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baptized a picture by the name of Anne or Rachel Fletcher. The picture one Durnford's wife brought, and stuck thorns in it. Then they also made merry with wine and cakes, and so departed.
"She saith, before they are carried to their meetings, they anoint their foreheads, and hand-wrists, with an oyl the spirit brings them (which smells raw); and then they are carried in a very short time, using these words as they pass, "Thout, tout a tout, tout, throughout and about.' And when they go off from their meetings they say, 'Rentum tormentum.'
"That, at their first meeting, the man in black bids them welcome, and they all make low obeysance to him, and he delivers some wax candles, like little torches, which they give back again at parting. When they anoint themselves, they use a long form of words, and when they stick in thorns into the picture of any thing they would torment, they say, A pox on thee, I'll spite thee.'
"That at every meeting, before the spirit vanisheth away, he appoints the next meeting place and time, and that at his departure there is a foul smell. At their meeting they have usually wine or good beer, cakes, meat, or the like. They eat and drink really when they meet in their bodies, dance also, and have musick. The man in black sits at the higher end, and Anne Bishop usually next him. He useth some words before meat, and none after; his voice is audible, but very low.
"That they are carried sometimes in their bodies and their clothes, sometimes without, and as the examinant thinks, their bodies are sometimes left behind. When only their spirits are present, yet they know one another.
"When they would bewitch man, woman, or child, they do it sometimes by a picture made in wax, which the devil formally baptizeth. Sometimes they have an apple, dish, spoon, or other thing from their evil spirit, which they give the party to whom they would do harm. Upon which they have power to hurt the party that eats or receives it. Sometimes they have power to do mischief by a touch or curse, by these they can mischief cattle; and by cursing without touching, but neither without the devil's leave.
was, because her father had said she was a witch. That she has seen Alice Duke's familiar suck her in the shape of a cat, and Anne Bishop's suck her in the shape of a rat.
That she never heard the name of God or Jesus Christ mentioned at any of their meetings.
"That Anne Bishop, about five years and a half since, did bring a picture in wax to their meeting, which was baptized by the man in black, and called Peter. It was for Robert Newman's child of Wincaunton.
"That some two years ago she gave two apples to Agnes Vining, late wife of Richard Vining, and that she had one of the apples from the devil, who then appeared to her, and told, That apple would do Vining's wife's business.
"Taken in the presence of several grave and orthodox divines before me,
This confession of Style's, Mr. Glanvil assures us, was free and unforced, without any torturing or watching; drawn from her by "a gentle examination, meeting with the convictions of a guilty conscience." In some of its most incredible particulars, it was confirmed by other testimony, as well as by the confessions of her accomplices in crime, who, upon her accusation, were also apprehended, and who, in their turn, accused others. Three men, to whose custody Style was consigned, after her confession, and who watched her during the night, testified next day to their having seen her visited by her familiar (one of them at the time reading in the Practice of Piety), in the shape of a glistening bright fly, about an inch in length, which pitched at first in the chimney, and then vanished. This was about three o'clock in the morning. The fly was like a great millar, and the witnesses having examined her poll, from which they had observed the fly to come, found it very red, and like raw beef. Being asked what the fly was, she at first said it was a butterfly, but afterwards confessed that it was her familiar, who usually came to her about that hour. During the diabolical visitation, the fire in the watch-room was remarked by the witnesses to change its colour. Five women also, Style's neighbours, after these discoveries, came forward, and deposed, that a little after Christmas they had searched
Elizabeth Style, and had found in her poll a little rising, which felt hard, like a kernel of beef, whereupon they suspecting it to be an ill mark, thrust a pin into it, and, having drawn it out, thrust it in again the second time, leaving it sticking in the flesh for some time, that the other women might also see it. Notwithstanding which, Style did neither at the first nor second time make the least show that she felt anything. But after, when the constable told her he would thrust in a pin to the place, and made a show, as if he did, she said, "O Lord! do you prick me?" whereas no one then touched her. She afterwards confessed to one of these women that her familiar did use to suck her in the place mentioned, in the shape of a great millar, or butterfly.
