History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism
by W. E. H. Lecky
Footnotes to Chapter I
1:87. 'Fmina,' he assures us, is derived from Fe and minus, because women have less faith than men (p. 65). Maleficiendo is from male de tides entiendo. For diabolus we have a choice of most instructive derivations. It comes 'a dia quod est duo, et bolus quod est morsellus, quia duo occidit, scilicet corpus et animam. Et secundum etymologiam, licet Græce, interpretetur diabolus clausus ergastulo: et hoc sibi convenit cum non permittitur sibi nocere quantum veilet. Vel diabolus quasi defluens, quia defluxit, id est corruit, et specialiter et localiter' (p. 41). If the reader is curious in these matters, he will find another astounding instance of verbal criticism, which I do not venture to quote, in Bodin, Dem. p. 40.
1:89. The principal authority on these matters is a large collection of Latin works (in great part written by inquisitors), extending over about two centuries, and published under the title of Malleus Maleficarum (the title of Sprenger's book). It comprises the works of Sprenger, Nider, Basin, Molitor, Gerson, Murner, Spina, Laureutius, Bernardus, Vignitus, Grillandus, &c. I have noticed a great many other works in their places, and the reader may find reviews of many others in Madden and Planey.
1:91. On the universality of this belief, in an early stage of civilisation, see Buckle's History, vol. i. p. 346.
1:92. There can be little doubt that a considerable amount of poisoning was mixed up with the witch cases. In ages when medical knowledge was scanty, and post mortem examinations unknown, this crime was peculiarly dreaded and appeared peculiarly mysterious. On the other hand, it is equally certain that the witches constantly employed their knowledge of the property of herbs for the purpose of curing disease, and that they attained, in this respect, a skill which was hardly equalled by the regular practitioners. To the evidence which Michelet has collected on this matter, I may add a striking passage from Grillandus. 'Quandoque vero provenit febris, tussis, dementia, phthisis, hydropsis, aut aliqua tumefactio carnis in corpore, sive apostema extrinsecus apparens: quandoque vero intrinsece apud intestina aliquod apostema sit adeo terribile et incurabile quod nulla pars medicorum id sanare et removere potest, nisi accedat alius maleficus, sive sortilegus, qui contrariis medelis et remediis ægritudinem ipsam meleficam tollat, quam facile et brevi tempore removere potest, cæteri vero medici qui artem ipsius medicinæ profitentur nihil valent et nesciunt afferre remedium.' (Mall. Mal., vol. ii. pp. 393, 394.)
1:95. Spina, De Strigibus (1522), cap. xi.
2:95. All the phenomena of somnambulism were mixed up with the question. See, e. g., Spina, cap. x. and xi., where it is fully discussed. Many curious notions were held about somnambulism. One opinion was, that the somnambulists had never been baptised, or had been baptised by a drunken priest.
3:95. This belief was probably sustained by the great use made of animals in Christian symbolism as representatives of moral qualities. In different districts different animals were supposed to be in especial connection with spirits. Delrio mentions that the ancient Irish had such a veneration for wolves that they were accustomed to pray for their salvation, and to choose them as god-fathers for their children (Thiers' Superst., vol. ii. p. 198). Beelzebub, as is well known, was god of flies. 'Par ce qu'il n'y avoit pas une mouche en son temple, comme on dict qu'au Palais de Venise il n'y a pas une seule mouche et au Palais de Tolède qu'il n'y en a qu'une, qui n'est pas chose estrange ou nouvelle, car nous lisons que les Cyrénaïques, après avoir sacrifié au dieu Acaron, dieu des mouches, et les Grecs à Jupiter, surnommé Myiodes, c'est à dire mouchard, toutes les mouches s'envolaient en une nuée, comme nous lisons eu Pausanias In Areadicis et en Pline au livre xxix. cap. 6.' (Bodin, Démon., p. 15.) Dancing bears and other intelligent animals seem to have been also connected with the Devil; and an old council anathematised at once magicians who have abandoned their Creator, fortune-tellers, and those 'qui ursas aut similes bestias ad ludum et perniciem simpliciorum circumferunt' -- 'for what fellowship can there be between Christ and Belial?' (Wier, De Præst. Dæm., p. 557.) The ascription of intelligence to animals was general through the middle ages, but it was most prominent in the Celtic race. See a curious chapter on mystic animals in Dalyell's Superstitions in Scotland, and also the essay of Renan on Celtic Poetry. Muratori (Antiq. Ital., Diss. xxix.) quotes an amusing passage from a writer of the eleventh century, concerning a dog which in that century was 'moved by the spirit of Pytho.'
