Sidonia The Sorceress V2
William Mienhold

Part 7 out of 8

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

_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 straightway 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 soon 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 hunger.

_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 devil?--_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, [Footnote: It
was believed that the devil gave the witches a salve, by the use
of which they made themselves invisible, changed themselves into
animals, flew through the air, &c.] 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 10th 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.

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 Rüdiger 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 night.

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 Augustini_, 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
naught 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.


_How Satan, by the permission of the most righteous God, sought
altogether to ruin us, and how we lost all hope._

The same day, at about three in the afternoon, when I was gone to
Conrad Seep his ale-house 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 offered 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
water-mill 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, _salvâ veniâ_,
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

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 therefor, 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 præsidium est._" [Footnote: These words are
from Cicero, if I do not mistake.]

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 whither 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.
[Footnote: At this time it was believed that as a man bound
himself to the devil by writing, so did the devil in like manner
to the man.] 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,
[Footnote: Such sudden storms were attributed to witches.]
inasmuch as _Dom. Consul_ thought that it was not old Lizzie,
which, nevertheless, was as clear as the sun at noon-day, 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, [Footnote: It
is also called to the present day, and is distant a mile from
Coserow.] 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 a-foot 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 coach.

This made the sheriff still bolder; and at last my child rose up
and said, "Father, let us also go a-foot; 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 a-foot 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, Rüdiger, 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.


_Of the malice of the Governor and of old Lizzie--item, of the
examination of witnesses._

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 awhile 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;" [Footnote:
Gal. iv. 6.] 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 naught 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 faggot
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

_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 yester-even, 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
propriâ!_" 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
awhile, 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;" [Footnote: Jer. xvii. 5.] 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 naught
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 meâ
presentiâ_. 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.


_De confrontatione testium_.

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

_Q_. Whether she never at mornings had missed her broom or
pitchfork?--_R_. Once the broom was gone, but she had found
it again behind the stove, and may be left it there herself by

_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 coffer?--_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 naught 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 innocent.

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
churchwarden 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 naught, 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
straightway 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,
[Footnote: It was believed that these marks were the infallible
sign of a witch when they were insensible, and that they were
given by the devil; and every one suspected of witchcraft was
invariably searched for them.] 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:" [Footnote: See, among other authorities,
Delrio, _Disquisit. magicæ_, lib. v. tit. xiv. No. 28.]
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 sty, 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_
Michelson, 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
master 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_, over-salted 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 Ilse; thou shalt
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!


_How the Syndicus Dom. Michelson arrived, and prepared his
defence of my poor child._

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?" [Footnote: The
Acts of the Apostles, xii. 7.] 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 _præses_ 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

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 threshing 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 Köppner, 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 soapsuds, 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 Ps.
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.

4. _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
Malesicarum_ [Footnote: The celebrated "Hammer for Witches" of
Innocent VIII, which appeared 1489, and gave directions for the
whole course of proceeding to be observed at trials for
witchcraft.] 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 Malesicarum_
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.
[Footnote: The original words of the "Hammer for Witches," tom. i.
quest. 18, in answer to the questions, _ Cur maleficœ non
ditentur?_ are, _Ut juxta complacentiam dæmonis in
contumeliam Creatoris, quantum possibile est, pro vilissimo pretio
emantur, et secundo, ne in divitas notentur.] 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

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
>i>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

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.
[Footnote: Gen. vi. 2.]

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 did.


_How my poor child was sentenced to be put to the question._

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 towards 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; 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, prægnantia et sufficientia ad torturam
ipsam_; to wit--1. _Mala sama_.

2. _Malesicum, publicè commissum_.

3. _Apparitio dæmonis in monte_.

Whereupon the most honourable central court cited about 20
_auctores_, whereof, howbeit, we remember but little. When
_Don. 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_ [Footnote: The minister at Bentz, a
village situated at a short distance from Pudgla.] 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
began to weep bitterly, and to protest her innocence afresh. But
he heeded not her distress; and as soon as he had heard her pray,
"Our Father," "The eyes of all wait upon Thee," and "God the
Father dwell with us," he lift up his voice and declared to her
the hatred of the living God to all witches and warlocks, seeing
that not only is the punishment of fire awarded to them in the Old
Testament, but that the Holy Ghost expressly saith in the New
Testament (Gal. v.), "That they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God;" but "shall have their part in the
lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second
death" (Apocal. xxi.). Wherefore she must not be stubborn nor
murmur against the court when she was tormented, seeing that it
was all done out of Christian love, and to save her poor soul.
That, for the sake of God and her salvation, she should no longer
delay repentance, and thereby cause her body to be tormented and
give over her wretched soul to Satan, who certainly would not
fulfil those promises in hell which he had made her here upon
earth; seeing that "he was a murderer from the beginning--a liar
and the father of it" (John viii.). "Oh!" cried he, "Mary, my
child, who so oft hast sat upon my knees, and for whom I now cry
every morning and every night unto my God, if thou wilt have no
pity upon thee and me, have pity at least upon thy worthy father,
whom I cannot look upon without tears, seeing that his hairs have
turned snow white within a few days, and save thy soul, my child,
and confess! Behold, thy Heavenly Father grieveth over thee no
less than thy fleshly father, and the holy angels veil their faces
for sorrow that thou, who wert once their darling sister, art now
become the sister and bride of the devil. Return, therefore, and
repent! This day thy Saviour calleth thee, poor stray lamb, back
into His flock, 'And ought not this woman, being a daughter of
Abraham, whom Satan hath bound... be loosed from this bond?' Such
are His merciful words (Luke xiii.); _item_, 'Return, thou
backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not cause Mine
anger to fall upon you, for I am merciful' (Jer. iii.). Return
then, thou backsliding soul, unto the Lord thy God! He who heard
the prayer of the idolatrous Manasseh when 'he besought the Lord
his God and humbled himself (2 Chron. xxxiii.); who, through Paul,
accepted the repentance of the sorcerers at Ephesus (Acts xix.),
the same merciful God now crieth unto thee as unto the angel of
the church of Ephesus, 'Remember, therefore, from whence thou art
fallen and repent' (Apocal. ii.). O Mary, Mary, remember, my
child, from whence thou art fallen, and repent!"

