The Secret Commonwealth of
Elves, Fauns & Fairies
A Study in Folk-Lore & Psychical Research.
 The Text by Robert Kirk, M.A.,
 Minister of Aberfoyle, A.D. 1691.
 The Comment by Andrew Lang, M.A.A.D. 1893
 IN THE STRAND, Scanned at,
 February, 2004. John Bruno Hare, redactor.
 This text is in the public domain.
These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose,

provided this notice of attribution is left intact.
This is one of the most sought after
 and enigmatic texts about Celtic fairies.
 Written by a Scottish clergyman, Robert Kirk,
 in 1691, and not committed to print until
 the early 19th century,
The Secret Commonwealth is an unusually
sympathetic account of the denizens of fairyland,
 and a complex of still mysterious extrasensory
 phenomena including poltergeists, clairvoyance
 and doppelgangers (here called 'co-walkers').

This version was issued in 1893 in a very limited
 edition by the renowned folklorist Andrew Lang,
and it includes a 'comment' and some endnotes
 by Lang which are actually about as long
as the Kirk material.
 This book is very rare.
Translated into Colloquial Speech, So that
Others May Read It, in Understanding.
No warrants of Accuracy, are Made, in Doubt,

Refer to the Original, in Any Areas of Dispute.
The Secret Commonwealth
 by Robert Kirk, in 1691 -
issued in 1893, by Andrew Lang
Dedication to Robert Louis Stevenson
O Louis! you that like them most,
You are far from kelpie, wraith, and ghost,
And fairy dames, no uncouth, chaste,
       And haunted cell.
Among a heathen clan you are placed,
       That kens not hell!

You have no heather, peat, nor birks,
No troot in all your burnies lurks,
There are no bonny U. P. kirks, churches,
       An awful place!
No kens the Covenant of Works
       From that of Grace!

But whiles, maybe, to them you will read
Blads of the Covenanting creed,
And whiles their pagan wames you will feed
       On halesome porridge;
And sync ye'll gar them learn a creed
       Of the Shorter Carritch.

Yet that uncovenanted shavers
Have rowth, you say, oh, clash and clavers
Oh gods and etins-- old wives' havers,
       But their delight ;
The voice did him that tells them quavers
       Just with fair fright.

And you might tell, about the fame,
That Highland clashes of our home.
To speak the truth, I take no shame
       To half believe them;
And, stamped with TUSITALA'S name,
       They will receive them.

And folk to come, about the sea,
May hear the yowl of the Banshie,
And from the water-kelpie flee,
       oh, ere the things cease,
And island bairns may stolen be
        By the Folk of Peace.

Faith, they might steal me, with My will,
And, kenned I only Fairy hill,
I'd lay me down there, snod and still,
        Their land to win,
For, man, I've mostly had my fill
        Of this world's din.


The Fairy Minister

People of Peace! A peaceful man,
  Well worthy of your love was he,
Who, while the roaring Garry ran
  Red with the life-blood of Dundee,
While coats were turning, crowns were falling,
  Wandered along his valley still,
And heard your mystic voices calling
  From fairy know and haunted hill.
He heard, he saw, he knew too well
  The secrets of your fairy clan;
You stole him from the haunted dell,
  Who never more was seen of man.
Now far from heaven, and safe from hell,
  Unknown of earth, he wanders free.
Would that he might return and tell
  Of his mysterious company!
For we have tired the Folk of Peace
  No more they tax our corn and oil
Their dances on the moorland cease,
  The Brownie stints his wonted tail.
No more shall any shepherd meet
  The ladies of the fairy clan,
Nor are their deathly kisses sweet
  On lips of any earthly man.
And half I envy him who now,
  Clothed in her Court's enchanted green,
By moonlit loch or mountain's brow
  Is Chaplain to the Fairy Queen.
                                       A. L.
it is plain that old magic and witchcraft
 are not mere illusions,
or not commonplace illusions.
AN ESSAY OF The Nature and Actions
of the Subterranean (and, for the most Part,)
 Invisible People, heretofore going under
 the name of ELVES, FAUNES, and FAIRIES,
or the like, among the Low-Country Scots,
as they are described by those who have
 the SECOND SIGHT; and now, to occasion
further Inquiry, collected and compared,
 by a Circumspect Inquirer residing among
 the Scottish-Irish in Scotland.
By MR ROBERT KIRK, Minister at Aberfoil, 1691.


