MODERN HISTORY OF THE DEVIL
Being An Introduction To The Whole Work
Of Divination Sorcery The Black-art Pawawing And Such Like Pretenders To Devilism And How Far The Devil Is Or Is Not Concern'd
Of God's Calling A Church Out Of The Midst Of A Degenerate World
Of Hell As It Is Represented To Us And How The Devil Is To Be Understood As Being Personally In Hell When At The Same Time We F
Of Satan's Agents Or Missionaries And Their Actings Upon And In The Minds Of Men In His Name
Of The Devil's Last Scene Of Liberty
Of The Devil's Management In The Pagan Hierarchy By Omens Entrails Augurs Oracles And Such Like Pageantry Of Hell
Of The Devil's Second Kingdom And How He Got Footing In The Renew'd World By His Victory Over Noah And His Race
Of The Extraordinary Appearance Of The Devil And Particularly Of The Cloven-foot
Of The Manner Of Satan's Acting And Carrying On His Affairs In This World And Particularly Of His Ordinary Workings In The Dark
Of The Name Of The Devil His Original And The Nature Of His Circumstances Since He Has Been Called By That Name
Of The Number Of Satan's Host How They Came First To Know Of The New Created Worlds Now In Being And Their Measures With Mankin
Of The Original Of The Devil Who He Is And What He Was Before His Expulsion Out Of Heaven And In What State He Was From That Ti
Of The Power Of The Devil At The Time Of The Creation Of This World
Of The Progress Of Satan In Carrying On His Conquest Over Mankind From The Fall Of Eve To The Deluge
Of The Station Satan Had In Heaven Before He Fell The Nature And Original Of His Crime And Some Of Mr Milton's Mistakes Aboutit
Of The Tools The Devil Works With Witches Wizards Or Warlocks Conjurers Magicians Divines Astrologers Interpreters Of Dreams Te
Of The Various Methods The Devil Takes To Converse With Mankind
Of The Word Devil As It Is A Proper Name To The Devil And Any Or All His Host Angels
The Total Works
What Became Of The Devil And His Host Of Fallen Spirits After Their Being Expell'd From Heaven
Whether Is Most Hurtful To The World The Devil Walking About Without His Cloven-foot Or The Cloven-foot Walking About Without T
Witches Making Bargains For The Devil And Particularly Of Selling The Soul To The Devil
Whether Is Most Hurtful To The World The Devil Walking About Without His Cloven-foot Or The Cloven-foot Walking About Without T
In discussing this most critical Distinction of Satan's private Motions,
I must, as the Pulpit Gentlemen direct us, explain the Text, and let you
know what I mean by several dark Expressions in it, that I may not be
understood to talk (as the Devil walks) in the dark.
1. As to the Devil's walking about.
2. His walking without his Cloven-Foot.
3. The Cloven-Foot walking about without the Devil.
Now as I study Brevity, and yet would be understood too, you may please
to understand me as I understand my self, thus.
1. That I must be allow'd to suppose the Devil really has a full
Intercourse in, and through, and about this Globe, with Egress and
Regress, for the carrying on his special Affairs, when, how, and
where, to his Majesty, in his great Wisdom, it shall seem meet;
that sometimes he appears and becomes visible, and that, like a
Mastiff without his Clog, he does not always carry his Cloven-Foot
with him. This will necessarily bring me to some Debate upon the
most important Question of Apparitions, Hauntings, Walkings, &c.
whether of Satan in human Shape, or of human Creatures in the
Devil's Shape, or in any other manner whatsoever.
2. I must also be allow'd to tell you that Satan has a great deal
of Wrong done him by the general embracing vulgar Errors, and that
there is a Cloven-Foot oftentimes without a Devil; or, in short,
that Satan is not guilty of all the simple Things, no, or of all
the wicked Things we charge him with.
These two Heads well settled will fully explain the Title of this
Chapter, answer the Query mentioned in it, and at the same time
correspond very well with, and give us a farther Prospect into the main
and original Design of this Work, namely, The History of the Devil. We
are so fond of, and pleased with the general Notion of seeing the
Devil, that I am loth to disoblige my Readers so much as calling in
question his Visibility would do. Nor is it my Business, any more than
it is his, to undeceive them, where the Belief is so agreeable to them;
especially since upon the whole 'tis not one Farthing matter, either on
one Side or on the other, whether it be so or no, or whether the Truth
of Fact be ever discovered or not.
Certain it is, whether we see him or no, here he is, and I make no doubt
but he is looking on while I am writing this Part of his Story, whether
behind me, or at my Elbow, or over my Shoulder, is not material to me,
nor have I once turned my Head about to see whether he is there or no;
for if he be not in the Inside, I have so mean an Opinion of all his
extravasated Powers, that it seems of very little Consequence to me what
Shape he takes up, or in what Posture he appears; nor indeed can I find
in all my Enquiry that ever the Devil appear'd (Qua Devil) in any
of the most dangerous or important of his Designs in the World; the most
of his Projects, especially of the significant Part of them, having been
carried on another way.
However, as I am satisfied no Body will be pleas'd if I should dispute
the Reality of his Appearance, and the World runs away with it as a
receiv'd Point, and that admits no Dispute, I shall most readily grant
the General, and give you some Account of the Particulars.
History is fruitful of Particulars, whether Invention has supply'd them
or not, I will not say, where the Devil is brought upon the Stage in
plain and undeniable Apparition: The Story of Samuel being rais'd by
the Witch of Endor, I shall leave quite out of my List, because there
are so many Scruples and Objections against that Story; and as I shall
not dispute with the Scripture, so on the other hand, I have so much
Deference for the Dignity of the Devil, as not to determine rashly how
far it may be in the Power of every old (Witch) Woman, to call him up
whenever she pleases, and that he must come, whatever the Pretence is,
or whatever Business of Consequence he may be engaged in, as often as
'tis needful for her to Pa wa for half a Crown, or perhaps less than
half the Money.
Nor will I undertake to tell you, till I have talk'd farther with him
about it, how far the Devil is concern'd to discover Frauds, detect
Murthers, reveal Secrets, and especially to tell where any Money is hid,
and shew Folks where to find it; 'tis an odd thing that Satan should
think it of Consequence to come and tell us where such a Miser hid a
Strong Box, or where such an old Woman buried her Chamber Pot full of
Money, the Value of all which is perhaps but a Trifle, when at the same
time he lets so many Veins of Gold, so many unexhausted Mines, nay,
Mountains of Silver, as, we may depend upon it, are hid in the Bowels of
the Earth, and which it would be so much to the Good of whole Nations to
discover, lie still there, and never say one Word of them to any Body.