Hereupon he held his peace, and it was some time before she could
say a word for tears and sobs; but at last she answered, "If lies
are no less hateful to God than witchcraft, I may not lie, but
must rather declare, to the glory of God, as I have ever declared,
that I am innocent."

Hereupon _Dom. Consul_ was exceeding wroth, and frowned, and
asked the tall constable if all was ready, _Item_, whether
the women were at hand to undress _Rea_; whereupon he
answered with a grin, as he was wont, "Ho, ho, I have never been
wanting in my duty, nor will I be wanting to-day; I will tickle
her in such wise that she shall soon confess."

When he had said this, _Dom. Consul_ turned to my daughter
and said, "Thou art a foolish thing, and knowest not the torment
which awaits thee, and therefore is it that thou still art
stubborn. Now then, follow me to the torture-chamber, where the
executioner shall show thee the _instrumenta_, and thou
mayest yet think better of it, when thou hast seen what the
question is like."

Hereupon he went into another room, and the constable followed him
with my child. And when I would have gone after them, _Pastor
Benzensis_ held me back, with many tears, and conjured me not
to do so, but to tarry where I was. But I hearkened not unto him,
and tore myself from him, and swore that so long as a single vein
should beat in my wretched body, I would never forsake my child. I
therefore went into the next room, and from thence down into a
vault, where was the torture-chamber, wherein were no windows, so
that those without might not hear the cries of the tormented. Two
torches were already burning there when I went in, and although
_Dom. Consul_ would at first have sent me away, after a while
he had pity upon me, so that he suffered me to stay.

And now that hell-hound the constable stepped forward, and first
showed my poor child the ladder, saying with savage glee, "See
here! first of all, thou wilt be laid on that, and thy hands and
feet will be tied. Next the thumb-screw here will be put upon
thee, which straightway will make the blood to spirt out at the
tips of thy fingers; thou mayest see that they are still red with
the blood of old Gussy Biehlke, who was burnt last year, and who,
like thee, would not confess at first. If thou still wilt not
confess, I shall next put these Spanish boots on thee, and should
they be too large, I shall just drive in a wedge, so that the
calf, which is now at the back of thy leg, will be driven to the
front, and the blood will shoot out of thy feet, as when thou
squeezest blackberries in a bag.

"Again, if thou wilt not yet confess--holla!" shouted he, and
kicked open a door behind him, so that the whole vault shook, and
my poor child fell upon her knees for fright. Before long two
women brought in a bubbling cauldron, full of boiling pitch and
brimstone. This cauldron the hell-hound ordered them to set down
on the ground, and drew forth, from under the red cloak he wore, a
goose's wing, wherefrom he plucked five or six quills, which he
dipped into the boiling brimstone. After he had held them awhile
in the cauldron he threw them upon the earth, where they twisted
about and spirted the brimstone on all sides. And then he called
to my poor child again, "See! these quills I shall throw upon thy
white loins, and the burning brimstone will presently eat into thy
flesh down to the very bones, so that thou wilt thereby have a
foretaste of the joys which await thee in hell."

When he had spoken thus far, amid sneers and laughter, I was so
overcome with rage that I sprang forth out of the corner where I
stood leaning my trembling joints against an old barrel, and
cried, "Oh, thou hellish dog! sayest thou this of thyself, or have
others bidden thee?" Whereupon, however, the fellow gave me such a
blow upon the breast that I fell backwards against the wall, and
_Dom. Consul_ called out in great wrath, "You old fool, if
you needs must stay here, at any rate leave the constable in
peace, for if not I will have you thrust out of the chamber
forthwith. The constable has said no more than is his duty; and it
will thus happen to thy child if she confess not, and if it appear
that the foul fiend hath given her some charm against the
torture." [Footnote: It was believed that when witches endured
torture with unusual patience, or even slept during the operation,
which, strange to say, frequently occured, the devil had gifted
them with insensibility to pain by means of an amulet which they
concealed in some secret part of their persons.--Zedler's
Universal Lexicon, vol. xliv., art, "Torture."] Hereupon this
hell-hound went on to speak to my poor child, without heeding me,
save that he laughed in my face: "Look here! when thou hast thus
been well shorn, ho, ho, ho! I shall pull thee up by means of
these two rings in the floor and the roof, stretch thy arms above
thy head, and bind them fast to the ceiling; whereupon I shall
take these two torches, and hold them under thy shoulders, till
thy skin will presently become like the rind of a smoked ham. Then
thy hellish paramour will help thee no longer, and thou wilt
confess the truth. And now thou hast seen and heard all that I
shall do to thee, in the name of God, and by order of the

