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 ARADIA: gospel of witches part3

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PostSubject: ARADIA: gospel of witches part3   Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:33 am

CHAPTER VI
A Spell To Win Love
When a wizard, a worshipper of Diana, one who worships the Moon, desires the love of a woman, he can change her into the form of a dog, when she, forgetting who she is, and all things besides, will at once come to his house, and there, when by him, take on again her natural form and remain with him. And when it is time for her to depart, she will again become a dog and go home, where she will turn into a girl. And she will remember nothing of what has taken place, or at least but little or mere fragments, which will seem as a confused dream. And she will take the form of a dog because Diana has ever a dog by her side.


And this is the spell to be repeated by him who would bring a love to his home.[1]


To day is Friday, and I wish to rise very early, not having been able to sleep all night, having seen a very beautiful girl, the daughter of a rich lord, whom I dare not hope to win. Were she poor, I could gain her with money; but as she is rich, I have no hope to do so. (Therefore will I conjure Diana to aid me.)


[1. The beginning of this spell seems to be inerely a prose introduction explaining the nature of the ceremony.]


Scongiurazione a Diana.


Diana, bella Diana!
Che tanto bella e, buona siei,
E tanto ti é piacere
Ti ho fatto,
Anche a te di fare al amore,
Dunque spero che anche in questa cosa
Tu mi voglia aiutare,
E se tu vorrai
Tutto tu potrai,
Se questa grazia mi vorrai fare:
Chiamerai tua figlia Aradia,
Al letto della bella fanciulla
La mandera Aradia,
La fanciulla in una canina convertira,
Alla camera mia la in mandera,
Ma entrata in camera mia,
Non sara più una canina,
Ma tornerà una bella fanciulla,
Bella cane era prima,
E cosi potrò fare al amore
A mio piacimento,
Come a me piacera.
Quando mi saro divertito
A mi piacere dirò.
"Per volere della Fata Diana,
E di sua figlia Aradia,
Torna una canina
Come tu eri prima!"


Invocation to Diana.


Diana, beautiful Diana!
Who art indeed as good as beautiful,
By all the worship I have given thee,
And all the joy of love which thou hast known,
I do implore thee aid me in my love!
What thou wilt 'tis true
Thou canst ever do:
And if the grace I seek thou'lt grant to me,
Then call, I pray, thy daughter Aradia,
And send her to the bedside of the girl,
And give that girl the likeness of a dog,
And make her then come to me in my room,
But when she once has entered it, I pray
That she may reassume her human form,
As beautiful as e'er she was before,
And may I then make love to her until
Our souls w ith joy are fully satisfied.
Then by the aid of the great Fairy Queen
And of her daughter, fair-Aradia,
May she be turned into a dog again,
And then to human form as once before!


Thus it will come to pass that the girl as a dog will return to her home unseen and unsuspected, for thus will it be effected by Aradlia; and the girl will think it is all a dream, because she will have been enchanted by Aradia.


CHAPTER VII
To Find or Buy Anything, or to Have Good Fortune Thereby
An Invocation or Incantation to Diana.


The man or woman who, when about to go go forth into the town, would fain be free from danger or risk of an accident: or to have good fortune in buying, as, for instance, if a scholar hopes that he may find somerare old book or manuscript for sale very cheaply, or if any one wishes to buy anything very desirable or to find bargains or rarities. This scongiurazione one serves for good health, cheerfulness of heart, and absence of evil or the overcoming enmity. These are words of gold unto the believer.


The Invocation.


Siamo di Martedi e a buon ora
Mi voglio levare la buona fortuna,
Voglio andare e cercare,
E coll aiuto della bella Diana,
La voglio trovare prima d'andare,
Prima di sortir di casa
Il malocchio mi levero
Con tre gocciole d'olio,[1]
E te bella Diana io invoco
Che tu possa mandarmi via
Il malocchio da dosse a me
E mandala al mio più nemico!


