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the abolition of witchcraft is too preposterous to be credited by any one in the possession of his eyes and ears, for it certainly, at present, exists in its ne plus ultra: this, I think, will be too obvious to doubt, when we contrast its former extent with its present state of perfection. Heretofore, it was practised by “ ancient females,” persons whom we would charitably imagine were only anxious to retaliate on their enemies for the many unreturned and unprovoked insults, which they had met with in early life. “ Blest age! but, ah! how different from our own!” They have now taught their daughters, girls of nineteen, the secret of enchantment, witchcraft, and provoking love. It is true, they wear not the gloomy appearance of a witch on a broomstick, or an enchantress in a streaked car, as formerly; they shine the brightest gems in the opera, theatres, and Almacks (in the West); they do not, as heretofore, exert their influence in drying up a cow's milk, or making their neighbour's cattle run wild. No! the grand object of their fascination is man, and to him, and him only, their spells are confined! Of course, it follows, a fortiori, that their crimes are of so much the greater magnitude, as man is superior to the brute creation; yet, it seems, that the learned and ingenious Addison considered the penal laws, on this head, within the narrow confines of the statute; and, perhaps, imagined that the punishments for supernatural agency extended no farther than the ancient law has taken cognizance of: but can we imagine that this great man had so far forgot himself as not to remember, that a supernatural agent can vary the form and manner of an action sine limite? No! the charge would be too palpable to support. The philosophy of his day dictated, that witches and sorcerers were then no more; and, rather than act repugnant to the pinciples of the learned (who, when the investigation of a cause exceeds their penetration, too often deny its existence), ventured to assert, “ One cannot give credit to any particular modern instance of it."
No wonder, then, after the high authority of Mr. Addison, that Modern Witchcraft should take such basty strides to perfection; for who would dare to molest them under the covert of Addison's opinion? But, surely, Mr. Editor, a deviation only in the manner of committing an offence, can never palliate the crime so far as to take it entirely away? its demerits must remain the same, notwithstanding the corroboration of Mr. Addison's remarks by Judge Blackstone. But, as I deviate so highly from those giants of literature, I must, for the safety of my own honor, produce some modern instances of witchcraft (how unpleasant soever the task), in order to validate my assertion, that witchcraft has continued from the earliest ages to the present; or, at least, that, if it ever ceased, it has revived with accumulated vigour. Let me, then, ask whether the British belles do not possess the charm of beauty, of loveliness, to excess? Grant me this as a postulatum, and I enquire, whether any thing is more enchanting than beauty; and who, that has been under the influence of its charm, has not been bewitched by it? It alienates the affections from a parent, and affixes them on a stranger; often the author of suicide;
and, repeatedly, justice has decreed it right to take away the life of the miserable object of enchantment as a pest to society; and all for this irresistible charm, this agency supernatural of female witchcraft. The number who die annually by it, in London, are to be found in the bills of mortality, from fifteen to forty-five! Ada's glance bids numbers fall, she seems to be a heaven of richly luxuriant loveliness, on which mighty Jove himself might gaze with neverending pleasure-fancy, then, a mortal's chances with such a belle elegante before his eyes! he must be bewitched, irrevocably bewitched! Emma's dimpled cheek hath sacrificed its thousands, and Maria's blush can count its myriads slain! But I will do them justice, impartial justice; some they wound merely to languish out a life of misery. Fevers, palpitations of the heart, consumptions, vertigos, lunary madness, &c. &c. &c. owe their origin to bewitching beauty. The theatres and balls afford them the amplest opportunity for the coinmunication of their charm, and I would that the consecrated roof, at least, might be proof against them; but, alas! how weak is devotion compared to the spell of loveliness! We are every where in danger, and to say truth, having myself escaped with a slight shock, I have secluded myself from society; and take the must scrupulous care never to be seen by any female, except my own servant, Molly Jones, who, previous to entering my service, was crowned with the wrinkles of sixty (certificate of baptism being produced in the regular way).
Thus safe from woman's 'witching eyes,
And rosy lips, and bosom bland;
Which youth and feeling understand.
To conjure up---I know not what ;
By all (save creditors) forgot.
Like Orpheus, mountains, sticks, and stonos,
The gravy eyes of --- Molly Jones.
The eyes, the eyes, of dazzling light ;
Beneath the catch-cold nigbt.
That shine from ev'ry star,
Are gone with my guitar,
Gone, gone, gone, with my guitar. And now, Mr. Editor, I hope you are satisfied that witchcraft is not nominal, but real; and that you will enact such laws as may be deemed requisite for its expulsion. If you would have my opinion, I propose that it be enacted, that, after a young lady shall have bewitched one youth, she shall for ever afterwards wear a veil, on pain of
...1 have only to add, that, should you refuse my request, I intend applying to Parliament this session for redress; and, look to it, Mr. Peel, in your revision of the law tablets, “ keep your eye upon the corporal,” for, be assured, “ Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
“ I can refrain no longer," said Matthew Leventhorpe, poring over an almanack, “ this is the last day of term, and no news yet from Lawyer Mucklecharge! Susan, send and take an outside place by the stage to London."