And now _Dom. Consul_ once more came forward and admonished
her to confess the truth. But she abode by what she had said from
the first; whereupon he delivered her over to the two women who
had brought in the cauldron, to strip her naked as she was born,
and to clothe her in the black torture-shift; after which they
were once more to lead her barefooted up the steps before the
worshipful court. But one of these women was the sheriff his
housekeeper (the other was the impudent constable his wife), and
my daughter said that she would not suffer herself to be touched
save by honest women, and assuredly not by the housekeeper, and
begged _Dom. Consul_ to send for her maid, who was sitting in
her prison reading the Bible, if he knew of no other decent woman
at hand. Hereupon the housekeeper began to pour forth a wondrous
deal of railing and ill words, but _Dom. Consul_ rebuked her,
and answered my daughter that he would let her have her wish in
this matter too, and bade the impudent constable his wife call the
maid hither from out of the prison. After he had said this, he
took me by the arm, and prayed me so long to go up with him, for
that no harm would happen to my daughter as yet, that I did as he
would have me.

Before long she herself came up, led between the two women,
barefooted, and in the black torture-shift, but so pale that I
myself should scarce have known her. The hateful constable, who
followed close behind, seized her by the hand, and led her before
the worshipful court.

Hereupon the admonitions began all over again, and _Dom.
Consul_ bade her look upon the brown spots that were upon the
black shift, for that they were the blood of old wife Biehlke, and
to consider that within a few minutes it would in like manner be
stained with her own blood. Hereupon she answered, "I have
considered that right well, but I hope that my faithful Saviour,
who hath laid this torment upon me, being innocent, will likewise
help me to bear it, as He helped the holy martyrs of old; for if
these, through God's help, overcame by faith the torments
inflicted on them by blind heathens, I also can overcome the
torture inflicted on me by blind heathens, who, indeed, call
themselves Christians, but who are more cruel than those of yore;
for the old heathens only caused the holy virgins to be torn of
savage beasts, but ye which have received the new commandment,
'That ye love one another; as your Saviour hath loved you, that ye
also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are His
disciples' (St. John xiii.); yourselves will act the part of
savage beasts, and tear with your own hands the body of an
innocent maiden, your sister, who has never done aught to harm
you. Do then as ye list, but have a care how ye will answer it to
the highest Judge of all. Again, I say, the lamb feareth naught,
for it is in the hand of the Good Shepherd." When my matchless
child had thus spoken, _Dom. Consul_ rose, pulled off the
black skull-cap which he ever wore, because the top of his head
was already bald, bowed to the court, and said, "We hereby make
known to the worshipful court, that the question ordinary and
extraordinary of the stubborn and blaspheming witch, Mary
Schweidler, is about to begin, in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Hereupon all the court rose save the sheriff, who had got up
before, and was walking uneasily up and down in the room. But of
all that now follows, and of what I myself did, I remember not one
word, but will relate it all as I have received it from my
daughter and other _testes_, and they have told me as

That when _Dom. Consul_ after these words had taken up the
hour-glass which stood upon the table, and walked on before, I
would go with him, whereupon _Pastor Benzensis_ first prayed
me with many words and tears to desist from my purpose, and when
that was of no avail my child herself stroked my cheeks, saying,
"Father, have you ever read that the Blessed Virgin stood by when
her guileless Son was scourged? Depart, therefore, from me. You
shall stand by the pile whereon I am burned, that I promise you;
for in like manner did the Blessed Virgin stand at the foot of the
cross. But now, go; go, I pray you, for you will not be able to
bear it, neither shall I!"

And when this also failed, _Dom. Consul_ bade the constable
seize me, and by main force lock me into another room; whereupon,
however, I tore myself away, and fell at his feet, conjuring him
by the wounds of Christ not to tear me from my child; that I would
never forget his kindness and mercy, but pray for him day and
night; nay, that at the day of judgment I would be his intercessor
with God and the holy angels if that he would but let me go with
my child; that I would be quite quiet, and not speak one single
word, but that I must go with my child, &c.

This so moved the worthy man that he burst into tears, and so
trembled with pity for me that the hour-glass fell from his hands
and rolled right before the feet of the sheriff, as though God
Himself would signify to him that his glass was soon to run out;
and, indeed, he understood it right well, for he grew white as any
chalk when he picked it up, and gave it back to _Dom.
Consul_. The latter at last gave way, saying that this day
would make him ten years older; but he bade the impudent
constable, who also went with us, lead me away if I made any
_rumor_ during the torture. And hereupon the whole court went
below, save the sheriff, who said his head ached, and that he
believed his old _malum_, the gout, was coming upon him
again, wherefore he went into another chamber, _item_,
_Pastor Benzensis_ likewise departed.

