samedi 15 avril 2017
El Cuento del Cordero Tártaro
Barometz; Or, How to Perpetuate Unknowingly a Hoax. The Tale of the Tartarian Lamb. Just keep repeating the story and attach a really awful engraving, and people will believe in the plant-animal of Tartary for hundreds of years (more than 1800 years?): “Barometz … Polypodium Barometz. Tartarian Lamb. Clandestine Marriage [?]. This species of Fern is a native of China, with a decumbent root, thick, and every where covered with the most soft and dense wool, intensely yellow. Lin. Spec. Plant. This curious stem is sometimes pushed out of the ground in its horizontal situation by some of the inferior branches of the root, so as to give it some resemblance to a Lamb standing on four legs; and has been said to destroy all other plants in its vicinity. Sir Hans Sloane describes it under the name of Tartarian Lamb, and has given a print of it. Philos. Trans. abridged, v. II. p. 646. but thinks some art had been used to give it an animal appearance. Dr. Hunter, in his edition of the Terra of Evelyn, has given a more curious print of it, much resembling a sheep. The down is used in India externally for stopping hemorrhages, and is called golden moss.” Engraving and excerpt from Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden, A Poem, In Two Parts (London, 1799, 4th ed.).