A great while ago, when the world was full of wonders, there lived an earth-born Giant, named Antaeus, and a million or more of curious little earth-born people, who were called Pygmies.
But at noonday in a clear atmosphere, when the sun shone brightly over him, the Giant Antaeus presented a very grand spectacle.
It was a happy circumstance that Antaeus was the Pygmy people's friend; for there was more strength in his little finger than in ten million of such bodies as this.
In short, as I said before, Antaeus loved the Pygmies, and the Pygmies loved Antaeus.
It is a very pleasant picture to imagine Antaeus standing among the Pygmies, like the spire of the tallest cathedral that ever was built, while they ran about like pismires at his feet; and to think that, in spite of their difference in size, there were affection and sympathy between them and him
When his head lay sidewise on the earth, they would march boldly up, and peep into the great cavern of his mouth, and take it all as a joke (as indeed it was meant) when Antaeus gave a sudden snap of his jaws, as if he were going to swallow fifty of them at once.
But Antaeus took it all kindly enough; although, once in a while, when he happened to be sleepy, he would grumble out a peevish word or two, like the muttering of a tempest, and ask them to have done with their nonsense.
He thought more of Bernardo del Carpio because at Roncesvalles he slew Roland in spite of enchantments, availing himself of the artifice of Hercules when he strangled Antaeus
the son of Terra in his arms.
A strange sight it was to see these unfortunate men endeavoring to escape by those huge aerial strides, and seeming, like the giant Antaeus
, to receive fresh strength every time they touched the earth.