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1799] Help for Weak Sight...On Witchcraft, &c. 283 persons, perhaps, of coincident opinion for could he walk in the streets without with the journalist of Dr. Johnson, Mr. being led. Glafles were of no use to tim; Boswell, who, after relating that when the beit print, seen through the belt specthe present lord Loughborough firit crossed tacles, leemed to him like a daubed pathe Tweed he was taught English pronun- per. Wearied with this melancholy ttate, ciation by Macklin and Sheridan, says, he thought of the following expedient. (though I do not remember the exact “ He procured lome spectacles with very words) that it may be all very well to rub targe rings, and taking out the glaffe's off the coarseness of the Scotch accent, but fuhitituted in each circle a conic tule of as to thoiè “nativewood- notes wild”which black Spanish copper. Looking through serve to distingujth his country, he could the large end of the cone he could read keartily despite any Scotchmen who should the imallest print placed at its other exaffect to forget them. Boswell dared not tremity. Theič tubes were of different have talked thus to Johnson. For my own lengths, and the openings at the end were part, I do not think there is any thing also of different fizes the smaller the very musical in our native wood-notes: aperture the better could he diftinguishi I like them well enough at a sheep-fhear- the finallest letters, the larger the apering or a harvest frolic; they proceed in

ture the more words or lines it commanded, character from the wide open mouth and consequently the lets occasion was of a great brawny countryman, but froin there for moving the head and the hand the lips of a fashionable fair one, the in reading. Sometimes he used one eye, found of these wood-notes are too wild sometimes the other, alternately relieving and immelodious to please my ear.

each, for the rays of the two eyes could As it was no part of my plan, Mr. not unite upon the same obje& when thus Editor, to trouble either you or myleif feparated by two opaque tubes. The with the topographical minutive of Nor. thinner these tubes, the less troublesome wich, I fall lay nothing about our

are they. They must be totally blackened churches, and our chapels, our prifons, within so as to prevent all thining, and our halls, and our hospitals : we take as

shey should be made to lengthen or conmuch care of the fouls and bodies of our tract, and enlarge or reduce the apertiue citizens as other people. Our places of at pleasure. worship are very numerous, our prisons are

6. When he placed convex glasses in those trong enough to hold the hardiest high- tuhes, the leiters indeed appeared larger, wayınan, and we have hospitals to relieve but not to clear and distinct as through the decrepitude of age and employ the the empty tube: he also found the cubes activity of youth : we have, moreover,

more convenient when not fixed in the a noble inftitution for the cure of lick spectacle-rings; for when they hung persons and those who suffer from acci: lootely they could be raised or lowered dents, which receives fupport by the gra.

with the hand, and one or both inight be tuitous attendance of our best medical used as occasion required." practitioners.

Bristol, February 21.

T. Y. You will recollect, Sir, that I profefsed only to give a sketch of society in Nor. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine, wich; the outlines are rough, but they are taken from life : any body that pleases

SIR, may complete the picture.

"HE times are part, in which a person T. S. N. niight have been liable to perish in

the flames, for not worshipping God acTo the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

cording to the cuítom of the country; pr

for worhipping the devil, and for a luce SIR,

pected participation in his conlpiracy

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assisting a weak fight may not be But, the history of the intercourse, fancommonly known. I translate it from cied or real, between men and evil spirits, La Nouvelle Bigarure for February 1754. still remains one of the most curious and

" The author of this discovery, was the moit obscure subjects of human inver. about fixty years of age ; he had almoft tigation. It is horrible to reflect, how entirely lost his fight, seeing nothing but many poor wretches were, in the courle of a kind of thick mist, with little black the last century, facrificed, in both Scot. fpecks which appeared to float in the air. land and England, by puritanical zeal, to He knew not any of his friends, he could the fufpicion of witchcraft! it is inex-' not even distinguish a man from a woman, preslibly painful to think how mang

murders

at all.