Quando il malocchio
Mi saro levato
In mezza alla via lo gettero,
Se questa grazia mi farei
Diana bella,
Tuttl i campanelli
Di mia casa bene suonerai,
Allora contento di casa me ne andro,
Perche col tuo aiuto (saro) certo di trovare,
Buona fortuna, certo di trovare
Un bel libro antico,
E a buon mercato
Me lo farai comprare!


Tu stessa dal proprietario
Che avra il libro
Te ne andrai tu stessa
Lo troverai e lo farei,


[1. This refers to a small ceremony which I have seen performed scores of times, and have indeed had it performed over me almost as often, as an act of courtesy common among wizards and witches. It consists of making certain signs and crosses over a few drops of oil and the head of the one blessed. accompanied by a short incantation. I have had the ceremony seriously commended or prescribed to me as a means of keeping in good health and prosperity.]


Capitare in mano al padrone,
E le farai capitare
In mano al padrone,
E le farai entrare
Nel cervello che se di quel libro
Non si disfara la scomunica,
Le portera, cosi questo dell'libro,
Verra disfarsi e col tuo aiuto,
Verra portato alla mia presenza,
E a poco me to vendera,
Oppure se e'un manoscritto,
Invece di libro per la via to gettera,
E col tuo aiuto verra in mia presenza,
E potrò acquistarlo
Senza nessuna spesa;
E cosi per me
Sara grande fortuna!


To Diana.


'Tis Tuesday now, and at an early hour
I fain would turn good fortune to myself,
Firstly at home and then when I go forth,
And with the aid of beautiful Diana
I pray for luck ere I do leave this house!


First with three drops of oil I do remove
All evil influence, and I humbly pray,
O beautiful Diana, unto thee
That thou wilt take it all away from me,
And send it all to my worst enemy!


When the evil fortune
Is taken from me,
I'll cast it out to the middle of the street:
And if thou wilt grant me this favour,
O beautiful Diana,
Every bell in my house shall merrily ring!


Then well contented
I will go forth to roam,
Because I shall be sure that with thy aid
I shall discover ere I return
Some fine and ancient books,
And at a moderate price.


And thou shalt find the man,
The one who owns the book,
And thou thyself wilt go
And put it in his mind,
Inspiring him to know
What 'tis that thou would'st find
And move him into doing
All that thou dost require.
Or if a manuscript
Written in ancient days,
Thou'lt gain it all the same,
It shall come in thy way,
And thus at little cost.
Thou shalt buy what thou wilt,
By great Diana's aid.


The foregoing was obtained, after some delay, in reply to a query as to what conjuration would be required before going forth, to make sure that one should find for sale some rare book, or other object desired, at a very moderate price. Therefore the invocation has been so worded as to make it applicable to literary finds; but those who wish to buy anything whatever on equally favourable terms, have but to vary the request, retaining the introduction, in which the magic virtue consists. I cannot, however, resist the conviction that it is most applicable to, and will succeed best with, researches for objects of antiquity, scholarship, and art, and it should accordingly be deeply impressed on the memory of every bric-à-brac hunter and bibliographer. It should be observed, and that earnestly, that the prayer, far from being answered, will turn to the contrary or misfortune, unless the one who repeats it does so in fullest faith, and this cannot be acquired by merely saying to oneself, "I believe." For to acquire real faith in anything requires long and serious mental discipline, there being, in fact, no subject which is so generally spoken of and so little understood. Here, indeed, I am speaking seriously, for the man who can train his faith to actually believe in and cultivate or develop his will can really work what the world by common consent regards as miracles. A time will come when this principle will form not only the basis of all education, but also that of all moral and social culture. I have, I trust, fully set it forth in a work entitled "Have you a Strong Will? or how to Develop it or any other Faculty or Attribute of the Mind, and render it Habitual," &c. London: George Redway.


The reader, however, who has devout faith, can, as the witches declare, apply this spell daily before going forth to procuring or obtaining any kind of bargains at shops, to picking up or discovering lost objects, or, in fact, to finds of any kind. If he incline to beauty in female form, he will meet with bonnes fortunes; if a man of business, bargains will be his. The botanist who repeats it before going into the fields will probably discover some new plant, and the astronomer by night be almost certain to run against a brand new planet, or at least an asteroid. It should be repeated before going to the races, to visit friends, places of amusement, to buy or sell, to make speeches, and specially before hunting or any nocturnal goings-forth, since Diana is the goddess of the chase and of night. But woe to him who does it for a jest!


