Page:Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921).djvu/127

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
127
THE RITES

where they met a Man in black Clothes with a little Band, to whom they did Courtesie and due observance.—Mary Green [went with others to] Hussey's Knap in the Forrest in the Night time, where met them the Fiend in the shape of a little Man in black Clothes with a little band, to him all made obeysances. … On Thursday Night before Whitsunday last [she met several others] and being met they called out Robin. Upon which instantly appeared a little Man in black Clothes to whom all made obeysance, and the little Man put his hand to his Hat, saying, How do ye? speaking low but big. Then all made low obeysances to him again.'[1]

As late as the eighteenth century there is a similar account.[2]

Danaeus (1575) and Cooper (1617) are the only writers who mention the kiss in their general accounts of the ceremonies. The former says: 'Then biddeth he thẽ that they fall down & worship him, after what maner and gesture of body he pleaseth, and best liketh of. Thus some of them falle downe at his knees, some offre vnto him black burning cãdles, other kisse him in some part of his body where he appeareth visibly.'[3] Cooper mentions it as part of the admission ceremony: 'Secondly, when this acknowledgement is made, in testimoniall of this subiection, Satan offers his back-parts to be kissed of his vassall.'[4]

The ceremony is one of the earliest of which there is any record. In 1303 a Bishop of Coventry was accused at Rome of a number of crimes, amongst others 'quod diabolo homagium fecerat, et eum fuerit osculatus in tergo'.[5] Guillaume Edeline was tried in 1453; he was 'docteur en théologie, prieur de S. Germain en Laye, et auparavant Augustin, et religieux de certaines aultres ordres. Confessa ledit sire Guillaume, de sa bonne et franche voulenté, avoir fait hommage audit ennemy en l'espèce et semblance d'ung mouton, en le baisant par le fondement en signe de révérence et d'hommage.'[6] Martin Tulouff, tried in Guernsey in 1563, went to a meeting, 'ou ly avoet chinq ou vi chatz, d'ou il y en avoet ung qui estoit noir, qui menoit la dance, et dt q il estoit sur ses pieds plat, et que ladite Collennette le besa p de derriere, et luy p la crysse.

  1. Glanvil, pt. ii, pp. 137, 139, 163, 164.
  2. W. G. Stewart, p. 175.
  3. Danaeus, ch. ii.
  4. Cooper, p. 90.
  5. Rymer, i, p. 956.
  6. Chartier, iii, p. 45.