The Works of Aristotle - Of Monsters.

Of Monsters.


Doth nature make any monsters?
She doth, for if she did not, she would then be deprived of her end. For of things possible she doth always propose to bring forth that which is most perfect and best; but in the end, through the evil disposition of the matter, and influence of some special constellation, not being able to bring forth that which she intended, she brings forth that which she can. As it happened in Albertus' time, when in a certain village a cow brought forth a cow half a man, then the countryman suspecting a shepherd, would have burnt him with the cow; but Albertus, being skilful in astronomy, said, that this did proceed from a special constellation, and so delivered the shepherd from their hands.

Be they one or two?
Aristotle saith, you must look into the heart, and if there be two hearts there be two men.

Why is a man horn sometimes with a great head and six fingers on one hand, or with four?
Aristotle saith it proceeds of superfluity and abundance of matter, when there is too much matter, then he is born with a great head, or six fingers; but if there be want of matter, then there is some part too little, or less than it ought to be.


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