- Chapter One
- Of the Subterranean Inhabitants
These Siths, or Fairies, they call Sleagh Maith,
 or the Good People, it would seem, to prevent
 the point of their ill Attempts,
(for the Irish use to bless all they fear Harm of;)
 and are said to be of a middle Nature
betwixt Man and Angel,
as were Demons thought to be of old;

of intelligent fluidious Fey Spirits,
and light changable Bodies,
(like those called Astral Bodies)
somewhat of the Nature of a condensed Cloud,
and best seen in Twilight.
These Bodies be so pliable through the Subtlety
of the Spirits that agitate them, that they
can make them appear or disappear at Pleasure.

 Some have Bodies or Vehicles so spungious,
thin, and delicate), that they are fed
by only sucking into some fine spirituous
 Liquors, that pierce like pure Air and Oil:

 others feed more gross on Corns and Liquors,
or Corn it says that grows on the Surface
of the Earth, which these Fairies steal away,
 partly invisible, partly preying on the Grain,
 as do Crows and Mice; wherefore in this same Age,
they are sometimes heard to bake Bread,
strike Hammers, and do such like Services
within the little Hillocks they most haunt:
somewhere, of old, before the Gospel dispelled
 Paganism, and in some barbarous Places as yet,
enter Houses after all are at rest,
and set the Kitchens in order,
 cleansing all the Vessels.
 Such go under the name of Brownies.
When we have plenty,
they have Scarcity at their Homes;
 and on the contrary (for they are empowered
to catch as much Prey everywhere as they please,)
there Robberies occasion great Ricks of Corn
not to bleed so well,  (as they call it,)
or prove so copious by very far
 as was expected by the Owner.

Their Bodies of congealed Air are sometimes
 carried aloft, other whiles grovel in different
 Shapes, and enter into any Cranny or Cliffs
of the Earth where Air enters, to their ordinary
 Dwellings; the Earth being full of Cavities
and Cells, and there being no Place nor Creature
 but is supposed to have other Animals
(greater or lesser) living in or upon it
 as Inhabitants; and no such thing as a pure
 Wilderness in the whole Universe.

Chapter Two -
We then (the more terrestrial kind have now
 so numerously planted all Countrys,)
 do labour for that strange People, as well
 as for ourselves.
when several Countrys were unhabitated by us,
 these had their easy  Tillage above Ground,
 as we now do.
 The Print of those Furrows do yet remain
 to be seen on the Shoulders of very high Hills,
 which was done when the Ground was Wood and Forest.

They removed to other Lodgings at the Beginning
of each Quarter of the Year, so traversing
 till Doomsday, and finding some Ease by so
journeying and changing Habitations.
Their chamelion-like Bodies swim in the Air
 near the Earth with Bag and Baggage;
and, at such revolution of Time, Seers,
 or Men of the Second Sight, 
have very terrifying Encounters with them,
even on HighWays; who therefore usually shun
 to travel abroad at these four Seasons
 of the Year,
 thereby have made it a Custom to this Day
 among the Scottish-Irish  to keep Church
 every first Sunday  of the Quarter to sign
 or hallow themselves,  their Corns and Cattle,
 from the Shots and Stealth of these wandering Tribes;
 many of these superstitious People
 will not be seen in Church again till
the next Quarter begin, as if no Duty
were to be learned or done by them,
but all the Use of Worship and Sermons
 were to save them from these Arrows
that fly in the Dark.
They are distributed, in Tribes and Orders,
 and have Children, Nurses, Marriages, Deaths,
 and Burials, in appearance, even as we,
 unless they so do for a Mock-show.

They are clearly seen by these Men of the
 Second Sight to eat at Funerals and Banquets;
 hence many of the Scottish-Irish will not
trust Meat at these Meetings, lest they have
 Communion with, or be poisoned by, them.
So are they seen to carry the Bier or Coffin
 with the Corpse among the middle-earth Men
 to the Grave.
 Some Men of that exalted Sight
(whither by Art or Nature) have told me
 they have seen at these meetings a Double man,
 or the Shape of some Man in two places;
 that is, a subterranean Inhabitant,
perfectly resembling one another, in all Points,
 whom he could easily distinguish one from another,
 by some secret Tokens and Operations,
and so, go speak to the Man, his Neighbour
and Familiar, passing by
the Apparition or Resemblance of him. 

 Animals resembling these are  of another Element;

as there be Fishes sometimes  at Sea resembling Monks

in all  their Hoods and Dresses; so as the Roman
 invention of good and bad Demons, and guardian
 Angels particularly assigned, is called by them -
 an ignorant Mistake, sprung only from this Original.
 They call this Reflex-man a Co-walker,
 every way - like the Man, as a Twin-brother
 and Companion, haunting him as his shadow,
 as is often seen and known among Men
(resembling the Original,) both before and after
 the Original is dead, and was also often seen
of old to enter a House, by which the People
 knew that the Person of that Likeness was to
 Visit them within a few days.
 This Copy, Echo, or living Picture, goes at
last to his own Herd.
It accompanied that Person so long and frequently
 for Ends best known to it self, whether to guard
 him from the secret Assaults of some of its own Folks,
 or only to counterfeit all his Actions.
 However, the Stories of old Witches prove beyond

contradiction, that all Sorts of People, Spirits
which assume light airy Bodies, or crazed Bodies
 coacted by foreign Spirits, seem to have some Pleasure,
 (at least to assuage from Pain or Melancholy,)
 by frisking and capering like Satyrs,
 or whistling and screeching (like unlucky Birds)
 in their unhallowed Synagogues and Sabbaths.
 If invited and earnestly required, these Companions
 make themselves known and familiar to Men;
 They avouch that a Great-eater, hath a voracious Elve
 to be his attender, called a Joint-eater or Just-halver,

feeding on the Pith or Quintessence of what the Man eats;
 and that therefore he continues Lean like a Hawk or Heron,

not withstanding his devouring Appetite:
 yet it would seem that they convey that substance
 elsewhere, for these Subterraneans eat but little
 in their Dwellings; their Food being exactly clean,
 and served up by Pleasant Children, like enchanted Puppets.
What Food they extract from us, is conveyed to their Homes
 by secret Paths, as some skillful Women do the Cheese
 and Milk from their Neighbours Cows into their own
Chief-hold throw a Hair-tedder, at a great Distance,
 by Air Magic, or by drawing a spigot fastened to a Post

which will bring milk as far of as a Bull will be heard
 to roar.
Note - I Think a "Hair Tedder", is a Braid of Hair,
Twined into a Magical Rope, of Three braids,
believed to have magical abilities to "Throw Things",
at a Distance )

The remaining Milk of a Cow thus strained
will swim in Water like a Cork.
  But a little of the Mother's Dung stroke it
on the Calves Mouth before it suck any,
does prevent this theft.

Their Houses are large and fair,
and (unless at some odd occasions) unperceivable
 by vulgar eyes, like Rachland, and other enchanted
 Islands, having fair Lights, continual Lamps,
and Fires, often seen without Fuel to sustain them.
 Women are yet alive, who tell they were taken away
 when in Child-bed to nurse Fairie Children,
 a lingering voracious Image of them being left
 in their place, (like their Reflexion in a Mirror,)
  and departed thence by a natural and common Death.
 The Child, and Fire, with Food and other Necessaries,
are set before the Nurse as soon as she enters;
 but she never perceives any Passage out,
 nor sees what those People do in other Rooms
 of the Lodging.
 When the Child is weaned, the Nurse dies,
 or is conveyed back, or gets her choice
 to stay there.
 But if any be so subtle, for procuring a Privacy
to any of their Mysterys,
(such as making use  of their Ointments,
 which as Gyges's Ring makes them invisible,
 or nimble, or casts them in a Trance,
 or alters their Shape, or makes Things appear
 at a vast Distance.)
 Then, they smite them without Pain, as with
 a Puff of Wind,  and bereave them of both
  the natural and acquired  Sights in the
 twinkling of an Eye,
(both these Sights, where once they come,
  or they strike them Dumb.
The Tramontains to this Day put Bread, the Bible,
 or a piece of Iron, in Womens Beds when traveling,
to savor them from being thus stolen;
and they commonly report, that all uncouth,
unknown Wights or Fairys, are terrifyed by nothing earthly
so much as by cold Iron.


Their Apparel and Speech is like that of the People
 and Country under which they live: so are they
seen to wear Plaids and variegated Garments
in the Highlands of Scotland, and Suanochs
therefore in Ireland.
They speak but little, and that by way of
 whistling, clear, not rough.
 When conjured in any Country, they
 do answer in the Language of the Place;
 yet sometimes the Subterraneans speak more
distinctly than at other times.
Their Women are said to Spin very fine, to Dye,
 to Tissue, and Embroider: but whether it is
as manual Operation of substantial refined Stuffs,
 with apt and solid Instruments, or only curious
 Cob-webs, impalpable Rainbows, and a fantastic
 Imitation of the Actions of more terrestrial
 Mortals, since it transcended all the Senses
 of the Seer to discern whither,
I leave to conjecture as I found it.

Their Men travel much abroad, either presaging
 or aping the Actions  of some amongst us;
 and have also many disastrous  Doings of their own,
 as Convocations, Fighting,  Gashes, Wounds,
 and Burials, both in the Earth and Air.
 They live much longer than we; yet die at last,
 or at least vanish from that State.
 It is one of their Tenets, that nothing perishes,
 but (as the Sun and Year) everything goes in a Circle,

lesser or greater, and is renewed and refreshed
 in its Revolutions; as it is another, that everybody
 in the Creation moves, (which is a sort of Life;)
and that nothing moves, but has another Animal
 moving on it; and so on, to the utmost smallest
 Corpuscle that's capable to be a Receptacle of Life.

They are said to have aristocrat Rulers and Laws,
 but no discernible Religion, Love, or Devotion
 towards God, the blessed Maker of all:
 they disappear whenever they hear his Name invoked,
 or the Name of Jesus,  nor can they act ought at that Time
after hearing of that sacred Name.

The Tabhaisver, or Seer, that corresponds with
 this kind of Familiars, can bring them with a Spell
 to appear to himself or others when he pleases,
 as readily as an Endor Witch to those of her Kind.
 He tells, they are ever readiest to go
 on hurtful Errands, but seldom will be
 the Messengers of great Good to Men.
 He is not terrified with their Sight
when he calls them, but seeing them in a surprise
(as often he does) frights him extremely.
 They do not do all the Harm which they have Power
 to do; nor are they in great Pain, save that
 they are usually silent and sullen.
They are said to have many pleasant toynish Books;
 but the operation of these Pieces only appears
 in some Jollyness,  as if ravished and prompted

 by a new Spirit entering into them at that Instant,
 lighter and merrier than their own.
Other Books they have of involved mystical Sense,
 much like the Rosicrucian Style.

 They have nothing of the Bible, save collected
 Parcels for Charms and counter Charms;
 not to defend themselves, but to operate
 on other Animals, for they are a People invulnerable
 by our Weapons; 

As Were-wolves and Witches true Bodies are
 (by the union of the Spirit of Nature
 that runs through all, echoing and doubling
 the Blow towards another)

 they are wounded at Home, when the astral assumed Bodies
 are stricken  elsewhere; as the Strings of a Second Harp,
tuned to a unison, Sounds, though only one be struck;

 yet these People have not a second,
or so gross a Body at all, to be so pierced;
 but as Air, which when divided again;
or if they feel Pain by a Blow, they are better
 Physicians than we, and quickly cure it.
 They are not subject to sore Sicknesses,
but dwindle and decay at a certain Period,
at a certain Age.
 Some say their continual Sadness is because of
they are uncertain what will become of them, and if they have
 any frolic Fits of Mirth, or rather as acted on a Stage,
 and moved by another, rather than cordially
coming of themselves.
But other Men of the Second Sight, being illiterate,
and unwary in their Observations, learn from those;
 one saying those subterranean People to be
 departed Souls, attending awhile in this inferior
 State, and clothed with Bodies procured through
 their Almsdeeds in this Life;
 fluid, active, etherial Vehicles to hold them,
 that they may not scatter, or wander, and be lost
 in the Totum, or at their first Nothing;
 they say when the Souls  of such do depart,
 they sleep in an unactive State  till they
resume the terrestrial Bodies again:
 others, that what the Low-country Scots
 calls a Wraith, and the Irish Taibhshe
 or Death's Messenger,
 (appearing sometimes as a little rough Dog,
 and if crossed and conjured in Time,
will be pacified by the Death of any other Creature
 instead of the sick Man,) is only exhaled Fumes
 of the Man approaching Death, exhaled and congealed
into a various Likeness,
Note - Above Dog - This is a reference to Tyr, and the Viking

god familiar, that drove off the Hell-hound.
(as Ships and Armies are sometimes shaped in the Air,)
 and called astral Bodies, agitated Wild-fire with Wind,

and are neither Souls or counterfeiting Spirits;
 yet not a few avouch that surely these are a numerous
 People by themselves, having their own Politics.
 Diverse in Judgment, as They are.

Their Weapons are mostly, much of Stone,
like to yellow soft Flint Spades, shaped like
 a barbed Arrow-head, but flung like a Dart,
 with great Force.
 These Arms (cut by Air and Tools it seems,beyond human)

 have something of the Nature of Thunderbolt subtlety,
 and mortally wounding the vital Parts without breaking the

Skin; of which Wounds I have observed in Beasts, and felt

them with my Hands.
 They are not infallible, hitting  at a Hair's-breadth;

nor are they wholly unvanquishable, at least in Appearance.

The Men of that Second Sight do not discover strange Things

when asked, but at Fits and Raptures, as if inspired with

some Genius at that Instant, which before did lurk about them.
I have frequently spoke to one of them,

told he cut the Body of one of
those People in two with his Iron Weapon,
 and so escaped this Onset, yet he saw nothing
left behind of that appeared divided;
 at other Times  he out wrestled some of them.
 His Neighbors often perceived this Man to disappear
 at a certain Place, and about one Hour after,

 to become visible, and discover himself near a Bow-shot
 from the first Place.
 It was in that Place where he became invisible,
said he, that the Subterraneans did encounter
and combat with him.
 Those who are unseen or unsanctified (called Fey)
 are said to be pierced or wounded with those People's

Weapons, causing a sudden Alteration,
 yet the Cause unperceivable at present;
 nor do they have Power
(either they cannot make use of their natural Powers,
 or have not the heavenly Aid,)
to escape the Blow impendent.
 A Man of the Second Sight perceived a Person standing
 by him (found to others view)  wholly gored in Blood,
 and he (amazed-like)  bid him instantly flee.
The whole Man laughed at his Air and Warning,
since there was no appearance of Danger.
 He had scarce contracted his Lips from Laughter, when

unexpectedly his Enemy, leapt in at his Side,
 and stabbed him with their Weapons.
They also pierce Cows or other Animals, usually
said to be Elf-shot, whose purest Substance (if they die)

these Subterraneans take to live on,
 the aireal and etherial Parts,
 the most spirituous Matter for prolonging of Life,
such as Aquavitae (moderately taken) is among Liquors,

leaving the terrestrial behind.
The Cure of such Hurts is, only for a Man to find
 out the Hole with his Finger; as if the Spirits
flowing from a Man's warm Hand were Antidote
sufficient against their poisoned Darts.

As Birds and Beasts, whose Bodies are much used
to the Change of the free and open Air,
forsee Storms; so those invisible People
 are more sagacious to understand by the
 Books of Nature - Things to come, than we,
who are pestered with the grosser things,

 and have our  purer Spirits choked by our displeasures.
The Deer scents out a Man and Powder
(though a late Invention) at a great Distance;
 a hungry Hunter, Bread;

and the Raven, scents carrion:
 Their Brains, being long clarified by the high
 and subtle Air, will observe a very small Change
 in a Second.
 Thus a Man of the Second Sight, perceiving
the Operations of these invisible
 People among us, (indulged through a stupendous
 Providence to give Warnings of some remarkable Events,

either in the Air, Earth, or Waters,)
a man told, that he saw a Winding-shroud creeping
on a walking healthful Persons Legs till it
came to the Knee; and afterwards it came up
 to the Middle, then to the Shoulders,
and at last over the Head, which was visible
to no other Person.
 And by observing the Spaces of Time betwixt
 the several Stages, he easily guessed how long
the Man was to live who wore the Shroud;
 for when it approached his Head,
 he told that such a Person was ripe for the Grave.

There be many Places called Fairie-hills,
 which the Mountain People think impious
and dangerous to discover, or
 by taking Earth or Wood from them;
 superstitiously believing the Souls of their
 Predessors to dwell therein.
 And for that End, a Mote or Mound
 was dedicated beside every Church-yard,
 to receive the Souls till their adjacent Bodies
 arise, and so become as a Fairie-hill;
they using Bodies of Air when called Abroad.
 They also affirm those Creatures that move
 invisibly in a House, and cast huge great Stones,
 but do not much Hurt, because counter-wrought
 by some more courteous and charitable Spirits
 that are everywhere ready to defend Men,
 to be Souls that have not attained their Rest,
through a vehement Desire of revealing
 a Murder or notable Injury done or received,
or a Treasure that was forgot in their Lifetime
on Earth, which when disclosed to a Conjurer
 alone, the Ghost quite removes.


In the next Country to that of my former Residence,
 about the Year 1676, when there was some Scarcity
of Grain, a marvelous Vision strongly
 struck the Imagination of two Women in one Night,
 living at a good Distance from one another,
about a Treasure hid in a Hill, called Sithbhruaich, or

The Appearance of a Treasure was first represented
to their Fancy, and then an audible Voice named
 the Place where it was.
 Whereupon both arose, and meeting accidentally
 at the Place, discovered their Design;
 and jointly digging, found a Vessel as large
 as a Scottish Peck, full of small Pieces
 of good Money, of ancient Coin; which halving
betwixt them, they sold in Dish-fulls for Dish-fulls
of Meal to the Country People.

Very many of undoubted Credit saw, and had
 the Coins to this Day.
But whither it was a good or bad Angel,
 one of the subterranean People, or the restless
 Soul of him who hid it, that discovered it,
 and to what End it was done,
 I leave to the Examination of others.


These Subterraneans have Controversies, Doubts,
 Disputes, Feuds, and Siding of Parties;
 there being some Ignorance in all Creatures,
 and the vastest created Intelligences
not encompassing all Things.

 As to Vice and Sin, whatever their own Laws be,
 they transgress and commit
 Acts of Injustice, and Sin, by what is above said,
 as to their stealling of Nurses to their Children,
and that other sort of Paganism in catching
 our Children away, which never return.
 For the Inconvenience of their Succubi,
who tryst with Men, it is abominable;
 but for Swearing and Intemperance,
they are not observed so subject to those
Irregularities, as to Envy, Spite, Hypocracy,
Lieing, and Dissimulation.

How much is written of Pigmy's, Fairies, Nymphs,
 Sirens, Apparitions, not the tenth
 Part true, yet could not spring of nothing!

 Even English Authors relate of Barry island,
in Glamorganshire, that laying your Ear
into a Cleft of the Rocks, blowing of Bellows,
striking of Hammers, clashing of Armour,
filing of Iron, will be heard distinctly
 ever since Merlin enchanted those subterranean

 Wights to a solid manual forging of Arm's
to Aurelius Ambrosius and his Brittains,
 till he returned; which Merlin being killed
 in a Battle, and not coming to loose the Knot,

 these active Vulcans are there tied to a perpetual

I will next give some Account how the Seer my Informer

 comes  to have this secret Way of Correspondence
 beyond other Mortals.

There be odd Solemnities at investing a Man
 with the Priviledges of the whole Mystery
of this Second Sight.
 He must run a Tether of Hair
 (which bound a Corps to the Bier) in a Helix about his

Middle, from End to End;
then bow his Head downwards, as did Elijah,

 and look back through his Legs until he see
 a Funeral advance till the People cross
two Marches; or look thus back through a Hole
 where was a Knot of Fir.
 But if the Wind change Points while the Hair
 Tedder is tied about him, he is in Peril
 of his Life.

The usual Method for a curious Person to get
 a transient Sight of this otherwise invisible
 Crew of Subterraneans,
 (if impotently and over rashly sought,)
is to put his left Foot under the Wizard's right Foot,
 and the Seer's Hand is put on the Inquirer's Head,
 who is to look over the Wizard's right Shoulder,
 (which has an ill Appearance, as if by this
 Ceremony an implicit Surrender were made
 of all betwixt the Wizard's Foot and his Hand,
 ere the Person can be admitted a privado to the Art)
 then will he see a Multitude of Wight's,
 like furious hardy Men, flocking to him hastily
 from all Quarters, as thick as Atoms in the Air;

 which are no Nonentities or Phantasms,
 Creatures proceeding from an affrighted Apprehension,

confused or crazed Sense, but Realities, appearing
to a stable Man in his awaking Sense, and enduring
 a rational Trial of their Being.

 These thru Fear strike him breathless and speechless.
 The Wizard, defending the Lawfullness of his Skill,
 forbids such Horror, and comforts his Novice
by telling Peter forseeing the Death of Saphira,
by perceiving as it were her Winding-sheet
 about her beforehand; 

 Elisha also in his Chamber saw Gehazi his Servant,
 at a great Distance, taking a reward from Naaman,

 Hence were the Prophets frequently called Seers,

or Men of a second or more exhalted Sight than others.

 the Devil undertakes to give even Jesus a Sight
 of all Nations, and the finest Things in the World,
 at one Glance, though in their natural Situations
 and Stations at a vast Distance from others.

He did see them; not in a Map it seems,

nor by a phantastic magical  juggling of the Sight,

 which he could not impose  upon so discovering a Person.
 It would appear then to have been a Sight of real solid

Substances, and Things of worth, which he  intended

as a Bait for his Purpose. 

 it might seem, that the extraordinary or Second Sight

can be given by the Ministry of bad as well as good Spirits

 to those that will embrace it.

Thus also the Seer trains his Scholar, by telling of

 Nature, ordered by a wise Providence;

as the Sight of Bats and Owls transcend that

of Shrews and Moles, so the vision of these Men

 are clearer than those of Owls;  as Eagles, Lynxs,

and Cats are brighter than Men normally

 Men of the Second Sight
 (being designed to give warnings against secrets)

surpass the ordinary Vision of other Men
descended from  their Ancestors, and acquired as one artificial
 Improvement of their natural Sight in others;

resembling in their own Kind the usual artificial
Helps of optic Glasses, (as Prospectives, Telescopes,
 and Microscopes,) without which auspicious Aids
 those Men here treated of do perceive Things that,
 for their Smallness, or Subtility, and Secrecy,
 are invisible to others, though daily conversant
 with them; they having such a Beam continually about them as

that of the Sun, which when it shines  clear only,

 lets common Eyes see the Atoms,  in the Air,

 that without those Rays they could  not discern;

 for some have this Second Sight  transmitted from Father

 to Son through the whole Family, without their own Consent
 or others teaching, proceeding only from  a Bounty

of Providence it seems, or by Compact,  or by a

complexional Quality of the first Acquirer.


 As it may seem alike strange, Master Great-rake,

 the Irish Stroaker, and  Seventh-sons, and others

that cure the King's Evil, and chase away Diseases and Pains,

with only stroking the affected Part; or have some secret

 Virtue in the Womb, of the Parent,  which increases

 until Seventh-sons be born, and decreases afterwards,)
 proceeds only from their healthful Constitutions;

 Virtue going out  from them by spirits unto the Patient,
 and their vigorous healthy Spirits affecting the sick as

usually the unhealthy Fumes of the sick
 infect the sound and whole.
Seers prognosticate many future Events,

only for a Month's Space, from the Shoulder-bone of a Sheep

on which a Knife never came, for Iron hinders all the

Operations of those that travel in the Intrigues of these

hidden Dominions.


By looking into the Bone, they will tell if Wrong be committed

 in the Owner's House; what Money the Master of the Sheep had;

 if any will die out of that House for that Moment;

and if any Cattle there will take a Trake, as if Planet-struck.

Then will they prescribe a Preservative and Prevention.


A Woman singularly wise in these Matters of Foresight,

 living in Colasnach, an Isle of the Hebrides, (in the Time of the

Marquess of Montrose his Wars with the States in Scotland,)

She said, she saw them coming  many Hours before they

 came in View of the Isle.

But earnestly looking, she sometimes took them for Enemies,

 sometime for Friends; and moreover they looked as if they

went from the Isle, not as Men approaching it,

which made her not put the Inhabitants on their Guard.


The Matter was, that the Barge wherein the Enemy sailed,

was taken from the Inhabitants of that same Isle,

and the Men had their Backs towards the Isle, when they were

plying the oars towards it.


Thus this Delphian Oracle was at least deceived, and did deceive.

 Being asked who gave her such Sights and Warnings, she said,

that as soon as she set three Crosses of Straw upon the Palm

 of her Hand, a great ugly Beast sprang out of the Earth near her,

 and flew in the Air.


If what she enquired had Success according to her Wish,

the Beast would descend calmly, and lick up the Crosses.

If it would not succeed, the Beast would furiously

thrust her and the Crosses over on the Ground,

and so vanish to his Place.


The Woman taken out of her Child-bed, and having a

 lingering Image of her substituted Body in her Room,

which Resemblance decayed, died, and was buried.

But the Person stolen returning to her Husband after two

Years, he being convinced that she was his former Wife,

admitted her Home, and had Children by her.


 she perceived little what the fairies did in the spacious House

 she lodged in, until she anointed one of her Eyes with an

certain Unction that was by her; which they perceived,

with their Actions, they blinded her Eye with a Puff of their


 She found the Place full of Light, without any Fountain or

Lamp from whence it did spring.

This Person lived in the Country next to that of my last Residence,

 if her Husband had been married in her two Years Absence, he was

obliged to divorce from the second Spouse at the Return of

the first.


 I Saw a Woman of fourty Years of Age, and examined her

 that she tarried in the Fields over Night, saw and conversed with a

People she knew not, having wandered in seeking of her Sheep,

and slept upon a Hillock, and finding her self transported to

another Place before Day.


 The Woman had a Child since that Time,  and is still pretty

melancholy and silent, hardly ever seen to laugh.

Her natural Heat and radical Moisture seem to

be equally balanced, like an unextinguished Lamp, and going

in a Circle, not unlike to the faint Life of Bees, and some

Sort of Birds, that sleep all the Winter over, and revive in

the Spring.


Stewart, possessed with doubt of Second Sight,

 and living near to my House, was so put to it by a Seer,

 before many Witnesses, that he lost his Speech

and Power of his Legs, and breathing excessively, as if expiring,

because of the many fearful Wights that appeared to him.

They were forced to carry him into the House.


It is notoriously known that in the place, called Killing,

within Perthshire, fell tragically out with a Yeoman

 that lived nearby, who coming into a Company within

an Ale-house, where a Seer sat at Table,

that at the Sight of the Neighbor, the Seer, starting,

 rose to go out of the House; and being asked the

Reason of his haste, told that the Man should die within two

Days; at which News the Man stabbed the Seer, and was himself

executed two Days after the Fact.


A Minister, very intelligent, but misbelieving all such

Sights, in a narrow Lane, with a Seer,

who saw a known Wight encounter them, the Seer

 desired the Minister to turn out of the Way;

 who scorning his Reason, and holding himself in the Path

 with them, and the Seer was going hastily away,

 they were both violently cast aside a good

Distance, and the Fall made them lame for all their Life.


 A little after the Minister was carried Home, one came to toll

the Bell for the Death of the Man whose Ghost met

them in the narrow Path some Half an Hour before.

 A Seer in Kintyre, in Scotland, sitting at a Table with others,

suddenly cast his Head aside.

The Company asking him why he did it, he answered,

that a Friend of his, by Name, then in Ireland, threatened

to cast a Dishful of Butter in his Face.


The Men wrote down the Day and Hour, and sent to the

Gentleman to know the Truth; and the Gentleman

declared he did that at that very Time, for he knew that his

Friend was a Seer, and would make sport with it.

The Men that were present, and examined the Matter exactly,

 told me this Story; and withall, that a Seer would with all his Optics

perceive no other Object so readily as this, at such a Distance.

-------------- here ends this work ----------------------------------


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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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