Symphonie Fantastique


(A) Proasma Sylvatica


RA— the mighty Lord of the Sun (whose secret name may not be told)—was watching the ruins of the ancient castle with a thoughtful expression in his eye, which glittered like a golden Cymbal in the sky.

It was now a thousand years since the castle's last proud, cruel suzerain had fought his final battle, giving up his warrior soul to reap its due reward elsewhere, and for 365,000 days, or more, the Earth, prolific Mother, had turned away in shame from that blazing emblem above, the home of the god-like who have risen to their proper sphere. And Earth, the much-trodden, the divine and fruitful Cow who roams in the heavenly, star-bespangled meadows, had tried in vain to hide this plague-spot—atrocious for its memories of deeds better untold—from the all-observing Watcher, for she was sorely vexed, even after all that time, because of the blemish on her dapple-skin surface. But alas! like an eternal Da Capo she is reluctantly compelled to complete her everlasting diurnal circuit around herself each morn when night is done, and once again reveal to Ra that desolate panorama of the ruins—forsaken remnant of a primordial past. A past of curbless ambitions, conspiracies, bloodthirsty executions, hotbed of plots and revolts of savage vassals, rising up against the tyrant masters who despised and loathed their serfs and held them down with ruthless discipline. And such and similar events followed each other as regularly as the Moon's eclipses, so that there was not an inch of soil in the whole neighbourhood that was not soaked in blood and carried for evermore the impress of those horrors.

As far as the eye could see there stood the ancient walls and battlements, towers and gates; but all the roofs had long since fallen in and the moat was filled with shrubs and plants and flowery bushes. Trees had sprung up everywhere, and a slowly flowing stream watered their ever thirsty roots and gave them life.

Impregnated as it was with terror, practically the whole region around the castle had been deserted for centuries, and only an occasional farm or wood-cutter's hut was found for miles around. But the castle, or its ruins, once the prideful home of those feudal Lords of long ago, who, armed at all points, used to sally forth upon their almost daily errants of brigandage, accompanied by their no less fearsome villains and soldiers, was shunned by all, for it was whispered that terrible things happened there at night, though no one knew what, for to behold these things meant instant death, so that there was no man alive who could relate what took place there in the dark hours.

Was this what Ra was wondering about at the time when our story commences? Or was he looking at the spirits of the trees and flowers who were busy with the work of guarding and tending their charges? Behold the spirits of the Elms, dressed in deep purple robes, upon their chests fine golden pendants in the shape of bunches of their trees' fruit, hanging from golden chains around their graceful necks. Or, see the Holly's genius, dressed in deep green bestrewed with fiery red berries which shoot out aureate jets of light, like stars. And the angels of the Ivy, wrapped in wreathes and coils of its own tendrils on which grow white blooms, large as roses. Here is the Poplar's guardian in her deep red frock, almost purple, with a flower, milky white, in her dark hair. There is the nymph of the Birch Tree, a most lovely maiden, whose dress is of the most beautiful yellow, green, pink and blue, all softly blending into an indescribable pattern, yet each shade distinctly seen. There are, too, the attendants of the Elder Tree in deep purple; the Mountain Ash in intense blue; the Pine in rainbow colours, a radiant flower in her tresses, shining over her head like a halo; and of the Yew in gold, mixed with azure, tiny elfin shapes clinging to her or nestling in her hair or sitting on her shoulders. And all these wonderful beings, and several others, one for each tree or flower, weaving in and out of the trees and bushes as if they were performing a fairy ballet. And all seemed to have a special quality of fiery radiance streaming out from themselves, as if they were alight within with a divine luminosity, not of the earth. And all the plants, large or small are sending forth a joyful Ballabile, to the music of which the nymphs perform their Balletto, accompanied by the Rarquarde, or Barcarolle, of the smiling river.

In the air resound the mellow notes of the woodlark and blackcap, the sprightly tones of goldfinch and linnet, and the occasional plaintive note of the robin, like a sampogna, or rustic flute, played con delicatezzo. A faerie like a sprinkled arpeggio brisé, mixed with the vellutata smoothness of a flute d'amour's flautando.

