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Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758], tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at

Spiritual Diary


To relate all my experience with regard to them, would be to fill many pages. They are punished very grievously and frequently, but they elude punishments either by magical or by filthy means, turning themselves into various things by phantasies. As they have many such devices, they sometimes escaped, but sometimes could not; they were thus punished most grievously, especially with contortions as to the bones and flesh, and other parts of the body, also by phantasies, but still, when they returned, they were not made better but worse, and contrived yet more dire enormities. To relate all these things particularly would be to write a whole book. They are the experiences of almost a whole year.


They are removed successively from their former station to one more remote towards their hell. This takes place at intervals of time, from which it appears to what hell these sirens are destined, which is one to the left in front, somewhat deep about the heel of the foot. When they have at length proceeded to the most flagitious extremes and to consummations, they are surrounded with sulfur and fire thence, as are also their phantastic ideas and persuasive exclamations in like manner. Those above mentioned send forth likewise from themselves, as it were, an interior man, who, according to their persuasions, appeared as an infant; but it was a phantasy, and was turned into something sulphurous, which was of such a nature, that certain spirits said it could not be extinguished but burned continually, an indication that wherever it comes it infests with a corresponding persuasion those also who have anything of this nature with themselves, so that it can be extinguish only by the Lord; for otherwise those infected never know but that it is something good with which they [the sirens] variously mingle, according to genius [or disposition], every delight of what is holy and of what is profane.


They were at length conveyed down to their hell, which is in front, to the left, at the side where the antediluvians are, but more outward where there was an entrance; and then a certain deceitful spirit of a kindred nature was unwilling to go with them, but still, being conveyed to them, he was held suspended in the flame which was thence with them, when he said that he had never a perceived anything more delightful; wherefore he followed under the influence of that delight which was to him so exquisite. They entered there into caverns and afterwards proceeded more in front towards the left under a cloud, from which while they were endeavoring to emerge, there was, as it were, the smoke of a furnace mixed with sulphurous fire. But because their proper hell was not there, though that of others of that class was, they made their way under it, and returned through caverns backwards towards a marsh, so that I supposed they would proceed under the marsh; but their cavernous way there took a direction outwardly, even to the limits of the universe, verging somewhat deeply downwards, and where there before appeared, as it were, a marshy sea, into which they were to be cast, in another universe. There they now are.


Hence it is manifest of what quality the Nephilim of the present period are, and what kind of a lot awaits them in the other life, as also that it is a flood by which they perish, like the antediluvians, and almost in the same manner with them, inasmuch as that other part of the mind [namely, the intellectual] which was restored [after the flood], has been destroyed, and thus made persuasive, as the mind of the antediluvians was as to both parts.


They entered with me and others into all and singular the things not only of thought, but also of the intentions, and extinguished, suffocated, and perverted them, so that nothing good and true could be thought, from their having [completely] occupied the intentions, even those intentions that I was perfectly ignorant of [from non-reflection], though within the sphere of perception, where they have often insinuated themselves, acting with their most deceitful machinations and there ruling everything that pertained to me while I was unconscious of it. Thus they are such as obsess men at the present day.


They were desirous of obtaining egress for themselves from hell, but like the antediluvians, they were thrust down by their companions, and subjected to punishment.


How much they wished to obsess me may be manifest from the fact, that they entered into my respiration completely, and [proceeded] towards the heart, and that they thus obtained the power to enter into the life of my body. They also endeavored to enter into my interior respiration They thus acquired power - a circumstance, so far as I am aware, not yet known - to send into me devils and spirits of every kind, so as to possess me entirely and to hold me in complete subjection to them. This was that they might have immediate communication; yea, they put on such a nature as scarcely to exercise thought about these devils and spirits, but transferred them whithersoever they turned their thoughts, no longer commanding them from previous thought and will. [They transferred them] also to other spirits and other societies, which is abominable.


