Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 2,8 MB
  • EAN: 9780243835652
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Descrizione

In the allegorical and mythical tales of the Middle Ages a certain dread personage is always represented as taking a particular delight in cunning arrangement of human affairs. He is variously known as the Devil, Satan, Robin Goodfellow, etc., and he indeed seems to have been thought by some theologists to keep a pretty park well stocked with dead sea fruit for the delectation of travellers proceeding on the high road to that heated realm of his which is called by so different a name. Nor is it among the Christians alone that the interces sion of some unseen third party was believed in, for we have traces in Greece, as well as in the East, of a like belief; and the Athenians were particularly suspicious of anything which seemed to betoken especial good luck. Extravagant favours of fortune were regarded as signs of impending mischief, and distrusted, as the gold casket was by the prudent Bassanio. Perhaps the story of the sirens is meant to point a moral of the same sort. How ever the introduction of this strange middleman be accounted for, the one great fact of all magic (which is not of Divine doing) is that means are adopted for its consummation. It would be blasphemy to argue by analogy and contrast mundane magic with that of the Deity but this middleman theory — of which, by the way, the Spaniards have an idea in their popular proverb, Where the Devil cannot go himself he sends an old woman -will be shown to exercise as much effect in matters superstitious as it is credited with in the less poetical sphere of life as she is lived.