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The Latin narrative of this history, published for the Camden Society by the writer of this paper, gives no further information respecting him ; hut we learn from other sources that the Bishop now accused him of heresy, had him excommunicated, and obtained a writ by which he was committed prisoner to the castle of Dublin. Here he remained in 1328, when Roger Outlawe was made Lord Justice of Ireland, who attempted to mitigate his sufferings. The Bishop of Ossory, enraged at the Lord Justice's humanity, accused him also of heresy and of abetting heretics ; upon which a parliament was called, and the different accusations having been duly examined, Arnald le Poer himself would probably have been declared innocent and liberated from confinement, but before the end of the investigation he died in prison, and his body, lying under sentence of excommunication, remained long unburied.
The Bishop, who had been so great a persecutor of heresy in others, was at last accused of the same crime himself, and the case being laid before the Archbishop of Dublin, he appealed to the apostolic see, fled the country privately, and repaired to Italy. Subsequent to this, he appears to have experienced a variety of troubles, and he suffered banishment during nine years. He died at a very great age in 1360. The Bishop's party boasted that the “nest” of sorcerers which had infested Ireland was entirely rooted out by the prosecution of the Lady Alice Kyteler and her accomplices. It may, however, be well doubted if the belief in witchcraft were not rather extended by the publicity and magnitude of these events.
Ireland would no doubt afford many equally remarkable cases in subsequent times, had the chroniclers thought them as well worth recording as the process of a lady of rank, which involved some of the leading people in the English Pale, and which agitated the whole state during several successive years.-Wright's Narratives of Sorcery and Magic, Vol. i.
Obeah, a pretended sort of witchcraft, arising from a superstitious credulity prevailing among the negroes, has ever been considered as a most dangerous practice, to suppress which, in our West India colonies, the severest laws ħave been enacted. The Obeah is considered as a potent and most irresistible spell, withering and paralyzing, by indescribable terrors and unusual sensations, the devoted victim. One negro who desires to be revenged on another, and is afraid to make an open and manly attack on his adversary, has usually recourse to this practice. Like the witches' cauldron in Macbeth, it is a combination of many strange and ominous things. Earth gathered from a grave, human blood, a piece of wood fastened in the shape of a coffin, the feathers of the carrion crow, a snake or alligator's tooth, pieces of egg-shell, and other nameless ingredients, compose the fatal mixture. The whole of these articles may not be considered as absolutely necessary to complete the charm, but two or three are at least indispensable.
Mr. Long gives the following account of the furniture of the house of an Obi-woman, or African witch, in Jamaica ; “ The whole inside of the roof (which was of thatch), and every crevice of the walls, were stuck with the implements of her trade, consisting of rags, feathers, bones of cats, and a thousand other articles. Examining further, a large earthen pot or jar, close covered, contained a prodigious quantity of round balls of earth or clay, of various dimensions, large and small, whitened on the outside, and variously compounded, some with hair and rags, or feathers of all sorts, and strongly bound with twine; others blended with the upper section of the skulls of cats, or set round with cats' teeth and claws, and with human or dogs' teeth, and some glass beads of different colours. There were also a great many egg-shells filled with a viscous or gummy substance, the qualities of which were neglected to be examined ; and many little bags filled with a variety of articles, the particulars of which cannot, at this distance of time, be recollected.” Shakespeare and Dryden have left us poetical accounts of the composition of European Obies or charms,
with which, and with more historical descriptions, the above may be compared. The midnight hours of the professors of Obi are also to be compared with the witches of Europe. Obi, therefore, is the serpent-worship. The Pythoness, at Delphos, was an Obi-woman. With the serpent-worship is joined that of the sun and moon, as the governors of the visible world, and emblems of human nature and of the god-head; and to the cat, on account of her nocturnal prowlings, is ascribed a mysterious relationship to the moon. The dog and the wolf, doubtless for the same reason, are similarly circumstanced.
It will of course be conceived that the practice of Obeah can have little effect unless a negro is conscious that it is practised upon him, or thinks so; for, as the whole eril consists in the terrors of a superstitious imagination, it is of little consequence whether it be practised or not if he only imagines that it is. But if the charm fails to take hold of the mind of the proscribed person, another and more certain expedient is resorted to—the secret administration of poison This saves the reputation of the sorcerer, and effects the purpose he had in view.
An Obeah man or woman (for it is practised by both sexes) is a very dangerous person on a plantation ; and the practice of it is made felony by law, punishable with death where poison has been administered, and with transportation where only the charm has been used.
