Thanks to Todd Dunk of Turkey Scratch, Arkansas for typing up Montague Summers' 1929 translation of De Masticatione Mortuorum, a lecture given by Philip Rohr at the Academy of Leipzig in 1679. Check's in the mail, Todd. Latin speakers refer here.
Of The Chewing Dead
By Philip Rohr
Those who have written of the history of funeral rites and of those mysteries of death have not neglected to place on record that there have been found from time to time bodies who appear to have devoured the grave clothes in which they were wound, their cerements, and whilst doing so have uttered a grunting noise like the sound of porkers chawing and rooting with their groyns. Now different writers have pronounced very different opinions on the matter, and some learned men have ascribed this phenomenon to natural causes which are not clearly known to us; whilst others have only been able to explain it by assuming that there are certain animals which glut their hunger for human flesh by feeding upon corpses, but what animals these may be they do not tell; and others again have advanced yet other opinions. This phenomenon then seemed to us to be a fit subject which might be treated in a public and formal disputation, all the rules and regulations being duly observed, in order that we might arrive at the best explanation of this matter and to some extent at any rate elucidate it. Accordingly we determined and resolved after due study to set down the sum of our researches in the following pages, relying upon the kindly indulgence of our readers to make full allowances for the extreme obscurity of these points upon which it has not been possible to pronounce a definite opinion, and also taking our stand upon the authority of those Eminent Doctors and writers whose opinions, and often whose very words, we have quoted in resolving these hard matters. The subject would seem obviously to fall into two parts, of which the first may be reviewed historically; whilst the second demands to be closely examined from a purely philosophical point of view (alterum philosophicam διάσκεψιυ sibi uendicat).
Part I. An Historical Survey.
I. The Dead concerning whose abilities of manducation we are now to treat, must not be understood to be those who having been raised to life by the Divine Power have once more partaken of food.
According to the words of Scripture many who died were recalled to life. In the Bible, in the old as well as in the New Testament, there are recorded several examples of this. III Kings, xvii, 22, (A. V. I. Kings, xvii, 22); IV Kings xiii, 21 (A. V. II. Kings, xiii, 21); S. Matthew, ix, 18-26; S. Luke, vii 11-17; S. John xii, 1. Many examples also have been collected from Ecclesiastical History by Beierlingius in his Theatrue Uerae Historiae Lit. R. post medium, 320, sqq. Martin Delrio in the Second Book of his Disquisitionum Magicarum Libri Sex, quotes and exposes the falsity of many stories of resurrection from the dead which are told by Ethnic poets and writers.
II. We Do not now understand by Dead those who have appeared to have expired, and who after burial by some lucky accident were able to come forth from their tombs, or who not yet having been committed to the grave have awakened, and afterwards have partaken of food.
We first state the facts which have quite clearly been shown by Kornmannus in his work De Miraculis Mortuorum, Part ii, c. 33, where he says: "The Soul often remains united to the human body but every movement or motion of the limbs is prevented and entirely restricted so that it is by no means easy to discover and to discern whether bodies of that kind are alive or dead." And hence it has sometimes happened that those who have no technical knowledge of such things have taken to be dead, persons who in fact were not, and they have been at the charge and care of interring such bodies and interring them to the earth, whence, verily, these unfortunate wretches, in whom life seemed to be extinct would indeed inevitably have perished had not some lucky chance happened which gave them the power of struggling and rescuing themselves from so grave a danger. Such death-like trances and comas are often called by the physicians "mute diseases," αφωυοι. In this category Delrio includes (1) Those who are taken with an apoplexy, those who are planet-struck and palsied, and those who are rendered insensible and stupefied by any great amazement or fear. (2) Those whose brains are benumbed and stunned. (3) Those who suffer from certain forms of hysteria; women who experience strangulation of the womb and who fall into sore fits of the mother. (4) Those who are liable to collapse into a trance-like swoon, a disease with which John Duns Scotus was afflicted, and although he was yet living (as it afterwards appeared) he was buried being thought to be dead. This circumstance is related by Kornmannus, De Miraculis Mortuorum, Part VI, c. lvi. Where he quotes that elegant poem which was composed by Janus Vitalis on the death of Scotus, in which appear these pleasing lines:
Quod nulli unquam hominum accidit, Uiator
Hic Scotus iaceo semel sepultus
Et bis mortuus, omnibus Sophistis
Argutus magis atque captiosus
In chapter six of the same work Kornmannus gives an example from the Annals of Joannes Zonaras of a similar accident that befell the Emperor Zeno. Several writers record extraordinary accidents in which fortune certainly was kind to those who were thought to be dead and committed to the grave, since by some lucky chance it has not seldom happened that they awakened and were rescued. Kornmannus chronicles such an account, which to use his own words was "in sober sooth marvelous and well worthy to be remembered." In the Church of the Holy Apostles at Cologne he noticed a votive picture, the subject of which we will relate as briefly as may be. In the year 1357 there died of the plague a certain wealthy lady belonging to that town whose name was Richemodis. Now on account of his great love for his wife her husband could not bear that her wedding ring should be withdrawn, and accordingly this was left upon her finger. Of such great value was the jewel that the sexton took especial note of it and coming with his servant that same night to the tomb he opened the monument whilst the servant went down into the vault and preceded to draw the ring from the hand. No sooner had he touched the body than the woman sat up in her coffin. The two thieves leaving their lanthorn fled in an extremity of terror, but the lady thus provided with a light found her way back to her own home, where she was welcomed with the utmost joy by her husband and her mourning friends. Here we have an historical example of a person who is buried as dead and is rescued from the grave by some individual owing to great good fortune. Not widely dissimilar are the instances Pliny relates in his Historia Naturalis, VII, where he tells of one Aviola, a man of consular rank who actually came to life whilst he was on the funeral pyre, and he also relates the precisely similar case of Lucius Lamia. This latter is further recorded Valerius Maximus., Book I, 8. With regard to these particular instances it is the opinion of Delrio that the warmth of the flames disperses the cold and syncoptic humours. Such accidents must certainly teach men not to bury the departed in any haste or without undue care.
In ancient Rome it was usual upon such occasions to wail loudly and indeed to make a great noise at the bedside of the deceased that they might ascertain whether the soul did not yet linger in the body, and accordingly those who were dead indeed and who assuredly could not return to life were called conclammati. In his De Animæ Tranquillitate, Seneca writes: "Toties in uincinia mea conclamatum est" which is to say "How many funerals have taken place in this neighborhood." Moreover, the Glossarists tell us that conclammata corpora signifies those who are dead and buried.
