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“ Now, all you that see me this day, know, that I am now to die a witch by my own confession, and I free all men, especially the ministers and magistrates, of the guilt of my blood. I take it wholly upon myself, my blood be upon my own head. And, as I must make answer to the God of heaven presently, I declare I am as free of witchcraft as any child; but being delated by a malicious woman, and put in prison under the name of a witch, disowned by my husband and friends, and seeing no ground of hope of my coming out of prison, or ever coming in credit again, through the temptation of the devil I made up that confession, on purpose to destroy my own life, being weary of it, and choosing rather to die than live.”
“ Say you, therefore, Egeria, that the laws which led to such effects were either wise or requisite ?"
6 I do not perceive the justness of the remark," replied the nymph. “ You must first shew me that the belief in witchcraft never existed, and likewise never any wretches who availed themselves of it to afflict others. It is however a curious historical fact, that there were persons who openly made a profession of witch-finding; and one of these, Matthew Hopkins, who took the style and title of witch-finder-general, was so proud of his skill and success, that he has recorded his exploits in a pamphlet, which he published, adorned with effigies of himself and of different imps. He ruined his trade however at last; for he went on scorching and swimming poor creatures, till he so roused the indignation of some gentlemen by his barbarity, that they took him and tied his thumbs and toes together, as he used to tie those of others, and flung him into
a water to his fate. The following extract from his book is at once ludicrous and horrible.”
“ The discoverer never travelled far for it; but, in March 1644, he had some seven or eight of that horrible sect of witches, living in the town where he lived, (a town in Essex, called Maningtree,) with divers other adjacent witches of other towns, who every six weeks, in the night, (being always on the Friday night,) had their meeting close by his house, and had their several solemn sacrifices there offered to the devil, one of which this discoverer heard speaking to her imps one night, and bid them go to another witch, who was thereupon apprehended, and searched by women, who had for many years known the devil's marks, and found to have some marks about her which honest women have not; so, upon command from the justice, they were to keep her from sleep two or three nights, expecting in that time to see her familiars; which, the fourth night, she called in by their several names, and told them in what shapes to come, a quarter of an hour before they came, there being ten of us in the room. The 1st she called was Holt, who came in like a white kitling. 2. Jarmara, who came in like a fat spaniel, without any legs at all; she said she kept him fat, for he sucked good blood from her body. 3. Vinegar Tom, who was like a long-legged greyhound, with an head like an ox, with a long tail and broad eyes, whe, when this discoverer spoke to, and bade him go to the place provided for him and his angels, immediately transformed himself into the shape of a child of four years old, without a head, and gave half a dozen turns about the house, and vanished at the door. 4. Sack and Sugar, like a black rabbit. 5. Newes, like a polecat. All these vanished away in a little time. Immediately after, this witch confessed several other witches, from whom she had her imps, and named to divers women where their
marks were, the number of their marks and imps, and imps' names, as Elemauzer, Pyewacket, Peckin the Crown, Grizzel, Greedigut, &c. which no mortal could invent; and upon their searches, the same marks were found, the same number, and in the same place, and the like confessions from them from the same imps, (though they knew not that we were told before), and so peached one another thereabouts that joined together in the like damnable practice, that in our hundred in Essex, twentynine were condemned at once, four brought twenty-five miles to be hanged, where this discoverer lives, for sending the devil, like a bear, to kill him in his garden; so by seeing divers of the men's marks, and trying ways with hundreds of them, he gained this experience, and, for aught he knows, any man else may find them as well as he and his company, if they had the same skill and experience.
“ The devil's policy is great, in persuading many to come of their own accord to be tried, persuading them their marks are so close they shall not be found out; so divers have come ten or twelve miles to be searched, of their own accord, and hanged for their labour.”
THE WANDERING JEW.
ONE evening as the Bachelor was reading an agreeable little work ascribed to Lord John Russell, “ Essays by a Gentleman who left his Lodgings,” he remarked, on looking at the article which bears the
title of “ The Wandering Jew," that the idea was a very good one.
" I wonder,” said he, “ that nobody has adopted it, and given us the travels of that supposed character during the last seventeen centuries.”
“O !” exclaimed Egeria, “ the thing has been done some time ago,—and I am surprised that the author of the work in your hand should have so palpably taken another's thought and plan, without any sort of acknowledgment.”
“ I do not recollect of having met with the book to which you allude,” rejoined Benedict.
“ It is called “ The Wandering Jew," or the Travels and Observations of Hareach the Prolonged.” I believe the name Hareach is a Hebrew term, signifying the prolonged. The work exhibits a view of the most distinguished events in the history of mankind, since the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus; and the plan of the compilation professes to be a series of extracts from a journal written by the traveller, and left by him in a Greek monastery on mount Parnassus. By the way, now that I recollect it, you will find a copy behind your wig-box; fetch it, and I will read to you a few passages, to show you in what manner the compiler has handled his subject."
The Bachelor, like an obedient husband, went for the book, and gave it to Egeria, who, in opening it, said,
“ As the story properly begins with the description of the sack of Jerusalem in the second chapter, we shall take that as the first specimen."
THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. “ Omens and prodigies had long announced that Jehovah was departed from the mercy-seat, but it was not till the 7th day of the month Elul, in the year of the world 4077, (A.D. 73), that the daily sacrifice ceased for ever in the temple. Titus the Roman was desirous that the worship should have been continued; for it was an ancient maxim in the policy of his countrymen, to respect the religious rites while they erased the history of the nations they subdued ; but the remnant of our people, who had determined to perish with every thing rather than again submit to the Roman arms, rejected the representations which he made to them on this subject. Seeing them thus resolute, and in possession of the sacred edifice, which they had converted into a fortress, he prosecuted the siege with remorseless vigour. But desperate men, determined on death, resisted him with an energy new to his legions, and laughed to scorn the fury alike of the engines and the soldiery. For six days he endeavoured to batter down the walls which surrounded the temple, but was repulsed, with the loss of many of his bravest troops, and the destruction of their eagles. On the seventh, he set fire to the gates, which were plated with silver, and the flames communicated to the porticoes and galleries; but the besieged within answered to the shouts of the Romans with execrations, and made no attempt to extinguish the burning. Next morning, he ordered the legions to stop the progress of the fire, being still anxious to preserve so glorious a building ; and having consulted his council, it was determined that, on the 10th of the next month, a general assault should take place. On the preceding night, however, my countrymen made two sallies, with partial success, which greatly exasperated the Romans; and I observed, from the terrace of the house where I had