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How Fotis told to Apuleius, what witchcraft her mistresse did use.

When I was a bed I began to call to minde all the sorrowes and griefes that I was in the day before, until such time as my love Fotis, having brought her mistresse to sleepe, came into the chamber, not as shee was wont to do, for she seemed nothing pleasant neither in countenance nor talke, but with sowre face and frowning looke, gan speak in this sort, Verily I confesse that I have been the occasion of all thy trouble this day, and therewith shee pulled out a whippe from under her apron, and delivered it unto mee saying, Revenge thyself upon mee mischievous harlot, or rather slay me.

And thinke you not that I did willingly procure this anguish and sorrow unto you, I call the gods to witnesse. For I had rather myne owne body to perish, than that you should receive or sustaine any harme by my means, but that which I did was by the commandement of another, and wrought as I thought for some other, but behold the unlucky chance fortuned on you by my evill occasion.

The I, very curious and desirous to know the matter, answered, In faith (quoth I), this most pestilent and evill favoured whip which thou hast brought to scourge thee withal, shal first be broken in a thousand pieces, than it should touch or hurt thy delicate and dainty skin. But I pray you tell me how have you been the cause and mean of my trouble and sorrow? For I dare sweare by the love that I beare unto you, and I will not be perswaded, though you your selfe should endeavour the same, that ever you went to trouble or harm me: perhaps sometimes you imagined an evil thought in your mind, which afterwards you revoked, but that is not to bee deemed as a crime.

When I had spoken these words, I perceived by Fotis eys being wet with tears and well nigh closed up that shee had a desire unto pleasure and specially because shee embraced and kissed me sweetly. And when she was somewhat restored unto joy shee desired me that shee might first shut the chamber doore, least by the untemperance of her tongue, in uttering any unfitting words, there might grow further inconvenience. Wherewithall shee barred and propped the doore, and came to me againe, and embracing me lovingly about the neck with both her armes, spake with a soft voice and said, I doe greatly feare to discover the privities of this house, and to utter the secret mysteries of my dame. But I have such confidence in you and in your wisedome, by reason that you are come of so noble a line, and endowed with so profound sapience, and further instructed in so many holy and divine things, that you will faithfully keepe silence, and that whatsoever I shall reveale or declare unto you, you would close them within the bottome of your heart, and never discover the same: for I ensure you, the love that I beare unto you, enforceth mee to utter it. Now shal you know all the estate of our house, now shal you know the hidden secrets of my mistres, unto whome the powers of hel do obey, and by whom the celestial planets are troubled, the gods made weake, and the elements subdued, neither is the violence of her art in more strength and force, than when she espieth some comly young man that pleaseth her fancie, as oftentimes it hapneth, for now she loveth one Boetian a fair and beautiful person, on whom she employes al her sorcerie and enchantment, and I heard her say with mine own ears yester night, that if the Sun had not then presently gon downe, and the night come to minister convenient time to worke her magicall enticements, she would have brought perpetuall darkness over all the world her selfe. And you shall know, that when she saw yester night, this Boetian sitting at the Barbers a polling, when she came from the Baines shee secretly commanded me to gather up some of the haires of his head which lay dispersed upon the ground, and to bring it home. Which when I thought to have done the Barber espied me, and by reason it was bruited though all the City that we were Witches and Enchantresses, he cried out and said, Wil you never leave off stealing of young mens haires? In faith I assure you, unlesse you cease your wicked sorceries, I will complaine to the Justices. Wherewithall he came angerly towards me, and tooke away the haire which I had gathered, out of my apron: which grieved me very much, for I knew my Mistresses manners, that she would not be contented but beat me cruelly.

Wherefore I intended to runne away, but the remembrance of you put alwayes the thought out of my minde, and so I came homeward very sorrowful: but because I would not seeme to come to my mistresse sight with empty hands, I saw a man shearing of blowne goat skinnes, and the hayre which he had shorne off was yellow, and much resembled the haire of the Boetian, and I tooke a good deale thereof, and colouring of the matter, I brought it to my mistresse. And so when night came, before your return form supper, she to bring her purpose to passe, went up to a high Gallery of her house, opening to the East part of the world, and preparing her selfe according to her accustomed practise, shee gathered together all substance for fumigations, she brought forth plates of mettal carved with strange characters, she prepared the bones of such as were drowned by tempest in the seas, she made ready the members of dead men, as the nosethrils and fingers, shee set out the lumps of flesh of such as were hanged, the blood which she had reserved of such as were slaine and the jaw bones and teeth of willed beasts, then she said certaine charmes over the haire, and dipped it in divers waters, as in Wel water, Cow milk, mountain honey, and other liquor. Which when she had done, she tied and lapped it up together, and with many perfumes and smells threw it into an hot fire to burn. Then by the great force of this sorcerie, and the violence of so many confections, those bodies whose haire was burning in the fire, received humane shape, and felt, heard and walked: And smelling the sent of their owne haire, came and rapped at our doores in stead of Boetius. Then you being well tipled, and deceived by the obscurity of the night, drew out your sword courageously like furious Ajax, and kild not as he did, whole heard of beastes, but three blowne skinnes, to the intent that I, after the slaughter of so many enemies, without effusion of bloud might embrace and kisse, not an homicide but an Utricide.

Thus when I was pleasantly mocked and taunted by Fotis, I sayd unto her, verily now may I for this atcheived enterprise be numbered as Hercules, who by his valiant prowesse performed the twelve notable Labors, as Gerion with three bodies, and as Cerberus with three heads, for I have slaine three blown goat skinnes. But to the end that I may pardon thee of that thing which though hast committed, perform, the thing which I most earnestly desire of thee, that is, bring me that I may see and behold when thy mistresse goeth about any Sorcery or enchantment, and when she prayeth unto the gods: for I am very desirous to learne that art, and as it seemeth unto mee, thou thy selfe hath some experience in the same. For this I know and plainly feele, That whereas I have always yrked and loathed the embrace of Matrones, I am so stricken and subdued with thy shining eyes, ruddy cheekes, glittering haire, sweet cosses, and lilly white paps, that I have neither minde to goe home, nor to depart hence, but esteeme the pleasure which I shall have with thee this night, above all the joyes of the world. Then (quoth she) O my Lucius, how willing would I be to fulfil your desire, but by reason shee is so hated, she getteth her selfe into solitary places, and out of the presence of every person, when she mindeth to work her enchantments. Howbeit I regarde more to gratify your request, than I doe esteeme the danger of my life: and when I see opportunitie and time I will assuredly bring you word, so that you shal see all her enchantments, but always upon this condition, that you secretly keepe close such things as are done.

Thus as we reasoned together the courage of Venus assailed, as well our desires as our members, and so she unrayed herself and came to bed, and we passed the night in pastime and dalliance, till as by drowsie and unlusty sleep I was constrained to lie still.

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