Basilisk, only weasels can kill a basilisk. Regulus. Vipers.
As indicated by the text, the male viper spits its seed into the female's mouth. The young gnaw their way out of their mother's side.
The illustration is pricked all over for pouncing. Initials type 2.
- Transcription and Translation
TranscriptionA mustelis tamen vincitur quas illic homines inferunt cavernis\ in quibus delitescunt. Itaque ea visa fugit, quem illa persequitur\ et occidit. Nichil enim parens ille rerum sine remedio constituit.\ Est autem longitudine semipedalis albis maculis lineatus.\ De regulis \ Reguli autem sicut scorpiones arentia\ queque sectantur, et postquam ad aquas venerint [PL, ibique aliquem morderint] idro\phobas et limphaticos faciunt. Sibilus idem est qui\ et regulus, sibilo enim occidit antequam mordeat vel exurat.\ De vipera \ Vipera dicta quod\ vi pariat. Nam cum\ venter eius ad partum\ ingemuerit catuli non\ expectantes maturam\ nature solucionem\ corrosis eius lateribus\ erumpunt vi cum ma\tris interitu. Ferunt\ autem quod mascu\lus ore inserto vipere semen expuat. Illa autem ex voluptate\ in rabiem versa, caput maris ore recepto precidit, ita fit ut uterque\ parens pereat, masculus cum coit, femina cum parit. De vipera\ dicit sanctus Ambrosius quia nequissimum genus bestie est et super\ omnia que serpentium sunt generis astutior ubi coeundi cu\piditatem assumpserit, murene maritime notam sibi requirit\ copulam vel novam preparat. Progressaque ad litus sibilo testi\ficata presentiam sui, ad coniugalem amplexum illam evocat.\ Murena autem invitata non deest, et venenate serpenti ex\petitos usus sue impertit coniunctionis. Quid sibi sermo huius\modi vult nisi ferendos esse mores coniugum, et si absens est eius\
TranslationThe basilisk can be conquered by weasels. Men put them into the caves where the basilisks lie hidden. The basilisk, seeing the weasel, flees; the weasel pursues and kills it. For the Creator has made nothing without a remedy. The basilisk is half-a-foot in length, with white stripes. Of the basilisk, or regulus [continued] Basilisks, like scorpions, seek out dry places; after they have come to water and bite anyone there, they make that person hydrophobic and send them mad. The creature called sibilus is the same as the regulus, or basilisk; for it kills with its hiss before it bites or burns. Of the viper The viper is so called because the female gives birth with force, vi pariat. For when her belly aches with labour pains, her young do not wait to be released at the right time according to nature, but gnawing through her sides burst forth, leaving their mother dead. They say that the male spits his seed into the female, with his head inserted in her mouth. Mad with lust she bites it off. Thus it comes about that both parents die; the male during intercourse; the female at birth. Saint Ambrose says of the viper that it the vilest kind of creature and more cunning than the whole serpent species. When it feels the desire for intercourse, it goes in search of a lamprey already known to it or prepares to copulate with a new partner. It goes to the shore and makes its presence known with a hiss, inviting her to its conjugal embrace. The lamprey, once invited, does not demur and shares with the poisonous snake the union it seeks. What should these words signify to us if not that we should put up with the behaviour of our partner, and even if his whereabouts