Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Contracts with the Devil by Lewis Spence 1920
Compacts with the Devil by Lewis Spence 1920
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An anonymous writer has handed down to us the agreement entered into between Louis Gaufridi and the devil:
"I, Louis, a priest, renounce each and every one of the spiritual and corporal gifts which may accrue to me from God, from the Virgin, and from all the saints, and especially from my patron John the Baptist, and the apostles Peter and Paul and St. Francis. And to you, Lucifer, now before me, I give myself and all the good I may accomplish, except the returns from the sacrament in the cases where I may administer it; all of which I sign and attest."
On his side Lucifer made the following agreement with Louis Gaufridi:
"I, Lucifer, bind myself to give you, Louis Gaufridi, priest, the faculty and power of bewitching by blowing with the mouth, all and any of the women and girls you may desire; in proof of which I sign myself Lucifer."
Bodin gives the following: "Magdalen of the Cross, native of Cordova in Spain and abbess of a convent, finding that she was suspected by the nuns and fearing that she would be burnt if charged, desired to anticipate them, and obtain the pardon of the pope by confessing that from the age of twelve years, a bad spirit in the form of a black Moor had desired her chastity, and that she had given in, and this had gone on for thirty years or more, she usually sleeping with him. Through his means while in the church, she was raised up, and when the nuns took the Sacrament after the consecration, the host came even to her in the air, in the sight of the other nuns who regarded it as sacred and the priest also, who used to complain at that time of a host."
According to Don Calmet there is to be seen at Mosheim in the chapel of St. Ignatius in the church of the Jesuit fathers a well-known inscription giving the history of a young German nobleman named Michel Louis, of the family of Boubenhoren, who was sent when quite young to the court of the Duke of Lorraine to learn French and there lost all his money at cards. Reduced to despair he decided to give himself up to the devil if that spirit of evil could or would give him good money, for he was afraid that he would be able to supply him only with counterfeit. While thinking this over a young man his own age, well-built and well-clothed, suddenly appeared before him and asking him the cause of his distress, put out his hand full of money and invited him to prove its worth, telling him to look him up again on the morrow. Michel returned to his companions who were still playing, won back all he had lost and all that of his companions. Then he called on his devil who asked in return three drops of blood which he collected in an acorn shell, and offering a pen to Michel told him to write to his dictation. This consisted of unknown words, which were taken down on two different notes, one of which the devil retained, and the other was put into the arm of Michel in the same places from which the blood had been taken. The devil then said: "I undertake to serve you for seven years, after which you belong to me without reserve." The young man agreed, though with some dread, and the devil did not fail to appear to him, day and night in various forms, inspiring him to things varied, unknown and curious and always with a tendency of evil. The fatal period of seven years was drawing to a end, and the young man was then about twenty years of age. He went home to his father, where the devil to whom he had given himself inspired him to poison his father and mother, burn the castle and kill himself. He tried to carry out all these crimes, but God prevented their success—the gun with which he would have killed himself missed fire twice, and the poison failed to act on his parents. Getting more and more uneasy he confided the unhappy condition he was in to some of his father's servants and begged them to get help. At the same time the devil seized him, twisting his body around and stopping very short of breaking his bones. His mother, who followed the teachings of Svenfeld and had enlisted her son in them, finding no help in her cult against the demon who possessed or obsessed him, was forced to put him in the care of some monks. But he soon left them and escaped to Islade whence he was sent back to Mosheim by his brother, canon of Wissbourg, who put him again into the hands of the Fathers of the Society. It was then that the demon made the most violent efforts against him, appearing to him in the form of wild animals. One day among others the demon, in the form of a man, wild and covered with hair, threw on the ground a note or contract different from the true one which he had got from the young man, so as to try by this false show to get him out of the hands of those who were looking after him and to prevent his making a full confession. Finally the 20th October, 1603, was set aside for proof in the Chapel of St. Ignatius, and for the reproduction of the true contract containing the deal made with the demon. The young man made profession of the orthodox catholic faith, renounced the demon and received the holy Eucharist Then with terrible cries he said that he saw two goats of immense size standing with their fore feet in the air and each holding between its hoofs one of the contracts or compacts. But when the exorcism was begun and the name of St. Ignace was invoked the two goats disappeared and there issued from the arm or left hand of the young man practically without pain and leaving no scar, the contract, which fell at the feet of the exorcist. There still remained the contract which had been retained by the demon. The exorcisms were begun again, St. Ignatius was invoked and a mass was promised in his honour, when a stork appeared, large, deformed and ill-shapen, and dropped from its beak the second contract, which was found on the altar."
