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fable of the Fauns be reckoned some confirmation. Modern times have produced more advocates for it. After the natives of Europe began to penetrate into the east, authorities multiplied. Marco Paolo, who had the fate to be disbelieved in every credible assertion, was believed, when he reported that he saw in the kingdom of Lambri men with tails of the length of a span.* Peter Martyr describes a nation in India, who have hard, immoveable, crooked tails, of a span long, resembling those of crocodiles; so inconveniently appended, adds he, that they are obliged to use perforated seats.
Majolus, Aldrovandus, and Bulwer, quote a story from Major, and Joannes Neirembergensis, of a generation produced with tails, in Kent, or Dorsetshire, as a punishment of some disrespect shewed to the missionary, St. Augustine, soon after his landing. Bulwer was informed,t that in his time, there was a family in Kent, whose descendants were tailed; 6 insomuch," says he, “ that you may know any one to be rightly descended of that family, by having a tail.” He adds, as a more probable account, that the inhabitants of Stroud, near Rochester, incurred the curse of tails, by cutting off the tail of Archbishop Becket's horse. 66 Insomuch as you may know a man of Stroud by his long taile.
* Lib. iii. c. xviii. + Artif. Chang. p. 410.
And to make it a little more credible, that the rump-bone, among brutish and strongdocked nations, doth often sprout out with such an excrescence, or beastly emanation, I am informed by an honest young man of Captain Morris's company, in Lieutenant General Ireton's regiment, that at Cashel in the county of Tipperary, in the province of Munster, in Carrick Patrick church, seated on a hill or rock, stormed by the Lord Inchiquin, and where there were near seven hundred put to the sword, and none saved but the major's wife and his son; there were found among the slain of the Irish, when they were stripped, divers that had tails near a quarter of a yard long. The relator, being very diffident of the truth of this story, after enquiry, was ensured of the certainty thereof, by forty soldiers, that testified upon their oaths they were eye-witnessess, being present at the action. It is reported also that in Spain there is such another tailed nation.”.
The story of the miracle of St. Augustine seems to have gained currency in early times, as we learn from a passage in Fuller's Worthies. • When there happened in Palestine a difference betwixt Robert, brother of Saint Lewis king of France, and our William Longspee, Earl of Salisbury, heare how the Frenchman insulted our nation. Matthew Paris, A. D. 1250, p. 790.
O timidorum caudatorum formidolositas!
quam beatus, quam mundus præsens foret exercitus, si a caudis purgaretur et caudatis. 66 O the cowardliness of these fearful longtails ! how happie, how cleane would this our armie be, were it but purged from tailes and longtailes. **
I might add the testimony of Sir John Maundevyle, of fabulous memory, were there not reason to fear, that in the conceptions of unphilosophical readers, he would disgrace so much good company. There is less necessity for employing any doubtful evidence, because the celebrated Dr. Harvey is my next witness. He introduces a story of a tailed nation, in his fourth Exercitation de Generatione Animalium, chiefly, it would seem, for the sake of the fact, for it has very little connection with his subject.
“ Chirurgus quidam,” saith the learned doctor, “ vir probus, mihique fami liaris, ex India Orientali redux, bona fide mihi narravit, in Insulæ Borneæ locis a mare remotioribus & montosis, nasci hodie genus hominum caudatum (uti olim alibi accidisse apud Pausanium legimus) e quibus ægrè çaptam virginem (sunt enim sylvicolæ) ipse vidit, cum cauda carnosa, crassa, spithamæ longitudine, intra clunes reflexa, quæ anum & pudenda operiebat.” Slight hints are sufficient for men of genius; and we may perceive by the inference we are about to add, with how much reason nature is jealous of discovering her mysteries, since Dr. Harvey having gotten a tail of a span long into his hands, immediately fathoms the final cause of the structure with it; “ Usque adeo velari ea loca voluit natura.” This great authority proved a seasonable support to the caudatory system, at a time when anatomists were much divided concerning it. Among some it made such progress, that Caspar Hoffman did not scruple to call the Os Coccygis, the mark of a tail in untailed animals; 6 caudæ in non-caudatis nota.” But Riolan, that pompous declaimer on the dignity of the human frame, sharply reprehended Hoffman for this irreverend expression, which shocked his delicacy severely, and moreover touched him in a tender part; I mean, his hypothesis of the final cause of
* Fuller's Worthies. Kent.