Notation 2016, No.3 »The Mandrake«
Taken from Paul Christian's The History and Practice of Magic (first published in France in 1870):
„Would you like to make a Mandragora, as powerful as the homunculus (little man in a bottle) so praised by Paracelsus? Then find a root of the plant called bryony. Take it out of the ground on a Monday (the day of the moon), a little time after the vernal equinox. Cut off the ends of the root and bury it at night in some country churchyard in a dead man's grave. For 30 days, water it with cow's milk in which three bats have been drowned. When the 31st day arrives, take out the root in the middle of the night and dry it in an oven heated with branches of verbena; then wrap it up in a piece of a dead man's winding-sheet and carry it with you everywhere.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616):
„Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday."
…from Antony and Cleopatra:
"Give me to drink mandragora ...
That I might sleep out this great gap of time
My Antony is away."
…King Henry VI part II:
"Shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth."
Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet IV.iii
"Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake's groan"
Samuel Beckett (1906 - 1989)
…from Waiting For Godot: "Let's hang ourselves immediately!"
"It'd give us an erection!"
"With all that follows—where it falls, Mandrakes grow, that's why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that?"
…from the novel Molloy: "I tried to remember the name of the plant that springs from the ejaculations of the hanged and shrieks when plucked."