"Tinia was the supreme deity of the Etruscans, analogous to the Zeus of the Greeks and the Jupiter; 'the centre of the Etruscan god-world, the power who speaks in the thunder and descends in the lightning.' He alone had three separate bolts to hurl."--The Cities of Etruria, by G. DENNIS.
IT was a peasant-girl with a wheelbarrow, or small hand-cart, in the streets of Florence. Had she been in London she would have been peddling apples or nuts, but as it was in Italy she had a stock of ancient classics in parchment; also much theological rubbish of the most dismal kind, the fragment of a Roman
lituus, and a paper of old bronze medals. Of these I took twelve, paying for them two or three pence each as I pleased--and as the price was accepted with smiles, I knew that the blue-eyed dealer had realised several hundred per cent. profit. On examination I found that I had bought:--
1. The bronze medal, which the brazen Pietro Aretino had struck in his own honour with the inscription, Divus p. Aretinus flagellum Principum, of which I had often read but never seen, and would have given twopence any day to behold.
2. A very good bronze of Julius Cæsar--the reverse utterly hammered flat, but the great man himself fine and bold.
3. Nero Claudius Cæsar. A gold-like bronze, in good preservation--the wicked eye and bull neck to perfection.
4. A strange old Greek medal in hard white bronze of Luson Basileös, reverse, apparently three Graces, with the word Apol, and beneath Dionuso Lares. "Witch-money" so-called here.
5. A medal of 1544, perfect, representing a Cardinal who, reversed, is a jester with cap and bells, with the motto, Et Stulti aliquando sapite.
That will do; all were interesting and curious, but I do not propose to catalogue them. What struck me was the remarkable resemblance of the whole find, and the manner in which it was obtained, to the legends and other lore which I have got together in these pages. These, too, have come down from old Roman times; some are sadly battered and worn, some, like the Nero, have been covered with a rich olive patina, which has again--more's the pity!--been scaled away to restore it, even as an English curate "restores" a Gothic church; others, like the Julius, have only a slight ærugo-rust; some are of the Catholic-Heathen Renaissance--one is a Leo I.; in short, there are the same elements of society in the one as in the other, Christian and Heathen Lares turned to goblins, Dionysius-Faflon, witch-money, vulgarity, and Imperial grandeur.
And they were all picked up, the medley like the medals, both bearing legends, from poor peasant women who were in blessed ignorance as to their classical origin, save that there was something of sorcery in it all. I say this because there will be many to think that I have been over-keen to find antiquity and classic remains in these literary fragments; but no native Italian scholar who knows the people would say this. For here in Italy, just as one may find a peasant girl selling old Decretals, and Dantes, and Roman lamps, and medals from a wheelbarrow, you may find in her mind, deeply rusted and battered remains corresponding to them--and, indeed, things far older. For if You will reflect a minute it will occur to you that the bronze of my Julius Cæsar medal may have
come from melting some other coin or medal or object which was primævally old, ere ever he who bestrode the world, like a Colossus, was born. The ruder a bronze, the older it may be; so it may befall that these rough legends touch the night of time. True it is that there are rude things also of later date, and such
APLU TINIA TÉRAMÓ
often occur and are intermingled in this collection, and I also admit that with few books at my command, I have not been able to push the process of analysis and discovery very far. But there will be no lack of others to correct me where I have conjectured wrongly. I will now proceed to one of my first discoveries.
HEINE has shown in his Gods in Exile, how the old classic deities came down in the world after being dethroned. Had he been aware of the humble condition to which they have been reduced in Tuscany he could have added much curious confirmation of his view. Let us begin with Jupiter:--
"The Etruscans," writes OTTFRIED MÜLLER, "adored a god who was compared to the Roman Jupiter, the leading deity, and who was often called so, but who in Tuskish was known as Tina or Tinia. Tina was therefore the highest of their gods; the central point of the whole world of deities. He was honoured in every Tuscan city, as in Rome--at least since the times of the Etruscan kings, with Juno and Minerva--in the temple of the citadel. Lightning was, in the Tuscan art, ever in his hands; he is the god who speaks in it and descends in it to earth."
"Do you know the name of Tinia?" I asked of my witch authority, who knows not only the popular names of the current Tuscan mythology, but the more recondite terms preserved among the strege, or sorceresses.
"Tignia or Tinia? Yes. It is a great folletto" (a spirit, or goblin) but an evil one. He does much harm. Si, e grande, ma cattivo."
And then bethinking herself, after a pause, awaiting the expected memory as one waits a moment for a child whom one has called, she resumed:--
"Tinia is the spirit of the thunder and lightning and hail. He is very great (i.e., powerful). "Should any peasant ever curse him, then when a temporale, or great storm, comes he appears in the lightning, and bruccia tutta la raccolta, spoils all the crop.
"Should the peasant understand why this happened and who ruined the fields he knows it was Tinia. Then he goes at midnight to the middle of the field or vineyard, and calls:--
"'Folletto Tinia, Tinia, Tinia!
A ti mi raccomando
Che tu mi voglia perdonare,
Si ti ho maladetto,
Non lo ho fatto
Per cattiva intenzione,
Lo ho fatto soltanto
In atto di collera,
Se tu mi farei
Tornare una buona raccolta.
Folletto Tigna !
Sempre ti benedico!'"
("'Spirit Tinia, Tinia, Tinia!
Unto thee I commend me
That thou wilt pardon me. p. 22
If I have cursed thee
I did not do it
With ill will.
I did it only
In act of anger
If thou wilt give me a good harvest,
I will ever bless thee!"')
This, I think, establishes the identity of the modern Tinea with the ancient god of thunder. According to MÜLLER the name occurs only once as Tina. His form is often found on mirrors. It is very interesting to learn that an invocation to the Etruscan Jove still exists as a real thing, and that, after a humble fashion, he is still worshipped.
There is another invocation to the thunder and lightning, but it is not connected with this deity. It is as follows:--
"When you see thunder and lightning you should say:--
"'Santa Barbara, benedetta,
Liberateci dalla saetta,
E dal gran tuono!
Santa Barbara e San Simone,
San Simone e San Eustachio,
Sempre io mi raccomando!'"
Or in English freely rendered:--
"Saint Barbara, the blest, I pray,
Keep the shafts from me away!
And from thunder in the skies,
Saint Eustace and Simon too
I commend myself to you!"