Besides, how does the Devil's doing Things so foreign to himself, and
so out of his way, agree with the rest of his Character; namely, shewing
a kind of a friendly Disposition to Mankind, or doing beneficent Things?
This is so beneath Satan's Quality, and looks so little, that I scarce
know what to say to it; but that which is still more pungent in the Case
is, these Things are so out of his Road, and so foreign to his Calling,
that it shocks our Faith in them, and seems to clash with all the just
Notions we have of him, and of his Business in the World. The like is to
be said of those little merry Turns we bring him in acting with us, and
upon us, upon trifling and simple Occasions, such as tumbling Chairs and
Stools about House, setting Pots and Vessels Bottom upward, tossing the
Glass and Crokery Ware about without breaking; and such like mean
foolish Things, beneath the Dignity of the Devil, who, in my Opinion,
is rather employ'd in setting the World with the Bottom upward, tumbling
Kings and Crowns about, and dashing the Nations one against another;
raising Tempests and Storms, whether at Sea, or on Shore; and, in a
word, doing capital Mischiefs suitable to his Nature, and agreeable to
his Name, Devil; and suited to that Circumstance of his Condition,
which I have fully represented in the primitive Part of his exil'd
But to bring in the Devil playing at Push-pin with the World, or like
Domitian catching Flies, that is to say, doing nothing to the
purpose; this is not only deluding our selves, but putting a Slur upon
the Devil himself; and, I say, I shall not dishonour Satan so much as
to suppose any thing in it: However, as I must have a care too how I
take away the proper Materials of Winter Evening Frippery, and leave the
good Wives nothing of the Devil to fright the Children with, I shall
carry the weighty Point no farther. No doubt the Devil and Dr.
Faustus were very intimate; I should rob you of a very significant 
Proverb, if I should so much as doubt it; no doubt the Devil shew'd
himself in the Glass to that fair Lady who look'd in it to see where to
place her Patches; but then it should follow too that the Devil is an
Enemy to the Ladies wearing Patches, and that has some Difficulties in
it which we cannot so easily reconcile; but we must tell the Story, and
leave out the Consequences.
But to come to more remarkable Things, and in which the Devil has
thought fit to act in a Figure more suitable to his Dignity, and on
Occasions consistent with himself; take the Story of the Appearance of
Julius Caesar, or the Devil assuming that murthered Emperor, to the
great Marcus Brutus, who notwithstanding all the good Things said to
justify it, was no less than a King-killer and an Assassinator, which we
in our Language call by a very good Name, and peculiar to the English
Tongue, a Ruffian.
The Spectre had certainly the Appearance of Caesar, with his Wounds
bleeding fresh, as if he had just receiv'd the fatal Blow; he had
reproach'd him with his Ingratitude, with a Tu Brute! tu quoque, mi
fili: "What Thou Brutus! Thou, my adopted Son!" Now History seems
to agree universally, not only in the Story itself, but in the
Circumstances of it; we have only to observe that the Devil had
certainly Power to assume, not a human Shape only, but the Shape of
Julius Caesar in particular.
Had Brutus been a timorous Conscience-harry'd, weak-headed Wretch,
had he been under the Horror of the Guilt, and terrify'd with the
Dangers that were before him at that time, we might suggest that he was
over-run with the Vapours, that the Terrors which were upon his Mind
disorder'd him, that his Head was delirious and prepossess'd, and that
his Fancy only plac'd Caesar so continually in his Eye, that it
realiz'd him to his Imagination, and he believ'd he saw him; with many
other suggested Difficulties to invalidate the Story, and render the
Reality of it doubtful.
But the contrary, to an Extreme, was the Case of Brutus; his known
Character plac'd him above the Power of all Hypocondriacks, or fanciful
Delusions; Brutus was of a true Roman Spirit, a bold Hero, of an
intrepid Courage; one that scorn'd to fear even the Devil, as the
Story allows: Besides, he glory'd in the Action; there cou'd be no
Terror of Mind upon him; he valued himself upon it, as done in the
Service of Liberty, and the Cause of his Country; and was so far from
being frighted at the Devil in the worst Shape, that he spoke first to
him, and ask'd him, What art thou? and when he was cited to see him
again at Philippi, answer'd, with a Gallantry that knew no Fear, well
I will see thee there. Whatever the Devil's Business was with
Brutus, this is certain, according to all the Historians who give us
the Account of it, that Brutus discover'd no Fear; he did not, like
Saul at Endor, fall to the Ground in a Swoon, 1 Sam. xxviii. 20.
Then Saul fell all along upon the Earth, and there was no Strength in
him, and was sore afraid. In a word, I see no room to charge Brutus
with being over-run with the Hyppo, or with Vapours, or with Fright
and Terror of Mind; but he saw the Devil, that's certain, and with
Eyes open, his Courage not at all daunted, his Mind resolute, and with
the utmost Composure spoke to him, reply'd to his Answer, and defy'd his
Summons to Death, which indeed he fear'd not, as appear'd afterward.
I come next to an Instance as eminent in History as the other; this was
in Char. VI. of France, sirnamed, The Beloved; who riding over the
Forest near Mans, a ghastly frightful Fellow (that is to say, the
Devil so clothed in human Vizor) came up to his Horse, and taking hold
of his Bridle, stop'd him, with the Addition of these Words, Stop King,
whither go you? You are betray'd! and immediately disappear'd. It is
true, the King had been distemper'd in his Head before, and so he might
have been deceived, and we might have charg'd it to the Account of a
whimsical Brain, or the Power of his Imagination; but this was in the
Face of his Attendants, several of his great Officers, Courtiers, and
Princes of the Blood being with him, who all saw the Man, heard the
Words, and immediately, to their Astonishment, lost Sight of the
Spectre, who vanish'd from them all.
Two Witnesses will convict a Murtherer, why not a Traitor? This must be
the Old Gentleman, emblematically so called, or who must it be? nay,
who else could it be? His Ugliness is not the Case, tho' ugly as the
Devil, is a Proverb in his Favour; but vanishing out of sight is an
Essential to a Spirit, and to an evil Spirit in our Times especially.
These are some of the Devil's Extraordinaries, and it must be
confess'd they are not the most agreeable to Mankind, for sometimes he
takes upon him to disorder his Friends very much on these Occasions, as
in the above Case of Cha. VI. of France; the King, they say, was
really demented ever after; that is, as we vulgarly, but not always
improperly, express it, he was really frighted out of his Wits.
Whether the malicious Devil intended it so, or not, is not certain,
tho' it was not so foreign to his particular Disposition if he did.