But numbers have, and may be swept off by its infatuation before the crime is detected; for, strange as it may appear, so much do the negroes stand in awe of these Obeah professors, so much do they dread their malice and their power, that, though knowing the havoc they have made and are still making, they are afraid to discover them to the whites; and others, perhaps, are in league with them for sinister purposes of mischief and revenge. A negro
under the infatuation of Obeah can only be cured of his terrors by being made a Christian : refuse him this boon, and he sinks a martyr to imagined evils. A negro, in short, considers himself as no longer under the influence of this sorcery
when he becomes a Christian. And instances are known of negroes who, being reduced by the fatal influence of Obeah to the lowest state of dejection and debility, from
which there were little hopes of recovery, have been surprisingly and rapidly restored to health and cheerfulness by being baptised Christians. The negroes believe also in apparitions, and stand in great dread of them, conceiving that they forebode death, or some other great evil, to those whom they visit,-in short, that the spirits of the dead come upon the earth to be revenged upon those who did them evil when in life. Thus we see that, not only from the remotest antiquity, but even among slaves and barbarians, the belief in supernatural agencies has been a popular creed, -not, in fact, confined to any distinct race or tribe of people; and, what is still more surprising, there is a singular and most remarkable identity in the notion or conception of their infernal ministry.
In the British West Indies, the negroes of the windward coast are called Mandingoes, a name which is here taken as descriptive of a peculiar race or nation. There seems reason, however, to believe that a Mandingo or Mandinga-man is properly the same with an Obi-man. A late traveller in Brazil gives us the following anecdotes of the Mandinga and Mandingueiro of the negroes in that country :-“One day," says Mr. Koster, an old man (a negro named Apollinario) came to me with a face of dismay to show me a ball of leaves, tied
which he had found under a couple of boards, upon which he slept, in an out-house. The ball was about the size of an apple. I could not imagine what had caused his alarm until he said that it was Mandinga which had been set for the purpose of killing him ; and he bitterly bewailed his fate, that at his age any one should wish to hasten his death, and to carry him from this world, before our Lady thought fit to send him. I knew that two of the black women were at variance, and suspicion fell upon one of them, who was acquainted with the old Mandingueiro of Engenho Velho; therefore she was sent for. I judged that the Mandinga was not set for Apollonario, but for the negress whose business it was to sweep the out-house. I threatened to confine the suspected woman at Gara unless she discovered the whole affair. She said the Mandinga was placed there to make one of the negresses dislike her fellow slaves, and prefer her to the other. The ball of Mandinga was formed of five or six kinds of leaves of trees, among which was the pomegranate leaf; there were likewise two or
three bits of rag, each of a peculiar kind; ashes, which were the bones of some animals; and there might be other ingredients besides, but these were what I could recognise. This woman either could not from ignorance, or would not, give any information respecting the several things of which the ball was composed. I treated this matter of the Mandinga seriously, from knowing the faith wbich not only many of the negroes have in it, but also some of the mulatto people. There is another name for this kind of charm ; it is called feitiço, and the initiated are called feiteçeros. Of these there was formerly one at the plantation of St. Joam, who became so much dreaded that his master sold him to be sent to Maranham.”
It is remarkable that, while the etymology of Obi has been sought in the names of ancient deities of Egypt, and in that of the serpent in the language of the coast, the actual name of the evil deity, or Devil, in the same language appears to have escaped attention. That name is written by Mr. Edwards, Obboney; and the bearer of it is described as a malicious deity, the author of all evil, the inflictor of perpetual diseases, and whose anger is to be appeased only by human sacrifices. This evil deity is the Satan of our own faith ; and it is the worship of Satan which, in all parts of the world, constitutes the essence of sorcery.
If this name of Obboney has any relation to the Ob of Egypt, and if the Ob, both anciently in Egypt, and to this day in the west of Africa, signifies a serpent,” what does this discover to our view but that Satan has the name of serpent among the Negro nations as well as among those of Europe? How it has happened that the serpent, which, in some systems, is the emblem of the good spirit, should in others be the emblem of the evil one, is a topic which belongs to a more extensive inquiry. This is enough for our present satisfaction, to remember that the profession of, and belief in sorcery or witchcraft, supposes the existence of two deities,-the one the author of good, and the other the author of evil; the one worshipped by good men for good things and good purposes, and the other by bad men for bad things and purposes; and that this worship is sorcery and the worshippers sorcerers.
It will be seen that, since African charms are to prevent