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Full text of "Sidonia the sorceress, the supposed destroyer of the whole reigning ducal house of Pomerania"

SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

MARY SCHWEIDLER 
THE AMBER WITCH 



SIDONIATHE SORCERESS 

THE SUPPOSED DESTROYER OF THE WHOLE 

REIGNING DUCAL HOUSE OF 

POMERANIA 

TRANSLATED BY LADY WILDE 

MARY SCHWEIDLER 

THE AMBER WITCH 



WILLIAM MEINHOLD 



IN TWO VOLUMES 
VOL. II. 



LONDON 
REEVES AND TURNER 

WELLINGTON STREET, STRAND 
I8 94 

[All Rights reserved] 



V.2 



CO N T E N T S 

SIDONIA THE SORCERESS. 

BOOK III. 

Continued. 

FROM THE RECEPTION OF SIDONIA INTO THE 

CONVENT AT MARIENFLIESS UP TILL HER 

EXECUTION, AUGUST 19777, 1620. 



CHAPTER IV. 

PAGE 

How Dorothea Stettin is talked out of the sub-prioret by Sidonia, 

and the priest is prohibited from visiting the convent . . 3 



CHAPTER V. 

How Sidonia wounds Ambrosia von Guntersberg with an axe, 
because she purposed to marry And prays the convent 
porter, Matthias Winterfeld, to death For these, and other 
causes, the reverend chaplain refuses to shrive the sorceress, 
and denounces her publicly from the altar . . . .12 



CHAPTER VI. 

Dorothea Stettin falls sick, and how the doctor manages to bleed 
her Item, how Sidonia chases the princely commissioners 
into the oak- forest . . . . .25 

VOL. II. b 



M154713 



vi CONTENTS 



CHAPTER VII. 

PAGE 

How the assembled Pomeranian princes hold a council over 

Sidonia, and at length cite her to appear at the ducal court . 34 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Of Sidonia's defence Item, how she has a quarrel with Joachim 

Wedel, and bewitches him to death 45 



CHAPTER IX. 

How a strange woman (who must assuredly have been Sidonia) 
incites the lieges of his Grace to great uproar and tumult in 
Stettin, by reason of the new tax upon beer .... S3 



CHAPTER X. 

Of the fearful events that take place at Marienfliess Item, how 

Dorothea Stettin becomes possessed by the devil ... 64 



CHAPTER XL 

Of the arrival of Diliana and the death of the convent priest 

Item, how the unfortunate corpse is torn by a wolf . . 73 



CHAPTER XII. 

How Jobst Bork has himself carried to Marienfliess in his bed to 
reclaim his fair young daughter Diliana Item, how George 
Putkammer threatens Sidonia with a drawn sword . . 84 



CHAPTER XIII. 

How my gracious Lord Bishop Franciscus and the reverend Dr. 
Joel go to the Jews' school at Old Stettin, in order to steal 
the Schem Hamphorasch, and how the enterprise finishes 
with a sound cudgelling 97 



CONTENTS vii 



CHAPTER XIV. 

PAGE 

How the Duke Francis seeks a virgin at Marienfliess to cite the 
angel Och for him Of Sidonia's evil plot thereupon, and the 
terrible uproar caused thereby in the convent . . .112 



CHAPTER XV. 

Of the death of the abbess, Magdalena von Petersdorfin Item, 
how Duke Francis makes Jobst Bork and his daughter, 
Diliana, come to Camyn, and what happens there . . 121 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Jobst Bork takes away his daughter by force from the Duke and 
Dr. Joel ; also is strengthened in his unbelief by Dr. Cramer 
Item, how my gracious Prince arrives at Marienfliess, and 
there vehemently menaces Sidonia 132 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Of the fearful death of his Highness, Duke Philip II. of Pomerania, 

and of his melancholy but sumptuous burial .... 141 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

How Jobst Bork and his little daughter are forced at last into the 
"Opus Magicum" Item, how his Highness, Duke Francis, 
appoints Christian Ludecke, his attorney-general, to be witch- 
commissioner of Pomerania 147 



CHAPTER XIX. 

How Christian Ludecke begins the witch-burnings in Marienfliess, 

and lets the poor dairy-mother die horribly on the rack . 153 



viii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XX. 

PAGE 

What Sidonia said to these doings Item, what our Lord God 
said ; and lastly, of the magical experiment performed upon 
George Putkammer and Diliana, in Old Stettin . . . 164 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Of the awful and majestic appearance of the sun-angel, Och . 175 

CHAPTER XXII. 

How old Wolde is seized, confronted with Sidonia, and finally 

burned before her window 186 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

How Diliana Bork and George Putkammer are at length 
betrothed Item, how Sidonia is degraded from her con- 
ventual dignities and carried to the witches' tower of Saatzig 
in chains 196 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Of the execution of Sidonia and the wedding of Diliana . . 205 

CONCLUSION. 

Mournful destiny of the last princely Pomeranian remains My 
visit to the ducal Pomeranian vault in Wolgast, on the 6th 
May 1840 . . . 217 



THE AMBER WITCH. 

PAGE 

PREFACE 225 

INTRODUCTION 233 

CHAPTER VII. 

How the Imperialists robbed me of all that was left, and likewise 
broke into the church and stole the Vasa Sacra ; also what 
more befell us ......... 236 



CHAPTER VIII. 

How our need waxed sorer and sorer, and how I sent old Use 
with another letter to Pudgla, and how heavy a misfortune 
this brought upon me 246 



CHAPTER IX. 

How the old maid-servant humbled me by her faith, and the Lord 

yet blessed me, His unworthy servant 260 



CHAPTER X. 

How we journeyed to Wolgast, and made good barter there . 265 

CHAPTER XI. 

How I fed all the congregation Item, how I journeyed to the 

horse-fair at Giitzkow, and what befell me there . . . 274 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XII. 

PAGE 

What further joy and sorrow befell us Item, how Wittich Appel- 
mann rode to Damerow to the wolf-hunt, and what he pro- 
posed to my daughter 281 



CHAPTER XIII. 

What more happened during the winter Item, how in the spring 

witchcraft began in the village 287 



CHAPTER XIV. 

How old Seden disappeared all on a sudden Item, how the great 
Gustavus Adolphus came to Pomerania, and took the fort at 
Peenemiinde 294 



CHAPTER XV. 

Of the arrival of the high and mighty King Gustavus Adolphus, 

and what befell thereat 301 



CHAPTER XVI. 

How little Mary Paasch was sorely plagued of the devil, and the 

whole parish fell off from me 308 



CHAPTER XVII. 

How my poor child was taken up for a witch, and carried to 

Pudgla 314 



CHAPTER XVIII. 
Of the first trial, and what came thereof 318 



CONTENTS xi 



CHAPTER XIX. 

PAGE 

How Satan, by the permission of the most righteous God, sought 

altogether to ruin us, and how we lost all hope . . . 330 



CHAPTER XX. 

Of the malice of the Governor and of old Lizzie Item, of the 

examination of witnesses . 338 



CHAPTER XXI. 
De confrontatione testium 343 

CHAPTER XXII. 

How the Syndicus Dom. Michelson arrived, and prepared his 

defence of my poor child 350 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

How my poor child was sentenced to be put to the question . 357 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

How in my presence the devil fetched old Lizzie Kolken . . 369 

CHAPTER XXV. 

How Satan sifted me like wheat, whereas my daughter withstood 

him right bravely ......... 375 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

How I received the Holy Sacrament with my daughter and the old 
maid-servant, and how she was then led for the last time 
before the court, with the drawn sword and the outcry, to 
receive sentence . 382 



xii CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

PAGE 

Of that which befell us by the way Item, of the fearful death of 

the sheriff at the mill 393 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

How my daughter was at length saved by the help of the all- 
merciful, yea, of the all-merciful God 400 



CHAPTER XXIX. 
Of our next great sorrow, and final joy 413 



BOOK III. 

Continued. 

FROM THE RECEPTION OF SIDONIA INTO THE 

CONVENT AT MARIENFLIESS UP TILL HER 

EXECUTION, AUGUST IQTH, 1620. 



VOL. It. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER IV. 

How Dorothea Stettin is talked out of the sub-prioret by Stdonia, 
and the priest is prohibited from visiting the convent. 

IF Sidonia could not be the pastor's wife, she was determined 
at least to be sub-prioress, and commenced her preparations for 
this object by knitting a little pair of red hose for her cat. 
Then she sent for Dorothea Stettin, saying that she was weak 
and ill, and no one took pity on her. 

When the good Dorothea came as she was asked, there lay 
my serpent on the bed in her nun's robes, groaning and moaning 
as if her last hour had come ; and scarcely had the sub-prioress 
taken a seat near her, when my cat crept forth from under the 
bed, in his little red hose, mewing and rubbing himself up against 
the robe of the sub-prioress, as if praying her to remove this 
unwonted constraint from him, of the little red hose. 

After Dorothea had inquired about her sickness, she looked 
at the cat, and asked wonderingly, what was the meaning of 
such a strange dress ? 

Ilia. " Ah, dear friend, it was dreadful to my feelings to 
see the little animal going about naked, therefore I knit little 
hose for him, as you see ; indeed, I am often tempted to wonder 
how the Lord God could permit the poor animals to appear 
naked before us." 

H<ec (extending her arms for joy, so that she almost 
tumbled back off the stool). "Oh, God be praised and 



4 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

thanked, at last I have found one chaste soul in this wicked 
world ! (sobs, throws up her eyes, falls upon Sidonia's neck, 
kisses her, and weeps over her :) ah yes, one chaste soul at 
last, like herself! " 

Ilia. " True, Dorothea, there is no virtue so rare in this 
evil world as chastity. Ah, why has the Lord God placed 
such things before our eyes ? I never can comprehend it, and 
never will. What a sight for a chaste virgin these naked animals ! 
What did the dear sister think on the matter ? " 

H<sc. " Ah, she knew not what to think, had asked the 
priest about it." 

Ilia, And what did he say ? " 

H<zc. " He laughed at her." 

Ilia. "Just like him, the lewd, hypocritical pharisee." 

H<KC. " Eh ? she was too hard on the good priest. He 
was a pure and upright servant of God." 

Ilia. "Ay, as Judas was. Had not sister Dorothea 
heard " 

Hac. " No ; for God's sake, what ? The dear sister fright- 
ened her already." 

Ilia. " First, you confess that the priest laughed when you 
talked about chastity ? " 

H<KC. " Yes, true, ah, indeed true." 

Ilia. "Then you remember that he preached a sermon 
lately upon adul upon adul . No, she never could utter 
the word the horrible word. Upon the seventh command- 
ment, to the great scandal of the entire convent ? " 

ffac. " Ah yes, ah yes, she was there, and had to stop one 
ear with her finger, the other with her kerchief, not to hear all 
the strange and dreadful things he was saying." 

Ilia. " And yet this was the man that ran In and out of the 
cloister daily at his pleasure, sent for or not a young un- 
married man though the convent rules especially declared 
an old man. Ah, if she were sub-prioress, this scandal should 
never be permitted." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 5 

. " What could be done ? it was a blessed thing to live 
in peace. Besides, the priest was such a pious man." 

Hla. Pious ? Heaven defend us from such piety ! Why, 
had she not heard ? the whole convent talked about it." 

Hdfc. No, no ; for God's sake, what had happened ? tell 
her she had been making sausages all the morning, and had 
heard nothing." 

Hla. Then know, ah God, how it pained her to talk 
of it she had heard a great noise in the kitchen in the 
morning, as if all the pots and pans were tumbled about, and 
when she ran in to see there was the priest oh, her chaste 
eyes never had seen such a sight the pious priest making love 
to her old maid, Wolde." 

HtKc. " Impossible, impossible ! to her old maid, 
Wolde ? " 

Ilia. " Yea, and he was praying her for kisses, and 
praising her fat hand, and extolling her white hair. But 
as to what more she had seen " 

H<zc. " For God's sake, sister, what more ? " 

Ilia (sighing, and covering her face with both hands). 
" No, no, that she could never bring her chaste lips to utter. 
Oh, that such wickedness should be in the world (weeping 
bitterly). But she would never enter the chapel again, and 
that priest there ; nor receive the rites from him. But this 
was not all ; the dear sister must hear how he revenged him- 
self upon her, because she interrupted his toying with the old 
hag. It was truth, all truth ! She (Sidonia) grew so ill with 
fright and horror that she was unable to disrobe, and threw 
herself on the bed just as she was, but growing weaker and 
weaker hour by hour, sent for the priest at last, to pray with 
her, and afterwards to offer up general supplication for her 
restoration, in the chapel with all the sisterhood ; but only 
think, the shameless hypocrite refused to pray with her, 
because he spied an end of her black robe out of the bed, 
declaring she was not ill at all, that she was a base liar, all 



6- SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

because she had lain down in her convent dress, and finally 
went his way cursing and swearing, without even saying one 
prayer, or uttering one word of comfort, as was his duty. 
And now, alas ! she must die without priest or sacrament ! 
To what a Sodom and Gomorrah she had come ! But if 
an old hag like her maid was not safe from the shameless 
parson, how could she or any of them be safe ? What was 
to be done ? unless the dear sister, as sub-prioress, took the 
matter in her own hands, and brought him to task about it ? " 

At this proposal the other trembled like an aspen leaf, 
and seemed more dead than alive. She wept, wrung her 
hands for God's sake what could she do ? how could she 
talk on such a matter? Let the abbess see to it, if she 
chose. 

Ilia. " Stuff, the old pussy the less said of her the 
better. Why, she was worse than the old maid, Wolde, 
herself." 

Hac. " The abbess ? why, the whole convent, and the 
whole world too, talked of her piety and virtue." 

Ilia. "Very virtuous, truly, to have the priest locked 
up with her ; and when some of the sisters wished to remain, 
suspecting that all was not right, the priest pushed them 
out at the door with his own handstand bolted it after 
them, as many could testify to her had been done this very 
day. Oh, what a Sodom and Gomorrah she had been be- 
trayed into ! (weeping, sobbing, and falling upon Dorothea's 
neck.) I pray you, sister, for the sake of our heavenly 
bridegroom, bring this evil to an end, otherwise fire and 
brimstone will assuredly and justly be rained down upon our 
poor cloister." 

Still the other maintained, " That the dear sister must err 
as regarded the abbess. It might be her chaste zeal that 
blinded her. True enough, probably, what she said of the 
priest ; but the worthy abbess no, never could she believe 
that." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 7 

Ilia. " Let her have proof then. It was not her custom 
to weaken innocence ; call her maid, Wolde." 

Then as Wolde entered, Sidonia made a sign, and bid 
her tell the sub-prioress all that the shameless priest - had 
done. 

Ancilla. " He had asked her for little kisses, praised her 
hands and hair, and her beautiful limp, and had sat up close 
to her on the bench, then run after her into the kitchen, 
gave her money (shows the money), asked again for kisses, 
then " 

Sidonia screams 

" Hold your tongue ; no more, no more ; enough, 
enough ! " 

At this story, Dorothea Stettin nearly went into convul- 
sions she wrung her hands, crying 

" How is it possible ? O heaven, how is it possible ? " 

Ilia. " There is something more quite possible also ; the 
hag shall tell you what she saw at the room door of the 
abbess." 

Ancilla. " When the scandalous priest left her, he went 
straight to the abbess, and there was taken with cramps, as 
she heard, upon which all the convent ran thither, and she 
with the rest. And he was lying stretched out on a bench, 
like one dead, no doubt from shame ; but the shame soon 
went off, and then he got up, and bade them all leave the 
room. However, good Anna Apenborg did not choose to 
go, for she suspected evil. Whereupon he seized her by the 
hand, and put her out along with the others. She saw all 
this herself, for she was standing in the passage, waiting to 
speak to sister Anna. When, behold, she was pushed out, to 
her great surprise, in this way by the priest, and they heard 
the door bolted inside immediately after." 

At this Dorothea Stettin fell upon Sidonia' s bed, weeping, 
sobbing, and ready to die with grief; but Sidonia bade her 
not take on so ; for perhaps, after all, the o!4 hag had not 



8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

told the truth, at least concerning the dear, worthy abbess ; 
but two witnesses would be sufficient testimony. Whereupon 
she bid Wolde watch for Anna Apenborg from the window, 
and beckon to her to come in if she saw her going by. 

And scarcely had Wolde stepped to the window, when she 
laughed and said 

" Truly, there stands Anna chatting with Agnes Kleist's 
maid at the well. Shall I run and call her ? " 

" Yes," said Sidonia. 

In a little while Wolde returned with sister Anna. The 
girl looked wildly round at first, stared at the broom-sticks 
which lay crosswise under the table, and then asked, with a 
trembling voice, what the good sister wanted with her, while 
she took a seat on a trunk near the bed. 

" My old maid," said Sidonia, " tells me that the reverend 
chaplain took you by the hand, and put you out of the abbess's 
room, after which he bolted the door. Is this true or not ? 
Speak the whole truth." 

So Anna related the whole story as Wolde had done ; but, 
while talking, the curious damsel lifted up a corner of the quilt 
to peep under the bed, upon which my cat in his little red 
hose crept forth again, mewing and rubbing himself against 
Anna, at which she gave a shriek of horror and sprang out 
of the room, down the steps and into the courtyard, without 
ever once venturing to look behind her. And many think 
that this cat was Sidonia' s evil spirit Chim. But Anna 
Apenborg saw afterwards a pair of terrible fiery eyes glaring 
at her from Sidonia' s window ; so others said, that must 
have been Chim. But we shall hear more of this same cat 
presently. 

Summa. Sidonia knew well enough what made the girl 
scream, but she turned to Dorothea, and said 

" Ah, see how this wickedness has shocked the poor young 
nun ! Therefore, dear sister, you must, as sub-prioress, make 
an end of the scandal, and prohibit this false priest from visit- 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 9 

ing the convent ; for, indeed, they who permitted him such 
freedom amongst the nuns were more to blame for his sins 
than he himself." 

Poor Dorothea groaned forth in answer 

" Alas, alas ! why did I ever accept the sub-prioret ? For 
the couple of sacks of flour and the bit of corn which she got 
more than the others, it was not worth while to be plagued to 
death. It was all true about the priest. He must be dis- 
missed. But then she loved peace. How could she right 
such matters ? Oh, that some one would relieve her of this 
sub-prioret ! " 

Ilia. " That can be easily done if you will. Suppose you 
ask Anna Apenborg to take it ? " 

H<zc. " No, no ; Anna had not sense enough for that ; 
but if the dear sister herself would take it, how happy she 
would feel." 

Ilia. " She was too sick, probably going to die ; who 
could tell?" 

Hac. " No, no ; she would pray for her. The dear 
sister could not be spared yet. Let her say yes (falling on 
her neck and weeping), only let her say yes." 

Ilia. " Well, out of love to her she would say yes ; and 
if the Lord raised her up from this sick bed, order and 
decorum should reign again in the convent." 

Hac (again embracing her with gratitude). "No doubt 
they would. She knew well that no such pure-minded nun 
was in the convent as her dear sister Sidonia." 

Ilia. " But, good Dorothea, in order to get rid of the 
priest as soon as possible, we had better send the porter 
immediately to summon the abbess and the entire sisterhood 
here, for you to tender your resignation in their presence." 

H<zc. " But sister Sidonia must promise not to complain 
of the priest or the abbess to the Prince." 

Ilia. " No, no ; I can settle the matter quietly, without 
laying a complaint before the Prince." 



io SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

H<zc. "All right, then. Everything, if possible, in 
peace." 

Hereupon Sidonia despatched the porter to the abbess 
with a request that she and the whole convent would 
assemble in half-an-hour at the refectory, as she had some- 
what to communicate. Meanwhile she instructed Dorothea 
in what she was to say, so as not to disgrace the poor abbess 
before the whole convent. 

At the end of the half-hour, the abbess and the entire 
sisterhood appeared, but all with anger and mistrust depicted 
on their countenances. Sidonia then spake 

" Since ye and your priest refused to pray for me, I have 
prayed for myself, and the Lord hath heard me in my weak- 
ness, and made me strong enough to listen to the request of 
this good sister, Dorothea, and promise to fulfil it. Speak, 
sister Dorothea, what was your prayer ? " 

So Dorothea advanced, weeping and wringing her hands 

" Ah, God ! she could no longer be sub-prioress. She 
loved peace too much. But there were bad doings in the 
convent she would say no more only they must end. 
Therefore she had earnestly prayed her dear sister Sidonia 
to relieve her from the duties of office, and become sub- 
prioress in her stead." 

Here she loosed the veil, which differed from the others, 
by having a key embroidered in gold thereon the abbess 
had two keys on her veil and bound it on Sidonia, who 
had by this time risen from bed, taking Sidonia' s veil for 
herself. Then leading the fatal sorceress forward, she said 

" Good mother and dear sisters behold your sub- 
prioress ! " 

Thereupon the abbess and the whole convent remained 
quite mute, so great was their horror. 

Then Sidonia asked 

" Have they aught to say against it ? If so, let them 
speak." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS ?r 

But they all remained silent and trembling, till at last the 
abbess murmured 

" Is this done with your free-will, Dorothea ? " 

" Ah, yes, yes, truly," she answered. " I told you 
before with what earnest prayers I besought the dear sister 
to release me. God be thanked she has consented at last. 
Who can keep order and decorum so well throughout the 
convent ? " 

Then the abbess spoke again 

" Sister Sidonia, I have no opposition to make, as you 
know full well. So, if the Prince, and the sheriff, our 
worthy superintendent, consent, you shall be sub-prioress. 
Yet first you must render an account of your strange doings 
this past night, for things were seen and heard in your 
chamber which could not have been accomplished without 
the help of the great enemy himself." 

Hereat Sidonia laughed as if she would die. She would 
tell them the whole trick. They all knew what a trouble to 
the convent was this Anna Apenborg from her curiosity 
not once or twice, but ten times a day, running in and out 
with her chat and gossip. She had tried all means to 
prevent her, but in vain. Even in the middle of her prayers, 
the said Anna would come in to tell her what one sister was 
cooking, and another getting, or some follies even quite 
unfit for chaste ears. And that last night being very sick, 
she sent for the priest, upon which she heard Anna calling 
out from the window to the porter, " Will he come ? will 
he come ? " Item, she had then crept down to listen at 
the door. So after the priest went, notwithstanding all her 
weakness, she (Sidonia) determined to give her a good 
fright, and thus prevent her from spying and listening any 
more. Then she called Wolde, and bid her dance, while she 
muttered some words out of the cookery-book. But here 
Anna called out, " It is not true ; there were three danced. 
Where is the carl with the deep bass voice? Who could 



12 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

this be at that midnight hour, but the devil bodily him- 
self?" 

At this, Sidonia laughed louder than before. It was her 
cat her own cat, who was springing about the room, because 
for divers reasons she had put little red hose on him. On 
this she stoops under the bed, seizes my cat by the leg, who 
howls (that was the deep bass voice), and flings him into the 
middle of the room, where all the nuns, when they beheld 
his strange jumps and springs in the little hose, burst out into 
loud laughter, in which the abbess herself could not refrain 
from joining. So as there was no evidence against Sidonia, 
and Anna Apenborg was truly held of all as a most trouble- 
some chatterbox and spy, the inquiry ended. And with 
somewhat more friendliness, putting the best face on a bad 
matter, they accepted Sidonia for their sub-prioress. 



CHAPTER V. 

Plow Sidonia wounds Ambrosia von Guntersberg with an axe, 
because she purposed to marry And prays the convent 
porter, Matthias Wmterfeld, to death For these, and 
other causes, the reverend chaplain refuses to shrive the 
sorceress, and denounces her publicly from the altar. 

SIDONIA' s first act, as may easily be imagined, was to dismiss 
the priest ; and for this purpose she wrote him a letter, saying 
that he must never more presume to set foot within the 
cloister, for if old ice-grey mothers were not safe from him, 
how could she and the other maidens hope to escape ? If he 
disobeyed her orders, she would summon him before the 
princely consistorium, where strange things might be told of 
him. 

So the reverend David consented right willingly, and 
never saw the nuns except on Sundays in the chapel, but 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 13 

Sidonia herself never appeared in the nuns' choir. She 
gave Dorothea many excellent and convincing reasons for 
her absence. (But in my opinion, it was caused by hate and 
abhorrence of the sacrament and. the holy Word of God ; for 
such are a torment and a torture to the children of the devil, 
even as the works of the devil are an abomination to the 
children of God. ) 

When, however, the report came, that the reverend 
David was indeed betrothed to Barbara Bamberg, Sidonia 
presented herself once in the choir, kneeled down, and was 
heard to murmur, " Wed if thou wilt, that I cannot hinder ; 
but a child thou shalt never hold at the font ! " And truly 
was the evil curse fulfilled. 

Meanwhile the fear and the dread of her increased daily in 
the convent, for besides old Wolde, two other horrible hags 
were observed frequently going in and out of her apartments 
true children of Satan, as one might see by their red, glow- 
ing eyes. With these she practised many horrible sorceries, 
sometimes quarrelled with them, however, and beat them out 
with the broom-stick ; but they always came back again, and 
were as well received as ever. 

Then she had strifes and disputes with every one who 
approached her, and was notorious through all the courts of 
justice for her wrangling and fighting, in particular with her 
brother's son, Otto of Stramehl, for she sued him for an 
alimentum pension, and also demanded that the rents of her 
two farm-houses in Zachow should be paid her, according to 
the sum to which they must have accumulated during the last 
fifty years. But he answered, she should have no money; 
why did she not live at her farm-houses ? He knew nothing 
of the rents, the whole matter was past and forgotten, and she 
had no claim now on him, and so every month she wrangled 
in the courts about this business. Item, she fought with 
Preslar of Buslar, because, being a feudal vassal of the Borks', 
she required him to kiss her hand, which he refused ; then 



14 S1DONIA THE SORCERESS 

her dog having strayed into his house, she accused him of 
having stolen it. Item, she fought with the maid who acted 
as cook in the convent kitchen, and said she never got a 
morsel fit to eat. And the said maid (I forget her name 
now) having salted the fish too much one day, she ran after 
her with a broom-stick once, indeed, beat her so severely, 
that she was lame her life long after. 

But worse than the fish-salting was the white kerchief which 
the maid wore. For people, she said, might take her at a 
distance to be one of the honourable convent ladies, therefore 
she must wear a coloured one. This the maid would not do, 
so she was soon brought to an untimely end also, along with 
all others who displeased her. 

These things, and many more, came out upon her trial, but 
for divers reasons I must pass them over. All her notes, 
messages, and letters, she entrusted to the porter, Matthias 
Winterfeld, who was often sent, may be five times a week, 
by her to Stargard. But he dared not remonstrate, or she 
would have struck him with the broom-stick. 

However, all this is nothing in comparison with the way she 
treated the unfortunate nuns. The younger and prettier they 
were, so much the more she boxed, beat, and martyred them, 
even striking them with the broom-stick. And if they ever 
smiled or seemed happy talking to one another, she abused 
and reviled them, calling them idle wantons, who thought of 
nothing but matrimony. None were permitted outside the 
convent gates, not even to visit their parents : they should 
not be flying back with their crumbs of gossip about brides 
and weddings, forsooth, and such-like improper thoughts. 
Neither should they go to the annual fair. She would go 
herself and buy everything for them she thought needful, 
only let them give her the gold. 

And out of deadly fear the poor maidens bore this tyranny 
long while silently ; even the abbess feared to complain, so that 
Sidonia soon usurped the entire government of the convent. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 15 

But the powder-mill broke out at last into vivid flames, as 
I shall narrate here. It was on this wise : Amongst the 
novices was one beautiful young maiden, Ambrosia von Gun- 
tersberg by name. She was fifth daughter of old Ambrosius 
of Falkenwald, a little town near Jacobshagen. One day a 
young nobleman called Ewald von Mellenthin beheld her in 
her cloister habit. Think you he forgot her ? No, he can 
never forget the maiden ! One, two weeks pass over, but she 
has sunk deeper and deeper into his heart ; at last he rose up 
and went to Falkenwald to her father, Ambrosius, asking her 
hand in honourable marriage. 

Now, the old man was well pleased, for he was poor, and 
had five daughters ; so he bid the young noble write a letter 
to his daughter Ambrosia, which he would inclose in one from 
himself to her. But no answer arrived from the maiden (we 
may guess why, for Sidonia opened and read all the letters that 
came to the convent, before they were handed to their owners. 
Those that displeased her she burned ; no doubt, therefore, the 
love-letter was the first in the flames). But the young noble 
grew impatient for an answer, and resolved to ride to Marien- 
fliess. So he ties his good horse to a cross in the churchyard, 
walks straight up to the convent, and rings the bell. Immedi- 
ately the old porter, Matthias, opened to him, with his hands 
covered with blood (for he was killing a fat ox for the nuns, 
close by) ; whereupon the noble lord prayed to speak a few 
words to the young novice Ambrosia von Guntersberg, at the 
grating ; and in a little time the beautiful maiden appeared, 
tripping along the convent court (but Sidonia is before her). 
Ambrosia advanced modestly to the grating, and asked the 
handsome knight, " What was his pleasure ? " who answered, 
" Since I beheld you in Guntersberg, dearest lady, my heart 
has been wholly yours ; and when I saw how diligently and 
cheerfully you ruled your father's house during his sickness, I 
resolved to take you for my wife, if such were possible ; for I 
need a good and prudent spouse at my castle of Lienke, and 



16 S1DONIA THE SORCERESS 

methinks no better or more beautiful could be found than your- 
self. Therefore I obtained your father's permission to open 
the matter to you in writing, and he inclosed my letter in one 
of his own ; but you have neither answered one nor the other. 
Whereupon, in my impatience, I saddled my good horse, and 
rode over here to have an answer at once from your own 
beautiful lips." 

When Sidonia heard this, she grew black in the face with 
rage " What ! in her presence, before her very face, to dare 
to hold such language to a young maiden a mere child who 
knew nothing at all of what marriage meant. He must pack 
off this instant, or the devil himself should turn him out of the 
cloister." 

Meanwhile the young maiden took heart (for the handsome 
knight pleased her), and said, " Gracious Lady Prioress 
(Sidonia made them all call her Gracious Lady, as if she were 
a born princess), I am no more a child, as you say, and I know 
very well what marriage means." 

This boldness made the other so wroth that she screamed 
" Wait ! I will teach you what marriage is ; " and she 
sprang on her to box her. But Ambrosia rushed through 
the side-door out into the court, Sidonia following ; however, 
not being able to reach her, she seized up the axe with 
which the porter had been killing the ox, and flung it after 
her, wounding the poor maiden so in the foot that the red 
blood poured down over her white stockings, while the young 
lover, who could not break the grating, screamed and stamped 
for rage and despair. By the good mercy of God the wound 
was only slight, still the fair novice fell to the ground ; but 
seeing Sidonia rushing at her again with the large butcher's 
knife which the porter had been using, she sprang up and 
ran to the grating, crying out to the noble, " Save me ! save 
me!" 

And at her screams all the nuns threw up their windows, 
right and left, over the courtyard; but finding the young 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 17 

knight could not help her, she ran to the old porter, still 
screaming, " Save me ! save me ! she is going to murder 
me ! " 

Now the fellow was glad enough to be revenged on 
Sidonia, for she had sent him running to Stargard for her 
late the night before, and the moment the ox was to be 
quartered, he was to be off there again at her command ; so 
he rushed at the vile witch, and seizing her up like a bundle 
of old rags, pitched her against the wall with all his force, 
adding a right hearty curse ; and there she lay quaking like 
an old cat, while the handsome young noble laughed loud 
from the grating. 

But she was up again soon, shook her dry, withered fist 
at the porter, and cried, " Ha ! thou insolent churl, I will 
pray thee to death for this ! " 

Whereupon she went off to her room, and locked herself 
up there, while the fair Ambrosia ran to the grating, and 
stretching out her little hands through the bars, exclaimed, 
" I am yours, dear knight ; oh, take me away from this 
horrible hell ! " 

This rejoiced my young noble heartily, and he kissed the 
little hands and lamented over her foot " And was it much 
hurt ? She must lift it up, and show him if the wound was 
deep." 

So she raised up the dainty foot a little bit, and then saw 
that her whole shoe was full of blood ; but the old porter, 
who came by just then, comforted the handsome youth, and 
told him he would stop the blood directly, for the wound 
was but a trifle. Whereupon he laid a couple of straws over 
it, murmured some words, and behold, in a moment, the 
blood is staunched ! Then the fair novice thanked him 
courteously, and prayed him to unlock the wicket, for she 
would go and stay a couple of hours with the miller's wife, 
while this young noble, to whom she had plighted love and 
troth, returned to her father's for a carnage to bring her 

VOL. II. B 



i8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

home. After what had passed now, never more would she 
enter the cloister. 

But what happened ? Scarcely had the good old porter 
unfastened the grating, and the young knight taken the fair 
girl in his arms, kissing her and pressing her to his heart 
(well Sidonia did not see him), when Matthias screamed 
out, "My God, what ails me ? " and fell flat on the ground. 
At this the young knight left his bride, and flew to raise him 
up. " What could ail him ? " But the poor old man can 
hardly speak, his eyes are turned in his head, and he gasped, 
" It was as if a man were sitting inside his breast, and 
crushing him to death. Oh, he could not breathe his ribs 
were breaking ! " 

The alarmed young noble then helped the poor creature 
to reach his room, which lay close by the wicket ; and having 
laid him on the bed in care of his wife, and recommended 
him to the mercy of God, he returned to his own fair bride, 
to carry her off from this murder- hole, and place her in 
safety with the miller's wife. I may as well mention here 
that he and the beautiful Ambrosia were wedded in due time, 
and lived long in peace and happiness, blessed with many 
lovely children ; for all the evil which Sidonia tried to bring 
upon them, as we shall hear, came to nought, through the 
mercy of the great God. 

But to return to the porter on the third day he died ; 
and during that time, day and night, Sidonia prayed, and 
was never seen but once. This was at the dividing of the 
salmon, when she threw up her window, and shaking her 
withered clenched hand at them, and her long white locks, 
threatened the nuns on their peril to touch the tail-piece the 
tail-piece was hers. 

A general horror pervaded the convent now, in truth, when 
the death of the porter was known. Anna Apenborg shut 
herself up, trembling, in her cell, and even good Dorothea 
began somewhat to doubt the virtues of the vile sorceress ; 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 19 

for the corpse had a strange and unnatural appearance, so that 
it was horrible to look upon, by which signs it was easy to 
perceive that he had been prayed to death, as the fearful 
night-hag had threatened. 

I must notify these symptoms, for the corpses of many of 
Sidonia' s victims presented the same appearances ; as the corpse 
of the reverend David item, Joachim Wedeln of Cremzow 
item, Doctor Schwalenberg of Stargard, and Duke Philip 
II., and lastly, the abbess, Magdalena von Peter sdorf. 
Whether her brother's son, Otto of Stramehl, whom she was 
suspected also of having prayed to death, presented the like, 
I cannot say with certainty. At this same time also his 
princely Grace Du^e Bogislaff XIII. expired, many say 
bewitched to death ; but of this I have no proof, as the 
body had quite a natural aspect after death. Still he had 
just arranged to journey to Marienfliess himself, and turn 
out Sidonia, in consequence of the accusations of Sheriff 
Sparling and the convent chaplain, so that his sudden death 
looks suspicious ; however, as the medicus, Dr. Nicolaus 
Schulz, pronounced, "Quod ex ramis. venae portse Epatis et 
lienis exporrectis, iste adustus sanguis eo prosiliiset" (for 
he died by throwing up a black matter like his brothers) ; 
and further, as the manikin on the three-legged hare did not 
appear this time at the castle, I shall not lay the murder on 
Sidonia, to increase her terrible burden at the last day, though 
I have my own thoughts upon the matter. 

Summa. My gracious Prince died suddenly. Alas, woe ! 
exactly like all his brothers ; he was just sixty- one years old, 
seven months, and fifteen days, and a more God-fearing prince 
never sat on a throne. But my grief over the fate of this great 
Pomeranian house has carried me away from the corpse of 
the old porter. The appearances were these : 

1. The face brown, green, and yellow, particularly about 
the musculi frontales et temporales. 

2. The musculi perforates so swelled, and the cartilago 



20 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

enstformis so singularly raised, that the chest of the corpse 
touched the mouth. 

3. From the pate/ fa of the left leg to the malleolus externus 
of the foot, all brown, green, and yellow, blended together. 

And on examination of the said corpse, Dr. Kukuck of 
Stargard affirmed and was ready to swear, that no one tittle 
of the signature of Satan was wanting thereupon. 

Summa. The poor carl was buried with great mourning 
on the following Friday ; and the reverend David preached 
a sermon thereupon, in which he plainly spoke of his strange 
and unnatural death, so that every one knew well whom he 
suspected. My hag heard of this instantly, and therefore 
determined to attend the sacrament on the following Sunday ; 
for this end she despatched Wolde to the priest, bidding her 
tell him she had a great desire to attend the holy rite, and 
would go to confession that day after noon. At this horrid 
blasphemy a cold shudder fell upon the priest (and I trust 
every Christian man will feel the like as he reads this), for 
he now saw through her motive clearly, how she wanted to 
blind the eyes of the people as to the death of the porter, by 
this mockery of the holiest rites of religion. Besides, amongst 
the horrible abominations practised by witches, it is well known 
that having received the sacred bread, they privately take the 
same again from their mouth and feed their familiar therewith. 
And one day when the convent was quite still, Anna Apen- 
borg, having crept down to peep through the key-hole of the 
refectory door, saw enough to confirm this general belief. 

No wonder then if the good priest stood long silent from 
horror ; then he spake " Tell the prioress it is well ; " but 
when Wolde was gone, he threw himself upon his knees in 
his closet before God, and wrestled long in prayer, with tears 
and wringing of hands, that He would open to him what was 
his path of duty. 

About noon he became more composed, through the great 
mercy of the Lord ; and bid his wife, Barbara, come to him, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 21 

with whom he had lived now a year and a half in perfect joy, 
though without children. To her he disclosed the proposition 
of the horrible sorceress, and afterwards spake thus : 

" And because, dear Barbara, after earnest prayer to God, 
I have come to the resolution neither to shrive nor to give the 
Lord's body to this daughter accursed of hell, do not be sur- 
prised if a like death awaits me as happened to the porter, 
Matthias. When I die, therefore, dear wife, take thee another 
spouse and bear children. * For the woman,' says the Scrip- 
ture, * shall be blessed through childbearing, so as she continues 
in faith, and love, and in holiness with sobriety ' ( I Tim. ii.). 
Thus thou wilt soon forget me." 

But the poor wife wept, and besought him to turn from his 
resolve, and not incur the vengeance of Sidonia. So he 
answered, " Weep not, or our parting will be more bitter ; 
this poor flesh and blood is weak enough, still never will I 
blaspheme the holy rite of our Church, and ( cast pearls before 
swine ' (Matt. vii. ). And wherefore weep ? At the last day 
they would meet again, to smile for ever in an eternity of joy. 
But could he hope for this if he were an unfaithful steward of 
the mysteries of God ? No ; but it was written, * Death is 
swallowed up in victory. Death, where is thy sting ? Hell, 
where is thy victory ? God be thanked who giveth us the 
victory through Christ our Lord' (i Cor. xv.). In God 
therefore he trusted, and in His strength would go now to 
the confessional." 

She must let him go ; the sexton would soon ring the bell, 
and he wished to pray some time alone in the church. Her 
tears had again disturbed his spirit, and made him weak. But 
he would use the holy keys of his office, which his Saviour 
had entrusted to him, to His glory alone, even if this accursed 
sorceress were to bring him to the grave for it. If the Lord 
will, He could protect him, but he would still do his duty. 
Will she not let him go now, that he may pray ? " 

And when she unwound her arms, he took her again in his, 



22 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

kissed her, sobbed, and wept ; then tearing himself away, 
went out into the church by the garden entrance. 

Then the poor wife flung herself on a seat, weeping and 
praying, but in a little while in came Dorothea Stettin, saying, 
" That she was going to confession, and had no small silver 
for the offertory. Could she give her change of a dollar ? " 

Then she asked about the other's grief; and having heard 
the cause, promised to go to the priest herself, and beseech him 
not to break the staff " Woe " over Sidonia. She went there- 
fore instantly to the church, and found him on his knees pray- 
ing behind the altar. Whereupon she entreated him, after her 
fashion, not to break the blessed peace peace above all things. 

Meanwhile the sexton rung the bell, and Sidonia entered, 
sweeping the nave of the church to the altar, followed by seven 
or eight nuns. But when she beheld Dorothea come out at one 
side, and the priest at the other, and that not another soul had 
been in the church, she laughed aloud mockingly, and clapped 
her hands " Ha ! the pious priest, would he tell them now 
what he and Dorothea were doing behind the altar ? The 
sisters were all witnesses how this shameless parson conducted 
himself." Though she spoke this quite loud for every one to 
hear, yet not one of the nuns made answer, but stood trembling 
like doves who see the falcon ready to pounce upon them. 
Yea, even as Dorothea came down the altar steps to take her 
place in the choir, my hag laughed loud again like Satan, and 
cried, " Ah ! the chaste virgin ! who meetest the priest be- 
hind the altar ! Thou shameless wanton, the prioress shall 
teach thee fitter behaviour soon ! " 

Poor Dorothea turned quite pale with fright, and began 
" Ah ! dear sister, only listen ! " 

But the dragon snapped at her, with " Dear sister, for- 
sooth ! What! was she to bear this insolence? Let her 
know that the gracious Lady Prioress was not to be talked 
to as 'dear sister'! " 

Here the organ struck up the confession hymn ; and the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 23 

whole congregation being assembled in the church, Sidonia 
and the seven nuns ascended the steps of the altar, bowed to 
the priest, and then took their seats, whereupon the organ 
ceased playing. 

After a brief silence, the poor minister sighed heavily, and 
then spake " Sidonia, after all that has been stated concerning 
you, particularly with regard to the death of the convent porter 
within these last few days, I cannot, as a faithful servant of 
God, give you either absolution or the holy rite of the Lord's 
Supper, until you clear yourself from such imputations before 
a princely consistorium." 

At this my hag laughed loud from the altar, crying, 
" Eh ? that was a strange story. What had she done to 
the convent porter ? " 

Hie. " Prayed him to death, as every one believed, and 
his appearance proved." 

Hac (still laughing). " He must have lost his senses. 
Let him go home and bind asses' milk upon his temples ; he 
would soon be better." 

Ille. " She should remember where and what she spoke. 
Had she not herself said, she would pray the porter to death ? " 
Hac (laughing yet louder). " Oh ! in truth, his little bit 
of mother-wit was quite gone. When and where had it 
been ever heard that one person could pray another to death ? 
Then they might pray them to life again. Shall she try it 
with the porter ? " 

Ille. "Why then had she threatened it ? " 
Hac (still laughing). " Ah ! poor man ! she saw now he 
was quite foolish. Why had she threatened? Why, in 
anger, of course, because the vile churl had flung her against 
the wall. Had he never heard the poor people say to each 
other, * May the devil take you ; ' but if one happened to die 
soon after, did people really think the devil had taken him ? 
Why, he was as superstitious as an old spinning- wife." 

Ille. " She had heard his resolve. This was no place to 



24 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

argue with her ; therefore she might go her ways, for he 
would verily not give her absolution." 

So Sidonia rose up raging from the confessional, clenched 
her hand, and screamed out in the still church, so that all the 
people shuddered with horror "Ye are all my witnesses that 
this worthless priest has denied me absolution, because, forsooth, 
he says I killed the convent porter. Ha ! ha ! ha ! Where 
is it said in your Scriptures that one man can pray another to 
death ? But the licentiousness of the vile priest has turned 
his brain, and he wallows in all most senseless superstitions. 
Did he not run after my old hag of a servant, as I myself 
saw; and this was not enough, but he must take Dorothea 
Stettin (the hypocritical wanton) behind the altar alone ; and 
because I and these seven maidens discovered his iniquity, he 
refuses me the rites, and must have me before a princely con- 
sistorium to revenge himself. But wait, priest, I will drag 
the sheep's clothing from thee. Wait, thou shalt yet repent 
this bitterly ! " 

After the horrible sorceress had so blasphemed, she departed 
as quickly as possible from the church, muttering to herself. 
The congregation remained silent from fear and terror ; and 
the poor priest, who seemed more dead than alive, prayed the 
sexton to fetch him a cup of water, which he drank ; and then 
being in some degree recovered, he stepped forth, and addressed 
the congregation thus : 

" Dear brethren and friends, after what ye have just heard, 
ye will not wonder if I am unable to receive confessions this 
day, or to administer the holy communion. Ye all know 
Dorothea Stettin, neither is my character unknown to you ; 
therefore remember the words of St. Peter, ' The devil goeth 
about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.' But 
we will resist him, steadfast in the faith. Meet me, then, to- 
morrow here at the altar, and ye shall hear my justification. 
After which, I will shrive those who desire to be partakers 
of the holy sacrament." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 25 

And on the following morning, the holy minister of God 
preached from Matthew v. 1 1 " Blessed are ye when men 
shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil 
falsely against you, for My sake ; be glad and comforted, for 
ye shall be well recompensed in heaven." And in this power- 
ful sermon he drew a picture of Sidonia from her youth up ; 
so that many trembled for him when they remembered her 
power, though they glorified God for the mighty zeal and 
courage that burned in his words. But when Sidonia heard of 
this sermon, she became almost frantic from rage. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Dorothea Stettin falls sick, and hoiu the doctor manages to 
bleed her Item, how Sidonia chases the princely com- 
missioners into the oak-forest. 

SUCH a public humiliation the good virgin Dorothea Stettin 
found it impossible to bear. She fell sick, and repented with 
bitter tears of the trust and confidence she had reposed in 
Sidonia ; finally, the abbess sent off a message to Stargard for 
the medicus, Dr. Schwalenberg. 

This doctor was an excellent little man, rather past middle 
age though still unmarried, upright and honest, but rough as 
bean-straw. When he stood by Dorothea's bed and had heard 
all particulars of her illness, he bid her put out her hand, 
that he might feel her pulse. " No, no ; " she answered, 
" that could she never do ; never in her life had a male 
creature felt her pulse." At this my doctor laughed right 
merrily, and all the nuns who stood round, and Sidonia' s old 
maid, Wolde, laughed likewise ; but at last he persuaded 
Dorothea to stretch out her hand. 

"I must bleed her," said the doctor. "This is febris 
putrida ; therefore was her thirst so great : she must strip 



26 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

her arm till he bleed her." But no one can persuade her to 
this strip her arm ! no, never could she do it ; she would 
die first : if the doctor could do nothing else, he may go his 
ways. 

Now the doctor grew angry. Such a cursed fool of a 
woman he had never come across in his life ; if she did not 
strip her arm instantly, he would do it by force. But Dorothea 
is inflexible ; say what he would, she would strip her arm for 
no man ! 

Even the abbess and the sisterhood tried to persuade 
her 

"Would she not do it for her health's sake; or, at least, 
for the sake of peace ? " 

They were all here standing round her, but all in vain. At 
last the doctor, half-laughing, half- cursing, said 

" He would bleed her in the foot. Would that do ? " 

" Yes, she would consent to that ; but the doctor must leave 
the room while she was getting ready." 

So my doctor went out, but on entering again found her 
sitting on the bed, dressed in her full convent robes, her head 
upon Anna Apenborg's shoulder, and her foot upon a stool. 
As the foot, however, was covered with a stocking, the doctor 
began to scold 

" What was the stocking for ? Let him take off the 
stocking. Was she making a fool of him ? He advised her 
not to try it." 

"No," Dorothea answered, "never would she strip her 
foot for him. Die she would if die she must, but that she 
could never do ! If he could not bleed her through the 
stocking, he may go his ways." 

Summa. As neither prayers nor threatening were of any 
avail, the doctor, in truth, had to bleed her through the 
stocking; and scarcely had he finished, when Sidonia sent, 
saying 

"That she, too, was ill, and wished to be bled." 



S1DONIA THE SORCERESS 27 

And there lay my hag alone, in bed, as the doctor entered. 
She was right friendly. 

" And was it indeed true, that absurd fool Dorothea did 
not choose to be bled ? Now he saw himself what a set of 
simpletons she had to deal with in the convent. No wonder 
that they all blackened her and belied her. She was sick 
from very disgust at such malice and absurdity. Ah, she 
regretted now not having married when she had the oppor- 
tunity ; it would have been better, and she had many offers. 
But she always feared she was too poor. However, her 
fortune was now excellent, for her sister had died without 
children, and left her everything a very large inheritance, as 
she heard. But the dear doctor must taste her beer ; she had 
tapped some of the best, and there was a fresh can of it on 
the table." 

But my doctor was too cunning not to see what she was 
driving at ; besides, he had heard of her beer-brewing, so he 
answered 

" He never drank beer ; but what ailed her ? " 

" Ah, she didn't know herself, but she had a trembling in 
all her limbs. Would he not take a glass of mead, or even 
water ? Her old servant should bring it to him." 

" No. Let her just put out her hand for him to feel her 
pulse." 

Instantly she stretched forth, not her hand alone, but her 
whole naked, dry, and yellow arm from the bed. Where- 
upon the doctor spoke 

" Eh ? What should I bleed you for ? The pulse is all 
right. In fact, old people never should be bled without 
serious cause ; for at seventy or so, mind ye, every drop is 
worth a groschen." 

"What! " exclaimed Sidonia, starting up ; " what the devil, 
do ye think I am seventy ? Why, I am hardly fifty yet." 

" Seventy or fifty," answered the doctor, " it is all much 
the same with you women-folk. " 



28 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

" To the devil with you, rude churl ! " screamed Sidonia. 
"If you will not bleed me, I'll find another who will. 
Seventy indeed ! So rude a knave is not in the land ! " 

But my doctor goes away laughing ; and as the ducal 
commissioners had arrived to try Sidonia' s case, with the 
convent chaplain, he went down to meet them at Sheriff 
Sparling's, and these were the commissioners : 

1. Christian Ludeck, state prosecutor; a brother of the 
priest's. 

2. Johann Wedel of Cremzow. 

3. Eggert Sparling, sheriff of Marienfliess. 

4. Jobst Bork, governor of Saatzig. 

This Jobst was son to that upright Marcus whose wife, 
Clara von Dewitz, Sidonia had so miserably destroyed. 
For his good father's sake, long since dead, their Graces of 
Stettin had continued him in the government of Saatzig, for 
he walked in his father's steps, only he was slow of speech ; 
but he had a lovely daughter, yet more praiseworthy than her 
grandmother, Clara of blessed memory, of whom we shall 
hear more anon. 

Summa. The doctor found all the commissioners assem- 
bled in the sheriff's parlour. Item, Anna Apenborg and 
the abbess as witnesses, who deposed to all the circum- 
stances which I have heretofore related; also, the abbess 
set forth the prayer of the sick Dorothea Stettin, that she 
might be restored to the sub-prioret out of which the false 
Sidonia had wickedly talked her, and now for thanks gave 
her insolent contempt and mocking sneers. 

Anna Apenborg further deposed, that, looking through 
the key- hole of the refectory door one day, she spied the 
wicked witch boring a hole in the wall ; in this she placed a 
tun-dish, and immediately after, a rich stream of cow's milk 
flowed down into a basin which Sidonia held beneath, and 
that same day the best cow in the convent stopped giving 
milk, and had never given one drop since. And because the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 29 

dairymaid, Trina Pantels, said openly this was witchcraft, 
and accused Sidonia and the old hag Wolde of being evil 
witches for she was not a girl to hold her tongue, not she 
her knee swelled up to the size of a man's head, and day and 
night she screamed for agony, until another old witch that 
visited Sidonia, Lena of Uchtenhagen, for six pounds of 
wool, gave her a plaster of honey and meal to put on the 
knee, and what should be drawn out of the swelling, but 
quantities of pins and needles ; and how could this have been, 
but by Sidonia's witchcraft ? * 

Many witnesses could prove this fact ; for Tewes Earth, 
Dinnies Koch, and old Fritz were by, when the plaster was 
taken off. 

Then Sheriff Sparling deposed, that having smothered his 
bees lately, he sent a pot of pure honey to each of the nuns, 
as was his custom ; but Sidonia scolded, and said her pot 
was not large enough, and abused him in a cruel manner 
about his stinginess in not sending her more. So, some days 
after, as he was riding quietly home to his house, across the 
convent court, suddenly the whole ground before him became 
covered with the shadows of bee-hives, and little shadows 
like bees went in and out, and wheeled about just as real bees 
do. Whereupon, he looked in every direction for the hives, 
for no shadows can be without a body, but not a hive nor a 
bee was in the whole place round ; but he heard a peal of 
mocking laughter, and, on looking up, there was the wicked 
witch looking out at him from a window, and she called 
out 

" Ho ! sir sheriff, when you smother bees again, send me 
more honey. A couple of pounds of the best good 
weight ! " 

* However improbable such accusations may seem, numbers of the 
like, some even still more extraordinary, may be found in the witch 
trials of that age, by any one who takes the trouble of referring to 
them. 



30 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

And this he did to have peace for the future. 

Now the commissioners noted all this down diligently ; but 
the state prosecutor shook his head, and asked the abbess 

" Wherefore she had not long ago brought this vile witch 
before the princely court ? " 

To which she answered, sighing 

"What would that help? She had already tasted the 
vengeance of the wicked sorceress, and feared to taste it again. 
Well, night and day had she cried to God to free the convent 
from this she-devil, and often resolved to unfold the whole 
Satan's work to his Highness, though her own life would be 
perilled surely by so doing. But she was ready, as a faithful 
mother of the convent, to lay it down for her children, if, 
indeed, that could save them. But how would her death help 
these poor young virgins ? For assuredly the moment Sidonia 
had brought her to a cruel end, she would make herself abbess 
by force, and this was such a dread to the sorrowing virgins, 
that they themselves entreated her to keep silence and be 
patient, waiting for the mercy of God to help them. For 
truly the power of this accursed sorceress was as great as her 
wickedness." 

Here answered Dr Schwalenberg 

" This power can soon be broken ; he knew many receipts 
out of Albertus Magnus, Raimundus Lallus, Theophrastus, 
Paracelsus, &c., against sorcery and evil witches." 

