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Virgilius made his appearance before the castle;
the basket was let down, and the magician
seated himself in it. The lady then drew him
up until he was half way between the ground
and the top of the tower; but there she stopped,
and made the cord fast, saying, " You are
deceived, and shall hang where you are until
tomorrow, which is market day, that all the people
may wonder at you and your dishonesty." With
those words she shut down her window, and the
following day the poor enchanter was mocked
by the populace. The report of his disgrace
spread all over Rome till it reached the ears of
the emperor, who sent for the lady, and com-
commanded her to let Virgilius down; which she
did.* He then swore to be revenged, and by
conjuration put out all the fire in Rome. The
deprivation continued for a whole day and night;
and at length the emperor sent for Virgilius,
and prayed him that his people might have fire
again. He consented, on condition that the lady
should stand on a scaffold in the middle of the
market-place, in a manner not at all consistent
with self-respect. The scaffold was made; the
lady was placed on it, and obliged to remain there
for three days; and thus was Virgilius revenged,
and the Romans once more supplied with fire.

The magician now set himself to making
those statues upon which depended the safety
of Rome. He fashioned, and set up in the
Capitolium (which, explains the old romance-writer,
"was the towne-house"), a figure of the god of
Rome, surrounded by other figures representing
the gods of all those lands which were under the
rule of the Imperial City. Each of these idols
had in his hand a bell; and whenever any of the
subject countries contemplated rising against
the authority of Rome, all the gods turned their
backs on the Roman figure, and the god of the
refractory land rang his bell so violently that
the senators heard it, and, going to the place,
saw what country it was that meditated
insurrection. This contrivance so annoyed the rulers
of Carthage that they held a privy council, and
determined on sending three men to Rome, with
a plot for destroying the idols. The men were
provided with a vast sum in gold and silver,
and, on arriving at Rome, gave out that they
were soothsayers and dreamers of prophetic
dreams. After a while, they buried under a hill
near the city a large pot of money, and let fall
into the Tiber from one of the bridges a great
barrel full of gold. They then went to the
senators, and said: "Worshipful lords, we
dreamed last night that under the foot of a
neighbouring hill there is a great pot of money.
If you will grant us permission, we will
ourselves be at the cost of seeking after it."
Permission was granted, and the treasure was
presently dug out of the earth. In a few days,
the false soothsayers went again to the senators,
and said: " Worshipful lords, we have dreamed
that in a certain part of the Tiber a barrel of

* This adventure has been repeated in many
places, and was introduced by Sir Bulwer Lytton
into Pelham.

gold lies sunk. If you will grant us permission,
we will go and seek it." The lords of Rome
bade them do their best, and the soothsayers
were glad. They hired ships and men, and went
to the place where they had dropped the barrel,
and in time drew it up; after which, they made
the senators many costly gifts. The way was
now prepared for the grand attempt. The wise
men went a third time to the senators, and said
they had dreamed that under the foundations of
the Capitol lay twelve barrels full of gold, and
that, if they were allowed to do so, they would
dig for it, and the result would be very
advantageous to the great lords. Encouraged by the
success of the two former perquisitions, the
senators gave the men the required authority,
and they began to delve beneath the basis of
the building. When they thought they had
gone far enough, they departed from Rome; and
on the following day the Capitol tumbled into
ruins, and the statues which Virgilius had made
with so much art were utterly destroyed.

Another device was more permanently
successful, though it tasked the ingenuity of
Virgilius to the utmost. The emperor, having had
many complaints of the night-runners, thieves,
and murderers who infested the streets of Rome,
applied to the enchanter for a remedy.
Virgilius hereupon caused to be fashioned a horse
of copper, with a copper man on his back,
having in his hand a nail of iron; and every
night proclamation was made at ten o'clock that
no one was to be in the streets until morning.
Then leapt forth the copper horse and the copper
man throughout the streets of Rome, even to
the smallest thoroughfare; and whoever was
found abroad was stricken dead by the iron flail.
More than two hundred persons having been
killed in this manner, the thieves and murderers,
bethought them of a contrivance. They made
a portable ladder with a drag attached to it,
and, when they heard the copper horse and the
copper man approaching, they cast the drag upon
the houses, and ascended to the roofs, where
they were out of danger. The emperor, being
baffled, again appealed to Virgilius, who directed
him to set two copper hounds on either side of
the horse. The magical figures were made; the
ruffians as usual went out on their lawless
errands, and, as soon as the noise of the copper
horse and man came thundering along the street,
climbed as before on to the tops of the houses.
But the copper dogs bounded after them, tore
them to pieces, and delivered Rome from the
pest that had troubled it.

While engaged in these and similar works,
Virgilius was attracted by a report concerning
the daughter of the Sultan of Babylon, who was
said to be of extraordinary beauty. He fell in
love with the mere description of this damsel,
and, making a bridge in the air, went over to
her. She received the magician very agreeably,
and agreed to depart with him into his own
country. Accordingly, Virgilius carried her
across the aërial bridge into his magnificent
palace and orchard, and showed her his
enormous heaps of treasure, and the wonderful