1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Pordage

Walter Scott, in Life of Dryden (1808; 1834) 220n.



He was the son of Dr. John Pordage, minister of Bradfield, expelled his charge for insufficiency in the year 1646. Among other charges against him were the following, which, extraordinary as they are, he does not seem to have denied:

"That he hath very frequent and familiar converse with angels.

That a great dragon came into his chamber with a tail of eight yards long, four great teeth, and did spit fire at him; and that he contended with the dragon.

That his own angel came and stood by him while he was expostulating with the dragon; and the angel came in his own shape and fashion, the same clothes, hands, and cuffs, the same bandstrings; and that his angel stood by him and upheld him.

That Mrs. Pordage and Mrs. Flavel had their angels standing by them also, Mrs. Pordage singing sweetly, and keeping time upon her breast; and that his children saw the spirits coming into the house, and said, Look there, father; and that the spirits did after come into the chamber, and drew the curtains when they were in bed.

That the said Mr. Pordage confessed, that a strong enchantment was upon him, and that the devil did appear to him in the shape of Everard, and in the shape of a fiery dragon; and the whole roof of the house was full of spirits."— State Trials.