Page 176

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are able to maintain life in our bodies. For man dies without air
just as the fish does without water, whose life is over
when it is out of it. Air maintains our life by the moisture
that it engenders. And by its thickness it supports
the flying birds, which beat it with their wings,
moving it all around them so that they play within it,
showing their joy and their delight. And so the birds
go about flying in the air, singing and praising their
creator just as the fish do as they swim in the sea.
If you want to perceive how this happens, take a stick
and move it around in the air. If you move it rapidly
it will bend. If the stick did not encounter a thickness
in the air it would not bend this way, but rather would
stay straight, however much it was moved around.
Evil spirits take their forms from this air, from which
they take on the semblance of certain things and thereby
they can appear in various places to deceive both men
and women or make them go insane, for they sometimes
have the power to do this. By the art of necromancy

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Marie Richards

original ms. Folio 79v
Walters ms. Folio 84v
BL Royal MS 19 A IX fols 91v-92r
Caxton, ed. Prior, p. 116
Gossuin, ed. Prior, 147-148