And there were too the spirits of the Box tree in deep cream robes; of the Lime in beautiful yellow, like gold-coloured diamonds; of the Ash in deep plum, fading into soft rich mauve downwards; those of the Brook Lime in light green, surmounted as it seemed with a delicate white mist; and of the Lilac in lustrous gold, and the Oak in deep gold, shining like Ra himself; for once upon a time the Oak was known as the tree that represented the Fire of the Gods on Earth. And all those nymphs, spirits and angels mix in happy groups, gallant and graceful, undisturbed by turbulent Man, the despoiler, and their movements are in the garbato style, elegant and dainty, con dolce manière, and papillons dance their chant sans paroles soundlessly in the air, as if they were singing a silent May-Song—a Maggiolata in the aerial key of F sharp minor, modulating into golden, warm and sunny key of A major, accompanied by the forest's whispered mormoramento. And in the far distance there sound the soft notes of a Pastorita, a shepherd's pipe; he calling to his beloved, sweet Pastourelle with the music of a Roundel, carried to her on the wings of the zeffiroso air.

But suddenly there sound the tones of two thin threads of young voices and their shrilling notes are approaching rapidly. And the spirits of the trees and flowers float swiftly, with infinite grace and dainty, gliding movements to their plants and disappear; even the butterflies vanish, and all that is left is a cloud of singing insects, who, while their wives are busy working at home, looking after their mutual offspring, are bawling away in merry company with other sluggards of their kind; while from the river sounds the couac-couac of the frogs, as if they were an orchestra consisting of bad clarinet players, busy rehearsing but never attaining proficiency.

And the nymphs and other elemental forms are wise to retire within their own domains, for it is not seemly that ordinary human eyes shall behold their loveliness and make a mockery of it perchance in their usual blasphemous manner.

And now appear from between the trees two children; a girl of about twelve, named Dolce, and a boy of fourteen, whose name is Farni. Dolce is a little scared, for they have come here to see the ruins, which is forbidden, and if her parents should hear of it she is in for a good scolding. But Farni is unafraid and very proud to be Dolce's guide and protector, for it is he who has persuaded her to come this way. Staring at the ancient ruins she cries:

DOLCE: Oh, Farni, we should not have come away from home so far; I told you mother said I wasn't to go near the old castle. It is told that evil ghosts haunt it by day and night; let us go back . . . I'm afraid!

FARNI: Don't be afraid, silly! These ruins are only a lot of old stones, and there are no such things as ghosts either; I've been here before and I have never seen any! And if I did I shouldn't be afraid of your stupid old ghosts! My father says that story about spooks being here is only an old wives' tale, and so it is! Nothing whatever will happen here.

DOLCE: But you and your father don't know anything at all; you have lived here only a short time and you don't know what we know about the awful things that happen here. (Half crying) I want to go home; I don't like it here, and I'm afraid!!
(And suddenly they hear a croaking voice behind them):

MIZELLA: And what are you afraid of on such a nice day, dear beti chi and brave mushipen, with Kem, the Sun, shining so merrily and the birds singing, the insects humming, and the butterflies dancing in the air?

(And at these words a sudden eerie silence falls upon the scene, and even the insects, so busy a moment ago with their pot-house ditties are seen or heard no more, and the trees seem to be straining their sylvan ears, so that they shall miss nothing of what is going on. Startled, the children look round and behold an old Gipsy woman sitting beneath a huge oak-tree. And the crone continues:)

MIZELLA: Avata acoi, come thou here.
(And she beckons with her ancient hands, chuckling to herself when Dolce takes to her heels and tries to run away. But Farni catches her and drags her back.)

FARNI: Don't be such a coward! Come along, and let us hear what the old dame wants with us. (Against her will Dolce is taken to the old Gipsy.)

FARNI: Here we are, mother, what is it you want?

(The old Gipsy chuckles again, and beating on the ground with her stick says):
MIZELLA: There is nothing to be afraid of my gudlo chavi, sweet child; so long as I am here there won't be any ghosts, and I don't want to eat you either. And have you not with you this koshto chal, this good boy of yours, who can protect you easily against such a frail old creature as I am? And besides, it is daylight now, dearie, and ghosts only walk abroad at night, and if any spook should take it into his empty head to try his tricks now—old Mizella will know how to deal with him; for I am not a Gipsy Queen for nothing. Sit down, you two, here, with me, beneath the pattinor of the oak; and each little pattin—that is: leaf—will become like a tiny lamp to show me how beautiful you will be when you are a little older. And your Farni has in you a lovely Pireni, or sweetheart, dear beti chi. But I must not use so many Romany words, or you will not understand what I am saying.
(The children sit down and she continues):