This was a glad hearing to the state prosecutor, and he 
answered with a joyful mien and voice 

"Marry, doctor, if you know how to get hold of this 
evil hag, do it at once ; we shall then bind her arms, so that 
she can make no signs to hurt us, and clap a pitch-plaster on 
her mouth, to stop the said mouth from calling the devil to 
her help; after which, I can easily bring her with me to 
Stettin, and answer for all proceedings to his Grace. Pro- 
bably she is a-bed still ; go back, and pretend that, upon 
reflection, you think it will be better to bleed her. Then, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 31 

when you have hold of her arm, call in the fellows, whom 
the sheriff will, I am sure, allow to accompany you." 

"Yes, yes," cried the sheriff, "take twenty of my men 
with you, my good doctor, if you will." 

" Well, then," resumed the state prosecutor, " let them 
rush in, bind the dragon, clap the pitch-plaster on her mouth, 
and she is ours in spite of all the devils." 

" Right, all right," cried the doctor ; " never fear but I'll 
pay her for her matrimonial designs upon me." 

And he began to prepare the plaster with some pitch he 
got from a cobbler, when suddenly the state prosecutor 
screamed out 

" Merciful God ! see there ! Look at the shadow of a 
toad creeping over my paper, whereon I move my hand ! " 

He springs up wipes, wipes, wipes, but in vain ; the un- 
clean shadow is there still, and crawls over the paper, though 
never a toad is to be seen. 

What a commotion of horror this Satan's work caused 
amongst the bystanders, can be easily imagined. All stood 
up and looked at the toad-shadow, when the abbess screamed 
out, " Merciful God ! look there ! look there ! The whole 
floor is covered with toad-shadows ! " Hereupon all the 
women-folk ran screaming from the room, but screamed yet 
louder when they reached the door, and met there Sidonia 
and her cat face to face. Round they all wheeled again, 
rushed to the back-door, out into the yard, over the pond, 
and into the oak-wood, without daring once to look behind 
them. But the men remained, for the doctor said bravely, 
" Wait now, good friends, patience, she can do us no harm ; " 
and he murmured some words. 

But just as they all made the sign of the cross, and silently 
put up a prayer to God, and gathered up their legs on the 
benches, so that the unclean shadows might not crawl upon 
their boots, the horrible hag appeared at the window, and her 
cat in his little red hose clambered up on the sill, mewing and 



32 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

crying (and I think myself that this cat was her spirit Chim, 
whom she had sent first to the sheriff's house to hear what 
was going on ; for how could she have known it ?). 

Summa. She laid one hand upon the window, the better to 
look in, and clenching the other, shook it at them, crying 
out, " Wait, ye accursed peasant boors, I, too, will judge ye 
for your sins ! " But seeing her cousin, Jobst Bork, present, 
she screamed yet louder " Eh ! thou thick ploughman, hath 
the devil brought thee here too ? Art thou not ashamed to 
accuse thy own kinswoman ? Wait, I will give thee some- 
thing to make thee remember our relationship ! " 

And as she began to murmur some words, and spat out 
before them all, the state prosecutor jumped up and rushed 
out after the women, and Sheriff Sparling rushed out after 
him, and they never stopped or stayed till both reached the 
oak-wood. 

But Jobst said calmly, " Cousin, be reasonable ; it is my 
duty ! " My doctor, however, wanted to pay her off for the 
marriage business, so he seized a whip with which Sheriff 
Sparling had been thrashing a boor, and hurrying out, cried, 
" I will make her reasonable ! Thou old hag of hell ! here 
is the fit marriage for thee ! " and so whack, whack upon her 
thin, withered shoulders. 

Truly the witch cried out now in earnest, but began to 
spit at the same time, so that the doctor had given but four 
strokes when the whip fell from his hand, and he tottered 
hither and thither, crying, " O Lord ! O Lord! " At this 
the sorceress laughed scornfully, and mocking his move- 
ments, cried out likewise, " O Lord ! O Lord ! " and when 
the poor doctor fell down flat upon the earth like the old 
porter and others, she began to dance, chanting her infernal 
psalm : 

" Also kleien und also kratzen, 
Meine Hunde und meine Katzen." 

And the cat in his little red hose danced beside her. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 33 

After which, she returned laughing to the convent to pray 
him to death, while the poor fellow lay groaning and gasping 
upon the pavement. None were there to help him, for the 
state prosecutor and Wedeln had made off to Stargard as quick 
as they could go, and Sheriff Sparling was still hiding in the 
bush. However, Jobst and the old dairy- woman helped him 
up as best he could, and asked what ailed him ? to which he 
groaned in answer, "There seemed to be some one sitting 
inside his breast, and breaking the cartilage ensiformts horribly 
asunder. Ah, God ! ah, God ! he was weak indeed ! his 
hour was come ; let them lay him in a coach, and carry him 
directly to Stargard." 

This was done as soon as the sheriff could be found ; but my 
doctor's screams never ceased for three days, after which he 
gave up the ghost, and the corpse had the same appearance as 
that of the convent porter, which I have already noticed. 
Thus it happened with the wise ! 

But Johann Wedeln fared little better, as we shall see ; for 
after the doctor's strange death, he said openly everywhere, he 
would never rest till the accursed witch was burned. Anna 
Apenborg repeated this in the convent, and to Sidonia's maid, 
upon which the witch sent for Anna, and asked was the report 
true ? And when the other did not deny it, she exclaimed, 
" Now for this shall the knave be contracted all his life Jong, 
and twist his mouth thus." Whereupon she mimicked how 
his shoulders would be drawn up to his ears, and twisted her 
mouth in horrible contortions, so that it was a shame and sin 
to look at her. And truly this misfortune fell upon him from 
that hour. And afterwards when he heard of her wickedness, 
from Anna Apenborg and others, and brought her to an account 
for her sorcery in Stettin, she made him bite the dust and lie 
in his coffin ere long, out of malice and terrible revenge, as we 
shall hear further on. 



VOL. II. 



34 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER VII. 

How the assembled Pomeranian princes hold a council over 
Sidonia* and at length cite her to appear at the ducal 
court. 

WHEN the state prosecutor, Christian Ludeck, reached Stettin 
with his appalling news, the Duke was seriously troubled in 
mind as to how he could best save the holy sisterhood, and 
indeed the whole land, from the terrible Satanic power and 
murderous malice of this cruel sorceress. So he summoned 
all the princes of his family to a convocation on a certain day, 
at Old Stettin ; but when they arrived, his Grace was absent, 
for he had gone to Coblentz on some business, and here was 
the matter. 

His steward, Jeremias Schroter, was an unworthy agent, 
as his Grace heard ; and when the time came for the poor 
people to get their oats or corn, he sent round and made 
them all give their receipts first, saying " They should have 
their corn after ; " but when they went to bring it home, 
he beat them, and asked what they meant he had their 
receipts : they were cheats, and should get no more corn 
from him. 

Now, a poor parson's widow came up all the way to Stettin, 
to complain of the steward to his Highness, who was shocked 
at such knavery, and determined to go down himself to 
Coblentz and make inquiries ; for the steward swore that the 
people were liars, and had defamed him. 

The Duke therefore bid the chancellor, Martin Chem- 
nitz, entertain his princely brothers until his return, which 

* Note of Bogislaff XIV. I was not present at this council, for I 
was holding my espousals at the time. (The Duke married the 
Princess Elizabeth von Schleswig Holstein in 1615, but left no 
heirs.) 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 35 

would not be before evening, and to show them his painting 
and sculpture galleries, and whatever else in the castle might 
please them. And now to show the good heart of his Grace, 
I must mention that, seeing the poor widow was tired with 
her six miles' walk, he bid her get up beside the coachman 
on the box of his carriage, and he would drive her himself 
to her own place. 

Meanwhile the young princes arrived, and the court marshal, 
the chancellor, the aforesaid state prosecutor, and other high 
officials, received them on behalf of his Highness. Doctor 
Cramer, vice- superintendent, my esteemed father-in-law, was 
also present item, Doctor Constantius Oesler. 

They were first led into the picture-gallery by the chan- 
cellor (although Duke George cared little about such 
matters), where there was a costly collection of paintings 
by Perugino, Raphael, Titian, Bellini, &c. item, statues, 
vases, coins, and medals, all of which his Grace had brought 
lately from Italy. Here also there was a large book, 
covered with crimson velvet, lying open, in which his Grace 
the Duke had written down many extracts from the sermons 
of Doctor Cramer and Mag. Reutzio, with marginal Latin 
notes of his own ; for the Duke had a table in his oratory 
or closet in St. Mary's Church, that he might write down 
what pleased him, and a Greek and Latin Bible laid thereon. 
This book was, therefore, a right pleasing sight to Doctor 
Cramer, who stood and read his own sermons over again 
with great relish, while the others examined the paintings. 

When they grew weary, the chancellor conducted them 
to the library, which contained ten thousand books. But 
Duke Ulrich said, " Marry, dear brothers, what the devil is 
there to see here ? Let us rather go down to the stables, 
and examine my new Danish horses ; then come up to 
my quarters (for his Grace lived with his brother, Duke 
Philip), and have a good Pomeranian carouse to pass away 
the time ; for as to these fooleries, which have cost our 



36 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

good brother such a mint of money, I would not give a 
dollar for them all." 

So they ran down the steps leading to the stables ; but 
first he brought them into the hunting-hall, belonging to his 
quarter, which was decorated, and covered all along the 
walls with hunting-horns, rifles, cross-bows, and hunting- 
knives and pouches, with the horns of all sorts of animals 
killed in the chase. Whereupon Duke George said, " He 
was content to remain here the horses he could see on the 
morrow." 

So he sat down by the wine-flask, which lay there already 
upon the table ; and while Duke Ulrich was trying to persuade 
him to come to the stables, saying he could have the wine-flask 
after, the door opened, and his Highness Duke Philip unex- 
pectedly entered the apartment. 

He embraced all his dear brothers, and then, turning 
to Duke Francis, the bishop, said, "Tell me, dear Fra 
(so he always called him, for his Grace spoke Italian and 
Latin like German), is there any hope of a christening at thy 
castle ? Oh, say yes, and I will give thee a duchy for my 
godchild." 

But Bishop Francis answered mournfully, " No ! " Then 
Duke Philip turned to another " How say you, brother 
mayhap there is hope of an heir to Wolgast ? " 

" None, alas ! " was the answer. 

" No, no ! " exclaimed the Duke, " and there is no hope 
for me either none ! " Then he walked up and down the 
hall in great agitation, at last stopped, and lifting up his hands 
to heaven, cried, " Merciful God, a child, a child ! Is my 
whole ancient race to perish ? Wilt Thou slay us, as Thou 
didst the first-born of Egypt ? Oh ! a child, a child ! " 

Here Doctor Cramerus advanced humbly, and said, " Your 
Highness should have faith. Remember what St. Paul says 
( Rom. iv. ) concerning the faith of Abraham and Sarah ; and 
Abraham was a hundred years old, whereas your Highness is 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 37 

scarce forty, therefore why despair of the mercy of God ? 
Besides, many of his brothers were still unwed." 

Hereat his Grace stood silent, and looked round at his 
dear brothers ; but Duke George exclaimed, " You need not 
look at me, dear brother, for I mean never to marry " (which, 
indeed, was the truth, for he died some short time after at 
Buckow, whether through Sidonia's witchcraft I know not, 
at the age of thirty-five years, and unmarried. One thing, 
however, is certain, that his death was as strange as the others ; 
for in seven days he was well, sick, dead, buried).* 

Summa. His Highness first excused himself to his illus- 
trious brothers for his absence, and related the cause, how his 
knave of a steward had been oppressing the poor, whereupon 
he determined to go himself and avenge their injuries ; for a 
prince should be the father of his people, and it was a blessed 
work, the Scripture said, to visit the fatherless and widows in 
their affliction (James i. 27). So he hid himself in a little 
closet, where he could hear everything in the widow's house, 
and then bid her send for the steward ; and when he came, 
the widow asked for her corn, as usual, but he said, " She 
must give him the receipt first, and then she might have it ; " 
upon which she gave him the receipt, and he went away. 

Then the Duke bid the widow send a peasant and his cart 
for the corn ; however, the old answer came back " She 
was a cheat what did she mean ? He had her receipt in 
his hand." 

Upon this the Duke drove himself to the knave, and made 
him, in his presence, pay down all the arrears of corn to the 
widow ; then he beat him black and blue, for a little parting 
remembrance, and dismissed him ignominiously from his ser- 
vice. After this he had thoughts of driving round to visit 

* There was formerly a Cistercian monastery at Buckow, in the 
chapel of which still hangs a picture of this Prince. Like most of his 
race, the face is in the highest degree unmeaning ; indeed, nothing more 
can be said of him than that he was born and died, 



38 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Prechln of Buslar, for the rumour was afloat that Sidonia had 
bewitched his little son Bartel, scarcely yet a year old, and 
made him grow a beard on his chin like an old carl's, that 
reached down to his little stomach. But as his dear brothers 
were waiting for him, his Grace had given up this journey, 
particularly as he wished to hear their opinions without delay 
as to what could be done to free the land from this evil sor- 
ceress Sidonia. Hereupon he bade Christian Ludeck, the 
state prosecutor, to read the proceedings at Marienfliess from 
his notes. 

As he proceeded to read the Acta, the listeners crossed and 
blessed themselves ; at last Duke Francis, the bishop, spake 
" Did I not say well, when years ago, in Oderkrug, I prayed 
our father of blessed memory to burn this vile limb of Satan 
for a terrible example ? But my good brother Philip sided 
against me with my father, and he was deemed the wiser. 
Who is the wiser now, I wonder eh ? " 

Then Duke Philip asked Dr. Cramer, " What he thought 
of the matter as iheologus ? " who answered, " Your Grace 
must spare me ; I will accuse no one, not even Sidonia, for 
though such things appear verily to be done by the help of 
the devil, yet had they no proof, seeing that no medicus had 
hitherto dissected any one of the cadavera which it was 
avowed Sidonia had bewitched to death." 

Hereupon Dr. Constantius spake that he had already, by 
legal permission, dissected the body of his colleague, Dr. 
Schwalenberg, and delivered over the visum repertum to 
his Grace's chancellor. Then he described the appearances, 
which were truly singular, particularly that of the cartilago ensi- 
formls. Item, concerning the <ual c vula trlcuspidales , through 
which the blood falls into the heart. They were so power- 
fully contracted that the blood was forced to take another 
course, for which reason, probably, the corpse seemed so 
dreadfully discoloured. Item, the vena pulmonalis had burst, 
from which cause the doctor had spit blood to the last. And 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 39 

lastly, the glandule sullinguales v/cre so swollen that the tongue 
could not remain in the mouth. Such a death was not natural ; 
that he averred. But whether Sidonia's sorcery had caused 
it, or it were sent as a peculiar punishment by God, that- he 
would not say ; he agreed with the excellent Dr. Cramer, 
and thought it better to accuse no one. 

" Now by the cross ! " cried Duke Francis, " what else is 
it but devil's work ? But the lords were very lukewarm, 
and resolved not to peril themselves ; that he saw. How- 
ever, if his brother, Duke Philip, permitted the whole princely 
race to be thus bewitched to death, he would have to answer 
for it at the day of judgment. He prayed him, therefore, 
for the love of God, to send for the hag instantly, and drag 
her to the scaffold." 

Hereat Duke Philip sank his head upon his arm, and was 
silent a long space. But the state prosecutor gave answer 
" Marry ! will your Episcopal Highness then take the trouble 
to tell us, who is to seize the hag ? I will do it not, and who 
else will ? for, methinks, whoever touches her must needs be 
sore tired of life." 

" If no one else will," returned the bishop, " my Camyn 
executioner, Master Radeck, will surely do it, for he never 
feared a witch ; besides, he knows all their arcana" 

Meanwhile, as Duke Philip still sat in deep thought, and 
played with a quill, the door opened, and a lacquey entered 
with a message from the noble Prechln of Buslar, requesting 
an audienza of his Grace. He had an infant in his arms 
which a wicked witch had prayed to death, and the child 
had a beard on it like an old man, so that all in the castle 
were terrified at the sight. 

His Grace Duke Philip instantly started up. " Merci- 
ful God ! is it true ? " waved his hand to the lacquey, who 
withdrew, and then walked up and down, exclaiming still, 
" Merciful God ! what can be done ? " 

" Torture ! burn ! kill ! " cried Duke Francis, the bishop. 



40 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

" and to-morrow, if it be possible. I shall send this night 
for my executioner ! trust to him. He will soon screw the 
soul out of the vile hag ; take my word for it." 

" Ay ! torture ! burn ! kill ! " cried also the state prose- 
cutor, "and the sooner the better, gracious master. For 
God's sake, no mercy more ! " 

Here the door opened, and Prechln of Buslar entered, 
pale as the infant corpse that lay upon his arms. This 
corpse was dressed in white with black ribbons, and a wreath 
of rosemary encircled the little head ; but, what was strange 
and horrible, a long black beard depended from the infant's 
chin, which the wind, as the door opened, blew backward 
and forward in the sorrowing father's face. After him came 
his wife, wringing her hands wildly from grief, and an old 
serving-maid. 

Truly the whole convocation shuddered at the sight, but 
Bishop Francis was the first to speak 

" And this is no devil's work ? " he exclaimed. " Now, 
by my faith, ye and your wise doctors are fools if ye deny 
this evidence. Come nearer, poor fellow ; set the corpse of 
your child down, and tell us how it came to pass. We 
had heard of your strange affliction, and just spoke thereon 
as you entered. Ha ! the sorceress cannot escape us now, 
methinks." 

Now, when the mourning father began to tell the story, 
his wife set up such a weeping and lamentation, and the old 
nurse followed her example after such a lugubrious fashion, 
that their lordships could not hear a word. Whereupon his 
Grace Duke Philip was obliged earnestly to request that the 
women should keep silence whilst Prechln of Buslar spoke. 

I have already mentioned what grudge Sidonia had against 
him, because he refused to acknowledge himself her feudal 
vassal by kissing her hand ; also, how she accused him after- 
ward of stealing her dog. This the poor knight related now 
at length, and with many tears, and continued - 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 41 

" During the strife between them, she one day spat upon 
both his little sons, and the eldest, Dinnies, a fine fellow of 
seven years old, who was playing with a slipper at the time 
under the table, died first. But the accursed witch had stepped 
over to the cradle where his little Bartholomew lay sleeping, 
while this old nurse, Barbara Kadows, rocked him, and mur- 
muring some words, spat upon him, and then went away, cursing, 
from the house. So the spell was put upon both children that 
same day, and Dinnies took sick directly, and in three days 
was a corpse ; but on his little Memi first grew this great black 
beard which their lordships all saw, and then he likewise died, 
after crying three days and three nights in horrible torture." 

The old nurse confirmed all this, and said 

" That when the horrible hag knelt down by the cradle to 
blow upon the child, she turned up her eyes, so that nothing 
but the whites could be seen. Ah ! what a wicked old hag 
that could not spare a child like that, and could put such an 
old man's beard on its little face." 

Then Duke Philip asked the knight if he had accused Si- 
donia of the witchcraft, and what had she answered ? 

" Ah yes, he had done so, but by letter, for he feared to 
go to Marienfliess, lest it might happen to him as to others who 
met her face to face, and his messenger brought back a letter 
in answer, by which their lordships could see how her arro- 
gance equalled her wickedness," and he drew forth her letter 
from his bosom, and handed the same to his Highness. 

Now Bishop Francis would have prevented his brother 
touching the letter, but Duke Philip had a brave heart, and 
taking it boldly, read aloud as follows : 

" SIDONIA, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, PRIORESS OF THE NOBLE CON- 
VENT OF MARIENFLIESS, LADY AND HEIRESS OF THE LANDS AND 
CASTLE OF STRAMEHL, LABES, REGENWALD, WANGERIN, AND 
OTHERS GREETING. 
"GOOD FRIEND AND VASSAL, 

' ' Touching your foul accusation respecting your two brats, and my 
bewitching them to death, I shall only say you must be mad. I have 



42 SIDONJA THE SORCERESS 

long thought that pride would turn your brain : now I see it has been 
done. If Bartel has got a beard, send for soap and shave him. As to 
yourself, I counsel you to come to Marienfliess to old Rathe, she knows 
how to turn the brain right again with a wooden bowl. Pour hot water 
therein, three times boiled, set the bowl on your head, and over the bowl 
an inverted pot ; then, as the water is drawn up into the empty pot, so 
will the madness be drawn up out of your brain into the wooden bowl, 
and all will be right again. It is a good receipt ; I counsel you to try it. 
She only desires you to kiss her hand in return. Such is the advice of 
your feudal lady and seigneuress, 

"SlDONIA BORK." 

His Highness had hardly finished reading the letter, v/hen 
Bishop Francis cried out 

" What the devil, brother, hast thou made the murderous 
dragon a prioress ? " 

But his Highness knew nothing of it, and wondered much 
likewise. Whereupon the state prosecutor told them how it 
came about, and that poor Dorothea Stettin had been talked 
out of her situation by the dragon, as was all here to be seen 
set down in full in the indictment ; but, as the case was not 
now under discussion, he would pass it over, although great 
quarrels and scandal prevailed in the convent in consequence, 
and poor Dorothea lay sick, earnestly desiring to be restored 
to her prioret. 

Bishop Francis now grew yet more angry 

" Give the witch a prioret in hell," he cried. " What 
would his dear brother do, now that the proofs were in his 
hands?" 

To which Duke Philip answered mildly 

" Dear Fra, think on my symbol, C. & R." (that is, 
Christo et Reipublicte, for Christ and the State). "Let us 
not be over-hasty. Suppose that Dr. Constantinus should 
first dissect this poor infant, and see what really caused its 
death." 

Thereat the doctor plunged his hand in his pocket, to 
draw forth his case of instruments, but the mother screamed 
out, and ran to tear the child from him " No, no ; they 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 43 

should never cut up her little Memi ! " Item, the maid 
screamed out, " No, no ; she would lose her life first ! " 
Ileniy the father stood still and trembled, but said never a 
word. 

What was to be done now ? His Grace repented of his 
hastiness, and at last said 

" Well, then, friends, let the doctor examine the infant 
externally, look into its mouth, &c." 

And when the parents consented to this, his Grace prayed 
them gently to withdraw with him into another apartment 
while the examination was made, as such a sight might give 
them pain. To this also they consented, and his Grace led 
the way to another hall (giving a sign privately to the doctor 
to do his business properly), where a splendid collation was 
served. After which, just to detain them longer, his Grace 
brought them to visit the picture-gallery. 

Summa. When they returned, the dissection had been 
accomplished, at which sight the parents and the maid 
screamed ; but his Grace confuted them, saying 

" That the ends of justice required it. He would now 
take the case into his own hands, and they might return quietly 
to their own castle and bury their infant, who would sleep as 
well dissected as entire." 

Having at last calmed them somewhat, they kissed his 
hand and took their leave. 

Meanwhile the two young Dukes, Ulrich and George, 
finding the time hang heavy, had slipped away from the 
council-board, and gone down to the ducal stables. 

When his Highness noticed their absence, he sent a page 
bidding them return and give their opinion in council as to 
what should be done next. But they sent back an answer 
" Let the lords do what they pleased ; as for them they were 
off to the chase, seeing it was pleasanter to hunt a hare than 
a witch." 

Now Bishop Francis stormed in earnest. 



44 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

" Marry, some folk would not believe in witchcraft, till 
they stood with their heels turned toward heaven ; and here 
these idle younkers must needs ride off to the chase when 
the life and death of our race hangs in the balance. I say 
again, brother, torture, burn, kill, and as soon as may be." 

But Duke Philip still answered mildly 

"Dear Fra, the medicus hath just pronounced that the 
corpse of the poor child presents no unnatural appearances ; 
and as to the beard, this may just as well be a miraculum 
Dei as a miraculum damonis, therefore I esteem it better to cite 
Sidonia to our court, and admonish her strenuously to all good." 

This course had little favour from Bishop Francis ; but 
when the state prosecutor agreed with his Highness, and 
Dr. Cramerus praised so Christian and merciful a resolve, 
he was at last content, particularly as some one said (I 
forget who, but I rather think it was the chancellor, Mar- 
tinus Chemnitz), that Mag. Joel of Grypswald gave it as 
his opinion that it would be a matter of trouble and danger 
to seize the witch, seeing that her familiar, the spirit Chim, 
was a mighty and strong spirit, and capable of taking great 
revenge on any who laid hand upon her ; but that he, 
Mag. Joel, would do for him easily if he came in his way. 

This intelligence gave the bishop great comfort, and he 
instantly despatched a letter to Mag. Joel, bidding him come 
forthwith to Stettin, whilst the chancellor prepared a Cita- 
tlonem realem si*ve personalem for Sidonia, which contained the 
following : 

" WE, PHILIP, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, &c., 

" Command thee, Sidonia von Bork, conventual and not prioress of 
the noble convent of Marienfliess, to appear before us, at our court of 
Stettin, on the isth day of July, at three of the clock, to answer for 
the evil deeds whereof thou art accused, under punishment of banish- 
ment, forfeiture, and great danger to thy body and life. Against such, 
therefore, take thou heed. 

" Signatum, Old Stettin, loth July 1616. 
" PHILIPPUS, manu sua," 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Of Sidonia's defence Item, how she has a quarrel 'with 
Joachim Wedel, and bewitches him to death. 

AT three of the clock on the appointed day, the grand 
Rittersaal (knights' hall) of the stately castle of Old Stettin 
was crowded with ministers, councillors, and officials, who 
had met there by command of their illustrious mightinesses, 
Duke Philip, Prince and Lord of Stettin, and Francis, Bishop 
of Camyn. Amongst the nobles assembled were Albert, 
Count of Eber stein, Lord of Neugarten and Massow ; 
Eustache F lemming, hereditary Grand Marshal ; Christoph 
von Mildenitz, privy councillor and dean of the honourable 
chapter of Camyn ; Caspar von Stogentin, captain at Fried- 
richswald ; Christoph von Plate, master of the ceremonies ; 
Martin Chemnitz, Chancellor of Pomerania ; Dr. Cramer, 
my worthy lord father-in-law, vice- superintendent ; Dr. 
Constantius Oesler, medicus ; Christian Ludeck, attorney- 
general ; Mag. Joel of Grypswald, and many others. These 
all stood in two long rows, waiting for their princely Graces. 
For it was rumoured that Sidonia had already arrived with 
the fish-sellers from Grabow, which, indeed, was the case ; 
and she had, moreover, packed seven hogsheads of her best 
beer on the waggon along with her, purposing to sell it to 
profit in the town ; but the devil truly got his profit out of 
the said beer, for by it not only our good town of Stettin, 
but likewise the whole land, was nearly brought to ruin and 
utter destruction, as we shall hear further on. 

Summa. When all the afore-named were ranged in rank 
and order, the great doors of the hall were flung wide open, 
and Duke Philip entered first. Every one knows that he 
was small, delicate, almost thin in person, pale of face, with 
a moustache on his upper lip, and his hair combed a la Naza- 



46 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

rena.* He wore a yellow doublet with silver-coloured satin 
sleeves, scarlet hose trimmed with gold lace, white silk stock- 
ings, and white boots, with gold spurs ; round his neck was a 
Spanish ruff of white point lace, and by his side a jewel- 
hiked sword ; his breast and girdle were also profusely 
decorated with diamonds. So his Highness advanced up the 
hall, wearing his grey beaver hat, from which drooped a 
stately plume of black herons' feathers, fastened with an 
aigrette of diamonds. This he did not remove, as was cus- 
tomary, until all present had made their obeisance and 
deferentially kissed his hand. Duke Francis followed in his 
episcopal robes, with a mitre upon his head, and a bishop's 
crook of ivory in his hand. The other young dukes, Ulrich, 
George, and Bogislaus, remained cautiously away.-j- 

And the blood-standard waved from the towers, and the 
princely soldatesca, with all the officers, lined the castle 
court, so that nothing was left undone that could impress 
this terrible sorceress with due fear and respect for their 
illustrious Graces. 

And when the order was given for Sidonia to be admitted, 
the two Princes leaned proudly on a table at the upper end 
of the hall, while the assembled nobles formed two long lines 
at each side. Three rolls of the drum announced the ap- 
proach of the prisoner. But when she entered, accompanied 
by the lord provost, in her nun's robes and white veil, on 
which the key of her office was embroidered in gold, a visible 
shudder passed over her frame ; collecting herself, however, 
quickly, she advanced to kiss their Graces' hands, but Bishop 
Francis, after he had drawn his symbolum with chalk before 
him on the table, namely, H, H, H, that is, " Help, helper, 
help," cried out, " Back, Satan ! stir not from thy place ; 

* Divided in the centre, and falling down straight at each side, as in 
the pictures of our Saviour. 

f Note of Bogislaff XIV. Yes; but not out of fear. I was cele- 
brating my espousals, as I have said. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 47 

and know that if thou shouldst attempt any of thy diabolical 
sorceries upon my dear lord and brother here (as for me, this 
honourable, consecrated, and priestly robe saves me from thy 
power) thou shalt be torn limb from limb, and thy members 
flung to feed the dogs, while thou art yet living to behold it, 
accursed, thrice-accursed witch ! " 

And his Grace, in his great rage against her, struck the 
table with his ivory crook, so that he broke a bottle filled 
with red ink which stood thereon, and the said ink (alas ! 
what an evil omen) poured down upon Duke Philip's white 
silk stockings, and stained them red like blood. 

Meanwhile Sidonia exclaimed, " What ! is there no leech 
here to feel the pulse of his Serene Highness ? Surely the 
dog-days, that we are in the middle of, have turned his brain 
completely. Any little bit of mother- wit he might have had 
is clean gone. What ! she had scarcely entered knew not 
yet of what she was accused, and she was * Satan ! ' * a thrice- 
accursed witch ! ' who was to be cut up into little bits to feed 
dogs ! Had any man ever heard the like ? Would the nobles 
of Pomerania, whom she saw around her, suffer one of their 
own rank a lady of castles and lands to be thus handled ? 
She called upon them all as witnesses, and after the audienza a 
notary should be summoned to note all down, for she would 
assuredly appeal to the states of the kingdom, and bring her 
cause before the Emperor." 

Hereupon Duke Philip interposed "Lady, our dear 
brother is of a hasty temperament ; yet you can scarce 
wonder at his speech, or take it ill, when you consider the 
terrible evils which you have brought upon our ancient and 
illustrious race. However, as an upright and good prince 
must judge the cause of his subjects before his own, I shall 
first inquire what caused the sudden illness of the sheriff, 
Eggert Sparling, and of the abbess, Magdalena, that time 
they brought my father's letter to you ? that letter which 
you said was a forgery, and flung into the fire." 



48 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Ilia. " What caused it ? How could she remember ? It 
was a long time ago ; but so far as she recollected, they came 
in when she was brewing beer or cooking sausages, and she 
opened the window to admit fresh air ; before this window 
they both sat and talked, to be out of the smell of the cook- 
ing ; could they not have got rheumatism by such means ? 
Let his Grace ask the doctors did it require witchcraft to 
give a man the rheumatism, who sat in a draught of air ? " 

The Duke. " But both were cured again as quickly as 
they had taken it." 

Ilia. " Ah, yes ! She would have done her best to 
cure even her greatest enemy, for the holy Saviour had said, 
1 Bless them that curse you ; do good to them that hate you ; 
pray for them that persecute you.' To such commands of 
her Lord she had ever been a faithful servant, and therefore 
searched out of her cookery-book for a sympatheticum, but for 
thanks, lo, now what she gets ! Such was the way of this 
wicked world. Perhaps my gracious lord would like to 
know of the sympathetlcum ; she would say it for him, if he 
wished." 

" Keep it to yourself, woman," roared Duke Francis, "and 
tell us why you burned my father's letter ? " 

Ilia. " Because, in truth, she deemed it a forgery. How 
could she believe a knave who had already deceived his own 
gracious Prince ? For did not this base sheriff appropriate to 
his own use eleven mares, one hundred sheep, sixteen head of 
cattle, and forty-two boars, all the property of his Highness, 
to the great detriment of the princely revenue. Item, at the 
last cattle sale he had put three hundred florins into his own 
bag, and many more evil deceits had this wicked cheat 
practised." 

" Keep to the question," cried Duke Philip, " and answer 
only what you are asked. What was that matter concerning 
the priest which caused you to complain of him to our princely 
consistorium ? " 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 49 

Ilia. " Ay ! and no notice taken, though it was a scandal 
that cried to Heaven, how this licentious young carl was ad- 
mitted into the convent as chaplain, when the regulations 
especially declared that an honourable old man should hold 
the office. She prayed, therefore, that another priest might 
be appointed." 

Hereat my worthy father-in-law, Dr. Cramer, said, " Good 
lady, be not so hasty ; from all we have heard, this priest is a 
right worthy and discreet young man." 

Ilia. " Right worthy and discreet, truly ! as her old maid 
could testify ; or the abbess, with whom he locked himself 
up ; or Dorothea Stettin, with whom he was discovered 
behind the holy altar. Fie ! The scandal that such a fellow 
should be convent chaplain ! and that a Christian government 
should suffer it ! " (spitting three times on the ground.) 

The Duke. " The inquiry concerning him was pending. 
For what cause had she forced herself into the sub-prioret ? " 

Ilia. " She ! Forced herself ! Forced herself into the 
sub-prioret ! What devil had invented this story ? Why, 
the abbess and the whole convent were witness that she was 
forced into it; for as Dorothea Stettin was ashamed after 
that business behind the altar when she was discovered with 
the priest besides, was a weak, silly thing at all times she 
had consented to relieve her from the sub-prioret at her 
(Dorothea's) earnest supplication and prayer." 

The Duke. " Wherefore had she treated the novices with 
such cruelty, and run at them with axes and knives, to do 
them grievous bodily harm ? " 

Ilia. " They were a set of young wantons, always gossip- 
ing about marriage and loons, therefore she had held a strict 
hand over them, which she would not deny ; particularly as if 
any of the nuns fell into sin, the law decreed that she was to 
be beheaded. Was she therefore wrong or right ? Truly 
the abbess said nothing, for she was as bad as any of them, 
and had locked herself up with the priest." 

VOL. II. D 



50 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

The Duke. " What caused the sudden death of the con- 
vent porter ? " 

Ilia. " What ! was this, too, laid on her as a crime ? 
Why, at last, if any one died in Wolgast, or another in 
Marienfliess during her absence, she would have to answer 
for it." 

The Duke. " But Dr. Schwalenberg had died in the self- 
same way, and as suddenly tumbling down dead upon the 
pavement." 

Ilia. " The knave was so drunk when he ran after her 
with a horsewhip to beat her, that he tumbled down on the 
stones ; and mayhap the shock killed him, as it did that 
other knave who flung her against the wall ; or that he got a 
fit ; for such would have been a just judgment of God on 
him, as it is written (Malachi iii. 5), I will be a swift 
witness for the widow and the orphan/ Ah ! truly she was 
a poor orphan, and the just God had been her swift witness ; 
for which, all praise and glory be to His name for ever " 
(weeping). 

Here Christoph Mildenitz, canon of Camyn, exclaimed, 
" Marry, thou wicked viper, I have seen the corpse of this 
same Schwalenberg myself, and every one, even the phy- 
sicians, said that he had died no natural death." 

Ilia. " Must the fat canon put in his word now ? Ha ! 
this was her thanks for the gloves she had knit him, and 
which he wore at this present moment, for she knew them, 
even at that distance, by the black seams round the thumbs. 
But so it was ever : she had no greater enemies than those 
whom she had done kindness to." 

The Duke.- "Prechln von Buslar also accused her of 
having brought his two sons to death, and making a long 
man's beard grow upon the little Bartel." 

Ilia (laughing). "Ah ! it is easy to see by your Grace 
that we are in the dog-days. Your Highness must pardon 
my mirth ; but who could help it ? Merciful God ! are Thy 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 51 

wonders, sent to fright the world and turn men from sin, to 
be called devil's sorceries ! To what a pass is the world 
come ! Has your Highness forgotten all history ? Know 
you not that God gives many signs to His people, and speaks 
in wonders ? Yet, when did men, till now, say that these 
signs were of the devil alone, and persecute and destroy help- 
less women by reason of them ? Speak, gracious Duke 
speak, ye noble lords have ye not tortured, and burned, and 
put to death weak and innocent women without number for 
these things, and must ye needs now seek my life ? And when 
was it ever known, till now, that nobles sat in judgment upon 
one of their own rank a lady of as high blood and proud 
descent as any of ye here for old wives' tales like these, and 
children's fooleries ? Speak ! Whoso saith I lie, let him 
step forward and convict me." * 

There was a dead silence in the hall when she had ended, 
and even Duke Philip looked down ashamed, for he could 
not but acknowledge that she spoke the truth, however un- 
willingly he believed aught the vile sorceress uttered. 

At last Bishop Francis spake " Why then didst thou blow 
upon the children of Prechln of Buslar, if it were not to be- 
witch them to death ? " 

Whereupon the witch answered scornfully " If that could 
kill, then were we all dead long since, for the wind blows on 
us every minute, and we blow upon our hot broth to cool it, 
yet who dies thereof? How could a bishop be so sunk in 
superstition ? As to Prechln of Buslar, no wonder if God had 
smitten him for his pride and arrogance, as it is said (Luke i. 
51),* He scatters such as are proud of heart,' for, though her 
feudal vassal, he had refused to do her homage ; therefore here 
was no witch-work, but only God's work, testifying against 
sinful haughtiness and pride. 

" Moreover, it was false that she had blown upon the chil- 

* It was a fact that the persecution of witches had risen at this 
period almost to a mania. 



& SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

dren ; the silly fool Prechln had imagined it all nothing was 
too absurd for stupidity like his to believe ; and what then ? 
Can't people die but by witchcraft ? Did St. Peter bewitch 
that covetous knave Ananias (Acts v.) when he fell down 
dead at his feet for having lied to the Holy Ghost ? Let the 
honourable convocation answer her truly." 

Summa. The end of all was (as we may imagine) that the 
cunning Satan was allowed to depart in peace, only receiving 
a wholesome admonition from his Highness Duke Philip, and 
another from my worthy father-in-law, Dr. Cramer. 

But what happened as she returned to her lodgment in the 
Riidenberg Street? Behold Joachim Wedel of Cremzow, 
whom she had made contracted, sat at his window to enjoy the 
air, but the evil hag no sooner looked up and saw him than 
she began to mock him, twisting her mouth awry, even as he 
twisted his mouth. When he observed her, his face grew 
red with anger, and he cried out of the window, " Ha, thou 
accursed witch, I am not so help help help helpless as 
thou thinkest; so do not twi twi twi twist thy mouth 
at me that way." 

To which Sidonia only answered with the one word " Wait ! " 
and passed on, but returned soon again with a notary and two 
witnesses (one was the landlord of the inn where she had left 
her beer), stepped up to the chamber where Joachim sat, and 
bid them take down that he had called her an accursed witch 
while she was quietly going along the street to her lodgment. 

Poor Wedel vainly tried to speak in his defence ; the hag 
maintained her assertion, and prayed that the just God who 
brought all liars to destruction would avenge her cause, if it 
were His gracious will, for the Scripture said (Psalm v. 7), " I 
will destroy them that speak leasing." Therefore she left 
him and all her other enemies in the hand of God. He would 
take vengeance ! 

And oh, horror ! scarcely had she returned to her lodgment 
when the poor man began to scream, "There is some one 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS $3 

sitting within my breast, and lifting up the breast-bone ! " 
Thus he screamed and screamed three days and three nights 
long ; no physician, not even Dr. Constantinus, could help him, 
and finally, when he died, his body presented the same appear- 
ances precisely as those of Dr. Schwalenberg and the convent 
porter, as the doctors who dissected him affirmed upon oath. 
He was a clever man, learned and well read, and left Annales 
behind him, a work which this cruel witch caused to remain 
unfinished. 

And further, it was a strange thing (whether of witchcraft 
or of God, I cannot say) that except my gracious Duke Philip, 
almost every one present at this remarkable colloquium died 
within the year ; for example, Count Albert, Eustache Flem- 
ming, Caspar von Stogentin, Christoph von Mildenitz all lay 
in their graves before the year was out.* 



CHAPTER IX. 

Hoiv a strange ivoman (who must assuredly have been Sidonia} 
incites the lieges of his Grace to great uproar and tumult 
in Stettin, by reason of the netu tax upon beer. 

MY gracious Prince will perhaps say, " But, Theodore, how 
comes it that this hag, who in her youth could not be brought 
to learn the catechism, quoted Scripture in her old days like a 
priest > " 

* Some place the death of Joachim Wedel so early as 1606. The whole 
matter is taken, almost word for word, from the criminal records in the 
Berlin Library; and, according to Dahnert, the first question on the 
book concerned the death of this man. His Annales include the years 
from 1501 to 1606 ; they contain the whole history of that period, but 
the work has never been printed. Dahnert, however, vol. ii. Pome- 
ranian Library, gives some extracts therefrom ; also, in Franz Kock's 
" Recollections of Dr. John Bugenhagen," Stettin, 1817, we find this 
chronicle quoted. 



54 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

I answer Serene Prince and Lord, that seems in my 
opinion because the evil witch found that Scripture, when not 
taught of God, can be made to serve the devil's purposes. For 
this reason she studied therein ; not to make honey, but to ex- 
tract poison, as your Grace may have perceived in her strifes 
with individuals, and even with the constituted authorities. 
Further, methinks, she must also have studied in history books, 
for how else could she have discoursed upon political matters 
so as to raise the whole population of Stettin into open revolt, 
as we shall soon see. However, I leave these questions un- 
decided, and shall only state facts, leaving the rest for your 
Highness' s judgment. 

The day following that on which Sidonia had been tried 
before the noble convocation (and she must have still been in 
the town, I think, for it was late in the previous evening 
when she bewitched Joachim Wedel), the priest of St. 
Nicholas read out after the sermon, before the whole congre- 
gation, the ducal order declaring that, from that date forward, 
the quart of beer, hitherto sold for a Stralsund shilling, should 
not be sold under sixteen Pomeranian pence. This caused 
great murmurs and discontent among the people ; and when 
they came out of church they rushed to the inn, where Si- 
donia had been staying, to discuss the matter freely, and 
screamed and roared, and gesticulated amongst themselves, 
saying, "The council had no right to raise the price of beer ; 
they were a set of rogues that ought to be hung," &c., and 
they struck fiercely on the table, so that the glasses rang. 

Just then an old hag came to the door, but not in a cloister 
habit. She had a black plaster upon her nose, and com- 
plained how she had hurt herself by falling on the sharp 
stones, which had put her nose out of joint. 

" People talked of this new decree was it true that the 
poor folk were to pay sixteen Pomeranian pence for a quart 
of beer ? O God ! what the cruelty and avarice of princes 
could do. But she scarcely believed the report, for she 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 55 

brewed beer herself better than any brewer in the land, and 
yet could sell the quart for eightpence, and have profit 
besides. Oh, that princes and ministers could rob the poor 
man so ! ay, they would take the very shirt off his back to 
glut their own greed and covetousness. And what did they 
give their hard-earned gold for ? To build fine houses for the 
Prince, forsooth, and fill them with fine pictures from Italy, 
and statues, as if he were a brat of a school-girl, and must 
have his dolls to play with." 

"What sort is your beer, old dame?" asked a fellow. 
" Marry, it must be strange trash, I warrant." 

Ilia. " No, no ; if they would not believe her word, let 
them taste the beer. She wanted nothing further but to 
prove how the wicked government oppressed the poor folk ; 
for she was a God-fearing woman, and her heart was filled 
with grief to see how the princes lately, in this poor Pome- 
rania, squeezed the very life-blood out of the people," &c. 
Then she lifted up a barrel of beer upon the table (I have 
already said that Sidonia had brought some with her to sell), 
and invited the discontented people to taste it, which they 
were nothing loth to do, and soon broached the said barrel. 
Then, having tasted, they extolled her beer to the skies 
" No better had ever been brewed." Now other troops of 
the discontented came pouring in from Lastadie, Wiek, &c., 
cursing, and swearing, and shouting " The beer must not be 
raised ; they would force the government to take off the tax. 
Would not their comrades join ? " 

This was fine fun to the old hag, and she produced another 
barrel of beer, which the mob emptied speedily, and then 
began talking, shouting, screaming, roaring like flocks of wild 
geese ; and when the old hag saw that they had got enough 
under their caps to make them quite desperate, she began 

"Was not her beer as good as any beer in the duchy ?" 

" Ay, ay better ! " shouted the mob. " Where dost thou 
live, mother ? " 



56 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

To this she gave no answer, but continued : " Yet this 
beer cost but eightpence a quart, by which they could see 
how the wicked and cruel government oppressed them. Oh, 
it was a sin that cried to Heaven, to see how princes and 
nobles scourged and skinned the poor folk. They swilled 
wine of the best, and plenty, in their own gorgeous castles, 
but grudged poor bitter poverty its can of beer ! Shame on 
such a government ! " 

"True, true! " shouted the mob; "she is right: we are 
scourged and skinned by these worthless nobles. Come, 
brothers, let us off to the council-hall, and if they will not 
take off the tax, we'll murder every soul of them." 

Ilia. "And be asses for their pains. Was that all they 
could do -pray the mighty council, forsooth, to lower the tax ? 
Oh, brave fellows ! What ! had they not the power in their 
own hands, if they would only be united ? Had they never 
heard how the people of Anklam had, in former times, killed 
their rulers and governors, and then did justice to them- 
selves ? What right had prince, minister, or council to 
skin a people? They had all stout arms and brave hearts 
here, as she saw ; could they not right themselves ? must they 
needs crouch for their own to prince or minister ? Did she 
lie, or did she speak the truth ? " 

Here the mob cheered and shouted, " True ! true ! " and 
they struck the table till the glasses broke, roaring, " She is 
right, brothers. Are we not strong ? Can we not right our- 
selves ? Why should we go begging to a council ? May the 
devil take all the covetous, rich knaves, who drink the people's 
blood ! " 

Ilia. " But may be they wanted a prince eh ? The prince 
was the shepherd, the council only the dog who bit the sheep 
as his master commanded. Eh, children ? is not a prince a 
fine thing, to squeeze the sweat and life-blood out of ye, and 
turn it into gold for himself? For what are his riches but 
your sweat and blood, if ye reflect on it ; and is it a sin to 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 57 

take your own ? Methinks if all princes were killed or 
banished, and their goods divided amongst the people, ye 
would all have enough. Have ye not heard of that brother- 
hood who set all princes and governments at defiance for two 
hundred years, and lived like brothers amongst themselves, 
dividing all goods alike, so that they were called L ike-dealers ; 
and no beggar was found amongst them, for they had all things 
in common.* Wherefore can ye not be Like-dealers also ? 
Are there not rich enough for ye to kill ? And if ye are united, 
who can withstand you ? Look at the dog and the cattle how 
the poor stupid beasts let themselves be driven, and bit, and 
beaten, just because they are used to it ; but, lo ! if the cattle 
should all turn their horns against the dog and the shepherd, 
what becomes of my fine pair ? So is it with the Prince and 
his council. Oh, if ye were only united ! Fling off the 

* These Like-dealers were the communists of the Middle Ages, 
and were for a number of years the plague of the northern seas; 
until at the beginning of the fifteenth century they were subdued, and 
many of them captured by the Dutch, who nailed them up in barrels, 
leaving an aperture for the head, at top, and then decapitated them. 
The best account of them is found in " Raumer's Historical Note-book," 
vol. ii. p. 19. And if any one wishes to see the result of communist teach- 
ing, they have only to study here the horrible excesses to which it leads. 

The communism of the apostolic age might have been suited to a 
period in which it would be difficult to say whether faith or love pre- 
dominated most ; but even then it by no means prevented the existence 
of extreme poverty, for we read frequently in the Acts and Epistles of 
the collections made for the Christian churches. But in our faithless, 
loveless, selfish, sin-drowned century, such an attempt at community 
of goods would not only annihilate all morality completely, but abso- 
lutely degrade us back from civilisation and modern Catholicism into 
the rudest and most meagre barbarism. The apostles of such doc- 
trines now must speak, though perhaps unconsciously, from the sole 
inspiration of Satan, like Sidonia. The progress of humanity is not 
to be furthered by such means. Let our merchants no longer degrade 
human beings into machines for their factories, nor our princes degrade 
them into automaton puppets for their armies, but of men make living 
men. And the strong energy, the stern will, the vital spiritual power 
that will thus be awakened, will and must produce the regeneration of 
humanity. 



58 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

parsons too, for they are prime movers of all your misery. Do 
they not teach you, and teach you from your youth up, that 
ye must have princes and priests ? Eh, brothers, where is that 
written in the Scriptures ? 

"Doth not St. Peter say (ist Epistle, chap, ii.), ' Ye are 
a royal priesthood ' ? What then ! if ye are kings, princes, 
and priests yourselves, must ye needs pay for other kings, 
princes, and priests ? Can ye not govern yourselves ? can ye 
not pray for yourselves ? In my opinion, yes ! Doth not the 
same St. Peter likewise call ye * a chosen people,' * a people of 
inheritance ; ' but, I pray you, where is your inheritance ? 
poor beggars as ye are to whom neither priest nor prince will 
give one can of beer. Ha ! go, I tell you take back your 
kingship, your priesthood, your inheritance. Become Like- 
dealers, brothers, even as the early Christians, who had all 
things in common, before the greed of priest or prince had 
robbed them of all. Like-dealers ! Like-dealers ! run, run 
kill, slay, strike all dead, and never rest until ye drown the 
last priest in the blood of the last prince ! " 

As the hag thus spoke, through the horrible inspiration of 
Satan, the passions of the mob rose to frenzy, and they rushed 
out and joined the bands in the streets, and the crowds that 
poured from every door ; and as they repeated her words from 
one to the other the frenzy spread (for they were like oil to 
fire). But the hag with the black plaster on her nose, when 
she saw herself left alone in the chamber, looked out after them, 
and laughed, and danced, and clapped her hands. 

Now the Prince and court had withdrawn to Colbatz for 
safety, and a council was summoned in all haste and anxiety. 
The water-gate was barred likewise, to prevent a junction with 
the people of Lastadie and Wiek, but the townspeople, who 
had gathered in immense crowds, broke it in, and joining with 
the others, proceeded to storm the council-hall, where the 
honourable council were then sitting. They shouted, roared, 
menaced, and seizing the clerk, Claude Lorenz, in the chamber, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 59 

murdered him before the very eyes of the burgomasters, and 
flung the body out of the window ; then rushing down the 
steps again, proceeded along the corn-market, and by the high 
street into the horse-market, where they sacked three breweries 
from the roof to the cellar ; and dragging out the barrels, staved 
in the bottom, and drank out of their hats and caps, shouting, 
roaring, singing, and dancing, while they swilled the good beer ; 
so that the sight was a scandal to God and man. 

And the uproar waxed stronger and stronger throughout 
that whole night. Not a word of remonstrance or expos- 
tulation will the people listen to ; they threaten to hang up 
the messengers of the honourable council, and show no respect 
even to a mandate from his Highness, under his own seal and 
hand, which a horseman brings them. They laugh, mock, 
fling it into the gutter, sack more breweries, and by ten of the 
clock, just as the citizens are going to church, they number 
ten bands strong. 

So my worthy father-in-law, Dr. Cramer, with the dean 
and archdeacon of St Mary's, stood upon the steps at the 
church-door as the bells rung, and the mob rushed by to sack 
more breweries. And he spoke friendly to the rioters " They 
should stop and hear what the Word of God said about the 
uproar at Ephesus (Acts xix.)." 

And some would, and some would not. What did they 
want with parsons ? Strike all the parsons dead. They could 
play the priest for themselves, and forgive their own sins. 
Yet many went in, for it was the custom to attend the 
weekly preaching, and my worthy father-in-law, turning 
round, addressed them from the nave of the church me- 
thinks they needed it ! 

One very beautiful comparison that he employed made a 
great impression, and brought many to reason. For he spoke 
of the bees, how, when they wander too far from the hive, they 
can be brought back by soft, sweet melody, and so might this 
wild and wandering human swarm be brought back to the true 



60 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

hive by the soft and thrilling melody of God's holy Word. 
Then for conclusion he read the princely mandate from the 
altar ; but at this the uproar recommenced, and they ran 
shouting and screaming out of the church, and to their wild 
work again, staving in the barrels and drinking the beer ; and 
they insulted a magistrate that spoke mildly to them, and said 
if they would be quiet, he would try and have the tax removed. 
So they raged like the bands of Korah and Abiram ; wanted 
to kill every one, all the rich, and divide their goods ; for their 
riches were their blood and sweat. They would drag the four 
guilds to the council-hall, and the chief burgomasters, and hang 
them all up, and afterwards the honourable council, and all the 
priests, &c. So passed the first and second day. 

On the third morning by six of the clock, his Highness 
Duke Philip, with all his suite, drove in six coaches from 
Colbatz up to the Oderstrasse, galloping into the middle of 
the crowd of noisy, drunken rioters, who thronged the grass- 
market as thick as bees in a swarm. 

He wished to pass on quickly to the castle, but could not, 
so he had to see and hear for himself how the insurrection 
raged, and the mob surrounded the coach of his Highness 
with loud cries, in which nothing could be heard distinctly, 
but on one side " Kill him ! " and on the other, " Let him 
go ! " This made Bishop Francis wild with anger, and he 
wanted to jump out of the coach and beat back the people, 
but Duke Philip gently restrained him. " See you not," 
he said, " the people are sick ? Hot words will increase 
their sickness." Then he motioned to Mag. Reutzio, the 
court chaplain, who sat in the coach, to admonish the 
crowd. 

But the moment the reverend M. Reutzio put his head 
out of the window to address them, the people shouted, 
" Down with the parson ! what is he babbling for. Dr. 
Cramer told us all that yesterday. We want no parsons ; 
kill them ! kill them ! Down with priests ! down with 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 61 

princes ! " And they sprang upon the horses to cut the 
traces, but the coachman and outriders slashed away right 
and left with their horsewhips, so that the mob recoiled ; 
and then with loud shouts of " Make way ! make way ! " 
the coachman lashed his horses forward into a gallop. 

But behold, as they crossed the Shoe-strasse, a coarse, 
thick-set woman knelt by the kennel with her daughter, a 
half-grown girl, and they were drinking beer from a barrel 
like calves. This same woman was knocked down by the 
foremost horse, so that she fell into the gutter. Hereat she 
roared and cursed his princely Grace, and flung the beer-can 
at him, but it fell upon the horse, who grew wild, and dashed 
off in a mad gallop across the Shoe-strasse into the Pelzer- 
strasse, and up to the castle without pausing, where a large 
crowd had already collected. 

