Robert Kirk
The Secret Commonwealth

- 1692 -

THE SECRET. COMMON-WEALTH OR. A. TREATISE. DISPLAYING. THE. CHIEF. CURIOSITIES. AMONG. THE. PEOPLE. OF. SCOTLAND. AS THEY ARE. IN. TO THIS USE. TO. THIS DAY Being for the most part Singular to that Nation A Subject not heir to fore discoursed of by anie of Sour writers. Done for the satisfaction of his friends by a modest in- quirer, living among the Scotish-Irish. 1· 6. 9· 2.

This is a Rebellious people, which say to the seers see not; and to the prophets, prophesie not unto us right things but smooth things. Isa. 30.9.10. And the man, whose eyes were open, hath said. nunb. 24.15. For now we see through a Glass, darkly, but then face to face: 1 Corrinth. 13.12. It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we shall be like God, and see him as he is 1 John. 3.2. Shall the dead be borne under the Waters, and the Inhabitants thereof. Job. 26.5. Then a spirit passed befor my face, the hair of my flesh stood up. it stood stil, but I could not discern the forme thereof: an Image was befor my Eyes. Job. 4.15.16.


off the Nature and actions of the Subterranean (and for the most part) Invisible people, heirtofor going under the names of ELVES. FAUNES. and FAIRIES. or the like, among the Low-Countrey Scots, and termed hubhsisgedh, caiben, lusbartan [or luspardan, a kind of fairy] & siotbsudh among the Tramontaines or Scotish-Irish, as they are described by those who have the Second Sight: and now, to occasione further enquiry, collected and compared.

CHAP. I· of the Subterranean

1. THESE. sith,’s or Fairies, they call sluaghmaith or the good people: (it would seem, to prevent the dint of their ill attempts: for the Irish use to bless all they fear harme of) and are said to be of a midle nature betwixt man and Angell (as were daemons thought to be of old); of intelligent Studious Spirits, and light changable bodies (lik those called Astrall) somewhat of the nature of a condens’d cloud, and best seen in twilight. These bodies be so plyable thorough the subtilty of the spirits, that agitate them, that they can make them appeare or disappear at pleasure. Some have bodies or vehicles so spungious, thin and defecate, that they are fed by only sucking into some fine spirituous liquor that pierce like pure air and oyl: others feed more gross on the foyson or substance of cornes and liquors, or on corn itselfe, that grows on the surface of the Earth; which these fairies steall away, partly invisible, partly preying on the grain as do Crows and Mice. Wherefore in this sam age they are somtimes heard to bake bread, strike hammers, and to do such like services within the litle hillocks where they most haunt: som whereof of old befor the Gospel dispell’d paganism, and in som Barbarous places as yett, enter houses after all are at rest, and set the kitchins in order, cleansing all the vessells. Such drudgs goe under the name of Brounies. when we have plentie, they have scarcity at their homes; and on the Contrarie, (for they are not impowered to catch as much prey everie where as they please.) Their robberies notwithstanding, oftimes occasione great Ricks of corn not to bleed so well (as they call it) or prove so copious by verie far as was expected by the owner.

Their bodies of congealed air, are som times carried aloft, other whiles grovell in different shapes, and enter in anie Cranie or cleft of the Earth (where air enters) to their ordinary dwellings: The Earth being full of Cavities and cells, and their being no place or creature but is supposed to have other Animals (greater or lesser) living in, or upon it, as Inhabitants; and no such thing as a pure wilderness in the whol Universe.

2. WEE then (the more Terrestriall kind) having now so numerouslie planted all countreyes, do labour for that abstruse people, as well as for ourselves. Albeit when several countreys were uninhabited by us, these had their easy tillage, above ground as we now, the print of whose furrowes do yet remaine to be seen on the shoulders of very high hills, which was don when the Champain ground was wood & forrest.