There is frequent mention among the ancients of certain demons who show themselves, especially towards midday, to those with whom they are on familiar terms. They visit such persons in the form of men or animals or allow themselves to be enclosed in a letter, account or phial or even in a ring, wide and hollow within. "Magicians are known," adds Leloyer, "who make use of them, and to my great regret I am forced to admit that the practice is only too common."
Housdorf in his Theatre des exemples du Be commandement," quoted by Goulart, says: "A doctor of medicine forgot himself so far as to form an alliance with the enemy of our salvation whom he called up and enclosed in a glass from which the seducer and familiar spirit answered him. The doctor was fortunate in the cure of ailments, and amassed great wealth in his practice, so much so that he left his children the sum of 78,000 francs. Shortly before his death, when his conscience began to prick him, he fell into such a frenzy that he never spoke but to invoke the devil or blaspheme the Holy Ghost and it was in this unfortunate condition that he passed away."
Goulart repeats, from Alexander of Alexandria, the story of a prisoner who had invoked the help of the devil and had visited the lower regions:
"The overlord of a small town in the principality of Sulmona and Kingdom of Naples, proved very miserly and arrogant in his rule, so much so that his subjects were too poor to live beside his harsh treatment of them. One of them, honest, but poor and despised, gave a sound beating for some reason to a hunting dog of this overlord, and the death of the dog angered the latter so much that he had the poor man seized and shut up in a dungeon. After some days the warders, who kept the gates carefully locked went to open them as usual to give him a crust of bread, but he was not to be found in his cell. Having looked for him everywhere, again and again, and finding no trace of him nor his method of escape, they at last reported this wonderful affair to their master, who first ridiculed, and then threatened them, but realising at length the truth of it, he was no less astonished than they. Three days after this alarming incident, and with all the doors of the prison and dungeon closed as before, this same prisoner, unbeknown to anyone, was found shut up in his own dungeon. He was much distracted, and asked to be taken without delay before the overlord as he had a matter of much importance to communicate. When taken there he said that he had come back from the lower regions. His case was that, not being able to stand any longer the rigors of prison life, overcome with despair, fearing death and lacking any good advice, he had invoked the help of the devil that he might release him from his confinement. That soon after, the Evil One, in a terribly hideous form, had appeared in his dungeon where they made a bargain, after which he was dragged out, not without severe injury, and projected into subterranean passages, wonderfully hollowed out, like the bottom of the earth; there he had seen the dungeons of the wicked, their tortures and their miseries, dark and terrible. Kings, princes and high lords were plunged into abysses of darkness where, with indescribable torture, they were seared with a raging fire. That he had seen popes, cardinals and other prelates, beautifully dressed, and other kinds of persons in varying garb, suffering other anguish in gulfs of great depth, where the torture was incessant. Proceeding, he said he had recognised some acquaintances and especially a former great friend of his who, recognising him in return, enquired as to his condition. The prisoner told him that their land was in the hands of a cruel master, whereupon the other charged him to command this cruel master, on returning, to renounce his tyrannical ways, otherwise his place would be one of the neighbouring seats, which was shown to the prisoner. And (continued this shade) in order that the said overlord may have faith in your report recall to him the secret counsel and talks we had together when engaged in a certain war, the chiefs in which he named, and then he gave in detail the secret, their agreement, the words and promises given on each side. The prisoner gave them all distinctly one by one in their order, and the lord was much astonished at the message, wondering how things committed to himself and not revealed by him to anybody, could be so easily and so boldly unfolded to him by a poor subject of his who told them as if he had read them in a book. Further, the prisoner enquired of his friend in the lower regions, whether it could be true that all the magnificently dressed persons that