CHAPTER VIII
To Have a Good Vintage and Very Good Wine by the Aid of Diana
"Sweet is the vintage when the showering grapes
In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth,
Purple and gushing."
-Byron, Don Juan, c. 124.


"Vinum bonum et suave,
Bonis bonum, pravis prave,
O quam dulcis sapor-ave!
Mundana Iætitia! "
-Latin Songs, E. du Merit.


He who would have a good vintage and fine wine, should take a horn full of wine and with this go into the vineyards or farms wherever vines grow, and then drinking from the horn, say:-


Bevo ma non bevo il vino,
Bevo il sangue di Diana,
Che da vino nel sangue di Diana
Si deve convertire,
E in tutte le mie viti
Lo spandera,
E buona raccolta nu verra
E quando avro avuto buona raccolta,
Non saro ancora fuori di sciagura,
Perche il vino cattivo tui puol venire
Perche puol nascere l'uva
A luna vecchia...
E cosi li mio vino puole sempre andare
In malora-ma io bevendo
In questo corno, e bevendo il sangue,
Il sangue di Diana col suo aiuto
La mano alla Luna nuova io bacero,
Che la mia uva possa guardare,
Al momento che crea l'occhiolo
Alla crescenza del uva
E fino alla raccolta,
Che possa venire il mio vino buono,
E che si possa mantenere
Da prendere molti quattrini,
E possa entrare la buona fortuna
Nelle mi e vigne,
E nel miei poderi!


Quando il mio vino pendera
Di andare male., il corno prendero,
E forte, forte lo suonero,
Nel punto della mezza notte,
Dentro alla mia cantina lo suonero,
Lo suonero tanto forte
Che tu bella Diana anche da molto lontano,
Tu lo possa sentire,
E finestre e porte
Con gran forza tu possa spalancare,
A gran corsa tu mi possa venire,
A trovare, e tu possa salvarmi
Il mio vino, e tu possa salvare,
Salvare me da grande sciagura,
Perche se il mio vino a male andera
La miseria mi prendera.
E col tuo aiuto bella Diana,
lo saro salvato.


I drink, and yet it is not wine I drink,
I drink the blood of Diana,
Since from wine it has changed into her blood,
And spread itself through all my growing vines,
Whence it will give me good return in wines,
Though even if good vintage should be mine,
I'll not be free from care, for should it chance
That the grape ripens in the waning moon,
Then all the wine would come to sorrow, but
If drinking from this horn I drink the blood
The blood of great Diana -by her aid
If I do kiss my hand to the new moon,
Praying the Queen that she will guard my grapes,
Even from the instant when the bud is horn
Until it is a ripe and perfect grape,
And onward to the vintage, and to the last
Until the wine is made-may it be good!
And may it so succeed that I from it
May draw good profit when at last 'tis sold,
So may good fortune come unto my vines,
And into all my land where'er it be!


But should my vines seem in an evil way,
I'll take my horn, and bravely will I blow
In the wine-vault at midnight, and I'll make
Such a tremendous and a terrible sound
That thou, Diana fair, however far
Away thou may'st be, still shalt hear the call,
And casting open door or window wide,
Shalt headlong come upon the rushing wind,
And find and save me-that is, save my vines,
Which will be saving me from dire distress;
For should I lose them I'd be lost myself,
But with thy aid, Diana, I'll be saved.


This is a very interesting invocation and tradition, and probably of great antiquity from very striking intrinsic evidence. For it is firstly devoted to a subject which has received little attention-the connection of Diana as the moon with Bacchus, although in the great Dizionario Storico Mitologico, by Pozzoli and others, it is expressly asserted that in Greece her worship was associated with that of Bacchus, Esculapius, and Apollo. The connecting link is the horn. In a medal of Alexander Severus, Diana of Ephesus bears the horn of plenty. This is the horn or horns of the new moon, sacred to Diana. According to Callimachus, Apollo himself built an altar consisting entirely of horns to Diana.


