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call acúboros, that drives us to despaire. The ninthe are those tempters in several kindes, and their prince is Mammon.”
But this arrangement was not comprehensive enough; for, as Burton adds,“ no place was void, but all full of spirits, devils, or other inhabitants, not so much as an haire-breadth was empty in heaven, earth, or waters, above or under the earth,—the earth was not so full of Alies in summer as it was at all times of invisible devils.” Pneumatologists, therefore, made two grand distinctions of demons; there were celestial demons, who inhabited the regions higher than the moon; while those of an inferior rank, as the Manes or Lemures, were either nearer to the earth, or grovelled on the ground. Psellus, however, " a great observer of the nature of devils," seems to have thought, that such a classification destroyed all distinction between good and evil spirits; he therefore denied that the latter ever ascended the regions above the moon, and contending for this principle, founded a system of demonology, which had for its basis the natural history and habitations of all demons. He named his first class fiery devils. They wandered in the region near the moon, but were restrained from entering into that luminary; they displayed their powers in blazing stars, in firedrakes, in counterfeit suns and moons, and in the cuerpo santo, or meteoric lights, which, in vessels at sea, flit from mast to mast, and forebode foul weather. It was supposed that these demons occasionally resided in the furnaces of Hecla, Etna, or Vesuvius.--The second class consisted of aerial devils. They inhabited the atmosphere, causing tempests,
thunder, and lightning; rending asunder oaks, firing steeples and houses, smiting men and beasts, showering down, from the skies, stones,* wool, and even frogs; counterfeiting in the clouds the battles of armies, raising whirlwinds, fires, and corrupting the air, so as to induce plagues.—The third class were terrestrial devils ; such as lares, genii, fauns, satyrs, wood-nymphs, foliots, Robin Goodfellows, or trulli. -The fourth class were aqueous devils ; as the various descriptions of water-nymphs, of mermen, or of mer
-The fifth were subterranean devils, better known by the name of dæmones metallici, metal men, Getuli or Cobali. They preserved treasure in the earth, and prevented it from being suddenly revealed; they were also the cause of horrible earthquakes.Psellus's sixth class of devils were named lucifugi. They delighted in darkness; they entered into the bowels of men, and tormented those whom they possessed with phrenzy and the fallen sickness. By this power they were distinguished from earthy and aerial devils, who could only enter into the human mind, which they either deceived or provoked with unlawful affections.
Nor were speculations wanting with regard to the common nature of these demons. Psellus conceived that their bodies did not consist merely of one ele
* Psellus speaks with great contempt of this petty instance of malevolence to the human race, 66 Stones are thrown down from the air,” he remarks, “ which do no harm, the devils having little strength, and being mere scarecrows. So much for the origin of meteoric stones.
ment, although he was far from denying that this might not have been the case before the fall of Lucifer. It was his opinion, that devils possessed corporeal frames capable of sensation ; that they could both feel and be felt; that they could injure and be hurt; that they lamented when they were beaten, and that if stuck into the fire, they even left behind them ashes,-a fact which was demonstrated in a very satisfactory experiment made by some philosopher upon the borders of Italy ;—that they were nourished with food peculiar to themselves, not receiving the aliment through the gullet, but absorbing it from the exterior surface of their bodies, after the manner of a spunge ; that they did not hurt cattle from malevolence, but from mere love of the natural and temperate heat and moisture of these animals; that they disliked the heat of the sun, because it dried too fast; and, lastly, that they attained a great age. Thus, Cardan had a fiend bound to him twenty-eight years, who was forty-two years old, and yet considered very young. He was informed, from this very authentic source of intelligence, that devils lived from two to three hundred years, and that their souls died with their bodies. This very philosophical statement was, nevertheless, combated by other observers. Manie,” says Scot, “ affirmed that spirits were of aier, because they have been cut in sunder and closed presentlie againe, and also because they vanished awaie so sudden lie.”
But a truce to these absurdities, of which I begin to suspect that my readers may be no less wearied than myself. Still the inquiry was necessary
my purpose, as I trust it will now be apparent, that most
of the fantastical images, which have long formed the subject of the spectral illusions of superstition, have kept pace, either with Pagan systems of mythology, with Christian systems of demonology, or with the no less superstitious views entertained, relative to the hierarchy of benignant genii. Yet, in the impressive language of Lord Byron,
" What are they?
GENERAL REMARKS ON THE APPARITIONS OF
“ Ghosts fly on clouds and ride on winds,” said Connal's voice of wisdom. They rest together in their caves, and talk of mortal
-Poem of Fingal.
It is the most reasonable of expectations, that the various morbific causes, which are capable of imparting to the recollected images of the mind the vividness of actual impressions, should have for their subject the forms of deceased as well as of living individuals. In the narrative, for instance, of Nicolai, given in the first chapter of this work, the following remarkable passage occurs :-" There appeared many other phantasms, sometimes representing acquaintances. Those whom I knew were composed both of living and deceased persons, though the number of the latter was comparatively small.” This instance of spectres produced by disease, illustrates also the alleged paleness of ghosts, or the misty and cloudy appearance which they assume. For the same writer remarks of certain of the phantasms which he saw, that they appeared to him in their natural size, and as distinct as if alive; though the colours seemed somewhat paler than in real nature." It is evident, that this impression must have resulted from the spectral idea of colour not