Alch: Thou always speakest riddles. Tell me if thou art that fountain of which Bernard Lord Trevizan writ? Merc: I am not that fountain, but I am the water. The fountain compasseth me about. Sandivogius, "New Light of Alchymy."
Merc: Tell me, therefore, what thou seekest after, and what thou wilt have. What dost thou desire to make? Alch: The Philosopher's Stone. Sandivogius.
BOOK IV. — THE DWELLER OF THE THRESHOLD.
Bey hinter ihm was will! Ich heb ihn auf. "Das Verschleierte Bildzu Sais" (Be behind what there may,—I raise the veil.)
Come vittima io vengo all' ara. "Metast.," At. ii. Sc. 7. (As a victim I go to the altar.)
And Abaris, so far from esteeming Pythagoras, who taught these things, a necromancer or wizard, rather revered and admired him as something divine.—Iamblich., "Vit. Pythag."
Man is the eye of things.—Euryph, "de Vit. Hum." ...There is, therefore, a certain ecstatical or transporting power, which, if at any time it shall be excited or stirred up by an ardent desire and most strong imagination, is able to conduct the spirit of the more outward even to some absent and far-distant object.—Von Helmont.
It is fit that we who endeavour to rise to an elevation so sublime, should study first to leave behind carnal affections, the frailty of the senses, the passions that belong to matter; secondly, to learn by what means we may ascend to the climax of pure intellect, united with the powers above, without which never can we gain the lore of secret things, nor the magic that effects true wonders.—Tritemius "On Secret Things and Secret Spirits."
Great travell hath the gentle Calidore And toyle endured... There on a day,—He chaunst to spy a sort of shepheard groomes, Playing on pipes and caroling apace. ...He, there besyde Saw a faire damzell. —Spenser, "Faerie Queene," cant. ix.
Whilest Calidore does follow that faire mayd, Unmindful of his vow and high beheast Which by the Faerie Queene was on him layd. —Spenser, "Faerie Queene," cant. x. s. 1.
Cernis, custodia qualis Vestibulo sedeat? facies quae limina servet? "Aeneid," lib. vi. 574. (See you what porter sits within the vestibule?—what face watches at the threshold?)
Thus man pursues his weary calling, And wrings the hard life from the sky, While happiness unseen is falling Down from God's bosom silently. —Schiller.
There is a principle of the soul, superior to all nature, through which we are capable of surpassing the order and systems of the world. When the soul is elevated to natures better than itself, THEN it is entirely separated from subordinate natures, exchanges this for another life, and, deserting the order of things with which it was connected, links and mingles itself with another. —Iamblichus.
Aeterna aeternus tribuit, mortalia confert Mortalis; divina Deus, peritura caducus. "Aurel. Prud. contra Symmachum," lib. ii. (The Eternal gives eternal things, the Mortal gathers mortal things: God, that which is divine, and the perishable that which is perishable.)
They thus beguile the way Untill the blustring storme is overblowne, When weening to returne whence they did stray, They cannot finde that path which first was showne, But wander to and fro in waies unknowne. —Spenser's "Faerie Queene," book i. canto i. st. x.
BOOK V. — THE EFFECTS OF THE ELIXIR.
Frommet's den Schleier aufzuheben, Wo das nahe Schreckness droht? Nur das Irrthum ist das Leben Und das Wissen ist der Tod, —Schiller, Kassandro. Delusion is the life we live And knowledge death; oh wherefore, then, To sight the coming evils give And lift the veil of Fate to Man? Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust. (Two souls dwell, alas! in my breast.) .... Was stehst du so, und blickst erstaunt hinaus? (Why standest thou so, and lookest out astonished?) —"Faust."
Faust: Wohin soll es nun gehm? Mephist: Wohin es Dir gefallt. Wir sehn die kleine, dann die grosse Welt. "Faust." (Faust: Whither go now! Mephist: Whither it pleases thee. We see the small world, then the great.)
In der Welt weit Aus der Einsamkeit Wollen sie Dich locken. —"Faust." (In the wide world, out of the solitude, will these allure thee.)
