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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 28  1909  page 365

Sybill Arms at Little Mote, Eynsford By George C. Druce continued

In MS. Han. 4751 (B.M.) the details are much the same, but the hunter is armed with a sword. In MS. 12 F. xiii. (B.M.) the hunter is in mail and surcoat. In MS. Han. 3244 (B.M.) the tiger is pawing a green mirror, while the hunter rides off with the cub on a blue horse, holding another mirror. In MS. 12 0. xix. (B.M.), a Flemish Bestiary, the tiger is blue with spots of a darker blue, and the hunter holds a blue cub. He is in a long green tunic with brown cloak, on a pale yellowish horse with blue and brown saddle-cloths. In MS. Ashmole 1511 (Bod.) the details correspond generally with the above. in MS. Slo. 3544 (B.M.) the tiger appears alone, with red and green spots. These details are sufficient to establish the connection with the heraldic device at Little Mote.
   For an explanation of the story we turn to the text of MS. Add. 11,283, of which I give a full translation: "The tigress is so called on account of its rapid flight; for this is the word which the Fersians, Greeks, and Medes use for ‘arrow.’ Now it is a beast adorned with numerous spots and wonderful for its courage and swiftness.* And from its name the river Tigris is called, as that is the most rapid of all rivers. 

These (beasts) Hircania especially produces. The tigress, indeed, when it finds its lair empty and its offspring carried off, at once follows on the track of the robber, who, though riding on ever so swift a horse, when he sees that he is being outstripped by the swiftness of the beast and that no possible means of evading it are at hand, has recourse to a cunning artifice, as follows: When he sees it close to him, he throws down a sphere of glass. The tigress is deceived by her own reflection, and believes it to be her offspring. She checks her flight, desiring to recover her cub. Once more relaxing her useless gaze she bounds forward to catch the horseman with all her strength, and under the stimulus of anger rapidly overtakes the fugitive. Again by throwing

    * There is an error on the part of the copyist in the Latin text of this MS., which I point out because it falls within the part illustrated. "Variis distincta mirabilis virtute et velocitate miraclis,’ should read as in Harl.. 4571, "Variis distincta maculis vitute et velocitate mirabilis

Page 365 

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