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and such was the confidence in his skill and knowledge, that he had only to name any person as a witch, and the public indignation was sure to be directed against the poor
unoffending creature for the remainder of her life. An instance of the fatal consequences of this superstition occurred within my knowledge, about the year 1800. A farmer of the name of Hodgson had been robbed of some money. He went to a wise man’ to learn the thief, and was directed to some process by which he should discover it. A servant of his, of the name of Simpson, who had committed the robbery, fearing the discovery by such means, determined to add murder to the crime, by killing his master. The better to do this without detection, he forged a letter as from the 'wise man' to Mr. Hodgson, inclosing a quantity of arsenic, which he was directed to take on going to bed, and assuring him that in the morning he would find his money in the pantry under a wooden bowl. Hodgson took the powder, which killed him. Simpson was taken up, tried at York Assises, and convicted on strong circumstantial evidence. He received sentence of death, and when on the scaffold confessed his crime."
Vallancey, in his Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis, No. xiii. 10, tells us that in Ireland they are called Tamans. “ I know," says he, "a farmer's wife in the county of Waterford, that lost a parcel of linen. She travelled three days' journey to a taman, in the county of Tipperary: he consulted his black book, and assured her she would recover the goods. The robbery was proclaimed at the chapel, offering a reward, and the linen was recovered. It was not the money but the taman that recovered it."
In Strype's edition of Stow's Survey of London, B. i. 257, we read : “A.D. 1560, a skinner of Southwark was set on the pillory with a paper over his head, shewing the cause, viz. for sundry practices of great falsehood, and much untruth, and all set forth under the colour of southsaying.”
Andrews, in his Continuation of Dr. Henry's History of Great Britain, p. 194, speaking of the death of the Earl of Angus in 1588, tells us, as a proof of the blind superstition of
“ he died (says a venerable author) of sorcery and incantation. A wizard, after the physicians had pronounced him to be under the power of witchcraft, made offer to cure him, saying (as the manner of these wizards is) that he had
received wrong. But the stout and pious earl declared that his life was not so dear unto him as that, for the continuance of some years, he would be beholden to any of the devil's instruments, and died.”
The following curious passage is from Lodge's Incarnate Devils, 1596, p. 13: “There are many in London now adaies that are besotted with this sinne, one of whom I saw on a white horse in Fleet street, a tanner knave I never lookt on, who with one figure (cast out of a scholler's studie for a necessary servant at Bocordo) promised to find any man's oxen were they lost, restore any man's goods if they were stolne, and win any man love, where or howsoever he settled it, but his jugling knacks were quickly discovered.”
In Articles of Inquirie given in Charge by the Bishop of Sarum, A.D. 1614, is the following: “67. Item, whether you have any conjurers, charmers, calcours, witches, or fortunetellers, who they are, and who do resort unto them for counsell?”
In the Statistical Account of Scotland, xii. 465, in the account of the parish of Kirkmichael, county of Banff, we read :
Among the branches into which the moss-grown trunk of superstition divides itself, may be reckoned witchcraft and magic. These, though decayed and withered by time, still retain some faint traces of their ancient verdure. Even at present witches are supposed, as of old, to ride on broomsticks through the air. In this country, the 12th of May is one of their festivals. On the morning of that day they are frequently seen dancing on the surface of the water of Avon, brushing the dews of the lawn, and milking cows in their fold. Any uncommon sickness is generally attributed to their demoniacal practices. They make fields barren or fertile, raise or still whirlwinds, give or take away milk at pleasure. The force of their incantations is not to be resisted, and extends even to the moon in the midst of her aerial career. It is the good fortune, however, of this country to be provided with an anti-conjuror that defeats both them and their sable patron in their combined efforts. His fame is widely diffused, and wherever he goes crescit eundo. If the spouse is jealous of her husband, the anti-conjuror is consulted to restore the affections of his bewitched heart. If a near connexion lies confined to the bed of sickness, it is in vain to expect relief
without the balsamic medicine of the anti-conjuror. If a person happens to be deprived of his senses, the deranged cells of the brains must be adjusted by the magic charms of the anti-conjuror. If a farmer loses his cattle, the houses must be purified with water sprinkled by him. In searching for
. the latent mischief, this gentleman never fails to find little parcels of heterogeneous ingredients lurking in the walls, consisting of the legs of mice and the wings of bats ; all the work of the witches. Few things seem too arduous for his abilities; and though, like Paracelsus, he has not as yet boasted of having discovered the philosopher's stone, yet, by the power of his occult science, he still attracts a little of their gold from the pockets where it lodges, and in this way makes a shift to acquire subsistence for himself and family.