But where he is more intimate, we are told he appears in a manner less
disagreeable, and there he is more properly a familiar Spirit; that
is, in short, a Devil of their Acquaintance: It is true, the Antients
understand the Word, a familiar Spirit, to be one of the kinds of
Possession; but if it serves our turn as well under the Denomination of
an intimate Devil, or a Devil visitant, it must be acknowledg'd to
be as near in the literal Sense and Acceptation of the Word, as the
other; nay, it must be allow'd 'tis a very great Piece of Familiarity in
the Devil to make Visits, and shew none of his Disagreeables, not
appear formidable, or in the Shape of what he is, respectfully
withholding his dismal Part, in Compassion to the Infirmities of his
It is true, Satan may be oblig'd to make different Appearances, as the
several Circumstances of Things call for it; in some Cases he makes his
publick Entry, and then he must shew himself in his Habit of Ceremony;
in other Cases he comes upon private Business, and then he appears in
Disguise; in some publick Cases he may thing fit to be incog. and then
he appears dress'd a la Masque; so they say he appear'd at the famous
St. Bartholomew Wedding at Paris, where, he came in dress'd up like
a Trumpeter, danc'd in his Habit, sounded a Levet, and then went out
and rung the Alarm-Bell (which was the Signal to begin the Massacre)
half an Hour before the Time appointed, lest the King's Mind should
alter, and his Heart fail him.
If the Story be not made upon him, (for we should not slander the
Devil) it should seem, he was not thoroughly satisfied in King
Charles IX.'s Steadiness in his Cause; for the King, it seems, had
relax'd a little once before, and Satan might be afraid he would fall
off again, and so prevent the Execution: Others say, the King did relent
immediately after the ringing the Alarm-Bell, but that then it was too
late, the Work was begun, and the Rage of Blood having been let loose
among the People, there was no recalling the Order. If the Devil was
thus brought to the Necessity of a secret Management, it must be owned
he did it dexterously; but I have not Authority enough for the Story, to
charge him with the Particulars, so I leave it au croc.
I have much better Vouchers for the Story following, which I had so
solemnly confirm'd by one that liv'd in the Family, that I never doubted
the Truth of it. There liv'd, in the Parish of St. Bennet Fynk, near
the Royal Exchange, an honest poor Widow Woman, who, her Husband
being lately dead, took Lodgers into her House; that is, she let out
some of her Rooms in order to lessen her own Charge of Rent; among the
rest, she let her Garrets to a working Watchwheel-maker, or one some way
concern'd in making the Movements of Watches, and who work'd to those
Shop-keepers who sell Watches; as is usual.
It happened that a Man and Woman went up, to speak with this
Movement-maker upon some Business which related to his Trade, and when
they were near the Top of the Stairs, the Garret-Door where he usually
worked being wide open, they saw the poor Man (the Watch-maker, or
Wheel-maker) had hang'd himself upon a Beam which was left open in the
Room a little lower than the Plaister, or Ceiling: Surpriz'd at the
Sight, the Woman stop'd, and cried out to the Man who was behind her on
the Stairs that he should run up, and cut the poor Creature down.
At that very Moment comes a Man hastily from another Part of the Room
which they upon the Stairs could not see, bringing a Joint-Stool in his
Hand, as if in great Haste, and sets it down just by the Wretch that was
hang'd, and getting up as hastily upon it pulls a Knife out of his
Pocket, and taking hold of the Rope with one of his Hands, beckon'd to
the Woman and the Man behind her with his Head, as if to stop and not
come up, shewing them the Knife in his other Hand, as if he was just
going to cut the poor Man down.
Upon this, the Woman stopp'd a while, but the Man who stood on the
Joint-Stool continued with his Hand and Knife as if fumbling at the
Knot, but did not yet cut the Man down; at which the Woman cried out
again, and the Man behind her call'd to her. Go up, says he, and help
the Man upon the Stool! supposing something hindred. But the Man upon
the Stool made Signs to them again to be quiet, and not come on, as if
saying, I shall do it immediately; then he made two Strokes with his
Knife, as if cutting the Rope, and then stopp'd again; and still the
poor Man was hanging, and consequently dying: Upon this, the Woman on
the Stairs cried out to him. What ails you? Why don't you cut the poor
Man down? And the Man behind her, having no more Patience, thrusts her
by, and said to her. Let me come, I'll warrant you I'll do it; and with
that runs up and forward into the Room to the Man; but when he came
there, behold, the poor Man was there hanging; but no Man with a Knife,
or Joint-Stool, or any such thing to be seen, all that was Spectre and
Delusion, in order, no doubt, to let the poor Creature that had hang'd
himself perish and expire.
The Man was so frighted and surpriz'd, that with all the Courage he had
before, he drop'd on the Floor as one dead, and the Woman at last was
fain to cut the poor Man down with a Pair of Scissars, and had much to
do to effect it.
As I have no room to doubt the Truth of this Story, which I had from
Persons on whose Honesty I could depend. So I think it needs very little
Trouble to convince us who the Man upon the Stool must be, and that it
was the Devil who plac'd himself there in order to finish the Murther
of the Man who he had, Devil-like, tempted before, and prevail'd with
to be his own Executioner. Besides, it corresponds so well with the
Devil's Nature, and with his Business, viz. that of a Murtherer,
that I never question'd it; nor can I think we wrong the Devil at all
to charge him with it.
N. B. I cannot be positive in the remaining Part of this Story,
viz. whether the Man was cut down soon enough to be recover'd,
or whether the Devil carry'd his Point, and kept off the Man and
Woman till it was too late; but be it which it will, 'tis plain he
did his Devilish Endeavour, and stay'd till he was forc'd to
We have many solid Tales well attested, as well in History as in the
Reports of honest People, who could not be deceived, intimating the
Devil's personal Appearance, some in one Place, some in another; as
also sometimes in one Habit or Dress, and sometimes in another; and it
is to be observed, that in none of those which are most like to be real,
and in which there is least of Fancy and Vapour, you have any Mention of
the Cloven Foot, which rather seems to be a mere Invention of Men (and
perhaps chiefly of those who had a Cloven Understanding) I mean a
shallow kind of Craft, the Effect of an empty and simple Head, thinking
by such a well-meant, tho' weak Fraud, to represent the Devil to the
old Women and Children of the Age, with some Addition suitable to the
Weakness of their Intellects, and suited to making them afraid of him.