If the sovereign people had been wild before, they were 
ten times more wild now, and ran to try and get into the 
castle after his Highness ; but the Duke ordered the gates 
to be closed. He, finding that the courts and corridors were 
already filled with the members of the venerable council, and 
three hundred of the militia, bade the men stand to their 
arms, load the heavy artillery, and erect the blood-standard 
on the tower, while he and the princes, with the honour- 
able members, considered what could best be done in this 
grave and dangerous crisis. Whereupon he bade the council 
attend him in the state banqueting-hall. 

Now the honourable council declared they were ready to 
part life and limb for their liege lord and the illustrious 
house of Pomerania, according to the terms of their oath ; 
but the burghers would not. For when Duke Philip asked, 
would not the burghers go forth, and help to disperse this 
armed and unruly mob, the militia made sundry objections, 
and set forth numerous difficulties. Whereupon Bishop 
Francis started up, and exclaimed, " Brother, I pray thee, 
do not stoop to conciliate the people ! If ye know not how 



62 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

to die, 1 can go forth and die for all since it has come to 
this." And he rose to depart. 

But his Highness seized him by the hand, and entreated 
patience yet for one hour more. Then he turned to the 
militia, and again admonished them of their duty, and bid 
them remember the oath ; but they answered sharply, " Why 
the devil should we go forth and shoot our brothers, neigh- 
bours, and friends ? They are more to us than all.' 7 Item, 
they recapitulated their objections and difficulties. 

Hereupon his Highness exclaimed, " Alas ! how comes 
it that my good people of Stettin are so unruly ? If the 
Stralsunders indeed had risen, I would say nothing, but my 
dear Stettiners, who have ever been so true and loyal, holding 
to their province through all adversities, and now ah ! that 
I should live to see this day ! " 

Then Bishop Francis spake " Truly, our good Stettiners 
are to be known no longer. Were it possible to bewitch a 
whole people, I would say this witch-devil of Marienfliess 
had done it. For in all Pomeranian land was it ever heard 
that the people refused obedience to their Prince as the 
burgher militia here have dared to refuse this day ? " 

Just then the evil tidings arrived that the mob were sacking 
the house of one of the chiefs of the council, whereupon his 
Highness Duke Philip called out again, " Will ye stand by 
me or not ? Here is no time for hesitation, but action. Will 
ye follow me ? Speak, lieges ! " 

Hereat a couple of hundred voices responded ** Yes, yes; " 
but the "yes" fell as dull and cold upon the ear as the clang 
of a leaden bell. 

However, Bishop Francis instantly exclaimed, " Good ! 
Go then, all of ye, to the armoury, and arm yourselves with 
speed. Meanwhile I shall see to the loading of the cannon 
in the castle court. Then whosoever among you is for God 
and the Prince, follow me to victory or death." 

But Duke Philip interposed. " Not so, dear brother ; not 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 63 

so, my good lieges ; let us try first what reconciliation will do, 
for they are my erring children." 

And though Duke Francis was sore displeased and impatient, 
yet my gracious Prince despatched his chief equerry, Andreas 
Ehlers, as herald to the people, dressed in complete armour, 
and with a drawn sword in his hand, accompanied by three 
trumpeters, to read a new princely proclamation to the people. 

So the herald rode first to the grass-market, and when the 
trumpet sounded, the people stood still and listened, whereupon 
he read the following proclamation, in a loud voice : 

"The Serene and Illustrious Prince and Lord, Lord Philip, Duke of 
Stettin, Pomerania, Cassuben, and Wenden, Prince of Rugen, Count of 
Gutzkow, and Lord of the lands of Lauenburg and Butow, our gracious 
Prince, Seigneur, and Lord, hereby commandeth all present, from Las- 
tadie, Wiek, Dragern, and other places assembled, to lay down their 
arms, and retire each man to his own home in peace and quietness, 
without offering further molestation to his loyal lieges, burghers, and 
citizens, on pain of severe punishment in person and life, and depriva- 
tion of all wonted privileges. Further, if they have aught of complaint 
against the honourable council or burgesses, let them bring the same 
before his Highness himself. Meanwhile the quart of beer, until further 
orders, shall be reduced to its original price, as agreed on yesterday in 
council, and be sold henceforth for one Stralsund shilling. 

" Signatum, Old Stettin, the i8th July, 1616. 
" PHILIPPUS, manu sua" 

When the herald had finished reading, and shown the 
princely signature and seal to the ringleaders, a great murmur 
arose among the crowd, of which, however, the herald took 
no heed, but rode on to the horse- market, where he likewise 
read the proclamation, and so on through the principal thorough- 
fares. Then he returned to the grass-market, but lo ! not a 
soul was to be seen ; the crowds had all dispersed, and quiet- 
ness reigned everywhere. Whereupon the herald rode joyfully 
to the horse-market, to see if the like had happened there, and 
truly peace had returned here too. And all along the principal 
streets where the proclamation had been read, the people were 
thoroughly subdued by this princely clemency and authority. 



64 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

So when the herald returned to the castle, and related the 
success of his mission, the tears filled the eyes of his Grace 
Duke Philip, and taking his lord brother by the hand, he ex- 
claimed, " See, dear Francis, how true are the words of Cicero, 
* Nihiltam populare quam bonltas* " * Then they both went 
forth and walked arm in arm throughout the town, and wher- 
ever his Grace saw any group still gathered round the beer- 
cans, he told them to be content, for the beer should be sold 
to them at the Stralsund shilling. And thus the riot was 
quelled, and the town returned to its accustomed quietness 
and order. 

Now truly the same Cicero says, " In impenta mwtitudine 
est varietas et inconstantia et crelra tanquam tempestatum, sic 
sententiarum commutatio." 



CHAPTER X. 

Of the fearful events that take place at Marienfliess Item, hoiv 
Dorothea Stettin becomes possessed by the devil. 

MEANWHILE Satan hath not been less busy at Marienfliess in 
Sidonia's absence, than at Old Stettin in her presence. But 
he cunningly changed his mode of action, not to be recog- 
nised, and truly Dorothea Stettin was the first he practised 
on. For having recovered from her sickness, she one day 
presented herself at church in the nun's choir as usual ; but 
while joining in the closing hymn, she suddenly changed 
colour, began to sob and tremble in every limb, then con- 
tinued the chant in a strange, uncertain voice, sometimes 
treble, sometimes bass, like that of a lad whose beard is just 
beginning to grow. At this the abbess and the sisterhood 

* (Nothing so popular as kindness.) 

f (The senseless multitude are changeful and inconstant as the 
weather, and their opinions suffer as many mutations. ) 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 65 

listened and stared in wonder, then asked if the dear sister 
had fallen ill again ? 

" No," she answered gruffly, " she only wanted to be 
married. She was tired of playing the virgin. Did. the 
abbess know, perchance, of any one who would suit her as 
bridegroom ? For she must and would be married ! " 

Think now of the horror of the nuns. Still they thanked 
God that such a scandalum had happened during the singing, 
and not at the blessed sermon. Then they seized her by the 
arms, and drew her away to her cell. But woe, alas ! 
scarcely had she reached it, when she threw herself upon her 
bed in strong convulsions. Her eyes turned so that only the 
whites were to be seen, and her face grew so drawn and 
strange that it was a grief to look upon it, and still she kept 
on screaming in the deep, gruff man's voice " For a bride- 
groom ! a bridegroom ! " she that was so modest, and had 
such a delicate, gentle voice. Whereupon all the sisters 
rushed in to hear her the moment the sermon was over ; 
item, the priest in his surplice. 

But the unfortunate maiden no sooner beheld him, than 
she cried out in the deep bass voice " David, I must marry ; 
wilt thou be my bridegroom ? " And when he answered, 
" Alas, poor girl ! when was such speech ever heard from you 
before ? Satan himself must have possessed you ! " she cried 
out again, " Hold your chatter will you, or will you not ? " 

" How can I take you ? " replied the priest ; " you know 
well that I have a wife already." Whereupon the gruff bass 
voice answered, with mocking laughter, " Ha ! ha ! ha ! 
what matter for that ? Take more wives ! " 

Here some of the young novices laughed, but others who 
had never wept bis dato^ now broke out in violent weeping, 
and the abbess exclaimed, " Oh, merciful God ! who hath 
ever heard the like from this our chaste sister, whom we 
have known from her youth up ? Oh ! deliver her from 
this wicked devil who reigns in her soul and members ! " 

VOL. n. 5 



66 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

But at the mention of the holy name, the evil one raged 
more furiously than ever within her. He tore her, so that 
she foamed at the mouth, and ah ! woe is me that I must 
speak it uttered coarse and shameful words, such as the 
most shameless groom or jack-boy would scarce pronounce. 

These sent all the novices flying and screaming away ; but 
the abbess remained, with some of the nuns, also the priest, 
who prepared now to exorcise the devil with the most power- 
ful conjurations. Yet ere he began, a strange thing happened ; 
for the possessed maiden became suddenly quite still, all her 
members relaxed, and her eyes closed heavily as if in sleep. 
But it was not so, for she then began, in her own soft, natural 
voice, to chant a hymn in Dutch, although they all knew she 
never had learned one word of that language. The words 
were these : 

"Oh, chaste Jesu ! all whose being 
Was so lovely to our seeing, 
Thoughts and speech, and soul and senses, 
Filled with noblest evidences. 

Oh ! the God that dwelt in Thee, 

In His sinless purity ! 

Oh, Christ Immanuel, 

Save me from the sinner's hell ! 

Make my soul, with power divine, 
Chaste and holy, ev'n as Thine ! " 

Then she added in her own tongue " Ah ! ye must pray 
much before this devil is cast out of me. But still pray, pray 
diligently, and it will be done. 

"Guard, Lord Christ, our deepest slumber, 

Evil thoughts may come in dreams ; 
And the senses list the murmur, 
Though the frail form sleeping seems. 

Oh ! if Thy hand do not keep us, 

Even in sleep, from passion's flame, 
Though our eyes close on temptation, 

We may fall to sin and shame ! 

Amen." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 67 

" Yes, yes, oh, pray for me ; be not weary, her judgment is 
pronounced." 

" What mean you ? " spake the abbess, " whose judgment 
hath been pronounced ? " 

Ilia. " Know you not, then ? Sidonia's." 

Hac. " How could she have bewitched you ? She is far 
from here." 

I/la. " Spirits know no distance." 

Hac. " How then hath she done this ? " 

Ula. " Her spirit Chim summoned another spirit last even- 
ing, who entered into me as I gasped for air, after that strife 
between you and your maid, for I was shocked to hear this 
faithful creature called a thief." 

Hac. " And is she not a thief? " 

Ilia. " In no wise. She is as innocent as a new-born child." 

Hac. " But there was no one else in the chamber when I 
laid down my purse, and when she went away it was gone." 

Ilia. " Ah ! your dog Watcher was there, and the purse 
was made of calf's skin, greased with your hands, for you had 
been rolling butter ; so the dog swallowed it, having got no 
dinner. Kill the dog, therefore, and you will find your purse." 

ffac. " For the love of Heaven ! how know you aught 
of my rolling butter ? " 

Ilia. " A beautiful form like an angel sits at my head, and 
whispers all to me." 

Hac. " That must be the devil, who has gone out of thee, 
for fear of the priest." 

Ilia. " Oh, no ! He sits under my liver. See ! there 
is the angel again ! Ha ! how terribly his eyes are flashing ! " 

Hac. " Canst thou see, then ? Thine eyes are close shut " 
(opening Dorothea's eyes by force, but the pupil is not to be 
seen, only the white). 

Ilia. " I see, but not through the eyes through the 
stomach." 

Hac. " What ? Thou canst see through the stomach ? " 



68 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Ilia. " Ay, truly ! I can see everything : there is Anna 
Apenborg peeping under the bed ; now she lets the quilt drop 
in fright. Is it not so ? " 

The abbess clasps her hands together, looks at the priest in 
astonishment, and cries, " For the love of God, tell me what 
does all this betoken ? " 

To which the priest answers, " My reason is overwhelmed 
here, and I might almost believe what the ancients pretended, 
and Cornelius Agrippa also maintained, that two damones or 
spirits attend each man from infancy to the grave ; and that 
each spirit strives to blend himself with the mortal, and make 
the human being like unto himself, whether it be for good 
or evil.* 

" However, I esteem this apparition to be truly Satan, who 
has changed himself into an angel of light to deceive more 
easily, as is his wont ; therefore, as this our poor sister hath 
also a prophesying spirit, like that maiden mentioned, Acts 
xvi. 1 6, let us do even as St. Paul, and conjure it to leave her. 
But first, it would be advisable to see if she hath spoken truth 
respecting the dog." 

So my dog was killed, and there in truth was the purse of 
gold found in his stomach, to the wonderment of all, and the 
great joy of the poor damsel who had been accused of stealing 
it. Immediately after, the poor possessed one turned herself 

* Cornelius Agrippa, of the noble race of Nettersheim, natural philo- 
sopher, jurist, physician, soldier, necromancer, and professor of the black 
art in fine, learned in all natural and supernatural wisdom, closed his 
restless life at Grenoble, 1535. His principal work, from which the 
above is quoted (cap. xx.), is entitled De Occulta Philosophia. That 
Socrates had an attendant spirit or demon from his youth up, whose 
suggestions he followed as an oracle, is known to us from the Theages 
of Plato. But of the nature of this genius, spirit, or voice, we have no 
certain indications from the ancients, though the subject has been much 
investigated in numerous writings, beginning with the monographs of 
Apulejus and Plutarch. The first (Apulejus), De Deo Socratis, makes 
the strange assertion, that it was a common thing with the Pythagoreans 
to have such a spirit ; so much so, that if any among them declared he 
had not one, it was deemed strange and singular. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 69 

on the couch, sighed, opened her eyes, and asked, " Where 
am I ? " for she knew nothing at all of what she had uttered 
during her sleep, and only complained of a weakness through 
her entire frame.* After this, the evil spirit left her in peace 
for two days, and every one hoped that he had gone out of 
her ; but on the third day he began to rage within the unfor- 
tunate maiden worse than ever, so that they had to send quickly 
for the priest to exorcise him. But behold, as he entered in 
his surplice, and uttered the salutation, "The peace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ be upon this maid," the evil spirit with the 
man's coarse voice cried out of poor Dorothea's mouth 
" Come here, parson, I'll soon settle for you." 
Then it cursed, swore, and blasphemed God, and raged 
within the poor maiden, so that the foam gathered on her pale 
lips. But the reverend David is not to be frightened from 
his duty by the foul fiend. He kneeled down first, with all 

* That poor Dorothea was in the somnambulistic state (according to 
our phraseology) is evident. A similar instance in which the demoniac 
passed over into the magnetic state is given by Kerner, ' ' History of Pos- 
session," p. 73. I must just remark here, that Kieser ("System of Tellur- 
ism ") is probably in error when he asserts, from the attitudes discovered 
amongst some of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, that the ancients were 
acquainted with the mode of producing the magnetic state by manipu- 
lation or passes, for Jamblichus enumerates all the modes known to the 
ancients of producing the divining crisis, in his book De Mysteriis 
sEgyptorium, in the chapter, Insperatas vacat ab actione propria, page 
58, and never mentions manipulation amongst them, of which mode, 
indeed, Mesmer seems to have been the original discoverer. The 
ancients, too, were aware (as we are) that the magnetic and divining 
state can be produced only in young and somewhat simple (simpliciores] 
persons. Porphyry confirms this in his remarkable letter to the Egyptian 
priest of Anubis (to which I earnestly direct the attention of our physi- 
ologists), in which he asks, "Wherefore it happens that only simple 
(cbrAoyrepous /ecu vtovs) and young persons were fitted for divination?" 
Yet there were many even then, as we learn from Jamblich and the 
later Psellus, who maintained the modern rationalistic view, that all 
these phenomena were produced only by a certain condition of our own 
spiritual and bodily nature ; although all somnambulists affirm the 
contrary, and declare they are the result of external spiritual influences 
working upon them. 



70 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

present, and prayed earnestly to God ; then endeavoured to 
make the possessed maiden repeat the Lord's Prayer and the 
Creed after him ; but the devil would not let her. He raged, 
roared, laughed scornfully, and abused the priest with such 
unseemly words that it was a grief and horror to hear 
them. 

"Wait, parson," it screamed, "in three days thou shalt 
be as I am. (Namely, a spirit ; though no one knew then 
what the devil meant.) I will make thee pay for this, be- 
cause thou tormentest me." 

But neither menaces nor blasphemies could deter the good 
priest. He lifted his eyes to heaven, and prayed that beauti- 
ful prayer from the Pomeranian liturgy, page 244, which he 
had by heart : 

" O Lord Jesu Christ, Thou Son of the living God, at 
whose name every knee must bend, in heaven, upon the earth, 
and under the earth ; God and man ; our Saviour, our brother, 
our Redeemer ; who hast conquered sin, and death, and hell, 
trod on the devil's head and destroyed his works Thou hast 
promised, Thou holy Saviour, * that whatever we ask the Father 
in Thy name, Thou wilt grant unto us.' Therefore, by that 
holy promise, we pray Thee, Lord Christ, to look with pity 
upon this our sister, who hath been baptized in Thy holy name, 
redeemed by Thy precious blood, washed from all sin, anointed 
by Thy Holy Spirit, and made one with Thee, a member of the 
living temple of Thy body. Relieve her from the tyranny and 
power of the devil ; graciously cast out this unclean spirit, that 
so Thy holy name may be praised and glorified, for ever and 
ever. Amen." 

Then he laid his hand upon the sick maiden's head, while 
the hellish fiend raged and roared more furiously than ever, so 
that all present were seized with trembling, and exclaimed 

" In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the strength 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, I bid, desire, and command thee, thou unclean spirit, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 71 

to come forth, and give place to the Holy Spirit of God ! 
Amen." 

Whereupon the convulsions ceased in the sick maiden's 
limbs, and she sank down gently on her bed, as a sail falls 
when the cords are loosed and the wind ceases ; and thus she 
lay for a long time quite still. 

After which, she said in her own natural voice 

" Now I see him no more ! " 

" Who is it that you see no more ? " asked the abbess. 

Ilia. " The evil spirit, my angel says. He has gone forth 
from me. Woe, woe, alas ! " 

H&c. " Why dost thou cry, alas, when he has in truth 
gone out from thee ? " 

Ilia. " My angel says, he will first strangle the priest who 
has cast him forth, then will he return, as it is written in the 
Scripture (Matt. xi. 24), * After three days I will return 
to my house from which I had gone forth.' Ah, look ! the 
good priest is growing pale. But let him be comforted, for 
he shall have his reward in heaven, as the Lord saith 
(Matt, v.)." 

Hac. " But why does the great God permit such power 
to the devil, if what thou sayest be true ? " 

Ilia is silent. 

Hac. " Thou art silent ; what says thy angel ? " 

Ilia. " He is silent also now he speaks again." 

Hac." What says he then ? " 

Ilia. " The wisdom of God is silent." 

The abbess repeats the words, while the priest falls back 
against the wall, as white as chalk, and exclaims 

" Your angel is right. I feel as if a mouse were running 
up and down through my body. Alas ! now the bones of 
my chest are breaking. Farewell, dear sisters ; in heaven we 
shall meet again. Farewell ; pray for me. I go to lay my 
head upon my death-pillow." 

And he was scarcely gone out at the door when a great 



72 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

cry and weeping arose amongst the sisters present, and the 
abbess asked, weeping likewise 
" Is this, too, Sidonia's work ? " 

Ilia. " Whose else ? She hath never forgiven him be- 
cause he rejected her love, and hath only delayed his death 
to a fitting opportunity." 

Hac. " Merciful God ! and will this murderous nun be 
brought to judgment ? " 

Ilia. " Yes, when her hour comes, she will be burned and 
beheaded not many years after this." 

Hac. " And what will become of you ? Will you die, if 
Satan often takes up his dwelling-place in your heart ? " 

Ilia. " If you do not prevent him, I shall die ; if he leave 
me, I shall grow well." 

HtKc. " What can we, miserable mortals, do to prevent 
him ? " 

Ilia. " Jobst Bork of Saatzig has three rings, which the 
spirits made, and gave to his grandmother in Pansin. Item, 
he has also a beautiful daughter called Diliana, and as no 
second on earth bears her name,* so is there no other who 
equals her in goodness, piety, humility, chastity, and courage. 
If this Diliana lays one of the rings on my stomach, in the 
name of God, the devil can no more enter in me, and I 
shall be healed. But what do I see ? there she comes 
herself." 

. 11 Who comes ? " 



* In fact, I have nowhere else met with the name " Diliana," whereas 
that of " Sidonia " is by no means uncommon. Virgil calls Dido 
"Sidonia" (JEn. i, v. 446), with somewhat of poetic license, for she 
was not born in Sidon but in Tyre. About the time of the Reformation 
this name became very common in the regal houses. For example, 
King George of Bohemia, Duke Henry of Saxony, Duke Franz of 
Westphalia, and others, had daughters called "Sidonia." For this 
reason, therefore, the proud knight of Stramehl probably gave the same 
name to his daughter. In the Middle Ages I find only one Sidonia or 
Sittavia, the spouse of Count Manfred of Xingelheim, who built the town 
of Zittau, and died in the year 1021. 



SIDONJA THE SORCERESS 73 

Ilia. " Diliana. She has run away from her father, and 
will offer herself as servant to Sidonia, because old Wolde 
is sick." 

H&c. " She must be foolish then, if this be true." 

Ilia. " Ay, she is foolish, but it is from pure love, which 
indeed is a godlike folly ; for Sidonia hath bewitched her 
poor father, and he grows worse and worse, and her prayers 
to the sorceress are of no avail to help him, so she hath 
privately left her father's castle, to offer herself as servant to 
Sidonia ; for no wench, far or near, will be found who will 
take old Wolde's place, and she hopes, in return for this, that 
the sorceress will give her something from her herbal to cure 
her old father. Ha ! what do I see ? How her beautiful 
hair streams behind her upon the wind ! How she runs like 
a deer over the heather, and looks back often, for her heart is 
trembling lest her father might send after her. Now she 
enters the wood ; see, she kneels down, and prays for her 
father and for herself, that God will keep her steps. Let us 
pray also, dear sisters, for her, for the poor priest, and for the 
unfortunate maiden." 

Whereupon they all fell upon their knees, and the possessed 
virgin offered up so beautiful a prayer that none had ever heard 
the like before, and every face was bedewed with tears. After 
which she awoke, and, as the first time, remembered nothing 
whatever of what had passed, or of what she had uttered. 



CHAPTER XL 

Of the arrival of Diliana and the death of the convent priest 
Item, hovu the unfortunate corpse is torn by a ( wolf. 

SCARCELY had the abbess returned to her apartment when 
Diliana sprang in, with flowing hair, and her beautiful, bloom- 
ing face looking like a rose sprinkled with morning dew. So 



74 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

the worthy matron screamed first with wonder that all should 
be true, then taking the lovely young maiden in her arms, 
pressed her to her heart, and asked 

" Wherefore comest thou here, my beloved Diliana ? " 

Ilia. " I have run away from my father, good mother, and 
will serve my cousin Sidonia Bork as her waiting-maid, hoping 
that in return she will give him something out of her herbal 
to heal his poor frame, which is distracted day and night with 
pain, even as she healed you and Sheriff Sparling ; and she 
will do this, I am sure, because I hear that her maid, Anne 
Wolde, is sick, and no one in all the country round will take 
service with her, they say." 

H<zc. " Poor child, thou knowest not what thou dost. 
She will slay thee, or ill-treat thee in her wickedness, or may 
be bring some worse evil than either on thee." 

Ilia. " And I will do as the Lord commanded if she 
strike me on one cheek, I will turn to her the other also, whereby 
she will be softened, and consent to help my poor father." 

Hac. " She will help him in nothing, and then how wilt 
thou bear the disgrace of servitude ? " 

Ilia. " Disgrace ? If the soul suffer not disgrace, the body, 
methinks, can suffer it never." 

Hac. " But how canst thou do the duties of a serving- 
wench ? Thou, brought up the lady of a castle ! " 

Ilia. " I have learned everything privately from Lisette ; 
trust me, I can feed the pigs and sheep, milk the cow, and 
wash the dishes, &c." 

Hac. " But what put it into thy head, child, to serve her 
as a maid ? " 

Ilia. " When I last entreated my cousin Sidonia to help 
my poor father, she said, * Get me a good maid who will do 
my business well, and then I shall see what can be done to help 
him. Now, as no one will take service with her, what else 
can I do, but play the trencher-woman myself, and thus save 
my poor father's life ? " 



SIDONTA THE SORCERESS 75 

H&c. " Thou hast saved it once before, as I have heard." 

Ilia is silent. 

Hac. (t How was it ? Tell me, that I may see if they 
told me the story truly." 

Ilia. " Ah, good mother, speak no more of it. It was as 
you have heard, no doubt." 

Hac. " People say that a horse threw your father, dragged 
him along, and attempted to kick him, upon which, while all 
the men-folk stood and gaped, you flew like the wind, seized 
the bridle of the animal, and held him fast till your father was 
up again." 

Ilia. "Well, mother, there was nothing very wonderful 
in that." 

HaKc. " Also, they tell that one day at the hunt you came 
upon a part of the wood where two robbers were beating a noble 
almost to death, after having plundered him. You sprang 
forward, menaced them, and finally made them take to their 
heels, after which you helped the poor wounded man upon 
your own palfrey, like a good Samaritan indeed, and without 
thought of the danger or fatigue, walked beside him, leading 
the horse by the bridle until clear out of the wood, and 
thus " 

Ilia. " Ah, good mother, do not make me more red than 
I am ; for know, the poor wounded noble thought so much of 
what I had done, that he must needs ask me for his bride, 
though truly I would have done the like for a beggar." 

H<EC. "Then it was George Putkammer, and thou wilt 
not have him ? " 

Ilia. " I may say with Sara (Tobias iii.), * Thou knowest, 
Lord, that I have desired no man, and have kept my soul pure 
from all evil lusts ; ' but indeed to save my father's life is more 
to me than a bridegroom. A bridegroom may be offered many 
times in life to a young thing like me, but a father comes never 
again." 

Hac. " God grant that thou mayest save him, but never 



76 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

tell thy cousin Sidonia of George Putkammer's love, else, 
methinks, it will be all over with thee." 

Ilia. " But if she ask me, I cannot lie unto her " 

Just then the cry was heard, " The priest is dying; " where- 
upon the abbess, Diliana, indeed the whole convent, rushed out 
to visit him at the glebe-house. The priest, however, was dead 
when they arrived, and his corpse had the same signature of 
Satan as the others who died before him, save only that his 
right hand was uplifted, and had stiffened into the same position 
in which he held it when he exorcised the evil spirit out of 
Dorothea. 

So they all stood around pale and trembling, while they 
listened to his poor widow telling how his breast-bone rose 
up higher and higher, until at length he died in horrible 
agony. 

But behold, the door flies open, and Sidonia, who had just 
returned from her long journey, enters, with her long black 
habit trailing after her through the chamber. Whereupon they 
all become dumb with horror and disgust, and stand there like 
so many marble or enchanted figures. 

" Ah, what is this I hear," exclaimed the accursed sorceress, 
"just on my return home ? Is the worthy and upright man 
really dead ? Woe ! alas, that I could have saved him from 
this ! How did it happen ? Thank God that I was not here 
at the time, or the wicked world, which lays all manner of 
crimes upon me falsely, might have accused me of this likewise. 
Yes, I thank God a thousand times that I was absent ! Speak, 
poor Barbara ! how did it happen that your dear spouse fell so 
suddenly ill ? " 

But the poor wife only trembled, and sank powerless against 
the bed where the corpse of her husband lay stretched ; for 
when Sidonia advanced close to it, the red blood oozed from 
the mouth of the dead man, as if to accuse his murderess before 
God and man. 

And no one could speak a word, not even a sob was 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 77 

heard in answer to her questions ; whereupon the sorceress 
spake again 

" Alas, what is all this which has happened in my absence ! 
Good Dorothea, they tell me, is possessed by a devil ; but, 
at least, people can see now that I am as innocent as a new- 
born infant ; though, assuredly, some terrible sinner must be 
lurking amongst us, though we know it not, or all this judg- 
ment would not come upon the convent. I would not will- 
ingly condemn any Christian soul ; but, if I err not, the old 
dairy- woman is the person ! " 

This she said from revenge, because the woman had refused 
to give her seven cheeses for a florin, when she was on her 
way to Stettin. Of the misfortunes which grew out of these 
same cheeses for the poor dairy- woman, we shall hear more in 
due time. 

At this horrible hypocrisy and falsehood the abbess could 
no longer hold her peace, and cried, " In my opinion, sister, 
you err much ; the old dairy-mother is a pious and honest 
woman, as all the convent can testify, and attended diligently 
on our dead pastor here to be catechised." 

Ilia. " Who then, else ? It was incomprehensible. A 
thousand times thank God that she had been away during it 
all. Now they must hold their tongues, they who had black- 
ened her to the Prince ; but his Grace had done her justice, 
and dismissed her honourably from the trial at Stettin." 

H<zc. " I have a different version of the story ; for his 
Highness has commanded you to resign the sub-prioret to 
Dorothea Stettin forthwith item, you are to be kept close 
within the convent walls, for which purpose I shall order 
the great padlock to be placed again upon the gates. Thus 
his Grace commands ; and as we have a chapter assembled 
here already, I may announce the resolve with all due 
form." 

Ilia. " What ! you tell me this, in the presence of the 
priest's wife and your serving-wenches ? Do they belong 



78 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

to the chapter of noble virgins ? I shall forward a proto- 
collum to his Highness, setting forth all that has happened 
in my absence, and get all the sisterhood to sign it, that the 
Duke may know what kind of folk the abbess summons to 
her chapter ; but as touching the sub-prioret, it is well known 
to you all how it was forced upon me by Dorothea, as I fully 
explained to the princes in council. However, speak, sisters; 
if ye indeed wish this light, silly creature, this devil-possessed 
Dorothea Stettin, for your sub-prioress again, take her, and 
welcome I will not prevent you. She can teach you all 
the shameful words which, as I hear, flow so liberally from 
her lips eh, sisters, will ye have the wanton or not ? " 

And when the nuns all cried " No, no ! " the accursed 
witch went on 

"Well, then, I bid ye all to assemble instantly in my 
apartment, to testify the same to his Highness ; also to bear 
witness of the evil deeds done in my absence, for that the 
poor priest has died no natural death, is evident ; therefore 
his Grace, I trust, will probe the business to the uttermost, 
and find out who is the evil Satan amongst us ay, and tear 
off the deceitful mask, that my good name thereby may be 
justified before the Prince and the whole world." 

Diliana now stepped forward from amidst a crowd of 
serving-women among whom she had concealed herself, and 
bowed low in salutation to Sidonia ; but the witch laughed 
scornfully, and cried, " What ! has your worthy father sent 
you to me ? " 

Ilia. " Ah, no ; she came out of her own free will, to 
serve her good cousin Sidonia, for she heard that no maid 
could be found to hire with her, therefore she would play the 
serving- wench herself, and ask no other wages but a cure from 
her receipt-book for her dear father, who was daily growing 
worse and worse." 

Hac. " She required much from her maid ; and on her 
way home she had bought six little pigs item, she had a cow, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 79 

cocks and hens, geese, and seven sheep. All these the maid 
must feed and look after, besides doing all the indoor work." 

Ilia. " She could do all that easily, for old Lisa had in- 
structed her in everything." 

Hac. " But how was it that she was not ashamed to play 
the serving- wench she, a castle and land dowered maiden, 
with that illustrious name she bore ? " 

Ilia. " There was but one thing of which men need be 
ashamed, and that was sin ; but this was not sin." 

H<KC. " She was very sharp with her answers. Why did 
she not talk to her father, who had made her brother's son, 
Otto of Stramehl, give up to him her two farm-houses in 
Zachow, with all the rents appertaining ; but Otto had been 
justly punished by the good God, for she had just got tidings 
of his death." 

Ilia. " But my father will restore you all, good cousin, 
as he wrote to you himself." 

Hac. " Ay, the old houses, may be, he'll give back, but 
will he restore the rents that have been gathering for fifty 
years ? No, no, he refuses the money, even as my nephew 
Otto refused it (but God has struck him dead for it, as I 
said before).* Oh, truly these proud knights of my own 
kin and name stood bravely for me against the world ! ay, 
I owe them many thanks for turning me out, a poor young 
maiden, unfriended and alone, till I became a world's wonder, 
and the scorn of every base and lying tongue ; but persecu- 
tion was ever the lot of the children of God." 

Ilia. " Her poor father had not the gold ; for five rix- 
dollars a year would amount in fifty years to five hundred 
rix-dollars, and such a sum her father could not command." 

Hac. " Yet he had enough to spend on horses, falcons, 
hunting, and the like ; only for her he had naught." 

* He died suddenly just at this time ; and Sidonia confessed, at the 
eleventh torture question, that she had caused his death. (Dahnert, 
p. 430.) 



8o SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Ilia (kissing her hand). "Ah, good cousin, leave him 
in peace, and help him if you can ; I will serve thee as well 
as I am able my life long, if you ask it of me." 

Hesc. " Away ! thou silly, childish thing ; how should 
the meek Sidonia ever bear to be served by a noble lady 
as thou art ? If the world had not blackened me before, it 
might begin -now in earnest, and justly." 

Ilia. " Ah, good, kind cousin, will you then heal my 
father for nothing ? " 

H<zc. "Well, I shall see about it, if, perchance, it be 
God's will." 

Ilia (kissing her hand again). "Dear cousin, how good 
you are ! Now see, all of ye, what a kind cousin I have in 
Sidonia, who has promised to cure my loved father " (dancing 
for joy like a child). 

Hac. " Come, then, all present, to my apartment ; thou, 
Diliana, mayest draw up the protocollum, and better, perhaps, 
than a bad notary. Come ! " 

So they all proceeded to the refectory, and the protocollum 
was drawn up and signed, and Sidonia compelled the new 
convent porter to carry it off, that very night, to his High- 
ness at Stettin. 

Meanwhile the poor widow, along with some other 
women, including the old dairy-mother, prepared the poor 
priest's corpse for burial, and they put on him his black 
Geneva gown item, black plush breeches, which his brother- 
in-law in Jacobshagen had made him a present of. I note 
the plush breeches especially, for what reason my readers 
will soon see ; and because the parsonage swarmed with rats, 
they had the corpse carried before nightfall into the church, 
and set down close beside the altar ; and by command of the 
sheriff the windows were thrown open to admit fresh air, on 
account of the dead body lying there. 

An hour after the poor widow went into the church, to 
see if the blood yet flowed from the mouth of her dear 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 81 

murdered husband. But what sees she ? the corpse is 
lying on its face in the coffin in place of on its back. She 
calls the dairy-mother in, trembling with horror, and they 
turn him between them. Then they go forth, but return in 
a little while again, and see, the corpse is again turned upon 
its face. And no one is able to comprehend how the corpse 
can turn of itself, or be turned by any one, for the widow 
has one key of the church and the abbess has the other ; 
therefore the poor wife, simple as she is, resolves to hide 
herself in the church for the night, and light the altar 
candles, that she might see how it happened that the corpse 
turned in the coffin. And the dairy-mother agreed to watch 
with her; item, Anna Apenborg, who heard the story 
from them; item, Diliana, for as Sidonia had no bed to 
give her, the young maiden had gone to sleep with Anna, 
and there the priest's maid told them of the horrible way 
her poor master's corpse had turned in the coffin. So the 
weeping widow let them all watch with her gladly, for she 
feared to be alone, but warned them to speak no word, lest 
the evil-doer, whoever it might be, should perceive them, 
and keep away. There was no man within call, either, to 
help them, for the porter had gone away to Stettin ; so they 
four, after commending themselves to God, went secretly 
into the church at ten of the clock, laid the corpse right upon 
its back, and lit candles round it, as the custom is. Item, 
they lit the candles on the altar, and then hid themselves in 
the dark confession-box, which lay close by the altar, and 
from which they could see the coffin perfectly. 

After waiting for an hour or more, sighing and weeping, 
and when the hour-glass which they had brought with them 
showed it was the twelfth hour hark ! there was a noise in 
the coffin that made them all start to their feet, and at the 
same instant the private door of the nuns' choir opened 
gently, and something came down the steps of the gallery, 
step by step, on to the coffin, and the blood now froze in 

VOL. II. F 






82 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

their veins, for they perceived that it was a wolf; and he 
laid his paws upon the corpse, and began to tear it. 

At this sight the poor widow screamed aloud, whereupon 
the wolf sprang back and attempted to make off, but Diliana 
bounded on its track, crying, " A wolf! a wolf! " and seeing 
upon the altar an old tin crucifix, which some of the work- 
men who had been opening the vault had brought up from 
below, she seized it and pursued the wolf out of the great 
gate into the churchyard, while the rest followed screaming. 
And as the wolf ran fast, and made for the graves, as if to 
hide itself, the daring virgin, not being able to get near enough 
to strike it, flung the crucifix at the unclean beast, when lo ! 
the wolf suddenly disappeared, and nothing was to be seen 
but Sidonia in the clear moonlight, standing trembling beside 
a grave. 

" Good cousin ! " exclaimed Diliana in horror, " where 
has the wolf gone ? we were pursuing a wolf." Upon which 
the horrible and accursed night-raven recovered herself quickly, 
and pointing with her finger to the crucifix which lay upon the 
ground, said with a tone of mingled scorn and anger, " There, 
thou stupid fool ! he sank beneath that cross ! " 

The poor innocent child believed her, and ran forward to 
pick up the crucifix, looking in every direction around for the 
wolf; but the others, who were wiser, saw full weld that the 
wolf had been none other than Sidonia herself, for her lips were 
bloody, and round them, like a beard, were sticking small black 
threads, which were indeed from the black silk hose of'the poor 
corpse. And when they looked at her horrible mouth they 
trembled, but were silent from fear ; all except the inquisitive 
Anna Apenborg, who asked, " Dear sister, what makes you 
here at midnight in the churchyard ? " 

Here the horrible witch-demon mastered her anger, and 
answered in a melancholy, plaintive tone, " Ah, good sister 
Anna ! I had a miserable toothache, so that I could not sleep, 
and I just crept down here into the fresh air, thinking it might 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 83 

do me good. But what are you all doing here by night in the 
churchyard ? " 

No one replied ; indeed, she seemed not to care for an answer, 
but put up her kerchief to her horrible and traitorous mouth, 
and turned away whimpering. The others, however, went 
back to the church, where the corpse truly lay upon its back 
as they had left it, but the hose were rent at the knee, and the 
flesh torn and bloody. 

How can I tell now of the poor widow's screams and tears ? 

Summa. The corpse was buried the next day, and as no 
man had been a witness of the night- scene, only the weeping 
women, no one would believe their strange story, neither on 
the last trial would the judges even credit so wild a tale as that 
Sidonia could change herself into a wolf, and pronounced as 
their opinion, that fear must have made the women blind, or 
distracted their heads, and that no doubt a real wolf had attacked 
the corpse, which was by no means a strange or unusual 
occurrence. (But I have my own opinion on the subject, and 
many who read this will think differently from the judges, I 
warrant. ) 

For no more horrible vengeance could have been devised by 
Beelzebub himself, the chief of the devils, than this of the she- 
wolf Sidonia Bork (for Bork means wolf in the Gothic tongue), 
to revenge herself on the priest because he disdained her love. 
But why and wherefore the unfortunate corpse was found so 
often turned upon its face, that I cannot explain, and it must 
ever remain a mystery, I think. However, I shall pass on 
now to other matters, for truly we have had enough of these 
disgusting horrors.* 

* One of the most inveterately rooted of our superstitions is this belief 
in the existence of man-wolves. Ovid mentions it in his Lycaon, and 
even Herodotus. Many modern examples are given in Dr. Weggand's 
natural history, which book I recommend to all lovers of the marvellous, 
for they will find much in it which far surpasses what we have related 
above concerning Sidonia. The belief in a vampire, which Lord Byron 
has clothed with his genius, belongs to the same order of superstitions ; 



84 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER XII. 

How Jobst Bork has himself carried to Marierifliess in his bed, 
to reclaim his fair young daughter Diliana Item, how 
George Putkammer threatens Sidonia with a drawn 
sword. 

Now Jobst Bork of Saatzig had but this one daughter, the 
fair Diliana, whom he loved ten times more than his life ; 
and no sooner had he heard of her flight than he guessed 
readily whither, and for what cause, she had flown ; for, that 
day and night her thoughts were bent on how to help him, 
he knew well ; also, the teachings of old Lisa were not un- 
known to him. So he resolved to go and seek her, and sent 
for twelve peasants to carry him, as he was, in his bed, to 
Marienfliess, for his limbs were so contracted from gout that 
he could neither ride, walk, nor stand. 

Accordingly, next morning early, the twelve peasants 
bearing the couch on which lay the poor knight, entered 
the great gate of the convent, and they set down the bed, 
by command of the knight, just beneath Sidonia's window. 
Whereupon the miserable father stretched forth his right 
hand, and cried out, as loud as he was able, " Sidonia 
Bork, I conjure you by the living God, give me my child 
again ! " 

Three times he repeated this adjuration. So we may 
imagine how the whole convent ran together to see who 
was there. Anna Apenborg and Diliana were, however, 
not amongst them, for they had been up late watching by 
the corpse, and were still fast asleep ; item, Sidonia, I 
think, was snoring likewise, for she never appeared, until 

and Horst, in his Magic Library, furnishes some very curious remarks 
concerning it. Even Luther himself believed in he possibility of such 
existences. 



SIDON1A THE SORCERESS 85 

at last she threw up the window, half-dressed, and screamed 
out, " What wants the cursed knave ? Hath the devil pos- 
sessed you, Jobst, in earnest ? Good people, take the fellow 
to Dorothea's cell they are fit company for one another ! " 

But the knight again stretched forth his trembling arm 
from the bed, and repeated his adjuration solemnly, using 
the same words. 

At this, Sidonia's face glowed with anger ; and seizing 
her broom-stick, she rushed out of the room, down the 
steps, and into the courtyard, while her long, thin, white 
hair flew wildly about her face and shoulders, and her red 
eyes glared like two red coals in her head. (I have omitted 
to notice that this horrible Satan's hag had long since got 
his signature in her red eyes ; for, as the slaves of vice are 
known by their ash-pale colour, and the black circle round 
their eyes, so the slaves of Satan are known by the red 
circle.) But when the evil witch reached the spot where 
the sick knight lay on his bed, and saw the crowd standing 
round him, she changed her demeanour, and leaning on the 
broom-stick, exclaimed, " Methinks, Jobst, you are mad ; 
and you and your daughter ought to be put at once into 
a mad-house ; for, judge all of ye who stand here round us, 
how unjustly I am accused. Yesterday this man's daughter 
comes to me, and says she will play my serving- wench, if I 
promise to cure her father ; just as if I were the Lord God, 
and could heal sickness as I willed; but I refused to take 
her, as was meet, and the whole convent can testify this of me ; 
when, see now, here comes this fool of a father, and, taking 
the Lord's name in vain, demands his daughter of me, though 
I never had her, nor detained her ; and she can go this 
moment whither she likes, as ye all know." 

Hereupon the abbess herself advanced to the bed, and 
spake " In truth, you err, sir knight. Sidonia hath refused 
to accept your daughter's service ! But here comes the fair 
maiden herself ask her if it is not so," 



86 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

And Diliana, who had thrown on her clothes in haste, and 
ran with Anna out of her cell, sprang forward, and fell sob- 
bing upon her father's bosom, who sobbed likewise, and cries, 
in an agitated voice, " God be thanked, I have thee again ; 
now I shall die happy ! Ah ! silly child, how couldst thou 
run away from me! Dearest! my heart's dearest! my 
own joy-giving Diliana ! ah, leave me not again before I die 
it will not be long, perhaps." 

Here the weeping of the peasants interrupted him, for they 
loved the good knight dearly, and the rude boors sobbed, and 
blew their noses, in great affliction, like so many children. 
But the knight was too proud to beg a cure from Sidonia ; he 
would rather die better death than humiliation. So he 
spake " Children, lift me up again, in the name of God, 
and bear me home ; and thou, my Diliana, walk thou by 
my side, sweet girl, that my eyes may not lose thee for an 
instant." 

So the peasants lifted up the bed again on their shoulders ; 
but Diliana exclaimed, " Wait, ah, my heart's dearest father, 
you do our good cousin Sidonia sore injustice. Only think, 
she has promised to cure you, without any recompense at all ! 
Is it not true, dear cousin ? Set the bed down again, good 
vassals ! Is it not true, dear cousin ? " 

As she thus spoke, and kissed the claws of the horrible 
hell-wolf with her beautiful bright lips, such an expression of 
rage and unutterable hatred passed over Sidonia' s face, that 
all, even the peasants, shuddered with horror, and nearly let 
the bed fall from their trembling hands ; but the fair young 
girl was unaware of it, for she was bending down upon the 
hand of the evil sorceress. 

However, my hag soon composed herself; and, no doubt, 
fearing the vengeance of Duke Francis, or hoping perhaps to 
cover her evil deeds by this one public act of charity, and so 
gain a good name before the world, and the fair opinion of 
their Highnesses, to whom she had written the day previous, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 87 

she rested her arm once more upon the broom-stick, and 
turning to the crowd, thus spake 

"Ye shall see now that Sidonia hath a truly Christian 
heart in her bosom ; for, by the help of God, I will try. and 
heap coals of fire upon mine enemy's head. Yes, he is mine 
enemy. None have persecuted me more than he and his race, 
though, God be good to me, it is my own race likewise. His 
false father was the first to malign me, and yet more guilty 
was his still falser mother ; but God punished her hypocrisy 
with a just judgment, for she died in child-birth of him, so 
true is it what the Scripture says, ' The Lord abhors both 
the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.' Ah, she was deceitful 
beyond all I have met with upon earth also, this her son, the 
false Clara's son, hath made my nephew, Otto of Stramehl, 
in a traitorous and unknightly manner, give him up my two 
farm-houses at Zachow, and he now refuses to restore me 
either my farms or the rents thereto belonging." 

Here Jobst cried out, " 'Tis false, Sidonia ! I shall say 
nothing of thy statements respecting my parents, for all who 
knew them testify that they were righteous and honourable 
their life long, therefore let them rest in their graves ; but 
as touching thy farm-houses, thou shalt have them back, 
as I have already written to thee. The accumulated rents, 
however, thou canst not have, for it were a strange and 
unjust thing, truly, to demand fifty years' rent from me, 
who have only been in possession of the farms for half a 
year." 

" What ! thou unjust knave," screamed Sidonia furiously ; 
but then suddenly strangled the wrath in her throat with a 
convulsion, as if a wolf were gulping a bone, and continued 
" It may be a hard struggle to help one of thy name, but I 
remember the words of my heavenly Bridegroom (oh, that 
the horrible blaspherny did not choke her), * I say unto you, 
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to 
them that hate you ; ' and so, Jobst Bork, I will do good 



88 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

to thee out of my herbal, if the merciful God will assist my 
efforts, as I hope." 

Then she turned her hypocritical, Satanic eyes up to 
heaven, sighed, and stepping to the bed, murmured some 
words ; then asked, " How is it with thee now, Jobst ? is 
there ease already ? " 

" Oh yes, good cousin," he answered, " I am better, 
much better, thanks, good cousin ! Lift me up again, chil- 
dren, and bear me homeward I thank thee, cousin ! " and 
with these words he was borne out of the convent gates, the 
fair young Diliana following him closely ; and scarcely had 
they left the town and reached the moor, when the knight 
called out from the bed, " Oh, it is true, my own dear 
daughter praise be to God, I am indeed better ; but I am 
so weary ! " 

And he sank back almost immediately into a deep sleep, 
which continued till they reached the castle of Saatzig, and 
the bearers laid the bed down again in its old place in the 
knight's chamber still he woke not. 

Then Diliana kneeled down beside him, and thanked the 
Lord with burning tears ; sprang up again quickly, and bade 
them saddle her palfrey, for she must ride away, but would 
return again before a couple of hours. If her father woke up 
in the meantime, let them say he must not be uneasy, for that 
she would return soon and tell him herself whither 'and on 
what errand she had been. 

Hereupon she went to a large cabinet that stood in her 
father's chamber, took out a little casket containing three 
golden rings, mounted her palfrey, and rode back with all 
speed on the road to Marienfliess. But I must here relate 
how these magic golden rings came into possession of the 
family ; the tradition runs as follows : 

A long while ago the castle of Pansin, which had origi- 
nally belonged to the Knights Templars, became a fief of the 
Bork family, and the Count who was then in possession went 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 89 

to the wars in the Holy Land, leaving his fair young wife 
alone in her sorrow : and lo ! one night, as she was weeping 
bitterly, a spirit appeared in her chamber, and motioned her 
to rise from bed and follow him to the castle garden. But 
she was horror-struck, and crept trembling under the quilt. 
Next night the ghost again stood by her bed, made the same 
gestures even menacingly, but she was frightened, and hid 
her head beneath the clothes. 

The third night brought the ghost likewise ; but this time 
the fair lady took courage, rose from bed, and followed him 
in silence down the steps into the castle garden, on to a small 
island, where the two streams, the Ihna and the Krampehl, 
meet. Here there was a large fire, and around it many spirits 
were seated. Hereupon her ghost spake 

" Fear nothing, but fill thy apron with coals from the fire, 
and return to the castle ; but, I warn thee, do not look back." 

The fair chatelaine did as she was desired, filled her apron, 
and returned to the castle ; but all the way, close behind her, 
there was a terrible uproar, and the rushing and roaring as 
of many people. However, she never looked back, only on 
reaching the castle gates she thought she might take one peep 
round just as she was closing them ; but, lo ! instantly her 
apron was rent, and the coals fell hither and thither on the 
ground, and out of all she could only save three pieces, with 
which she rushed on to her own apartment, never again look- 
ing behind her, though the uproar continued close to her very 
heels all the way up to her chamber door ; and trembling 
with dread, and commending herself to all the saints, she at 
last threw herself on her bed once more in safety. But next 
morning, on looking for the coals, she found three golden 
rings in their stead bearing strange inscriptions, which no man 
hath been able to decipher until this day. As to those she 
had dropped at the castle gate, they were nowhere to be seen ; 
and on the fourth night the ghost comes again, and scolds her 
for disobeying his orders, but admonishes her to preserve the 



90 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

three rings safely, for if she lost one, a great misfortune would 
fall upon the village, and the castle be rent violently Item, but 
two of her race would ever be alive at the same time ; if the 
second were lost, her race would be reduced to direst poverty ; 
and if the third ring were lost, the race would disappear 
entirely from the earth. 

After this, when her knightly spouse returned from Jeru- 
salem, and she told him the wonderful story of the three 
rings, he had a costly casket made for them, in which they 
were safely locked, with a rose of Jericho placed above them, 
which he had himself brought from the Holy Land ; and 
this wonderful treasure has been preserved by the Count's 
descendants with jealous care, even until this day. I have 
said that no man could read the inscriptions on the rings : 
they were all the same the three as like as the leaves of a 
trefoil. They were all large enough for the largest man's 
thumb, and made of the purest crown gold : the shield was 
of a circular form, bearing in the centre the figure of a Knight 
Templar in full armour, with spur and shield, keeping watch 
before the Temple at Jerusalem ; but what the characters 
around the figure signified, I leave unsaid, and many, I am 
thinking, will leave unsaid likewise.* 

In summa. When Diliana arrived with these rings, the 

* It is a fact, that no one up to the present time has been able to 
decipher this very remarkable inscription, not even Silvestre de Sacy 
himself, to whom it was sent some years ago. Dreger's reading, given 
in Dahnert's Pomeranian Library, iv. p. 295, is manifestly wrong Ordo 
Hierosolymitanus. But two of the rings are forthcoming now ; and in 
fulfilment of the tradition, a tremendous rent really followed the loss of 
the first in the old castle of Pansin, which may yet be seen in this fine 
ruin, whose like is not to be found in all Pomerania, nor, indeed, in the 
north of Germany. The two remaining rings, with the rose of Jericho, 
are still to be seen in the original casket, which is of curious and costly 
workmanship, and this casket is again enclosed in another of iron, with 
strong hoops and clasps. Should any of my readers desire to discover 
the meaning of the inscription, he will do me the highest favour by 
communicating the same to me. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 91 

poor Dorothea lay again in the devil's fetters. She roared, 
and screamed, and raged horribly, and tore her bed-clothes, and 
foamed at the mouth, and even abused and reviled the beautiful 
young virgin, who took, however, no heed thereof, but with 
permission of the abbess laid the three rings upon the stomach 
of the sick nun, who immediately became quite still, and so lay 
for a little while, after which, with a loud roar, Satan went 
out of her, while the windows clattered and the glasses rang 
upon the table. Then she fell into a deep sleep, and on 
awakening remembered nothing of what had happened, but 
seeing Diliana prepared to set out on her homeward ride, asked 
with wonder, " Who is this strange young maiden, and what 
does she here ? " 

After this, as I may as well briefly notice here, Dorothea 
became quite well, and by the mercy of God remained for 
ever after untouched by the demon claws of the great enemy 
of mankind. 

Meanwhile the good Diliana felt it to be her duty to descend 
to the refectory, and thank the hell-dragon for the refreshing 
sleep which her father, Jobst, had obtained by her means. But, 
ah ! how does she find my dragon ? Her eyes shoot fire and 
flame, and in an instant she flew at poor Diliana on the subject 
of marriage 

" What ! she wanted to marry too ! She was scarcely out 
of school, and yet already was thinking about marriage ! " 

" Good cousin," answered the other, " I have indeed no 
thoughts of marriage, and no desire for it has ever entered my 
heart." 

"What! " screamed my dragon; "you lie to me, child ! 
The whole convent talks of it ; and Anna Apenborg herself 
told me that you are betrothed to that beardless boy George 
Putkammer. Fie ! a fellow without a beard." 

