Merlin's Pillar.

In the city of Rome a pillar was set up by the enchanter Merlin, on the top of which was a mirror that shone over all the town, and gave the people warning of any approaching foreign invasion. Two clerks undertake to destroy this safeguard of the city, in order that the King of Apulia should march upon it unawares.

Virgilius is substituted for Merlin in some texts, and, in place of a mirror, two brazen images, which threw a golden ball to each other as a warning to the citizens that an enemy was advancing to attack the city.

Vincent of Beauvais, in the 13th century, describes Virgil's magical tower, which is also the subject of a chapter in the legendary history of Virgilius—see Mr. William J. Thoms' Early Prose Romances, vol. ii, pp. 20-22. This story, with some variations, is reproduced in the Pecorone of Ser Giovanni; it was very popular in Europe during the Middle Ages: numerous parallels are referred to in Keller's edition of the oldest German text of the Wise Masters—Einleitung, pp. 57-59.

X—The Fifth Master relates the story of