III. When we treat of the manducation of the dead we do not now understand by the dead those apparitions or wraiths which issue forth from the tomb by the aid of demons and evil spirits
It is certain that the devil cannot raise the dead to life. This is a dogma divinely revealed to us. It is also manifest from all the arguments and reasons of sound philosophy for such a thing is opposed to nature.
At the same time we do not deny that it has often happened and may very well be happening to-day that by the Divine permission the bodies of some who are dead issue from their graves owing to the agency of the devil and that these corpses perform various actions, or rather seem to perform such actions, and consequently they may also partake of food. Instances of this can be seen in Kornmannus, De Miraculis Mortuorum, II, cs. x and xiii; in Johan Georg Godelmann, whose work has been translated by Georg Schwartz, Rector of the University of Marburg, as Von Zaubern Hexen und unholden, I, iv, 47; and in Delrio Disquisitionum Magicarum, Liber II, qu. 29. sect. 1. post medium 308, sqq. When he has given various examples from Pagan history of dead men who were supposed to have been raised from the tomb Delrio adds not impertinently: "Of a truth many an illusion and deception can be wrought by the Devil with regard to these mysterious happenings. For sometimes he will steal away the bodies of those who are dead, and he will substitute other phantasmal forms, which move exactly as though they were human and alive. And it is not unknown that he will enter into and possess the bodies of the deceased. Nay, moreover, he will sometimes cause the very corpses to appear to live and this is done by his power (permitted to him) when he energizes and possesses them: and just as a pilot will move a vessel so will he move them, and he will compel these dead bodies exactly to imitate the actions and gestures of living men."
IV. It is not our intention to consider here those who seem to be dead, and who when they had been buried in some monument awoke and ate of their own impulsion and motion.
An example of this is related by Kornmannus, De Miraculis Mortuorum, Part VI, c. lix. The reader must himself be the judge as to the exact truth of the event. It may also be found in the Annales Ecclesiastici of Baronius. These writers say that Zeno having been struck down by an epileptic fit was thought to be dead, and as such was actually interred, but afterwards he came to life again in his monument when, tortured by hunger, he gnawed the brawns of his own arms and even bit the leather of his buskins.
V. The Theme of this disputation will be that there are some who were actually dead and who were buried, but energized by an unusual and extraordinary power altogether external to themselves they have even within their tombs been known to eat and partake of food.
There is an old and well-known saw which is quoted by many writers and recorded by Erasmus in his Adagia. The burden thereof is this: Dead men do not bite. (τεθνήκοτες οὐ δάκυουσιυ). This indeed is a truth that there is no disputing; a dead man if he be passive cannot be compelled by any exterior force to perform such an extraordinary action as to eat. For eating is an action which is wholly confined to living beings, a certain operation whereby food, if it be solid, is absorbed, humected by the saliva of the mouth, and lightly fricated for the benefit of the strength of the muscles of the human body, so that it passes into the stomach and is there agreeably digested. The object of this act of eating is Food which may be defined as "a mixed body which by a certain natural change is formed into the substance of a living animal." This is a convenient definition which we have derived from various works of Aristotle The Physics to wit, especially the ϕυσικὴ ἀκῥοασις and the περί γεέσεως καὶ ϕθορᾰς. Whence it clearly follows that we are not using the word "manducation (or eating)" in its strict and specific sense but rather in its etymological sense. For it deprives the object of its peculiar and direct quality which is sustentation, that is to say the affording of nourishment, and it only comprises that action which is the function of the teeth, that is to say the mastication of any food taken into the mouth. For the sake of clarity it is preferable to use this term, manducation, in this restricted sense which we have set forth, since any manducation on the part of the dead must be merely analogous to the same act when it is performed by a living person, just as in the same way as one may without any danger of falling into error or misleading others speak of the portrait of a man by the name of the man himself. And if anyone should desire to regard the two terms "manducation" and "eating" and any similar words as synonyms, by all means let him do so. For in the vernacular we make use of the words metzschen, schmetzen, and netzschen, which are onomotopoeic vocables, taken from the sound, and this noise (they say) is made by those who eat in their graves. Whence Heinrich Rothen in his Tractatus de peste Sagerhusana speaks of "Schmetzende Todte." And this phrase is also used by Conrad Schlüsselburg who writes: "man höret und ersähret offtmahls in Sterbens-Läufften dass todte Leute – in dem Grabe ein Schmetzen getreiben nicht anders al seine Sau wenn sie isset." Kornmannus, also, in his De Miraculis Mortuorum, Part II, c. 64, remarks: "It is known by instances which are proven that certain dead people in the graves have devoured and even swallowed their linceuls and cerements."
VI. Chronicles and historical monuments show us that the dead of both sect have been heard and even have been seen to swallow food or some object.
Although both the corpses of men are known to have grunted, gibbered, and squeaked, yet examples show us that it is more often the bodies of the weaker sex who have thus uttered curious voices. This is manifest from actual experience. The reason for it will be given below. It appears that most authors who treated with these matters have not troubled to specify whether the dead person was a man or a woman, and hence it has often been generally taken that they were men. Those authors and historians who have either accidentally or intentionally neglected to afford these details are surely much to be blamed. For in a difficult matter such as these omissions may tend to obscure the truth.
