The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
Conference Committee:
Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, UQ
Thomas John, Chair, European Focus Group, LCA
Nicholas Aroney, Reader in Law, UQ
Hendryk Flaegel, International Law Section, LCA

The necessity of the Christians

The necessity of the Christians compelled them to defy this evil repute of the forest; and Ismeno hastened to oppose them. He drew his line, and uttered his incantations, and called on the spirits whom St. Michael had rebuked, bidding them come and take charge of the forest--every one of his tree, as a soul of its body. The spirits delayed at first, not only for dread of the great angel, but because they resented the biddings of mortality, even in their own cause. The magician, however, persisted; and his spells becoming too powerful to be withstood, presently they came pouring in by myriads, occupying the whole place, and rendering the very approach to it a task of fear and labour. The first party of men that came to cut wood were unable to advance when they beheld the trees, but turned like children, and became the mockery of the camp. Godfrey sent them back, with a chosen squadron to animate them to the work; but the squadron themselves, however boldly they affected to proceed, lead no sooner approached the spot, than they found reason to forgive the fears of the woodcutters. The earth shook; a great wind began rising, with a sound of waters; and presently, every dreadful noise ever heard by man seemed mingled into one, and advancing to meet them--roarings of lions, hissings of serpents, pealings and rolls of thunder. The squadron went back to Godfrey, and plainly confessed that it had not courage enough to enter such a place. A leader, of the name of Alcasto, shook his head at this candour with a contemptuous smile. He was a man of the stupider sort of courage, without mind enough to conceive danger. "Pretty soldiers," exclaimed he, "to be afraid of noises and sights! Give the duty to me. Nothing shall stop Alcasto, though the place be the mouth of hell." Alcasto went; and he went farther than the rest, and the trembling woodcutters once more prepared their axes; but, on a sudden, there sprang up between them and the trees a wall of fire which girded the whole forest. It had glowing battlements and towers; and on these there appeared armed spirits, with the strangest and most bewildering aspects. Alcasto retired--slowly indeed, but with shame and terror; nor had he the courage to re-appear before his commander. Godfrey had him brought, but could hardly get a word from his lips. The man talked like one in a dream.

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