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she had not slept till Friday the 8th. The hurry of spirits, occasioned by too many visitors, rendered her feverish; and her feet were found to be completely mortified. The cold had extended its violent effects from the end of the toes to the middle of the instep, including more than an inch above the heels, and all the bottom of the feet, insomuch, that she lost all her toes with the integuments from the bottom of one foot. Her life was saved, but the mutilated state in which she was left, without even a chance of ever being able to attend to the duties of her family, was almost worse than death itself. She lingered until the 13th of July, 1799, when she expired, after a lapse of five months from the period of her discovery.
St. Blaise. St. Agatha.
These two Romish festivals are still retained in the church of England calendar.
Of St. Blaise's festival there is an account in vol. i. p. 207.
The necessity for instruction is powerfully exemplified by the following narrative. Some who reflect upon it, and discover that there are other and worse consequences to be apprehended from ignorance than those related below, will consult their own safety, by providing education for the children of labouring people, and influencing their attendance where they may gain the means of distinguishing right from wrong.
In February, 1808, at Great Paxton, in Huntingdonshire, Alice Brown, crossing the ice on the river Ouse, fell into the water, and narrowly escaped drowning, in the sight of her friend, Fanny Amey, a poor epileptic girl, who, in great terror, witnessed the accident. Alice arrived at her father's house shivering with cold, and, probably from sympathetic affection, was herself seized with epilepsy. The fits returning frequently, she became emaciated, and incapable of labour. In April following, the rev. Isaac Nicholson, curate of the parish, inquiring after her health, was astonished by her brother informing him that her fits and debility were the
effect of witchcraft. "She is under an evil tongue," said the youth. as you are alive, sir," continued a standerby," she is bewitched, and so are two other young girls that live near her." The boor related, that at the town he came from in Bedfordshire, a man had been exactly in the same way; but, by a charm, he discovered the witch to be an old woman in the same parish, and that her reign would soon be over; which happened accordingly, for she died in a few days, and the man recovered. "Thomas Brown tried this charm last night for his daughter, but it did not succeed according to our wishes; so they have not at present found out who it is that does all the mischief."
Mr. Nicholson was greatly shocked at the general opinion of the people that Alice Brown, Fanny Amey, and Mary Fox were certainly bewitched by some person who had bought a familiar or an evil spirit of the devil at the expense of the buyer's soul, and that various charms had been tried to discover who the buyer was. It was utterly out of his power to remove or diminish the impressions of his parishioners as to the enchantment; and on the following Sunday, a few minutes before he went to church, Ann Izzard, a poor woman about sixty years old, little, but not ill-looking, the mother of eight children, five of whom were living, requested leave to speak to him. In tears and greatly agitated, she told him her neighbours pretended, that, by means of certain charms, they had discovered that she was the witch. She said they abused her children, and by their violent threats frightened her so much that she frequently dropped down to the ground in fainting-fits. She concluded by asserting her innocence in these words: "I am not a witch, and am willing to prove it by being weighed against the church bible." After the sermon, he addressed his flock on the folly of their opinions, and fatal consequences of brooding over them. It appears, however, that his arguments, explanations, and remonstrances were in vain. On Thursday, the 5th of May, Ann Izzard was at St. Neot's market, and her son, about sixteen years old, was sent there by his master for a load of corn: his mother and another woman, a shopkeeper in the parish, accompanied him home; but, contrary to the mother's advice, the woman put a basket of grocery on the sacks of corn
One of the horses, in going down hill, became restive, and overturned the cart; and by this accident the grocery was much damaged. Because Ann Izzard had advised her neighbour against putting it in the cart, she charged her with upsetting it by the black art, on purpose to spoil the goods. In an hour, the whole village was in an uproar. "She has just overturned a loaded cart with as much ease as if it had been a spinning-wheel: this is positive proof; it speaks for itself; she is the person that does all the mischief; and if something is not done to put a stop to her baseness, there will be no living in the place." As it grew dark, on the following Sunday, these brutal creatures assembled together, and at ten o'clock, taking with them the young women supposed to be bewitched, they proceeded to Wright Izzard's cottage, which stood in a solitary spot at some distance from the
