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All the country on the other side of the Hypanis is allowed to be very fertile, but we have no accurate knowledge of it. Either through ignorance or from its remote situation, everything relative to it is exaggerated or partakes of the wonderful. As, for example, the stories of myrmeces (or ants),1 which dig up gold; of animals and men with peculiar shapes, and possessing extraordinary faculties; of the longevity of the Seres, whose lives exceed the age of two hundred years. They speak also of an aristocratical form of government, consisting of five hundred counsellors, each of whom furnishes the state with an elephant.

According to Megasthenes, the largest tigers are found among the Prasii, almost twice the size of lions, and of such strength that a tame one led by four persons seized a mule by its hinder leg, overpowered it, and dragged it to him. The monkeys are larger than the largest dogs; they are of a white colour, except the face, which is black. The contrary is observed in other places. Their tails are more than two cubits in length. They are very tame, and not of a mischievous disposition. They neither attack people, nor steal.

Stones are found there of the colour of frankincense, and sweeter than figs or honey.

In some places there are serpents of two cubits in length, with membraneous wings like bats. They fly at night, and let fall drops of urine or sweat, which occasions the skin of per- sons who are not on their guard to putrefy. There are also winged scorpions of great size.

Ebony grows there. There are also dogs of great courage, which do not loose their hold till water is poured into their nostrils: some of them destroy their sight, and the eyes of others even fall out, by the eagerness of their bite. Both a lion and a bull were held fast by one of these dogs. The bull was caught by the muzzle, and died before the dog could be loosened.

1 Herodotus iii. 102. The marmot?

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