But the mode of procedure in which the learned curate Thiers appears to place the greatest confidence is that employed by a priest of his acquaintance. This person's plan was to tie the bride and bridegroom to a pillar and administer to them with his own hand the stimulus with which the pedagogue awakens the genius of idle and sluggish pupils; after this flagellation they are unbound and left together, amply provided with such restorative and stimulants as are proper to maintain the condition so favourable to Venus, in which he had placed them. The result was in the highest degree satisfactory.

Bodin informs us that he knew at Bordeaux, a woman of middle age, but still lively and fresh, who professed to cure radically all enchantments of this description. Nothing could be more natural than her modus operandi. She got into bed with her patients, and there by the resources of her amatory powers succeeded so well in arousing their flagged and slugglish desires that their domestic peace was never afterwards disturbed by the reproaches of their disappointed spouses, Upon her mother's death the daughter embraced the same interesting profession, and in addition to acquiring considerable reputation by her successful practice, realized a handsome fortune.

Ridiculous and contemptible as this quackery now appears, so great at one time was its power, that persons every way qualified for the generative act, have been seen suddenly reduced to a humiliating nullity, in consequence of an impudent charlatan, a village sorcerer or a fortune-teller having threatened them with point-tying. Saint Andre, a French physician, gives an account of a poor weaver, who having disappointed Madame Andre in not bringing home some work was threatened by that lady with being point-tied by her husband the doctor. The poor fellow was so alarmed that the charm had the same effect as a reality, nor was it until the work he had in hand was finished, and the lady had consented to restore him to his natural state, that he could resume the exercises of his conjugal duties.

Venette gives the case of one Pierre Buriel. "This man," to use Venette's own words, "was about thirty-five years of age, a cooper and brandy manufacturer by trade. Being at work one day for my father in one of his country houses, he offended me by some impertinent observations, to punish which I told him the next day that I would point-tie him when he married. It so happened that he had the intention of uniting himself with a servant girl who lived in the neighbourhood, and although I had threatened him merely in a jesting manner, it made so strong an impression upon him that although, when married, he felt the most ardent desire to enjoy his connubial rights, he found himself totally incapacitated for the work of love. Sometimes when he flattered himself with being on the point of accomplishing his wishes, the idea of the witchcraft obtruded itself, and rendered him for the time completely impotent. This incapacity alienated the affections of his wife, and produced on her part towards him the most repulsive coldness. I need not say what pain I felt on witnessing these effects, how I regretted having, I may truly say, unintentionally caused so unpleasant a state of things, and I did and said everything in my power to disabuse the man, and prove to him the folly of his impressions.

But the more I did so, the more he testified his adhorrence of me, and his conviction that I had really bewitched him. At length the curate of Notre Dame, who had married them, interfered, and after some time succeeded, though with considerable difficulty, in freeing him from his imaginary bonds. They lived together for twenty-eight years, and several children, now citizens of Rochelle, were the issue of their union".

Montaigne gives us a curious story upon this subject, which he introduces thus: "I am not satisfied and make a very great question, whether those pleasant ligatures with which the age of ours is so fettered - and there is almost no other talk - are not mere voluntary impressions of apprehension and fear; far I know by experience, in the case of a particular friend of mine, one for whom I can be as responsible as for myself, and a man that cannot possibly fall under any manner of suspicion of sufficiency, and as little of being enchanted, who having heard a companion of his make a relation of an unusual frigidity that surprised him at a very unseasonable time, being afterwards himself engaged upon the same account, the horror of the former story so strangely possessed his imagination that he ran the same fortune the other had done; he from that time forward (the scurvy remembrance of his disaster running in his mind and tyrannizing over him) was extremely subject to relapse into the same misfortune.

He found some remedy, however, for this inconvenience by himself frankly confessing and declaring beforehand to the party with whom he was to have to do, the subjection he lay under, and the infirmity he was subject to; by which means the contention of his soul was, in some sort, appeased; and knowing that now some such misbehaviour was expected from him, the restraint upon those faculties grew less, and he less suffered by it, and afterwards, at such times as he could be in no such apprehension as not being about any such act (his thoughts being then disengaged and free, and his body being in its true and natural state)by causing those parts to be handled and communicated to the knowledge of others, he was at last totally freed from that vexatious infirmity. After man has once done a woman right, he is never after in danger of misbehaving himself with that person, unless upon the account of a manifest and inexcusable weakness. Neither is this disaster to be feared but in adventures where the soul is over-extended with desire or respect, and especially where we meet with an unexpected opportunity that requires a sudden and quick despatch; and in these cases, there is no possible means for a man always to defend himself from such a surprise as shall put him damnably out of countenance.

And yet I have known some who have secured themselves for this misfortune by coming half-sated elsewhere, purposely to abate the ardour of their fury, and others who being grown old, find themselves less impotent by being less able; and particu'arly one who found an advantage by being assured by a friend of his that had a countercharm against certain enchantments that would defend him from this disgrace. The story itself is not much amiss, and therefore you shall have it. - A count of a very great family,and with whom I had the honour to be familiarly intimate, being married to a very fair lady, who had formerly been pretended to and importunately courted by one who was invited to and present at the wedding. All his friends were in very great fear, but especially an old lady, his kinswoman, who had the ordering of the solemnity, and in whose house it was kept, suspecting his rival would, in revenge, offer foul play, and procure some of these kinds of sorceries to put a trick upon him, which fear she also communicated to me, who, to comfort her, bade her not trouble herself, but rely upon my care to prevent or frustrate any such designs.

Now, 1 had, by chance, about me, a certain flat piece of gold, whereon were graven some celestial figures good to prevent frenzy occasioned by the heat of the sun, or for any pains of the head, being applied to the suture; where, that it might the better remain firm, it was sewed to a ribbon, to be tied under the chin. A foppery cousin-german to this of which I am speaking was Jacques Pelletier who lived in the house, presented to me for a singular rarity and a thing of sovereign virtue. I had a fancy to make some use of this quack, and therefore privately told the count that he might probably run the same fortune other bridegrooms had sometimes done, especially some persons being in the house who, no doubt, would be glad to do him such a courtesy; but let him boldly go to rest, for I would do him the office of a friend, and if need were, would not spare a miracle that it was in my power to do, provided he could engage to me, upon his honour, to keep it to himself, and only when they came to bring him his candle (a custom in France being to bring the bridegroom a candle in the middle of the night, on his wedding night) if matters had not gone well with him, to give such a sign, and leave the rest to me.

Now, he had his ears so battered and his mind so prepossessed with the eternal tattle of this buisness, that when he came to it, he did really find himself tired with the trouble of his imagination, and accordingly, at the time appointed, gave me the sign. Whereupon I whispered him in the ear, that he should rise under pretence of putting us out of the room, and after a jesting manner, pull my nightgown from my shoulders, throw it over his own, and keep it there till he had performed what I appointed him to do, which was that when we were all gone out of the chamber, he should withdraw to make water, should three times repeat such and such words and as often do such and such actions; that at every of the three times he should tie the ribbon 1 put into his hand about his middle, and be sure to place the medal that was fastened to it (the figures in such a posture) exactly upon his reins; which being done, and having the last of the three times so well girt and fastened the ribbon that it could neither untie nor slip from its place, let him confidently return to his business, and withal not to forget to spread my gown upon the bed so that it might be sure to cover them both.

These ridiculous circumstances are the main of the effect, our fancy being so far seduced as to believe that so strange and uncouth formalities must of neccessity proceed from some abstruse science. Their inanity gives them reverence and weight. However, certain it is that my figures proved themselves more Veneran than Solar, and the fair bride had no reason to complain".