The connection of the horn with wine is obvious. It was usual among the old Slavonians for the priest of Svantevit, the Sun-god, to see if the horn which the idol held in his hand was full of wine, in order to prophesy a good harvest for the coming year. If it was filled, all was right; if not, he filled the horn, drank from it, and replaced the horn in the hand, and predicted that all would eventually go well.[1] It cannot fail to strike the reader that this ceremony is strangely like that of the Italian invocation, the only difference being that in one the Sun, and in the other the Moon is invoked to secure a good harvest.


In the Legends of Florence there is one of the Via del Corno, in which the hero, falling into a vast tun or tina of wine, is saved from drowning by sounding a horn with tremendous power. At the sound, which penetrates to an incredible distance, even to unknown lands, all come rushing as if enchanted to save him. In this conjuration, Diana, in the depths of heaven, is represented as rushing at the sound of the horn, and leaping through doors or windows to save the vintage of the one who blows. There is a certain singular affinity in these stories.


In the story of the Via del Corno, the hero is


[1. Kreussler, Sorbenwendische Alterthümer, Pt. 1. p. 272.]


saved by the Red Goblin or Robin Goodfellow, who gives him a horn, and it is the same sprite who appears in the conjuration of the Round Stone, which is sacred to Diana. This is because the spirit is nocturnal, and attendant on Diana Titania.


Kissing the hand to the new moon is a ceremony of unknown antiquity, and Job, even in his time, regarded it as heathenish and forbidden which always means antiquated and out of fashion-as when he declared (xxxi. 26, 27), "If I beheld the moon walking in brightness... and my heart hath been secretly enticed or my mouth hath kissed my hand...this also were an iniquity to be punished by the Judge, for I should have denied the God that is above." From which it may or ought to be inferred that Job did not understand that God made the moon and appeared in all His works, or else he really believed the moon was an independent deity. In any case, it is curious to see the old forbidden rite still living, and as heretical as ever.


The tradition, as given to me, very evidently omits a part of the ceremony, which may be supplied from classic authority. When the peasant performs the rite, he must not act as once a certain African, who was a servant of a friend of mine, did. The coloured man's duty was to pour out every morning a libation of rum to a fetish and he poured it down his own throat. The peasant should also sprinkle the vines, just as the Devonshire farmers, who observed all Christmas ceremonies, sprinkled, also from a horn, their apple-trees.


CHAPTER IX
Tana and Endamone, or Diana and Endyinion
"Hic ultra Endymionem indormit negligentiæ."


"Now it is fabled that Endymion, admitted to Olympus, whence he was expelled for want of respect to Juno, was banished for thirty years to earth. And having been allowed to sleep this time in a cave of Mount Latmos, Diana, smitten with his beauty, visited him every night till she had by him fifty daughters and one son. And after this Endymion was recalled to Olympus."


-Diz. Stor. Mitol.


The following legend and the spells were given under the name or title of Tana. This was the old Etruscan name for Diana, which is still preserved in the Romagna Toscana. In more than one Italian and French work I have found some account or tale how a witch charmed a girl to sleep for a lover, but this is the only explanation of the whole ceremony known to me.


Tana.


Tana is a beautiful goddess, and she loved a marvelously handsome youth named Endamone; but her love was crossed by a witch who was her rival, although Endamone did not care for the latter.


But the witch resolved to win him, whether he would or not, and with this intent she induced the servant of Endamone to let her pass the night in the latter's room. And when there, she assumed the appearance of Tana, whom he loved, so that he was delighted to behold her, as he thought, and welcomed her with passionate embraces. Yet this gave him into her power, for it enabled her to perform a certain magic spell by clipping a lock of his hair.[1]


Then she went home, and taking a piece of sheep's intestine, formed of it a purse, and in this she put that which she had taken, with a red and a black ribbon bound together, with a feather, and pepper and salt, and then sang a song. These were the words, a song of witchcraft of the very old time.


Scongiurazione.