body or the village; they broke into the poor man's house, dragged his wife naked from her bed into the yard, dashed her head against the large stones of the causeway, tore her arms with pins, and beat her on the face, breast, and stomach with the wooden bar of the door. When the mob had dispersed, the abused and helpless woman crawled into her dwelling, put her clothes on, and went to the constable, who said he could not protect her for he had not been sworn in. One Alice Russell, a compassionate widow, unlocked her door to her at the first call, comforted her, bound up her wounds, and put her to bed. In the evening of the next day she was again dragged forth and her arms torn till they streamed afresh with blood. Alive the following morning, and apparently likely to survive this attack also, her enemies resolved to duck her as soon as the labour of the day was over. On hearing this she fled to Little Paxton, and hastily took refuge in the house of Mr. Nicholson,who effectually secured her from the cruelty of his ignorant flock, and had the mortification to learn that his own neighbours condemned him for " harbouring such a
The kindness and affection of the widow Russel were the means of shortening her days. The infatuated populace cried, "The protectors of a witch are just as bad as the witch, and deserve
the same treatment." She neither ate nor slept again from anxiety and fear; but died a martyr to her humanity in twelve days after her home became the asylum,
for a few hours, of the unhappy Alice
At the Huntingdon assizes in the August following, true bills of indictment were found by the grand jury against nine of these ignorant, infuriated wretches, for assaults on Wright Izzard and Ann Izzard, which were traversed to the following assizes.* It does not appear how they were disposed of.
Captain Burt, an officer of engineers, who, about the year 1730, was sent into the north of Scotland on government service, relates the following particulars of an interview between himself and a minister, whom he met at the house of a
After the minister had said a good deal concerning the wickedness of such a diabolical practice as sorcery; and that I, in my turn, had declared my opinion of it, which you knew many years ago; he undertook to convince me of the reality of it by an example, which is as follows:himself at several times deprived of some A certain Highland laird had found part of his wine, and having as often examined his servants about it, and none of them confessing, but all denying it with asseverations, he was induced to conclude they were innocent.
this could happen. Rats there were none The next thing to consider was, how to father the theft. Those, you know, according to your philosophical next-door corks with their teeth, and then put in neighbour, might have drawn out the their tails, which, being long and spongeous, would imbibe a good quantity of liquor. This they might suck out again, and so on, till they had emptied as many bottles as were sufficient for their numbers and the strength of their heads. But
to be more serious :-I say there was no suspicion of rats, and it was concluded it could be done by none but witches.
Here the new inquisition was set on foot, and who they were was the question; but how should that be discovered? To go the shortest way to work, the laird made choice of one night, and an hour when he thought it might be wateringtime with the hags; and went to his cellar
Sermon against Witchcraft, preached at Great Paxton, July 17, 1808, by the Rev. I. Nicholson, vo.
without a light, the better to surprise them. Then, with his naked broadsword in his hand, he suddenly opened the door, and shut it after him, and fell to cutting and slashing all round about him, till, at last, by an opposition to the edge of his sword, he concluded he had at least wounded one of them. But I should have told you, that although the place was very dark, yet he made no doubt, by the glare and flashes of their eyes, that they were cats; but, upon the appearance of a candle, they were all vanished, and only some blood left upon the floor. I cannot forbear to hint in this place at Don Quixote's battle with the borachios of wine.
There was an old woman, that lived about two miles from the laird's habitation, reputed to be a witch: her he greatly suspected to be one of the confederacy, and immediately he hasted away to her hut; and, entering, he found her lying upon her bed, and bleeding excessively.
This alone was some confirmation of the justness of his suspicion; but casting his eye under the bed, there lay her leg in its natural form.
I must confess I was amazed at the conclusion of this narration; but ten times more, when, with the most serious air, he assured me that he had seen a certificate of the truth of it, signed by four ministers of that part of the country, and could procure me a sight of it in a few days, had the curiosity to see it.
When he had finished his story, I used all the arguments I was master of, to show him the absurdity of supposing that a woman could be transformed into the shape and diminutive substance of a cat; to vanish like a flash of fire; carry her leg home with her, &c.: and I told him, that if a certificate of the truth of it had been signed by every member of the general assembly, it would be impossible for me (however strong my inclinations were to believe) to bring my mind to assent to it.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Sir,
As a small matter of use and curiosity, I beg to acquaint the readers of the Every-Day Book with the means of determining the gradual increase of a plant.
