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“ and disturbed, though nothing visible “ to others moved him ; so, as I have “ been sitting by the fire with others, “ I have seen several spirits, and pointed “ to the place where they were, telling “ the company they were there. And “one spirit, whom I heard calling to “me, as he stood behind me, on a “sudden clapped his finger to my side, “ which I sensibly perceived, and started “ at it, and as I saw one spirit come in. « at the door, which I did not like, I “ suddenly laid hold of a pair of tongs, “and struck at him with all my force, “ whereupon he vanished.
«*** I must declare, that I would o not for the whole world undergo what “ I have undergone, upon spirits comsing twice to me; their first coming “ was most dreadful to me, the thing “ being then altogether new, and con“sequently more surprizing, though at “the first coming they did not appear
“ to me, but only called to me at my “ chamber windows, rung bells, sung “ to me, and played on music, &c. but " the last coming also carried terror “ enough; for when they came, being “ only five in number, the two women “ before mentioned, and three men, “ (though afterwards there came hun“ dreds) they told me they would kill “ me, if I told any person in the house " of their being there, which put me in “ some consternation, and I made a “ servant sit up with me four nights in “my chamber before a fire, it being “ in the Christmas Holidays, telling no “ person of their being there. One of “ these spirits in women's dress, lay “ down upon the bed by me every “ night; and told me if I slept, the “ spirits would kill me, which kept me “ waking for three nights. In the mean " time, a near relation of mine went “ (though unknown to me) to a phy“sician of my, acquaintance, desiring
“ him to prescrive me somewhat for “ sleeping, which he did, and a sleeping “ potion was brought me, but I set it “ by, being very desirous and inclined “ to sleep without it. The fourth night “ I could hardly forbear sleeping, but “ the spirit, lying on the bed by me, told “me again, I should be killed if I slept; “ whereupon I rose, and sate by the “ fire-side, and in a while returned to “ my bed ; and so I did a third time, “ but was still threatened as before : “ whereupon I grew impatient, and “asked the spirits what they would “ have? Told them I had done thé • part of a christian, in humbling myself “ to God, and feared them not, and “ rose from my bed, took a cane, and “knocked at the ceiling of my cham“ ber, a near relation of mine lying then “over me, who presently rose and came “ down to me, about two o'clock in the “ morning, to whom I said, you have “ seen me disturbed these four days past,
" and that I have not slept; the occasion “ of it was, that five spirits, which are “ now in the room with me, have “ threatened to kill me if I told any “ person of their being here, or if I 4 slept, but I am not able to forbear “ sleeping longer, and acquaint you “ with it, and now stand in defiance of “them; and thus. I exerted myself about " them; and notwithstanding their con“tinued threats, I slept very well the “ next night, and continued so to do, “ though they continued with me above “ three months, day and night.”*
The celebrated visions of Tasso appear to have been of the same nature. He fancied that he beheld a celestial being, with whom he held converse, in the presence of spectators, who perceived no apparition, and who heard no voice but that of the poet. Would that we could
* Beaumont's Treatise, p. 91, 4.
have exchanged the narratives of Beaumont's reveries, for those of Tasso !
To this class of morbid perceptions, belong also the visions of Christopher Kotter, and Drabicius, which made a considerable noise in the seventeenth century. They were published by Comenius, aided by very ghostly engravinys, under the title of Lux é Tenebris.' I must refer to Bayle, for many curious observations respecting the tendency of these prophetic rhapsodies : my business is only with the faculty of spectral representation.
For this reason, I shall not notice Drabicius. As a man of superior information, he might be suspected of politic views, in his pretended visions : but there can be no doubt that Kotter was sincere in his enthusiasm, and was as much a Seer as any second-sighted prophet of the Hebrides.