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XV. At length Isis received more particular news that the chest had been carried by the waves of the sea to the coast of Byblos, and there gently lodged in the branches of a bush of tamarisk, which in a short time had grown up into a large and beautiful tree, and had grown round the chest and enclosed it on every side so completely that it was not to be seen. Moreover, the king of the country, amazed at its unusual size, had cut the tree down, and made that part of the trunk wherein the chest was concealed into a pillar to support the roof of his house. These things, they say, having been made known to Isis in an extraordinary manner by the report of demons, she immediately went to Byblos, where, setting herself down by the side of a fountain, she refused to speak to anybody except the queen's women who chanced to be there. These, however, she saluted and caressed in the kindest manner possible, plaiting their hair for them, and transmitting into them part of that wonderful odour which issued from her own body. This raised a great desire in the queen their mistress to see the stranger who had this

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admirable faculty of transfusing so fragrant a smell from herself into the hair and skin of other people. She therefore sent for her to court, and, after a further acquaintance with her, made her nurse to one of her sons. Now, the name of the king who reigned at this time at Byblos was Melkander (Melkarth?), and that of his wife was Astarte, or, according to others, Saôsis, though some call her Nemanoun, which answers to the Greek name Athenais.

Next: Section XVI.