Obrazy na stronie

master of finance ;-—so a truce to com- upon a ground of my own ; and I do mon belief, for ever, as an argument. believe, be it known by these presents Then the antiquity of an opinion (with - I believe-upon the mere probabili. me) will not go much farther than its ty of the fact ! common prevalence ; for there have And what a heaven-listen ye Pa. been ancient opinions, and very reve- gans !-does such a faith open to its rend ones, which have turned out to be proselytes ! the mind of a man who mistaken. Other such opinions have believes must be kept so constantly on grown weak, like wine, by over keeps the qui vive! not a door can bang ing. Lampridius tells us of Cauls, in upon its hinges in the dark, nor a cat his time, carried by advocates, and squall in a gutter after twilight, but orators, and pleaders ;-it being be to him it is an object of deep- of vital lieved that they imparted such a power interest! the anxious curiosity which of persuasion to the wearer as no the living feel as to the condition of judge or tribunal, or assembly, could the dead, he (the believer) has hope, withstand. But it is well known, at to say the least, of gratifying. While the present day, that Cauls can do no. grovelling infidels must content themthing but save people from being selves to know the present, he looks drowned ; and even that fact may go for intelligence, nay for counsel, as to near to be doubted in another century the future. or two. Then, if neither our current Va tout cela, I protest I think we opinion, nor ancient opinion, will help are almost as much indebted to the us in this strait, still less could I rely inventor of a new ghost story, as we upon any thing in the shape of testi- should be to the man who could inmony. In the first place, we have had vent, in cookery, a new dish. And no“ testimonies" at all that is, none there is a world of veracious anecdote worth consideration--very lately; and, (too briefly given) in the old writers, again, there was testimony, and plenty which a hand that could command of it, to the cures of Cagliostro and “the lie with circumstance," might, Dr Loutherbourg. Besides, I never in detail, render irresistible. heard a story yet, which (faith set What an admirable tale, for inapart) was not capable of solution. stance, might be constructed upon the Either the party who saw was mad, legend of the Sunday evening card or asleep, or intoxicated, or he deceived party; when, three persons being enhimself, or he was deceived by others, gaged at whist, a fourth (in black) is or--and this last explanation is abso- suddenly added to the company, who lutely a cutting of the gordian knot takes the vacant chair and hand! -he lied. There is really more in this There is another Sunday evening point, as Canton says, “ than good anecdote, of a party (it was in Italy,) people will think.” I was reading over who were dancing; and found all at all the evidence in the famous Dia. once, to their amazement, that they mond Necklace case the other day; had two musicians instead of one. This and I found it as impossible, in a great intruder's character was discovered many statements, to get on without almost immediately, by the shape of that solution, as Hannibal would have the foot with which he beat time. found it, in the Alps, to get on with Pierre Loyer gives a third instance out vinegar. Again, I don't know of of a huge skeleton who suddenly apany really shrewd man, who has seen peared at a ball; to the consternation a ghost since the gas lights were in- of dancers, musicians, and attendants. troduced in our streets; no thief (be- He came out from behind a door, fore conviction); no resurrection man, where he was seen “ footing it," for or experienced 'Old Bailey counsel, has several minutes, to himself; and galbeen so visited. I don't think Sir loped“ down the middle,” with preWilliam Garrow ever saw a ghost. ternatural strength and velocity.* These spirits hate cross examination. It seems probable to me, however, Therefore, to prevent all mistakes, or that these three unbidden guests were after-claps, or jostlings in my belief, not ghosts properly, or Revenans, but I have made up my mind to believe incarnations of the fiend in persona.

* Every soul in the ball-room saw this spectre, except one blind fiddler ; so I hope his appearance, at least, will be considered as fully “ accredited."

So Manlius tells us how four thieves, nerally, on this particular subject, are who were hanged in chains, became apt to differ in opinion. The same reanimated, and went in rich clothes, Bodin, speaking of certain feats per to visit a gentleman at his own house. formed by a jackass, near Milan, Being strangers, they were invited to maintains that the performer must dinner, and sat down in form to table; have been a man in the likeness of an but the moment grace was said (this ass; while Reginald Scot, noticing the ordeal, the devil probably had not suggestion, treats the matter in quite adverted to) they fell down and be- a different light; and says that Bodin came mere carcases, as before.

