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trate into its recesses. But Roderic, threatened with an invasion of the Moors, resolved to enter the cavern, where he expected to find some prophetic intimation of the event of the war. Accordingly, his train being furnished with torches so artificially composed, that the tempest could not extinguish them, the king, with great difficulty, penetrated into a square hall, inscribed all over with Arabian characters. In the midst stood a colossal statue of brass, representing a Saracen wielding a Moorish mace, with which it discharged furious blows on all sides, and seemed thus to excite the tempest which raged around. Being conjured by Roderic, it ceased from striking, until he read, inscribed on the right hand, " Wretched monarch, for thy evil hast thou come hither;" on the left hand, " Thou thalt be dispossessed by a strange people on one shoulder, "I invoke the sons of Hagar;" on the other, " I do mine office." When the king had decyphered these ominous inscriptions, the statue returned to its exercise, the tempest commenced anew, and Roderic retired, to mourn over the predicted evils which approached his throne. He caused the gates of the cavern to be locked and barricaded; but, in the course of the night, the tower fell with a tremendous noise, and under its ruins concealed for ever the entrance to the mystic cavern. The conquest of Spain by the Saracens, and the death of the unfortunate Don Roderic, fulfilled the prophecy of the brazen statue. —Historia verdadera del Rey Don Rodrigo por el sabio Alcayde Abulcacim, traduzeda de la lengua Arabiga por Miguel de Luna, 1654, cap. vi.
The bells would ring in Notre Dame.—St. XIII. p. 52. "Tantamne rem tam negligenter f" says Tyrwhitt, of his predecessor Speight; who, in his commentary on Chaucer, had omitted, as trivial and fabulous, the story of Wade and his boat Ouingelot, to the great prejudice of posterity; the memory of the hero, and the boat, being now entirely lost. That future antiquaries may lay no such omission to my charge, I have noted one or two of the most current traditions concerning Michael Scott. He was chosen, it is said, to go upon an embassy, to obtain from the king of France satisfaction for certain piracies committed by his subjects upon those of Scotland. Instead of preparing a new equipage and splendid retinue, the ambassador retreated to his study, opened his book, and evoked a fiend in the shape of a huge black horse, mounted upon his back, and forced him to fly through the air towards France. As they crossed the sea, the devil insidiously asked his rider, What it was that the old women of Scotland muttered at bedrtime? A less experienced wizard might have answered, that it was the Pater Noster, which would have licensed the devil to precipitate him from his back. But Michael sternly replied, "What is that to thee ? Mount, Diabolus, and fly !" When he arrived at Paris, he tied his horse to the gate of the palace, entered, and boldly delivered his message. An ambassador, with so little of the pomp and circumstance of diplomacy, was not received with much respect; and the king was about to return a contemptuous refusal to his demand, when Michael besought him to suspend
bis resolution till he had seen his horse stamp three times. The first stamp shook every steeple in Paris, and caused all the bells to ring; the second threw down three of the towers of the palace; and the infernal steed had lifted his hoof to pre the third stamp, when the king rather chose to dismiss Michael, with the most ample concessions, than to stand to the probable consequences. Upon another occasion, the magician, having studied so long in the mountains that he became faint for want of food, sent his servant to procure some from the nearest farm-house. The attendant received a churlish denial from the farmer. Michael commanded him to return to this rustic Nabal, and lay before him his cap, or bonnet, repeating these words;
Maister Michael Scott's man
When this was done and said, the enchanted bonnet became suddenly inflated, and began to run round the house with great speed, pursued by the farmer, his wife, his servants, and the reapers, who were on the neighbouring har'st rigg. No one had the power to resist the fascination, or refrain from joining in the pursuit of the bonnet, until they were totally exhausted with their ludicrous exercise. A.similar charm occurs in Huon de Bourdeaux, and in the ingenious Oriental tale, called the Caliph Vathek.
Michael, like his predecessor Merlin, fell at last a victim to female art. His wife, or concubine, elicited out of him the
secret, that his art could ward off any danger except the poisonous qualities of broth, made of the flesh of a breme sow. Such a mess she accordingly administered to the wizard, who died in consequence of eating it; surviving, however, long enough to put to death his treacherous confidante.
The words, that cleft Eildon hills in three,
St. XIII. p. 52.
Michael Scott was, once upon a time, much embarrassed by a spirit, for whom he was under the necessity of finding constant employment. He commanded him to build a cauld, or dam-head, across the Tweed at Kelso: it was accomplished in one night, and still does honour to the infernal architect. Michael next ordered, that Eildon hill, which was then a uniform cone, should be divided into three. Another night was sufficient to part its summit into the three picturesque peaks which it now bears. At length the enchanter conquered this indefatigable daemon, by employing him in the hopeless and endless task of making ropes out of sea-sand.
That lamp shall burn unquenchably.—St. XVII. p. 54.
Baptista Porta, and other authors who treat of natural magic, talk much of eternal lamps, pretended to have been found burning in ancient sepulchres. Fortunius Licetus investigates the subject in a treatise, De Lucernis antiquorum reconditis, published at Venice, 1621. One of these perpetual lamps is said to have been discovered in the tomb of Tulliola, the daughter of Cicero. The wick was supposed to be composed of asbestos. Kircher enumerates three different receipts for constructing such lamps; and wisely concludes, that the thing is nevertheless impossible. Mundus Subterraneus, p. 72.— Delrio imputes the fabrication of such lights to magical skill. Diiquisitiones Magice, p. 58.—In a very rare romance, which "treateth of the lyfe of Virgilius, and of his deth, and many marvayles that he dyd in his lyfe-time, by whyche-crafte and nvgramancye, thoroughe the helpe of the devyls of hell," mention is made of a very extraordinary process, in which one of these mystical lamps was employed. It seems, that Virgil, as he advanced in years, became desirous of renovating bis youth by his magical art. For this purpose he constructed a solitary tower, having only one narrow portal, in which he placed twenty-four copper figures, armed with iron flails, twelve on each side of the porch. These enchanted statues struck with their flails incessantly, and rendered all entrance impossible, unless when Virgil touched the spring, which stopped their motion. To this tower he repaired privately, attended by one trusty servant, to whom he communicated the secret of the entrance, and hither they conveyed all the magician's treasure. "Then sayde Virgilius, my dere beloved frende, and he that I above alle men truste and knowe mooste of my secret;" and then he led the man into a cellar, where he made a fayer lamp at all seasons burnynge. And than sayd Virgilius to the man, "Se you the barrel that standeth here?" and he sayd, yea: