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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Sapphire
Bestiaries and Lapidaries
 
Translated from ‘Les Lapidaires Français du Moyen Âge,’ by Leopold Pannier, Paris, 1882.

THE SAPPHIRE is beautiful, and worthy to shine on the fingers of a king. In color it resembles the sky when it is pure and free from clouds. 1 No precious stone has greater virtue or beauty. One kind of sapphire is found among the pebbles in the country of Libya; but that which comes from the land of the Turk is more precious. It is called the gem of gems, and is of great value to men and women. It gives comfort to the heart and renders the limbs strong and sound. It takes away envy and perfidy and can set the prisoner at liberty. He who carries it about him will never have fear. It pacifies those who are angry, and by means of it one can see into the unknown.  1
  It is very valuable in medicine. It cools those who are feverish and who on account of pain are covered with perspiration. When powdered and dissolved in milk it is good for ulcers. It cures headache and diseases of the eyes and tongue. He who wears it must live chastely and honorably; so shall he never feel the distress of poverty.  2
 
Note 1. Cf. the exquisite line of Dante, ‘Purgatorio,’ i. 13:—
  ‘Dolce color d’oriental zaffiro.’    [back]
 
 
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