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40. CHAPTER XL. (continued)
Then the scales fell from the eyes of the Seven, and one said, Alas, that we drank of the curious liquors. They have made us weary, and in dreamless sleep these two long centuries have we lain. Our homes are desolate, our friends are dead. Behold, the jig is up--let us die. And that same day went they forth and laid them down and died. And in that self-same day, likewise, the Seven-up did cease in Ephesus, for that the Seven that were up were down again, and departed and dead withal. And the names that be upon their tombs, even unto this time, are Johannes Smithianus, Trumps, Gift, High, and Low, Jack, and The Game. And with the sleepers lie also the bottles wherein were once the curious liquors: and upon them is writ, in ancient letters, such words as these--Dames of heathen gods of olden time, perchance: Rumpunch, Jinsling, Egnog.
Such is the story of the Seven Sleepers, (with slight variations,) and I know it is true, because I have seen the cave myself.
Really, so firm a faith had the ancients this legend, that as late as eight or nine hundred years ago, learned travelers held it in superstitious fear. Two of them record that they ventured into it, but ran quickly out again, not daring to tarry lest they should fall asleep and outlive their great grand-children a century or so. Even at this day the ignorant denizens of the neighboring country prefer not to sleep in it.
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