History and Topography of Ireland
Gerald of Wales, History and Topography of Ireland, composé vers 1185.
Ce texte est un classique de la littérature médiévale.
Here’s Gerald on the Irish goat:
“How unworthy and unspeakable! How reason succumbs so outrageously to sensuality! That the lord of the brutes, losing the privileges of his high estate should descend to the level of the brutes, when the rational submits itself to such shameful commerce with a brute animal!”
Gerald then sagely observes that
“Although the matter was detestable on both sides and abominable, yet it was less so by far on the side of the brute who is subject to rational beings in all things, and because he was a brute and prepared to obey by very nature. He was, nevertheless, created not for abuse but for proper use…”
And here’s Gerald on the French lion:
“Sometimes when he escaped from his cage and was in such fierce anger that no one would dare to go near him, they would send for Johanna who would calm his anger and great rage immediately. Soothing him with a woman’s tricks, she led him wherever she wanted and changed all his fury immediately into love.”O Beasts! Both! Worthy of a shameful death! But such crimes have been attempted not only in modern times but also in antiquity, which is praised for its greater innocence and simplicity. The ancients also were stained with such unspeakable deeds. And so it is written in Leviticus: “If a woman approaches any beast to have intercourse with him, ye shall kill the woman, and let the beast die the death”. The beast is ordered to be killed, not for the guilt, from which he is excused as being a beast, but to make the remembrance of the act a deterrent, calling to mind the terrible deed.”