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A DISCOURSE happening at supper concerning those that are said to bewitch or have a bewitching eye, most of the company looked upon it as a whim, and laughed at it. But Metrius Florus, who then gave us a supper, said that the strange events wonderfully confirmed the report; and because we cannot give a reason for the thing, therefore to disbelieve the relation was absurd, since there are a thousand things which evidently are, the reasons of which we cannot readily assign. And, in short, he that requires every thing should be probable destroys all wonder and admiration; [p. 328] and where the cause is not obvious, there we begin to doubt, that is, to philosophize. So that they who disbelieve all wonderful relations do in some measure take away philosophy. The cause why any thing is so, reason must find out; but that a thing is so, testimony is a sufficient evidence; and we have a thousand instances of this sort attested. We know that some men by looking upon young children hurt them very much, their weak and soft temperature being wrought upon and perverted, whilst those that are strong and firm are not so liable to be wrought upon. And Phylarchus tells us that the Thibians, the old inhabitants about Pontus, were destructive not only to little children, but to some also of riper years; for those upon whom they looked or breathed, or to whom they spake, would languish and grow sick. And this, likely, those of other countries perceived who bought slaves there. But perhaps this is not so much to be wondered at, for in touching and handling there is some apparent principle and cause of the effect. And as when you mix other birds' wings with the eagles', the plumes waste and suddenly consume; so there is no reason to the contrary, but that one man's touch may be good and advantageous, and another's hurtful and destructive. But that some, by being barely looked upon, are extremely prejudiced is certain; though the stories are disbelieved, because the reason is hard to be given.
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