The Griffin Hydra And Crocodile Mantichora And Mermaid Or Syren

186 THE griffin is a fabulous bird which lives in the deserts of India, where it can find nothing to eat. To obtain sustenance for its young it will go off to other regions, and it is so strong that it can fly away with a live ox. The griffin signifies the devil who is ready to carry away our souls to the deserts of hell. This monster is to be seen on the Tournai font of Lincoln Cathedral, and on Norman tympana such as those of Barfreston and Ridlington, Rutlandshire. At Ridlington it seems to...

The Sphinx Terrebolen Unicorn Serra Remora And PhffiNIX

204 THE fabulous Sphinx seems to have had her original home in Egypt, and to have symbolised the annual overflow of the river Nile. According to Herodotus, many representations of her were to be found there in ancient days. She was sculptured with the head of a woman, and the body of a lion. She passes from Egypt into Greece, where she is found in Greek tragedies propounding a riddle to the Thebans, who are killed for not being able to guess it. ffidipus is at last successful, and the Sphinx...

The Eagle Goose Peacock Pelican Raven

133 THE Bestiaries say that when the eagle has grown old and is nearly blind, it flies up into the air, till it scorches its wings in the heat of the sun. Then it plunges straight into pure water three times, from which it emerges young once more. A similar story about the eagle is told in Spenser's Faerie Queene. The original source of this story about the eagle is no doubt partly to be found in Ps. ciii. 5, which in the Septuagint and Vulgate is rendered, Thy youth shall be renewed as the...