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lookers on (some it is most likely of those that saw the light) to
adventure on the water, which was high by reason of a flood: she
walked up and down along the river bank, even where, and even as the
aforesaid candle did, waiting for the falling of the water; which at
last she took, but too soon for her, for she was drowned therein. Of
late my sexton's wife, an aged understanding woman, saw from her bed,
a little bluish candle on her tables-end; within two or three days
after, came a fellow enquiring for her husband, and taking something
from under his cloak, claped it down upon the tables-end; it was a
dead born child.

Another time, the same woman saw such another candle upon the end of
the self same table; within a few days after a weak child newly
christened by me, was brought to the sexton's house, where presently
he died: and when the sexton's wife, who was then abroad, came home,
she found the child on the other end of the table, where she had seen
the candle.

Some thirty or forty years since, my wife's sister, being nurse to
Baronet Rudd's three eldest children, and (the Lady mistress being
dead) the Lady comptroller of the house going late into the chamber
where the maid servants lay, saw no less than five of these lights
together. It happened a while after, that the chamber being newly
plaistered, and a grate of coal fire therein kindled to hasten the
drying of the plaister, that five of the maid servants went to bed as
they were wont (but as it fell out) too soon; for in the morning they
were all dead, being suffocated in their sleep with the steam of the
new tempered lime and coal. This was at Langathen in Carmarthenshire.
--- Jo. Davis. See more.---

Generglyn, March 1656.

To this account of Mr. Davis, I will subjoin what my worthy friend and
neighbour Randal Caldicot, D.D. hath affirmed to me many years since,
viz. When any Christian is drowned in the river Dee, there will
appear over the water where the corps is, a light, by which means they
do find the body: and it is therefore called the Holy Dee. The
doctor's father was Mr. Caldicot, of Caldicot in Cheshire, which lies
on the river.


HIERONIMUS Cardanus, lib. 3, "Synesiorum Somniorum", cap. 15,
treats of this subject, which see. Johannes Scotus Erigena, when he was in
Greece, did go to an Oracle to enquire for a Treatise of Aristotle,
and found it, by the response of the oracle. This he mentions in his
works lately printed at Oxford; and is quoted by Mr. Anthony a Wood in
his Antiquities of Oxon, in his life. He lived before the conquest,
and taught Greek at the Abby in Malmesbury, where his scholars stabbed
him with their penknives for his severity to them. Leland mentions
that his statue was in the choir there.


Cardanus, lib. 2. Synes. Somniorum, cap. 8.

"IN Ecstasin multis modis dilabuntur homines, aut per Syncopen, aut
animi deliquium, aut etiam proprie abducto omni sensu externo, absque
alia Causa. Id vero contingit consuetis plerunque, & nimio affectu
alicujus rei laborantibus; --- Ecstasis medium est inter vigiliam &
somnium, sicut somnus inter mortem & vigiliam, seuvitam --- Visa in
Ecstasi certiora insomniis: Clariora & evidentiora --- Ecstasi
deprehensi audire possunt, qui dormiunt non possunt".

Men fall into an Ecstacy many ways, either by a syncope, by a
vanishing and absence of the spirits, or else by the withdrawing of
every external sense without any other cause. It most commonly happens
to those who are over sollicitous or fix their whole minds upon doing
any one particular thing. An Ecstacy is a kind of medium between
sleeping and waking, as sleep is a kind of middle state between life
and death. Things seen in an Ecstacy are more certain than those we
behold in dreams: they are much more clear, and far more evident.
Those seized with an Ecstacy can hear, those who sleep cannot.

Anno 1670, a poor widow's daughter in Herefordshire, went to service
not far from Harwood (the seat of Sir John Hoskins, Bart. R.S.S.) She
was aged near about twenty; fell very ill, even to the point of death;
her mother was old and feeble, and her daughter was the comfort of her
life; if she should die, she knew not what to do: she besought God
upon her knees in prayer, that he would be pleased to spare her
daughter's life, and take her to him: at this very time, the daughter
fell into a trance, which continued about an hour: they thought she
had been dead: when she recovered out of it, she declared the vision
she had in this fit, viz. that one in black habit came to her, whose
face was so bright and glorious she could not behold it; and also he
had such brightness upon his breast, and (if I forget not) upon his
arms. And told her, that her mother's prayers were heard, and that her
mother should shortly die, and she should suddenly recover; and she
did so, and her mother died. She hath the character of a modest,
humble, virtuous maid. Had this been in some Catholick country, it
would have made a great noise.

