Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/335

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267
POPULAR SUPERSTITION

the model were stuck full of pins the person it stood for suffered sharp pains in all parts of the body. If the model were hung up before the fire and allowed to melt slowly away from day to day, the original would go into a decline and die simultaneously with the final disappearance of the waxen image. On another occasion Elizabeth sought the services of Dr. Dee, a noted astrologer, rather than consult a physician to counteract the effect of a toothache. The date of her coronation was determined by astrology with great success. Many intelligent people in the kingdom believed that Leicester's great influence over the queen could be explained only by taking into consideration the magical effect of the fact that they were both born at the same time, to the hour and day. Even the learned scholar John Stow in all faith explains the common accident of a church struck by lightning as the work of a personal devil who was actually seen entering the belfry window; and, furthermore, Stow himself had often examined the prints left by the claws of the evil doer, and had inserted a feather into them to the depth of several inches.

Laveterus who wrote a book, De Spectris, in 1670, which was translated into English in 1672, remarks that "if when men sit at the table, mention be made of spirits and elves, many times