Ho formato questo sachetto a Endamone,
E la mia vendetta per I'amore,
Ch'io ti portavo, e non ero corrisposta,
Una altra tu l'amavi:
La bella dea Tana tu amavi,
E tu non I'avrai: di passione
Ti struggerai, volonta di fare,
Di fare al amore tu avrai,


[1. According to all evil witchcraft in the world - especially among the black Voodoos -any individual can be injured or killed if the magician can obtain any portion of the person, however small, especially a lock of hair. This is specially described in Thiodolf the Islander, a romance by La Motte Fouqué. The exchange of locks by lovers is possibly connected with magic.]


E non la potral fare. Sempre addormentato resterai,
Di un sonno che tutto sentirai,
E la tua bella tu vedrai,
Ma parlare non potrai
Nel vedere la tua bella,
Volontà di fare al amore
Verra e non la potrai fare
Come una candela ti struggera,
Ti struggerai poco a poco,
Come una candele a fuoco,
Tu non potrai vivère
Tu non potrai stare,
Ti sentirai mancare,
Che il tuo cuore ritto sempre possa stare
E al amore più non potrai fare
Per I'amore che io te ho portata vo,
Sia convertito intanto odio
Che questo Endamone e la mia vendetta,
E cosi sono contenta.


The Spell.


This bag for Endamon' I wove,
It is my vengeance for the love.,
For the deep love I had for thee,
Which thou would'st not return to me,
But bore it all to Tana's shrine.,
And Tana never shall be thine!
Now every night in agony
By me thou shalt oppressed be!
From day to day, from hour to hour,
I'll make thee feel the witch's power,
With passion thou shalt be tormented,
And yet with pleasure ne'er contented;
Enwrapped in slumber thou shalt lie,
To know that thy beloved is by,
And, ever dying, never die,
Without the power to speak a word,
Nor shall tier voice by thee be heard;
Tormented by Love's agony,
There shall be no relief for thee!
For my strong spell thou canst not break,
And from that sleep thou ne'er shalt wake:
Little by little thou shalt waste,
Like taper by the embers placed.
Little by little thou shalt die,
Yet, ever living, tortured lie,
Strong in desire, yet ever weak,
Without the power to move or speak,
With all the love I had for thee
Shalt thou thyself tormented be,
Since all the love I felt of late
I'll make thee feel in burning hate,
For ever on thy torture bent,
I am revenged, and now content.


But Tana, who was far more powerful than the witch, though not able to break the spell by which he was compelled to sleep, took from him all pain (he knew her in dreams), and embracing him, she sang this counter-charm.


The Song of Diana.


Endamone, Endamone, Endamone!
Per I'amore chi mi porti e che io pure,
Ti porto tre croci su questo letto!
Vengo a fare, e tre marroni d'India,
Nel tuo letto vengo a posare,
E questa finestra aperta che la Luna,
Su il tuo letto risplende,
Come risplende il nostro amore
La, e la prego con gran calore,
Che voglia dare sfogo a queste due cuore,
Che tanto ci amiamo, e se questa grazia,
Mi verrà fatta chiunque sia innamorata,
Se mi scongiurera
In suo aiuto correro!


Endamone, Endamone, Endamone!
Sopra te io mi metto al lume,
Il tuo (cuore) io dimeno,
E mi dimeno io pure e cosi,
E cosi tanto farò,
Tanto farò e tanto faremmo,
Che uniti ne veremmo.


The Counter-Charm.


Endamone, Endamone, Encianione!
By the love I feel, which I
Shall ever feel until I die,
Three crosses on thy bed I make,
And then three wild horse-chestnuts take;[1]
In that bed the nuts I hide,
And then the window open wide,
That the full moon may cast her light
Upon a love as fair and bright,
And so I pray to her above
To give wild rapture to our love,
And cast her fire in either heart,
Which wildly loves to never part;
And one thing more I beg of thee!
If any one enamoured be,
And in my aid his love hath placed,
Unto his call I'll come in haste.


So it came to pass that the fair goddess made love with Endamone as if they had been awake (yet communing in dreams). And so it is to this day, that who ever would make love with him or her who sleeps, should have recourse to the beautiful Tana, and so doing there will be success.