Alice Duke's confession was fully of the stamp of Elizabeth Style's. About eleven or twelve years before their unlucky meddling with Hill's daughter, she (Duke) had become acquainted with the devil, through the good offices of Anne Bishop. The introduction was effected in a singular way. Bishop persuaded Duke to go with her into the church-yard in the night-time, and, being come thither, to go backward round the church, which they did, three times. In their first round, they met a man in black clothes, who went round the second time with them, and then they met a thing in the shape of a great black toad, which leapt up against Duke's apron. In their third round, they met somewhat in the shape of a rat, which vanished away. After this
they went home, but before Anne Bishop went off, the man in black said something to her softly, which the other did not hear. A few days after this, Bishop told Duke that now she might have her desire, and what she would wish for. And shortly after, the devil appeared to her in the shape of a man, promising that she should want nothing, and that if she cursed anything with "A pox take it," she should have her purpose, in case she would give her soul to him, suffer him to suck her blood, keep his secrets, and be his instrument to do such mischief as he would set her about. In its further tenor, her confession corresponds closely to that of Style: there is the signing the unhallowed contract with her blood; the sixpence given by the devil as earnest; the nocturnal junket
ting on commons and other lonesome places; the "oyl, which smells raw," rubbed on the forehead before starting on the airy flight; the cabalistic words used in going and returning; the devil in his black suit, "with a little band;" the baptizing of waxen "pictures," or images, and afterwards sticking thorns in them; the wine and cakes, dancing and music; the place of honour occupied by Anne Bishop at table; the "very low," yet audible voice, in which the infernal Amphitryon at these banquets speaks, and the circumstance, credible on many grounds, that he "leaves an ugly smell at parting." At a meeting, held on the Monday night after Christmas, Anne Bishop is mentioned as having had on a green apron, a French waistcoat, and a red petticoat, in which costume we think it no wonder that the devil should consider her entitled to sit next to himself at the higher end of the table. With regard to Alice Duke's familiar, she states that it "doth commonly suck her right breast about seven at night, in the shape of a little cat of a dunnish colour, which is as smooth as a want (that is, a mole), and when she is sucked, she is in a kind of trance."
There is something pathetic in the close of this confession :
- 46 He promised her, when she made her contract with him, that she should want nothing, but ever since she hath wanted all things."
No doubt she hath. What better could she expect from him who was a liar from the beginning, and will be a liar to the end? All she ever had of him was sixpence, for her blood here and her soul hereafter! A warning to those who would put faith in his promises, or expect advantage in his service-which we hope the reader will lay to heart.
What finally became of Duke and Bishop, Mr. Glanvil does not inform us; but Elizabeth Style "prevented execution" by dying in jail, a little before the term expired which her confederate demon had set for her enjoyment of diabolical pleasures in this life.
In the following March, another batch of witches was discovered in the county of Somerset, and divers of those concerned brought before the in
of the group was a certain Margaret Agar, qualified in the record of the transactions as a "rampant Hagg," and who seems to have merited the name. She bewitched Jos. Talbot, overseer of the poor at Brewham, in Somersetshire, for requiring her daughter to go to service; swore "by the blood of the Lord" she would "tread upon his jaws," and brought a picture of him in clay or wax to a witch-meeting at Redmore, where the fiend, after baptizing it, stuck a thorn in or near the heart of it, Agar herself another in the breast, and Catherine Green, Alice Green, Mary Warburton, Henry Walter, and Christian Green, each his or her thorn in such place as they chose, or as was pointed out to them by the authoress of this cruel revenge. The effect was, that Talbot was suddenly taken in his body as if he had been stabbed with daggers, and he continued four or five days in great pain, and then died. Several of the witches of Agar's knot deposed to her crimes, and confessed their own part therein, hereby showing how much more detestable a crime witchcraft is than theft, since there is honour among thieves, but, as it seems, none among witches. At the same time it is to be remembered, in favour of those who thus gave testimony against their consorts in wickedness, that they did it, not to save their own lives, but their souls; they who confessed themselves guilty of, witchcraft being put to death, no less than they who were convicted of the crime by the evidence of others. Christian Green was the principal witness in this case of Margaret Agar. She was a youngish witch, having been but barely past thirty years of age when she was enlisted by Catherine Green in the service of the evil one, She was at that time in great poverty, and thought, by going to the devil, to better her condition. She made herself over to him, as usual, by a bond, signed with blood taken from the fourth finger of her right hand, between the middle and upper joints; and received from him as earnest of her wages-he being, it seems, at the time, either "hard up," or in a particularly stingy humour-fourpence-halfpenny, with which she afterwards bought bread in Brewham. At his vanishing, he left a smell of brimstone behind.
