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Halloween Special in Latin #5 — Noises in The Night

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.

Last Hal­loween, we told a ghost sto­ry from Swe­den, which took place in 1632. You can find last year’s spe­cial here. This year we will revis­it the mid-1600s but turn our atten­tion a bit fur­ther south as the sto­ry we will tell takes place in a haunt­ed cas­tle in France.

Which cas­tle we can­not know for sure, but it is said that it lay out­side Paris.

Black and white engraving of Madame Deshoulières.
Madame Antoinette du Ligi­er de la Garde Deshoulières

The hero­ine of the sto­ry, a poet­ess, is a his­tor­i­cal fig­ure. Her name was Madame Antoinette du Ligi­er de la Garde Deshoulières from Paris and she tru­ly was a famous poet­ess of 17th cen­tu­ry France. How­ev­er, if these events that you are about to be told real­ly took place or not, we will nev­er know.

Either way, it is a good story.

Below you will find the video in Latin and a tran­scrip­tion of the video.

Video in Latin

For more scary sto­ries in Latin, you can always take a look at last year’s spe­cial about the Swedish ghost sto­ry called the Rid­er, or the pre­vi­ous the Art of Shud­der­ing from the broth­ers Grimm, or our sec­ond spe­cial about two ghost sto­ries from Stock­holm. You can also watch our first Hal­loween Latin spe­cial that con­cerns ghosts and scary things in ancient Rome. Join the Newslet­ter because we send out tips, updates, and learn­ing material.

Audio only

Lis­ten to the audio in your pod­cast play­er or here on Latinitium.com

Transcription of the video

“Som­nia, ter­rores magi­cos, mirac­u­la, sagas, 
Noc­turnos lemures por­ten­taque Thes­sala rides?”

— Hor­atius, Epist. 2

Medio saecu­lo sep­ti­mo dec­i­mo, in Gallia.

Nōn longē ab urbe Lutētiā, comes quidam regius palātium habet quae noc­tū ā lārvīs inquiētā­tur atque īnfestā­tur. Nox fere nūl­la est quīn strepitūs strīdōrēsque ex cubiculō quō­dam exau­di­antur: hoc autem cubicu­lum fuit mātris comi­tis ante­quam ea diem obiit.

Quō­dam diē poē­tria quaedam illīs tem­po­ribus fāmā cele­bris ā comite invītā­ta est, ut in palātiō ali­quamdiū com­morārē­tur; rata hoc sibi ven­trem iam fer­en­tī prō­futūrum ad palātium pro­fec­ta est.

Quō cum per­vēnis­set, benignē excep­ta palātium mag­nifi­cum intrāvit.

Inclīnātō iam diē comes et uxor eius et poē­tria dis­cubuērunt ut cēnārent et tem­pus ser­mōnibus iūcundīs tererent.

Post aliquās hōrās poē­tria, dē viā fes­sā, sē cubi­tum īre velle dīx­it. “Hoc palātium,” inquit comes, “mul­ta cubic­u­la habet. Licet tibi quodli­bet ēligere—praeter ūnum quod nēminī intrāre licet.”

Poē­tria iam cupid­itāte eius cubiculī videndī incēn­sa “nōn pos­sum,” inquit, “nōn rogāre cūr ad istud cubicu­lum nēminī adi­tus pateat.” Comes prīmō dubi­tat, tum dēmis­sā vōce “Illud cubicu­lum, quod fuit mātris meae dōnec nōbīs ērep­ta est, iam diū ā lārvīs īnfestā­tur atque agitā­tur.” Poē­tria, simul atque hoc audīvit, sē in illō ipsō cubiculō dor­mīre velle affir­māvit. Tum comes: “Nōn com­mit­tam ut tē, fēmi­nam gravi­dam, tan­tō perīculō obi­ci­am!” Poē­tria autem īnstat neque cēdit. “Tē,” inquit comes, “ōrō atque obse­crō nē ēligās id cubiculum!”

Iam comes timet nē, cum noc­tis tene­brae sē intendis­sent, poētriā pretium prae­sen­tis audā­ci­ae fer­ret; timet mātrī timet īnfantī.

Poē­tria autem, fēmi­na for­tis­si­ma, precibus comi­tis nōn flec­ti­tur: in sen­ten­tiā per­stat. Uxor comi­tis, nōn minus quam marī­tus prō poētriā eiusque partū ānx­ia, eam mon­et ut sibi īnfan­tīque cōn­suleret neu tan­tīs perīculīs sē obiceret.

Neque hīs precibus poē­tria vinci­tur, immō iam magis īnflam­mā­tur cupid­itāte cubicu­lum lārvāsque videndī. Stat sententia.

Tan­dem comes, vīc­tus, “Quid istīc? Tē ad cubicu­lum illud nefan­dum dūcam.” Cubicu­lum erat amplum atque obscūrum fen­estrīs parvīs, pari­etibus lapi­deīs. Focus vetus speciem spēlun­cae obscūrae vel ōris dīduc­tī praebēbat.Angulī minācēs atque obscūrī undique pre­mere vidēbantur.

