cutions were so performed, as appears by certifi-
cates drawn up in full form, attested by several offi-
cers in the neighbouring garrisons, by the surgeons
of several regiments, and the principal inhabitants
of the place.
The verbal process was sent towards
the latter end of last January, to the council of war
at Vienna, who thereupon established a special com-
mission to examine into these facts. Those just
now mentioned were attested by the Hadnagi Bar-
riarer, the principal Heyduke of the village, as also
by Banner, first lieutenant of Prince Alexander of
Wirt ember g< Flicfotcnger, surgeon major of the regi-
ment of Furstemberg, three other surgeons of the
same regiment, and several other persons.
This superstition extends to Greece.
The man, whose story we are going to relate, was
a peasant of Mycone, naturally ili-natured and quar-
relsome ; this is a circumstance to be taken notice
of in such cases. He was murdered in the fields,
nobody knew how, or by whom. Two days after
his being buried in a chapel in the town, it was
noised about that he was seen to walk in the night
with great haste, that he tumbled about people's
goods, put out their lamps, griped them behind,
and a thousand other monkey tricks. At first the
story was received with laughter ; but the tiling
was looked upon to be serious when the better sort
of people began to complain of it; the Papas them-
selves gave credit to the fact, and no doubt had
their reasons for so doing ; masses must be said,
to be sure : but for all this, the peasant drove his
old trade, and heeded nothing they could do. Af-
ter divers meetings of the chief people of the r/ty,
of priests, and monks, it was gravely concluded,
that it was necessary, in consequence of some mus>
ty ceremonial, to wait till nine days after the inter-
ment should be expired.
On the tenth day, they said one mass in the cha-
pel where the body was laid, in order to drive out
the Demon which they imagined was got into it.
After mass, they took up the body, and got every
thing ready for pulling out its heart. The butcher
of the town, an old clumsy fellow, first opens the
belly instead of the breast, he groped a long while
among the entrails, but could not find what he look-
ed for ; at last, somebody told him that he should
cut up the diaphragm. The heart was then pul-
led out, to the admiration of all the spectators. In
the mean time, the corpse stunk so abominably,
that they were obliged to burn frankincense ; but
the smoke mixing with the exhalations from the car-
case, increased the stink, and began to muddle the
poor people's pericranies. Their imagination, struck
with the spectacle before them, grew full of vi-
sions. It came into their noddles, that a thick smoke
came out of the body ; we durst not say it was the
smoke of the incense. They were incessantly bawl-
ing out Vroucolacas, in the chapel and place before
it ; this is the name they give to these pretended
Redivivi. The noise bellowed through the streets,
and it seemed to be a name invented on purpose to
rend the roof of the chapel. Several there present
averred, that the wretch's blood was extremely red %
yol. ix. 9*
the butcher swore the body was still warm ; whence
they concluded, that the deceased was a very ill
man for not being thoroughly dead, or, in plain
terms, for suffering himself to be re-animated by
Old Nick ; which is the notion they have of Vrou-
colacas. They then roared out that name in a stu-
pendous manner. Just at this time came in a flock
of people loudly protesting, they plainly perceived
the body was not grown stiff, when it was carried
from the fields to church to be buried, and that
consequently it was a true Vroucolacas ; which
word was still the burden of the song.
1 don't doubt they would have sworn it did not
stink, had not we been there ; so mazed were the
poor people with this disaster, and so infatuated
with their notion of the dead being re-animated.
As for us, who were got as close to the corpse as
we could, that we might be more exact in our ob-
servations, we were almost poisoned with the into-
lerable stink that issued from it. When they ask-
ed us what we thought of this body, we told them
we believed it to be very thoroughly dead : but as
we were willing to cure, or at least not to exasperate
their prejudiced imaginations, we represented to
them, that it was no wonder the butcher should feel
a little warmth when he groped among entrails that
were then rotting, that it was no extraordinary
thing for it to emit fumes, since dung turned up
will do the same ; that as for the pretended red-
ness of the blood, it still appeared by the butcher's
hands to be nothing but a very stinking nasty smecr.
