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The Haunters & The Haunted eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 343 pages of information about The Haunters & The Haunted.
chaire to giue audience.  Whereupon they that kept the hind not farre from thence, did secretly let her go.  The hind being loose, when she had spied Sertorius, ranne straight to his chaire with great joy, and put her head betwixt his legges, and layed her mouth in his right hand, as she before was wont to do.  Sertorius also made very much of her, and of purpose appeared maruellous glad, shewing much tender affection to the hind, as it seemed the water stood in his eyes for joy.  The barbarous people that stood there by and beheld the same, at the first were much amazed therewith, but afterwards when they had better bethought themselues, for ioy they clapped their hands together, and waited upon Sertorius to his lodging with great and ioyfull shouts, saying, and steadfastly beleeuing, that he was a heavenly creature, and beloued of the gods.

XXXVII

ERICHTHO

By E.W.  GODWIN. (From Lucan.)

When Sextus sought Erichtho he chose his time in the depth of the night, when the sun is at its lowermost distance from the upper sky.  He took for companions the associates of his crimes.  Wandering among broken graves and crumbling sepulchres, they discovered her, sitting sublime on a ragged rock, where Mount Haemus stretches its roots to the Pharsalic field.  She was mumbling charms of the Magi and the magical gods.  For she feared that the war might yet be transferred to other than the Emathian fields.  The sorceress was busy therefore enchanting the soil of Philippi, and scattering on its surface the juice of potent herbs, that it might be heaped with carcasses of the dead, and saturated with their blood, that Macedon, and not Italy, might receive the bodies of departed kings and the bones of the noble, and might be amply peopled with the shades of men.  Her choicest labour was as to the earth where should be deposited the prostrate Pompey, or the limbs of the mighty Caesar.

Sextus approached, and bespoke her thus:  “Oh, glory of Haemonia, that hast the power to divulge the fates of men, or canst turn aside fate itself from its prescribed course, I pray thee to exercise thy gift in disclosing events to come.  Not the meanest of the Roman race am I, the offspring of an illustrious chieftain, lord of the world in the one case, or in the other the destined heir to my father’s calamity.  I stand on a tremendous and giddy height:  snatch me from this posture of doubt; let me not blindly rush on, and blindly fall; extort this secret from the gods, or force the dead to confess what they know.”

To whom the Thessalian crone replied:  “If you asked to change the fate of an individual, though it were to restore an old man, decrepit with age, to vigorous youth, I could comply; but to break the eternal chain of causes and consequences exceeds even our power.  You seek, however, only a foreknowledge of events to come, and you shall be gratified.  Meanwhile it were best, where slaughter has afforded so ample a field, to select the body of one newly deceased, and whose flexible organs shall be yet capable of speech, not with lineaments already hardened in the sun.”

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