They remove to other Lodgings at the begining of each quarter of the year, so traversing till doomsday, being impatient of staying in on place, and finding som ease by sojourning and changeing habitations, Their Chamaeleon-like bodies swim in the air, neer the Earth with bagg and bagadge. And at such revolution of time, Seers or men of the Second Sight (Females being but seldom so qualified) have verie terrifying encounters with them, even on high-wayes; who therefor usually shune to travell abroad at these four seasones of the year, and thereby have made it a custom to this day among the Scotish-Irish, to keep Church duly everie first Sunday of the quarter, to sene or hallow themselves, their corns and cattell, from the shots and stealth of these wandring Tribes. and many of these superstitious people will not been seen in Church again till the nixt quarter begin, as if no dutie were to be learned or don by them, but all the use of worship and sermons were to save them from those arrowes that fly in the dark. They are distributed in Tribes and Orders; and have children, Nurses, mareiages, deaths and burials, in appearance even as wee, (unless they so do for a mock-show, or to prognosticate som such things to be among us.)

3. They are clearly seen by these men of the second sight to eat at funerals, Banqueetts: hence many of the Scotish-Irish will not tast meat at those meetings, least they have communion with, or be poysoned by them: So are they seen to carry the Bier or coffin with the Corps, among the midle-earth men to the grave. Some men of that exalted sight (whither by airt or nature) have told me they have seen at those meetings a double-man, or the shape of the same man in two places, that is, a Superterranean and a Subterranean Inhabitant perfectly resembling one another in all points, whom he notwithstanding could easily distinguish one from another by some secret tockens and operations, and so goe speake to the man his neighbour, and familiar, passing by the apparition or resemblance of him. They avouch that every Element and different state of being, have Animals resembling those of another Element, as there be fishes sometimes caught at sea, resembling Monks of late order, in all their hoods and dresses, so as the Roman inventione of good and bad daemons and guardian Angels particularly assigned, is call’d by them an ignorant mistake sprung only from this original. They call this Reflex-man a coimimeadh or Co-walker, every way like the man, as a Twin-brother and Companion, haunting him as his shadow and is oft seen and known among men (resembling the Originall) both befor and after the Originall is dead, and was els often seen of old to enter a house; by which the people knew that the person of that liknes was to visit them within a few dayes. This copy, Eccho, or living picture, goes at last to his own herd. It accompanied that person so long and frequently, for ends best known to itselfe, whither to guard him from the secret assaults of som of its own folks, or only as a sportful Ape to counterfeit all his actions. however the stories of old Witches, prove beyond contradiction, that all sorts of spirits which assume light aery bodies, or crazed Bodies coacted by forrein spirits, seem to have som pleasure (at least to asswage som pain or Melancholy) by frisking and capering like Satyrs, or whistling and shreecking (like unluckey birds) in their unhallowed Synagogues and Sabbaths: If invited and earnestly required, these companions make them selves known and familiar to men, otherwises, being in a different state and Element, they neither can nor will easily converse with them. They avouch that a Heluo or great-eater hath a voracious Elve to be his attender called geirt coimitheth, a joynt-eater, or just-halver, feeding on the pith and quintessence of what the man eats, and that therefore he continues lean like a hauke or heron, notwithstanding his devouring appetite. Yet it would seem they convey that substance elsewhere, for these Subterraneans eat but litle in their dwellings, their food being exactly clean, and served up by pleasant children like inchanted puppets. What food they extract from us is convey’d to their homes by secret pathes, as some skilfull women doe the pith of milk from their neighbours cows, into their own Cheis-hold, thorow a hair-tedder, at a great distance by art Magic, or by drawing a spickot fastned in a post, which will bring milk as far of as a bull will be heard to roar. The Cheise made of the remaining milk of a Cow thus strain’d will swim in water like cork. The method they take to recover their milk is A bitter chyding of the suspected Inchanters, charging by a Counter-charme to give them back their own, in God, or their Masters name—But a litle of the mother’s dung stroakt on the Calves mouth befor it suck any does prevent this theft.

