Popular Superstitions - Virtues Of An Uncommon Stone
( Originally Published 1884 )
AN UNCOMMON STONE, OF WHICH AN ACCOUNT WAS READ TO THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, AT PARIS.
On the 15th of February, 1752, the workmen who were digging in a quarry in Montmartre, near Paris, about 80 yards from its mouth, found a solid body in the form of a table, not like any sort of marble or flint, but rather resembling the plaister or limestone.
It is considerably harder on the superficies than within. Its colour borders upon that of agate, and is mix'd with some veins entirely black. It has been view'd by several learned men, and is supposed by them to be very antient.
Upon trial of its virtues, it is found to prevent and cure several diseases : in particular it is an antidote against weariness in the limbs, spasms, contractions, and other disorders proceeding from an undue tension of the nerves.
It is 4 feet 7 inches 2 lines long : r foot 10 inches 2 lines broad, and 2 feet 3 inches thick. Upon its face are 23 prominent letters of different sizes, disposed in 6 lines. The two 0's which terminate the second and fourth line, and the two E's at the end of the third and sixth, seem to indicate that they have been either Italian verses, or some Latin epitaph.
A gentleman at Paris promises a considerable reward to the person who shall explain this inscription, and transmit an authentic instrument under his hand, containing his explanation, executed before some notary public.