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Topic: The levitation of Samuel Pepys.
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Jan 27, 2004 12:58PM)
This extract, reported by Pepys in his Diary, for 31 July 1665, may be of interest to historians of magic and bizarrists alike. It could form the basis of a interesting presentation of an old favourite, which I‘ll leave up you. I’ve left the French as I found it - I’m not sure whether Pepys spelling is awry, or whether that’s the way French was in the seventeenth century. I should mention that Pepys refers to Mr. Brisband as a ‘good scholler and sober man’:

‘This evening with Mr. Brisband, speaking of enchantments and spells, I telling him of some of my charms; he told me this of his owne knowledge, at Bourdeaux in France. The words these:

Voyci un Corps mort,
Royde comme un Baston,
Froid comme Marbre,
Leger comme un esprit,
Levons te au nom de Jesus Christ.

He saw four little girles, very young ones, all kneeling, each of them, upon one knee; and one begun the first line, whispering in the eare of the next, and the second to the third, and the third to the fourth, and she to the first. Then the first begun the second line, and so round quite through, and, putting each one finger only to a boy that lay flat upon his back on the ground, as if he was dead; at the end of the words, they did with their four fingers raise this boy as high as they could reach, and he (Mr. Brisband) being there, and wondering at it, as also being afeard to see it, for they would have had him to have bore a part in saying the words, in the roome of one of the little girles that was so young that they could hardly make her learn to repeat the words, did, for feare there might be some sleight used in it by the boy, or that the boy might be light, call the cook of the house, a very lusty fellow, as Sir G. Carteret’s cook, who is very big, and they did raise him in just the same manner. This is one of the strangest things I ever heard, but he tells me of his owne knowledge, and I do heartily believe it to be true. I enquired of him whether they were Protestant or Catholique girls; and he told me they were Protestants, which made it more strange to me.’

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this long-departed domestic moment as much as I did.


Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 27, 2004 02:20PM)
Interesting that you should pick a piece for a bizarre story line from Sam Pepys' diary the SAME WEEK, but 337 years earlier, as Eugene Poinc's death in 2002.

No "hidden meaning", I'm sure; just interesting.

And, as Pepys would say, "so to bed."

Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Jan 27, 2004 03:18PM)
No 'hidden meaning' intended Peter, but, yes, that IS interesting.

I can't think of such a book, but a compendium of the coincidences and weirdness that weave through magical history would be one heck of a read; as would be a collection of anecdotes about those times - I'm sure we've all had them - when our 'hits' seem spookily accurate.

And as for Pepys' 'so to bed'... you'll know, Peter, that one of the truly gleeful things about his diary is that the reader can never be entirely sure as to WHOSE bed the saucy Samuel is retiring :blush:. Unlike, of course, that other great English diarist, Master Adrian Mole, who always seems fated to sleep alone.


Caleb Strange.