4. Their houses are called large and fair, and (unless at som odd occasions) unperceivable by vulgar eyes, like Rachland and other Inchanted Islands; having for light continual lamps, and fires, often seen without fuel to sustein them; women are yet alive who tell they were taken away when in Child-bed to nurse ffayrie Children, a lingring voracious image of theirs being left in their place (like their reflexion in a mirrour) which (as if it were som insatiable spirit in an assumed bodie) made first semblance to devoure the meat, that it cunningly carried by, and yn left the carcase as if it expyred, and departed thence, by a natural and common death. The child and fire, with food, and all other necessaries are set befor the Nurse, howsoon she enters, but she neither perceive any passage out, nor sees what these people doe in other rooms of the Lodging. When the Child is wained, the nurse or dies, or is convey’d back, or gets it to her choice to stay there. But if anie Superterranean be soe subtile as to practice sleights for procuring a privacy to any of their Misteries (such as making use of their oyntments, which, as Gyges’s ring, makes them invisible or nimble, or cast them in a Trance, or alters their shape, or maks things appear at a vast distance, &c) they smit them without pain as with a puff of wind, and bereave them of both the natural and acquired sights in the twinkling of ane eye (both these sights where once they come, being in the sam organ and inseparable;) or they strick them dumb. The Tramontaines to this day, put bread, the Bible, or a piece of iron, in womens bed when travelling, to save them from being thus stolen. And they commonly report that all uncouth unknown wights are terrified, by nothing earthly so much as by cold iron, they deliver the reason to be, that Hell lying betwixt the chill tempests, and the fire-brands of scalding metalls, and iron of the North (hence the loadstone causes a Tendency to that point) by an antipathy theirto, these odious far-sensing creatures shrug and fright at all that comes thence, relating to so abhorred a place, whence their torment is either begun, or feared to come heirafter.

5. Their apparell and speech is like that of the people and countrey under which they live: so are they seen to wear plaids and variegated garments in the high-lands of Scotland and Suanochs [i.e., garments of sunach (tartan) design] heretofore in Ireland. They speak but litle, and that by way of whistling, clear, not rough: the verie devils conjured in any Countrey, doe answer in the Language of the place: yet sometimes these subterraneans speak more distinctly then at other times. Their women are said to spin, verie fine, to dye, to tissue and embroyder: but whither it be as manual operatione of substantial refin’d stuffs with apt and solid instruments, or only curious cob-webs, impalpable rainbows, and a phantastic imitatione of the actiones of more terrestriall mortals, since it transcended all the senses of the seer to discern whither, I leave to conjecture as I found it.

6. Their men travell much abroad, either presageing or apeing the dismall and tragical actiones of som amongst us, and have also manie disastrous doings of their own, As Convocationes, fightings, Gashes, wounds, and Burials, both in the Earth and air: They live much longer than wee, yet die at last, or least, vanish from that State: For ’tis one of their Tenets, That nothing perisheth, but (as the Sun and Year) everie thing goes in a Circle, Lesser or Greater, and is renewed and refreshed in it’s revolutiones, as ’tis another, That Every Body in the Creatione, moves, (which is a sort of Life:) and that nothing moves but what has another Animall moving on it, and so on, to the utmost minutest corpuscle that’s capable to be a receptacle of Lyfe.

