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beauty, which, immediately assailing each other, fought with such force and fury, that their wings emitted sparks of fire at every stroke. This continued for the full space of an hour, when they put an end to the combat by throwing a sheet over the animals. Again they withdrew the sheet, and there appeared a brace of partridges, with the most brilliant and beautiful plumage, which immediately began to tune their throats as if there were nothing human present, pecking at worms with the same sort of chuckle as they are heard to use on the hill-side. The sheet wa now thrown, as in the other instance, over the partridges, and when again withdrawn, instead of those beautiful birds, there appeared two frightful black snakes, with flat heads and crimson bellies, which, with open mouth and head erect, and coiled together, attacked each other with the greatest fury, and so continued to do, until, as it appeared, they became quite exhausted, when they fell asunder.
They made an excavation in the earth in the shape of a tank or reservoir, of considerable dimensions, which they requested us' to fill with water. When this was done, they spread a covering over the place, and after a short interval, having removed the cover, the water appeared to be one complete sheet of ice, and they desired that some of the elephant keepers might be directed to lead the elephants across. Accordingly, one of the men set his elephant upon the ice, and the animal walked over with as much ease and safety as if it were a platform of solid rock, remaining for some time on the surface of the frozen pond without occasioning the slightest fracture in the ice. As usual, the sheet was drawn across the place, and being again removed, every vestige of ice, and even moisture of any sort, had completely disappeared.
“They produced a blank volume of the purest white paper, which was placed in my hands, to show that it contained neither figures nor any coloured pages whatever, of which I satisfied myself and all around. One of the men took the volume in hand, and the first opening exhibited a page of bright red, sprinkled with gold, forming a blank tablet splendidly elaborate. The next turn presented a leaf of beautiful azure, sprinkled in the same manner, and exhibiting on the margins numbers of men and women in various attitudes. The juggler then turned to another leaf, which appeared of a Chinese colour and fabric, and sprinkled in the same manner with gold; but on it were delineated herds of cattle and lions, the latter seizing upon the kine in a manner that I never observed in any other paintings. The next leaf exhibited was of a beautiful green, similarly powdered with gold, on which was represented, in lively colours, a garden, with numerous cypresses, roses, and other flowering shrubs in full bloom; and in the midst of the garden, an elegant pavilion. The next change exhibited a leaf of orange in the same manner powdered with gold, on which the painter had delineated the representation of a great battle, in which two adverse kings were seen engaged in the struggles of a mortal conflict. In short, at every turn of the leaf, a different colour, scene, and action was exhibited, such as was indeed most pleasing to behold. But of all the performances, this latter of the volume of paper was that which afforded me the greatest delight; so many pictures and extraordinary changes having been brought under view, that I must confess my utter inability to do justice in the description."
In observing upon the extraordinary nature of these performances, the June.-VOL. XLI. NO. CLXII.
emperor puts aside the supposition that they were to be ascribed to a mere visual deception. “They very evidently partake,” he says, “ of something beyond the exertion of human energy. I have heard it stated that the art has been called the Asmavnian (celestial), and I am in, formed that it is also known and practised to a considerable extent in the nations of Europe. It may be said, indeed, that there exists in some men a peculiar and essential faculty, which enables them to accomplish things far beyond the scope of human exertion, such as frequently to baffle the utmost subtilty of the understanding to penetrate.”
It was the doctrine of the celebrated Paracelsus, the prince of German sorcerers, that a spirit derived from some constellation resided in every human being, and that he himself owed his power of healing every disease to the operations of a spirit of that kind which took up its habitation in his frame. At one time, this interference of heavenly spirits in the affairs of men was, I may say, universally believed in England. There were numbers of persons who went about affecting to prophesy all public and private events, from the communications which they said they held with angelic beings, who waited upon them when duly invoked. Among these persons was the well-known Dr. Dee, who left behind him à voluminous account of the conference which he and his assistant, Edward Kelly, held for several years with about forty spirits, to each of whom he assigns a name. Dee was a Welshman, who, after graduating at Oxford, travelled for some time abroad, having been employed, as it is said, in the capacity of a political spy by Queen Elizabeth, He appears to have been an excellent Greek and Latin scholar; perfectly skilled in the philosophy, such as it was, of the age; an astrologer, a geometrician, and a chemist. He paid great attention to what were then called the Mystic or Hermetical sciences, from Hermes, the great lawgiver of the ancient Egyptians. Whatever chemical knowledge he possessed, he obtained during his investigations in pursuit of the elixir which was supposed to be capable of removing every description of malady, and of that much-sought-for element which was endowed with the power of transmuting the base metals into gold.