murders have received a fancied fanction and Romans. It has been, no doubt, in from the scripture itory of the witch of the laple or so many centuries, variegated Endor!

and improved by the differing manners of I have sometimes been half inclined to different ages, and by a genius and inthink that I had discovered the origin of diftry of the long füccession of persons the popular notions concerning witches, who have fancied themselves witches or wizards, and fairies.

wizards. Witchcraft seems likely to be Concerning witches and wizards, al. very foon reduced into the situation of most all the vulgar opinions and tales pre- thole loft arts of which the genius of a valent among christians, have, doubtless, Pancirolo or a Dutens is required to originated from hints thrown out in the recognize the very existence. I fear, for holy scriptures. What was accounted poor Satan, that, if he cease to roam the witchcraft among the ancient Ifraelites, earth, and to deal with old women, men seems to have been, a remnant of the myf- may soon presume to deny him any being teries of foine fuperftition which had been anciently prevalent in the land, or Fairies are, in the conception of our had been recently introduced into it, but rustics, beings of a very various character. which was profcribed by the laws of the Sometimes they are little tiny forms; ftate, and was cherished only in fecret, light, airy, gay, and clad in green ; who and under strong fears of detection and ride nimbly through the air, or dance in punishment. It does not certainly ap- festive sport, on earths and who, though pear, that any people ever set themselves, they may occasionally exercise little teizknowingly, and directly, to cultivate the ing pranks upon mankind, yet regood graces of the devil, as such, in con- gard them with no serious malignity; and tempt of the favour of a better and more by their kindnesses to the deserving, more powerful divinity. But, it was suffic than compensate the little ills they do to ciently natural to represent, as the wor the fluttish, the idle, and the undeserving. thip of the devil, any fecret worship of In other cases, they are considered as Gods, not acknowledged by the state, nor malicious sprites, who owe a human generally known in the country, Thele being, as á feptennary vidim, to the ideas, having been once conceived concern- devil, and who therefore occasionally ing such secret worship, could hardly fail carry infants away, to be devoted to this to maintain and propagate themselves, fate. At times, too, they are represented, nay, even to give, at lengti, a new tone as having power to guide the winds, to to the spirit of that worship which was swell the billows of the ocean, to darken the subject of them. One thing that the earth with clouds, to launch the considerably distinguishes conjuration and lightnings, and to excite the thunders' witchcraft from other practices and forms loudelt roar. Often are they faid to of superstition is, that the agents in them inveigle mankind into compacts, such as have pretended to have, by one means or prove in the end fatally ruinous to the another, attained to a commanding ir- ' everlasting welfare of the unhappy wretches resistible authority over the powers to who are thus enticed into their inares. whom they were wont to address them Now these beings, to whom such varifelves. This authority is fuppofed to ous powers and so many incongruous athave been attained, by compact, ftipu- tributes have been vulgarly ascribed, aplating reciprocal conditions : by the in- pear to me to be the genuine representatives terposition of some superior divinity, con of a mingled and very numerous host of the ferring a sway over the meaner denions ; divinities of ancient polytheism,and even of or by the offering of some facrifices, so the faints of the dark ages of christianity. irresistibly grateful to the appetites of the The spirits of Oman, inhabiting the airy beings whose services are wanted, that halls of the clouds; the deities worship. they are absolutely unable to refuse their ped by Druidism; the rural divinities of presence and aid. It were easy to trace the Greeks and Romans; with some part thele fancies to their origin in the fenti- of the powers of the old Scandinavian ments of nature. Conjuration and witch- mythology ; are assuredly associated in craft were known also to the Greeks and one confused assemblage, in the common „Romans. Pontus and Theffaly were the notions of our British rustics, concerning regions from which these nations derived those beings which they call fairies: I their rites of conjuration. The system of suspect the saints of Popis christianity to witchcraft, which has been received among be mingled in the fame multitude ; for the christians, exhibits a sort of medley of eve of the festival of all the saints, is one that of the Jews, with that of the Greeks on which the fairies are believed to swarın

about,

to steal

1799.]
Fairies, & c..... Jefuit: at Avignon.