7. They are said to have Aristocratical Rulers and Laws, but no discernible Religion, Love or Devotione towards God the Blessed Maker of all. They disappear whenever they hear his name invocked, or the name of Jesus (at which all do bow willingly or by constraint, that dwell above or Beneath within the Earth, philip.2.10. [“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.”]), nor can they act ought at that time, after hearing of that Sacred Name. The Tabhaisder or Seer that corresponds with this kind of Familiars, can bring them with a spel to appear to himselfe or others when he pleases, as readily as Endor Witch [“Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.”] did those of her own Kind. he tells they are ever readiest to go on hurtful earands, but seldom will be the Messengers of great good to men. He is not terrified with their sight when he calls them—But seeing them in a surprise (as often he dos) frights him extreamly: and glad he would be quit of such, for the hideous spectacles seen among them, as the Torturing of som Wight, earnest ghastly staring looks, skirmishes, and the like. They do not all the harm which appearingly they have power to do: nor are they perceived to be in great pain, save that they are usually silent and sullen. They are said to have many pleasant Toyish Books. But the operation of these peeces only appears in som paroxysms of antic Corybantick jollity—as if ravisht and promted by a new spirit entring into them at that instant, lighter and merrier then their own. Other Books they have of involved abstruse sense, much like the Rosicrucian stile. They have nothing of the Bible, save collected parcels for Charms, and counter-Charms; not to defend themselves withal, but to operat on other Animals: for they are a people invulnerabl by our weapons; And albeit Were-Wolves and Witches true Bodies, are (by the union of the spirit of Nature, that runs thorow all, Ecchoing and doubling the Blow towards another) wounded at hom, when the Astral assumed Bodies are stricken elsewhere. as the strings of a second harp tuned to an unison, sounds, tho only one be struck: yet these people have not a second, or so gross a bodie at all, to be so pierced; but as air, which when divided, unitts again: or if they feel pain by a blow, they are better phisitians then wee, and quickly cure it. They are not subject to sore sicknesses, but dwindl and decay at a certan period, all about ane age. Som [men] say their continual sadness is because of their pendulous state (like those men Luc.13.26.) as uncertain what at the last Revolution will becom of them, when they are lockt up into an unchangable condition: and if they have any frolic fits of mirth, ’tis as the constrained grinning of a Mort-head, or, rather as acted on a stage, and moved by another, then cordially coming of themselves: But other Men of the second sight being illiterate and unwary in their observationes, vary from these. One averring those subterranean people to be departed souls attending a whil in this inferior state, and cloth’d with bodies procured through their Alms-deeds in this Lyfe called cuirp dhaondachbach viz. fluid, active, aethereal vehicles to hold them, that they may not scatter, nor wander and be lost in the Totum, or their first nothing. But if any were so impious as to have given no alms, they say when the souls of such do depart, they sleep in an unactive state till they resume the Terrestriall Bodies again. Others, that what the Low-countrey Scot calls a Wreath, and the Irish eug or deaths Messenger, (appearing somtimes as a litle rough dog, and if crossed, and conjur’d in tim will be pacified by the death of any other creature instead of the sick Man) is only exuvious fumes of the Man approaching death, exhal’d and congeal’d into a various sickness, (as Ships and armies are somtimes shapt in the air) and called Astral Bodies, agitated as wild-fire with wind, and are neither Souls nor Counterfeiting Spirits. Yet not a few avouch (as is said) that surly these are a numerous people by themselves, having their own polities. Which diversity of judgments may occasione several inconsonancies in this Rehearsall, after the narrowest scrutiny made about it.

8. Their weapons are most-what solid earthy bodies, nothing of iron, but much of a Stone like to yellow soft flint shaped like a Barbed arrow head, but flung as a dart with great force, These armes (cute by art and tools it seems beyond humane) have somwhat of the natur of thunder-bolt subtilly and mortally wounding the vitall parts without breaking the skin, som of which wounds, I have observed in beasts, and felt them with my hands. They are not as infallibl Benjamites, hiting at a hairs breadth; nor are they wholy unvanquishabl, at least in appearance.