1:96. Vita S. Pauli.
1:97. 'L'existence des loups-garous est attestée par Virgile, Solin, Strabon, Pomponius Méla, Dionysius Afer, Varron, et par tous les jurisconsultes et démonomanes des derniers siècles. A peine commençait-on à en douter sous Louis XIV.' (Plancy, Dict. Infernale, Lycanthropie.) Bodin, in his chapter on Lycanthropy, and in our own day Madden (vol. i. pp. 334-358), have collected immense numbers of additional authorities. St. Augustine notices the subject with considerable hesitation, but on the whole inclines, as I have said, towards incredulity (Civ. Dei, lib. xviii, c. 17, 18). He also tells us that in his time there were some innkeepers, who were said to give their guests drugs in cheese, and thus to turn them into animals. (Ibid.) In the Salic laws of the fifth century there is a curious enactment 'that any sorceress who has devoured a man should on conviction be fined 200 sous' (Garinet, p. 6). To come down to a later period, we find St. Thomas Aquinas asserting that 'Omnes angeli boni et mali, ex virtute naturali, habent potestatem transmutandi corpora nostra'; and, according to Bodin, Paracelsus and Fernel, the chief physician of Henry IV., held a similar belief. There is probably no country in Europe -- perhaps no country in the world -- in which some form of this superstition has not existed. It raged however especially where wolves abounded -- among the Jura, in Norway, Russia, Ireland (where the inhabitants of Ossory, according to Camden, were said to become wolves once every seven years), in the Pyrenees and Greece. The Italian women usually became cats. In the East (as the 'Arabian Nights' show) many forms were assumed. A French judge named Boguet, at the end of the sixteenth century, devoted himself especially to the subject, burnt multitudes of lycanthropes, wrote a book about them, and drew up a code in which he permitted ordinary witches to be strangled before they were burnt, but excepted lycanthropes, who were to be burnt alive (Garinet, pp. 298-302). In the controversy about the reality of the transformation, Bodin supported the affirmative, and Binsfeldius the negative side. There is a form of monomania under which men believe themselves to be animals, which is doubtless the nucleus around which the system was formed -- a striking instance of the development of the miraculous. See also Bourquelot, La Lycanthropie. Among the many mad notions of the Abyssinians, perhaps the maddest is their belief that blacksmiths and potters can change themselves into hyænas, and ought therefore to be excluded from the sacrament (Hecker, Epid., p. 120).
1:99. See especially the long strange chapter on the subject in Sprenger.
1:100. Sprenger, Pars I. Quæst. vii. At the request of St. Serenus and St. Equitius, the angels performed on those saints a counteracting surgical operation (Nider, Formic. de Mal., c. v.)
2:100. See the curious story of St. Sylvanus, Bishop of Nazareth, in Sprenger Pars II. Quæst. i. cap. xi.). The Devil not only assumed the appearance of this holy man, in order to pay his addresses to a lady, but when discovered, crept under a bed, suffered himself to be dragged out, and declared that he was the veritable bishop. Happily, after a time, a miracle was wrought which cleared the reputation of the calumniated prelate.