MIZELLA: Tell me. Do you like this pretty wood with all the nice flowers by the river, and the old trees, and that great old castle there that was once full of strong and living men, very valiant, just like Farni is now and will be even more so in the future? And when they were still alive, so long ago that all true memory of them is lost for ever, even they would not have hurt one little hair on your pretty head—bango, or sinister as they were. And now that they are dead and gone, so that there is not even a crumb of a crumb of their ancient bones left in all the world, they cannot hurt you or anybody else any more, for they have nothing left to hurt with! Farni is quite right: there is nothing here of which to be frightened, not even me . . . though I can read in your mind that you doubt if I'm not some old Chohawni, or witch; bless your little heart. But poor Mizella is only a frail old woman who loves to talk to such nice young folk as you two are.
(And as the Gipsy weaves her spell, Dolce's fears leave her gradually, and the old woman seeing this says):

MIZELLA: So let us forget all about those poor men who died so long ago and talk of something nicer. Tell me: have you ever been told of the goodness that is within all the things that grow here and elsewhere? Do you know the virtues of the trees and flowers and how they can heal all sorts of ills from which the ignorant pauno-mui, the pale face who has not the Romany lore, suffers, because he does not know how to help himself to all the good things nature spreads before his blind eyes and all around? Shall I tell you a little of the secrets of us Gipsies so that you will be able to help yourself and others too when they are ill or in pain? Be not shy with me but tell me what you would like me to talk about?

DOLCE: I should like to hear about the secret of the flowers.

FARNI (eagerly butting in): And I about the trees!

MIZELLA: Very well, then. But ladies first, young man! You cannot learn that lesson too early; and it will make easy your path in life once you know the full meaning of this common saying when you are a young man!

(And she chuckled to herself again, while at the same time was heard, quite close, the strange sound of the Cicuta, Pan's favourite Pipes.)

DOLCE: (whispering half fearfully) What was that?

MIZELLA: Oh, that was only a Bokkar-engo; he was probably thinking of his Bokkari-gueri!

FARNI: What are they?

MIZELLA: Oh! I forgot again; they are a shepherd and a shepherdess. You, with your dark eyes and skin, look so much like a Zingaro—that is: one who is half a Gipsy—that I keep thinking I am talking to one of our own folk; but never mind, let us get back to our flowers.

Know first that every plant, great or small, has a special mission to fulfil, and that true love for any plant or tree can raise you up to Charos, or Heaven. Only a dinello, or fool, could ever doubt this, for each plant you find growing in the countryside has some extra quality—unseen by those who have not the 'sight'—apart from that which you see of its outward form. And when I speak of those who have not the sight, the blind to inner beauty, I speak of the average human being who wanders through life without being able to behold the true spirit that is within everything. Such only see the outside, which is the shell of the vessel of life, but they do not realize what that shell contains. Each plant and tree (which is a plant too, of course) has a spirit, an angel, and as the plant grows up on earth so it grows at the same time in a higher place, which men call heaven, where it looks much more beautiful than here.

FARNI: And what about the animals; are they also in two places at once?

DOLCE: And human beings; what about them?

MIZELLA: Not so fast, you two! It does not apply to animals, but it does to some birds and to some really beautiful insects like the butterflies.

FARNI: And moths; do they also belong to Heaven?

MIZELLA: No! Moths belong to the night side of Nature, and therefore they exist in the dark places beyond the Earth; while the butterflies belong to the places where there is Light.

DOLCE: And do all men belong to the Light too?

Mizella: Not all of them. There are men and women that belong to the realms of Light, which is their true Home, and there are just as many that belong to the Shadows or the dark places, from which they came to earth for a while in order to torment and tease the others. The ideal plant, the plant that dwells within the outer shell, lives on a higher plane if it is a good plant. But there are evil plants too, the same as there are evil men, and they belong to the dark places, just like the moths. When we look at any plant, good or bad, we see only a shadowy reflection of its real self. Now, that inner part of a flower or tree can act as a healer of the inner (and therefore higher) part of a man.

DOLCE: And how can it do so?

MIZELLA: When a man is ill, when he is sick in mind or body, or both, he should think of that plant which can act as a healer, and he should blend his inner mind with the plant's inner powers.

DOLCE: But how does he know of which plant to think?

MIZELLA: That I will tell you. Know then that if, for instance, you cannot sleep, feel irritable and out of temper, or when you are afraid, or even when you feel so bad that you like to take your own life: then St. John's Wort's higher part will bring you relief if you do as I said before. The soul of the Celandine can likewise cure any trouble of the skin. Think of that flower with sympathy and love, and then think of the place on your skin where there is trouble; thus you will make a secret link with the healing part of the flower and the sick part of your skin, and you will be cured in time.

