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From the union of the male ass and the mare a mule is pro- duced in the thirteenth month, an animal remarkable for its strength in laborious work. We are told that, for this purpose, the mare ought not to be less than four years old, nor more than ten. It is said also that these two species will repulse each other, unless the male has been brought up, in its infancy, upon the milk of the other species; for which reason they take the foals away from the mare, in the dark, and substitute for them the male colts of the ass. A mule may also be produced from a horse and a female ass; but it can never be properly broken in, and is incorrigibly sluggish,2 being in all respects as slow as an old animal. If a mare has conceived by a horse, and is afterwards covered by an ass, the first conception is abortive; but this is not the case when the horse comes after the ass. It has been observed, that the female is in the best state for receiving the male in the seventh day after parturition, and that the males are best adapted for the purpose when they are fatigued.3 A female ass, which has not conceived before shedding what are called the milk-teeth, is considered to be barren; which is also looked upon as the case when a she-ass does not become pregnant after the first covering. The male which is produced from a horse and a female ass, was called by the ancients "hinnulus," and that from an ass and a mare "mulus."4 It has been observed that the animal which is thus produced by the union of the two species is of a third species, and does not resemble either of the parents; and that all animals produced in this way, of whatever kind they may be, are incapable of reproduction; she-mules are therefore barren. It is said, indeed, in our Annals, that they have frequently brought forth;5 but such cases must be looked upon only as prodigies.6 Theophrastus says that they commonly bring forth in Cappadocia; but that the animal of that country is of a peculiar species.7 The mule is prevented from kicking by frequently giving it wine to drink.8 It is said in the works of many of the Greek writers, that from the union of a mule with a mare, the dwarf mule is produced, which they call "ginnus." From the union of the mare and the wild ass, when it has been domesticated, a mule is produced which is remarkably swift in running, and has extremely hard feet, and a thin body, while it has a spirit that is quite indomitable. The very best stallion of all, however, for this purpose, is one produced from a union of the wild ass and the female domesticated ass. The best wild asses are those of Phrygia and Lycaonia. Africa glories in the wild foals which she produces, as excelling all others in flavour; these are called "lalisiones."9 It appears from some Athenian records, that a mule once lived to the age of eighty years. The people were greatly delighted with this animal, because on one occasion, when, on the building of a temple in the citadel,10 it had been left behind on account of its age, it persisted in promoting the work by accompanying and assisting them; in consequence of which a decree was passed, that the dealers in corn were not to drive it away from their sieves.11

1 Most of the circumstances here mentioned appear to have been taken from Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. vi. c. 24 and 36; Varro, B. ii. c. 8; and Columella, B. vi. c. 37.—B.

2 It is expressly stated by Columella, ubi supra, that the mules '"produced from a horse and a female ass, are in all respects most like the mother."

3 This is explained by Columella, ubi supra, who remarks, that when a stallion is admitted to a female in the full heat of its passion, it often causes mischief; which is not the case when its ardour has been a little subdued by having been worked for some time.—B.

4 Varro, ubi supra, says: "The produce of a mare and a male ass is a mule, of a horse and a female ass a hinnus."

5 Varro, B. ii. c. 1, alludes to this occurrence; Livy mentions two instances, B. xxvi. c. 23, and B. xxxvii. c. 3; these prodigies were said both to have occurred at Reatc.—B.

6 Herodotus relates two cases, which were regarded as presaging some extraordinary event, B. iii. c. 153, and B. vii. c. 57. Juvenal, Sat. xiii. 1. 66, and Suetonius, Life of Galba, c. 4, speak of a pregnant mule as a most extraordinary circumstance; it seems to have given rise to a proverbial expression among the Romans.—B.

7 Cuvier remarks, that there is, in the deserts of Asia, a peculiar animal, with undivided hoofs, the Equus hemionus of naturalists, and the Dgiggetai of the Tartars, which bears a resemblance to our mules, but is not the produce of the horse and the ass; he refers us to Professor Pallas's account of it in Acad. Petrop. Nov. Cor. vol. xix. p. 394; Ajasson, vol. vi. p. 461; Lemaire, vol. iii. p. 505.—B.

8 Pliny repeats this advice in B. xxx. c. 53; it is, of course, entirely without foundation.—B.

9 The epigram of Martial previously referred to bears this title.—B. See N. 69, p. 324.

10 This temple was the Parthenon. This anecdote is mentioned by Arist. Hist Anim. B. vi. c. 24; Ælian, Anim. Nat. B. vi. c. 49.—B.

11 In which they probably exposed their samples for sale, as our farmers do in small bags. The phrase is ἀπὸ τῶν τηλιῶν, in Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. vi. c. 24, from whom Pliny takes the story.

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