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from the Bishop's own Mouth, almost Thirty Years * before it was inserted here.
I hope the Readers will not be displeased to find here an Account of the following Book
A DISCOURSE concerning Sorcery * and Witchcraft , taken from the Trials of
many Sorcerers and Witches, spho have been condemned within these Two Tears in 15 the District of St Oyan" de Joux, otherwise called St. Claude in Franche Comte. Rouen, &c,
ein 1603. in 12mo. . Pagg. 306.
ENRY Boguet, Grand Judge of the Town and
District of St. Claude in Franche Comte, is the Author of this Book. It appears from the several Approbations prefixed to it, and dated in 160r, that it was first printed in that Year. The Author dedicated this Discourse to the Archbishop of Bezançon, and
compares the noble Exploits of that Prelate in the Prosecution of Sorcerers and Witches, wich the Waplike Actions of his Three Brothers against the
Enemies of the State. He declares in his Preface,
and therefore his Discourse is one of the
On the 15th of June 1598, Louise Maillat of a Village called Coirieres, a Girl of Eight Years of Age, loft the Use of her Limbs to such a Degree, that she crawled and went upon Four : Besides, the wrefted her Mouth in a very strange manner. She cons tinued in thar · Condition till the 19th of the next Month, when her Parents believing the was possessed with the Devil, caused her to be exorcized in a Church. It appeared then that she had five Devils, whose Names were Wolf, Cat, Dog, Folly and Griffin. The Priest ask'd the Girl, How the came to have so many Devils in her Body. She answered, That Frances Secretain, (pointing at her among those that were present at the Exorcism,) had sent those Devils into her Body. That Woman lived in the fame Village, and was about Fifty-eight Years old. Norwithstanding the Exorcism, the Devils did not come out. When the Girl came home, she desired her Father and Mother" to pray for her, being per. fuaded that she would be quickly dispossessed by that Means. This she said as the Night was coming on. Soon afrer fhé told her parents, that two De vils were dead, and if they went on with their Prayers, those that remained would fare no better. Her Parents spent the whole Night : in praying. The next Morning, at/break of Day, the Girl happened to be worse than she used to be, and belched con
Linnalymo At laft, as the was" Hooping, the Devils came our through her Mouth in the thape of several Balls as big as one's Fiat," grand as red as Fire; but the Devil, whole Name was cát, appeared very Black. LAN chose Devils bounced three or four times abour the Fire, and then vanithed away. The Girl began to be on the mending hand.
Frances Secret ain, being committed to Goal, was three Days without confeffing any thiug, and
protes fted that she was innocent. She seemed to be a very devout Woman, and had always Beads in her Hands. But our Author observes, That there was no
Cross in her Beads, or at least none thar was entire; which he took to 'be, a Prefumpţion againft her. Judge Baguet makes another Remark, It
it was obferved (says he) that whilft , fhe was examined the Thedi no Tears, tho? fhe often endeavoured to do it. For which Reason the was more closely confined, and they began tol threaten her. It was thought expedient to fee whether the Devil had imprinted any Mark upon her Body. Accordingly lie was ftrip'd stark naked; but no Satanical Mark was found about her. Then they Shaved her Head; but the Hair was no sooner off, than the began to quake all over her Body, and to confefs. several Things on that Day, and the following Days.
cony , The moft confiderable Articles of her Confession, were, t. 7. That The had fent five Devils into the Bos dy of Louise Maillat. 2. Thar long before she had given up herself to the Devil, who looked like a tall black Man. 3. That the Devil had known her four or five times, in the Shape of a Dog,
Dog, or in the Shape of a Cat, and sometimes in the Shape of a Hen, . Thao fre had been very often at the Devil's Meeting near Corrieres (the Village, above
me wend) in a Place called Les Combes, and that the went 'thither riding upon a white Sticks. That the danced in that Place, and beat the Water to raise a Storm of Hail.
6. That the and Fames Bocquet had, occasioned the Death of Lewis Monneret, by giving him a small Piece of Bread with some of the Devil's Powder
. upon it. 7. That the had killed many Cows by (triking
them with her Hand, or with a Wand, and muttering certain Words over them. Fames Bacques accused her of changing herself into a Wolf; buo The always denied it. This Woman
Toman would have been burnt alive, hade the not died in her. Confinement. Henry Boguet tells ús, he does not doubt in the least but that she was Etrangled by the Devil. I leave it to the Readers to make .
their Reflexions upon this Narrative.
We have seen that Frances Secretain confess'd that the Devil knew, her: Our Author names several other Witches, who made the fame Confeffion. He believes it is the constant Practice of the Devil; because that wicked Spirit (Tays, he) knows that Women are very fond of that Sport. He assures us, that Sorcerers turn themselves into Women, to satisfy the Luft of the Devil and his Ministers. He adds, That he is none of those, who look upon such a Copulas
. tion as an imaginary thing; for all the Wizards and Witches tried before him, acknowledged that they, had lain with Devils. Nay, he names two or three Witches, who gave him the true Dimensions of the secrer Parts of the Devil. Most Witches (fays, he) de clare that this Çopulation is unpleasant and painful to them: Which does not well agree with what he said before, thap the Devil endeavours to gain their Affection by his amorous Embraces. The Devil's Ugliness (continues the Author), proceeds from the ses; veral Shapes he puts on; viz. of a black Man, a Dog; a Cat, a Goat, and a Ram This is sufficient to con vince Judge Boguet, that what we read in the Ancients concerning the Fauni, the Satyrs, &c. is far from being a mere Fiction. He fancies that Frances Secrea tain was mistaken, when she said the Devil knew her in the Shape of a Hen. He thinks she meant
in the Shape of a Goose, because that wicked Spiä rit does frequently transform himself into a Goose, which has occafioned this French Proverb, Le Diable
des pieds d'Oye. He does not think it improbable that some living Creatures may proceed from such a Copulation, For, (says he) not to mention
the famous Paffage in Genesis, Merlin was born of
a Devil and a Woman. The Huns and the Inha: “ birants of Cyprus had the same Original; and « 'tis said that Luther was born by the Copulation e of the Devil with his Mother Margaret. ".
I hope the Readers will nor blåme me for giving several Instances of the prodigious Ignorance and Credulity of this Judge. It cannot be denied, that if Judges had been more knowing and less credulous in former Tithes, we should not have heard of fo thany Trials about Witchcraft.
The Author proceeds to give an Account of some other Witches. Rolande du Vernois being upon
her Trial, declared, That she went to the Devil's Meet,
Trial, decie Targe black Sheep, which carried her through thr Air with a wonderful Swiftness. Thie. henne Paget' said, That the Devil appeared to her the first time at Noon, in the Shape of a tall black Man ; that she gave herself up to him; that he carried her into a House near the Meadow of Long. chamois, where he knew her, and then brought her back again to the same place where he took her. We are cold that the Devil' kept his Meeting in chat Meadow. Our Author names five Children, the old eft whereof was not above ten Years of Age, who declared they had been carried to one of the Devil's Meetings. Two Women told him, That as they were going along the Meadow of Longchamois, they per: ceived there was a Devil's Meeting there, and went to it. Some Witches go to that Meeting riding on a Goat, others on Horseback, and fometimes on a Broom; and most times they go out of their Houses through the Chimney.