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The Amber Witch by Mary Schweidler

Part 2 out of 4

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But be that as it may. _Summa_, my old warden grew worse and worse; and
though I visited him every morning and evening--as I use to do to my
sick--in order to pray with him, and often observed that he had somewhat
on his mind, nevertheless he could not disburthen himself of it, seeing
that old Lizzie never left her post.

This went on for a while, when at last one day, about noon, he sent to beg
me to scrape a little silver off the new sacramental cup, because he had
been told that he should get better if he took it mixed with the dung of
fowls. For some time I would not consent, seeing that I straightway
suspected that there was some devilish mischief behind it; but he begged
and prayed, till I did as he would have me.

And lo and behold, he mended from that very hour; so that when I went to
pray with him at evening, I found him already sitting on the bench with a
bowl between his knees, out of which he was supping broth. However, he
would not pray (which was strange, seeing that he used to pray so gladly,
and often could not wait patiently for my coming, insomuch that he sent
after me two or three times if I was not at hand, or elsewhere employed);
but he told me he had prayed already, and that he would give me the cock
whose dung he had taken for my trouble, as it was a fine large cock, and
he had nothing better to offer for my Sunday's dinner. And as the poultry
was by this time gone to roost, he went up to the perch which was behind
the stove, and reached down the cock, and put it under the arm of the
maid, who was just come to call me away.

Not for all the world, however, would I have eaten the cock, but I turned
it out to breed. I went to him once more, and asked whether I should give
thanks to the Lord next Sunday for his recovery; whereupon he answered
that I might do as I pleased in the matter. Hereat I shook my head, and
left the house, resolving to send for him as soon as ever I should hear
that his old Lizzie was from home (for she often went to fetch flax to
spin from the Sheriff). But mark what befell within a few days! We heard
an outcry that old Seden was missing, and that no one could tell what had
become of him. His wife thought he had gone up into the Streckelberg,
whereupon the accursed witch ran howling to our house and asked my
daughter whether she had not seen anything of her goodman, seeing that she
went up the mountain every day. My daughter said she had not; but, woe is
me, she was soon to hear enough of him; for one morning, before sunrise,
as she came down into the wood on her way back from her forbidden digging
after amber, she heard a woodpecker (which no doubt was old Lizzie
herself) crying so dolefully, close beside her, that she went in among the
bushes to see what was the matter. There was the woodpecker sitting on the
ground before a bunch of hair, which was red, and just like what old
Seden's had been, and as soon as it espied her it flew up, with its beak
full of the hair and slipped into a hollow tree. While my daughter still
stood looking at this devil's work, up came old Paasch--who also had heard
the cries of the woodpecker, as he was cutting roofing shingles on the
mountain, with his boy--and was likewise struck with horror when he saw
the hair on the ground. At first they thought a wolf must have eaten him,
and searched all about, but could not find a single bone. On looking up
they fancied they saw something red at the very top of the tree, so they
made the boy climb up, and he forthwith cried out that here, too, there
was a great bunch of red hair stuck to some leaves as if with pitch, but
that it was not pitch, but something speckled red and white, like
fishguts; _item_, that the leaves all around, even where there was no
hair, were stained and spotted, and had a very ill smell. Hereupon the
lad, at his master's bidding, threw down the clotted branch, and they two
below straightway judged that this was the hair and brains of old Seden,
and that the devil had carried him off bodily, because he would not pray
nor give thanks to the Lord for his recovery. I myself believed the same,
and told it on the Sunday as a warning to the congregation. But further on
it will be seen that the Lord had yet greater cause for giving him into
the hands of Satan, inasmuch as he had been talked over by his wicked wife
to renounce his Maker in the hopes of getting better. Now, however, this
devil's whore did as if her heart was broken, tearing out her red hair by
whole handsful when she heard about the woodpecker from my child and old
Paasch, and bewailing that she was now a poor widow, and who was to take
care of her for the future, etc.

Meanwhile we celebrated on this barren shore, as best we could and might,
together with the whole Protestant Church, the 25th day _mensis Junii_,
whereon, one hundred years ago, the Estates of the holy Roman Empire laid
their confession before the most high and mighty Emperor Carolus V., at
Augsburg; and I preached a sermon on Matt. x. 32, of the right confession
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whereupon the whole congregation
came to the Sacrament. Now, towards the evening of the selfsame day, as I
walked with my daughter by the sea-shore, we saw several hundred sail of
ships, both great and small, round about Ruden, and plainly heard firing,
whereupon we judged forthwith that this must be the most high and mighty
King Gustavus Adolphus, who was now coming, as he had promised, to the aid
of poor persecuted Christendom. While we were still debating, a boat
sailed towards us from Oie wherein was Kate Berow her son, who is a farmer
there, and was coming to see his old mother. The same told us that it
really was the king, who had this morning run before Ruden with his fleet
from Ruegen; that a few men of Oie were fishing there at the time, and saw
how he went ashore with his officers, and straightway bared his head and
fell upon his knees.

Thus, then, most gracious God, did I thy unworthy servant enjoy a still
greater happiness and delight that blessed evening than I had done on the
blessed morn; and any one may think that I delayed not for a moment to
fall on my knees with my child, and to follow the example of the king. And
God knows I never in my life prayed so fervently as that evening, whereon
the Lord showed such a wondrous sign upon us as to cause the deliverer of
his poor Christian people to come among them on the very day when they had
everywhere called upon him, on their knees, for his gracious help against
the murderous wiles of the Pope and the devil. That night I could not
sleep for joy, but went quite early in the morning to Damerow, where
something had befallen Vithe his boy. I supposed that he, too, was
bewitched; but this time it was not witchcraft, seeing that the boy had
eaten something unwholesome in the forest. He could not tell what kind of
berries they were; but the _malum_, which turned all his skin bright
scarlet, soon passed over. As I therefore was returning home shortly
after, I met a messenger from Peenemuende, whom his Majesty the high and
mighty King Gustavus Adolphus had sent to tell the Sheriff that on the
29th of June, at ten o'clock in the morning, he was to send three guides
to meet his Majesty at Coserow, and to guide him through the woods to
Swine, where the Imperialists were encamped. _Item_, he related how his
Majesty had taken the fort at Peenemuende yesterday (doubtless the cause of
the firing we heard last evening), and that the Imperialists had run away
as fast as they could, and played the bushranger properly; for after
setting their camp on fire they all fled into the woods and coppices, and
part escaped to Wolgast and part to Swine.

Straightway I resolved in my joy to invent a _carmen gratulatorium_ to his
Majesty, whom, by the grace of Almighty God, I was to see, the which my
little daughter might present to him.

I accordingly proposed it to her as soon as I got home, and she
straightway fell on my neck for joy, and then began to dance about the
room. But when she had considered a little, she thought her clothes were
not good enough to wear before his Majesty, and that I should buy her a
blue silk gown, with a yellow apron, seeing that these were the Swedish
colours, and would please his Majesty right well. For a long time I would
not, seeing that I hate this kind of pride; but she teased me with her
kisses and coaxing words, till I, like an old fool, said yes, and ordered
my ploughman to drive her over to Wolgast to-day to buy the stuff.
Wherefore I think that the just God, who hateth the proud, and showeth
mercy on the humble, did rightly chastise me for such pride. For I myself
felt a sinful pleasure when she came back with two women who were to help
her to sew, and laid the stuff before me. Next day she set to work at
sunrise to sew, and I composed my _carmen_ the while. I had not got very
far in it when the young Lord Ruediger of Nienkerken came riding up, in
order, as he said, to inquire whether his Majesty were indeed going to
march through Coserow. And when I told him all I knew of the matter,
_item_ informed him of our plan, he praised it exceedingly, and instructed
my daughter (who looked more kindly upon him to-day than I altogether
liked) how the Swedes use to pronounce the Latin, as _ratscho_ pro _ratio,
uet_ pro _ut, schis_ pro _scis_, etc., so that she might be able to answer
his Majesty with all due readiness. He said, moreover, that he had held
much converse with Swedes at Wittenberg, as well as at Griepswald,
wherefore if she pleased they might act a short _colloquium_, wherein he
would play the king. Hereupon he sat down on the bench before her, and
they both began chattering together, which vexed me sore, especially when
I saw that she made but small haste with her needle the while. But say,
dear reader, what was I to do? Wherefore I went my ways, and let them
chatter till near noon, when the young lord at last took leave. But he
promised to come again on Tuesday, when the king was here, and believed
that the whole island would flock together at Coserow. As soon as he was
gone, seeing that my _vena poetica_ (as may be easily guessed) was still
stopped up, I had the horses put to and drove all over the parish,
exhorting the people in every village to be at the Giant's Stone by
Coserow at nine o'clock on Tuesday, and that they were all to fall on
their knees as soon as they should see the king coming and that I knelt
down; _item_, to join at once in singing the Ambrosian hymn of praise,
which I should lead off as soon as the bells began to ring. This they all
promised to do; and after I had again exhorted them to it on Sunday in
church, and prayed to the Lord for his Majesty out of the fulness of my
heart, we scarce could await the blessed Tuesday for joyful impatience.

_The Fifteenth Chapter_


Meanwhile I finished my _carmen_ in _metrum elegiacum_, which my daughter
transcribed (seeing that her handwriting is fairer than mine) and
diligently learned, so that she might say it to his Majesty. _Item_, her
clothes were gotten ready, and became her purely; and on Monday she went
up to the Streckelberg, although the heat was such that the crows gasped
on the hedges; for she wanted to gather flowers for a garland she designed
to wear, and which was also to be blue and yellow. Towards evening she
came home with her apron filled with all manner of flowers; but her hair
was quite wet, and hung all matted about her shoulders. (My God, my God,
was everything to come together to destroy me, wretched man that I am!) I
asked, therefore, where she had been that her hair was so wet and matted:
whereupon she answered that she had gathered flowers round the Koelpin, and
from thence she had gone down to the sea-shore, where she had bathed in
the sea, seeing that it was very hot and no one could see her. Thus, said
she, jesting, she should appear before his Majesty to-morrow doubly a
clean maid. This displeased me at the time, and I looked grave, although I
said nought.

Next morning at six o'clock all the people were already at the Giant's
Stone, men, women, and children. _Summa_, everybody that was able to walk
was there. At eight o'clock my daughter was already dressed in all her
bravery, namely, a blue silken gown, with a yellow apron and kerchief, and
a yellow hair-net, with a garland of blue and yellow flowers round her
head. It was not long before my young lord arrived, finely dressed, as
became a nobleman. He wanted to inquire, as he said, by which road I
should go up to the Stone with my daughter, seeing that his father, Hans
von Nienkerken, _item_ Wittich Appelmann and the Lepels of Gnitze, were
also going, and that there was much people on all the high roads, as
though a fair was being held. But I straightway perceived that all he
wanted was to see my daughter, inasmuch as he presently occupied himself
about her, and began chattering with her in the Latin again. He made her
repeat to him the _carmen_ to his Majesty; whereupon he, in the person of
the king, answered her: "_Dulcissima et venustissima puella, quae mihi in
coloribus caeli, ut angelus Domini appares utinam semper mecum esses,
nunquam mihi male caderet_"; whereupon she grew red, as likewise did I,
but from vexation, as may be easily guessed. I therefore begged that his
lordship would but go forward toward the Stone, seeing that my daughter
had yet to help me on with my surplice; whereupon, however, he answered
that he would wait for us the while in the chamber, and that we might then
go together. _Summa_, I blessed myself from this young lord; but what
could I do? As he would not go, I was forced to wink at it all; and before
long we went up to the Stone, where I straight-way chose three sturdy
fellows from the crowd, and sent them up the steeple, that they might
begin to ring the bells as soon as they should see me get up upon the
Stone and wave my napkin. This they promised to do, and straightway
departed; whereupon I sat down on the Stone with my daughter, thinking
that the young lord would surely stand apart, as became his dignity;
albeit he did not, but sat down with us on the Stone. And we three sat
there all alone, and all the folk looked at us, but none drew near to see
my child's fine clothes, not even the young lasses, as is their wont to
do; but this I did not observe till afterwards, when I heard how matters
stood with us even then. Towards nine o'clock Hans von Nienkerken and
Wittich Appelmann galloped up, and old Nienkerken called to his son in an
angry voice: and seeing that the young lord heard him not, he rode up to
the Stone, and cried out so loud that all the folk might hear, "Canst thou
not hearken, boy, when thy father calls thee?" Whereupon Ruediger followed
him in much displeasure, and we saw from a distance how the old lord
seemed to threaten his son, and spat out before him; but knew not what
this might signify: we were to learn it soon enough, though, more's the
pity! Soon after the two Lepels of Gnitze came from the Damerow; and the
noblemen saluted one other on the green sward close beside us, but without
looking on us. And I heard the Lepels say that nought could yet be seen of
his Majesty, but that the coastguard fleet around Ruden was in motion, and
that several hundred ships were sailing this way. As soon as this news was
known, all the folk ran to the sea-shore (which is but a step from the
Stone); and the noblemen rode thither too, all save Wittich, who had
dismounted, and who, when he saw that I sent old Paasch his boy up into a
tall oak-tree to look out for the king, straightway busied himself about
my daughter again, who now sat all alone upon the Stone: "Why had she not
taken his huntsman? and whether she would not change her mind on the
matter and have him now, or else come into service with him (the Sheriff)
himself? for that if she would not, he believed she might be sorry for it
one day." Whereupon she answered him (as she told me), that there was but
one thing she was sorry for, namely, that his lordship would take so much
useless pains upon her; whereupon she rose with all haste and came to
where I stood under the tree, looking after the lad who was climbing up
it. But our old Ilse said that he swore a great curse when my daughter
turned her back upon him, and went straightway into the alder-grove close
by the high road, where stood the old witch Lizzie Kolken.

