0f the Animals in Formosa, which do not breed here in England

Generally speaking all the Animals which breed here, are to be found in Formosa; but there are many others there which do not breed here, as Elephants, Rhinocerots, Camels, Sea-Horses, all which are tame, and very useful for the service of Man. But they have other wild Beasts there which are not bred here, as Lyons, Boars, Wolves, Leopards, Apes, Tygers, Crocodiles; and there are also wild Bulls, which are more fierce than any Lyon or Boar, which the Natives believe to be the Souls of some Sinners undergoing a great Penance: But they know nothing of Dragons or Land-Unicorns, only they have a Fish that has one Horn: And they never saw any Griphons, which they believe to be rather fictions of the Brain than real Creatures.

Besides the Animals abovementioned, they have also familiar Serpents, which they carry about their Body; and Toads which they keep in their Houses to attract all the Venom that may happen to be there; and Weasels for eating of Mice, and Tortoises for their Gardens. There is also a kind of Animal much like a Lizzard, but not so big, which the Natives call Varchiero, i.e. the Persecutor of Flies; its Skin is smooth and clear like Glass, and appears in various colours according to the situation of its Body: 'Tis wonderful to see how eagerly and industriously it pursues the Flies wheresoever it sees them, upon a Table, or on Flesh, or in Drink, and it seldom fails of catching them. This kind of Animal is to be found only in Japan and America, besides the Isle Formosa.

Though the foresaid Animals do not breed here in England, yet they are too well known here to need any particular description.

Back to the table of contents