The Crane's Bill cures any inflammation; Wood Sorrel heals cancer. But in the latter case you may use the outer parts of the Crane's bill as well. Crush the leaves and place them in a piece of wet brown paper. This you place under the hot ashes of your hearth-fire at the farm; taking care not to burn the paper. Thus the crushed leaves within the paper will turn into a soft pulp. This pulp you place upon the spot where the cancer grows, and soon it will all come away, leaving behind a clean hole which will soon heal up. On the higher plane this plant gives life and strength, and some say that it is the actual Tree of Life that once grew in Paradise. By making a link between a human being and a poisonous plant, in the way I have told you, any poison in a person's inner being will be melted away and drawn into that particular plant. Thus the Christmas Rose—which once was the most famous and most prolific principal flower of a great continent which has disappeared long since beneath the waves of the ever hungry ocean (it was the land now known as Atlantis)—this Christmas Rose is a cure for insanity if used in this manner.

DOLCE: And on what do the plants live that are in Heaven; do they suck up food with their roots, the same as here?

MIZELLA: Nay, my child; there they exist upon the Develeskoe Essences, the Holy Essences, that is, which float everywhere within the heavenly atmosphere. These they drink in, or absorb, and they need no roots on which to rely for food and drink.

DOLCE: And how shall we know them when we get to Heaven; do they look the same as on earth? What does a poppy look like there, for instance?

MIZELLA: A Poppy is one of the few plants that looks the same in Heaven as it does on Earth. But when you see Gorse there you will see a brownish radiance—or aura, as it is called—around it. Likewise has the Mare's tail a dark purple cloud around it. And the simple Buttercup looks very beautiful in the higher realms; it has there a purple stem, three rows of yellow petals and a deep red centre. The Anemone has there a blood-red root and lower stem (for though the plants do not use the roots for feeding, they need them to obtain a foothold), while its branches are first of a deep purple shade and as they grow taller they change gradually to blue; but the leaves are green. The Peony has a lustrous, golden light around it, like a very brilliant halo or nimbus, such as you may see in pictures round the heads of Saints.

FARNI: But you promised to tell me something about trees! Dolce has been 'first' long enough now; don't you think so too?

MIZELLA: You are an impatient young gentleman, my son; but I will now try to satisfy your curiosity too. Well, then! As to trees: The Mountain Ash helps against demoniacal influences, and it counteracts the ill-wishes of bad people and black magicians—for there are such evil men, my children. Always have a portion of this tree in the house, and also at the stables. A small wreath of its twigs, worn by man or animal, and they are safe from sudden death. A wreath of its branches, formed into a circle and hung over the entrance of a house, prevents bad wishes of witches, wizards, or even spirits from entering. And if you make a small cross of its branches, with the leaves, and place it beneath your pillow, you will have important dreams and revelations during your sleep. It is necessary to know all such things, and to become truly wise one should study all nature at first hand as was done by the Raia Jesus of the Gorgior, for that He had this lore you can see by the way He always spoke about the things that live and grow on the land.

If any one has the gout very badly he should cut a pliable twig of Mountain Ash (or have someone to do it for him) after sunset and wind it around the gouty spot where it should remain for twelve hours, touching the skin. Then the twig should be cut up into short lengths and buried deep in the ground. And as the fragments decay there and dissolve, so the gout will dissolve away too.

The leaves of an Alder Tree can be placed against sore feet—even when the feet are bleeding (but then you must wash both the feet and the leaves first)—and all the pain and tiredness will be drawn out. He who knows how to blend his mind with the soul of an Alder Tree will start a new cycle of existence, health and thought. If you do this on behalf of one who is mad, and do it properly with all your will, transferring the tree's essence to the patient, that one will be cured!

In the same manner an Elder Tree will draw out any illness or badness and replace it with health and goodness.

The Lime Tree is of very special importance in the higher realms. It is coloured a beautiful yellow from stem to branch, and the whole tree resembles a distillery from which oozes a constant supply of the finest nectar at every pore. This is a food upon which the enlightened souls may feed; a very sacred mystery which is quite unique and wonderful. Likewise, the Yew oozes a similar nectar upon which the fairy-like beings in those realms exist. The essence of the earthly counterpart of this tree strengthens the mind of man when still on earth. The Elm's fruit on the higher plane depends from it in great bunches; on earth it cures extreme lassitude and prostration.

