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'From the earliest times the Devil has made his mark, historically and geographically, in Ireland; the nomenclature of many places indicates that they are his exclusive property, while the antiquarian cannot be sufficiently thankful to him for depositing the Rock of Cashel where he did. But here we must deal with a later period of his activity. A quaint tale comes to use from co. Tipperary of a man bargaining with his Majesty for the price of his soul, in which as usual the Devil is worsted by a simple trick, and gets nothing for his trouble.
Near Shronell in that county are still to be seen the ruins of Damerville Court, formerly the residence of the Damer family, and from which locality they took the title of Barons Milton of Shronell. The first of the family to settle in Ireland, Joseph Damer, had been formerly in the service of the Parliament, but not deeming it safe to remain in England after the Restoration, came over to this country and, taking advantage of the cheapness of land at that time, purchased large estates. It was evidently of this member of the family that the following tale is told.
He possessed great wealth, and 'twas darkly hinted that this had come to him from no lawful source, that in fact he had made a bargain with the Devil to sell his soul to him for a top-boot full of gold. His Satanic Majesty greedily accepted the offer, and on the day appointed for the ratification of the bargain arrived with a sufficiency of bullion from the Bank of Styx--or whatever may be the name of the establishment below!
He was ushered into a room, in the middle of which stood the empty top-boot; into this he poured the gold, but to his surprise it remained as empty as before. He hastened away for more gold, with the same result. Repeated journeys to and from for fresh supplies still left the boot as empty as when he began, until at length in sheer disgust he took his final depature, leaving Damer in possession of the gold, and as well (for a few brief years, at all events) of that spiritual commodity he had valued so little.
In process of time the secret leaked out. The wily Damer had taken the sole off the boot, and had then securely fastened the latter over a hole in the floor. In the storey underneath was a series of large, empty cellars, in which he had stationed men armed with shovels, who were under instructions to remove each succeeding shower of gold, and so make room for more.'
Posted May 31, 2001
I have a much-worn copy of the last reprint of this book, with pages falling out, so I'm excited about this new paperback edition. Inside are infernal characters from 1223 to the late eighteen hundreds. Irish witches, their familiars, demons and devils all carefully described in some pretty amazing accounts that lovers of the occult will treasure.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.