This legend, while agreeing in many details with the classical myth, is strangely intermingled with practices of witchcraft, but even these, if investigated, would all prove to be as ancient as the rest of the text. Thus the sheep's intestine used instead of the red woollen bag which is employed in beneficent magic-the red and black


[1. Marroni d' India. A strong charm against evil, hence frequently carried against rheumatism, &c. The three should come from one shell.]


ribbon, which mingles threads of joy and woe the (peacock's) feather or la penna maligna-pepper and salt, occur in many other incantations, but always to bring evil and cause suffering.[1]


I have never seen it observed, but it is true, that Keats in his exquisite poem of Endymion completely departs from or ignores the whole spirit and meaning of the ancient myth, while in this rude witch-song it is minutely developed. The conception is that of a beautiful youth furtively kissed in his slumber by Dian of reputed chastity. The ancient myth is, to begin with, one of darkness and light, or day and night, from which are born the fifty-one (now fifty-two) weeks of the year. This is Diana, the night, and Apollo, the sun, or light in another form. It is expressed as love-making during sleep, which, when it occurs in real life, generally has for active agent some one who, without being absolutely modest, wishes to preserve appearances. The established character of Diana among the Initiated (for which she was bitterly reviled by the Fathers of the Church) was that of a beautiful hypocrite who pursued amours in silent secrecy.


"Thus as the moon Endynnon lay with her,
So did Hippolytus and Verbio."


[1. The reader will find them described in my Etrusco-Roman Remains.]


(On which the reader may consult Tertullian, De Falsa Religione, lib. ii. cap. 17, and Pico de
Mirandula, La Strega.)


But there is an exquisitely subtle, delicately strange idea or ideal in the conception of the apparently chaste "clear cold moon" casting her living light by stealth into the hidden recesses of darkness and acting in the occult mysteries of love or dreams. So it struck Byron[1] as an original thought that the sun does not shine on half the forbidden deeds which the moon witnesses, and this is emphasised in the Italian witch-poem. In it the moon is distinctly invoked as the protectress of a strange and secret amour, and as the deity to be especially invoked for such love-making. The one invoking says that the window is opened, that the moon may shine splendidly on the bed, even as our love is bright and beautiful... and I pray her to give great rapture -sfogo -to us.


The quivering, mysteriously beautiful light of the moon, which seems to cast a spirit of intelligence or emotion over silent Nature, and dimly


[1. "The sun set and uprose the yellow moon:
The devil's in the moon for mischief; they
Who called her chaste, methinks, began too soon
Their nomenclature; there is not a day
The longest, not the twenty-first of June,
Sees half the business in a wicked way
On which three single hours of moonshine smile."
-Don Juan, cxiii.]


half awaken it-raising shadows into thoughts and causing every tree and rock to assume the semblance of a living form, but one which, while shimmering and breathing, still sleeps in a dream-could not escape the Greeks, and they expressed it as Diana embracing Endymion. But as night is the time sacred to secrecy, and as the true Diana of the Mysteries was the Queen of Night, who wore the crescent moon, and mistress of all hidden things, including "sweet secret sins and loved iniquities," there was attached to this myth far more than meets the eye. And Just in the degree to which Diana was believed to be Queen of the emancipated witches and of Night, or the nocturnal Venus-Astarte herself, so far would the love for the sleeping Endymion be understood as sensual, yet sacred and allegorical. and it is entirely in this sense that the witches in Italy, who, may claim with some right to be its true inheritors, have preserved and understood the myth. It is a realisation of forbidden or secret love, with attraction to the dimly seen beautiful-by moonlight, with the fairy or witch-like charm of the supernatural-a romance all combined in a single strange form-the spell of Night!


"There is a dangerous silence in that hour,
A stillness which leaves rooni for the full soul
To open all itself, without the power
Of calling wholly back its self-control;
The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower,
Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole,
Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws
A loving languor which is not repose."


This is what is meant by the myth of Diana and Endymion. It is the making divine or æsthetic (which to the Greeks was one and the same) that which is impassioned, secret, and forbidden. It was the charm of the stolen waters which are sweet, intensified to poetry. And it is remarkable that it has been so strangely preserved in Italian witch traditions.


