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Stoughton, the Lieutenant-Governor of New England, affixed his approbation to this book, vouching for the truth of the statements, and declaring that all good men would“ greatly rejoice, that “ the spirit of the Lord had thus enabled “ him (Mather) to lift up a standard “ against the infernal enemy, that hath “ been coming in like a flood upon us.” Such was the force of this memorable fit of national insanity, during which torrents of innocent blood were shed, by the misguided judges and juries, under the iinpression that they were actually invaded by a legion of devils; the part of which was really performed by themselves.
Nothing, indeed, can be added to the diligence of Remy, or Remigius, with respect to the forms of demons. He was a commissioner for the trial of witches, in Lorrain, and as he informs us, in the
course of fifteen years, he condemned nine hundred criminals to the stake. His book is one of the most remarkable productions of credulity; for the monstrous absurdities which it contains are supported by juridical proofs, most of which evidently proceeded from spectral impressions, when they were not extorted by torture.
My edition of this work, which is become very rare, was printed by Vincenti, at Lyons, in 1595. It is entitled, DÆMONOLATREIA. The trials appear to have begun in 1583. Mr. Remy seems to have felt great anxiety to ascertain the exact features and dress of the demons, with whom many of the persons supposed themselves to be familiar. Yet nothing transpired, in his examinations, which varied from the usual figures exhibited by the gross sculptures and paintings of the middle age. They are
said to be black-faced,* with sunk, but fiery eyes, their mouths wide, and smelling of sulphur; their hands hairy, with claws: their feet horny and cloven.
* Lib. i. p. 76, 77. Nam aut in vultu fæditas est, ac turpitullo, aut uncis, hamisque, quales obscenis vulturibus insunt manus pedesve depravatos ha. bent, aut denique insolita, atque insigni aliqua nota quæ naturæ immanitatem prodant, conspicuos se ostendunt. Joannes Piscator, Henaezel; Salome, Ca. tharina Balandræa, Nicolæa Ganatia, Sennel Armentaria, et Joanna Gerardina, retulerunt se & sæpe, et otiose, atque attenté considerasse suos Magistellos, cum præsentes colloquerentur; observasseque semper illis obscuras atrasque fuisse facies : ac (quod Jormandes dicit de Hunnis, quos Demonibus incubis satos ferunt) offæ similes : lumina penitus abdita, flammæ tamen instar micantia : Oris rictus sparsos, profundos, ac perpetuo olidi, sulphureique aliquid æstuantes : manus strigosas, et villis atque hamis deformes : pedes corneos bifidosque: staturam nunquam justam, sed aut brevitate aut vastitate semper aliqua insolentem, totam. que adeo Seriem extra modum.
Addit Alexia Belhoria, illum se aliquando vidisse capite, vel pede altero truncum, mutilumque, cum forté saltationes nocturnas una cum suis agitaret. Quæ res me in memoriam inducit ejus rumoris, qui me puero circumferebatur de Empusis, quarum frequentes
- Not only are the voices and stature of the demons described by Remy's authorities, but many other extraordinary circumstances are recorded, which might have been omitted with great propriety. The curiosity of the worthy judge seems to have been as unlimited as his credulity. I ought to add, that his book is
de nocte choreæ in triviis tum videri ferebantur (la Mequie Hennequin) id est, familiam Hellequinam vocitabant: nam Hellequinos ab incubis Dæmonibus suam traxisse originem non ignobiles Scriptores prodiderunt.
Nicolæa Ganatia, Eva Hesoletia, Jana Nigra Armacuriana, ac pleræque aliæ vocem illis esse aiunt, qualem emittunt, qui os in dolium, aut testam rimosam, insertum habent.............Aut certé exilem et debilem, p. 80.
In the 6th chapter, Remy has indulged his curiosity in a most extraordinary, and almost reprehensible manner.
Ab hoc qui nobis istos concubitus, succubitusque Dæmonum memorant uno ore loquuntur omnes, nihil iis frigidius &c. The other details are too shocking to be repeated, p. 55.
written in Latin, in a good style, and bears marks of considerable erudition.
The result of all these inquiries has been, thật recollected images only are presented to the persons labouring under delusions of this nature. ' .
But the most remarkable and decisive narrative of this kind was published, some years ago, by Nicolai, the celebrated author and bookseller, of Berlin. ** Those who pretend to have seen and “ heard ghosts obstinately maintain, that “ they perceived these apparitions by “ means of their senses. In order to “ defeat that belief, we generally desire " them to consider how many people have “ been imposed on by artful novices, and “ how liable we are to deceive ourselves; “ we advise them to lay hold of the sup“ posed spectres; assuring them that they * are generally found to be of a very cor« poreal nature. But those who have a