“Speak!” said she, “and ample shall be your reward. You shall not again be subject to the art of the magician. I will commit your members to such a sepulchre; I will burn your form with such wood, and will chaunt such a charm over your funeral pyre, that all incantations shall thereafter assail you in vain. Be it enough, that you have once been brought back to life! Tripods, and the voice of oracles deal in ambiguous responses; but the voice of the dead is perspicuous and certain to him who receives it with an unshrinking spirit. Spare not! Give names to things; give places a clear designation, speak with a full and articulate voice.”
Saying this, she added a further spell, qualified to give to him who was to answer, a distinct knowledge of that respecting which he was about to be consulted. He accordingly delivers the responses demanded of him; and, that done, earnestly requires of the witch to be dismissed. Herbs and magic rites are necessary, that the corpse may be again unanimated, and the spirit never more be liable to be recalled to the realms of day. The sorceress constructs the funeral pile; the dead man places himself upon it; Erichtho applies the torch, and the charm is ended for ever.
OMENS AND PHANTASMS
HOMER’S Iliad (E.H. Blakeney’s translation)
Then there came unto him the ghost of poor Patroklos, in all things like unto the very man, in stature, and fair eyes, and voice; and he was arrayed in vesture such as in life he wore. He stood above the hero’s head and challenged him:—
“Thou sleepest, Achilles, unmindful of me. Not in my lifetime wert thou neglectful, but in death. Bury me with all speed; let me pass the gates of Hades. Far off the souls, wraiths of the dead, keep me back, nor suffer me yet to join them beyond the river; forlorn I wander up and down the wide-doored house of Hades. And now give me thy hand, I entreat; for never more shall I return from Hades, when once ye have given me my meed of fire. Nay, never more shall we sit, at least in life, apart from our comrades, taking counsel together; but upon me hateful doom hath gaped—doom which was my portion even at birth. Aye and to thee thyself also, Achilles, thou peer of the gods, it is fated to perish beneath the wall of the wealthy Trojans. Another thing I will tell thee, and will straitly charge thee, if peradventure thou wilt hearken: lay not my bones apart from thine, Achilles, but side by side; for we were brought up together in thy house, when Menoitios brought me, a child, from Opoeeis to thy father’s house because of woeful bloodshed on the day when I slew the son of Amphidamas, myself a child, unwittingly, but in wrath over our games. Then did Peleus, the knight, take me into his home and rear me kindly and name me thy squire. So let one urn also hide the bones of us both.”