Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft
Fascinated with witches and magic since his childhood, Scott jumped at the idea of his son-in-law to write a small volume about the subject at his home in Abbotsford shortly after his first paralytic stroke in February of 1830. Scott's skepticism about the supernatural divided his audience and critics, but made the work a great commercial success.
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accused afflicted ancient Anne Robinson answer apparition appeared believe Bessie brought called Calvinists cause character charge charms Christian Church confession court credulity crime death deities Demonology demons desire devil disease divine duergar Eildon hills Elfland elves England evidence evil executed existence eyes fairies faith familiar spirits fancy gentleman ghost guilty hand heathen Highland human imagination imposture instance Isobel Isobel Gowdie Jane Wenham judges King Lady Lancre Lord Margaret Barclay Matthew Hopkins mind minister mortals murder nature neighbours observed occasion opinion party patient persons phantom poor possession practised pretended prosecution punishment Queen Reginald Scot remarkable respecting Robin Goodfellow Satan says Scotland Scottish seems sense singular sorcery species spectre spirits story suffered supernatural superstition supposed tale terror Thome Reid tion told took torture trial truth usual witchcraft witches Witchfinder witness wizard woman word worship
Page 63 - And sullen Moloch fled, Hath left in shadows dread His burning idol all of blackest hue ; In vain with cymbals' ring They call the grisly king, In dismal dance about the furnace blue : The brutish gods of Nile as fast, Isis and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.
Page 62 - The lonely mountains o'er And the resounding shore A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament; From haunted spring and dale Edged with poplar pale The parting Genius is with sighing sent; With flower-inwoven tresses torn The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.
Page 146 - Farewell rewards and fairies, Good housewives now may say, For now foul sluts in dairies Do fare as well as they. And though they sweep their hearths no less Than maids were wont to do, Yet who of late, for cleanliness, Finds sixpence in her shoe ? Lament, lament, old abbeys, The fairies lost command ; They did but change priests...
Page 147 - Of theirs, which yet remain, Were footed in Queen Mary's days On many a grassy plain. But since of late Elizabeth, And, later, James came in, They never danced on any heath, As when the time hath bin.
Page 52 - There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Page 42 - The mountain's height, and all the ridges round, Yet not one trace of living wight discerns, Nor knows, o'erawed, and trembling as he stands, To what, or whom, he owes his idle fear, To ghost, to witch, to fairy, or to fiend ; But wonders, and no end of wondering finds.
Page 39 - ... recollection had been so strongly brought to his imagination. He stopped for a single moment, so as to notice the wonderful accuracy with which fancy had impressed upon the bodily eye the peculiarities of dress and posture of the illustrious poet. Sensible, however, of the delusion, he felt no sentiment save that of wonder at the extraordinary accuracy of the resemblance, and stepped onwards towards the figure, which resolved itself, as he approached, into the various materials of which it was...
Page 44 - The doubling storm roars thro' the woods, The lightnings flash from pole to pole, Near and more near the thunders roll, When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees, Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze, Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing, And loud resounded mirth and dancing. Inspiring bold John Barleycorn! What dangers thou canst make us scorn! Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil ; Wi' usquebae, we'll face the devil!
Page 169 - It is come to our ears," says the bull, " that numbers of both sexes do not avoid to have intercourse with the infernal fiends, and that by their sorceries they afflict both man and beast ; that they blight the marriage-bed, destroy the births of women, and the increase of cattle ; they blast the corn on the ground, the grapes of the vineyard, the fruits of the trees, the grass and herbs of the field.
Page 319 - I sat down to take notes on a green bank, with a small stream running at my feet, in the midst of savage solitude, with mountains before me, and on either hand covered with heath. I looked around me, and wondered that I was not more affected, but the mind is not at all times equally ready to be put in motion...