Rotterdam, curiosités

Témoignage de John Evelyn (1641).

Here I first saw an ele­phant, who was extre­me­ly well dis­ci­pli­ned an obe­dient. It was a beast of a mons­trous size, yet as flexible and nimble in the joints, contra­ry to the vul­gar tra­di­tion, as could be ima­gi­ned from so pro­di­gious a bulk and strange fabric ; but I most of all admi­red the dex­te­ri­ty and strength of its pro­bos­cis, on which it was able to sup­port two or three men, and by which it took and rea­ched wha­te­ver was offe­red to it ; its teeth were but short, being a female, and not old. I was also shown a peli­can, or ono­cra­tu­las of Pli­ny, with its large gul­lets, in which he kept his reserve of fish ; the plu­mage was white, legs red, flat, and film-foo­ted : like­wise a cock with four legs, two rumps and vents : also a hen which had two large spurs gro­wing out of her sides, pene­tra­ting the fea­thers of her wings.

(The dia­ry of John Eve­lyn, Ed. William Bray, J.M. DENT et E.P DULTON, Lon­don-New York, 1905, Tome 1, p.22.)