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whilſt he repeated certain charms and ſpells: a ſeventh would not paſs by the houſe of an old woman, becauſe he thought her a witch, and that ſhe had ſtolen his hive of bees. Many of my acquaintance wore amulets to preſerve them from bewitching; in fine, we were the abject ſlaves of every filly idle fret, which imagination has deviſed, fable feigned, or fear conceived.
This ſhort abſtract of my own and my neighbours hiſtory, ſhews with what uncontroled, yea, almoſt indeliable power, a wrong education ſtamps credulity on the mind, and gives it a bias to the grofſeft ſuperſtition. As I found the prejudices I had imbibed hard to be removed, as theſe deluſions of fancy frequently returned and unhinged my loul, in order to fortify myſelf againſt their ſudden attacks, I have of ten put the following queſtions to myſelf, and as often reſolved their anſwers in my mind. This was the method I took to extricate myſelf from thoſe dreadful fetters of ſuperftition in which I was entangled, and if you think it may effect a cure on any of the numerous devotees to legendary fictions, viſions, &c. I ſhall think my labour amply compenſated.
On hearing a weak woman divine from the dregs of tea in a cup, from feeing ſone meteor, blazing ſtar, or comet, that ſome direful misfortunes and public calamities