XLI. (227) When they had received these orders, they went forth to spy out the land, being conducted on their way by the whole multitude who feared lest they might be taken prisoners and so be put to death, and lest in that way two great evils might happen to them, namely, the slaughter of the men who were the eye of each tribe, and also ignorance of what was being done by their enemies who were plotting against them, the knowledge of which was most desirable. (228) So, taking with them scouts to examine the road and guides to show them the way, they accompanied them at their first setting out. And when they approached the borders of the country they ran up to the highest mountain of all those in that district, and from thence they surveyed the land, part of which was an extensive champaign district, fertile in barley, and wheat, and herbage; and the mountain region was not less productive of vines, and all kinds of other trees, and rich in every kind of timber, full of dense thickets, and girdled by rivers and fountains so as to be abundantly well watered, so that even from the foot of the mountain district to the highest summit of the hills themselves, the whole region was covered closely with a net-work of shady trees, and more especially the lower ridges, and the deep valleys and glens. (229) They also surveyed all the strongest cities, looking upon them in two points of view; first, with reference to their advantages of situation, and also to the strength of their fortification; also, when they inquired respecting the inhabitants, they saw that they were very numerous indeed, and giants of exceeding tallness with absolutely gigantic bodies, both as to their magnitude and their strength. (230) When they had seen thus much they waited to get a more accurate knowledge of everything: for first impressions are not trustworthy, but require the slow confirmation of time. They also took great care to gather specimens of the productions of the land, though they were not as yet ripe and solid, but only just beginning to be properly coloured, that they might show them to all the multitude, for which reason they selected such as would not be easily spoiled; (231) but what above all things astonished them was the fruit of the vines, for the branches were of unrivalled sizes, stretching along all the young shoots and branches in a way that seemed almost incredible. Therefore, having cut off one branch, and having suspended it on a stick by the middle, the ends of which they gave to two young men, placing one on one side and one on the other, and others succeeding them as bearers of it as the former bearers got tired, for the weight was very great, they carried it so, the whole body of the spies not at all agreeing with respect to some points of necessary importance.