|John Bartlett (18201905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.|
|AUTHOR:||Pliny the Elder (A.D. c. 23A.D. 79)|
|QUOTATION:||Bears when first born are shapeless masses of white flesh a little larger than mice, their claws alone being prominent. The mother then licks them gradually into proper shape. 1|
|ATTRIBUTION:||Natural History. Book viii. Sect. 126.|
See Burton, Quotation 7.
Not unlike the bear which bringeth forth
In the end of thirty dayes a shapeless birth;
But after licking, it in shape she drawes,
And by degrees she fashions out the pawes,
The head, and neck, and finally doth bring
To a perfect beast that first deformed thing.
Du Bartas: Divine Weekes and Workes, first week, first day. [back]