Sunday, September 9, 2012

You can't escape destiny, says Olaus.

Here's another tale from the Treatise of Specters, the last one for now. I shall transcribe more of them when I can get to Innerpeffray Library again! 

This story is from a section entitled An History of strange Prophecies, and Predictions of Devils. It's a variation on the old theme of not being able to escape your destiny, which goes back at least as far as Greek legends (eg. Oedipus). 

139. In Northern Gothia two tombs are seen, being huge Stones in the place of way-marks or Crosses, having the bodyes of two brethren laid in them, unto whom it had been foretold by a soothsayer, in their first youth it should come to passe that they should die by mutuall wounds given. To decline the destiny, they undertook a travell unto the farthest, and most contrary parts of the World. In their utmost old age, at length returning into their countrey, when as any one hoped his brother to have long since died, not far from the Town Jonacum, they met one another unknown, and Salutation being on both sides given and received, they rested under the next pine-tree. By and by their Dogs wrangling, they also broke forth, first to quarrellings, then to mutuall wounds, and drawing out their Soul, and acknowledging themselves to be brethren, they dyed in mutuall embraces. Olaus, in his first book of Northern Customes, ch. 37.

NB "Olaus" is Olaus Magnus, a sixteenth century Swedish writer. 

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