Whenever the doctor and his friend Kelly wished to engage in a conference with the spirits, a piece of solid crystal was produced which Kelly held before his eyes. The doctor uttered an invocation, usually in the following form :
“ Per virtutem illorum qui invocant nomen tuum,
Hermeli, send us three angels.” It was believed that no person who led a dissipated life had power to summon the spirits to earth; and, therefore, whenever the summons was not obeyed, it was imputed to Kelly, who was a notorious debauchee. But the superior qualifications of Dee generally succeeded in attracting the angels at his call. A golden curtain appeared in the crystal, which, upon moving on one side, of its own power, exhibited the angels who were wanted for the occasion. Kelly usually questioned them, and both the questions and answers were recorded by Dee. They fill a large folio volume, which was very carefully edited by Meric Casaubon, son of the celebrated Isaac, and published in London in the year 1659. Of Dee the editor says,—“That for divers years he had been an earnest suitor unto God in prayer for wisdom; that is, as he interprets himself, that he might understand the secrets of nature that had not been revealed to men hitherto.” And with respect to the crystal, we learn from the same authority, that "it was a stone in which, and out of which, by persons that were qualified for it and admitted to the sight of it, all shapes and figures mentioned in every action were seen, and voices heard ; the form of it was round, and it seems to have been of a pretty bigness; it seems it was most like unto a crystal, as it is sometimes called.”
Meric adds in a long and elaborate preface, wherein he speaks of Dee's visions as matters admitting of no sort of doubt, that the Doctor received his stone, which he sometimes calls his Shew-stone, from heaven; and that there was a gentleman in Nuremberg who was possessed of a crystal in which he discovered anything past or future which it concerned him to know. Indeed, these supposed magical stones were so common at the time he wrote, that every seer possessed one.
Kelly professed to have found out the philosopher's stone, and even to have proved its efficacy by converting some lead into gold. Nevertheless, we find him, on one occasion, addressing this modest request to the spirit Madimi, who was one of Dee's most frequent visiters :
“ E. K. Madimi, will you lend me a hundred pounds for a fortnight? “Madimį. I have swept all my money out of doors.
“ A (Dee). As for money, we shall have that which is necessary when God seeth time.”
I fancy that the reader will be satisfied with one other specimen of these conferences, which are said to have commenced about the year 1583:
“ Carma geta Barman. A. I beseech
what is that to say ? “ Madimi. Veni ex illo Barmo. “ E. K. Felt and saw a spiritual creature get out of his right thigh. “ Mad. Where are thy fourteen companions ? “ Bar. They dwell here.
« A. [He that was come out seemed a great handsome man, with a satchel of a dog's skin by his side, and a cap on his head.]
“ A. Oh! the hand of the Highest hath wrought this. "Mad. Venite, Tenebræ, fugite spiritu meo.
“ E. K. Here appear fourteen of divers evil-favoured shapes: some liķe monkeys, some like dogs, some very hairy monstrous men. They seemed to scratch each other by the face. These seem to go about Madimi, and say, ' Gil de pragma kures helech.'
A. What is that to say ? “ Mad. Volumus his in nostris habitare.
A, Quæ sunt illa vestra ? “ E. K. One of them said, 'Habemus hominem istum domicilium nostrum.'
“ Mad. The vengeance of God is a two-edged sword, and cutteth the rebellious wicked ones in pieces. The hand of the Lord is a strong oak —when it falleth it cutteth in sunder many bushes. The light of his eyes expell darknesse, and the sweetness of his mouth keepeth from consumption. Blessed are those whom he favoureth, and great is their
reward. Because you came hither without license, and seek to overthrow the liberty of God his Testament, and the light wherewith he stretcheth unto the end, and for because you are accursed, it is said, I will not suffer mine to be overthrown with temptation; though he were led away, behold I bring back again. Depart unto the last cry. Rest with the prisoners of darknesse there is none. Amen, go you thither. Et signabo vos ad finem.
“ Ē. K. He sealed them all in the forehead: the fourteen and their principal, their sealing was as if they were branded. They sunk all fifteen downwards through the floore of the chamber; and there came 'a thing like a wind, and pluckt them by the feet away.
“ E. K. Methinketh I am lighter than I was; and I seem to be empty, and to be returned from a great amasiz ; for this fortnight I do not well remember what I have done or said.
“ Mad. Thou art eased of a great burden. Love God; love thy friends; love thy wife.
