Sunday, October 7, 2012

What big teeth you have! - Wolves and Magic.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I visited Innerpeffray Library again yesterday, and spent several hours typing furiously to get as much transcribed as possible! I'm particularly interested in the Treatise of Specters, also called the History of Specters (it seems to vary between the cover and the frontispiece!) because it does not seem to be available on the net anywhere. Unless the text is stashed away in some digital archive I haven't stumbled across yet, it's not up copying excerpts out whenever I'm at Innerpeffray has rather the appeal of stuffing your pockets with as many gems as possible before leaving Aladdin's Cave! The following passages go together quite well - they are all from the section entitled An History of Strange Apparitions, and cunning delusions of Devils and are all about witches and magicians. With the exception of the first one, which I included because I liked the witch's unusual name, they are all about shape-shifting. As ever, I have transcribed them leaving the archaic grammar, spelling and punctuation just as I found them. 

394. Cazereis was a Witch at Tholossa, who having brought the blessed bread to the Altar, went away to drown her self, and when she was brought home again; she confessed that she infected the blessed bread with poyson; the bread was cast before Dogs, they dye. She being in bonds, was in a trance more than six hours, void of all feeling; afterwards rising up, cryed out she was wonderfull weary, and sent back the Messengers from many places with certain synes and marks. When she was near her sentence of condemnation, and Judgement was ready to be past upon her, she called upon the Devill, saying, That he promised that there should come such vehement storms and showers that she might not be burned. But for all that she was not defended from the violence of the fire. Bodinus Daemonoman.lib.3.cap.3

395. Nothing (saith the same Bodinus in lib.2.cap.5) is so wonderfull and admirable as the Metamorphosing of men into beasts, and to be turned out of the shape of a man into that of a beast. Yet the truth is, that this is practised among Magitians; and both divine and prophane Histories do prove it certainly. In the book of Inquisitions against Magitians, which I have often mentioned; we read of one Statius a certain Magitian that he suddenly and oftentimes flew, and escaped out of the Bernates field, out of the midst of his enemies (for he had very many) and he could never be slain; but when he was asleep, he left two of his Disciples Hippo and Stadlinus which were the chief Magitians in all Germany, who raised tempests, caused lightning and great storms.

396. There did arise a controversy in the Parliament of Dolensi, and the sentence was published the 18th day of January in the year, 1573, about Aegidius Garnerius, Lugdenensis. Which Judgement is not fit to be inserted here at the present, when Aurelius at Eligium Giberium at Paris with Peter Hayanum, commended to the French Presses; only we will set down the chief heads of those Articles that he was accused and convicted of. And first, That this Garnerius at Michaelmas time at the wood, in the Chastenoyanian Vines, which are a quarter of a mile from Dolensis Town, took a young wench of ten or twelve years old, with his hands, which seemed like to Wolves feet, and tore her to pieces with his teeth, and so devoured the flesh of her thighs and arms, and brought part of her to his Wife. And about a Moneth after, he got another girl in the same manner, and killed her; and being about to eat her, unlesse three men (as he himself confessed) had hindered him. And about fifteen dayes after he strangled a boy of ten years old, in the Vines of Gredisaniorum, and did eat the flesh of his legs, thighs and belly. And lastly, He slew a boy thirteen years of age (being then in the shape of a man, and not of a Wolf) in a grove of the Perusan; and being very hungry (as he of his own accord confessed) if he had not been hindered, would have eaten him also: Therefore for these reasons he was condemned to the flames; The Sentence was put in execution.

397. There was another Case agitated at Vesontion, made known to, or discovered by John Boinus the Inquisitor, in the year of our Lord, 1521, in the Moneth of December, the cause was sent into France, Itally, and Germany, which Vierius,lib.6.of Witchcraft, chap.13. relates at large, but I will run over a few heads of it; Peter Burgottus, and Michael Verdunus, was found guilty, and confessed that they had renounced God and their Faith, and had given themselves to the Devill; Therefore Michael brought Burgot in that street of the Carlonian Castle, where each of them had a Candle of green wax burning, with a dull obscure flame; and so they danced and sacrificed to the Devill. Afterwards they confessed, that anointing themselves, they were transformed into Wolves, running with great celerity and swiftnesse; then again being turned into men, and a while after into Wolves, and in that shape had copulation with the she-Wolves, and had the same pleasure with them as they were wont to have with Women; Furthermore it was confessed, that Burgottus with seven Wolves feet and teeth, did tear to pieces and cruelly macerate a boy, and had quite devoured him had not some Countreymen driven him away. And that Verdunus slew a young maid gathering pease in the Garden, and was driven away by the Lords of Cunea. And in the last place, that there were four young lasses devoured by them at a certain place and time, whose age they did relate, and that they could destroy men by casting a certain kind of dust or powder. 

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