Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/422

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folks; then I keep gentle-women lodgers to furnish such chambers as I let out by the night; then I am provided for bringing young wenches to bed; and for a need, you see, I play the matchmaker." The witch's shop was packed with the grotesque ingredients and materials used in her trade. Thus: "One would suspect it for a shop of witchcraft, to find in it the fat of serpents, spawn of snakes, Jew's spittle, and their young children's ordure." (Duchess of Malfi.) It is interesting to record one of the contemporary sure tests of the identity of a witch; namely, if her house was burned and she came running forth clamouring and crying, she was a witch. "This thatch is as good as a jury to prove she is a witch." (The Witch of Edmonton.)

Far more important and oftentimes far more dignified were the black witches who so often suffered the death penalty during the reign of King James. Scott in his Discoveries of Witchcraft tells us that there are three sorts of witches: "One sort can hurt and not help, the second can help and not hurt, and the third can both help and hurt. Among the hurtful witches there is one sort more beastly than any kind of beasts, saving wolves; for these usually devour and eat young children and infants of their own kind. These be they that raise hail, tempests, and hurt-