I have another Account of a Person who travell'd upwards of four Years
with the Devil in his Company, and convers'd most intimately with him
all the while; nay, if I may believe the Story, he knew most part of the
Time that he was the Devil, and yet convers'd with him, and that very
profitably, for he perform'd many very useful Services for him, and
constantly preserv'd him from the Danger of Wolves and wild Beasts,
which the Country he travell'd thro' was intolerably full of. Where, by
the way, you are to understand, that the Wolves and Bears in those
Countries knew the Devil, whatever Disguise he went in; or that the
Devil has some Way to fright Bears and such Creatures, more than we
know of. Nor could this Devil ever be prevail'd upon to hurt him or
any of his Company. This Account has an innumerable Number of diverting
Incidents attending it; but they are equal to all the rest in Bulk, and
therefore too long for this Book.
I find too upon some more ordinary Occasions the Devil has appear'd to
several People at their Call: This indeed shews abundance of good Humour
in him, considering him as a Devil, and that he was mighty
complaisant: Nay some, they tell us, have a Power to raise the Devil
whenever they think fit; this I cannot bring the Devil to a Level
with, unless I should allow him to be Servus Servorum, as another
Devil in Disguise calls himself; subjected to ever old Wizard's Call;
or that he is under a Necessity of appearing on such or such particular
Occasions, whoever it is that calls him; which would bring the Devil's
Circumstances to a pitch of Slavery which I see no Reason to believe of
Here also I must take Notice again, that tho' I say the Devil, when I
speak of all these Apparitions, whether of a greater or lesser Kind, yet
I am not oblig'd to suppose Satan himself in Person is concern'd to shew
himself, but that some of his Agents, Deputies and Servants, are sent
to that Purpose, and directed what Disguise of Flesh and Blood to put
on, as may be suitable to the Occasion.
This seems to be the only Way to reconcile all those simple and
ridiculous Appearances which not Satan, but his Emissaries, (which we
old Women call Imps) sometimes make, and the mean and sorry Employment
they are put to: Thus Fame tells us of a certain Witch of Quality, who
call'd the Devil once to carry her over a Brook where the Water was
swell'd with a hasty Rain, and lash'd him soundly with her Whip for
letting her Ladyship fall into the Water before she was quite over. Thus
also, as Fame tells us, she set the Devil to work, and made him build
Crowland Abbey, where there was no Foundation to be found, only for
disturbing the Workmen a little who were first set about it. So it
seems another laborious Devil was oblig'd to dig the great Ditch cross
the Country from the Fenn Country to the Edge of Suffolk and Essex;
which who ever he has preserv'd the Reputation of, and where it crosses
New-Market Heath, 'tis call'd Devil's Ditch to this Day.
Another Piece of Punishment no doubt it was, when the Devil was
oblig'd to bring the Stones out of Wales into Wiltshire, to build
Stone-heng: How this was ordered in those Days, when it seems they
kept Satan to hard Labour, I know not; I believe it must be registred
among the antient Pieces of Art which are lost in the World, such as
melting of Stone, painting of Glass, &c. Certainly they had the
Devil under Correction in those Days; that is to say, those lesser
Sorts of Devils; but I cannot think that the muckle Thief Devil, as
they call him in the North, the Grand Seignior Devil of all, was
ever reduced to Discipline. What Devil it was that Dunstan took by
the Nose with his red hot Tongs, I have not yet examin'd Antiquity
enough to be certain of, any more than I can what Devil it was that St.
Francis play'd so many warm Tricks with, and made him run away from
him so often: However, this I take upon me to say, in the Devil's
Behalf, that it cou'd not be our Satan, the Arch Devil of all
Devils, of whom I have been talking so long.
Now is it unworthy the Occasion, to take notice that we really wrong the
Devil, and speak of him very much to his Disadvantage, when we say of
such a Great Lord, or of such a Lady of Quality, I think the Devil is
in your Grace: No, no, Satan has other Business, he very rarely
possesses F--ls: Besides, some are so far from having the Devil in
them, that they are really transmigrated into the very Essence of the
Devil themselves; and others again not transmigrated, or assimilated,
but Indeed and in Truth shew us that they are to have mere native
Devils in every Part and Parcel of them, and that the rest is only
Masque and Disguise. Thus if Rage, Envy, Pride and Revenge can
constitute the Parts of a Devil, why should not a Lady of such
Quality, in whom all those Extraordinaries abound, have a Right to the
Title of being a Devil really and substantially, and to all Intents
and Purposes, in the most perfect and absolute Sense, according to the
most exquisite Descriptions of Devils already given by me or any Body
else; and even just as Joan of Arc, or Joan Queen of Naples
were, who were both sent home to their native Country, as soon as it was
discovered that they were real Devils, and that Satan acknowledg'd
them in that Quality.
Nor does my Lady D----ss's wearing sometimes a Case of Humanity about
her, call'd Flesh and Blood, at all alter the Case; for so 'tis
Evident, according to our present Hypothesis, Satan has been always
allow'd to do, upon urgent Occasions; ay, and to make his Personal
Appearance as such, among even the Sons and Daughters of God too, as
well as among the Children of Men; and therefore her Grace may have
appeared in the Shape of a fine Lady, as long as she has been suppos'd
to do, without any Impeachment of her just Claim to the Title of
Devil; which being her true and natural Original, she ought not, nor
indeed shall not, by me, be denied her Shapes of Honour, whenever she
pleases to declare for a Re-assumption.
thought so strange; and is far from being unjust; her Grace (as she,
it may be, is now stiled) has not acted, at least that I never heard of,
so unworthy her great and illustrious Original, that we should think she
has lost any thing by walking about the World so many Years in
Apparition: But to give her the due Homage of her Quality, she has acted
as consonant to the Essence and Nature of Devil, which she has such a
Claim to, as was consistent with the needful Reserve of her present
Nor shall we lead the Reader into any Mistake concerning this part of
our Work, as if this was or is meant to be a particular Satyr upon the
D-----ss of -----------, and upon her only, as if we had no DEVILS among
us in the Phenomena of fair Ladies, but this one: If Satan would be so
honest to us as he might be (and 'twou'd be very ingenuous in him, that
must be acknowledg'd, to give us a little of his Illumination in this
Case) we should soon be able to unmasque a great many notable Figures
among us, to our real Surprize.
Indeed 'tis a Point worth our further Enquiry, and would be a Discovery
many ways to our Advantage, were we bless'd with it, to see how many
real Devils we have walking up and down the World in Masque, and how
many Hoop-Petticoats compleat the entire Masque that disguises the Devil
in the Shape of that Thing call'd Woman.
As for the Men, Nature has satisfied her self in letting them be their
own Disguise, and in suffering them to act the old Women, as old Women
are vulgarly understood, in Matters of Council and Politicks; but if at
any time they have Occasion for the Devil in Person, they are oblig'd
to call him to their Aid in such Shape as he pleases to make use of pro
hac vice; and of all those Shapes, the most agreeable to him seems to
be that of a Female of Quality, in which he has infinite Opportunity to
act to Perfection, what Part soever he is call'd in for.