There is a folio sheet, printed at London, 1561, preserved in a collection of Miscellanies in the archives of the Society of Antiquaries of London, lettered Miscel. Q. Eliz. No. 7, entitled, “The unfained retractation of Fraunces Cox, which he uttered at the pillery in Chepesyde and elsewhere, accordyng to the counsels commaundement anno 1561, 25th of June, beying accused for the use of certayne sinistral and divelysh artes. In this he says that from a child he began “to practise the most divelish and supersticious knowledge of necromancie, and invocations of spirites, and curious astrology. He now utterly renounces and forsakes all such divelish sciences, wherein the name of God is most horribly abused, and society or pact with wicked spirits most detestably practised, as necromancie, geomancie, and that curious part of astrology wherein is contained the calculating of nativities or casting of nativities, with all the other magikes."
[WITCHCRAFT IN GUERNSEY.-A little, bent, decrepit cld man, apparently between 70 and 80 years of age, named John Laine, of Anneville, Vale parish, was placed at the bar of the court, under a charge of having practised the art of necromancy, and induced many persons in the country parishes to believe they were bewitched, or under the influence of the devil; and that by boiling herbs to produce a certain perfume, not at all grateful to the olfactory nerves of demons, by the burning of calves' hearts, and the sprinkling of celestial water, he would drive out of the bodies of the insane all visitants from the nether regions, and effectually cure all who
were afflicted of the devil. It appeared in evidence that the accused had the reputation of professing to be a necromancer
—that he had enjoyed it for the last twenty years at least ; but of his having actually practised there was no complete proof brought before the court, except in relation to a recent case, wherein he was called upon to eject a proud devil that was supposed to have taken possession of an ignorant farmer, who not long since was elevated to the rank of Douzenier, and, therefore, legislator of Little Athens—the truth being that the very dizzy altitude to which he had been raised had completely turned the poor man's brains. The court severely denounced the conduct of the accused, and openly declared that the ignorance and superstition prevailing in the country parts of the island—those parts, they might have said, which claim and exercise the right of legislating for the town-and among respectable families too, were at once lamentable and disgraceful. They, however, would not, merely upon the evidence before them, either commit Laine for trial, nor yet send him to prison, but gave him a sharp reprimand, and forbade bim, on pain of corporal punishment, ever again to practise upon the credulity of the people. — Guernsey Star.]
GHOSTS, OR APPARITIONS.
“A GHOST,” according to Grose, “is supposed to be the spirit of a person deceased, who is either commissioned to return for some especial errand, such as the discovery of a murder, to procure restitution of lands or money unjustly withheld from an orphan or widow, or, having committed some injustice whilst living, cannot rest till that is redressed. Sometimes the occasion of spirits revisiting this world is to inform their heir in what secret place, or private drawer in an old trunk, they had hidden the title deeds of the estate; or where, in troublesome times, they buried their money or plate. Some ghosts of murdered persons, whose bodies have been secretly buried, cannot be at ease till their bones have been taken up, and deposited in consecrated ground, with all the rites of Christian burial. This idea is the remain of a
very old piece of heathen superstition: the ancients believed that Charon was not permitted to ferry over the ghosts of unburied persons, but that they wandered up and down the banks of the river Styx for an hundred years, after which they were admitted to a passage, This is mentioned by Virgil :
• Hæc omnis quam cernis, inops inhumataque turba est :
Tum, demum admissi, stagna exoptata revisunt.' “Sometimes ghosts appear in consequence of an agreement made, whilst living, with some particular friend, that he who first died should appear to the survivor. Glanvil tells us of the ghost of a person who had lived but a disorderly kind of life, for which it was condemned to wander up and down the earth, in the company of evil spirits, till the day of judgment. In most of the relations of ghosts they are supposed to be mere aerial beings, without substance, and that they can pass through walls and other solid bodies at pleasure. A particular instance of this is given in Relation the 27th in Glanvil's Collection, where one David Hunter, neatherd to the Bishop of Down and Connor, was for a long time haunted by the apparition of an old woman, whom he was by a secret impulse obliged to follow whenever she appeared, which he says he did for a considerable time, even if in bed with his wife: and because his wife could not hold him in his bed, she would go too, and walk after him till day, though she saw nothing; but his little dog was so well acquainted with the apparition, that he would follow it as well as his master. If a tree stood in her walk, he observed her always to go through it. Notwithstanding this seeming immateriality, this very ghost was not without some substance; for, having performed her errand, she desired Hunter to lift her from the ground, in the doing of which, he says, she felt just like a bag of feathers. We sometimes also read of ghosts striking violent blows; and that, if not made way for, they overturn all impediment, like a furious whirlwind. Glanvil mentions an instance of this, in Relation 17th, of a Dutch lieutenant who had the faculty of seeing ghosts ; and who, being prevented making way for one which