This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original
book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not
illustrated. 1886 edition. Excerpt: ...with so great an army, and
such vast military preparations; he having commanded several pieces
of cannon to be brought, in order for them to be discharged from
time to time in the valleys; purposely that the noise and fire,
issuing from the mouths of the dragons, with which they were
adorned, might spread terror around." Though dragons have
completely dropped out of all modern works on natural history, they
were still retained and regarded as quite orthodox until a little
before the time oi Cuvier; specimens, doubtless fabricated like the
ingeniously constructed mermaid of Mr. Barnum, were exhibited in
the museums; and voyagers occasionally brought back, as authentic
stories of their existence, fables which had percolated through
time and nations until they had found a home in people so remote
from their starting point as to cause a complete obliteration of
their passage and origin. For instance, Pigafetta, in a report of
the kingdom of Congo, " gathered out of the discourses of Mr. E.
Lopes, a Portuguese," speaking of the province of Bemba, which he
defines as "on the sea coast from the river Ambrize, until the
river Coanza towards the south," says of serpents, "There are also
certain other creatures which, being as big as rams, have wings
like dragons, with long tails, and long chaps, and divers rows of
teeth, and feed upon raw flesh. Their colour is blue and green,
their skin painted like scales, and they have two feet but no more.
The Pagan negroes used to worship them as gods, and at this day you
may see divers of them that are kept for a marvel. And because they
are very rare, the chief lords there curiously preserve them, and
suffer the people to worship them, which tendeth greatly to their
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