must have been an ass, in the likeness The same incapacity of the evil one of a man. to resist certain sounds and ceremo- Be this, however, as it may, the denies, was attended in another case with vil is a rogue sometimes.--His attack more unhappy consequences. A decent upon the attorney (Field) at Shenley, woman in the Low Countries, who was the most uncandid thing in the practised a little in sorcery, was re- world. He went to Field as a client, turning home one evening upon the and induced him to take an exorbitant back of a demon, after a jollification ; fee. Now, besides that the exorbitant when, flying over a church about two fee was all in Field's “ vocation,” the miles high) the chimes happened to thing altogether is not fairly done. It play the hundredth psalm; upon which is like the crimp's trick of slipping a he (the demon) dropped her imme- shilling slyly into a mon's pocket, indiately, and she broke her bones by stead of putting it, according to the the fall. This woman probably owert statute, into his hand. So again in her mischance entirely to having the case of the Irishman, who used to studied Don Calmet, who decries the find roasted potatoes at night under broomstick, in his work, as a monture, his pillow. This is taking a man at infra dignitatem ; but witches who take his foibles. my advice will still adhere to the be. A good stomach, by the way, seems som. There has been no lady within pretty generally to have given hope my recollection, (since Mrs Thornton to the tempter. William of Malmesrode at York,) who could have mount- bury, who is a great authority in mated the devil, with any certainty of ters of this nature, relates an instance keeping her seat. A broomstick must of a monk who had something like a be, I should think to the prudent) hearty appetite, and was very partial a very pleasant, easy-going, Lord to a preparation, I believe, of hot grey Mayor's sort of pad ; and it has this pease. One day feeling a longing bem peculiar advantage over a demon, that, tween breakfast and dinner,--bere proif all Sternhold and Hopkins were bably, lay the sin, luncheons, in a performed in its hearing, the operation, monk, being accounted a gluttony, as it cannot hear, would be entirely lo! there came into his cell a beautiineffective.

ful young lady, who lighted a fire in Bodin thinks it possible that some the grate ; took some grey pease from spectres have appeared with dishonest a cupboard; dressed them to admiraviews; and puts a case indeed in which tion; and disappeared, leaving them a ghost becomes little better than a smoking. But the devil was cozened this swindler. A comes to the bedside of time, and lost his pease and his labour B, and says " I am the ghost of to boot ; for the monk, conquering your grandfather, who died last night; his hunger until the hour of refection, I am in purgatory ; cause masses to be went to his superior, and related the said to deliver me;"—this A, all the whole circumstance. Upon which the while, being, in fact, no relation at prior said " Eat! for pease were all to B, but A himself a robber made by God for man.” And the mouk hanged three weeks before. This cer- did eat, and spared not, (taking care tainly, in a court of law, would be ob to say grace first,) and declared that taining masses under false pretences; he had never eat pease better cooked but Bodin doubts afterwards whether in his life. the apparition be really the spirit even The same writer, William of Malmesof A, or whether it is not some devil, bury, relates another story, which who, for his own purposes, takes the might make a volume of two woinen, robber's shape. Writers, however, ge mother and daughter, who kept an inn Vol. XIV.

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on a by-road near Rome; and, when at Magdeburg, shewed a horse that a guest arrived, used to turn him into could read, and so forth, for money. an ass, or a goat; and so sell him to But one day, his audience being smallthe next comer for what he would er than usual, he declared that he fetch. But it has always seemed to would entertain such people as the me that the ass and the goat here are Prussians no longer. And then throwparabolical ; although William of Mal- ing the bridle of his horse loose into mesbury, in his simplicity, has taken the air, the horse leapt up after it. the words in their literal sense. As, And the conjurer laid hold of the for example--when a guest arrived at horse's tail and went up; and the conthis inn, the old woman made an ass of jurer's wife laid hold of the conjurer's him-which might well be ; and so on tail and went up; and the conjurer's to the young one, mutatis mutandis. wife's maid laid hold of the conjurer's

On the point of outwitting a demon, wife's tail and went up; and so they the new German story, built probably all went up together. Whence the upon the legend of Lord Lyttleton, is vulgar saying To go to heaven in the best. A student at a German a string;" improperly supposed to University fancies one night, when he have been first spoken of, and concernhas been in bed about an hour, and ing the penitent hanged. certainly has not gone to sleep, that his I t is really amazing how anybody mother comes to his bedside, and can deny themselves the pleasure of warns him of his approaching death. believing such strange facts as these; He was to have died on the third and especially the following. night from that on which he saw the An over-affection for his profession vision; and fell ill, and probably or calling in this world, may tend to would have died)-on the morning of make a person unquiet in the next.the third day; the physician, however, One Christopher Murcig, an apothewho was sent for, gave his patient, cary's-assistant at Crossten, in Silesia, privately, a powerful opiate draught; died on the 14th of March, 1660, and he slept for eighteen hours; and, when was buried on the 15th. But, on the he awoke, it was too late for the ghost 16th, he was seen again, in his place, to keep her word.