3:100. As few people realise the degree in which these superstitions were encouraged by the Church which claims infallibility, I may mention that the reality of this particular crime was implied, and its perpetrators anathematised, by the provincial councils or synods of Troyes, Lyons, Milan, Tours, Bourges, Narbonne, Ferrara, St. Malo, Mont Cassin, Orleans, and Grenoble; by the rituals of Autun, Chartres, Périgueux, Atun, Evreux, Paris, Angers, Arras, Châlons, Bologna, Troyes, Bourges, Alet, Beauvais, Meaux, Rheims, &c.; and by the decrees of a long series of bishops (Thiers, Sup. Pop., tom. iv. ch. vii.). It was held, as far as I know, without a single exception, by all the inquisitors who presided at the witch-courts, and Sprenger gives a long account of the methods which were generally employed in convicting those who were accused of the crime. Montaigne appears to have been the first who openly denied it, ascribing to the imagination what the orthodox ascribed to the Devil; and this opinion seems soon to have become a characteristic of free-thinkers in France; for Thiers (who wrote in 1678) complains that 'Les esprits forts et les libertins qui donnent tout à la nature, et qui ne jugent des choses que par la raison, ne veulent pas se persuader que de nouveaux-mariés puissent par l'artifice et la malice du démon estre empêchés de se rendre le devoir conjugal (p 567) -- a very wicked incredulity -- 'puisque l'Église, que est conduite par le Saint-Esprit, et qui par consó quent ne peut errer, reconnoît qu'il se fait par l'opération du démon' (p. 573). The same writer shows that the belief existed in the Church in the time of Theodousus (p. 568). The last sorcerer who was burnt in France perished on this charge (Garinet, p. 256).
1:103. I should, perhaps, make one exception to this statement -- Peter of Apono, a very famous physician and philosopher of Padua, who died in 1305. He appears to have entirely denied the existence of demons and of miracles; and to have attempted, by the assistance of astrology, to construct a general philosophy of religion, casting the horoscope of each faith, and ascribing its rise and destiny to the influence of the stars. He was a disciple of Averroes -- perhaps the founder of Averroism in Italy and seems to have formed a school at Padua. When he was about eighty, he was accused, of magic. It was said that he had acquired the knowledge of the seven liberal arts by seven familiar spirits whom he kept confined in a crystal; but he died before the trial was concluded, so the inquisitors were obliged to content themselves by burning his image. He was regarded as one of the greatest of magicians. Compare Naudé, Apol., pp. 380 -- 391, Renan, Averroes, pp. 258, 259.
1:104. Mall. Mal., vol. ii. p. 253.
2:104. Mall. Mal., vol. i. pp. 460-468.
3:104. Vol. ii. pp. 191, 299, 300.
1:107. 'Pseudomonarchia Dæmonum' one of the principal sources of information about this subject. He gives the names of seventy-two princes, and estimates their subjects at 7,405,926 devils. It is not quite clear how much he believed on the subject.
2:107. A very old critic and opponent of his views on witchcraft quaintly speaks of him as 'Ce premier homme de la France, Jean Bodin, qui après avoir par une merveilleuse vivacité d'esprit accompagnée d'un jugement solide traicté toutes les choses divines, naturelles et civiles, se fust peut estre mescogneu pour homme, et eust esté pris infailliblement de nous pour quelque intelligence s'il n'eust laissé des marques et vestiges de son humanité dans cette démonomanie.' (Naudé, Apol., 127 (1625). Bayle (Dict. Phil.) pronounced Bodin to have been 'one of the chief advocates of liberty of conscience of his time.' In our own day, Buckle (vol. i. p. 299) has placed him as an historian above Comines, and on a level with Macchiavelli; and Hallam, speaking of the 'Republic,' says, 'Bodin possessed a highly philosophical mind, united with the most ample stores of history and jurisprudence. No former writer on political philosophy had been either so comprehensive in his scheme, or so copious in his knowledge; none, perhaps, more original, more independent and fearless in his enquiries. Two men alone, indeed, could be compared with him -- Aristotle and Machiavel. (Hist. of Lit., vol. ii. p. 68.) Dugald Stewart is equally encomiastic (Dissertation, pp. 52-54).