Meanwhile I went with my daughter to the sea-shore, and found it quite
true that the whole fleet was sailing over from Ruden and Oie towards
Wollin, and several ships passed so close before us that we could see the
soldiers standing upon them and the flashing of their arms. _Item_, we
heard the horses neigh and the soldiery laugh. On one ship, too, they were
drumming, and on another cattle lowed and sheep bleated. Whilst we yet
gazed we saw smoke come out from one of the ships, followed by a great
noise, and presently we were aware of the ball bounding over the water,
which foamed and splashed on either side, and coming straight towards us.
Hereupon the crowd ran away on every side with loud cries, and we plainly
heard the soldiery in the ships laugh thereat. But the ball flew up and
struck into the midst of an oak hard by Paasch his boy, so that nearly two
cartloads of boughs fell to the earth with a great crash, and covered all
the road by which his Majesty was to come. Hereupon the boy would stop no
longer in the tree, however much I exhorted him thereto, but cried out to
us as he came down that a great troop of soldiers was marching out of the
forest by Damerow, and that likely enough the king was among them.
Hereupon the Sheriff ordered the road to be cleared forthwith, and this
was some time a-doing, seeing that the thick boughs were stuck fast in the
trees all around; the nobles, as soon as all was made ready, would have
ridden to meet his Majesty, but stayed still on the little green sward,
because we already heard the noise of horses, carriages, and voices close
to us in the forest.

It was not long before the cannons broke through the brushwood with the
three guides seated upon them. And seeing that one of them was known to me
(it was Stoffer Krauthahn of Peenemuende), I drew near and begged him that
he would tell me when the king should come. But he answered that he was
going forward with the cannon to Coserow, and that I was only to watch for
a tall dark man, with a hat and feather and a gold chain round his neck,
for that that was the king, and that he rode next after the great standard
whereon was a yellow lion.

Wherefore I narrowly watched the procession as it wound out of the forest.
And next after the artillery came the Finnish and Lapland bowmen, who went
clothed all in furs, although it was now the height of summer, whereat I
greatly wondered. After these there came much people, but I know not what
they were. Presently I espied over the hazel-tree which stood in my way so
that I could not see everything as soon as it came forth out of the
coppice, the great flag with the lion on it, and behind that the head of a
very dark man with a golden chain round his neck, whereupon straightway I
judged this must be the king. I therefore waved my napkin toward the
steeple, whereupon the bells forthwith rang out, and while the dark man
rode nearer to us, I pulled off my skull-cap, fell upon my knees, and led
the Ambrosian hymn of praise, and all the people plucked their hats from
their heads and knelt down on the ground all around, singing after me;
men, women, and children, save only the nobles, who stood still on the
green sward, and did not take off their hats and behave with attention
until they saw that his Majesty drew in his horse. (It was a coal-black
charger, and stopped with its two fore-feet right upon my field, which I
took as a sign of good fortune.) When we had finished, the Sheriff quickly
got off his horse, and would have approached the king with his three
guides, who followed after him; _item_, I had taken my child by the hand,
and would also have drawn near to the king. Howbeit, his Majesty motioned
away the Sheriff and beckoned us to approach, whereupon I wished his
Majesty joy in the Latin tongue, and extolled his magnanimous heart,
seeing that he had deigned to visit German ground for the protection and
aid of poor persecuted Christendom; and praised it as a sign from God that
such had happened on this the high festival of our poor church, and I
prayed his Majesty graciously to receive what my daughter desired to
present to him; whereupon his Majesty looked on her and smiled pleasantly.
Such gracious bearing made her bold again, albeit she trembled visibly
just before, and she reached him a blue and yellow wreath, whereon lay the
_carmen_, saying, "_Accipe hanc vilem coronam et haec_" whereupon she
began to recite the _carmen_. Meanwhile his Majesty grew more and more
gracious, looking now on her and now on the _carmen_, and nodded with
especial kindness towards the end, which was as follows:--

Tempus erit, quo tu reversus ab hostibus ultor
Intrabis patriae libera regna meae;
Tunc meliora student nostrae tibi carmina musae,
Tunc tua, maxime rex, Martia facta canam.
Tu modo versiculis ne spernas vilibus ausum
Auguror et res est ista futura brevi!
Sis foelix, fortisque diu, vive optime princeps,
Omnia, et ut possis vincere, dura. Vale!

As soon as she held her peace, his Majesty said, "_Propius accedas, patria
virgo, ut te osculer_"; whereupon she drew near to his horse, blushing
deeply. I thought he would only have kissed her forehead, as potentates
commonly use to do, but not at all! he kissed her lips with a loud smack,
and the long feathers on his hat drooped over her neck, so that I was
quite afraid for her again. But he soon raised up his head, and taking off
his gold chain, whereon dangled his own effigy, he hung it round my
child's neck with these words: "_Hocce tuce pulchritudim! et si favente
Deo redux fuero victor, promissum carmen et praeterea duo oscula

Hereupon the Sheriff with his three men again came forward and bowed down
to the ground before his Majesty. But as he knew no Latin, _item_ no
Italian nor French, I had to act as interpreter. For his Majesty inquired
how far it was to Swine, and whether there was still much foreign soldiery
there: And the Sheriff thought there were still about 200 Croats in the
camp; whereupon his Majesty spurred on his horse, and nodding graciously,
cried "_Valete_!" And now came the rest of the troops, about 3000 strong,
out of the coppice, which likewise had a valiant bearing, and attempted no
fooleries, as troops are wont to do, when they passed by us and the women,
but marched on in honest quietness, and we followed the train until the
forest beyond Coserow, where we commended it to the care of the Almighty,
and every one went on his way home.

_The Sixteenth Chapter_


Before I proceed any further I will first mark that the illustrious King
Gustavus Adolphus, as we presently heard, had cut down the 300 Croats at
Swine, and was thence gone by sea to Stettin. May God be for ever gracious
to him! Amen.

But my sorrows increased from day to day, seeing that the devil now played
pranks such as he never had played before. I had begun to think that the
ears of God had hearkened to our ardent prayers, but it pleased him to try
us yet more hardly than ever. For, a few days after the arrival of the
most illustrious King Gustavus Adolphus, it was bruited about that my
child her little god-daughter was possessed of the Evil One, and tumbled
about most piteously on her bed, insomuch that no one was able to hold
her. My child straightway went to see her little god-daughter, but
presently came weeping home. Old Paasch would not suffer her even to come
near her, but railed at her very angrily, and said that she should never
come within his doors again, as his child had got the mischief from the
white roll which she had given her that morning. It was true that my child
had given her a roll, seeing that the maid had been the day before to
Wolgast and had brought back a napkin full of them.

Such news vexed me sore, and after putting on my cassock I went to old
Paasch his house to exorcise the foul fiend and to remove such disgrace
from my child. I found the old man standing on the floor by the cockloft
steps weeping; and after I had spoken "The peace of God," I asked him
first of all whether he really believed that his little Mary had been
bewitched by means of the roll which my child had given her? He said,
"Yes!" And when I answered that in that case I also must have been
bewitched, _item_ Pagel his little girl, seeing that we both had eaten of
the rolls, he was silent, and asked me with a sigh, whether I would not go
into the room and see for myself how matters stood. I then entered with
"The peace of God," and found six people standing round little Mary her
bed; her eyes were shut, and she was as stiff as a board; wherefore Kit
Wells (who was a young and sturdy fellow) seized the little child by one
leg and held her out like a hedgestake, so that I might see how the devil
plagued her. I now said a prayer, and Satan, perceiving that a servant of
Christ was come, began to tear the child so fearfully that it was pitiful
to behold; for she flung about her hands and feet so that four strong men
were scarce able to hold her: _item_ she was afflicted with extraordinary
risings and fallings of her belly, as if a living creature were therein,
so that at last the old witch Lizzie Kolken sat herself upon her belly,
whereupon the child seemed to be somewhat better, and I told her to repeat
the Apostles' Creed, so as to see whether it really were the devil who
possessed her. She straightway grew worse than before, and began to gnash
her teeth, to roll her eyes, and to strike so hard with her hands and feet
that she flung her father, who held one of her legs, right into the middle
of the room, and then struck her foot so hard against the bedstead that
the blood flowed, and Lizzie Kolken was thrown about on her belly as
though she had been in a swing. And as I ceased not, but exorcised Satan
that he should leave her, she began to howl and to bark like a dog, _item_
to laugh, and spoke at last, with a gruff bass voice, like an old man's,
"I will not depart." But he should soon have been forced to depart out of
her, had not both father and mother besought me by God's holy Sacrament to
leave their poor child in peace, seeing that nothing did her any good, but
rather made her worse. I was therefore forced to desist, and only
admonished the parents to seek for help, like the Canaanitish woman, in
true repentance and incessant prayer, and with her to sigh in constant
faith, "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, Thou Son of David, my daughter is
grievously vexed of a devil," Matthew xv.; that the heart of our Lord
would then melt, so that he would have mercy on their child, and command
Satan to depart from her. _Item_, I promised to pray for the little child
on the following Sunday with the whole congregation, and told them to
bring her, if it were any ways possible, to the church, seeing that the
ardent prayer of the whole congregation has power to rise beyond the
clouds. This they promised to do, and I then went home sorely troubled,
where I soon learned that she was somewhat better; thus it still is sure
that Satan hates nothing so much, after the Lord Jesus, as the servants of
the Gospel. But wait, and I shall even yet "bruise thy head with my heel"
(Genesis, chap, iii.); nought shall avail thee.

Howbeit before the blessed Sunday came, I perceived that many of my people
went out of my way, both in the village and elsewhere in the parish, where
I went to visit sundry sick folks. When I went to Uekeritze to see young
Tittlewitz, there even befell me as follows:--Claus Pieper the peasant
stood in his yard chopping wood, and on seeing me he flung the axe out of
his hand so hastily that it stuck in the ground, and he ran towards the
pigsty, making the sign of the cross. I motioned him to stop, and asked
why he thus ran from me, his confessor? Whether, peradventure, he also
believed that my daughter had bewitched her little god-child? "_Ille_.
Yes, he believed it, because the whole parish did. _Ego_. Why, then, had
she been so kind to her formerly, and kept her like a sister through the
worst of the famine? _Ille_. This was not the only mischief she had done.
_Ego_. What, then, had she done besides? _Ille_. That was all one to me.
_Ego_. He should tell me, or I would complain to the magistrate. _Ille_.
That I might do, if I pleased." Whereupon he went his way insolently. Any
one may guess that I was not slow to inquire everywhere what people
thought my daughter had done; but no one would tell me anything, and I
might have grieved to death at such evil reports. Moreover not one child
came during this whole week to school to my daughter; and when I sent out
the maid to ask the reason she brought back word that the children were
ill, or that the parents wanted them for their work. I thought and
thought, but all to no purpose, until the blessed Sunday came round when I
meant to have held a great Sacrament, seeing that many people had made
known their intention to come to the Lord's table. It seemed strange to me
that I saw no one standing (as was their wont) about the church door; I
thought, however, that they might have gone into the houses. But when I
went into the church with my daughter, there were not more than six people
assembled, among whom was old Lizzie Kolken; and the accursed witch no
sooner saw my daughter follow me than she made the sign of the cross and
ran out of the door under the steeple; whereupon the five others, among
them mine own church-warden Claus Bulken (I had not appointed any one in
the room of old Seden), followed her. I was so horror-struck that my blood
curdled, and I began to tremble, so that I fell with my shoulder against
the confessional. My child, to whom I had as yet told nothing, in order to
spare her, then asked me, "Father, what is the matter with all the people;
are they, too, bewitched?" Whereupon I came to myself again and went into
the churchyard to look after them. But all were gone save my churchwarden,
Claus Bulken, who stood under the lime-tree, whistling to himself. I
stepped up to him and asked what had come to the people? Whereupon he
answered he could not tell; and when I asked him again why, then, he
himself had left the church, he said, What was he to do there alone,
seeing that no collection could be made? I then implored him to tell me
the truth, and what horrid suspicion had arisen against me in the parish?
But he answered, I should very soon find it out for myself; and he jumped
over the wall and went into old Lizzie her house, which stands close by
the churchyard.

