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Let the following stand as a remarkable proof of the frivolous nature of the magic art. Of all animals it is the mole that the magicians admire most! a creature that has been stamped with condemnation by Nature in so many ways; doomed as it is to perpetual blindness,1 and adding to this darkness a life of gloom in the depths of the earth, and a state more nearly resembling that of the dead and buried. There is no animal in the entrails of which they put such implicit faith, no animal, they think, better suited for the rites of religion; so much so, indeed, that if a person swallows the heart of a mole, fresh from the body and still palpitating, he will receive the gift of divination, they assure us, and a foreknowledge of future events. Tooth-ache, they assert, may be cured by taking the tooth of a live mole, and attaching it to the body. As to other statements of theirs relative to this animal, we shall draw attention to them on the fitting occasions, and shall only add here that one of the most probable of all their assertions is, that the mole neutralizes the bite of the shrew-mouse; seeing that, as already2 stated, the very earth even that is found in the rut of a cart-wheel, acts as a remedy in such a case.

1 A mistake, of course; and one for which there is little excuse, as its eyes are easily perceptible. It is not improbable, however, that it was an impression with the ancients that its sight is impeded by the horny covering of its eyes.

2 In B. xxix. c. 27.

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