Doctor Schnabel (1656) – Image and Background

The image is by Paul Fürst. It was a copper engraving of a plague doctor, accompanied by a satirical poem.

Doctor Schnabel (1656) - Image and Background

Poem- Translated by The Leery

For you, Do you believe as a fable
Doctor Schnabel written from
The past contagion.
He authorizes fine reward of this
The corpses he seeks to fisting
Same as Joe on the crap
Ah Believe, do not go there
Then Rome, ruled by the Plague.

Who would not be very scared
The thief slashes or stretches
Where floods, as if he was dumb
And interprets as his plan
How many a credit without doubts
That makes him a black devil
Pouch(purse) is called fine Hott
And arum the fetched soul.


‘Doctor Schnabel’ means ‘Doctor Beck. ‘Schnabel’ means bill or pecker, which is what the doctor’s mask looks like. Also, ‘Schnabel’ was used in a derogatory manner. Now we might say something like ‘Shut your mouth!’, in the past it would be ‘Halt den Schnabel!’.

The corpses he seeks to fist, refers to his interest in probing the dead infected. The next line refers to this as bullshit. Instead of the doctor wanting to find clues to cures, he fondles the corpses for pleasure. ‘Joe on the crap’, is like saying now “Full of crap”. Joe is a general name for males.

‘Where floods’ refers to the swelling lymph nodes on plague victims. The doctor cuts the bumps open and stretches the skin of the patient. The purpose of doing this is to relieve the patient of the pressure and remove puss.

The pouch, or purse, is referring to the bags of strong scented organic contents, that the Plague Doctors would carry around. The belief was the disease was carried through the stink and smell.

The current and only definition I could find on ‘Hott’ is an extractor hood. This is an electrical Kitchen device fitted over cooking areas. The hood sucks off vapors from cooking. During the plague times, there were no such things as electrical extractor hoods.

I have two guesses as to what the text on the image means by ‘Hott’. Firstly, it could be simply a way of stating the pouches took in the bad air, and exhausted it as good air.

Secondly, the ‘Hott’ could had meant the doctors hood. It would also be good at preventing vapors. Although it would do this be preventing the vapors from entering vs exhausting. Also, ‘Extractor hood’ literally has hood in it.

Arum is gold. So maybe the last line was saying the doctor turns the sick wretched souls into money.

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The Unknown Guest (1914) By Maurice Maeterlinck

This is a early 20th century parapsychology book. It is free to read online and download! Also, it involves physic horses!! 😍

The Unknown Guest (1914) By Maurice Maeterlinck

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  • Chapter I: Phantasms of the Living and the Dead
  • Chapter II: Psychometry
  • Chapter III: The Knowledge of the Future.
  • Chapter IV: The Elberfeld Horses
  • Chapter V: The Unknown Guest

The Elberfeld Horses refer to a few horses from Elberfeld, Germany. These horses we intelligent and even psychic(some say). Readmore.

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The Dragon Who Kept Watch (1920) By Cecile Walton

From the book “Polish Fairy Tales” by A. J. Glinski. The book is free to read online and download. The image is for a tale of the same namesake, of which is included below.

The Dragon Who Kept Watch (1920) By Cecile Walton

The Dragon Who Kept Watch

The fish swam away; but the prince, taking up the egg, mounted his horse once more; and they swam till they reached Princess Miranda’s island, where they saw a great iron wall stretching all round her white marble palace.

There was only one entrance through this iron wall to the palace, and before this lay the monstrous dragon with the twelve heads, six of which kept guard alternately; when the one half slept the other six remained awake. If anyone were to approach the gate he could not escape the horrid jaws. Nobody could hurt the dragon; for he could only suffer death by his own act.

The prince stood on the hill before that gate, and commanded his self-fighting mace, which also had the faculty of becoming invisible, to go and clear his entrance to the palace.

The invisible, self-fighting mace fell upon the dragon and began to thunder on all his heads with such force, that all his eyes became bloodshot, and he began to hiss fiercely; he shook his twelve heads, and stretched wide his twelve horrid jaws; he spread out his forest of claws; but this helped him not at all, the mace kept on smiting him, moving about so fast, that not a single head escaped, but could only hiss, groan, and shriek wildly! Now it had given a thousand blows, the blood gushed from a thousand wounds, and there was no help for the dragon; he raged, writhed about, and shrieked in despair; finally, as blow followed blow, and he could not see who gave them, he gnashed his teeth, belched forth flame, and at length turned his claws upon himself, plunging them deep into his own flesh, struggled, writhed, twisted himself round, and in and out; his blood flowed freely from his wounds … and now it was all over with the dragon.

The prince, seeing this, went into the courtyard of the palace, put his horse into the stable, and went up by a winding stair, towards the tower, whence the Princess Miranda, having seen him, addressed him:

“Welcome, Prince Hero! I saw how you disposed of the dragon; but do be careful, for my enemy, Kosciey, is in this palace; he is most powerful, both through his own strength, and through his sorceries; and if he kills you I can live no longer.

“Princess Miranda, do not trouble about me. I have the life of Kosciey in this egg.” Then he called out:

“Invisible self-fighting mace, go into the palace and beat Kosciey.”