My child had made ready some veal broth for dinner, for which I mostly use
to leave everything else; but I could not swallow one spoonful, but sat
resting my head on my hand, and doubted whether I should tell her or no.
Meanwhile the old maid came in ready for a journey, and with a bundle in
her hand, and begged me with tears to give her leave to go. My poor child
turned pale as a corpse, and asked in amaze what had come to her? but she
merely answered, "Nothing!" and wiped her eyes with her apron. When I
recovered my speech, which had well-nigh left me at seeing that this
faithful old creature was also about to forsake me, I began to question
her why she wished to go; she who had dwelt with me so long, and who would
not forsake us even in the great famine, but had faithfully borne up
against it, and, indeed, had humbled me by her faith, and had exhorted me
to stand out gallantly to the last, for which I should be grateful to her
as long as I lived. Hereupon she merely wept and sobbed yet more, and at
length brought out that she still had an old mother of eighty living in
Liepe, and that she wished to go and nurse her till her end. Hereupon my
daughter jumped up and answered with tears, "Alas, old Ilse, why wilt thou
leave us, for thy mother is with thy brother? Do but tell me why thou wilt
forsake me, and what harm have I done thee, that I may make it good to
thee again." But she hid her face in her apron and sobbed and could not
get out a single word; whereupon my child drew away the apron from her
face, and would have stroked her cheeks to make her speak. But when Ilse
saw this she struck my poor child's hand and cried, "Ugh!" spat out before
her, and straightway went out at the door. Such a thing she had never done
even when my child was a little girl, and we were both so shocked that we
could neither of us say a word.

Before long my poor child gave a loud cry, and cast herself upon the
bench, weeping and wailing, "What has happened, what has happened?" I
therefore thought I ought to tell her what I had heard--namely, that she
was looked upon as a witch. Whereat she began to smile instead of weeping
any more, and ran out of the door to overtake the maid, who had already
left the house, as we had seen. She returned after an hour, crying out
that all the people in the village had run away from her when she would
have asked them whither the maid was gone. _Item_, the little children,
for whom she had kept school, had screamed, and had hidden themselves from
her; also no one would answer her a single word, but all spat out before
her, as the maid had done. On her way home she had seen a boat on the
water, and had run as fast as she could to the shore, and called with
might and main after old Ilse, who was in the boat. But she had taken no
notice of her, not even once to look round after her, but had motioned her
to be gone. And now she went on to weep and to sob the whole day and the
whole night, so that I was more miserable than even in the time of the
great famine. But the worst was yet to come, as will be shown in the
following chapter.

_The Seventeenth Chapter_


The next day, Monday, the 12th July, at about eight in the morning, while
we sat in our grief, wondering who could have prepared such great sorrow
for us, and speedily agreed that it could be none other than the accursed
witch Lizzie Kolken, a coach with four horses drove quickly up to the
door, wherein sat six fellows, who straightway all jumped out. Two went
and stood at the front, two at the back door, and two more, one of whom
was the constable Jacob Knake, came into the room, and handed me a warrant
from the Sheriff for the arrest of my daughter, as in common repute of
being a wicked witch, and for her examination before the criminal court.
Any one may guess how my heart sank within me when I read this. I dropped
to the earth like a felled tree, and when I came to myself my child had
thrown herself upon me with loud cries, and her hot tears ran down over my
face. When she saw that I came to myself, she began to praise God therefor
with a loud voice, and essayed to comfort me, saying that she was
innocent, and should appear with a clean conscience before her judges.
_Item_, she repeated to me the beautiful text from Matthew, chap. v.:
"Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall
say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake."

And she begged me to rise and to throw my cassock over my doublet, and go
with her, for that without me she would not suffer herself to be carried
before the Sheriff. Meanwhile, however, all the village--men, women, and
children--had thronged together before my door; but they remained quiet,
and only peeped in at the windows, as though they would have looked right
through the house. When we had both made us ready, and the constable, who
at first would not take me with them, had thought better of it, by reason
of a good fee which my daughter gave him, we walked to the coach; but I
was so helpless that I could not get up into it.

Old Paasch, when he saw this, came and helped me up into the coach,
saying, "God comfort ye! Alas, that you should ever see your child to come
to this!" and he kissed my hand to take leave.

A few others came up to the coach, and would have done likewise; but I
besought them not to make my heart still heavier, and to take Christian
charge of my house and my affairs until I should return. Also to pray
diligently for me and my daughter, so that the Evil One, who had long gone
about our village like a roaring lion, and who now threatened to devour
me, might not prevail against us, but might be forced to depart from me
and from my child as from our guileless Saviour in the wilderness. But to
this none answered a word; and I heard right well, as we drove away, that
many spat out after us, and one said (my child thought it was Berow her
voice), "We would far sooner lay fire under thy coats than pray for thee."
We were still sighing over such words as these when we came near to the
churchyard, and there sat the accursed witch Lizzie Kolken at the door of
her house with her hymn-book in her lap, screeching out at the top of her
voice, "God the Father, dwell with us," as we drove past her; the which
vexed my poor child so sore that she swounded, and fell like one dead upon
me. I begged the driver to stop, and called to old Lizzie to bring us a
pitcher of water; but she did as though she had not heard me, and went on
to sing so that it rang again. Whereupon the constable jumped down, and at
my request ran back to my house to fetch a pitcher of water; and he
presently came back with it, and the people after him, who began to say
aloud that my child's bad conscience had stricken her, and that she had
now betrayed herself. Wherefore I thanked God when she came to life again,
and we could leave the village. But at Uekeritze it was just the same, for
all the people had flocked together, and were standing on the green before
Labahn his house when we went by.

Nevertheless, they were quiet enough as we drove past, albeit some few
cried, "How can it be, how can it be?" I heard nothing else. But in the
forest near the watermill the miller and all his men ran out and shouted,
laughing, "Look at the witch, look at the witch!" Whereupon one of the men
struck at my poor child with the sack which he held in his hand, so that
she turned quite white, and the flour flew all about the coach like a
cloud. When I rebuked him, the wicked rogue laughed and said, that if no
other smoke than that ever came under her nose, so much the better for
her. _Item_, it was worse in Pudgla than even at the mill. The people
stood so thick on the hill, before the castle, that we could scarce force
our way through, and the Sheriff caused the death-bell in the castle-tower
to toll as an _avisum_. Whereupon more and more people came running out of
the ale-houses and cottages. Some cried out, "Is that the witch?" Others,
again, "Look at the parson's witch! the parson's witch!" and much more,
which for very shame I may not write. They scraped up the mud out of the
gutter which ran from the castle-kitchen and threw it upon us; _item_, a
great stone, the which struck one of the horses so that it shied, and
belike would have upset the coach had not a man sprung forward and held it
in. All this happened before the castle-gates, where the Sheriff stood
smiling and looking on, with a heron's feather stuck in his grey hat. But
so soon as the horse was quiet again, he came to the coach and mocked at
my child, saying, "See, young maid, thou wouldst not come to me, and here
thou art nevertheless!" Whereupon she answered, "Yea, I come; and may you
one day come before your judge as I come before you"; whereunto I said,
Amen, and asked him how his lordship could answer before God and man for
what he had done to a wretched man like myself and to my child? But he
answered, saying, Why had I come with her? And when I told him of the rude
people here, _item_, of the churlish miller's man, he said that it was not
his fault, and threatened the people all around with his fist, for they
were making a great noise. Thereupon he commanded my child to get down and
to follow him, and went before her into the castle; motioned the
constable, who would have gone with them, to stay at the foot of the
steps, and began to mount the winding staircase to the upper rooms alone
with my child.

But she whispered me privately, "Do not leave me, father"; and I presently
followed softly after them. Hearing by their voices in which chamber they
were, I laid my ear against the door to listen. And the villain offered to
her that if she would love him nought should harm her, saying he had power
to save her from the people; but that if she would not, she should go
before the court next day, and she might guess herself how it would fare
with her, seeing that he had many witnesses to prove that she had played
the wanton with Satan, and had suffered him to kiss her. Hereupon she was
silent, and only sobbed, which the arch-rogue took as a good sign, and
went on: "If you have had Satan himself for a sweetheart, you surely may
love me." And he went to her and would have taken her in his arms, as I
perceived; for she gave a loud scream, and flew to the door; but he held
her fast, and begged and threatened as the devil prompted him. I was about
to go in when I heard her strike him in the face, saying, "Get thee behind
me, Satan," so that he let her go. Whereupon she ran out at the door so
suddenly that she threw me on the ground, and fell upon me with a loud
cry. Hereat the Sheriff, who had followed her, started, but presently
cried out, "Wait, thou prying parson, I will teach thee to listen!" and
ran out and beckoned to the constable who stood on the steps below. He
bade him first shut me up in one dungeon, seeing that I was an
eavesdropper, and then return and thrust my child into another. But he
thought better of it when we had come halfway down the winding-stair, and
said he would excuse me this time, and that the constable might let me go,
and only lock up my child very fast, and bring the key to him, seeing she
was a stubborn person, as he had seen at the very first hearing which he
had given her.

Hereupon my poor child was torn from me, and I fell in a swound upon the
steps. I know not how I got down them; but when I came to myself, I was in
the constable his room, and his wife was throwing water in my face. There
I passed the night sitting in a chair, and sorrowed more than I prayed,
seeing that my faith was greatly shaken, and the Lord came not to
strengthen it.

_The Eighteenth Chapter_


Next morning, as I walked up and down in the court, seeing that I had many
times asked the constable in vain to lead me to my child (he would not
even tell me where she lay), and for very disquietude I had at last begun
to wander about there; about six o'clock there came a coach from Uzdom,
wherein sat his worship, Master Samuel Pieper, _consul dirigens_, _item_,
the _camerarius_ Gebhard Wenzel, and a _scriba_, whose name, indeed, I
heard, but have forgotten it again; and my daughter forgot it too, albeit
in other things she has an excellent memory, and, indeed, told me most of
what follows, for my old head well-nigh burst, so that I myself could
remember but little. I straightway went up to the coach, and begged that
the worshipful court would suffer me to be present at the trial, seeing
that my daughter was yet in her nonage, but which the Sheriff, who
meanwhile had stepped up to the coach from the terrace, whence he had seen
all, had denied me. But his worship Master Samuel Pieper, who was a little
round man, with a fat paunch, and a beard mingled with grey hanging down
to his middle, reached me his hand, and condoled with me like a Christian
in my trouble: I might come into court in God's name; and he wished with
all his heart that all whereof my daughter was filed might prove to be
foul lies. Nevertheless I had still to wait two hours before their
worships came down the winding stair again. At last towards nine o'clock
I heard the constable moving about the chairs and benches in the
judgment-chamber; and as I conceived that the time was now come, I went in
and sat myself down on a bench. No one, however, was yet there, save the
constable and his young daughter, who was wiping the table, and held a
rosebud between her lips. I was fain to beg her to give it me, so that I
might have it to smell to; and I believe that I should have been carried
dead out of the room that day if I had not had it. God is thus able to
preserve our lives even by means of a poor flower, if so he wills it!