285 about in mighty numbers,and to exert them- Jesuits at Avignon, (he should have said felves with extraordinary activity : but concerning a religious convention affema the fairies, who are thus busy upon such bled by the Jesuits at Avignon) to whom an occasion, can surely be no other than he ascribes a secret connexion with various the saints to whom it has been consecrated. European courts. The notion of a human victim to be by Of the nature and quality of this conthose fairies facrificed at the end of every vention, he may form some idea by the feven years to the devil, has, in all pro- perufal of two pamphlets ; " Testimony of bability, had its origin in the inysterious the Spirit of Truth, by W. Bryan," and horrors of those rites of the Druidical and another by 7. Wright, 1795, which conthe Scandinavian worship, in which human tain memoirs of the journey of two of the yictims were facrificed, to avert the wrath English apostolic characters who attended, of gloomy, malevolent divinities. It Of the general views which animate the may be, that the Druids were accustomed occult and superintending body, of which

away

infants for those horrid and this convention was to have been an inbarbarous rites, somewhat in the manner strument, fome idea may be collected in which they have been said to be Holen from the sth chapter of a German book away by the fairies.

entitled “Vorläufige Darstellung des beutigen As to the ideas entertained by the Jesuitismus, der Rosenkreuzerey, Profelya simple vulgar among us, concerning tenmacherey, und Religions vereinigung, wraiths sometimes seen immediately be- 1786." fore the death of the persons whom they

A connection still subsists between va. represent; and concerning gholts feen rious fuperftitious societies in Great Bri. after the deaths of such perions; these tain, and similar combinations on the seem to be almost entirely of Jewish and continent, which is conducted by the of Popish origin. It was a Jewish idea, frequent deputation of missionaries. that every human being is always attended I wish to direct the attention of the by a good and a bad angel; that there is Abbé Barruel's commentators to a Ger. an incessant contest between these rival man novel printed in 1785, and called ípirits for the mastery over the conduct of Saint-Nicaise," which contains the hifa their charge: that, upon occasions of tory of a Quixote of free-masonry, and extraordinary temptation or danger, one appears to have supplied the principal or both of these guardians, will become assumed facts on which the newest ac, visible, interposing in their ward's behalf, counts of the interior structure of that or departing for ever from him. This order are founded. idea, perhaps, in its primary origin,

Your's, &c, X. Y: rather Perfian than Jewish, was from the Jews communicated to the christians;

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. among them, has been handed down from age to age, in their traditions, in SIR, the bible, and in their other writings. I

did not till very lately perceive an The popular notions concerning ghosts,

error which has accidentally crept into are precisely those which were taught by your excellent miscellany, in the departthe Roman-catholic clergy, during the

ment of retrospective literature, vol. 3, dark ages. They are thole notions which page 42 : where you affert, in speaking of originate in the natural sentiments of the Simeon's Skeletons, that the same author human heart; modified and accom

“ has lately given a new translation of modated to the abfurd views and inter- Claude's Esay 'on the composition of a efted purposes of the christian clergy in

Sermon." Now, Sir, the translation that the times of the gloomielt ignorance. accompanies Mr. S.'s Skeletons is with They retain their influence among our

out any alteration or emendation whatyulgar; because it is very, very long

ever' ;

the same which the late Mr. Robinbefore a thorough change can be effected fon, of Cambridge, made fome years ago upon the vulgar creed concerning any lished in two 8vo. volumes with the in

from the French, and which was pubfyftem of fubjects. Yowiand, near Kirkudbright,

cumbrance of a copious, and (as the April 9.

A. R. anthor justly entitles then) "odd tarrago"

of notes, most of which are very foreign To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine,

from the subject of the essay, and rarely

illustrative of any thing contained in it. SIR,

Perhaps, Mr. WAKEFIELD (if he fs OUR correspondent at p. 30, solicit not already apprized of it) may be glad

information concerning a fociety of to learn that there, exists a rumour at St. MONTHLY MAG. No. XLIV.