VII. Examples of happenings of this kind may be recorded in a definite order chronologically and in sequence.
In oder that we may not appear to be treating of mere empty nothings, as has been the fault of some who have proposed a certain subject of discussion and then departed from it as widely as may be, it is well to set forth certain examples of the dead who were known to eat in their tombs, and from such instances the truth of these relations may stand out all the more plainly. It will be sufficient to mention the year and the place where such strange happenings occurred and to put them on record here. Further references may be made to the original authors from whom we have extracted these relations, which in the first place are generally affirmed by assistants and eye-witnesses of the whole circumstances. In the year of our Lord 1345 at Levin, a town in Bohemia, the body of a woman ate in her grave (Georg. Phillipp. Harsdorffer in his Theatrum Tragicorum Exemplorum, which account is taken from the one hundred and fifteenth chapter of the Chronicon Bohemiae of Hegenezius). The same thing happened in the days of Martin Luther, when there was also seen the body of a woman who had gnawed her own flesh (Luther's Colloquia xxiv). The same thing happened in the year 1552 at Luben in Silesia (Conrad Schlüsselburg, Gründlicher Erklarung des XCI Pf. Cons. XII, Part iii). The same happened in 1565 at Sangerhausen. (This example also from Schlüsselburg.) The same happened in the year 1579, in the neighborhood of Weismarien. (This is from the same author.) Adam Rother in his treatise on the plague says that when this scourge was raging in Marburg many bodies both in the town itself and in country places round about were heard to utter strange voices. This happened in the year 1581. When the plague was decimating Schisselbein the people noticed that the same thing took place in certain graveyards. This is related by Ignatius Hanielus in his Tractatus de peste in Schisselbein. At the beginning of this present century in the year 1603, in the village of Nienstade, which is not far from Hamburg, a body was heard to be uttering from the grave a hoarse sound like the heavy grunting of swine. A full account will be found in the work of Schlüsselburg. The eminent Harsdorffer, whom we have quoted above, mentions a similar occurrence, when the body of a man not only devoured and swallowed his own linen shroud but also half-devoured the corpse of a woman in a neighbouring grave. But our author does not give the year. This happened at Egwanschitz, a town of Moravia. Only seven years ago, in 1672, there was an exactly similar case in a certain village which lies at a distance of three miles from this very town, and it was observed by an intimate friend of mine, one who is worthy of the utmost confidence. The body of a man, whose name although known to me, I prefer not to mention, having been most rashly exhumed by the villagers was found to have eaten his own limbs. I may add that references to a larger number of books and a more intensive study of history would afford many more examples. But enough has been said conclusively to prove the truth of our thesis, namely that the dead have actually been known to perform the act of manducation.
Part II. Some Philosophical Considerations
I. So far we have discussed those points which relate to the historical survey of our thesis; we will now consider the reasons for and the causes of the object of our thesis, and these we divide into the false and the true.
II. The manducation of the dead is erroneously ascribed to some hidden faculty.
There are certain authors who, believing some idle superstition or the other, try to discover that the cause of this manducation originates in the corpse itself, and since they are unable to explain it so it pleases them to call it a "hidden cause." Of their numbers must be reckoned Kornmannus since he says: "Undoubtedly there is a hidden cause for this manducation" (Part VI, c. 64). Now in order that we may meet these fairly on their own ground it will be well very briefly to consider what in Physics are these "hidden causes," and hence it will soon be seen whether this effect can proceed from such a cause. There are indeed certain hidden qualities which are undiscovered and unknown natural forces owing to the action of which natural things are subjective or objective, and the reason for their action cannot be clearly demonstrated. All authors are agreed that the origin of such forces must be external or internal. Those who hold that there are external forces consider these to be the planets and the heaven under whose influence natural things are impelled to certain actions yet the exact reason for such actions remain inexplicable. Contrariwise other authors––in my opinion very rightly––altogether reject this theory of external influences and they rather concentrate their attention upon the body, or the soul, or the object which is combined of both, and they seek in it itself the cause of natural action. It were impertinent for us here to discuss at length the various opinions that have been given, and yet we think that it will certainly be useful to make some distinction. Let it suffice to say then that these hidden influences in all cases sometimes originate from bodies or from the soul or from the substance partaking of both in an instrumental and secondary manner; but from the very essence in a primary and efficacious manner. And this distinction may be clearly shown. The point then that we have made will be of use in refuting the opinions of those who think that the manducation of the dead may be ascribed to some hidden cause. For assuredly no one would say that this happened owing to the influence of heaven and of the planets which are universal causes and which if they indeed did produce such an effect would produce it (1) Far more frequently; (2) In the case of all the dead, or at least in a very great many more instances; (3) Both at periods of pestilence as well as when the land was free from any visitation of the plague. For it is not at all agreed why at the time of pestilence alone the stars should exercise this influence upon the deceased, and at other times such should not be the case. In a word it is mere folly to refer universal causes to particular effects. Moreover, nobody who was of sound mind would refer this manducation to the effect of the soul, since when the soul has left the body it is detained in its appointed place. Again we must imagine that everybody must agree that when the soul is departed the mere carcass can do nothing of itself. And so none of these qualities and conditions have any influence at all since if the essential principle is lacking (and it is lacking in the case of a corpse) they are powerless. And if there be no causation there follow no effect.
III. To maintain that they are devoured by Azazel is an idle and inept fiction, a legend which is somewhat foolishly fathered upon Jewish Rabbis.
