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1 Pliny alludes here to the beads or rings of glass which were used by the Druids as charms to impose on the credulity of their devotees, under the name of Glain naidr, or "the Adder gem." Mr. Luyd (in Rowland's Mona Antiqua, p. 342) says that the genuine Ovum anguinum can be no other than a shell of the kind called echinus marinus, and that Dr. Borlase observes that, instead of the natural anguinum, artificial rings of stone, glass, and sometimes baked clay, were substituted as of equal validity. The belief in these charms very recently existed in Cornwall and Wales, if indeed it does not at the present day. The subject is very fully discussed in Brand's Popular Antiquities, Vol. III. p. 286, et seq., and p. 369, et seq., Bohn's Edition. These gems and beads are not uncommonly found in tumuli of the early British period.
2 A similar belief in its origin was prevalent in Cornwall and Wales, and whoever found it was supposed to ensure success in all his undertakings.
3 "The snake's egg"–ovum being understood.
4 "The vulgar opinion in Cornwall and most parts of Wales is that these are produced through all Cornwall by snakes joining their heads together and hissing, which forms a kind of bubble like a ring about the head of one of them, which the rest, by continual hissing, blow on till it comes off at the tail, when it immediately hardens and resembles a glass ring."— Gough's Camden, Vol. II. p. 571, Ed. 1789.
5 The shell of a sea urchin most probably. See Note 81 above.
6 See Note 82 above.
7 nation of Gaul. See B. iii. cc. 5, 21.
8 The wand held by heralds, and generally represented as being carried by Mercury in his character of messenger of the gods.
9 And therefore not portentous of war.
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