The picture, however, drawn by these intelligent spiritual travellers is by no means calculated to impress us with a high notion of the dominions of the Prince of the Air, or that the personnel of his majesty or his government are prepossessing. The climate, as all of them, from Faust downwards, agree, is oppressively hot, and the face of the country apparently a good deal like that between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, abounding with furnaces and coal-pits. Literature is evidently at a low ebb, from the few specimens of composition with which we are favoured in the Zauber-Bibliothek, and the sciences, with the exception of some practical applications of chemistry, shamefully neglected. The government seems des-potical, but subject to occasional explosions on the part of the more influential spirits concerned in the executive. In fact, the departments of the administration are by no means well arranged ; there is no proper division of labour, and the consequence is, that Beelzebub, " Mooned Ashtaroth," and others of the ministry, who, according to the theory of the constitution* are entitled to precedence, are constantly jostled and interfered with by Aziel, Mephistopheles, Marbuel, and other forward second-rate spirits, who are continually thrusting in their claws where they are not called for. The standing army is considerable*, besides the volunteers by which it is continually augmented. Nothing is heard however of the navy, and from the ominous silence which our geographers preserve on this point, it is easy to see that water is a rare element in this quarter.
* Faustus, who is a sort of Delohne in matters infernal, has an able treatise on the subject, entitled c Mirakel- Kunst- und Wunder-Buch, oder der schwartze Babe, auch der dreifache Hôllen Zwang genannt,' in winch the political system of Lucifer's dominions is examined. Dionysius the Areopagite indeed is not more exact in his calendar of the celestial hierarchy. Perhaps these treatises are the common parents of the modern 1 Blue Books'.
The hints given as to the personal appearance and conduct of Lucifer, the reigning monarch, are not flattering. Common readers are apt to believe that Satan occupies that dignity f, but this is a great error, and only shows, as Asniodeus told Don Clcofas, when he fell into a similar mistake about Beelzebub, u that they have no true notions of hell." The morals of Lucifer, as might be expected, are as bad as possible, with this exception, that we see no evidence of his being personally addicted to thinking. His licentious habits, however, are attested by many a scandalous chronicle in Spren-ger, Delrio, and Bodinus; and for swearing, all the world knows that Ernulphus was but a type of him. His jokes are all practical and of a low order, and there is an utter want of dignity in most of his proceedings. One of his most facetious amusements consists in constantly pulling the spits, on which his witches are riding, from beneath them, and applying them vigorously to their shoulders; and he has more than once administered personal chastisement to his servants, when they neglected to keep an appointment. He is a notorious cheat; many enterprising young men, who have enlisted in his service on the promise of high pay and promotion, having found, on putting their hands into their pockets, that he had paid them their bounty in tin sixpences, and having never risen even to the rank of a corporal. His talent might, from these narratives, be considered very mediocre, and therefore we are afraid that the ingenious selection from his papers, published by Jean Paul"*, must be a literary forgery. At least all his printed speeches are bad, flashy enough, no doubt, in the commencement, but generally ending in smoke. He has always had a fancy for appearing in masquerade, and once delivered a course of lectures on magic at Salamanca, in the disguise of a professor. So late as 1626, he lived incog., but in a very splendid style, for a whole winter, in Milan, under the title of the Duke of Mammon*. It is in vain, however, for his partial biographers to disguise the fact, that in his nocturnal excursions, of which, like Haroun Alraschid, he was at one time rather fond, and where, we learn from the Swedish witches, he generally figured in a grey coat and red small-clothes, ornamented with ribbons and blue stockings, he has more than once received a sound drubbing from honest people, whom he has attempted to trip up by laying his tail in their way. And, in fact, since his affair with St. Dunstan, lie lias kept pretty much withindoors after nightfall. Luther, as we know, kept no terms with him when he began to crack hazel-nuts in his bedroom at the Wartburg, but beat him all to nothing in a fair contest of ribaldry and abuse, besides leaving an indelible blot of ink upon his red smalls t- St. Lupus shut him up for a whole night in a pitcher of cold water, into which he had (as he thought, cunningly) conveyed himself, with the hope that the saint would swallow him unawares*. This however, considering his ordinary temperature, must have been an act of kindness, which should have brought on St. Lupus the censure of the church. St. Anthony, in return for a very polite offer of his services, spat in his face ; which hurt his feelings so much, that it was long before he ventured to appear in society againf. And although in his many transactions with mankind he is constantly trying to secure some unfair advantage, a person of any talent, particularly if he has been bred a lawyer J, is a match for him ; and there are numerous cases in the books, in which his majesty, attempting to apprehend the person of a debtor, has been unexpectedly defeated by an ingenious saving clause in the bond, which, like Shylock, he had overlooked, and non-suited in the ecclesiastical courts, where he commonly sues, with costs §. Finally, we infer from the Mora Trials, that his general health must have suffered from the climate, for in 1669 he was extremely ill in Sweden; and though he got over the attack for a time, by bleeding and an antiphlogistic regimen, the persons who were about him thought his constitution was breaking up, and that he was still in a dying way.
