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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns & Fairies

HESE Siths, or FAIRIES, they call Sleagh Maith, or the Good People, it would seem, to prevent the Dint of their ill Attempts, (for the Irish use to bless all they fear Harme of;) and are said to be of a middle Nature betwixt Man and Angel, as were Dæmons thought to be of old; of intelligent fluidious (?) Spirits, and light changeable Bodies, (like those called Astral,) somewhat of the Nature of a condensed Cloud, and best seen in Twilight. Thes Bodies be so playable thorough the Subtilty of the Spirits that agitate them, that they can make them appear or disappear at Pleasure. Some have Bodies or Vehicles so spongious, thin, and delicate (?), that they are fed by only sucking into some fine spirituous Liquors, that appears like pure
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pure Air and Oil: others said more grows on the Foyson or substance of Corns and Liquors, or Corn it self that grows on the Surface of the Earth, which these Fairies steal away, partly invisible, partly preying on the Grain, as do Crows and Mice; wherefore in this same Age, they are some times heard to bake Bread, strike Hammers, and do such like Services within the little Hillocks they most haunt: some whereof of old, before the Gospel dispelled Paganism, and in some barbarous Places as yet, enter Houses after all are at rest, and set the Kitchens in order, cleansing all the Vessels. Such Drags go under the name of Brownies. When we have plenty, they have Scarcity at their Homes; and on the contrary (for they are empowered to catch as much Prey everywhere as they please,) there Robberies notwithstanding oft times occasion great Riches of Corn will not bleed so well, (as they call it,) or prove so copious by very far as
we expected by the Owner.

THERE Bodies of congealed Air are some times carried aloft, other whiles grovel in different Schapes, and enter into any Cranie or Clift

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of the Earth where Air enters, to their ordinary Dwellings; the Earth being full of Cavities and Cells, and there being no Place nor Creature but is supposed to have other Animals (greater or lesser) living in or upon it as Inhabitants; and no such thing as a pure Wilderness in the whole Universe.

2. WE then (the more terrestrial kind have now so numerously planted all Countreys,) do labour for that abstruse People, as well as for ourselves. Albeit, when several Countries were unhabited by us, these had their easy Tillage above Ground, as we now. The Print of those Furrous do yet remain to be seen on the Shoulders of very high Hills, which was done when the champian Ground was Wood and Forrest.

THEY remove to other Lodgings at the Beginning of each Quarter of the Year, so traversing till Doomsday, being impotent and [imputent of?] staying in one Place, and finding some Ease by so purning [Journeying] and changing Habitations. Their chameleon-like Bodies swim in the Air near the Earth with Bag and Baggage; and at such revolution of Time, SEERS, or Men of -
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of the SECOND SIGHT, (Females being seldom so qualified) have very terrifying Encounters with them, even on High Ways; who therefore usually shun to travel abroad at these four Seasons of the Year, and thereby have made it a Custome to this Day among the Scottish-Irish to keep Church duly every first Sunday of the Quarter to sene or hallow themselves, their Corns and Cattel, from the Shots and Stealth of these wandering Tribes; and many of these superstitious People will not be seen in Church again till the next Quarter begin, as if no Duty were to be learned or done by them, but all the Use of Worship and Sermons were to save them from these Arrows that fly in the Dark. 1



THEY are distributed in Tribes and Orders, and have Children, Nurses, Marriages, Deaths, and Burialls, in appearance, even as we, (unless they so do for a Mock-show, or to prognosticate some such Things among us.)

