I must not leave the Terra Firma, as they call it, without mentioning once more some of the animals it produces; among which the asses are so justly renowned for their size and beauty, that come un afino di Padua is proverbial when speaking of strength among the Italians: how should it be otherwise indeed, where every herb and every shrub breathes fragrance; and where the quantity as well as quality of their food naturally so increases their milk, that I should think some of them. might yield as much as an ordinary cow?
When I was at Genoa, I remember remarking something like this to Doctor Batt, an English physician settled there; and expressed my surprise that our consumptive country-folks, with whom the Italians never cease to reproach us, do not, when they come here for health, rely much on the beneficial produce of these asses for a cure; which, if it is hastened by their assistance in our island, must surely be performed much quicker in this. The answer would have been better recollected, I fancy, had it appeared to me more satisfactory; but he knew what he was talking of, and I did not; so conclude he despised me accordingly.
The Carinthian bulls too, that do all the heavy work in this rich and heavy land, how wonderfully handsome they are! Such symmetry and beauty have I never seen in any cattle, scarcely in those of Derbyshire, where so much attention has been bestowed upon their breeding. The colour here is so elegant; they are almost all blue roans, like Lord Grosvenor’s horses in London, or those of the Duke of Cestos at Milan: the horns longer, and much more finely shaped, than those of our bulls, and white as polished ivory, tapering off to a point, with a bright black tip at the end, resembling an ermine’s tail. As this creature is not a native, but only a neighbour of Italy, we will say no more about him.