The men of that second sight, do not discover strange things when asked, but at fits and Raptures, as if inspyred with som Genius at that instant, which befor did lurk in, or about them. Thus I have frequently spock to one of them who in his transport told, he cut the bodie of one of these people in two with his iron weapon, and so escaped this onset, yet he saw nothing left behind of that appearingly divided bodie, at other times he out wrestled som of them. His neighbours often perceivd this man to disappear at a certan place, and then about one hour after to become visible, and discover himselfe neer a bow-shot from the first place,: it was in that place where he becom invisible, said he, that these subterraneans did encounter and combate with him. These who are unseened or unsanctified (called Fey) are said to be goinnt, that is, pierced or wounded with those peoples weapon, which makes them do somwhat very unlike their former practice, causing a sudden alteration, yet the cause thereof unperceivable at present: nor have they power (either they cannot make use of their natural powers, or ask not the Heavenly aid) to escape the Blow impendent. A man of the second sight perceivd a person standing by him (sound to others veiw) wholy gored in blood, and he—(amazed-like) bid him instantly flee: the whole man laught at his art and warning, sine there was no appearance of danger: he had scarc contracted his lips from laughter, when unexpectedly his enemy leapt in at his side and stab’d him. With their weapons they also gon or pierce Cous or other Animals, usually said to be Elfshot, whose purest substance (if they die) these subterraneans take to live on, viz the aereal and aethereal parts, the most spirituous matter for prolonging of Lyfe, such as aqua-vitae (moderatly taken) is among liquors; leaving the Terrestriall behind. The cure of such hurts is, only for a man to find out the hole with his finger; as if the spirits flowing from a mans warme hand were antidote sufficient against their poyson’d darts.

9. As Birds and Beasts whose bodies are much used to the change of the free and open air, forsee stormes, so those invisible people are more sagacious to understand by the Book of Nature things to come, then wee, who are pester’d with the grosser dregs of all Elementary mixtures, and have our purer spirits choaked by them. The Deer scents out a Man [and powder (tho a late invention)] at a great distance: a hungry hunter, Bread; and the Raven, a Carrion: their brains being long clarified by the high and subtil air, will observe a verie small change in a trice. Thus a Man of the second sight perceiving the operations of these forecasting invisible people among us (indulg’d thorow a stupendious providence to give warnings of som remarkable events, either in the Air, Earth, or Waters) told he saw a winding-shroud creep up on a walking healthful persons legs, till it came to the knee, and afterwards it came up to the midle, then to the shoulders, and at last over the head, which was visible to no other person. And by observing the spaces of time betwixt the several stages, he easily guess’d how long the man was to live who wore the shroud, for when it approached his head, he told that such a person was ripe for the Grave.

10. There Be manie places called Fayrie hills, which the mountain-people think impious and dangerous to peel or discover, by taking earth or wood from them; superstitiously beleiving the souls of their predecessors to dwell yr. And for that end (say they) a Mote or Mount was dedicate beside everie Church-yard, to receave the souls, till their adjacent Bodies arise, and so become as a Fayrie-hill. They using bodies of air when called abroad. They also affirm those Creatures that move invisibly in a house, and cast huge great stones, but do not much hurt, (because counter-wrought by some more courteous and charitable spirits that are every where readie to defend men dan.10.13) to be Souls that have not atteaneed their Rest, thorough a vehement desyre of revealing a murther, or notable injury don or receav’d, or a Treasure that was forgot in their Lyftime on Earth, which when disclos’d to a Conjuror alon the Ghost quite removes. In the nixt Countrey to that of my former residence about the year 1676, when there was som scarcity of grain, a marvellous illapse and visione strongly struck the imaginatione of two Women in one night, living at a good distance from one other, about a Treasure hid in a hill called Sith bhruaich or Fairie-hill. The appearance of a Treasure was first represented to the Fancy, and than an audible voyce named the place where it was, to their awaking senses. Whereupon both arose and meeting accidentally at the place, discovered their design, and joyntly digging, found a vessel as large as a Scottish-peck full of smal peecs of good money, of ancient coyn; which halving betwixt them, they sold in dish-fulls for dish-fulls of meall to the Countrey people, verie manie of undoubted credit saw, and had of the coyn to this day: but whither it was a good or bad Angell, one of the Subterranean people, or the restless soul of him who hid it, that discovered it, and to what end it was done, I leave to the examination of others.

