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back. So in the Walpurgis night scene of Goethe's “Faust," as they gather to the Brocken :

Witch and goat together flying

Over stock and stone are hieing ; and the young witch, who is taunted with want of polish in not wearing powdered hair, replies :

Your powder, like the petticoat,

Is but for women old and grey,
So naked sit I on my goat

And youthful plumpness thus display.

In "

The devil is said to have surprised St. Dunstan at Glastonbury on one occasion in the form of a shaggy bear that laid its paws upon his shoulders as he knelt at prayer, and at other times to have assumed the aspect of a dog, a fox, or a beautiful damsel — the last being one of his favourite disguises, whether in ancient or modern times !

an account of a strange and horrid spectrum, seen by Mr. Edmund Ansty, of South Petherton, in the county of Somerset," ? it is related that "coming to a place not far from Yeovil, noted by the name of Cut-hedge, his horse rushed very violently with him against one side of the bank, snorting and trembling very much. . .

At length Mr. Ansty heard the hedges crack with a dismal noise, and perceived coming towards him in the road a large circle of a duskish light, about the bigness of a very large wheel, and in it he perfectly saw the proportion of a huge bear, as it had been by daylight,” the traveller having been "overtaken by a dark night, about a dozen miles from home.” The apparition “passed near by him, and as it came just over against the place where he was, the horrid monster looked very ghastly at him, showing a pair of very large flaming eyes.” In an equally queer story told by Pierre le Loyer in a dis. course on spectres, the devil actually takes the shape of “a very large wheel," as well as of many other strange objects. A certain lay-brother, it would seem, belonging to a religious house in Paris, was wending his way one summer morning to a grange in the country, when he suddenly saw a tree where no tree was before, and, what was stranger still, the tree was covered with snow and icicles. In his astonishment he made the sign of the cross, whereupon the from eye-witnesses, of intercourse of this kind between the accused and their “ familiars.” (See Reginald Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft.)

See Dr. Stubb's Memorials of St. Dunstan, in the Rolls series. 2' Richard Bovet's Pandemonium, or the Devil's Cloyster, 1684.

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tree instantly vanished, and only a strong smell of brimstone was left in its place. Still the devil mocked the lay-brother with a multitude of tricks, changing himself now into a cask, and now into a cartwheel, knocking the poor fellow down, and rolling over his fat paunch, but doing him no serious harm. At last he managed to

, make his escape, but it was a long time before he recovered his breath, or ceased to dread the fresh pursuit of his diabolical tormentor. Such a story as this reminds one more of the sportive disposition of a Puck or Robin Goodfellow, than of the gloomy Satan of Milton or the ferocious Apollyon of Bunyan.

Allusion has already been incidentally made to an Esthonian legend of the devil's death. We have popular rhymes of our own

" on the subject, with variations in different parts of the country, which profess to fix the place of his interment. The earliest of these seems to be one which is still sung by children in Fife ? :

Some say the de'il's dead

An' buried in Kirkcaldy;
Some say he'll rise again,

An' fear [i.e., frighten) the Hielan' laddie. Victor Hugo, in “Quatre-vingt-treize" (ii. 1), introduces the Norman tradition on the subject : “You know perhaps that St. Michael is the guardian angel of these parts. He has a mount in the bay called after him, which is surrounded by the sea. He is said to have cast the devil down from it, and to have buried him under another mount, hard by, which they call Tombelaine." 3

The devil and his satellites sometimes assume the functions of the griffins of former days as guardians of hidden treasures. According to a German tradition attached to a hill (the Stromsberge) near Mensdorf, the foul fiend keeps watch over a large treasure which is buried there, and baffles in various ways the avaricious curiosity of those who from time to time have dug for it. On the last attempt that was made, when a black goat was brought as a propitiatory offering, a frightful roar resounded, like nothing ever

I “The devil is dead,” is a proverbial phrase, meaning that a difficulty or danger has been surmounted.

? See a communication by Mr. Thos. Bayne in Notes and Queries, 8th s., vol. i., p. 283.

