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On The Generation Of Animals   


motion because of their want of power, and are consequently
high-voiced, for a little air is carried along quickly, and in the
voice what is quick is high. But in calves and cows, in the one case
because of their age, in the other because of their female nature, the
part by which they set the air in motion is not strong; at the same
time they set a great quantity in motion and so are deep-voiced; for
that which is borne along slowly is heavy, and much air is borne along
slowly. And these animals set much in movement whereas the others
set but little, because the vessel through which the breath is first
borne has in them a large opening and necessarily sets much air in
motion, whereas in the rest the air is better dispensed. As their
age advances this part which moves the air gains more strength in each
animal, so that they change into the opposite condition, the
high-voiced becoming deeper-voiced than they were, and the deep-voiced
higher-voiced, which is why bulls have a higher voice than calves
and cows. Now the strength of all animals is in their sinews, and so
those in the prime of life are stronger, the young being weaker in the
joints and sinews; moreover, in the young they are not yet tense,
and in those now growing old the tension relaxes, wherefore both these
ages are weak and powerless for movement. And bulls are particularly
sinewy, even their hearts, and therefore that part by which they set
the air in motion is in a tense state, like a sinewy string
stretched tight. (That the heart of bulls is of such a nature is
shown by the fact that a bone is actually found in some of them, and
bones are naturally connected with sinew.)

All animals when castrated change to the female character, and utter
a voice like that of the females because the sinewy strength in the
principle of the voice is relaxed. This relaxation is just as if one
should stretch a string and make it taut by hanging some weight on
to it, as women do who weave at the loom, for they stretch the warp by
attaching to it what are called 'laiai'. For in this way are the
testes attached to the seminal passages, and these again to the
blood-vessel which takes its origin in the heart near the organ
which sets the voice in motion. Hence as the seminal passages change
towards the age at which they are now able to secrete the semen,
this part also changes along with them. As this changes, the voice
again changes, more indeed in males, but the same thing happens in
females too, only not so plainly, the result being what some call
'bleating' when the voice is uneven. After this it settles into the
deep or high voice of the succeeding time of life. If the testes are
removed the tension of the passages relaxes, as when the weight is
taken off the string or the warp; as this relaxes, the organ which
moves the voice is loosened in the same proportion. This, then, is the
reason why the voice and the form generally changes to the female
character in castrated animals; it is because the principle is relaxed
upon which depends the tension of the body; not that, as some suppose,
the testes are themselves a ganglion of many principles, but small
changes are the causes of great ones, not per se but when it happens
that a principle changes with them. For the principles, though small
in size, are great in potency; this, indeed, is what is meant by a
principle, that it is itself the cause of many things without anything
else being higher than it for it to depend upon.

The heat or cold also of their habitat contributes to make some
animals of such a character as to be deep-voiced, and others
high-voiced. For hot breath being thick causes depth, cold breath
being thin the opposite. This is clear also in pipe-playing, for if
the breath of the performer is hotter, that is to say if it is
expelled as by a groan, the note is deeper.

The cause of roughness and smoothness in the voice, and of all
similar inequality, is that the part or organ through which the
voice is conveyed is rough or smooth or generally even or uneven. This

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