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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 ʼtis related in the first Chapter of Job. Second. According to the same history, they may raise storms and tempests. Third. They may likewise cause rain, bring fair weather, make winds blow upon
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 wbatever I am going to say.
“I mean to speak of illusions, which Schottus, together with Delrio and Molina, declares to be of three sorts ; those that are made by the change of the objects, those that are made by the change of the air, and those that happen by the change of the organs of the
“ First. Illusions are made by the change of the object, when one thing is substituted instead of another, that has been suddenly and imperceptibly snatched away; or when an object is presented to the eyes, in such a state and manner, as that it produces a false vision; or when any object made up of air, or of some other element, offers itself to the sight; or lastly, when there appears any thing composed of different matters mingled together, so skilfully prepared, that what existed before receives thereby another form and figure.
“ Second. The change of the air is made by these ways, when the devil hinders, lest the object should pass through the air, and hit our eyes; when he disposes the air that is betwixt the object and the eye in such a manner, that the object appears in another figure than really it is; when he thickens the air to make the object appear greater than it is, and to hinder it from being seen in other places, but the place he designs; when he moves the air in the place through which the object is to hit the eye, that the object, going through that part of the air, may also be moved, and that its figure may be presented to the eye, otherwise than it is ; and lastly, when he mingles and confounds together several different figures, in order that in one only object there may appear many together.
“ Third. The organs of the senses are changed, when they are either transferred from their places and altered; when their humours and active particles are corrupted or thickned, or when such a shining brightness passes before the eyes, that they are dazled, so that it seems that a man raves waking.”
From the classes and powers of devils, we naturally come, in our portraiture of the belief of our ancestors on this subject, to those of their confederates and victims. Gaule's second case of conscience is, “How many kindes of witches may there be conceived ?” In reply, he specifies eight classes, though his enumeration is confessedly imperfect, distinguished by their operations; they are, 1, the diviner, gypsey, or fortune-telling witch ; 2, the astrologian, star-gazing, planetary, prognosticating witch ; 3, the chaunting, canting, or calculating witch, who works by signs or numbers ; 4, the venefick, or poisonous witch; 5, the exorcist, or conjuring witch; 6, the gastromantick witch; 7, the magical, speculative, sciential, or arted witch; 8, the necromancer. He censures the common distinction of white and black witch, declaring the former to be the worst, and resolves the whole into arted and patted witches, the former relying upon science and the occult quali
ties of nature, which are the devil's trap for finer minds, and the latter
Only operative about some prodigious or præstigious things, and that only by vertue of a superstitious compact made with the divell, without or against all rules and orders of nature, art, or grace."
Another general distinction is of the active and the passive witch;
“One, as it were, tempting the divell ; the other rather tempted by him. One, as it were, the author, and the divell the instrument; the other but the bare instrument, and the divell the sole author. One maliciously rejoicing and glorying in prodigious pranks and exploits ; the other soinewhat irking and ashamed. One not infesting onely, but infecting also, by seeking to make others witches; the other willing, or wishing rather to be unmade itself.”
There are also “ mixtly passive," who are both obsessed and operative. He marks certain degrees of criminality:
“ 1. From the time, as the inveterate witch is to bee thought worse than the novice. 2. Place, as a witch at court is worse than a witch in the country, and a witch in the church worse than a witch in her own cell. 3. Sexe, as the male witch is worse than the female. For though she may be more envious and malicious, yet he has abused the abler and nobler sexe. 4. Degree or quality, as Jezabel was worse than the witch of Endor. 5. Profession, as the Christian witch is worse than the Pagan. 6. Office, as the clericall is worse than the layicke witch. 7, Object, as to practice witch-craft on men is worse than if on beasts only. 8. Malicious intent, as to have made one witch is worse than to have bewitched many."
Gaule, who was a moderate man, and whose book, by its exposure of some of the nefarious arts of witch-finders, was really of service to the cause of humanity, gives us the following abstract of the witches' feats, according to their own confessions or boasts, and the popular tradition, and of the means by which, under Satan, they were accustomed to work. His doubts, as to the first, relate chiefly to the reality of the facts, not to the sincerity of the witches or the bewitched, for he imagined their senses to be effectually imposed upon by the devil.
They tell us (and the vulgar second them with numberless traditions) of their reading, in the moon, all things that shall come to passe for a thousand generations. Of their reading, by star-light, what another has written in his closet a thousand miles off. Of causing the voyces of two in conference to be mutually heard, although as distant one from another as the east is from the west.' Of their being metamorphosed, or turned into beasts, bears, dogs, wolves,
goats, catts, hares, &c. Of their cutting one another's heads off, and setting them on again; suffering their limbs to be pluckt asunder, and knitting them to again immediately. Of their riding long and tedious journeys upon broomes and distaffes ; and their sayling over seas in eggshells. Of their eating up whole fields of corn or hay, and drinking up whole rivers in seives. Of presenting a curious banquet upon the table, and inviting thereto their guests out of fairy land. Of making a garden of delicate flowers to spring up in your parlour in the dead of winter. Of raising stormes and showers out of tubs ; turning streams backward, haling ships laden against wind and water, with haires or twined threads. Of making a cock or flye to draw the hugest beame. Of giving potions to make people love or hate as they please, making the strength of youth impotent, and dead bodies viripotent. Of making bodies impenetrable or shot free; annoynting the weapon, and curing the wound, without the least virtuall contiguity; and turning all metals into gold. Drinking off a glasse of clarret, and make it to spout out of the forehead presently. Shewing you such and such faces in glasses, &c. What should I tell of their feates wrought by figures, characters, spells, ligatures, circles, numbers, barbarismes, images of wax or clay, crystalls, lookingglasses, basons of waters, herbs, powders, unguents, sawes, knives, pins, needles, candles, rings, garters, gloves, &c.
“1. Some worke their bewitchings only by way of invocation, or imprecation. They wish it, or will it; and so it falls out. 2. Some by way of emissary, sending out their imps, or familiars, to crosse the way, justle, affront, flash in the face, barke, howle, bite, scratch, or otherwise infest. 3. Some by inspecting, or looking on, but to glare, squint, or peep at with an envious and evill eye, is sufficient to effascinate (especially infants and women with child.) 4. Some by a demisse hollow muttering or mumbling. 5. Some by breathing and blowing on; the usuall way of the venefick. 6. Some by cursing and banning. 7. Some by blessing and praising. 8. Some revengefully, by occasion of ill turnes. 9. Some ingratefully, and by occasion of good turnes. 10. Some by leaving something of theirs in your house. 11. Some by getting something of yours into their house. 12. Some have a more speciall way of working by severall elements; earth, water, ayre, or fire. But who can tell all the manner of wayes of a witch's working; that works not only darkly and closely, but variously and versatilly, as God will permit, the devil can suggest, or the malicious hag devise to put in practise ?"
Gaule fell short both of the faith and charity of his predecessors. The Romish church appointed penances for converted witches; but, according to him, “ the solemnly pacted, malitiously active, and utterly apostate witch, neither can, nor will, nor shall” repent and be saved. He says, “ God hath universally declared himself for their damnation. And it is safest always to judge after his sentence.” This is taking the safe side with a vengeance. At the same time, he was a little tainted with