Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/602

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586

POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

exorcism ended with the sacrifice of a black hen; thereupon "Raphael" went out of her, and simultaneously with his exit all the panes of glass in the house were broken into fragments and fell to the ground with a tremendous crash. The marvel is that bishops and priests accepted this ridiculous story as an authentic and edifying narration, instead of rejecting it with horror and disgust as a palpable burlesque of their own approved methods of casting out demons, and particularly of the Exorcismus in Satanam et Angelos Apostatas, composed by Leo XIII and issued by him November 19, 1890. It is evident that Taxil had this document in his eye, and intended to hold it up to derision; to calm the fears of the simple-minded, who were puzzled and perplexed by the striking resemblance of diabolic orgies to divine ordinances, he explained it on the general principle that "Satan is the ape of God."

After being freed from the influence of Raphael, Diana was placed under the tutelage of Asmodeus, who, as her guardian devil, watched over her, shielding her from bodily harm and helping her to resist the wiles of angels. One day when she was wandering in the woods she was attacked by negroes, but Asmodeus came to her rescue, and bore her safely to her home through the air. Another time he caught her mettlesome courser by the bridle as he was running away, and when the chief of Garibaldi's staff, Bordone, insulted her, Asmodeus twisted his neck so that his face looked backward. For three weeks he was obliged to take a retrospective view of life and of his own conduct, when Diana, in the kindness of her heart, set his head right again. On these occasions the tutelar demon usually appeared in the form of a fine young gentleman, and emitted an aroma of balsam, which seems to have been as inseparable from him as is the scent of musk from a modern dude or modish dame. He spoke of her as his bride, and often took her on pleasure trips to paradise, purgatory, and other remote regions; once when she was greatly depressed, because her Luciferian rival, Sophia Walder, had got the better of her, he consoled her by making an excursion with her to Mars, where they rode on Schiaparelli's canals, sailed on the Sea of the Sirens, and strolled like pygmies among the gigantic inhabitants of that planet.

[To be continued.]



Contrary to the common supposition that the astronomy of the ancients was based exclusively on the geocentric hypothesis, Mr. G. H. Bryan says in Nature: "Schiaparelli has shown that Heraclitus Ponticus, a disciple of Plato, had already accepted the theory that the sun is the center of the orbit of the planets, while the earth is the center of the universe and of the lunar and solar rotations—a theory substantially that of Tycho."