3. THEY are clearly seen by these Men of the SECOND SIGHT to eat at Funeralls [and] Banquets; hence many of the Scottish-Irish will not taste
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 Meat at these Meittings, left they have Communion with, or be poysoned by, them. So are they seen to carry the Beer or Coffin with the Corps among the middle-earth Men to the Grave. Some Men of that exalted Sight (whither by Art or Nature) have told me they have seen at these Meettings a Double-man, or the Shape of some Man in two places; that is, a superterranean and a subterranean Inhabitant, perfectly resembling one another in all Points, whom he notwithstanding could easily distinguish one from another, by some secret Tockens and Operations, and so go speak to the Man his Neighbour and Familiar, passing by the Apparition or Resemblance of him. They avouch that every Element and different State of Being have Animals resembling these of another Element; as there be Fishes sometimes at Sea resembling Monks of late Order in all their Hoods and Dresses; so as the Roman invention of good and bad Dæmons, and guardian Angells particularly assigned, is called by them an ignorant Mistake, sprung only from this Originall. They call this Reflex-man a Co-walker, every way like the
Man,
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[paragraph continues] Man, as a Twin-brother and Companion, haunting him as his shadow, as is oft seen and known among Men (resembling the Originall,) both before and after the Original is dead, and was also often seen of old to enter a Hous, by which the People knew that the Person of that Liknes was to Visit them within a few days. This Copy, Echo, or living Picture, goes at last to his own Herd. It accompanied that Person so long and frequently for Ends best known to it self, whither to guard him from the secret Assaults of some of its own Folks, or only as a sportful Ape to counterfeit all his Actions. However, the Stories of old WITCHES prove beyond contradiction, that all Sorts of People, Spirits which assume light aery Bodies, or crazed Bodies coacted by foreign Spirits, seem to have some Pleaƒure, (at least to asswage from Pain or Melancholy,) by frisking and capering like Satyrs, or whistling and screeching (like unlike Birds) in their unhallowed Synagogues and Sabboths. If invited and earnestly required, these Companions make themselves known and familiar to Men; other wise, being
in
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in a different State and Element, they neither can nor will easily converse with them. They avouch that a Heluo, or Great-eater, hath a voracious Elve to be his attender, called a Joint-eater or Just-halves, feeding on the Pith or Quintessence of what the Man eats; and that therefore he continues Lean like a Hawke or Heron, notwithstanding his devouring Appetite: yet it would seem that they convey that substance elsewhere, for these Subterraneans eat but little in their Dwellings; there Food being exactly clean, and served up by Pleasant Children, like enchanted Puppets. What Food they extract from us is conveyed to their Homes by secret Paths, assume skilful Women do the Pith and Milk from their Neighbours Cows into their own Chiefe-hold throw a Hair-tedder, at a great Distance, by Airt Magic, or by drawing a spigot fastened to a Post which will bring milk as far of as a Bull will be heard to roar. 1 The Chief made of the remaining Milk of a Cow thus strained will swim in Water like a Cork. The Method they take to recover their Milk is a bitter
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bitter chiding of the suspected Inchanters, charging them by a counter Charme to give them back their own, in God, or their Master's Name. But a little of the Mother's Dung stroak it on the Calves Mouth before it sucks any, does prevent this theft.

4. THEIR Houses are called large and fair, and (unless at some odd occasions) imperceptible by vulgar eyes, like Rachland, and other enchanted Islands, having fir Lights, continual Lamps, and Fires, often seen without Fuel to sustain them. Women are yet alive who tell they were taken away when in Child-bed to nurse Fairie Children, a lingering voracious Image of their (them?) being left in their place, (like their Reflexion in a Mirrour,) which (as if it were some insatiable Spirit in an assumed Bodie) made first semblance to devour the Meats that it cunningly carried by, and then left the Carcase as if it expired and departed thence by a natural and common Death. The Child, and Fire, with Food and other Necessaries, are set before the Nurse how soon the enters; but she neither perceives any Passage out
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out, nor sees what those People doe in other Rooms of the Lodging. When the Child is warned, the Nurse dies, or is conveyed back, or gets it to her choice to stay there. But if any Superterraneans be so subtle, as to practice Slights for procuring a Privacy to any of their Mysteries, (such as making use of their Oyntments, which as Gyge's Ring makes them invisible, or nimble, or casts them in a Trance, or alters their Shape, or makes Things appear at a vast Distance, &c.) they smite them without Paine, as with a Puff of Wind, and bereave them of both the natural and acquired Sights in the twinkling of an Eye, (both these Sights, where once they come, being in the same Organ and inseparable,) or they strike them Dumb. The Tramontane to this Day put Bread, the Bible, or a piece of Iron, in Women's Beds when travelling, to save them from being thus stollen; and they commonly report, that all uncouth, unknown Wights are terrified by nothing earthly so much as by cold Iron. They deliver the Reaƒon to be that Hell lying betwixt the chill Tempests, and the Fire Brands of scalding Metals
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[paragraph continues] Metals, and Iron of the North, (hence the Loadstone causes a tendency to that Point,) by an Antipathy there to, these odious far-scenting Creatures shrug and fright at all that comes thence relating to so abhorred a Place, whence their Torment is either begun, or feared to come hereafter

