A very Horne

These entertaining snippets come from a little warning piece published in 1588, entitled A myraculous, and Monstrous, but yet most true, and certayne discourse, of a Woman (now to be seene in London) of the age of threescore yeares, or thereabouts, in the midst of whose fore-head (by the wonderfull worke of God) there groweth out a crooked Horne, of foure inches long.

This woman, whose name is Margaret Gryffth, was lately the wife of David Owen, with whom she lived many years verie quietly and honestly, having four children, whereof three are yet alive. So hath she since her widowhood maintained her self with her small portion of land, and other necessaries in very good order.

There appeared of late, viz, in May last, through the wonderful worke of God, as the woman her self confesseth, in the middle of her fore-head, a small hard knob, having on the top thereof at first a dry skab, which she laboured by cutting, and all other helpe of Surgerie, to have covered and cured, but all was in vaine. It hath growne both in greatness and hardness, so that it is now become both in colour, quantitie, and proportion, a very Horne, much like unto a Sheepe’s horne, four inches long, most miraculously growing downe out of her fore-head, to the middle of her nose, and there it crooketh towards her right eye.

Some speaches there are, but yet doubtfully reported, and not willingly acknowledged, either by her or her friends, that there hath heretofore some words passed betwixt her husband and her in his life time who, suspecting her of some light behaviour, and charging her with it in these termes, that she had given him the Horne, she then not only constantly denied it, but wished also that if she had given her husband the Horne, she might have a Horne growing out of her owne face and fore-head, to the wonder of the whole world.

Thus, well beloved Christians, you may behold, how the Lord our God, seeking to drive into our dull senses a reverent regard of his Majestie, doth not only often ring into our eares the thundering threatenings of his just judgements, which yet might shake stonie Rockes, but sometimes presenteth before our eyes, visible and apparent tokens of his displeasure.’

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