We have already shown that to suppose such manducation can be subjective is altogether erroneous. And now we encounter another opinion which is demonstrably false although this relates to an objective cause, namely to Azazel. Two propositions are maintained: (1) That these corpses are devoured by Azazel. (2) That this is the opinion of the Rabbis. Among those who support the first belief although they do not (it is true) emphasize and push it to its logical conclusion are Kornmannus, De Miraculis Mortuorum Part VII, c. 64; Paulus Schalichius in his treatise De Demonio Infernali, 48, and Pistorius in his Daemonomania where he speaks of being devoured by Azazel. These authors appear to take Azazel to be a serpent, and some say that the Jewish Rabbis maintain this identification, and so these bodies become the food of a serpent. This is indeed to trifle. Yet they assert that the Jews prove this from the text in Genesis, III, 14: "And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: Upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." Also Isaias says, LXV, 25: "And dust shall be the serpent's food." One can scarcely forebear from laughing at such a gloss. Both the passages refer to the reptile, the serpent which is an animal, who is never called Azazel but נחש, which is the ordinary name for a serpent or snake when the animal is spoken of in the Bible. Moreover it is obvious to anybody who reads the context in both passages of Holy Scripture that the references are to earth and the dust of the ground, not to any corpse. A fine exegesis of the Scripture this and well worthy of those Jewish Rabbins among whose sifting and shifting of Holy Writ such twists and acrobatic turns of sense may not infrequently be found. And at the same time it were well that our commentators should be quite sure that this opinion was ever held by the Rabbinists. We are led to doubt this on several grounds. And the first reason is because the Rabbis do not explain Azazel as a serpent but as a spirit, an evil spirit, to wit a demon. Johann Buxtorf tells us: "Azazel is the name of an angel who together with his comrade Samchasai, fell from heaven" Lexicon Talmudicum, col. 1593. Claudius Frischmuthius definitely tells us that "the names of the four principal demons among the Jews were Sammael, Asasel, Asael, and Muchazael." The same authority has collected a vast deal of cognate matter from the writings of the Rabbis, and he treats very amply of Azazel in his tractate De Hirco Emissario, I, sqq., where he quotes an author who may also be profitably consulted on this point, Johann Benedict Carpzov, who in his Disputatio de Gigantibus, iv, has brought together a great many of these Jewish legends concerning Azazel, collected from Rabbinical writings, but it is never said anywhere that this spirit was metamorphosed into a serpent or appeared under that form. Those who wish to inquire further may profitably consult Meyer's Philosophia Sacra Part II, pp. 231-37; and Bang's Coelum Oriens. Moreover, and this is another reason for being highly suspicious of any such interpretation, the Jewish commentators when dealing with the texts which have been quoted from Genesis and Isaias have no mention of the word Azazel, but they keep the term נחש; and they assuredly know nothing about these corpses which are chawed and devoured by Azazel in the form of a serpent, since this term they use merely means the earth or the ground. This being the case then, the question may arise whence it is that certain scholars have derived this extraordinary legend which they attribute to the Rabbis? It has come from the various traditions which are recorded by the Jewish Talmudists concerning the Angel of Death, and which have been something exaggerated in common parlance and creed. Johann Buxtorf in his Synagoga Iudaica, c. xxxvi, relying upon the authority of Elias Grammaticus in his Lexicon (sub uerbo "Tischbi") writes: "The Rabbis believe that after one of the Hebrew race dies and has been buried the Angel of Death cometh and taketh his station by the grave, and at the same instant of time the man's soul returns to his body, and the body is vitalized once more, whilst this Angel of Death having an iron chain, which is in part icy cold, and in part red hot, smites this body or corpse with the said chain, and at the first blow all the limbs of this body are rent asunder and fall apart, but at the second blow all the bones are scattered afar, and then at the third and last blow the whole body falls into dust and ashes." This then is what the Jews believe about the Angel of Death, but he certainly was not an Angel who devoured and ate corpses. On the other hand the old Pagans indeed supposed that there was such a being as he is actually mentioned by Pausanias in his Tenth Book when speaking of the Phoenicians he says: "Among the Gods of the underworld they place a certain Eurynomus, whose rites are celebrated at Delphi, and they say that this evil spirit devours and crams the flesh of corpses so that anon nothing is left but their bare bleaching bones." A little later this dark genius is described: "In complexion he is something between black and very swarthy, the colour of a fat blue-bottle such as those who fly-blow fresh meat; he shows white gleaming teeth; his skin is bewrinkled like that of a vulture." It is true that there was among the Jews some story of a mouse which as soon as a body was buried began to gnaw and bite it most cruelly so that the dead man cried aloud and shrilled bitterly. Let him who lists believe such a tale. Several writers have mentioned the legend, see Geier, Tractatus de Luctu Hebraeorum V, 17. It may not be altogether impertinent to remark that the Mohammedans have just as many idle stories of serpents and snakes as the Jews, and there is some legend of a dragon who has ninety-nine necks each furnished with seven heads and when an unbeliever is buried each one of these heads bites him as a punishment for his sins. Edward Pocock, in his Miscellanies, and Garmer in his De Miraculis Mortuorum, III, 3, assure us that the Turk actually believes this foolery. It is this sort of silly fable, no doubt, which has given rise to the absurd fiction related by some writers, namely that a snake may be born from the spine of a dead man. For this see Kornmannus, op. cit. VI, 30. It were idle to pursue this matter further. And indeed all these tales and many like to them are the emptiest nursery lore, and as has been said by that most eminent theologian John Conrad Dannhuerus they are "mere poppied nonsense and idlest dreams, which may be left to the inhabitants of those cities of whose light is darkness, whose truth is a lie, who surrounds themselves with ignorance as with a wall." As for Eurynomus, Pausanias even expunges him from any catalogue of the gods of the underworld. "This deity is not mentioned in the Odyssey, nor does his name occur in the Minyas nor do I find him in that poem which is entitled Reditus, and these are the poems which tell us more details than any other sagas have about the underworld and about their black secrets and their gods, yet the name Eurynomus does not occur in any one of them as an infernal power."
IV. It is sheer folly to ascribe this manducation to birds (strigibus) who suck blood, or to hyaenas, since these animals are entirely unknown in our country.
This fact is so clear that it hardly needs any lengthy argument or disquisition. As for the Striges, for whom we see Delrio Disquisitiones magicae, I and III passim if indeed there are any birds which may be so designed, they are said very gently to suck the blood of living people especially children. But what has this to do with dead bodies? And how does this explain the extraordinary noise and grunting as of manducation made by corpses? With regard to the hyaena, this animal is entirely unknown amongst us, and we should be doing it a wrong if we were to say that it could possibly come to this country and rove through our cemeteries. Even supposing that some of these animals were to prowl about amongst graveyards undiscovered by anybody, even in this remote and impossible case, I say, how could we ascribe this manducation to them? It is true that in their own land they may feed upon bodies, whole and entire, which they have scraped up out of graves, just as the fierce bears in Muscovy, whose habits have been fully described by various travelers, will eat corpses. We may even quote S. John Chrysostom who in his Thirteenth Homily on S. Mark says: "The hyaena is never seen in the day time, but always in the night; it is never seen in the light, but always in the darkness. It has so fierce a nature that it will plough up from their graves the bodies of the dead and then devour them. Whereof if it so happen that one who has passed away is buried carelessly in no depth of earth the hyaena at night will dig up the body and carry it off and devour it. For wherever there is a cemetery, wherever there is a burying place, there is the hyaena's den."
V. Now that we have examined and proved all these causes of the manducation of dead bodies, and shown them to be erroneous, we are obliged to conclude that the demon is the cause of this manducation.