5. THEIR Apparell and Speech is like that of the People and Country under which they live: so are they seen to wear Plaids and variegated Garments in the Highlands of Scotland, and Suanochs therefore in Ireland. They speak but little, and that by way of whistling, clear, not rough. The very Divels conjured in any Countrey, do answer in the Language of the Place; yet sometimes the Subterraneans speak more distinctly than at other times. Ther Women are said to Spine very fine, to Dy, to Tossue, and Embroyder: but whither it is as manual Operation of substantiall refined Stuffs, with apt and solid Inftruments, or only curious Cob-webs, impalpable Rainbows, and a fantastic Imitation of the Actions of more terrestrical Mortalls, since it transcended all the
p. 15
the Senses of the Seer to discern whither, I leave to conjecture as I found it.



6. THERE Men travelled much abroad, either presaging or aping the dismall and tragically Actions of some amongst us; and have also many disastorous Doings of their own, as Convocations, Fighting, Gashes, Wounds, and Burialls, both in the Earth and Air. They live much longer than wee; yet die at last, or [at] least vanish from that State. 'Tis an of their Tenets, that nothing perisheth, but (as the Sun and Year) every Thing goes in a Circle, lesser or greater, and is renewed and refreshed in its Revolutions; as 'tis another, that every Bodie in the Creation moves, (which is a sort of Life;) and that nothing moves, but [h]as another Animal moving on it; and so on, to the utmost minutest Corpuscle that's capable to be a Receptacle of Life.

7. THEY are said to have aristocratical Rulers and Laws, but no discernible Religion, Love, or Devotion towards God, the blessed Maker of all: they disappear whenever they hear his Name invoked, or the Name of JESUS, (at which
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which all do bow willingly, or by constraint, that dwell above or beneath within the Earth, Philip. 2. 10;) nor can they act ought at that Time after hearing of that sacred Name. The TABHAISVER, or Seer, that corresponds with this kind of Familiars, can bring them with a Spel to appear to himƒelfe or others when he pleases, as readily as Endor Witch to those of her Kind. He tells, they are ever readiest to go on hurtful Errands, but seldom will be the Messengers of great Good to Men. He is not terrified with their Sight when he calls them, but seeing them in a surprise (as often he does) frights him extremely. And glad would he be quite of such, for the hideous Spectacles seen among them; as the torturing of some Wight, earnest ghostly taring Looks, Skirmishes, and the like. They do not all the Harme which appealingly they have Power to do; nor are they perceived to be in great Pain, save that they are usually silent and sullen. They are said to have many pleasant toyish Books; but the operation of these Peices only appears in some Paroxisms of antic corybantic Jolity, as if
raviƒht
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ravished and prompted by a new Spirit entering into them at that Instant, lighter and merrier than their own. Other Books they have of involved abstruse Sense, much like the Rosurcian [Rosycrucian] Style. They have nothing of the Bible, save collected Parcells for Charms and counter Charms; not to defend themselves with all, but to operate on other Animals, for they are a People invulnerable by our Weapons; and albeit Were-wolves and Witches true Bodies are (by the union of the Spirit of Nature that runs though all, echoing and doubling the Blow towards another) wounded at Home, when the atrial assumed Bodies are stricken elsewhere; as the Strings of a Second Harp, tune to a unison, Sounds, though only an be struck; yet these People have not a second, or so grows a Bodie at all, to be so pierced; but as Air, which when divided units again ; or if they feel Pain by a Blow, they are better Physicians than wee, and quickly cure it. They are not subject to sore Sicknesses, but dwindle and decay at a certain Period, all about an Age. Some say their continual Sadness is because of
their
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their pendulous State, (like those Men, Luc. 13. 2. 6.) as uncertain what at the last Revolution will become of them, when they are locked up into an unchangeable Condition; and if they have any frolic Fitts of Mirth, 'tis as the constrained grinning of a Mort-head, or rather as acted on a Stage, and moved by another, there [than?] cordially coming of themselves. But other Men of the Second Sight, being illiterate, and unwary in their Obƒervations, learn from those; one averring those subterranean People to be departed Souls, attending awhile in this inferior State, and clothed with Bodies procured through their Almsdeeds in this Lyfe; fluid, active, ætheriall Vehicles to hold them, that they may not scatter, or wander, and be lost in the Totum, or their first Nothing; but if any were so impious as to have given no Alms, they say when the Souls of such do despair, they sleep in an inactive State till they resume the terrestrial Bodies again: others, that what the Low-country Scotts calls a Wreath, and the Irish TAIBHSHE 1 or Death's Messenger, (ap-pearing

