Imitate the ass in his love to his master.

—St. John Chrysostom, c. 388

Every creature in the world is like a book and a picture, to us, and a mirror.

—Alain de Lille, c. 1200

The elephant, although a gross beast, is yet the most decent and most sensible of any other upon earth. Although he never changes his female, and hath so tender a love for her whom he hath chosen, yet he never couples with her but at the end of every three years, and then only for the space of five days.

—St. Francis de Sales, 1609

It is remarkable that only small birds properly sing.

—Charles Darwin, 1871

Man is a troublesome animal and therefore is not very manageable.

—Plato, c. 349 BC

Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise.

—Book of Proverbs, c. 350 BC

Animals, in their generation, are wiser than the sons of men, but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass.

—Joseph Addison, 1711

An ape will be an ape, though clad in purple.

—Desiderius Erasmus, 1511

There be beasts that, at a year old, observe more, and pursue that which is for their good more prudently, than a child can do at ten.

—Thomas Hobbes, 1651

I hate the sight of monkeys; they remind me so of poor relations.

—Henry Luttrell, 1820

Alas! We are ridiculous animals.

—Horace Walpole, 1777

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.

—William Hazlitt, 1819

I do not mean to call an elephant a vulgar animal, but if you think about him carefully, you will find that his nonvulgarity consists in such gentleness as is possible to elephantine nature—not in his insensitive hide, nor in his clumsy foot, but in the way he will lift his foot if a child lies in his way; and in his sensitive trunk, and still more sensitive mind, and capability of pique on points of honor.

—John Ruskin, 1860