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command, to the intensity of supplication, or in grateful acknowledgement of the pleasant fumes of sacrifice or incense. So far as mere divination was concerned, Cicero gives us its theory : “ Primum a deo, deinde a fato, deinde a natura, vis omnis divinandi, ratioque repetenda.” And nature, fate, and the gods, generously acceded to these cravings for knowledge, by dreams, omens, and portents, by sortilege, the ravings of insanity, by temporary meteors, and the eternal stars. But human nature craves for power as well as knowledge. Yet here the means, which have been already mentioned, sufficed for the grandest operations. Scott thus quotes Virgil, as translated by Tho. Phaiers :
“ These herbs did Meris give to me,
And poisons pluckt at Pontus,
And doe not so amongst us.
A wolfe, and hid hir in the wood;
• Eclog. 8.
“ She plucks each star out of nis throne,
And turneth back the raging waves,
And raiseth soules out of their graves :
And pulleth downe the lights from heaven,
E'en in the midst of summer season."
Scott has a multitude of similar quotations from the Roman classics, nor were they foreign to his subject, for not only did St. Augustin believe in the metamorphosis of Ulysses and his companions into swine, but Pope Leo the Seventh held for canonical the transformations of Apuleius and Lucian. Several Catholic writers seriously appealed to such passages, in proof of the reality of witchcraft. They neglected one morceau of Horace, which Scott did not fail to apply:
“ Somnia, terrores magicos, miracula, sagas,
These miracles and witches,
Night walking sprites, or Thessal bugs,
Esteeme them not two rushes."
Omens and portents, ghosts, and divination in its various forms, astrology, chiromancy, sortilegy, catoptromancy, &c. passed by wholesale from ancient into modern, from Pagan into Christian superstition. These are beside our present subject. Their witchcraft was copied, with greater modifications as to the means, the charms being Christianized, or rather devilized, and the compact was added, which, when invented, became the very head and front of the offence, and was, indeed, that which constituted the art, a crime; but many of the feats were pretty much the same, especially Lycanthropia, or the witch's own transformation into a wolf, which often occurred in the sixteenth century; and her propensity to transform others into brutal shapes. Two Italian “ alewives” drove an excellent trade by this art, for they made horses of all the travellers who refreshed themselves at their house, and sold them at neighbouring fairs or markets.
One of the most ancient tricks of witchcraft appears to have been conjuring corn from one field into another, which was made a capital offence by the law of the twelve tables: “Qui fruges incantasset, pænis dato, neve alienam segetem pellexeris excantando, neque incantando, ne agrum defruganto." Pliny reports a notable trial under this law, of one Č. Furius Cresinus, who was accused on the presumptive evidence of his grounds bearing particularly good crops. He produced in court his “ ploughs and harrows, spades and shovels, and other instruments of husbandry; his oxen, horses, and working bullocks; his servants, and also his daughter, which was a sturdy wench, and a good huswife,” exclaiming, as Othello did, “ These only are the witchcraft I have used.”
Witchcraft by compact was not of Jewish origin. The Jews were addicted to divination, and sometimes ventured upon calling up spirits by conjuration; but they chiefly wrought by words and numbers, and stood very much on the defensive, endeavouring to protect themselves, their families, and houses, against Sammael, the devil, and Lilis, his wife or mother, who was very troublesome and murtherous amongst the children. They had good receipts for laying amatory demons, as we read in Tobit. Their opinions and practices in that part of their history, which belongs to canonical scripture, were the subjects of warm discussion; but the pleaders for the antiquity of witchcraft were sorely distressed by the challenge of their opponents, to produce a single text declaratory of the reality and power of this infernal compact.
Before the superstition of paganism was wholly worn out, there arose a'pseudo-Christian demonology, which blended with it to produce the embryo of that monstrous and miserable being, the witch of the dark åges. Air, earth, and sea, were peopled with devils, and these devils identified with the objects of heathen adoration; and all the tricks of priests, cheats of jugglers, tales of poets, and traditionary wonders of the vulgar, were soon received as facts, acknowledged to be supernatural, and traced to the agency of these infernal beings, the extent of whose power was continually magnified, their numbers multiplied, the policy of their proceedings more accurately developed, and their union with human co-operators drawn into a closer bond. According to Hallywell, who follows “ Marcus the Eremite, a skilful dæmonist,” there are six kinds:
“ The first fiery, called Lelurion, i. e. nocturnal fire, and these wander in the top of the aiery region, yet far beneath the moon: the second are aiery, whose mansions are these lower regions nearer to us: the third are terrestrial, dwelling upon the earth, and perilous foes to mankind: the fourth are aquatic, or watry, keeping their haunts about rivers, lakes, and springs, drowning men often, raising storms at sea, and sinking ships : the fifth sort are subterranean, living in caverns and hollows of the earth, often hurting and killing welldiggers and miners for metals, causing earthquakes and eruptions of fiames and pestilent winds: the last and worst sort are these lighthating ghosts, or night-walkers, the darkest and most inscrutable kind, and striking all things they meet with cold passions. And all these demons, saith he, hate both gods and men, but some worse than others."
Here then every one addicted to magic might find a devil to his taste, and every devil a witch according to his.
