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be about five miles off. This John Mac Grigor being in his company,
and taken up a slate stone at his foot, and looking to it, replied;
nay, said he, you will not go in there, for there is but a matter of a
gallon of ale in it even now, and ere we come to it, it will be all
near drunken, and those who are drinking there, are strangers to us,
and ere we be hardly past the house, they will discord among
themselves: which fell out so; ere we were two pair of butts past the
house, those that were drinking there went by the ears, wounded and
mischieved one another. My father by this and several other things of
this nature, turned curious of this faculty, and being very intimate
with the man, told him he would fain learn it: to which he answered,
that indeed he could in three days time teach him if he pleased; but
yet he would not advise him nor any man to learn it; for had he once
learned, he would never be a minute of his life but he would see
innumerable men and women night and day round about him; which perhaps
he would think wearisome and unpleasant, for which reason my father
would not have it. But as skilful as this man was, yet he knew not
what should be his own last end; which was hanging: And I am
informed, that most, if not all of them, though they can fore-see what
shall happen to others: yet they cannot foretell, much less prevent,
what shall befal themselves. I am also informed by one who came last
summer from the Isle of Sky, that any person that pleases will get it
taught him for a pound or two of tobacco.

As for your last query. For my own part, I can hardly believe they
can be justly presumed, much less truly godly. As for this Mac Grigor,
several report that he was a very civil discreet man, and some say he
was of good deportment, and also unjustly hanged. But Archibald
Mackenyere will not deny himself, but once he was one of the most
notorious thieves in all the Highlands: but I am informed since I
came to this knowledge which was by an accident too long here to
relate, that he has turned honester than before.

There was one James Mac Coil-vicalaster alias Grant, in Glenbeum near
Kirk-Michael in Strathawin, who had this sight, who I hear of several
that were well acquainted with him was a very honest man, and of right
blameless conversation. He used ordinarily by looking to the fire, to
foretell what strangers would come to his house the next day, or
shortly thereafter, by their habit and arms, and sometimes also by
their name; and if any of his goods or cattle were missing, he would
direct his servants to the very place where to find them, whether in a
mire or upon dry ground; he would also tell, if the beast were already
dead, or if it would die ere they could come to it; and in winter, if
they were thick about the fire-side, he would desire them to make room
for some others that stood by, though they did not see them, else some
of them would be quickly thrown into the midst of it. But whether this
man saw any more than Brownie and Meg Mullach, I am not very sure;
some say, he saw more continually, and would often be very angry-like,
and something troubled, nothing visibly moving him: others affirm he
saw these two continually, and sometimes many more.

They generally term this second-sight in Irish Taishi-taraughk, and
such as have it Taishatrin, from Taish, which is properly a shadowy
substance, or such naughty, and imperceptible thing, as can only, or
rather scarcely be discerned by the eye; but not caught by the hands:
for which they assigned it to Bugles or Ghosts, so that Taishtar, is
as much as one that converses with ghosts or spirits, or as they
commonly call them, the Fairies or Fairy-Folks. Others call these men
Phissicin, from Phis, which is properly fore-sight, or fore-knowledge.
This is the surest and clearest account of second-sighted men that I
can now find, and I have set it down fully, as if I were transiently
telling it, in your own presence, being curious for nothing but the
verity, so far as I could. What you find improper or superfluous you
can best compendise it, &c,

Thus far this letter, written in a familiar and homely stile, which I
have here set down at length. Meg Mullach, and Brownie mentioned in
the end of it, are two ghosts, which (as it is constantly reported) of
old, haunted a family in Straths-pey of the name of Grant. They
appeared at first in the likeness of a young lass; the second of a
young lad.

Dr. Moulin (who presents his service to you) hath no acquaintance in
Orkney; but I have just now spoken with one, who not only hath
acquaintance in that country, but also entertains some thoughts of
going thither himself, to get me an account of the cures usually
practised there. The Cortex Winteranus, mentioned by you as an
excellent medicine, I have heard it commended as good for the scurvy;
if you know it to be eminent or specific (such as the Peruvian Bark
is) for any disease, I shall be well pleased to be informed by you.

