the prisoners in the jails; to poor Giles Corey, tortured with planks upon his breast, which forced the tongue from his mouth and his life from his old, palsied body; to bereaved and quaking families; to a whole community, priest-ridden and spectresmitten, gasping in the sick dream of a spiritual nightmare and given over to believe a lie. We may laugh, for the grotesque is blended with the horrible; but we must also pity and shudder. The clear-sighted men who confronted that delusion in its own age, disenchanting, with strong good sense and sharp ridicule, their spell-bound generation,— the German Wierus, the Italian D'Apone, the English Scot, and the New England Calef,—deserve high honors as the benefactors of their race. It is true they were branded through life as infidels and ‘damnable Sadducees;’ but the truth which they uttered lived after them, and wrought out its appointed work, for it had a Divine commission and Godspeed.
The oracles are dumb;Dimmer and dimmer, as the generations pass away, this tremendous terror, this all-pervading espionage of evil, this active incarnation of motiveless malignity, presents itself to the imagination. The once imposing and solemn rite of exorcism has become obsolete in the Church. Men are no longer, in any quarter of the world, racked or
No voice nor hideous hum
Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving;
Apollo from his shrine
Can now no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.