I continue to love paging through "The Historie of Fovre-Footed Beastes," which is by turns fascinating and horrifying. Published in London in 1607 as a book of factual natural history, it includes a unicorn, a goat man with a sharp penis, and alarming sermonettes. In the instance of the Sea-Horse, the author comes close to admitting the animal doesn't actually exist, and then decides it does at the last moment.
One of the things I find charming about this book is the way an "s" is sometimes, though not always written as an "f," and an "f" is also written as "f." I can't remember from my college days if Olde English has rules that make any sense. Regardless, I dare you to read this aloud and not feel like you're lisping all over the place:
The Sea-Horse "is a moft ugly and filthy beaft, fo called becaufe in his voice and mane he refembleth a Horffe, but in his head an Oxe or a Calfe; in the refidue of his body a Swine, for which caufe fome Graecians call him fometimes a Sea-horffe, and fometimes a Sea-oxe, which thing hath moued many learned men in our time to affirme, that a Sea-horffe was never feene; whereunto I would eafily fubfcribe were it not that the auncient figures of a Sea-horffe [...] was lately to bee feene at Conftantinople."
This piece of embroidery is hand stitched with a single strand of black thread on cream cotton, framed in a 6 inch hand painted wooden hoop.
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