Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/457

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

spirit, ... thou bestial and foolish drunkard, ... most greedy wolf, ... most abominable whisperer, ... thou sooty spirit from Tartarus! ... I cast thee down, O Tartarean boor, into the infernal kitchen! ... Loathsome cobbler, ... dingy collier, ... filthy sow (scrofa stercorata), ... perfidious boar, ... envious crocodile, ... malodorous drudge, ... wounded basilisk, ... rust-colored asp, ... swollen toad, ... entangled spider, ... lousy swineherd (porcarie pedicose), ... lowest of the low, ... cudgeled ass," etc.

But, in addition to this attempt to disgust Satan's pride with blackguardism, there was another to scare him with tremendous words. For this purpose, great, sounding names, from Hebrew and Greek, of the Deity were imported, such as Acharon, Eheye, Schemhamphora, Tetragrammaton, Homousion, Ho Theos, Athanatos, Ischiros, Æcodes, and the like.[1]

Efforts were also made to drive him out with filthy and rank-smelling drugs; and, among those which can be mentioned in a printed article, we may name asafœtida, sulphur, squills, etc., which were to be burned under his nose.

Still further to plague him, pictures of the devil were to be spat upon, trampled under foot by people of low condition, and sprinkled with foul compounds.

But these were merely preliminaries to the exorcism proper. In this the most profound theological thought and sacred science of the period culminated.

Most of its forms were childish, but some rise to almost Miltonic grandeur. As an example of the latter, we may take the following:

"By the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, which God hath given to make known unto his servants those things which are shortly to take place; and hath signified, sending by his angel, ... I exorcise you, ye angels of untold perversity!

"By Him that is the faithful witness, the first-born among the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth, ... I exorcise you, ye dwellers in the regions of hell!

"And by Him that loved us, and washed us of our sins in his blood, ... and behold, he cometh in clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall weep before him; ... and by all the wondrous signs, terrible voices, mighty thunders, and mystic visions which St. John beheld, I exorcise you, O angels who entice unto evil deeds, that ye do go far away from this creature!

"By the seven golden candlesticks, ... and by one like unto the Son of man, standing in the midst of the candlesticks; by

  1. See the Conjuratio on p. 300 of the "Thesaurus," and the general directions given on pp. 251, 252.