羚羊

欧洲中世纪的《奇兽志》记载,羚羊(Antelope)的角像锯子,可以锯倒树木。羚羊是如此野蛮并善于奔跑,以至于猎人无法捕捉到它,除了一种情况:当羚羊渴了时,它去幼发拉底河喝水,但是当它在那儿的异头草丛(Herecine)中嬉戏时,它的角被灌木枝缠住无法挣脱自己,于是发出大声嚎叫。 猎人听到它的叫声,就来杀死它。

The ANTALOPS is an animal of incomparable celecity, so much so that no hunter can ever get it.

It has long horns shaped like a saw, with the result that it can even cut down very big trees and fell them to the ground.

When it is thirsty, it goes to the great River Euphrates, and drinks.

Now there is in those parts a shrub called Herecine, which has subtile, long twigs. Coming therefore to the shrub, it begins to play with the Herccine with its horns, and, while it plays, it entangles the horns in the twigs. When it cannot get free after a long Struggle, it cries With a loud bellow. But the hunter, hearing its voice, comes and kills it.

中世纪的《奇兽志》伴随着道德说教,主要围绕着基督教义。羚羊的两个角象征《圣经》的《新约》和《旧约》,用来剪除恶习,挣脱邪恶的束缚。但是在灌木丛中嬉戏而忘了自己,就很容易成为猎物。

The antelope’s two horns represent the biblical Old and New Testaments, with which people can cut themselves free of vice. People are also warned not to play in the “thickets of worldliness” where pleasure kills body and soul.