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LEGENDS OF THE GLASS-HOUSE, ETC.
Enough has been adduced to show the peculiar
estimation in which the art of glass-making was formerly held, and
the privileges conferred on it by the various governments of Europe.
The art was thus almost invested with an air of
romance; and a manufacture commanding so much attention on the part of
the governments was regarded with a great share of awe and wonder.
It is not strange that, in this state of things,
various legends should have been identified with the manufacture and its
localities. Among these legends was that which ascribed to the furnace-fire
the property of creating the monster called the
Salamander. It was believed, too, that at certain
times this wonderful being issued from his abode, and, as opportunity
offered, carried back some victim to his fiery bed. The absence of
workmen, who sometimes departed secretly for foreign lands, was always
accounted for by the hypothesis that in some unguarded moment they had
fallen a prey to the Salamander. Visitors, too, whose courage could
sustain them, were directed to look through the bye-hole to the interior
of the furnace, and no one failed to discover