The Box Tree keeps a husband or lover faithful; it also relieves pain in the chest, difficult breathing, or a faulty heart, while the lungs may also benefit from its inner essence.

The Holly is quite extraordinary, in that it should be planted on different sides of the house for different people if it is going to be of the utmost benefit. It is what is called a Solar Tree, and when a person's life is controlled by the Sun it should be planted on the South side of a house. For people under Mars it should be on the West side, and for Saturnians on the East side. It helps to cure sore throats, constriction of the heart, spinal trouble, intermittent fever, and even delirium tremens if used rightly.

The Ivy ensures Wisdom and Immortality; it cures hallucinations and sleeplessness. It is a Jupiterian plant and the opposite of the Vine—which represents hilarity and mirth and is connected with the lower instincts. There is a very great secret connected with the fruit of the Ivy, for the wise people of the East knew how to make a drink from its berries, mixed with honey, and this they called Soma, which was the food of their Gods and gave them eternal life.

But beware of the Common Ash, for that is an evil tree; if you look at it in the right way you will see that the ends of the branches are covered with a dark cloud that issues from the tree itself—a warning to those who have the 'sight'. And the raindrops that fall from its leaves kill every other plant that might try to grow beneath it.

The Birch Tree strengthens the nerves, especially the brain, and if you brew a pot of tea from the inner bark of its branches it will be as good as the best Indian or China tea you can buy, and it will clear the brain wonderfully. And to make the Birch tea still nicer, add to it some white Rose petals and some Cowslip flowers.

And when you see a Poplar as it is in Heaven, you will be truly astonished. Its branches there spread out like great wings and its top is shaped like a huge globe, perfectly round; and its branches are continually moving to and fro and are never still. The bark of the earthly Poplar, if prepared by a good herbalist, strengthens the weak of mind, cures loss of memory, weak eyesight and deafness. It is also good for the stomach, liver and kidneys; and you only need think about the Poplar and what it can do for you to feel better. Never forget that if you love a tree and are in sympathy with it's inner being it will take from you what it needs itself; and if you know the secret, you can go to the right tree every time and it will take away your illness from you. And there is no need even to go to the actual tree itself! Just form a picture of it in your mind and contact is made so that you will be cured. For this reason the Yew, which is Saturn's tree, the tree of the Lord of Death, will take away from you any sickness of the mind, for it feeds upon soul-sickness . . . and thus you can be cured by it if you are suffering great grief.

Each tree is inhabited by its own spirit, and if a person is not too coarse, he may sense the presence of that spirit. These spirits have great powers to help one if they are approached in the right manner, as I have told you; never forget it, for it may help you one day. The nymphs, angels and spirits protect the great secrets of Nature from the profane; they live in the moss, the tree, the dewdrop and the lake as well as in everything else that is on earth. If an ordinary man could discover the secrets of even the smallest plant that clings to a stone, he might be overwhelmed with terror . . . though there is nothing to fear in actuality!

You should both learn to look at the unseen things in Nature, as you grow up. Thus you will become very wise and filled with great ideas and visions. And each idea or thought is something that lives and has power . . . . according to the strength of the thinker, whether good or bad. Always seek after Jinnepen, which means Wisdom.

And the oak under which we are sitting you will find mentioned in the Bible under the name of Ashel. This is Jupiter's tree, and in olden times the Oaks of Dodona guarded Jupiter's oracle there. This is a mighty tree indeed! And the bones of Saul and his sons were buried under an Oak in Jabesh-Gilead, after being cremated. Jupiter is the King of Space and the Director of Nature's Forces, and his tree, the Oak, is a mighty Talisman, for wherever it grows there is Power, and the more Oaks the more Power. If the people of England had known this truth they would never have destroyed so many of the fine Oaks that once grew everywhere in this beautiful Island.

Here Mizella halted. The children had been so intent on the old Gipsy's words that they were not aware that the Sun had disappeared behind some heavy clouds, but now it became suddenly quite dark and both realised that they should have been home long ago. Heavy raindrops began to fall, and Dolce cried out in dismay:

DOLCE: Oh, what will mother say when we get home all wet! Let us run and get home quickly! I'm afraid there is going to be a thunderstorm.

MIZELLA: Yes! Dovo seli, that's it; hekta! make haste! ja keri, go thou home and plastra eesti, run for your life!

