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stories basilick

In 1587 a basilisk killed three persons in Warsaw (Poland). Playing hide-and-seek two children, a boy and a girl, both five years old, intended to hide in an old cellar, which had been abandoned for 30 years. When they reached the lowest step they suddenly fell dead on the floor. They were not found before the evening, when their mothers missed them. A servant was sent out in search. She really found them, but when she went down into the cellar to waken the apparently sleeping children she was herself struck by death. However, an old woman had noticed her entering the abandoned building. She found them all three lying on the ground. All her shouting remained unanswered. Neighbours came and recovered the corpses with long clasps. The bodies were swollen, and so were their lips and tongues. Their skin had turned to yellow. From these signs some learned persons guessed, that a serpent or rather a basilisk had caused their deaths.

A poor sinner was found who had been sentenced to death. He was clad in leather clothes draped with mirrors. His eyes were protected by strong glasses. With a candle in one hand and pincers in the other he went down the vault. There after half an hour search he found a strange creature of the size of a cock sitting in a crevasse of the wall. It was at once killed when it saw its own image reflected by the mirrors. The man took it with the pincers and brought it up to bright daylight. It was identified as a basilisk with the head of an Indian cock but the eyes of a toad. Its body and wings were colored with yellow, blue, red, and green specks. The long, yellow feet were that of a rooster, but its curved tail resembled that of a snake.

An Italian nobleman was killed by a basilisk when he went hunting. For a long time his dog had barked at a heap of stones when his master tried to find out what embarrassed his dog. He found a winged serpent. When he tried to slay her, the serpent spread the wings and blew poisonous breath into his face. At once he fell to the ground and lived just long enough to tell his companions what he had seen.

 

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