he saw were conscious of their torments. The other answered that they were seared with an eternal fire, overwhelmed with torture and indescribable anguish, and that all this scarlet and golden raiment was nought but the colouring of the glowing fire. Wishing to test this he drew near to touch this scarlet effect and the other begged him to go, but the fierceness of the fire had scorched the whole of the palm of his hand, which he showed all roasted and cooked as in the embers of a great fire. The poor prisoner being released, to those who met him on his way home he appeared stupid. He neither saw nor heard anything, was always deep in thought, spoke little and replied very shortly to the questions put to him. His face, too, had become so hideous, his appearance so ill-favoured that his wife and children had difficulty in recognising him again, and when they did it was only to weep and cry at this change in him. He lived but a few days after his return and so great was his distraction that he had great difficulty in looking after his affairs."
Crespet describes the mark with which Satan brands his own:
"It may be assumed that it is no fallacy but very evident that Satan's mark on sorcerers is like leprosy, for the spot is insensitive to all punctures, and it is in the possession of such marks that one recognises them as true sorcerers for they feel the puncture no more than if they were leprous, nor does any blood appear, and never indeed, does any pain that may be inflicted cause them to move the part."
"They receive, with this badge, the power of injuring and of pleasing, and, secretly or openly, their children are made to participate in the oath and connection which the fathers have taken with the devil. Even the mothers with this in view, dedicate and consecrate their children to the demons, not only as soon as born but even when conceived, and so it happens that, through the ministrations of these demons, sorcerers have been seen with two pupils in each eye, while others had the picture of a horse in one eye and two pupils in the other, and such serve as marks and badges of contracts made with them, for these demons can engrave and render in effigy such or similar lines and features on the bodies of the very young embryo."
"These marks," says Jacques Fontaine, "are not engraved on the bodies of sorcerers by the demons for recognition purposes only, as the captains of companies of light-horse know those of their number by the colour of their coats, but to imitate the creator of all things, to show his power and the authority he has gained over those miserable beings who have allowed themselves to be caught by his cunning and trickery, and by the recognition of these marks of their master to keep them in his power. Further, to prevent them, as far as possible, from withdrawing from their promises and oaths of fidelity, because though breaking faith with him the marks still remain with them and serve, in an accusation, as a means of betraying them, with even the smallest amount of evidence that may be brought forward."
"Louis Gaufridy, a prisoner, who had just been condemned to be burnt .... was marked in more than thirty places over the body and on the loins especially there was a mark of lust so large and deep, considering the site, that a needle could be inserted for the width of three fingers across it without any feeling being shown by the puncture."
The same author shows that the marks on sorcerers are areas which have mortified from the touch of the devil's finger.
"About 1591, Leonarde Chastenet, an old woman of eighty, was taken up as a sorceress while begging in Poitou. Brought before Mathurin Bonnevault, who deponed to having seen her at the meeting of witches, she confessed that she had been there with her husband, and that the devil, a very disgusting beast, was there in the form of a goat. She denied that she would have carried out any witchcraft, but nineteen witnesses testified to her having caused the death of five labourers and a number of animals.
"Finding her crimes discovered and herself condemned she confessed that she had made a compact with the devil, given him some of her hair, and promised to do all the harm she could. She added that at night in prison the devil had appeared to her, in the form of a cat, to which she expressed the wish to die, whereupon this devil presented her with two pieces of wax telling her to eat them and she would die, but she had been unwilling to do it. She had the pieces of wax with her, but on examination their composition could not be made out. She was then condemned and the pieces of wax burnt with her."
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