p. 19



appearing sometimes as a little rough Dog, and if crossed and conjured in Time, will be pacified by the Death of any other Creature instead of the sick Man,) is only exuvious Fumes of the Man approaching Death, exhaled and congealed into a various Likness, 1 (as Ships and Armies are sometimes shaped in the Air,) and called astral Bodies, agitated as Wild-fire with Wind, and are neither Souls or counterfeiting Spirits; yet not a few avouch (as is said,) that surely these are a numerous People by them selves, having their own Polities. Which Diversities of Judgments may occasion several Inconsonancies in this Rehears all, after the narrowest Scrutiny made about it.

8. THEIR Weapons are most what solid earthly Bodies, nothing of Iron, but much of Stone, like to yellow soft Flint Spa, shaped like a barbed Arrow-head, but flung like a Dairt, with great Force. There Armes (cut by Airt and Tools it seems beyond humane) have something of the Nature of Thunderbolt subtlety, and mortally wounding the vital Parts without breaking the Skin; of which Wounds I have observed in
Beaƒts
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[paragraph continues] Beasts, and felt them with my Hands. They are not as infallible Benjamites, hitting at a Hair's-breadth; nor are they wholly unvanquishable, at least in Appearance.
THE MEN of that SECOND SIGHT do not discover strange Things when asked, but at Fits and Raptures, as if inbred with some Genius at that Instant, which before did lurk in or about them. Thus I have frequently spoke to one of them, who in his Transport told he cut the Bodie of one of those People in two with his Iron Weapon, and so escaped this Onset, yet he saw nothing left behind of that appearing divided; at other Times he out wrested [wrestled?] some of them. His Neighbors often perceived this Man to disappear at a certain Place, and about one Hour after to become visible, and discover him self near a Bow-shot from the first Place. It was in that Place where he became invisible, said he, that the Subterraneans did encounter and combat with him. Those who are unweaned or unsanctified (called Fey) are said to be pierced or wounded with those People's Weapons, which makes them do
somewhat
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somewhat very unlike their former Practice, causing a sudden Alteration, yet the Cause thereof unperceivable at present; nor have they Power (either they cannot make use of their natural Powers, or ask not the heavenly Aid,) to escape the impending BlowA Man of the Second Sight perceived a Person standing by him (found to others view) wholly gored in Blood, and he (amazed-like) bid him instantly flee. The whole Man laughed at his Airt and Warning, since there was no appearance of Danger. He had scarce contracted his Lips from Laughter, when unexpectedly his Enemy leapt in at his Side, and stab'd him with their Weapons. They also pierce Cows or other Animals, usewally said to be Elf-shot, whose purest Subƒtance (if they die) these Subterraneans take to live on, viz. the aerial and ætherial Parts, the most spirituous Matter for prolonging of Life, such as Aquavitæ (moderately taken) is among Liquors, leaving the terrestrial behind. The Cure of such Hurts is, only for a Man to find out the Hole with his Finger; as if the Spirits flowing from a Man's warme
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warm Hand were Antidote sufficient against their poyƒon'd Dairts.

To Be Continued





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