We are indeed bound to attribute this operation to the evil spirit, for logically we must do since we cannot escape from that postulate, accepted by all theologians and scholars, that if we find some action or circumstance which is beyond the natural powers of man and there does not appear any reasonable or fitting cause why it should be directly ascribed to Almighty God or to the ministry of good Angels, then must it necessarily be the work of the demon. With regard to this manducation which is the subject of our inquiry: (1) It has already been shown that it cannot proceed from the body, since a corpse is deprived of that essential quality, and so is unable to perform any action whatsoever. (2) It were absurd to ascribe it to any animal of any kind whatsoever. (3) The purity and goodness of the holy Angels must entirely forbid us from even venturing to suppose that they would lend themselves to these foul horrors. What have these blessed and angelic spirits to do with charnel-houses, with the filth of rotting corpses? They inhabit heaven, they do not frequent vaults and coffined crypts. Truly they guard the bones of the righteous, but they do not make use of them to work uncouth marvels and strange miracles. Therefore it can be but the evil spirit who is the cause of this horrible and monstrous manducation. For, like some bat or obscene bird of night he takes his pleasure in graves and foul sepulchers, as is told in Holy Scripture, S. Mark V, 2-5; S. Matthew VIII, 28.
Psellus also in his treatise De Natura Daemonum, when he describes the six kinds of demons informs us that the fifth rank or category consists of those who live underground and in the very bowels of the earth, "and these abide in caves and caverns and in most remote gullies among the loneliest mountains." Caspar Schott is of the same opinion in his Physica Curiosa. S. John Chrysostom in his Homilies on S. Matthew cap. X, says that it was not merely commonly believed among folk generally but that it was held as certain by scholars and all learned men that evil spirits and demons dwell in graveyards lurking about the tombs and here they incessantly wander to and fro finding no rest. The famous Jesuit exegete, Sanchez of Alcala, tells us the same in the sixty-fifth chapter of his commentary on the prophet Jeremias.
VI. At this point if our examination is to be continued without ambiguity arising it will be necessary that we should distinguish and divide the active cause of this manducation into two terms, namely, the principal cause and the instrumental cause.
VII. The principal cause is the Devil himself who actually causes and brings about this manducation of the dead.
There can be no doubt at all as to his desire and his will to produce such an effect, for he is indeed the craftiest of enemies (μυριοτεχυίτης hostis), a foe who is ever seeking every occasion and opportunity to hurt and harm poor wretched mortals. After death hatred no longer rages in the heart of a man, but it is always raging in the temper of the demon whose sole pleasure and delight is to injure and destroy the human race at any time and in any way he may be able to do so. He betrayed his inveterate malice indeed in his contention with the archangel S. Michael over the body of Moses, S. Jude, 9. Many of the other lying wonders which he effects show us that he is quite well able to produce this extraordinary manducation. We do not allow that he has the power over the soul when it is separated by death from the body, which is attributed to him by Delrio–– far too unguardedly as we conceive (Disquisitiones Magicae, q. 25); but that he has a considerable power over the human body, in so far as God permits, we would not venture to deny. "If God will, the demon is able to distress us during our lives to torment us with horrible dreams and disturb our repose, to deform and distort our limbs, nay, to afflict us with sickness and disease." This is the opinion of S. Cyprian of Carthage in his treatise Quod Idola dii non sint, and these words are quoted by Binderus in his treatise De Causa Pestis. The Devil, to cite Delrio's exact phrase, is able "to perform the most marvelous things with regard to dead bodies, and to bring to pass such extraordinary happenings that it would seem as if the very corpses were alive again and informed by intellect and soul. He can, for example, cause blood to flow from the wounds of a dead man in the presence of his murderer; he can also cause dead bodies to remain whole and entire without corruption, yet this can happen naturally, either through the art of the embalmer, or from the peculiar nature of the place where the deceased are buried, and sometimes even from the kind of death; and this incorruption is often effected by the mysterious power of the demon, so that to answer his purpose for a long while at all events the remains shall not be cremated." It is indeed quite impossible to give any account of all the extraordinary happenings which the power of the demon can bring to pass in connexion with dead bodies. Nor can there be any doubt at all that he can produce manducation, and this he causes to be accompanied by a horrible grunting noise.
VIII. It is highly probable that in connexion with this horrid business those lieutenants of the evil spirit, Witches, co-operate and we need not doubt that they are often a secondary or instrumental cause, their master being the principal and determining cause.
The devil is indeed the principal in all this business, but there can be no doubt that he often avails himself of the agency of witches for these operations, and we shall be the more easily assured of this when we consider what other extraordinary wonders these wretches are able to perform owing to the power of that old serpent. Not impertinently does Delrio tell us that "Witches are able to perform many extraordinary things with the help of the demon, and this is by the permission of God." Disquisitiones Magicae, II, qu. 7. The same author also in his following chapters has collected a large number of facts of this kind, and he quotes from both old and established authorities as well as from distinguished writers of more recent date. For example, he quotes from Suidas the instance of Julian the Chaldaean who had extraordinary powers which allowed him to put an end to epidemics and the plague. But as Conrad Schlüsselburg, to whom we have referred before, tells us, it is very generally believed that the plague may be induced by this manducation of the dead, and since this is the case it is very certain that witches will busy themselves to induce this manducation of the dead. We may remember what Tibullus has written of a certain witch in his second Elegy (Liber I):
Haec cantu finditque solum, manesque sepulcris
Elicit, et tepido deuorat ossa rogo.
And Ovid in his Heroides, the Epistle of Hypispyle to Jason, writes:
Per tumulos errat passis discincta capillis,
Certaque de tepidis colligit ossa rogis
If they secretly snatched away bones from the funeral pyres, they will not spare the flesh of dead bodies in the grave. More particularly because as Godelmann tells us they make great use of corpses in preparing their deadliest poisons. De Magis, Ueneficis et lamiis tractatus, I, c. 8. Paulus Grillandus, who is quoted by Delrio writes: "It is certain that witches sacrilegiously exhume the dead." Lucan in his Pharsalia, VI, has described a witch of this kind:
Ast ubi seruantur saxis, quibus intimus humor,
Ducitur, et tracta durescunt tabe medullæ
Corpora: tunc omnes auide desaeuit in artus
Immergitque manus oculis, gaudetque getalos
Delrio, who was one of the most learned of writers on these subjects, has collected from various authors a large amount of matter dealing with this point, for which one may see his Disquisitiones Magicae, III, Part I, qu. 3. One may also consult the Tractatus de Impietate Sagarum of Theodore Thummius; quaestio v. Since so many eminent authors assure us that necromancers and witches use the members torn from the dead bodies in their charms, we are bound to suppose that they often bring about this loathly manducation for reasons of their own. It should be borne in mind that we have not been able to quote more than a few notable authorities, selecting these writers from a vast library.
IX.The instrumental cause of this manducation must logically be these human corpses.