At length their worships came in and sat round the table, whereupon _Dom.
Consul_ motioned the constable to fetch in my child. Meanwhile he asked
the Sheriff whether he had put _Rea_ in chains, and when he said No, he
gave him such a reprimand that it went through my very marrow. But the
Sheriff excused himself, saying that he had not done so from regard to her
quality, but had locked her up in so fast a dungeon that she could not
possibly escape therefrom. Whereupon _Dom. Consul_ answered that much is
possible to the devil, and that they would have to answer for it should
_Rea_ escape. This angered the Sheriff, and he replied that if the devil
could convey her through walls seven feet thick, and through three doors,
he could very easily break her chains too. Whereupon _Dom. Consul_ said
that hereafter he would look at the prison himself; and I think that the
Sheriff had been so kind only because he yet hoped (as, indeed, will
hereafter be shown) to talk over my daughter to let him have his will of

And now the door opened, and my poor child came in with the constable, but
walking backwards, and without her shoes, the which she was forced to
leave without. The fellow had seized her by her long hair, and thus
dragged her up to the table, when first she was to turn round and look
upon her judges. He had a vast deal to say in the matter, and was in every
way a bold and impudent rogue, as will soon be shown. After _Dom. Consul_
had heaved a deep sigh, and gazed at her from head to foot, he first asked
her her name, and how old she was; _item_, if she knew why she was
summoned before them? On the last point she answered that the Sheriff had
already told her father the reason; that she wished not to wrong any one,
but thought that the Sheriff himself had brought upon her the repute of a
witch, in order to gain her to his wicked will. Hereupon she told all his
ways with her, from the very first, and how he would by all means have had
her for his housekeeper; and that when she would not (although he had many
times come himself to her father his house), one day, as he went out of
the door, he had muttered in his beard, "I will have her, despite of all!"
which their servant Claus Neels had heard, as he stood in the stable; and
he had also sought to gain his ends by means of an ungodly woman, one
Lizzie Kolken, who had formerly been in his service; that this woman,
belike, had contrived the spells which they laid to her charge: she
herself knew nothing of witchcraft; _item_, she related what the Sheriff
had done to her the evening before, when she had just come, and when he
for the first time spoke out plainly, thinking that she was then
altogether in his power: nay, more, that he had come to her that very
night again, in her dungeon, and had made her the same offers, saying that
he would set her free if she would let him have his will of her; and that
when she denied him, he had struggled with her, whereupon she had screamed
aloud, and had scratched him across the nose, as might yet be seen,
whereupon he had left her; wherefore she would not acknowledge the Sheriff
as her judge, and trusted in God to save her from the hand of her enemies,
as of old he had saved the chaste Susannah.--

When she now held her peace amid loud sobs, _Dom. Consul_ started up after
he had looked, as we all did, at the Sheriff's nose, and had in truth
espied the scar upon it, and cried out in amaze, "Speak, for God his sake,
speak, what is this that I hear of your lordship?" Whereupon the Sheriff,
without changing colour, answered that although, indeed, he was not called
upon to say anything to their worships, seeing that he was the head of the
court, and that _Rea_, as appeared from numberless _indicia_, was a wicked
witch, and therefore could not bear witness against him or any one else;
he, nevertheless, would speak, so as to give no cause of scandal to the
court; that all the charges brought against him by this person were foul
lies; it was, indeed, true, that he would have hired her for a
housekeeper, whereof he stood greatly in need, seeing that his old Dorothy
was already growing infirm; it was also true that he had yesterday
questioned her in private, hoping to get her to confess by fair means,
whereby her sentence would be softened, inasmuch as he had pity on her
great youth; but that he had not said one naughty word to her, nor had he
been to her in the night; and that it was his little lap-dog, called
Below, which had scratched him, while he played with it that very morning;
that his old Dorothy could bear witness to this, and that the cunning
witch had only made use of this wile to divide the court against itself,
thereby and with the devil's help, to gain her own advantage, inasmuch as
she was a most cunning creature, as the court would soon find out.

Hereupon I plucked up a heart, and declared that all my daughter had said
was true, and that the evening before I myself had heard, through the
door, how his lordship had made offers to her, and would have done
wantonness with her; _item_, that he had already sought to kiss her once
at Coserow; _item_, the troubles which his lordship had formerly brought
upon me in the matter of the first-fruits.

Howbeit the Sheriff presently talked me down, saying, that if I had
slandered him, an innocent man, in church, from the pulpit, as the whole
congregation could bear witness, I should doubtless find it easy to do as
much here, before the court; not to mention that a father could, in no
case, be a witness for his own child.

But _Dom. Consul_ seemed quite confounded, and was silent, and leaned his
head on the table, as in deep thought. Meanwhile the impudent constable
began to finger his beard from under his arm; and _Dom. Consul_ thinking
it was a fly, struck at him with his hand, without even looking up; but
when he felt the constable his hand, he jumped up and asked him what he
wanted? Whereupon the fellow answered, "Oh, only a louse was creeping
there, and I would have caught it."

At such impudence his worship was so exceeding wroth that he struck the
constable on the mouth, and ordered him, on pain of heavy punishment, to
leave the room.

Hereupon he turned to the Sheriff, and cried, angrily, "Why, in the name
of all the ten devils, is it thus your lordship keeps the constable in
order? and truly, in this whole matter, there is something which passes my
understanding." But the Sheriff answered, "Not so; should you not
understand it all when you think upon the eels?"

Hereat _Dom. Consul_ of a sudden turned ghastly pale, and began to
tremble, as it appeared to me, and called the Sheriff aside into another
chamber. I have never been able to learn what that about the eels could

Meanwhile _Dominus Camerarius_ Gebhard Wenzel sat biting his pen, and
looking furiously--now at me, and now at my child, but said not a word;
neither did he answer _Scriba_, who often whispered somewhat into his ear,
save by a growl. At length both their worships came back into the chamber
together, and _Dom. Consul_, after he and the Sheriff had seated
themselves, began to reproach my poor child violently, saying that she had
sought to make a disturbance in the worshipful court; that his lordship
had shown him the very dog which had scratched his nose, and that,
moreover, the fact had been sworn to by the old housekeeper.

(Truly _she_ was not likely to betray him, for the old harlot had lived
with him for years, and she had a good big boy by him, as will be seen

_Item_, he said that so many _indicia_ of her guilt had come to light,
that it was impossible to believe anything she might say; she was
therefore to give glory to God, and openly to confess everything, so as to
soften her punishment; whereby she might perchance, in pity for her youth,
escape with life, etc.

Hereupon he put his spectacles on his nose, and began to cross-question
her, during near four hours, from a paper which he held in his hand. These
were the main articles, as far as we both can remember:

_Quaestio_. Whether she could bewitch?

_Responsio_. No; she knew nothing of witchcraft.

_Q_. Whether she could charm?

_R_. Of that she knew as little.

_Q_. Whether she had ever been on the Blocksberg?

_R_. That was too far off for her; she knew few hills save the
Streckelberg, where she had been very often.

_Q_. What had she done there?

_R_. She had looked out over the sea, or gathered flowers; _item_, at
times carried home an apronful of dry brushwood.

_Q_. Whether she had ever called upon the devil there?

_R_. That had never come into her mind.

_Q_. Whether, then, the devil had appeared to her there, uncalled?

_R_. God defend her from such a thing.

_Q_. So she could not bewitch?

_R_. No.

_Q_. What, then, befell Kit Zuter his spotted cow, that it suddenly died
in her presence?

_R_. She did not know; and that was a strange question.

_Q_. Then it would be as strange a question, why Katie Berow her little
pig had died?

_R_. Assuredly; she wondered what they would lay to her charge.

_Q_. Then she had not bewitched them?

_R_. No; God forbid it.

_Q_. Why, then, if she were innocent, had she promised old Katie another
little pig, when her sow should litter?

_R_. She did that out of kind-heartedness. (And hereupon she began to weep
bitterly, and said she plainly saw that she had to thank old Lizzie Kolken
for all this, inasmuch as she had often threatened her when she would not
fulfil all her greedy desires, for she wanted everything that came in her
way; moreover, that Lizzie had gone all about the village when the cattle
were bewitched, persuading the people that if only a pure maid pulled a
few hairs out of the beasts' tails they would get better. That she pitied
them, and knowing herself to be a maid, went to help them; and indeed, at
first it cured them, but latterly not.)

_Q_. What cattle had she cured?

_R_. Zabel his red cow; _item_, Witthan her pig, and old Lizzie's own cow.

_Q_. Why could she afterwards cure them no more?

_R_. She did not know, but thought--albeit she had no wish to fyle any
one--that old Lizzie Kolken, who for many a long year had been in common
repute as a witch, had done it all, and bewitched the cows in her name and
then charmed them back again, as she pleased, only to bring her to

_Q_. Why, then, had old Lizzie bewitched her own cow, _item_, suffered her
own pig to die, if it was she that had made all the disturbance in the
village, and could really charm?

_R_. She did not know; but belike there was some one (and here she looked
at the Sheriff) who paid her double for it all.

_Q_. It was in vain that she sought to shift the guilt from off herself;
had she not bewitched old Paasch his crop, nay, even her own father's, and
caused it to be trodden down by the devil, _item_, conjured all the
caterpillars into her father's orchard?

_R_. The question was almost as monstrous as the deed would have been.
There sat her father, and his worship might ask him whether she ever had
shown herself an undutiful child to him. (Hereupon I would have risen to
speak, but _Dom. Consul_ suffered me not to open my mouth, but went on
with his examination; whereupon I remained silent and downcast.)

_Q_. Whether she did likewise deny that it was through her malice that the
woman Witthan had given birth to a devil's imp, which straight-way started
up and flew out at the window, so that when the midwife sought for it it
had disappeared?

_R_. Truly she did; and indeed she had all the days of her life done good
to the people instead of harm, for during the terrible famine she had
often taken the bread out of her own mouth to share it among the others,
especially the little children. To this the whole parish must needs bear
witness, if they were asked; whereas witches and warlocks always did evil
and no good to men, as our Lord Jesus taught (Matt. xii.), when the
Pharisees blasphemed him, saying that he cast out devils by Beelzebub the
prince of the devils; hence his worship might see whether she could in
truth be a witch.

_Q_. He would soon teach her to talk of blasphemies; he saw that her
tongue was well hung; but she must answer the questions he asked her, and
say nothing more. The question was not _what_ good she had done to the
poor, but _wherewithal_ she had done it; she must now show how she and her
father had of a sudden grown so rich that she could go pranking about in
silken raiment, whereas she used to be so very poor?

Hereupon she looked towards me, and said, "Father, shall I tell?"
Whereupon I answered, "Yes, my child, now thou must openly tell all, even
though we thereby become beggars." She accordingly told how, when our need
was sorest, she had found the amber, and how much we had gotten for it
from the Dutch merchants.

_Q_. What were the names of these merchants?

_R_. Dieterich von Pehnen and Jakob Kiekebusch; but, as we have heard from
a schipper, they since died of the plague at Stettin.

_Q_. Why had we said nothing of such a godsend?

_R_. Out of fear of our enemy the Sheriff, who, as it seemed, had
condemned us to die of hunger, inasmuch as he forbade the parishioners,
under pain of heavy displeasure, to supply us with anything, saying, that
he would send them a better parson.

Hereupon _Dom. Consul_ again looked the Sheriff sharply in the face, who
answered that it was true he had said this, seeing that the parson had
preached at him in the most scandalous manner from the pulpit; but that he
knew very well, at the time, that they were far enough from dying of

_Q_. How came so much amber on the Streckelberg? She had best confess at
once that the devil had brought it to her.

_R_. She knew nothing about that. But there was a great vein of amber
there, as she could show to them all that very day; and she had broken out
the amber, and covered the hole well over with fir-twigs, so that none
should find it.

_Q_. When had she gone up the Streckelberg; by day or by night?

_R_. Hereupon she blushed, and for a moment held her peace; but presently
made answer, "Sometimes by day, and sometimes by night."

_Q_. Why did she hesitate? She had better make a full confession of all,
so that her punishment might be less heavy. Had she not there given over
old Seden to Satan, who had carried him off through the air, and left only
a part of his hair and brains sticking to the top of an oak?

_R_. She did not know whether that was his hair and brains at all, nor how
it came there. She went to the tree one morning because she heard a
woodpecker cry so dolefully. _Item_, old Paasch, who also had heard the
cries, came up with his axe in his hand.

_Q_. Whether the woodpecker was not the devil himself, who had carried off
old Seden?

_R_. She did not know: but he must have been dead some time, seeing that
the blood and brains which the lad fetched down out of the tree were quite
dried up.

_Q_. How and when, then, had he come by his death?