Hereupon she began to spit out. But George Putkammer 
that instant clattered up the steps ; for the news had come to 
Pansin, of which castle Jobst Bork had made him castellan, 



92 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

seeing that he set much store by the brave young knight, and 
would willingly have had him for his son-in-law, if his fair 
little daughter Diliana had not resisted his entreaties, bis dato , 
the news came, I say, now that Diliana had run away from her 
father, and gone to play the serving- wench to Sidonia. So 
the knight seized his good sword, and went forth, like another 
Perseus, to save his Andromeda, and deliver her from the dragon, 
even if his own life were to pay the cost. He knew not that 
the damning dragon despised the service of the mild, innocent 
girl, nor that Jobst Bork had gone to offer himself as a sacrifice 
in her place. 

So he clattered up the steps, dashed open the door, and 
finding Sidonia in the very act of spitting out, he drew his 
sword, and roared 

" Dare to touch even a finger of that angel beside thee, and 
thy black toad's blood shall rust upon this sword." 

And when Sidonia started back alarmed, he continued 

" O Diliana, much loved and beautiful maiden, what does 
my queen here ? Where have you heard that the angels of 
God seek help and shelter from the devil, as you have done 
here ? Return with me to Saatzig, and, by my faith, some 
other means shall make this vile wretch help your poor father." 

Sidonia now screamed with rage 

" What wants this silly varlet here, this beardless young 
profligate ? Ha, youngster, thou shalt pay for thy bold, saucy 
tongue ! " 

Ilk. " Hold thy accursed mouth, or I will give thee such 
a blow that thou shalt never need it again, but to groan. 
Listen, cursed beast of hell, and mark my words. Since our 
gracious Lord of Stettin handles thee so gently, and lets thee 
heap evil upon evil at thine own vile will, I and another noble 
have sworn solemnly to rid the land from such a curse. Let 
it cost our lives or not, we shall avenge our country in thy 
blood, unless thou ceasest to work all thy diabolical wicked- 
ness. Now, therefore, hear me. Delay one instant to heal the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 93 

upright Jobst and to remove thy accursed witch-spell from off 
him, and this sword shall take a bloody revenge ; or if but a 
finger ache of this beautiful maiden here, thy death is certain. 
Think not to escape. Thou mayst lame me, like Jobst or 
Wedel, or murder me as others, it will not help thee ; for my 
friend hath sworn, if such happen, that he will ride straight to 
Marienfliess, and run his sword through thy body without a 
word. Two horses stand, day and night, ready saddled in 
my stall, and in a quarter of an hour we are here he or I, it 
matters not, whichever is left alive, or both together, and we 
shall hew thee from head to foot, even as I hew this jar in 
two that stands upon the table, so that human hand shall never 
lift it more." 

So saying, he struck the jar with his sword, when it flew 
into a thousand pieces, and the beer dashed over the hag's 
clothes, so that she raised a cry of terror, for such speech 
had no man ever yet dared to hold to her. 

But the brave Diliana seized hold of the young knight's 
sword, crying 

" For God's sake, sir knight, what mean you ? You do 
my good cousin sore injustice ; I have never seen you thus 
before. Sidonia hath declined to take me for her maid, and 
has helped my poor father, of her own free will, for he was 
here yesterday, and now rests safe in Saatzig in a deep and 
healthful sleep ; for which cause I come hither to thank my 
good cousin for her kindness. Where is your justice, sir 
knight your honour ? Bethink you how often you have 
extolled these noble virtues yourself to me ! " 

As the knight listened, and heard that her father was 
already cured, he marvelled greatly ; inquired all the par- 
ticulars, but shook his head at the end, saying 

" * A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, and figs 
are not to be gathered from thorns.' That she has helped 
your father, I take as no sign of her kindness, but of her 
fear ; therefore my resolve stands good. Sidonia, thou 



94 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

accursed hag, touch but one finger of this maiden or her 
father, and I will hew thee in pieces, even as I cleft this jar. 
But you, fair lady, permit me to ride home with you to your 
father's castle, and see how it stands with the brave knight's 
health, and whether he has in truth been cured." 

Meanwhile Sidonia hath spat forth again, and begins run- 
ning like a wild cat in her rage round the room, so that 
her kerchief falls off, and her two sharp, dry, ash-coloured 
shoulder-bones stick up to sight, like pegs for hanging baskets 
on ; and she curses and blasphemes the young knight and his 
whole race, who, however, cares little for her wrath, but 
gently taking Diliana by the hand, said tenderly 

" Come, dear lady, come from this hell-hole, and leave the 
old dragon to dance and rage at her pleasure, as much as 
she likes." 

The lady, however, withdrew her hand, saying, " Ride back 
alone to Saatzig, sir knight ! It is not seemly for a young 
maiden to ride through the wood with a young man alone. 
Besides, I must stay a little, and comfort my poor cousin 
for all your hard words see how you have vexed her ! " 

But Sidonia paused, and laughed loud and long, mocking 
the young knight's disappointment ; so after he had again 
prayed the maiden in vain to accompany him, he left the 
refectory in silence, sprang upon his barb, and rode on to the 
wood, resolving to wait there till Diliana came up. 

And in truth he had to wait long. At last, however, she 
appeared through the trees, and on seeing him she was angry, 
and bade him ride his ways. So my knight entreats for the 
love of God that she will listen to him, for he can no longer 
live without her. By day and by night her image floats 
before him, and wherefore should she be so hard and cruel - 
hearted towards him ? Better to have let him die at once 
under the hands of the murderers in the forest, than to let 
him die daily and hourly before her eyes, of the bitter love- 
death. Was he, then, really such an object of abhorrence to 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 9$ 

her, such a fire in her eyes ? Alas ! alas ! could she but 
know his torments ! " 

" Sir knight," she answered, " you are no fire in my eyes, 
unless it be the cold fire of the moon. Have patience, sir 
knight ; why do you press me for a promise when you have 
heard my resolve ?" 

Ilk. " Patience ! How could he have patience longer ? 
Ah ! her father had long since consented, but she was but as 
the moon in the brook to the child who tries to lay hold of 
it, since she had talked of the moon." 

Hac. " Sir knight, you compel me to a confidence." 

Ille (riding up close to her palfrey). "Speak! dearest 
Diliana." 

H(KC (drawing back). " Come no nearer. What if any 
one saw us. Listen ! Yesterday six weeks, my grand- 
mother, Clara von Dewitz, who died, as you know, giving 
birth to my father, appeared to me in a dream. She was 
wrapped in a bloody shroud, and her eyes were starting forth 
horribly from her head, when I shuddered with terror, and 
the poor ghost spoke ' Diliana, I am Clara von Dewitz, and 
thou art the one selected to avenge me, provided thou dost 
keep thy virgin honour pure in thought, word, and deed ! ' 
With this she disappeared, and now, sir knight, judge for 
yourself what is henceforth my duty." 

Now the knight tried to laugh her out of her belief in this 
ghost story, said it was all fancy, the same had often happened 
to himself ; not once, but a hundred times, had he seen a ghost, 
as he thought, but found out afterwards there was no ghost at 
all in the business, &c. However, his words and smiles have 
no effect. She knew what she knew, and whether she was 
deceived or not about this apparition of her grandmother, 
time would show, and bis dato^ she would remain obedient to 
her commands, and preserve her virgin honour pure in thought, 
word, and deed, even if it were to be for her life long, until 
she saw clearly what purpose God destined her to accomplish. 



96 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Now as my poor knight began his solicitations again yet 
more earnestly, the fair maiden drew herself up gravely, and 
said, " Adieu ! sir knight, ride your own path, I go mine ! 
At present I shall select no spouse ; but if I ever give my 
hand to man, you shall be the selected one, sir knight, and 
no other. Now return to your own castle. If you wish to 
see my father, come to-morrow to Saatzig, for I shall ride 
there alone now. Farewell ! " 

And off she cantered on her palfrey, hop, hop, hop, as fast 
as an arrow from a bow, and her red feathers gleamed through 
the green leaves of the forest trees, so that my knight stood 
watching her, filled with as much joy as sorrow, for the 
maiden now seemed to him so beautiful, and he watched her 
as long as a glimpse of her feathers could be had through the 
trees, and then he listened as long as the tramp of her palfrey 
could be heard (for he told me this himself), then he alighted, 
and kneeling down, prayed to God the Lord to bless this 
beautiful darling of his heart, whilst he sobbed like a child, 
for sorrow and the sweet anguish of love. Then he rose up, 
and obedient to her commands, took his way back to the 
stately castle of Pansin. 

But next morning early, he was at Saatzig, where the good 
knight Jobst receives him joyfully at table, quite restored to 
health. Nor has aught evil happened to the beautiful Diliana, 
as the knight feared from the spitting of Sidonia. However, 
he heard from the maiden, that after he left the refectory, 
Sidonia spat a second time, probably to remove the first 
witch- spell (for no doubt she feared the knight would hold 
his word, and hew her in pieces if aught evil happened to the 
fair young maiden). And for the rest, the knight ceased to 
trouble Diliana with his solicitations ; but he made father and 
daughter promise to give him instant notice if but a finger 
ached, and he would instantly find one sure way to bind the 
wild beast of Marienfliess for ever, namely, with his good 
sword. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 97 



CHAPTER XIII. 

How my gracious Lord Bishop Franciscus and the reverend 
Dr. Joel go to the Jews' school at Old Stettin, in order 
to steal the Schem Hamphorasch, and ho f w the enterprise 
Jinishes with a sound cudgelling. 

MEANWHILE my gracious Duke Francis was puzzling his 
brain, day and night, how best to bind this malicious dragon, 
and hinder her from utterly destroying his whole race. He 
wanted to effect, by the agency of spirits, what George Put- 
kammer had already effected by his good sword, as we have 
related before. So his Highness must needs send for Dr. 
Joel, in all haste, to Old Stettin, to ask him whether it were 
not possible to break the power of the evil witch by spiritual 
agency ; for as to human, it was out of the question, since no 
one could be found to lay hands on her. They would as soon 
touch the bodily Satan himself. 

Whereupon my magister answered, that he had already, 
to serve his Grace, consulted divers spirits as to what could 
be done in this sore strait, but none would undertake a con- 
test with Sidonia's spirit, which was powerful and strong, 
and, acting in concert always with the spirit of old Wolde, 
had the might in himself, as it were, of two demons. For 
this reason they must try two modes of casting out the evil 
thing. The first was to exorcise the sun-spirit, according 
to the form in the Clavicula Salomonis, for he was the most 
powerful of all the astral spirits, and question him as to 
what should be done. But for this conjuration a pure 
young virgin was necessary, not merely pure in act, but in 
thought, in soul. Even her very garments must be woven 
by a virgin's hands, otherwise the holy angels, who neither 
marry nor are given in marriage, would not appear. For 
they obey only the summons of one who is as pure as them- 

VOL. II. G 



98 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

selves, in body and in soul. Such a being he had once 
possessed in his only little daughter, a virgin of eighteen 
years. All her clothes had been spun and woven by virgin 
hands, and as she had a brave spirit, she had often helped 
him to cite the astral angel Och. But the last time she 
had assisted at the conjuration, the angel himself had strangled 
her with his own hands, twisting her neck so horribly that 
her tongue hung out of her mouth. And thus she died 
before his very face. The cause was, as he, poor father, had 
heard afterwards, that she had suffered a young student to 
kiss her, and so the pure virginity of her soul was lost. 
Now if the gracious Prince knew of any such pure virgin, 
who besides must be brave and courageous as an amazon, 
matters would proceed easily, they would make an end of 
the demon Sidonia without the least difficulty. He had 
the clothes ready, all spun by virgins ; item^ all the necessary 
instruments. 

So my gracious Prince sits and thinks awhile, then shakes 
his head, and says, laughing, " Methinks such a virgin were 
rarer than a white raven. It would be easy to find one 
pure in form, but a virgin pure in soul arid then as brave 
as Deborah and Judith. Mag. Joel, such a virgin, methinks, 
is not to be had, and you did evil to put your poor little 
daughter to such a test. For woman- flesh is a weak flesh 
since the day of Eve, as we all know. But you talked of 
a second mode : what is it ? Let me hear." 

Hereupon the magister sighed for grief, wiped his eyes, 
and spake " Ah, yes ! you are right, my good lord. Fool 
that I was, I might have had my little daughter still, for 
though she only allowed the student to kiss her, yet by that 
one kiss the pure mirror of her soul was dimmed, and before 
the angels of God she was henceforth unholy. However, 
as touching the second method, it is the Schem Hamphorasch, 
through which all things are possible." 

The Duke. "What is the Schem Hamphorasch ?" 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 99 

///. The seventy names of the Most High and ever- 
blessed God, according to the seventy nations, and the 
seventy tongues, and the seventy elders of Moses, and the 
seventy disciples of Christ, and the seventy weeks of Daniel. 
To him who knows this name, the holy God will appear 
again as He did aforetime in the days of the patriarchs." 

The Duke. " You are raving, good Joel ; yet but how 
can this be possible ? " 

Hie, I am not raving, gracious Prince ; for tell me, 
wherefore is it that the great God does not appear to men 
now as He did in times long past ? I answer, because we 
no longer know His name. This name, or the Schem Ham- 
phorasch, Adam knew in Paradise, and therefore spake with 
God, as well as with all animals and plants. Noah, Abra- 
ham, Moses, Elijah, &c. all knew this name, and per- 
formed their wonders by it alone. But when the beastly 
and idolatrous Jews gave themselves over to covetousness 
and all uncleanness, they forgot this holy name ; so, as a 
punishment, they endured a year of slavery for each of the 
seventy names which they had forgotten ; and we find them, 
therefore, serving seventy years in Babylonian bonds. After 
this they never learned it again, and all miracles and wonders 
ceased from amongst them, until the ever-blessed God sent 
His Son into the world, to teach them once more the revela- 
tion of the Schem Hamphorasch ; and to all who believed 
on Him He freely imparted this name, by which also they 
worked wonders ; and that it might be fixed for ever in their 
hearts, He taught them the blessed Pater Noster, in which 
they were bid each day to repeat the words, ' Hallowed be 
Thy name.' Yea, even in that last glorious high-priestly prayer 
of His in face of the bitter anguish and death that was await- 
ing Him, He says, ' Father, keep them in Thy name ; ' or, 
as Luther translates it, * Keep them above Thy name.' For 
how easily this name is lost, we learn from David, who says 
that he spelt it over in the night, so that it might not pass 



TOO SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

from his mind (Psalm cxix. 55). Item, after the resurrec- 
tion, He gave command to go and baptize all nations not in 
the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 
as Luther has falsely rendered the passage, but for, or by, 
the name that such might always be kept before their eyes, 
and never more pass away from the knowledge of mankind. 
And the holy apostles faithfully kept it, and St. Paul 
made it known to the heathen, as we learn (Acts ix, 15). 
And all miracles that they performed were by this name. 
Now the knowledge remained also with the early Christians, 
and each person was baptized by this name; and he who 
knew it by heart could work miracles likewise, as we know 
by Justin Martyr and others, who have written of the power 
and miraculous gifts of the early Church. But when the 
pure doctrine became corrupted, and the Christian Church 
(like the Jewish of former times) gave itself up to idolatry, 
masses, image-worship, and the like, the knowledge of the 
mystic name was withdrawn, and all miracles have ceased in 
the Church from that up to this day." 

While Magister Joel so spake, his Highness Duke Francis 
fell into a deep fit of musing. At last he exclaimed, " Good 
Joel, you are a fanatic, an enthusiast surely we know the 
name of God ; or what hinders us from knowing it ? " 

Ille. " You err, my gracious Prince, for this name is the 
holy and mystic Tetragrammaton, 'Jehovah/ which is the 
chief and highest name of God, and which truly is found 
written in the Scriptures ; but of the true pronunciation of the 
name no man knoweth at this day, for the letters J H V H 
are wanting in all the old manuscripts." * 

* For those who are unacquainted with Hebrew, I shall just observe 
here, that, in fact, the proper pronunciation of the name " Jehovah " is 
a vexed question with the learned up to this hour. Ewald, one of the 
latest authorities, and who has taken much trouble in investigating the 
subject, says, that there is the highest probability that the word should 
be pronounced " Jahve," signifying, He who should come (6 />x6/xej/os), 
for which reason the Baptist's disciples asked Christ (Matt. xi. 13), " Art 



SIDONIA THE 

Magister Joel continues " But be comforted ; there were 
some faithful souls on the earth, who did not entirely lose the 
remembrance of the Schem Hamphorasch ; and your High- 
ness will wonder to hear, that even in this very town the secret 
exists, in the possession of an old man, who has it, really and 
truly, locked up in his trunk, though, I confess, he is as great 
a rogue himself as ever breathed." 

Hereupon his Grace jumped up, and embraced the magister. 
" Let him not spare the gold ; only bring him this treasure. 
How could it be done ? How did the man get it ? Let him 
tell the whole story." 

Ilk. " It was a long story ; but he would just give it in 
brief: A Jew out of Anklam, named Benjamin, went on a 
pilgrimage to Jerusalem ; and having suffered great hard- 
ships and distress by the way, was taken in and sheltered 
by a hermit, in the desert, who converted and baptized 
him. The Jew stayed with the old hermit till he died ; and 
the old man, as a costly legacy, left him the Schem Ham- 
phorasch, written on seventy palm-leaves. But as Benjamin 
could not read a word of Hebrew, he resolved to return home 
to Pomerania, where his mother's brother lived the Rabbi 
Reuben Ben Joachai, of Stettin. However, when he pre- 
sented himself, poor and naked as he was, at his uncle's door, 
the rabbi pushed him away, and shut the door in his face 

Thou He who should come ? " namely, the Messias, Jahve, or, as we 
call it, Jehovah. Compare Heb. x. 37 ; Hagg. ii. 6, 7 ; Rev. i. 8. I 
must observe, next, that all the Theophanisms (God manifestations) 
recorded in the Old Testament, to which the theosophistic, cabalistic 
Dr. Joel refers, were considered by the early Christian fathers as manifes- 
tations to the senses, not of God whom no man hath seen or can see 
but of the cWpxos Christ. Even the elder rabbins understand, in 
these Theophanisms, not God, but the Mediator between God and the 
world the angel Metatron. For the rest, I need scarcely remark that 
the exegesis of Dr. Joel is false throughout. The Bible has been so 
tortured to support each man's individual, strange, crude dogma, that 
it is no wonder even Protestants are falling back upon tradition as the 
best and surest interpreter of Scripture, and the clearest light to read it by. 



THE SORCERESS 

the moment he said he had a favour to ask of him. This 
treatment so afflicted Benjamin that he took ill on his return 
to the inn ; but having nothing wherewith to pay the host, he 
sent a message to his uncle, the rabbi, bidding him come to 
him, as he had a secret to impart. 

"When the rabbi arrived, Benjamin asked, 'What he 
would give for the Schem Hamphorasch, for people told him 
that it was the greatest of all treasures ? to him, however, it 
was useless, since he could not read Hebrew.' 

" Hereat the rabbi's eyes sparkled ; he took the palm- 
leaves in his hand, and seeing that all was correct, offered a 
ducat for the whole ; this Benjamin refused. Whereupon, 
after many cunning efforts to possess himself of it, which were 
all in vain, the rabbi had to depart without the treasure. 
However, Benjamin, suspecting that he would come back for 
it in a little while, cut out two of the leaves from revenge, 
and when my knave of a rabbi returned, he sold him the in- 
complete copy for five ducats at last. 

" This same Benjamin I (the magister) attended afterwards 
in hospital when he was dying, and as the poor wretch had 
no money, he gave me himself, upon his death-bed, the two 
abstracted palm-leaves out of gratitude, being all he had to 
offer. These two are now in my possession, and if we could 
only obtain the other portion, your Highness would have 
the holy and mystic Schem Hamphorasch complete. But 
how to get it ? Gold he had already offered in vain to the 
Jew, Rabbi Reuben, who even denied having the Schem 
Hamphorasch at all ; but his servant, Meir, for a good bribe, 
told him in confidence that his master, the rabbi, really and 
in truth had this treasure, though the knave denied the fact 
to him. It lay in a drawer in the Jewish school, beside the 
book of the law or the Thora y and my magister thought they 
might manage to gain admittance some night into the Jews' 
school by bribing the man Meir well. Then they could 
easily possess themselves of the Schem Hamphorasch (which 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 103 

indeed was of no use to the old knave of a rabbi), for the 
drawer could be known at once by the tapestry which hung 
before it, in imitation of the veil of the Temple. If they once 
had the treasure, the angel Metatron would appear to them, 
the mightiest of all angels, and his Highness could not only 
obtain his protection against the deviFs magic of the sorceress 
of Marienfliess, but also induce him to look graciously upon 
his Grace's dear spouse, whom this evil dragon had bewitched, 
as all the world saw plainly, so that she remained childless, 
as well as all the other dukes and duchesses of dear Pomerania 
land, who were rendered barren and unfruitful likewise by 
some demon spell." 

Hereupon his Grace cried out with joy, "True, true! I 
will make him do all that ; and when I obtain the Schem 
Hamphorasch I will learn it myself by heart, and repeat it 
day and night like King David, so that it never shall go out 
of my head item, all priests in the land shall learn it by 
heart ; and I will gather them together three times a year at 
Camyn, and hear them myself, man by man, repeat this said 
Schem Hamphorasch, so that never more can it pass from 
the memory of our Church, as it did from that of the filthy 
Jews, or the impure Christians of the Papacy." 

Summa. The rabbi's servant, Meir, is bribed, and he 
promises to admit them both next night into the Jews' school, 
for there was to be a meeting there of the elders, and his 
master, the said Rabbi Reuben Ben Joachai, was to examine 
a moranu or teacher. They could conceal themselves in the 
women's gallery, where no one would discover them, and 
after every one had gone, slip down and take what they 
pleased out of the drawer, then make off, for he would leave 
the door open for them that was all he could do his master 
might come, &c. 

So all was done as agreed upon ; the Prince and Mag. 
Joel crept up to the women's gallery, in which were little 
bull's-eyes, through which they could see clearly all that was 



io 4 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

going on ; and scarcely were the candles lit when my knave 
of a rabbi enters (he was a long, dry carl, with a white 
beard, and ragged coat bound round the waist with a girdle) ; 
item, the candidate, I think he was called David, a little 
man, with curly red beard, and long red locks falling down at 
each side upon his breast ; item, seven elders, and they place 
themselves in their great hats round a table. Then the Rabbi 
Reuben demands of the candidate to pay his dues first, for a 
knave had lately run away without paying them at all ; the 
dues were ten ducats. 

When the candidate had reckoned down the gold, Rabbi 
Reuben commenced to question him in Hebrew ; whereupon 
the other excused himself, said he knew Hebrew, but could 
not answer in it ; prayed, therefore, the master would con- 
duct the examination in German. Hereupon my knave of a 
rabbi looked grave, seemed to think that would be impos- 
sible, consulted with the elders, and finally asked them, if the 
candidate David paid down each of them two ducats, and 
ten to himself, would they consent to have the examination 
conducted in the language of the German sow ? Would 
they consent to this, out of great charity and mercy to the 
candidate David ? 

" Yea, yea even so let it be," screamed the elders ; 
" God is merciful likewise." 

So my David again unbuttoned his coat, and reckoned 
down the fine ; whereupon the examination began in German, 
and I shall here note part of it down, that all men may know 
what horrible blindness and folly has fallen upon the Jews, 
by permission of the Lord God, since they imprecated the 
blood of Christ upon their own heads. Not even amongst 
the blindest of the heathen have such base, low, grovelling 
superstitions and dogmas been discovered as these accursed 
Jews have forged for themselves since the dispersion, and 
collected in the Talmud. Well may the blessed Luther say, 
'* If a Christian seeks instruction in the Scripture from a Jew, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 105 

what else is it than seeking sight from the blind, reason from 
the mad, life from the dead, grace and truth from the devil ? " 

And this madness and blindness of the accursed race would 
never have been fully known, only that the examination was 
held in German (for in general it is conducted in Hebrew, 
to please the vain Jews), by which means the Prince and 
Doctor Joel heard every word, and wrote it all down on 
their return home ; and when afterwards his Highness Duke 
Francis succeeded to the government, he banished this rabbi 
and the elders, with their whole forge of blasphemy and lies, 
for ever from his capital. 

Here, therefore, are some of the most remarkable questions ; 
but I must premise that K. means my Knave, namely, the 
rabbi, and C. the CtuuRdatus.* 

K. Which is holier, the Talmud or the Scriptures ? " 

C. " I think the Talmud." 

K." Wherefore, wherefore ? " 

C. " Because Raf Aschi hath said, he who goes from the 
Halacha (the Talmudical teaching) to the Scripture will 
have no more luck ; -j- and good luck we all prize dearly 
above all things eh, my master ? " 

K. " Right, right. Who is he like who reads only in the 
Scripture, and not in the Talmud ? What say our fathers of 
blessed memory ?" 

C. " They say that he is like one who has no 



* Lest my reader might think that what follows is a malicious inven- 
tion of my own to bring the Jews into disrepute, I shall add the precise 
page of the Talmud from which each question is taken (from Eisen- 
menger's "Judaism Unveiled," Konigsberg, 1711, and other sources). 
The Jews, I know, endeavour to deny that they hold these doctrines ; 
but it is nevertheless quite true that all their learned men who have 
been converted to Christianity since the time of the Reformation con- 
fessed that these dogmas were intimately woven into their belief, and 
formed its groundwork. 

t Talmud, tract. Chagiga, fol. x. col. i. Raf Aschi, the author of 
the Gemara, a portion of the Talmud. 

Talmud, tract. Eruvin. 



io6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

K. " Can the holy and ever-blessed One sin ? What 
is the greatest sin He has committed ? " 

C. " First ; He made the moon smaller than the sun." 

K. "Our rabbis of blessed memory are doubtful upon 
this point, as Jonathan, the son of Usiel, says, in the Targum 
of Moses.* But which is the greatest sin of all that the holy 
and ever-blessed One committed ? " 

C. " I think it was when He forswore himself.-}- For He 
first swore, saith Rabbi Eliaser, that the children of Israel, 
who were wandering in the desert, should have no part in 
eternal life ; and then His oath lay heavy on Him, so that He 
got the angel Mi to absolve Him therefrom." 

K. " It was, in truth, a great sin, but a greater, mcthinks, 
was, that He created the accursed Nazarene the Jesu the 
idol of the children of Edom. I mean the Christ." 

C. Rabbi, that is not in the Talmud." 

K. " Fool ! it is the same. / have said it, therefore it 
is true. Knowest thou not, when a rabbi says, ' This thy 
right hand is thy left, and this thy left hand is thy right/ 
thou must believe it, or thou wilt be dammed ? " J 

Here all the elders cried out 

" Yea, yea ; the word of a rabbi is more to be esteemed 
than the words of the law, and their words are more beau- 
tiful than the words of the prophets, for they are words of 
the living God." 

K. " Now answer what says the Talmud of that Adam 
Belial, that Jesu, that crucified, of whom the Christians say 
that he was God ? " 

C. " That he was the son of an evil woman, who learned 
sorcery in Egypt, and he hid the sorcery in his flesh, in a 

* The ancient Chaldee paraphrase of the Old Testament is called 
Targum by the Jews. It is split into the Jerusalemitan, and the 
Babylonian Targum. 

f Talmud, tract. Sanhedrin. 

Targum upon Deut. xvii. n. 

Talmud, tract. Sanhedrin. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 107 

wound which he made therein*, and with the magic he 
deceived the people, and turned them from God. He 
practised idolatry with a baked stone, and prostrated him- 
self before his own idol ; and finally, as a fit punishment, he 
was first stoned to death, upon the eve of the passover, and 
then hung up upon a cross made of a cabbage-stalk, after 
which, Onkelos, the fallen Titus' sister's son, conjured him up 
out of hell." * 

K. *' Is it possible to find more detestable Gojim than 
these impure and dumb children of Talvus these Christian 
swine ? " -j* 

C. "No; that were impossible." 

K. " It permitted us to deceive them and spoil them of 
their goods." 

C. " Eh ? Wherefore are we the selected people, if we 
could not spoil the children of Edom ? They are our slaves, 
for we have gold and they have none." 

K. " Good, good ; but where is it written that we may 
spoil the swine and take their goods ? " 

C. " The Talmud says, it is permitted to deceive a Goi, 
and take his goods." 

K. " Forget not the principal passage, Tract. Megilla, 
fol. 13 'What, is it then permitted to the just to deal 
deceitfully ? And he answered, Yea, for it is written, 
With the pure thou shalt be pure, and with the froward thou 
shalt learn frowardness.' Item, it is written expressly in 
the Parascha Bereschith, ' It is permitted to the just to deal 

* Although the Jews deny that Christ is named in the Talmud, 
saying that another Jesus is meant, yet Eisenmenger has fully proved 
the contrary, on the most convincing grounds. 

t Children of Edom, children of harlots, swine, dogs, abominations, 
worshippers of the crucified, idolaters, are titles of honour freely given 
to Christians by the rabbis. See Eisenmenger. 

Tract. Bava Mezia. 

2 Sam. xxii. 27 ; a specimen of how the Talmudists interpret the 
Bible. 



io8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

deceitfully, even as Jacob dealt ; ' and if our fathers of blessed 
memory acted thus, we were fools indeed not to skin the 
Christian dogs and flog them to the death. (Spitting out.) 
Curse on the unclean swine ! " 

C. " I will be no such fool, rabbi, and if they compel 
me to take an oath, I will do as Rabbi Akkiva of blessed 
memory." 

K. " Right, my son ; pity thou canst not speak Hebrew ; 
methinks then thou wouldst have been a light in Israel. 
Speak how hath the Rabbi Akkiva sworn ? " 

C. "The Talmud says, * Hereupon the Rabbi Akkiva 
took the oath with his lips, but in his heart he abjured it." * 

K. " The Rabbi Akkiva, of blessed memory, was but a 
sorry liver. Canst thou, too, defend the violation of the 
marriage vow ? " 

C. " With the wives of the unclean Christian dogs, 
wherefore not? For Moses saith (Lev. xx. 10), 'He who 
committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife shall be put to 
death ; ' so saith the Talmud, the wives of others are 
excepted; and Rabbi Solomon expressly says on this pas- 
sage, that under the word ' others ' the wives of Gojim, or 
the Christian dogs, are meant." f 

K. " Yea, cursed be they and their whole race. Dost thou 
curse them daily, as is thy duty ? " 

C. " My duty is to curse them once ; I curse them 
thrice." J 

K. "Then wilt thou be recompensed threefold when 
Messias comes, and the fine dishes and the fine clothes will 
grow out of the blessed earth of themselves, that it will be a 
pleasure to see them. Speak what saith the Talmud? 
How large will the grapes then be ?" 

* Talmud, tract. Calla. 

t Eisenmenger quotes a prayer-book of the Jews on this subject, 
called The Great Tephilla. 
J Talmud, tract. Sanhedrin. 
Talmud, tract. Kethuvoth. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 109 

C. " So large that a man will put a single grape in the 
corner of his house, and tap it as if it were a beer-barrel. Is 
not that almost too large, master ! " 

K. " Look at my pert wisehead ! Knowest thou not, 
that he who mocks the words of the wise goes straight to 
hell, as happened to that disciple who laughed at the Rabbi 
Jochanan when he said that precious stones should be set 
in the gates of Jerusalem, three ells long and three ells 
broad ? * Item, hast thou not read how Rabbi Jacob Ben 
Dosethai went one morning from Lud to Ono for three miles 
in pure honey, or how Rabbi Ben Levi saw grapes in the land 
of Canaan so large that he mistook them for fatted calves. 
What, then, will it not be when Messias comes ? -j- But who 
will not partake these blessings ? " 

C. " The accursed swine, the Christians." J 

K. Wherefore not ?" 

C. " Because they eat swine's flesh, and believe on the 
Talvus, who deceived the people through his sorceries." 

K. " All true ; but when the Talmud says that the im- 
pure Nazarene brought all his sorceries out of Egypt, what 
say our rabbis of blessed memory against that ? " 

C. " That he secretly stole the Schem' Hamphorasch out 
of the Temple, and stitched it into his flesh." 

K. What is the Schem Hamphorasch ? " 

C. " God's wonder, His greatest ! the seventy names of the 
holy and ever-blessed God ; and to him who knows them will 
the angel Metat'ron appear, as he appeared to our forefathers, 
and all stones can he turn to diamonds, and all loam to gold." 

* Talmud, tract. Bava Bathra. 

f In tractat Kethuvoth. 

J Eisenmenger ii. 777, &c. On this point he brings forward numerous 
quotations from the later rabbinical writings ; for it is certain that on 
this subject the Talmud judges more mildly. 

An extract from the horrible book of curses against the Saviour, the 
Toledoth Jeschu, is given in Eisenmenger ; the entire is printed in Dr. 
Wagenseil's Tela Ignea Satance. 



no SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

K. " Dost thou know, my son, that I myself possess this 
Schem Hamphorasch ?" 

C. (clasping his hands). " Wonder of God ! can it be ? 
And have you all these riches ? " 

K. " One of the accursed Christian dogs deceived me, 
and kept back two of the leaves (may God plague him in 
eternity for it), but still it effects much. I sell the holy 
Schem in little pieces, as a cure for all diseases ; yea, even 
bits no larger than a grain will bring three ducats ; item, I 
sell bits of it to the dying to lay upon their stomachs, that 
so they may gain eternal blessedness. Wilt thou buy a 
little grain too eh ? Ask the elders here if ever better 
physic were found than the least grain of dust from the holy 
Schem Hamphorasch ? " 

So the elders swore as my knave bid them, and said that 
no better physic could be, and told of the various diseases which 
it had cured in their own persons ; item, that no Jew in the 
whole town was without a morsel, be it large or small, to lay 
on his stomach when dying ; " but the greater the piece," said 
the rabbi, " the greater the blessedness." 

Now as the red-haired disciple seemed much inclined to 
purchase a bit, the rabbi went over to the drawer, withdrew 
the tapestry, and lifting up the golden jad,* pointed smilingly 
to the palm-leaves therein with it. " This," he said to the 
disciple, "was the ever-blessed Schem Hamphorasch itself, 
if he had not already believed his words." 

Meanwhile the aforesaid Meir, the rabbi's servant, crept 
forth from under the women's gallery, and spake " Now may 
ye stick two Christian dogs dead, who are hiding here to steal 
the blessed golden treasure from my master the rabbi : the 
clock has struck eleven, and the Christian swine are snoring in 
all quarters of the city. Up to the women's gallery ! up to 
the women's gallery ! There they sit ! Their six ducats I 

* The jad a gold or silver hand with which a priest pointed out each 
line to the reader of the Tora. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS in 

have safe : kill the. dumb uncircumcised dogs ! strike them 
dead ! For a ducat I will fling them into the Oder. Come, 
come ! here are knives ! here are knives." 

When the Duke and Doctor Joel heard all this, and saw all 
through the little bulls'-eyes, they jumped up and clattered 
down the stairs, the Duke drawing his dagger, which by good 
luck he had brought with him. But the Jews are already on 
them, and the rabbi strikes the Duke on the face with the 
golden jad, screaming 

" Accursed dog ! there is one golden blow for thec, and a 
second golden blow for thee, and a third golden blow for 
thee ; put them out to interest, and thou wilt have enough to 
buy the Schem Hamphorasch." And the others fell upon the 
doctor, beating him till their fists were bloody, and sticking 
him with their knives. So my magister roared, " Oh, gracious 
lord ! tell your name, I beseech you, or in truth they will 
murder us they will beat us to death ! " 

But the Duke had hit the rabbi such a blow with his 
dagger across the hand, that the golden jad fell to the ground, 
and the Duke, leaning his back against a pillar, hewed right 
and left, and kept them all at bay. 

But this did not help, for the traitor knave, Meir, creeping 
along on his knees, got hold of the Duke's foot, and lifting it 
up suddenly in the air, made him lose his balance, and my 
gracious Prince stumbled forward, and the dagger fell far from 
his hand, upon which he cried out, " Listen, ye cursed Jewish 
brood ! I am your Prince, the Duke of Pomerania ! My 
brother shall make ye pay for this : your flesh shall be torn 
from the bones, and flung to dogs by to-morrow, if you do 
not instantly give free passage to me and my attendant." Then 
taking his signet from his finger, he held it up, and cried, 
" Look here, ye cursed brood ; here are my arms the ducal 
Pomeranian arms behold ! behold ! " 

At this hearing, the rabbi turned as pale as chalk, and all 
the others started back from Dr. Joel, trembling with terror, 



ii2 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

while the Duke continued " We came not here to steal the 
Schem Hamphorasch, as your traitor knave has given out, but 
to hear your accursed Satan's crew with our own ears, which 
also we have done." 

" Oh, your Highness," cried the rabbi, " it was a jest 
all a mere innocent jest. The accursed knave is guilty of all 
Come, gracious Prince, I will unbar the door ; it was a jest 
may I perish if it was anything more than a merry jest, all 
this you have heard." 

And scarcely had the door been closed upon the Duke and 
Dr. Joel, when they heard the Jews inside falling upon the 
traitorous knave and beating him till he roared for pain, as if 
in truth they had stuck him on a pike. But they cared little 
what became of him, and hastened back with all speed to the 
ducal residence. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

How the Duke Francis seeks a virgin at Marietifliess to cite the 
angel Och for him Of Sidonia's evil plot thereupon, and the 
terrible uproar caused thereby in the convent. 

AFTER his Highness found that to obtain the Schem Ham- 
phorasch was an impossible thing, he resolved to seek through- 
out all Pomerania for a pure and brave-hearted virgin, by whose 
aid he could break Sidonia's demon spells, and preserve his 
whole princely race from fearful and certain destruction. He 
therefore addressed a circular to all the abbesses, conjecturing 
that if such a virgin were to be found, it could only be in a 
cloister ; and this was the letter : 

"FRANCISCUS, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, DUKE OF POMERANIA, 

STETTIN, CASSUBEN, AND WENDEN, BISHOP OF CAMYN, PRINCE 
OF RUGEN, COUNT OF GUTZKOW, LORD OF THE LANDS OF LAUEN- 
BURG AND BUTOW, &C. 

" WORTHY ABBESS, TRUSTY AND GOOD FRIEND, Be it known to you 
that we have immediate need of the services of a pure virgin hut in 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 113 

all honour and are diligently seeking for such throughout our ducal 
and ecclesiastical states ; but understand, not alone a virgin in act 
for they can be met with in every house but a virgin in soul, pure 
in thought and word, for by her agency we mean to build up a holy 
and virtuous work ; as Gregory Nyssensis says (De Virginitate, Opp. 
torn. ii. fol. 593) : ' Virginity must be the fundamentum upon which all 
virtue is built up, then are the works of virtue noble and holy ; but 
virginity, which is only of the form, and exists not in the soul, is nothing 
!mt a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, or a pearl which is trodden under 
foot of swine. ' 

"Further, the said virgin must be of a brave, steadfast, and man- 
like spirit, who fears nothing, and can defy death and the devil, if 
need be. 

" If ye have such a virgin, upon whom, with God's help, I can build 
up my great virtuous work, send her to our court without delay, and 
know that we shall watch over such virgin with all princely goodness 
and clemency ; but know also, that if on trial such virgin is not found 
pure in thought and word, great danger is in store for her, perchance 
even death. 

" Signatum Camyn, ist September 1617. 
" FRANCISCUS, manu sua. 

" Postscriptum. Are the winter gloves ready? Forget not to send 
them with the beer- waggon ; my canons esteem them highly." 

When this letter reached the abbess of Marienfliess by the 
beer- waggon of the honourable chapter of Camyn, she was 
much troubled as to how she ought to proceed. Truly there 
were two young novices lately arrived, of about fifteen or 
sixteen, named Anna Holborne and Catharina Maria von 
Wedel. These the abbess thought would assuredly suit his 
Highness item, they were of a wonderful brave spirit, and 
had gone down at night to the church to chase away the 
martens, though they bit them cruelly, because they prevented 
the people sleeping; and, further, never feared any ghost- 
work or devil's work that might be in the church, but laughed 
over it. When these same virgins, however, heard what the 
abbess wanted, they excused themselves, and said they had 
not courage to peril their lives, though in truth they were 
pure virgins in thought and word. But they could not hold 
their tongue quiet, but must needs blab (alas, woe ! ) to Anna 

VOL. II. H 



ii4 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Apenborg, who runs off instantly to the refectory to Sidonia, 
whom she had appeased by means of some sausages, and tells 
her the whole story, and of his Grace's wonderful letter. 

So my hag laughed never suspecting that she was the 
cause of all and said, " She would soon make out if such a 
virgin were to be found in the convent ; but would Anna 
promise secrecy ? " And when the other asseverated that 
she would be as silent as a stone in the earth, my hag 
continued 

" I have got a receipt from that learned man, Albertus 
Magnus his book upon women and we shall try it upon 
the nuns ; but thou must hold thy tongue, Anna." 

" Oh, she would sooner have her tongue cut out than blab 
a word ; but what was the receipt ? " 

Here Sidonia answered, " She would soon see. She 
would give the sisterhood a little of her fine beer to drink, 
with some of it therein ; and as she had got fresh sausages, 
and other good things in plenty by her, she would pray the 
abbess and the whole convent to dine with her on the follow- 
ing Monday ; then the dear sister should see wonders." 

And in truth my hag was so shameless, that on Sunday, 
after church, she prayed all the virgins, saying, "Would 
the dear sisters eat their mid -day meal with her next day, to 
show that they forgave her, if she had ever been over-hasty ? 
Ah, God ! she loved peace above everything ; but they must 
each bring their own can, for she had not cans enough for 
all ; and her new beer was worth tasting a better beer had 
she never brewed." 

Summa. All the sisterhood gladly accepted her invitation, 
thinking from her Christian mildness of speech in the church 
that she indeed wished to be reconciled to them ; item, the 
abbess promised to come, holding that compliance brings 
grace, but harshness disfavour ; but here the reverse was the 
case. 

Early on this same Monday, the waggon returned laden 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 115 

with beer for the honourable chapter, and the abbess de- 
spatched an answer by it to his Highness the Bishop, as 
follows : 

MOST REVEREND BISHOP AND ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE, MY FRIENDLY 
SERVICES TO YOUR GRACE. 

"GRACIOUS LORD, Concerning the matter of which your Highness 
writes, I think there is no lack here of such virgins as you describe, 
but none are of steadfast enough heart to brave the great danger with 
which your Highness says they are menaced ; for we have a nature like 
all women, and are weak and faint-hearted. But, methinks, there is 
one brave enough, and in all things pure, who would be of the service 
your Grace demands I mean Diliana Bork, daughter of Jobst Bork of 
Saatzig ; I counsel your Grace, therefore, to try her. 

" Now, as touching the winter gloves, I shall send some along with 
this ; but Sidonia will knit no gloves, and says, ' The fat canons are 
like enough to old women already, without putting gloves on them ; ' 
by which your Highness may judge of her impure mouth. God 
better her. 

"Your princely Grace's and my reverend Bishop's humble servant 
and subject, 

" MAGDELENA v. PETERSDORFIN. 

" Marienfliess, 5th Sept. 1617." 

Now when twelve o'clock struck, and mid-day shone on 
the blessed land, all the nuns proceeded in their long black 
habits and white veils to Sidonia' s apartment, each with her 
beer-can in her hand (woe is me ! how soon they rushed back 
again in storm and anger). 

Then they sat down to the sausages and other good morsels, 
while Anna Apenborg was on tiptoe of expectation to see 
what would happen ; and old Wolde was there quite well 
again (for ill weeds never die no winter is cold enough for 
that). And she filled each of their cans with the beer which 
Sidonia had brewed, after a new formula ; but, lo ! no sooner 
had they tasted it than first Dorothea Stettin starts up, and 
Sidonia asks what ails her. 

To which she answers : " She is not superstitious, but there 
was surely something wrong in the beer. She felt quite 
strange." And she left the room, then another, and another 



u6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

in fine, all who had tasted the beer started up in like manner 
and followed Dorothea. Only the abbess and some others 
who had not partaken of it remained. Anna Apenborg had 
disappeared amongst the first, and presently a terrific cry was 
heard from the courtyard, as if not alone the cloister, but the 
whole world was in flames. Curses, cries, menaces, threats, 
screams, all mingled together, and shouts of " Run for n 
broomstick ! the accursed witch ! the evil hag ! let us punish 
her for this ! " 

Whereupon the abbess jumps up, flings open the window, 
and beholds Dorothea Stettin so changed in mien, voice, 
gestures in fine, in her whole being that she was hardly to 
be recognised. She looks black and blue in the face, has her 
fists clenched, stamps with her feet, and screams. 

" For God's sake ! what ails you, Dorothea ? " asked the 
alarmed abbess. But no answer can she hear ; for all the 
virgins scream, roar, howl, and curse in one grand chorus, 
as if indeed the last day itself were come. So she runs down 
the steps as quick as she can, while Sidonia looks out at the 
window, and laughing, said, " Eh, dear sisters, this is a 
strange pastime you have got ; better come up quickly, or the 
pudding will be cold." 

At this the screeching and howling were redoubled, and 
Dorothea spat up at the window, and another flung up a 
broomstick, so that my hag got a bloody nose, and drew in 
her head screaming now likewise. 

Then they all wanted to rush up into the refectory, each 
armed with a broomstick to punish Sidonia, and they would 
not heed the abbess, who still vainly asked what had angered 
them ? but the other sisters who were descending met them 
half way, and prevented their ascent ; whereupon the abbess 
raised her voice and called out loud : " Whoever does not 
return instantly at my command as abbess, shall be imprisoned 
forthwith, and condemned to bread and water for a whole 
day ! Item, whoever speaks until I address her, shall be kept 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 117 

half-a-day on bread and water. Now Dorothea, speak you 
alone, and let every one of you descend the steps and return 
here to the courtyard." This menace availed at last, and 
with many sobs and groans, Dorothea at last told of Sidonia's 
horrible plot, as Anna Apenborg had explained to them. 
How she had invited them on purpose to disgrace them for 
ever in the eyes of the Prince and of the whole world, and 
the abbess could now judge herself, if they had not a right to 
be angry. But she must have her sub-prioret back again, out 
of which the scandalous witch had tricked her, and the abbess 
must forthwith despatch a messenger to his Highness, praying 
him to chase this unclean beast out of the convent, and into 
the streets again, from which they had taken her ; for neither 
God nor man had peace or rest from her. 

Sidonia overhearing this from the window, stretched out 
her grey head again, wiped away with her hand the blood 
that was streaming from her nose, and then menacing the 
abbess with her bloody fist, screamed out, "Write if you 
dare ! write if you dare ! " So the curses, howls, yells, 
screeches, all break loose again ; some pitch their shoes up 
at the windows, others Jet fly the broomsticks at the old 
hag, and Dorothy cried out, " Let all pure and honourable 
virgins follow me ! " Yet still a great many of the sisters 
gathered round the abbess, weeping and wringing their hands, 
and praying for peace, declaring they would not leave her ; 
but all the younger nuns, particularly they who had drunk of 
Sidonia's accursed beer, followed the sub-prioress, and as the 
discontented Roman people withdrew once to the Aventine 
mount, so the cloister malcontents withdrew to the Muhlen- 
berg, howling and sobbing, and casting themselves on the 
ground from despair. In vain the abbess ran after them, 
conjuring them not to expose themselves before God and 
man : it was all useless, my virgins screamed in chorus 
" No, that they would never do, but to the cloister they 
would not return till the princely answer arrived, expelling 



n8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

the dragon for ever. Let what would become of them, they 
would not return. The jewel of their honour was dearer to 
them than life." 

Now Sidonia was watching all this from her window, and 
as she justly feared that now in earnest the wrath and anger 
of the two Princes would fall on her, she goes straight to the 
abbess, who sits in her cell weeping and wringing her hands, 
menaces her again with her bloody fist, and says, " Will 
you write ? will you write ? ay, you may, but you will never 
live to hear the answer ! " Upon which, murmuring to her- 
self, she left the chamber. What can the poor abbess do ? 
And the cry now comes to her, that not only the miller and 
his men, but half the town likewise, are gathered round the 
virgins. Oh, what a scandal ! She wrings her hands in 
prayer to God, and at last resolves to lay down her poor life, 
so that she may fulfil her hard duty bravely as beseems her, 
goes then straight to the Muhlenberg and arranges the evil 
business thus : Let the virgins return instantly to the cloister, 
and she would herself write to the Duke, and despatch the 
messenger this very night. But she begged for just two hours 
to herself, that she might make her will, and send for the 
sherifPs secretary to draw it up properly ; also to search 
for her shroud which lay in her chest. For since her cruel 
children demanded her life, she would give it to them. The 
Duke's answer she would never live to hear. So Sidonia 
had prophesied just now. 

Then she descended the hill, chanting that beautiful hymn 
of Dr. Nicolai's, while the virgins followed, and some lifted 
up their weeping voices in unison with hers : 



1 Awake ! the watchers on the tower 
Chant aloud the midnight hour ; 

Awake, thou bride Jerusalem ! 
Through the city's gloomy porches 
See the flashing bridal torches ; 

Awake, thou bride Jerusalem ! 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 119 

Come forth, come forth, ye virgin choir, 

Light your lamps with altar fire ! 
Hallelujah ! in His pride 
Comes the Bridegroom to His bride ; 
Awake, thou fair Jerusalem ! 

Zion heard the watchers singing, 
From her couch in beauty springing, 

She wakes, and hastens joyful out. 
Lo ! He comes in heavenly beauty, 
Strong in love, in grace, in duty ; 

Now her heart is free from doubt. 
Light and glory flash before Him, 
Heaven's star is shining o'er Him, 

On His brow the kingly crown, 

For the Bridegroom is THE SON. 

Hallelujah! follow all 

To the heavenly bridal-hall, 

There the Lamb holds festival ! " 

But behold, as they reached the convent gates, chanting 
their heavenly melody, there stood the demon-witch, dancing 
and singing her hellish melody 

"Also kleien und also kratzen, 
Meine Hunde und meine Katzen." 

And old Wolde and the cat, in his little red stockings, danced 
right and left beside her. 

At this horrible sight the poor virgins scampered off hither 
and thither to their cells, like doves flying to their nests, with- 
out uttering a word, only the abbess exclaimed " But two 
hours, my children, in the church ! " Whereupon she goes, 
makes her will, and prepares her shroud. Item, sends for 
the dairy-mother, gives her the shroud. Item, a sack of moss 
and hops to make a pillow for her coffin, for such she would 
like her poor corpse to have. Then sends for the convent 
carpenter, and makes him take her measure for a coffin ; and, 
lastly, strengthened in God, goes to the church to write her 
own death-warrant, namely, the letter to his Highness. Yet 
many of the virgins, for fear of Sidonia, refused to affix their 
signatures thereto, among whom was Anna Apenborg, who, 



no SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

as soon as she left the church, ran up to the refectory to 
chatter over the whole business with Sidonia. Item, how 
the new convent-porter was to be sent that same midnight 
with the letter to his Highness. 

So Sidonia began now to scold, because Anna could not 
hold her tongue, and had betrayed her secret to the sisters. 
But the other said 

"She thought it was all a pure jest, and had told them 
for fun, that they might have a good laugh together ; for 
how could she know that they would all grow raging mad 
like that ! " 

So my hag forgave her, and bid her sit down and eat 
some sausage for her supper, in return for the news she had 
brought her. Meanwhile, she would write a letter to his 
Highness likewise, and Anna should give it to the convent- 
porter, to take with him along with that of the abbess. 
This was the letter : 

" SERENE PRINCE AND GRACIOUS LORD, 

" Now will your Highness perceive, by this writing, how faithful 
and true a servant I am to your princely house, though the godless 
world has raised up an evil cry against me in your Highness's ears. 
Gracious Prince, the reverend Lord Bishop wrote to our worthy abbess 
of Marienfliess, bidding her seek out for him a virgin, pure in thought, 
word, and deed, by whose help he might perform some great virtue- 
work. Now, the abbess confided her perplexities on the matter to 
me, as sub-prioress ; whereupon I said, ' That to serve your Highness, 
I would show whether such a virgin were in the convent, but she must 
keep silence ; ' this she promised. Whereon I brewed a drink, accord- 
ing to Albertus Magnus it is at the 95th page and bade them all to 
dinner, when I secretly put the drink into some of my best beer. Now 
Albertus states that the drink will have no effect on a pure virgin, only 
on the reverse. Your Highness, therefore, may judge what sort of 
sisterhood we have, when, no sooner had they drank, than almost all 
rose up raging mad, and rushed out of the convent into the courtyard, 
where such a scandalum arose screams, curses, yells, and shrieks, 
that your Grace may surely judge no honourable virgin was to be found 
amongst them. In fact, the worthy abbess, a few others, and I myself, 
were the only persons who remained unaffected by the draught. There- 
fore, I counsel our gracious Bishop to select one from amongst us, for 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 121 

his great virtue-work. I, indeed, have the strongest heart of all, and 
the bravest courage. 

" But, assuredly, the worst of all these light wantons was Dorothea 
Stettin, from whom I received the sub-prioret, because, as your Grace 
heard, she held unchaste discourse during her illness, and, therefore, 
is as much suited to be sub-prioress as a jewel of gold to a swine's 
snout. She, therefore, drew off all the other raging wantons to the 
Muhlenberg, declaring that they would not return until I , who had done 
this great service to my Lord Bishop, was turned out into the streets. 
Then the lewd common folk gathered round the sisters on the hill, who 
betrayed their own evil case, methinks, by their rage, and mocked and 
jeered them, till the abbess herself had to go forth and entreat them to 
return ; but they despised her, and the sheriff must needs gallop up 
with his horsewhip, and whip them before him, but in vain ; the evil 
is too strong in them. They still said, that I, unfortunate maiden, 
' must be accused to your Highness of all this scandal,' for the silly 
abbess had betrayed what I had done ; ' and that till I was turned out 
of the convent, they would not come back.' Now the poor abbess fell 
sick at such base contempt and insult to her authority, and, feeling 
her end near, she made her will, and took out the shroud from her 
trunk, and had the carpenter to measure her for her coffin, and at last 
consented to write to your Grace, because by no other means would 
these evil wantons be satisfied, or the great scandal and disgrace to the 
convent be averted. But, I think, if your Grace would write her a 
private letter, she would change her opinion (Ah, yes, the hag means 
her to receive it !) and make a far different resolve when your Grace 
sees how true and faithful I have acted as 

"Your Highness's most humble maiden, 

" SIDONIA BORK, 
' ' Otto Bork's only and unfortunate orphan. 

" Marienfliess, 6th Sept. 1617. 

" P.S. If she dies, I pray your Grace to hold me in your remem- 
brance." 



