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When I perceived this, I caused a great fire
to be lit" (as in the battle of the crabs), "and
thus we obliged them to retreat. . . .  On
the following day we went to see the caverns
where they dwelt, and found wild beasts
chained at the entrances, as high as those
dogs which we call Dandex, but four cubits
long, and having each three eyes."

The Melophagimen bristled like pigs
were Alexander's next opponents.  One of
these rough-skins was taken prisoner, and,
being brought before Alexander, looked at
him very impudently; and when the soldiers
sought to seize him, he uttered a guttural
noise, on which about ten thousand of his
companions started out of a marsh.
Alexander, however, set the reeds on fire, and
they fled, leaving about four hundred
prisoners, who, refusing all nourishment, soon
died; "they did not speak, but barked like dogs."

Alexander's next adventure was with
invisible foeslike the Hátif one of the Arabian
Jinns, being heard, not seen.  "We arrived
at the bank of a river on which were trees
which rose from the ground on the
appearance of the sun, and continued to grow till
the sixth hour.  At the seventh hour they
continued to decrease till they almost
disappeared in the ground.  Tears dropped from
their branches, like those distilled by a
weeping fig, of the sweetest and most
exquisite odour.  I ordered that these trees should
be cut, and the tears gathered with sponges.
Those who attempted to execute this
command were immediately scourged by
invisible genii.  We could hear the noise of their
whips, and saw the marks on the men's backs,
but could not see those who struck.  Then a
voice addressed me, saying, 'Neither cut nor
gather anything.  If you do not cease, the
whole army will be struck dumb.'  Full of
terror, I instantly put a stop to our proceedings.
In the river I have spoken of were
black stones, whose property was to
communicate their colour to all who touched them.
There were also a great number of water-
snakes, and many kinds of fish, which could
not be drest with fire, but only cold spring-
water.  A soldier having caught one of these
fish, wanted to wash it, and then putting it into
some salt, left it there; when he returned, it
was done" (and so, perhaps, was the soldier).
"On the banks of this river were also birds
similar to some we have in Greece; but if
anyone ate of them fire issued straightway
from his body."   Some six-eyed beasts, like
wild asses, only twenty cubits long, offered
the army no molestation; they had one
peculiarity, four out of the six eyes were useless,
as they could only see with two.

Headless men with human voices (like
Caliban and Trinculo) were next met with;
they were covered with hair, lived upon fish,
and were, to a certain extent, polite, offering
Alexander truffles, weighing twenty-five
pounds each, which they dug up for him.

At the next place they came to, which was
on the coast, they heard human voices speaking
Greek, but could not discern the speakers.
"Some soldiers unfortunately thought of
swimming here; but great crabs seized them
and dragged them to the bottom, and we all
hastily made for the shore, terror-stricken."

At a stream which they soon afterwards
reached, Alexander being hungry, desired
his cook to get him something to eat.  He
took a shell-fish and dipped it into the
fountain, to wash it; and as soon as it touched
the water it came to life again, and swam
away.  The cook did not mention this fact
till some time afterwards, when Alexander
punished him, vexed, without doubt, at
having lost his dinner.

At last Alexander's wanderings in the
land of wonders came to an end.  Two more
birds appeared, "which had nothing
particular about them, except the eyes of men!"
They, also, spoke Greek; the first crying out,
"What soil dost thou trample on, O
Alexander?  That which belongs to God only.
Return, wretch, and dare not to approach
the land of the Happy!  Return, mortal;
tread on the earth that is given to thee,
and prepare not punishment for thyself
and thy companions."  The second bird
added:  "The East calls thee, and victory
submits to thy power the kingdom of Porus."
Hereupon the birds flew away, and
Alexander went to the right-about, ordering the
conductors of the she-asses to lead the way.
"After journeying for twenty-two days by
the light of the stars, the soldiers heard the
voices of the young asses answering their
dams, and the army emerged once more into
daylight.  It was of use, for the men had
laden themselves in the dark with many
objects which, on examination, they now
found to be fine gold."  Here ends the letter,
and with it my dissertation on Monsters.

Now ready, in Twenty-eight pages, stitched, Price
Fourpence,
THE HOUSEHOLD WORDS ALMANAC
FOR THE YEAR 1857.

Early in December will be published, price Threepence,
or stamped Fourpence,
THE WRECK OF THE GOLDEN MARY;
Being the CAPTAIN'S ACCOUNT of the GREAT
DELIVERANCE OF HER PEOPLE IN AN OPEN
BOAT AT SEA: forming
THE CHRISTMAS NUMBER
Of HOUSEHOLD WORDS; and containing the amount
of One regular Number and a Half.

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