The Credulous Peasants

No longer ago than the year 1788, when the husbandmen of Paris suffered

so severely by the devastation on the 13th of July in that year, many of

the farmers were positively so superstitious at their own created fears,

that, notwithstanding considerable sums were offered to indemnify them

for their losses, and to encourage them to carry on with spirit the

cultivation of their lands, with new seeds, new implements, &c. they

peremptorily refused, on account of a foolish report that was then

prevalent in some parts of the country where the storm happened. They

said, that two giants were seen peeping out of the clouds, and

threatening, with terrible countenances, gigantic frowns, and

high-sounding words, that they would return next year on the same

thirteenth day of July, with a greater scourge than they then felt.

Terrified either at the imagined report, or at the fancied sight of the

giants (which terror and a weak brain will often produce), many of the

unhappy sufferers abandoned their houses, and commenced beggars, rather

than return to the labours of the field: so great was their affright,

in consequence of that tremendous storm.

This story, though hardly credible, may be depended on as a fact, and

may be seen in many of the public prints of that time.

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