_R_. That Almighty God only knew. But Zuter his little girl had said, that
one day, while she gathered nettles for the cows under Seden his hedge,
she heard the goodman threaten his squint-eyed wife that he would tell the
parson that he now knew of a certainty that she had a familiar spirit;
whereupon the goodman had presently disappeared. But that this was a
child's tale, and she would fyle no one on the strength of it.

Hereupon _Dom. Consul_ again looked the Sheriff steadily in the face, and
said, "Old Lizzie Kolken must be brought before us this very day": whereto
the Sheriff made no answer; and he went on to ask,

_Q_. Whether, then, she still maintained that she knew nothing of the

_R_. She maintained it now, and would maintain it until her life's end.

_Q_. And nevertheless, as had been seen by witnesses, she had been
re-baptized by him in the sea in broad daylight.--Here again she blushed,
and for a moment was silent.

_Q_. Why did she blush again? She should for God his sake think on her
salvation, and confess the truth.

_R_. She had bathed herself in the sea, seeing that the day was very hot;
that was the whole truth.

_Q_. What chaste maiden would ever bathe in the sea? Thou liest; or wilt
thou even yet deny that thou didst bewitch old Paasch his little girl with
a white roll?

_R_. Alas! alas! she loved the child as though it were her own little
sister; not only had she taught her as well as all the other children
without reward, but during the heavy famine she had often taken the bit
from her own mouth to put it into the little child's. How, then, could she
have wished to do her such grievous harm?

_Q_. Wilt thou even yet deny?--Reverend Abraham, how stubborn is your
child! See here, is this no witches' salve, which the constable fetched
out of thy coffer last night? Is this no witches' salve, eh?

_R_. It was a salve for the skin, which would make it soft and white, as
the apothecary at Wolgast had told her, of whom she bought it.

_Q_. Hereupon he shook his head, and went on: How! wilt thou then lastly
deny that on this last Saturday the both July, at twelve o'clock at night,
thou didst on the Streckelberg call upon thy paramour the devil in
dreadful words, whereupon he appeared to thee in the shape of a great
hairy giant, and clipped thee and toyed with thee?

At these words she grew more pale than a corpse, and tottered so that she
was forced to hold by a chair: and I, wretched man, who would readily have
sworn away my life for her, when I saw and heard this, my senses forsook
me, so that I fell down from the bench, and _Dom. Consul_ had to call in
the constable to help me up.

When I had come to myself a little, and the impudent varlet saw our common
consternation, he cried out, grinning at the court the while, 'Is it all
out? is it all out? has she confessed?' Whereupon _Dom. Consul_ again
showed him the door with a sharp rebuke, as might have been expected; and
it is said that this knave played the pimp for the Sheriff, and indeed I
think he would not otherwise have been so bold.

_Summa_: I should well-nigh have perished in my distress, but for the
little rose, which by the help of God's mercy kept me up bravely; and now
the whole court rose and exhorted my poor fainting child, by the living
God, and as she would save her soul, to deny no longer, but in pity to
herself and her father to confess the truth.

[Illustration: The Apparition on the Streckelberg]

Hereupon she heaved a deep sigh, and grew as red as she had been pale
before, insomuch that even her hand upon the chair was like scarlet, and
she did not raise her eyes from the ground.

_R_. She would now then confess the simple truth, as she saw right well
that wicked people had stolen after and watched her at nights. That she
had been to seek for amber on the mountain, and that to drive away fear
she had, as she was wont to do at her work, recited the Latin _carmen_
which her father had made on the illustrious King Gustavus Adolphus: when
young Ruediger of Nienkerken, who had ofttimes been at her father's house
and talked of love to her, came out of the coppice, and when she cried out
for fear, spoke to her in Latin, and clasped her in his arms. That he wore
a great wolf's-skin coat, so that folks should not know him if they met
him, and tell the lord his father that he had been on the mountain by

At this her confession I fell into sheer despair, and cried in great
wrath, "O thou ungodly and undutiful child, after all, then, thou hast a
paramour! Did not I forbid thee to go up the mountain by night? What didst
thou want on the mountain by night?" and I began to moan and weep and
wring my hands, so that _Dom. Consul_ even had pity on me, and drew near
to comfort me. Meanwhile she herself came towards me, and began to defend
herself, saying, with many tears, that she had gone up the mountain by
night, against my commands, to get so much amber that she might secretly
buy for me, against my birthday, the _Opera Sancti Augustim_, which the
Cantor at Wolgast wanted to sell. That it was not her fault that the young
lord lay in wait for her one night; and that she would swear to me, by the
living God, that nought that was unseemly had happened between them there,
and that she was still a maid.

And herewith the first hearing was at end, for after _Dom. Consul_ had
whispered somewhat into the ear of the Sheriff, he called in the constable
again, and bade him keep good watch over _Rea_; _item_, not to leave her
at large in her dungeon any longer, but to put her in chains. These words
pierced my very heart, and I besought his worship to consider my sacred
office, and my ancient noble birth, and not to do me such dishonour as to
put my daughter in chains. That I would answer for her to the worshipful
court with my own head that she would not escape. Whereupon _Dom. Consul_,
after he had gone to look at the dungeon himself, granted me my request,
and commanded the constable to leave her as she had been hitherto.

_The Nineteenth Chapter_


The same day, at about three in the afternoon, when I was gone to Conrad
Seep his alehouse to eat something, seeing that it was now nearly two days
since I had tasted aught save my tears, and he had placed before me some
bread and sausage, together with a mug of beer, the constable came into
the room and greeted me from the Sheriff, without, however, so much as
touching his cap, asking whether I would not dine with his lordship; that
his lordship had not remembered till now that I belike was still fasting,
seeing the trial had lasted so long. Hereupon I made answer to the
constable that I already had my dinner before me, as he saw himself, and
desired that his lordship would hold me excused. Hereat the fellow
wondered greatly, and answered; did I not see that his lordship wished me
well, albeit I had preached at him as though he were a Jew? I should think
on my daughter, and be somewhat more ready to do his lordship's will,
whereby peradventure all would yet end well. For his lordship was not such
a rough ass as _Dom. Consul_, and meant well by my child and me, as
beseemed a righteous magistrate.

After I had with some trouble rid myself of this impudent fox, I tried to
eat a bit, but nothing would go down save the beer. I therefore soon sat
and thought again whether I would not lodge with Conrad Seep, so as to be
always near my child; _item_, whether I should not hand over my poor
misguided flock to M. Vigelius, the pastor of Benz, for such time as the
Lord still should prove me. In about an hour I saw through the window how
that an empty coach drove to the castle, and the Sheriff and _Dom. Consul_
straightway stepped thereinto with my child; _item_, the constable climbed
up behind. Hereupon I left everything on the table and ran to the coach,
asking humbly whither they were about to take my poor child; and when I
heard they were going to the Streckelberg to look after the amber, I
begged them to take me also, and to suffer me to sit by my child, for who
could tell how much longer I might yet sit by her! This was granted to me,
and on the way the Sheriff ordered me to take up my abode in the castle
and to dine at his table as often as I pleased, and that he would,
moreover, send my child her meat from his own table. For that he had a
Christian heart, and well knew that we were to forgive our enemies. But I
refused his kindness with humble thanks, as my child did also, seeing we
were not yet so poor that we could not maintain ourselves. As we passed by
the watermill the ungodly varlet there again thrust his head out of a hole
and pulled wry faces at my child; but, dear reader, he got something to
remember it by; for the Sheriff beckoned to the constable to fetch the
fellow out, and after he had reproached him with the tricks he had twice
played my child, the constable had to take the coachman his new whip and
to give him fifty lashes, which, God knows, were not laid on with a
feather. He bellowed like a bull, which, however, no one heard for the
noise of the mill-wheels, and when at last he did as though he could not
stir, we left him lying on the ground and went on our way.

As we drove through Uekeritze a number of people flocked together, but
were quiet enough, save one fellow who, _salva venia_, mocked at us with
unseemly gestures in the midst of the road when he saw us coming. The
constable had to jump down again, but could not catch him, and the others
would not give him up, but pretended that they had only looked at our
coach and had not marked him. May be this was true! And I am therefore
inclined to think that it was Satan himself who did it to mock at us; for
mark, for God's sake, what happened to us on the Streckelberg! Alas!
through the delusions of the foul fiend, we could not find the spot where
we had dug for the amber. For when we came to where we thought it must be,
a huge hill of sand had been heaped up as by a whirlwind, and the
fir-twigs which my child had covered over it were gone. She was near
falling in a swound when she saw this, and wrung her hands and cried out
with her Saviour, "My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me!"

Howbeit, the constable and the coachman were ordered to dig, but not one
bit of amber was to be found, even so big as a grain of corn, whereupon
_Dom. Consul_ shook his head and violently upbraided my child. And when I
answered that Satan himself, as it seemed, had filled up the hollow in
order to bring us altogether into his power, the constable was ordered to
fetch a long stake out of the coppice which we might thrust still deeper
into the sand. But no hard _objectum_ was anywhere to be felt,
notwithstanding the Sheriff, _Dom. Consul_, and myself in my anguish did
try everywhere with the stake.

Hereupon my child besought her judges to go with her to Coserow, where she
still had much amber in her coffer which she had found here, and that if
it were the gift of the devil it would all be changed, since it was well
known that all the presents the devil makes to witches straightway turn to
mud and ashes.

But, God be merciful to us, God be merciful to us! when we returned to
Coserow, amid the wonderment of all the village, and my daughter went to
her coffer, the things therein were all tossed about, and the amber gone.
Hereupon she shrieked so loud that it would have softened a stone, and
cried out: "The wicked constable hath done this! when he fetched the salve
out of my coffer, he stole the amber from me, unhappy maid." But the
constable, who stood by, would have torn her hair, and cried out, "Thou
witch, thou damned witch, is it not enough that thou hast belied my lord,
but thou must now belie me too?" But _Dom. Consul_ forbade him, so that he
did not dare lay hands upon her. _Item_, all the money was gone which she
had hoarded up from the amber she had privately sold, and which she
thought already came to about ten florins.

But the gown which she had worn at the arrival of the most illustrious
King Gustavus Adolphus, as well as the golden chain with his effigy which
he had given her, I had locked up, as though it were a relic, in the chest
in the vestry, among the altar and pulpit cloths, and there we found them
still; and when I excused myself therefore, saying that I had thought to
have saved them up for her there against her bridal day, she gazed with
fixed and glazed eyes into the box, and cried out, "Yes, against the day
when I shall be burnt; O Jesu, Jesu, Jesu!" Hereat _Dom. Consul_ shuddered
and said, "See how thou still dost smite thyself with thine own words! For
the sake of God and thy salvation, confess, for if thou knowest thyself to
be innocent, how, then, canst thou think that thou wilt be burnt?" But she
still looked him fixedly in the face, and cried aloud in Latin,
"_Innocentia, quid est innocentia? Ubi libido dominatur, innocentia leve
praesidium est_."

Hereupon _Dom. Consul_ again shuddered, so that his beard wagged, and
said, "What, dost thou indeed know Latin? Where didst thou learn the
Latin?" And when I answered this question as well as I was able for
sobbing, he shook his head and said, "I never in my life heard of a woman
that knew Latin." Upon this he knelt down before her coffer, and turned
over everything therein, drew it away from the wall, and when he found
nothing he bade us show him her bed, and did the same with that. This, at
length, vexed the Sheriff, who asked him whether they should not drive
back again, seeing that night was coming on. But he answered, "Nay, I must
first have the written paction which Satan has given her"; and he went on
with his search until it was almost dark. But they found nothing at all,
although _Dom. Consul_, together with the constable, passed over no hole
or corner, even in the kitchen and cellar. Hereupon he got up again into
the coach, muttering to himself, and bade my daughter sit so that she
should not look upon him.

And now we once more had the same _spectaculum_ with the accursed old
witch Lizzie Kolken, seeing that she again sat at her door as we drove by,
and began to sing at the top of her voice, "We praise thee, O Lord." But
she screeched like a stuck pig, so that _Dom. Consul_ was amazed thereat,
and when he had heard who she was, he asked the Sheriff whether he would
not that she should be seized by the constable and be tied behind the
coach to run after it, as we had no room for her elsewhere; for that he
had often been told that all old women who had red squinting eyes and
sharp voices were witches, not to mention the suspicious things which
_Rea_ had declared against her. But he answered that he could not do this,
seeing that old Lizzie was a woman in good repute and fearing God as _Dom.
Consul_ might learn for himself; but that, nevertheless, he had had her
summoned for the morrow, together with the other witnesses.