CHAPTER X
Madonna Diana
"The Madonna is essentially the goddess of the moon.


_"Naples in the Nineties," by E. N. Rolfe.


Once there was, in the very old time in Cettardo Alto, a girl of astonishing beauty, and she was betrothed to a young man who was as remarkable for good looks as herself; but though well born and bred, the fortune or misfortunes of war or fate had made them both extremely poor. And if the young lady had one fault, it was her great pride, nor would she willingly be married unless in good style, with luxury and festivity, in a fine garment, with many bridesmaids of rank.


And this became to the beautiful Rorasa-for such was her name-such an object of desire, that her head was half turned with it, and the other girls of her acquaintance, to say nothing of the many men whom she had refused, mocked her so bitterly, asking her when the fine, wedding was to be, with many other jeers and sneers, that at last in a moment of madness she went to the top of a high tower, whence she cast herself; and to make it worse. there was below a terrible ravine (balza), into which she fell.


Yet she took no harm, for as she fell there appeared to her a very beautiful woman, truly not of earth, who took her by the hand and bore her through the air to a safe place.


Then all the people round about who saw or heard of this thing cried out, "Lo, a miracle!" and they came and made a great festival, and would fain persuade Rorasa that she had been saved by the Madonna.


But the lady who had saved her, coming to her secretly, said: "If thou hast any desire, follow the Gospel of Diana, or what is called the Gospel of the Witches (Il Vangelo delle Strege), who worship the moon."


"Se la Luna adorerai
Tutto tu otterai"


"If thou adorest Luna, then
What thou desir'st thou shalt obtain!"


Then the beautiful girl went forth alone by night to the fields, and kneeling on a stone in an old ruin, she worshipped the moon and invoked Diana thus:-


Diana, bella Diana!
Tu che della grande caduta
Mi ai bene salvata!
Ti prego di farmi una altra grazia,
Di farmi far' un bello sposalizio,
Una sposalizio ricco e 'compagnato
Da molte signore...
Se questa grazia mi farai
Sempre il Vangelo delle Strege
lo asseriro.


Diana, beautiful Diana!
Thou who didst save from a dreadful death
When I did fall into the dark ravine!
I pray thee grant me still another grace.
Give me one glorious wedding, and with it
Full many bridesmaids, beautiful and grand;
And if this favour thou wilt grant to me,
True to the Witches' Gospel I will be!


When Rorasa awoke in the morning, she found her self in another house, where all was far more magnificent, and having risen, a beautiful maid led her into another room, where she was dressed in a superb wedding-garment of white silk with diamonds, for it was her wedding-dress indeed. Then there appeared ten young ladies, all splendidly attired, and with them and many distinguished persons she went to the church in a carriage. And all the streets were filled with music and people bearing flowers.


So she found the bridegroom, and was wedded to her heart's desire, ten times more grandly than she had ever dreamed of. Then, after the ceremony, there was spread a feast at which all the nobility of Cettardo were present, and, moreover, the whole town, rich and poor, were feasted.


When the wedding was finished, the bridesmaids made every one a magnificent present to the bride-one gave diamonds, another a parchment (written) in gold, after which they asked permission to go all together into the sacristy. And there they remained for some hours undisturbed, till the priest sent his chierico to inquire whether they wanted anything. But what was the youth's amazement at beholding, not the ten bridesmaids, but their ten Images or likenesses in wood and in terra-cotta, with that of Diana standing on a moon, and they were all so magnificently made and adorned as to be of immense value.


Therefore the priest put these images into the church, which is the most ancient in Cettardo, and now in many churches you may see the Madonna and the Moon, but it is Diana-la Dea della Luna. The name Rorasa seems to indicate the Latin ros the dew, rorare, to bedew, rorulenta, bedewed-in fact, the goddess of the dew. Her great fall and being lifted by Diana suggest the fall of dew by night, and its rising in vapour under the influence of the moon. It is possible that this is a very old Latin mythic tale. The white silk and diamonds indicate the dew.


CHAPTER X1
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