The mace bestirred itself quickly, battered in the iron doors, and set upon Kosciey; it smote him on the neck, till he crouched all together, the sparks flew from his eyes, and there was a noise of so many mills in his ears.

If he had been an ordinary mortal it would have been all over with him at once; as it was, he was horribly tormented, and puzzled—feeling all these blows, and never seeing whence they came. He sprang about, raved, and raged, till the whole island resounded with his roaring.

At last he looked through the window, and behold there he saw Prince Hero. “Ah! that is all your doing!” he exclaimed; and sprang out into the courtyard, to rush straight at him, and beat him to a jelly! But the prince held the egg in one hand ready; and he squeezed it so hard, that the shell cracked and the yolk and the white were all spilled together … and Kosciey fell lifeless!

And with the death of the enchanter all his charms were dissolved at once; all the people in the island who were asleep woke up, and began to stir. The soldiers woke from sleep, and the drums began to beat; they formed their ranks, massed themselves in order, and began to march towards the palace.

And in the palace there was great joy; for Princess Miranda came towards the prince, gave him her white hand, and thanked him warmly. They went to the throne-room, and following the princess’s example, her twelve waiting-maids paired off with twelve young officers of the army, and the couples grouped themselves round the throne, on which the prince and princess were sitting.

And then a priest, arrayed in all his vestments, came in at the open door, and the prince and princess exchanged rings, and were married.

And all the other couples were married at the same time, and after the wedding there was a feast, dancing, and music, which it is a pleasure to think of. Everywhere there was rejoicing.

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History of The Yellow Fever in New Orleans (1853)

This book is about the somber past of a dire disease in the Louisiana. This 1853 outbreak claimed 7,849 deaths. The full book is free to download and read online.

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History of The Yellow Fever in New Orleans (1853)

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The Enchanted Castle (1882) By Edward Watson Callow

He took to his heels and ran for his bare life with all his might… at last emerged from the mist scared out of his wits, more dead than alive…

The Enchanted Castle (1882) By Edward Watson Callow

From the 19th century book called “The Phynodderee, and other legends of the Isle Man”. This book is free to download and read online at Book and image(page 57) have no known copyright restrictions.

Cock Lane and Common-Sense (1894) By Andrew Lang

Cock Lane and Common-Sense (1894) By Andrew Lang
Image by Predra6_Photos from Pixabay

The title doesn’t give justice to the book’s contents. It is about Spiritualism, Haunted Houses, Witchcraft, and more occult topics. The book is free to view online and download.

Table of Contents:

  • Savage Spiritualism – 33
  • Ancient Spiritualism – 56
  • Comparative Psychical Research – 84
  • Haunted Houses – 127
  • Cock Lane And Common-Sense – 161
  • Apparitions, Ghosts, and Hallucinations – 180
  • Scrying or Crystal-Gazing – 212
  • The Second Sight – 226
  • Ghosts Before The Law – 248
  • A Modern Trial For Witchcraft – 274
  • Presbyterian Ghost Hunters – 304
  • The Ghost Theory of the Origin of Religion -333

Of Ghosts and Spirits (1596) By Ludwig Lacatar

Read full post to learn more and look at the table of contents. Free to read and download!

Of Ghosts and Spirits, walking by night. Of Strange noises, cracks, and various forewarnings. Which commonly happen before: the death men; great slaughters; alterations of kingdoms.

Of Ghosts and Spirits (1596) By Ludwig Lacatar

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The Dying Patriot (1920) By Harry Clarke

This is an illustration for the poem “The Dying Patriot”, by James Elroy Flecker. The poem is featured in the book “The Year’s at the Spring: An Anthology of Recent Poetry” by Lettice D’Oyly Walters.

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The poem is on page 116.
The Dying Patriot (1920) By Harry Clarke

The Dying Patriot(Poem)

The Dying Patriot(Poem)
Day breaks on England down the Kentish hills,
Singing in the silence of the meadow-footing rills,
Day of my dreams, O day!
I saw them march from Dover, long ago
With silver cross before them, singing low,
Monks of Rome from their home where the blue seas break in foam,
Augustine with his feet of snow.

Noon Strikes on England, non on Oxford town,
-Beauty she was statue cold - there's blood upon her gown:
Noon of my dreams, O noon!
Proud and godly kings had built her, long ago,
With her towers and tombs and status all arow,
With her fair and floral air and the love that lingers there,
And the streets where the great men go.

Evening on the olden, the golden sea of Wales,
Where the first star shivers and teh last wave pales: O evening dreams!
There's a house that Britons walked in, long ago,
Where now the springs of ocean fall and flow,
And the dead robed in red and sea-lilies overhead Sway when the long winds blow.

Sleep not, my country: though night is her, afar
Your childern of the morning are clamorous for war:
Fire in the night, O dreams!
Though she send you as she sent you, long ago,
South to desert, east to ocean, west to snow,
West of these out to seas colder than the Hebrides I must go
Where the fleet of stars in anchored and the young Star-Captains glow.

-James Elroy Flecker

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