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Bendith Eu Mammau






They appeared diverse ways, but their most frequent way of appearing was
like dancing-companies with musick, or in the form of funerals. When
they appeared like dancing-companies, they were desirous to entice
persons into their company, and some were drawn among them and remained
among them some time, usually a whole year; as did Edmund William Rees,
a man whom I well knew, and was a neighbour, who came back at the year's
end, and looked very bad. But either they were not able to give much
account of themselves, or they durst not give it, only said they had
been dancing, and that the time was short. But there were some others
who went with them at night, and returned sometimes at night, and
sometimes the next morning; especially those persons who took upon them
to cure the hurts received from the fairies, as Charles Hugh of Coed yr
Pame, in Langybi parish, and Rissiart Cap Dee, of Aberystruth; for the
former of these must certainly converse with them, for how else could he
declare the words which his visitors had spoken a day or days before
they came to him, to their great surprise and wonder?

And as for Rissiart Cap Dee, so called because he wore a black cap, it
is said of him that when he lodged in some houses to cure those who
were hurt by the fairies, he would suddenly rise up in the night, and
make a very hasty preparation to go downstairs; which when one person
observ'd, he said, "Go softly, Uncle Richard, least you fall": he made
answer, "O, here are some to receive me." But when he was called to one
person, who had inadvertently fallen among the fairies, and had been
greatly hurt by them, and kept his bed upon it, whose relations had sent
for the said Rissiart Cap Dee to cure him; who, when he came up to the
sick man's chamber, the sick man took up a pound-weight stone, which was
by the bed-side, and threw it at the infernal charmer with all his
might, saying, "Thou old villain, wast one of the worst of them to hurt
me!" for he had seen him among them acting his part against him; upon
which the old charmer went away muttering some words of malevolence
against him. He lived at the foot of Rhyw Coelbren, and there was a
large hole in the side of the thatch of his house, thro' which the
people believed he went out at night to the fairies, and came in from
them at night; but he pretended it was that he might see the stars at
night. The house is down long ago. He lived by himself, as did the
before-mentioned Charles Hugh, who was very famous in the county for his
cures, and knowledge of things at a distance; which he could not
possibly know without conversing with evil spirits, who walked the earth
to and fro. He is yet said to be an affable, friendly man, and cheerful;
'tis then a pity he should be in alliance with hell, and an agent in the
kingdom of darkness.

I will only give one instance of his knowledge of things at a distance,
and of secret things. Henry John Thomas, of the parish of Aberystruth, a
relation of mine, an honest man, went with the water of a young woman
whom he courted, and was sick, to the said Charles Hugh, who, as soon as
he saw Henry John, pleasantly told him, "Ho! you come with your
sweetheart's water to me." And he told him the very words which they
had spoken together in a secret place, and described the place where
they spoke. It was the general opinion in times past, when these things
were very frequent, that the fairies knew whatever was spoken in the air
without the houses, not so much what was spoken in the houses. I suppose
they chiefly knew what was spoken in the air at night. It was also said
they rather appeared to an uneven number of persons, to one, three,
five, &c.; and oftener to men than to women. Thomas William Edmund, of
Havodavel, an honest, pious man, who often saw them, declared that they
appeared with one bigger than the rest, going before them in the
company.

But they very often appeared in the form of a funeral before the death
of many persons, with a bier and a black cloth, in the midst of a
company about it, on every side, before and after it. The instances of
this were so numerous, that it is plain, and past all dispute, that they
infallibly foreknew the time of men's death: the difficulty is, whence
they had this knowledge. It cannot be supposed that either God Himself,
or His angels, discovered this to these spirits of darkness. For _the
secrets of the Lord are with those that fear Him_, not with His enemies.
Psalm xxv. 14. They must therefore have this knowledge from the position
of the stars at the time of birth, and their influence, which they
perfectly understand beyond what mortal men can do. We have a constant
proof of this in the corps candles, whose appearance is an infallible
sign that death will follow, and they never fail going the way that the
corps will go to be buried, be the way ever so unlikely that it should
go through. But to give some instances in Aberystruth Parish.





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