, and it was looked upon as unsafe to trust the liberties of the country to one who had so eminently triumphed over even ferocity itself. There are some fortuitous occurrences cited also, which have given occasion to these animals to display their natural clemency. Mentor, a native of Syracuse, was met in Syria by a lion, who rolled before him in a suppliant manner; though smitten with fear and desirous to escape, the wild beast on every side opposed his flight, and licked his feet with a fawning air. Upon this, Mentor observed on the paw of the lion a swelling and a wound; from which, after extracting a splinter, he relieved the creature's pain.6 There is a picture at Syracuse, which bears witness to the truth of this transaction.

In the same manner, too, Elpis, a native of Samos, on landing from a vessel on the coast of Africa, observed a lion near the beach, opening his mouth in a threatening manner; upon which he climbed a tree, in the hope of escaping, while, at the same time, he invoked the aid of Father Liber; for it is the appropriate time for invocations when there is no room left for hope. The wild beast did not pursue him as he fled, although he might easily have done so; but, lying down at the foot of the tree, by the open mouth which had caused so much terror, tried to excite his compassion. A bone, while he was devouring his food with too great avidity, had stuck fast between his teeth, and he was perishing with hunger; such being the punishment inflicted upon him by his own weapons, every now and then he would look up and supplicate him, as it were, with mute entreaties. Elpis,7 not wishing to risk trusting himself to so formidable a beast, remained stationary for some time, more at last from astonishment than from fear. At length, however, he descended from the tree and extracted the bone, the lion in the meanwhile extending his head, and aiding in the operation as far as it was necessary for him to do. The story goes on to say, that as long as the vessel remained off that coast, the lion showed his sense of gratitude by bringing whatever he had chanced to procure in the chase. In memory of this circumstance, Elpis consecrated a temple at Samos to Father Liber, which the Greeks, from the circumstance above related, called "the temple χεχηνότος διονύσου," or "of the open-mouthed Bacchus." Can we wonder, after this, that the wild beasts should be able to recognize the footsteps of man,8 when of him alone of all animals they even hope for aid? For why should they not have recourse to others for assistance? Or how is it that they know that the hand of man has power to heal them? Unless, perhaps, it is that the violence of pain can force wild beasts even to risk every thing to obtain relief.

(17.) Demetrius, the natural philosopher, relates an equally remarkable instance, in relation to a panther.9 The animal was lying in the middle of the road, waiting for some one to pass that way, when he was suddenly perceived by the father of one Philinus, an ardent lover of wisdom.10 Seized with fear, he immediately began to retreat; while the beast rolled itself before him, evidently with the desire of caressing him, at the same time manifesting signs of grief, which could not be misunderstood in a panther even. The animal had young ones, which had happened to fall into a pit at some distance from the place. The first dictates of compassion banished all fear, and the next prompted him to assist the animal. He accordingly followed her, as she gently drew him on by fixing her claws in his garment; and as soon as he discovered what was the cause of her grief and the price of his own safety, he took the whelps out of the pit, and they followed her to the end of the desert; whither he was escorted by her, frisking with joy and gladness, in order that she might more appropriately testify how grateful she was, and how little she had given him in return; a mode of acting which is but rarely found, among men even.

1 "Sagum." This was the cloak worn by the Roman soldiers and inferior officers, in contradistinction to the "paludamentum" of the general and superior officers. It was open in the front, and usually, though not always, fastened across the shoulders by a clasp. It was thick, and made of wool.

2 This story is given also by Plutarch, in the life of Demetrius. Lysimachus was a Macedonian by birth, but son of Agathocles, a serf of Thessaly. Through his great courage, he became one of the body-guard of Alexander. Quintus Curtius tells us that, when hunting in Syria, he killed a lion of immense size single-handed, though not without receiving severe wounds in the contest. The same author looks upon this as the probable origin of the story here referred to by Pliny.

3 This is mentioned by many ancient authors; by Plutarch, Pausanias, Seneca, Justin, and by Quintus Curtius, who thinks that the account usually given is fabulous.—B.

4 Related by Plutarch, as among the acts of extravagance and folly, committed by Antony, which gave much disgust to the grave and respectable citizens of Rome.—B.

5 A famous courtezan of the time of Cicero; being originally the freed- woman and mistress of Volumnius Eutrapelus, and then successively the mistress of Antony and the poet Gallus, who mentioned her in his poems under the name of Lycoris; she did not, however, continue faithful to him.

6 Aulus Gellius, B. v. c. 14, and Ælian, Anim. Nat. B. viii. c. 48, relate a similar anecdote of Androclus or Androcles, who extracted a thorn from the foot of a lion.—B.

7 The text is in a state of extreme confusion here, and so hopelessly man- gled, that we can only guess at the sense of it. In Sillig's edition, which is generally followed, it runs to this effect: "Neque profugienti, cum potuisset, fera institerat et procumbens ad arborem hiatu quo terruerat miserationem quærebat. Os morsu avidiore inhæserat dentibus cruciabatque inedia, turn pœna in ipsis ejus telis suspectantem ac velut mutis precibus orantem, dum fortuitu fidens non est contra feram; multoque diutius miraculo quam metu cessatum est." Thus paraphrased by Sillig, who devotes a long Note to it: "The lion, therefore, being tormented by hunger and excessive pain, and thus punishing himself for his greediness in his own weapons (his teeth), looked up, and besought Elpis with silent prayers, as it were, not, as he trusted to the protection fortuitously given by the branches, to show himself distrustful of a wild beast."

8 This remark refers to what Pliny has related in c. 5, respecting the sagacity of the elephant.—B.

9 Cuvier remarks, that this "panthera" is not the same as the πάνθηρ of the Greeks. From the description of its spots and other circumstances, he thinks that it was one of the African animals, known by modern naturalists as the leopard, which appear to have been confounded by the Romans with the panther. The term "leopardus " is not met with until after the age of Pliny; it was supposed to be the produce of the pardus, or male panther, and the lioness.—B.

10 "Assectatoris sapientiæ"—"A follower of wisdom;" meaning a "philosopher."

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