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mistakes of a certain kind, for, if the children
presented to them are the children of the lawful
owners they "gon aboute hem, and don hem
non harme," but if they are of false, of
unavowed parentage, "the Serpentes by ten hem and
envenyme hem." Which Sir John Mandevile
says was a convenient way for suspicious men to
prove " zif the children ben here owne."

These are marvels enough surely, which the
travelled knight calls on us to believe; but more
remain behind. There was the church of Saint
Catherine, to which once every year assembled
large flocks of crows, choughs, and other fowls
of the country, bringing olive-branches in their
beaks, whereby the monks had ever full store of
oil without the pain of seeking; and the withered
tree of the desert, which turned bare and leafless
when the Tragedy of Calvary was done, but
which is to burst out into glad bloom and
verdure as soon as a Prince from the West shall
win the Land of Promise by the help of Christian
men. And the table of black wood whereon
was painted an image of Our Lady that once
used to turn into flesh on certain occasions, but
whence now drips only oil, which, if kept above
a year, becomes good flesh and blood. And the
"Castle of the Sparrhawk," with the bright
Lady of Faëry that keepeth it, which sparrowhawk,
if any man shall wake, then watch for
seven days and seven nights alone and sleepless,
to him shall the Lady give the first wish that
he may wish of earthly things: " and that
hathe been proved often tymes," says Sir John,
giving as evidence the histories of two successful
watchers, one of whom wished an unholy thing
and was ruined, but the other desired the
moderate bliss of thriving in merchandise, and
became so rich that he knew not the hundredth
part of that he had. A third, a Knight of the
Temple, wished a purse of gold never failing,
which the Lady granted, but telling him at
the same time that he had wished the destruction
of his order, " for the trust and the affiance
of that Purs, and for the grete Pryde that thei
scholde haven." Then we have the very doubtful
story of male and female diamonds marrying
and bearing children like living and sensible
creatures; which children increase and grow
year by year as Sir John has proved for himself.
"I have often tymes assayed that zif a man kepe
hem with a litylle of the Roche, and wete hem
with May Dew ofte sithes, they schulle growe
everyche Zeer; and the smale wole wexen
grete:" followed by a list of the virtues of the
diamond, not one word of which contains the
very smallest per-centage of truth or likelihood.

Sir John believes in the Amazons with
their self-mutilation, and hatred of men and
lawful marriage (was that Amazonian fable
a satire or a prophecy?), in the Ethiopian folk
who have but one foot, yet that so large, that
when they lie down they hold it up as an umbrella
between them and the sun; in the serpent-eaters
of " Tracoda," who have no honest speech like
ordinary men, but who " hissen as Serpentes
don;" in the dog-headed inhabitants of the island
of Nacumera, with their wealth of jewels and
their cannibal propensities; in the two-headed
geese of the " Silha" isle, where furthermore is
the lake which was made by the tears that
Adam and Eve wept during the hundred years
when they sat on the mountain, grieving over
their expulsion; in the one-eyed people; in the
people with eyes in their shoulders and no
heads; in the people with no noses, and in the
people with such big lips that they shadow their
faces when they sleep in the sun; in the pigmy
people, and the long-eared peopleears falling
down to their knees; and the horse-footed
people; and the four-footed people; and in good
fat comely hens, woolly like sheep and destitute
of feathers; with other wonders of as startling
character and outrageous dimensions. So here
was one traveller with his wallet full of tales,
and pray how much of truth among them?

The book rejoicing in the name of The Spanish
Mandevile of Myracles; or, the Garden of
Curious Flowers, is not far behind the elder brother.
In it we have a list of the marvellously prolific
births which from time to time have afflicted
mothers and distracted fathers; the most
insignificant of which are four, five, six, seven, or
so, full-grown lusty children brought into the
world within a few moments of each other; the
tale gradually increasing up to seventy well-
proportioned children; then to one hundred and
fifty perfect little human beings, each the
bigness of one's finger; and lastly culminating in
Lady Margaret's tremendous essay in this
directionthat Lady Margaret of Holland, who
had three hundred and ninety-six babies, '" about
the bignesse of little mise," all at once. Which
mice or babes were baptised by one Guido, the
Suffragan of Utrecht, the males by the name of
John, and the females by that of Elizabethall,
happily for Lady Margaret and her husband,
Herman of Henneberg, dying the same day.
And while on this delicate subject, the Spanish
Mandevile tells of the extraordinary habit of
the Neapolitan women, who never bring a baby
into the world without giving it one or two little
beasts like toads, as precursors of the higher
organisation, which little beasts, if they touch
the earth, the poor woman dies forthwith;
beside other accounts of infant elephants,
serpents, centaurs, ferrets, devils, &c., delivered up
to the fond parent's arms, in place of the
orthodox bundle of clothes and violet powder
which every mother in her heart believes is to be
the future wonder of the world. Then we have
all Pliny's and Sir John's ethnological lies
gravely repeatedwith additions; and the same
extraordinary inability to distinguish between
men and monkeys formularised into a scientific
fact; and the pigmies, and the cranes, and the
Amazons, and the one-eyed, and the big-footed,
and the horse-footed, the tailed, the dog-headed,
and the eight-toedthis octave of toes turning
backward at pleasure; and the double-tongued,
men of the miraculous island where the children
use sundry big fowl as their horses, and where
the poet might have found his Utopia and the
Arab his gardens of Aden realised; and the men
who live for forty days and more without drinking;

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