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[252] me. It was the frontispiece of an old, smoked, snuff-stained pamphlet, the property of an elderly lady, (who had a fine collection of similar wonders, wherewith she was kind enough to edify her young visitors,) containing a solemn account of the fate of a wicked dancing-party in New Jersey, whose irreverent declaration, that they would have a fiddler if they had to send to the lower regions after him, called up the fiend himself, who forthwith commenced playing, while the company danced to the music incessantly, without the power to suspend their exercise, until their feet and legs were worn off to the knees! The rude wood-cut represented the demon fiddler and his agonized companions literally stumping it up and down in ‘cotillons, jigs, strathspeys, and reels.’ He would have answered very well to the description of the infernal piper in Tam O'Shanter.

To this popular notion of the impersonation of the principle of evil we are doubtless indebted for the whole dark legacy of witchcraft and possession. Failing in our efforts to solve the problem of the origin of evil, we fall back upon the idea of a malignant being,—the antagonism of good. Of this mysterious and dreadful personification we find ourselves constrained to speak with a degree of that awe and reverence which are always associated with undefined power and the ability to harm. ‘The Devil,’ says an old writer, ‘is a dignity, though his glory be somewhat faded and wan, and is to be spoken of accordingly.’

The evil principle of Zoroaster was from eternity self-created and existent, and some of the early

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