Of Englishe Dogges/Section 3
The thirde Section of this abridgement.
Of the delicate, neate, and pretty kind of dogges called the Spaniel gentle, or the comforter, in Latine Melitæus or Fotor.
THere is, besides those which wee haue already deliuered, another sort of gentle dogges in this our Englishe soyle but exempted from the order of the residue, the Dogges of this kinde doth Callimachus call Melitœos, of the Iseland Melita, in the sea of Sicily, (what at this day is named Malta, an Iseland in deede famous and renoumed, with couragious and puisaunt souldiours valliauntly fighting vnder the banner of Christ their vnconquerable captaine) where this kind of dogges had their principall beginning.
These dogges are litle, pretty, proper, and fyne, and sought for to satisfie the delicatenesse of daintie dames, and wanton womens wills, instrumentes of folly for them to play and dally withall, to tryfle away the treasure of time, to withdraw their mindes from more commendable exercises, and to content their corrupted concupiscences with vaine disport (A selly shift to shunne yrcksome ydlnesse.) These puppies the smaller they be, the more pleasure they prouoke, as more meete play fellowes for minsing mistrisses to beare in their bosoms, to keepe company withal in their chambers, to succour with sleepe in bed, and nourishe with meate at bourde, to lay in their lappes, and licke their lippes as they ryde in their waggons, and good reason it should be so, for coursenesse with fynenesse hath no fellowship, but featnesse with neatenesse hath neighbourhood enough. That plausible prouerbe verified vpon a Tyraunt, namely that he loued his sowe better then his sonne, may well be applyed to these kinde of people, who delight more in dogges that are depriued of all possibility of reason, then they doe in children that be capeable of wisedome and iudgement. But this abuse peraduenture raigneth where there hath bene long lacke of issue, or else where barrennes is the best blossome of bewty.
The vertue which remaineth in the Spaniell gentle otherwise called the comforter.
NOtwithstanding many make much of those pretty puppies called Spaniells gentle, yet if the question were demaunded what propertie in them they spye, which shoulde make them so acceptable and precious in their sight, I doubt their aunswere would be long a coyning. But seeing it was our intent to trauaile in this treatise, so that ye reader might reape some benefite by his reading, we will communicate vnto you such coniecures as are grounded upon reason. And though some suppose that such dogges are fyt for no seruice, I dare say, by their leaues, they be in a wrong boxe. Among all other qualities therefore of nature, which be knowne (for some conditions are couered with continuall and thicke clouds, that the eye of our capacities cannot pearse through thē) we find that these litle doges are good to asswage the sicknesse of the stomacke being oftentimes therevnto applyed as a plaster preseruatiue, or borne in the bosom of the diseased and weake person, which effect is performed by theyr moderate heate. Moreouer the disease and sicknesse, chaungeth his place and entreth (though it be not precisely marcked) into the dogge, which to be no vntruth, experience can testify, for these kinde of dogges sometimes fall sicke, and sometime die, without any harm, outwardly inforced, which is an argument that the disease of the gentleman or gentle woman or owner whatsoeuer, entreth into the dogge by the operation of heate intermingled and infected. And thus haue I hetherto handled dogges of a gentle kinde whom I haue comprehended in a triple diuisiō. Now it remaineth that I annex in due order such dogges as be of a more homely kinde.
A Diall pertaining to the thirde Section.
|In the third section is cōtained one kind of dog which is called the||Spaniell gentle or the cōforter,||it is also called||A chamber cōpanion
A pleasaunt playfellow,
A pretty worme
|generally called Canis delicatus.|