FARNI (stoutly): Why run? A little thunder hurts nobody!

MIZELLA: Not so fast my little coo roboshno, my little fighting cock! I warn you that when this storm breaks it will be as if Bengakotow, or Hell, were emptying out all its devils! Come, Dolce, make your good Camo-mescro, your lover, take you home quickly; you will get Kindo Kettaney, or wet together only . . . if you are quick; if not, I do not know what may happen! Ja Develehi, go with God, and rak lute, take care of yourself.

But Farni was stubborn and said:
FARNI: What are you two worrying about? Nothing will happen and the storm may blow over after all!

MIZELLA: You are too fond of the word 'nothing', my brave chal! Nothing—or chichi—as we say who rokra or speak Romany, is an emptiness; and if you think too much about nothing there will be nothing in your little stubborn head when you really need it. Besides, you should think more about your little sweetheart and less of your pluck. But I think you have waited too long now and you'd better stay here for awhile, my children; the storm will break any moment and there will be much grommena and malùno—thunder and lightning.

DOLCE (wailing): But where can we shelter? We must not stay beneath the trees when there is a thunderstorm!

(At the same moment there was a vivid flash of lightning, followed by a deep rumble, several seconds later.)

DOLCE: Oh! I'm afraid!! Whatever shall we do and what is going to happen to us?

FARNI (defiantly): Don't be so stupid! Nothing is going to happen except a bit of thunder—and what does that matter? Come, let us hide in the old castle, we shall be quite safe there . . . shan't we, mother?

And he turned to the Gipsy. But to the utter astonishment of the children the old woman had disappeared. Now Dolce was really terrified and sobbed:

DOLCE: There! Didn't I tell you? This place is bad and dangerous and that old Gipsy was an evil witch who kept us here on purpose with her tales to be caught by the storm. I want to go ho-o-ome!

And at the same instant there was a terrific flash and a great roar, and a nearby tree was struck by the lightning and fell down almost at their feet. And now the rain poured down in a proper avalanche and the children gasped with the suddenness of it all. Farni grabbed Dolce by the arm and almost carried her to the castle where they hid beneath a half ruined staircase, the only place that gave any cover. Dolce sank down half dead with terror at the incessant thunder and lightning, and Farni, who had remained as calm as one could expect from a lad of his age under such conditions, sat down beside her. The spot was dry and the ground covered with Adder's Tongue Fern, whose aura is an antidote to evil and will give protection against demonic forces; and it was lucky indeed that the children had found that particular spot. But who in his senses will venture to talk of 'luck', when it is so very evident that our lives are guided by beings beyond the ordinary ken? That is to say; if we let them. Meanwhile, the storm kept on and the darkness increased, for night was approaching rapidly and the dusk was deepened by the clouds that hurried along above the trees. The children felt chilly and huddled close together for warmth, and, being tired out by all that had happened, they soon fell asleep in each other's arms. After a while the storm abated gradually and the moon shone through the broken clouds, lighting up the ruins. And the children slept on—undisturbed.

Far away there still resounded ominously the occasional rolata of the storm, sotto voce, as if the drummers of the heavens beat on tamburaccios muffled with crêpe in honour of the Cauliban Riah, as Mizella would have said, the Black Lord, who has committed the pechod Ysprydd Glan, the sin against the Holy Ghost, calling forth him and his satellites into the Bootsee Ratti: the great Black Night! And, as if in answer to the challenge, there appeared from between the trees a sinister procession of weird black forms, resembling the ancient and mysterious priestly kings that once reigned over the great Continent of which Easter Island is one of the last remnants. They were wearing round, ceremonial hats like Dundee cakes from which dropped pendant veils down their stiff backs. Dressed they are in black robes, like cassocks, surmounted by surplices; with upturned faces, long-nosed, thin-lipped, elongated ears, their lobes heavy with ornaments that sway to and fro like pendulums as they stride along in a silent and stately manner. Their unseeing eyes are fixed on the future, sternly, a future wrapped in mystery, as they pass the great gate with the ruined staircase beneath which Dolce and Farni are lying asleep. And as they march along on their unknown errand and disappear among the trees, the ruins take on new life and the castle is restored gradually to its original splendour. And now the children—who sleep on during all that is to follow—can be seen no more . . . for the outer walls have risen up again and Dolce and Farni are now within the castle.

(B) Allegro Malevogliente
The Great Hall of the Castle

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© COPYRIGHT J Michaud PhD and — all rights reserved