After all our reasons, they were of opinion it
would be their wisest course to burn the dead man's
heart on the sea-shore : but this execution did not
make him a bit more tractable ; he went on with
his racket more furiously than ever; he was accus-
ed of beating folks in the night, breaking down
doors, and even roofs of houses, clattering windows,
tearing cloths, emptying bottles and vessels. It was
the most thirsty devil ! I believe he did not spare
any body bat the Consul in whose house we lodg-
ed. Nothing could be more miserable than the
condition of this island ; all the inhabitants seemed
frighted out of their senses : the wisest among
them were stricken like the rest ; it was an epide-
mical disease of the brain, as dangerous and infec-
tious as the madness of dogs. Whole families quit-
ted their houses, and brought their tent beds from
the farthest parts of the town into the public place,
there to spend the night. They were every instant
complaining of some new insult ; nothing was Xo
be heard but sighs and groans at the approach of
night : the better sort of people retired into \\yc
When the prepossession was so general, we
thought it our best way to hold our tongues. Had
we opposed it, we had not only been accounted ri-
diculous blockheads, but Athiests and Infidels; how
was it possible to stand against the madness of X
whole people ? Those that believed we doubted the
truth of the fact, came and upbraided us with our
incredulity, and strove to prove that there were
such things as Vroucolacassess, by citations out of
the Buckler of Faith, written by F. Richard, a Je-
suit Missionary. He was a Latin, say they, and
consequently you ought to give him credit. We
should have got nothing by denying the justness of
the consequence : it was as good as a comedy to
us every morning to hear the new follies committed
by this night bird ; they charged him with being
guilty of the most abominable sins.
Some citizens, that were most zealous for the
good of the public, fancied they had been deficient
in the most material part of the ceremony. They
were of opinion that they had been wrong in saying
mass before they had pulled out the wretch's heart :
had we taken this precaution, quoth they, we had
bit the devil as sure as a gun ; he would have been
hanged before he would ever have come there
again : whereas, saying mass first, the cunning dog
fled for it awhile, and came back again when the
danger was over.
Notwithstanding these wise reflections, they re-
mained in as much perplexity as they were the first
day : they meet night and morning, they debate,
they make processions three days and three nights,
they oblige the Papas to fast ; you might see them
running from house to house, holy-water-brush in
hand, sprinkling it all about, and washing the doorf*
with it ; nay, they poured it into the mouth of the
We so often repeated it to the magistrates of the
town, that in Christendom we should keep the
strictest watch a-nights upon such an occasion, to
observe what was done, that at last they caught a
few vagabonds, who undoubtedly had a hand in
these disorders % but either they were not the chief
ringleaders, or else they were released too soon. For
two days afterwards, to make themselves amends
for the Lent they had kept in prison, they fell foul
again upon the wine tubs of those who were such
fools as to leave their houses empty in the night : so
that the people were forced to betake themselves
again to their prayers.
One day as they were hard at this work, after
having stuck I know r not how many naked swords
over the grave of this corpse, which they took up
three or four times a-day, for any man's whim ; an
Albaneze that happened to be at Mycone, took
upon him to say, with a voice of authority, that it
was to the last degree ridiculous to make use of
the swords of Christians in a case like this. Can
you not conceive, blind as ye are, says he, that the
handles of these swords being made like a cross,
hinders the devil from coming out of the body ?
Why do you not rather take the Turkish sabres i
The advice of this learned man had no effect : the
Vroucolacas was incorrigible, and all the inhabi-
tants were in a strange consternation ; they knew
not now what saint to call upon, when of a sudden,
With one voice, as if they had given each other the
hint, they fell to bawling out all through the city,
that it was intolerable to wait any longer ;• that the
only way left was to burn the Vroucolacas entire ;
that after so doing, let the devil lurk in it if he
could ; that it was better to have recourse to this
extremity than to have the island totally deserted ;
and indeed whole families began to pack up, in or-
der to retire to Syre or Tinos. The magistrates
therefore ordered the Vroucolacas to be carried to
the point of the island St. George, where they pre-
pared a great pile with pitch and tar, for fear the
wood, as dry as it was, should not burn fast enough
of itself. What they had before left of this mise-
rable carcass, was thrown into this fire, and con-
sumed presently. It was on the 1st of January, 1701.
We saw the flame as we returned from Delos ; it
might justly be called a bonfire of joy, since after
this no more complaints were heard against the
Vroucolacas ; they said that the devil had now met
with his match, and some ballads were made to
turn him into ridicule. — Tournefort.