How happy are those People who they say have the particular Quality, or
acquir'd Habit, call'd the Second Sight; one Sort of whom they tell us
are able to distinguish the Devil, in whatever Case or Outside of
Flesh and Blood he is pleas'd to put on, and consequently could know the
Devil wherever they met him? Were I blest with this excellent and
useful Accomplishment, how pleasant would it be, and how would it
particularly gratify my Spleen, and all that which I, in common with my
fellow Creatures carry about me, call'd Ill-Nature, to stand in the
Mall, or at the Entrance to any of our Assemblies of Beauties, and
point them out as they pass by, with this particular Mark, That's a
Devil; that fine young Toast is a Devil; There's a Devil drest in
a new Habit for the Ball; There's a Devil in a Coach and Six, cum
aliis. In short, it would make a merry World among us if we cou'd but
enter upon some proper Method of such Discriminations: but, Lawr'd,
what a Hurricane would it raise, if, like -------, who they say scourg'd
the Devil so often that he durst not come near him in any Shape
whatever, we cou'd find some new Method out to make the Devil unmask,
like the Angel Uriel, who, Mr. Milton says, had an enchanted Spear,
with which if he did but touch the Devil, in whatever Disguise he had
put on, it oblig'd him immediately to start up, and shew himself in his
true original Shape, mere Devil as he was.
This would do nicely, and as I who am originally a Projector, have spent
some Time upon this Study, and doubt not in a little Time to finish my
Engine, which I am contriving, to screw the Devil out of every Body,
or any Body; I question not when I have brought it to Perfection, but I
shall make most excellent Discoveries by it; and besides the many
extraordinary Advantages of it to human Society, I doubt not but it will
make good Sport in the World too; wherefore, when I publish my
Proposals, and divide it into Shares, as other less useful Projects have
been done, I question not, for all the severe Act lately pass'd against
Bubbles, but I shall get Subscribers enough, &c.
In a Word, a secret Power of discovering what Devils we have among us,
and where and what Business they are doing, would be a vast Advantage to
us all; that we might know among the Crowd of Devils that walk about
Streets, who are Apparitions, and who are not.
Now I, you must know, at certain Intervals when the Old Gentleman's
Illuminations are upon me, and when I have something of an
Eclaricissement with him, have some Degrees of this discriminating
Second Sight, and therefore 'tis no strange thing for me to tell a
great many of my Acquaintance that they are really Devils, when they
themselves know nothing of the Matter: Sometimes indeed I find it pretty
hard to convince them of it, or at least they are very unwilling to own
it, but it is not the less so for that.
I had a long Discourse upon this Subject one day, with a young beautiful
Lady of my Acquaintance, who the World very much admired; and as the
World judges no farther than they can see, (and how should they, you
would say) they took her to be, as she really was, a most charming
To me indeed she discover'd her self many Ways, besides the Advantage I
had of my extraordinary Penetration by the magic Powers which I am
vested with: To me, I say, she appear'd a Fury, a Satyr, a fiery
little Fiend as could possibly be dress'd up in Flesh; in short, she
appear'd to me what really she was, a very DEVIL: It is natural to human
Creatures to desire to discover any extraordinary Powers they are
possess'd of superior to others, and this Itch prevailing in me, among
the rest, I was impatient to let this Lady know that I understood her
Composition perfectly well, nay, as well as she did her self.
In order to this, happening to be in the Family once for some Days, and
having the Honour to be very intimate with her and her Husband too, I
took an Opportunity on an extraordinary Occasion, when she was in the
Height of good Humour, to talk with her; You must note, that as I said,
the Lady was in an extraordinary good Humour, and there had been a great
deal of Mirth in the Family for some Days; but one Evening, Sir E----
her Husband, upon some very sharp Turn she gave to another Gentleman,
which made all the Company pleasant, run to her, and with a Passion of
good Humour takes her in his Arms, and turning to me, says he, Jack,
This Wife of mine is full of Wit and good Humour, but when she has a
Mind to be smart, she is the keenest little Devil in the World: This
was alluding to the quick Turn she had given the other Gentleman.
Is that the best Language you can give your Wife, says my Lady? O Madam,
says I, such Devils as you, are all Angels; ay, ay, says my Lady, I
know that, he has only let a Truth fly out that he does not understand:
Look ye there now, says Sir Edward, could any thing but such a dear
Devil as this have said a thing so pointed? Well, well, adds he,
Devil to a Lady in a Man's Arms, is a Word of divers Interpretations.
Thus they rallied for a good while, he holding her fast all the while in
his Arms, and frequently kissing her, and at last it went off, all in
Sunshine and Mirth.
But the next Day, for I had the Honour to lodge in the Lady's Father's
House, where it all happen'd; I say, the next Day my Lady begins with me
upon the Subject, and that very smartly, so that first I did not know
whether she was in jest or earnest: Ay, ay, says she, you Men make
nothing of your Wives after you have them, alluding to the Discourse
with Sir Edward the Night before.
Why Madam, says I, we Men, as you are pleas'd to term it, if we meet
with good Wives worship them, and make Idols of them, what would you
have more of us?
No, no, says she, before you have them they are Angels, but when you
have been in Heaven, adds she and smil'd, then they are Devils.
Why Madam, says I, Devils are Angels, you know, and were the highest
Sort of Angels once.
Yes, says she, very smartly, all Devils are Angels, but all Angels
are not Devils.
But Madam, says I, you should never take it ill to be call'd Devil,
I know, says she, hastily, what d'ye mean by that?
Why Madam, says I, and look'd very gravely and serious, I thought you
had known that I knew it, or else I would not have said so, for I would
not offend you; but you may depend I shall never discover it, unless you
order me to do so for your particular Service.
Upon this she look'd hard and wild, and bid me explain my self.
I told her, I was ready to explain my self, if she would give me her
Word, she would not resent it, and would take nothing ill.
She gave me her word solemnly she would not, tho' like a true Devil
she broke her Promise with me all at once.
Well however, being unconcern'd whether she kept her Word or no, I
began, by telling her that I had not long since obtain'd the second
sight, and had some years studied Magic, by which I could penetrate into
many things, which to ordinary Perception were invisible, and had some
Glasses, by the Help of which I could see into all visionary or
imaginary Appearances in a different Manner than other People did.
Very well, says she, suppose you can, what's that to me?
I told her it was nothing to her any further than that as she knew her
self to be originally not the same Creature she seem'd to be, but was of
a sublime angelic Original; so by the Help of my recited Art I knew it
too, and so far it might relate to her.
