By his neesings a light doth shine
The philosopher F9 observes, that those who look to the sun are more apt to sneeze: and it is taken notice of by various writers F11, that the crocodile delights to be sunning itself, and lying yawning in the sun and looking at it, as quoted by Bochart; and so frequently sneeze: which sneezings, through the rays of the sun, may seem to shine and give light. Though as, in sneezing, water is thrown out through the nostrils, it may be observed of the whale, that it has mouths or holes in its front, through which, as through pipes, it throws out showers and floods of water, as Pliny
F12 relates; which, by means of the rays of the sun, as in a rainbow, appear bright and glittering;
and his eyes [are] like the eyelids of the morning:
the break and dawn of day; a very beautiful expression, the same we call "peep of day": Pindar F13 has "the eye of the evening"; break of day, as Ben Gersom says, is about an hour and the fifth part of an hour before the sunrising. The eyes of the crocodile were, with the Egyptians, an hieroglyphic of the morning F14: wherefore this seems better to agree with the crocodile than the whale, whose eyes are not much bigger than those of a bullock; and has eyelids and hair like men's eyes; the crystal of the eye is not much bigger than a pea F15; its eyes are placed very low, almost at the end of the upper lip, and when without its guide, dashes itself against rocks and shoals F16. Though that sort of whales called "orcae" are said to have eyes a foot long, and of a red rosy colour, such as the morning is described by F17; and a northern writer F18 tells us that some whales have eyes, whose circumference will admit fifteen or twenty men to sit therein; and in others it exceeds eight or ten cubits; and that the pupil is a cubit, and of a red and flaming colour; which, at a distance, in dark seasons, among the waves, appears to fishermen as fire kindled. And Thevenot F19 says of crocodiles, that their eyes are indifferently big, and very darkish.
F9 Problem. s. 33. qu. 4.
F11 Aelian. l. 3. c. 11. Leo African. Descriptio African, l. 9. p. 761. Pet. Martyr. Decad. 3. c. 4.
F12 Nat. Hist. l. 9. c. 4, 6.
F13 Olymp. Ode 3. v. 36.
F14 Hor. Hiereglyph. apud Scheuchzer. vol. 4. p. 849.
F15 Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 145.
F16 Aelian. l. 2. c. 13. Plin. l. 9. c. 62.
F17 Hasacus apud Schultens in loc.
F18 Olaus Magnus de Ritu Gent. Septent. l. 21. c. 5, 8. so Albertus Magnus de Animal. l. 24. c. 1.
F19 Travels, ut supra, (part. 1.) p. 245.