12 THE MAGIC OF JEWELS AND CHARMS
breed that when east before them they would snap them up, bite them,
and hold them in their jaws. The magicians saw in this a proof that the
stones would produce enmity and ill-will among men. Having selected
seven such stones they marked them with the names of any persons
between whom they wished to stir up strife. The seven stones were then
thrown one by one before a dog of the requisite species, and, after he
had bitten them, two were chosen and were placed in water of which the
persons who were to be set at variance were sure to drink. We are
assured that the experiment had the desired evil result.20
In ancient times there was found in the river Meander a stone satirically named sophron, ' ' temperate.
" If it were placed upon the breast of any one, he immediately became
enraged and killed one of his parents ; however, after having appeased
the Mother of the Gods, he was cured of his temporary madness.21
most singular stone is described by Thomas de Cantimpré under the name
of "piropholos." This substance, according to Konrad von Megenberg's
version, was taken from the heart of a man who had been poisoned,
"because the heart of such a man cannot be burned in fire." If the
heart were kept for nine years in fire this wonderful stone was
produced. It gave protection from lightning, but its principal virtue
was to guard the wearer from sudden death ; indeed, we are told that a
man could not die so long as he held this stone in his hand. However,
it did not preserve him from disease, but only prolonged his life. The
stone was said to be of a light and bright red color.22
des Simples of Ibn Al-Beithar, in Notices et Extraite des Manuscrits
de la Bibliothèque Nationale, vol. xxiii, p. 409; Paris, 1877.
De Mély, " Le traité des fleuves de Plutarche," in Revue des Etude» Grecques, vol. ν ( 1892 ), p. 332.
" Konrad von Megenberg, " Buch der Natur," ed. by Dr. Franz Pfeiffer, Stuttgart, 1861, p. 456.