Witches And The Devil
by Reginald Scot


That which in this matter of witchcraft hath abused so manie, and seemeth both so horrible and intollerable, is a plaine bargaine, that (they saie) is made betwixt the divell and the witch. And manie of great learning conceive it to be a matter of truth, and in their writings publish it accordinglie: the which (by Gods grace) shall be prooved as vaine and false as the rest.

The order of their bargaine. The double bargane of witches with the divell or profession is double; the one solemne and publike; the other secret and private. That which is called solemne or publike, is where witches come togither at certeine assemblies, at the times prefixed, and doo not onelie see the divell in visible forme; but confer and talke familiarlie with him. In which conference the divell exhorteth them to observe their fidelitie unto him, promising them long life and prosperitie. Then the witches assembled, commend a new disciple (whom they call a novice) unto him: and if the divell find that yoong witch apt and forward in renunciation of christian faith, in despising anie of the seven sacraments, in treading upon crosses, in spetting at the time of the elevation, in breaking their fast on fasting daies, and fasting on sundaies; then the divell giveth foorth his hand, and the novice joining hand in hand with him, promiseth to observe and keepe all the divels commandements.

This done, the divell beginneth to be more bold with hir, telling hir plainlie, that all this will not serve his turne; and therefore requireth homage at hir hands:Mal. malef. de modo professionis. yea he also telleth hir, that she must grant him both hir bodie and soule to be tormented in everlasting fire: which she yeeldeth unto. Then he chargeth hir, to procure as manie men, women, and children also, as she can, to enter into this societie. Then he teacheth them to make ointments of the bowels and members of children, whereby they ride in the aire, and accomplish all their desires. So as, if there be anie children unbaptised, or not garded with the signe of the crosse, or orizons; then the witches may and doo catch them from their mothers sides in the night, or out of their cradles, or otherwise kill them with their ceremonies; and after buriall steale them out of their graves, and seeth them in a caldron, untill their flesh be made potable. Of the thickest whereof they make ointments, whereby they ride in the aire; but the thinner potion they put into flaggons, whereof whosoever drinketh, observing certeine ceremonies, immediatlie becommeth a maister or rather a mistresse in that practise and facultie.

End of Witches And The Devil by Reginald Scot