Oo

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John's

John's college, Cambridge, that the fla- cessary to complete the library of the stugellatcry discipline prevailed in that lo. dent. Since the publication of Mr. Barciety tili as late a period as the year 1684, RINGTON's obfervations on several old when it is fuppofed the fyftem expired statutes, no book of that kind, to my with the flogging of the celebrated Mat, recollection has appeared. I would suge Prior over the hatchway of the scholars' gest to your tearned readers a book not buttery. As for the truth of this itory formed after that model wholly, but one I do not pretend to vouch, but that it is that should contain observations on all the in circulation at St. John's, Mr. W. may statutes from the reign of H:nry VIII. to satisfy himself by applying to any of the present time, the history of their inthe meinbers of that college. From the troduction, by whom, the characters of dungeon-like appearance of the apart. the proposers, the arguments pro and con, ment in one of the turrets of St. John's, the common law as it stood before the which is faid to have been occupied by statutes, the alterations in consequence Prior, and which is now converted into of the new law, and the several fubfea gip-room*, it is evident he was allowed quent determinations thereon. These no great accommodation at college; con should be the leading features of such a sidering which, and other circumstances, work, which, if well executed, I am conI think it not at all improbable that such fident would be of infinite use to the proa punishment might have at that time feffion; would leffen the fatigue of prevailed, both at this and other colleges searching into many books for the clear in the university.

underttanding of any particular statute, For the further satisfaction of the and would, I hope, facilitate the study Searned writer, for whom the above infor- of our ftatute law. There are, however, mation is more particularly designed, I two obvious, though nor unanswerable beg leave to observe, that there is a sense objections; I mean the labour of comin which the word bitch is used in the pleating such an undertaking, and the maritime parts of our northernmost coun. danger of its being handled by the unties, different from any in which he or skilful; but he that hopes to accomplif Mr. Kershaw have explained it, but it without insuperable courage and perwhich does not throw any light on the severance will deceive himself, and labour meaning of the word as used by Pope. in vain-without deep research and proIn the sense I allude to, it signifies the found legal learning will add little to his suddden act of catching hold of a person fame, and less to his fortune. by surprize or unawares, and first intro Newbury, Feb. 20.

C. duced in this sense, as I conceive, by To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine, sea-faring perfons, amongst whom the

SIR, term is not unusual, as applied to the or rope," lee Bailey's dictionary, where of Honduras, the particulars of which et catching hold of any thing with a hook The accounts juft received of an attack the word is derived from the Saxon hiczan

we are however yet to learn, give some fignifying

“ to wriggle, or niove by de- interest respecting the nature of a coungrees.'

'If this be (as Bailey represents try almost unknown*. As from a reit) its real import, 'I do not fee with sidence there of feveral years, I have that propriety, or peculiar aptness, Pope had an opportunity of being well accan be admitted to have used it in the quainted with this settlement. paffage referred to by Mr. WAKEFIELD: leave through the channel of the Monthly It is rather surprising that no notice is Magazine io give some information to taken of this strange word by Junius in the public upon this fubject. his “Etymologicon. Your's, &c. To this establishment we have improApril 8, 1799.

R. H. C.

perly given the name of the bay of HonTo the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. duras. It is not a bay; and Honduras SIR,

is the name of the Spanish Province to the been lately published, which have ment.

I shall adhere to the pocontributed but litile to the advancement pular name. of knowledge, it does not follow that

*No Geographer has described this country. works of real utility may not still be ne. The only traveller that has given any account Gip-room, in the cant language of the Uni

of it is Captain Nathaniel Uring, who, in a. versity, fignifies a small apartment allotted book of Voyages and Travels, published in for the Gips,or men-leryants, to clean shoes 1740, gives fome particulars of two trading and perform fimilar neceflaries in.

voyages he made to this place,

This

I beg

287

a

in 1740.

2799.)

