Page images


[ocr errors]

Beaumont's Visions Those of Tasso

Kotter - Drabicius - Arise Evans -

PHYSICIANS have sometimes occasion to regret the prolixity of the statements, which they receive from their patients. Beaumont has been rather more diffusive than usual; for his book, which may be considered as a narrative of his malady, contains four hundred pages, in octavo. It is, however very much to my purpose, for it exhibits the disease of spectral vision, in its full strength and permanency.


Like Nicolai, he sometimes saw a multitude of men and women about him, both in the day and night. . “ So it was “ with myself,” says he, “ for I saw

hundreds, though I never saw any in " the night-time, without a fire, or can

dle-light, or in the moonshine, and " as the person mentioned (by Aubrey) “ had two particular spirits there named, “ which constantly attended him, be

sides others without names, so it was “ with myself; two spirits constantly at

tending me, night and day, for above “ three months together; who called “ each other by their names, and several spirits would often call at my

chamber “ door, and ask whether such spirits “ lived there, calling by their names, “and they would answer, they did. “ As for the other spirits that attended

I heard none of their names men“ tioned, only I asked one spirit which

came for some nights together, and rung a little bell in my ear, what his


name was, who answered Ariel. We

find that one of the spirits, who « attended the second-sighted person, “ appeared as a boy, the other as a girl; “ but the two that constantly attended

myself, appeared both in women's habit, they being of a brown complexion, and about three foot in sta

ture; they had both black, loose net“ work gowns, tyed with a black sash “ about the middle, and within the net“ work appeared a gown of a golden “ colour, with somewhat of a light strik

ing through it. Their heads were not “ drest with top-knots, but they had “ white linen caps on, with lace on “ them, about three-fingers breadth, and " over it they had a black loose net-work « hood.

“ As the foresaid second-sighted persons, sitting by the fire, with others “ in the winter-time, would see spirits standing by, and often seem angry

“ and disturbed, though nothing visible “ to others moved him; so, as I have “ been sitting by the fire with others, “ I have seen several spirits, and pointed “ to the place where they were, telling “ the company they were there. And “one spirit, whom I heard calling to

me, as he stood behind me, on a “ sudden clapped his finger to my side, “ which I sensibly perceived, and started « at it, and as I saw one spirit come in" at the door, which I did not like, I

suddenly laid hold of a pair of tongs, " and struck at him with all my force, “ whereupon he vanished.

66 *** I must declare, that I would not for the whole world undergo what “ I have undergone, upon spirits coin* ing twice to me; their first coming “ was most dreadful to me, the thing

being then altogether new, and consequently more surprizing, though at so the first coming they did not appear

“ to me, but only called to me at my • chamber windows, rung bells, sung “ to me, and played on music, &c. but “ the last coming also carried terror “ enough; for when they came, being

only five in number, the two women “ before mentioned, and three men,

(though afterwards there came hundreds) they told me they would kill me,

if I told any person in the house " of their being there, which put me in

some consternation, and I made a servant sit up with me four nights in

my chamber before a fire, it being in the Christmas Holidays, telling no

person of their being there. One of “these spirits in women's dress, lay “ down upon the bed by me every “ night; and told me if I slept, the

spirits would kill me, which kept me waking for three nights. In the mean time, a near relation of mine went

(though unknown to me) to a phy“ sician of my, acquaintance, desiring


« PreviousContinue »