From The Dublin Penny Journal, Volume 1, Number 31, January 26, 1833

Sir Walter Scott in his “Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft,” quotes the following story from an old work entitled “Sadducismus triumphatus,” by Joseph Glanville, printed at Edinburgh in 1700, as illustrative of the superstitious notion among the Irish that persons when engaged in some unlawful or sinful action were more than usually exposed to the power of the fairies.

The butler of a gentleman, a neighbour of the Earl of Orrery, who was sent to purchase cards, in crossing the fields saw a table surrounded by people apparently feasting and making merry. They rose to salute him, and invited him to join in their revel; but a friendly voice from the party whispered in his ear, “do nothing which this company invite you to.” Accordingly, when he refused to join in feasting, the table vanished and the company began to dance, and play on musical instruments; but the butler would not take part in these recreations. They then left off dancing, and betook themselves to work; but neither in this would the mortal join them. He was then left alone for the present; but in spite of the exertions of my lord Orrery, in spite of two bishops who were guests at the time, in spite of the celebrated Mr. Greatraks, it was all they could do to prevent the butler from being carried off bodily from amongst them by the fairies, who considered him as their lawful prey. They raised him in the air above the heads of the mortals, who could only run beneath to break his fall when they pleased to let him go. The spectre which formerly advised the poor man, continued to haunt him, and at length discovered himself to be the ghost of an aquaintance who had been dead for seven years. “You know,” added he, “I lived a loose life, and ever since I have been hurried up and down in a restless condition, with the company you saw, and shall be till the day of judgment.” He added that if the butler had acknowledged God in all his ways, he had not suffered so much by their means; he reminded him that he had not prayed to God in the morning before he met with this company in the fields, and, moreover, that he was then going on an unlawful business.

It is pretended that Lord Orrery confirmed the whole of this story, even to the having seen the butler raised into the air by the invisible beings who strove to carry him off, only he did not bear witness to the passage which seems to call the purchase of cards an unlawful errand.