In Dalmatia, the Morlachians, before a funeral,
cut the hamstrings of the corpse, and mark certain,
characters upon the body with a hot iron ; they
then drive nails or pins into different parts of it, and
the Sorcerers finish the ceremony by repeating cer-
tain mysterious words ; after which, they rest con-
fident that the deceased cannot return to the earth
to shed the blood of the living*. — Cassas.
li That Heaven has chasten 9 d thee. Behold this vine? 9
In these lines I have versified a passage in Bishop
Taylor's Sermons, altering 1 as little as possible his
" For so have I known a luxuriant vine swell
into irregular twigs and bold excrescences, and
spend itself in leaves and little rings, and afford
but trifling clusters to the wine-press, and a faint
return to his heart which longed to be refreshed
with a full vintage ; but when the Lord of the vine
had caused the dressers to cut the wilder plant and
made it bleed, it grew temperate in its vain ex-
pense of useless leaves, and knotted into fair and
juicy branches, and made accounts of that loss of
blood, by the return of fruit."
" And difficult the way, of danger full." — P. 82.
It appears from Hafiz, that the way is not easily
found out. He says, " Do not expect faith from
any one ; if you do, deceive yourself in searching
for the Simorg and the philosopher's stone."
And away ! away ! away /-— P . 89.
My readers will recollect the Lenora. The un-
willing 1 resemblance has been forced upon me by
the subject. 1 could not turn aside from the road,
because Burger had travelled it before. The " Old
Woman of Berkely" has been foolishly called an
imitation of that inimitable ballad : the likeness is
of the same kind as between Macedon and Mon-
mouth. Both are ballads, and there is a horse in
Mohareb in the robes of royalty, fcfc— P. 91.
How came Mohareb to be Sultan of this Island I
Every one who has read Don Quixote, knows that
there are always islands to be had by adventurers.
He killed the former Sultan, and reigned in his
stead. What could not a Domdanielite perform ?
The narration would have interrupted the flow of
the main story.
THALABA THE DESTROYER.
THE NINTH BOOK.
Poor plodding Priests and preaching Friars may make
Their hollow pulpits, and the empty aisles
Of churches ring, with that round word : but we,
That draw the subtile and more piercing air
In that sublimed region of a court,
Know all is good we make so, and go on
Secured by the prosperity of our crimes.
B. y orison. Mortimers Fatf^
I* Go up, my Sister Maimuna,
Go up, and read the stars t"
Lo ! on the terrace of the topmost tower
She stands ; her darkening eyes,
Her fine face rais'd to heaven ;
Her white hair flowing like the silver streams
That streak the northern night.
vol, u. 10
They bear her coming tread,
They lift their asking eyes,
Her face is serious, her unwilling lips
Slow to the tale of ill.
« What hast thou read ? what hast thou read ?"
Quoth Khawla in alarm.
« Danger— death— judgment !" Maimuna replied.
« Is that the language of the lights of Heaven I*
Exclainvd the sterner Witch.
" Creatures of Allah, they perform his will,
« And with their lying menaces would daunt
Our credulous folly— Maimuna,
I never lik'd this uncongenial lore !
Better befits to make the sacrifice
Of Divination ; so shall I
Be mine own Oracle.
Command the victims thou, O King !
Male and female they must be,
Thouknowest the needful rites.
Meanwhile 1 purify the place."
The Sultan went ; the Sorceress rose,
And North, and South, and East, and West,
She faced the points of Heaven ;
And ever where she turn'd
She laid her hand upon the wall ;
And up she look'd, and smote the air,
And down she stoopt, and smote the floor,
" To Eblis and his servants
I consecrate the plact ,
Let none intrude but they !
Whatever hath the breath of life,
Whatever hath the sap of life,
Let it be blasted and die 1"
Now all is prepar'd ;
Moh are b returns,
The Circle is drawn,
The Victims have bled,
The Youth and the Maid.
She in the circle holds in either hand,
Clench'd by the hair, a head,
The heads of the Youth and the Maid.
" Go out, ye lights !" quoth Khawla,
And in darkness began the spell.
With spreading arms she whirls around
Ever around and around ;
And loudly she calls the while,,
" Eblis ! Eblis r
Still she calls, "Eblis! Eblis !"
Giddily, giddily, still she whirls,
Loudly, incessantly, still she calls ;
The motion is ever the same,
Ever around and around j
The calling is still the same,
Still it is, "Eblis ! Eblis!"
And her voice is a shapeless yell.
And dizzily rolls her brain,
And now she is full of the Fiend.
She stops, she rocks, she reels !
Look ! look ! she appears in the darkness !'
Her flamy hairs curl up
All living 1 , like the Meteor's locks of light !
Her eyes are like the sickly Moon !
It is her lips that move,
Her tongue that shapes the sound,
But whose is the Voice that proceeds ?—
" Ye may hope and ye may fear,
The danger of his stars is near.
Sultan! if he perish, wo !
vol. II. 10*
Fate hath written one death-blow
For Mohareb and the Foe !
