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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)

Chapter 24: Maleficium and its forms, and a brief note on the power of evil spirits,   pp. 1-6

Page 3

These are very wicked vices and practices. There is normally
a pact or agreement with the devil, as I said was the case with magic,
although magic may not result in evil doing. The magician claims, as his
principal aim, that he can employ the skill of the devil to carry out
miracles and learn about occult matters, as already stated. But these
witches do nothing but evil. If they mingle sacred or blessed materials in
their potions, their act is heretical. Like robbers, they are obliged
to repair all the damage they have caused. This is a very grave sin.
If the person afflicted by maleficium appeals to the witch to relieve him
by committing another maleficium, he sins grievously. Cajeta, under
'Maleficiuml, in Sylvae.
In one of the Cape Verde Islands there were two women skilled in
the diabolic art. The devil never tires, he is always finding new ways
in which he can be worshipped. So it was in the house of the Jolof woman.
In the apartment properly dedicated to rest and repose at night, she
entertained him, the enemy of all peace, seated on his throne in fine
robes.  In '-his place she kept a large bowl of water, around which a
number of candles were set burning on special days. This wicked woman
began to organise a novitiate of poor girls, all of whom she consecrated
to the devil. When those girls that seemed to her most suitable passed by
her door, she asked them to have a word with her. This they did in
innocence. She went on to ask them about their lives and what comforts
they enjoyed, although their form of dress showed how very poor they were;
and with various yarns she persuaded them, telling them that her only aim
was to bring them respect, and that they would lack nothing if they aegreed
to conform to her principles. /f.110/   What individual would poverty not
throw down and reduce to idolatry? The Jolof woman so harried the poor
girls that she obtained their consent, and thus their souls and bodies
for the evil spirit. She acquired so many followers this war that the
devil saw himself well repayed by his devotee. When each girl submitted
and joined the group, the first thing the woman did was tc order the rovlce
to enter straightway into the infernal room; and then one after the other
they canme to recognise the devil in this form and to reverence him.
After coming into her power these 'nuns' lacked nothing, for she dressed
them like the finest women in the island, who now accepted then al o_:h
previously, because of their poverty, they had not noticed them. ;his
wicked woman once pressed one of these innocents whom she thouJJt e7S draWn
to this religion, pointing to the example of those who had alre!..y prcfessed
it: "Daughter, have you not seen how Sebastiana has prospered, how she
is admired by 1'r. So-and-so?".


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