Very fine, says she, so you would make a Devil of me indeed.
I took that Occasion to tell her, I would make nothing of her but what
she was; that I suppos'd she knew well enough God Almighty never thought
fit to make any human Creature so perfect and compleatly beautiful as
she was, but that such were also reserved for Figures to be assum'd by
Angels of one Kind or other.
She rallied me upon that, and told me that would not bring me off, for I
had not determined her for any thing Angelic, but a meer Devil; and
how could I flatter her with being handsome and a Devil both at the
I told her, as Satan, whom we abusively call'd Devil, was an immortal
Seraph, and of an original angelic Nature, so abstracted from any thing
wicked, he was a most glorious Being; that when he thought fit to encase
himself with Flesh, and walk about in Disguise, it was in his Power
equally with the other Angels to make the Form he took upon himself be
as he thought fit, beautiful or deform'd.
Here she disputed the Possibility of that, and after charging me faintly
with flattering her Face, told me the Devil could not be represented by
any thing handsome, alledging our constant picturing the Devil in all
the frightful Appearances imaginable.
I told her we wrong'd him very much in that, and quoted St. Francis,
to whom the Devil frequently appeared in the Form of the most
incomparably beautiful naked Woman, to allure him, and what Means he
used to turn the Appearance into a Devil again, and how he effected
She put by the Discourse, and returned to that of Angels, and insisted
that Angels did not always assume beautiful Appearances; that sometimes
they appear'd in terrible Shapes, but that when they did not, it was at
best only amiable Faces, not exquisite; and that therefore it would not
hold, that to be handsome, should always render them suspected.
I told her the Devil had more Occasion to form Beauties than other
Angels had, his Business being principally to deceive and ensnare
Mankind. And then I gave her some Examples upon the whole.
I found by her Discourse she was willing enough to pass for an Angel,
but 'twas the hardest thing in the World to convince her that she was a
DEVIL, and she would not come into that by any means; she argued that I
knew her Father, and that her Mother was a very good Woman, and was
delivered of her in the ordinary Way, and that there was such and such
Ladies who were present in the Room when she was born, and that had
often told her so.
I told her that was nothing in such a Case as hers; that when the Old
Gentleman had occasion to transform himself into a fine Lady, he could
easily dispose of a Child, and place himself in the Cradle instead of
it, when the Nurse or Mother were asleep; nay, or when they were broad
awake either, it was the same thing to him; and I quoted Luther to her
upon that Occasion, who affirms that it had been so. However I said, to
convince her that I knew it, (for I would have it that she knew it
already) if she pleas'd I would go to my Chamber and fetch her my Magick
Looking-glass, where she should see her own Picture, not only as it was
an angelick Picture for the World to admire, but a Devil also
frightful enough to any Body but herself and me that understood it.
No, no, said she, I'll look in none of your conjuring Glasses; I know
my self well enough, and I desire to look no otherwise than I am.
No, Madam, says I, I know that very well; nor do you need any better
Shape than that you appear in, 'tis most exquisitely fine; all the World
knows you are a compleat Beauty, and that is a clear Evidence what you
would be if your present appearing Form was reduced to its proper
Appearing Form! says she, why, what would you make an Apparition of
An Apparition! Madam, said I, yes, to be sure; why you know, you are
nothing else but an Apparition; and what else would you be, when it is
so infinitely to your Advantage?
With that, she turn'd pale and angry, and then rose up hastily, and
look'd into the Glass, (a large Peer-glass being in the Room) where
she stood, surveying her self from Head to Foot, with Vanity not a
I took that Time to slip away, and running up into my Apartment, I
fetch'd my Magic Glass as I call'd it, in which I had a hollow
Case so framed behind a Looking-glass, that in the first; she would
see her own Face only; in the second, she would see the Devil's
Face, ugly and frightful enough, but dress'd up with a Lady's
Head-Clothes in a Circle, the Devil's Face in the Center, and as
it were at a little Distance behind.
I came down again so soon that she did not think the Time long,
especially having spent it in surveying her fair self; when I return'd,
I said, Come, Madam, do not trouble your self to look there, that is not
a Glass capable of shewing you any thing; come, take this Glass.
It will shew me as much of my self, says she, a little scornfully, as
I desire to see; so she continued looking in the Peer-glass; after some
time more (for seeing her a little out of Humour, I waited to see what
Observations she would make) I ask'd her if she had view'd her self to
her Satisfaction? She said she had, and she had seen nothing of Devil
about her. Come, Madam, said I, look here; and with that I open'd the
Looking-glass, and she look'd in it, but saw nothing but her own Face;
Well, says she, the Glasses agree well enough, I see no Difference;
what can you make of it? With that I took it a little away; Don't you?
says I, then I shou'd be mistaken very much; so I look'd in it my
self, and giving it a Turn imperceptible to her, I shew'd it her again,
where she saw the Devil indeed, dress'd up like a fine Lady, but
ugly, and Devil like as could be desired for a Devil to be.
She started, and cry'd out most horribly, and told me, she thought I was
more of a Devil than she, for that she knew nothing of all those
Tricks, and I did it to fright her, she believ'd I had rais'd the
I told her it was nothing but her own natural Picture, and that she knew
well enough, and that I did not shew it her to inform her of it, but to
let her know that I knew it too; that so she might make no Pretences of
being offended when I talk'd familiarly to her of a Thing of this
Very well; so, says she, I am a real frightful Devil, am I?
O, Madam, says I, don't say, Am I? why you know what you are, don't
you? A Devil! ay, certainly; as sure as the rest of the World believes
you a Lady.
I had a great deal of farther Discourse with her upon that Subject, tho'
she would fain have beat me off of it, and two or three times she put
the Talk off, and brought something else on; but I always found Means to
revive it, and to attack her upon the Reality of her being a Devil, till
at last I made her downright angry, and then she shew'd it.
First she cried, told me I came to affront her, that I would not talk so
if Sir Ed---- was by; and that she ought not to be used so. I
endeavour'd to pacify her, and told her I had not treated her with any
Indecency, nor I would not; because while she thought fit to walk Abroad
incog. it was none of my Business to discover her; that if she thought
fit to tell Sir Ed---- any thing of the Discourse, she was very
welcome, or to conceal it, (which I thought the wisest Course) she
should do just as she pleas'd; but I made no question I should convince
Sir E---- her Husband, that what I said was just, and that I was
really so; whether it was for her Service or no for him to know it, was
for her to consider.