11. These subterraneans have Controversies, doubts, dispute, Feuds, and syding of parties, there being som ignoranc in all Creatures, and the vastest created intelligences not compassing all things. As to vice and sin, whatever their own Laws be, sure according to ours, and Equity naturall, civil and reveald, they tranegress and committ acts of Injustice, and sin by what is above said, as to their stealing of Nurses to their children, and that other sort of Plaginism in catching our Children away (may seem to Heir some Estate in those invisible dominions) which never return. For the incontinence of their leannain Sith [fairy lovers] or succubi who tryst with men, it is abominable, But for swearing and intemperance they are not observed so subject to those irregularities, as to Envy, Spite, Hypocrisy, lying and dissimulatione.

12. As our Religione obleidges us not, to make a peremptory and curious search into these abstrusenesses; so the Historys of all Ages give as many plain exemples of extraordinary occurences as make a modest inquiry, not contemptible. How much is written of pigme’s, Fayries, Nymphs, Syrens, Apparitions, which tho not the tenth part true, yet could not spring of nothing? Even English authors relate of Barry Island in Glamorganshyre that laying your ear unto a cleft of the Rock; blowing of Bellows, stricking of hammers, clashing of armour, filing of irons will be heard distinctly, ever since Merlin inchanted those subterranean Wights to a solid manuall forging of arms to Aurelius Ambrosius and his Brittains, till he returned, which Merlin being killed in battell, and not coming to loose the knot these active Vulcans are there ty’d to a perpetual labour. But to dip no deeper into this well, I will nixt give som accompt how the seer my informer comes to have this secret way of correspondence beyond other Mortals.

There be odd solemnities at investing a man with the priviledges of the whol Misterie of this Second Sight. He must run a tedder of hair (which bound a Corps to the Beir) in a Helix about his midle from end to end, then bow his head downward; [as did Elijah I King 18.42.] and look back thorow his legs untill he see a funeral advance, till the people cross two Marches; or look thus back thorow a hole where was a knot of fir. But if the wind change pojnts while the hair tedder is ty’d about him, he is in peril of his Lyfe. The usuall method for a curious person to get a transient sight of this otherwise invisible crew of Subterraneans (if impotently and over-rashly sought) is to put his foot on the Seers foot, and the Seers hand is put on the Inquirers head, who is to look over the Wizards right shoulder (which hes an ill appearance, as if by this ceremonie, an implicite surrender were made of all betwixt the Wizards foot and his hand ere the person can be admitted a privado to the art.)