Ich fuhle Dich mir nahe; Die Einsamkeit belebt; Wie uber seinen Welten Der Unsichtbare schwebt. Uhland. (I feel thee near to me, The loneliness takes life,—As over its world The Invisible hovers.)
Doch wunderbar ergriff mich's diese Nacht; Die Glieder schienen schon in Todes Macht. Uhland. (This night it fearfully seized on me; my limbs appeared already in the power of death.)
La loi, dont le regne vous epouvante, a son glaive leve sur vous: elle vous frappera tous: le genre humain a besoin de cet exemple.—Couthon. (The law, whose reign terrifies you, has its sword raised against you; it will strike you all: humanity has need of this example.)
BOOK VI. — SUPERSTITION DESERTING FAITH.
Why do I yield to that suggestion, Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair.—Shakespeare
Therefore the Genii were painted with a platter full of garlands and flowers in one hand, and a whip in the other.—Alexander Ross, "Mystag. Poet."
Tristis Erinnys Praetulit infaustas sanguinolenta faces. Ovid. (Erinnys, doleful and bloody, extends the unblessed torches.)
Fuscis tellurem amplectitur alis. Virgil. (Embraces the Earth with gloomy wings.)
Plus que vous ne pensez ce moment est terrible. La Harpe, "Le Comte de Warwick," Act 3, sc. 5. (The moment is more terrible than you think.)
Ce que j'ignore Est plus triste peut-etre et plus affreux encore. La Harpe, "Le Comte de Warwick," Act 5, sc. 1. (That which I know not is, perhaps, more sad and fearful still.)
Quel est l'egarement ou ton ame se livre? La Harpe, "Le Comte de Warwick," Act 4, sc. 4. (To what delusion does thy soul abandon itself?)
Des Erdenlebens Schweres Traumbild sinkt, und sinkt, und sinkt. "Das Ideal und das Lebens." (The Dream Shape of the heavy earthly life sinks, and sinks, and sinks.)
(*"Astronomy instructs us that, in the original condition of the solar system, the sun was the nucleus of a nebulosity or luminous mass which revolved on its axis, and extended far beyond the orbits of all the planets,—the planets as yet having no existence. Its temperature gradually diminished, and, becoming contracted by cooling, the rotation increased in rapidity, and zones of nebulosity were successively thrown off, in consequence of the centrifugal force overpowering the central attraction. The condensation of these separate masses constituted the planets and satellites. But this view of the conversion of gaseous matter into planetary bodies is not limited to our own system; it extends to the formation of the innumerable suns and worlds which are distributed throughout the universe. The sublime discoveries of modern astronomers have shown that every part of the realms of space abounds in large expansions of attenuated matter termed nebulae, which are irregularly reflective of light, of various figures, and in different states of condensation, from that of a diffused, luminous mass to suns and planets like our own."—From Mantell's eloquent and delightful work, entitled "The Wonders of Geology," volume i. page 22.)
Qui? Toi m'abandonner! Ou vas-tu? Non! demeure, Demeure! La Harpe, "Le Comte de Warwick," Act 3, sc. 5. (Who? THOU abandon me!—where goest thou? No! stay, stay!)
Zukunft hast du mir gegeben, Doch du nehmst den Augenblick. "Kassandra." (Futurity hast thou given to me,—yet takest from me the Moment.)
BOOK VII. — THE REIGN OF TERROR.
Orrida maesta nei fero aspetto Terrore accresce, e piu superbo il rende; Rosseggian gli occhi, e di veneno infetto Come infausta cometa, il guardo splende, Gil involve il mento, e sull 'irsuto petto Ispida efoita la gran barbe scende; E IN GUISA DE VORAGINE PROFONDA SAPRE LA BOCCA A'ATRO SANGUE IMMONDA. (Ger. Lib., Cant. iv. 7.)
A horrible majesty in the fierce aspect increases it terror, and renders it more superb. Red glow the eyes, and the aspect infected, like a baleful comet, with envenomed influences, glares around. A vast beard covers the chin—and, rough and thick, descends over the shaggy breast.—And like a profound gulf expand the jaws, foul with black gore.
