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The female of this animal carries her young for eleven months, and brings forth in the twelfth. The connection takes place at the vernal equinox, and generally in both sexes, at the age of two years; but the colt is much stronger when the parents are three years old. The males are capable of cover- ing up to the thirty-third year, and it is not till after the twentieth that they are taken for this purpose from the Circus. At Opus,2 it is said, a horse served as a stallion until his fortieth year; though he required some assistance in raising the fore part of the body. There are few animals, however, in which the generative powers are so limited, for which reason it is only admitted to the female at certain intervals;3 indeed it cannot cover as many as fifteen times in the course of one year.4 The sexual passion of the mare is extinguished by cropping her mane; she is capable of bearing every year up to the fortieth. We have an account of a horse having lived to its seventy-fifth year. The mare brings forth standing upright, and is attached, beyond all other animals, to her offspring. The horse is born with a poisonous substance on its forehead, known as hippomanes,5 and used in love philtres; it is the size of a fig, and of a black colour; the mother devours it immediately on the birth of the foal, and until she has done so, she will not suckle it. When this substance can be rescued from the mother, it has the property of rendering the animal quite frantic by the smell. If a foal has lost its mother, the other mares in the herd that have young, will take charge of the orphan. It is said that the young of this animal cannot touch the earth with the mouth for the first three days after its birth. The more spirited a horse is, the deeper does it plunge its nose into the water while drinking. The Scythians prefer mares for the purposes of war, because they can pass their urine without stopping in their career.

1 The materials of this chapter appear to have been principally taken from Aristotle, Varro, and Columella—B.

2 See B. iv. c. 12.

3 Varro, ubi supra, gives considerably different directions on this point; he says, "Intercourse is to be allowed, at the proper season of the year, twice a day, morning and evening."

4 This sentence in Columella, ubi supra, seems to illustrate the meaning, which is somewhat obscure "Veruntamen nec minus quam quindecim, nec plures quam viginti, unus debet implere"—"One male ought to be coupled with not more than twenty females, nor less than fifteen."

5 Cuvier states, that the hippomanes is a concretion occasionally found in the liquor amnii of the mare, and which it devours, from the same kind of instinctive feeling which causes quadrupeds generally to devour the afterbirth. He remarks, however, that this can have no connection with the attachment which the mother bears to her offspring; Ajasson, vol. vi. p. 459; Lemaire, vol. iii. p. 495. The hippomanes is said to have been employed by the sorceresses of antiquity, as an ingredient in their amatory potions. See Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 24, and Ælian, Anim. Nat. B. xiv. c. 18.—B. See also B. xxviii. c. 11.

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