Page:Antidote to superstition, or, A cure for those weak minds which are troubled with the fear of, ghosts and witches (NLS104184264).pdf/5

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ſtand erect, and your nerves convulſe, harrow up your ſoul, and freeze your blood.

At twelve years of age I myſelf was a complete maſter in all the branches of ſuperſtitious ſcience, and could diſpute with the moſt credulous old maid in town. But, alas! my ſcientific proficiency conſtantly filled my mind with thouſands of imaginary tortures, in ſo much, that a magpie did not chatter on our roof, nor a timorous hare ſtart up, but I thought they were omens of ſome future evil to me. The ſhaking of a willow or reed was more terrible to me than a ruffian's dagger: the fluttering of a bird, the ruſtling of aſpen leaves, have made my hair ſtand erect, and the ſweat diſtill in large and copious drops. The lugubrous chirping of a fire-cricket under my bed-chamber grate, almoſt perſuaded me that I was to die very ſoon; and die I moſt certainly thould through pure fear, had I not boldly poured a large drink-offering of boiling water on the place where I deemed the little reptile had its neſt. Darkneſs and night were as terrible to me as the ſhades of Tartarus; for I believed both equally full of ſpirits and apparitions. I would not go into a room alone or without light; once I almoſt loſt my ſenſes, and alarmed the houſe by going into a cellar where a few dried fiſh were hung up. I was once purſued nigh the church-yard by a long-bearded goat; I really