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1 We may conceive of a large mass of rock being so balanced upon the fine point of another rock, as to be moved by the slightest touch; but, that if it be pushed with any force, it may be thrown upon a plane surface, and will then remain immovable.
2 Perhaps the author may refer to some kind of earth, possessed of absorbent or astringent properties, like the Terra Sigillata or Armenian Bole of the old Pharmacopœias.
3 A σὰρξ, caro, and φάγω, edo We may conceive this stone to have contained a portion of an acrid ingredient, perhaps of an alkaline nature, which, in some degree, might produce the effect here described. It does not appear that the material of which the stone coffins are composed, to which this name has been applied, the workmanship of which is so much an object of admiration, are any of them possessed of this property.
4 Alexandre remarks on this statement, "Montes istæ videntur originem dedisse fabulæ quæ in Arabicis Noctibus legitur....;" Lemaire, i. 425. Fouché, indeed, observes, that there are mountains composed principally of natural loadstone, which might sensibly attract a shoe containing iron nails. Ajasson, ii. 386. But I conceive that we have no evidence of the existence of the magnetic iron pyrites having ever been found in sufficient quantity to produce any sensible effect of the kind here described.
5 We may remark generally, that of the "miracula" related in this chapter, the greatest part are entirely without foundation, and the remainder much exaggerated.
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