VOL. XXX.-No. 175.
This circumstance, let us remark, of the ill-savour diffused by the fiend at the moment of his departing, is explained by Mr. Glanvil in a very satis factory way. The adscititious parti cles he held together in his visible vehicle, the reverend F. R.S. thinks, being loosened at his vanishing, offend the nostrils by their floating, and diffusing themselves in the open air.
Christian Green's familiar sucked her left breast, about five o'clock in the morning, in the likeness of a hedgehog ; and, like her sister sorceresses, she declared that she "was usually in a trance when she was suckt."
Mary Green, another witch of this knot, describes the devil in the same terms as the witches of Stoke Trister, as a man in black clothes, with a little band;" and both she and Christian Green confirm the observation of the others, that his voice is " very low." This "little band," we confess, puzzles us. Was it a girdle? Or are
we to understand that this reprobate spirit sacrilegiously wore bands, like a clergyman? Or did he only mean, by this manner of dressing, to insinuate a connexion with the legal profession? If we remember rightly, a "Geneva band" was part of the paraphernalia of a Roundhead preacher in those days. Viewed in this light, the "band" in question would have an unquestionable propriety.
The wearer of the "little band"waiving the question of his right to wear it is described by more than one of the witches as "a little man," which is worth remarking, for the contradiction it presents to Milton's portraiture of the Titanic stature of his diabolical hero. We are disposed to think that, in this point, the old women took a truer measure of the "bad un" than the poet, whose predilections, political and religious, naturally inclined him to glorify the arch-independent.
Passing that, let us observe that the devil is not without his notions of politeness; for when the sisterhood, on his appearing in answer to their conjurations, "make obeysance" to him, the "little man" puts his hand to his hat, and saith, "How do ye?" speaking "low but big." Upon which they all make low obeisance to him again. One of the oddest of his whims is the going always in black, a coincidence of
clerical and infernal tastes, indeed, which can only be accounted for on the principle that extremes meet. However, it ought to be noted that it is only in our British lands that the "old boy" manifests this serious turn. In Germany, a scarlet jacket, and a swaling cock's feather in the bonnet, are among his invariable attributes ; and in Sweden, the most authentic accounts represent him as wearing a grey coat, with red and blue stockings, a high-crowned hat, with linen of divers colours wrapt about it, and long garters upon his stockings."
In all countries, however, he has a strange kind of attraction to the church, as a moth has to the flame in which it is to perish. We have seen how Alice Duke was brought by Anne Bishop to the church-yard, to be introduced to him there; and how the two votaresses of the powers of evil went round the church backwards, a process apparently akin to that of saying the Lord's Prayer from end to be ginning commencing with Amen, and closing with Our-which is understood to be the orthodox way for a witch to express her devotional feelings. The very name Sabbath, applied to the witch-meetings, points to the same principle, which is still more markedly developed in what takes place at these foul assemblies, where, as the reviewer of Calmeil informs us
"An altar was raised, at which Satan, with his head downwards, his feet turned up, and his back to the altar, celebrated his blasphemous mass."
Even the use, in these hellish solemnities, of a language "not understanded of the people," was a manifest aping of ecclesiastical practices; for what English witch could attach any definite meaning to such words as "Thout, tout a tout, throughout and about," or " Rentum tormentum ?" M. Salverte quotes Tiedmann as supposing that many barbarous words, used in the operations of witchcraft, are only Latin and Greek words, badly read and pronounced by the unedueated, which originally were part of the formularies used in the mysteries. (We should say it is more likely such words are of Egyptian or Asiatic origin than Greek or Latin.) Nothing,
Salverte thinks, can be more probable than Tiedmann's supposition; and thus "the three unintelligible Greek words, pronounced by the high-priest at the Eleusinian mysteries, Koy Op Пay, have been recognized by Captain Wilford in the Sanscrit words, Cansha Om Pansha, which are repeated by the Brahmins every day at the close of their religious ceremonies."