Their subject was able to put forth one idea of himself before his own associates, and another before others; before the former, the idea of a queen sitting on a throne in splendid ornaments, and leaning on the arm of the throne as delicate females are accustomed to do; and before the latter, an idea of herself as a miserable object, and thus as something loathsome in their presence. She was thus seen by them in a form, and at one and the same time by several in different forms, which was something in the highest degree magical; concerning which I spoke with spirits.


She was then conveyed without [this] universe to the left, to other [male sirens]. Such [as these] are, like others, borne about from one place to another, until they come to their proper and destined place. There I heard how [these others] spoke about her coming, but she changed the sphere of that other universe, as it were, into one [with her own], and went on to a place where [the dwellers] said that such [sirens] had come to them, and that at first they thought themselves queens. I perceived that [the sirens] treated them in the way [already described] with a subtle mockery, and it was told me that they became as their own [property]. 4459-1


Their most filthy subject had spirits, whom he had acquired to himself, who flowed in more from the natural.


THAT CERTAIN ONES ARE TAKEN OUT OF HELL INTO THE WORLD OF SPIRITS FOR VILE USES. There had been a certain spirit with me for some time in secret (:Spegel:), who had connected himself [with me] from the delight of ruling and of perverting truths. I knew nothing about him until some time after he came; he was then detected, and [found] to be one of the deceitful, so that he did not dare to do anything except in secret. Such was his disposition that he seemed to love truths, and professed them, so that others could scarce know to the contrary: he also attracted others in order to teach them, when yet in heart he had not the least particle of belief [in what he professed]. He was first punished, and while undergoing punishment continued weaving deceits and speaking through others. It was then also made known to him what he had thought and said [in the world] concerning the Divine, and that he did not believe in it. This he also retained afterwards, but in the thought [not the will]. It was thence also manifest how things formerly said and done can be detected from the corporeal memory. He supposed that he had not been in hell before, wherefore he was led down thither, and it was shown him where he had been, nearly under the nates in what is excrementitious, and he recognized that he had been there, and had come thence into the world of spirits. He was the Archbishop Spegel.


CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE SIRENS. They were sent into various hells, as, to the hell on the left, where they said that such were able to subdue them, but they eluded them: afterwards into other hells, especially one where David was, who wished to torment them in his own way, but they eluded him also, so that he fled away. He tormented them afterwards, but they eluded the rest there, and in other hells. This was because they mix profane and holy things, and can, at the same time, introduce themselves into the interior nature, and this simultaneously, so that, at one, and the same time, they can be as it were holy with the good, cunning with others, and profane with the profane, and this at once in each one of their ideas. They there collect ideas and increase them successively, and do such simultaneous things to such a degree that they become at length altogether profane.


But still they are many times punished, and this [in spite of] all the art by which they have been able to elude others. [These punishments] last for hours, [and are effected] by collisions as to all even the lesser parts [of the body], with tortures, by circumvolutions this way and that, like laminoe around a cylinder, by immersions into human excrement and the like, and because they then fear for their life, they abstain [from doing hurt] for some time, knowing that they cannot elude the punishment by any art.


It was told them what their end would be - that they would become like dead bodies, though still possessed of a miserable life, and [emit a] cadaverous stench, and carry such [things] with them. The reason also is, because they desire nothing else than to return into worldly and corporeal things - this is their end.