It is plain that naturally the demon is unable to perform any corporeal action, because he has no body of his own proper to himself. Wherefore if he wishes to produce any such action he abuses our human nature by energizing with activity some body that is purely passive or else he effects this by falsely vitalizing with movements certain bodies of dead men as if they were themselves of themselves endowed with motion, so that they may stimulate such effects as in the natural order of things would proceed from a body animated by the soul. In his treatise De Causa Pestis Binderus tells us that the devil is able to employ natural objects and natural causes to produce the effects he desires. Accordingly the Devil cannot bring about the act of manducation unless he employs some other suitable body to whom this act is natural, as his instrument or agent, and therefore because this act is natural to a living body that most foul enemy of the human race enters those dead bodies and by these he fulfills his desires, although being dead of themselves they must remain passive and without movement unless they are moved and energized by some superior cause. Yet it seems that certain writers are doubtful whether he can be said to perform the act of manducation by means of a corpse. For example, Conrad Schlüsselburg writes: "Es ist gewiss dass diss Schmetzen nicht geschehe von den Cörperm der Todten in Grabe." To this I reply: Technically this may be true, that is, if the act of manducation is considered as being a separate and definite operation, but nonetheless it is effected by the demon, as Garmann precisely states in his well-known treatise, where he declares that the Devil may in a grave make curious noises, he may knock, he may lap like some thirsty animal, he may chaw, grunt, and groan. But yet the demon cannot perform these actions unless he use the body as an instrument for this manducation. In the same way legend says that Pope Sylvester II, who on account of his great learning in common fable was reputed to be an adept in occultism, kept certain bones in a shrine or an ark and thence upon occasion was heard to arise a murmuring and certain noise. This story is told by Schlüsselburg who says he had it from Cardinal Lodovico Simonetta. However this may be, there can be no doubt that witches can exercise their power over dead bodies and raise them up so that they appear to be alive both by their walk and their gestures, examples of which may be found in many authors who have written upon these subjects. This is further confirmed by the αὐτοψία of certain authors who describe that corpses have devoured their rotting flesh and with their teeth torn to tatters the cerements and shroud. Wherefore it may very fairly be said that these dead bodies do perform, although they do not do this of their own initiative but by some foreign power, which is to say that they are merely the instruments that cause this operation. But if some person objects that I am allowing too much power to the demon by saying he has influence over these bodies, which, as all other things, are in the keeping of Almighty God, then will I thus make reply, (1) The power of the Devil is straitly restricted, yea, and limited by Divine Providence; it is kept well within bounds and he is only permitted to exercise it for the just trial and the proving of good men. (2) We do not allow the demon, by arguing that he has this restricted power over dead bodies, any greater power than the Holy Scriptires allow him, for it is written that he is able most grievously to possess living men, and he on occasion may afflict even the holiest with terrible diseases. And it has been said in a Commentary upon the epistle of S. Paul to the Galatians that if it be heaven's will we are all of us so far as our bodies and mere temporal things in the power of the demon εἰς τήυ ἀπώλειαυ (fitted for destruction).
X. The object or the matter of this manducation may be considered as being of a double kind.
These corpses swallow and craunch the cerements and the linen napkins which wrap their jaws as was noted in the instance which occurred in 1345, and which Harsdorffer records: "Als man sie ausgegraben hat sie den Schleier damit Ihr das Haupt ist verbunden gewesen halb hinein dessen gehabt welcher ihr blutig aus dem Halfe gezogen worden." And again: "Der Hencker zog Ihm aus dem Maul einen langen grossen Schleier Welchen er seinem Weibe von dem Haupte himweg gefressen hatte." Other corpses feed on their own flesh and greedily raven their very entrails as happened in the case of the carcass whose grave was examined in the time of Martin Luther, whereof Schlüsselburg writes: "Also lessen wir das an Herr M. Georg Röhrern gen Wittenberg ein Pastor von einem Dorffe geschrieben wie in seiner Gemeine ein Weib gestorben die fresse sich nun selbst im Grabe." And a little later he adds: "man hats also befunden wenn man das Grab eröffnet dass solche Weiber die lippen und schleier oder das Tuch am Halfe gefressen." Kornmannus, De Miraculis Mortuorum, also has an example of this kind, a dead woman who chawed her own flesh. This he quotes from Hohndorff who mentions the instance in his Theatrum Historiae
XI.The form of mandication is the ordinary and natural proceeding, to wit the reception of some edible into the mouth, the mastication of such edible which is triturated with the teeth; and the swallowing of such cribbled edible into the oesophagus; which manducation is accompanied by a sound exactly resembling the noise of the porkers grunting over their food.
Concerning this noise we shall speak later. Here we have to consider three formal operations, for the swallowing of the food into the oesophagus may, if we are not over nice in terms, be for our purpose accounted the end of manducation, and since the fullest and best explanation consists in giving examples and we have already mentioned many instances in the course of our thesis it is hardly necessary here to go over the same ground again.
XII. There are yet certain details of this manducation which must be considered, and especially these two, the extraordinary noise which accompanies this manducation, and the time at which such medication occurs.
It will be well before we sum up our concluding arguments to give a little attention to these two circumstances, the causes of which will be explained in the logical developments of our thesis.
XIII. The grunting noise made by these dead bodies as of porkers eating proceeds from the Devil, who is the sole cause of this manducation.