CHAPTER XV. 

Of the death of the abbess, Magdalena von Peter sdorfin Item, 
hoiv Duke Francis makes Jobst Bork and his daughter, 
Diltana, come to Camyn, and what happens there. 

Now the messenger had hardly departed, when Sidonia 
arranged her food for three days, laid two new brooms cross- 



122 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

wise under the table ; item, had her bath carried up by old 
Wolde from the kitchen to the refectory, and lastly, locked 
herself up, giving out that she must and will pray to God to 
pardon her fallen sisters for all their sins, and that up to 
Friday night no one should disturb her. 

Summa. The unfortunate abbess ascertained, but too well, 
that same night, what such praying betokened. She screamed 
out, like all the others, that it seemed as if a miner was in her 
breast, and hammered there, striving to raise up the bones ; 
and the good dairy-mother, a pious and tender-hearted creature, 
not very old either, never left her side during all her martyr- 
dom. For three days and three nights she took no rest, but 
watched by the sick abbess ; lifting her from the bed to the 
cold floor, and from the cold floor to the bed, and refused a 
piece of gold the abbess offered for her trouble, begging it 
might be given to Lisa Behlken, a little gipsy maiden, whose 
thievish and heathenish parents had left her behind them in 
the town, but who had been taken in and sheltered by the poor 
widow, though she had enough to do to get her living alone. 

Summa. On the Friday night the worthy abbess expired 
in horrible tortures ; and, in consequence, such a fear and 
horror fell upon the whole convent, that they trembled and 
shook like aspen leaves, and bitterly repented now of their 
folly with loud cries and weeping, in having, with their own 
hands, helped to cast down their only stay and support. 

So, next morning, Sidonia summoned the whole chapter to 
her apartment, drew herself up like a black adder, as she was, 
menaced them with her dry fists, and spake 

" See now, ye shameless wantons, what ye have done ! 
Ye have murdered the worthy abbess, though she told you 
herself, it would be her death if ye came not down from the 
Muhlenberg ; giving up your honour and the honour of our 
convent, ye vile crew, as a prey to the malicious world. In 
vain have I cried to God three days and three nights for 
pardon for your heavy sins, and for support for our dear 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 123 

mother ; your sins are an offence to the Lord, and He would 
not hearken to me. For this morning I hear, to my great 
terror, that the good abbess, just as I feared, has been done to 
death by your vile obduracy and disobedience." 

As the blasphemous devil thus went on, all were silent 
round her. Even Dorothea Stettin had not a word for, 
though her wrath was great, her fear was yet greater. Only 
Anna Apenborg, who had her eyes always about, cried out 

" See there, dear sisters, there comes the porter back from 
Old Stettin. Ah, that he should find our good mother in her 
coffin, as she prophesied ! " 

So Sidonia despatches a sister for the princely letter, and 
bids the others remain ; and when the letter is brought, Sidonia 
breaks the seal, runs over the contents to herself, laughs, and 
then says, at last 

" Listen to the message his Grace sends to our, alas ! now 
dead mother, as a kind and just father ! " Reads 

" HONOURABLE MOTHER, WORTHY ABBESS, 
"As our serene and gracious Prince is just setting off to hunt with 
the illustrious patricio, Philip Heinhofer of Augsburg, his Grace bids me 
say that he will visit the convent himself next month on his way to New 
Stettin, to advise with you, and investigate, in person, this evil business 
with the sisterhood. As to Sidonia, he reserves a different treatment 
for her. 

" Your good son and friend, 

"FRANCISCA BLODOW, 

1 ' Ducal Secretary. 
" Old Stettin, 8th Sept. 1617." 

Hereupon she stuck the letter in her pocket, clapped her 
hand over it, and continued 

" That is what I call a just, good father ; and if I had not 
interposed with Christian charity, who knows what heaps of 
vile, shameless wantons might not be cast forth upon the streets. 
But I remember the words of my heavenly Bridegroom 
1 Forgive, and it shall be forgiven you ! ' And now to end, 
good sisters, since our worthy mother is no more, we must 



124 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

have a ruler over this uproarious convent. Therefore, let us 
proceed at once to elect her successor from amongst ourselves, 
that so our gracious Prince may be able to confirm your 
choice on his arrival next month. Proceed, then, since ye 
are all assembled here, that the convent may know in whom 
it may place confidence. Speak, Anna Apenborg, whom 
dost thou name for an abbess, my much-loved sister ? " 

With Sidonia' s sausage still in her stomach, what else 
could she do, but bow and say 

" I think no one so worthy as our good sister Sidonia." 

Hereat laughed my hag, and went on to ask the other- 
virgins ; and all those who had not been affected by the hellish 
drink cried out " Sidonia ! " while those who had been were 
afraid to dissent, and so cried out too for her. In fine, 
" Sidonia ! Sidonia ! " was heard from all lips, and so they 
took her for their abbess, whom but a few days before they 
would have flung out into the streets. Even Dorothea 
Stettin consented, on condition that she received back the 
sub-prioret. Whereupon Sidonia loosed her veil with the 
one golden key, and restored it to Dorothea with the Judas 
kiss ; then bid her fetch the veil of the abbess with the two 
golden keys, for this was an heirloom in the cloister. When 
it arrived, Sidonia goes to her trunk, and takes out a large 
regal cape that looked like ermine, but was only white cat's 
skin. She hung this upon her neck, and exclaimed 

" Hitherto I was lady of castles and lands now, as 
abbess, I am of princely rank, for many princesses were 
abbesses in the time of the Papacy ; therefore, it is meet that 
I array myself as a princess, and I command ye all to treat 
me as a princess, and honour me as your abbess, and kiss my 
hand, which is the proper, due, and fitting reverence to be 
paid to my rank. The late worthy matron, indeed, suffered 
ye to treat her with little respect, and your late vile contempt 
of her on the Muhlenberg shows ( God be good to us ! ) but 
too well what fruit her neglect of these tilings brought forth." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 125 

Truly the pride of this hag was equal to her wickedness ; 
for mark, already for a year and a day before this, she had 
made the convent-porter and others bring her white cats and 
black cats ; these she killed and skinned, and sewed the 
black cats' tails on the white skins, to make a show withal, 
for ermine skin was above her price, I am thinking. Yet no 
one knew wherefore she killed the cats, and for what cause. 
Now it all came to light. 

No doubt these circumstances gave rise to that error which 
runs through the Pomeranian cotemporary authors, who assert 
all of them, that Sidonia was abbess of Marienfliess though, 
in truth, she never was duly elected.* 

But let us return now to his Highness, Bishop Francis. 
He sent to Jobst Bork, bidding him come instantly to Camyn 
with his little daughter, Diliana. They knew nothing of his 
Grace's purpose, but were soon informed on entering the 
episcopal palace. For, after his Highness, with whom was 
Doctor Joel, desired them to be seated, the Doctor placed 
Diliana upon a stool, close to the window, beside which my 
magister had hung up a magic screen on purpose ; and, as the 
blessed sun poured in through the window, Diliana' s beauti- 
ful, delicate form was shadowed forth upon the pure white 
linen with which it was covered. Whereupon the magister 
bent down, stuck his hands on his fat sides, knit his brows, 
and contemplated the image steadily for some time ; then, 
starting up, gave a loud huzzah, and cried out 

" Gracious Prince, we have found it, we have found it ! 
Here is a pure virgin. I know by the formation of the 
shadows along the virgin-linen that she is pure as the sun- 
angel as the ascending morning dew." 

Here Jobst Bork shook his head, and the maiden blushed 
to her finger-ends, and looked down ashamed in her lap. 
Then his Grace said, laughing 

" Do not wonder at our joy, for the destiny of our whole 
* Cramer and Mikroelius make the same mistake. 



126 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

race, good Jobst, lies now in you and your daughter's hands. 
Through the witchcraft of Sidonia Bork, as ye know, and all 
the world testifies, our ancient race has been melted away till 
but a few dry twigs remain, and no young eyes look up to us 
when our old eyes are failing. But what Sidonia Bork has 
destroyed, Diliana Bork, by God's help, can restore. For, 
mark ! after all human help had been found of no avail, this 
man whom ye see here, a magister artium of Grypswald, Joel 
by name, inquired of the spirits how the great evil could be 
turned away from our race ; but they declared that none 
knew except the sun-angel, because he saw all that passed 
upon the earth. This angel, however, being the greatest of 
all spirits, will not appear unless a brave and pure virgin 
pure in thought, word, and work stand within the magic 
circle ; therefore, we have sent for your daughter, hearing 
that she was such an one, and the magister hath proved the 
truth of the report even now. It rests with you, therefore, 
much-prized Diliana, sister to the angels in purity, and last 
and only hope of my perishing race, to save them at my 
earnest petition." 

When he ended, Diliana remained quite silent, but Jobst 
wriggled on his chair, and at last spake 

" Serene Prince, you know me for the most obedient of 
your subjects, but with the devil's work I will have nothing 
to do ; besides, I see not why you must trouble spirits about 
my evil cousin, the sorceress of Marienfliess. Send to my 
castellan of Pansin, George Putkammer, he will thrust her in 
a sack to-night, and carry her to-morrow to Camyn that you 
may believe, my Lord Duke ! " 

Then he related what the brave knight had done, and how 
Sidonia had in truth left him in peace ever since, all through 
fear of the young knight's good sword. His Grace wondered 
much at this. " Never could I have believed that so stout- 
hearted a man was to be found in all Pomerania one that 
would dare to touch this notorious witch." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 127 

And he fell into deep musing, keeping his eyes upon Jobst' s 
jack-boots, in which he had stuck a great hunting- knife. At 
last he spake " But if I seize her and burn her, will it be 
better with our race? I trow not; for she can leave the evil 
spell on us, perhaps, even if she were a hundred times burned. 
Her magic hath great power. Will burning her break the 
spell ? No ; we must act more cunningly with the dragon. 
Earth cannot help us in this. And here you see, Jobst, 
why I demand your daughter's help to conjure the angels of 
God." 

" Then seek another virgin, my Prince/' answered Jobst, 
" mine you shall never have. I have been once in the devil's 
claws, and I won't thrust myself into them again much less 
my only darling child, whom I love a thousand times better 
than my life. No, no, her body and soul shall never be 
endangered by my consent." 

" But where is the danger ? " said the Duke. " It is with 
an angel, not a devil, your daughter is to speak ; and surely 
no evil, then, could happen to our dear and chaste little 
sister?" 

At last Diliana exclaimed eagerly, " Ah ; can it be pos- 
sible to speak with the blessed angels, as the evil women 
speak with the devil ? In truth, I would like to see an 
angel." 

At this the Duke looked significantly at the magister, who 
immediately advanced, and began to explain the opus magicum 
et theurglcum to the maiden, as follows : 

" You know, fair young virgin, that our Saviour saith of 
the innocent children, * Their angels always see the face of 
My Father which is in heaven' (Matt, xviii.). Item, St. 
Paul (Heb. i.) : Are not the angels ministering spirits, sent 
forth for the service of those who are heirs of salvation ? ' 
This is no new doctrine, but one as old as the world. Foi 
you know, further, that Adam, Noah, the holy patriarchs, 
the prophets, &c., talked with angels, because their faith was 



128 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

great. Item, you know that, even in the New Testament, 
angels were stated to have appeared and talked with men; 
but later still, during the papal times even, the angels of God 
appeared to divers persons, as was well known, and of their 
own free will. For they did not always appear of free will ; 
and therefore, from the beginning, conjurations were employed 
to compel them, and fragments of these have come down to us 
ex traditione, as we magistri say, from the time of Shem, the 
son of Noah, who revealed them to his son Misraim ; and so, 
from son to son, they have reached to our day, and are still 
powerful." 

" But," spake Diliana, " is it then possible for man to 
compel angels ? " 

Ille. " Yes, by three different modes ; first, through the 
word, or the intellectual vinculum ; secondly, through the 
heavenly bodies, or the astral vinculum ; lastly, through the 
earthly creatures, or the elementary vinculum. 

" Respecting first the word, you know that all things were 
made by it, and without it was nothing made that is made. 
With God the Lord, therefore, word and thing are one and 
the same ; for when He speaks it is done ; He commands, 
and it stands there. Also, with our father, Adam, was the 
word all-powerful ; for he ruled over all beasts of the field, 
and birds, and creeping things by the name which he gave unto 
them, that is, by the word (Gen. ii.). This power, too, the 
word of Noah possessed, and by it he drew the beasts into the 
ark (Gen. vii.); for we do not read that he draw them, which 
would be necessary now, but they went into the ark after him, 
two and two, i.e., compelled by the power of his word. 

" Next follows the astral vinculum, i.e., the sympathy be- 
tween us and those heavenly bodies or stars wherein the angels 
dwell or rule. We must know their divers aspects, configura- 
tions, risings, settings, and the like, also the precise time, hour, 
and minute in which they exercise an influence over angel, 
man, and lower creatures, according as the ancients, and 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



129 



particularly the Chaldeans have taught us ; for spirit cannot 
influence spirit at every moment, but only at particular times 
and under particular circumstances. 

" Lastly comes the elementary *vinculum, or the sympathy 
which binds all earthly creatures together men, animals, 
plants, stones, vapours and exhalations, &c., but above all, this 
cementing sympathy is strongest in pure virgins, as you, much- 
praised Diliana " 

Hereupon she spake surprised : " How can all this be ? Is 
it not folly to suppose that the blessed angels could be com- 
pelled by influences from plants and stones ? " 

" It is no folly, dear maiden, but a great and profound truth, 
which I will demonstrate to you briefly. Everything through- 
out the universe is effected by two opposing forces, attraction 
or sympathy, repulsion or antipathy. All things in heaven as 
well as upon earth act on each other by means of these two 
forces." 

" And as all within, above, beneath, in the heaven and on 
the earth, are types insensibly repeated of one grand archetype, 
so we find that the sun himself is a magnet, and by his different 
poles repels or attracts the planets, and amongst them our earth ; 
in winter he repels her, and she moves darkly and mournfully 
along ; in spring he begins to draw her towards him, and she 
comes joyfully, amidst songs of the holy angels, out of night and 
darkness, like a bride into the arms of her beloved. And 
though no ear upon earth can mark this song, yet the sympathies 
of each creature are attracted and excited thereby, and man, 
beast, bird, fish, tree, flower, grass, stones, all exhale forth 
their subtlest, most spiritual, sweetest life to blend with the 
holy singers. 

" O maiden, maiden, this is no folly ! Truly might we say 
that each thing feels, for each thing loves and hates the 
animate as the inanimate, the earthly as the heavenly, the visible 
as the invisible. For what is love but attraction or sympathy 
towards some object, whereby we desire to blend with it ? 

VOL. II. I 



130 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

And what is hate but repulsion or antipathy, whereby we are 
forced to fly or recoil from it ? 

*' We, silly men, tear and tatter to pieces the rude coarse 
materla of things, and think we know the nature of an object, 
because, like a child with a mirror, we break it to find the 
image. But the life of the thing the inner, hidden mystic 
life of sympathies of this we know nothing, and yet we call 
ourselves wise ! 

" But what is the signification of this widespread law of 
love and hate which rules the universe as far as we know ? 
Nothing else than the dark signature of faith impressed upon 
every creature. For what the thing loves, that is its God ; 
and what the thing hates, that is its devil. So when the up- 
right and perfect soul ascends to God, the source of all attrac- 
tion, God descends to it in sympathy, and blends with it, as 
Christ says, * Whoso loves Me, and keeps My word, My Father 
will love him, and we will come and take up our abode with 
him.' But if the perverted soul descends to the source of all 
repulsion, which is the devil, God will turn away from him, 
and he will hate God and love the devil, as our blessed Saviour 
says (Matt, vi.), ' No man can serve two masters, he will hate 
one and love the other ; ye cannot serve God and the devil.' 
Such will be the law of the universe until the desire of all 
creatures is fulfilled, until the living Word again descends from 
heaven, and says, Let there be light ! ' and the new light will 
fall upon the soul. Then will the old serpent be cast out of 
the new heaven and the new earth. Hate and repulsion will 
exist no longer, but as Esaias saith, * The wolf and the lamb, 
the leopard and the kid, will lie down together, and the child 
may play fearlessly upon the den of the adder.' Hallelujah ! 
Then will creation be free ! then will it pass from the bondage 
of corruption into the lordly freedom of the children of God 
(Rom. viii.), and 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 131 

Sun, 

Moon, stars, 

Earth, angels, men, 

Beasts, plants, stones, 

The living as the dead, 

The great as the small, 

The visible as the invisible, 

Will find at last 

The source of all attraction 

Which they have ever ardently desired 

Round which they will ever circle 

Day on day, night on night, 

Century on century, millennium on millennium, 

Lost in the infinite and eternal abyss 

Of all love 

GOD ! " * 

* Almost with the last words of this sketch, the second part of 
Kosmos, by Alexander von Humboldt, came to my hand. Evidently 
the great author (who so well deserves immortality for his contribu- 
tions to science) views the world also as a whole ; and wherever in 
ancient or modern times, even a glimpse of this doctrine can be found, 
he quotes it and brings it to light. But yet, in a most incomprehen- 
sible manner, he has passed over those very systems in which, above 
all others, this idea finds ample room ; namely, the new platonism 
of the ancients (the Theurgic Philosophy), and the later Cabalistic, 
Alchymical, Mystic Philosophy (White Magic), from which system 
the deductions of Magister Joel are borrowed ; but above all, we must 
name Plotinus, as the father of the new Platonists, to whom nature is 
throughout but one vast unity, one divine totality, one power united 
with one life. In later times, we find that Albertus Magnus, Cornelius 
Agrippa, and Theophrastus Paracelsus held the same view. The 
latter uses the above word "attraction" in the sense of sympathy. 
And the systems of these philosophers, which are in many places full 
of profound truths, are based upon this idea. 



132 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Jobst Bork takes away his daughter by force from the Duke 
and Dr. Joel ; also is strengthened in bis unbelief by Dr. 
Cramer Ite m, how my gracious Prince arrives at 
Marten/Hess, and there vehemently menaces Sidonia. 

WHEN Dr. Joel had ended his discourse, the fair young 
virgin's eyes overflowed with tears ; and clasping her hands, 
she sprang up, and seizing my magister by the hand, exclaimed, 
" O sir, let us see the blessed angels ! Let me talk with 
them." 

But her father, who was dry and brief in speech, tore her 
away, saying sourly, " Have done, child ; you must not dare 
to do it ! " Then they all prayed him to consent the Duke, 
and the magister, and Diliana herself; and the magister said, 
that in a few days the sun would be in Libra, which would 
be the fitting and best time ; if they delayed, then a whole 
year must pass over without obtaining any help, for he had 
already demonstrated that each spirit had its particular time 
of influence. And so my magister went on. But all was in 
vain. So Diliana stroked her father's beard with her little 
hands and said, " Think, dear papa, on grandmamma her 
poor ghost ; and that I can avenge her if I keep my virgin 
honour pure in thought, word, and deed ! Is it not strange 
that my gracious Prince should just now come and demand 
the proof of my purity ? Let me pass the trial, and then I 
can avenge the poor ghost, and calm the fears of his Highness 
all at once ; for assuredly he has cause to fear Sidonia." So 
the Duke and Magister Joel inquired eagerly what she meant 
by the ghost ; and when they heard, they rejoiced, and said 
the finger of God was in it. " Would the knight still strive 
against God ? " 

" No," he answered, " but against the devil ; for Luther 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 133 

says, ' Such ghost -work must be of the devil, since the 
departed soul must either be in heaven or in hell ; if in 
heaven, it would have rest,' therefore he feared the ghost of 
his poor mother had nothing good about it, and he would take 
care and keep his child from the claws of the devil." 

Thus the argument and strife went on, till Jobst at last 
cried out sharply, " Diliana, dost thou esteem the fifth 
commandment ? If so, come with me." Whereupon the 
pious virgin threw herself upon his neck, exclaiming, 
" Father, I come ! " 

But my magister took her by the hand, to draw her from 
her father, whereat Jobst seized the hunting-knife that he 
had stuck in his jack-boots, and brandishing it, cried out, 
" Hands off, fellow, or I'll paint a red sign upon thee ! 
My Lord Duke, in the name of the three devils, seek out 
another virgin ; but my virgin, your Highness shall never 
have." Then seizing his little daughter by the waist, he 
rushed out of the room with her, growling like a bear with 
his cub, and down the stairs, and through the streets, never 
stopping or staying till he reached the inn, nor even once 
looking behind him or heeding, his Grace, who screamed out 
after him, " Good Jobst, only one word ; only one word, 
dear Jobst ! " 

And when my Jobst reached the inn, he roared for the 
coachman, bid him follow him with all speed to the road, 
paid down his reckoning to mine host, and was off, and 
already out of the town, just as the Duke and Dr. Joel 
reached the inn, to try and get him back again. So they 
return raging and swearing, while Jobst crouches down 
behind a thorn-bush with his little daughter, till the coach 
comes up. And they have scarcely mounted it, when Dr. 
Cramer, of Old Stettin, drives up ; for he was on his way to 
induct a rector (I know not whom) into his parish, as the 
ecclesiastical superintendent lay sick in his bed. This meet- 
ing rejoiced the knight's heart mightily ; and after he had 



134 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

peered out of the coach windows, to see if the Duke or the 
doctor were on his track, and making sure that he was not 
pursued, he prayed Dr. Cramer to bide a while, and discourse 
him on a matter that lay heavy on his conscience. The 
doctor having consented, they all alighted, and seated them- 
selves in a hollow, where the coachman could not overhear 
their discourse. Then Jobst related all that had happened, 
and asked had he acted rightly ? 

" In all things you have done well, brave knight," 
answered my excellent godfather, "for though, doubtless, 
spirits can and do appear, yet is there always great danger to 
body and soul in practising these conjurations ; and no one 
can say with security whether such apparition be angel or 
devil; because St. Paul says (2 Cor. xi. 14), that ' Satan 
often changes himself into an angel of light ; ' and respecting 
the ghost of your mother, in my opinion, it was a devil sent 
to tempt your dear little daughter; for it is written (Wisdom 
xxxi.), <The just are in the hand of God, and no evil 
troubles them.' " 

He is going on with his quotations, when Diliana calls 
out, " Godfather, here is a coach coming as fast as it can 
drive ; and surely two men are therein ! " 

" Adieu ! adieu ! " cried the knight, springing up, and 
dragging his daughter into the coach as quick as he could. 
Then he bid the coachman drive for life and death ; and 
when they reached the wood, to take the first shortest cut to 
the left. 

Meanwhile, the Duke and Dr. Joel come up with my 
worthy godfather, stop him, and ask what the knight, Jobst 
Bork, was saying to him ? for they had seen them both 
together, sitting in the hollow, along with Diliana. 

On this, the dry sheep's cough got into my worthy god- 
father's throat from pure fright, for a lie had never passed 
his lips in all his life ; therefore he told the whole story truly 
and honestly. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 135 

Meanwhile, the other coach drove on rapidly through the 
wood ; and the coachman did as he was desired, and took 
the first path to the left, where they soon came on a fine 
thick hazel grove. Here Jobst stopped to listen, and truly 
they could hear the other coach distinctly crushing the fallen 
leaves, and the voice of the Duke screaming, " Jobst, dost thou 
hear ? Jobst, may the devil take thee, wilt thou stop ? " 

"Ay, my Lord Duke," thought Jobst to himself, "I 
will stop as you wish, but I trust the devil will neither take 
me nor my daughter." Then he lifted the fair Diliana him- 
self out of the coach, and laid her on the green grass, under 
the thick nut trees, saying, " Where shall we fly to, my 
daughter ? What thinkest thou ? " 

Ilia. "Why, to thy good castle of Saatzig, my father." 

life. " Marry, I'll take good care I won't to fly from 
one danger to another ; for will he not hunt us there ay, till 
his spurs are red, and shouting all the way after me till his 
lungs burst like an old wind-bag." 

Ilia. " Whither, then, my father ? " 

Itte. "To Stramehl, methinks, to my cousin Bastien, 
where we shall remain until the time is passed in which he 
can question the spirits ; for, if I remember rightly, the sun 
will enter Libra in a few days." 

Ilia. " But, dear father, is it not cruel thus to torment 
the good Prince ? Oh ! it must be so beautiful to talk to 
an angel ! " 

file. " Do not anger me, my heart's daughter, do not 
anger me. Better be George Putkammer's good loving 
wife ; turn thy thoughts that way, my daughter, and in a 
year there will be something better worth looking at in the 
cradle than a spirit." 

Ilia blushes and plucks the nuts over her head. 

///. What sayest thou ? Art thou for ever to put off 
these marriage thoughts ?" 

Ula. Ah ! my heart's dear father, what would my poor 



136 S1DONIA THE SORCERESS 

grandmother say in eternity ? It is impossible that, without 
God's will, the Duke and the poor ghost should have come 
upon the same thoughts about me." 

life. " Anger me not, child ; thou art a silly, superstitious 
thing ; without God's will, it may well be, but not without 
the devil's will. Thou hast heard what Luther says of ghosts, 
and we must believe him. Eh ? " 

Ilia. " But my Lord Duke and Dr. Joel say quite dif- 
ferently. Ah, father, let me see the blessed angels ! Dr. Joel 
surely has seen them often, and yet no danger befell him." 

Ille. " Anger me not, daughter, I say, for the third time. 
It is written, ' Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God ; ' and 
is not this tempting Him setting heaven and hell in an uproar 
all about a wicked old hag of a witch ? Wherefore is the 
Duke such a goose ? But I will give him no child of mine 
to run a race with to hell. Now rise, child, and follow me 
to the coach ! " 

Ilia. " But you must make me one promise " (weeping). 

/&._ What then?" 

Ilia. " Speak no more of marriage to me till I say, 
' Father, now let the marriage be." 

Hie, With the young knight, George ? " 

Ilia. " I have no objection to offer to him ; but the young 
man is not to come before my eyes until then." 

///. Ah, thou art as obstinate as the Riigen geese ! 
Well, have it thy own way, child. And now to Stramehl ! " 

Still the Duke was hunting after them, through thick and 
thin, and roaring for the knight at the top of his voice, till 
the wood re-echoed ; and though some squires, who came up 
through the forest, declared that no carriage had passed their 
way, yet he continued his chase, feeling certain that no matter 
what bypath the knave had taken, yet he would assuredly 
come up with him at Saatzig. 

So the next day he reached the castle, for it lay but ten 
miles from Camyn, but no knight was there. The Duke 



SIDONTA THE SORCERESS 137 

waited for two days, still no sign of him. So he amused the 
time by fishing, and making inquiries amongst all the neigh- 
bouring people about Sidonia, and so strange were the tales 
repeated by the simple, superstitious folk, that his Highness 
resolved to make a detour home by Marienfliess, just to get a 
passing glimpse of this devil's residence. Here he met a 
shepherd, who told many strange things, and swore that he 
had seen her many times flying out of the chimney on her 
broomstick ; and, as the convent lay right before them, his 
Grace asked which was Sidonia' s chimney, and the carl 
pointed out the chimney with his hand it was the fourth 
from the church there, where the smoke was rising. Where- 
upon my Lord Duke shuddered, and went his way as quick 
as he could up the Vossberg. He knew not that upon that 
very day his brother, Duke Philip, had arrived at Marienfliess 
from Old Stettin, on his way to the diet at New Stettin. 
The herald had been despatched by his Highness, some days 
before, to inform Sheriff Eggert Sparling of his approach, and 
that his Highness and suite would arrive about noon. He was 
also to say the same to the nuns, particularly to Sidonia Bork. 

So at mid-day my sheriff set off to the cloister, with the 
steward and the secretaries, and waited there in the nuns' 
courtyard for the arrival of the Duke, and a boy was 
placed in the mill to wave his cap the moment his Highness 
came in sight. Yet my Eggert was suffering terrible anguish 
all the time in his mind, for he thought that the Duke might 
bid him seize the devil's witch. 

Soon the cry rose that the Duke was coming his six 
coaches had just come in sight. Then the convent gate 
opened, and my hag appeared at the head of the entire sister- 
hood, all in their black robes and white veils ; she the same, 
except that she wore the abbess veil whereon two golden 
keys were embroidered. Item 9 the white cats'-skin cape, 
which I have noticed before, was displayed upon her shoulders. 
Thus she came forth from the convent gate with all the sisters, 



138 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

two and two, and she threw up her eyes, and raised the 
hymn of St. Ambrose, just as the Duke and his six coaches 
drove into the courtyard, and the whole convent joining, 
they advanced thus singing to meet his Highness. 

Now, his Highness was a meek man and seldom angry, 
but his brow grew black with wrath," when Sidonia, stepping 
up to the coach, bowed low, and in her cats' tippet herself 
a cat in cunning and deceit threw up her eyes hypocritically 
to heaven. 

" How now," cried his Grace ; " who the devil hath 
suffered you, Sidonia, to play the abbess over these virgins ? " 

To which my hag replied 

" Gracious Prince, ask these virgins here if they have not 
selected me as their abbess of their own free will, and they 
are now come to entreat your Highness to confirm the 
choice of their hearts." 

" Marry," quoth the Duke, " I have heard enough of 
your doings from the neighbouring nobles and others. I 
know well how you made the poor abbess Magdalena bite 
the dust ; item, how you forced these poor virgins to elect 
you abbess through mortal and deadly fear. Speak, dear 
sisters, fear nothing I, your Prince, command you : have 
ye not elected this piece of sin and vanity to be your abbess 
simply through fear of your lives ? " 

But the virgins looked down upon the ground, were 
silent and trembled, while my sheriff plunged his hand into 
his wide boots for the kerchief to wipe his face, for he saw 
well how it would end, and the sweat of anguish was drip- 
ping from his brow. A second time his Grace asked 
" Was it from fear ? " When at last one answered, named 
Agnes Kleist, not the stout Dinnies' sister, but another 

"In truth, gracious Prince, it was from pure bodily fear 
alone that we elected Sidonia as our abbess." 

Her courage pleased the Duke so much that he inquired 
her name, and hearing it, said 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 139 

"Ay, I thought you must be a Kleist ; and now, for 
your truth and courage, I make you abbess of Marienfliess ; 
item, Dorothea Stettin sub-prioress. And mark me, Sidonia 
Bork it is for the last time if you attempt to dispute my 
will, or make the least disturbance in the convent in conse- 
quence of my decision, you shall be sent over the frontier. 
I have tried kindness long enough by you now for justice ! " 

" Sparling, I command you by your duty to me as your 
Prince, if this evil and notorious hag should make the least 
disturbance or strife in the convent, seize her that instant, 
either yourself or by means of your bailiffs, and chase her over 
the frontiers. Item, you are not to permit her to leave the 
convent, to alarm or intimidate the neighbouring nobles, as 
she hath hitherto done. Therefore I command the new 
abbess to replace the heavy padlock on the gate from this 
day forth. Do you hear this, Sidonia ? These poor maidens 
shall have peace at last. Too long they have been your sport 
and mockery, but it shall end." 

So the new abbess answered "Your Highness shall be 
obeyed ! " 

But my sheriff could not utter a word from horror, and 
seemed stifling with a thick, husky cough in his throat. 
But when Sidonia crept up close to him, and menaced 
him privately with her dry, clenched hand, he forgot him- 
self entirely, and made a spring that brought him clean over 
the churchyard wall, while his sword clattered after him, 
and his plumed beaver dropt from his head to the ground. 
All the lacqueys laughed loud at the sight, even his Grace 
laughed. But my sheriff makes the best of it, and calls out 

" Ah, see, my Lord Duke, how the little boys have stolen 
the flowers that I myself planted on the grave of the blessed 
abbess. I'll make them pay for it, the thieving brats ! " 

Hereat his Grace asked why the abbess was not buried 
within the church, but in the graveyard. And they answered, 
she had so commanded. Whereupon he said mildly 



i 4 o SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

" The good mother is worthy of a prayer ; I shall go and 
say a paternoster upon her grave, and see if the youngsters 
have left me a flower to carry away for memory." 

So he alighted, made Eggert show him the grave, removed 
his hat, and prayed, while all his suite in the six coaches un- 
covered their heads likewise. Lastly, he made the sign of 
the cross, and bent over the grave to pluck a flower. But 
just then a warm heavy wind blew across the graves, and all 
the flowers drooped, faded, and turned yellow as it passed. 
Yea, even a yellow stripe seemed to mark its passage straight 
across all the graves over the court, up to the spot where the 
thrice-accursed witch stood upon the convent wall, and people 
afterwards remarked that all plants, grass, flowers, and shrubs 
within that same stripe turned pale and faded, only some 
poison plants, as hemlock, nightshade, and the like, stood up 
green and stiff along that livid line. When the Duke observed 
this, he shook his head, but made no remark, stepped hastily, 
however, into his carriage, after again earnestly admonishing 
Sidonia ; item, the sheriff to remember his commands. He 
ordered the procession to start, and proceeded on his way to 
the Diet. 

It may be easily believed that no one ventured to put the 
commands of his Grace into execution ; therefore, Sidonia 
remained abbess as heretofore. Agnes Kleist, indeed, that 
same day, had the great padlock put upon the gate ; but my 
hag no sooner sees it than she calls for the convent servant, 
saying she must go forth to drive, then takes her hatchet, 
and with it hews away at the padlock, until it falls to the 
ground. Whereupon, laughing scornfully, she went her way 
out into the road ; and the new abbess could not remonstrate, 
for on Sidonia's return home (I forgot to say that, latterly, 
she had gone much about amongst the neighbouring nobles, 
even as his Highness observed, frightening them to death 
with her visits) she shut herself up again ; and Anna Apen- 
borg soon brings the news from Wolde, "The lady is 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 141 

praying ;" and Anna, having privately slid under the window, 
found that it was even so. 

So the whole convent shuddered ; but no one dared to say 
a word, though each sister judged for herself what the praying 
betokened, without venturing to speak her surmise. But this 
time she did not pray for three days and three nights, only 
once in the week, when her bath-day came ; by which, 
people suspected that his Highness was destined to a slower 
death than the other victims of her demoniac malice. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Of the fearful death of his Highness, Duke Philip II. of Pome- 
rania, and of his melancholy but sumptuous burial. 

AFTER the before- mentioned festival of the jubilee, it hap- 
pened that one day Anna Apenborg went to the brew-house, 
which lay inside the convent walls (it was one of SidomVs 
praying days), and there she saw a strange apparition of a 
three-legged hare. She runs and calls the other sisters ; 
whereupon they all scamper out of their cells, and down the 
steps, to see the miracle, and behold, there sits the three- 
legged hare; but when Agnes Kleist took off her slipper, 
and threw it at the devil's sprite, my hare is off, and never 
a trace of him could be found again in the whole brew-house 
or in the whole convent court. Hereat the nuns shuddered, 
and each virgin has her opinion on the matter, but speaks it 
not ; for just then, too, comes Sidonia forth, with old Wolde 
and the cat, and the three begin their devil's dance, while 
the cat squalls and wails, and the old witch-hag screams her 
usual hell psalm : 

" Also kleien und also kratzen, 
Meine Hunde und meine Katzen. " 

Next day, however," the poor virgins heard, to their deep 



142 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

sorrow, what the three-legged hare betokened even as they 
had suspected ; for the cry came to the convent that his 
Grace, good Duke Philip, was dead, and the tidings ran 
like a signal-fire through the people, that this kind, wise, 
just Prince had been bewitched to death. (Ah ! where in 
Pomerania land yea, in all German fatherland was such 
a wise, pious, and learned Prince to be found? No other 
fault had he but one, and that was not having, long before, 
burned this devil's witch, this accursed sorceress, with fire 
and faggot. ) 

And now I must tell how his Grace had scarcely left 
Marienfliess and reached Saatzig (they were but a mile from 
each other) when he felt suddenly weak. He wondered 
much to find that his dear lord brother, Duke Francis, had 
only left the castle two hours before. Item, that Jobst Bork 
had not arrived there, and no man knew whither the knight 
had flown. Here the Duke grew so much worse, that his 
ministers earnestly entreated him to postpone the diet at 
New Stettin, and return home ; for how could it please the 
knights and burgesses to see their beloved Prince in this 
sad extremity of suffering ? 

Hereupon his Highness replied with the beautiful Latin 
words, " Officio mlh'i officio" (And after his death, these 
words were stamped on the burial-medals. Item, a rose, 
half-eaten by a worm, with the inscription, " Ut rosa rodl- 
mur omnes ; " whereby many think allusion is made to the 
livid breath that passed over the flowers at Marienfliess, but 
I leave these things undecided.) 

Summa. His Highness proceeded to New Stettin, and 
decided all the boundary disputes amongst the nobles, &c., 
returned then to his court at Old Stettin, to hold the evange- 
lical jubilee ; but, by that time, all the doctors from far and 
near could do naught to help him ; and though he lingered 
some months, yet, from the first, he knew that death was on 
him ; for nothing could appease the tortures he suffered in 






SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 143 

his breast, even as all the others whom Sidonia had mur- 
dered, and finally, on the 3rd day of February 1618, at ten 
of the clock, he expired his age being forty-four years, six 
months, and six days. And the corpse presented the same 
signature of Satan, though his Grace's sickness had differed 
in some particulars from that of Sidonia' s other victims. To 
this appearance of the princely corpse I myself can testify, for 
I beheld it, along with many others, when it lay in state in 
the great hall. 

On the 1 9th of March following, the princely ceremony of 
interment took place. Let me see if my tears will permit me 
to describe it : 

After the deputies from the three honourable estates had 
assembled the Stettin, the Wolgastian, and the ecclesias- 
tical in the castle church, with the Princes of the blood, 
the nobles, knights, and magnates of the land, three cannons 
were fired ; and at nine of the clock in the evening, the 
princely corpse was carried first into the count's chamber, then 
to the knights' chamber, from thence to the grand state-hall, 
by torchlight, by twenty-four nobles, and from that to the 
castle square, which was entirely covered with black cloth. 
Here it was laid down, and sixty students from the uni- 
versity of Grypswald, and forty boys from the town-school, 
sung the burial psalms from their books ; while, at intervals, 
the priests chanted the appointed portions of the liturgy ; 
after which all the bells of the town began to toll, and the 
swan song was raised, "Now in joy I pass from earth." 
Whereupon the nobles lifted up the bier again, and the pro- 
cession moved forwards. And could my gracious Prince 
have looked out through the little window above his head, 
he would have seen not only the blessed cross, but also his 
dear town, from street to tower, covered with weeping 
human faces : for the procession passed on through the 
main street, across the coal market, through castle street, 
into the crane court all which streets were lined with the 



144 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

princely soldatesca, who also, each man, carried a torch in 
his hand, besides the group of regular torch-bearers in the 
procession and windows, roofs, towers, presented one living 
mass of human heads all along the way. And the order 
was thus : 

1. The song- master, cum choro item, the rector, paeda- 
gogis, with his collegis. 

2. The honourable ministerium from all the three states. 

3. The Duke's trumpeters and drummers, with instru- 
ments reversed, and drums covered with crape. 

4. The rector magnificus, and the four deacons of the 
university of Grypswald, among whom came Dr. Joel. 

5. The land-marshal, with his black marshal's staff, alone ; 
then the pages, three and three, in mourning cloaks, and 
faces covered with black taffety up to their noses. 

6. The court-marshal, and the marshals of the three 
states item, the ambassadors, and other high officials of 
foreign princes, &c. 

7. Twelve knights, in full armour, upon twelve horses ; 
each knight bearing his standard, and each horse covered 
entirely with black cloth, and having the arms of his rider 
embroidered on the forehead-piece, and on the two sides was 
led by a noble on foot. 

The supreme court-marshal followed these, his drawn sword 
covered with crape, in his hand, the point to the ground. 

Next the chancellor, with the seals covered with crape, 
and laid upon a black velvet cushion. 

The princely corpse, borne by twenty-four nobles, on a 
bier covered with black velvet, and beneath a bluish-velvet 
canopy embroidered on all sides with the arms of his Grace's 
illustrious ancestors, with all their helmets, shields, devices, 
and quarterings, gorgeously represented in gold and silver. 
Item, on each side, twelve nobles, with lighted wax torches, 
from which streamers of black crape floated, and twelve hal- 
berdiers, with halberds reversed. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 145 

The last poor faded trefoil of our dear fatherland, namely, 
the serene and illustrious Princes, Dukes, and Lords 
Francis, Ulrich, and Bogislaff, the princely brothers of 
Pomerania all in long velvet mantles, and their faces covered 
with black crape up to the eyes.* 

His princely Highness, Duke Philip Julius of Wolgast 
the last of his name and, like his cousins, wearing crape over 
his face to the eyes. 

The honourable chapter of Camyn. 

The councillors, medici, and other officers. 

The chamberlain, knights, and pages of the princely 
widow's household. 

The princely widow herself, with all her ladies, in long 
black silk mantles, their faces covered with black taffety up 
to the eyes, and accompanied by their Graces the Elector of 
Brandenburg and the Duke of Mechlenburg. 

The princely widow, Hedwig, the bereaved spouse of 
Ernest Ludovic of blessed memory who was doomed to 
follow her whole illustrious race to the grave conducted 
by Duke William of Courland, and Henry of Mangerson, 
ambassador from Brunswick. 

The Countess von Eberstein, and Baroness von Putbus, 
with the ladies in waiting to her princely Highness. 

The noble ladies and maids of honour, amongst whom 
came Diliana Bork. 

Burgomasters, sheriffs, and council of the good town of 
Old Stettin. 

Trumpeters and drummers, as before, and another song- 
master cum choro, as at the beginning ; and so closed the 
procession. 

And how can I ever forget the lamentations that broke 

* Note of Duke Bogislaff XIV. The three accompanied him to the 
grave ; but who will walk mourner beside my bier ? Ah ! that long ere 
this I had lain calmly in my coffin, and looked up from the little window 
to my Lord, and rested in the God of my salvation ! Amen. 

VOL. II. K 



146 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

forth from all the people, as the princely bier approached 
men, women, children, all sobbed and wept, as if indeed their 
own father lay there, and turned their torches down to view 
the blessed body better, from the windows and the towers 
(for mostly all the people carried torches). Then arose such 
a lamentation and cry as if no comfort more was left for them 
upon earth, only in heaven must they look for it ; and as I 
stood in the coal-market, leaning my shoulder against a post, 
and heard this great cry of a whole people, and saw the 
flashing torches all bent upon this one point in the dark 
midnight, behold the bright gold crucifix on the coffin 
glittered as if in the clear light of the sun ; and the blaze of 
the torches was reflected from the black concave of heaven, 
so that a glory seemed to rest around and above the bier, and 
all shone and glittered in that radiant circle, so that it was a 
pleasure and a wonder to gaze upon. 

" Thus through sin and sorrow loometh, 
Light of light from God that cometh, 

Shining o'er life's saddest night. 
For His glory ever stayeth, 
On the soul that weeps and prayeth ; 
May the words that Jesu sayeth 
Guide us onward towards that light ! 

Amen ! " 

The procession now returned again to the castle square, and 
from thence to the chapel. 

Now when the coffin was laid down , before the altar, and 
all the twelve knights with their standard gathered round it, my 
esteemed godfather, Dr. Cramer, advanced up the nave to the 
altar, chanting the Kyrie Eleison, and all the twelve knights 
lowered their standards upon the coffin, and beat their breasts, 
crying out " Kyrie Eleison ! " which cry was caught up by 
the whole congregation, and they likewise nobles, priests, 
people, prince, peasant, men, women, children all smote their 
breasts and cried out, " Kyrie Eleison ! " so that my blessed 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 147 

godfather, his voice failed through weeping, and three times in 
vain he tried to speak. 

After the sermon, the coffin was lifted up and lowered into 
the vault, and the signet-ring of his Highness broken by the 
land-marshal, and flung upon the coffin. But the twelve 
standards were set down by the altar, and the marshal pre- 
sented his staff to Bishop Francis, now the serene and 
illustrious reigning Duke of Pomerania ; and the supreme 
court-marshal delivered up the sword, and the chancellor the 
seals to his Serene Highness, and so this mournful ceremony 
terminated. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Hoiv Jobst Bork and his little daughter are forced at last into 
the " Opus Magicum " Item, hoiv his Highness, Duke 
Francis, appoints Christian Ludecke, his attorney -general, 
to be witch- commissioner of Pomerania. 

Now my Jobst, guessing well what was in store for him if he 
remained at the ducal court, ordered his horses to be ready 
harnessed by four of the clock, on the morning after the funeral, 
that he might get clear off with his daughter before my lord 
Duke knew anything of the matter. But his Highness knew 
better than that, for just as the knight and his daughter were 
stepping into the coach, four of the Duke's equerries sprang 
forth and seized the horses' heads, while four pages rushed 
down the castle steps, and informed the knight that he must 
accompany them with his daughter back to the castle, and up 
to the private apartment of his Grace, for that the Duke had 
a word to say to him before his departure. What could my 
Jobst do ? He must take his Diliana out of the coach .again, 
and follow the pages through the castle up to the Duke's 
quarters, which were filled with all beautiful things, statues and 
paintings, &c., from Italy ; and his private room was decorated 



148 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

with the finest pieces of sculpture. So here they find his 
Grace and Dr. Joel seated at a table, with the wine-can before 
them, for they had sat up all night discoursing. 

And when my Jobst enters with his sour face, holding his 
daughter by the hand, the Duke calls out 

" Marry, brave vassal, why so sour ? 7 might well look 
sour, since you and your little daughter lately chose to play 
blind-man's-buff with your lawful Prince, making a mock of 
him. But I pardon you, and hope you have come to your 
senses since. Come, sit down ; drink my health in the wine 
cup. I trow this wine will please your palate." 

But Jobst excused himself : "He never drank so early." 
Whereupon the Duke continued 

"Well, as you please; but, good Jobst, you must be 
harder than a stone, if you refuse now to assist me in bind- 
ing this accursed witch of Marienfliess, when you see this 
last evil which she has done, and how all the weeping land 
mourns for its Prince. Will you and your little daughter, 
this virgin, not deliver me and my ancient race from so great 
and terrible a foe ? What say ye, brave Jobst ? Come, sit 
down beside your afflicted Prince, you and your little daughter, 
and tell me what help and comfort ye mean to bring me in 
my sore grief and sorrow. Speak, Jobst ; ah ! say was ever 
Prince like unto this Prince and yet childless, childless, as 
we are all ! Have pity on my noble ancient race, or, even 
as he lamented on his death-bed, * Pomerania will pass in a 
little while into stranger hands ! ' : 

Now, my Jobst, who had sat down with his daughter on 
a couch near the table, got the dry sheep's cough in his throat 
again, and, in his embarrassment, snuffed out the candle ; but, 
making a great effort, at last said 

" His Grace must be resigned : who could withstand the 
will of God ? Yet he must say, in all honesty, that he had 
talked to many persons about the matter, and some said it was 
folly and nonsense, and there could be no reason in it. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 149 

Others, amongst whom was Dr. Cramer, said, if not folly, 
yet it was a dangerous business to body and soul, and ought 
not to be attempted." 

But my Jobst grows disturbed, and at last says, "Well, 
then, I must speak out the truth. My child is not the pure 
virgin whom ye seek. I mean in her thoughts, for she has 
already been betrothed to a bridegroom." 

At this the Duke clapped his hand to his forehead and 
sighed " Then my last hope has perished ! " Item, the 
magister was quite thunderstruck. But Diliana, who blushed 
to her finger-ends while her father spoke, started from the 
couch, seized the hand of my gracious Lord, and ex- 
claimed 

" Be calm, my Lord Duke, my father hath said this but 
to free me, as he thinks, from this dungeon business. But 
even against him I must defend my honour, for in truth my 
soul has been ever pure from all vain or sinful lusts, even as it 
is written (Tobias iii.). And though my father has proposed 
a bridegroom to me, yet up to this day I have constantly re- 
jected him, partly for the sake of my poor grandmother, 
whose ghost admonished me, and partly that I might serve 
your gracious Highness as a pure and honourable virgin." 

This hearing so rejoiced the Duke, that he kissed her 
hand ; but the fair young virgin, when she saw her father 
rise up and walk hither and thither in great agitation, began 
to weep, and ran to throw herself on his neck, sobbing forth, 
" Comfort yourself, dear father, it could not be otherwise, for 
when you uttered such hard words of your daughter, what 
could I do but defend my honour, even against my own 
earthly father ? Ah, dear father ! it was the cruellest word 
your little daughter ever heard from you in her life but one 
little kiss, and all will be right again ! " 

The poor knight now fairly sobs like a child, and at last 
stammers out, " Well then, you must let me be present ; if 
the devil takes my child, let him take me too along with him. 



150 SIDONTA THE SORCERESS 

I would rather be with my little daughter in hell, than with- 
out her in heaven/' 

" Good knight," answered Joel, " that may not be ; only 
three can be present, the Duke, your daughter, and myself. 
I handle the intellectual vinculum or the conjuration. Diliana 
takes the elementary vinculum, as dove's blood, the blood of 
the field-mouse, virgin wax, and the censer, in her pure hands, 
and the Duke holds the astral vinculum, and questions the 
spirit." 

Still my Jobst answers, " It may not be, unless I am 
present." And the strife continued in this wise for a good 
space, until it was at last agreed upon that the knight should 
keep watch before the door with his drawn sword during the 
conjuration, and that in autumn, when the sun entered Libra, 
they would begin the great work. 

Jobst now rose to take his leave, but his little daughter, 
Diliana, stood awhile silent, then blushed, looked upon the 
ground, and spoke at last 

" My Lord Duke, will your Grace make my father 
promise, upon his knightly word, never to bring the young 
noble, George Putkammer, whom he has destined for my 
husband, into my presence from this day forth until after 
I have questioned the spirit. For I have a liking for the 
young knight, and I am but a poor, weak thing, like our 
mother Eve and all other women : who knows what thoughts 
might rise in my heart, if I beheld his face or listened to his 
entreaties ? and then the whole good work would come to 
nought, or perchance I might repent it my life long. I 
would therefore now rather go to Stramehl, where I can 
pray and become strong in spirit, so that perchance I shall 
find favour in the sight of the angel of God, as Hagar the 
handmaid of Abraham in the desert." 

Then the beautiful child folded her hands, and looked up 
to heaven with such trust and innocence, that all were moved, 
and the knight pledged his word to the Duke ; after which 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 151 

he pressed his little lamb to his heart, and then both of them 
left the chamber of his Highness. 

Now the Duke at last was joyful, for he had hope in the 
great work, and fell upon his knees with the magister to 
pray God for mercy upon himself, his race, and the young 
virgin. Item, promised by his honour to seek out and burn 
all the witches in the land, that so the kingdom of God 
might be built up, and the kingdom of the prince of this 
world sink to ruin and utter destruction. And on the follow- 
ing morning, he sent for Christian Ludecke (brother to the 
priest who had been bewitched to death), appointed him 
special witch-commissioner of the kingdom, and bade him 
search throughout the length and breadth of the land, and 
wherever he found one of these evil and accursed sorceresses, 
to burn her for the honour and glory of God.* 

" Let him show no mercy towards this hell-brood of Satan, 
for the devil lately had become so powerful everywhere, but 
especially in dear Pomerania-land, that, if not prevented, he 
would soon pervert the whole people, and turn them away 
from the pure and blessed evangelical doctrine. Still he 
must have them all tried fairly before the sheriff's court 
ere he tortured or burned. His brother of blessed memory 
had too long delayed the burning, therefore he must now be 
the more diligent ; and, by next autumn, he trusted, with the 
help of God, to be able to burn Sidonia herself." 

Hereupon, my Ludecke wondered much that his Grace 
should be so confident about burning Sidonia, but answered 
bravely, " All should be done as his Highness wished ; for 
since the cruel death of his poor brother, the priest, his 
motto was * Torture ! burn ! kill ! ' But would to God 
that his Highness could bind Sidonia's familiar first, for he 
was a powerful spirit, every one said ; and could not this 
learned magister exorcise him ? The rumour went that he 

* An equally notorious witch-finder was one Hopkins of England. 
See Sir Walter Scott's " Letters upon Demonology and Witchcraft." 



i^2 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

meant so to do." But his Grace rebuked such curiosity, and 
answered coldly, "He could not tell how the magister 
meant to proceed; but his (Ludecke's) duty lay clear before 
him, let him do it." 

Hereupon, my Ludecke looked rather confused, and took 
his leave. And soon after, the witch- burnings began in such 
fearful rise through the land, that in many parishes six or 
seven poor women, young or old, innocent or guilty, it was 
all the same yea, even children of ten to twelve years were 
yearly burned to powder ; and by the wonderful providence 
of God, it happened that the burnings began first in Marien- 
fliess, and truly with one of Sidonia' s friends, the old pug- 
nosed hag of Uchtenhagen, whom I have mentioned before, 
and that she visited Sidonia frequently ; and this was the 
way of it : One day, Sidonia beat this same Pug-nose most 
unmercifully with the broomstick, and chased her out into the 
convent square, still striking at her, which sight, however, 
the nuns little heeded, for this spectaculum was now so common 
that they only thanked their stars it was not their turn, and 
passed on. But Anna Apenborg met her by the well, and 
as the horrible old Pug-nose was screeching and roaring 
at the top of her voice, and cursing Sidonia, she asked, 
" What now ? what ailed her ? what had she and the 
Lady Sidonia been quarrelling about ? " And some others 
came up, principally the wenches from the kitchen, to hear 
what all the roaring was for. Whereupon, Pug-nose told 
her story : " The cursed lady-witch had bid her lately go to 
the holy sacrament, and when she received the blessed wafer, 
to take the same out of her mouth privately, and bring it to 
her at Marienfliess, wherewith to feed her familiar, whom 
she kept in the form of a toad. At this blasphemy she 
(Pug-nose) remained silent, for she feared the hag and her 
anger ; but on the Sunday she swallowed the bread, as other 
Christian people ; whereupon Sidonia sends for her, pretending 
she had spinning to give her, but no sooner had she entered 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 153 

the room, than the terrible she-devil asked for the wafer ; 
so she confessed she had swallowed it. How could she 
commit such a horrible sacrilege ? At this, the accursed, 
witch ran at her with the broomstick, and beat her all the 
way down into the court." 

This story soon spread over the convent, and the priest's 
wife told it to the fish-seller, who came up there that day, 
bidding him run to her brother-in-law, Christian Ludecke, 
with the news of the last sorcery going on in the convent. 

