k the earth, and to mingle in the affairs of men; evil spirits, in the opinion even of the wise and learned, were thought to be at the call of any one who would summon them with the proper formalities; and witches were daily burned in all the capitals of Europe. The new sect taught a doctrine less repulsive. They sprang up in Germany, extended with some success to France and England, and excited many angry controversies. Though as far astray in their notions as the Demonologists and witch believers, the creed was more graceful. They taught that the elements swarmed not with hideous, foul and revengeful spirits, but with beautiful creatures, more ready to do man service than to inflict injury. They taught that the earth was inhabited by Gnomes, the air by Sylphs, the fire by Salamanders, and the water by Nymphs or Undines; and that man, by his communication with them, might learn the secrets of nature, and discover all those things which had puzzled philosophers for ages--Perpetual Motion, the Elixir of Life,
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