tyrant of Samos, had such a continued run of good fortune, and became
so powerful, with an enormous fleet of ships, that his ally felt some
alarms, and advised him to propitiate adverse fates by relinquishing
some of his most favourite objects. Accordingly Polycrates threw into
the sea a beautiful seal (made, as we learn, from a Sardonyx stone),
the most valuable of his jewels. This voluntary sacrifice of so
precious a stone afflicted him for some time; but a few days after, he
received as a present a large fish, from the belly of which the jewel
primitive times, even down to the present day, the Fakirs of India have
worn, and still wear, rosaries made of Onyx beads. " This wonderful
property is said to be in the Onyx," according to Leonardus, 1750, "
that being applied to a weak eye, it enters thereinto of its own
accord, as if it were a sensible thing, and goes round it without any
trouble ; and if it finds anything within that is noxious, it drives it
out; and tempers the hurtful, and contrary humours."
'' The Loadstone," wrote Magus, in his Occult Philosophy, 1801, " possesses an eminent medicinal faculty against many violent, and implacable disorders."
Its name is a corruption of Lydius lapis—the stone of Lydia,—a guiding stone,—as the load-star, or leading star.
says that the back of the Loadstone, as it repulses iron, so it also
removes gout, swellings, and rheum, which are of the nature, or
quality, of iron. Likewise the wearing of the Loadstone eases, and
prevents the cramp, with other such-like disorders, and pains.