This was a fine hearing to the witch commissioner, who 
resolved instantly to seize Pug-nose, and begin the burnings 
in the parish of Marienfliess, to frighten Sidonia, and keep 
her in check until autumn. So he took the executioner, with 
all the torture instruments, and a scriba along with him in the 
carriage, and set off for Uchtenhagen, where the old hag dwelt. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Ho<w Christian Ludecke begins the 'witch-burnings in Marien- 
Jliess, and lets the poor dairy-mother die horribly on the rack. 

Now it happened about this time in Marienfliess that the dairy- 
mother ( I have tried to remember her name, but in vain, she 
was daughter to Trina Bergen I know, as is noticed libra 
secundo} sold a kid to the bailiff, Brose* Bucher, grandson of 
that Zabel Bucher who was going to burn old Wolde years 
before, which kid soon grew sick and died. Item, the bailiff's 
wife had quarrelled with the dairy- mother (ah, if I could 
remember her name) about the price ; the said wife assured 
her husband the bailiff that the dairy-mother had bewitched 
the kid to death out of spite, because she would not give her 
as much as she asked for it. This he easily credited, and 
talked of it to the country people, and now the old hag must 

* Ambrosius. 



i$4 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

be an evil witch, her mother indeed he knew had been in bad 
repute likewise, for how but by witchcraft could the poor 
little kid have died off all of a sudden. So all the malicious 
women's tongues were set going with their spinning-wheels, 
and this poor worthy dairy-mother, whose piety, charity, and 
kindness I have noticed already, was in a few days the common 
talk of the parish. 

About this time, Beatus Schact, the convent chaplain, was 
summoned to baptize a shepherd's dying child, and he had 
just packed up his book, when he observed through the window 
a waggon, drawn by four horses, coming down the Stargard 
street, with the sound of singing from the persons within. 
Foremost on the waggon sit three official-looking personages, 
in scarlet mantles, and one of them bears a red banner, with a 
black cross thereon, in his hand. Behind them are three 
women bound, and the psalm which they chant is the death- 
psalm " Now pray we to the Holy Ghost." As the priest 
looks upon this strange sight, If is dato, never seen in Pome- 
rania-land, the waggon halts close by the church wall, and one 
of the men with the red mantles sounded a trumpet, so that 
all the people run to see what was going forward, and the 
priest runs likewise. Item, all the nuns gather thick at the 
convent gate, and peep over other's shoulders ; for people think 
it must be pickleherring, or some such strolling mummers, come 
to exhibit to the folk during the evening. 

Meanwhile, a peasant observes that his own sister, Ussel, 
wife to a peasant at Pegelow, was one of the three poor 
wretches who sat there with bound hands. Whereupon he 
springs to the waggon, and asks with wonder, " Ussel, what 
brings thee here?" But for answer she only pours forth 
tears and lamentations. However, commissioner Ludecke 
(for you may well guess it was he with his witch- waggon ) 
would not let them discourse further ; but bid the peasant 
stand back, unless he wished the executioner to seize him and 
tear his hide for him ; then speaks 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 155 

" Know, good people, that our serene and gracious Prince 
and Lord, the illustrious and eminent Duke Francis George 
of Stettin, Pomerania, having heard that the devil is loose in 
our dear fatherland, and carries on his demon work, especially 
amongst the women folk, tempting them into all horrible 
sorceries, filthiness, and ungodly deeds, has appointed me, 
Christian Ludecke (brother of your late pastor), to be witch- 
commissioner for the whole kingdom, that so I may purge the 
land by fire, bringing these devil's hags to their just punish- 
ment, for the great glory of God, and terror of all godless 
sorceresses, witches, and others in this or any other place. 
Ye are also to name me the honourable attorney-general, which 
also I am." 

Here the peasant cried out 

" But his sister Ussel, who sat there bound upon the cart, 
was no witch, and every one knew that. His worship might 
take pity on her tears and let her free. She had a husband, 
and four innocent little children likewise ; who would take care 
of them now ? " 

" No, no," shouted Ludecke ; " true sign that she is a 
witch since she howls ! Had she a good conscience where- 
fore should she do it ? He came to know whether there was 
a witch, perchance, also in Marienfliess ? " 

Here the bailiff's wife nudged her husband in the side 
with her elbow, and whispers " The dairy-mother," but 
the carl would not utter a word. So she screamed out 
herself 

" Ay, there is the dairy-mother of the parish, a horrible 
old witch, as all the town knows." 

And here I have just bethought me of the name of the 
dairy-mother. It was Benigna Ficht ; she was widow of old 
Ficht, the peasant. 

At this several voices cried out, " No, no ; " but she 
screamed out 

" Yea, yea ! it was true ; and her mother before her had 



i$6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

been an evil witch, and had let witches sit in her cellar, so 
that she must be a witch herself." * 

This pleased the bloodthirsty attorney-general, and he 
asked if the bailiff were present. And when my Brose stepped 
forward with a profound bow, Ludecke went on 

" Was this the case about the dairy-mother ? Was she, 
in truth, an evil witch ?" 

Whereupon his malicious wife nudged him again with 
her elbows in the side, till he answered " Ay, the people 
say so." 

Ludecke continued "Were there more witches in the 
place beside the dairy-mother ? " 

The fellow was silent and seemed disturbed, until being 
menaced by the commissioner with all temporal and eternal 
punishment if he spoke not the truth, my Brose stepped up 
upon the wheel, and whispered in his ear, while he cast a 
frightened glance at the convent gate 

" Ay, there is another, one of the convent sisters called 
Sidonia Bork, she is the very devil itself." 

But Ludecke seemed as though he could not believe 
him 

" It was impossible ; he had always heard that this lady 
was a model of all goodness, piety, and wisdom, who had 
healed the sheriff himself of some great sickness ; " but he 
squinted all the time over at the convent gate, where the 
black robes were crowding, and then whispered the bailiff 
" Is Sidonia amongst them, think you ?" 

My carl squinted likewise at the gate, then whispered 
back again in his ear " No, Sidonia is not there, as far as 
I can see." 

Meanwhile the pastor loci, a simple, timid little man, as 
I have said, got up all his courage, and feeling it to be his 

* This idea runs through all the witch trials. Woe to the woman 
whose mother had been accused of witchcraft, she seldom got off with 
her life. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 157 

duty to defend his parishioner, the poor dairy-mother, ad- 
vanced to the waggon, saying 

" Would his worship the lord attorney- general permit him 
a few words ? He was the priest of the parish, had married 
the widow of his late brother, as no doubt his worship had 
heard by letters from his dear spouse. His duty compelled 
him to take the part of this poor dairy- woman, whose character 
evil tongues had blackened to his worship, for she was the 
most pious person in all the parish, and every evening brought 
her spinning along with other pious women to his house, to 
hear the blessed Word of God, and be examined in the cate- 
chism any one who knew her pious honest life could not 
believe this of her." 

" So much the more likely she is a witch," cried Ludecke ; 
"they are all hypocrites. Look at that pious and honest 
trio in the cart, how they cast down their eyes and look so 
innocent, and yet they were three of the vilest witches ; 
for what made them look down, if it were not their evil con- 
science ? " 

Now it happened that just then old Wolde came limping 
by, with a new broom which she had bought in the town for 
Sidonia, no doubt to lay under the table, as she was wont ; so 
Brose whispered 

" Yea, yea, there was one hobbling by with the broom, and 
she was the worst of all, Sidonia' s servant, old Wolde." 

Whereupon the commissioner thought within himself, how 
could he terrify Sidonia more than by seizing her maid, and 
sending her to the rack and the stake. So he bid the exe- 
cutioner lay hold on that lame hag with the broom, and fling 
her into the cart along with the others. This was soon done ; 
for, though old Wolde made some resistance, and screeched 
and roared, yet she was thrown down upon the ground, bound, 
and flung into the nest in spite of all. 

Anna Apenborg saw all this from the convent gate, and, 
to make friends with Sidonia, she ran to the refectory with 



i^8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

the news of Ludecke's doings. Whereupon Sidonia, who 
knew the coward knave well, seized her broomstick and ran 
down the steps, beating the nuns right and left about the ears, 
who were gathered thick and black around the gate, so that 
they all flew screaming away, and then presented herself, 
glowing with fury, and brandishing her broomstick, to the 
eyes of the terrified Ludecke, whereat all the four hags cried 
out from the waggon 

" Help us, O Lady Prioress ! Help us, O Lady Prioress ! " 

And Sidonia screamed in answer, " I come, I come ! " 
swung her broomstick and called out " Wait, thou accursed 
quill-driver, wait ! " 

But my Ludecke no sooner saw her rushing at him, with 
her thin white hair flying about her face, than he jumped 
from the cart, and took to his heels so fast that nothing could 
be seen of him through the dust he raised but the bright 
nails of his shoes, as he scampered away to the furze bushes. 
Item, followed the scriba, and lastly the executioner, to the great 
amusement of the common folk, who stood round the waggon, 
and now laughed and gibed at the authorities. Then the 
afore-mentioned peasant jumped upon the cart, and cut the 
cords that bound his sister, Ussel, and the others. Whereat 
they likewise took to their heels and went hither and thither, 
to hide themselves in the wood, while old Wolde returned 
calmly with Sidonia to the convent, and two of the hags got 
clear off, and were fed by their kinsfolk, I take it, for months 
in the pits and hollow trees where they had sheltered them- 
selves, for never a trace could Ludecke get of them more, 
though he searched day and night in every village, and house, 
and nook, and corner. But Pug-nose, who was half-blind 
with fright, in place of running away, ran straight up into the 
very mouth of the executioner, who was crouching with the 
clerk his master behind a thorn-bush. 

Eh, how she roared when Master Hansen stretched out 
his arm and caught hold of her by the coat ! Then he bound 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 159 

her again, and so she was carried to the sheriff's house, for 
Ludecke had set up his quarters with Sheriff Sparling, and 
that same day he resolved to open the criminal commission 
nomine seremsslma with Pug-nose. 

Summa. The hag confessed upon the rack to Sidonia 
being a witch, and named several other women besides. So 
my Ludecke has to write off for another executioner and seven 
bailiffs, fearing his own would have more work on their hands 
than they could do. And every day messengers were de- 
spatched to Stargard with bundles of indictments and writs. 
And in the sheriff's court, day after day, there was nothing 
but trying witches and condemning them, and torturings, and 
burnings. And though many saved themselves by flight, 
and others got off with only a sharp reprimand, yet in four 
weeks no less than four wretched women were burned close 
by Sidonia' s window, so that she might see them smoking to 
powder. 

And Pug-nose was the first whom the bloodthirsty knave 
ordered to be burned (I say nothing against that, for it is all 
right and according to law), but the bloodhound went rather 
beyond the law sometimes, thinking to terrify Sidonia, for 
it was the custom to build a sort of little chamber at top of 
the pile within which the wretched victims were bound, so 
that they could be stifled by the smoke before the flames 
reached them. But he would allow of no little chamber, and 
had a stake erected on the summit of the pile, round which an 
iron chain was fastened, and to the end of this chain the miser- 
able criminal : and truly many hearts were moved with pity 
when Pug-nose was fastened to the stake, and the pile was lit, 
seeing how she ran right and left to escape the flames, with 
the chain clattering after her, in her white death-shift, stitched 
with black, which Sidonia gave out she made for her out of 
pure Christian charity screaming horribly all the while, till 
finally the fire blazed up over her, and she fell down a black- 
ened heap. 



160 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Three weeks after three more women were burned upon 
three separate piles, on the same day, and at the same hour, 
straight in view of Sidonia's window ; and they likewise each 
one were bound to the chain, and their screams were heard 
plainly as far as Stargard. And for four miles round the 
smell of roast human flesh was plainly perceptible, which, as 
every one knows, has quite a different odour from any other 
burned flesh. Yet the death of the poor dairy-mother was 
still more horrible if possible, and though it may well make my 
tears to flow again, yet I will relate it. But tears here, tears 
there, what will it help ? 

So to begin : 

My worthy father-in-law, M. Beutzius, formerly court- 
chaplain, but who had lately been made general- superintendent 
by Duke Francis, for the reason before mentioned, went about 
this time to attend the synod, at the little town of Jacobshagen ; 
and on his way home, in the morning about eleven o'clock 
(for he had slept at Stargard), while passing the court-house 
at Marienfliess, had his attention attracted by two young peasant 
girls, who were standing before a window wringing their hands, 
and screaming as piteously as if the world itself were going 
to be destroyed. 

He stopped his coach instantly, listened, and then distinctly 
heard groans proceeding from the little room ; but the sound 
was so hollow and unnatural that two pigs that were rooting 
up the earth near him lifted up their snouts. As soon as they 
heard it, they started off in fright, then stopped and stood 
listening and trembling in the distance. So my worthy 
father-in-law called out, while his hair stood on end with 
terror, " Children, for the love of God, what is the matter ? " 
But the poor girls, for their sobbing and weeping, could utter 
nothing but " Our mother ! our poor mother ! " Upon which 
he sprang from the coach, advanced closer, and asked, 
" What is it, poor girls ? what has happened ? " 

"Oh sir!" answered one at last, "our poor innocent 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 161 

mother has been lying two whole hours on the rack within 
there, and the savage knaves won't leave their breakfast to 
come and release her ! " 

So the good man looked shudderingly through the window, 
and there beheld the unfortunate dairy-mother lying bound 
half naked upon a plank, so that her white hair swept the 
ground. And her hands were bound round her neck, and 
under each arm lay a coal-pan, from which a blue flame 
ascended as if sulphur were burning therein, so that her arms 
were burned quite black already. 

" My God ! where is the executioner ? " screamed my 
father-in-law, and when the girl, sobbing, pointed to the 
tavern, the old man ran off as quick as he was able the whole 
way to the place, where the executioner and his fellows sat by 
the beer-jug, laughing and making merry. And when he 
arrived, the old man's breath was well-nigh gone, and he could 
scarcely tell of the horrors he had seen and heard ; but when 
he had ended the executioner answered he could not help it. 
" His worship the attorney-general was at breakfast likewise 
at the court-house, and had the keys. When he was done 
he would send for them." The worthy priest then ran back 
again all the way from the tavern to the court-house, as quick 
as he could, but stopping his ears the while as he came nearer, 
not to hear the groans of the poor dairy-mother, and the 
screams of her daughters, who were running hither and thither 
round the walls, as if indeed the wretched girls had quite lost 
their senses. And at last he reached the sheriff's quarter, 
where another kind of roaring saluted his ears I mean the 
shouts and laughter of the drunken noisy crew within. 

For the ferocious bloodhound, Christian Ludecke, had 
invited friends over from Old Stettin, and there they all 
sat, Sheriff Sparling too amongst them, round the table 
like coupled hounds, for a fine metal wire had been passed 
through all their ears as they sat drinking, so that none 
could go away without having his ear torn by the wire. 

VOL. II. L 



162 S1DONIA THE SORCERESS 

Or if one of the beastly drunken pigs swilled so much, that 
he fell under the table, and his ear tore in consequence, it 
was a source of great laughter and merriment to the other 
pigs. 

When the old man beheld this, he thought that between 
grief, anger, and horror, he would have fallen to the ground. 
And for a long while he stood gazing at the scene, unable to 
utter a word, whilst they roared to him to take his place, 
and shoved the wine- can over : " But he must have his ear 
pierced first like ' the others ; for the good old laws were in 
force here, and he must drain the cup at a draught till his 
breath was gone, and his two cheeks remained full this was 
the true Pomeranian draught." 

At this beastly proposition, the pious priest crossed himself, 
and at last got out the words " Mercy for the criminal ! 
mercy for the poor dairy- mother ! " 

At this, the attorney-general, Christian Ludecke, clapped 
his hand upon his forehead, exclaiming, " 'Fore God, it is 
true, I have let that cursed hag lie on the rack these two 
hours. I forgot all about her. Send to the executioner, and 
bid him release her. Let her rest for to-day." 

" And you could forget a fellow-creature thus ! " exclaimed 
the priest, with indignation. " Oh ! you are more savage than 
a heathen, or the very brute beasts there without, who trem- 
bled at the groans of the poor martyr ; yea, hell itself could 
not be more merciless ! " 

" What, thou cursed parson ! " cried the commissioner, 
starting from his seat in fury. But just then, as he sprang 
up, the wire tore through his ear, and the red blood flowed 
down upon his fine white ruff, whereat the others burst out 
into a yell of laughter, which increased the villain's fury ten 
times more. 

" Now the damned hag should stay on the rack till night. 
What did people mean coming with begging prayers for the 
devil's brood ? As well pray mercy for the devil himself 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 163 

the reverend parson was very tender about his friends the 
witches." At which he laughed so loud that the roof rang, 
and all the others roared in chorus. 

But the priest replied gravely, " I shall repeat every word 
you have uttered to his Highness the Duke, with a statement 
of how I found ye all employed, unless this instant you give 
orders to release the dairy- mother." 

" Never ! never ! " shouted the bloodhound, and struck 
the table till the glasses rang. " What is it to thee, damned 
priest ? I am witch-commissioner of Pomerania ; and his 
Highness expressly charged me to show no mercy to these 
cursed devil's hags, therefore, I am ready to answer to God, 
the Prince, and my conscience, for what I do." 

However, my worthy father-in-law had scarcely left the 
room, sighing deeply at his unsuccessful mission, when the 
coward despatched his scriba with the keys to release the 
dairy-mother. But it was too late the horrible agony had 
already killed her ; and when the hands of the corpse were 
unbound, both arms fell of themselves to the ground, out of 
the sockets.* 

* Such scenes of satanic cruelty and beastly debauch, mingled 
together with the proceedings of justice, were very frequent during 
the witch-trials. How would it rejoice me if, upon contemplating this 
present age, I could exclaim with my whole heart, " What progres- 
sion infinite progression in manners and humanity!" But, alas! 
our modern laws, with their womanish feebleness, and sentimental 
whimperings, sin quite as much against a lofty and noble justice as 
those of earlier times by their tyrannical and cannibal ferocity. And 
yet now, as then, conscience is appealed to as 'the excuse for all. O 
conscience, conscience ! how wilt thou answer for all that is laid upon 
thee ! To-day, for example, it is a triumphal denial of God and thy 
Saviour Jesus Christ : a crime at which a Ludecke would have shud- 
dered, even as we shudder now at his ; and yet no sense of shame or 
disquietude seems to pass over thee, although by the Word of God thy 
crime is a thousandfold greater than his. Matt. xii. 31 ; John viii. 24 ; 
Ephes. v. 6. 



164 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER XX. 

What Sidonia said to these doings Item, 'what our Lord God 
said ; and, lastly, of the magical experiment performed upon 
George Putkammer and Dlllana, in Old Stettin. 

I THINK my bloodhound gained his end at last respecting 
Sidonia ; for truly a terrible anguish fell upon her a fore- 
taste of that hell-anguish she would one day suffer, I take 
it ; yet she only betrayed this terror by the disquietude of her 
bearing, and the uneasiness which she exhibited day and night ; 
Item, through an increase of her horrible hypocrisy, which grew 
more flagrant than ever ; for now, standing or going, her eyes 
were turned up to heaven, and three or four times a day she 
compelled the nuns to attend prayers in the chapel. Yet when 
the news was brought her, that the coward knave, Christian 
Ludecke, had extolled her virtues himself to the bailiff, Brose, 
she concluded that he meant nothing serious with her. How- 
ever, she continued sending Anna Apenborg diligently to the 
sheriff's house, to pick up all the gossip she could from the 
servants and others. And at length Anna brought word that 
a maid at the court-house said, the scriba said, in confidence, 
that his Grace of Stettin said, Sidonia should be burned next 
autumn. 

When Sidonia heard this, she turned as pale as a corpse, 
and her breath seemed stifling, but recovering herself soon, 
attempted to smile, turned up her eyes to heaven, and, 
sighing, said, " He that walketh innocently walketh surely " 
(Prov. x. 9), and then rang for the nuns to go and pray in 
the chapel. Yet that same day, when she heard of the fearful 
death of the dairy-mother, she turned her hypocritical mouth 
to another tune, raged, and stormed, and abused the blood- 
thirsty savage of a commissioner, who had let the most pious 
person of the whole parish die so horribly on the rack ; then 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 165 

bid the whole chapter assemble in her room, to state the matter 
to his Highness, for if these evil doings went on, not even the 
most innocent amongst them was safe from a like bitter 
death. 

Whereupon Anna Apenborg, who had grown the bravest of 
all, since she found that Sidonia could not do without her, 
said, ' But, gracious Lady Prioress, you yourself accused the 
dairy -mother of witchcraft when you came back from Stettin, 
and found the poor priest in his coffin ! " which impertinence, 
however, my hag so resented, that she hit Anna a blow on the 
mouth, and exclaimed in great wrath, "Take that for thy 
impudence, thou daring peasant wench ! " But, calming her- 
self in a moment, added, " Ah, good Anna, is it not human 
to err ? have you never been deceived yourself ?" 

Summa. The nuns must write and sign. Whereupon my 
Ludecke, out of fear of Sidonia's revenge, withdrew to Saatzig 
after the death of the dairy-mother, from thence to Dolitz, 
Pyritz, and so on, still faithful to his motto, " Torture ! burn ! 
kill ! " for he found as many witches as he pleased in every 
place ; so that the executioner, Curt Worger, who, when he 
first arrived at Marienfliess, wore nothing but a sorry grey 
mantle, now appeared decked out like a noble, in a bright 
scarlet cloak ; item, a hat with a red feather, a buff jerkin, and 
jack- boots with gilded spurs ; neither would he sit any longer 
on the cart with the witches, but rode by the side of the com- 
missioner, on a jet black horse, which carried a red flag between 
its ears ; and his drawn sword rested upon his shoulder. Thus 
they proceeded through the land ; and upon entering a town, 
the executioner always struck up a psalm, in which not only 
the attorney-general and his secretary frequently joined, but also 
the wretched witches themselves who sat in the cart. 

And though the Duke received complaints daily, not only 
from the priest Beutzius, and the convent, but from every town 
where the special commission was held, of the horrible cruelties 
practised and permitted by his Grace's officials ; yet the Duke 



166 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

remained firm in his determination to root out witchcraft, by 
these or any means ; for whatever the ferocious bloodhound, 
Ludecke, prated to his Highness, the Duke believed, and there- 
fore would say nothing against any of his acts. But our Lord 
God had a great deal to say against them ; for observe all the 
signs and wonders that appeared about this time through 
different parts of the land, which brought many a one to serious 
reflection. 

First, some women, who were cooking meal and pease at 
Pyritz, found the mess changed into blood ; baked bread, 
likewise, the same. And a like miracle happened at Wriezen 
also, for the deacon, Caspar Rohten, preached a sermon on 
the occasion, which has since been printed. Item, at Stral- 
sund there was a red rain yea, the whole sea had the 
appearance as if it were turned into blood ; and some think 
this was a foreshadowing of the great and real blood-rain at 
Prague, and of all the evils which afterwards fell upon our 
whole German fatherland. Next the news was brought to 
court, that, at the same hour, on the same night, strange and 
supernatural voices were heard at the following places, in 
Pomerania : 

1. W-edderwill, a house, as every one knows, close to 
Stramehl, and the birthplace of Sidonia. 

2. E-ggesin, a town near Uckermand, at the other end of 
Pomerania. 

3. H-ohenmoeker, near Demmin. 

4. P-yritz, the town where the witch-burnings had raged 
the most cruelly. 

5. O-derkrug, close to his Grace in Stettin. 

6. M-arienfliess, where Sidonia defied man, and blas- 
phemed God, and organised all the evil that fell upon the 
land. 

Now when the Duke read this account he was filled with 
horror, that heaven itself should cry, " Woe ; " for when he 
placed the initial letters of each town together, he observed, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 167 

to his dismay, that they read, " Weh Pom " * Yet as 
the last syllable, mern, was wanting, the Duke comforted 
himself, and thought, "Perhaps it is the other Pomerania, 
where my cousin Philip Julius rules, over which God has 
cried Woe.' " So he wrote letters ; but, alas ! received 
for answer, that in the self- same night the strange voices had 
been heard in the following places : 

E-ixen, a town near Franzburg. 

R-appin, in Riigen. 

N-etzelkow, on the island of Usedom. 

Thus passing directly across the land. 

Yet the Duke still had some little comfort remaining, for 
there was an m wanting people always wrote Pommern, not 
Pomcrn therefore by this the All-merciful God showed that 
He meant to preserve one m, that is, a man, of the noble Pome- 
ranian house, whereby to build it up and make it flourishing 
again. To this faith he clung in his sore grief; and Doctor 
Joel further comforted him about the angel, saying that he 
would assuredly tell him what the sign denoted, and this m in 
particular, which was kept back from the word Pomerania. 
But the magister knew right well as many others, though 
they would not tell the Duke that the Lord God had 
spelled the word correctly ; for the name in the Wendisch 
and Polish tongues is Pomorswa, spelt with but one m, and 
means a land lying by the sea, and therefore many of the old 
people still wrote Pomern for Pommern. Had the Duke, 
however, as well as his princely brothers, heard of the awful 
appearances which accompanied the voices in every place, 
methinks they would have despaired utterly. For the clouds 
gathered themselves into forms resembling each of the four 
princely Dukes in succession, as like as if a painter had drawn 
them upon the sky ; thence they were, each lying on his 
black bier, from east to west, in the clear moonlight of 
heaven. 

* Weh is called Woe, and Pomerania, Pommern in the original 



i68 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

And his Highness, Duke Francis, was the first, lying on 
his bier, with his hair combed a la Nazarene, as was his 
custom, and his face turned to the moon, behind which he 
presently disappeared. 

Next came Duke Udalricus, and his face was so distinct 
that it seemed cut out of paper, lying there in his coffin ; 
and he, too, sank behind the moon, and was seen no 
more. 

Philip Julius of Wolgast was the third, and the blessed 
moon shone bright upon his black moustache in the coffin ; 
and, lastly woe, alas ! Whereupon night and darkness fell 
upon the sky.* 

But these fearful signs were as carefully concealed from 
their Highnesses as if the whole people had conspired to 
keep the secret; besides, the figures were not observed at 
every place where the voices sounded. However, Doctor 
Joel himself came to the conclusion, in his own mind, that, 
after these open declarations from heaven, it would be quite 
useless to consult the angel. Nevertheless, to calm the 
mind of the Duke, he resolved to go through with the con- 
juration if possible, at least he might bind the hell-dragon 
of Marienfliess, and save others from her evil spells, if even 
the Duke and his illustrious race were already doomed. 

Now, having cast Sidonia's nativity, he found that the 
time in which alone her powerful evil spirit or familiar 
could be bound, coincided exactly with that in which the 
sun-angel might be made to appear ; thus, the helpless hag 

* Latin note of Bogislaff XIV. " Tune ego ipse, nonne? hoc nobis 
infelicibus bene taciturnitate nostrum cohibitum est ; Elector Branden- 
burgiae sane omnia rapiet ! " (Then I myself is it not so? This was 
kept secret from us unfortunates. The Elector of Brandenburg will 
rob all.) Then in German he added : " Yet the Lord is my light, of 
whom then shall I be afraid? Ah, that my poor soul, in truth, rested 
calm in heaven ! For I am ready to be offered up like St. Paul (mean- 
ing through Wallen stein) : ' Would that the time of my departure 
were at hand ! ' 2 Tim. iv. 6. Yea, come and take my heritage, 
George of Brandenburgh, I am weary of this life." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 169 

could be seized at Marienfliess without danger or difficulty, 
at this precise hour and moment. So he determined to 
commence his conjuration at once by the magical blood- 
letting, and for this purpose wrote the following letter to 
Diliana, with which his Highness instantly despatched a 
horseman to Stramehl : 



JESUS ! 

" NOBLE AND PURE VIRGIN, Having found, ex navitate Sidonice, 
that it is possible to bind her evil spirit just at the moment in which 
we three stand within the circle to question the sun-angel, we must 
seek out a brave youth in Marienfliess whom you trust, and who by 
nature is so sympathetical with you, that he will experience the same 
sensations in his body while there, precisely at the same moment in 
which they are excited in you at Old Stettin. This can be accom- 
plished only by the magic bleeding, performed upon you both ; there- 
fore I pray you, in the name of his Highness, to communicate with 
such an one, if so be there is a youth in whom you place trust, and by 
the next new moon come with him to Old Stettin, where I shall per- 
form the magic bleeding on you both, that no time may be lost in 
commencing this mighty work, which, by God's help, will save the 
land. God keep you. Pray for me ! 

" Your servant to command, 

" M. JOEL. 

"Old Stettin, igth June 1618." 

This letter grieved the young virgin, for she saw the 
magister would not cease his importunities. Nevertheless, 
to show her obedience to his Highness, and by the advice 
of her cousin Bastien, she consented to undertake the jour- 
ney. Bastien likewise offered willingly to go through the 
magic bleeding along with her, but the maiden declined, and 
wrote privately to George Putkammer at Pansin the follow- 
ing letter : 

"Be it known to you, Sir Knight, that his Highness of Stettin has 
solicited my aid in a mighty magic-work, and desired me to seek out 
a youth in whom I trust, that magister Joel of Grypswald may per- 
form a magic bleeding upon us both. So I have selected you, and 
desire therefore to meet you on St. John the Baptist's day, by ten of 



170 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

the clock in the forenoon, at the castle of Old Stettin. But my father 
or Saatzig is to know nothing of the matter ; and you must promise 
neither to look upon me, nor sigh, nor press my hand, nor speak of 
marriage, whether we be alone or not. In this I trust to your knightly 
honour and noble nature. 

" DlLIANA BORK. 

"Stramehl, 22d July 1618." 

So on the appointed day Diliana arrived at the castle of 
Stettin, and his Highness was rejoiced to see her, and bade 
the magister Joel himself to bring all sorts of dainties for 
her refreshment, in order that the lacqueys might not be 
coming in and out, spying at what was going on. And 
immediately after, the court marshal flung open the door a 
second time, and my young knight appeared marry, how 
handsome he looked dressed just like a bridegroom ! He 
wore a buff doublet, with sleeves of blue satin, bordered 
with scarlet velvet; scarlet hose broidered in gold item, 
Spanish boots with gold spurs, and round his throat a ruff 
of the finest lace item, ruffles of the same. So with his 
long sword by his side he entered, carrying his plumed 
beaver in his hand ; and truly he blushed up to his very ears 
when he beheld Diliana seated there in her pomp and beauty, 
and he stammered and cast down his eyes upon his boots 
when the Duke addressed him, so that his Highness grew 
provoked, and exclaimed 

" What the devil, young man ! have you an evil conscience ? 
Can you not look any one straight in the face ? " 

At this the young knight lifted his eyes boldly and fixed 
them upon his Grace, answering haughtily " My Lord 
Duke, I can look the devil himself straight in the face, if 
need be ; but what is this comedy which you are about to 
play with me and this young maiden ? " 

This speech offended his Highness. ' It was no mum- 
ming work they had in hand, but a grave and serious matter, 
which, as he did not understand, the magister would explain 
to him." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 171 

So my magister began, and demonstrated the whole opus theur- 
gicum ; but the knight is as unbelieving as Jobst, and says 

" But what need of the angel ? Can we not do the busi- 
ness ourselves ? My lord Duke, it is now eleven o'clock ; 
give me permission, and by this hour to-morrow morning 
Sidonia shall be here in a pig-sack. And long ago I would 
have done this of myself, or stabbed her with my dagger for 
her late evil deeds, if your Grace had not forbade me so to do 
at the burial of our gracious lord, Duke Philip II. The 
devil himself must laugh at our cowardice, that we cannot 
seize an old withered hag whom a cowboy of ten years old 
would knock down with his left hand." 

To which his Highness answered, "You are foolhardy, 
young man, to esteem so lightly the power of her evil spirit ; 
for know that it is a mighty and terrible spirit, who could 
strangle you as easily as he has murdered others, for all your 
defiant speeches ! Therefore we must conquer him by other 
means ; and for this reason I look with hope to the appear- 
ance of the angel, who will teach us, perhaps, how to remove 
the spell from my illustrious race, which Sidonia's inhuman 
malice has laid on them, making them to perish childless off 
the face of the earth. If even you succeeded in seizing her, 
how would this help ? She would revenge herself by standing 
there deaf and mute as a corpse, and would sooner be burned 
at the stake than speak one word that would remove this great 
calamity from our house." 

Then the knight said, " He would never consent that 
Diliana should run the great danger of citing a spirit." 

Which, when the maiden heard, she grew as red as the 
young knight when he first entered, and said with a grave 
and haughty mien 

" Sir knight, who gave you any right over my words or 
works ? There may be other men in whom I place trust as 
well as you ; and speak but another word of the like nature, 
and I will prove it to you by my acts." 



i;a SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Marry, that was a slap on the mouth to my young knight, 
who grew as red as scarlet, and cast down his eyes upon his 
boots, while M. Joel began to demonstrate the magic blood- 
letting to them as follows 

"See here, young knight, and you, fair virgin, here are 
two little boxes of white ivory, of the same size and weight ; 
and see, within each of them is suspended a little magnet, 
both cut from the one loadstone, and round in a circle are all 
the letters of the alphabet. Now, let each of you take a little 
box, carry it delicately, and by its help you can converse with 
each other though you were a hundred miles apart. This 
sympathy between you is established by means of the magic 
blood-letting. I make an incision in each of your arms, placed 
together in the form of a cross, then touch the knight's 
wound with the blood of the virgin, and the virgin's with the 
blood of the knight, so will your blood be mingled ; and then, 
if one of you press the wound on the arm, the other will feel 
the same pressure sympathetically on the arm at the same 
instant, though ye be ever so far removed from one another. 
Now suppose that you, fair maiden, feel a pressure suddenly 
on the wound in your arm, you place the magnet box thereon, 
and the needle will point of itself, by sympathy, to the letters 
necessary to form a word, which word will be the same as 
that found by the magnet of the knight, who will likewise 
have the box on his arm at the same moment ; thus ye can 
read each other's thoughts instantaneously, and this results 
entirely from the laws of sympathy, as described by the 
renowned Abbot Johannes Trithemius, and Hercules de 
Sunde." 

To all this my knight made no answer, but seemed much 
disturbed. However, the magister ordered him to retire into 
the next chamber and remove his doublet. Item, he bade 
the young maiden likewise to take off her robe, seeing that 
the sleeves were very tight. It was a blue silk bodice she 
had on, trimmed round the bosom with golden fringe, and a 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 173 

mantle of yellow silk embroidered in violets and gold. Now 
the maiden was angry at first with the magister for his 
request, but laughed afterwards, when she thought of Doro- 
thea Stettin, and her absurdities with the doctor. 

So she said, " Here, cut open my sleeve, it matters not. I 
have more dresses with me at my lodging." This my 
magister does immediately, and draws forth the beautiful arm 
white as a snow-flake, throws the sleeve back upon the 
shoulder, and places Diliana with her face turned towards the 
window, on a seat which his Highness, the Duke, laid for 
her himself, while he exclaimed earnestly, " Now, Diliana, 
guard thy soul well from any evil thought ! " 

Hereupon the poor young virgin began to weep, and said, 
" Ah ! my Lord Duke, I have indeed need to pray for sup- 
port, but I will look up to the Lord my Saviour, whose 
strength is made perfect in my weakness. Now the young 
knight may come, but let me not see him." 

On this, the magister called in the young man, and sat him 
on the same seat with Diliana, but back to back. Then he 
stepped to one side, and looking at them, said, " Eh, my 
Lord Duke, see the beautiful James's head. That betokens 
good luck. Pity that the younker has no beard ! Young 
man, you have more hair on your teeth than on your chin, I 
take it.* Why do you not scrape diligently ; shall I give 
you a receipt ? " 

But the knight made no answer, only grew red for shame. 
Whereupon my magister left off jesting ; and taking the young 
man's arm, laid it upon the maiden's, in the form of a cross, 
then opened a vein in each, murmuring some words, while the 
blood-stream poured down into two silver cups which were 
held by his Highness, the Duke. 

But, woe ! my knight sinks down in a dead faint off his 
side of the couch to the ground. Which, when Diliana 

* Having hair on the teeth, means being a brave, fearless person, 
one who will stand up boldly for his own. 



174 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

heard, she springs up with her arm still bleeding, and ex- 
claims, " The knight is dead ! Oh, save the knight ! " 
Then the poor child wept. " Ah, what will become of me ? 
What is this you mean to do with us ? " 

So the magister gave over the young knight to the care of 
his Highness, who held a smelling-flask to his nose, while 
Dr. Joel took some of his blood and poured it into Diliana's 
arm, after which he bound it up. And then, when the young 
knight began to recover, she hastened, weeping, out of the 
apartment, saying, "Tell the knight not to touch his arm. 
When there is necessity I shall press mine. Farewell, 
gracious Lord Duke, and help me day and night with the 
sixth petition in the Lord's Prayer ! " And she would not 
return, though the Duke called out after her, "A word, 
one word ! " Item, M. Joel, " Bring a shift with you that 
belonged to your grandmother ! Nothing can be done unless 
you bring this with you ! " She hastens on to the inn, and 
when the knight recovered sufficiently to follow after her, 
behold, there was her carriage already crossing the Oder 
bridge, which so afflicted him, that the tears poured from 
his eyes, and he cursed the whole world in his great love- 
agony, particularly his Grace, the magister, and the ghost 
of Clara. For to these three he imputed all the grievous 
vexations and misfortunes he endured with regard to the fair 
maiden. 

Yet he lived in hope that she would soon press her 
wounded arm, and thus establish a sympathy of thought 
between them. So he set spurs to his horse and rode back 
again to his good castle of Pansin. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 173 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Of the awful and majestic appearance of the sun-angel, Och. 

AT last the blessed autumn arrived, and found my Ludecke 
still torturing and burning, and Sidonia still practising her 
evil sorceries upon man and beast, of which, however, it 
would be tiresome here to notice all the particulars. And 
on the nth day of September, Jobst and his fair daughter 
arrived at Old Stettin, where the knight again tried to 
remonstrate with his Highness about the conjuration, but 
without any success, as we may easily suppose. Thereupon 
the Duke and the magister commenced a discipline of fastings. 
Item, every day they had magic baths, and this continued up 
to the midnight of the 22nd day, when they at last resolved 
to begin the great work, for the sun entered Libra that 
year on the 23rd day of September, at twenty minutes after 
two o'clock A.M. 

So they all three put on garments of virgin-white linen, 
and Diliana drew over hers a shift which had belonged to 
her grandmother of blessed memory, Clara von Dewitz, for 
she had not omitted to bring one with her, having searched 
for it with great diligence. Then she said to the magister, 
" Much do I wish to ask the angel, wherefore it is that God 
gives such power to Satan upon the earth ? No man hath 
yet answered me on this point. May I dare to ask the angel ? " 
Hereupon he answered, " She might fearlessly do it, he 
was himself curious." So they conversed, and meantime 
placed caps on their heads, made likewise of virgin linen, 
with the Holy Tetragrammaton * bound thereon. Then the 
magister, taking a hazel-wand in his right hand, placed the 
magic circle upon his breast with the left, which circle was 
made of parchment, and carved all over with magic characters, 
* I have observed before, this was the name, Jehovah, in the Hebrew. 



176 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

and taking up his book, bade the Duke bear the vinculum 
of the heavenly bodies, that is, the signet of the spirit ; item, 
Diliana, the vinculum of the earthly creature, as her own 
pure body, the blood of the white dove, of the field-mouse, 
incense, and swallow's feathers. Whereupon, he lastly made 
the sign of the cross, and led the way to the great knights' 
hall, which was already illuminated with magic lights of 
virgin wax, according to his directions. 

Now as they all stepped out of the door in their white 
robes and high caps, shaped like the mitre of a bishop, there 
stood my Jobst in the corridor, purple with anguish and 
bathed in sweat " He would go with them ; " and when 
the magister put him back, saying, '* Impossible," the poor 
knight began to sob, embraced his little daughter, " for who 
could tell whether he would ever see his only joy upon earth 
alive again ? Ah, into what straits had the Duke brought 
him and his dear little daughter ! " 

However, the magister bade him be of good heart, for that 
no evil could happen to his fair daughter, seeing that she had 
again and again assured him of her pure virgin soul ; but 
they must lose no time now, if the knight chose to stand 
outside he might do so. To this Jobst consented, but when 
the three others had entered the knights' hall, my magister 
turned round to bolt the door, on which the alarmed father 
shook the door violently 

" He would never consent to have it bolted ; if it were, 
he would burst it in with a noise that would waken the 
whole castle. He was a father, and if any danger were in 
there, he could spring in and save his poor little worm, or 
die with her if need be." 

So the magister consented at last not to bolt the door, 
but clapped it to, so that the knight could not peep through. 
He is not to be outwitted, however ; drew off his buff 
doublet, took out a gimlet from his pocket, and bored a hole 
in the door, laid his hat upon the doublet, took his naked 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 177 

sword between his legs, and, resting both hands firmly on 
the hilt, bent down and placed his eye at the gimlet-hole, 
through which he could distinctly see all that passed in the 
room. And the three walked up to the centre of the hall, 
where the magic lights were burning, and the magister 
unloosed the circle from his breast and spread it out upon the 
ground, as far as it would reach, then he drew a figure with 
white chalk at each of the four corners, like interlaced 
triangles, and taking the vinculum of the heavenly creature, 
or the signet of the sun-angel, which was written with the 
blood of a coal-black raven upon virgin parchment, out of the 
hand of the Duke, hung it upon a new dagger, which no man 
had ever used, and fixed the same in the circle towards the 
north 

" For," said he, " the spirit will come from the north : only 
watch well for the little white cloud that always precedes 
him, and be not alarmed at anything, for I have too often 
practised this conjuration to anticipate danger now." 

After all this was done, and the pan of perfume, with the 
vinculum of the earthly creature, had been placed in the 
centre, the magister spake " In the name of God the 
Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen ! " And 
stepped from the north side the first into the circle, within 
which he kneeled down and repeated a beautiful prayer. 

And the two others responded " Amen." Whereupon 
the wise Theurgist, the brave priest of the grand primitive 
old faith, rose up, made the sign of the cross at the north, 
and began the conjuration of the angel with a loud voice. 

They were harsh and barbarous words that he uttered, 
which no one understood, and they lasted a good paternoster 
long ; after which, the priest stopped and said 

"Gracious Prince, lay thy left hand upon the vinculum 
of the heavenly creature ; virgin, step with thy left foot 
upon the signet of the spirit, in the north of the circle. 
After the third pausa he must appear." 

VOL. II. M 



178 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

With these words he began the conjuration again ; but, 
behold, as it was ended, a form appeared, not at the north 
but at the south, and glided on in a white bloody shroud, 
until it reached the centre of the circle. At this sight the 
magister was transfixed with horror, and made the sign of 
the cross, then said in an agitated voice 

" All good spirits praise God the Lord ! " 

Upon which the spirit answered 

" In eternity. Amen ! " 

Whilst Diliana exclaimed 

" Grandmother ! grandmother ! art thou indeed her spirit ? " 

So the spirit glided three times round the circle, with a 
plaintive wailing sound, then stopped before Diliana, and 
making the sign of the cross, said 

" Daughter, take that shift of mine from off thee, it be- 
tokens misfortune. It is No. 7, and see, I have No. 6 for 
my bloody shroud." 

Whereupon it pointed to the throat, where indeed the 
red number 6 was plainly discernible. 

Diliana spake 

" Grandmother, how did these things come to pass ? " 

But the spirit laid the forefinger on its mouth in silence. 
Whereupon she asked again 

" Grandmother, art thou happy ? " 

The spirit answered 

" I hope to become so, but take off that shift, the angel 
must soon appear ; it will be Sidonia's death shroud." 

As the spirit said these words it disappeared again towards 
the south, whereupon the knight at the gimlet- hole cried 
out 

" There was some one here, was it the angel ? " 

"No, no," screamed Diliana, while she quickly stepped 
out of the circle, and drew off the shift. " No, it was my 
poor grandmother ! " 

" Silence," cried the magister ; " for God's sake, no 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 179 

talking more, we have already lost ten seconds by that ghost. 
Now quick with the vinculum of the earthly creature ! My 
Prince, strew the incense upon the burner ; virgin, dip the 
swallow's feathers in the blood of the white dove, and streak 
my two lips with them. Now all be still if you value your 
life. Eternity is listening to us, and the whole apartment 
is full of invisible spirits." 

Then he repeated the conjuration for the third time, and, 
behold, at the last word, a white cloud appeared at the 
north, that at every moment became brighter and brighter, 
until a red pillar of light, about an arm's thickness, shot forth 
from the centre of it, and the most exquisite fragrance with 
soft tones of music were diffused over the whole north end 
of the hall ; then the cloud seemed to rain down radiant 
flowers of hues and beauty, such as earth had never seen, 
after which a tremendous sound, as if a clap of thunder 
shook not only the castle to its foundation, but seemed to 
shake heaven and earth itself, and the cloud, parting in twain, 
disclosed the sun-angel in the centre. Yet the knight out- 
side never heard this sound, nor did old Kruger, the Duke's 
boot- cleaner, who sat in the very next room reading the 
Bible ; he merely thought that the clock had run down in 
the corridor, and sent his wife out to see, and this seems to 
me a very strange thing, but the knight, through his gimlet- 
hole, saw plainly that a chair, which they had forgotten to 
take out the way of the angel at the north side, was utterly 
consumed by his presence, and when he had passed, lay 
there a heap of ashes. 

And the angel in truth appeared in the form of a beautiful 
boy of twelve years old, and from head to foot shone with a 
dazzling light. A blue mantle, sown with silver stars, was 
flung around him, but so glittering to the eye that it seemed a 
portion of the milky way he had torn from heaven, as he passed 
along, and wrapped round his angelic form. On his feet, rosy 
as the first clouds of morning, were bound golden sandals, and 



i8o SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

on his yellow hair a crown ; and thus surrounded by radiant 
flowers, odours, and the soft tones of heavenly music, he swept 
down in grace and glorious beauty to earth. When the Theur- 
gist beheld this, he fell on his knees along with the others, 
and prayed 

"We praise thee, we bless thee, we adore thee, O lofty 
spirit of God ! thou throne-angel of the Almighty ! that 
thou hast deigned by the word of our father Adae, by the 
word of our father Henoch, and by the word of our father 
Noah, to enter the darkness of this our second world, and 
appear before our eyes. Help us, blessed angel ! help us ! " 

And the angel said, " What will ye ? " 

Here the Duke took heart, and gave for answer, " Lord, 
an evil witch, a devil's sorceress, wickeder than anything yet 
known upon earth, Sidonia Bork by name " 

But the angel let him continue no further, and with a 
glance of terrible anger exclaimed, " Silence, thou drunken 
man of blood ! " 

Then, looking upon Diliana, murmured softly, " Speak, 
thou pure and blessed maiden ! " 

At this the virgin took courage, and answered, " Our 
gracious Prince would know how the evil spirit of my cousin 
Sidonia can be overcome ? " 

" Seize Wolde first," replied the angel, " then the evil 
spirit of Sidonia will become powerless. What wouldst thou 
know further ? " 

Hereupon the modest virgin blushed, stammered, and looked 
down ; then from awe and terror, scarcely knowing what she 
said, made answer 

" Behold, thy servant would know wherefore the All- 
mighty and All-merciful God hath, since the beginning of time, 
allowed so much power to Satan over His creatures, the works 
of His own hands ? " 

Then the angel spake "That is a grave and serious 
question, maiden, and the answer would be above thy com- 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 181 

prehension ; yet this much I will explain to thee if there 
were no devil and no evil, many attributes of the Almighty 
God our Lord would have remained for ever hid from you, 
children of humanity, as well as from us, spirits of heaven. 
Therefore, from the beginning, hath God permitted such 
power to the devil as might show forth these His attributes to 
the wondering universe. First, after the fall, His justice was 
revealed, as you have seen displayed in the old covenant, and 
this attribute could never have been manifested unless evil and 
the devil had entered into the world. Now, thought the devil 
when he beheld the manifestation of this terrible attribute, the 
whole human race must fall for ever to perdition, and the Lord 
God must be the first to murder the work of His own hands. 
But, lo ! before heaven and earth, the great God manifested 
two new attributes ; namely, mercy and love, for He fulfilled 
His word given tp Satan in Paradise. The serpent-treader 
entered into the world, and oh ! infinite wonder ! heaven and 
earth, which till then had seen God but in His goodness, now 
beheld His love bleed from the wounds of His Son on Golgotha, 
and the world reconciled to Him for ever, through Christ. 

" Yet Satan still thinks to regain his lost dominion over the 
world ; therefore it shall come to pass that the Lord will suffer 
him to become a mock and derision to all mankind, and for the 
first time since the world was made men will doubt his exist- 
ence and disbelieve his power, and his name will be a scorn and 
idle word to the very children, and the old wives by their 
spinning-wheels. Then will be manifested some new attribute 
of divinity, of which as yet thou, nor I, nor any creature, may 
have an opportunity to contemplate. All this has lain in the 
purpose of God, in order to increase the happiness of His crea- 
tures ; for all the other attributes of the Almighty, such as 
Infinity, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, awaken only awe in 
the mind of the finite ; but those attributes which He manifests 
in His triumph over sin and Satan, are what truly awaken love, 
and through love, above all, is the happiness of the creature 



182 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

advanced. When God has thus manifested all His attributes 
by means of sin and Satan, to the joy of His faithful servants, 
men and angels, for all eternity, who without sin and Satan 
would never have known them, then the great day of the Lord 
will come, when the wine of His love-spirit will inspire every 
creature that believes on Him in heaven, and on earth, and 
under the earth ! Further " 

But behold, at this word of the angel, a blue ray, about 
the thickness of an arm, came up from the south into the 
middle of the circle, and blended itself, trembling and glitter- 
ing, with the radiant cloud and flowers. When the angel 
beheld this, he said 

" Lo ! I am summoned to the ruins of Nineveh. Let 
me depart ! " 

At this the Duke took heart again to speak, and began, 
" Lord, how is my ancient race " 

But the angel again interrupted him with, " Silence, thou 
drunken man of blood ! " 

And when the magister repeated the form which broke 
the conjuration, the angel disappeared as he had come, with 
a terrible clap of thunder ; and clouds, light, flowers, odours, 
and music, all passed away with him, and the hall became 
dark and silent as the grave. 

But in a couple of seconds, just as the magister had stepped 
out of the circle with the virgin, who trembled in every 
limb, even as he did himself, my Jobst comes rushing in at 
the door with joyful mien, thanks God, sobs, embraces his 
little daughter twice, thrice embraces her again, and at 
last asks, " What said the angel ? " 

And they told him all item, about the ghost of his poor 
mother, and what it desired. Then, for the first time, they 
observed that the Duke stood still within the circle with 
folded arms, and eyes bent upon the ground. 

"My Lord Duke, will you not step out of the circle?" 
exclaimed the magister. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 183 

Whereupon the Duke started, sprang from the circle to 
the spot where they stood, and, seizing the magister by the 
throat, roared, " Dog of a sorcerer ! this is some of thy 
black-art. Jobst here was right ; thou hast raised no angel, 
but a devil ! " 

At this the terrified magister first tried to release himself 
from his Grace's hold, then began to explain, but the Duke 
would listen to nothing. 

" It was clear as the sun this was no angel, but a devil, 
who, as St. Paul says, had transformed himself into an angel 
of light ; for, first, the hellish emissary had called him a 
bloodhound. Now, what blood had he ever shed, except 
the blood of accursed witches ? and this, as a just ruler, he 
had done upon the express command of God Himself (Ex. 
xxii. 1 8), where it is written: 'Thou shalt not suffer 
a witch to live.' No one, therefore, from heaven or upon 
earth, could blame him for fulfilling the commands of God, 
yet the spirit had blamed him. Ergo, he was not an angel, 
but a devil. Next, the knave twice called me a drunkard. 
Here clearly he showed himself no angel, but, as the Lord 
Jesus named him, the * father of lies ; ' for tell me, friends, 
was I drunk to-day ? If I do take a sleeping draught after 
the fatigues of the day tell me, what does that matter to 
this impudent devil? So I say with that Mecklenburgh 
nobleman in Dobberan : 

1 Away, away, thou devil, from me, 
I care not a single hair for thee ; 
In spite of the devil, a noble man 
Should drain to the last his drinking-can. 
I'll sup with the Lord and the saints the first, 
While thou, poor devil, must ever thirst. 
I'll drain the mead from the flowing bowl, 
While the devil is sitting in hellish dole ; 
Therefore, away, thou devil, from me, 
I care not a single hair for thee.* 

* This inscription is still to be seen upon a tombstone in Dobberan. 



184 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

And doth not Martinus Lutherus say 

' Who loves not wine, women, and song, 
Remains a fool his whole life long ' ? 

Marry, the grievous devil may wait long enough before he 
makes me a fool. I am too sharp for the stuff with which 
he humbugs you, my wise chattering magister ! " 

But the magister began to demonstrate how unlikely it was 
that Satan would give advice how to subdue himself; " For 
how then could his kingdom stand ? " as the Lord said (Luke 
xi.). So the Duke listened, and grew thoughtful at last 
exclaimed, "Well, come, we'll settle that over the wine- 
cup ; and to spite the knave, we'll keep up the carouse till 
morning; the night is already half spent, and I have some 
glorious Muscadel in the cellar." 

My Jobst, however, will not remain ; and Diliana asks, 
" What his Grace will do about Wolde ? " 

This set his Grace again upon abusing the spirit " Ay, 
truly, he must have been a devil Master Beelzebub himself, 
and no good angel for had he not bid him twice to hold 
his tongue when he began to ask about his old illustrious 
race, and what should be done to preserve it from utter 
destruction ? The magister might go to the devil himself 
now, with all his magic ; he saw clearly through the whole 
business." 

So a great strife arose between them, which ended in the 
Duke permitting the blessed maiden to press the wound in 
her arm, in order to communicate, by means of the magnetic 
alphabet, with the knight, who at that moment was keeping 
watch with his good sword in the chapel of Marienfliess. 
Everything, however, must be performed before the eyes of 
the Duke, else he would not believe it ; so the young maiden, 
blushing for shame, pressed the wound on her arm ; and after 
a brief space, cried out with wonder " In truth I feel the 
pressure now of itself." Whereupon, at the command of the 
magister, she threw up her wide sleeve (for she still wore the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 185 

magic robe), and placed the little box with the magnet on her 
arm, directing the magnetic needle, with a fine stick, to the 
letters, thus : 

S E I Z E W O L D E. 