“ E. K. Now cometh one with a red crosse in his hand and leadeth her away, and so they vanished. We prayed the psalm of thanksgiving : fourteen of Roffensis for E. K. his deliverance from Barma and his fourteen companions. Amen."
If any part of the language used in this conference be unintelligible to the reader, I must refer him to the disciples of Mr. Irving for an interpretation of it. It is an old, and I believe a perfectly true adage, that there is nothing new under the sun. Here, in the visions of Dr. Dee, we have the prototype, not only of the “unknown tongues,” but even of the style of address, and often the very subjects and phraseology, which are heard from those who are initiated in the Irving mysteries. I am strongly disposed to suspect that the Cardales and the Stewarts, who were the originators of this modern delusion, are better acquainted with Dr. Dee's visions than perhaps they would like to acknowledge. In fact, their whole system is a plagiarism from this volume, in which the reader will find between fifty and a hundred pages entirely filled with a strange jargon arranged in the form of a dictionary, but not interpreted.
William Lilly, the famous astrologer, who has given us a curious account of his own life, has noted another peculiarity of the angels of his time, which the Irvingites have also copied. “ It is very rare," he observes, yea, even in our days, for any operator or mantis to have the angels speak articulately; when they do speak, it is like the Irish, very much in the throat.” He adds that he had read over 6. Dee's Conferences," and had perceived in them many weaknesses in the management of that species of Mosaical learning; and that the reason why Dee did not receive plainer answers from his spiritual assistants was because Kelly became so vicious, that they with great reluctance yielded obedience to his call. “ I could, however," says Lilly, “ give other reasons, but they are not for paper!”
Lilly speaks very highly of the speculative powers of one Sarah Skelhorn, who was speculatrix to Arthur Gauntlett," a lewd fellow who professed physic about Gray's Inn-lane.” Sarah often told the astrologer that the angels followed her for many years through every room of the house in which she lived, until she got quite tired of their presence. Her invocation was in this form :
“ Oh ye good angels, only and only!"
That of Ellen Evans, another famous speculatrix of the day, was as follows:
“O Micol, O tu Micol, regina pigmeorum veni!" He does not describe the crystals which were used by these ladies; but he says that Mr. Gilbert Vakering's beryl was of the size of a large orange, set in silver, a cross on the top and another in the handle, and that on its surface were engraved the names of the angels Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel.
When a person possessed of a proper crystal was requested to show Queen Mab, he proceeded with the applicant to a hurst wood, that is to say, a pleasant upland, not too thickly planted with trees to prevent them from being ornamental. The Queen was here invoked according to a form commonly used by the speculator, and if his prayer were heard, a gentle murmuring zephyr indicated a favourable answer. The breeze then became more audible, and speedily increased to a whirlwind, after which the air became suddenly calm, and the Queen appeared a figure of light, surrounded by a dazzling glory. If duly commanded, her Majesty and her companions taught a master of the art of invocation anything he desired. They loved the southern sides of hills, and the green slopes of mountains, and shady groves. They were very particular as to the persons on whom they conferred their favours, requiring great neatness and cleanliness of apparel, a temperate diet, and a life of strict honour and piety.
I have seen a copy of a regular contract, which was entered into between John Ellis, a well-known magician in his time, and discreet” person named George Parsons, at Westminster, in the year 1696, whereby the said John bound himself in the most solemn manner to show the said George “ whatever he desires of magick, and to procure and to help him to my spirit Delandibus, for himselfe to performe all magicall operations whatsoever,” for a stated period. The objects which George desired chiefly to attain were not very considerable. He merely wished to know how he should be enabled to cure all sorts of diseases in seven days by the philosopher's stone, or any other equally convenient means; by what process he might himself construct the said stone, and transmute lead into gold or silver; how he could find out the true longitude at sea or elsewhere, and make salt water fresh and fit for
use ; how he might learn Latin, Greek, and Hebrew in one month ; how he might at any time and place, when he had occasion for it, have a hundred pounds of gold or silver brought to him by a spirit specially appointed to attend him for that purpose ; how he might understand all the arts exercised by the angelical nature of man, and obtain a perfect knowledge of all created beings; and finally, by what means he could enlist in his service a guardian angel, who would watch over him constantly, and preserve him from every species of misfortune.
It is very well known that Lord Bothwell, Sir Kenelm Digby, and other persons of distinction, used to visit Dr. Evans, who lived in Gunpowder-alley, Shoe-lane, and was believed to possess the power of assembling spirits whenever he pleased. “He was," says Lilly, the most saturnine person my eyes ever beheld, either before I practised or since; of a middle stature, broad forehead, beetle-browed, thick shoul