CHAP. 20.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE DRAGON.
is a serpent destitute of venom. Its head,
placed beneath the threshold of a door, the gods being duly
propitiated by prayers, will ensure good fortune to the house,
it is said. Its eyes, dried and beaten up with honey, form a
liniment which is an effectual preservative against the terrors
of spectres by night, in the case of the most timorous even.
The fat adhering to the heart, attached to the arm with a
deer's sinews in the skin of a gazelle, will ensure success in
law-suits, it is said; and the first joint of the vertebræ will
secure an easy access to persons high in office. The teeth,
attached to the body with a deer's sinews in the skin of a roebuck, have the effect of rendering masters indulgent and potentates gracious, it is said.
But the most remarkable thing of all is a composition, by
the aid of which the lying magicians profess to render persons
invincible. They take the tail and head of a dragon, the hairs
of a lion's forehead with the marrow of that animal, the foam
of a horse that has won a race, and the claws of a dog's feet:
these they tie up together in a deer's skin, and fasten them
alternately with the sinews of a deer and a gazelle. It is,
however, no better worth our while to refute such pretensions
as these, than it would be to describe the alleged remedies for
injuries inflicted by serpents, seeing that all these contrivances
are so many evil devices to poison2
Dragon's fat will repel venomous creatures; an effect which is
equally produced by burning the fat of the ichneumon.3
will take to flight, also, at the approach of a person who has
been rubbed with nettles bruised in vinegar.