She then retired to a chamber, to put on her own dress, and 
had scarcely finished when she feels the pressure on her arm 
again. Whereupon she calls to his Grace and the magister, 
who set the magnet immediately on her arm, when, to the 
great surprise of his Grace, the needle turns of itself to the 
letters 

S H E 1 S S E I Z E D. 

This sight gave my gracious Lord fresh courage : " And 
after all, perhaps that was an angel ; for surely Sidonia would 
have protected her maid, if her evil spirit had not become 
powerless, as the spirit had foretold. And now they would 
soon have the arch-sorceress herself. He would send a horse- 
man instantly to Christian Ludecke, who was burning witches 
at Colbatz, to hasten, without delay, to Marienfliess." 

At last he permits Jobst, since he will not drink, to take 
his leave ; " yet he and his fair daughter must first promise, by 
their honour, not to breathe a word of the magic conjuration, 
since the ignorant and stupid people would only make a mock 
of such matters ; and why cast pearls before swine, or holy 
mysteries to dogs ? " And truly they kept the secret of his 
Grace, so that not a word was known thereof until Duke 
Bogislaff the Fourteenth communicated the same to me, 
precisely as he had the facts from his brother, and gave me 
permission to publish them in my " History of Sidonia." 



i8<5 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER XXII. 

How old Wolde is seized, confronted with Sidonia, and finally 
burned before her window. 

MEANWHILE the young knight, George Putkammer, had ridden 
over to Marienfliess on the appointed day, to Sheriff Eggert 
Sparling's. He mentioned nothing of the great magic work, 
as the Duke had forbidden him to do so, but merely said 
that he had orders from the Prince to seize Sidonia that 
night. 

At this, my sheriff shuddered : " The young knight 
should reflect on what he was about ; young people were 
often foolhardy and confident, to their utter ruin. What 
did he want from him ? If he got half the world for it, he 
would not touch even the clothes of the devil's hag. He 
had tried it once, and that would do him for his life." 

But the knight answered, " He had pledged his word to 
the Duke, and must hold by it. His worship must just give 
him a couple of stout fellows to help him." 

Ille. " Did he really think that in the whole bailiwick a 
fellow could be got to go with him, when it was known he 
was going to seize the sorceress the devil's night-bird ? 
Ha! ha! ha!" 

Hie. " Then he would do it alone. His worship must 
just give him some cords, and show him a prison where he 
could put the vile witch." 

Ille. " Cords he should have, as many as he wished, but 
on no account must the hag be brought to the court-house. 
He knew her well, and would take care to have nothing to 
do with her." 

Hie. " At least, then, his worship must lend him a horse, 
and he would bind the dragon thereon with stout cords, and 
carry her away to his good castle of Pansin, where there was 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 187 

a deep dungeon, in which he could lay her, until he knew the 
Duke's pleasure." 

Ille. " The horse he might have, and choose one himself 
from the stall, and if it pleased him, bind the witch on its 
back there in the churchyard, under the linden-trees ; but 
to the court-house the witch must not come certainly not 
or she would suspect him of having a hand in her capture. 
Yet let the knight think again, and give up this dangerous 
business, or surely they had beheld each other for the last 
time." 

But the knight only waited until the clock pointed to ten ; 
then taking a lantern, he goes and chooses out a stout white 
mare (for such, they say, are antipathetical to witches), ties 
her to a linden in the churchyard, enters the church, lights 
the altar candles, and sits there, reading in the large Bible ; 
until about the hour that the conjuration was taking place at 
Old Stettin, when a strange feeling of uneasiness came over 
him, and he rose up and walked to and fro in the church in 
great agitation. Suddenly he felt a pressure on his wounded 
arm, and turning up the sleeve of his doublet, pressed in 
return, after which, he laid the magnet upon it, and, to his 
surprise, read that he was to seize Wolde, not Sidonia. In- 
stantly he took up the lantern and the cords, put his good 
sword under his arm, and ascended the steps up to the nuns' 
gallery, and from that, entered the convent corridor, as the 
door between always lay open ; but stumbling, by chance, into 
Anna Apenborg's cell, she led him down a flight of stairs to 
the ground floor, and close to the refectory, where she pointed 
to a little chamber adjoining, whispering, " There is where 
the old cat snores ; " then creeps behind a barrel, to watch, 
while the knight, holding the light before him, stepped at 
once into the cell, crying, " Stand up, old night-bird, and get 
on thy rags, thine hour hath come." 

A scream of horror was the answer from the hag, and she 
clapped violently at the refectory wall, calling out, " Help 



i88 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

me ! help ! help ! a fellow has seized me, Lady Prioress ! " 
But the knight was resolved to make quick work of it ; and 
hearing a stir already in Sidonia' s apartment, threw himself 
upon the hag, and bound her hands tight with the cords, 
while she screamed, and struggled, and yelled piteously for 
the Lady Prioress ; then dragging her up, he exclaimed, 
" Since thou didst not heed me, now thou shalt come off 
naked as thou art ; better the devil should not have a rag to 
catch hold of. Come ! " 

But a fearful-looking form just then rushed into the room 
it was Sidonia, just as she had risen from bed, bearing a 
lamp in her hand, with her white hair flowing wildly about 
her face and shoulders, and her red glowing eyes fixed 
menacingly upon the knight. She had just begun a terrific 
curse, when the young man, seeing the cat in his red hose 
following, lifted his sword and with one blow cut him clean 
in two, but started back, for the first time, in terror, when he 
beheld one half, on its two legs, run quickly under Wolde's 
bed, and the other half, on the two other legs, make off for 
the refectory, through the door which had been left open. 
Even Sidonia recoiled at the sight ; but soon, with increased 
ferocity, sprang at the knight, screaming and clenching her 
hands. But he cried out, " Hold ! or I will cleave thee in 
twain, even as thy cat." And in truth she stopped stone- 
still, but soon began to spit and murmur. Whereupon he 
cried out again, " Ay, spit and mumble ; but know that my 
good friend, of whom I told thee, stands without, and if but 
a finger of mine aches, now or in future, he hath sworn thy 
death." 

Then swinging Wolde's clothes, which lay on the bed, 
over her shoulder with the point of his sword, he exclaimed 
to Sidonia " Away, away, or the like will be done to 
thee ! " 

Whereupon, amidst the howling of the hag, and the horrible 
curses and maledictions of Sidonia, he re-crossed the gallery 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 189 

and the church, the lame she-devil still howling before him, 
till they entered the churchyard ; after which my brave 
knight bound her feet upon the white mare, and rode away 
with her to his good castle of Pansin. 

I had forgotten to notice before, that the pastor was not 
buried within the church, as his widow first intended, but 
was laid outside in the blessed earth, because she feared that 
the man- wolf might get at him again within the church-vault 
and tear him. 

Summa. That same evening the witch-commissioner, 
Christian Ludecke, arrived with his secretary at Marienfliess, 
according to the mandate of the Prince ; and behind them 
come two waggons, on one of which sits the executioner with 
his assistants, the red flag floating above him, and the second 
is laden with the instruments of torture and the rack ; for 
those belonging to the court-house of Marienfliess were not 
considered powerful enough. And, as usual, they enter 
the town chanting a sacred hymn, at which sound every one 
shudders, but my sheriff is particularly horror-struck ; and, 
rushing out to meet them at the court-house, cried out 

" What the devil ! is the bloodhound back again ? Did 
he think that witches grew up in the town like cabbages ? " 
but held his peace instantly, when he heard that all was 
done by command of the Prince. 

So the lame hag was brought back again from Pansin 
that night, and the artlculi indlctionales were drawn up against 
her, in which it was not forgotten that years before she had 
sat in the cellar of the poor dairy-woman's mother, and 
there bewitched the cocks and hens, as many old people 
still living could testify ; and the bailiff's wife is by no 
means slack either in helping her to the same death as the 
poor dairy-mother. While the whole town and adjacent 
country rang with these proceedings, Sidonia's disquietude 
became evident. Every day she sent Anna Apenborg up 
to the court-house, and there the said Anna and the serving- 



190 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

maid of the scriba were seen with their heads together in 
every corner conversing, and each day brought less comfort 
to the terrible witch of Marienfliess. Therefore, about this 
time, she changed her demeanour to the nuns, and in place 
of her usual fierce and cruel bearing, she now became quite 
mild, threw up her eyes, went regularly to church every 
Sunday, and sighed deeply during the sermon. Day and 
night she was singing spiritual songs, and sent to Stargard 
to purchase prayer-books, all to make the world think that 
she had grown truly religious. Item, she sent her new maid, 
Anna Dorings by name, to Stargard, to purchase mercury 
for her from the apothecary ; and when the maid handed 
the same to her, she heard her murmur as if to herself, while 
she locked up the poison in her press 

" So now, at least, they can do nothing worse with me 
than behead me ! " 

Then she went herself one day to Stargard, and visited a 
celebrated advocate, called Elias Pauli. "The world was 
now so hard-hearted, and the devil so active, that she feared 
her turn might come next to be tried for a witch, just for 
the sympathy she showed for the poor creatures. Alas ! 
how Satan blinded the reason of men ; for when were such 
cruelties ever heard of as were practised now on poor help- 
less women ? (Weeping.) And would not my Elias defend 
her from this ferocious bloodhound, Christian Ludecke, who 
had come again to Marienfliess, and boasted loudly that, 
when he had made an end of her old maid, Wolde, he would 
seize her next ; and even sworn that, to make a terrible 
example of her, her nose and ears should be torn off with 
red-hot pincers ere she was tied to the stake. And what 
would my Elias do for her ? She had a few dozen gold 
crowns which her sister Dorothea had left her by will, and 
willingly she would give them, if he turned the base malice 
of her enemies to shame. Ah, he might take pity on her ; 
for she was a good and holy virgin, and as innocent of all 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 191 

they charged her with as the child in the cradle ! " (Weeps 
and sobs again.) 

So the cunning witch had struck the right nail on the 
head, for my Elias was a great lover of coins ; and though 
he had a few silver and many copper, yet not a single gold 
one did he possess. Therefore he became thoughtful after 
her speech, and walked up and down the room for a quarter 
of an hour, after which he stood still, and answered 

" Lady, you know as well as I do that your name is 
notorious throughout the whole land, and little hope can 1 
give you if you are brought to trial. However, I will do 
what I can to delay the time as much as possible ; perchance 
from your great age, and the bitter heart-remorse you must, 
no doubt, suffer, you may end your miserable life before 
they can lay violent hands on you. Pray to the Lord God, 
therefore, day by day, for your speedy death ! I will, 
likewise, pray for you. Meanwhile, if any evil befall you, I 
will write petitions in your favour to all the neighbouring 
princes, to the resident nobles, and to the Duke himself in 
Stettin, for your race is one of the most illustrious in all 
Pomerania. And respecting the gold crowns which you 
promise, send them speedily ; for remember from the moment 
they arrest you, your irmentorium is sealed." 

This my hag promised, and took her leave ; but, woe ! 
the first news she heard upon her return home was, that her 
maid, by a decree of the council at Stettin, had that day 
been put to the torture ; and having on the rack confessed 
that she (Sidonia) was the true arch-sorceress, they were to 
be confronted with each other on the morrow. This news 
Anna Apenborg told her before she had well descended 
from the coach item, many of the other nuns confirmed the 
rumour ; so that the unfortunate wretch at last resolved, in 
despair, to put an end to herself. However, she had little 
inclination to taste the mercury, I think. 

So in the twilight she creeps out behind the brew-house, 



ipa SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

which stood three or four feet from the convent wall, so 
that no one in the convent could see what she was about, 
draws a ladder after her, sets it against the wall, and mounts, 
intending to spring down into the river below and drown 
herself. 

Now it happened that in the oak-wood, at the opposite 
side of the stream, my Ludecke and the sheriff were walking 
up and down, and the sheriff's teeth were chattering in 
his head from pure fright ; for a courier from Stettin had 
arrived that very evening with an order from his Grace, 
commanding him, under pain of severe punishment and 
princely disfavour, to be present, along with Jobst Bork, 
on the following morning, when Sidonia and Wolde were 
confronted. Their eyes were suddenly attracted to a head 
rising above the opposite wall, then long white hair fluttered 
wildly in the evening breeze, and afterwards a thin black 
form appeared, until the entire figure stood upon the top of 
the wall, and extended its arms as a young stork its wings, 
when it essays to leave the nest, while the eyes were fixed 
on the water below. Instantly they both recognised Sidonia, 
and saw what her purpose was. 

" Let her, let her," whispered the sheriff to the other ; 
"if she is dead, if she is dead, we shall all rest in peace ! " 

But the other seized a stone, and flung it with all his 
might at the wall, crying out, " Wait, thou shameless witch ; 
doth thy conscience move thee so ? " 

Whereupon the black figure dropped down again behind 
the wall as quickly as possible. And my Ludecke, being 
loath to lose the fat morsel he had ready for the flames, 
resolved to place four guards over her in the refectory ; but 
though the whole town was searched item, menaced that 
the executioner should scourge them man by man, yet no one 
will undertake the dangerous office. At last four fellows 
are found, who promise, for a tun of beer at the very least, 
to hold watch in the convent square, so that the witch cannot 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 193 

get away out of the building, with which my bloodhound is 
obliged to be content. 

Next morning, at nine of the clock, Sidonia was cited to 
appear in court, but as she did not come, and mocked the 
messenger who was sent for her, Ludecke commanded the 
executioner to go himself, and if she would not come by fail- 
means, to drag her by force. The fellow hesitated, how- 
ever 

" It was a dangerous business ; but if his worship was 
very anxious, why, for a good horse from the ducal stables, 
he might dare it, since his own nag had fallen lame." 

So this being promised, he departed, and, in a short time, 
they beheld the carl in his red mantle dragging Sidonia up to 
the court-house; and, methinks, many within shuddered at 
the sight; for there were present sitting round the green 
table Christian Ludecke, Eggert Sparling, Jobst Bork, and 
the scriba, Christopher Kahn. 

But when the executioner threw open the door, and bade 
the witch take off her shoes and enter backwards, she refused 
and scolded 

"What? her bitterest enemies we're to be her judges. 
The thick ploughman from Saatzig, who had stolen her rents 
from the farm-houses at Zachow ; item, the arch- cheat 
Sparling, who robbed his Prince every day such rabble 
burgher carls secretary fellows, and the like no ; she 
would never enter. She was the lady of castles and lands ; 
besides, her advocate was not here, and she had engaged one 
at Stargard ; " finally she pushed the door to with her foot. 

" Master," cried the bloodhound within, " seize the witch 
in the name of the Prince ! " 

Whereupon the door was again thrown open, and my hag, 
sobbing loudly, was forced into the court in her socks, and 
backwards.* 

* Because the judges on witch-trials feared the evil influence of the 
glances of the accused. 

VOL. II. N 



ip4 S1DONIA THE SORCERESS 

" And what did they want with her ? " she asked, still 
sobbing. 

Whereupon the commissioner made a sign to the execu- 
tioner, who instantly admitted old Wolde Albrecht by the 
same door. She entered barefoot, and in the black shift 
worn upon the rack, upon which the red blood lay in deep 
fresh stains. When Sidonia beheld this she shuddered. 
But Ludecke rose up and admonished Wolde to speak the 
truth without fear, and to remember that, on the morrow 
morning, at that very hour, she would stand before the 
throne of God there was yet time to save her poor soul. 

So the old lame hag began to sob likewise, and lament, 
and says at last 

" O Lady Prioress, I must save my poor soul ! I would 
not betray you else." 

Then she spoke out, and told bravely all she knew about 
Sidonia, and her evil spirit Chim ; and how Chim used to 
help her own familiar, whose name was Jurgen, to get rid 
of Sidonia's enemies ; item, that the devil Chim sometimes 
took the form of a man, for she had seen him frequently in 
Sidonia's chamber. 

At this Sidonia raged and scolded, and flew at Wolde to 
seize her by the hair, but Ludecke interposed, and threatened, 
if she were not quiet, to give her up to Master Hansen for a 
few turns or so for trial ; upon which she remained silent from 
terror apace, but soon began again to sob, and exclaimed 

" Yes, yes ; she must think of her blessed Saviour, who 
likewise was betrayed and trodden under foot by one who 
had broken bread with Him ! She had not only given bread 
to this wretch, but twice had given her life. Oh, woe, woe 
to the shameless creature, who could step before the throne 
of God with such a lie in her mouth ! " 

At which the other wept, and answered with loud sobs 

" Ah, gracious Lady Prioress, if I had not my poor soul 
to save, I would betray you never ! " 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 195 

Then by desire of the court, she confirmed by oath her 
previous statements. Whereupon Sidonia was led back to 
her cell in the convent by the executioner, and forbidden, 
upon pain of death, to leave it without permission. Where- 
upon her rage knew no bounds ; she scolded, stamped, 
menaced, and finally cursed her cousin Jobst, as well as the 
commissioner, jailers, and hangmen, as they were. 

The third day the pile is erected again by the execu- 
tioner, there where the others stood, that is, not far from 
the window of Sidonia, and as it was necessary for one of 
the criminal judges to be present at the burning of a witch, 
Jobst Bork proceeded thither with a great concourse of 
people, for my Eggert had excused himself, saying he was 
sick, though, methinks, I know what sickness he had 
namely, the hare's sickness ; and Jobst admonished the witch, 
who hobbled along in her white shift and black cap, leaning 
on a crutch, not to accuse his poor cousin falsely, for let her 
think where she would stand in a few moments. There was 
the pile before her eyes, an image of the eternal hell-fire. 
But she held by her first confession, and even after the execu- 
tioner made her ascend the ladder, she turned round at the 
third step, and cried 

" Give her shoulder as good a wrench as ye gave mine, 
and she will soon confess, I warrant." 

But behold, when the executioner, by desire of the upright 
Jobst, had bound her fast with wet cords, in order soon to 
make an end of her, and lit the pile up round about, the 
flames were still blown away from the stake by the wind, and 
would not touch the hag, so that many saw in it a miracle of 
Satan, and wondered, till an old peasant stepped forth from 
the crowd, and cried, "Ha, ha, I will soon settle her." 
Then seizing her crutch, which she had dropped at the foot 
of the pile, he stepped up the ladder, and pitched off her 
black cap with his stick, whereupon a black raven flew out, 
with loud croakings, and disappeared towards the north, 



196 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

and instantly after the flames blazed up around her, covering 
her all over like a yellow mantle, with such rapidity that the 
people only heard her shriek once. 



CHAPTER XXTil. 

How Diliana Bork and George Putkammer are at length 
betrothed Item, how Sidonia is degraded from her 
conventual dignities and carried to the witches' tower of 
Saatzig in chains. 

WHEN Jobst returned home to Saatzig from the execution, 
he seemed much disturbed in his mind, which was unusual 
to him, and sat by the stove plunged in deep thought. At 
length he calls his little daughter Diliana from the spinning 
wheel where she sat. 

" Ah, the Prince had set his life in great peril, but more 
than the Prince himself did she, his little daughter, plague 
him by showing herself so cold to the brave young knight. 
She ought to leave off this prudery, else he feared by the next 
time the sun was in the propitious position, that his Highness 
would send for her again to question the devil there was 
nothing such a fanatic would not do ; but if she would only 
press her arm now, and bid the young knight come. Where 
could she meet with a braver husband ? " 

At this the young maiden blushed up to her very eyes, 
and asked earnestly 

" Father, think you the good knight stays away because 
I have not summoned him ? " 

file, Of course, my child. Thou forbadst him to ap- 
proach thee until summoned; and now where could be a 
greater proof of his love than in having obeyed thee ? " 

ff(ec. " Ah me, I have wondered so, father, why he 
never sought me. I never meant that ; you surely misun- 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 197 

derstood me. But, father, if you wish shall I summon 
him by the magnetic sign ? " 

Ille nods his head, laughing. 

Whereupon Diliana, blushing yet more, pressed her arm, 
and feeling a pressure in return almost immediately, pushed 
up her sleeve, set the magic box thereon, and with her 
golden breastpin directed the magnetic needle to the 
letters 

CO M E D E A R E S T. 

Whilst my Jobst looked over her shoulder, so that his long 
grey beard fell upon her neck, and when he read the letters 
he embraced and kissed her, telling her that a better kisser 
would soon come and save him the trouble meaning the 
knight ; and truly scarce half-an-hour had passed, when the 
cloud of dust could be seen through the trees, which was 
raised as he rode along, and, panting and agitated, he 
sprang into the room, exclaiming to my Jobst " Where is 
Diliana ? " But she sits mute in the corner, red as a rose, 
and looks down upon the ground. 

So my Jobst laughed, and pointed to the blushing rose 
in the corner, whereupon the young knight, George, in a 
moment is by her side, and had her hand in his, and asks 

" If his loved Rachel will not end his weary years of 
serving now, and be his for evermore ? " 

" Yes," she murmured through her soft tears. " I will 
be yours now for evermore ; " and she extended her two arms 
towards him. 

Marry, how soon my young knight took the trouble off 
the old father ; so that Jobst danced for joy at the sight, and 
clapped his hands, and swore that such a wedding should be 
held at Saatzig, that people would talk about it for fifty 
years. 

But, alas 1 the wedding must wait for a year and a day ! 



198 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

for, in two days the young knight is laid upon a sick bed, 
and brought so low that at one time his life was despaired of. 
However, he comforted himself by pressing his wounded ami 
three times a day, and thus corresponding with his betrothed 
by means of the magnet. So they told their grief and their 
love to each other daily in these few words. And many 
think that his sickness was a devil's work of Sidonia, or of 
old Wolde's planning ; but he himself rather judged it arose 
from the wild ride to his young bride on the morning she 
bade him come. This matter, therefore, I leave undecided. 

Yet no one can surely fathom all the cunning wiles of 
Satan ; for though many said Sidonia' s power is now broken 
by Wolde's death, and indeed the poor sheriff was the only 
one who still played the hare, and kept the roaring ox safe 
up in the stall still, so strange a thing happened at this 
time to the knight, Ewald von Mellenthin, that the criminal 
court thought proper to take cognisance of the matter, and so 
we find it noted down in the records of the trial. For, 
mark! This same knight, being summoned to give evi-^ 
dence, deposed to Sidonia having in his presence flung a 
hatchet at his dear bride, Ambrosia von Guntersberg, who 
had been now a long while his well-beloved spouse, which 
hatchet had wounded her in the foot. Then turning to the 
hag, he exclaimed wrathfully 

" Ha ! thou devil's witch, hast thou found thy recompense 
at last?" 

Whereupon Sidonia made a face at him after her fashion, 
and menaced him with the vengeance of her friends. 

But what friend had she but Satan, who avenged her on 
this wise. For, as some days after, the knight Ewald was 
driving with his cousin Detloff, between Schlotenitz and 
Schellin, such an awful roaring, and raging, and storming 
was heard in the air over their heads, that the two foremost 
horses took fright, broke their traces, threw the coachman, 
who was nearly killed, and dashed off across the field through 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 199 

thick and thin, and never stopped till they reached Stargard, 
trembling, panting, and exhausted, about evening time. 

The knight laid all this evidence before the criminal 
commission, and my hare grew so frightened thereupon, that 
next day, while listening to the depositions of more witnesses, 
seeing a shadow hop along his paper, he started up in horror, 
screaming, " There are the toad- shadows again ! O God, 
keep me ! There are the toad-shadows again ! " But the 
special commissioner, who had also observed the shadow, and 
got up to look out at the window, now called out, laughing 
heartily, "Marry, good Sparling, the shadow belongs to 
one of your worship's brothers a poor little sparrow, who is 
hopping there on the house-top. Go out and see, if you 
don't believe me." Whereupon the whole court burst out 
into a loud fit of laughter, to the great annoyance of my hare. 

Whilst Ludecke is drawing up his articulus inquisitionalis , 
Sidonia's advocate, Dr. Elias Pauli, was not idle. And first 
he stirred up the whole race of the Borks in her favour, 
letting it come to the Duke's ears through his grand cham- 
berlain, Matzke Bork, that if Sidonia were treated with 
gentleness, and thereby brought to make confession, assuredly 
there was great hope that for this grace and indulgence she 
would untie the magic knots of the girdle wherewith she had 
bewitched the whole princely race, and laid the spell of 
barrenness upon them. But if extreme measures were re- 
sorted to, never would she do this for his Highness. 

So the Duke was half moved to consent, and bade his 
superintendent, Mag. Reutzius, come to him, and he should 
instantly repair to Marienfliess, visit the sorceress in her apart- 
ment, where she was bis dato, guarded a close prisoner. Let 
him read out the seventy-four articles of the indictment to 
her himself, admonish her to confess, and in his (the Duke's) 
name, offer her pardon if she would untie the knots of the 
girdle. Did she refuse, however, let her be brought the 
following Sunday to the convent-chapel, there, in the presence 



200 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

of the whole congregation, before the altar he was again to 
admonish her. If she still persisted in her lies and wicked- 
ness, then let him summon the executioner to strip her of her 
cloister habit before the eyes of all the people. When he 
had further pronounced her degradation from all her conven- 
tual dignities, she was to be put in fetters and carried to the 
witches' tower at Saatzig. 

My worthy father-in-law offered many objections against 
this public degradation, but his Highness was resolved, and 
would listen to no reasons, his wrath was so great against 
the hag. 

Now it may be easily conjectured what crowds of people 
gathered in the chapel when the blessed Sabbath bell rang, 
and the news ran from mouth to mouth, that the witch was 
to be denounced and degraded that day before the altar. 
Never had so many folk been seen within the walls. And 
when the church was so full that not a soul more could 
squeeze in at the doors, the people broke in the windows, 
and setting ladders against them, clambered through, and 
swung themselves right and left on the balustrades, and 
above and below, and on all sides, there was not a spot 
without a human face. Yea, four younkers crowded under 
the baldaquin of the pulpit, and another carl got on the 
altar behind the crucifix, and would have knocked it down, 
but my worthy father-in-law, seeing it shake, caught hold of 
the carl by the tail of his coat, and dragged him forth. 
Item, the whole criminal commission is present ; item, all the 
nuns in their gallery, with the exception of the sub-prioress, 
Dorothea Stettin, who, along with two other women, had de- 
voted themselves to a fearful act of vengeance (which I would 
hardly have believed of them), but it will be related presently. 

As to Sidonia, she had been brought in already, and 
placed on the penitential stool before the altar, after which 
the organ struck up that terrible hymn, 

" Eternity, thou thunder word 1 ' 






SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 201 

Yet, as it happened that the congregation had not got this 
hymn in their Psalm-books, seeing that it was quite a new 
one (which circumstance had been overlooked in the general 
agitation), they were obliged to sing that other, beginning, 

" Now the awful hour has come." 

Then the reverend priest, M. Reutzius, advanced to the 
altar, having first chanted the litany, and there, to obey the 
Duke's behests as nearly as possible, opened his sermon 
with some verses from the afore- mentioned hymn, which I 
shall set down here for the sake of the curious reader : 

" Eternity, thou thunder word ! 
Piercing the soul like sharpest sword, 

Beginning without ending ! 
Eternity ! Time without Time, 
I know not in my grief and crime 

Whereto my soul is tending. 
The fainting heart recoils in fear 
To see thy shadow drawing near. 

In all the world there is no grief 

To which Time brings not some relief, 

Though sorrow wildest rages ; 
But thou, Eternity, can bring 
No balm to lessen hell's fierce sting, 

Through never-ending ages. 
For even Christ Himself hath said, 
' There's no repentance for the dead. ' 

So long as God in Heaven reigns, 
So long shall last the sinner's pains, 

In hell's fierce tortures lying. 
Eternal fires will plague the soul, 
Thirst, hunger, horror, fear, and dole, 

The soul itself undying. 
For hell's dark shades will never flee, 
Till God Himself hath ceased to be ! " 

After which he read out the words of his text to the 
criminal, telling her how his Serene Highness had selected 
the same himself out of paternal clemency and in all upright- 
ness. Then he explained it, admonishing her yet once 



202 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

more to save her poor soul and not plunge it into eternal 
perdition. After this, he kneeled down along with the 
whole congregation, and prayed to the Holy Spirit for her 
conversion, so that every one in the church wept and 
trembled and sobbed. Then he rose up again and spake : 
" I ask you, for the last time, Sidonia von Bork, do you 
confess yourself guilty or not ? " 

And while every one held their breath suspended, the terrible 
sorceress rose up and spake out with bold defiance 

" I am innocent. Curse upon the bloodthirsty Prince, 
who has brought me to this shame ; my blood be upon him 
and upon his race ! " 

" No ! " cried the priest from the altar ; " he hath saved 
his soul ; thy blood be upon thyself, and thy perdition upon 
thine own head ! " 

Then he lifted his right hand as a signal to the executioner, 
whereupon Master Worger stepped forward in his red mantle 
with six assistants. And first he draws forth a pair of scissors 
from beneath his cloak, and cuts off her nun's veil (for by com- 
mand of the criminal judge, she had only a simple veil on 
to-day), and he and his assistants trampled it beneath their 
feet. Then he cuts a slit in her black robe, just beneath the 
chin, and tore it down from head to foot, as a draper tears 
linen, and at this sight, and the harsh sound in the silence of 
the church, many amongst the nuns fainted. When all this 
had been done, and Sidonia now stood there in her white 
under-garment, Master Worger, by command of the court, put 
fetters on her, and riveted them tightly. So that at the ter- 
rible sound of the hammering and clanking, and the thundering 
reverberation through the vaulted church, so great a horror 
and fear fell upon every one present, that all the nuns who had 
not fainted rushed out of the gallery ; item, a crowd of people 
from the nave, and even the priest holding his hands before his 
eyes, hastened after them. 

She was soon lifted up by the executioner and his assistants, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 203 

and thrown into the cart over which the red flag waved ; then 
driven off without delay to Saatzig, a great crowd of people 
trotting along with her. And even in Saatzig the whole 
town ran together when the cart with the criminal was seen 
emerging from the wood, and the executioner blew his trumpet 
to give notice to the warder on the tower of their approach, as 
had been agreed upon. 

Amongst the crowd, however, my Jobst is not to be seen ; 
yet when the cart stops, the beautiful form of Diliana is seen 
pressing forward. She is dressed in a deep mourning mantle, 
and bears a golden beaker of wine in her hand weeps, and 
says mildly 

" Here, dear cousin, drink ! You shall have everything 
as good as I can make it for you, and eat what I and my 
father eat. Ah ! cousin, cousin, wherefore did you not make 
full confession ? " 

Herewith she reached out the beaker to the cart, but the 
evil witch screamed out 

" Confess ! What should I confess, you fool ? Away with 
your stuff; I will not be fed by your charity ! " 

Whereupon she dashed aside the beaker so fiercely that it 
fell to the. ground, and the wine splashed all over the young 
maiden's robe. Then, clenching her withered hand, she shook 
it at the window 

" Ha ! the thick ploughman. Where hath the devil hid 
him ? the thief that stole my rents from Zachow ! This is 
my reward for having cured him ! But wait, I will make 
him repent it yet," &c. 

And she would have gone on much longer with her curses, 
but the executioner gave her another blow with his fist, which 
made her hold her tongue. Then he and his fellows lifted 
her from the cart, and as she was unable to walk from shame, 
and despair, and wrath, they carried her up the winding stairs 
to the witches' tower ; and she glowered into the little chamber 
which she had occupied fifty years before, at the time she 



204 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

murdered poor Clara von Dewitz, for they had to pass by it 
to reach the witches' tower, which lay two flights of stairs 
higher up. 

And when Master Worger laid her down in the damp dark 
hole, and shook out some straw for her to lie on, the knave 
grinned and said " What would she do now for company ? 
The devil would scarcely come ; still a companion would be 
pleasant." 

The witch, however, made no answer, only looked down 
upon the ground, muttering to herself. Whereupon the knave 
laughed again and cried, " Eh, wait, I have got a companion 
for you ! " 

And opening a sack he had brought with him, took out a 
blackened human head, and then two long, black, half-burned 
bones ; placed the bones crosswise on the ground, and set the 
head atop of them, then said, " So, now you have right 
merry company. That is Wolde's head, as you may perceive ; 
and now ye may conjure the devil together as ye were wont." 
Then, grinning maliciously, he went out, locking the prison 
door upon the unfortunate wretch and the death's-head. 

Meanwhile, my Jobst and his fair daughter are plunged in 
great perplexity and despair at the Duke's cruel order to have 
Sidonia sent to their castle of Saatzig. Therefore, the indig- 
nant knight sat down and wrote an earnest remonstrance to 
his Highness the Duke, and prayed his Grace, therefore, to 
remove this millstone from his neck, or he would resign the 
post of Governor of Saatzig, and withdraw to his own good 
castle of Pansin. This letter he despatched by a running 
courier to Old Stettin, and it produced a good effect upon 
the Duke ; for, in three days, an order arrived for Sidonia's 
removal to Oderburg ; and the crowds gathered round the 
cart, from all parts, to see her as she passed along as thick 
as if it had been the time of the annual fair. 

God be thanked, I have now got her as far as the Odenburg ! 
For as concerning her long imprisonment there, her frequent 



S1DONIA THE SORCERESS 205 

examinations, and, finally, the question by torture, what need 
for me to relate them here, seeing that your Highness and 
your illustrious brothers were present during all behind the 
green screen ? I, too, Doctor Theodore Plonnies, assisted 
at the trial as high-sheriff, Anton Petersdorf was protonotarius 
to the criminal court, and Johann Caude, the notarius, con- 
ducted the protocol/urn. Besides, when I look back and think 
of her shrieks, and how the dry withered limbs writhed and 
cracked upon the wheel, till the black blood poured forth from 
her nails and teeth, my head swims and the sight leaves my 
eyes therefore, away with it ! This only will I notice, that 
her advocate, Doctor Elias Pauli, preserved her in truth for 
a year and a day from the rack and a bitter death, by his keen 
and cunning devices, thinking that she would make away with 
herself some way or other, by mercury or else, to escape the 
stake. But no such thing : she was as afraid of death as a 
cat of hot broth ; so at last he had to suffer justice to take 
its course. Whereupon this Satan's hag, on the 2 8th July 
1620, at four o'clock in the afternoon, pursuant to a decree 
of the electoral-court of judges of Magdeburg in Saxony, was 
brought into the great hall at Oderburg, and there stretched 
upon the rack, as I have above mentioned, to force her to a 
confession upon seventeen articulos inquisitionales, many of 
which I have noticed here and there through the preceding 
chapters. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Of the execution of Sidonia and the 'wedding of Diliana. 

AFTER the torture, the poor malicious old wretch became so 
weak that she thought herself like to die, and therefore bade 
my worthy godfather, Doctor Cramer, to be brought to her 
that she might make full confession at last. And her repent- 
ance, in truth, seemed earnest and real now; for after the 



2o6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

communion she bade them bring her her coffin then sat up, 
and looking at it for a long while in silence, at last said 

" I shall soon rest there in peace ; meantime, carry it out 
again till I am dead." 

But such a hunger for the blessed sacrament was caused 
by her death fears, and not by holy repentance ; for as she 
did not die, but rather after some days grew strong again 
(probably because the Lord God chose to spare her yet 
longer, for a more fearful and terrible warning to all sinners), 
she returned, " like a sow, to her wallowing in the mire." 
And more particularly did she spit forth her poisonous curses 
upon the whole princely race, when the court-painter, Matthias 
Eller, arrived at the prison with an order from his Highness, 
to paint her portrait, now in her hideous old age, behind that 
which he had seen at Wolgast, representing her in the prime 
of youthful beauty. Long did she weep and groan when she 
looked upon the portrait of what she had been sixty years 
before ; then clenched her fists, and cursed to all eternity the 
princely race which had first brought her to public dishonour 
she so young and innocent and not content with that, now 
thirsted to see her noble blood flow from the gallows. 

" Ah, that was indeed the portrait of her youth ! for her 
princely bridegroom had got it painted secretly, because of 
his haughty arrogant mother, by a painter in Wolgast ; but 
she had revenged herself on the proud old woman at last. 
The golden chain was her own, but the gold hair-band and 
the sable collar had been a present from her young bride- 
groom. And now, what was left of all her pomp and mag- 
nificence ! See what these accursed princes had brought 
her to with their envy, arrogance, and savage vengeance 
she that was the richest lady in the land was now the 
poorest beggar, and had not wherewithal even to purchase 
a death-shift." 

Meanwhile the report spread throughout all Pomerania 
land that Sidonia was dead, and had been privately buried. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 207 

The cause was this, when the executioner and his fellows 
carried out her coffin after she had seen it, they told the 
eager and curious rabble, who gathered round and had been 
roaring out for her death, that she was dead already and 
lay within, and so they would lose the fun of seeing her 
burned ; and this they said in jest, to disappoint the filthy 
and savage mob. So the news spread through the land and 
reached Saatzig, where it was confirmed by an honourable 
knight from Old Stettin, who answered them on oath that 
he had seen her coffin carried out with his own eyes. So 
my Jobst and his fair daughter are glad, and thank God 
that one of their noble race had been spared the disgrace of 
falling by the hands of the hangman ; the young Diliana, in 
especial, rejoices, and when her lover arrived from Pansin 
in the afternoon (for he was grown well and strong again), 
she threw herself on his bosom, rapturously exclaiming 

" Dearest George, our poor cousin is dead ; now may the 
wedding be now may the banns be published ! " 

However, the news soon came how the mistake had 
happened, and that Sidonia was still alive. But as the 
banns had been already published and the wedding fixed for 
the 1 8th of July, Diliana at length consented to abide by 
the arrangement, particularly as they heard also that the 
execution would be delayed for some time, in consequence 
of the Elector of Saxony having sent in his protest against 
it to the Ducal Court of Stettin. Indeed, so many powerful 
princes protested against this public disgrace, by reason of 
Sidonia' s high rank, that many thought she would be allowed 
to go away perfectly free. 

Summa. Already, by the evening of the I yth, the noble 
guests had gathered at Saatzig, and of the Borks, almost 
the whole illustrious race is present; among whom were 
particularly noticeable the Honourable Aulic Councillors, 
and Councillors of Administration, Just, Andreas, and 
Henning. Item, all the Putkammers, among whom came 



208 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

the old burgomaster Wolff, with his sons, Benedictus, Asso, 
Gerson, Matthias, Wolfgang, &c. So that by midnight the 
castle rang with merriment and revelry ; and old Jobst Bork 
was so beside himself with joy, that he flung the empty flasks, 
as he drained them, up at the monks' heads which were 
carved round the capitals of the pillars in the great knights' 
hall, crying out, " That is for thee, monk ! " 

But the festive night hath a sad morning, without talking 
of all the drinkers who snored till mid-day. However, 
all were ready at last to go to the bridal, only waiting for 
Matzke Bork, the princely chamberlain, who had promised, 
if possible, to be present at the marriage, along with his 
Serene Highness himself, Duke Francis. So they watched 
from the windows, and they watched from the towers, but 
never a one of them is to be seen ; and the guests impatiently 
pace up and down the great hall, which is all wreathed and 
decorated with flowers and banners. But the young bride- 
groom is the most impatient of all. He paced up and 
down the hall, arm-in-arm, with his betrothed, when at last 
a carriage was heard approaching, and every eye was turned 
to the window, but Matzke Bork sits in it alone. He enters 
disturbed and mournful, and when the knight of Saatzig asks 
him where he has left his Highness the Duke, he answers 

" The Duke will drink blood in place of wine to-day ! 
Listen, good cousins, to what the Duke hath resolved con- 
cerning our kinswoman Sidonia. Her sentence hath been 
pronounced, and this very day will be carried into effect: 
first, her nose and ears are to be torn up with red-hot irons, 
at three different quarters of the town, by the public hangman, 
and afterwards she is to be burned alive at a slow fire." 

When he ended, all the Borks present screamed with 
horror, and gathered round him : " And was it not possible 
yet to change this sentence ? " 

But Matzke answered, "He had tried all entreaties, but 
in vain ; even three times he had cast himself on his knees 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 209 

before his Highness, yet could obtain no mitigation ; for his 
Grace was incensed against the witch, because of her arrogant 
defiance, and her stubborn refusal to remove the spell from 
the princely race, and sent orders to the executioner to build 
the pile by eight of the clock on the following morning, 
and burn her alive thereon." 

When he ceased speaking, the uproar in the hall rose to 
the highest. Some of Sidonia's kin, amongst whom was 
Jobst, swore the devil's hag deserved it all ; and how could 
her death bring dishonour upon them ? But some thought 
evil of the insult offered to their race, and cursed his High- 
ness, and would spring to their saddles and ride to Stettin 
on the instant. 

Matzke, however, lifted his voice, and bade them have 
reason. "They must endure what could not be altered. 
Jobst was right : was the proud oak the worse because a 
rotten branch was lopped off? Were they to come before 
his Highness with such mien and gesture, why, he would 
straight order them all to be clapped into prison, and then, 
indeed, would disgrace rest on their illustrious name. No, 
no ; for God's sake, let them rest here. His Grace was 
too full of wrath now to listen even to his preachers, the 
ministers of God. How, then, would he hear them ? Let 
them rather rest in peace, and forget the fate of their evil 
cousin in the festivities of the bridal." 

" Ay, good cousins and guests," quoth the bridegroom, 
" let us to the bridal, and the Word of God will calm us, 
and bring us upon other thoughts. But where is my beloved 
Diliana?" 

They sought her in the hall in vain ! They ran all 
through the castle in vain ! Diliana is away, and no one 
knows whither she has gone. 

But the maiden hath a brave spirit, and hath wrapped a 
black mantle belonging to her mourning robes over her bridal 
dress, and drawn the hood over her myrtle wreath ; then 

VOL. II. O 



210 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

taking the shift of her grandmother, Clara, in her hand, 
which she had kept ready by her for such a case, she 
descended to the stables, where there were only two grooms 
to be seen, all the others having joined the crowd round 
the church to catch a sight of the bridal procession, had 
the best palfrey saddled, took one groom with her, pressed 
some money into the hand of the other, and bade him not 
tell, for three hours, that she had gone to Old Stettin. 
Then rode away, striking, however, into a bypath, to 
deceive the guests, in case they should attempt to follow her. 
And her journey ended all safely; for in four hours she 
was in Old Stettin, without having been pursued. And 
reaching the ducal residence, she alighted, hastened up 
the stairs, bowed proudly to the princely official without 
uttering a word, and proceeded straight to the apartment of 
the Duke. There threw off her travelling hood and mantle, 
and knocked bravely at the door. 

" Enter ! " exclaimed the voice of his Highness. Upon 
which the beautiful maiden in her bridal robes, and the 
myrtle wreath on her hair, stepped in. At which sight 
his Grace, who was reclining on a couch, started up, took 
her hand smiling, and asked " For the love of Heaven, 
what brought her hither upon her festal-day ? " 

So she began : " This was no festal-day, but a day of 
shame to her and her whole race, because of the horrible 
and incredible tidings brought to them by Matzke Bork, 
respecting their old kinswoman, Sidonia; therefore she had 
left bridegroom, bridal, and festival, and ridden away alone, 
to see if she could not turn away such a disgrace from her 
noble race, and such horrible torture from her poor old 
kinswoman. Had she not freely perilled her life for his 
Grace ? If they had not succeeded, at least it was no 
fault of hers. Let him recall the terrible decree, and if her 
cousin deserved death, as she doubted not, command her 
to be beheaded, as had at first been agreed upon. This, at 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 211 

least, was a more honourable and less painful death. His 
Grace must grant her prayer, for she would not move from 
the spot until he did so." 

But his Grace is inexorable, and recapitulates all the sins of 
the demon hag ; " how she had defied him, and made a mock 
of the holy sacrament ; and wherefore did he bear the sword 
from God, if it were not as a just Prince, to set her forth a 
terrible warning and example to all ; for witchcraft was in- 
creasing day by day in the land, and witches were almost as 
plenty as flies." 

His Grace then paced up and down a long while in silence. 
At last spake 

"Now, for thy sake, the first decree shall hold good, 
although never was one so unworthy of my favour as this 
hag." 

Whereat the young virgin was so moved with gratitude, 
that she fell down on her knees before his Grace, and be- 
dewed his hand with her tears. 

Just then some one knocked, and the jailer entered 

" The witch had taken another fit of conversion, and prayed 
for a priest. Item, for a fresh shift, for she had not changed 
her linen for four weeks, and no one would give her a fresh 
shift." 

When Diliana heard this she wondered much over the 
dark providence of God, and said " Wait, I will give thee 
a shift for her ;" stepped out into the gallery and took Clara's, 
No. 7, which she had brought with her, out of her travelling 
mantle, and, in truth, this was the very shift in which the 
murderess was carried to her death. 

Summa. The jailer hath scarcely got the said shift under 
his arm, when the clatter of footsteps is heard upon the stairs, 
and then another knock at the Duke's apartment, and this was 
my knight George Putkammer, who rushed in, arrayed in his 
wedding finery, but all covered over with dust, since he had 
not given himself time to fling a cloak over his dress. He 



212 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

clasped his young bride to his heart, and half scolded her 
for leaving him privately before the bridal. But when he 
heard of her noble courage, and what she had accomplished, 
he was glad again, and kissed ^he hand of his Grace, and he 
must now grant them one favour more, and return with them 
to the wedding. " The distance was only five miles, and he 
had the finest Malmsey that ever was drunk to present to his 
Highness. " 

At this hearing his Grace exclaimed 

" Eh, George, where have you got the Malmsey ? Ha ! 
younker, hast thou a cup of Malmsey ? I will go with thee 
right heartily to Saatzig ! " 

And his Grace wanted to order carriages instantly to carry 
them all off, that so they might arrive that same evening at 
the castle, but Diliana objected 

" No, she would stand by her word, and never hold bridal 
in Saatzig until her poor cousin lay at rest in her grave. 
This night she would remain in the town, and not leave it 
until she had seen the last of her poor cousin." 

A long strife now ensued, but Diliana remained firm to her 
resolve. So his Highness said, at last, that he would play 
the messenger himself, and journey off to the wedding the 
moment he had given orders to his chancellor respecting the 
change of Sidonia's sentence. He was better pleased not to 
be in the place when she was executed. Diliana could stay 
the night in the castle with his dear spouse, the Duchess, and 
the knight might look after a place for himself. He would 
desire all the wedding-guests to be ready to-morrow at mid- 
day for the bridal, and if Diliana and the knight disliked 
riding, let them order a carriage from the marshal of his 
stables, with fresh Frisian horses, and in a couple of hours 
they would be at Saatzig. 

However, Diliana would not remain the night in the castle, 
but went to her cousin, the lady of Matzke Bork, because 
her house stood not far from the place of execution, although 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 213 

the place itself was not visible, and my younker went down 
sorrowfully to the inn to pass the night there, but betimes in 
the morning was up and off to his dear little bride. He finds 
her in the second story, but no longer in her bridal magnifi- 
cence ; a black mourning garment covered her entire person ; 
and when the knight started in dismay at her appearance, 
she said 

" That no other robes beseemed a Bork when one of their 
race was going to her death ; and she heard that the pro- 
cession to the scaffold was to come that way from the 
Otterburg, and would pass in half-an-hour, therefore she 
was prepared to behold it. It was well that the scaffold 
itself was hidden from their sight ; but would her dear 
George just go over and bid some one hoist a flag when 
the head of her cousin fell." 

So the knight did her will, but when he returned said 

" Diliana, if thou givest me so many nuts to crack when 
we are married, methinks it will be an evil thing." 

To which she answered mildly 

" No, dear George, after marriage it is the wife who 
cracks all the hard nuts, but to-day, dearest, it is thy office. 
I know not why, but I have a feeling over me to-day as if 
the soul of my poor grandmother would be at rest after this 
execution, and that Sidonia herself will be, in some sense, 
pardoned through the means of that death-shift, No. 7 ; yet 
wherefore I think this I know not." 

Just then a dull, hoarse, murmuring sound was heard in 
the distance, like the heaving of the waves when thunder 
is in the air, and the Lady Matzke's maid rushed in ex- 
claiming " She's coming ! she's coming ! " Then Diliana 
trembled and turned pale, but still advanced to the balcony 
with her cousin and the young knight. 

At length the terrible sorceress herself appears in sight, 
accompanied by the school, chanting the death-psalm. She 
wore a white robe seamed with black, and Diliana recog- 



214 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

nises, with a shudder, that this is indeed Clara's shift, for 
she had herself thus stitched the seams in order to know it ; 
but besides, the No. 7 was plainly discernible on the neck. 
She walked barefoot, and round her head was bound a black 
fillet flowered with gold, from beneath which her long white 
hair fluttered in the wind. 

Diliana contemplates all this awhile shudderingly, then 
covers her face with both hands, and sobs and weeps, so that 
the tears pour down through the delicate little fingers, and 
my younker hath enough to do to comfort her. But when 
the procession disappears she dries her eyes, re-enters the 
chamber, and folding her hands across her bosom, walks up 
and down, praying earnestly, until the red Danish flag shoots 
up. Then she sighed deeply, and drying her beautiful eyes 
again said softly 

" May God have mercy upon her soul, now her tortures 
are over ! " 

Scarcely are the words uttered ere a dense cloud of smoke 
ascends above the fisher's house, rising higher and higher, 
like a lofty black tower in the air, so that they all con- 
jectured " Now she is burning on the pile," and shud- 
dered, yet are content withal that at last her fearful life 
has ended. 

Then they all knelt down and repeated the Lord's 
Prayer ; then rising, addressed themselves in earnest for their 
homeward journey. 

And here, with the death of Sidonia, I might justly close 
my book, merely stating in addition, that her ashes were 
laid in the burial ground for the poor, and that some time 
after the gentle Diliana caused a tombstone to be erected 
over them, out of Christian charity and forgiveness. But 
as some say his Highness the Duke got his death at the 
wedding of Diliana, I shall briefly narrate the facts here, 
to please the curious reader. 

For the said Duke was so much taken with the Malmsey 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 215 

wine, that he sat up drinking the whole night, and next 
morning his legs were swelled to that degree that his boots 
had to be cut off with knives. So that when the bridal 
pair arrived, his Grace had to receive them in slippers, yet 
rejoiced much at hearing that all was over ; and then, 
scarcely giving Diliana time to recover herself, despatched 
the whole company off to the church. Not, however, with- 
out giving serious admonitions, both to the priest and the 
knight, George, not to let the ring drop. For if Dr. 
Luther, the thoughtless lubberhead, had not let the ring 
fall at the wedding of his grandfather in Forgau, it would 
have been better with him and his whole race, as his grand- 
mother of blessed memory had always said, and now indeed 
he saw she had spoken wisely. 

Now my Jobst in the confusion of voices, hearing only the 
word " monk," thought his Grace was speaking of the monks' 
heads on the capitals of the pillars in the hall. So seeing 
two empty flasks, shouted, " Ay, that is for thee, monk ! " 
and pitched them crash ! crash ! with such force up at the 
monks, that the pieces flew about the ears of the musicians 
who were to play before the bridal pair going to church, and 
a loud peal of laughter rang through the hall after which 
they all set off for the wedding at last. And in truth this 
was a blessed marriage. 

But respecting the illustrious and princely race of Pome- 
rania, they perished each and all without leaving behind one 
single inheritor of their name or possessions. Not, methinks, 
because of the spell which the demoniac sorceress laid on 
them, but because He loved this race so well, that He with- 
drew them from this evil world before the dreadful strifes, 
wars, and calamities came upon them, which our poor 
fatherland now endures. For before these storms broke 
over our heads, He called them one by one from this vale of 
tears, and truly, the first was his Highness Duke Francis, 
for in a few months after SidomVs execution, after a brief 



216 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

illness, on the 2yth December 1620, he fell asleep in God, 
aged 43 years, 8 months, and 3 days, without leaving 
children. The next was Bishop Udalricus, who likewise 
became suddenly ill at Pribbernow, near Stepnitz, with 
swollen body and limbs, and had to lie there until his death, 
on the 3ist October 1622, when, to the great grief and 
consternation of the whole land, his young life closed at the 
early age of 34 years, and he too left no children, though he 
had a young and beautiful spouse. The next who died was 
Duke Philip Julius of Wolgast, the only son of Ernest 
Ludovicus and his spouse Hedwig. He was a wise and 
just ruler, but followed the others soon, on the i6th February 
1625, aged only 40 years, I month, and 28 days likewise, 
as all the rest, left no children. 

But our Lord God hath not withdrawn so many and 
noble princes from the world without sending forth strange 
and wonderful, signs to forewarn the land; for, without 
speaking of the great thunderclap which was heard all of a 
sudden in the middle of clear fine weather, the winter after 
Sidonia's death, and the numberless mock suns that appeared 
in different places, or of that strange rain, when a sulphureous 
matter, like starch in appearance, fell from the air (item, a 
snow-white pike was caught at Colzow in Wellin, seven 
quarters long, and half an ell broad, with red round eyes, 
and red fins), a stranger wonder than all was seen at 
Wolgast ; for suddenly, during a review held there, one of 
the soldier's muskets went off without a finger being laid on 
it, and the ball went right through the princely Pomeranian 
standard with such precision, that the arms seemed to have 
been cut out all round with a sharp knife. At Stettin 
also, in the castle-chapel, one of the crowns suspended 
over the stalls fell down of itself; but still more awful was 
what happened respecting Bogislaus XIII., last father of 
all the Pomeranian princes. For all along, by the pillars 
of the aisle, there are figures in armour representing the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 217 

deceased dukes. And during the sermon one Sunday, 
the sword fell clanging to the ground from the hand of 
the armed figure representing Bogislaus XIII., though no 
human hand ever touched it. At this sight every one was 
troubled in spirit, but woe, alas ! we now see what all these 
supernatural signs and wonders denoted ! Yet still we 
have one noble prince remaining with the ancient blood of 
Pomerania in his veins. May the Lord God spare him 
long to us, and bless him, like Abraham, with a son in his 
old age. Such an Isaac would be a blessed sight to me ; 
for when the last branch falls, I know that my poor heart 
will break also ! 

DR. THEODORUS PLONNIES. 



CONCLUSION. 

Mournful destiny of the last princely Pomeranian remains 
My visit to the ducal Pomeranian vault in Wolgast, on 
the 6th May 1840. 

