Of Witches and Magicians, how they cause Melancholy.

Of Witches and Magicians, how they cause Melancholy.

You have heard what the devil can do of himself, now you shall hear what he can perform by his instruments, who are many times worse (if it be possible) than he himself, and to satisfy their revenge and lust cause more mischief, Multa enim mala non egisset dæmon, nisi provocatus a sagis, as Erastus thinks; much harm had never been done, had he not been provoked by witches to it. He had not appeared in Samuel's shape, if the Witch of Endor had let him alone; or represented those serpents in Pharo's presence, had not the magicians urged him unto it; Nec morbus vel hominibus, vel brutus infligeret (Erastus maintains) si sagæ quiescerent; men and cattle might go free, if the witches would let him alone. Many deny witches at all, or if there be any they can do no harm; of this opinion is Wierus, lib. 3. cap. 53. de præstig. dæm. Austin Lerchemer a Dutch writer, Biarmannus, Ewichius, Euwaldus, our countryman Scot; with him in Horace,

"Somnia, terrores Magicos, miracula, sagas,
Nocturnos Lemures, portentaque Thessala risu
Excipiunt --"

Say, can you laugh indignant at the schemes
Of magic terrors, visionary dreams,
Portentous wonders, witching imps of hell,
The nightly goblin, and enchanting spell?