For there are two distinct religions, "one good if the other fails," in La Romagna, and many still believe that that of the spirits, or ancient gods, is, on the whole, the most to be relied on. It is true that it is departing very rapidly, and that now only a few of the faithful still know the chief names and invocations, yet, after slender fashion, they still exist. Ten years hence some of the most important of these names of the gods will have utterly passed away; as it is, they are only known to a few among the oldest peasants, or to a strega, who keeps the knowledge as a secret.
Strangely allied to Tinia is the herb or plant of the same name, which is popularly regarded with great respect from its superior magic qualities. It is,
in fact, a spirit itself. A specimen of it was obtained in Rocca Casciano for me, and with it I received the following:--
"The plant Tigna should be held of great account, because when one is afflicted by the spirit Tigna (Tinia) this herb should be put in a little (red) bag and always worn, and specially on children's necks.
"When Tigna begins to vex a family it is terrible. Then with this plant we should make every morning the sign of the cross and say:--
"'Padre in pace se ne vada
Per mezzo di questa erba,
Quella testa in Tigna.
Figlio in pace sene vada,
Quello spirito maligno,
Spirito in carna ed ossa,
In pace te ne possa,
Te ne poissa andare;
Amenne per mezzo di questa erba
In casa mia piu tu non possa entrare,
E forza di farmi del male
Piu non avrai!'"
This incantation, which was either imperfectly remembered, and is certainly in a somewhat broken form (as is the case with others which had not been recalled for many years), may be rendered in English as follows:--
"Father, let depart in peace,
By means of this herb,
That witness (bears) Tigna!
Son, let depart in peace
That malignant spirit!
Spirit, in flesh and bones
In peace thou shalt not go,
Until by means of this herb
Thou shalt no longer enter my house,
And no longer have power
To do me harm!"
"And never forget to bless yourself with this herb."
Tigna, as the reader may recall from the Preface, was testified to by V. Del Vivo as "The great folletto of lightning, who has been long in Dovadola, e si conoscie tutt'ora, is still known." His existence is well confirmed, but he is still one of the deities who are rapidly passing, and who are now known to very few. That he is on the whole far more feared than loved is manifest, and the Tinia of the Etruscans was altogether a deity who was, unlike Jupiter, one of horror and dread. Nearly all the deities of the Etruscans were--as compared to the
Græco-Roman--of a horrible or malevolent nature, and a number of them wielded thunder and dealt largely in storms and hail. All of which in due proportion the
TÉRAMÓ (TURUS; MERCURY)
reader will find to be the case with the spirits which exist in popular belief at the present day in La Toscana Romagna.
It is to be observed that the name of Tinia, or its equivalent, is found in Tuscan legends as that of a great and wealthy lord--un milionario--the richest in all the country. Thus in the tale of La Golpe in the Novelle Popolare Toscane of Pitré, the Marquis of Carabas in the Italian Puss and Boots is called "Il Sor Pasquale del Tigna." In both the English and Italian stories the mysterious and unseen, or hidden Marquis, like the Sor di Tigna, is a deus ex machina, or higher power, who is exploited for the benefit of the poor hero. I do not think it is forcing the question when we conjecture that we have in him a god in exile, or one come down in the world.
"Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate.
The following account of this spirit, which was obtained from several authorities, but especially from an old woman living not very far from Forli, is for several reasons very interesting:--
"Téramó is a spirit favourable to thieves and merchants. When a band of ladri, or robbers, meet in some secluded place to arrange a theft, Téramó is always present to aid, unless they intend murder (se non ragionano di spargere sangue). But if no violence of that kind be meant, he is always there, though they do not see him but only a shadow. Then he says, 'Giovanetti--boys, get to work, I will help you--presto all' opera e io sono in vostro aiuto--work in peace and do not be afraid, and you will not be discovered, but do not forget to help the poor who are in such great need. Do this and I will show you myself what to do; but if you forget charity then you shall be found out, e cosi non godrete niente--and so you will enjoy nothing.'
"But if they intend spilling blood he will probably put their victims on guard, and cause their arrest.
"With merchants, or dealers, if one had cattle or anything of the kind to sell, 1 Téramó was always busy. And sometimes he played. roguish tricks, as when one had a very pretty wife or daughter be would go to the house disguised as a very handsome young man, and so delude her that the affair ended by two in a bed. Or if a merchant agreed to deliver goods to a customer at a certain time, and broke his appointment, Téramó would make the goods disappear, and the man to whom they were promised would find them in his house, and be under no necessity of paying money. Or if he had paid he got the goods.
"Téramó is also a spirito messagiero, a spirit of messengers, one who carries notices or news from one city to another or from one part of the world to another very quickly. But to have his aid one must be one of his kind (bastara pero à farsi prendere da lui o sinpatia), such as a statesman or thief, or such as are his friends.
"When any one, say a thief' or lover, wishes to send news to a friend, he must go into a cellar by night and pray to Téramó, and say:--
"'Téramó, Téramó, as it is true,
That you are my friend I pray to you,
And may this message which I send,
Quickly and safely reach its end!'
"Then the one praying takes a pigeon, and fastens his note to its wing, or neck, and says:--
Go fly afar for me!
And Téramó keep you company! 1
"But one should never forget the spirit Téramó (Sempre pero rammentarsi dello spirito di Téramó).
This last exhortation means that one should never forget to make the proper invocation or address to him at proper times.
We have here evidently enough Mercury, "the guardian deity of the mercatores and collegii mercatorum," as well as of thieves, who was the swift-footed messenger of the gods; although those who told the tale knew nothing of such a name as Mercurio, let me twist it as I would. But it may be that we have here in Téramó the old Etruscan name for Mercury, very much changed. "In Etruria," writes PRELLER (Rom. Myth. p. 597,) "the Greek Hermes was called Turms, which is formed from the Greek name, just as Turan came from Urania." That is to say, Turms or Turmus would be Italianised to Turmo, which in the harshly accented Romagnolo, with its prolonged R, would naturally pass to Turamo.
The reader must not neglect to observe the pious adjuration at the end of the communication. It is a strange reflection that there are still people who cherish religious sentiments for the son of Jupiter and Maia.
As the name of Téramó was of importance, special pains were taken to verify the fact that what I have given is authentic. As the reader will have seen by the Preface, Tito Forconi testified that at San Benedetto the deeds of Téramó, as guardian spirit of merchants, thieves and messengers, "have been related for many years." And, since then, others have testified to knowing him. He is, however, one among those who are rapidly becoming unknown or forgotten, save by a few
old people, as Peppino declared--being, I suppose, naturally obnoxious to the priests who love no rivals in granting pardons to thieves, camorrists, &c. "Fur ac nebulo Mercurius," says Lactantius, "quid ad famem sui reliquit, nisi memoriam fraudum suarum? "
It is worth remarking that I had most trouble to collect evidence of the existence of the few special names such as Tignia, Faflon, and Téramó, which were, however, of the most importance. " It is well, since you care for such things, that you came when you did," said an informant, "because in a few years' time most of these names will have been forgotten by everybody." And I sincerely believe that ten years hence not a tenth part of it will survive.