The [spirit] who was their subject, had such speech and thought as [she had] while in the body, so that there was no difference, and there was scarcely anything of spirit present with her - this she acquired successively. From their speech and thoughts it can be perceived whether they think and speak as men, or as spirits; as also, how far as corporeal men, and how far as spirits. When she was present she filled the sphere [with a persuasion] as if there were men in the body about me.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN WICKED DOER, ALDERHEIM. He was about me for several months; at first he was magical beyond all others, and afterwards thought of nothing but how he might secretly maintain ascendancy, and at the same time do evils to others. This evil was of different kinds, but especially adulteries; these occupied his mind altogether for several months; when others thought of other things, he thought of them. There are more things concerning him than can be related. The quality of his delight was at length shown to him by a pestilent scab, which occupied his head, and that all his ideas were similar to it. It was shown to the life what that scab was in quality, that it was full of disgusting insects which caused a tickling sensation and gave rise to that delight. There was given him at the same time the faculty of knowing that he was in it, and that his delight had such a quality in it and was such.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN WICKED SPIRIT, BISK. BAREK. This one was among the wicked and the subtle infernals and stood in black clothing, at first in front beneath, and afterwards to the left, and there governed others incognito, inciting them to iniquities; such being his delight. He had a certain one in the life of the body, called Alderheim, for his friend, who was his partner, and together with him was continually attempting abominable things. A certain spirit said to have been the son of the latter is yet more wicked.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN INFERNAL PUNISHMENT. A certain magical spirit, a subject of profane magical spirits of the female sex, began to think so wickedly as that she would enter by phantasies into my lungs and thus into the other viscera of the body, according to the knowledges which I had obtained, and thus would destroy me entirely. This she thought while I was ignorant of it; though the fact was soon discovered; there then arose a tumult and she was detected from behind where certain infernal things were excited. She afterwards came to the left in front, and for a considerable time suffered grievous punishment, but there still inhered in her a phantasy such as has been mentioned, and it was inspired by magical spirits into others. It was then permitted that she should detect something in the mind of others, and because she wished to enter thither by her ideas she ascended thus into the celestial spiritual sphere. From this elevation she appeared pendulous like a kind of ghost, and was kept thus pendulous for a while, and when she was remitted to her former state she said that she had suffered excessive tortures. Another one also deliberated in like manner from herself, and she was also made pendulous in the same way like a ghost, and when she was remitted said, that she had endured torments greater than she could describe. This was because they were directed by their ideas to the very first threshold of the angelic sphere. They thence contracted such a nature as to know that, whereas their ideas could by phantasies be elevated thither, if they did not abstain from their acts they would again be tormented with that infernal pain.


CONCERNING THE DISPOSITION [indoles] OF SPIRITS. As regards the disposition of spirits, it seems in their present state, to be like something involuntary, inasmuch as it is their involuntary [which acts], because they act from their disposition, or the nature they have acquired to themselves, or, as it were, from instinct. Wherefore their voluntary things, which are chiefly of the exterior memory, are stored up within, that is, they are not allowed to bring them into use. Those who are permitted to use them are unhappy in consequence of it for it is permitted them to descend into worldly and corporeal things, and thus again to become corrupt and suffer more direfully than others. This was permitted to a certain female magical spirit, because she so desired, and she so filled the sphere, that, as it were, there were no longer spirits but men about me; with whom she thought and spoke, as it were, in common.


CONCERNING THE JESUITS. The Jesuits appear as if in front above and behind above, thus on both sides at the same time. They had a subject under the nates in hell, who infested me during the whole of one day and the next. It was also shown to me how he appeared in the face, while in the life of the body. The wicked flagitious and profane things which he perpetrated, and the Jesuits through him, cannot be described; they are the most profane of all spirits. There were others also, disciples, so called, of the Jesuits, separated from them, who had for their subject a filthy female spirit above the head; they operated at the same time with the spirits already mentioned under the nates in hell. The profane things which they did cannot even be described. They were represented by serpents of different kinds, viperous, or otherwise as spotted, and more or less venomous.