behind the counter, weighing drugs, Some demons have been rather and pounding, with an immense noise, waggishly than fraudulently inclined. in the mortar. The horror of the new In Switzerland there was such a one, shopman, at the sight of this coadjuwhen time was, who passed for a far- tor, may easily be imagined ; but, mer, and was called Maitre Pierre. when the clock struck ten, (for this This caitiff made a quantity of pigs was in the morning,) the apparition out of trusses of straw, and taking took the new-comer's cloak and hat them to market, sold them to a butch from a nail, and went forth, as he had er. And the butcher drove them been used to do at that hour, to visit safely, three parts of the way home, the patients. It was afterwards found until passing through a brook, the that he called upon several sick perrunning water dissolved the spell ; and sons in the town; and burned one the pigs became trusses of straw again. man's wrist, in feeling his pulse, so A farther wonder occurs in this case, that the mark of his thumb and finwhen the butcher goes to complain of ger remains to this day. the cheat. He finds Maitre Pierre Some accounts there be, extant, and gone to bed at his inn, and sends the very extraordinary ones too, of apchambermaid of the house up stairs to parent good conduct by devils, in wake him. But as the girl lays hold their visits upon this earth. Giraldus of the conjurer's leg, it comes off in her Cambrensis tells of one fiend who acthand; and the same accident happens ed with great propriety for some time when she touches his head; upon as a gentleman's butler. He was acwhich the girl runs down stairs in afc counted to have the best hand at stirfright, and the whole family, butcher ring a fire of any servant in the houseincluded, ran up; and Maitre Pierre hold ; and it was observed, after he is found walking about the room in was gone, that he had always snuffed excellent health and spirits. He re- the candle with his fingers. funds the money for the pigs; and, of Another demon (according to the course, is seen no more.

same author) took orders, and became Another rogue, who was a juggler a clergyman! This certainly does, at first sight, seem very strange indeed; upon the table. The event proves, but yet it derives some support from that the man could not be mistaken another anecdote told by Jean Eveque, upon this point ; because he mentiond'Asie. There is the proverb, too, ed the fact once or twice to an Incubus moreover, as to the devil's building who stood behind his chair ; and, at beside the church ; from which one last, growing out of patience, he cried might perhaps augur, that he would aloud,“ Good God! will nobody bring get into it if he could.

any salt?" Upon which (as usual in As the legend goes, however, this such cases) the table flew away. He fiend conducted himself with great has need, however, o'a lang spoon, (as propriety in his profession; and his real the Seottish proverb says, wha sups quality was discovered only by a slip kail wi' the deil. This apprentice, or in conversation. Talking one day with whatever he was, at the Bishop's, bea gentleman upon subjects in ancient haved very well for some time; but, at history, some act or other was canvass- length, quarrelling with one of the kited about the time of Pontius Pilate; chen lads, he took a private opportuwhen his reverence enforced his state- nity, tore him to pieces, and cooked ment of the matter, by saying, “ The him (most likely, for practice.) After thing was so; for I saw it." Upon which, he became so mischievous, that which, concludes the historian, “he it was found necessary to proceed blushed exceedingly, and vanished." against him by exorcism; and there is

Both these last devils, no doubt, were a long account of his being caught with of the genus called Blue Devils ; and, a great deal of trouble ; and eventualfrom the blushing of the latter, the ly laid, for an uncertain term, in a well phrase,“ to blush blue," may proba- dripping. pan. bly have been derived. Or perhaps, in These goblin domestics, indeed, were deed, they might not have been devils generally, in the end, ill to deal with, at all; but merely different incarna- for their masters, as well as their feltions of the wandering Jew; whose ha- low-servants. A Spanish gentleman bit of changing his shape, from time to had one, whose business it was to clean time, is notorious; and who has been a favourite horse ; and the rogue, bedetected more than once, like the fiend. ing idle and negligent, was chid occaparson, by the over-strength of his me- sionally for not well currying the animory.

mal. But mark what followed. GetThere is another demon, too, on re- ting tired of repeated jobations, the cord, besides the butler, who desired mischievous imp one day carried the to be a servant; and he haunted the horse up to the top of a high tower, kitchen of a certain Bishop of Saxony, and there left him, with his head in human shape. This fiend assisted thrust out of a window. The Spaniard, very commonly in the culinary ar. returning home, was surprised to hear rangements; and is said to have been his favourite neigh to him from so the first inventor of the “ devil'd bis strange a situation ; but the demon had cuits."

