ページの画像
PDF
ePub

secret, that his art could ward off any danger except the poisonous qualities of broth, made of the flesh of a breme sow. Such a mess she accordingly administered to the wizard, who died in consequence of eating it.

The words that clove Eildon hills in three, And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone. St. XIII. p. 44. Michael Scott was, once upon a time, much embarrassed by

a spirit, for whom he was under the necessity of finding constant employment. He commanded him to build a cauld, or dam-head, across the Tweed at Kelso: it was accomplished in One night, and still does honour to the infernal architect. Michael next ordered, that Eildon hill, which was then a uniform cone, should be divided into three. Another night was sufficient to part its summit into the three picturesque peaks which it now bears. At length the enchanter conquered this indefatigable daemon, by employing him in the hopeless and endless task of making ropes out of sea sand.

That lamp shall burn unquenchably.—St. XIV. p. 45. Baptista Porta, and other authors who treat of natural magic, talk much of eternal lamps, pretended to have been found burning in ancient sepulchres. Fortunius Licetus investigates the subject in a treatise, De Lucernis antiquorum reconditis, published at Venice 1621. One of these perpetual lamps is said to have been discovered in the tomb of Tulliola, the daughter of Cicero. The wick was supposed to be composed of asbestos. Kircher enumerates three different receipts for constructing such lamps; and wisely concludes, that the thing is nevertheless impossible. Mundus Subterraneus, p. 72.-Delrio imputes the fabrication of such lights to magical skill.

Disquisitiones Magica, p. 58.-In a very rare romance, which “treateth of the lyfe of Virgilius, and of his deth, and many marvayles that he dyd in his lyfe-time, by whyche-crafte and nygramancye, thoroughe the helpe of the devyls of hell,” mention is made of a very extraordinary process, in which one of these mystical lamps was employed. It seems, that Virgil, as he advanced in years, became desirous of renovating his youth by his magical art. For this purpose he constructed a solitary tower, having only one narrow portal, in which he placed twenty-four copper figures, armed with iron flails, twelve on each side of the porch. These enchanted statues struck with their flails incessantly, and rendered all entrance impossible unless when Virgil touched the spring, which stopped their motion. To this tower he repaired privately, attended by one trusty servant, to whom he communicated the secret of the entrance, and hither they conveyed all the magician's treasure. “Then sayde Virgilius, my dere beloved frende, and he that I above alle men truste and knowe mooste of my secret;” and then he led the man into the cellar, where he had made a fayer lampe at all seasons burnynge. And than sayd Virgilius to the man, “Se you the barell that standeth here 2" and he sayd, yea: “therin must thou put me: fyrste ye must slee me, and hewe me smalle to peces, and cut my hed in iiii peces, and salte the heed under in the bottum, and then the peces there after, and my herte in the myddel, and then set the barell under the lampe, that nyghte and day the fat therin may droppe and leake; and ye shall, ix dayes longe, ones in the daye, fyll the lampe, and fayle nat. And when this is alle done, than shall I be renued, and made yonge agen.” At this extraordinary proposal, the confidant was sore abashed, and made some scruple of obeying his master's commands. At length, however, he complied, and Virgil was slain, pickled, and barrelled up, in all respects according to his own direction. The servant then left the tower, taking care to put the copper threshers in motion at his departure. He continued daily to visit the tower with the same precaution. Meanwhile, the emperor, with whom Virgil was a great favourite, missed him from the court, and demanded of his servant where he was. The domestic pretended ignorance, till the emperor threatened him with death, when at length he conveyed him to the enchanted tower. The same threat extorted a discovery of the mode of stopping the statues from wielding their flails. “And then the Emperour entered into the castle with all his folke, and soughte all aboute in every corner after Virgilius; and at the last they soughte so longe, that they came into the seller, where they sawe the lampe hang over the barell, where Virgilius lay in deed. Then asked the Emperour the man who had made hym so herdey to put his mayster Virgilius so to dethe ; and the man answered no worde to the Emperour. And than the Emperour, with great anger, drewe oute his swerde, and slewe he there Virgilius' man. And when all this was done, than sawe the Emperour, and all his folke, a naked chylde iii tymes rennynge aboute the barell, saynge these wordes, ‘cursed be the tyme that ye ever came here !’ And with those wordes vanysshed the chylde awaye, and was. never sene ageyn; and thus abyd Virgilius in the barell deed.” Virgilius, bl. let. printed at Antwerpe by John Doesborcke. This curious volume is in the valuable library of Mr Douce; and is supposed to be a translation from the French, printed in Flanders for the English market. See Goujet Biblioth. Franc. ix. 225. Catalogue de la Bibliotheque Nationale, tom. ii. p. 5. De Bure, No. 3857.

He thought, as he took it, the dead man frowned.
St. XXI. p. 50.

William of Deloraine might be strengthened in this belief by the well-known story of the Cid Ruy Diaz. When the body of that famous Christian champion was lying in state, a certain malicious Jew stole into the chamber to pull him by the beard; but he had no sooner touched the formidable whiskers, than the corpse started up, and half unsheathed his sword. The Israelite fled; and so permanent was the effect of his terror, that he became Christian. Heywood's Hierarchie, p. 480. quoted from Sebastian Cobarruvias Crozce.

The Baron's dwarf his courser held.—St. XXXI. p. 56. The idea of Lord Cranstoun's goblin page is taken from a being called Gilpin Horner, who appeared, and made some . stay, at a farm-house among the Border-mountains. A gen

tleman of that country has noted down the following particulars concerning his appearance. “The only certain, at least most probable, account, that ever I heard of Gilpin Horner, was from an old man of the name of Anderson, who was born, and lived all his life, at Todshawhill, in Eskdale-muir, the place where Gilpin appeared and staid for some time. He said there were two men, late in the evening, when it was growing dark, employed in fastening the horses upon the uttermost part of their ground (that is, tying their fore-feet together, to hinder them from travelling far in the night), when they heard a voice, at some distance, crying, tint 1 tint 1 tint P* One of the men, named Moffat, called out, “What de'il has tint you? Come here.’ Immediately a creature of something like a human form appeared. It was surprisingly little, distorted in features, and mis-shapen in limbs. As soon as the two men could see it plainly, they run home in a great fright, imagining they had met with some goblin. By the way Moffat fell, and it run over him, and was home at the house as soon as any of them, and staid there a long time; but I cannot say how long. It was real flesh and blood, and ate and drank, was fond of cream, and when it could get at it, would destroy a great deal. It seemed a mischievous creature; and any of the children whom it could master, it would beat and scratch without mercy. It was once abusing a child belonging to the same Moffat, who had been so frightened by its first appearance; and he, in

* Tint signifies lost.

« 前へ次へ »