I have heard them tell marvellous tales respecting the discoveries they have made in their peculiar occupation of money-digging.
Now, the pater said that the love of the marvellous was native to mankind, and Tertullian had acquired a false credit for his motto, Credo quia impossible, since that was the natural failing of the untrained intellect, and, scientifically speaking, he ought to have been shot sitting.
About his breast there was a wondrous golden belt adorned in the most marvellous fashion with bears, wild boars, and lions with gleaming eyes; there was also war, battle, and death. The man who made that belt, do what he might, would never be able to make another like it.
This idea has been caught by Robert Browning in his marvellous Caliban upon Setebos, a poem developed out of a casual germ in Shakespeare's Tempest. Hoping the while, since evils sometimes mend, Warts rub away and sores are cured with slime, That some strange day, will either the Quiet catch And conquer Setebos, or likelier He Decrepit may doze, doze, as good as die.
This destructive tree is called in the Malayan language Bohon-Upas, and has been described by naturalists; but their accounts have been so tinctured with the marvellous, that the whole narration has been supposed to be an ingenious fiction by the generality of readers.
Shortly before the stroke of the clock a figure representing Death emerged from the centre and sounded the full hour, while at the quarter and half hours the statue of Christ came forth, repelling the destroyer of all life. Added to all these wonders was a beautiful chime that played melodious hymns. Such was the marvellous clock in the cathedral of Strassburg.
He stood about five feet ten, and weighed fully fourteen stone; not corpulent, but very thick all through; his round and massive head alone would have outweighed a baby. With eyes shut, he seemed to be trying to get the better of his own weight, then he moved with the slowness of a barnacle towards the door. The secretary, watching him, thought: 'Marvellous old chap!
So that in those four great discoveries which have revolutionized the trade of the world, it will be seen that our young country kept abreast with the times, and her advance, not only in those improvements, but in every branch of science and art, has been marvellous.
He had in his eye and in his hand two marvellous implements for painting, and in his perseverence in developing a still more marvellous one. He lacked constantly the something necessary and local which gives to certain very inferior painters the inexpressible superiority of a savor of soil.
Indeed some allow that marvellous things were done, and that there may have been a man named Arthur at the time in which they were done; but here, so far as I am concerned, the distinction becomes rather dim. I do not understand the attitude which holds that there was an Ark and a man named Noah, but cannot believe in the existence of Noah's Ark.