Down in the vault the constables first brought in tables and
chairs, whereon the court sat, and _Dom. Consul_ also pushed
a chair toward me, but I sat not thereon, but threw myself upon my
knees in a corner. When this was done they began again with their
vile admonitions, and as my child, like her guileless Saviour
before His unrighteous judges, answered not a word, _Dom.
Consul_ rose up and bade the tall constable lay her on the

She shook like an aspen leaf when he bound her hands and feet; and
when he was about to bind over her sweet eyes a nasty old filthy
clout wherein my maid had seen him carry fish but the day before,
and which was still all over shining scales, I perceived it, and
pulled off my silken neckerchief, begging him to use that instead,
which he did. Hereupon the thumb-screw was put on her, and she was
once more asked whether she would confess freely, but she only
shook her poor blinded head, and sighed with her dying Saviour,
"Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," and then in Greek, "Theé mou, theé
mou, hiva thi me hegkatélipes." [Footnote: "My God, My God, why
hast Thou forsaken Me?"-Matt, xxvii. 46.] Whereat _Dom.
Consul_ started back, and made the sign of the cross (for
inasmuch as he knew no Greek, he believed, as he afterwards said
himself, that she was calling upon the devil to help her), and
then called to the constable with a loud voice, "Screw!"

But when I heard this I gave such a cry that the whole vault
shook; and when my poor child, who was dying of terror and
despair, had heard my voice, she first struggled with her bound
hands and feet like a lamb that lies dying in the slaughter-house,
and then cried out, "Loose me, and I will confess whatsoe'er you
will." Hereat _Dom. Consul_ so greatly rejoiced, that while
the constable unbound her, he fell on his knees, and thanked God
for having spared him this anguish. But no sooner was my poor
desperate child unbound, and had laid aside her crown of thorns (I
mean my silken neckerchief), than she jumped off the ladder, and
flung herself upon me, who lay for dead in the corner in a deep

This greatly angered the worshipful court, and when the constable
had borne me away, _Rea_ was admonished to make her
confession according to promise. But seeing she was too weak to
stand upon her feet, _Dom. Consul_ gave her a chair to sit
upon, although _Dom. Camerarius_ grumbled thereat, and these
were the chief questions which were put to her by order of the
most honourable high central court, as _Dom. Consul_ said,
and which were registered _ad protocollum._

_Q._ Whether she could bewitch?--_R._ Yes, she could

_Q._ Who taught her to do so?--_R._ Satan himself.

_Q._ How many devils had she?--_R._ One devil was enough
for her.

_Q_. What was this devil called?--_Illa_ (considering).
His name was _Disidæmonia_. [Footnote: Greek--Superstition.
What an extraordinary woman!]

Hereat _Dom. Consul_ shuddered and said that that must be a
very terrible devil indeed, for that he had never heard such a
name before, and that she must spell it, so that _Scriba_
might make no error; which she did, and he then went on as

_Q_. In what shape had he appeared to her?--_R_. In the
shape of the sheriff, and sometimes as a goat with terrible horns.

_Q_. Whether Satan had re-baptized her, and where?--_R_.
In the sea.

_Q_. What name had he given her?--_R_.-------.
[Footnote: It was impossible to decipher this name in the

_Q_. Whether any of the neighbours had been by when she was
re-baptized, and which of them?--_R_. Hereupon my matchless
child cast up her eyes towards heaven, as though doubting whether
she should fyle old Lizzie or not, but at last she said, No!

_Q_. She must have had sponsors; who were they? and what gift
had they given her as christening money?--_R_. There were
none there save spirits; wherefore old Lizzie could see no one
when she came and looked on at her re-baptism.

_Q_. Whether she had ever lived with the devil?--_R_.
She never had lived anywhere save in her father's house.

_Q_. She did not choose to understand. He meant whether she
had ever played the wanton with Satan, and known him carnally?
Hereupon she blushed, and was so ashamed that she covered her face
with her hands, and presently began to weep and to sob: and as,
after many questions, she gave no answer, she was again admonished
to speak the truth, or that the executioner should lift her up on
the ladder again. At last she said "No!" which howbeit the
worshipful court would not believe, and bade the executioner seize
her again, whereupon she answered "Yes!"

_Q._ Whether she had found the devil hot or cold?--_R_.
She did not remember which.

_Q_. Whether she had ever conceived by Satan, and given birth
to a changeling, and of what shape?--_R_. No, never.

_Q_. Whether the foul fiend had given her any sign or mark
about her body, and in what part thereof?--_R_. That the mark
had already been seen by the worshipful court.

She was next charged with all the witchcraft done in the village,
and owned to it all, save that she still said that she knew naught
of old Seden his death, _item_, of little Paasch her
sickness, nor, lastly, would she confess that she had, by the help
of the foul fiend, raked up my crop or conjured the caterpillars
into my orchard. And albeit they again threatened her with the
question, and even ordered the executioner to lay her on the bench
and put on the thumbscrew to frighten her; she remained firm, and
said, "Why should you torture me, seeing that I have confessed far
heavier crimes than these, which it will not save my life to

Hereupon the worshipful court at last were satisfied, and suffered
her to be lifted off the torture-bench, especially as she
confessed the _articulus principalis_; to wit, that Satan had
really appeared to her on the mountain in the shape of a hairy
giant. Of the storm and the frog, item, of the hedgehog, nothing
was said, inasmuch as the worshipful court had by this time seen
the folly of supposing that she could have brewed a storm while
she quietly sat in the coach. Lastly, she prayed that it might be
granted to her to suffer death clothed in the garments which she
had worn when she went to greet the King of Sweden; _item_,
that they would suffer her wretched father to be driven with her
to the stake, and to stand by while she was burned, seeing that
she had promised him this in the presence of the worshipful court.

