Comte de Gabalis , at sacred-texts.com
HThe People of the Elements have power over matter which enables them to transform their appearance at will. They frequently make themselves visible under the form of animals as did Melusina. Hence interest attaches to the following testimony as to the existence of a living creature whose habitat was fire taken from the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini.
"When I was about five years old my father happened to be in a basement chamber of our house, where they had been washing, and where a good fire of oak-logs was still burning; he had a viol in his hand, and was playing and singing alone beside the fire. The weather was very cold. Happening to look into the fire, he spied in the middle of those most burning flames a little creature like a lizard, which was sporting in the core of the intensest coals. Becoming instantly aware of what the thing was, he had my sister and me called, and pointing it out to us children, gave me a great box on the ears, which caused me to howl and weep with all my might. Then he pacified me good-humouredly, and spoke as follows: 'My dear little boy, I am not striking you for any wrong that you have done, but only to make you remember that that lizard which you see in the fire is a salamander, a creature which has never been seen before by anyone of whom we have credible information.' So saying he kissed me and gave me some pieces of money."
JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS, "THE LIFE OF BENVENUTO CELLINI," BOOK FIRST, CHAPTER IV.