Account of the Settlement of Honduras. This settlement is a part of Yucatan, merly fea, and there appear strong grounds a - Spanish province which forms for their conjecture-ritt. It is entirely a Peninsula running out from the kingdom fat and very low lying land, while all of Mexico to the northward, into the the adjacent country is nountainous gulph of Mexico. Here and at Cam- 2d. It every where contains in the interior peachy (on the western coast of Yucatan) falt water lakes, which have no visible the English have been in the habits of communication with the sea-3dly, cutting logwood from an early period of Through the whole country are to be the present century. At Campeachy, found marine shellsand lastly, all along however, it has now been long dituted, the coast are little islands, or keys as they and there, as well as at the Bay of Hon- are called, mere beds of fand, and having duras, it met with constant interruptions every appearance of being thrown up from the Spaniards; and it is well known from the fea. to have been a principal cause of the war The ground is generally swampy and

covered with wood. Mahogany as well This establiment, however, never as as logwood, fustic and other dying woods, fumed a regular form until after the and alto iron-wood, bullet-tree, lignun peace of 1763. The Baymen then he- vitæ and other kinds of hard timber, came more respectable than they had grow in great abundance; and the reformerly been, and besides their places mainder of the surface is filled with the for cutting wood in the river, formed a different species of palım, cotton tree, and sort of town on a little island on the coalt, others; but principally by the aquatic called St. George's key (or according to thrubs, called mangrove and a variety of the Spaniards Cayo Cafina) from which, underwood. There are besides in ione as well as all the other parts of the dit- places barren plains, or which at least bear friet, the logwood cutters were expelled only a coarse and useless kind of grass. by the Spaniards in the American war.

The rivers are the only highways. In fact, the Spanish government never

Such a country it may be eafily beacknowledged or allowed the right of the lieved is not healthy. St. George's key British to cut logwood in any part of this and the other keys on the coast, however, country previous to the definitive treaty are extremely falubrious, and form a deof peace of 1783, and it was not till the Grable retreat to the sick and the valetuconvention of 1786, that the privilege was dinary. The heat in Honduras is nearly granted of cutting mahogany.

the same as in the West India iflands, The Bay of Honduras extends along and like then it enjoys the sea breezes, the east coast of Yucatan, for about fixty except occasionally during the winter, or seventy miles. The Rio Hcrdo (deep when the north wind blowing over the river) is the northern boundary; and frozen continent of America, produces there are also the new river, the river here a very pleasant temperature, foineBelize or Wallis, and the river Sioun or times even so cold as to make a fire comJabon, which is the boundary to the south

fortable. -the intermediate space between Belize

On the banks of the rivers, and the and Sibun being granted as an additional neighbourhood of these banks, the settlers district, in consideration of the evacuation cut logwood and mahogany, which hav. of the Mosquito shore, by the convention ing now become pretty much exhausted between Great Britain and Spain of 1786. immediately on the rivers fides, is obliged These rivers are intersected by a bound

to be carried a considerable distance, fre. ing-line running at different distances, quently several miles, on roads made on from twenty to eighty miles in the coun- purpose, and where it is dragged by try. St. George's key is also included in

oxen brought from England or Jamaica ; the Englith settlement. The four rivers for no cattle are bred in the diftrict, or are all navigable for twenty miles and used there but for draught. In Belize the upwards, by vefsels of considerable bure mahogany is floated down the river, and then, and much higher by canoes*.

sent on hoard of vessels in the road-stead The whole Peninsula of Yucatan is opposite to its mouth. From the rest of fupposed by naturalists to have been for the rivers, the mahogany as well as other

woods are carried in coasting vesels of The canoes generally used, are of a from twenty to an hundred tons burthen; ticular and very handsome form, to which either to Belize river's mouth, or St. they give the name of Dories. They have George's key, these being the only places also a flat bottomed kind, shaped like Thames where vessels lie to receive it. Punts these they call Pirpans,

At the mouth of Belize, which was the

oldest

par

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