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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Secret Commonwealth


The Secret Commonwealth 

of Elves, Fauns and Fairies part 2

9. As Birds and Beasts, whose Bodies are much used to the Change of the free and open Air, forsee Storms; so those invisible People are more sagacious to understand by the Books of Nature Things to come, than wee, who are pestered with the grosser Dregs of all elementary Mixtures, and have our purer Spirits choked by them. The Deer scents out a Man and Powder (thou a late Invention) at a great Distance; a hungry Hunter, Bread; and the Raven, a Carrion: Their Brains, being long clarified by the high and subtle Air, will observe a very small Change in a Trice. Thus a Man of the Second Sight, perceiving the Operations of these forecasting invisible People among us, (indulged through a stupendous Providence to give Warnings of some remarkable Events, either in the Air, Earth, or Waters,) told he saw a Winding-shroud creeping on a walking healthful Person's Legs till it come to the Knee; and afterwards it came up to the Middle, then to the Shoulders, and at last over the Head, which was visible to 
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no other Person. And by observing the Spaces of Time betwixt the several Stages, he easily guessed how long the Man was to live who wore the Shroud; for when it approached his Head, he told that such a Person was ripe for the Grave.

10. THERE be many Places called Fairie-hills, which the Mountain People think impious and dangerous to peel or discover, by taking Earth or Wood from them; superstitiously believing the Souls of their Predicessors to dwell there. 1 And for that End (say they) a Mote or Mount was dedicate beside every Church-yard, to receive the Souls till their adjacent Bodies arise, and so become as a Fairie-hill; they using Bodies of Air when called Abroad. They also affirm those Creatures that move invisibly in a House, and cast hug great Stones, but do no much Hurt, because counter-wrought by some more courteous and charitable Spirits that are everywhere ready to defend Men, (Dan. 10. 13.) to be Souls that have not attained their Rest, thorough a vehement Desire of revealing a Murder or notable Injurie done or received, or

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or a Treasure that was forgot in their Lifetime on Earth, which when disclosed to a Conjurer alone, the Ghost quite removes.

IN the next Country to that of my former Residence, about the Year 1676, when there was some
Scarcity of Graine, a marvelous Illapse and Vision strongly struck the Imagination of two Women in one Night, living at a good Distance from one another, about a Treasure hid in a Hill, called SITHBRUAICH, or Fayrie-hill. The Appearance of a Treasure was first represented to the Fancy, and then an audible Voice named the Place where it was to their awaking Senses. Whereupon both arose, and meeting accidentally at the Place, discovered their Design; and jointly digging, found a Vessel as large as a Scottish Peck, full of small Pieces of good Money, of ancient Coin; which halving between them, they sold in Dish-fulls for Dish-fulls of Meal to the Country People. Very many of undoubted Credit saw, and had of the Coin to this Day. But whether it was a good or bad Angel, one of the subterranean People, or the restless Soul of him who hid it, that
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discovered it, and to what End it was done, I leave to the Examination of others.

11. THESE Subterraneans have Controversies, Doubts, Disputes, Feuds, and Siding of Parties; there being some Ignorance in all Creatures, and the vastest created Intelligences not compassing all Things. As to Vice and Sin, whatever their own Laws be, sure, according to ours, and Equity, natural, civil, and revealed, they transgress and commit Acts of Injustice, and Sin, by what is above said, as to their stealing of Nurses to their Children, and that other sort of Plaginism in catching our Children away, (may seem to heir some Estate in those invisible Dominions,) which never return. For the Inconvenience of their Succubi, who tryst with Men, it is abominable; but for Swearing and Intemperance, they are not observed so subject to those Irregularities, as to Envy, Spite, Hypocracies, Lying, and Dissimulation.

12. As our Religion obliges us not to make a peremptory and curious Search into these Obstrusenesses, so that the Histories of all Ages give as many plain Examples of extraordinary Occurrances
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[paragraph continues] Occurrances as make a modest Inquiry not contemptible. How much is written of Pigmies, Fairies, Nymphs, Sirens, Apparitions, which thou not the tenth Part true, yet could not spring of nothing! Even English Authors relate (of) Barry Island, in Glamorganshire, that laying your Ear into a Clift of the Rocks, blowing of Bellows, striking of Hammers, clashing of Armour, feeling of Iron, will be heard distinctly ever since Merlin enchanted those subterranean Wights to a solid manual forging of Arm's to Aurelius Ambrosius and his Brittans, till he returned; which Merlin being killed in a Battle, and not coming to loose the Knot, these active Vulcans are there tied to a perpetual Labour. But to dip no deeper into this Well, I will next give some Account how the Seer my Informer comes to have this secret Way of Correspondence beyond other Mortals.