It is probable that ""Thout, tout a tout," "Rentum tormentum," and "A boy! merry meet, merry part," are, as well as "Konx Om Panx," ancient forms of invocation, Coptic or Hindoo, or scraps of such forms, turned to jargon in the mouths of persons who learned to repeat them by rote, and who were ignorant of their meaning. Thout, or Thoth, we know to be the name of the Egyptian Hermes; and "A Boy" is but a slight corruption of Evoë, a cry still used, in their orgies, by the wizards of Siberia, though without reference to the joyous Phrygian god. From all this, the conjecture of Salverte would seem not to be without some colour of likelihood, "that sorcery was founded by those Egyptian priests of the last order, who, from the commencement of the Roman empire, had wandered in every direction and who, although they were publicly despised, yet were consulted in secret, and continued to make proselytes among the lowest classes in society." Maintaining themselves throughout the whole period of Roman history, the workings of this fallen and dispersed hierarchy did not wholly cease even after Christianity had overthrown the altars of polytheism; and Thoth and Evoë were still invoked after the names of Mercury and Bacchus had been forgotten. But the debased worship was performed in the wildest solitudes, and under the cover of night: its priesthood sank, age after age, into a more and more brutish ignorance; its votaries were gathered, in each succeeding generation, from a ruder and more neglected class of the people; and no very long time had elapsed, before all traces of its meaning and its origin had passed from the knowledge of those who bore a part in it, and it retained little more of the religion which had possessed the temples of the world, than its autagonism to Christianity.
LIFE IN THE
IN TWO PARTS.-PART I.
CHAPTER I.-THE VILLAGE AND ITS INHABITANTS.
MAY you live a thousand years, Kera Pepina, and die in peace at the end of them! mine are the eyes that have been longing to see you!" Such was the salutation of the oldest inhabitant of the quiet little village of Vervena, which lies somewhere between Tripoliza and Corinth, to another old woman, so very similar to herself in dress and appearance, that it would not have been easy to have distinguished between them, but that age had already palsied the limbs of the first, while the new-comer hobbled towards her at a very tolerable pace, considering she was laden with a large bag of olives. Both wore the Albanian costume, and there was absolutely considerable taste in the arrangement of the floating white veil round their little dark, withered faces, which might have been those of Egyptian mummies, but for the sparkling black eyes, so full of vivacity and intelligence. The sunset and its brief magnificence was over-only on each snowy peak of the far Arcadian mountains the last rays lingered like a crown of gold, and from house to house of that peaceful rural village, the humble inhabitants were stealing out to breathe again, after the close confinement indispensable during the long day of dangerous
"Now, where have you been, Kera Pepina?" continued old Elenko, as her visitor crouched down on the flat roof of the little house beside her. "You cannot have been to the plain to gather herbs, for the moon is not up, so they would have been useless, and you have not been to church, I know, for I saw the Papas gathering sticks in the olive grove."
"Do I not know it? and it is I who helped to load his donkey (excuse me for the word); but I was at the fountain with the neighbours. Have you not heard the news, miter mou (my mother)?"
May the Panagia keep me, I have heard nothing!" grumbled old Elenko, "I never hear anything now-I am old and forgotten. I have lived too long, and I shall never die, that is more! I know it quite well: it is a judgment on me for my sins; but it is very hard, for I am tired of liv ing."
I believe it; the Papas says you are a hundred years old; but take courage-who knows what the saints may do for you yet; you may die after all, some day!"
"Heaven grant it!" said Elenko, shaking her head, "but I have been a wicked woman. In my youth I ate eggs during Lent, whenever I could get them; it is long ago now, but they dont't forget these things, the blessed saints; no, no! But tell me the news, Adelphe."
"What do you think, Maroula, the Mainote widow, has found a husband for her daughter!”
Pepina, you do not tell it me! what! her daughter Xanthi, who is past sixteen, and has only four-andtwenty bee-hives for her portion ?"
66 The same; she has found her such a beautiful young man, as straight as a palm-tree, and as rich as an Aga."
Wonderful!" said old Elenko, letting her spindle fall from her hands in utter astonishment.