'Tis certain, there was one in the Strand, who lay in a trance a few
hours before he departed. And in his trance had a vision of the death
of King Charles II. It was at the very day of his apoplectick fit.

There is a sheet of paper printed 16 ... concerning Ecstacies, that
James Usher, late Lord Primate of Ireland, once had: but I have been
assured from my hon. friend James Tyrrell, Esq. (his Lordship's
grandson) that this was not an ecstacy; but that his Lordship upon
reading the 12, 13, 14, &c. chapters of the Revelation, and farther
reflecting upon the great increase of the sectaries in England,
supposed that they would let in popery, which consideration put him
into a great transport, at the time when his daughter (the Lady
Tyrrel) came into the room; when he discoursed to her divers things
(tho' not all) contained in the said printed paper.


"AMOR ex Oculo": Love is from the eye: but (as the Lord Bacon saith)
more by glances than by full gazings; and so for envy and malice.

      Tell me dearest, what is Love ?
      'Tis a Lightning from above:
      'Tis an Arrow, 'tis a Fire,
      'Tis a Boy they call Desire.*

* Mr. Fletcher in Cupid's Revenge.

'Tis something divine and inexplicable. It is strange, that as one
walks the streets sometimes one shall meet with an aspect (of male or
female) that pleases our souls; and whose natural sweetness of nature,
we could boldly rely upon. One never saw the other before, and so
could neither oblige or disoblige each other. Gaze not on a maid,
saith Ecclus. 9, 5.

The Glances of envy and malice do shoot also subtilly; the eye of the
malicious person, does really infect and make sick the spirit of the
other. The Lord Bacon saith it hath been observed, that after
triumphs, the triumphants have been sick in spirit.

The chymist can draw subtile spirits, that will work upon one another
at some distance, viz. spirits of alkalies and acids, e.g. spirits
coelestial (sal armoniac and spirits of C. C. will work on each other
at half a yard distance, and smoke;) but the spirits above mentioned
are more subtile than they.

      "Non amo te Sabati, nece possum dicere quare,
      Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te".

      Fellow, I love thee not, I can't tell why,
      But this, I'll tell thee, I could sooner die.

But if an astrologer had their nativities, he would find a great
disagreement in the schemes. These are hyper-physical opticks, and
drawn from the heavens.

Infants are very sensible of these irradiations of the eyes. In Spain,
France, &c. southern countries, the nurses and parents are very shy to
let people look upon their young children, for fear of fascination. In
Spain, they take it ill if one looks on a child, and make one say, God
bless it. They talk of "mal de ojos". We usually say, witches have
evil eyes.


      **In Two Letters from a learned friend of mine in Scotland.


**To Mr. JOHN AUBREY, Fellow of the Royal Society.


FOR your satisfaction I drew up some queries about the second-sighted
men, and having sent them to the northern parts of this kingdom, some
while ago, I received answers to them from two different hands,
whereof I am now to give you an account, viz.

      Query 1.

If some few credible, well attested instances of such a knowledge as
is commonly called the second-sight, can be given ?


Many instances of such knowledge can be given, by the confession of
such who are skilled in that faculty: for instances I refer you to
the fourth query.

      Query 2.

If it consists in the discovery of present or past events only ? or if
it extend to such as are to come ?


The second-sight relates only to things future, which will shortly
come to pass. Past events I learn nothing of it.

Query 3.

If the objects of this knowledge be sad and dismal events only; such
as deaths and murders ? or, joyful and prosperous also ?


Sad and dismal events, are the objects of this knowledge: as sudden
deaths, dismal accidents. That they are prosperous, or joyful, I
cannot learn. Only one instance I have from a person worthy of credit,
and thereby judge of the joyfulness, or prosperity of it, and it is
this. Near forty years ago, Maclean and his Lady, sister to my Lord
Seaforth, were walking about their own house, and in their return both
came into the nurse's chamber, where their young child was on the
breast: at their coming into the room, the nurse falls a weeping; they
asked the cause, dreading the child was sick, or that she was scarce
of milk: the nurse replied, the child was well, and she had abundance
of milk; yet she still wept; and being pressed to tell what ailed her;
she at last said Maclean would die, and the Lady would shortly be
married to another man. Being enquired how she knew that event, she
told them plainly, that as they both came into the room, she saw a
man with a scarlet cloak and a white hat betwixt them, giving the Lady
a kiss over the shoulder; and this was the cause of weeping. All which
came to pass after Maclean's death; the tutor of Lovet married the
Lady in the same habit the woman saw him. Now by this instance, judge
if it be prosperous to one, it is as dismal to another.

