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NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

monkish preachers. The phoenix rising from his ashes proves the doctrine of the resurrection; the structure and mischief of monkeys prove the existence of demons; the fact that certain monkeys have no tails proves that Satan has been shorn of his glory; the weasel, which "constantly changes its place, is a type of the man estranged from the word of God, who findeth no rest."

The moral treatises of the time often took the form of works on natural history, in order the more fully to exploit these religious teachings of Nature. Thus from the Dominican Thomas of Cantimpré, who called his book De Apibus (On Bees), we learn that "the wasps persecute the bees and make war on them out of natural hatred"; and these, he tells us, typify the demons who dwell in the air and with lightning and tempest assail and vex mankind—whereupon he fills a long chapter with anecdotes of such demonic warfare on mortals. In like manner his fellow-Dominican, the inquisitor Nider, in his book the Ant Hill, teaches us that the ants in Ethiopia, which are said to have horns and to grow so large as to look like dogs, are emblems of atrocious heretics, like Wyclifand the Hussites, who bark and bite against the truth; while the ants of India, which dig up gold out of the sand with their feet and hoard it, though they make no use of it, symbolize the fruitless toil with which the heretics dig out the gold of Holy Scripture and hoard it in their books to no purpose.

This pious spirit not only pervaded science, it bloomed out in art, and it meets us especially in the cathedrals. In the gargoyles overhanging the walls, in the grotesques clambering about the towers or perched upon pinnacles, in the dragons prowling under archways or lurking in bosses of foliage, in the apocalyptic beasts carved upon the stalls of the choir, stained into the windows, wrought into the tapestries, illuminated in the letters and borders of psalters and missals, these marvels of creation suggested everywhere morals from the Physiologus, the Bestiaries, and the Exempla.[1]


  1. For the Physiologus, Bestiaries, etc., see Berger de Xivrey, Traditions Tératologiques; also Hippeau's edition of the Bestiary of Guillaume de Normandie, Caen, 1852, and such mediæval books of Exempla as the Lumen Naturæ; also Hoefer, Histoire de la Zoologie; also Rambaud, Histoire de la Civilisation Française, Paris, 1885, vol. i, pp. 368, 369; also Cardinal Pitra, preface to the Spicilegium Solismense, Paris, 1855, passim; also Carus, Geschichte der Zoologie; and for an admirable summary, the article Physiologus in the Encyc. Brit. In the illuminated manuscripts in the Library of Cornell University are some very striking examples of grotesques. For admirably illustrated articles on the Bestiaries, see Cahier and Martin, Melanges d'Archeologie, Paris, 1851, 1852, and 1856, vol. ii of the first series, pp. 85-232, and second series, volume on Curiosites Mystérieuses, pp. 106-164; also J. R. Allen, Early Christian Symbolism in Great Britain and Ireland (London, 1887),