This calm'd her a little, and she look'd hard at me a Minute without
speaking a Word, when on a sudden she broke out thus: And you will
undertake, says she, to convince Sir Ed---- that he has married a
Devil, will ye? A fine Story indeed! and what follows? why then it
must follow that the Child I go with (for she was big with Child) will
be a Devil too, will it? A fine Story for Sir Ed---- indeed! isn't
I don't know that, Madam, said I, that's as you order it; by the
Father's Side, said I, I know it will not, but what it may by the
Mother's Side, that's a Doubt I can't resolve till the Devil and I
talk farther about it.
You and the Devil talk together! says she, and looks rufully at me;
why do you talk with the Devil then?
Ay, Madam, says I, as sure as ever you did your self; besides, said I,
can you question that? Pray who am I talking to now?
I think you are mad, says she; why you will make Devils of all the
Family, it may be, and particularly I must be with Child of a Devil,
No, Madam, said I, 'tis not certain, as I said before, I question it.
Why you say I am the DEVIL, the Child, you know, has always most of the
Mother in it, then that must be a Devil too I think, what else can it
be, says she?
I can't tell that, Madam, said I; that's as you agree among your
selves, this Kind does not go by Generation; that's a Dispute foreign to
the present Purpose.
Then I entred into a Discourse with her of the Ends and Purposes for
which the Devil takes up such beautiful Forms as hers, and why it always
gave me a Suspicion when I saw a Lady handsomer than ordinary, and set
me upon the Search to be satisfied whether she was really a Woman or an
Apparition? a Lady or a Devil? allowing all along that her being a
Devil was quite out of the Question.
Upon that very Foot, she took me up again roundly, and so, says she,
you are very civil to me through all your Discourse, for I see it ends
all in that, and you take it as a thing confest, that I am a Devil! A
very pretty piece of good Usage indeed! says she; I thank you for
Nay, Madam, says I, do not take it ill of me, for I only discover to
you that I knew it; I do not tell it you as a Secret, for you are
satisfied of that another way.
Satisfied of what? says she, that I am a Devil? I think the Devil's in
you: And so began to be hot.
A Devil! yes, Madam, says I, without doubt a meer DEVIL; take it as you
please, I can't help that: And so I began to take it ill that she should
be disgusted at opening such a well-known Truth to her.
With that she discover'd it all at once, for she turn'd Fury, in the
very Letter of it; flew out in a Passion, rail'd at me, curst me most
heartily, and immediately disappeared; which you know is the particular
Mark of a Spirit or Apparition.
We had a great deal of Discourse besides this, relating to several other
young Ladies of her Acquaintance, some of which, I said, were mere
Apparitions like her self; and told her which were so, and which not;
and the Reason why they were so, and for what Uses and Purposes, some
to delude the World one way, and some another; and she was pretty well
pleased to hear that, but she could not bear to hear her own true
Character, which however, as cunning as she was, made her act the Devil
at last, as you have heard; and then vanished out of my sight.
I have seen her in Miniature several Times since; but she proves her
self still to be the Devil of a Lady, for she bears Malice, and will
never forgive me, that I would not let her be an Angel; but like a very
Devil as she is, she endeavours to kill me at a Distance; and indeed the
Poison of her Eyes, (Basilisk-like) is very strong, and she has a
strange Influence upon me; but I that know her to be a Devil, strive
very hard with my self to drive the Memory of her out of my Thoughts.
I have had two or three Engagements since this, with other Apparitions
of the same Sex, and I find they are all alike, they are willing enough
to be thought Angels, but the Word Devil does not go down at all with
them: But 'tis all one, whenever we see an Apparition, it is so
natural to say we have seen the Devil, that there's no prevailing with
Mankind to talk any other Language. A Gentleman of my Acquaintance, the
other Day, that had courted a Lady a long time, had the Misfortune to
come a little suddenly upon her, when she did not expect him, and found
her in such a Rage at some of her Servants, that it quite disorder'd
her, especially a Footman; the Fellow had done something that was indeed
provoking, but not sufficient to put her into such a Passion, and so out
of her self; nor was she able to restrain her self when she saw her
Lover come in, but damn'd the Fellow, and rag'd like a Fury at him.
My Friend did his best to compose her, and begg'd the Fellow's Pardon of
her, but it would not do; nay, the poor Fellow made all the Submissions
that could be expected, but 'twas the same thing: And so the Gentleman,
not caring to engage himself farther than became him, withdrew, and came
no more at her for three Days, in all which time she was hardly cool.
The next Day my Friend came to me, and talking of it in Confidence to
me, I am afraid, says he, I am going to marry a She Devil, and so
told me the Story; I took no Notice to him, but finding out his
Mistress, and taking proper Measures, with some of my particular Skill,
I soon found out that it was really so, that she was a mere
Apparition; and had it not been for that accidental Disorder of her
Passions, which discover'd her Inside, she might indeed have cheated any
Man, for she was a lovely Devil as ever was seen; she talk'd like an
Angel, sung like a Syren, did every thing, and said every thing that was
taking and charming: But what then? it was all Apparition, for she was a
mere Devil. It is true, my Friend marry'd her, and tho' she was a
Devil without doubt, yet either she behav'd so well, or he was so
good, I never could hear him find Fault with her.
These are particular Instances; but alas! I could run you a Length
beyond all those Examples, and give you such a List of Devils among the
gay Things of the Town, that would fright you to think of; and you would
presently conclude, with me, that all the perfect Beauties are Devils,
mere Apparitions; but Time and Paper fails, so we must only leave the
Men the Caution, let them venture at their Peril. I return to the
We have a great many charming Apparitions of like kind go daily about
the World in compleat Masquerade, and, tho' we must not say so, they are
in themselves mere Devils, wicked dangerous murthering Devils, that
kill various Ways, some, Basilisk-like, with their Eyes; some
Syren-like, with their Tongues; all Murtherers, even from the
Beginning: It is true, 'tis pity these pretty Apparitions should be
Devils, and be so mischievous as they are; but since it is so, I can do
no less than to advertise you of it, that you may shun the Devil in
whatever Shape you meet with him.
Again, there are some half Devils, they say, like the Sagittarii, half
Man, half Horse, or rather like the Satyr, who, they say, is half
Devil, half Man; or, like my Lord Bishop, who, they say, was
half-headed; whether they mean half-witted or no, I do not find Authors
agreed about it: But if they had voted him such, it had been as kind a
thing as any they cou'd say of him, because it would have clear'd him
from the Scandal of being a Devil, or half a Devil, for we don't find
the Devil makes any Alliance with F----ls.
