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chose to dismiss Michael with the most ample concessions, than to stand to the probable consequences. Upon another occasion, the magician, having studied so long in the mountains that he became faint for want of food, sent his servant to procure some from the nearest farm-house. The attendant received a churlish denial from the farmer. Michael commanded him to return to this rustic Nabal, and lay before him his cap, or bonnet, repeating these words,
Maister Michael's Scott's man
When this was done and said, the enchanted bonnet became suddenly inflated, and began to run round the house with great speed, pursued by the farmer, his wife, his servants, and the reapers, who were on the neighbouring har'st rigg. No one had the power to resist the fascination, or refrain from joining in pursuit of the bonnet, until they were totally exhausted with their ludicrous exercise. A similar charm. occurs in Huon de Bourdeaux, and in the ingenious Oriental tale, called the Caliph Wathek.
Michael, like his predecessor Merlin, fell at last a victim to female art. His wife, or concubine, elicit'ed out of him the secret, that his art could ward off any danger except the poisonous qualities of broth, made of the flesh of a breme sow. Such a mess she accordingly administered to the wizard, who died in consequence of eating it.
The words that cleft Eildon hills in three,
Michael Scott was, once upon a time, much embarrassed by a spirit, for whom he was under the necessity of finding constant employment. He commanded him to build a cauld, or dam-head, across the Tweed at Kelso : it was accomplished in one night, and still does honor to the infernal architect. 3Michael next ordered, that Eildon hill, which was then a uniform cone, should be divided into three. Another night was sufficient to part its summit into the three picteresque peaks which it now bears. At length the enchanter conqured this indefatigable daemon, by employing him in the hopeless and endless task of making ropes out of sea sand.
That lamp shall burn unquenchably.—Ver, 17, p. 42.
Baptista Porta, and other authors who treat of natural magic, talk much of eternal lamps, pretended to have been found burning in ancient sepulchres. Fortunius Licetus investigates the subject in a treatise, De Lucernis antiquorum reconditis, published at
Venice, in 1621. One of these perpetual lamps is said to have been discovered in the tomb of Tulliola, the daughter of Cicero. The wick was supposed to be composed of asbestos. Kircher enumerates three different receipts for constructing such lamps; and wisely concludes that the thing nevertheless is impossible. Mundus Subterraneus, p. 72.-Delrio iniputes the fabrication of such lights to magical skill. Disquisitiones Magica, p. 53. In a vary rare romance which “treateth of the lyfe of Virgilius, and of his deth, and many marvayles that he dyd in his
thoroughe the helpe of the devyls of hell,” mention is made of a very extraordinary process, in which one of these mystical lamps was employed. It seems that Virgil, as he advanced in years, became desirous of renovating his youth by his magical art. For this purpose he constructed a solitary tower, having
only one narrow portal, in which he placed twentyfour copper figures, armed with iron flails, twelve on
each side of the porch. These enchanted statues struck with their flails incessantly, and rendered all entrance impossible, unless when Virgil touched the spring, which stopped their motion. To this tower he repaired privately, attended by one trusty servant, to whom he communicated the secret of the entrance, and hither they conveyed all the magician's treasure.
“Then sayde Virgilius, my dere beloved frende, and he that I above alle men truste and knowe mooste of my secret;” and then he led the man into the cellar, where he made a fayer lamp at all seasons turnynge. And than sayd Virgilius to the man, “See you the barell that standeth here * and he sayd, yea: “therein must thou put me : fyrste ye must slee me, and hewe me smalle to peces, and cut my hed in iiii peces, and salte the hed under in the bottum, and then the peces thereafter, and my herte in the myddel, and then set the barell under the lampe, that nyghte and daye the fat therein may droppe and leake ; and ye shall, ix dayes longe, ones in the daye, fylle the lampe, and fayle nat. And when this is alle done, then shall I be renued, and made yonge agen.” At this extraordinary proposal, the confidant was sore abashed, and made some scruple of obeying his master's commands. At length, however, he complied, and Virgil was slain, pickled, and barrelled up, in all respects according to his own direction. The servant then left the tower, taking care to put the copper threshers in motion at his departure. He continued daily to visit the tower with the same precaution. Meanwhile, the emperor, with whom Virgil was a great favourite, missed him from the court, and demanded of his servant where he was. The domestic pretended ignorance, till the emperor threatened him with death, when at length he conveyed him to the enchanted tower. The same threat extorted a discovery of the mode of stopping the statues from wielding their flails. “And then the emperor entered into the castle with all his folke, and soghte all about in every corner after Virgilius ; and at the last they soghte so longe, that they came into the seller, where they sawe the lampe hang over the barell, where Virgilius lay in deed. Then asked the emperour the man who had made hym so herdey to put his mayster Virgilius so to dethe ; and the man answered no worde to the emperour. And than the emperour, with great anger, drewe oute his swerde, and slewe he there Virgilius' man. And when all this was done, than sawe the emperour, and all his folke, a naked chylde iii tymes rennynge about the barell, saynge these wordes, ‘cursed be the tyme that ye ever came here !’ And with those wordes vanysshed the chylde awaye, and was never sene ageyn 5 and thus abyd Virgilius in the barell deed.” Virgilius, bl. let, printed at Antwerpe by John Doesborcke. This curious volume is in the valuable library of Mr. Douce; and is supposed to be a translation from the French, printed in Flanders for the English market. See Goujet Biblioth. Franc. ix. 225. Catalogue de la Bibliotheque Naionale, tom. ii, p. 5. De Bure, No. 3857.