1:109. Cornelius Agrippa, who had been the master of Wier. He was advocate-general at Metz, and had distinguished himself by his efforts to prevent prosecutions for witchcraft, and by saving the life of a peasant woman whom Savin the inquisitor wished to burn. He was, consequently, generally thought to be in league with the Devil; and it is related that, on his death-bed, he drew off from his neck a black dog, which was a demon, exclaiming that it was the cause of his perdition (Garinet, pp. 121, 122). In his early days he had studied magic, and had apparently come to the conclusion that it rested either on imposture or on a superior knowledge of the laws of nature -- a conclusion which he tried to enforce in a book on the vanity of science. He was imprisoned for a year at Brussels on the charge of magic, and ceaselessly calumniated after his death. Before Wier, probably no one had done so much to combat the persecution, and his reputation was sacrificed in the cause. See Plancy's Dict. Infern., art. Agrippa, and Thiers' Superst., vol. i. pp. 142, 143. Naudé has aIso devoted a long chapter to Agrippa. Agrippa had not the good fortune to please any class of theologians. Among the Catholics he was regarded with extreme horror; and Calvin, in his work De Scandalis, treats him as one of the chief contemners of the Gospel.
1:110. Pp. 217, 228.
2:110. P. 152.
1:112. Liv. iii. c. 11.
1:113. Bodin, p. 252.
1:115. Maury, pp. 221, 222. The principal of those writers was Naudé, whose Apologie pour les Grands Hommes soupçonnez de Mastic contains much curious historical information in an extremely tiresome form. Naudé also wrote an exposure of the Rosicrucians, and a political work on Coups d'État, embodying the principles of Macchiavelli. He was the first librarian of the Mazarin library, in the foundation of which he had a considerable part. Bayle (Pensées Diverses, § ccxli.) calls him 'L'homme de France qui avoit le plus de lecture.' He is said to have reconstructed some of the dances of the ancients, and to have executed them in person before Queen Christina, in Sweden (Magnin, Origines du Théâtre, tom. i. p. 113). The Apologie was answered by a Capuchin named D'Autun, in a ponderous work called L'Incrédulité Sçavanie.
1:116. 'Ce furent les esprits forts du commencement du dix-septième siècle qui a'efforcèrent les premiers de combattre le préjugé régnant de défendre de malheureux fous ou d'indiscrets chercheurs contre les tribunaux. Il fallait pour cela du courage, car on risquait, en cherchant à sauver la tête du prévenu, de passer soi-même pour un affidé du diable, ou ce que ne valait pas mieux, pour un incrédule. Les libres penseurs, les libertins comme on les appelait alors, n'avaient que peu de crédit.' (Maury, p. 221.)
2:116. See the passage in Maury, p. 219.
3:116. Ibid., p. 220.
1:117. Recherche de la Vérité, liv. ii. p. 3, c. 6.
2:117. He said: 'Tous les pères de l'Église sans exception crurent au pouvoir de la magie. L'Église condamna toujours la magie, mais elle y crut toujours. Elle n'excommunia point les sorciers comme des fous qui étaient trompés, mais comme des hommes qui étaient réellement en commerce avec les diables. (Dict. Phil., art. Superstition.) This I believe to be quite true, but it was a striking sign of the times, that an opponent of magic could say so without ruining his cause.
3:117. Garinet, p. 328.
1:118. Garinet, pp. 337, 344.
1:119. Garinet, p. 280.
1:120. The most complete authority on this subject is the chronological table of facts in Hutchinson's Essay on Witchcraft (1718). Hutchinson, who was a very scrupulous writer, restricted himself for the most part to cases of which he had learned precise particulars, and he carefully gives his authorities. The number of executions he recounts as having taken place in 250 years, amounts to many thousands. Of these only about 140 were in England. This, of course, excludes those who were drowned or mobbed to death during the trial, and those who were sentenced to other than capital punishments. All the other writers I have seen place the English executions far higher; and it seems, I think, certain that some executions escaped the notice of Hutchinson, whose estimate is, however, probably much nearer the truth than those of most writers. See also Wright's Sorcery; and an article from the Foreign Review in 'A Collection of Curious Tracts on Witchcraft,' reprinted in 1838. It is quite impossible to arrive at anything like precision on this subject.
1:121. The repeal was probably owing to the fact that witchcraft and pulling down crosses were combined together; and the law had, therefore, a Popish appearance.