Not only do corpses eat but they also make an extraordinary grunting noise. And it is beyond a doubt that this manducation is caused by the demon, so also it is certain that he is the cause of the noise. It has been asked if this noise proceeds from the grave itself being made by the instrumental means of the incorrupt organs of the corpse or whether it may not be caused by the devil outside the tomb altogether in the surrounding atmosphere, so that it thus strikes upon the hearing of those who become cognizant of it. Assuredly the devil can produce this noise as from a corpse, and he effects this in the same way as he has spoken through many bodies, for we have the overwhelming testimony of antiquity that the demon utters sounds by means of many objects and instruments, such as through oracles, caves, oak trees, and even statues. Yea, he hath even spoken from skulls and from the rotting lips of dead men, as Delrio informs us, Disquisitiones Magicae, II, qu. 25, sect. 3. He is far more able then to utter a voice from a body which is but newly interred. Nor does the weight of earth which fills in the grave heaped heavy on the coffin in any way prevent the sound from issuing forth from the tomb, for as nature sometimes will make noise in the caverns and hollow places which are in the interior of the earth, and these noises are very plainly heard by men who dwell upon the face of the earth (to say nothing of those terrible rumbling and bellowings which volcanic fire produce in the very bowels of the earth) so it is certain that the devil can produce a strange noise down in graves, which after all are not dug very deep, and this noise issuing forth is heard by men. Yet in our opinion, which we are ready to submit to the better judgment of our superiors, it were quite reasonable to suppose that the devil often mocks and cheats men's senses by making some strange noise in the air hard by the graves so that to the human ear the sound seems to proceed from the earth. That the devil delights to mislead and bemuse our senses is plainly stated by Gisbert Voet in his Disputationes Selectae, Part I, "De Operatione Daemonum," and these are his words: "The devil can cheat and deceive a man's five senses and the organs of sense in more ways than one. For example the evil spirit can mock the ears by imaginary noises, etc." In his Tractatus Theologicus de Sagarum impietate Theodore Thummius expresses himself of the same opinion. "The devil," writes the learned divine, "will often persuade a man that he hears or it may be feels something when the sound or the object in truth is nothing save glamour which has been most cunningly interposed by the evil spirit." It were no difficult matter to treat at length of the wiles and deceits of the infernal old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, but we must now leave this argument, breaking off as it were even in the midst.
XIV.Corpses in their graves chew with this horrible grunting noise chiefly during a great plague. At other times, when no pestilence rageth, this loathly manduction is seldom observed.
This is amply proved by the examples we have cited, all of which save the first and the last our authorities tell us took place during some mortal visitation of the great sickness. Conrad Schlüsselburg writes: "man höret und ersähret offt in Sterbenstäufften." For this point see Dunt Decisio Casuum Conscientiae, XXIII, qu. 19, the text where he quotes Pruknerus Mortuorum Quaestio Illustrium. Both these authors say that corpses only eat in the time of plague. Nevertheless we must not deny that this manducation also takes place on other occasions when the land is free from the pest, although instances are rare. Yet the cases we gave as our first and our last examples seem to prove that corpses eat in their graves at a time when no pestilence is raging, and this is amply proven by the histories Harsdorffer relates in his Theatrum Exemplorum Tragicorum.
XV.The reasons why Satan impels corpses to eat in their graves are two in number; a Theological reason, and a Physical reason.
We must not idly suppose that our infernal enemy does not conceive that by this manducation of the dead he may harm men, for he ever has his reasons for what he does. We have divided these into two categories; the Theological reasons and the Physical reasons, and older authors have treated of the matter. Schlüsselburg in his glosses upon Psalm XC (A.V. XCI) Qui habitat in adiutorio Altissimi, gives a list of six such reasons, whereof some affect the dead, others the living. By this manducation the devil strives to bring the deceased into ill repute so that people will begin to believe that he led a vile and wicked life. "Es kan wohl an frommen Leuten geschchen." And that eminent theologian not impertinently emphasizes that this is the very reason why we find the devil most frequently employs the corpses of women to practise this loathly manducation. He is ever at war with the weaker sex, because of a Woman is born the Man Who is stronger than himself, and hence he will leave no stone unturned to injure a woman's good fame in whatsoever way and by whatsoever means he possibly can hurt and harm her. The remaining cases concern the living. The demon produces this manducation partly that he may awaken doubts in the hearts of men who will weakly begin to question the Divine Providence Who watcheth over the living and into Whose care the living are entrusted. (The next point is brought out and argued with the utmost skill by Schlüsselburg). He produces this operation partly that he may persuade men wholly to forget and disregard the sins of their past lives, and so to lap them in a false and foolish security. For this beast who is an insatiable glutton of souls would persuade them that these corpses are paying the penalty for their iniquities and in the consideration of the transgressions of others they will forget to repent of their own sins which are daily provoking God to anger. Again he works this wonder partly to give the living occasion to indulge in uncharitable and malicious thoughts of the dead; partly also to stir up strife and quarrels among the living, and this he most cunningly and adroitly achieves when some people declare that if any extraordinary manducation is heard the corpses must be exhumed, whilst the relatives and friends of the dead, taking such a suggestion very hardly, most strongly oppose any scheme of disinternment. Hence arise numberless quarrels, oaths, blasphemies, and much false swearing not unmixed with violence.
Then there are the Theological Causes. In his Tractatus de Maraculis Mortuorum, I, 3, Johann Christopher Frederick Garmannus numbers two Physical Causes. The first is that the living may be horribly alarmed and struck with panic by this monstrous manducation. The second is, that if it be necessary to exhume the body, therefrom may proceed infection and pestilence. Either of these two things is a very ready means to spread the black plague. Schlüsselburg observes: "Wenn man eines todten Menschen Grab der an der Pestilenz gestorben weiderum erössnet kan dadurch leichtlich die Lufft vergifftet und andere Leute mit der Pest angesteck et wergen." And this opinion is amply borne out by the facts. We may instance what happened in the year 1603 at Neinstade, a village near Hamburg, when (as has been mentioned above) a corpse was exhumed by the peasants of the district, and the head severed from the carcass. The rotting members with their offal stench so polluted and infected the whole air for a league and more that a shepherd who dwelt not far from the graveyard in question died together with his wife and his two daughters. It is very certain, too, that fright and terror do much to increase the ravages of any epidemic plague. This is particularly noted by the celebrated Athanasius Kircher in his Scrutinium physico-medicum contagiosae luis, quae pestis dicitur.
XVI. It remains to consider the various remedies which are generally employed in the case of these extraordinary happenings, and it must be enquired whether these remedies efficacious, or nugatory and of no avail.
