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192Chapter XXXVIII.—“Angels Unawares.”

When Peter had said this, the crowds dispersed; and when we also were intending to go to our lodging, the master of the house said to us:856856    [This chapter is peculiar to the Recognitions; the detailed description of the exorcism is a curious piece of literature.—R.]  “It is base and wicked that such and so great men should stay in a hostelry, when I have almost my whole house empty, and very many beds spread, and all necessary things provided.”  But when Peter refused, the wife of the householder prostrated herself before him with her children, and besought him, saying, “I entreat you, stay with us.”  But not even so did Peter consent, until the daughter of those people who asked him, who had been for a long time vexed with an unclean spirit, and bound with chains, who had been shut up in a closet, having had the demon expelled from her, and the door of the closet opened, came with her chains and fell down at Peter’s feet, saying:  “It is right, my lord, that you keep my deliverance-feast here to-day, and not sadden me or my parents.”  But when Peter asked what was the meaning of her chains and of her words, her parents, gladdened beyond hope by the recovery of their daughter, were, as it were, thunderstruck with astonishment, and could not speak; but the servants who were in attendance said:  “This girl has been possessed of a demon from her seventh year, and used to cut, and bite, and even to tear in pieces, all who attempted to approach her, and this she has never ceased to do for twenty years till the present time.  Nor could any one cure her, or even approach her, for she rendered many helpless, and even destroyed some; for she was stronger than any man, being doubtless strengthened by the power of the demon.  But now, as you see, the demon has fled from your presence, and the doors which were shut with the greatest strength have been opened, and she herself stands before you in her sound mind, asking of you to make the day of her recovery gladsome both to herself and her parents, and to remain with them.”  When one of the servants had made this statement, and the chains of their own accord were loosened from her hands and feet, Peter, being sure that it was by his means that soundness was restored to the girl, consented to remain with them.  And he ordered those also who had remained in the lodging, with his wife, to come over; and every one of us having got a separate bed-chamber, we remained; and having taken food in the usual manner, and given praises to God, we went to sleep in our several apartments.

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