And it was by a remarkable chance that I hit upon, in Florence, the one person of all others who had an innate love of sorcery, strange tales, and old songs, who was herself a fortune-teller, and had been taught the old names of spirits and innumerable incantations by a witch foster-mother. But for this " find " I might have sought in vain for the best part of what I have here given.
It is perhaps worth mentioning in connection with Téramó--once Teramus--that there was an old Scythian god, Tharamis, of whom Lucan (l. I. Pharsal.) says:--
"Et Tharamis Scythicæ non mitior ara Dianæ."
He appears to have been a Celtic god, worshipped by the Britons. Selden gives an inscription connecting Tharamis deabus matribus, with the maternal deities, which would identify him, not with Jove, but Mercury. But of this Celtic god, and any possible connection with Téramó, there is really no proof whatever. On Etruscan mirrors, says Dennis, the name of this god is generally Turms or Thurms, in one case he is called Turms Aitas, or the infernal Mercury (Gerhard. Etrus. Spiegel. ii., plate 182). He was associated by Tarquin with the three great gods (Serv. ad, Æn. ii., 296).
This narrative was given as a conclusion to that of Téramó with which, however, it has very little connection:--
"The spirit Buschet was always a companion with Téramó in all his dealings. If a man had pretty daughters then all went well (with him), if there were none there was mischief.
"Now there was a merchant who had a very beautiful daughter, but Buschet could not prevail upon her, nor enter the house. For she had had a lover, and when he died, she had his body turned to stone, and put it in a chest, and kept it secretly under her bed. And Buschet could not enter a house in which there was a corpse. Then he thought he would sing a song which would alarm her; but she was not to be frightened at anything, so great was the love which she had for the dead man.
And he began to sing:--
Oh, rose, oh, lovely rose! for so I call thee,
Because thou art so fair that thou dost seem
To be a rose indeed ; and since thou'rt fair,
Oh, beauty, I would press thee to my lips,
And fain would kiss thee sweet. 1
And yet it seems to me an evil thing
That thou hast a dead lover 'neath thy bed,
'Tis not a fitting tomb, and if thy father
Knew it was there, ah, then what would he say
Tell me, poor girl!
I warn thee now, and tell thee what to do
Take that dead lover from beneath thy bed
Take him away. The devil else will come.
Thou art in deadly danger; so beware,
Now thou art warned!'
But she paid no heed to this, nor was she at all frightened, but went to pray, as was her wont, over the body of her lover. Then Buschet went and sang under the window of her father:--
'Oh, good merchant, 'neath thy window
I will sing a small stornello,
And I hope that you, with patience,
Now will listen to my ditty;
Otherwise I ween that you'll repent it! 2
Well thou knowest that thy daughter
For a year has kept her chamber;
Thou didst think she was so saint-like,
Or perhaps a real angel,
And did'st always speak so well of her!
But instead of that, good merchant,
Know that she betrays you-truly
I am grieved that I must tell you
All her life is given to evil,
And she covers you with great dishonour.
Go into thy daughter's chamber;
Go at ten, and you'll not find her
Sleeping in her bed, but kneeling
O'er a chest which holds a dead man
Turned to stone; oh, shame and sorrow for you!
Bear away at once that coffin,
Hide it quickly, for if justice
Knew of it you'd come to trouble
As you know, and that full quickly,
All occasioned by your shameless daughter.'
Hearing this, the merchant, rising,
Sought the chamber of his daughter,
Oped the door and found her praying,
Praying o'er her stone-cold lover,
And he asked her how the dead man came there?
And all wailing, thus she answered:
'This was he who loved me dearly
Ah, too dearly!--here together
Every night we slept till morning,
But one night he died in my embraces.
And I did as God inspired me,
From my chamber he should never
More be borne, for I would have him
Here to pray for, ever loving,
Now he is dead it is no sin to kiss him.'
But the father would not listen
To her wailing nor entreaty;
Little cared he for her sorrow,
So at once they bore the lover
Off and placed him in the campo santo.
So of course Buschet was happy.
Time passed on, in time she listened
For a pastime to his singing ;
Listening, she forgot her lover,
And the end was that the spirit triumphed."
This is a very close translation both as regards words and metre, though it wants the delicate grace of the original--which original recalls the Pot of Basil. The reader cannot fail to observe in it, however, the wild, uncanny spirit of witchcraft, the utter want of a proper moral or human feeling, and the extraordinary Manner in which this "poor simple Isabel," after such exquisite devotion to the dead lover, forgets him for Buschet. But to the witch all of this suggests something so entirely different that it is almost impossible to explain it. Her feeling or sympathy is with the goblin or god; he is to her like the Indian deity and the
bayadere, in Goethe's poem. The girl is supposed in the German ballad to pass through fire to rise to heaven; so here she endures a penance to fit her for the spirit Buschet. It is the triumph of his unscrupulous sorcerer's cunning which pleases the Romagnolo poet, and which interested the woman who gave it to me.
Apropos of the Dieu et la Bayadere, or the plot of the Indian play Vasantasena which Heine declared was so immoral that it would be hissed off any stage in Paris. This suggested to some French manager an idea, and it was soon brought out, and had an immense success all over Europe and America. Perhaps some impresario would like to try Buschet. True, it is not so very improper, as I have given it here--but a vivid French imagination may make wonders of it. There is the midnight prayer over the dead lover, the demon's serenade, the Mephistophelean song to the father, and finally the great love scene. What an opportunity for a dramatic poet!
This incident of the girl who has kept in a coffin her dead lover, over whom she nightly mourns, bears a great resemblance to a tale in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, "where a beautiful princess, who is also a sorceress, keeps the body of her negro lover, by her magic art, in a kind of apparent life, and covers it with the kisses of despair, and which she would fain, by the greater magic of love, wake from the twilight-dimmering half-death to the full truth of life." Of which Heine remarks: "Even as a boy I was struck, in reading the Arabian tale, with this picture of passionate and incomprehensible love." 1
It only remains to be remarked that "Hermes and Apollo in the myths became fast friends" (The Etruscans, by John Fraser, B.A.). Buschet, as the ally of Téramó, would therefore be Aplu, Aplus, or Apollo; but I cannot establish any identity between the names. Schet is a Romagnola termination, and Apluschet is quite possible, nor is it more remote from the original than Téramó from Hermes; but guess-work like this is hardly philological. Apollo, like Buschet, had a great antipathy for corpses and pestilence.