Then will he see a multitude of Wights like furious hardie men flocking to him hastily from all quarters, as thick as atomes in the air, [qch are no nonentities or phantasms, creatures, proceeding from ane affrighted apprehensione confused or crazed sense, but Realities, appearing to a stable man in his awaking sense and enduring a rational tryal of their being.] Those thorow fear strick him breathles and speechless, But the Seer/Wizard defending the Lawfulness of his skill, forbids such horrour, and conforts his Novice by telling of Zacharias being struck speechless at seeing of apparitiones Luc.1.20. Then he further maintains his airt by vouching Elisha to have had the sam, and disclos’d it thus unto his servant, in 2 King.6.17. when he blinded the Syrians, and peter in Act.5.9. forseeing the death of Sapphira, by perceiving as it were, her winding sheet about her befor hand. and paul in 2 Corrin:12.4.3 who got such a vision and sight, as should not, nor could be told. Elisha also in his Chamber, saw Gehazi his servant at a great distance taking a reward from Naaman 2.King.5.26. Hence were the prophet’s frequently called Seers, or men of a second and more exalted sight then others. He cites for his purpose also Mat.4.8. Where the Devil undertakes to give even Iesus a sight of all nationes, and the finest things in the world, at one glance, tho in their natural situations and stations at a vast distance from other; And ’tis said expresly he did let him see them; not in a Map it seems; nor by a phantastick, Magical, jugling of the sight, which he could not impose upon so discerning a person. It would appear then to have been a sight of Real Solid substances, and things of worth which he intended as a bait for his purpose. Whence it might seem (comparing this Relatione of Mat.4.8. with the former) that the extraordinary or second sight can be given by the Ministery of Bad as well as Good Spirits to those that will embrace it: And the instance of Balaam and the pythoniss make it nothing the less probable. Thus also the Seer trains his schooller by telling of the Gradations of Nature, ordered by a wise providence; That as the sight of Bats and owles transcend that of Shrews and Moles, so the visive faculties of Men are clearer then those of Owles, as Eagles, Lynxes, and Cats, are brighter then Mens: And againe that Men of the Second Sight (being design’d to give warnings against secret engyns) surpass the ordinary vision of other men; which is a native habit in some, descended from their ancestors, and acquired as an artificial improvement of their natural sight in others; Resembling in their own kind, the usuall artificial helps of Optic Glasses (as prospectives, Telescopes, and Microscopes) without which ascititious aids, those men heer treated of, do perceive things, that for their smalness, or subtilty, and secrecy, are invisible to others (tho daylie conversant with them; They having such a Beam continually about them, as that of the Sun; which when it shynes clear only, lets common eyes see the atomes in the air, that without these rayes, they could not discern; For some have this second sight transmitted from Father to Son, thorow the whole family, without their own consent, or others teaching, proceiding only from a Bounty of providence, it seemes; or by a compact, or a complexional quality of the first acquirer: as it may seem alike strange (yet nothing vicious) in such as Mr Greatrake the Irish stroaker [Valentine Greatrakes (1629-83), an Irishman of protestant religion, achieved fame in 1661 for curing illnesses by the laying on of hands. He came to England in 1662 and aroused curiosity and controversy among men of science, including Robert Boyle.], Seventh-sons, and others that cure the Kings-Evil, & chase away diseases & pains, with only stroaking of the affected part. Which (if it be not the reliques of miraculous operationes) [or some secret virtue in the womb of the parent, which encreaseth untill Sons be born, and decreaseth, by the sam degrees after wards,] proceeds onlie from the Sanative Balsome of their healthful constitutions; Virtue going out from them by spirituous effluxes unto the patient, And Their vigorous healthy spirits affecting the Sick, as usually the unhealthy fumes of the Sick, infect the Sound and Whole.

13. The minor sort of seers prognosticate many future events, only for a moneth space, from the shoulder-bone of a sheep, on which a knife never came (for as befor is said, [And the Nazarets of old had som thing of it] iron hinders all the operations of those that travell in the intrigues of these hidden dominions) this Science is called silinnenath. By looking into the bon they will tel if whoredome be committed in the Ouners house; what money the Master of the sheep had, if any will die out of that house for that moneth, and if anie cattell there will take a Trake (as if planet-struck) called earchal. Then will they prescribe a preservative and prevention.

14. A Woman (it seems, an exceptione from the General Rule) singularly wise in these matters of for-sight Living in Colasnach ane Isle of the Hebrides (in the tim of the Marquess of Montrose his wars with the States in Scotland) being notorious Among many, and so examined by som that violently seazed that Isle, If she saw them coming or not? she said, She saw them coming manie hours befor they came in view of the Isle: but earnestlie looking, she sometimes took them for Enemies, sometim for friends; and morover they lookt as if they went from the Isle, not as men approaching it, which made her not put the Inhabitants on their guard. The matter was, That the Barge wherin the Enemie sailed was a litle befor taken from the Inhabitants of yt sam Isle, and the men had their backs towards the Ile, when they were plying the oars towards it. Thus this old Scout and Delphian Oracle was at last deceiv’d and did deceive: Being asked who gave her such sights and warnings, she said, that as soon as she sett three crosses of straw upon the palm of her hand, a great ougly Beast sprang out of the Earth, neer her and flew in the air, If what she enquired had success according to her wish, the Beast would descend calmly, and lick up the crosses: If it would not succeid, the Beast would furiously thurst her and the crosses over on the ground, and so vanish to his place.