Thus, Sir, you have an account of all my informations concerning
second-sighted men: I have also briefly touched all the other
particulars in both your letters, which needed a reply, except your
thanks so liberally and obligingly returned to me for my letters, and
the kind sense you express of that small service. The kind reception
which you have given to those poor trifles, and the value which you
put on them, I consider as effects of your kindness to myself, and as
engagements on me to serve you to better purpose when it shall be in
the power of

Your faithful friend,

and servant, &c.


DIEMERBROECK in his book de Peste (i.e. of the Plague) gives us a
story of Dimmerus de Raet, that being at Delft, where the pestilence
then raged, sent then his wife thirty miles off. And when the doctor
went to see the gentleman of the house, as soon as he came in, the old
chair-woman that washed the cloathes fell a weeping; he asked her why?
said she, my mistress is now dead; I saw her apparition but just now
without a head, and that it was usual with her when a friend of hers
died, to see their apparitions in that manner, though never so far
off. His wife died at that time.

Mr. Thomas May in his History, lib. 8, writes, that an old man (like
an hermit) second-sighted, took his leave of King James I. when he
came into England: he took little notice of Prince Henry, but
addressing himself to the Duke of York (since King Charles I.) fell a
weeping to think what misfortunes he should undergo; and that he
should be one of the miserablest unhappy Princes that ever was.

A Scotch nobleman sent for one of these second-sighted men out of the
Highlands, to give his judgment of the then great favourite, George
Villers, Duke of Buckingham; as soon as ever he saw him, " Pish," said
he, he will come to nothing. I see a dagger in his breast;" and he was
stabbed in the breast by Captain Felton.

Sir James Melvil hath several the like stories in his Memoirs. Folio.

A certain old man in South-Wales, told a great man there of the
fortune of his family; and that there should not be a third male

In Spain there are those they call Saludadores, that have this kind of
gift. There was a Portugueze Dominican fryar belonging to Queen
Katherine Dowager's chapel, who had the second-sight.


      **Concerning Predictions, Fatality, Apparitions, &c. From the
      various History of AELIAN. Rendered out of the Greek Original. By
      Mr. T. STANLEY.

THE wisdom of the Persian Magi was (besides other things proper to
them) conversant in prediction: they foretold the cruelty of Ochus
towards his subjects, and his bloody disposition, which they collected
from some secret signs. For when Ochus, upon the death of his father
Artaxerxes, came to the crown, the Magi charged one of the Eunuchs
that were next him, to observe upon what things, when the table was
set before him, he first laid hands; who watching intentively, Ochus
reached forth both his hands, and with his right, laid hold of a knife
that lay by, with the other, took a great loaf, which he laid upon the
meat, and did cut and eat greedily. The Magi, hearing this, foretold
that there would be plenty during his reign, and much blood shed. In
which they erred not.

It is observed, that on the sixth day of the month Thargelion, many
good fortunes have befallen not only the Athenians, but divers others.
Socrates was born on this day, the Persians vanquished on this day,
and the Athenians sacrifice three hundred goats to Agrotera upon this
day in pursuit of Miltiades's Vow: on the same day of this month was
the fight of Plataea, in which the Grecians had the better; for the
former fight which I mentioned was at Artemisium, neither was the
victory which the Greeks obtained at Mycale on any other day; seeing
that the victory at Plataea and Mycale happened on the self-same day.
Likewise Alexander the Macedonian, Son of Philip, vanquished many
myriads of the Barbarians on the sixth day, when he took Darius
prisoner. All which is observed to have happened on this month. It is
likewise reported that Alexander was born and died on the same day.

Some Pythian relations affirm, that Hercules, son of Jupiter and
Alcmena, was at his birth, named Heraclides; but that afterwards
coming to Delphi to consult the oracle about some business, he
obtained that for which he came, and received farther privately from
the God, this oracle concerning himself.

      Thee Hercules doth Phoebus name,
      For thou shalt gain immortal fame.

The Peripateticks assert, that the soul in the day-time is inslaved
and involved in the body, so that she cannot behold truth; but in the
night, being freed from this servitude, and gathered together, as it
were, in a round about the parts that are in the breast, she is more
prophetick, whence proceed dreams.