Hereupon she was once more given into the charge of the tall
constable, who was ordered to put her into a stronger and severer
prison. But he had not led her out of the chamber before the
sheriff his bastard, whom he had had by the housekeeper, came into
the vault with a drum, and kept drumming and crying out, "Come to
the roast goose! come to the roast goose!" whereat _Dom.
Consul_ was exceeding wroth, and ran after him, but he could
not catch him, seeing that the young varlet knew all the ins and
outs of the vault. Without doubt it was the Lord who sent me the
swound, so that I should be spared this fresh grief; wherefore to
Him alone be honour and glory. Amen.


_How in my presence the devil fetched old Lizzie Kolken_.

When I recovered from my above-mentioned swound, I found my host,
his wife, and my old maid standing over me, and pouring warm beer
down my throat. The faithful old creature shrieked for joy when I
opened my eyes again, and then told me that my daughter had not
suffered herself to be racked, but had freely confessed her crimes
and fyled herself as a witch. This seemed pleasant news to me in
my misery, inasmuch as I deemed the death by fire to be a less
heavy punishment than the torture. Howbeit when I would have
prayed I could not, whereat I again fell into heavy grief and
despair, fearing that the Holy Ghost had altogether turned away
His face from me, wretched man that I was. And albeit the old
maid, when she had seen this, came and stood before my bed and
began to pray aloud to me; it was all in vain, and I remained a
hardened sinner. But the Lord had pity upon me, although I
deserved it not, insomuch that I presently fell into a deep sleep,
and did not awake until next morning when the prayer-bell rang;
and then I was once more able to pray, whereat I greatly rejoiced,
and still thanked God in my heart, when my ploughman Claus Neels
came in and told me that he had come yesterday to tell me about my
oats, seeing that he had gotten them all in; and that the
constable came with him who had been to fetch old Lizzie Kolken,
inasmuch as the honourable high court had ordered her to be
brought up for trial. Hereat the whole village rejoiced, but
_Rea_ herself laughed, and shouted, and sang, and told him
and the constable, by the way (for the constable had let her get
up behind for a short time), that this should bring great luck to
the sheriff. They need only bring her up before the court, and in
good sooth she would not hold her tongue within her teeth, but
that all men should marvel at her confession; that such a court as
that was a laughing-stock to her, and that she spat, _salvâ
veniâ_, upon the whole brotherhood, &c.

Upon hearing this I once more felt a strong hope, and rose to go
to old Lizzie. But I was not quite dressed before she sent the
impudent constable to beg that I would go to her with all speed
and give her the sacrament, seeing that she had become very weak
during the night. I had my own thoughts on the matter, and
followed the constable as fast as I could, though not to give her
the sacrament, as indeed anybody may suppose. But in my haste I,
weak old man that I was, forgot to take my witnesses with me; for
all the misery I had hitherto suffered had so clouded my senses
that it never once came into my head. None followed me save the
impudent constable; and it will soon appear how that this villain
had given himself over body and soul to Satan to destroy my child,
whereas he might have saved her. For when he had opened the prison
(it was the same cell wherein my child had first been shut up), we
found old Lizzie lying on the ground on a truss of straw, with a
broom for a pillow (as though she were about to fly to hell upon
it, as she no longer could fly to Blockula), so that I shuddered
when I caught sight of her.

Scarce was I come in when she cried out fearfully, "I'm a witch,
I'm a witch! Have pity upon me, and give me the sacrament quick,
and I will confess everything to you!" And when I said to her,
"Confess then!" she owned that she, with the help of the sheriff,
had contrived all the witchcraft in the village, and that my child
was as innocent thereof as the blessed sun in heaven. Howbeit that
the sheriff had the greatest guilt, inasmuch as he was a warlock
and a witch's priest, and had a spirit far stronger than hers,
called Dudaim, [Footnote: This remarkable word occurs in the I
Mos. xxx. 15 ff. as the name of a plant which produces
fruitfulness in women; but the commentators are by no means agreed
as to its nature and its properties. The LXX. render it by
_Mandragoras_, which has been understood by the most eminent
ancient and modern theologians to mean the mandrake (Alraunwurzel)
so famous in the history of witchcraft. In many instances the
devils, strangely enough, receive Christian names; thus the
familiar spirit of old Lizzie is afterwards called Kit,
_i.e._, Christopher.] which spirit had given her such a blow
on the head in the night as she should never recover. This same
Dudaim it was that had raked up the crops, heaped sand over the
amber, made the storm, and dropped the frog into my daughter her
lap; _item_, carried off her old goodman through the air.