"Outside, fathér, surely!” exclaimed a pretty looking girl, who was placing the breakfast upon the table, “ surely you will not go outside such a day as this? Why, the water in my bed-room was frozen quite hard this morning."
“Ah, Susan, dear!" rejoined her father, “ it does not signify: frost or rain, I must take the outside. The law-the law, girl, will not allow me to travel inside.”
Susan knew it was in vain to contend, and therefore taking up the shillings which her father threw upon the table, as a deposit for the fare, she withdrew from the room, and putting on her bonnet, herself tripped in a moment to the coach-office, and made an arrangement, by which her father, upon the arrival of the coach, was to be informed that the outside was full, and was therefore to ride inside at the outside price---she herself paying the difference of the fare.
Matters being thus settled, the old man was soon in possession of his seat in the coach, and mid-day brought him near to Lincoln's Inn, where are the chambers of Mr. Mucklecharge, attorney-at-law and solicitor, a man in his own conceit of exceeding potency, and one whose dignity would be sorely grieved if all letters were not addressed to him as “ Andrew Mucklecharge, Esq. &c. &c. &c.” A more contemptible fellow is not to be found in the whole list of attornies, and, God knows, that is saying a great deal for a man.
Leventhorpe paced up the well-known staircase, and gave his humble tap at the outer door, the latch of which was immediately drawn upwards by means of a string connecting it with the office, and a voice invited him to “ Come in." The dapper young gentlemen who have the honor to call Mr. Mucklecharge, master, or governor, as that insignificant race of beings, the attornies' clerks, call the principal rogue of the establishment, were standing before the fire, talking in the way that such poor things do talk. The entry of Leventhorpe somewhat discomposed them, and they therefore hurried round him, proclaiming that Mr. Mucklecharge was at Westminster---that being the last day of Term; and that if Leventhorpe wished to see him, Westminster was the only place at which be could be found.' To Westminster, therefore, the poor client bent his way, and soon found himself at the great entrance of that noblest of noble structures, Westminster Hall. . “The last day of Term” is a busy and important one, and crowds of clients, care-worn, anxious-looking beings, with thread-bare coats, dirty shirts, and unblacked boots, are always to be seen loitering about the hall; some comparing notes, and consulting with their fellow-miserables as to the merits of their causes, and the time of their duration; others in confidential communication with lawyers and lawyers' clerks, holding them by the button-hole, and vehemently explaining a variety of circumstances not in the most remote degree connected with the true points to be decided ; to all which, the man of business is merely replying in a careless indifferent tone, “ Ah! yes, I know all that!" or, “ I have heard you say so fifty times before." Flitting about amongst these throngs may be seen also the shabby-genteel, pig-tailed gentry, with papers and red-tapes sticking out at their pocket-holes~ men who' endeavour to look as if they were busy, but who in reality are employed by the attornies to bring stray clients to their foldsfellows who resemble leeches in other respects besides the blackness of their outward appearance. Another class about as respectable as the last, are sneaking, dirty-looking scoundrels, who hold little slips of paper in their hands, and accost you with the enquiry,“ Do you want bail, sir?" These, who are called men-of straw, to signify how entirely they are destitute of property, hire themselves out as bail, and will undertake for, and many of them, if properly paid, will swear themselves to be possessed of property to any amount you please. To all these may be added, young barristers skipping along from Court to Court, with papers under their arms, tied up as if they were briefs, and with a wondrous deal of wisdom in their wigs. The enumeration will be complete if we mention the barristers and attornies who really have business there, and some few idlers, who, like myself, traverse the Hall occasionally out of curiosity. at det Leventhorpe, in his search for Mr. Mucklecharge, first directed his attention to the Court of King's Bench, which he discovered after opening we know not how many doors, and winding through a worse than Cretan Labyrinth of passages. At the time of his entry, a melancholy-looking, thin, pale-faced, man, with prominent, hard features, and a slight convulsive movement on one side of his face, was making a cool, sarcastic speech, and endeavouring, with great gravity and apparent sincerity,
“ To make the worse appear the better reason." His cause was a bad one, and the Chief Justice, whose quickness immediately detected the weak points, was continually interrupting him-it being “ the last day of Term," and a great deal of business to get through— with “buts” and “ifs." Still the advocate proceeded until he had gone through all his statements, uninfluenced by the hints of the Judges, and unabashed by their covert reproofs. “Thank God!" exclaimed Leventhorpe, “ my cause is a good one; but, if it were a bad cause, I would have that man for my counsellor-pray, sir, who is that lawyer ?” “That is Mr. Brougham.” “ Indeed! that Mr. Brougham, the parliament-man! Bless us, what an ugly man he is!"
The next who rose was of a very different appearance-round, pursy, Morid, with sparkling eyes, and placid, good-humored, countenance; always smiling, and peering out of his little eyes with a look