2:121. Sermons (Parker Society), p. 1028. Strype ascribes to this sermon the law which was passed the following year (Annals of the Ref., vol. i. p. 11). The multitude of witches at the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth (which Strype notices) was the obvious consequence of the terrorism of the preceding reign, and of the religious changes acting in the way I have already described.
1:122. It is worthy of notice that anæsthesia is a recognised symptom of some of the epidemic forms of madness. Speaking of that of Morzines, Dr. Constans says: 'L'anesthésie ne fait jamais défaut. J'ai pu pincer, piquet avec une épingle les malades, enfoncer cette épingle sous les ongles ou de toute sa longueur dans les bras, les jambes ou sur toute autre partie, sans provoquer l'apparence d'une sensation douleureuse.' (Épidémie d'Hystéro-Démonopathie en 1861, p. 63.)
1:123. This storm was the origin of one of the most horrible of the many horrible Scotch trials on record. One Dr. Fian was suspected of having aroused the wind, and a confession was wrung from him by torture, which, however, he almost immediately afterwards retracted. Every form of torture was in vain employed to vanquish his obduracy. The bones of his legs were broken into small pieces in the boot. All the torments that Scottish law knew of were successively applied. At last, the king (who personally presided over the tortures) suggested a new and more horrible device. The prisoner, who had been removed during the deliberation, was brought in, and (I quote the contemporary narrative) 'his nailes upon all his fingers were riven and pulled off with an instrument, called in Scottish a turkas, which in England wee call a payre of pincers, and under everie nayle there was thrust in two needels over, even up to the heads.' However, notwithstanding all this, 'so deeply had the devil entered into his heart, that hee utterly denied all that which he before avouched,' and he was burnt unconfessed. (See a rare black-letter tract, reprinted in Pitcairn's Criminal Trials of Scotland, vol. i. part ii. pp. 213, 223.)
1:124. Madden's Phant., vol. i. p. 447.
2:124. 'I have ever believed, and do now know, that there are witches; they that doubt them do not only deny them but spirits, and are obliquely and upon consequence a sort, not of infidels, but of atheists.' (Religio Medici, p. 24, ed. 1672.) Sir T. Browne did not, however, believe in incubi, or in lycanthropy.
3:124. On the extent to which the belief was reflected in the dramatic literature of Elizabeth and James I., see Wright's Sorcery, vol. i. pp. 286, 296. It was afterwards the custom of Voltaire, when decrying the genius of Shakspeare, to dwell constantly on such characters as the witches in Macbeth. But such scenes, though in modern times they may have an unreal and grotesque appearance, did not present the slightest improbability at the time they were written. It is probable that Shakspeare, it is certain that the immense majority even of his most highly educated and gifted contemporaries, believed with an unfaltering faith in the reality of witchcraft. Shakspeare was, therefore, perfectly justified in introducing into his plays personages who were, of all others, most fitted to enhance the grandeur and the solemnity of tragedy, when they faithfully reflected the belief of the audience.
1:125. Advancement of Learning, xxv. 22. It is true that this book was dedicated to the king, whose writings on the subject were commended.
3:125. Hutchinson, p. 68.
1:126. This is alluded to in Hudibras: --
|'Hath not this present Parliament
A ledger to the devil sent
Fully empowered to treat about
Finding revolted witches out?
And has not he within a year
Hanged threescore of them in one shire,' &c.
Second part, Canto iii.
2:126. Baxter relates the whole story with evident pleasure. He says: 'Among the rest, an old reading parson named Lowis, not far from Framlingham, was one that was hanged, who confessed that he had two imps, and that one of them was always putting him on doing mischief, and (being near the sea) as he saw a ship under sail, it moved him to send him to sink the ship, and he consented, and saw the ship sink before him.' (World of Spirits, p. 58.) For the other view of the case, see Hutchinson, pp. 88-90.
1:128. On the opinions of Hobbes on this subject, and on his great influence in discrediting these superstitions, see Cudworth's Intellectual System, vol. i. p. 116.
