CHAP. LXXII. Of the wonderfull power of Inchantments.
THey say that the power of inchantments, and verses is so great, that it is believed they are able to subvert almost all nature, as saith Apuleius, that with a Magicall whispering, swift Rivers are turned back, the slow Sea is bound, the Winds are breathed out with one accord, the Sun is stopt, the Moon is clarified, the Stars are pulled out, the day is kept back, the night is prolonged, and of these sings Lucan,
The courses of all things did cease, the night
Prolonged was, 'twas long before 'twas light;
Astonied was the headlong world, all this
Was by the hearing of a verse—
And a little before.
Thessalian verse did into's heart so flow,
That it did make a greater heat of love.
No dregs of poison being by him drunk,
His wits decay'd inchanted—
Charms can command the Moon down from the Skie,
Circes Charms chang'd Ulisses company.
Page 158A cold Snake being charm'd, burst in the Meads.
And in another place.
Charms bear Corn standing from anothers Farm.
in his book, sine Titulo,
With charms doth with'ring Ceres dye,
Dryed are the fountains all,
Acorns from Okes, inchanted Grapes
And Apples from trees fall.
If these things were not true, there would not be such strict penall Statutes made against them, that should inchant fruit. And Tibullus saith of a certain Inchantress,
Her with Charms drawing Stars from Heaven, I
And turning th' Course of rivers, did espy,
She parts the earth, and Ghosts from Sepulchers
Draws up, and fetcheth bones away from th' fires,
And at her pleasure scatters Clouds i'th' Air,
And makes it Snow in Summer hot, and fair.
Of all which that Inchantress seems to boast her self in Ovid
when she saith,
—At will, I make swift streams retire
To their fountains, whilest their banks admire;
Seas toss, and smooth; clear Clouds, with Clouds deform,
With Spels. and Charms I break the Vipers jaw,
Cleave Solid Rocks, Oakes from their seasures draw,
Whole Woods remove, the airy Mountains shake,
Earth for to groan, and Ghosts from graves awake,
And thee O Moon I draw—
Moreover all Poets sing, and Philosophers do not deny, that by verses many wonderfull things may be done, as Corn to be removed, Lightenings to be commanded, diseases be cured, and such like. For Cato himself in Country affairs used some in∣chantments against the diseases of beasts, which as yet are ex∣tant in his writings. Also Josephus testifies that Solomon was skilled in those kind of inchantments. Also Celsus Africanus reports, according to the Egyptain doctrine, that mans body, according to the number of the faces of the Zodiack Signs, was taken care of by so many, viz. thirty six spirits, whereof each undertake, and defend their proper part, whose names they call with a peculiar voice, which being called upon, restore to health with their inchantments the diseased parts of the body.