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Fata Morgana

A sort of mirage occasionally seen in the Straits of Messina. Fata is Italian for a “fairy,” and the fairy Morgana was the sister of Arthur and pupil of Merlin. She lived at the bottom of a lake, and dispensed her treasures to whom she liked. She is first introduced in the Orlando Innamorato as “Lady Fortune,” but subsequently assumes her witch-like attributes. In Tasso her three daughters are introduced.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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