253. Yet we should beware of attributing to the direct action of the spirits all the annoyances that may arise : these annoyances are often the consequence of negligence or improvidence. A planter wrote to us, that for twelve years all sorts of misfortunes had befallen his animals. Sometimes his cows died, or would give no milk ; sometimes the trouble was with the horses ; again his sheep or his pigs. He hired new people, but without remedying the evil, no more than the masses he had said, or the exorcisms he had made. Then, according to country prejudice, he was per suaded some one had cast an evil eye on his animals Believing, no doubt, that we were endowed with greater power than the priest of his village, he sent to ask our advice. We obtained the following answer : —
" The mortality or the sickness of this man's beasts is, because his stables are infected, and that he does not have them repaired because it costs."