“And these demons take care to suit themselves to the tempers of those they have familiarity withal; and the devils with whom Apollonius conversed might be far different from those fouler and grosser fiends that attend a wicked sorceress, daily sucking her blood, and nestling in her loathsome rags.”
Towards their chieftain, this author is disposed to use and recommend respectful language: “ That mighty angel of darkness is not foolishly and idly to be scoffed at or blasphemed;" and he pleads the Scriptural precept, not to speak evil of dignities, for
“The devil may properly be looked upon as a dignity, though his glory be pale and wau, and those once bright and orient colours faded and darkened in his robes : and the Scriptures represent him as a prince, though it be of devils.”
But while the leader appears not « less than Archangel VOL. V. PART I.
ruined,” many of his followers are supposed to be not over wise, and all to contract grossness, by being compelled to live in this lower atmosphere. These were the merry devils, the Robin Goodfellows, that played practical jokes, and made fun for the recreation of the witches and their own amusement. Glanvil thinks, there are as many fools out of the body as in the body. A considerable number of these demons, or, according to some, a distinct class in alliance with them, was the produce of those unlawful lives, which (according to a current misinterpretation of an expression in Genesis) inflamed the bosoms and united the persons of the fairest daughters of men, and some of the brightest angels of heaven. The fairies, and similar sprites, are, as Baxter conjectures, another class, denizens of the air, and formed to swim in it, as fishes in the sea. And there is yet another class, to do the dirtiest work of this great empire, and preserve the dignity of its nobility from contamination, consisting of their earthly recruits, the damned souls of departed conjurors.
“ It is not necessary to suppose the grandees of the airy principality to trade with witches, but that the souls of extremely wicked persons, after their release from the body, may do these feats. For whether we suppose, that such as in this life have incorporated themselves into the dark society, by all manner of vitious and flagitious actions, are, when loosened by death from their terrestrial bodies, the vassals and slaves of those crafty demons, whose cursed inspirations and counsels they so eagerly followed, and so by them are employed in these abominable offices; or whether the proclivity of their own natures to all enormous wickedness may not induce them to attempt familiarity and society with sorcerers and witches, especially since those radicated and confirmed habits of vice, contracted in this life, are rather heightened and increased, than any way diminished or abated by the releasement from the flesh, and consequently it may be accounted by them a pleasant sport and pastime, to tempt and inveigle such desolate and forlorn mortals : either of these ways are sufficient to beget a probability that those Familiars of witches, to whom they have linked themselves, may be no other than human souls, deeply sunk and drowned in wickedness.” Melampronvea, p. 80.
The best account of the power of devils is that given by the celebrated (and persecuted) Dr. Bekker, from Schottus, in his World Bewitched. We quote from a translation of Le Monde Enchanté, dated 1695.
“ The devils operate some things by motion, others by the active virtue of natural causes, and others by illusion.
" They alledge fifteen sorts of their operations by their motion from one place to another, of which the five first consist in real operations, and the nine last in meer representations. Those of the first
class are, First. They cause fire to descend from heaven, as 'tis related in the first Chapter of Job. Second. According to the same bistory, they may raise storms and tempests. Third. They may likewise cause rain, bring fair weather, make winds blow upon the sea, stop the course of vessels, and overturn them. Fourth. They may produce earthquakes. Fifth. They may transport through the air, or in some other manner, the bodies of men, and all other sorts of bodies.”
Our author afterwards relates what they operate by motions of mere representation to the internal and external senses :
“1. They render visible things invisible, suddenly snatching them from the sight of men. 2. They make statues and other inanimate objects move and walk. 3. They make them speak. 4. They make appear man and beast in their dead bodies, as though they were alive. 5. They take upon them aereal bodies, and by that means produce several effects. 6. They represent the figure of all sorts of matter, either gold, silver, precious stones, or others. 7. They direct in such a manner the animal spirits of men, that they make appear to them, past, present, and future things, in their own shape, and perswade them that they see, hear, and do things, that are not real. 8. They cause pineings and violent diseases in human bodies. 9. By dreams they present to people such objects as are absent and remote, and forewarn them of future things. 10. They produce in men the passions of love, hatred, anger, and fury.
“The second sort of diabolical operations is no less credited; it consisting in the active virtue of natural things ; and therefore 'tis believed, that by the power of the devil, whether he acts immediately and by himself, or by wizards and witches, herbs, fruits, waters, and most other matters, may be mixed in some sort and degree, and with the proportions requisite for it, whereby food, drink, physick, or some other potion, may be made up, that shall cause a great deal of hurt to man and beast. 'Tis also believed, that all these things may be done by natural ways, but that they are more easily, readily, and efficaciously performed by the power and craft of the devil, without being perceived by the most skilful men, who can never do the like.
“ As to the illusions, they must be understood in this sense, that the devils, indeed, do some thing, but not whatever they seem to operate. For 'tis not doubted but the devil can do whatever is possible to be done by natural means, and which may happen in process of time by the ordinary course of nature, without the co-operation of that wicked spirit, as we shall say anon, but he has this power by God's permission, to imploy all the forces of nature for the producing of what effect he desires; whence often proceeds, that men either by ignorance, or because some extraordinary objects and events come before them, believe things that are not in being, or perswade themselves that the devil performs some certain effects that are not natural. In the meanwhile it remains constant and undoubted, that the devil has power to do whatever has been already mentioned, as also whatever I am going to say.