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The Magician's Glass


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

This glass, into which a person looked when he wished to solve the
future, or to ascertain whom he or she was to marry, was used by Welsh,
as well as other magicians. The glass gave back the features of the
person sought after, and reflected the future career of the seeker after
the hidden future. It was required that the spectator should concentrate
all his attention on the glass, and, on the principle that they who gazed
long should not gaze in vain, he obtained the desired glimpse. Cwrt
Cadno, already referred to, professed to have such a glass.

But, the magician's glass is an instrument so often mentioned in
connection with necromancy in all parts of the world, that more need not
be said of it.

I will now give a few stories illustrative of the conjuror's power.

A Conjuror's Punishment of an Innkeeper for his exorbitant charges.

A famous conjuror, Dick Spot, was on his way to Llanrwst, and he turned
into a public house at Henllan for refreshments. He called for a glass
of beer and bread and cheese, and was charged tenpence for the same,
fourpence for the beer, and sixpence for the bread and cheese. This
charge he considered outrageous, but he paid the demand, and before
departing he took a scrap of paper and wrote on it a spell, and hid it
under the table, and then went on his way. That evening, soon after the
landlord and landlady had retired for the night, leaving the servant girl
to clear up, they were surprised to hear in the kitchen an unaccountable
noise; shouting and jumping was the order of the day, or rather night, in
that room. The good people heard the girl shout at the top of her

Six and four are ten,
Count it o'er again,

and then she danced like mad round and round the kitchen. They sternly
requested the girl to cease yelling, and to come to bed, but the only
answer they received was--

Six and four are ten,
Count it o'er again,

and with accelerated speed she danced round and round the kitchen.

The thought now struck the landlord that the girl had gone out of her
mind, and so he got up, and went to see what was the matter with her,
with the intention of trying to get her away from the kitchen. But the
moment he placed his foot in the kitchen, he gave a jump, and joined the
girl in her mad dance, and with her he shrieked out--

Six and four are ten,
Count it o'er again.

So now the noise was doubled, and the good wife, finding that her husband
did not return to her, became very angry, if not jealous. She shouted to
them to cease their row, but all to no purpose, for the dancing and the
shouting continued. Then she left her bed and went to the kitchen door,
and greatly disgusted she was to see her husband and maid dancing
together in that shameless manner. She stood at the door a moment or two
observing their frantic behaviour, and then she determined forcibly to
put a stop to the proceedings, so into the room she bounded, but with a
hop and a jump she joined in the dance, and sang out in chorus with the
other two--

Six and four are ten,
Count it o'er again.

The uproar now was great indeed, and roused the neighbours from their
sleep. They from outside heard the mad dance and the words, and guessed
that Dick Spot had been the cause of all this. One of those present
hurried after the conjuror, who, fortunately, was close at hand, and
desired him to return to the inn to release the people from his spell.
Oh, said Dick, take the piece of paper that is under the table and
burn it, and they will then stop their row. The man returned to the
inn, pushed open the door, rushed to the table, and cast the paper into
the fire, and then the trio became quiet. But they had nearly exhausted
themselves by their severe exertions ere they were released from the
power of the spell.

Next: A Conjuror And Robbers

Previous: Huw Llwyd And His Magical Books

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