IMPUSA DELLA MORTE
"Vidi un Fantasma, in disusato aspetto,
Che richiamò dal suo furor la mente,
Mirabil mostro, e mostruoso oggetto.
Donna giovin di viso, antica d' anni."
Satire di Salvator Rosa
The Impusa della Morte is probably the Empusa of the Greeks. She is a terrible sorceress, much dreaded. There is a short saying, or invocation,
addressed to her: "Impusa della Morte me destavo! (or, mi svegliavo!)." She appears, as a wandering beggar, to be confused with Feronia of the Markets. Of her I learned:--
"Impusa (also called Infrusa and Infusa) was a witch, so wicked that she did all the harm she could, and was so avaricious that she would not give a soldo even to any one who had earned it. However, this old witch owned a fine castle, but would not suffer even one of her own relations to enter it, for fear lest they should carry something away. She died at last; and before she departed she concealed all her riches; but was scarcely dead before all the palace shook as if by an earthquake, and there was a rattling of chains as if all the devils from hell were around, and then the window was flung wide open, and there flew from her hand a crow (cornacchia), and this was her soul, which went to hell. They buried her in that corner of the churchyard which is kept for the unbaptised.
"The palace remained, with little furniture, unoccupied, though it was known that great treasure was buried in it. And some of those who entered it died of fright. Yet this witch had a nephew to whom she was attached. And to him she appeared one midnight, and said
"'Nipotino, bell nipotino,
Per it bene che ti ho voluto
Levami di queste pene,
Perchio no ho bene,
Fino che tu non avrai
Scoperto il mio tesoro,
lo sono la tua zia,
La tua zia Infrusa,
Cosi cosi mi chiamo
Essendo sempre la Infrusa,
Cot mio danaro, ma se
Tu avrai tanto coraggio
Di scoprire il tesoro,
Che ho nascosto, io saro
Felice, e tu sarai
Ricco, ma ti raccomando,
Che tu abbia coraggio
E non sparventarvi, perche
Tutti quelli che son' morti,
Sono morti per la paura.'
Little nephew, fair young nephew,
By the good I ever wished thee,
Free me from the pain I stiffer!
And I must endure the torment,
Suffer till thou hast discovered
Where it was I hid my treasure;
For I am thy aunt Infrusa
So I call me, being always
La Infrusa with my money
But if thou hast only courage
To discover all the treasure
Which I buried, then I truly p. 32
Shall be happy, and thou also
Wilt be rich; but this I tell thee:
That thou'lt need thy utmost courage
In that search full many perished,
And they died from naught but terror.')
"Then the nephew of the Infrusa went to sleep in the palace. and he made a good fire and provided good wine and food, and sat by the fire and ate. But just at midnight he heard a voice howl down the chimney, 'Butto?' ('Shall I throw?') And he replied, 'Throw away!' When there was thrown down first a man's leg, then a foot, an arm, a hand, and head, and so all the parts of twelve men. And when all were thrown they reunited and made twelve men, who all stood looking at him. But he, cool and calm, asked them if they would like to eat or drink.
"And they answered, 'Come with us!' But he replied, 'I have eaten and drunk, and do not wish to go.' Then they took him on their shoulders, and bore him far down into a vault, and took spades, and bade him choose one and dig. And he replied, 'I have eaten and drunk, and am willing.' Then they all dug together--when at last they came, indeed, to the treasure, and it was very great. Then one said to him:--
"'Va a letto, tu che sei
Il padrone del tesoro,
E di questo bel palazzo,
E di tutte queste richezze,
Per il tuo gran coraggio;
E la tua zia Infrusa;
Stara in pace, ma sara
Sempre un folletto, che verra
Tutte le notte a vedere
I suoi danari, essendo
Tanto egoista, ma in
Sarei sempre il padrone.'
("'Go to bed, now thou art master
Of the palace and the treasure;
By thy courage thou hast won them,
And at last thy aunt Infrusa
Rests in peace, yet ever will be
Through all time a wandering spirit
Every night she'll come to look at
Her old treasure--'tis her nature--
But thou'lt ever be the master."')
This is a variation of a well-known Italian "fairy tale," but it has some value in this connection as indicating the character of the Impusa. It is possible, from its rude poetry, that this may be a very ancient version of the tale.
There is a point to be observed that in this, as in all other Tuscan tales of the kind, the witch is freed from her sufferings as soon as she is relieved from the responsibility of her treasure. In other narratives she is at peace as soon as she can put off the witch-power on another.
It has been suggested to me that in all this, only the name is in common with the Greek account of Empusa, who had one leg of an ass and the other of brass. All of which should be carefully considered by the investigator. It is not remarkable that the name is Greek, since the Tusci had from the earliest times much intercourse with Greece, and, what is more to be considered, that the name became popular in Italy at a later date as that of a bug-bear spirit which was one of the minor faun-like gods. Thus in a very curious and rare work, entitled, Idea del Giardino del Mondo, by Tommaso Tomai of Ravenna (second edition), Venice, 1690, there is mention of "demons called incubi, succubi, or empedusi, and other lemuri, who are enamoured of men or women." What is indeed remarkable in these Tuscan names is that there has been on the whole so little change in them. It is of little matter that the Impusa does not appear in the modern account with one foot of brass or like that of an ass (alterum verò habeat æneum aut asininum--Suidas), since during the Middle Ages the word was often used as a synonym for Lamia, Lemur, or witch of any kind. If Italian writers could describe the Empusa as being the same with Lemures and Incubi, it is not remarkable that mere peasants should have applied the name quite as loosely.
SIERO, in the modern Tuscan mythology, is a folletto cattivo birbone--a very mischievous evil spirit. There is also a feminine of the same name, or Siera. Of him I have the following account:--
"When Siero is angry with a peasant's family, and the head of it goes to milk the cattle, he draws what appears to he very fine milk; but when it is to be used it turns to green water, for which reason it is so-called from the goblin. (Latin, serum; Italian, siero--whey, buttermilk.)
"Then the peasant, to make matters right again in his house, implores Siero to be favourable. Upon which the goblin comes and knocks at the house-door, and if the contadino has a pretty daughter, cries, 'Yes, I will make you happy; but you must let me sleep one night with your daughter.' But if he has a plain daughter, Siero laughs, and says, 'If you had a girl less ugly, and had mocked me less, I would have made you prosperous. But since your daughter is so plain, I cannot revenge myself for all the ill things you have said of me.' And if the peasant has girls neither pretty nor plain, then Siero calls, 'If you will remember to bless me every day, I will make you happy; but should you forget it, you will be wretched while you live.'"