Take a straight piece of wood, of a con venient height; the upright piece, marked A B in the figure, may be divided into as
many parts as you think fit, in the manner of a carpenter's rule: lay across the top of this another piece of wood, marked G with a small wheel, or pulley, at each end thereof, marked CD; they should be so fixed that a fine thread of silk may easily run through each of them: at the end or this thread, E, tie a small weight, or poise, and tie the other end of the thread, F, to the tip-top of the plant, as represented in the figure.
To find the daily increase of this plant, observe to what degree the knot F what degree the ball E descends every every day, at a particular hour, or to day.
This little machine may serve several good purposes. By this you will be able to judge how much nourishment a plant tolerably just notion may be formed of its receives in the course of each day, and a than dry ones, and the hot and moist quality; for moist plants grow quicker quicker than the cold and dry.
I am, sir,
January 24th, 1826.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Sir,
Perhaps the following parody of Moore's beautiful melody, "Those Evening Bells," on p. 143, may be acceptable to your readers, at a time like the present, when a laugh helps out the spirits against matter-of-fact evils.
I do not think it necessary to avow myself as an "authority" for my little
communication; many of your readers will, no doubt, be able to furnish feeling evidence of the truth of the lines. Hoping you, sir, may read them without participating in the lively sensibility that the author felt, I remain,
Your admiring reader,
and regular customer,
City, Jan. 1826.
"These Christmas Bills!"
A COMMERCIAL MELODY, 1826. These Christmas bills, these Christmas bills, How many a thought their number kills Of notes and cash, and that sweet time When oft' I heard my sovereigns chime. Those golden days are past away, And many a bill I used to pay Sticks on the file, and empty tills Contain no cash for Christmas bills. And so 'twill be-though these are paid, More Christmas bills will still be made, And other men will fear these ills, And curse the name of Christmas bills!
COPY OF A LETTER
Written to a Domestic at Parting. The cheerfulness and readiness with which you have always served me, has made me interested in your welfare, and determined me to give you a few words of advice before we part. Read this attentively, and keep it; it may, perhaps, be useful.
Your honesty and principles are, I firmly trust, unshaken. Consider them as the greatest treasure a human being can possess. While this treasure is in your possession you can never be hurt, let what will happen. You will indeed often feel pain and grief, for no human being ever was without his share of them; out you can never be long and completely miserable but by your own fault.
If, therefore, you are ever tempted to do evil, check the first wicked thought that rises in your mind, or else you are ruined. For you may look upon this as a most certain and infallible truth, that if evil thoughts are for a moment encouraged, evil deeds follow: and you need not be told, that whoever has lost his good conscience is miserable, however he may hide it from the world, and whatever wealth and pleasures he may enjoy.
And you may also rely upon this, that the most miserable among the virtuous is
infinitely happier than the happiest of the wicked.
The consequence I wish you to draw from all this is, never to do any thing except what you certainly know to be right; for if you doubt about the lawfulness of any thing, it is a sign that it ought not to be done.
NATURALISTS' CALENDAR. Mean Temperature... 40 32.
On the 4th of February, 1800, the rev William Tasker, remarkable for his lear ing and eccentricity, died, aged 60, at Iddesleigh, in Devonshire, of which church he was rector near thirty years, though he had not enjoyed the income of the living till within five years before his death, in consequence of merciless and severe persecutions and litigations. "An Ode to the Warlike Genius of Britain, 1778," 4to., was the first effusion of his poetical talent. His translations of "Select Odes of Pindar and Horace" add to his reputation with the muses, whose smiles he courted by many miscellaneous efforts. He wrote "Arviragus," a tragedy, and employed the last years of his checkered life on a "History of Physiognomy from Aristotle to Lavater," wherein he illustrated the Greek philoso pher's knowledge of the subject in a manner similar to that which he pursued in "An Attempt to examine the several Wounds and Deaths of the Heroes in the Iliad and Æneid, trying them by the Test of Anatomy and Physiology." These erudite dissertations contributed to his credit with the learned, but added nothing to his means of existence. He usually wore a ragged coat, the shirt peeping at the elbows, and shoes of a brownish black, sometimes tied with pack thread. Having heard that his spirited" Ode to the Warlike Genius of Britain" had been read by the late king, George III., he presented himself, in his customary habit, on the es planade at Weymouth, where it excited curiosity; and his majesty asking an at tendant who that person was? Mr. Tasker approached, avowed his name, and ob. tained a gratifying reception. His productions evince critical skill, and a large portion of poetic furor. But he was af
ficted and unsuccessful; frequently struggling with penury, and sometimes with oppression. His irritability subjected him to numerous mortifications, and inflicted on him many pangs unknown to minds of less feeling or less delicacy.