And when I asked her how that could be, seeing that her goodman
had been a child of God until very near his end, and much given to
prayer; albeit I had indeed marvelled why he had other thoughts in
his last illness; she answered, that one day he had seen her
spirit, which she kept in a chest, in the shape of a black cat,
and whose name was Kit, and had threatened that he would tell me
of it; whereupon she, being frightened, had caused her spirit to
make him so ill that he despaired of ever getting over it.
Thereupon she had comforted him, saying that she would presently
heal him if he would deny God, who, as he well saw, could not help
him. This he promised to do; and when she had straightway made him
quite hearty again, they took the silver which I had scraped off
the new sacrament cup, and went by night down to the sea-shore,
where he had to throw it into the sea with these words, "When this
silver returns again to the chalice, then shall my soul return to
God." Whereupon the sheriff, who was by, re-baptized him in the
name of Satan, and called him Jack. He had had no sponsors save
only herself, old Lizzie. Moreover that on St. John's Eve, when he
went with them to Blockula for the first time (the Herrenberg
[Footnote: A hill near Coserow. In almost all trials of witches
hills of this kind in the neighbourhood of the accused are
mentioned, where the devil, on Walpurgis Night and St. John's Eve,
feasts, dances, and wantons with them, and where warlock priests
administer Satanic sacraments, which are mere mockeries of those
of Divine institution.] was their Blockula), they had talked of my
daughter, and Satan himself had sworn to the sheriff that he
should have her. For that he would show the old one (wherewith the
villain meant God) what he could do, and that he would make the
carpenter's son sweat for vexation (fie upon thee, thou arch
villain, that thou could'st thus speak of my blessed Saviour!).
Whereupon her old goodman had grumbled, and as they had never
rightly trusted him, the spirit Dudaim one day flew off with him
through the air by the sheriff's order, seeing that her own
spirit, called Kit, was too weak to carry him. That the same
Dudaim had also been the woodpecker who afterwards 'ticed my
daughter and old Paasch to the spot with his cries, in order to
ruin her. But that the giant who had appeared on the Streckelberg
was not a devil, but the young lord of Mellenthin himself, as her
spirit, Kit, had told her.

And this she said was nothing but the truth, whereby she would
live and die; and she begged me, for the love of God, to take pity
upon her, and, after her repentant confession, to speak
forgiveness of her sins, and to give her the Lord's Supper; for
that her spirit stood there behind the stove, grinning like a
rogue, because he saw that it was all up with her now. But I
answered, "I would sooner give the sacrament to an old sow than to
thee, thou accursed witch, who not only didst give over thine own
husband to Satan, but hast likewise tortured me and my poor child
almost unto death with pains like those of hell." Before she could
make any answer, a loathsome insect, about as long as my finger,
and with a yellow tail, crawled in under the door of the prison.
When she espied it, she gave a yell, such as I never before heard,
and never wish to hear again. For once, when I was in Silesia, in
my youth, I saw one of the enemy's soldiers spear a child before
its mother's face, and I thought _that_ a fearful shriek
which the mother gave; but her cry was child's play to the cry of
old Lizzie. All my hair stood on end, and her own red hair grew so
stiff that it was like the twigs of the broom whereon she lay; and
then she howled, "That is the spirit Dudaim, whom the accursed
sheriff has sent to me--the sacrament, for the love of God, the
sacrament!--I will confess a great deal more--I have been a witch
these thirty years!--the sacrament, the sacrament!" While she thus
bellowed and flung about her arms and legs, the loathsome insect
rose into the air, and buzzed and whizzed about her where she lay,
insomuch that it was fearful to see and to hear. And this
she-devil called by turns on God, on her spirit Kit, and on me, to
help her, till the insect all of a sudden darted into her open
jaws, whereupon she straightway gave up the ghost, and turned all
black and blue like a blackberry.

I heard nothing more save that the window rattled, not very loud,
but as though one had thrown a pea against it, whereby I
straightway perceived that Satan had just flown through it with
her soul. May the all-merciful God keep every mother's child from
such an end, for the sake of Jesus Christ our blessed Lord and
Saviour! Amen.

As soon as I was somewhat recovered, which, however, was not for a
long time, inasmuch as my blood had turned to ice, and my feet
were as stiff as a stake, I began to call out after the impudent
constable, but he was no longer in the prison. Thereat I greatly
marvelled, seeing that I had seen him there but just before the
vermin crawled in, and straightway I suspected no good, as,
indeed, it turned out; for when at last he came upon my calling
him, and I told him to let this carrion be carted out which had
just died in the name of the devil, he did as though he was
amazed; and when I desired him that he would bear witness to the
innocence of my daughter, which the old hag had confessed on her
deathbed, he pretended to be yet more amazed, and said that he had
heard nothing. This went through my heart like a sword, and I
leaned against a pillar without, where I stood for a long time:
but as soon as I was come to myself I went to _Dom. Consul_,
who was about to go to Usedom, and already sat in his coach. At my
humble prayer he went back into the judgment-chamber with the
_Camerarius_ and the _Scriba_, whereupon I told all that
had taken place, and how the wicked constable denied that he had
heard the same. But they say that I talked a great deal of
nonsense beside; among other things that all the little fishes had
swam into the vault to release my daughter. Nevertheless, _Dom.
Consul_. who often shook his head, sent for the impudent
constable, and asked him for his testimony. But the fellow
pretended that as soon as he saw that old Lizzie wished to
confess, he had gone away, so as not to get any more hard words,
wherefore he had heard nothing. Hereupon I, as _Dom. Consul_
afterwards told the pastor of Benz, clenched my fists and
answered, "What, thou arch rogue, didst thou not crawl about the
room in the shape of a reptile?" whereupon he would hearken to me
no longer, thinking me distraught, nor would he make the constable
take an oath, but left me standing in the midst of the room, and
got into his coach again.