CONCERNING THE STATE OF EVIL SPIRITS BEFORE AND WHEN THEY ARE LET DOWN INTO HELL IN GENERAL. Evil souls or evil spirits return at first into their own life, and afterwards, in the world of spirits, exercise their wickedness according to their various dispositions; and when they then exceed the delight of their life they are punished, and this frequently, until they are deterred - which punishment may take place to the number of twenty, fifty, an hundred, or two hundred times and more. Still, however, it is provided by the Lord that they shall not do evil to the good, and those evils which they attempt to inflict are turned by the Lord into good; these are the temptations by which the good are fortified. After they have led this life for several years, and exercised their wickedness, they then collect their evils together and become nothing else but evil of their own genus, and goods are then taken away from them; thus their wickedness is at length consummated, until they are made thoroughly fearful of doing evils, whereupon they precipitate themselves into the hell where are those of their own quality. There they torment one another in various ways, according to all their skill and magic, and, in the meantime, sit like skeletons, or those deformed in body and face; they are tormented from time to time interiorly, and are every where then remitted among themselves into their delights; although they still return to the state above mentioned. They do not then dare to rise into the world of spirits, for they know immediately that grievous punishments await them in that case, and they therefore recede into their hells. At length, after many ages passed in this kind of torment, their corporeal delights can be laid asleep to some extent, and they are then from time to time elevated into the world of spirits, that they may serve for the vilest uses, with very little life and scarce any delight; for everyone born in the world passes into the other life, and no one is tormented or punished unless that some use may arise from it; all things there are on account of use. Such is the lot of the evil.


Whenever the infernals came to me they rose into the world of spirits; but I perceived that they did not dare to remain there, since they immediately recognized what their state [there] was, saying also that they could not do anything. I perceived that they learned such things by punishments. Thus the infernals are instructed that their condition is such, but those who have not yet been let down into hell do not know; their delight indeed impels them strongly, but yet the dread of punishment prevails; when the dread of punishment prevails their consummation is being effected.


A CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE SIRENS. The wickedness of the most filthy and profane siren above mentioned increased by degrees. Her first attempt was to enter into my viscera according to my knowledges, but now she has been punished and thereby deterred; but since that, her wickedness and profaneness by means of persuasions and of simulated and deceitful affections have grown greater and greater, till at length they have reached such extremities, as to enter into singular my ideas, binding herself to them, and desiring to convey herself entire into my spirit, and thus most profanely to carry me down with herself into hell. This she herself openly declared, besides perpetrating other enormities which I do not remember. If all her magical practices and all her arts should be described they would fill many pages. These arts are thus brought to their highest pitch in singular things - as, in the present case, by the attempt to destroy me and conjoin me to herself - from that time, however, her power began to decline.


She everywhere perverted the sphere, and filled it with corporeal things. Wherever she spread her corporeal phantasies the sphere forthwith appeared as [one] of corporeal men in the body, and everyone's walk different from that of spirits. She thus continually descended into corporeal things, that is, into hell. She was conveyed downward, behind, by degrees farther and farther, and was punished at times grievously and long. Afterwards she eluded the punishing spirits, and continued to ply her arts upon me but in decreasing measure. I doubt not that the case is the same with other sirens with a difference.


The things inspired by sirens are persuasions altogether artificially formed, and affections altogether simulated and deceitful, which act together so that those unaware cannot possibly view things otherwise than according to them. They collect such things and increase them, and at the same time they exist successively in their sphere, until it is completed and consummated.


This most filthy and profane siren was remitted into thoughts similar to those which she had in the body, and then appeared to herself in the liberty of thinking and acting as she pleased. They think continually that they will succeed in ruling over all things and at length over the universe.


From much experience I am instructed that, whatever may be the idea of thought, and whatever the idea from scientifics, and whatever the scientific, the sirens when they call it forth from man turn it into magical things for the end of ruling and destroying all others and making them infernal. They entered also into my scientifics as to the viscera, and thence endeavored to work magical effects while I was ignorant of it; but they were grievously punished.


Nay, the sirens carried matters to such extremes, that they did not even regard punishments any longer, but eluded them by magical arts in various ways, so that the punishing spirits said that they could no longer chastise them; they eluded several infernal penalties of a severe character. But it was told them, that any punishments whatever may be aggravated indefinitely, and also be made to last to thousands of years. If anyone, therefore, is so insane as to think that he can withstand them, let him know that this is indeed insanity, and that the hardening of himself and his contumacy are altogether nothing; nay, that the more contumacious they are the more grievously are they punished, because contumacy must needs be broken.


