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to the external forms of demons, I have not noticed them without due deliberation. During the middle ages, the hideous figures, which divers degrees of demons were supposed to assume, found very prominent places among the grotesque sculptures and carvings of religious buildings, and even disfigured the wainscots of the domestic halls of our ancestors. No wonder then, that, even at the present day, they should continue to make an impression upon weak intellects, or upon the vulgar. When fear has impressed their forms deeply on the minds of the superstitious, and when, from morbific causes, ideas have become as vivid as sensations, apparitions of hideous demons have haunted the maniacal visionary, or have disturbed the pillows of the languishing or of the dying.
With the view of illustrating other accounts of apparitions, I must still advert to the doctrines of demonology which were once taught. Although the leading tenets of this occult science may be traced to the Jews and early Christians, yet they were matured by our early communication with the Moors of Spain, who were the chief philosophers of the dark ages, and between whom and the natives of France and Italy a great communication subsisted. Toledo, Seville, and Salamanca, became the great schools of magic. At the latter city, prelections on the black art were, from a consistent regard to the solemnity of the subject, delivered within the walls of a vast and gloomy cavern. The schoolmen taught, that all knowledge and power might be obtained from the assistance of the fallen angels. They were skilled in the abstract sciences, in the knowledge of precious stones, in al
chymy, in the various languages of mankind and of the lower animals, in the belles lettres, in moral philosophy, pneumatology, divinity, magic, history, and prophecy. They could control the winds, the waters, and the influence of the stars; they could raise earthquakes, induce diseases, or cure them, accomplish all vast mechanical undertakings, and release souls out of purgatory. They could influence the passions of the mind-procure the reconciliation of friends or foes -engender mutual discord-induce mania and melancholy-or direct the force and objects of the sexual affections.
Such was the object of demonology, as taught by its most orthodox professors. Yet other systems of it were devised, which had their origin in causes attending the propagation of Christianity. For it must have been a work of much time to eradicate the universal belief, that the Pagan deities, who had become so numerous as to fill every part of the universe, were fabulous beings. Even many learned men were induced to side with the popular opinion on the subject, and did nothing more than endeavour to reconcile it with their acknowledged systems of demonology. They taught that such heathen objects of reverence were fallen angels in league with the prince of darkness, who, until the appearance of our Saviour, had been allowed to range on the earth uncontrolled, and to involve the world in spiritual darkness and delusion. According to the various ranks which these spirits held in the vast kingdom of Lucifer, they were suffered, in their degraded state, to take up their abode in the air, in mountains, in springs, or in seas.
But, although the various attributes ascribed to the Greek and Roman deities were, by the early teachers of Christianity, considered in the more humble light of demoniacal delusions, yet for many centuries they possessed great influence over the minds of the vulgar. In the reign of Hadrian, Evreux in Normandy was not converted to the Christian faith, until the devil, who had caused the obstinacy of the inhabitants, was finally expelled from the Temple of Diana. To this goddess, during the persecution of Diocletian, oblations were rendered by the inhabitants of London. In the 5th century, the worship of her existed at Turin, and incurred the rebuke of Saint Maximus. From the 9th to the 15th century, several denunciations took place of the women, who in France and Germany travelled over immense spaces of the earth, acknowledging Diana as their mistress and conductor. In rebuilding Saint Paul's cathedral in London, remains of several of the animals used in her sacrifices were found; for slight traces of this description of reverence subsisted so late as the reign of Edward the First, and of Mary. Apollo, also, in an early period of Christianity, had some influence at Thorney, now Westminster. About the 11th century, Venus formed the subject of a monstrous apparition, which could only have been credited from the influence which she was still supposed to possess. A young man had thoughtlessly put his ring around the marble finger of her image. This was construed by the Cyprian goddess as a plighted token of marriage; she accordingly paid a visit to her bridegroom's bed at night, nor could he get rid of his bedfellow until the spells of an ex
orcist had been invoked for his relief. In the year 1536, just before the volcanic eruption of Mount Etna, a Spanish merchant, while travelling in Sicily, saw the apparition of Vulcan attended with twenty of his Cyclops, as they were escaping from the effects which the overheating of his furnace foreboded.*
To the superstitions of Greece and Rome we are also indebted for those subordinate evil spirits named genii, who, for many centuries, were the subject of numerous spectral illusions. A phantasm of this kind appeared to Brutus in his tent, prophesying that he should be again seen at Philippi. Cornelius Sylla had the first intimation of the sudden febrile attack with which he was seized, from an apparition who addressed him by his name; concluding, therefore, that his death was at hand, he prepared himself for the event, which took place the following evening. The poet Cassius Severus, a short time before he was slain by order of Augustus, saw, during the night, a human form of a gigantic size,-his skin black, his beard squalid, and his hair dishevelled. The phantasm was, perhaps, not unlike the evil genius of Lord Byron's Manfred:
"I see a dusk and awful figure rise
His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form
Robed as with angry clouds; he stands between
* See an interesting dissertation on this subject in Douce's Illustrations of Shakspeare, vol. i. p. 382. It is also noticed in the Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii. p. 197.
The emperor Julian was struck with a spectre clad in rags, yet bearing in his hands a horn of plenty, which was covered with a linen cloth. Thus emblematically attired, the spirit walked mournfully past the hangings of the apostate's tent.*
We may now advert to the superstitious narratives of the middle ages, which are replete with the notices of similar marvellous apparitions. When Bruno, the Archbishop of Wirtzburg, a short period before his sudden death, was sailing with Henry III., he descried a terrific spectre standing upon a rock which overhung the foaming waters, by whom he was hailed in the following words:-" Ho! Bishop, I am thy evil genius. Go whither thou choosest, thou art and shalt be mine. I am not now sent for thee, but soon thou wilt see me again." To a spirit commissioned upon a similar errand, the prophetic voice may be probably referred, which was said to have been heard by John Cameron, the Bishop of Glasgow, immediately before his decease. He was summoned by it, says Spottiswoode, "to appear before the tribunal of Christ, there to atone for his violence and oppressions."
But it is curious, that a superstition nearly similar has been perpetuated in the Highlands of Scotland even to the present day. "There is a species of spirits," says Sir Walter Scott, in his Border Minstrelsy, "to whom, in the Highlands, is ascribed the guar
* Dio of Syracuse was visited by one of the furies in person, whose appearance the soothsayers regarded as indicative of the death which occurred of his son, as well as of his own dissolution.