Neither do I know how I got out of the room; but next morning when
the sun rose, and I found myself lying in bed at Master Seep his
ale-house, the whole _casus_ seemed to me like a dream;
neither was I able to rise, but lay a-bed all the blessed Saturday
and Sunday, talking all manner of _allotria_. It was not till
towards evening on Sunday, when I began to vomit and threw up
green bile (no wonder!), that I got somewhat better. About this
time _Pastor Benzensis_ came to my bedside, and told me how
distractedly I had borne myself, but so comforted me from the Word
of God, that I was once more able to pray from my heart. May the
merciful God reward my dear gossip, therefore, at the day of
judgment! For prayer is almost as brave a comforter as the Holy
Ghost Himself, from whom it comes; and I shall ever consider that
so long as a man can still pray, his misfortunes are not
unbearable, even though in all else "his flesh and his heart
faileth" (Ps. lxxiii.).


_How Satan sifted me like wheat, whereas my daughter withstood
him right bravely._

On Monday I left my bed betimes, and as I felt in passable good
case, I went up to the castle to see whether I might peradventure
get to my daughter. But I could not find either constable, albeit
I had brought a few groats with me to give them as beer-money;
neither would the folks that I met tell me where they were;
_item_, the impudent constable his wife, who was in the
kitchen making brimstone matches. And when I asked her when her
husband would come back, she said not before to-morrow morning
early; _item_, that the other constable would not be here any
sooner. Hereupon I begged her to lead me to my daughter herself,
at the same time showing her the two groats; but she answered that
she had not the keys, and knew not how to get at them: moreover,
she said she did not know where my child was now shut up, seeing
that I would have spoken to her through the door; _item_, the
cook, the huntsman, and whomsoever else I met in my sorrow, said
they knew not in what hole the witch might lie.

Hereupon I went all round about the castle, and laid my ear
against every little window that looked as though it might be her
window, and cried, "Mary, my child, where art thou?" _Item_,
at every grating I found I kneeled down, bowed my head, and called
in like manner into the vault below. But all in vain; I got no
answer anywhere. The sheriff at length saw what I was about, and
came down out of the castle to me with a very gracious air, and
taking me by the hand, he asked me what I sought? But when I
answered him that I had not seen my only child since last
Thursday, and prayed him to show pity upon me, and let me be led
to her, he said that could not be, but that I was to come up into
his chamber, and talk further of the matter. By the way he said,
"Well, so the old witch told you fine things about me, but you see
how Almighty God has sent His righteous judgment upon her. She has
long been ripe for the fire; but my great long-suffering, wherein
a good magistrate should ever strive to be like unto the Lord, has
made me overlook it till _datum_, and in return for my
goodness she raises this outcry against me." And when I replied,
"How does your lordship know that the witch raised such an outcry
against you?" he first began to stammer, and then said, "Why, you
yourself charged me thereon before the judge. But I bear you no
anger therefor, and God knows that I pity you, who are a poor weak
old man, and would gladly help you if I were able." Meanwhile he
led me up four or five flights of stairs, so that I, old man that
I am, could follow him no further, and stood still gasping for
breath. But he took me by the hand and said, "Come, I must first
show you how matters really stand, or I fear you will not accept
my help, but will plunge yourself into destruction." Hereupon we
stepped out upon a terrace at the top of the castle, which looked
toward the water; and the villain went on to say, "Reverend
Abraham, can you see well afar off?" and when I answered that I
once could see very well, but that the many tears I had shed had
now peradventure dimmed my eyes, he pointed to the Streckelberg,
and said, "Do you then see nothing there?" _Ego_. "Naught
save a black speck, which I cannot make out." _Ille_. "Know
then that that is the pile whereon your daughter is to burn at ten
o'clock to-morrow morning, and which the constables are now
raising." When this hell-hound had thus spoken, I gave a loud cry
and swounded. O blessed Lord! I know not how I lived through such
distress; Thou alone didst strengthen me beyond nature, in order,
"after so much weeping and wailing, to heap joys and blessings
upon me;" without Thee I never could have lived through such
misery: "therefore to Thy name ever be all honour and glory, O
Thou God of Israel!" [Footnote: Tobit iii. 22, 23, Luther's