With Siero was associated Chuculvia, or Ch'uch'ulvia (with the strongly aspirated Tuscan ch'), of whom all I could learn that he was on earth a great sorcerer, now become an evil spirit. He is a kind of bugbear.
I do not pretend to suggest that these are descendants or forms of Etruscan deities, but I would point out a very singular coincidence of names in a passage in MÜLLER'S Etrusker, vol. ii., p. 110 note.
"On a vase there is n goddess of death, Asira, who flourishes an axe over the head of Amphiarus. A fury, Tuxuxla (Tuchuicha), with a bird's beak, lashes with snakes Theseus, condemned to the lower world, in a picture on a wall in the tomb dell' Orco, in Corneto."
There is probably nothing whatever in this similarity of names but it is worth noting.
"Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves,
And ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
When he comes back; you demi-puppets, that
By moonshine do the green-sour ringlets make
Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms."
"Nortia was the goddess of destiny."--History of Etruria, THOS. HAMILTON GRAY.
THERE is a Tuscan rural sprite of whom I could learn little, save that she is disposed to be troublesome. One of her specialities is to distract and disturb dogs when hunting for truffles. It may be that she has more dignified work at other times. Her name is Norcia, or Nortia. Nortia was of yore a very great Etruscan goddess--a Fortuna, according to MÜLLER. Her temple was known to Roman antiquaries by the calendar nails driven in it. An inscription in hexameters from Volscinium (BURMANN, Anthol. Lat., cl. I, cp. xix, p. 57) begins with "Nortia te veneror lare cretus Volsiniensi." But I find no truffles in all
From the Etruscan museum of Gori (in which the head is wanting).
Another is given by Gerhard
this paté, only the reflection that the peasantry everywhere bring down great gods to small uses. True, we have two goddesses of the same name in the same country, and that is something.
Since writing the foregoing, I learn that when a truffle-hunter has no fortune in discovering the precious tartufi, he addresses his dog thus
"O cane, cane chi da me siei tanto amato,
La fortuna tu mi ai levato,
Non trovandomi piu i tartufi,
Dunque cane, u mio bel cane,
A folletta di Norcia va ti à raccomodare
Che i tartufi ti faccia ritrovare,
E cosi io lo potro tanto ringraziare,
Che la fortuna mi voglia ridare!"
("Oh dog, my dog, so dear to me
We're out of luck I plainly see!
No truffles hast thou found to-day,
So then to Norcia go and pray;
For if her favour we implore,
She'll grant us truffles in such store,
Fortune will smile for evermore.")
By an extraordinary coincidence truffles are also called nails, as their heads are round and small. And Norcia was identified with nails (PRELLER, Myth. p. 231).
"And, after all, it is altogether possible--or even probable--that this Norcia of the Truffles has nothing whatever to do with Nortia, but takes her name from the town of Norcia, or Norchia, famous for its pigs and its truffles." So a very learned friend suggests. However, all the principal Etruscan gods gave names to towns. Of which I find in DENNIS'S Etruria (Vol. i., p. 204) that "Orioli suggests that the town of 'Norchia' may be identical with Nyrtia, mentioned by the ancient scholiast on Juvenal (x. 74) as a town, the birthplace of Sejanus, giving its name to, or deriving it from, the goddess Nortia, or Fortuna." As I said, this goddess was identified with nails, because in her temple at Vulsinii every year the priest drove a nail into the door, to serve as a kind of register (PRELLER). It may seem ridiculous to connect this with the slang name for mushrooms and truffles; but such similes are common among the people, and they never perish.
It may be remarked here that Saint Antony is invoked when seeking truffles by peasants of a Roman Catholic turn of mind. But Norcia, as a goddess of the earth, may be supposed to know better where they are to be found; for she was unquestionably of the under-world, and a form of Persephone.
Nortia is still very generally known in La Romagna, as peasants certified.
Of one thing there can be no doubt--her specialty is to make "midnight mushrooms."
Sadly is gazing Phbus Apollo,
The youthful; his lyre sounds no more
Which once rang with joy at the feasts of the gods."
The Gods of Greece, by H. HEINE.
The name of the Greek God Apollon frequently occurs on Etruscan bronze mirrors as Aplun, Apulu, Aplu."--Über die Sprache der Etrusker, by W. CORSSEN, Vol. i., p. 846.
When I returned to Florence in November, 1891, after some research I found my chief authority in ancient lore, installed in what had been, some three or four hundred years ago, a palace. It is true that its splendour had sadly departed. The vast and dismal rooms were either utterly unfurnished, or supplied with inferior mobiglia, placed at such distances from one another as to be hardly within call, unless they called very loudly. But there were frescoes on the walls which had been sketched by no mean hand--(they set forth charming scenes from Tasso)--and though the bare stone floors suggested a dreary cellar, there was a walled-up fireplace, over which rose a boldly arched and curved remainder of a fine Renaissance focolare. A single window badly lighted a great, grim apartment in which there was absolutely not a single article of furniture, save a small table and two chairs. From that window I sketched the fourteenth-century statue of a rain-worn saint on an opposite wall. Everything was in keeping with the lore which I had come to collect-very old, rubbed-down, and degraded from its high estate.
I asked the strega if she knew the name of Aplu. It was known to her, and it awoke some shadowy reminiscences; but she said that she must consult a vecchia, an old woman of her acquaintance, regarding it. "It would come with talking." And this was the result of the consultation:--
"Aplu is a spirit who greatly loves hunters. But if they, when they have bad luck in the chase, speak evilly of him, then in the night he comes and pulls the bed-clothes from them, and gives them dreams of being in the cold open air, and having a prosperous hunt. Then he sits on them in nightmare, and the game seems lost. And they wake inspired with a desire to seek the woods, and if they express a wish to him (i.e., invoke him) they will return that evening with much game." To which was added somewhat vaguely the words "E lo spirito d'Aplu sempre nella mente" And with Aplu ever in their minds").
Then there was a pause, and I was told:--
"Aplu is the most beautiful of all the male spirits. He is also a spirit of music, and when any one would become a good hunter, or good musician, or a learned man--un uomo dotto e di talento--he should repeat this:--
"Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
Tu che siei buono, tanto di sapienza!