2:128. The (indirect) influence of the Royal Society on this subject is noticed by Hutchinson, and indeed most of the writers on witchcraft. See Casaubon on Credulity, p. 191.
1:129. The report of this trial is reprinted in A Collection of Rare and Curious Tracts relating to Witchcraft (London, 1838).
2:129. Biographie Universelle -- an article which is also in the Encyclopædia Britannica.
1:130. There is a good review of this book in Hallam's Hist. of Lit., vol. iii. pp. 358-362. It is, I think, by far the best thing Glanvil wrote, and he evidently took extraordinary pains in bringing it to perfection. It first appeared as a short essay; it was then expanded into a regular treatise; and still later, recast and published anew under the title of 'Scepsis Scientifica.' This last edition is extremely rare, the greater part of the impression having, it is said (I do not know on what authority), been destroyed in the fire of London. It was answered by Thomas White, a once famous Roman Catholic controversialist. I cannot but think that Paley was acquainted with the works of Glanvil, for their mode of treating many subjects is strikingly similar. Paley's watch simile is fully developed by Glanvil, in chap. v.
1:131. Chapter xi.
1:132. He compares the leading scholars of his day to the mariner who returned laden with common pebbles from the Indies, imagining that that must necessarily be rare that came from afar; and he accused them of asserting, on the authority of Beza, that women have no beards, and on that of St. Augustine that peace is a blessing. He pronounced university education in general, and that of Oxford m particular, to be almost worthless. The indignation such sentiments created at Oxford is very amusingly shown in Wood's Athenæ, arts. Glanvil and Crosse. Crosse was a Fellow of Oxford (a D.D.), who at first vehemently assailed Glanvil in prose, but at last changed his mode of attack, and wrote comic ballads, which Wood assures us 'made Glanvil and his Society ridiculous.'
1:133. He thought the fact of the miracles of witchcraft being contemporary, would make it peculiarly easy to test them: 'for things remote or long past are either not believed or forgotten; whereas, these being fresh and new, and attended with all the circumstances of credibility, it may be expected they should have most success upon the obstinacy of unbelievers.' (Preface to the Sadducismus.)
2:133. 'Atheism is begun in Sadducism, and those that dare not bluntly say there is no God, content themselves (for a fair step and introduction) to deny there are spirits or witches which sort of infidels, though they are not ordinary among the mere vulgar, yet are they numerous in a little higher rank of understandings. And those that know anything of the world, know that most of the looser gentry, and the small pretenders to philosophy and wit, are generally deriders of the belief of witches and apparitions.' I need hardly say that the word Atheism was, in the time of Glanvil, used in the very loosest sense; indeed, Dugald Stewart shows, that at one time the disbelievers in apostolical succession were commonly denounced as Atheists. (Dissert., p. 378.)
1:134. See a striking passage, pp. 3, 4: -- 'I must premise that this, being matter of fact, is only capable of the evidence of authority and of sense, and by both these the being of witches and diabolical contracts is most abundantly confirmed. All histories are full of the exploits of those instruments of darkness, and the testimony of all ages, not only of the rude and barbarous, but of the most civilised and polished world, brings tidings of their strange performances. We have the attestation of thousands of eye and ear witnesses, and those not of the easily deceivable vulgar only, but of wise and grave discerners, and that when no interest could oblige them to agree together in a common lie; I say we have the light of all these circumstances to confirm us in the belief of things done by persons of despicable power and knowledge, beyond the reach of art and ordinary nature. Standing public records have been kept of these well-attested relations, and epochas made of these unwonted events. Laws, in many nations, have been enacted against those vile practices; those among the Jews and our own are notorious. Such cases have been often determined with us, by wise and revered judges, upon clear and constructive evidence; and thousands in our own nation have suffered death for their vile compact with apostate spirits. All this I might largely prove in their particular instances, but, that it is not needful; since those that deny the being of witches do it, not out of ignorance of those heads of argument which, probably, they have heard a thousand times, but from an apprehension that such a belief is absurd, and the things impossible.'