Triumph ! triumph ! only she
That knit his bonds can set him free."
She spake the Oracle,
And senselessly she fell.
They knelt in care beside her, —
Her Sister and the King ;
They sprinkled her palms with water,
They wetted her nostrils with blood.
I She wakes as from a dream,
She asks the uttered Voice ;
But when she heard, an anger and a grief
Darken'd her wrinkling brow.
" Then let him live in long captivity !"
She answer'd : but Mohareb's quicken'd eye
Perus'd her sullen countenance,
That lied not with, the lips.
A miserable man *
What boots it, that, in central caves
The Powers of Evil at his Baptism pledg'd
The Sacrament of Hell ?
His death secures them now.
What boots it that they gave
VOL. II. 10*
Abdaldar's guardian ring-,
When, through another's life,
The blow may reach his own ?
He sought the dungeon cell
Where Thalaba was laid.
? Twas the grey morning twilight, and the voice
Of Thalaba in prayer,
With words of hallow'd import, smote
The King's alarmed sense.
The grating of the heavy hinge
Rous'd not the Arabian youth j
Nor lifted he his earthward face,
At sound of coming feet.
Nor did Mohareb with unholy voice
Disturb the duty : silent, spirit-aw'd,
Envious, heart-humbled, he beheld
The dungeon-peace of piety ;
Till Thalaba, the perfect rite perform'd,
Rais'd his calm eye ; then spake the Island- Chief,
" Arab ! my guidance through the dangerous Cave,
Thy service overpaid,
An unintended friend in enmity.
The hand, that caught thy ring,
Receiv'd, and bore me to the scene 1 sought.
Now know me grateful. I return
That amulet, thy only safety here."
Artful he spake, with show of gratitude
Veiling the selfish deed.
Lock'd in his magic chain,
The powerless hand of Thalaba
Receiv'd again the Spell.
Remembering then with what an ominous faith
First he drew on the gem,
The Youth repeats his words of augury ;
" In God's name and the Prophet's ! be its power
Good, let it serve the holy ! if for evil,
God and my faith shall hallow it.
Blindly the wicked work
The righteous will of Heaven !"
So Thalaba receiv'd again
The written ring of gold.
Thoughtful awhile Mohareb stood,
And eyed the captive youth.
Then, building skilfully the sophist speech,
Thus he began. " Brave art thou, Thalaba!
And wherefore are we foes ?— for 1 would hyy
Thy friendship at a princely price, and make thee
To thine own welfare wise.
Hear me ! in Nature are two hostile Gods,
Makers and Masters of existing things,
Equal in power: — nay, hear me patiently ! —
Eq lal — for look around thee ! the same Earth
Bears fruit and poison ; where the Camel finds
His fragrant food, the horned Viper there
Sucks in the juice of death : the Elements
Now serve the use of man, and now assert
Dominion o'er his weakness : dost thou hear
The sound of merriment and nuptial song ?
From the next house proceeds the mourner's cry K
Lamenting o'er the dead. Sayest thou that sin
Enter'd the world of Allah ? that the Fiend,
Permitted for a season, prowls for prey ?
When to thy tent the venomous serpent creeps,
Dost thou not crush the reptile ? even so,
Besure, had Allah crush'd his enemy,
But that the power was wanting. From the first,
Eternal as themselves their warfare is,
To the end it must endure. Evil and Good —
What are they, Thalaba, but words ? in the strife
Of Angels, as of men, the weak are guilty ;
Power must decide. The Spirits of the Dead,
Quitting their mortal mansion, enter not,
As falsely ye are preach'd, their final seat
Of bliss, or bale ; nor in the sepulchre
Sleep they the long long sleep : each joins the host
Of his great Leader, aiding in the war
Whose fate involves his own.
Wo to the vanquish'd then !
Wo to the sons of man who followed him !
They, with their Leader, through eternity,
Must howl in central fires.
Thou, Thalaba, hast chosen ill thy part,
If choice it may be call'd, where will was not,
Nor searching doubt, nor judgment wise to weigh.
Hard is the service of the Power, beneath
Whose banners thou wert borne ; his discipline
Severe, yea cruel ; and his wages, rich
Only in promise ; who hath seen the pay ?
For us — the pleasures of the world are ours,
Riches and rule, the kingdoms of the Earth.
We met in Babylon adventurers both,
Each zealous for the hostile Power he serv'd :
We meet again ; thou feelest what thou art,
Thou seest what I am, the Sultan here,
The Lord of Life and Death.