Yea, in truth, an excellently devout and worthy woman!--for scarcely were
we out of the village, when so fearful a storm of thunder, lightning,
wind, and hail burst over our heads, that the corn all around us was
beaten down as with a flail, and the horses before the coach were quite
maddened; however, it did not last long. But my poor child had to bear all
the blame again, inasmuch as _Dom. Consul_ thought that it was not old
Lizzie, which, nevertheless, was as clear as the sun at noonday! but my
poor daughter who brewed the storm;--for, beloved reader, what could it
have profited her, even if she had known the black art? This, however, did
not strike _Dom. Consul_, and Satan, by the permission of the
all-righteous God, was presently to use us still worse; for just as we got
to the Master's Dam, he came flying over us in the shape of a stork, and
dropped a frog so exactly over us that it fell into my daughter her lap:
she gave a shrill scream, but I whispered her to sit still, and that I
would secretly throw the frog away by one leg.

But the constable had seen it, and cried out, "Hey, sirs! hey, look at the
cursed witch! what has the devil just thrown into her lap?" Whereupon the
Sheriff and _Dom. Consul_ looked round and saw the frog, which crawled in
her lap, and the constable after he had blown upon it three times, took it
up and showed it to their lordships. Hereat _Dom. Consul_ began to spew,
and when he had done, he ordered the coachman to stop, got down from the
coach, and said we might drive home, that he felt qualmish, and would go
afoot and see if he got better. But first he privately whispered to the
constable, which, howbeit, we heard right well, that when he got home he
should lay my poor child in chains, but not so as to hurt her much; to
which neither she nor I could answer save by tears and sobs. But the
Sheriff had heard it too, and when his worship was out of sight he began
to stroke my child her cheeks from behind her back, telling her to be
easy, as he also had a word to say in the matter, and that the constable
should not lay her in chains. But that she must leave off being so hard to
him as she had been hitherto, and come and sit on the seat beside him,
that he might privately give her some good advice as to what was to be
done. To this she answered, with many tears, that she wished to sit only
by her father, as she knew not how much longer she might sit by him at
all; and she begged for nothing more save that his lordship would leave
her in peace. But this he would not do, but pinched her back and sides
with his knees; and as she bore with this, seeing that there was no help
for it, he waxed bolder, taking it for a good sign. Meanwhile _Dom.
Consul_ called out close behind us (for being frightened he ran just after
the coach), "Constable, constable, come here quick; here lies a hedgehog
in the midst of the road!" whereupon the constable jumped down from the

This made the Sheriff still bolder; and at last my child rose up and said,
"Father, let us also go afoot; I can no longer guard myself from him here
behind!" But he pulled her down again by her clothes, and cried out
angrily, "Wait, thou wicked witch, I will help thee to go afoot if thou
art so wilful; thou shalt be chained to the block this very night."
Whereupon she answered, "Do you do that which you cannot help doing; the
righteous God, it is to be hoped, will one day do unto you what He cannot
help doing."

Meanwhile we had reached the castle, and scarcely were we got out of the
coach, when _Dom. Consul_, who had run till he was all of a sweat, came up
together with the constable, and straightway gave over my child into his
charge, so that I had scarce time to bid her farewell. I was left standing
on the floor below, wringing my hands in the dark, and hearkened whither
they were leading her, inasmuch as I had not the heart to follow, when
_Dom. Consul_, who had stepped into a room with the Sheriff, looked out at
the door again, and called after the constable to bring _Rea_ once more
before them. And when he had done so, and I went into the room with them,
_Dom. Consul_ held a letter in his hand, and, after spitting thrice, he
began thus: "Wilt thou still deny, thou stubborn witch? Hear what the old
knight, Hans von Nienkerken, writes to the court!" Whereupon he read out
to us that his son was so disturbed by the tale the accursed witch had
told of him that he had fallen sick from that very hour, and that he, the
father, was not much better. That his son Ruediger had indeed at times,
when he went that way, been to see Pastor Schweidler, whom he had first
known upon a journey; but that he swore that he wished he might turn black
if he had ever used any folly or jesting with the cursed devil's whore his
daughter; much less ever been with her by night on the Streckelberg, or
embraced her there.

At this dreadful news we both (I mean my child and I) fell down in a
swound together, seeing that we had rested our last hopes on the young
lord; and I know not what further happened. For when I came to myself, my
host, Conrad Seep, was standing over me, holding a funnel between my
teeth, through which he ladled some warm beer down my throat, and I never
felt more wretched in all my life; insomuch that Master Seep had to
undress me like a little child, and to help me into bed.

_The Twentieth Chapter_


The next morning my hairs, which till _datum_ had been mingled with grey,
were white as snow, albeit the Lord otherwise blessed me wondrously. For
near daybreak a nightingale flew into the elder-bush beneath my window,
and sang so sweetly that straightway I thought it must be a good angel.
For after I had hearkened a while to it, I was all at once able again to
pray, which since last Sunday I could not do; and the spirit of our Lord
Jesus Christ began to speak within me, "Abba, Father"; and straightway I
was of good cheer, trusting that God would once more be gracious unto me
his wretched child; and when I had given him thanks for such great mercy,
I fell into a refreshing slumber, and slept so long that the blessed sun
stood high in the heavens when I awoke.

And seeing that my heart was still of good cheer, I sat up in my bed, and
sang with a loud voice, "Be not dismayed, thou little flock": whereupon
Master Seep came into the room, thinking I had called him. But he stood
reverently waiting till I had done; and after marvelling at my snow-white
hair, he told me it was already seven; _item_, that half my congregation,
among others my ploughman, Claus Neels, were already assembled in his
house to bear witness that day. When I heard this, I bade mine host
forthwith send Claus to the castle, to ask when the court would open, and
he brought word back that no one knew, seeing that _Dom. Consul_ was
already gone that morning to Mellenthin to see old Nienkerken, and was not
yet come back. This message gave me good courage, and I asked the fellow
whether he also had come to bear witness against my poor child? To which
he answered, "Nay, I know nought save good of her, and I would give the
fellows their due, only--"

These words surprised me, and I vehemently urged him to open his heart to
me. But he began to weep, and at last said that he knew nothing. Alas! he
knew but too much, and could then have saved my poor child if he had
willed. But from fear of the torture he held his peace, as he since owned;
and I will here relate what had befallen him that very morning.

He had set out betimes that morning, so as to be alone with his
sweetheart, who was to go along with him (she is Steffen of Zempin his
daughter, not farmer Steffen, but the lame gouty Steffen), and had got to
Pudgla about five, where he found no one in the ale-house save old Lizzie
Kolken, who straightway hobbled up to the castle; and when his sweetheart
was gone home again, time hung heavy on his hands, and he climbed over the
wall into the castle garden, where he threw himself on his face behind a
hedge to sleep. But before long the Sheriff came with old Lizzie, and
after they had looked all round and seen no one, they went into an arbour
close by him, and conversed as follows:--

_Ille_. Now that they were alone together, what did she want of him?

_Illa_. She came to get the money for the witchcraft she had contrived in
the village.

_Ille_. Of what use had all this witchcraft been to him? My child, so far
from being frightened, defied him more and more; and he doubted whether he
should ever have his will of her.

_Illa_. He should only have patience; when she was laid upon the rack she
would soon learn to be fond.

_Ille_. That might be, but till then she (Lizzie) should get no money.

_Illa_. What! Must she then do his cattle a mischief?

_Ille_. Yes, if she felt chilly, and wanted a burning fagot to warm her
_podex_, she had better. Moreover, he thought that she had bewitched him,
seeing that his desire for the parson's daughter was such as he had never
felt before.

_Illa_. (Laughing.) He had said the same thing some thirty years ago, when
he first came after her.

_Ille_. Ugh! thou old baggage, don't remind me of such things, but see to
it that you get three witnesses, as I told you before, or else methinks
they will rack your old joints for you after all.

_Illa_. She had the three witnesses ready, and would leave the rest to
him. But that if she were racked she would reveal all she knew.

_Ille_. She should hold her ugly tongue, and go to the devil.

_Illa_. So she would, but first she must have her money.

_Ille_. She should have no money till he had had his will of my daughter.

_Illa_. He might at least pay her for her little pig which she herself had
bewitched to death, in order that she might not get into evil repute.

_Ille_. She might choose one when his pigs were driven by, and say she had
paid for it. Hereupon, said my Claus, the pigs were driven by, and one ran
into the garden, the door being open, and as the swineherd followed it,
they parted; but the witch muttered to herself, "Now help, devil, help,
that I may--" but he heard no further.

The cowardly fellow, however, hid all this from me, as I have said above,
and only said, with tears, that he knew nothing. I believed him, and sat
down at the window to see when _Dom. Consul_ should return; and when I saw
him I rose and went to the castle, where the constable, who was already
there with my child, met me before the judgment-chamber. Alas! she looked
more joyful than I had seen her for a long time, and smiled at me with her
sweet little mouth: but when she saw my snow-white hair, she gave a cry,
which made _Dom. Consul_ throw open the door of the judgment-chamber, and
say, "Ha, ha! thou knowest well what news I have brought thee; come in,
thou stubborn devil's brat!" Whereupon we stepped into the chamber to him,
and he lift up his voice and spake to me, after he had sat down with the
Sheriff, who was by.

He said that yestereven, after he had caused me to be carried like one
dead to Master Seep his ale-house, and that my stubborn child had been
brought to life again, he had once more adjured her, to the utmost of his
power, no longer to lie before the face of the living God, but to confess
the truth; whereupon she had borne herself very unruly, and had wrung her
hands and wept and sobbed, and at last answered that the young _nobilis_
never could have said such things, but that his father must have written
them, who hated her, as she had plainly seen when the Swedish king was at
Coserow. That he, _Dom. Consul_, had indeed doubted the truth of this at
the time, but as a just judge had gone that morning right early with the
_scriba_ to Mellenthin, to question the young lord himself.

That I might now see myself what horrible malice was in my daughter. For
that the old knight had led him to his son's bedside, who still lay sick
from vexation, and that he had confirmed all his father had written, and
had cursed the scandalous she-devil (as he called my daughter) for seeking
to rob him of his knightly honour. "What sayest thou now?" he continued;
"wilt thou still deny thy great wickedness? See here the _protocollum_
which the young lord hath signed _manu propria_!" But the wretched maid
had meanwhile fallen on the ground again, and the constable had no sooner
seen this than he ran into the kitchen, and came back with a burning
brimstone match, which he was about to hold under her nose.

But I hindered him, and sprinkled her face with water, so that she opened
her eyes, and raised herself up by a table. She then stood a while,
without saying a word or regarding my sorrow. At last she smiled sadly,
and spake thus: That she clearly saw how true was that spoken by the Holy
Ghost, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man"; and that the
faithlessness of the young lord had surely broken her poor heart if the
all-merciful God had not graciously prevented him, and sent her a dream
that night, which she would tell, not hoping to persuade the judges, but
to raise up the white head of her poor father.

"After I had sat and watched all the night," quoth she, "towards morning I
heard a nightingale sing in the castle-garden so sweetly that my eyes
closed, and I slept. Then methought I was a lamb, grazing quietly in my
meadow at Coserow. Suddenly the Sheriff jumped over the hedge and turned
into a wolf, who seized me in his jaws, and ran with me towards the
Streckelberg, where he had his lair. I, poor little lamb, trembled and
bleated in vain, and saw death before my eyes, when he laid me down before
his lair, where lay the she-wolf and her young. But behold a hand, like
the hand of a man, straightway came out of the bushes and touched the
wolves, each one with one finger, and crushed them so that nought was left
of them save a grey powder. Hereupon the hand took me up, and carried me
back to my meadow."

