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1 Some of these animals are entirely without a tail, and this circumstance has been employed to form the primary division of the simile into the two species, those with and those without tails. We have an epigram of Martial, in which this is referred to. "Si mihi cauda foret, cercopithecus eram"—"If I had but a tail, I should be a monkey." B. iv. Ep. 102.—B. See B. xi. c. 100.
2 We learn from Strabo, Ind. Hist. B. xv., that, in catching the monkey, the hunters took advantage of the propensity of these animals to imitate any action they see performed. "Two modes," he says, "are employed in taking this animal, as by nature it is taught to imitate every action, and to take to flight by climbing up trees. The hunters, when they see an ape sitting on a tree, place within sight of it a dish full of water, with which they rub their eyes; and then, slyly substituting another in its place, full of bird-lime, retire and keep upon the watch. The animal comes down from the tree, and rubs its eyes with the bird-lime, in consequence of which the eyelids stick together, and it is unable to escape." Ælian also says, Hist. Anim. B. xvii. c. 25, that the hunters pretend to put on their shoes, and then substitute, in their place, shoes of lead; the animal attempts to imitate them, and, the shoes being so contrived, when it has once got them on, it finds itself unable to take them off, or to move, and is consequently taken.
3 There has been some difficulty in ascertaining the exact reading here; but the meaning seems to be, that the pieces were made of wax, and that the animals had learned to distinguish them from each other, and move them in the appropriate manner; how far this is to be credited, it is not easy to decide, but it would certainly require very strong and direct evidence. We are told that the Emperor Charles V. had a monkey that played at chess with him.—B.
4 In the original, termed "cynocephali," "dog's-headed;" an appellation given to them, according to Cuvier, from their muzzle projecting like that of a dog; we have an account of this species in Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ii. c. 13.—B. Probably the baboon. See B. vi. c. 35, and B. vii. c. 2. The satyr is, perhaps, the uran-utang. See B. v. c. 8, and B. vii. c. 2.
5 Or "fine-haired monkey;" supposed to be the Silenus of Linnæus; it is described by Buffon, under the name of Callitrix.—B. It seems to be also called the "Simia hamadryas."
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