Socrates said of his daemon to Theages Demodocus, and many others, that
he many times perceived a voice warning him by divine instinct, which,
saith he, when it comes, signifieth a dissuasion from that which I am
going to do, but never persuades to do any thing. And when any of my
friends, (saith he) impart their business to me, if this voice
happens, it dissuades also, giving me the like counsel: whereupon, I
dehort him who adviseth with me, and suffer him not to proceed in what
he is about, following the divine admonition. He alledged as witness
here of Charmides son of Glauco, who asking his advice, whether he
should exercise at the Nemean games; as soon as he began to speak, the
voice gave the accustomed sigh. Whereupon Socrates endeavoured to
divert Charmides from this purpose, telling him the reason. But he not
following the advice, it succeeded ill with him.

Aspasia a Phocian, daughter of Hermotimus, was brought up an orphan,
her mother dying in the pains of child-birth. She was bred up in
poverty, but modestly and virtuously. She had many times a dream which
foretold her that she should be married to an excellent person. Whilst
she was yet young, she chanced to have a swelling under her chin,
loathsome to sight, whereat both the father and the maid were much
afflicted. Her father brought her to a physician: he offered to
undertake the cure for three staters; the other said he had not the money.
The physician replied, he had then no physic for him. Hereupon
Aspasia departed weeping ! and holding a looking-glass on her knee,
beheld her face in it, which much increased her grief. Going to rest
without supping, by the reason of the trouble she was in, she had an
opportune dream; a dove seemed to appear to her as she slept, which
being changed to a woman, said, "Be of good courage, and bid a long
farewel to physicians and their medicines: take of the dried rose of
Venus garlands, which being pounded apply to the swelling." After the
maid had understood and made trial of this, the tumour was wholly
assuaged; and Aspasia recovering her beauty by means of the most
beautiful goddess, did once again appear the fairest amongst her
virgin-companions, enriched with graces far above any of the rest. Of
hair yellow, locks a little curling, she had great eyes, some what
hawk-nosed, ears short, skin delicate, complexion like roses; whence
the Phocians, whilst she was yet a child called her Milto. Her lips
were red, teeth whiter than snow, small insteps, such as of those
women whom Homer calls {greek text: lisphurous}. Her voice sweet and
smooth, that whosoever heard her might justly say he heard the voice
of a Syren. She was averse from womanish curiosity in dressing: such
things are to be supplied by wealth. She being poor, and bred up under
a poor father, used nothing superfluous or extravagant to advantage
her beauty. On a time Aspasia came to Cyrus, son of Darius and
Parysatis, brother of Artaxerxes, not willingly nor with the consent
of her father, but by compulsion, as it often happens upon the taking
of cities, or the violence of tyrants and their officers. One of the
officers of Cyrus, brought her with other virgins to Cyrus, who
immediately preferred her before all his concubines, for simplicity of
behaviour, and modesty; whereto also contributed her beauty without
artifice, and her extraordinary discretion, which was such, that Cyrus
many times asked her advice in affairs, which he never repented to
have followed. When Aspasia came first to Cyrus, it happened that he
was newly risen from supper, and was going to drink after the Persian
manner: for after they have done eating, they betake themselves to
wine, and fall to their cups freely, encountering drink as an
adversary. Whilst they were in the midst of their drinking, four
Grecian virgins were brought to Cyrus, amongst whom was Aspasia the
Phocian. They were finely attired; three of them had their heads
neatly drest by their own women which came along with them, and had
painted their faces. They had been also instructed by their
governesses how to behave themselves towards Cyrus, to gain his
favour; not to turn away when he came to them, not to be coy when he
touched them, to permit him to kiss them, and many other amatory
instructions practised by women who expose their beauty to sale. Each
contended to out-vie the other in handsomeness. Only Aspasia would not
endure to be clothed with a rich robe, nor to put on a various
coloured vest, nor to be washed; but calling upon the Grecian and
Eleutherian gods, she cried out upon her father's name, execrating
herself to her father. She thought the robe which she should put on
was a manifest sign of bondage. At last being compelled with blows she
put it on, and was necessitated to behave herself with greater liberty
than beseemed a virgin. When they came to Cyrus, the rest smiled, and
expressed chearfulness in their looks. But Aspasia looking on the
ground, her eyes full of tears, did every way express an extraordinary
bashfulness. When he commanded them to sit down by him, the rest
instantly obeyed; but the Phocian refused, until the officer caused
her to sit down by force. When Cyrus looked upon or touched their
eyes, cheeks and fingers, the rest freely permitted him; but she

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