E siei dotto e di talento,
Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
Tu che siei buono tanto,
E da tutte le parti del mon (mondo) siei rammentato
E da tutti si sente dire:
Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
Anche lo spirito deve essere generosa
E addatarci di fortuna e di talento
Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
Io ti prego darmi
Fortuna e talento!"
This was given to me so irregularly and in such a confused state, owing to the imperfect memory of the narrator, that I had trouble to bring it to this form. It is in English as follows:--
"Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
Thou who art so good and wise,
So learned and talented,
Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
Thou who art so good
And through all the world renowned;
And spoken of by all,
Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
Even a spirit should be generous,
Granting us fortune and talent.
Aplu, Aplu, Aplu!
I (therefore) pray thee give me
Fortune and talent!"
Aplu, as is recorded in detail by all writers on Etruscan mythology, was Apollo. His is one of the commonest figures on vases and mirrors.
My informant had, as I learned from close questioning, never heard the name "Apollo." I asked her if she had never seen his statue in Uffizi? But though she had lived many years in Florence she had never been in a gallery, so I gave her a franc and recommended her to invest it in a practical lesson in mythology. Neither did she remember to have heard of Venere, or Venus, whose name is very familiar to all middle and Southern Italians, though she knew all about Turana, her Etruscan original, as appears in another chapter. Ad alteram jam partem accedamus, as Gladstone says.
"Turan is the Etruscan name of Venus, and it occurs so frequently with the most unmistakable representations of the goddess that it is time lost to seek its Etruscan origin, as Müller has done, in
the Latin Venus Fruti, or to identify it, according to Schwenck, with Hera" (Über die Gottheiten der Etrusker. Ed. Gerhard, Akademische Abhandlungen, Erster Band, p. 324).
APLU (APOLLO) AND ARTEMISIA
It was a long time before I could find out this now almost forgotten name but one day it came forth as if by chance or inspiration, and then I was told the following details:--
"Turanna is a spirit who was when in life (or on earth) a fairy, and being very beautiful and good, she did good to all who were like her.
"There was in a land mother and son, who lived in great misery. This fairy with her magic wand caused this youth--all tattered and torn (tutto stracciato) to be transported to a distant place.
"The fairy was there, and she asked him how it was that he had come so far into a country where there were no herbs to nourish him?
"The youth replied that it was a spirit of kindly disposition who had borne him thither to make his fortune.
"The fairy answered, 'That spirit am I, and will make thee king.'
"The youth looked at her, marvelling, and said, 'Lady, it is impossible that one so miserable as I can ever become a king.'
"'Go, youth, to that tree which thou seest. Go below that tree.
"'There thou wilt find nuts to carry to the king.
"'Thy fortune is sworn, and thy fortune will be when thou art under the tree--
"'Tree which thou seest there below. Carry its nuts to the king.'
"He saw (found) himself dressed like a lord, and found a basket of nuts, all brilliant diamonds and precious pearls,
"And with a crown, on which they sang and danced. 1
"'Carry these things,' said the fairy, 'to the king, and tell him that thou desirest his daughter for wife. He will drive thee forth with ill-will.
"'At that time by magic I will make it appear that the princess is with child, and she will say that thou wert its sire.
"'Then the king, to avert scandal, will give her to thee. And the instant thou art married all that appearance of being with child will vanish.'
"'So it came to pass. When the king was in a rage Turanna was in a dark forest, with the card of the king of hearts, which was the poor youth, and the king of spades, which was the king, and the queen of hearts, which was the princess.
Her incantation (i.e., what she sung to enchant the king)
"'Io sono Turanna la fate.
Fino che vivro, la fata Turanna io saro.
E quando morta io saro
La spirito di Turanna che verro
Sempre scongiurata, e chi lo meritera
Molte grazie da me ricevera!
Io, Turanna, bene e fortuna
Per quel giovane io voglio fare,
Tre diavoli benigne vengo a scongiurare;
Uno, per il re che lo faccio convertire,
Uno per il povero che fortuna le faccia avere,
Uno per la figlia che la faccia presentare
Al padre incinta, e dire
Che e incinta del giovane che a chiesto la sua mano.
Questi tre diavoli scongiuro che piglino
Il re per i capelli e lo trasinino
Forte, forte gli faccino
Le pene della morte che non possa vivere,
E non possa stare,
Fino che la figlia a quel giovane
Non a consento dare'
'I am Turanna the fairy,
While I live that fairy I shall be.
And when I shall be dead
I shall become the spirit of Turanna,
Ever to be invoked, and those who merit it
Shall receive many favours from me.
I, Turanna, wish to bestow
Prosperity and fortune on that youth
I conjure three beneficent demons,
One for the king whom I will change,
One for the poor young man that be may succeed,
One for the daughter whom I will present
As with child to her sire, and say
That she is enceinte by the youth who sought her hand.
These three demons I conjure that they may take
The king and drag him by the hair
Strongly, strongly they shall do so,
Cause him deathly pain that he may not live
Nor shall he be able to stand
Till he consents to give his daughter to the youth.')
"And so the king consented, and when he saw in an instant that his daughter was not with child, he said, 'I have been deluded by the fairy Turanna, and it seemed to me that I was as if dying, and were dragged by the hair of my head.'
"But his word having been given, he could not withdraw it, so they were married. and happy. And so the poor youth, by the protection of Turanna, won a kingdom and a wife, and took care of his mother, and in time had a fair son."
This whole narrative is properly a song. It appears to be very old, and is evidently given in an abbreviated or almost mutilated form, for which the reader must make allowance. Nor was it well remembered by the old woman who repeated it.
And of Turanna I was further told that:--
She is the spirit of lovers, of peace and of love, and the goddess of beauty. When a youth is 11 love he should go into a wood and say:--
Che di beltà sei la regina!
Del cielo e della terra,
di felicita e di buon cuore!
In questo folto bosco
Mi vengo a inginnochiare
Per che tanto infelice
E sfortunato sono
Amo una donna e non sono cotrisposto.
A te mi vengo a raccommandare!
Le tue tre carte a volere
Scongiurare che quella
Giovane mi possa amare.
Fallo per il bene che ai sempre fatta,
Sei stata sempre tanta buona generosa,
Sei buona quanto e bella,
Che di belta siei la stella!'"
Thou who art the queen of beauty!
Of heaven and of earth,
And of happiness and fortune!
In this dark forest
I come to kneel to thee,
For I am unhappy and unfortunate
I love a girl and am not loved again.
I commend me unto thee,
Enchant thy three cards at will,
Conjure that maid to love me!
Do this. By the good which thou hast done
Thou hast ever been so good and generous,
Thou are good as thou art fair,
For of beauty thou art the star!
