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William Godwin 'quotes'[edit]

  • Oh glory of Haemonia, that hast the power to divulge the fates of men, or canst turn aside fate itself from its prescribed course, I pray thee to exercise thy gift in disclosing events to come. Not the meanest of the Roman race am I, the offspring of an illustrious chieftain, lord of the world in the one case, or in the other, the destined heir to my father's calamity. I stand on a tremendous and giffy height; snatch me from this posture of doubt; let me not blindly rush on, and blindly fall; exort this secret from the gods, or force the dead to confess what they know.
  • Ye Furies, and dreadful Styx, ye sufferings of the damned, and Chaos for ever eager to destroy the fair harmony of words, and thou, Pluto, condemned to an eternity of ungrateful existence, Hell and Elysium, of which no Thessalian witch shall partake, Prosperine, for ever cut off from thy health-giving mother, and horrid Hecate, Cerberus, cursed with incessant hunger, ye Destinies, and Charon, endlessly murmuring at the task I impose of bringing back the dead again to the land of the living, hear me! -if I call on you with a voice sufficiently impious and abominable, if I have never sung this chant unsated with human gore, if I have frequently laid on your altars the fruit of the pregnant mother, bathing its contents with the reeking brain if I have placed on a dish before you the head and entrails of an infant on the point to be born-
I ask not of you a ghost, already a tenant of the Tartarian abodes, and long familiarized to the shades below, but one who has recently quitted the light of day, and who yet hovers over the mouth of hell: let him hear these incantations, and immediately after descent to his destined place! Let him articulate suitable omens to the son of his general, having so late been himself a soldier of the great Pompey! Do this, as you love the very sound and rumour of a civil war!
  • Erichtho, Pharsalia as quoted by William Godwin in Lives of the Necromancers pg. 112-113