Only think, beloved reader, how I felt when I heard all this, and about
the dear nightingale too, which no one can doubt to have been the servant
of God. I clasped my child with many tears, and told her what had happened
to me, and we both won such courage and confidence as we had never yet
felt, to the wonderment of _Dom. Consul_, as it seemed; but the Sheriff
turned as pale as a sheet when she stepped towards their worships and
said, "And now do with me as you will, the lamb fears not, for she is in
the hands of the Good Shepherd!" Meanwhile _Dom. Camerarius_ came in with
the _scriba_, but was terrified as he chanced to touch my daughter's apron
with the skirts of his coat; and stood and scraped at his coat as a woman
scrapes a fish. At last, after he had spat out thrice, he asked the court
whether it would not begin to examine witnesses, seeing that all the
people had been waiting some time both in the castle and at the ale-house.
Hereunto they agreed, and the constable was ordered to guard my child in
his room, until it should please the court to summon her. I therefore went
with her, but, we had to endure much from the impudent rogue, seeing he
was not ashamed to lay his arm round my child her shoulders and to ask for
a kiss _in mea presentia_. But, before I could get out a word, she tore
herself from him, and said, "Ah, thou wicked knave, must I complain of
thee to the court; hast thou forgotten what thou hast already done to me?"
To which, he answered, laughing, "See, see! how coy"; and still sought to
persuade her to be more willing, and not to forget her own interest; for
that he meant as well by her as his master; she might believe it or not;
with many other scandalous words besides which I have forgot; for I took
my child upon my knees and laid my head on her neck, and we sat and wept.

_The Twenty-first Chapter_


When we were summoned before the court again, the whole court was full of
people, and some shuddered when they saw us, but others wept; my child
told the same tale as before. But when our old Ilse was called, who sat on
a bench behind, so that we had not seen her, the strength wherewith the
Lord had gifted her was again at an end, and she repeated the words of our
Saviour, "He that eateth bread with me hath lift up his heel against me":
and she held fast by my chair. Old Ilse, too, could not walk straight for
very grief, nor could she speak for tears, but she twisted and wound
herself about before the court like a woman in travail. But when Dom.
Consul threatened that the constable should presently help her to her
words, she testified that my child had very often got up in the night and
called aloud upon the foul fiend.

_Q_. Whether she had ever heard Satan answer her?

_R_. She never had heard him at all.

_Q_. Whether she had perceived that _Rea_ had a familiar spirit, and in
what shape? She should think upon her oath, and speak the truth.

_R_. She had never seen one.

_Q_. Whether she had ever heard her fly up the chimney?

_R_. Nay, she had always gone softly out at the door.

_Q_. Whether she never at mornings had missed her broom or pitch-fork?

_R_. Once the broom was gone, but she had found it again behind the stove,
and may be left it there herself by mistake.

_Q_. Whether she had never heard _Rea_ cast a spell or wish harm to this
or that person?

_R_. No, never; she had always wished her neighbours nothing but good, and
even in the time of bitter famine had taken the bread out of her own mouth
to give it to others.

_Q_. Whether she did not know the salve which had been found in _Rea_ her

_R_. Oh, yes! her young mistress had brought it back from Wolgast for her
skin, and had once given her some when she had chapped hands, and it had
done her a vast deal of good.

_Q_. Whether she had anything further to say?

_R_. No, nothing but good.

Hereupon my man Claus Neels was called up. He also came forward in tears,
but answered every question with a "Nay," and at last testified that he
had never seen nor heard anything bad of my child, and knew nought of her
doings by night, seeing that he slept in the stable with the horses; and
that he firmly believed that evil folks--and here he looked at old
Lizzie--had brought this misfortune upon her, and that she was quite

When it came to the turn of this old limb of Satan, who was to be the
chief witness, my child again declared that she would not accept old
Lizzie's testimony against her, and called upon the court for justice, for
that she had hated her from her youth up, and had been longer by habit and
repute a witch than she herself.

But the old hag cried out, "God forgive thee thy sins; the whole village
knows that I am a devout woman, and one serving the Lord in all things";
whereupon she called up old Zuter Witthahn and my church-warden Claus
Bulk, who bore witness hereto. But old Paasch stood and shook his head;
nevertheless when my child said, "Paasch, wherefore dost thou shake thy
head?" he started, and answered, "Oh, nothing!"

Howbeit, _Dom. Consul_ likewise perceived this, and asked him, whether he
had any charge to bring against old Lizzie; if so, he should give glory to
God, and state the same; _item_, it was competent to every one so to do;
indeed the court required of him to speak out all he knew.

But from fear of the old dragon, all were still as mice, so that you might
have heard the flies buzz about the inkstand. I then stood up, wretched as
I was, and stretched out my arms over my amazed and faint-hearted people
and spake, "Can ye thus crucify me together with my poor child? Have I
deserved this at your hands? Speak, then; alas, will none speak?" I heard,
indeed, how several wept aloud, but not one spake; and hereupon my poor
child was forced to submit.

And the malice of the old hag was such that she not only accused my child
of the most horrible witchcraft, but also reckoned to a day when she had
given herself up to Satan to rob her of her maiden honour; and she said
that Satan had, without doubt, then defiled her when she could no longer
heal the cattle, and when they all died. Hereupon my child said nought,
save that she cast down her eyes and blushed deep, for shame at such
filthiness; and to the other blasphemous slander which the old hag uttered
with many tears, namely, that my daughter had given up her (Lizzie's)
husband, body and soul, to Satan, she answered as she had done before. But
when the old hag came to her re-baptism in the sea, and gave out that
while seeking for strawberries in the coppice she had recognised my
child's voice, and stolen towards her, and perceived these devil's doings,
my child fell in smiling, and answered, "Oh, thou evil woman! how couldst
thou hear my voice speaking down by the sea, being thyself in the forest
upon the mountain? surely thou liest, seeing that the murmur of the waves
would make that impossible." This angered the old dragon, and seeking to
get out of the blunder she fell still deeper into it, for she said, "I saw
thee move thy lips, and from that I knew that thou didst call upon thy
paramour the devil!" for my child straight-way replied, "Oh, thou ungodly
woman! thou saidst thou wert in the forest when thou didst hear my voice;
how then up in the forest couldst thou see whether I, who was below by the
water, moved my lips or not?"--

Such contradictions amazed even _Dom. Consul_, and he began to threaten
the old hag with the rack if she told such lies; whereupon she answered
and said, "List, then, whether I lie! When she went naked into the water
she had no mark on her body, but when she came out again I saw that she
had between her breasts a mark the size of a silver penny, whence I
perceived that the devil had given it her, although I had not seen him
about her, nor, indeed, had I seen any one, either spirit or child of man,
for she seemed to be quite alone."

Hereupon the Sheriff jumped up from his seat, and cried, "Search must
straightway be made for this mark"; whereupon _Dom. Consul_ answered,
"Yea, but not by us, but by two women of good repute," for he would not
hearken to what my child said, that it was a mole, and that she had had it
from her youth up, wherefore the constable his wife was sent for, and
_Dom. Consul_ muttered somewhat into her ear, and as prayers and tears
were of no avail, my child was forced to go with her. Howbeit, she
obtained this favour, that old Lizzie Kolken was not to follow her, as she
would have done, but our old maid Ilse. I, too, went in my sorrow, seeing
that I knew not what the women might do to her. She wept bitterly as they
undressed her, and held her hands over her eyes for very shame.

Well-a-day, her body was just as white as my departed wife's; although in
her childhood, as I remember, she was very yellow, and I saw with
amazement the mole between her breasts, whereof I had never heard aught
before. But she suddenly screamed violently and started back, seeing that
the constable his wife, when nobody watched her, had run a needle into the
mole, so deep that the red blood ran down over her breasts. I was sorely
angered thereat, but the woman said that she had done it by order of the
judge, which, indeed, was true; for when we came back into court, and the
Sheriff asked how it was, she testified that there was a mark of the size
of a silver penny, of a yellowish colour, but that it had feeling, seeing
that _Rea_ had screamed aloud when she had, unperceived, driven a needle
therein. Meanwhile, however, _Dom. Camerarius_ suddenly rose, and,
stepping up to my child, drew her eyelids asunder, and cried out,
beginning to tremble, "Behold the sign which never fails": whereupon the
whole court started to their feet, and looked at the little spot under her
right eyelid, which in truth had been left there by a stye, but this none
would believe. _Dom. Consul_ now said, "See, Satan hath marked thee on
body and soul! and thou dost still continue to lie unto the Holy Ghost;
but it shall not avail thee, and thy punishment will only be the heavier.
Oh, thou shameless woman! thou hast refused to accept the testimony of old
Lizzie; wilt thou also refuse that of these people, who have all heard
thee on the mountain call upon the devil thy paramour, and seen him appear
in the likeness of a hairy giant, and kiss and caress thee?"

Hereupon old Paasch, goodwife Witthahn, and Zuter came forward and bare
witness, that they had seen this happen about midnight, and that on this
declaration they would live and die; that old Lizzie had awakened them one
Saturday night about eleven o'clock, had given them a can of beer, and
persuaded them to follow the parson's daughter privately, and to see what
she did upon the mountain. At first they refused but in order to get at
the truth about the witchcraft in the village, they had at last, after a
devout prayer, consented, and had followed her in God's name.

They had soon through the bushes seen the witch in the moonshine; she
seemed to dig, and spake in some strange tongue the while, whereupon the
grim arch-fiend suddenly appeared, and fell upon her neck. Hereupon they
ran away in consternation, but, by the help of the Almighty God, on whom
from the very first they had set their faith, they were preserved from the
power of the Evil One. For, notwithstanding he had turned round on hearing
a rustling in the bushes, he had had no power to harm them.

Finally, it was even charged to my child as a crime, that she had fainted
on the road from Coserow to Pudgla, and none would believe that this had
been caused by vexation at old Lizzie her singing, and not from a bad
conscience, as stated by the judge.

When all the witnesses had been examined, _Dom. Consul_ asked her whether
she had brewed the storm, what was the meaning of the frog that dropped
into her lap, _item_, the hedgehog which lay directly in his path? To all
of which she answered, that she had caused the one as little as she knew
of the other. Whereupon _Dom. Consul_ shook his head, and asked her, last
of all, whether she would have an advocate, or trust entirely in the good
judgment of the court. To this she gave answer that she would by all means
have an advocate. Wherefore I sent my ploughman, Claus Neels, the next day
to Wolgast to fetch the _Syndicus_ Michelsen, who is a worthy man, and in
whose house I have been many times when I went to the town, seeing that he
courteously invited me.

I must also note here that at this time my old Ilse came back to live with
me; for after the witnesses were gone she stayed behind in the chamber,
and came boldly up to me, and besought me to suffer her once more to serve
her old master and her dear young mistress; for that now she had saved her
poor soul, and confessed all she knew. Wherefore she could no longer bear
to see her old masters in such woeful plight, without so much as a
mouthful of victuals, seeing that she had heard that old wife Seep, who
had till _datum_ prepared the food for me and my child, often let the
porridge burn; _item_, oversalted the fish and the meat. Moreover, that I
was so weakened by age and misery, that I needed help and support, which
she would faithfully give me, and was ready to sleep in the stable, if
needs must be; that she wanted no wages for it, I was only not to turn her
away. Such kindness made my daughter to weep, and she said to me, "Behold,
father, the good folks come back to us again; think you, then, that the
good angels will forsake us for ever? I thank thee, old Use; thou shall
indeed prepare my food for me, and always bring it as far as the
prison-door, if thou mayest come no further; and mark, then, I pray thee,
what the constable does therewith."

This the maid promised to do, and from this time forth took up her abode
in the stable. May God repay her at the day of judgment for what she then
did for me and for my poor child!

