BOOK ONE. 19 XII. THE DRAGON WITH MANY HEADS AND THE DRAGON WITH MANY TAILS « An envoy of the Porte Sublime, As history says, once on a time, Before th' imperial German court ^® Did rather boastfully report, The troops commanded by his master's firman, As being a stronger army than the German : To which rephed a Dutch attendant,
- Our prince has more than one dependant
Who keeps an army at his own expense/ The Turk, a man of sense, Rejoined, ' I am aware What power your emperor's servants share. It brings to mind a tale both strange and true, A thing which once, myself, I chanced to view. I saw come darting through a hedge, Which fortified a rocky ledge, A hydra's hundred heads ; and in a trice My blood was turning into ice. But less the harm than terror, — The body came no nearer ; Nor could, unless it had been sundered, To parts at least a hundred.