Qui suis-je, moi qu'on accuse? Un esclave de la Liberte, un martyr vivant de la Republique. —"Discours de Robespierre, 8 Thermidor." (Who am I,—I whom they accuse? A slave of Liberty,—a living martyr for the Republic.)
La haine, dans ces lieux, n'a qu'un glaive assassin. Elle marche dans l'ombre. La Harpe, "Jeanne de Naples," Act iv. sc. 1. (Hate, in these regions, has but the sword of the assassin. She moves in the shade.)
Liebe sonnt das Reich der Nacht. "Der Triumph der Liebe." (Love illumes the realm of Night.)
Ombra piu che di notte, in cui di luce Raggio misto non e; .... Ne piu il palagio appar, ne piu le sue Vestigia; ne dir puossi—egli qui fue. —"Ger. Lib.", canto xvi.-lxix. (Darkness greater than of night, in which not a ray of light is mixed;...The palace appears no more: not even a vestige,—nor can one say that it has been.)
Van seco pur anco Sdegno ed Amor, quasi due Veltri al fianco. "Ger. Lib." cant. xx. cxvii. (There went with him still Disdain and Love, like two greyhounds side by side.)
In poppa quella Che guidar gli dovea, fatal Donsella. "Ger. Lib." cant. xv. 3. (By the prow was the fatal lady ordained to be the guide.)
Constitutum est, ut quisquis eum HOMINEM dixisset fuisse, capitalem penderet poenam. —St. Augustine, "Of the God Serapis," l. 18, "de Civ. Dei," c. 5. (It was decreed, that whoso should say that he had been a MAN, should suffer the punishment of a capital offence.)
Le glaive est contre toi tourne de toutes parties. La Harpe, "Jeanne de Naples," Act iv. sc. 4. (The sword is raised against you on all sides.)
Think not my magic wonders wrought by aid Of Stygian angels summoned up from hell; Scorned and accursed be those who have essayed Her gloomy Dives and Afrites to compel. But by perception of the secret powers Of mineral springs in Nature's inmost cell, Of herbs in curtain of her greenest bowers, And of the moving stars o'er mountain tops and towers. Wiffen's "Translation of Tasso," cant. xiv. xliii.
Quid mirare meas tot in uno corpore formas? Propert. (Why wonder that I have so many forms in a single body?)
Le lendemain, 8 Thermidor, Robespierre se decida a prononcer son fameux discours. —Thiers, "Hist. de la Revolution." (The next day, 8th Thermidor, Robespierre resolved to deliver his celebrated discourse.)
Aupres d'un corps aussi avili que la Convention, il restait des chances pour que Robespierre sortit vainqueur de cette lutte. Lacretelle, volume xii. (Amongst a body so debased as the Convention, there still remained some chances that Robespierre would come off victor in the struggle.)
Erde mag zuruck in Erde stauben; Fliegt der Geist doch aus dem morschen Haus. Seine Asche mag der Sturmwind treiben, Sein Leben dauert ewig aus! Elegie. (Earth may crumble back into earth; the Spirit will still escape from its frail tenement. The wind of the storm may scatter his ashes; his being endures forever.)
Dann zur Blumenflor der Sterne Aufgeschauet liebewarm, Fass' ihn freundlich Arm in Arm Trag' ihn in die blaue Ferne. —Uhland, "An den Tod." Then towards the Garden of the Star Lift up thine aspect warm with love, And, friendlike link'd through space afar, Mount with him, arm in arm, above. —Uhland, "Poem to Death."
Il ne veulent plus perdre un moment d'une nuit si precieuse. Lacretelle, tom. xii. (They would not lose another moment of so precious a night.)
Und den Mordstahl seh' ich blinken; Und das Morderauge gluhn! "Kassandra." (And I see the steel of Murder glitter, And the eye of Murder glow.)
CHAPTER 7.XVII. The Seventeenth and Last.
Cosi vince Goffredo! "Ger. Lib." cant. xx.-xliv. (Thus conquered Godfrey.)