_The Twenty-second Chapter_


The next day, at about three o'clock P.M., _Dom. Syndicus_ came driving
up, and got out of his coach at my inn. He had a huge bag full of books
with him, but was not so friendly in his manner as was usual with him, but
very grave and silent. And after he had saluted me in my own room, and had
asked how it was possible for my child to have come to such misfortune, I
related to him the whole affair, whereat, however, he only shook his head.
On my asking him whether he would not see my child that same day, he
answered, "Nay"; he would rather first study the _acta_. And after he had
eaten of some wild duck-which my old Ilse had roasted for him, he would
tarry no longer, but straightway went up to the castle, whence he did not
return till the following afternoon. His manner was not more friendly now
than at his first coming, and I followed him with sighs when he asked me
to lead him to my daughter. As we went in with the constable, and I, for
the first time, saw my child in chains before me--she who in her whole
life had never hurt a worm--I again felt as though I should die for very
grief. But she smiled and cried out to _Dom. Syndicus_, "Are you indeed
the good angel who will cause my chains to fall from my hands, as was done
of yore to St. Peter?" To which he replied, with a sigh, "May the Almighty
God grant it"; and as, save the chair whereon my child sat against the
wall, there was none other in the dungeon (which was a filthy and stinking
hole, wherein were more wood-lice than ever I saw in my life), _Dom.
Syndicus_ and I sat down on her bed, which had been left for her at my
prayer; and he ordered the constable to go his ways until he should call
him back. Hereupon he asked my child what she had to say in her
justification; and she had not gone far in her defence when I perceived,
from the shadow at the door, that some one must be standing without. I
therefore went quickly to the door, which was half open, and found the
impudent constable, who stood there to listen. This so angered _Dom.
Syndicus_ that he snatched up his staff in order to hasten his going, but
the arch-rogue took to his heels as soon as he saw this. My child took
this opportunity to tell her worshipful defensor what she had suffered
from the impudence of this fellow, and to beg that some other constable
might be set over her, seeing that this one had come to her last night
again with evil designs, so that she at last had shrieked aloud and beaten
him on the head with her chains; whereupon he had left her. This _Dom.
Syndicus_ promised to obtain for her; but with regard to the _defensio_,
wherewith she now went on, he thought it would be better to make no
further mention of the _impetus_ which the Sheriff had made on her
chastity. "For," said he, "as the princely central court at Wolgast has to
give sentence upon thee, this statement would do thee far more harm than
good, seeing that the _praeses_ thereof is a cousin of the Sheriff, and
ofttimes goes a-hunting with him. Besides, thou being charged with a
capital crime hast no _fides_, especially as thou canst bring no witnesses
against him. Thou couldst, therefore, gain no belief even if thou didst
confirm the charge on the rack, wherefrom, moreover, I am come hither to
save thee by my _defensio_." These reasons seemed sufficient to us both,
and we resolved to leave vengeance to Almighty God, who seeth in secret,
and to complain of our wrongs to him, as we might not complain to men. But
all my daughter said about old Lizzie--_item_, of the good report wherein
she herself had, till now, stood with everybody--he said he would write
down, and add thereunto as much and as well of his own as he was able, so
as, by the help of Almighty God, to save her from the torture. That she
was to make herself easy and commend herself to God; within two days he
hoped to have his _defensio_ ready and to read it to her. And now, when he
called the constable back again, the fellow did not come, but sent his
wife to lock the prison, and I took leave of my child with many tears:
_Dom. Syndicus_ told the woman the while what her impudent rogue of a
husband had done, that she might let him hear more of it. Then he sent the
woman away again and came back to my daughter, saying that he had
forgotten to ascertain whether she really knew the Latin tongue, and that
she was to say her _defensio_ over again in Latin, if she was able.
Hereupon she began and went on therewith for a quarter of an hour or more,
in such wise that not only _Dom. Syndicus_ but I myself also was amazed,
seeing that she did not stop for a single word, save the word
"hedgehog," which we both had forgotten at the moment when she asked us
what it was.--_Summa. Dom. Syndicus_ grew far more gracious when she had
finished her oration, and took leave of her, promising that he would set
to work forthwith.

After this I did not see him again till the morning of the third day at
ten o'clock, seeing that he sat at work in a room at the castle, which the
Sheriff had given him, and also ate there, as he sent me word by old Ilse
when she carried him his breakfast next day.

At the above-named time he sent the new constable for me, who, meanwhile,
had been fetched from Uzdom at his desire. For the Sheriff was exceeding
wroth when he heard that the impudent fellow had attempted my child in the
prison, and cried out in a rage, "S'death, and 'ouns, I'll mend thy
coaxing!" Whereupon he gave him a sound thrashing with a dog-whip he held
in his hand, to make sure that she should be at peace from him.

But, alas! the new constable was even worse than the old, as will be shown
hereafter. His name was Master Koeppner, and he was a tall fellow with a
grim face, and a mouth so wide that at every word he said the spittle ran
out at the corners, and stuck in his long beard like soap-suds, so that my
child had an especial fear and loathing of him. Moreover, on all occasions
he seemed to laugh in mockery and scorn, as he did when he opened the
prison-door to us, and saw my poor child sitting in her grief and
distress. But he straightway left us without waiting to be told, whereupon
_Dom. Syndicus_ drew his defence out of his pocket, and read it to us; we
have remembered the main points thereof, and I will recount them here, but
most of the _auctores_ we have forgotten.

1. He began by saying that my daughter had ever till now stood in good
repute, as not only the whole village, but even my servants bore witness;
_ergo_, she could not be a witch, inasmuch as the Saviour hath said, "A
good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring
forth good fruit" (Matt. vii.).

2. With regard to the witchcraft in the village, that belike was the
contrivance of old Lizzie, seeing that she bore a great hatred towards
_Rea_, and had long been in evil repute, for that the parishioners dared
not to speak out, only from fear of the old witch; wherefore Zuter, her
little girl, must be examined, who had heard old Lizzie her goodman tell
her she had a familiar spirit, and that he would tell it to the parson;
for that notwithstanding the above-named was but a child, still it was
written in Psalm viii., "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou
ordained strength...."; and the Saviour himself appealed (Matt. xxi.) to
the testimony of little children.

3. Furthermore, old Lizzie might have bewitched the crops, _item_, the
fruit-trees, inasmuch as none could believe that _Rea_, who had ever shown
herself a dutiful child, would have bewitched her own father's corn, or
made caterpillars come on his trees; for no one, according to Scripture,
can serve two masters.

_Item_, she (old Lizzie) might very well have been the woodpecker that was
seen by _Rea_ and old Paasch on the Streckelberg, and herself have given
over her goodman to the Evil One for fear of the parson, inasmuch as
Spitzel _De Expugnatione Orci_ asserts; _item_, the _Malleus Maleficarum_
proves beyond doubt that the wicked children of Satan ofttimes change
themselves into all manner of beasts, as the foul fiend himself likewise
seduced our first parents in the shape of a serpent (Gen. iii.).

5. That old Lizzie had most likely made the wild weather when _Dom.
Consul_ was coming home with _Rea_ from the Streckelberg, seeing it was
impossible that _Rea_ could have done it, as she was sitting in the coach,
whereas witches when they raise storms always stand in the water, and
throw it over their heads backwards; _item_, beat the stones soundly with
a stick, as Hannold relates. Wherefore she too, may be, knew best about
the frog and the hedgehog.

6. That _Rea_ was erroneously charged with that as a _crimen_ which ought
rather to serve as her justification, namely, her sudden riches. For the
_Malleus Maleficarum_ expressly says that a witch can never grow rich,
seeing that Satan, to do dishonour to God, always buys them for a vile
price, so that they should not betray themselves by their riches.
Wherefore that as _Rea_ had grown rich, she could not have got her wealth
from the foul fiend, but it must be true that she had found amber on the
mountain; that the spells of old Lizzie might have been the cause why they
could not find the vein of amber again, or that the sea might have washed
away the cliff below, as often happens, whereupon the top had slipped
down, so that only a _miraculum naturale_ had taken place. The proof which
he brought forward from Scripture we have quite forgotten, seeing it was
but middling.

7. With regard to her re-baptism, the old hag had said herself that she
had not seen the devil or any other spirit or man about _Rea_, wherefore
she might in truth have been only naturally bathing, in order to greet the
King of Sweden next day, seeing that the weather was hot, and that bathing
was not of itself sufficient to impair the modesty of a maiden. For that
she had as little thought any would see her as Bathsheba the daughter of
Eliam, and wife of Uriah the Hittite, who in like manner did bathe
herself, as is written (2 Sam. xi. 2), without knowing that David could
see her. Neither could her mark be a mark given by Satan, inasmuch as
there was feeling therein; _ergo_, it must be a natural mole, and it was a
lie that she had it not before bathing. Moreover, that on this point the
old harlot was nowise to be believed, seeing that she had fallen from one
contradiction into another about it, as stated in the _acta_.

8. Neither was it just to accuse _Rea_ of having bewitched Paasch his
little daughter; for as old Lizzie was going in and out of the room, nay,
even sat herself down on the little girl her belly when the pastor went to
see her, it most likely was that wicked woman (who was known to have a
great spite against _Rea_) that contrived the spell through the power of
the foul fiend, and by permission of the all-just God; for that Satan was
"a liar and the father of it," as our Lord Christ says (John viii.).

9. With regard to the appearance of the foul fiend on the mountain in the
shape of a hairy giant, that indeed was the heaviest _gravamen_, inasmuch
as not only old Lizzie, but likewise three trustworthy witnesses, had seen
him. But who could tell whether it was not old Lizzie herself who had
contrived this devilish apparition in order to ruin her enemy altogether;
for that notwithstanding the apparition was not the young nobleman, as
_Rea_ had declared it to be, it still was very likely that she had not
lied, but had mistaken Satan for the young lord, as he appeared in his
shape; _exemplum_, for this was to be found even in Scripture: for that
all _Theologi_ of the whole Protestant Church were agreed that the vision
which the witch of Endor showed to King Saul was not Samuel himself, but
the arch-fiend; nevertheless, Saul had taken it for Samuel. In like manner
the old harlot might have conjured up the devil before _Rea_, who did not
perceive that it was not the young lord, but Satan, who had put on that
shape in order to seduce her; for as _Rea_ was a fair woman, none could
wonder that the devil gave himself more trouble for her than for an old
withered hag, seeing he has ever sought after fair women to lie with them.

Lastly, he argued that _Rea_ was in nowise marked as a witch, for that she
neither had bleared and squinting eyes nor a hooked nose, whereas old
Lizzie had both, which Theophrastus Paracelsus declares to be an unfailing
mark of a witch, saying, "Nature marketh none thus unless by abortion, for
these are the chiefest signs whereby witches be known whom the spirit
_Asiendens_ hath subdued unto himself."

When _Dom. Syndicus_ had read his _defensio_, my daughter was so rejoiced
thereat that she would have kissed his hand, but he snatched it from her
and breathed upon it thrice, whereby we could easily see that he himself
was nowise in earnest with his _defensio_. Soon after he took leave in an
ill-humour, after commending her to the care of the Most High, and begged
that I would make my farewell as short as might be, seeing that he
purposed to return home that very day, the which, alas! I very unwillingly

_The Twenty-third Chapter_


After _acta_ had been sent to the honourable the central court, about
fourteen days passed over before any answer was received. My lord the
Sheriff was especially gracious toward me the while, and allowed me to see
my daughter as often as I would (seeing that the rest of the court were
gone home), wherefore I was with her nearly all day. And when the
constable grew impatient of keeping watch over me, I gave him a fee to
lock me in together with my child. And the all-merciful God was gracious
unto us, and caused us often and gladly to pray, for we had a steadfast
hope, believing that the cross we had seen in the heavens would now soon
pass away from us, and that the ravening wolf would receive his reward
when the honourable high court had read through the _acta_, and should
come to the excellent _defensio_ which _Dom. Syndicus_ had constructed for
my child. Wherefore I began to be of good cheer again, especially when I
saw my daughter her cheeks growing of a right lovely red. But on Thursday,
25th _mensis Augusti_, at noon, the worshipful court drove into the
castle-yard again as I sat in the prison with my child, as I was wont; and
old Ilse brought us our food, but could not tell us the news for weeping.
But the tall constable peeped in at the door, grinning, and cried, "Oh,
ho! they are come, they are come, they are come; now the tickling will
begin": whereat my poor child shuddered, but less at the news than at
sight of the fellow himself. Scarce was he gone than he came back again to
take off her chains and to fetch her away. So I followed her into the
judgment-chamber, where _Dom. Consul_ read out the sentence of the
honourable high court as follows:--That she should once more be questioned
in kindness touching the articles contained in the indictment; and if she
then continued stubborn she should be subjected to the _peine forte et
dure_, for that the _defensio_ she had set up did not suffice, and that
there were _indicia legitima praegnantia et sufficientia ad torturam
ipsam_; to wit--

1. _Mala fama_.

2. _Maleficium, publice commissum_.

3. _Apparitio daemonis in monte_.

Whereupon the most honourable central court cited about 20 _auctores_,
whereof, howbeit, we remember but little. When _Dom. Consul_ had read out
this to my child, he once more lift up his voice and admonished her with
many words to confess of her own free-will, for that the truth must now
come to light.

Hereupon she steadfastly replied, that after the _defensio_ of _Dom.
Syndicus_ she had indeed hoped for a better sentence; but that, as it was
the will of God to try her yet more hardly, she resigned herself
altogether into His gracious hands, and could not confess aught save what
she had said before, namely, that she was innocent, and that evil men had
brought this misery upon her. Hereupon _Dom. Consul_ motioned the
constable, who straightway opened the door of the next room, and admitted
_Pastor Benzensis_ in his surplice, who had been sent for by the court to
admonish her still better out of the word of God. He heaved a deep sigh,
and said, "Mary, Mary, is it thus I must meet thee again?" Whereupon she

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