Abandon him who has abandon'd thee,
And be, as I am, great among" mankind \"
The Captive did not, hasty to confute,
Break off that subtle speech ;
But when the expectant silence of the King
Look'd for his answer, then spake Thalaba.
" And this then is thy faith ! this monstrous creed !
This lie against the Sun, and Moon, and Stars,
And Earth, and Heaven ! blind man, who canst not
How till things work the best ! who wilt not know,
That in the Manhood of the World, whate'er
Of folly mark'd its Infancy, of vice
Sullied its Youth, ripe Wisdom shall castoft%
Stablish'd in good, and, knowing- evil, safe.
Sultan Mohareb, yes, ye have me here
In chains ; but not forsaken, though opprest ;
Cast down, but not destroy'd. Sha!I"danger daunt,
Shall death dismay his soul, whose life is given
for God, and for his brethren of mankind?
Alike rewarded, in that noble cause,
The Conqueror's and the Martyr's palm above,
Beam with one glory. Hope ye that my blood
Can quench the dreaded flame ? and know ye not,
That leagued against ye are the Just and Wise
And all Good Actions of all ages past,
Yea your own Crimes, and Truth, and God in
" Slave !" quoth Mohareb, and his lips
Quivered with eager wrath,
" I have thee ! thou shalt feel my power,
And in thy dungeon loathsomeness
Rot piece-meal, limb from limb !"
And out the Tyrant rushes,
And all impatient of the thoughts
That canker'd in his heart,
Seeks in the giddiness of boisterous sport
Short respite from the avenging power within.
What Woman is she
So wrinkled and old,
That goes to the wood I
She leans on her staff
With a tottering step,
She tells her bead-strings slow
Through fingers dull'd by age.
The wanton boys bemock her ;
The babe in arms that meets her,
Turns round with quick affright,
And clings to his nurse's neck.
Hark ! hark ! the hunter's cry,
Mohareb is gone to the chase !
The dogs, with eager yelp,
Are struggling to be free ;
The hawks in frequent stoop
Token their haste for flight;
And couchant on the saddle-bow,
With tranquil eyes, and talons sheath'd,
The ounce expects his liberty.
Propt on the staff that shakes
Beneath her trembling weight,
The old woman sees them pass.
Halloa ! halloa !
The game is up !
The dogs are loos'd,
The deer bounds over the plain :
The lagging dogs behind
Follow from afar !
But lo ! the Falcon o'er his head
Hovers with hostile wings,
And buffets him with blinding strokes *
Dizzy with the deafening strokes
In blind and interrupted course,
Poor beast, he struggles on ;
And now the dogs are nigh !
How his heart pants ! you see
The panting of his heart ;
And tears like human tears
Roll down, along the big veins, fever-swoln ;
And now the death -sweat darkens his dun hide I
His fears, his groans, his agony, his death,
Are the sport, and the joy, and the triumph !
Halloa ! another prey,
The nimble Antelope !
The ounce is freed ; one spring,
And his talons are sheath'd in her shoulders,
And his teeth are red in her gore.
There came a sound from the wood,
Like the howl of the winter wind at night,
Around a lonely dwelling ;
The ounce, whose gums were warm in his prey,
He hears the summoning sound.
In vain his master's voice,
No longer dreaded now,
Calls and recalls with threatful tone,
YOL. II. 11
Away to the forest be goes,
For that Old Woman had laid
Her shriveli'd finger on her shriveli'd lips,
And whistled with a long, long breath ;
And that long breath was the sound
Like the howl of the winter wind at night
Around a lonely dwelling.
Mohareb knew her not,
As to the chase he went,
The glance of his proud eye
Passing in scorn o'er age and wretchedness.
She stands in the depth of the wood,
And panting to her feet,
Fawning and fearful, creeps the charmed ounce.
Well mayst thou fear, and vainly dost thou fawn !
Her form is changed, her visage new,
Her power, her heart the same !
It is Khawla that stands in the wood.
She knew the place where the mandrake grew,
And round the neck of the ounce,
And round the mandrake's head
She tightens the ends of her cord.
Her ears are clos'd with way,
And her prest finger fastens them,
Deaf as the Adder, when, with grounded head,
And circled form, her avenues of sound
Barr'd safely, one slant eye
Watches the charmer's lips
Waste on the wind his baffled witchery.
The spotted ounce so beautiful,
Springs forceful from the scourge :
The dying plant all agony,
Feeling its life-strings crack,
Uttered the unimaginable groan
That none can hear and live.
Then from her victim servant Khawla loos'd