      Query 4.

If these events which second-sighted men discover, or foretel, be
visibly represented to them, and acted, as it were before their eyes ?


Affirmatively, they see those things visibly; but none sees but
themselves; for instance, if a man's fatal end be hanging, they will
see a gibbet, or a rope about his neck: if beheaded, they will see
the man without a head; if drowned, they will see water up to his
throat; if unexpected death, they will see a winding sheet about his
head: all which are represented to their view.  One instance I had
from a gentleman here, of a Highland gentleman of the Macdonalds, who
having a brother that came to visit him, saw him coming in, wanting a
head; yet told not his brother he saw any such thing; but within
twenty-four hours thereafter, his brother was taken, (being a
murderer) and his head cut off, and sent to Edinburgh.  Many such
instances might be given,

      Query 5.

If the second-sight be a thing that is troublesome and uneasy to those
that have it, and such as they would gladly be rid of?


It is commonly talked by all I spoke with, that it is troublesome; and
they would gladly be freed from it, but cannot: only I heard lately of
a man very much troubled in his soul therewith, and by serious begging
of God deliverance from it, at length lost the faculty of the second-

      Query 6.

If any person, or persons, truly godly, who may justly be presumed to
be such, have been known to have had this gift or faculty ?


Negatively, not any godly, but such as are virtuous.

      Query 7.

If it descends by succession from parents to children ? or if not,
whether those that have it can tell how they came by it ?


That it is by succession, I cannot learn; how they came by it, it is
hard to know, neither will they tell; which if they did, they are sure
of their strokes from an invisible hand. One instance I heard of one
Alien Miller, being in company with some gentlemen, having gotten a
little more than ordinary of that strong liquor they were drinking,
began to tell stories and strange passages he had been at: but the
said Alien was suddenly removed to the farther end of the house, and
was there almost strangled; recovering a little, and coming to the
place where he was before, they asked him, what it was that troubled
him so ? He answered he durst not tell; for he had told too much

Query 8. How came they by it ?


Some say by compact with the Devil; some say by converse with those
daemons we call fairies. I have heard, that those that have this
faculty of the second-sight, have offered to teach it to such as were
curious to know it; upon such and such conditions they would teach
them; but their proffers were rejected.

This is all I could learn by tradition of that faculty, from knowing
and intelligent men. If this satisfy not these queries aforesaid,
acquaint me, and what can be known of it shall be transmitted.

I cannot pass by an instance I have from a very honest man in the next
parish, who told me it himself. That his wife being big with child
near her delivery, he buys half a dozen of boards to make her a bed
against the time she lay in. The boards lying at the door of his
house, there comes an old fisher-woman, yet alive, and asked him,
whose were those boards ? He told her they were his own; she asked
again, for what use he had them ? He replied, for a bed; she again
said, I intend them for what use you please, she saw a dead corps
lying upon them, and that they would be a coffin: which struck the
honest man to the heart, fearing the death of his wife. But when the
old woman went off, he calls presently for a carpenter to make the
bed, which was accordingly done; but shortly after the honest man had
a child died, whose coffin was made of the ends of those boards.

Sir, the original, whereof this that I have writ, is a true copy, was
sent by a minister, living within some few miles of Inverness, to a
friend of mine whom I employed to get information for me; as I
insinuated before: I have other answers to these queries from another
hand, which I purposed to have communicated to you at this time; but I
find there will not be room enough for them in this sheet; howbeit, in
case you think it fit, they shall be sent you afterward.

In the mean time, I shall tell you what I have had from one of the
masters of our college here (a north country man both by birth and
education, in his younger years) who made a journey in the harvest
time into the shire of Ross, and at my desire, made some enquiry
there, concerning the second-sight. He reports, that there they told
him many instances of this knowledge, which he had forgotten, except

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