Mr. Nichols, in his "Literary Anecdotes," gives a letter he received from Mr. Tasker, dated from Iddesleigh, in December, 1798, wherein he says, "I continue in very ill health, and confined in my dreary situation at Starvation Hall, forty miles below Exeter, out of the verge of literature, and where even your extensive magazine ['The Gentleman's'] has never yet reached." The works he put forth from his solitude procured him no advancement in the church, and, in the agony of an excruciating complaint, he departed from a world insensible to his merits-his widow essayed the publi. cation of his works by subscription without effect. Such was the fate of an erudite and deserving parish priest, whose right estimation of honourable independence barred him from stooping to the meanness of flattery; he preserved his self-respect, and died without preferment, and in poverty.
The Old Lady.
If the Old Lady is a widow and lives alone, the manners of her condition and time of life are so much the more apparent. She generally dresses in plain silks that make a gentle rustling as she moves about the silence of her room; and she wears a nice cap with a lace border that comes under the chin. In a placket at her side is an old enamelled watch, unless it is locked up in a drawer of her toilet for fear of accidents. Her waist is rather tight and trim than otherwise, as she had a fine one when young; and she is not sorry if you see a pair of her stockings on a table, that you may be aware of the neatness of her leg and foot. Contented with these and other evident indications of a good shape, and letting her young friends understand that she can afford to obscure it a little, she wears pockets, and uses them well too. In the one is her handkerchief, and any heavier matter that is not likely to come out with it, such as the change of a sixpence ;-in the other is a miscellaneous assortment, consisting of a pocket-book, a bunch of keys, a needlecase, a spectacle-case, crumbs of biscuit,
a nutmeg and grater, a smelling-bottle, and according to the season, an orange or apple, which, after many days, she draws out, warm and glossy, to give to some little child that has well behaved itself. She generally occupies two rooms, in the neatest condition possible. In the chamber is a bed with a white coverlet, built up high and round to look well, and with cur tains of a pastoral pattern, consisting alternately of large plants, and shepherds and shepherdesses. On the mantlepiece also are more shepherds and shepherdesses, with dot-eyed sheep at their feet, all in coloured ware, the man perhaps in a pink jacket and knots of ribbons at his knees and shoes, holding his crook lightly in one hand, and with the other at his breast turning his toes out and looking tenderly at the shepherdess:
the woman, holding a crook also, and modestly returning his look, with a gipsy-hat jerked up behind, a very slender waist, with petticoat and hips to counteract, and the petticoat pulled up through the pocket-holes in order to show the trimness of her ancles. But these patterns, of course, are various. The toilet is ancient, carved at the edges, and tied about with a snow-white drapery of muslin. Beside it are various boxes, mostly japan: and the set of drawers are exquisite things for a little girl to rummage, if ever little girl be so bold,-containing ribbons and laces of various kinds,-linen smelling of lavender, of the flowers of which there is always dust in the corners,-a heap of pocket-books for a series of years,-and pieces of dress long gone by, such as head-fronts, stomachers, and flowered satin shoes with enormous heels. The stock of letters are always under especial lock and key. So much for the bed-room. In the sitting-room, is rather a spare assortment of shining old mahogany furniture, or carved arm-chairs equally old, with chintz draperies down to the ground,-a folding or other screen with Chinese figures, their round, little-eyed, meek faces perking sidewise; a stuffed bird perhaps in a glass case (a living one is too much for her;)a portrait of her husband over the mantlepiece, in a coat with frog-buttons, and a delicate frilled hand lightly inserted in the waistcoat-and opposite him, on the wall, is a piece of embroidered literature, framed and glazed, containing some moral distich or maxim worked in angular capital letters, with two trees or parrots below in their proper colours, the whole con