chapter  III
23 Pages

The Exorcism of Death

I believe that I am not quite accurate when I call this" Etrusco-Roman." For in fact the religion, such as it is, which forms the real faith of the strege and their patrons, goes back to a time of which there is no record. The Greeco-Roman polytheism died before Christianity arose; before that was the Etruscan, Oscan, Sabine, or U mbrian, and long, long before these, the simple sorcery of the Tartar Shaman. And it is this, \vith more or less picked up, by the \vay, from Etruscans here and Romans there, but in the main just \vhat it was thousands of years ago, which we have to-day. But to the spell :-

" \Vhen one is very ill in a house, and ~eath is feared, go to a witch :lnd say: 'I need a favour from thee; death will not COlne to n1Y 1Ilalalo-invalid.'