* Reginald Scott's ' Discoverie of "Witchcraft' contains an army-list or muster-roll of the infernal forces. Thus the Duke of Amazeroth, who seems to be a sort of brigadier-general, has the command of sixty legions, etc.
+ Satan is a mere third-rate spirit, as they will find by consulting a list of the Infernal Privy Council for 1669, contained in Faust's ' Black Raven.' But we are not told the exact date of liis deposition from his primacy. It is singular that both in the book of Job, where he is mentioned for the first time, and in the Scandinavian mythologers, he appears in a similar character -" The Ranger," or " Roving Spirit of Tartarus." See Winter, Etymologicon, vol. hi., in winch very learned, though now forgotten work, there is much diabolical erudition.
* Auswahl aus des Teufels Papieren. Yet, like Cato the Censor, Lucifer may have taken to study late in life.
* Lotichius, Oratorio super fatalibus hoc tempore Academi-arum periculis : 1631. Lotichius took the trouble to compose a Latin poem on the subject of Ids triumphal entry. A book entitled ' Mammon' had some reputation in its day. The acknowledged author's name indeed is Harris ; yet some commentator of the year 2150 will perhaps suggest that it was e Old Harry's Mammon.' We hare seen worse " conjectural emendations".
+ Colloquia Mensalia.
* Legenda Aurea Jacob, de Voragine, leg. 123. t Ibid. leg. 21.
X Or even a bishop. See Southey's pithy and profitable tale of ' Eleemon, or a Sinner Saved'.
§ In the case of St. Lydvina, when he pleaded his case in person, and thought it a clear one, he was fairly laughed out of court, " deriso explosoque Daemone." (Brugniann, Vita Lyd-vinse, p. 290.) He was hoaxed in a still more ingenious manner by Nostradamus, who having agreed that the devil should have him, if he was buried either in the church or out of it, left directions that he should be buried in a hole in the wall. Sometimes however he was the gainer in such equivocal compacts,-as, for example, in the case of the monk who was to live so long as he abstained from sleeping between sheets. The monk always slept in a chair ; but in an unlucky horn* Satan caught him as fast as a top with his head between the sheets of a sermon, and claimed his bond.
Such is the grotesque aspect of the legendary Lucifer and his court, which a course of dsemono-logy presents to us ! But though we have thus spoken with levity of these gross and palpable conceptions of the evil principle, and though undoubtedly the first impression produced by such a farrago must be a ludicrous one, the subject, we fear, has also its serious side. An Indian deity, with its wild distorted shape and grotesque attitude, appears merely ridiculous when separated from its accessories and viewed by daylight in a museum. But restore it to the darkness of its own hideous temple, bring back to our recollection the victims that have bled upon its altar, or been crushed beneath its car, and our sense of the ridiculous subsides into aversion and horror. So, while the superstitious dreams of former times are regarded as mere speculative insanities, we may for a moment be amused with the wild incoherencies of the patients ; but when we reflect that out of these hideous misconceptions of the principle of evil arose the belief in witchcraft ; that this was no dead faith, but one operating on the whole being of society, urging on the mildest and the wisest to deeds of murder, or cruelties scarcely less than murder ; that the learned and the beautiful, young and old, male and female, were devoted by its influence to the stake and the scaffold,-every feeling disappears except that of astonishment that such things could be, and humiliation at the thought that the delusion was as lasting as it was universal.