chapter  II
59 Pages

OF THE PRACTICE OF WITCHCRAFT ; OF THE MALICE AND MISCHIEF OF WITCHES ; OF THE DEVIL'S MARK ; AND OF THE GRIMOIRE

The most complete, as it is certainly the most authoritative, summary of the mischiefs wrought by witchcraft is that delivered in the famous Bull of Innocent VIII where the evil is set forth in words of burning eloquence and conviction : " Many persons of both sexes unmindful of their own salvation and straying from the Catholic Faith, have abandoned themselves to devils, incubi and succubi, and by their incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts, enormities and horrid offences, have slain infants yet in the mother's womb, as also the offspring of cattle, have blasted the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of trees, nay, men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, vineyards, orchards, l meadows, pasture-land, corn, wheat, and al other cereals ; these wretches furthermore afffict and torment men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, with terrible and piteous pains and sore diseases, both internal and external ; they hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving, whence husbands cannot know their wives nor wives receive their husbands ; over and above this they blasphemously renounce that Faith which is theirs by the Sacrament of Baptism, and at the instigation of the Enemy of Mankind they do not shrink from committing and perpetrating the foulest abominations and filthiest excesses to the deadly peril of their souls whereby they outrage the Divine Majesty and are a cause of scandal and danger to very many."