ARTHUR MACHEN VINUM SABBATI PDF
June 25, 2020 | by admin
Arthur Machen . pharmacist stop, and upon subjected to fluctuating temperatures over the years has turned naturally into something called the vinum sabbati. Some of the finest horror stories ever written. Arthur Machen had a profound impact upon H.P. Lovecraft and the group of stories that would later become known. Dans les récits fantastiques écrits par Arthur Machen à la fin du siècle, to the one formerly used to make Vinum Sabbati, the sacramental wine of the Sabbath.
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My name is Leicester; my father, Major-General Wyn Leicester, a distinguished officer of artillery, succumbed five years ago to a complicated liver complaint acquired in the deadly climate of India. A year later my only brother, Francis, arrthur home after an exceptionally brilliant macheh at the University, and settled down with the resolution of a hermit to master what has been well called the great legend of the law.
He was a man who seemed to live in utter indifference to everything that is called pleasure; and though he was handsomer than most men, and could talk as merrily and wittily as if he were a mere vagabond, he avoided society, and shut himself up in a large room at the top of the house to make himself a lawyer.
Ten hours a day of hard reading was at first his allotted portion; from the first light in the east to the late afternoon he remained shut up with his books, taking a hasty half-hour’s lunch with me as if he grudged the wasting of the moments, and going out for a short walk when it began to grow dusk.
I thought that such relentless application must be injurious, and tried to cajole him from the crabbed textbooks, but his ardour seemed to grow rather mafhen diminish, and his daily tale of hours increased. I spoke to him seriously, suggesting some occasional relaxation, if it were but an idle afternoon with a mafhen novel; but he laughed, and said that he read about feudal tenures when he felt in need of amusement, and scoffed at the notions of theatres, or a month’s fresh air.
I confessed that he looked well, and seemed not to suffer from his labours, but I knew that such unnatural toil would take revenge at last, and I was not mistaken. A look of anxiety began to lurk about his eyes, and he seemed languid, wabbati at last he avowed that he was no longer in perfect health; he was troubled, he said, with a sensation of dizziness, and awoke now and then of nights from fearful dreams, terrified and cold with icy sweats.
No, no; I will not overdo my work; I shall be well enough in a week or two, depend upon it. Yet in spite of his assurances I could see that he grew no better, but rather worse; he would enter the drawing-room with a face all miserably wrinkled and despondent, and endeavour to look gaily when my eyes fell on him, and I thought such symptoms of evil omen, and was frightened sometimes at the nervous irritation of his movements, and at glances which I could not decipher.
Much against his will, I prevailed on him to have medical advice, and with an ill grace he called in our old doctor. But I think—I do indeed, Miss Leicester—that we shall be able to set this all right. I have written him a prescription which ought to do great things. So you have no cause for anxiety. My brother insisted on having the prescription made up by a chemist in the neighbourhood.
It was an odd, oldfashioned shop, devoid of the studied coquetry and calculated glitter that make so gay a show on the counters and shelves of the modern apothecary; but Francis liked the old chemist, and believed in the scrupulous purity of his drugs.
The medicine was sent in due course, and I saw that my brother took it regularly after lunch and dinner.
It was an innocent-looking white powder, of which a little was dissolved in a glass of cold water; I stirred it in, and it seemed to disappear, leaving the water clear and colorless. At first Francis seemed to benefit greatly; the weariness vanished from his face, and he became more cheerful than he had ever been since the time when he left school; he talked gaily of reforming himself, and avowed to me that he had wasted his time.
Come, I shall be Lord Chancellor yet, but I must not forget life. But we will go off together in a week or two, so try and furbish up your French. I only know law French myself, and I am afraid that wouldn’t do. We were just finishing dinner, and he quaffed off his medicine with a parade of carousal as if it had been wine from some choicest bin.
Look at the afterglow; why, it is as if a great city were burning in flames, and down there between the dark houses it is raining blood fast.
The Novel of the White Powder
Yes, I will go out; I may be in soon, but I shall take my key; so good-night, dear, if I don’t see you again. The door slammed behind him, and I saw him walk lightly down the street, swinging his malacca cane, and I felt grateful to Dr. Haberden for such an improvement. I believe my brother came home very late that night, but he was in a merry mood the next morning.
And then I met an old college friend, Orford, in the press of the pavement, and then—well, we enjoyed ourselves, I have felt what it is to be young and a man; I find I have blood in my veins, as other men have. I made an appointment with Orford for to-night; there will be a little party of us at the restaurant. Yes; I shall enjoy myself for a week or two, and hear the chimes at midnight, and then we will go for our little trip together.
Such was the transmutation of my brother’s character that in a few days he became a lover of pleasure, a careless and merry idler of western pavements, a hunter out of snug restaurants, and a fine critic of fantastic dancing; he grew fat before my eyes, and said no more of Paris, for he had clearly found his paradise in London.
I rejoiced, and yet wondered a little; for there was, I thought, something in his gaiety that indefinitely displeased me, though I could not have defined my feeling. But by degrees there came a change; he returned still in the cold hours of the morning, but I heard no more about his pleasures, and one morning as we sat at breakfast together I looked suddenly into his eyes and saw a stranger before me.
I went weeping out of the sxbbati for though I knew nothing, yet I knew all, and by some odd play of thought I remembered the evening when he first went abroad, and the picture of the sunset sky glowed before me; the clouds like a city in burning flames, and the rain of blood. Yet I did battle with such thoughts, resolving that perhaps, after all, no great harm had been done, and in the evening at dinner I resolved to press him to fix a day for our holiday in Paris.