They laugh at all such stories; but on the contrary are most lawyers, divines, physicians, philosophers, Austin, Hemingius, Danæus, Chytræus, Zanchius, Aretius, &c. Delrio, Springer, Niderus lib. 5. Fornicar. Cuiatius, Bartolus, consil. 6. tom. 1. Bodine dæmoniant. lib. 2. cap. 8. Godelman, Damhoderius, &c. Paracelsus, Erastus, Scribanius, Camerarius, &c. The parties by whom the devil deals, may be reduced to these two, such as command him in show at least, as conjurors, and magicians, whose detestable and horrid mysteries are contained in their book called Arbatell; dæmones enim advocati præsto sunt, seque exorcismis et conjurationibus quasi cogi patiuntur, ut miserum magorum genus, in impietate detineant. Or such as are commanded, as witches, that deal ex parte implicite, or explicite, as the tking hath well defined; many subdivisions there are, and many several species of sorcerers, witches, enchanters, charmers, &c. They have been tolerated heretofore some of them; and magic hath been publicly professed in former times, in Salamanca, Cracow, and other places, though after censured by several Universities, and now generally contradicted, though practised by some still, maintained and excused, Tanquam res secreta quæ non nisi viris magnis et peculiari beneficio de Cúlo instructis communicatur (I use Boesartus his words) and so far approved by some princes, Ut nihil ausi aggredi in politicis, in sacris, in consiliis, sine eorum arbitrio; they consult still with them, and dare indeed do nothing without their advice. Nero and Heliogabalus, Maxentius, and Julianus Apostata, were never so much addicted to magic of old, as some of our modern princes and popes themselves are now-a-days. Erricus King of Sweden had an enchanted cap, by virtue of which, and some magical murmur or whispering terms, he could command spirits, trouble the air, and make the wind stand which way he would, insomuch that when there was any great wind or storm, the common people were wont to say, the king now had on his conjuring cap. But such examples are infinite. That which they can do, is as much almost as the devil himself, who is still ready to satisfy their desires, to oblige them the more unto him. They can cause tempests, storms, which is familiarly practised by witches in Norway, Iceland, as I have proved. They can make friends enemies, and enemies friends by philters; Turpes amores conciliare, enforce love, tell any man where his friends are, about what employed though in the most remote places; and if they will, "bring their sweethearts to them by night, upon a goat's back flying in the air." Sigismund Scheretzius, part. 1. cap. 9. de spect., reports confidently, that he conferred with sundry such, that had been so carried many miles, and that he heard witches themselves confess as much; hurt and infect men and beasts, vines, corn, cattle, plants, make women abortive, not to conceive, barren, men and women unapt and unable, married and unmarried, fifty several ways, saith Bodine, lib. 2, c. 2, fly in the air, meet when and where they will, as Cicogna proves, and Lavat. de spec. part. 2, c. 17, "steal young children out of their cradles, ministerio dæmonum, and put deformed in their rooms, which we call changelings, saith Scheretzius, part. 1, c. 6, make men victorious, fortunate, eloquent; and therefore in those ancient monomachies and combats they were searched of old, they had no magical charms; they can make stick frees, such as shall endure a rapier's point, musket shot, and never be wounded: of which read more in Boissardus, cap. 6, de Magia, the manner of the adjuration, and by whom 'tis made, where and how to be used in expeditonibus bellicis, prúliis, duellis, &c., with many peculiar instances and examples; they can walk in fiery furnaces, make men feel no pain on the wrack, aut alias torturas sentire; they can stanch blood, represent dead men's shapes, alter and turn themselves and others into several forms, at their pleasures. Agaberta, a famous witch in Lapland, would do as much publicly to all spectators, Modo Pusilla, modo anus, modo procera ut quercus, modo vacca, avis, coluber, &c. Now young, now old, high, low, like a cow, like a bird, a snake, and what not? she could represent to others what forms they most desired to see, show them friends absent, reveal secrets, maxima omnium admiratione, &c. And yet for all this subtilty of theirs, as Lypsius well observes, Physiolog. Stoicor. lib. 1, cap. 17, neither these magicians nor devils themselves can take away gold or letters out of mine or Crassus' chest, et Clientelis suis largiri, for they are base, poor, contemptible fellows most part; as Bodin notes they can do nothing in Judicum decreta aut púnas, in regum conclia vel arcana, nihil in rem nummariam aut thesauros, they cannot give money to their clients, alter judges' decrees, or councils of kings, these minuti Genii cannot do it, altiores Genii hoc sibi adservarunt, the higher powers reserve these things to themselves. Now and then peradventure there may be some more famous magicians like Simon Magus, Apollonius Tyaneus, Pasetes, Jamblicus, Odo de Stellis, that for a time can build castles in the air, represent armies, &c., as they are said to have done, command wealth and treasure, feed thousands with all variety of meats upon a sudden, protect themselves and their followers from all princes' persecutions, by removing from place to place in an instant, reveal secrets, future events, tell what is done in far countries, make them appear that died long since, and do many such miracles, to the world's terror, admiration and opinion of deity to themselves, yet the devil forsakes them at last, they come to wicked ends, and raro aut nunquam such imposters are to be found. The vulgar sort of them can work no such feats. But to my purpose, they can, last of all, cure and cause most diseases to such as they love or hate, and this of melancholy amongst the rest. Paracelsus, Tom. 4, de morbis amentium. Tract. 1, in express words affirms; Multi fascinantur in melancholiam,many are bewitched into melancholy, out of his experience. The same saith Danæus lib. 3, de sortiariis. Vidi, inquit, qui melancholicos morbos gravissimos induxerunt: I have seen those that have caused melancholy in the most grievous manner, dried up women's paps, cured gout, palsy; this and apoplexy, falling sickness, which no physic could help, solo tactu, by touch alone. Ruland in his 3 Cent. Cura 91, gives an instance of one David Helde, a young man, who by eating cakes which a witch gave him, mox delirare cúpit, began to dote on a sudden, and was instantly mad: F. H. D. in Hildesheim, consulted about a melancholy man, thought his disease was partly magical, and partly natural, because he vomited pieces of iron and lead, and spake such languages as he had never been taught; but such examples are common in Scribanius, Hercules de Saxonia, and others. The means by which they work are usually charms, images, as that in Hector Boethius of King Duffe; characters stamped of sundry metals, and at such and such constellations, knots, amulets, words, philters, &c., which generally make the parties affected, melancholy; as Monavius discourseth at large in an epistle of his to Acolsius, giving instance in a Bohemian baron that was so troubled by a philter taken. Not that there is any power at all in those spells, charms, characters, and barbarous words; but that the devil doth use such means to delude them. Ut fideles inde magos (saith Libanius) in officio retineat, tum in consortium malefactorum vocet.

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