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The great temple of Montezuma at Mexico was little else but a horrible butchery of human carcases, the blood of which lay sprinkled or dashed against the walls, till it lay there hardened and congealed, if report may be believed, above a foot thick, and that they sacrificed at least twenty thousand people a-year in that one pagoda or temple.

The Indians confessed that they had frequent apparitions among them of the spirits, which they called by several names ; and that the great spirit, that is, the Devil, also appeared to them upon their great festivals, in bright and extraordinary apparition, to approve and accept of their worship and homage, and, no doubt, of their sacrifices too. In Cochin China, we are told, the Devil goes

further; for he not only shows himself in apparition, but he utters lying oracles, even himself, in his proper person, and also whispers such answers to the priests, as serve to keep up a decorum in their worship, and a secret reverence to his person. And Father Borri says the Devil walks about there so frequently, and so familiarly in human shapes, that they are not at all disturbed at him.

At other times, as the same author affirms, they associate themselves with particular persons, upon various occasions, and especially with the women, as above; so that, in short, in some cities which are very populous, it would be something hard to distinguish between the real people and the apparitions. How far, if it were examined into, it would not be the like among us, I won't pretend to say.

Who knows, in our throngs of divided Christians, whether he meets with a saint or an apparition, whether he talks with a counsellor or a devil ? and the art of discerning would indeed be well worth having; indeed, it would be worth buying, if money would purchase it. The Devil's disguises are very

many, and apparition is one of the best of them, because he can soon change shapes, and change postures, which, in other cases, he

may

find less advantageous to his interest. Nor is it easy for mankind to come to the certainty, even when he sees an apparition, whether it be a good or an evil appearance; and the best way of finding it out, except that of judging by the errand he comes on, and which I have mentioned already, is to ask it the question directly; if it equivocates and shuffles, conclude it is the Devil, for he is a sharper, and a dissembler from the beginning; if it is a good spirit, it will answer you directly and honestly, and tell you its business at once; and this is what I mean where I say, Speak to it.

If you find it is a good spirit, hearken to it; if the Devil, defy it; and, whether it be a good or evil spirit, fear it not; for both are under the special direction and authority of him that made the world, and will govern it, in whose hands you are; and it is well it is so : for as good is above evil, so God is above the Devil. Tell him so, and bid him defiance, and, if you can but do it with a good heart, he is gone; depend upon it he'll never stand you ; probatum est. But I must leave off the religious cheats, for they are endless : it is time to talk of apparitions of another nature, less serious, and less tiresome to hear of.

CHAP. XV.

you may form

Of imaginary apparitions, the apparitions of fancy,

vapours, waking dreams, delirious heads, and the

hippo. As the Devil is not so black as he is painted, so neither does he appear in so many shapes as we make for him ; we dress him up in more suits of clothes, and more masquerade habits, than ever he wore; and I question much, if he was to see the pictures and figures which we call Devil, whether he would know himself by some of them, or no.

It would require more skill than, I doubt, I am master of, to bring you all to a right method of thinking upon this subject; however, I shall venture upon it, by way of

essay,

that such images of the old gentleman in your mind, that you may not be cheated about him, may know him when you see him, may not call him out of his name, or bestow his right worshipful titles upon another.

It is observable, that, though most people, in all parts of the world, allow there is such a thing as a devil, an evil spirit, an arch-enemy of mankind, and they are pretty near one another in their several notions of him, for even those savages that worship him acknowledge they do so only that he may not hurt them, yet they differ exceedingly in their ideas of his person, and that almost everywhere; and accordingly it follows that they must differ in their representations and pictures of him.

Some paint him one way, some another; and yet I observe, so little goodwill they have for him anywhere, that they all picture him as ugly, as monstrous, and as deformed, as they can.

I have heard of some pagans who worship a black cloud for the Devil, because it often speaks in noises, and breathes out fire. I cannot say but worshipping the sun for a god, and the thunder and lightning for a devil, seems to me to have more sense in it than many of the other branches of idolatry in the world; the one being the most natural resemblance of the greatest good, and the other of the greatest evil in the world.

Some, I am told, resemble or represent the Devil by a vast great globe of wood, carved or cut all over into mouths, described in a thousand different distortions, gaping, grinning, and voracious figures, all intimating a greedy, unquenchable thirst or appetite to devour and destroy ; rolling itself continually about, so that some of its thousand of mouths, being undermost, are always gaping and biting, and taking in something, but ever unsatisfied, the rest of them gaping still for more.

If this hideous representation is not just to his form, I think, verily, it is just to his nature, and is very emblematic : the thoughts it gives birth to in our fancy may not be so remote as are formed by those simple, comic, and yet would-be-frightful draughts we draw of him, with a cock's bill, ass's ears, goat's horns, glaring eyes, bat's wings, cloven foot, and dragon's tail; not one of which, except the last, having either antiquity or authority for them, that I know of.

It is true, he is described in the Apocalypse as a great red dragon, and in another place as a beast, but neither of them give us any true idea of his real form.

Now if we do not know his figure, how shall we know him in apparition ? for if we know nothing of his real shape, how shall we judge of him in his disguise ? how shall we single him out upon occasion ? Suppose we were to look for him at a masquerade, for my part, I cannot deny but I might mistake him, and pitch upon a priest, or a Turk, a tinker, or a tarpaulin, and say this is the Devil, or that is the Devil, as soon as the real hydra-pater himself, and let him pass, perhaps, for a nobody worth taking notice of.

As, then, I say, we have such unguided notions of him, and know him so little in any of his uncouth figures and disguises, it is not so much wonder that we mistake every ugly, misshapen, monstrous thing, and call it by his venerable name.

How often has poor, unhappy, shapeless ZM- been started at, even in the open day, nay, in the very sunshine! Bless me! says a fine lady in the Mall one day, as she passed him, sure, that's the Devil : why, sister, says she to the lady that was next her, did not you see it? I'll be gone, I'm frighted out of my wits; why, if I should meet it again I shall sink into the ground. I'm sorry I did not see him, says the sister, for I want mightily to see the Devil ; but I was, happily, better employed, for just that moment sir G- D-, that glory of heroes, the brightest of men, wend by me; my soul flew along with him, dear sister, 'tis hardly come back yet.

O! you're happy, sister ; you saw a heavenly, I an infernal ; you an archangel, I the Devil : let me go, sister, for I'm undone if I see him again ; if I were with child I should bring forth a monster.

He had not gone twenty yards further but a knot of ladies met him; it seems they were Roman Catholics, and they all crossed themselves, and looked up to heaven, said every one of them an Ave and a Pater, and went on as fast as they could.

A lady big with child had the misfortune to be next, who was so frighted, she fell into fits, went

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