1:135. 'I think those that can believe all histories are romances; that all the wise could have agreed to juggle mankind into a common belief of ungrounded fables; that the sound senses of multitudes together may deceive them, and laws are built upon chimeras; that the gravest and wisest judges have been murderers, and the sagest persons fools or designing impostors; I say those that can believe this heap of absurdities, are either more credulous than those whose credulity they reprehend, or else have some extraordinary evidence of their persuasion, viz., that it is absurd or impossible there should be a witch or apparition.' (P. 4.)
1:136. His letters on the subject are prefixed to the Sadducismus.
2:136. On Credulity and Incredulity. This Casaubon was son of the great Greek scholar.
3:136. 'As for wizards and magicians, persons who associate and confederate themselves with these evil spirits for the gratification of their own revenge, lust, ambition, and other passions; besides the Scriptures, there hath been so full an attestation given to them by persons unconcerned in all ages, that those our so confident exploders of them in this present age can hardly escape the suspicion of having some hankering towards atheism.' (Int. Syst., vol. ii. p. 650. See also vol. i. p. 116.)
1:137. Webster on Witches. The identification of the Scripture demoniacs with lunatics had been made by Hobbes also.
2:137. Wagstaafe was a deformed, dwarfish scholar at Oxford, and was the special butt of the Oxonian wit (which in the seventeenth century does not appear to have been extremely brilliant). Poor Wagstaafe consoled himself by drinking whiskey punch; and having drunk too much, he died. (Wood's Athenæ.)
1:138. Bancroft, History of the United States, ch. xix. Hutchinson, pp. 95-119.
2:138. Hutchinson, pp. 95-119.
3:138. Mr. Buckle places the scepticism a little earlier. He says: 'This important revolution in our opinion was effected, so far as the educated classes are concerned, between the Restoration and Revolution; that is to say, in 1660, the majority of educated men still believed in witchcraft; and in 1688, the majority disbelieved it.' (Vol. i. p. 333.) By 1718, however, the minority had become insignificant.
1:139. Some of them, of course, were mere pamphlets, but a large proportion elaborate works. The catalogue is given by Hutchinson.
2:139. Compare Hutchinson, p. 57, and Buckle, vol. i. p. 334. I say judicially, for in the Times of Sept. 24th, 1863, there is an account of an old man who was mobbed to death in the county of Essex as a wizard.
1:140. Hutchinson, pp. 163-171. Some noble and liberal remarks.
2:140. Journal, 1768.
1:141. Bodin, p. 217.
1:142. Hutchinson, Dedication.
4:142. I, at least, have not been able to find any other case; but Sir Kenelm Digby, in his annotation to the passage from Sir Thomas Browne, which I have before quoted, says of the belief: 'There are divines of great note, and far from any suspicion of being irreligious, that do not oppose it.' The book of Dr. Harsnet is, I believe, rare. I only know it by the copious extracts in Hutchinson. There is a notice of its author in Neal's Hist. of the Puritans.
1:143. See Scott's Discovery, passim.
2:143. Sir W. Scott has well noticed this influence of Puritanism on English witchcraft; and, in comparing the different sections of the Church, he says, 'On the whole, the Calvinists, generally speaking, were, of all the contending sects, the most suspicious of sorcery, the most undoubting believers in its existence, and the most eager to follow it up with what they conceived to be the due punishment of the most fearful of crimes.' (Demonology and Witchcraft, Letter 8.)
1:144. I need hardly refer to the noble description of the Scotch Kirk in Buckle's History -- a description the substantial justice of which will be questioned by no one who is acquainted with the history of Scotch witchcraft. On the multitude of miracles and apparitions of Satan that were believed, see pp. 349-369.
2:144. The very remarkable fact, that no cases of imposture have been detected in Scotch witch-trials, is noted by Buckle, vol. ii. pp. 189, 190.
1:145. Dalyell, Darker Superstitions of Scotland, p. 624.
2:145. Ibid. p. 623.
3:145. Ibid. p. 624, &c.
4:145. See on this subject Pitcairn's Criminal Trials of Scotland, a vast repository of original documents on the subject. Pitcairn gives numbers of these confessions. He adds, 'The confessions were commonly taken before presbyteries, or certain special commissioners, who usually ranked among their number the leading clergy of those districts where their hapless victims resided.' (Vol. iii. p. 598.)
