Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (92)

(94) next ›››

open mouth, never oifering- to advance or come to him :
whereupon he took courag-e, and drew much nearer, that
he mig-ht perfectly see all its shapes, and try whether or
not it would dare to assault him ; but the beast, turning" in
a half-circle, returned to the den, never offering him the
least prejudice : whereby he concludes this creature was
not so dang-erous as the report went, and that there mig'ht
be a way found to destroy the same.
' Being" informed of the means that some men had used
for that end already, and that it was not to be assaulted by
sword or dag-ger (the ordinary arms, with the lance, at that
time), because of the near approach these weapons required,
if the beast was venomous, or should cast out any such
thing-, he might be destroyed without a reveng-e. Being'
apprehensive of this hazard, for several days he marks the
outg-oing-, creeping-, and entering- of this serpent into her
den, and found, by her ordinary motion, that she would
not retire backward, nor turn but in half a circle at least,
and that there was no way to kill her but by a sudden
approach, with some long spear, upon horseback ; but then
he feared, if her body was not penetrable, he mig-ht en-
dang-er not only his horse's life, which he loved very well,
but also his own, to no purpose. To prevent which, he falls
upon this device (having- observed that when this creature
looked upon a man, she always stared him in the face with
open mouth) : in causing make a spear near twice the ordi-
nary length, ordering the same to be plated with iron at
least six quarters from the point upwards, that no fire, upon
a sudden, might cause it to fall asunder : the which being
made according to his mind, he takes his horse, well ac-
quaint with the lance, and for some days did exercise him
with a lighted peat on the top of the lance, until he was
well accustomed both with the smell, smoke, and light of
the fire, and did not refuse to advance on the spur, although
it blew full in his face. Having his horse managed accord-
ing to his mind, he caused make a little slender wheel of
iron, and fix it so, within half a foot of the point of his
lance, that the wheel might turn round on the least touch,
without hazarding upon a sudden breaking of the lance.
' All things being fitted according to his mind, he gave
advertisement to the gentlemen and commons in that coun-
try that he would undertake to kill that monster, or die in

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence