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  • Title: A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures
  • Author: Samuel Harsnett
  • Editors: Michael Best, Sarah Milligan
  • Coordinating editor: James D. Mardock

  • Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Editors: Michael Best, Sarah Milligan
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    A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures

    Chapter 10

    The strange names of their devils.

    Now that I have acquainted you with the names of the master and his twelve disciples, the names of the places wherein, and the names of the persons upon whom these wonders were showed, it seems not incongruent that I relate unto you the names of the devils, whom in this glorious pageant they did dispossess. Wherein we may call unto Porphyrius, Proclus, Iamblicus, and Trismegistus, the old Platonical sect that conversed familiarly and kept company with devils, and desire their help to expound us these new devils' names, and to tell us at what solemn feast and meeting in hell these devils were dubbed and hallowed with these new strange names. It cannot be but our holy devil crew had surely met with Menippus, proclaiming himself new come out of hell, ad sum profoundo Tartari emissus specu; else they could never have been so deeply sighted, and acquainted with the muster-book of hell. Or else it may seem that our vagrant devils here did take their fashion of new names from our wandering Jesuits, who to dissemble themselves have always three or four odd conceited names in their budget. Or else they did so plague the poor devils with their holy charms and enchanted gear, and did so intoxicate them with their dreadful fumigations, as they made some so giddy-headed that they gave themselves giddy names, they wist not what. Or else there is a confederation between our wandering exorcists and these walking devils and they are agreed of certain uncouth non-significant names which go current amongst themselves, as the gypsies are of gibberish, which none but themselves can spell without a pair of spectacles. Howsoever it is, it is not amiss that you be acquainted with these extravagant names of devils, lest meeting them otherwise by chance you mistake them for the names of tapsters or jugglers.

    First then, to marshal them in as good order as such disorderly cattle will be brought into, you are to understand that there were in our possessed five captains, or commanders above the rest: Captain Pippin, Marwood's devil; Captain Philpot, Trayford's devil; Captain Maho, Sara's devil; Captain Modu, Maynie's devil; and Captain Soforce, Anne Smith's devil. These were not all of equal authority and place, but some had more, some fewer under their command. Pippin, Marwood's devil, was a captain—marry either cashiered for some part of bad service he had done, or else a malcontent standing upon his worth—like some of our high punctilios, scorned to sort himself with any of his rank, and therefore like a melancholic privado he affects Marwood to lie in the fields and to gape at the moon, and so of a Caesar's humor he reigns in Marwood alone.

    Captain Philpot, Trayford's devil, was a centurion, as himself tells you, and had an hundred under his charge. Marry, he was, as seems, but a white-livered devil, for he was so hasty to be gone out of Trayford for fear of the exorcist that he would scarce give him leave, being abed, to put on his breeches. The names of their puny spirits cast out of Trayford were these: Hilco, Smolkin, Hillio, Hiaclito, and Lustie huffe-cap; this last seems some swaggering puny devil dropped out of a tinker's budget. But Hiaclito may not be slipped over without your observation, for he, scorning a great while, as the author saith, to tell his name, at last he answered most proudly, "My name is Hiaclito, a Prince, and Monarch of the world." And being asked by the exorcist what fellows he had with him, he said that "he had no fellows, but two men, and an urchin boy." It was little beseeming his state, I wist, being so mighty a monarch, to come into our coasts so scurvily attended, except he came to see fashions in England, and so made himself private till the exorcist revealed him; or else that he was of the new court cut, affecting no other train [but] the two crazy fellows and an urchin butterfly boy.

    5Soforce, Anne Smith's possedent, was but a musty devil; there was neither mirth nor good fellowship with him, affecting so much sullenness as he would hardly speak. Yet as all melancholic creatures use to have, he had a resty trick with him. For whether Alexander the apothecary had put too much asafoetida in the fumigation for the devil, or had done the devil some other shrewd turn with his drugs, sure it is that Alexander the apothecary, riding one day towards London to fetch more priests to Denham, his horse fell a-plunging, and Alexander came down. And returning to Denham, he constantly affirmed that it was Anne Smith's devil that played the jade with him.

    Modu, Master Maynie's devil, was a grand commander, muster-master over the captains of the seven deadly sins: Cliton, Bernon, Hilo, Motubizanto, and the rest; himself a general of a kind and courteous disposition—so saith Sara Williams, touching this devil's acquaintance with Mistress Plater, and her sister Fid.

    Sara Williams had in her, at a bare word, "all the devils in hell." The exorcist asks Maho, Sara's devil, what company he had with him, and the devil makes no bones but tells him in flat terms, "all the devils in hell." Here was a goodly fat otium this; meanwhile in hell the poor souls there had good leave to play. Such a day was never seen since hell was hell; not a door-keeper left, but all must go a-maying to poor Sara's house. It was not kindly done of the devils to leave the poor souls behind, especially going to make merry amongst their friends. But what if the souls had fallen a-madding, or maying as fast as the devils and had gone a-roaming abroad amongst their good friends; had not this, trow we, made a pretty piece of work in hell?

    And if I miss not my marks, this dictator Modu saith he had been in Sara by the space of two years; then so long hell was clear and had not a devil to cast at a mad dog. And soothly I cannot much blame the devils for staying so long abroad; they had taken up an inn much sweeter than hell, and an hostess that wanted neither wit nor mirth to give them kind welcome.

    Here, if you please, you may take a survey of the whole regiment of hell, at least the chief leaders and officers, as we find them enrolled by their names.

    10First, Killico, Hob, and a third anonymous are booked down for three grand commanders, every one having under him 300 attendants.

    Colonel Portirichio had with him two captains and an hundred assistants, and this he affirms to be true upon his oath taken upon the blessed sacrament, and then you must believe him; an admirable new way to make the devil true and cock-sure of his word, to offer him an oath upon the blessed sacrament, and then dog with a fiddle. But the devil is like some other good fellows in the world that will not swear except he allow their commission that tenders him his oath. And commissioners for the devil are only holy exorcists, and then it must be the sacrament of the mass too, else I wist it is not all worth a bean.

    Frateretto, Fliberdigibbet, Hoberdidance, Tocobatto were four devils of the round or morris, whom Sara in her fits tuned together in measure and sweet cadence. And lest you should conceive that the devils had no music in hell, especially that they would go a-maying without their music, the fiddler comes in with his taber and pipe, and a whole morris after him, with motley vizards for their better grace. These four had forty assistants under them, as themselves do confess.

    Lusty Jolly Jenkin, another of Sara's captain devils' names, by his name should seem to be foreman of the motley morris. He had under him, saith himself, forty assistants; or rather, if I miss not, he had been by some old exorcist allowed for the master setter of catches, or rounds, used to be sung by tinkers as they sit by the fire with a pot of good ale between their legs: "Hey jolly Jenkin, I see a knave a drinking, etc."

    Delicat, another captain, or vicenary in Sara, having under him twenty assistants, seems by his English name to be yeoman of the sprucery, to see the devil's motley vizards after they were soiled with brimstone and sweat, to be brushed up and kept sweet, neat, and clean. These were the officers or commanders' names that had taken up their lodging in Sara Williams; now the many rascality or blackguard of hell were god knows how many in her, for all were there, tag and rag, cut and long-tail, yet divers of them it pleaseth the holy exorcist to command their names to do them some grace, others he lets go out, leaving no names but an ill savor behind them. The names of such as the exorcist thought good to favor were these, Puffe and Purre, the two fat devils that had been conjured up for money, anno 84, and would not home to hell again till good company came for them. Lusty Dickie, Cornered-cap, Nurre, Molkin, Wilkin, Helcmodion, Kellicocam. These were like the Sporades in via lactea, having neither office, order, nor rank. All these were Sara's devils.

    15Maho was general dictator of hell, and yet for good manner's sake he was contented of his good nature to make show that himself was under the check of Modu, the grand devil in Master Maynie. These were all in poor Sara at a chop; with these the poor soul travailed up and down full two years together, so as during those two years it had been all one to say, "One is gone to hell," or "He is gone to Sara Williams"; for she, poor wench, had all hell in her belly. And had had it still to this day for any thing we know if it had not pleased Father Weston and his twelve holy disciples to have delivered her of that devil-child.

    . . .