THo in the Relation now recited, there be no mention made of any suspected Witch, by whose power the aforesaid Chil∣dren were reduced to that deplorable state, and some of the Physitians that administred to them, are of opinion that there was no∣thing of fascination in the case, but what was purely the effect of a natural distemper. I must crave their pardon if I dissent from them, for these following Reasons.
1. Though the account Mr. R. gives of it do not make mention of any Witch, or resemblance of such a one that appeared to the Children, during the time of their Fits: It is very probable he might have no ac∣count of that particular, and as likely that the Confederate Agent might purposely avoid shewing any personal figure to them, Page 170 lest the Relations, upon such notice, should detect and prosecute the peccant party.
2. Here are Symptoms vastly transcend∣ing the effects of any natural distemper; not to insist on the distorting of the Limbs and parts of their Bodies, which are fre∣quently the Concomitants of Convulsions; but that the Extension of their Leggs and Arms should so vastly transcend the power of a strong man to reduce them; looks some∣what above what nature alone could pretend to, especially in Children of their Age.
3. Who can look upon their crawling and hanging about upon the Bed-post and the Walls, without plainly discerning the Clo∣ven-foot of fascination? Could a natural In∣disposition furnish them with Tallons, or Claws to fasten themselves to those places after such a manner? This hath been ob∣served by others that have been under the power of With-craft, that the Witch, or her familiar have lifted the patient by all four against the ceiling, or held them so against the side of a Wall, where they have seemed to hang in the air; (an example of which Mr. Glanvil mentions in his third Relation, containing the Witch-craft of Eli∣zabeth Stile) that I think it needless to urge this point any further.
4. But what can possibly be thought of the Page 171 vomiting of pins? If there could be imagin∣ed any natural distemper that could breed brass wyre in the body, it would be hard to Imagin how they should come to be pointed, and headed, without an Artificer; This sort of torture is so familiarly practised upon the bodies of persons, under those sad Cir∣cumstances, that if there were no other mark of the black Art; this it self were enough to remove all scruple.
5. Whatever others may think of their being so soon restored to a state of Convales∣sence, upon the removing of their fits; by all the violences they underwent: This alone were enough to evince the distemper to be preternatural: For if those Torturing pains and Convulsions had been the effect of any natural Infirmity; it could not be supposed but that bodies so battered would have required some proportionable time, gradually to arriveo a state of Health.