15. Among other instances of undoubted verity proving in Thesi The being of such aereal people or species of Creatures not vulgarly known, I add these subsequent relationes, Som wherof I have from my acquaintance with the actors and patients, And the rest from Eye-witnesses to the matter of fact. The first whereof shall be of a Woman taken out of her Child-bed, and having a lingering Image of her substituted in her room, which resemblance Decay’d, dy’d, and was buri’d, but the person stoln returning to her husband after two years space, he being convinc’d by many undenyable tockens, that she was his former wife, admitted her hom, and had diverse children by her. Among other reports, she gave her husband, this was one, that she perceiv’d litle what they did in the spacious hous she lodg’d in, untill she annoynted one of her Eyes with a certan unctione that was by her, which they perceiving to have acquainted her with their actions, they fann’d her blind of that Eye with a puff of their breath; she found the place full of light without anie fountain or Lamp from whenc it did spring. This person livd in the countrey nixt to that of my last residence, and might furnish matter of disput among Casuists, whither If her husband had been mary’d in the interim of her two years absenc, he was obleidg’d to divorce from the second spous, at the return of the first. There is an art appearingly without superstition, for recovering of such as are thus stoln, but I think it superfluous to insert it.

I saw a woman of fourtie years age, and examin’d her, (having another Clergie man in my company), about a report that past of her long fasting, her name is NcIntyr. It was told by them of the house as well as herselfe, that she took verie litle, or no food for several years past, that she tarry’d in the fields over night, saw, and convers’d with a people she knew not, having wandred in seeking of her sheep, and sleept upon a hillock, and finding hirselfe transported to another place befor day, The Woman had a Child sinc that time, and is still prettie melanchollious And silent, hardly ever seen to laugh. her natural heat and radical moisture seem to be equally ballanced, like ane unextinguishable lamp, and going in a Circle, not unlike to the faint Lyf of Bees, and som sort of birds that sleep all the Winter over, and revive in the spring.

It is usual in all Magical Arts to have the Candidates prepossessit with a beleif of their Tutors skil and abilitie to perform their fats, and act their jugling pranks and legerdemain, but a person called Stewart possessed with a prejudice at all that was spocken of the second sight, and living neer to my house, was so put to it by a seer befor many witnesses, that he lost his speech, and power of his leggs, and breathing excessivly, as if expyring, because of the many fearful Wights that appear’d to him, the companie were forc’d to carie him into the house.

It is notoriously known what in Killin within Perthshyr fell tragically out with a Yeoman, that liv’d hard by, who coming to a companie within an aile-hous, where a Seer sat at table, that at the sight of the intrant neighbour, The Seer starting, rose to go out of the hous, and being asked the reason of his hast, told, that the intrant man should die within two dayes, at which news the named intrant stabb’d the seer and was himselfe executed two dayes after for the fact.

A Minister verie intelligent but misbeleiving all such sights as were not ordinarie, chancing to be in a narrow lane with a seer, who perceiving a Wight of a known visage, furiously to encounter them, the seer desyrd the Minister to turne out of the way, who scorning his reason, and holding himselfe in the path with them, when the Seer was going hastily out of the way, They were both violently cast asid, to a good distance, and the fall made them laim all their Lyfe. A litle after the Minister was caried hom, one came to tol the bell for the death of the man, whose representatione meet them in the narrow path, some halfe an hour befor.

Another example is, A seer in Kentyr, in Scotland, sitting at table with diverse others, suddenly did cast his head asid, The company asking why he did it, he answered, that such a friend of his, by name than in Ireland threatn’d immediately to cast a dish-full of butter in his face. The men wrot down the day, and hour, and sent to the Gentlman to know the truth; which deed the Gentlman declared, he did at that verie time, for he knew that his friend was a seer, and would make sport with it; The men that were present, and examyn’d the matter exactly, told me this storie, and withall, that a seer would, with all his Opticks, perceive no other object so readily as this, at such a distance.


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