An amusing work appeared at Mainz, in 1826, from the pen of " Herr Kirchenrath" Horst, the title of which, translated in extenso, runs thus :- "The Magical Library; or, of Magic, Theurgy, and Necromancy; Magicians, Witches, and Witch Trials, Demons, Ghosts, and Spectral Appearances. By G. C Horst, Church-Counsellor to the Grand Duke of Hesse." The following pages formed a review of this work, which appeared many years ago*.
This book of the worthy Church-Counsellor is rather a singular one : it is not a history of Magic, but a sort of spiritual periodical, or magazine of infernal science, supported in a great measure by contributions from persons of a ghostly turn of mind, who, although they affect occasionally to write in a Sadducee vein, are many of them half-believers at heart, and would not walk through a churchyard at night, except for a consideration larger than we shoidd like to pay. The field over which it travels is too extensive, for us to attempt to follow the author throughout his elaborate subdivisions. Dante divided hell, like Germany, into circles; and Mr. Horst, adopting something of a similar arrangement, has parcelled out the territory of the Prince of the Air into sundry regular divisions, by which its whole bearings and distances are made plain enough for the use of infant schools. It is only at one of the provinces of the Inferno, however, that we can at present afford to glance; though for those who are inclined to make the grand tour, the Counsellor may be taken as an intelligent travelling companion, well acquainted with the road. In fact his work is so methodical and distinct, and the geography of the infernal regions so clearly laid down, according to the best authorities, from Jamblichus and Porphyry down to Glanvil and the Abbe Fiard, that the whole district is now about as well known as the course of the Niger; and it must be the traveller's own fault if he does not find his exit from Avernus as easy as its entrance has proverbially been since the days of Virgil.
* Since they were written, Sir Walter Scott's c Deinonology and Witchcraft' has been published, a book replete with interesting historical notices.