Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/339

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


Reginald Scott further dilates upon the subject: "In our childhood our mother's maids have so terrified us with an ugly devil, having horns in his head, fire in his mouth, and a tail in his breech, eyes like a bason, fangs like a dog, and a voice roaring like a lion, whereby we start and are afraid when we hear one cry boo: and they have so fraid [frightened] us with bull-beggars, spirits, witches, urchens, elves, hags, fairies, satyrs, pans, fauns, syrens, kit with the can'stick, tritons, centaurs, dwarfs, giants, imps, calcars [astrologers], conjurors, nymphs, changelings. Incubus, Robin Good-fellow, the sporne, the mare, the man in the oak, the hell-wain, the firedrake, the puckle Tomthumb, hob-goblin, Tom Tumbler, boneless, and other such bugs [terrors], that we are afraid of our own shadows: insomuch that some never fear the devil but in a dark night; and then a polled sheep is a perilous beast, and many times is taken for our father's soul, specially in a churchyard, where a right hardy man heretofore scant durst pass by night, but his hair would stand upright." (Discovery of Witchcraft, 1580.)

Addison tells us in The Spectator (No. 419) that "our forefathers loved to astonish themselves with the apprehensions of witchcraft, prodigies, and charms, and inchantments. There was not a village in England that had not a ghost in it; the