Ere I forget it, I would remark that Turanna performs her miracles and confers fortune by means of the three winning cards. Cards are the successors of dice in this modernised mythology, and it is significant that among the Romans the highest cast of dice, or three sixes, was known as the Venus-throw. Here again I regret not having by me my copy of Pascasius Justus de Alea--a little Elzevir which I well remember buying in my sixteenth year with my only shilling. But I might as well sigh for the lost work, De Alea Lusu (Of the Game of Dice), by the Emperor Claudian, of which Suetonius tells. But I learn from Pauly's
Real Encyclopædia that the jactus Veneris, or "Venus-throw," was three sixes, when thrown with three dice (Martial, 14, 14), or 1, 3, 4, 6 when with four dice. Hence Venus as Queen of Hearts, and also with three cards.
Turanna is therefore probably Turan, the Etruscan Venus. Of which Corssen says in Sprache der Etrusker, to which I have been greatly indebted for this subject, as well as to Gerhard, Inghirami, and Lanzi: "Turan is the name of a goddess often represented on Etruscan mirrors as a beautiful woman, fully naked, or naked to the hips, or in Greek female apparel, her hair flowing in ringlets, or artistically bound up, wearing much rich jewellery. She is evidently the Etruscan duplicate of the Greek Aphrodite."
It is very characteristic of the gambling Italian and fortune-teller that the dealing out the fate of mankind with cards should be characteristic of Turanna. The conception of her managing their destiny with dice is probably known to the reader, as it was to Rabelais, who made the old judge decide cases by it.
I have already, in the Introduction, expressed my great obligations to Professor, now the Senator Domenico Comparetti, of Florence, owing to whose friendly advice and suggestions my attention was first directed to these researches. I am again reminded of it by the aid which I have received from him, and also from Professor Milani, director of the Archæological and Etruscan Museum in Florence, in the chapters on Turanna, Aplu, and Pano.
"Remains to be said," that the ancients regarded dice as sacred things, mysteriously inspired and moved by the Spirit of Chance, or, when favourable, by Lady Venus in her gentlest mood;--the great, good, and glorious Emperor Claudian having written a book in praise of dicing. (I extol him because he was the first who ever went heart and soul into raking up Etruscan antiquities and folk-lore--eloquentissimus juxta et sapientissimus scriptor.) But the later Christians abominated them--because the Roman soldiers gambled with them for Christ's garments; and Bartolomeo Taegis, in his Risposte, or Essays (Novara, 1554) says that they were invented by the devil, and that "this game is a tempest of the soul, a fog of fame, a sudden shipwreck of fortune--as was shown by the king of the Parthians, who sent unto another monarch golden dice, all to remind him of his fickleness." That will do for to-day.
Apropos of Turanna and her cards I have something to say. It has been remarked of my Gypsy Sorcery that it does not deal sufficiently in the romantic element or minister unto the marvellous looking rather for the sun by noonlight than with Dame Crowe at the night side of Nature in the dark. Now that the lovers of the incomprehensible may not be utterly disappointed, I give, on my honour as absolutely true, or as strictly "on the cards," the following:--
Several weeks before the failure and evasion of Emanuele Fenzi, the banker, in Florence, January, 1892, the woman specially referred to in these pages as a fortune-teller, was, more for her own pleasure than mine, consulting the cards to find out whether I would find the lost books of Livy, or the Annals of Claudian, or something else in the way of transcendental cartomancy, when she found that certain incidents or predictions not connected with the main inquiry kept forcing themselves forward, like unbidden guests, into the play: as often happens when the twenty-five demons who are always invoked at the beginning of such divination are more than usually friendly, and not only come in person but bring with them all their friends. The chief intruder on this occasion was a distinguished, great or rich, man, with whom I was to have, or about whom there would be, un gran' disturbo, that is, great trouble and rumour, noise or report. Through him I was to lose a small sum, but narrowly escape a great loss.
I had not forgotten, but I gave no heed to this suggestion by Turanna, when some weeks later the failure of Fenzi the banker made a tremendous disturbo in fair Florence. By which fraudulent bankruptcy I did indeed lose four hundred and sixty francs; but as I had been on the point of depositing with Emanuel--who did but little credit to his name--a very much larger sum which would have caused me serious inconvenience, my culpable neglect of business in this instance saved me more money than I should have made all the winter by diligently attending to it. Then I was reminded of the prediction by my Sybil, and I give very accurately what I remember of it. On asking the divineress if she remembered what she had said, and how the cards had "come," she replied "Yes," and wrote me out these words:--
"When the cards were 'made'--quando si fecero le carte--they announced that you ought to have money from (or with) a great signore, and through this would be greatly troubled, but the trouble would come to no great loss (veniva a essere non tanto grande); and in this disturbance was involved a journey, between you and the other signore.
"And you will come well out of it, but there will be tears and great trouble for him."
Truly there was a voyage--a shooting of the moon, and a moving between two days--unto Corfu, as it is said, by the banker. The two accounts--mine and the witch's--are interesting as setting forth exactly the prediction as we both recalled it. Be it observed that, as the cards fell, the interpretation was perfectly correct. "Hæc ita clara, ita explorata sunt, ut frustra sit qui testium nubem in fidem vocaverit."
"'Tis all so proved, explored, well tried, and plain,
That he who doubts it does so all in vain."
Manuscripts of the Middle Ages, such as the "Othea" of Christina de Pisa, establish Venus as dealing out hearts, and her connection with lucky cards. She became the Queen of Hearts at a very early period. It is worth noting in this connection that Friday, the dies Veneris, was always a lucky day, especially for marriage, till the priests spoiled it. The Turks still insist on this great truth, because, as they believe, it was on a Friday that Adam married Eve; Solomon, Balkis; Joseph, Zuleika (i.e., Mrs. Potiphar); Moses, Sisera; and Mahomed, Chadidscha and Ayesha. For according to authentic records given by the Persian and Turkish poets, Joseph, it appears, after the little incident recorded in the Bible, subsequently "thought better of it," and Mrs. P------, as women always do, had her own way in the end. Alors--vivè le Vendredi!
Pan! oh, Pan-we sing to thee!
Hail, thou king of Arcady!"
'Eca súthi nési Pan . . .
Hanc (cellam) mortale posuit Pan.
