In the seventeenth centurv, the manner in which the delusion was communicated seems exactly to resemble those remarkable instances of sympathy which occur in the cases of the Scottish Cambus-lang Conversions and the American Forest Preachings. No sooner has one hypochondriac published his symptoms, than fifty others feel themselves at once affected with the same disorder. In the celebrated Mora case in 1669, with which of course all the readers of Glanvil (and who has not occasionally peeped into his horrors?) are familiar, the disease spreads first through the children, who believed themselves the victims of diabolical agency, and who ascribed the convulsions, faintings, etc., with which they were attacked, to that cause j and next through the unfortunate witches themselves, for as soon as one or two of them, bursting into tears, confessed that the accusation of the children was true, all the rest joined in the confession. And what is the nature of their confession? Of all impossible absurdities that ever entered the brain of man, this trial is the epitome. They meet the devil nightly on the Blocula, which is the devil's ball-room in Sweden, as the Brocken is in Germany; they ride thither on sticks, goats, men's backs, and spits; they are baptized by a priest provided by the devil ; they sup with him, very frugally it would appear, for the banquet commonly consists of broth made with colewort and bacon, oatmeal, bread and butter, milk and cheese ; and the devil allows no wine. After supper they dance, and when the devil wishes to be particularly jolly he pulls the spits from under them, and beats them black and blue, after which he sits down and laughs outrageously. Sometimes he treats them to a musical exhibition on the harp, for he has a great turn for music, as his famous sonata to Tartini proves. All of them confess intercourse with him*, and most of them had sons and daughters by him. Occasionally he fell sick, and required to be bled and blistered ; and once he seemed to be dead, on which occasion there was a general mourning for him on the Blocula, as the Syrian damsels used to bewail the annual wound of their idol Thammuz on Lebanon. Is it not frightful to think that in a trial held before a tribunal consisting of the Úlite of the province of Dalecarlia, assisted by the commissioners from the capital,- in a country where, until this time, the witch mania, already beginning to abate in Germany, had scarcely been heard of, and where it ceased earlier perhaps than in most other countries in Europe,-seventy-two women and fifteen children shoidd have been condemned and executed at one time upon such confessions ? Is it possible after this to read without shuddering the cool newspaperlike conclusion of Dr. Horneck-u On the 25th of August execution was done upon the notoriously guilty, the day being bright and glorious, and the sun shining, and some thousands of people being present at the spectacle !"
* This, indeed, is an almost invariable feature in the witch trials, and, if the subject could justify the discussion, might lead to some singular medical conclusions.