Iānuā clausā et can­dēla iux­tā lec­tum positā poē­tria dēcumbit ut lēgat. Gradā­tim, tene­brae obor­tae tōtum cubicu­lum obscūritāte involvunt. Nihil iam videt praeter ea quae prope can­dēlam sunt. Mox obdormīscit.

Vehe­men­tī sonitū iānu­ae ē som­nō subitō excu­ti­tur. Sēsē in lec­tō ērig­it et in iānu­am oculōs conic­it. Nihil autem videt. Omnia obscūriōra sunt quam ut quidquam videat. Inten­dit aurēs.

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Soni­tum cubicu­lum intran­tis audit. “Heus, tūn’ es lār­va illa quam tan­topere timent? Sī forte putās mē strepitibus tuīs ter­rōre per­cul­sam esse, vehe­menter errās. Ēgredere ē tene­brīs ut videam quae lār­va ausa sit intem­pestā nocte cubicu­lum meum intrāre.”

Silen­tium est et tene­brīs tenen­tur omnia.

Tum vērō mēn­sā ēvertī; vēla dē ānulīs sus­pēn­sa fluitārī; ānulī ipsī strīdēre ut dīcerēs miserum quen­dam apud īnfer­ōs inaudītīs cru­ciātibus torquērī. Sed poē­tria, fēmi­na for­tis atque intre­p­i­da, nē dig­i­tum trānsver­sum qui­dem cēdit. “Quid, malum, tibi vīs? Quis es? Esne māter comi­tis? Cūr hoc cubicu­lum inquiētās atque ter­rōrem comitī ini­cis? Prō dī immortālēs, cūr intem­pestā nocte hoc cubicu­lum intrāstī?”

Silen­tium est et tene­brīs tenen­tur omnia.

Subitō can­dēlā ēver­sā mag­nō cum strepitō ad ter­ram cadit. Flam­mā extīnc­tā poē­tria cir­cum­spic­it sed nihil videt.

Silen­tium est et tene­brīs tenen­tur omnia.

In lec­tō diū sedet immō­ta, tum aliq­uid in extrēmō lec­tō vidē­tur vidēre. Omnī metū dēpositō brac­chia por­rig­it ad eum locum ubi lārvā sedēre vidē­tur et tene­brās cap­tāns aliq­uid pre­hen­dit. Sen­tit sē aliq­uid lēve atque molle manibus tenēre sed propter tene­brās quid esset non vidē­bat. Cōn­sti­tu­it id manibus fir­miter tenēre dum dīlūcēsceret. Multās hōrās cum eō quod manibus tenē­bat sēdit dum diēs tan­dem ven­it lūcemque sparg­ere coepit.

Comes uxorque eius strepitibus illīs hor­rendīs audītīs timōre per­cul­sī tōta nocte oculōs nōn clauser­ant. Nōn dubita­bant quin hos­pes iam mor­tua esset. Etsī ter­rōre plānē per­cul­sī, tan­dem tamen sēsē recip­i­unt et prīmā lūce cubicu­lum poē­tri­ae petunt.

Cum ad cubicu­lum veni­unt, iānu­am aper­tam inve­ni­unt. “Vīvīsne?” clā­mat comes pavidus. “Sānē!” inquit poē­tria. “Intrāte, et salūtāte lār­vam ves­tram quam vōbīs com­pre­hendī!” “Quid ais?” inquit comes, “com­pre­hendis­tīne mātrem meam mor­tu­am?” Ter­rōre pavēns cubicu­lum incertō pede intrat. Quod vīdit, numquam posteā oblī­tus est. In lec­tō mātris poē­tria lae­ta sedē­bat, cuius ad pedēs ingēns can­is albus quiēscēbat.

Tum poe­t­ria: “Hic can­is miser, cum frī­gus tam agre sit, forīs dor­mīre nōn vult ideōque in palātium ven­it. Iānua huius cubiculī facile aperī­tur: satis est eam leviter impellere. Cum autem noc­tū in cubiculō nihil vidēre pos­sit, var­iās rēs imprūdēns ēver­tit atque sic strepi­tum facit.”

Comes rubōre suf­fū­sus nesciē­bat rīdēretne an lacrimāret. Ūnum autem sciē­bat domum suam lārvīs nōn iam inquiētārī.

Ab illō diē can­is apud comitem noc­tū prope focum eius dormīvit

Daniel Pettersson

Daniel Pettersson

Teacher and author Daniel Pettersson, M.A., is co-founder of Latinitium and is currently teaching Latin at Stockholm University, where he is also working on his Ph.D. dissertation on Humanist Colloquia. Daniel believes in the importance of Latin literature in the modern world and that you can teach yourself Latin with the right motivation, method, and material.
Written by Daniel Pettersson

Written by Daniel Pettersson

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