The sirens, moreover, are such that no man who has once esteemed adulteries and such things as nothing, and has thus involved himself as to the thought in the companionship of those who are such in the other life, can ever escape being held captive by them to the end of his life; for they bend the least things of the thoughts in innumerable ways, and make them delightful, and thus operate for the destruction of the man. This is yet more the case at the present time, when this crew is greatly increased, and also because evil spirits are tolerated in the world of spirits. Wherefore let men beware of actual evils; in this way only can anyone at last abstain from them; for actualities bring on habits, and put on a kind of nature, as happens with those who have exercised themselves in thefts, and thus evils are increased, together with their delights, and men are carried away by an increasing number of sirens, like a piece of wood in a rapid stream. Such a wandering crowd of sirens is multiplied at the present day far beyond their numbers in former times.


THE RATIOCINATIONS OF CERTAIN SPIRITS THAT SINS ARE WIPED AWAY IN THE OTHER LIFE, AND THAT THEY ARE THUS JUSTIFIED IN A MOMENT. Because of this opinion that men are justified, whatever the life they have led, in a moment, even if it should be at the last hour of life - an opinion which has prevailed in the whole Christian world, wherever almost there is any doctrine of faith certain spirits reasoned concerning it, and confirmed themselves also from the fact, that they saw certain ones introduced at once into heaven, and when it was seen that they laid aside their exteriors like garments, they would fain thus put off their own, not knowing or not being willing to understand that these things take place in certain states, when the exteriors are laid asleep, and that the laying aside, as it were, of garments is an appearance arising from the fact, that external societies are then taken away from them, whereupon there is this appearance; for whenever spirits are elevated into heaven, external societies are also taken away from them, since otherwise there would be something contrary which would resist.


It was said to them that man carries with him into the other life all his states of good and of evil, as also all things which he has done, thought, learned, and spoken, in their least particulars, not losing the smallest portion of them, and that they return successively as they are tempered by the Lord; as also that all the states and all the thoughts, as also the speeches and actions of the other life remain in like manner, and this forever, so that nothing ever perishes.


Certain spirits supposed that those who are elevated into the second heaven and the third were without those externals above mentioned, having taken up some idea of this kind; but it was said to them, that they had all things with them. And that this was the case even with the angels, and that otherwise they would not be able to subsist or live. This was confirmed by a comparison, as, that a musical instrument; a piano, a violin, and the like, unless they have a piece of wood to which the strings or cords can be fastened cannot produce sound, but that in fact, their sound is such as the wood is, and also its quality and extension, and that in the same manner, there must be a correspondence of externals with internals, as there is with the angels. It was further illustrated by the fact that the angels, if they were without externals corresponding, would be like a body without feet, and the inmost ones like a head without a body.


Hence now it may be manifest how false it is to believe that a man is justified in a moment, and that all his sins are wiped away in a moment.


CONCERNING CONSOCIATIONS ACCORDING TO AFFECTIONS AND CUPIDITIES, AS ALSO [ACCORDING TO] APPEARANCES AND PHANTASIES. THE HELLS. It was given me to perceive that, in the other life, all consociations are according to the reigning affections of good in the heavens, and according to the cupidities of evil in the hells and that [heaven and hell] being in opposition, there is thence equilibrium.


Souls after death do not immediately come into their [proper] consociations, from the fact that their phantasies are such as do not arise from their cupidities, nor their appearances such as come from their affections. So long as their phantasies are not from their cupidities, nor their appearances from their affections, they are borne hither and thither, and this according to phantasies and appearances. This is the reason that [some] souls are for a long time in the lower earth, and also in the world of spirits, before they come to their [proper] place. This also is the reason why those in certain consociations are conveyed thence upwards and downwards, and at times hither and thither, since they fall into phantasies, or come into appearances which do not agree with their [proper] phantasies or appearances.


In a word, voluntary things and thoughts must act together; but inasmuch as they do not act together in the Christian world in consequence of social simulations, so that the countenance expresses something different from the thoughts [Christians] are kept longer than others in the world of spirits, and wander about longer than others, and are carried away more easily into other societies, although they relapse again into their own.