THERE be odd Solemnities at investing a Man with the Privileges of the whole Mystery of this Second Sight. He must run a Tedder of Hair (which bound a Corps to the Bier) in a Helix [?] about his Middle, from End to End; then
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then bow his Head downwards, as did Elijah, 1 Kings, 18. 42. and look back thorough his Legs until he sees a Funeral advance till the People cross two Marches; or look thus back thorough a Hole where
was a Knot of Fir. But if the Wind change Points while the Hair Tedder is tied about him, he is in Peril of his Life. The usual Method for a curious Person to get a transient Sight of this otherwise invisible Crew of Subterraneans, (if impotently and over rashly sought,) is to put his [left Foot under the Wizard's right] Foot, and the Seer's Hand is put on the Inquirer's Head, who is to look over the Wizard's right Shoulder, (which he's an ill Appearance, as if by this Ceremony an implicit Surrender were made of all betwixt the Wizard's Foot and his Hand, ere the Person can be admitted a bravado to the Art;) then will he see a Multitude of Wight's, like furious hardy Men, flocking to him hastily from all Quarters, as thick as Atoms in the Air; which are no Nonentities or Phantasms, Creatures proceeding from an affrighted Apprehension, confused or crazed Sense, but Realities, appearing
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to a stable Man in his awaking Sense, and enduring a rational Trial of their Being. These throw Fear struck him breathless and speechless. The Wizard, defending the Lawfullness of his Skill, forbids such Horror, and comforts his Novice by telling of Zacharias, as being struck speechless at seeing Apparitions, Luke, 1. 20. Then he further maintains his Art, by vouching Elisha to have had the same, and disclosed it thus unto his Servant in 2 Kings, 6. 17. when he blinded the Syrians; and Peter in Acts, 5. 9. foreseeing the Death of Saphira, by perceiving as it were her Winding-sheet about her before hand; and Paul, in 2nd Corinthians 12. 4. who got such a Vision and Sight as should not, nor could be told. Elisha also in his Chamber saw Gehazi his Servant, at a great Distance, taking a reward from Naaman, 2d Kings, 5. 26. Hence were the Prophets frequently called SEERS, or Men of a second or more exalted Sight than others. He acts for his Purpose also Matthew 4. 8. where the Devil undertakes to give even Jesus a Sight of all Nations, and the finest Things in the World, at one Glance, thou in

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their natural Situations and Stations at a vast Distance from other. And 'tis said expressly he did let see them; not in a Map it seems, nor by a fantastic magical juggling of the Sight, which he could not impose upon so discovering a Person. It would appear then to have been a Sight of real solid Substances, and Things of worth, which he intended as a Bait for his Purpose. Whence it might seem, (comparing this Relation of Matthew 4. 8. with the former,) that the extraordinary or Second Sight can be given by the Ministery of bad as well as good Spirits to those that will embrace it. And the Instance of Balaam and the Pytheniss make it nothing the less probable. Thus also the Seer trains his Scholler, by telling of the Gradations of Nature, ordered by a wise Providence; that as the Sight of Bats and Owls transcend that of Shrews and Moles, so the visive Faculties of Men are clearer than those of Owls; as Eagles, Lynx, and Cats are brighter than Mens. And again, that Men of the Second Sight (being designed to give warnings against secret Engyns) surpass the ordinary Vision of other Men
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[paragraph continues] Men, which is a native Habit in some, descended from their Ancestors, and acquired as any artificial Improvement of their natural Sight in others; resembling in their own Kind the usual artificial Helps of optic Glasses, (as Prospectives, Telescopes, and Microscopes,) without which external Aids those Men here treated of do perceive Things that, for their Smallness, or Subtility, and Secrecy, are invisible to others, thou daily conversant with them; they having such a Beam continually about them as that of the Sun, which when it shines clear only, lets common Eyes see the Atoms, in the Air, that without those Rays they could not discern; for some have this Second Sight transmitted from Father to Son throw the whole Family, without their own Consent or others teaching, proceeding only from a Bounty of Providence it seems, or by Compact, or by a complexional Quality of the first Acquirer. As it may seem alike strange (yet nothing vicious) in such as Master Great-rake, 1 the Irish Stroaker, Seventh-sons, and others that cure the King's Evil, and
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and chase away Diseases and Pains, with only stroking of the affected Part; which (if it be not the decree by the same Degrees afterwards,) proceeds only from the curative also me of their healthful Constitutions; Virtue going out from them by spirituous Effluxes unto the Patient, and their vigorous healthy Spirits affecting the sick as usually the unhealthy Fumes of the sick infect the sound and whole.
Relics of miraculous Operations, or some secret Virtue in the Womb, of the Parent, which increases until Seventh-sons be born, and

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/sce/

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