Sea Unicorn, or Narval, pp.285-287.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   A CETACEOUS fish caught in the icy sea, and very remarkable for a horn or tooth of seven or eight feet in length, proceeding from the nose; it is white like ivory and curiously wreathed and twisted; the substance is still much heavier than ivory or any sort of bone, and seems to consist of a sort of calcareous matter: it is perforated to a great height towards the tapering end, and has often been set with an elegant head and turned into a walking stick. This horn, which is the offensive weapon of this creature, must be tremendous in its violent thrusts, when, enraged with revenge, or stimulated by the still stronger power of love, the fish darts through the yielding waves, wielding his spear with ease, rapidity, and strength, and goring the breasts or sides of his rivals, or enemies with his irresistible lance. The skin of this fish is brown, spotted with browner speckles; it is smooth like that of an eel. The body is round and altogether in the shape of an egg. It is worthy of remark that the way in which this fish rids itself of the remains after digestion has not yet been found out. It has a semicircular hole on the head, communicating with the roof of the mouth, like other of the same genus; but it is clear that the purpose of it is for spouting water. Perhaps, unlike the leech, this creature perspires in a peculiar manner what others void in the form of excrements. The ways of Providence are so extensive, and human sight so confined, that ignorance seems to be the fated attribute of man. 

   The Sea Fox, a large fish of the squalus kind, having a tail longer than the body, from whence it has received its common name. The body is nine or ten feet long and about fourteen inches in breadth at the widest parts; the skin is smooth and destitute of scales, the eyes large and of a globular figure, the back ash-colour, and the belly white; it is a native of the Mediterranean sea. Truth will laugh at several stories which have been related of this fish; as that of the dam, when in danger, swallowing her young; that of his having a scent resembling the obnoxious smell of the fox, and other ridiculous assertions, which cannot but lead astray the mind of the young observer of Nature. 

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