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  • THE SERPENT'S EGG: this ensures success in law-courts and a favorable reception by princes, and was written of by Pliny. There are two methods of obtaining the Serpent's Egg. In the first, the Egg is formed of the spittle and secretions of an angry serpent and "was round and about as large as a smallish apple; the shell was cartilaginous and pocked like the arms of a polypus." In the second account, the Egg must be caught in a cloak when the mating serpents fling it into the air, whereupon the possessor must make off on horseback (pursued by hissing, thwarted snakes, one presumes) until safely across running water.

    January 12, 2009