The life of those who cast themselves into hell is previously nothing else than the reigning of cupidities and the phantasies thence resulting - not the reverse - and the life of those who are elevated into heaven is previously nothing else than the reigning of affections of good, and thence the appearances of truth, or of the good, and thence of the truth.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN INTERIOR SPIRIT WHO WAS PROFANE (:LEJEL:) OR AN INTERIOR HYPOCRITE. There was a certain one, concerning whom I knew nothing in the life of the body, but that he cherished integrity [honestum] internally, because he was externally moral; he could speak perspicuously [distincte], refute [errors], and [had] several other [faculties]; but [he was one], who had confirmed himself in principles of the false, by thought, especially against the Lord, the Word, and the truths of faith. Of what quality his thoughts were concerning good it is not yet given me to know. He was able, in the life of the body, to throw himself into a kind of ecstatic state, as was shown also by his being several times put into similar ones, when he spoke as to how the case was, to wit, that he then, as it were, saw heaven, and that upon holding his thought fixed, as it were, in the person of another, then everything which he thought concerning that person presented itself to him [as if he himself were the person], though in fact he knew nothing of them; and as there were spirits of the same quality in that sphere, they drew certain inferences [from the course of thought] respecting him and his fortunes. Thus he obtained information on several subjects, and supposed [this knowledge] to be a revelation beyond any other. But it was shown how the case was in this matter, [and] that a man [in the usual state] can also conclude in like manner, but more obscurely, because he cannot remember everything in particular, as is the case with interior spirits when the thought is held in the idea of a particular person.


He was for a long time lurking beneath, but I perceived repugnances [in my mind] against the truths of faith, not knowing that they were from him; but this was detected [afterwards], as also that he excited most filthy things even among the profane infernals, for they subsequently adhered to him; they had their interior [things] from him; for example, while I was thinking concerning the urine, there immediately occurred to them what was against the Lord and the truths of faith, whence [something] most profane was excited among the profane infernals, so that I could with difficulty urinate, [and] this only from his interior filthy thought against the truth.


He was able also to receive truths, as that love and its differences constitute heaven, that there must be an equilibrium, and that he ought also to receive these [truths], but still he was such [as he was], because he was much bent on fame. Before these things were detected, there was favor shown to him, but he was afterwards sent into a vessel of urine, and a tun, which, however, he did not fear. But it was told [me] that he had been a robber, and it was shown that he was among the worst. This punishment he had not undergone before.


His operation was into the brain, and he induced pains on that part of it which is above the cerebrum, and afterwards on the part above the cerebellum.


He was sent a second time into the urinary tun, and appeared there as if he had come into his heaven and so said, for he formed there a heaven to himself.


There came suddenly a certain one above in front, at whose coming that robber was seized with a sudden terror, and cast himself downward, but could not do so as deeply as he would, as he would fain have gone deeper; he said he greatly feared him, alleging fictitious reasons, but it was discovered that he had murdered him, and it was [also] said, that he had previously thought of the different ways in which he might lay wait against him so as to take his life. Hence it may be manifest with what kind of terror [murderers] are stricken when their victims come upon them, [viz.] that they are grievously terrified at their very first approach.


There was detected at another time a crime which he had committed against a woman, whom, perhaps, he had violated; namely that he had killed her by a certain magical art, concerning which the spirits spoke, [saying] that it was a hidden art, though still known to some on earth, and that [some] are able to kill others without the use of any knife, sword or dagger, or other [instrument], and that it was [effected] by a magical stopping of the breath. This art he was skilled in, and by means of it took the life of the one first mentioned, and also of the woman, who was recognized from the fact that she flew to him, and kissed him; and that he was thereupon tormented with internal suffering. The very indifference [to consequences] and the delight which he felt in the deed were also wonderfully communicated [to me]: his delight was without any symptom of horror. Certain [spirits] also spoke afterwards, and said that they were skilled in the same art.


