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Demetrius said that among the islands lying near Britain1 were many isolated, having few or no inhabitants, some of which bore the names of divinities or heroes. He himself, by the emperor's order, had made a voyage for inquiry and observation to the nearest of these islands which had only a few inhabitants, holy men who were all held inviolate by the Britons. Shortly after his arrival there occurred a great tumult in the air and many portents ; violent winds suddenly swept down and lightning-flashes darted to earth. When these abated, the people of the island said that the passing of someone of the mightier souls had befallen. ‘For,’ said they, ‘as [p. 405] a lamp when it is being lighted has no terrors, but when it goes out is distressing to many,2 so the great souls have a kindling into life that is gentle and inoffensive, but their passing and dissolution often, as at the present moment, fosters tempests and storms, and often infects the air with pestilential properties.’ Moreover, they said that in this part of the world there is one island where Cronus is confined, guarded while he sleeps by Briareus ; for his sleep has been devised as a bondage for him, and round about him are many demigods as attendants and servants.

1 Presumably the Scilly islands; cf. Moralia, 941 a - 942 a.

2 Cf. the interesting account which Plutarch gives in Moralia, 941 a ff., and Lucretius's statement that a smouldering lamp may cause apoplexy.

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