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  • Il Novellino

    How the Emperor Frederick went to the Old Man of the Mountain

    The Emperor Frederick once went to the Veglio, or Old Man of the Mountain, and great honour was done him1.

    The Old Man, in order to show how he was feared, looked up and saw on a tower two of his band who were called assassins2. And then he took hold of his great beard, and the two men cast themselves down to earth and died immediately3.

    1 The Veglio, or Old Man of the Mountain, spoken of in mediæval legends, was an Arabian prince, who lived between Antioch and Damascus, in an inaccessible mountain fastness. He was a tyrant, and had an army of faithful followers. He was probably little more that a superior kind of brigand.
    2 Those who followed the Veglio were called assassins.
    3 Touching his beard was the sign which the Old Man gave to his followers to kill. See Marco Polo.

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    Il Novellino : The Hundred Old Tales
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    Storer, Edward, trans. Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales. London: G. Routledge & Sons Ltd.; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., [1925]. 211


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