He was an interior magician, and one interiorly profane, cherishing deadly hostility against any whom [he held] in hatred, for which reason profane and filthy spirits adhered to him as their ring-leader, and this through their interiors.


CONCERNING A PROFANE FEMALE, [CONCERNING] MAGIC, AND THE MAGICAL HELLS. That magical and adulterous one, concerning whom above, who had infested me with her profanations almost a half year, concerning whom much might be written - sufficient indeed to fill many pages - at length lost a part of her communication with spirits, and was conveyed nearly in front beyond the desert of the robbers, and there rose up near me about my head for some time a continuous something with a kind of whisper, the effect of her communication with one side of my head; this she persisted in for a long time, from an art which she knew in the world and practiced [there]. But she was then conveyed downward to the first hell of the magicians, which is proximately beyond the desert of the robbers, not in the depth, but in a certain plane, where are those of both sexes who practiced magical things in the life of the body. She then, for a whole night, so tied or interlocked herself with several parts of my face, as the mouth and so forth, and also of the head [that I was strangely affected]. On waking up from time to time, I felt myself bound as to external ideas, and perceived her almost continual presence there. It was afterwards made known what she had done in the world [namely], that she had learned magical things from a certain one whom she had paid [to teach her how] she might be able to allure to adulteries anyone whom she pleased, and that she had practiced this upon a partner in adultery, by looking on the right side of his face, and various [other] parts, and by muttering magical [formulae] to herself. This she had practiced in her adulteries, and a certain one [of her paramours] confessed it before a priest - who said that he had often heard such abominable things from herself - remarking in his confession, that he was astonished at his burning so suddenly with venereal ardor. This was detected, and being inspected, she was found to be skilled in fourteen arts of this kind, which were magical, when yet scarce anyone in the life of the body was aware of this.


In that hell are the witches of the milder kind, who have exercised such arts; but the hell of the witches of the worse kind is yet further on, and tends into the deep there, whither being dismissed she is amongst the worst, because she had excelled at the same time in endowments of mind.


From these things it is manifest how interior magic [things] are now increased; it was said that at this day very many such come into the other life.


In that hell are direful poisonous serpents.


CONCERNING THE ABOMINABLE THINGS PERPETRATED IN THE WORLD BY THOSE WHO ARE STILL HELD IN ESTEEM BY OTHERS. MEMORY. The subject of the sirens concerning whom [it was related] above that she had learned magical arts to the number of about fourteen, and had practiced adulteries by magical means, which were also detected to the number of almost a hundred, made herself in the other life infernally profane. This was at length detected by the fact that she was in [a certain] hell, and there tormented by the infernals, and that her jaws and throat were forced asunder and a baleful fiery something flowed in whereby she was tormented, and it was afterwards said to her, that she should abstain from [entering] that place. She became a more subtle spirit and fled far to the rear; but afterwards as before attempted impious and profane things; there was then seen the couch of an infant upon a heap, perchance of men, and it was detected [of her] that, while unmarried, she had brought forth an infant and had cast it into a furnace, and that afterwards she compassed the destruction of two maid-servants, by throwing them over a bridge into the river; these knew something concerning the [deed], and one of them confessed it to a certain priest. [It was also discovered] that she had plotted in thought how by profane arts she might destroy them in the other life, so that they should not rise again, besides other profane things written on holy paper and then adulterated; there was also seen a certain other profane [something] which I do not know the meaning of. She was able to divine [the meaning of] everything that at occurred, and [to see] more in the other life than others, and this by hidden arts.


4459-1 The reader will doubtless perceive an unusual degree of obscurity in the details respecting these sirens. This is in part to be accounted for from the abstruse nature of the subject, but quite as much from the state of the author's manuscript, which, Dr. Tafel remarks, abounds here with words exceedingly difficult to be deciphered. In the last sentence, for instance, in No. 4459, by a change of eos into eas we may read:- "I perceived that they treated the sirens in agreement [with their phantastic] appearance with mockery," and c. We have done the best we could with the translation. -Tr.

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