1:146. 'One of the most powerful incentives to confession was systematically to deprive the suspected witch of the refreshment of her natural sleep.... Iron collars, or witches' bridles, are still preserved in various parts of Scotland, which had been used for such iniquitous purposes. These instruments were so constructed that, by means of a hoop which passed over the head, a piece of iron having four points or prongs was forcibly thrust into the mouth, two of these being directed to the tongue and palate, the others pointing outwards to each cheek. This infernal machine was secured by a padlock. At the back of the collar was fixed a ring, by which to attach the witch to a staple in the wall of her cell. Thus equipped, and night and day waked and watched by some skilful person appointed by her inquisitors, the unhappy creature, after a few days of such discipline, maddened by the misery of her forlorn and helpless state, would be rendered fit for confessing anything, in order to be rid of the dregs of her wretched life. At intervals fresh examinations took place, and these were repeated from time to time until her "contumacy," as it was termed, was subdued. The clergy and kirk sessions appear to have been the unwearied instruments of "purging the land of witchcraft;" and to them, in the first instance, all the complaints and informations were made.' (Pitcairn, vol. i. part 2, p. 50.)
2:146. Dalyell, p. 645. The 'prickers' formed a regular profession in Scotland.
3:146. Burt's Letters from the North of Scotland, vol. i. pp. 227-234.
4:146. Dalyell, p. 645.
2:147. Dalyell, p. 657.
3:147. Pitcairn, vol. i. part ii. p. 376. The two cases were in the same trial in 1596.
4:147. Dalyell, p. 669.
5:147. Pitcairn, vol. iii. p. 597.
1:148. Dalyell, pp. 669, 670.
2:148. For a curious instance of this, see that strange book, 'The Secret Commonwealth,' published in 1691, by Robert Kirk, minister of Aberfoil. He represents evil spirits in human form as habitually living among the Highlanders. Succubi, or, as the Scotch called them, Leannain Sith, seem to have been especially common; and Mr. Kirk (who identifies them with the 'familiar spirits' of Deuteronomy) complains very sadly of the affection of many young Scotchmen for the 'fair ladies of this aërial order' (p. 35). Capt. Burr relates a long discussion he had with a minister on the subject of old women turning themselves into cats. The minister said that one man succeeded in cutting off the leg of a cat who attacked him, that the leg immediately turned into that of an old woman, and that four ministers signed a certificate attesting the fact (vol. i. pp. 271-277). One of the principal Scotch writers on these matters was Sinclair, who was Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow.
3:148. Wright's Sorcery, vol. i. pp. 165, 166. Even to consult with witches was made capital.
4:148. Pitcairn, vol. iii. p. 598. Another Earl of Mar had been himself bled to death for having, as was alleged, consulted with witches how to shorten the life of James III. (Scott's Demonology, let. ix.)
1:149. Sir Walter Scott seems to think that the first great outburst of persecution began when James VI. went to Denmark to fetch his bride. Before his departure, he exhorted the clergy to assist the magistrates, which they did, and most especially in matters of witchcraft. The king was himself perfectly infatuated with the subject, and had this one bond of union with the ministers; and, as Sir W. S. says, 'during the halcyon period of union between kirk and king, their hearty agreement on the subject of witchcraft failed not to heat the fires against all persons suspected of such iniquity.' (Demonology, letter ix.) See also Linton's Witch Stories, p. 5.
1:151. It is rather remarkable that Bodin had also formed his theology almost exclusively from the Old Testament, his reverence for which was so great that some (Grotius and Hallam among others) have questioned whether he believed the New.
2:151. The silent unreasoning character of the decline of Scotch witchcraft has been noticed by Dugald Stewart, Dissert., p. 508.
3:151. Burt's Letters from the North of Scotland, vol. i. pp. 227-234, and 271-277. I suspect Burr has misdated the execution that took place in 1722, placing it in 1727.
4:151. Macaulay, Hist., vol. iii. p. 706.