* There is another local legend connected with the Norman Mont St. Michel, which tells “how Michael and the devil disputed which could build the fin church. The devil builds one of stone, Michael constructs a handsomer one of ice ; when that melts they both agree to till the soil, the devil choosing the upper herbs, and Michael keeping what hides in the ground.” (Grimm's Teutonic Mythology, translated by Stallybrass, p. 1,029.)


heard on earth before ; and the devil gave notice to all whom it might concern that until they could tell him what beast made that noise, all their labour would be wasted. In a Hessian folk-tale also the devil guards a hidden treasure, which he will suffer no one to touch, unless a black he-goat exactly a year and a day old be first offered

A legend belonging to the same class is told in the Introduction to the Sixth Canto of “Marmion." It concerns the old castle of Franchimont, near Spa : “It is firmly believed by the neighbouring peasantry that the last Baron of Franchémont deposited in one of the vaults of the castle a ponderous chest, containing an immense treasure in gold and silver, which, by some magic spell, was intrusted to the care of the devil, who is constantly found sitting on the chest in the shape of a huntsman. Any one adventurous enough to touch the chest is instantly seized with the palsy. Upon one occasion a priest of noted piety was brought to the vault : he used all arts of exorcism to persuade his infernal majesty to vacate his seat, but in vain ; the huntsman remained immovable. At last, moved by the earnestness of the priest, he told him that he would agree to resign the chest if the exorciser would sign his name with blood. But the priest understood his meaning and refused, as by that act he would have delivered over his soul to the devil. Yet if anybody can discover the mystic words used by the person who deposited the treasure and pronounce them, the fiend must instantly decamp." (Journal of Mr. J. Skene, quoted in the appendix to Scott's “Marmion.") The author of "The Anatomy of Melancholy” writes : “Another sort of them [i.e. terrestrial devils) there are, which frequent forlorn houses," and adds in a note—“where treasure is hid (as some think), or some murder, or such like villainy committed” (Part i., sec. 2). The ruined castle of Hermitage, in Liddesdale, is held to be haunted by the spirit of the wicked warlock, Lord Soulis, who returns once in seven years to the underground chamber where during life he used to summon the devil to answer his questions at seasons of peril, by knocking thrice upon a padlocked chest, and listening with averted eyes to whatever sounds were to be heard. On one occasion, as we read in Leyden's ballad!:

With clenched fist, he knocked on the chest,

And again he heard a groan ;
And he raised his eyes as the lid did rise,

But answer heard he none.

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I" Lord Soulis,” in vol. iii. of Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.

The charm was broke, when the spirit spoke,

And it murmur'd sullenlie-
“ Shut fast the door, and for evermore

Commit to me the key.

“ Alas! that ever thou raised'st thine eyes,

Thine eyes to look on me!
Till seven years are o'er, return no more,

For here thou must not be."



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And still, when seven years are o'er,

Is heard the jarring sound,
When slowly opes; the charmed door

Of the chamber under ground.
And some within the chamber docr

Have cast a curious eye ;
But none dare tell, for the spirits in hell,

The fearful sights they spy.
The name of Lord Soulis' familiar spirit, “Redcap,”

Redcap,”! as Sir Walter remarks in his preface to the ballad, “is a popular appellation of that class of spirits which haunt old castles. Every ruined tower in the south of Scotland is supposed to have an inhabitant of this species."

Mysterious voices, as we have already seen, no less than spectral forms, were often attributed to a demoniacal origin; and this belief too is embodied in the poem of “Marmion” (canto v., stanza 25). Lindsay of Pitscottie, the contemporary historian, whom the author quotes in a note, relates how the “awful summons was heard at the Market Cross of Edinburgh, at the hour of midnight, just before James IV. left the city to meet his fate at Flodden—"which was named and called the Summons of Plotcock” (i.e., Pluto, identified with the devil); which desired all men to compear, both earl, and lord, and baron, and all honest gentlemen within the town (every man specified by his own name), to compear, within the space of forty days, before his master, where it should happen him to appoint.” “If it were a spirit,” he adds, “I cannot tell truly ;” but, if it were not something supernatural, he thinks it strange that the only man who escaped death on the battlefield, out of all who were summoned by name, was a certain Mr. Richard Lawson, who solemnly appealed from that sentence there and then in the name of the Almighty. The stores of diabolical folk-lore are so rich and varied, and

This red-cap goblin is said to derive its origin from the woodpecker.


ramify in so many directions, that volumes would fail to exhaust them. The aim of the present papers' is less ambitious—it is only an attempt to open up a path in demonology which has not hitherto been much trodden, and is intended rather to stimulate further investigation than to present anything like a complete synopsis of the materials at our disposal, by means of which the comparative method of critical inquiry may evolve order out of the apparent chaos.


· The first of the series appeared in The Pall Mall Magazine, April 1895, under the title of “Footprints of the Devil in our own Country.”


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