Page:A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More.djvu/154
112 Book III.
An Antidote Against Atheism
or if by himself, in some irresistible fit of phrensie or madness.
Hereupon the Counsel deliberate what is to be done. Which the Widow hearing, and fearing they might be determining something that would be harsh, and to the discredit of her Husband and her self, being also animated thereto by some busie-bodies, makes a great complaint against those that raised these reports of her Husband, and resolved to follow the Law upon them, earnestly contending that there was no reason upon mere rumours and idle defamations of malevolent people, that her Husband's body should be digged up or dealt with as it he had been either Magician or Self-murtherer. Which boldness and pertinacity of the woman, though after the confession of the fact, did in some measure work upon the Counsel, and put them to a stand.
5. But while these things are in agitation, to the astonishment of the Inhabitants of the place, there appears a Spectrum in the exact shape and habit of the deceased, and that not onely in the night, but at mid-day. Those that were asleep it terrified with horrible visions; those that were waking it would strike, pull, or press, lying heavy upon them like an Ephialtes: so that there were perpetuall complaints every morning of their last nights rest through the whole Town. But the more freaks this Spectrum play'd, the more diligent were the friends of the deceased to suppress the rumours of them, or at least to hinder the effects of those rumours; and therefore made their addresses to the President, complaining how unjust a thing it was, that so much should be given to idle reports and blind suspicions, and therefore beseech'd him that he would hinder the Counsel from digging up the corps of the deceased, and from all ignominious usage of him: adding also, that they intended to appeal to the Emperour's Court, that their Wisdoms might rather decide the Controversie, then that the cause should be here determined from the light conjectures of malicious men.
But while by this means the business was still protracted, there were such stirs and tumults all over the Town that they are hardly to be described. For no sooner did the Sun hide his head but this Spectrum would be sure to appear, so that every body was fain to look about him and stand upon his guard, which was a sore trouble to those whom the labours of the day made more sensible of the want of rest in the night. For this terrible apparition would sometimes stand by their bed-sides, sometimes cast it self upon the midst of their beds, would lie close to them, would miserably suffocate them, and would so strike them and pinch them, that not onely blew marks, but plain impressions of his fingers would be upon sundry parts of their bodies in the morning. Nay, such was the violence and impetuousness of this Ghost, that when men forsook their beds and kept their dining-rooms, with Candles lighted, and many of them, in company together, the better to secure themselves from fear and disturbance, yet he would then appear to them, and have a bout with some of them notwithstanding all this provision against it. In brief, he was so troublesome, that the people were ready to forsake their houses and seek other dwellings, and the Magistrate so awakened at the perpetual Complaints of them, that at last they resolved; the President agreeing thereto, to dig up the Body.