Then as to merry Devils, there's my Master G------, he may indeed have
the Devil in him, but it must be said, to the Credit of Possession in
general, that Satan would have scorn'd to have entred into a Soul so
narrow that there was not room to hold him, or to take up with so
discording a Creature, so abject, so scoundrel, as never made a Figure
among Mankind greater than that of a Thief, a Moroder, moulded up into
Quality, and a Raparee dress'd up a-la-Masque, with a Robe and a
Some little Dog-kennel Devil may indeed take up his Quarters in or near
him, and so run into and out of him as his Drum beats a Call; but to
him that was born a Devil, Satan, that never acts to no purpose, cou'd
not think him worth being possess'd by any thing better than a Devil of
a dirty Quality; that is to say, a Spirit too mean to wear the Name of
Devil, without some Badge or Addition of Infamy and Meanness to
distinguish it by.
Thus what Devil of Quality would be confin'd to a P--------n, who
inheriting all the Pride and Insolence of his Ancestors, without one of
their good Qualities; the Bully, the Billingsgate, and all the
hereditary ill Language of his Family, without an Ounce of their
Courage; that has been rescued five or six times from the Scandal of a
Coward, by the Bravery, and at the Hazard of Friends, and never fail'd
to be ungrateful; that if ever he committed a Murther, did it in cold
Blood, because no body could prove he ever had any hot; who possess'd
with a Poltroon Devil, was always wickeder in the Dark, than he durst
be by Day-light; and who, after innumerable passive Sufferings, has been
turned out of human Society, because he could not be kick'd or cuff'd
either into good Manners or good Humour.
To say this was a Devil, an Apparition, or even a half Devil, would
be unkind to Satan himself, since tho' he (the Devil) has so many
Millions of inferior Devils under his Command, not one cou'd be found
base enough to match him, nor one Devil found but what would think
himself dishonour'd to be employ'd about him.
Some merry good-for-nothing Devils we have indeed, which we might, if
we had room, speak of at large, and divert you too with the Relation,
such as my Lady Hatt's Devil in Essex, who upon laying a Joiner's
Mallet in the Window of a certain Chamber, would come very orderly and
knock with it all Night upon the Window, or against the Wainscot, and
disturb the Neighbourhood, and then go away in the Morning, as well
satisfied as may be; whereas if the Mallet was not left, he would think
himself affronted, and be as unsufferable and terrifying as possible,
breaking the Windows, splitting the Wainscot, committing all the
Disorders, and doing all the Damage that he was able to the House, and
to the Goods in it. And again, such as the Druming Devil in the Well
at Oundle in Northamptonshire, and such like.
A great many antick Devils have been seen also, who seem'd to have
little or nothing to do, but only to assure us that they can appear if
they please, and that there is a Reality in the thing call'd Apparition.
As to Shadows of Devils, and imaginary Appearances, such as appear,
and yet are invisible at the same time, I had thought to have bestow'd a
Chapter upon them by themselves, but it may be as much to the Purpose to
let them alone, as to meddle with them; 'tis said our old Friend
Luther used to be exceedingly troubled with such invisible
Apparitions, and he tells us much of them, in what they call his
Table-talk; but with Master Luther's leave, tho' the Devil passes
for a very great Lyar, I could swallow many things of his own proper
making, as soon as some of those I find in a Book that goes by his Name,
particularly the Story of the Devil in a Basket, the Child flying out of
the Cradle, and the like.
In a word, the walking Devils that we have generally among us, are of
the female Sex; whether it be that the Devil finds less Difficulty to
manage them, or that he lives quieter with them, or that they are fitter
for his Business than the Men, I shall not now enter into a Dispute
about that; perhaps he goes better disguis'd in the fair Sex than
otherwise; Antiquity gives us many Histories of She-Devils, such as we
can very seldom match for Wickedness among the Men; such now as in the
Text, Lot's Daughters, Joseph's Mistress, Sampson's Dalilah,
Herod's Herodias, these were certainly Devils, or play'd the
Devil sufficiently in their Turn; one Male Apparition indeed the
Scripture furnishes you with, and that is Judas; for his Master says
expresly of him, One of you is a Devil; not has the Devil, or is
possess'd of the DEVIL; but really is a DEVIL, or is a real DEVIL.
How happy is it, that this great Secret comes thus to be discover'd to
mankind? Certainly the World has gone on in Ignorance a long time, and
at a strange rate, that we should have so many Devils continually
walking about among us in humane Shape, and we know it not.
Philosophers tell us that there is a World of Spirits, and many learned
Pieces of Guess-work they make at it, representing the World to be so
near us, that the Air, as they describe it, must be full of Dragons and
Devils, enough to fright our Imaginations with the very Thoughts of
them; and if they say true, 'tis our great Felicity that we cannot see
any farther into it than we do, which if we could, would appear as
frightful as Hell itself; but none of those Sages ever told us, till
now, that half the People who converse with us are Apparitions,
especially of the Women; and among them especially this valuable Part,
the Woman of Figure, the fair, the beautiful, or patch'd and painted.
This unusual Phaenomenon has been seen but a little while, and but a
little way, and the general Part of Mankind cannot come into the same
Notions about it; nay, perhaps they will all think it strange; but be
it as strange as it will, the Nature of the Thing confirms it, this
lower Sphere is full of Devils; and some of both Sexes have given
strange Testimonies of the Reality of their pre-existent Devilism for
many Ages past, tho' I think it never came to that Height as it has now.
It is true, in former times Satan dealt much in old Women, and those, as
I have observ'd already, very ugly, Ugly as a Witch, Black as a
Witch, I look like a Witch, all proverbial Speeches, and which
testify'd what Tools it was Satan generally work'd with; and these old
Spectres, they tell us, us'd to ride thro' the Air in the Night, and
upon Broomsticks too, all mighty homely Doings; some say they us'd to go
to visit their Grand Seignior the Devil, in those Nocturnal
Perambulations: But be that as it will, 'tis certain the Devil has
chang'd hands, and that now he walks about the World cloth'd in Beauty,
cover'd with the Charms of the Lovely, and he fails not to disguise
himself effectually by it, for who would think a beautiful Lady could be
a Masque to the Devil? and that a fine Face, a divine Shape, a heavenly
Aspect, should bring the Devil in her Company, nay, should be herself
an Apparition, a mere DEVIL.
The Enquiry is indeed worth our while, and therefore I hope all the
enamour'd Beaus and Boys, all the Beauty-hunters and Fortune-hunters,
will take heed, for I suppose if they get the Devil, they will not
complain for want of a Fortune; and there's Danger enough, I assure you,
for the World is full of Apparitions, non rosa sine spinis; not a
Beauty without a Devil, the old Women Spectres, and the young Women
Apparitions; the ugly ones Witches, and the handsome ones Devils;
that goes a courting.
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