"One evening as St. Anthony was returning home and had arrived near his cell, he perceived a dark figure approaching him rapidly along the heath. As his visitant came nearer, he observed with surprise, through the holes in a torn mantle worn by the stranger, the long necks of oddly-shaped bottles, which of course produced an effect the most extraordinary and grotesque. It was the Devil, who, in this absurd masquerade, smiled on him ironically and inquired if he would not choose to taste of the Elixir which he carried in these bottles?
"St. Anthony asked the obvious question. -- Why was he offering the bottles? "
The Devil answered, 'Among so many bottles, if he finds one which suits his taste and drinks it out and becomes drunk, he is then irrecoverably mine and belongs to me and my kingdom forever.'
"In this very box there is now deposited a bottle of that kind, saved from the relics of St. Anthony; and the documents thereto relating, are so precise and complete, that the fact of its having been derived from the Saint is hardly to be doubted. Besides, I can assure you, Brother Medardus, that so often as I have chanced to touch this bottle, or even the box in which it is contained, I have been struck with a mysterious horror. It seems to me also, as if I smelt a peculiar, odoriferous vapor, which stuns the senses and the effects of which do not stop there, but utterly rob me of composure of spirit afterwards and distract my attention from devotional exercises. . . ."
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