We shall not, I think, be shooting our arrows idly and at random (ἄσκοπα τοξεύειν) if now we say something about those remedies which are wont to be employed upon the occasion of such axtraordinary and terrible happenings. In some cases a wise precaution has attempted to counteract these operations of evil spirits by certain amulets and charms, and in some cases it would seem that reliance upon these periapts is merely superstitious. Since, therefore, obviously they are not all of the same value we will divide them into two general classes, the true and the false. Among the false we may at once include that old custom of the Jews which is described by Schickhardus in his work upon Hebrew rites and ceremonies. For there he mentions that the Jews clasp the hands of the dead so that in their disposing they fancifully form the name of Almighty God שדי. And this, the learned Buxtorf observes in his De Synagoga Iudaeorum, XXV, inspires Satan with the greatest fear and he dare not so much as approach the body. This practice is also mentioned by the eminent Dilherrus in his Disputationes Academicae, tom. I, (p 510), where speaking of this custom of the Jews he says that sometimes they draw a long thread from the garments of the deceased and this they twist about his fingers so that it seems to represent the sacred letters שדי. Some may think this efficacious, but for my part I cannot agree with them. I can scarce believe that the letters שדי in some way impressed upon the hands of the deceased would drive away the evil spirit. Assuredly if they were impressed upon the hands of a living man the demon would not any less spare to tempt him, to endeavor to lead him astray, and to weary him with wicked suggestions. For the same reason I should not perhaps put such faith in the consecration of cemeteries, [loquitur Haereticus] which is treated at great length by Durandus and by Angelus Clavassius, who are quoted in the work of Kornmannus to which we have already referred. Delrio tells us that the demon has indeed a certain power over the bodies of the dead, and he may indeed take their form and appear in this shape; and his power is especially great over those which are buried in unconsecrated ground.
A practice that is not uncommon in certain districts is to place a morsel of new earth upon the lips of the dead, and in this they would seem to be following an old custom of the Jews which Geier in his Tractatus de luctu Hebraeorum, V, commenting upon the book Minhagim records: "Man soll sehen dass Ihm (dem Toden) nichts von den תבדיביז (Sterbekleidern oder Lemwandten Gezeug) ins Maul kommt es ist fonst סבנח Gefahr." Some deeming this not altogether sufficient before they close the lips of the dead place a stone and a coin in the cold mouth, so that in his grave he may bite on these and refrain from gnawing further. That this custom still persists in very many parts of Saxony we learn on the authority of Gabriel Rollenhagen, from the fourth book of whose Mirabilis Peregrinatio Kornmannus has very ample quotations. Garmannus in the De Miraculis Mortuorum emphasizes the fact that this is merely an ethnic custom. He says: "Those who do this are merely following a pagan practice, for as is well-known the Pagans used to put a little coin (δανακήν) in the mouths of their dead which was the fee for the boatman Charon, to pay him his dole so that he might ferry them across the river Styx." These, however, may be deemed but the remedies which prevail among peasants and the ignorant.
And it has sometimes happened that more drastic treatment has been sought. For bodies have actually been exhumed, their heads lopped off, and stakes driven through the heart pinning them to the earth. Instances of this kind are recorded as having taken place in the years 1345, 1603, and even more frequently. But such a proceeding is wrong, and wrong from the legal standpoint. It is morally wrong for it is a sin against God since we are forbidden to consult the dead, and it is a species of necromancy when the dead are exhumed. It is also a sin against one's neighbor, for the reputation of the dead person must be most gravely injured by the horribly degrading circumstances of such an exhumation, the hacking off of the head and the driving a stake through the heart. Moreover it not infrequently happens that by the noisome stench of such a rotting carcass the whole atmosphere is infected and the poison of the plague spread far and wide. The devil, no doubt, rejoices at this and it is in sooth one of the ends at which he aims. Wherefore our divines when they have been consulted on the matter by those who happen to be sore vexed with these intolerable evils have with one consent made reply that nobody must violate a graveyard nor must they disturb those bodies who are sleeping there. Yet certain argument have, it is true, been advanced to the contrary, and these are set forth at length, not without considerable skill by several writers among whom are Schlüsselburg, from whom we have so amply quoted; by Martin Behaim; who however has but briefly mentioned this matter in passin; and by andreas Wilkius who in his twenty-sixth Oration has dealt with the subject at some length.
The laws of all countries have always regarded exhumation as a most serious offence, nor do they allow it even in cases of this kind, and any act of the sort is strictly forbidden under the severest penalties. A very large number of statutes dealing with this point have been collected from the various codes and capitularies of Kornmannus, and these are of sufficient importance to deserve careful study. It will not be impertinent to quote the words of Caspar Sanctius in his Commentary upon the second chapter of Amos where he speaks of the crime of exhuming the dead. "Hence it is very plain that to exhume the dead is one of the gravest of sins, for it is indeed an insult to their poor ashes. It is to engage them in a n unjust quarrel, it is to deprive them of that decent respect which good men give those who have departed, it is indeed, if I may speak in metaphors, to slay them yet once again and to cause them to suffer the pains of death anew It is a crime from which nature shrinks and which is so detested by Heaven that if any enemy so heinously offend verily they will not go unpunished. To use such cruelty towards the dead and to dishonour them by savagery of this kind is in the opinion of all wise and good men to give way to the passions and rage of mere beasts of prey. Even to speak ill of the dead, or to say aught that may injure those who have gone before is rightly esteemed improper in the highest degree, nay a bitter wrong, and persons who malign the departed are to be compared to wild animals, who ravening with hunger scratch up with fierce paws corpses from their graves to glut their bellies with horrid meat. Truly these who scandalize the dead and who expose before the eyes of all men those faults which are hidden by the kindly earth are to be compared to these mad wolves. Far greater then is their offence who disinter the bones of the dead and burn them, and, certes, such terrible deeds are worthy of the severest punishment."
Theodore Thummius in his tractate that we have already quoted and Johann Conrad Dammhauers most excellently sum up for us the true remedies by which we may oppose these devices of Satan, by which indeed, we may defend ourselves against all these ghostly deceits of the devil and also against the power of his sworn servants and bondslaves, sorcerers, and witches. The first of these remedies is to have a lively trust and firm faith in Our Blessed Lord Who hath crushed the serpent's head, and withal to nourish in our hearts a purpose of amendment and a hatred of sin. The second is the Word of God, that sharp sword which the Holy Apostles have put in our hands, relying upon which weapon under the protection of God we may utterly foil and frustrate the open attacks and the dark ambushes of Satan. The third protection is Prayer, the scourge of evil spirits, a sure safeguard against the wiles of the demon. The fourth protection is the help of the Holy Angels who by God's command are ever at our side to keep us safe, so that we may have no fear "of the arrow that flieth in the day, of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noonday devil" (Psalm Xff, 6). All these remedies are treated of at greater length in the works of our eminent Theologians. In a thesis which is discussed by the Chair of Philosophy we need do no more than name them thus briefly with reverent recommendation.
Let us therefore most humbly pray to Almighty God that He would avert from this province and especially from this home and nursery of all liberal arts and sciences every ill, and that he may be pleased to shield us from the innumerable crafts of Satan! From the snares of the devil and from all pestilence, Good Lord deliver us!