before the day of the examination Budge dreamed a dream

 people involved | time:2023-11-30 03:37:44

[82] "En 1541, a Padoue, dit Wier, un homme qui se croyait change en loup courait la campagne, attaquant et mettant a mort ceux qu'il rencontrait. Apres bien des difficultes, on parvint s'emparer de lui. Il dit en confidence a ceux qui l'arreterent: Je suis vraiment un loup, et si ma peau ne parait pas etre celle d'un loup, c'est parce qu'elle est retournee et que les poils sont en dedans.--Pour s'assurer du fait, on coupa le malheureux aux differentes parties du corps, on lui emporta les bras et les jambes."--Taine, De l'Intelligence, Tom. II. p. 203. See the account of Slavonic werewolves in Ralston, Songs of the Russian People, pp. 404-418.

before the day of the examination Budge dreamed a dream

[83] Mr. Cox, whose scepticism on obscure points in history rather surpasses that of Sir G. C. Lewis, dismisses with a sneer the subject of the Berserker madness, observing that "the unanimous testimony of the Norse historians is worth as much and as little as the convictions of Glanvil and Hale on the reality of witchcraft." I have not the special knowledge requisite for pronouncing an opinion on this point, but Mr. Cox's ordinary methods of disposing of such questions are not such as to make one feel obliged to accept his bare assertion, unaccompanied by critical arguments. The madness of the bearsarks may, no doubt, be the same thing us the frenzy of Herakles; but something more than mere dogmatism is needed to prove it.

before the day of the examination Budge dreamed a dream

Sometimes the werewolf transformation led to unlucky accidents. At Caseburg, as a man and his wife were making hay, the woman threw down her pitchfork and went away, telling her husband that if a wild beast should come to him during her absence he must throw his hat at it. Presently a she-wolf rushed towards him. The man threw his hat at it, but a boy came up from another part of the field and stabbed the animal with his pitchfork, whereupon it vanished, and the woman's dead body lay at his feet.

before the day of the examination Budge dreamed a dream

A parallel legend shows that this woman wished to have the hat thrown at her, in order that she might be henceforth free from her liability to become a werewolf. A man was one night returning with his wife from a merry-making when he felt the change coming on. Giving his wife the reins, he jumped from the wagon, telling her to strike with her apron at any animal which might come to her. In a few moments a wolf ran up to the side of the vehicle, and, as the woman struck out with her apron, it bit off a piece and ran away. Presently the man returned with the piece of apron in his mouth and consoled his terrified wife with the information that the enchantment had left him forever.

A terrible case at a village in Auvergne has found its way into the annals of witchcraft. "A gentleman while hunting was suddenly attacked by a savage wolf of monstrous size. Impenetrable by his shot, the beast made a spring upon the helpless huntsman, who in the struggle luckily, or unluckily for the unfortunate lady, contrived to cut off one of its fore-paws. This trophy he placed in his pocket, and made the best of his way homewards in safety. On the road he met a friend, to whom he exhibited a bleeding paw, or rather (as it now appeared) a woman's hand, upon which was a wedding-ring. His wife's ring was at once recognized by the other. His suspicions aroused, he immediately went in search of his wife, who was found sitting by the fire in the kitchen, her arm hidden beneath her apron, when the husband, seizing her by the arm, found his terrible suspicions verified. The bleeding stump was there, evidently just fresh from the wound. She was given into custody, and in the event was burned at Riom, in presence of thousands of spectators."[84]

[84] Williams, Superstitions of Witchcraft, p. 179. See a parallel case of a cat-woman, in Thorpe's Northern Mythology, II. 26. "Certain witches at Thurso for a long time tormented an honest fellow under the usual form of cats, till one night he put them to flight with his broadsword, and cut off the leg of one less nimble than the rest; taking it up, to his amazement he found it to be a woman's leg, and next morning he discovered the old hag its owner with but one leg left."--Tylor, Primitive Culture, I. 283.

Sometimes a werewolf was cured merely by recognizing him while in his brute shape. A Swedish legend tells of a cottager who, on entering the forest one day without recollecting to say his Patter Noster, got into the power of a Troll, who changed him into a wolf. For many years his wife mourned him as dead. But one Christmas eve the old Troll, disguised as a beggarwoman, came to the house for alms; and being taken in and kindly treated, told the woman that her husband might very likely appear to her in wolf-shape. Going at night to the pantry to lay aside a joint of meat for tomorrow's dinner, she saw a wolf standing with its paws on the window-sill, looking wistfully in at her. "Ah, dearest," said she, "if I knew that thou wert really my husband, I would give thee a bone." Whereupon the wolf-skin fell off, and her husband stood before her in the same old clothes which he had on the day that the Troll got hold of him.

In Denmark it was believed that if a woman were to creep through a colt's placental membrane stretched between four sticks, she would for the rest of her life bring forth children without pain or illness; but all the boys would in such case be werewolves, and all the girls Maras, or nightmares. In this grotesque superstition appears that curious kinship between the werewolf and the wife or maiden of supernatural race, which serves admirably to illustrate the nature of both conceptions, and the elucidation of which shall occupy us throughout the remainder of this paper.

top: 3864step on: 8856