Über die Sprache der Etrusker, VON W. CORSSEN, 1874
Every reader of these pages will remember to have learned, long ago, that "great Pan is dead," and how the fact was revealed to Thamnus, an Egyptian, who proclaimed it to the midnight by command, whereupon there was heard such a wailing of nymphs, satyrs, dryads, oreads, and all the sprites who live in woods or streams, that it would seem as if all the fair humanities of olden time--mortem obversari ante oculos--did see grim death itself before their eyes, "since 'twas in Pan that they all held their life." All of which Eusebius, and in later times an exceeding sweet English poet, have discussed, while others have contended that he is not dead at all, but lives for ever on in all Nature. "This thing did often occupy my thought," therefore it was with a strange feeling, like that which was felt by him who, opening an Etruscan tomb, saw, for a minute only, an ancient warrior--perfect as in life, ere his face fell into ashes--that I discovered that in the Romagna Toscana there is a perfect solution of the question and a reconcilement of this difference of opinion. For there the great Pan did indeed once die--for the love, as it seems, of some beautiful nymph--but now lives as a spirit who is exceeding kind and gracious to all who approach him with the proper incantation or hymn in her name, the which scongiurazione I, to my great joy, succeeded in obtaining. What I was told of him was in these words--he being called Pano:--
"Pano is a spirit of the country, and benign--one of whom benefits are sought. (E uno spirito benigno, per la campagna e per chi le chiede del bene.)
"Pano when in this life had a love whom he indeed did very greatly love.
"Whoever would beg a favour of him must go in the evening, and kneel to him in a field by the light of the moon, and say:--
"'Pano, Pano, Pano!
Inginnochio in un' campo,
Sono a lume della luna,
In nome della tua bella p. 47
Che tanto amavi,
Che da un campo di sera via
Ti fu portata e ti fu uccisa,
Per il pene di quella ti prego
Di farmi questa grazia!'
("'Pano, Pano, Pano!
I am kneeling in a field,
I am here by the light of the moon
In the name of thy beautiful one
Whom thou didst so much love,
Who from a field one evening
Was rapt from thee and slain;
By her sufferings, I adjure thee,
To grant me this favour!')
"Then one asks of him some favour, as that the country may become beautiful" (this, I take it, is a prayer for good crops), "or according to that which one requires."
From all which we may observe that even in the end of the tail of this great serpent-century Pan still lives. And of those who wail for, and sympathise with, and invoke him, it cannot be said with Salvator Rosa:--
"Non è con loro una voce Etrusca.
("There is not with them one Etruscan voice.")
Though indeed there are not many of them, for Pan is now one of the obscurest and, least-known spirits.
It is significant of ancient Pan that he was noted for his loss of lady-loves. He mourned for Echo, and Syrinx turned to a reed to escape him, so he made of her pan-pipes on which he wailed her evanishment. She was really "rapt from him in a field at eventide," and it was her voice which he ever after awoke in the Pandean pipes, which in latter days became the church organ. But as a loser of loves Pan is alone among the deities.
Were the name wanting this circumstance would be a clue. Whether Pan was ever evoked in Latin times by memories of Syrinx or Echo, I do not know, but it is very significant that peasant tradition has preserved this very peculiar feature of his history. Pan, the great god of earth, made of his memory an endless tomb.
But though as god of the earth, fields, and crops, Pan is a benevolent spirit, yet as one who may be offended, and who has the power to destroy the harvest, he is also dreaded. From another authority in the Romagna Toscana, I learn by letter that "he is regarded by old men in Premilcuore as a spirito maligno, because
when the corn is high he comes in roaring winds which beat it down. As it does not rise again, it cannot be sold, and for this the peasants curse him."
A certificate signed by C. Placidi, Dec. 12, 1891, now before me, attests that: "Here in Premilcuore much is remembered of the spirit Pano."
Pan, it may be observed, was, as a windy spirit, also feared of yore. Hence the panic terror (Gazaus, p. 174). And an ass was often sacrificed to him (Ovid, Fasti, i., 425).
I have given a great deal of cautious and fearful apology in this my book, as regards possible errors or improvisations in tradition and especially incantations. But I must remark of this one to Pan (and it may be said of nearly all of them), that any true scholar critic, and above all true poet, cannot fail to at once perceive that it is a composition far above the intellectual capacity of a woman who actually could not be made to take an interested comprehension of the fable of Pan, or to see how it agreed with her verses. That is, she did not actually understand what she repeated, which effectively disposes of the question as to whether she altogether invented it. That some and perhaps many of these incantations only set forth a shadowy or shifting form of what is said, or may be said, in calling certain folletti, I have already clearly declared, but that others are used as here given is also true. Thus in several cases those who were consulted, said there were incantations referring to this or that spirit which they could not recall. But in all cases they existed.
According to Friedrich, who has devoted a chapter to the subject (Die Weltkörper, &c., 1864),, Pan and his seven reeds sets forth the music of the spheres, when this god is the chorus leader of the heavenly dances, who playing on his pipe inspires the Seven Spheres, and the divine harmony (Serv. to Virgil, Eclogues ii., 31). Hence Pan is invoked in an Orphic hymn (xi., 6) as:--
Inspired among the stars,
Playing the harmonies of creation
Upon the jesting flutes."
Which idea of the All-god of Nature and the seven planets suggested, as I think, a verse to Emerson:--
"I am the ruler of the sphere:
Of the Seven Stars and the solar year."
It was just at the time when he wrote this that my old schoolmaster, J. Bronson Alcott, published his Orphic Sayings in the Dial. And they were very intimate in those days.
25:1 Téramó, or Hermes, true to his first impulses, is always concerned with cattle.
"The babe was born at the first peep of day
He began playing on the lyre at noon,
And the same evening he did steal away
"'Téramó, Téramó, Téramó!
Che tu ai le sinpatie
E credo fra questi esserci
Io pure e non mi vorrai abbandonare
Questa notizia nella tal citta,
Di farmi arrivare.
"E cosi si presentera un columbo, si lega a lui al collo un foglio, scritto, a si dice:--
"'Vai vola, lontan lontano!
Che lo spirito di Téramó
"Rosa, o bella Rosa cosi ti chiamo,
Perche siei tanto bella mi sembri,
Un vero fior di rosa, e quanto siei
Bella vorrei posarti sopra i labbri miei,
E ti vorrei bacciar!"
"'Sotto alla tua finestra,
O buon' mercanta, una piccola
Stornello vengo a cantare;
Spero che mi vorrei ascoltare,
Altrimenti te ne vorrai pentire.'
30:1 Heine's Shakespeare's Maidens and Women: Desdemona. Translated by Charles G. Leland. London: W. Heinemann. 1891.
40:1 Here there is manifestly something omitted. "Colla corona sopra quali cantavano." Perhaps "around which fairies sang and danced."