It breeds from four to eight times a year, bringing forth each time from three to eight young; its period of gestation is about thirty days, and it is able to bear when six months old.
It maintains its numbers partly in consequence of its shyness, which keeps it away from the abodes of men, and partly because it is so prolific, bringing forth six to eight young at a litter.
The ferret is remarkably prolific, the female bringing forth two broods annually, each numbering from six to nine young.
It is a seed sown in good ground and bringing forth fruit, or in bad ground and fruitless (Luke viii.
The adjective masculus points to the power of bringing forth fruit possessed by the new philosophy, and perhaps indicates that all previous births of time were to be looked upon as feminine or imperfect; it is used in a somewhat similar sense in Letters and Life, vi.