disappeared, and the horse never could If such be the fact, however, I should be got down any more. opine that the discovery was accident. All servants, in fact, who take no al, and that his fiendship came rather wages, are apt to be both careless and with a hope to learn cuisine, than with insolent; and the devil, were it only the power of instructing in it. Be for his pert tongue, I should think not cause, if the proverb as to the devil's worth hiring. In the affair of the desending cooks (peculiarly) should be mon of Mascon, a jeer of his is actualdeemed equivocal, we have it in evi- ly recorded. Some person-I believe, dence, twenty times over, that the in- a man of worship-asking him rather fernal “ rvast and boiled” is not what a weak question, with a view to exorit should be. Paul Grilland speaks of cise him, he answered," I heard long a man whose wife was a witch ; and since thou wast a fool, and now I am who went out with her one night (up sure of it.” And, thereupon, laughthe chinney!) to a banquet. This ed, or spoke Greek, or committed some witness stated distinctly, that he found other affront against the good man, like a magnificent collation set out; but that an uncourteous fiend as he was. everything was very ill drest indeed; But I might go on, almost for ever, and that, above all, there was no salt with strange legends and instances out of the thousand and one volumes, in to the number of forty, were suddenly all languages, which have been written discovered to be witches! Some of upon this interesting subject; and not these girls, says the relater, were very meddle then with the horde of divines young; and they confessed “ many and metaphysicians who have touched strange things." the question, en passant, either in the And, for myself, my mind is made way of principle or illustration.- up, as I have said, to believing all these There is the impressive story of the things without any reason ; not inereItalian soldier, who gave his money in ly because I never found anybody yet charge at night to his host; which the who could give a satisfactory reason for host, in the morning, denying, and he his belief; but also because most of the insisting upon, he was cast into prison writers who explain feats of sorcery, as a thief. What can be more exem- seem to me to make them ten times plary than the man in the black cap more incredible than they were made who sits under the Judge, upon the by the sorcerers themselves. Thomas trial for the soldier's life, and when Ady, for instance, a writer upon witchthe inn-keeper swears he wishes “ the craft, of the year 1656, after exposing devil may take him if ever he had the the monstrous frauds of pretended conmoney," seizes the self-forfeited trai jurors and wizards, shews the manner tor, and bursts through the roof of the in which their apparently miraculous court with him? Or what a tale might feats are accomplished, and adds full be formed upon the legend of Saint directions for doing the same, “ withGregory of Nice, who describes the out harm or danger.” Ady's first respectres and demons, in a city infected cipe for conjuring (ex uno disce, &c.) with the plague, walking about in is not amiss. “Take wref's hair,“ broad day-light-as though growing he says, “ and put it in your pocket; insolent upon the prospects before and it will make mad bulls, and every them ?-Jean Eveque states a similar other kind of cattle, run away from fact ; but, in his case, the fiends went you !about in the shape of ecclesiastics. No; there would be no getting on, Imagine a man sending for a confessor, by halves, in this way. For a conjuand a devil making his bow !

rer to give up the devil, is like a ropeThen there are the histories, out of dancer's giving up his pole. And, for number, of persons frighted by ima- resigning all these beautiful and enginary spectres ; all of which lose their tertaining truths, to a man of any spiforce, if we give up the existence of rit, the thing would be impossible. spectres in reality. There is that bril. The hunter looks, with an evil eye, liant idea of the lady who sees a female upon enclosure bills and increased poat the foot of her bed-she recoils— pulation ; for these are circumstances but the phantom distinctly moves, and which thin his game, and narrow his extends its arm towards her. The lady field of action; and the child of rois sleeping in a strange house; and mance looks back with regret to those sees herself in a looking-glass, which wild beliefs and superstitions of which is framed in the wainscot of the room. the progress of science and education Or there is the still more entertaining has deprived him. Fodoré, a French adventure of the ape who puts on the writer, complains, in a fanciful treacoeffure of a deceased Duchess, and tise, of the naturalist Reamur, for hagets into her bed, to the total rout of ving discovered that ants do not eat in the whole household, who believe that the winter. “ For, by undeceiving their late mistress is come back. And mankind,” says he, “ as to the proviwhat a delicious idea is that about the dence of these little creatures, Mr boarding-school at Lisle, in 1640; in Reamur has deprived poets of a beauwhich one Antionette Bourignon be- tiful moral illustration.” ing the mistress, all the young ladies,

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