142. The Night Mare.


The night mare has been a fruitful source of miracles and diablery in the Romish mythology. Stanihurst records a very clear case in the story of Richard de Haverings, who was made archbishop of Dublin in 1306. This prelate “after that he had continued well-near the space of five years in the see, was sore appalled by reason of an estrange and wonderful dream. For on a certain night he imagined that he had seen an ugly monster standing on his breast, who, to his thinking, was more weighty than the whole world, insomuch that being as he thought in manner squeezed or prest to death with the heff of this huge monster, he would have departed with the whole substance of the world, if he were thereof possessed, to be disburdened of so heavy a load. Upon which wish he suddenly awoke. And as he beat his brains in divining what this dream should import, he bethought himself of the flock committed to his charge, how that he 271gathered their fleeces yearly by receiving the revenues and perquisites of the bishopric, and yet he suffered his flock to starve for lack of preaching and teaching. Wherefore being for his former slackness sore wounded in conscience, he travelled with all speed to Rome, where he resigned up his bishopric, a burden too heavy for his weak shoulders, and being upon his resignation competently beneficed, he bestowed the remnant of his life wholly in devotion.

Holinshed, Vol. 6, p. 446.


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