We had talked easily enough, and my brother had just taken his medicine, which he continued artbur the while. I was about to begin my topic when the words forming in my mind vanished, and I wondered for saabbati second what icy and intolerable weight oppressed my heart and suffocated me as with the unutterable horror of the coffin-lid nailed down on the living.
We had dined macben candles; the room ginum slowly grown from twilight to gloom, and the walls and corners were indistinct in the shadow. But from where I sat I looked out into the street; and as I thought of what I would say to Francis, the sky began to flush and shine, as it had done on a well-remembered evening, and in the gap between two dark masses that were houses an awful pageantry of flame appeared—lurid whorls of writhed cloud, and utter depths burning, grey masses like the fume blown from a smoking city, and an evil glory blazing far above shot with tongues of more ardent fire, and below as if there were a deep pool of blood.
I looked down to where my brother sat facing me, and the words were shaped on vihum lips, when I saw his hand resting on the table. Between the thumb and forefinger of the closed hand there was a mark, a vinmu patch about the size of a sixpence, and somewhat of the colour of a bad bruise.
Yet, by some sense I cannot define, I knew that what I saw was no bruise at all; oh! Without thought or fashioning of words grey horror shaped within me at the sight, and in an inner cell it was known to be a brand.
For the moment the stained sky became dark as midnight, and when the light returned to me I was alone in the silent room, and soon after I heard my brother go out. Late as it was, I put on my hat and went to Dr. Haberden, and in his great consulting room, ill lighted by a candle which the doctor brought in with him, with stammering lips, and a voice that would break in spite of my resolve, I told him all, from the day on which my brother began to take the medicine down to the dreadful thing I had seen scarcely half an hour before.
When I had done, the doctor looked at me for a minute with an expression of great pity on his face. Come, now, is it not so? I saw what I have told you with my own eyes. But your eyes had been staring at that very curious sunset we had tonight. That is the only explanation. You will see it in the proper light to-morrow, I am sure. But, remember, I am always ready to give any help that is in my power; do not scruple to come to me, or to send for me if you are in any distress.
I went away but little comforted, all confusion and terror and sorrow, not knowing where to turn. When my brother and I met the next day, I looked quickly at him, and noticed, with a sickening at heart, that the right hand, the hand on which I had clearly seen the patch as of a black fire, was wrapped up with a handkerchief.
I cut a finger last night, and it bled rather awkwardly. So I did it up roughly to the best of my ability. Suppose we have breakfast; I am quite hungry. We sat down and I watched him. He scarcely ate or drank at all, but tossed his meat to the dog when he thought my eyes were turned away; there was a look in his eyes that I had never yet seen, and the thought flashed across my mind that it was a look that was scarcely human.
I was firmly convinced that awful and incredible as was the thing I had seen the night before, yet it was no illusion, no glamour of bewildered sense, and in the course of the evening I went again to the doctor’s house. As I understand, all the symptoms he complained of have disappeared long ago; why should he go on taking the stuff when he is quite well? And by the by, where did he get it made up? I never send any one there; the old man is getting careless.
Suppose you come with me to the chemist’s; I should like to have some talk with him. We walked together to the shop; old Sayce knew Dr. Haberden, and was quite ready to give any information. Leicester for some weeks, I think, on my prescription,” said the doctor, giving the old man a pencilled scrap of paper.
The chemist put on his great spectacles with trembling uncertainty, and held up the paper with a shaking hand “Oh, yes,” he said, “I have very little of it left; it is rather an uncommon drug, and I have had it in stock some time. I must get in some more, if Mr. Leicester goes on with it. He took out the stopper and smelt the contents, and looked strangely at the old man.
For one thing, Mr. Sayce, it is not what I prescribed. Yes, yes, I see the label is right enough, but I tell you this is not the drug. It is not prescribed often, and I have had it on the shelf for some years.
You see there is very little left. We went out of the shop in silence, the doctor carrying the bottle neatly wrapped in paper under his arm.
Pagan Revenants in Arthur Machen’s Supernatural Tales of the Nineties
We walked on quickly without another word till we reached Dr. He asked me to sit down, and began pacing up and down the room, his face clouded over, as I could see, with no common fears. We will put aside, if you please, what you told me last night and this morning, but the fact remains that for the last few weeks Mr. Leicester has been impregnating his system with a drug which is completely unknown to me.
I tell you, it is not what I ordered; and what the stuff in the bottle really is remains to be seen. He undid the wrapper, and cautiously tilted a few grains of the white powder on to a piece of paper, and peered curiously at it.
He held the bottle to me, and I bent over it. It was a strange, sickly smell, vaporous and overpowering, like some strong anaesthetic. Then we shall have something to go upon. No, no; say no more about that other matter; I cannot listen to that; and take my advice and think no more about it yourself. A little law will be quite a relaxation after so sharp a dose of pleasure,” and he grinned to himself, and soon after went up to his room. His hand was still all bandaged.
But I should like to see Mr. Leicester, if he is in. I dare say that we have made a good deal of fuss about a very little; for, after all, whatever the powder may be, it seems to have done him good. The doctor went upstairs, and standing in the hall I heard his knock, and the opening and shutting of the door; and then I waited in the silent house for an hour, and the stillness grew more and more intense as the hands of the clock crept round.
Then there sounded from above the noise of a door shut sharply, and the doctor was coming down the stairs. His footsteps crossed the hall, and there was a pause at the door; I drew a long, sick breath with difficulty, and saw my face white in a little mirror, and he came in and stood at the door.
There was an unutterable horror shining in his eyes; he steadied himself by holding the back of a chair with one hand, his lower lip trembled like a horse’s, and he gulped and stammered unintelligible sounds before he spoke. And I am sabbaati and in my senses!