When I came again to myself I lay on a bed in a fine room, and
perceived a taste in my mouth like wine. But as I saw none near me
save the sheriff, who held a pitcher in his hand, I shuddered and
closed mine eyes, considering what I should say or do. This he
presently observed, and said, "Do not shudder thus; I mean well by
you, and only wish to put a question to you, which you must answer
me on your conscience as a priest. Say, reverend Abraham, which is
the greater sin, to commit whoredom, or to take the lives of two
persons?" and when I answered him, "To take the lives of two
persons," he went on, "Well, then, is not that what your stubborn
child is about to do? Rather than give herself up to me, who have
ever desired to save her, and who can even yet save her, albeit
her pile is now being raised, she will take away her own life and
that of her wretched father, for I scarcely think that you, poor
man, will outlive this sorrow. Wherefore do you, for God His sake,
persuade her to think better of it while I am yet able to save
her. For know that about ten miles from hence I have a small house
in the midst of the forest, where no human being ever goes;
thither will I send her this very night, and you may dwell there
with her all the days of your life, if so it please you. You shall
live as well as you can possibly desire, and to-morrow morning I
will spread a report betimes that the witch and her father have
run away together during the night, and that nobody knows whither
they are gone." Thus spake the serpent to me, as whilom to our
mother Eve; and, wretched sinner that I am, the tree of death
which he showed me seemed to me also to be a tree of life, so
pleasant was it to the eye. Nevertheless I answered, "My child
will never save her miserable life by doing aught to peril the
salvation of her soul." But now too the serpent was more cunning
than all the beasts of the field (especially such an old fool as
I), and spake thus: "Why, who would have her peril the salvation
of her soul? Reverend Abraham, must I teach you Scripture? Did not
our Lord Christ pardon Mary Magdalene, who lived in open whoredom?
and did He not speak forgiveness to the poor adulteress who had
committed a still greater _crimen_? nay more, doth not St.
Paul expressly say that the harlot Rahab was saved, Hebrews xi.?
_item_, St. James ii. says the same. But where have ye read
that any one was saved who had wantonly taken her own life and
that of her father? Wherefore, for the love of God, persuade your
child not to give herself up, body and soul, to the devil, by her
stubbornness, but to suffer herself to be saved while it is yet
time. You can abide with her, and pray away all the sins she may
commit, and likewise aid me with your prayers, who freely own that
I am a miserable sinner, and have done you much evil, though not
so much evil by far, reverend Abraham, as David did to Uriah, and
he was saved, notwithstanding he put the man to a shameful death,
and afterwards lay with his wife. Wherefore I, poor man, likewise
hope to be saved, seeing that my desire for your daughter is still
greater than that which this David felt for Bathsheba; and I will
gladly make it all up to you twofold as soon as we are in my

When the tempter had thus spoken, methought his words were sweeter
than honey, and I answered, "Alas, my lord, I am ashamed to appear
before her face with such a proposal." Whereupon he straightway
said, "Then do you write it to her; come, here is pen, ink, and

And now, like Eve, I took the fruit and ate, and gave it to my
child that she might eat also; that is to say, that I
recapitulated on paper all that Satan had prompted, but in the
Latin tongue, for I was ashamed to write it in mine own; and
lastly, I conjured her not to take away her own life and mine, but
to submit to the wondrous will of God. Neither were mine eyes
opened when I had eaten (that is, written), nor did I perceive
that the ink was gall instead of honey, and I translated my letter
to the sheriff (seeing that he understood no Latin), smiling like
a drunken man the while; whereupon he clapped me on the shoulder,
and after I had made fast the letter with his signet, he called
his huntsman, and gave it to him to carry to my daughter;
_item_, he sent her pen, ink, and paper, together with his
signet, in order that she might answer it forthwith.

Meanwhile he talked with me right graciously, praising my child
and me, and made me drink to him many times from his great
pitcher, wherein was most goodly wine; moreover, he went to a
cupboard and brought out cakes for me to eat, saying that I should
now have such every day. But when the huntsman came back in about
half-an-hour, with her answer, and I had read the same, then,
first, were mine eyes opened, and I knew good and evil; had I had
a fig-leaf, I should have covered them therewith for shame; but as
it was, I held my hand over them, and wept so bitterly that the
sheriff waxed very wroth, and cursing bade me tell him what she
had written. Thereupon I interpreted the letter to him, the which
I likewise place here, in order that all may see my folly, and the
wisdom of my child. It was as follows:--


Pater infelix!

Ego eras non magis pallebo rogum aspectura, et rogus non magis
erubescet, me suspiciens, quam pallui et iterum erubescui, literas
tuas legens. Quid? et te, pium patrem, pium servum Domini, ita
Satanas sollicitavit, ut communionem facias cum inimicis meis, et
non intelligas: in tali vita esse mortem, et in tali morte vitam?
Scilicet si clementissimus Deus Marias Magdalens aliisque ignovit,
ignovit, quia resipiscerent ob carnis debilitatem, et non iterum
peccarent. Et ego peccarem cum quavis detestatione carnis, et non
semel, sed iterum atque iterum sine reversione usque ad mortem?
Quomodo clementissimus Deus hoc sceleratissima ignoscere posset?
infelix pater! recordare quid mihi dixisti de sanctis martyribus
et virginibus Domini, quas omnes mallent vitam quam pudicitiam
perdere. His et ego sequar, et sponsus meus, Jesus Christus, et
mihi miserse, ut spero, coronam asternam dabit, quamvis eum non
minus offendi ob debilitatem carnis ut Maria, et me sontem
declaravi, cum insons sum. Fac igitur, ut valeas et ora pro me
apud Deum et non apud Satanam, ut et ego mox coram Deo pro te
orare possim.


Back to Full Books