Concerning Witchcraft, and Sorcery, with the cure thereof, as followeth.
THe way to know whether the patient be bewitched or not I have already set down, elsewhere in this Book. I find by experience, that those, who are taken in the snare of witchcraft are usually afflicted in some outward limb or mem∣ber of the body caused by an image made in the likeness of man or beast, and through the subtilty of the Devil made at such hours and times, when by sympathy it shall reflect upon the man or beast whom they intend to hurt or destroy; it be∣ing done by thorn, pin, or needle prickt into that part of the image, which answereth unto that part of the body of man or beast wherein they are pained or grieved. An Example here∣of I have already mentioned, concerning the Woman lately taken at the Devises in Wiltshire: But that which I conceive is the most usual way practised by Witches is most properly called Sorcery: For by the help of the Devil some poysonous matter is prepared, and mixt with some blood and vital spirit of the Witch, and so by smell or taste infused into the body of man or beast bewitched, or rather by which they are infect∣ed: For its observable in Philosophy: Si acceperis terram ca∣daverosam cujuscunque viri mulierisve, qui notabili quocunque morbo moriebatur, eandemque des ullo masculo aut foeminae, eo∣dem morbo contaminabuntur; in morbis aliquibus odore tantùm hoc efficitur, Exempla gratia, in peste, Lue Venereae, seu morbo Gallico Elephantiasi sive Lepra.
Those who are thus wrought upon by sorcery may be infect∣ed with most kinds of diseases whatsoever: As I have suffici∣ently discovered in my Practice of Physick▪ Besides I have known many things, which through sorcery have been so in∣fected Page 152 and spoiled, as instance bear cream, and milk, whey, and such like, that neither Housewife or Dairy Maid could make any good use thereof. I shall relate one Example here∣of. when I was a Boy my Father kept a Dairy at a place cal∣led Shenfield near Reading, and one of my Sisters had the charge thereof, upon a time my Father desired her to make some wilde curds, and to send them home; which she did endeavour to do, but could make none. The reason was, as she conceived because an Old woman (suspected for a witch) was at that time denyed whey, who went muttering away discontented. The next day my Father came with one of his Brothers, named John Blagrave, a man of great knowledge in Astrology and Philosophy, as appears by his many works in print Now my Father askt her why she sent him no curds, she told him, she could make none, notwithstanding she had used her best skill; and related what is aforesaid concerning the Woman suspected: Now my Fathers Brother aforesaid being desirous to make further tryal hereof went into the House, and caused the whey to be hung over the fire again which no soon¦er was done, but presently it rumbled, and made a noise, as if many bullets had been in it, whereupon he caused the Kettle and whey to be taken from the fire, and caused a greater fire to be made: He also called for a cord and an iron wedge, he took the cord, and bound the Kettle round about, and wrest∣ed it very hard, and then caused the Kettle with whey to be set over the fire again, and having heat the wedge red hot, put him into the whey, and immediately there was abundance of curds rose up, after which my Unckle sent a messenger to the suspected Witches house to know how she did, who brought word, that after much knocking at length she opened the door, where he found the Witch or suspected person shrunk up like a purse or leather put into the fire. By which it appear∣eth, that part of the vital spirit of the Witch was infused into the whey, for otherwise it could not have wrought so violently upon her, for should the poysonous matter, or thing be given or used alone without some blood or vital spirit of the Witch mingled with it, the burning of the patients blood or urin would not hurt them, or the putting this red hot wedg into the whey, could no way have afflicted her, which it did by Sym∣pathy, as appeared by her body being shrunk up as aforesaid.