BOGISLAFF XIV., who as a truth-loving, amicable, and 
pious glossator, has annotated so many places in our text, 
found this " last and happy hour," which he had so long 
desired, on the loth March 1637. When he had attained 
the age of fifty- seven years, his death occurred at a period of 
unexampled misery, the like of which before or since was 
never seen in our whole German fatherland. Yet the destiny 
of the Zantalides which followed the princely Pomeranian 
house, seemed in no way propitiated even by their death. 
No ; it raged, and rages still, against the last poor remains of 
their mouldering clay. Bogislaif, during the horrors of the 
thirty years' war, remained for seventeen years unburied, 
because none of the princes who fought for the possession of 
Pomerania would consent to bear the expense of the burial, 



218 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

and the land was too poor to take the cost upon itself. Yet 
his corpse suffered no further indignities like those of his 
princely kinsfolk of Wolgast. For after ninety- four years 
we find him still lying calmly in his coffin, looking upward to 
his God through the little window which he so often sighed 
after. We shall first take a look at him before we descend 
into the Wolgast vault to contemplate the disgusting sacri- 
lege which has been perpetrated and permitted there. Every 
reader of sensibility will feel interested in the following details, 
which are taken from Oelrich's valuable work, " Memorials 
of the Pomeranian Dukes," p. 87 : 

"On the i Qth of April 1731, a royal commission opened 
the vault in the castle-church of Stettin, wherein many of the 
noble princes of Pomerania lay buried, and the coffin of Duke 
Bogislaff was broken open by especial command. The body 
was found quite perfect. Even the face was tolerably pre- 
served, though the eyes had fallen in ; for the skin had dried 
over the features, and the beard was long and somewhat red ; 
the coffin was lined throughout with violet velvet (some say 
black), bordered with stones which had the appearance of 
turquoise. The corpse was dressed in a surplice, similar in 
form to that worn by priests at the present day, but fringed 
with silver, and likewise ornamented with turquoise. Upon 
the left hand there was a diamond ring and another. The 
diamond was quite pale, and the right hand was lying close 
to the side, as if going to seize the dagger. Farther, they 
found a long and massive gold chain suspended round the 
neck, and upon the breast a silver plate, like the bottom of a 
silver beaker, upon which the Pomeranian arms were en- 
graved. 

" Beneath the coffin of this last Duke of Pomerania lay 
the ducal flag, but the pole was broken in two, either from 
design or in consequence of decay ; and above the coffin 
were remains of crape and mouldered fragments of velvet. 
Lave anima pia / 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 219 

"But the princely remains of Wolgast had indeed a 
mournful destiny. True ; they were not left unburied for a 
number of years, but they were plundered and outraged, in 
such a disgraceful and revolting manner, by church-robbers, 
that it is impossible even to read the account of it in the 
Swedish protocol of 2ist June 1688, from which Heller 
gives extracts in his * Chronicle of the Town of Wolgast,' 
p. 346, without as much pain as emotion.* 

" Yet the Swedish Government seemed content to rest with 
the simple investigation, and took no trouble about, or showed 
the least respect for, the ashes of those to whom they were 
indebted for land and people. For the coffins lay there just 
as the robbers left them broken open with axes and hatchets, 
or wrenched asunder with crowbars, and still lie in this state. 
However the vault was closed up, and no one was permitted 
to enter it unless in the presence of one of the reigning family ; 
for this reason very few ever beheld these mournful remains. 
I myself would probably never have had an opportunity of so 
doing, only that the Prussian Government resolved on building 
some additions to the Wolgast church ; and, at the same 
time, desired the foundation to be evened, for it had sunk in 
various places, and afterwards to wall up the princely vault 
for ever. In order to work at the foundation, it was neces- 
sary to remove the great stone which covered the entrance to 
the vault, and many along with myself availed themselves of 
this last opportunity to visit the interior. Therefore, on the 
day named above, I descended with deep emotion the steps 
that led to it. I found the vault was divided into two com- 
partments, having vaulted roofs of about seven or eight feet 
high. In the first partition no coffin whatever was to be 
seen, but I could distinguish already the glitter of the tin 
coffins in the second compartment, which was reached by a 

* Only one of these robbers was seized he was whipped and ban- 
ished ; the second hanged himself, and the other escaped. One was a 
Jew ; the other two wera the sexton and gravedigger of the church. 



220 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

further descent of a few steps, and lit up by the torches and 
lanterns of numerous visitors who had preceded me. The 
coffins were nine in number, and mostly covered with tin ; 
each lay on a tressel of mason-work, and bore the marks, 
more or less, of the violence that had been employed to 
wrench them open. 

" The strong Philip I. began the mournful range. A gen- 
tleman handed me his skull, in which scarcely a tooth was 
wanting. Then I searched in the adjoining coffin for that of 
his spouse Maria, ' my gracious Lady of Wolgast,' of Doctor 
Theodore's History. I found it, took it in the other hand, and 
cannot describe the strange feeling which came over me. 

" When I had indulged some time in strange and deep 
emotions, I laid down the honourable relics again in their 
coffins, and stepped to that of Ernest Ludovic, the unfor- 
tunate lover of the still more unfortunate Sidonia. According 
to the protocol of 1688, which I held in my hand, there was 
to be seen there a violet velvet mantle, and a cap without any- 
thing inside. There they were nothing more to find all 
fallen in dust, the weak head as the weak heart ! Close to him 
lay his unfortunate wife, Sophia Hedwig of Brunswick, both 
the most beautiful persons of their time. 

" But my interest was excited most by the contemplation of 
Philip Julius, the last Duke of Pommern- Wolgast, who has only 
received a passing notice in this book, but who was one of the 
most gifted, and probably the most lamented Prince of his 
thousand- year- old race. His coffin was of far costlier work- 
manship than the others, and decorated with a row of gilded 
angels' heads ; near it stood the black wooden tressel, upon 
which it had originally been placed, and which looked as fresh 
as if it had been only just placed there, instead of having lain 
in the vault for two hundred and fifteen years. A strange 
sensation crept over me ! We were both silent, till at last the 
gentleman began to search with his hand in the grey mouldering 
dust, and along with some rags of velvet, he brought up a damp, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 221 

discoloured scrap of paper, which he carelessly tore ; but I 
instantly seized it, and joined the pieces together again, for 
the signification of such little notes in the coffins of old times 
was not unknown to me. 

" And, in fact, I found what I sought ; there was not only 
marked on it the date of the Duke's burial, the 6th of May, 
which had a mystic significance to me, since it was on the 
very 6th of May that I was now standing to contemplate 
these mute yet eloquent graves, but also there was noted down 
the text from which the funeral sermon had been preached 
(2 Tim. iv. 7), as well as the list of the psalms sung on the 
occasion, among which the closing psalm 'When sorrow 
assails thee, 7 is still to be found in most hymn-books. But 
my poor old Pomeranian heart could bear no more : I placed 
the paper again in the coffin ; and, while the tears poured 
from my eyes as I ascended the steps, those beautiful old 
verses came into my head, and I could not help reciting them 
aloud : 

' So must human pomp and state 
In the grave lie desolate. 
He who wore the kingly Town, 
With the base worm lieth i nwn : 
Ermined robe, and purple pall, 
Leaveth he at death's weird call. 

Fleeting, cheating human life, 
Souls are perilled in thy strife ; 
Yet the pomps in which we trust, 
All must perish ! dust to dust. 
God alone will ever be ; 
Who serves Him reigns eternally ! ' " 



MARY SCHWEIDLER 
THE AMBER WITCH 



THE MOST INTERESTING TRIAL FOR 
WITCHCRAFT EVER KNOWN 



PRINTED FROM AN IMPERFECT MANUSCRIPT BY HER FATHER 

ABRAHAM SCHWEIDLER, THE PASTOR OF COSEROW 

IN THE ISLAND OF USEDOM 



EDITED BY 

WILLIAM MEINHOLD 

DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY 



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY 

LADY DUFF GORDON 



PREFACE 



IN laying before the public this deeply affecting and romantic 
trial, which I have not without reason called on the 
title-page the most interesting of all trials for witchcraft 
ever known, I will first give some account of the history of 
the manuscript. 

At Coserow, in the island of Usedom, my former cure, 
the same which was held by our worthy author some two 
hundred years ago, there existed under a seat in the choir of 
the church a sort of niche, nearly on a level with the floor. 
I had, indeed, often seen a heap of various writings in this 
recess ; but owing to my short sight, and the darkness of 
the place, I had taken them for antiquated hymn-books, 
which were lying about in great numbers. But one day, 
while I was teaching in the church, I looked for a paper 
mark in the Catechism of one of the boys, which I could not 
immediately find ; and my old sexton, who was past eighty 
(and who, although called Appelmann, was thoroughly unlike 
his namesake in our story, being a very worthy, although a 
most ignorant man), stooped down to the said niche, and 
took from it a folio volume which I had never before 
observed, out of which he, without the slightest hesitation, 
tore a strip of paper suited to my purpose, and reached it to 
me. I immediately seized upon the book, and, after a 
few minutes' perusal, I know not which was greater, my 
astonishment or my vexation at this costly prize. The 
manuscript, which was bound in vellum, was not only defec- 
tive both at the beginning and at the end, but several leaves 

VOL. II. 22 5 P 



226 PREFACE 

had even been torn out here and there in the middle. I 
scolded the old man as I had never done during the whole 
course of my life ; but he excused himself, saying that one 
of my predecessors had given him the manuscript for waste 
paper, as it had lain about there ever since the memory of 
man, and he had often been in want of paper to twist round 
the altar-candles, &c. The aged and half-blind pastor had 
mistaken the folio for old parochial accounts which could be 
of no more use to any one.* 

No sooner had I reached home than I fell to work upon 
my new acquisition, and after reading a bit here and there 
with considerable trouble, my interest was powerfully excited 
by the contents. 

I soon felt the necessity of making myself better acquainted 
with the nature and conduct of these witch trials, with the 
proceedings, nay, even with the history of the whole period 
in which these events occur. But the more I read of these 
extraordinary stories, the more was I confounded ; and neither 
the trivial Becker (Die bezauberte Welt, "The Enchanted 
World"), nor the more careful Horst (Zauberb'ibliothek, "The 
Library of Magic"), to which, as well as to several other 
works on the same subject, I had flown for information, could 
resolve my doubts, but rather served to increase them. 

Not alone is the demoniacal character, which pervades 
nearly all these fearful stories, so deeply marked, as to fill 
the attentive reader with feelings of alternate horror and 
dismay, but the eternal and unchangeable laws of human 
feeling and action are often arrested in a manner so violent 
and unforeseen, that the understanding is entirely baffled. 
For instance, one of the original trials which a friend of 
mine, a lawyer, discovered in our province, contains the 

* The original manuscript does indeed contain several accounts 
which at first sight may have led to this mistake ; besides, the hand- 
writing is extremely difficult to read, and in several places the paper is 
discoloured and decayed. 



PREFACE 



227 



account of a mother, who, after she had suffered the torture, 
and received the holy Sacrament, and was on the point of 
going to the stake, so utterly lost all maternal feeling, that 
her conscience obliged her to accuse as a witch her only 
dearly loved daughter, a girl of fifteen, against whom no 
one had ever entertained a suspicion, in order, as she said, to 
save her poor soul. The court, justly amazed at an event 
which probably has never since been paralleled, caused the 
state of the mother's mind to be examined both by clergy- 
men and physicians, whose original testimonies are still 
appended to the records, and are all highly favourable to her 
soundness of mind. The unfortunate daughter, whose name 
was Elizabeth Hegel, was actually executed on the strength 
of her mother's accusation.* 

The explanation commonly received at the present day, 
that these phenomena were produced by means of animal 
magnetism, is utterly insufficient. How, for instance, could 
this account for the deeply demoniacal nature of old Lizzie 
Kolken as exhibited in the following pages ? It is utterly 
incomprehensible, and perfectly explains why the old pastor, 
notwithstanding the horrible deceits practised on him in the 
person of his daughter, retained as firm a faith in the truth of 
witchcraft as in that of the Gospel. 

During the earlier centuries of the Middle Ages little was 
known of witchcraft. The crime of magic, when it did 
occur, was leniently punished. For instance, the council of 
Ancyra (314) ordained the whole punishment of witches to 
consist in expulsion from the Christian community. The 
Visigoths punished them with stripes, and Charlemagne, by 
advice of his bishops, confined them in prison until such time 
as they should sincerely repent.-)- It was not until very 
soon before the Reformation, that Innocent VIII. lamented 

* It is my intention to publish this trial also, as it possesses very 
great psychological interest, 
t Horst, Zauberbibliottiek, vi. p. 231. 



228 PREFACE 

that the complaints of universal Christendom against the 
evil practices of these women had become so general and 
so loud, that the most vigorous measures must be taken 
against them; and towards the end of the year 1489, he 
caused the notorious Hammer for Witches (Malleus Malle- 
ficarum} to be published, according to which proceedings 
were set on foot with the most fanatical zeal, not only in 
Catholic, but, strange to say, even in Protestant Christen- 
dom, which in other respects abhorred everything belonging 
to Catholicism. Indeed, the Protestants far outdid the 
Catholics in cruelty, until, among the latter, the noble- 
minded Jesuit, J. Spee, and among the former, but not until 
seventy years later, the excellent Thomasius, by degrees put 
a stop to these horrors. 

After careful examination into the nature and charac- 
teristics of witchcraft, I soon perceived that among all these 
strange and often romantic stories, not one surpassed my 
" amber witch " in lively interest ; and I determined to throw 
her adventures into the form of a romance. Fortunately, 
however, I was soon convinced that her story was already 
in itself the most interesting of all romances ; and that I 
should do far better to leave it in its original antiquated 
form, omitting whatever would be uninteresting to modern 
readers, or so universally known as to need no repetition. 
I have therefore attempted, not indeed to supply what is 
missing at the beginning and end, but to restore those 
leaves which have been torn out of the middle, imitating, as 
accurately as I was able, the language and manner of the 
old biographer, in order that the difference between the 
original narrative, and my own interpolations, might not be 
too evident. 

This I have done with much trouble, and after many 
ineffectual attempts ; but I refrain from pointing out the 
particular passages which I have supplied, so as not to dis- 
turb the historical interest of the greater part of my readers. 



PREFACE 229 

For modern criticism, which has now attained to a degree of 
acuteness never before equalled, such a confession would be 
entirely superfluous, as critics will easily distinguish the 
passages where Pastor Schweidler speaks from those written 
by Pastor Meinhold. 

I am, nevertheless, bound to give the public some account 
of what I have omitted, namely 

ist. Such long prayers as were not very remarkable for 
Christian unction. 

2d. Well-known stories out of the Thirty Years' War. 

3d. Signs and wonders in the heavens, which were seen 
here and there, and which are recorded by other Pomeranian 
writers of these fearful times ; for instance, by Micraelius.* 
But when these events formed part of the tale itself, as, for 
instance, the cross on the Streckelberg, I, of course, allowed 
them to stand. 

4th. The specification of the whole income of the church 
at Coserow, before and during the terrible times of the 
Thirty Years' War. 

5th. The enumeration of the dwellings left standing, after 
the devastations made by the enemy in every village through- 
out the parish. 

6th. The names of the districts to which this or that 
member of the congregation had emigrated. 

yth. A ground plan and description of the old manse. 

I have likewise here and there ventured to make a few 
changes in the language, as my author is not always consistent 
in the use of his words or in his orthography. The latter I 
have, however, with very few exceptions, retained. 

And thus I lay before the gracious reader a work, glowing 
with the fire of heaven, as well as with that of hell. 

MEINHOLD. 

* Vom Alien Pommerlande (Of Old Pomerania), book v. 



THE AMBER WITCH 



THE AMBER WITCH 



INTRODUCTION. 

THE origin of our biographer cannot be traced with any 
degree of certainty, owing to the loss of the first part of his 
manuscript. It is, however, pretty clear that he was not 
a Pomeranian, as he says he was in Silesia in his youth, and 
mentions relations scattered far and wide, not only at Ham- 
burg and Cologne, but even at Antwerp ; above all, his 
South-German language betrays a foreign origin, and he 
makes use of words, which are, I believe, peculiar to Swabia. 
He must, however, have been living for a long time in 
Pomerania at the time he wrote, as he even more frequently 
uses Low- German expressions, such as occur in contemporary 
native Pomeranian writers. 

Since he sprang from an ancient noble family, as he says 
on several occasions, it is possible that some particulars relating 
to the Schweidlers might be discovered in the family records 
of the seventeenth century, which would give a clue to his 
native country ; but I have sought for that name in all the 
sources of information accessible to me in vain, and am led 
to suspect that our author, like many of his contemporaries, 
laid aside his nobility and changed his name when he took 
holy orders. 

I will not, however, venture on any further conjectures ; 
233 



234 INTRODUCTION 

the manuscript, of which six chapters are missing, begins 
with the words " Imperialists plundered," and evidently the 
previous pages must have contained an account of the breaking 
out of the Thirty Years' War in the island of Usedom. It 
goes on as follows : 

" Coffers, chests, and closets were all plundered and broken 
to pieces, and my surplice also was torn, so that I remained 
in great distress and tribulation. But my poor little daughter 
they did not find, seeing that I had hidden her in the stable, 
which was dark, without which I doubt not they would have 
made my heart heavy indeed. The lewd dogs would even 
have been rude to my old maid Use, a woman hard upon fifty, 
if an old cornet had not forbidden them. Wherefore I gave 
thanks to my Maker when the wild guests were gone, that I 
had first saved my child from their clutches, although not one 
dust of flour, nor one grain of corn, nor one morsel of meat 
even of a finger's length was left, and I knew not how I should 
any longer support my own life, and my poor child's. Item, 
I thanked God that I had likewise secured the vasa sacra, 
which I had forthwith buried in the church in front of the 
altar, in presence of the two churchwardens, Hinrich Seden 
and Claus Bulken, of Uekeritze, commending them to the 
care of God. And now because, as I have already said, I 
was suffering the pangs of hunger, I wrote to his lordship the 
Sheriff Wittich v. Appelmann, at Pudgla,* that for the love 
of God and His holy Gospel he should send me that which 
his Highness' Grace Philippus Julius had allowed me as 
prastanda from the convent at Pudgla, to wit, thirty bushels 
of barley and twenty-five marks of silver, which howbeit his 
lordship had always withheld from me hitherto (for he was a 
very hard inhuman man, inasmuch as he despised the holy 
Gospel and the preaching of the Word, and openly, without 
shame, reviled the servants of God, saying that they were 

* A castle in Usedom, formerly a celebrated convent. 



INTRODUCTION 235 

useless feeders, and that Luther had but half cleansed the 
pig-stye of the Church God mend it ! ). But he answered 
me nothing, and I should have perished for want if Hinrich 
Seden had not begged for me in the parish. May God reward 
the honest fellow for it in eternity ! Moreover, he was then 
growing old, and was sorely plagued by his wicked wife Lizzie 
Kolken. Methought when I married them that it would not 
turn out over well, seeing that she was in common report of 
having long lived in unchastity with Wittich Appelmann, who 
had ever been an arch-rogue, and especially an arrant whore- 
master, and such the Lord never blesses. This same Seden now 
brought me five loaves, two sausages, and a goose, which old 
good wife Paal, at Loddin, had given him ; also a flitch of bacon 
from the farmer Jack Tewert. But he said I must shield him 
from his wife, who would have had half for herself, and when 
he denied her she cursed him, and wished him gout in his head, 
whereupon he straightway felt a pain in his right cheek, and it 
was quite hard and heavy already. At such shocking news I 
was affrighted, as became a good pastor, and asked whether 
peradventure he believed that she stood in evil communication 
with Satan, and could bewitch folks ? But he said nothing, 
and shrugged his shoulders. So I sent for old Lizzie to come 
to me, who was a tall, meagre woman of about sixty, with 
squinting eyes, so that she could not look any one in the face ; 
likewise with quite red hair, and indeed her goodman had the 
same. But though I diligently admonished her out of God's 
Word, she made no answer, until at last I said, ' Wilt thou un- 
bewitch thy goodman (for I saw from the window how that he 
was raving in the street like a madman), or wilt thou that I 
should inform the magistrate of thy deeds ? ' Then, indeed, she 
gave in, and promised that he should soon be better (and so he 
was) ; moreover she begged that I would give her some bread 
and some bacon, inasmuch as it was three days since she had 
had a bit of anything to put between her lips, saving always her 
tongue. So my daughter gave her half a loaf, and a piece of 



236 THE AMBER WITCH 

bacon about two hands-breadths large ; but she did not think 
it enough, and muttered between her teeth ; whereupon my 
daughter said, * If thou art not content, thou old witch, go thy 
ways and help thy goodman ; see how he has laid his head on 
Zabel's fence, and stamps with his feet for pain.' Whereupon 
she went away, but still kept muttering between her teeth, 
* Yea, forsooth, I will help him and thee too.' r 



CHAPTER VII. 

Hoiu the Imperialists robbed me of all that ivas left, and like- 
wise broke into the church and stole the Vasa Sacra ; also 
e what more befell us. 

AFTER a few days, when we had eaten almost all our food, 
my last cow fell down dead (the wolves had already devoured 
the others, as mentioned above), not without a strong 
suspicion that Lizzie had a hand in it, seeing that the poor 
beast had eaten heartily the day before ; but I leave that to 
a higher judge, seeing that I would not willingly calumniate 
any one ; and it may have been the will of God, whose 
wrath I have well deserved. Summa, I was once more in 
great need, and my daughter Mary pierced my heart with 
her sighs, when the cry was raised that another troop of 
Imperialists was come to Uekeritze, and was marauding 
there more cruelly than ever, and, moreover, had burnt half 
the village. Wherefore I no longer thought myself safe in 
my cottage ; and after I had commended everything to the 
Lord in a fervent prayer, I went up with my daughter 
and old Use into the Streckelberg, * where I already had 
looked out for ourselves a hole like a cavern, well grown 
over with brambles, against the time when the troubles should 

* A considerable mountain close to the sea near Coserow. 



THE AMBER WITCH 237 

drive us thither. We therefore took with us all we had left 
to us for the support of our bodies, and fled into the woods, 
sighing and weeping, whither we soon were followed by the 
old men, and the women and children ; these raised a great 
cry of hunger when they saw my daughter sitting on a log 
and eating a bit of bread and meat, and the little things came 
with their tiny hands stretched out and cried, " Have some 
too, have some too." Therefore being justly moved by such 
great distress, I hindered not my daughter from sharing all 
the bread and meat that remained among the hungry 
children. But first I made them pray "The eyes of all 
wait upon Thee ; " * upon which words I then spake 
comfortably to the people, telling them that the Lord, who 
had now fed their little children, would find means to fill 
their own bellies, and that they must not be weary of trusting 
in Him. 

This comfort did not, however, last long ; for after we 
had rested within and around the cavern for about two hours, 
the bells in the village began to ring so dolefully, that it 
went nigh to break all our hearts, the more as loud firing 
was heard between whiles ; item, the cries of men and the 
barking of dogs resounded, so that we could easily guess 
that the enemy was in the village. I had enough to do 
to keep the women quiet, that they might not by their 
senseless lamentations betray our hiding-place to the cruel 
enemy ; and more still when it began to smell smoky, and 
presently the bright flames gleamed through the trees. I 
therefore sent old Paasch up to the top of the hill, that he 
might look around and see how matters stood, but told him 
to take good care that they did not see him from the village, 
seeing that the twilight had but just begun. 

This he promised, and soon returned with the news that 
about twenty horsemen had galloped out of the village 
towards the Damerow, but that half the village was in flames. 
* Ps. cxlv. 15, 16. 



238 THE AMBER WITCH 

Item, he told us that by a wonderful dispensation of God 
a great number of birds had appeared in the juniper-bushes 
and elsewhere, and that if we could catch them they would 
be excellent food for us. I therefore climbed up the hill 
myself, and having found everything as he had said, and also 
perceived that the fire had, by the help of God's mercy, 
abated in the village ; item, that my cottage was left standing, 
far beyond my merits and deserts ; I came down again and 
comforted the people, saying, "The Lord hath given us a 
sign, and He will feed us, as He fed the people of Israel in 
the wilderness ; for He has sent us a fine flight of fieldfares 
across the barren sea, so that they whirr out of every bush 
as ye come near it. Who will now run down into the 
village, and cut off the mane and tail of my dead cow 
which lies out behind on the common ? " (for there was 
no horsehair in all the village, seeing that the enemy had 
long since carried off or stabbed all the horses). But no one 
would go, for fear was stronger even than hunger, till my 
old Use spoke, and said, "I will go, for I fear nothing, 
when I walk in the ways of God ; only give me a good 
stick." When old Paasch had lent her his staff, she began 
to sing, " God the Father be with us," and was soon out 
of sight among the bushes. Meanwhile I exhorted the 
people to set to work directly, and to cut little wands for 
springes, and to gather berries while the moon still shone ; 
there were a great quantity of mountain-ash and elder-bushes 
all about the mountain. I myself and my daughter Mary 
stayed to guard the little children, because it was not safe 
there from wolves. We therefore made a blazing fire, sat 
ourselves around it, and heard the little folks say the Ten 
Commandments, when there was a rustling and crackling 
behind us, and my daughter jumped up and ran into the cavern, 
crying, " Proh dolor hostls / " * But it was only some of the 

* Our author afterwards explains the learned education of the 
maiden. 



THE AMBER WITCH 239 

able-bodied men who had stayed behind in the village, and 
who now came to bring us word how things stood there. I 
therefore called to her directly, " Emergas amid," whereupon 
she came skipping joyously out, and sat down again by the 
fire, and forthwith my warden Hinrich Seden related all that 
had happened, and how his life had only been saved by means 
of his wife Lizzie Kolken ; but that Jurgen Flatow, Chim 
Burse, Claus Peer, and Chim Seideritz were killed, and the 
last named of them left lying on the church steps. The 
wicked incendiaries had burned down twelve sheds, and it 
was not their fault that the whole village was not destroyed, 
but only in consequence of the wind not being in the quarter 
that suited their purpose. Meanwhile they tolled the bells in 
mockery and scorn, to see whether any one would come and 
quench the fire ; and that when he and the three other young 
fellows came forward they fired off their muskets at them, 
but, by God's help, none of them were hit. Hereupon his 
three comrades jumped over the paling and escaped ; but him 
they caught, and had already taken aim at him with their 
firelocks, when his wife Lizzie Kolken came out of the 
church with another troop and beckoned to them to leave 
him in peace. But they stabbed Lene Hebers as she lay in 
childbed, speared the child, and flung it over Claus Peer's 
hedge among the nettles, where it was yet lying when they 
came away. There was not a living soul left in the 
village, and still less a morsel of bread, so that unless the 
Lord took pity on their need they must all die miserably of 
hunger. 

(Now who is to believe that such people can call them- 
selves Christians ?) 

I next inquired, when he had done speaking (but with 
many sighs, as any one may guess), after my cottage ; but of 
that they knew naught save that it was still standing. I 
thanked the Lord therefore with a quiet sigh ; and having 
asked old Seden what his wife had been doing in the church, 



340 THE AMBER WITCH 

I thought I should have died for grief when I heard that the 
villains came out of it with both the chalices and patens in 
their hands. I therefore spoke very sharply to old Lizzie, 
who now came slinking through the bushes ; but she answered 
insolently, that the strange soldiers had forced her to open 
the church, as her goodman had crept behind the hedge, and 
nobody else was there ; that they had gone straight up to 
the altar, and seeing that one of the stones was not well 
fitted (which, truly, was an arch lie), had begun to dig 
with their swords till they found the chalices and patens ; 
or somebody else might have betrayed the spot to them, so 
I need not always to lay the blame on her, and rate her so 
hardly. 

Meanwhile the old men and the women came with a good 
store of berries ; item, my old maid, with the cow's tail and 
mane, who brought word that the whole house was turned 
upside down, the windows all broken, and the books and 
writings trampled in the dirt in the midst of the street, and 
the doors torn off their hinges. This, however, was a less 
sorrow to me than the chalices ; and I only bade the people 
make springes and snares, in order next morning to begin 
our fowling, with the help of Almighty God. I therefore 
scraped the rods myself until near midnight ; and when we 
had made ready a good quantity, I told old Seden to repeat 
the evening blessing, which we all heard on our knees ; after 
which I wound up with a prayer, and then admonished the 
people to creep in under the bushes to keep them from the 
cold (seeing that it was now about the end of September, 
and the wind blew very fresh from the sea), the men apart, 
and the women also apart by themselves. I myself went up 
with my daughter and my maid into the cavern, where I had 
not slept long before I heard old Seden moaning bitterly, 
because, as he said, he was seized with the colic. I there- 
fore got up and gave him my place, and sat down again by 
the fire to cut springes, till I fell asleep for half-an-hour ; 



THE AMBER WITCH 241 

and then morning broke, and by that time he had got better, 
and I woke the people to morning prayer. This time old 
Paasch had to say it, but could not get through with it 
properly, so that I had to help him. Whether he had forgot 
it, or whether he was frightened, I cannot say. Summa. 
After we had all prayed most devoutly, we presently set 
to work, wedging the springes into the trees, and hanging 
berries all around them ; while my daughter took care of 
the children, and looked for blackberries for their breakfast. 
Now we wedged the snares right across the wood along the 
road to Uekeritze ; and mark what a wondrous act of mercy 
befell from gracious God ! As I stepped into the road with 
the hatchet in my hand (it was Seden his hatchet, which he 
had fetched out of the village early in the morning), I caught 
sight of a loaf as long as my arm which a raven was pecking, 
and which doubtless one of the Imperial troopers had dropped 
out of his knapsack the day before, for there were fresh hoof- 
marks in the sand by it. So I secretly buttoned the breast 
of my coat over it, so that none should perceive anything, 
although the aforesaid Paasch was close behind me ; item, 
all the rest followed at no great distance. Now, having set 
the springes so very early, towards noon we found such a 
great number of birds taken in them, that Katy Berow, who 
went beside me while I took them out, scarce could hold 
them all in her apron ; and at the other end old Pagels pulled 
nearly as many out of his doublet and coat- pockets. My 
daughter then sat down with the rest of the womankind to 
pluck the birds ; and as there was no salt (indeed it was long 
since most of us had tasted any), she desired two men to go 
down to the sea, and to fetch a little salt water in an iron 
pot borrowed from Staffer Zuter ; and so they did. In 
this water we first dipped the birds, and then roasted them 
at a large fire, while our mouths watered only at the sweet 
savour of them, seeing it was so long since we had tasted 
any food. 

VOL. II. Q 



242 THE AMBER WITCH 

And now when all was ready, and the people seated on 
the earth, I said, " Behold how the Lord still feeds His 
people Israel in the wilderness with fresh quails : if now He 
did yet more, and sent us a piece of manna bread from 
heaven, what think ye ? Would ye then ever weary of be- 
lieving in Him, and not rather willingly endure all want, 
tribulation, hunger and thirst, which He may hereafter lay 
upon you according to His gracious will ? " Whereupon 
they all answered and said, "Yea, surely!" -Ego: "Will 
you then promise me this in truth ? " And they said again, 
" Yea, that will we ! " Then with tears I drew forth the 
loaf from my breast, held it on high, and cried, " Behold 
then, thou poor believing little flock, how sweet a manna 
loaf your faithful Redeemer hath sent ye through me ! " 
Whereupon they all wept, sobbed and groaned ; and the 
little children again came running up and held out their 
hands, crying, " See, bread, bread ! " But as I myself could 
not pray for heaviness of soul, I bade Paasch his little girl 
say the Gratlas the while my Mary cut up the loaf and gave 
to each his share. And now we all joyfully began to eat 
our meat from God in the wilderness. 

Meanwhile I had to tell in what manner I had found the 
blessed manna bread, wherein I neglected not again to exhort 
them to lay to heart this great sign and wonder, how that 
God in His mercy had done to them as of old to the prophet 
Elijah, to whom a raven brought bread in his great need in 
the wilderness ; as likewise this bread had been given to me 
by means of a raven, which showed it to me, when other- 
wise I might have passed it by in my heaviness without ever 
seeing it. 

When we were satisfied with food, I said the thanksgiving 
from Luke xii. 24, where the Lord saith, " Consider the 
ravens : for they neither sow nor reap ; which neither have 
storehouse nor barn ; and God feedeth them : how much 
more are ye better than the fowls ? " But our sins stank 



THE AMBER WITCH 243 

before the Lord. For old Lizzie, as I afterwards heard, 
would not eat her birds because she thought them unsavoury, 
but threw them among the juniper bushes ; whereupon the 
wrath of the Lord was kindled against us as of old against 
the people of Israel, and at night we found but seven birds 
in the snares, and next morning but two. Neither did any 
raven come again to give us bread. Wherefore I rebuked 
old Lizzie, and admonished the people to take upon them- 
selves willingly the righteous chastisement of the Most High 
God, to pray without ceasing, to return to their desolate 
dwellings, and to see whether the all-merciful God would 
peradventure give them more on the sea. That I also would 
call upon Him with prayer night and day, remaining for a 
time in the cavern with my daughter and the maid to watch 
the springes, and see whether His wrath might be turned from 
us. That they should meanwhile put my manse to rights to 
the best of their power, seeing that the cold was become very 
irksome to me. This they promised me, and departed with 
many sighs. What a little flock ! I counted but twenty-five 
souls where there used to be above eighty ; all the rest had 
been slain by hunger, pestilence, or the sword.* I then abode 
awhile alone and sorrowing in the cave, praying to God, and 
sent my daughter with the maid into the village to see how 
things stood at the manse ; item, to gather together the books 
and papers, and also to bring me word whether Hinze the 
carpenter, whom I had straightway sent back to the village, 
had knocked together some coffins for the poor corpses, so 
that I might bury them next day. I then went to look at 
the springes, but found only one single little bird, whereby I 
saw that the wrath of God had not yet passed away. How- 
beit, I found a fine blackberry bush, from which I gathered 

* This took place in the year 1628, and the horrors of the Thirty 
Years' War were spread most fearfully over this island ; pity that the 
description of the old vicar, which he doubtless gave in the preceding 
pages, has been lost. 



244 THE AMBER WITCH 

nearly a 'pint of berries, and put them, together with the bird, 
in Staffer Zuter his pot, which the honest fellow had left 
with us for a while, and set them on the fire for supper against 
my child and the maid should return. It was not long before 
they came through the coppice, and told me of the fearful 
devastation which Satan had made in the village and manse 
by the permission of all-righteous God. My child had 
gathered together a few books, which she brought with her, 
above all, a Virgilius and a Greek Bible. And after she 
had told me that the carpenter would not have done till next 
day, and we had satisfied the cravings of hunger, I made her 
read to me again, for the greater strengthening of my faith, 
the locus about the blessed raven from the Greek of Luke, at 
the twelfth chapter ; also, the beautiful locus parallelus, Matt. vi. 
After which the maid said the evening blessing, and we all went 
into the cave to rest for the night. When I awoke next morn- 
ing, just as the blessed sun rose out the sea and peeped over 
the mountain, I heard my poor hungry child, already standing 
outside the cave, reciting the beautiful verses about the joys of 
paradise which St. Augustine wrote and I had taught her.* 
She sobbed for grief as she spoke the words : 

1 ' Uno pane vivunt cives utriusque patrias 
Avidi et semper pleni, quod habent desiderant 
Non sacietas fastidit, neque fames cruciat 
Inhiantes semper edunt, et ederrtes inhiant 
Flos perpetuus rosarum ver agit perpetuum, 
Candent lilia, rubescit crocus, sudat balsamum, 
Virent prata, vernant sata, rivi mellis influunt 
Pigmentorum spiral odor liquor et aromatum, 
Pendent poma floridorum non lapsura nemorum 
Non alternat luna vices, sol vel cursus syderum 
Agnus est fcelicis urbis lumen inocciduum. "f 

* This is an error. The following verses are written by the Cardinal 
Bishop of Ostia, Peter Damianus (d. 23d Feb. 1072), after Augustine's 
prose. 

f The following version is from the pen of a friend. Trans. 

" In that far land the citizens all share one equal bread, 
And keep desire and hunger still, although to fulness fed : 



THE AMBER WITCH 245 

At these words my own heart was melted ; and when she 
ceased from speaking, I asked, " What art thou doing, my 
child ? " Whereupon she answered, " Father, I am eating." 
Thereat my tears now indeed began to flow, and I praised her 
for feeding her soul, as she had no meat for her body. I had 
not, however, spoken long, before she cried to me to come and 
look at the great wonder that had risen out of the sea, and 
already appeared over the cave. For behold a cloud, in shape 
just like a cross, came over us, and let great heavy drops, as 
big or bigger than large peas, fall on our heads, after which it 
sank behind the coppice. I presently arose, and ran up the 
mountain with my daughter to look after it. It floated on 
towards the Achterwater, * where it spread itself out into a 
long blue streak, whereon the sun shone so brightly that it 
seemed like a golden bridge, on which, as my child said, 
the blessed angels danced. I fell on my knees with her, 
and thanked the Lord that our cross had passed away 
from us ; but, alas ! our cross was yet to come, as will be 
told hereafter. 



Unwearied by satiety, unracked by hunger's strife, 

The air they breathe is nourishment, and spiritual life ! 

Around them, bright with endless Spring, perpetual roses bloom ; 

Warm balsams gratefully exude luxurious perfume ; 

Red crocuses, and lilies white, shine dazzling in the sun ; 

Green meadows yield them harvests green, and streams with honey 

run; 

Unbroken droop the laden boughs, with heavy fruitage bent, 
Of incense and of odours strange the air is redolent ; 
And neither sun, nor moon, nor stars, dispense their changeful 

light, 
But the Lamb's eternal glory makes the happy city bright ! " 

* A wash formed by the river Peene in the neighbourhood. 



246 THE AMBER WITCH 



CHAPTER VIII. 

How our need 'waxed sorer and sorer, and how I sent old Use 
'with another letter to Pudgla, and how heavy a misfortune 
this brought upon me. 

NEXT day, when I had buried the poor corpses amid the 
lamentations of the whole village (by the same token that 
they were all buried under where the lime-tree overhangs the 
wall*), I heard with many sighs that neither the sea nor the 
Achterwater would yield anything. It was now ten days 
since the poor people had caught a single fish. I therefore 
went out into the field, musing how the wrath of the just God 
might be turned from us, seeing that the cruel winter was now 
at hand, and neither corn, apples, fish nor flesh, to be found 
in the village, nor even throughout all the parish. There was 
indeed plenty of game in the forests of Coserow and Uekeritze ; 
but the old forest ranger, Zabel Nehring, had died last year of 
the plague, and there was no new one in his place. Nor was 
there a musket nor a grain of powder to be found in all the 
parish ; the enemy had robbed and broken everything : we 
were therefore forced, day after day, to see how the stags 
and the roes, the hares and the wild boars, &c., ran past us, 
when we would so gladly have had them in our bellies, but 
had no means of getting at them : for they were too cunning 
to let themselves be caught in pit-falls. Nevertheless, Claus 
Peer succeeded in trapping a roe, and gave me a piece of it, 
for which may God reward him. Item, of domestic cattle 
there was not a head left ; neither was there a dog nor a cat, 
which the people had not either eaten in their extreme hunger, 
or knocked on the head, or drowned long since. Albeit old 
farmer Paasch still owned two cows ; item, an old man in 

* This exists no longer. 



THE AMBER WITCH 247 

Uekeritze was said to have one little pig this was all. 
Thus, then, nearly all the people lived on blackberries and 
other wild fruits ; the which also soon grew to be scarce, as 
may easily be guessed. Besides all this, a boy of fourteen was 
missing (old Labahn his son), and was never more heard 
of, so that I shrewdly think that the wolves devoured him. 

And now let any Christian judge by his own heart in what 
sorrow and heaviness I took my staff in my hand, seeing that 
my child fell away like a shadow from pinching hunger ; 
although I myself, being old, did not, by the help of God's 
mercy, find any great failing in my strength. While I thus 
went continually weeping before the Lord, on the way to 
Uekeritze, I fell in with an old beggar with his wallet, sitting 
on a stone, and eating a piece of God's rare gift, to wit, a bit 
of bread. Then truly did my poor mouth so fill with water, 
that I was forced to bow my head and let it run upon the 
earth before I could ask, " Who art thou ? and whence 
comest thou, seeing that thou hast bread ? " Whereupon he 
answered that he was a poor man of Bannemin, from whom 
the enemy had taken all ; and as he had heard that the 
Lieper Winkel* had long been in peace, he had travelled 
thither to beg. I straightway answered him, " Oh, poor 
beggar man, spare to me, a sorrowful servant of Christ, who is 
poorer even than thyself, one little slice of bread for his 
wretched child ; for thou must know that I am the pastor of 
this village, and that my daughter is dying of hunger. I beseech 
thee, by the living God, not to let me depart without taking 
pity on me, as pity also hath been shown to thee ! " But 
the beggar man would give me none, saying that he himself 
had a wife and four children, who were likewise staggering 
towards death's door under the bitter pangs of hunger ; that 
the famine was sorer far in Bannemin than here, where we 
still had berries ; whether I had not heard that but a few days 

* A remote part of the island of Usedora, 



248 THE AMBER WITCH 

ago a woman (he told me her name, but horror made me 
forget it) had there killed her own child, and devoured it 
from hunger ? * That he could not therefore help me, and I 
might go to the Lieper Winkel myself. 

I was horror-stricken at his tale, as is easy to guess, for we 
in our own trouble had not yet heard of it, there being little or 
no traffic between one village and another ; and thinking on 
Jerusalem,-]- and sheer despairing because the Lord had visited 
us, as of old that ungodly city, although we had not betrayed 
or crucified Him, I almost forgot all my necessities, and took 
my staff in my hand to depart. But I had not gone more 
than a few yards when the beggar called me to stop, and 
when I turned myself round he came towards me with a good 
hunch of bread which he had taken out of his wallet, and 
said, " There ! but pray for me also, so that I may reach my 
home ; for if on the road they smell that I have bread, my 
own brother would strike me dead, I believe." This I 
promised with joy, and instantly turned back to take to my 
child the gift hidden in my pocket. And behold, when I 
came to the road which leads to Loddin, I could scarce trust 
my eyes (before I had overlooked it in my distress) when I 
saw my glebe, which could produce seven bushels, ploughed, 
sown, and in stalk ; the blessed crop of rye had already shot 
lustily out of the earth a finger's length in height. I could 
not choose but think that the evil one had deceived me with 
a false show, yet, however hard I rubbed my eyes, rye it was, 
and rye it remained. And seeing that old Paasch his piece 
of land which joined mine was in like manner sown, and that 
the blades had shot up to the same height, I soon guessed that 
the good fellow had done this deed, seeing that all the other 
land lay waste. Wherefore, I readily forgave him for not 
knowing the morning prayer ; and thanking the Lord for so 

* Micraelius also mentions this horrible event in his History of 
Pomerania. 
f Where, according to Josephus, the same thing occurred. 



THE AMBER WITCH 249 

much love from my flock, and earnestly beseeching Him to 
grant me strength and faith to bear with them, steadfastly and 
patiently, all the troubles and adversities which it might please 
Him henceforward to lay upon us, according to His divine 
pleasure, I ran rather than walked back into the village to old 
Paasch his farm, where I found him just about to kill his cow, 
which he was slaughtering from grim hunger. " God bless 
thee," said I, " worthy friend, for sowing my field, how shall 
I reward thee ? " But the old man answered, " Let that be, 
and do you pray for us ; " and when I gladly promised this, 
and asked him how he had kept his corn safe from the savage 
enemy, he told me that he had hidden it secretly in the caves 
of the S tree kel berg, but that now all his store was used up. 
Meanwhile he cut a fine large piece of meat from the top of 
the loin, and said, " There is something for you, and when 
that is gone you can come again for more." As I was then 
about to go with many thanks, his little Mary, a child nearly 
seven years old, the same who had said the Gratias on the 
Streckelberg, seized me by the hand, and wanted to go to 
school to my daughter ; for since my Gustos, as above men- 
tioned, departed this life in the plague, she had to teach the 
few little ones there were in the village ; this, however, had 
long been abandoned. I could not, therefore, deny her, 
although I feared that my child would share her bread with 
her, seeing that she dearly loved the little maid, who was her 
godchild ; and so indeed it happened ; for when the child 
saw me take out the bread, she shrieked for joy, and began 
to scramble up on the bench. Thus she also got a piece of 
the slice, our maid got another, and my child put the third 
piece into her own mouth, as I wished for none, but said that 
I felt no signs of hunger, and would wait until the meat was 
boiled, the which I now threw upon the bench. It was a 
goodly sight to see the joy which my poor child felt, when 
I then also told her about the rye. She fell upon my neck, 
wept, sobbed, then took the little one up in her arms, danced 



250 THE AMBER WITCH 

about the room with her, and recited, as she was wont, all 
manner of Latin -versus, which she knew by heart. Then 
she would prepare a right good supper for us, as a little salt 
was still left in the bottom of a barrel of meat which the 
Imperialists had broken up. I let her take her own way, 
and having scraped some soot from the chimney and mixed 
it with water, I tore a blank leaf out of Virgilius, and 
wrote to the Pastor Liepensls, his reverence Abraham 
Tiburtius, praying that for God His sake he would take our 
necessities to heart, ^nd would exhort his parishioners to save 
us from dying of grim hunger, and charitably to spare to us 
some meat and drink, according as the all-merciful God had 
still left some to them, seeing that a beggar had told me that 
they had long been in peace from the terrible enemy. I 
knew not, however, wherewithal to seal the letter, until I 
found in the church a little wax still sticking to a wooden 
altar-candlestick, which the Imperialists had not thought it 
worth their while to steal, for they had only taken the brass 
ones. I sent three fellows in a boat with Hinrich Seden, 
the churchwarden, with this letter to Liepe. 

First, however, I asked my old Use, who was born in 
Liepe, whether she would not rather return home, seeing 
how matters stood, and that I, for the present at least, could 
not give her a stiver of her wages (mark that she had already 
saved up a small sum, seeing that she had lived in my service 
above twenty years, but the soldiers had taken it all). How- 
beit, I could nowise persuade her to this, but she wept 
bitterly, and besought me only to let her stay with the good 
damsel whom she had rocked in her cradle. She would 
cheerfully hunger with us if it needs must be, so that she 
were not turned away. Whereupon, I yielded to her, and 
the others went alone. 

Meanwhile the broth was ready, but scarce had we said 
the Gratias, and were about to begin our meal, when all the 
children of the village, seven in number, came to the door, 



THE AMBER WITCH 25! 

and wanted bread, as they had heard we had some from my 
daughter her little godchild. Her heart again melted, and 
notwithstanding I besought her to harden herself against 
them, she comforted me with ^the message to Liepe, and 
poured out for each child a portion of broth on a wooden 
platter (for these also had been despised by the enemy), and 
put into their little hands a bit of meat, so that all our store 
was eaten up at once. We were, therefore, left fasting 
next morning, till towards midday, when the whole village 
gathered together in a meadow on the banks of the river to 
see the boat return. But, God be merciful to us, we had 
cherished vain hopes ! six loaves and a sheep, item, a quarter 
of apples, was all they had brought. His reverence Abraham 
Tiburtius wrote to me that after the cry of their wealth had 
spread throughout the island, so many beggars had flocked 
thither that it was impossible to be just to all, seeing that 
they themselves did not know how it might fare with them 
in these heavy troublous times. Meanwhile he would see 
whether he could raise any more. I therefore with many 
sighs had the small pittance carried to the manse, and though 
two loaves were, as Pastor Liepensis said in his letter, for me 
alone, I gave them up to be shared among all alike, whereat 
all were content save Seden his squint-eyed wife, who would 
have had somewhat extra on the score of her husband's 
journey, which, however, as may be easily guessed, she did 
not get ; wherefore she again muttered certain words between 
her teeth as she went away, which, however, no one under- 
stood. Truly she was an ill woman, and not to be moved 
by the Word of God. 

Any one may judge for himself that such a store could 
not last long ; and as all my parishioners felt an ardent longing 
after spiritual food, and as I and the churchwardens could 
only get together about sixteen farthings in the whole parish, 
which was not enough to buy bread and wine, the thought 
struck me once more to inform my lord the sheriff of our 



2^2 THE AMBER WITCH 

need. With how heavy a heart I did this may be easily 
guessed, but necessity knows no law. I therefore tore the 
last blank leaf out of VirgiRus, and begged that, for the 
sake of the Holy Trinity, his lordship would mercifully 
consider mine own distress and that of the whole parish, and 
bestow a little money to enable me to administer the Holy 
Sacrament for the comfort of afflicted souls ; also, if possible, 
to buy a cup, were it only of tin, since the enemy had 
plundered us of ours, and I should otherwise be forced to 
consecrate the sacred elements in an earthen vessel. Item, I 
besought him to have pity on our bodily wants, and at last to 
send me the first-fruits which had stood over for so many 
years. That I did not want it for myself alone, but would 
willingly share it with my parishioners, until such time as 
God in His mercy should give us more. 

Here a huge blot fell upon my paper; for the windows 
being boarded up, the room was dark, and but little light 
came through two small panes of glass, which I had broken 
out of the church, and stuck in between the boards : this, 
perhaps, was the reason why I did not see better. However, 
as I could not anywhere get another piece of paper, I let it 
pass, and ordered the maid, whom I sent with the letter to 
Pudgla, to excuse the same to his lordship the sheriff, the 
which she promised to do ; seeing that I could not add a 
word more on the paper, as it was written all over. I then 
sealed it as I had done before. 

But the poor creature came back trembling for fear, and 
bitterly weeping, and said that his lordship had kicked her 
out of the castle-gate, and had threatened to set her in the 
stocks if she ever came before him again. " Did the parson 
think that he was as free with his money as I seemed to be 
with my ink ? I surely had water enough to celebrate the 
Lord's Supper wherewithal. For if the Son of God had 
once changed the water into wine, He could surely do the 
like again. If I had no cup, I might water my flock out of 



THE AMBER WITCH 253 

a bucket, as he did himself; " with many more blasphemies, 
such as he afterwards wrote to me, and by which, as may 
easily be guessed, I was filled with horror. Touching the 
first-fruits, as she told me, he said nothing at all. In such 
great spiritual and bodily need the blessed Sunday came 
round, when nearly all the congregation would have come to 
the Lord's table, but could not. I therefore spoke on the 
words of St. Augustine, crede et manducastl, and represented 
that the blame was not mine, and truly told what had hap- 
pened to my poor maid at Pudgla, passing over much in 
silence, and only praying God to awaken the hearts of 
magistrates for our good. Peradventure I may have spoken 
more harshly than I meant. I know not ; only that I spoke 
that which was in my heart. At the end I made all the 
congregation stay on their knees for nearly an hour, and call 
upon the Lord for His holy Sacrament ; item, for the relief 
of their bodily wants, as had been done every Sunday, and 
at all the daily prayers I had been used to read ever since 
the heavy time of the plague. Last of all, I led the glorious 
hymn, "When in greatest need we be," which was no 
sooner finished than my new churchwarden, Claus Bulk of 
Uekeritze, who had formerly been a groom with his lord- 
ship, and whom he had now put into a farm, ran off to 
Pudgla, and told him all that had taken place in the church. 
Whereat his lordship was greatly angered, insomuch that he 
summoned the whole parish, which still numbered about 
150 souls, without counting the children, and dictated ad 
protocollum whatsoever they could remember of the sermon, 
seeing that he meant to inform his princely Grace the Duke 
of Pomerania of the blasphemous lies which I had vomited 
against him, and which must sorely offend every Christian 
heart. Item, what an avaricious wretch I must be to be 
always wanting something of him, and to be daily, so to say, 
pestering him in these hard times with my filthy letters, when 
he had not enough to eat himself. This, he said, should break 



2^4 THE AMBER WITCH 

the parson his neck, since his princely Grace did all that he 
asked of him ; and that no one in the parish need give me 
anything more, but only let me go my ways. He would 
soon take care that they should have quite a different sort 
of parson from what I was. 

(Now I would like to see the man who could make up his 
mind to come into the midst of such wretchedness at all. ) 

This news was brought to me in the self- same night, and 
gave me a great fright, as I now saw that I should not have 
a gracious master in his lordship, but should all the time of 
my miserable life, even if I could anyhow support it, find 
in him an ungracious lord. But I soon felt some comfort, 
when Chim Krliger, from Uekeritze, who brought me the 
news, took a little bit of his sucking-pig out of his pocket and 
gave it to me. Meanwhile old Paasch came in and said the 
same, and likewise brought me a piece of his old cow ; item, 
my other warden, Hinrich Seden, with a slice of bread, and 
a fish which he had taken in his net ; all saying they wished 
for no better priest than me, and that I was only to pray to 
the merciful Lord to bestow more upon them, whereupon I 
should want for nothing. Meanwhile I must be quiet, and 
not betray them. All this I promised ; and my daughter 
Mary took the blessed gifts of God off the table and carried 
them into the inner chamber. But, alas ! next morning, 
when she would have put the meat into the cauldron, it was 
all gone. I know not who prepared this new sorrow for me, 
but much believe it was Hinrich Seden his wicked wife, 
seeing he can never hold his tongue, and most likely told her 
everything. Moreover, Paasch his little daughter saw that 
she had meat in her pot next day ; item, that she had quar- 
relled with her husband, and had flung the fish-board at him, 
whereon some fresh fish-scales were sticking : she had, how- 
ever, presently recollected herself when she saw the child. 
(Shame on thee, thou old witch, it is true enough, I dare 
say ! ) Hereupon naught was left us but to feed our poor 



THE AMBER WITCH 255 

souls with the Word of God. But even our souls were so 
cast down that they could receive naught, any more than our 
bellies ; my poor child, especially, from day to day grew 
paler, greyer, and yellower, and always threw up all her food, 
seeing she ate it without salt or bread. I had long wondered 
that the bread from Liepe was not yet done, but that every 
day at dinner I still had a morsel. I had often asked, 
" Whence comes all this blessed bread ? I believe, after all, 
you save the whole for me, and take none for yourself or the 
maid." But they both then lifted to their mouths a piece of 
fir-tree bark, which they had cut to look like bread, and laid 
by their plates ; and as the room was dark, I did not find 
out their deceit, but thought that they too were eating bread. 
But at last the maid told me of it, so that I should allow it 
no longer, as my daughter would not listen to her. It is not 
hard to guess how my heart was wrung when I saw my poor 
child lying on her bed of moss struggling with grim hunger. 
But things were to go yet harder with me, for the Lord in 
His anger would break me in pieces like a potter's vessel. 
For behold, on the evening of the same day, old Paasch came 
running to me, complaining that all his and my corn in the 
field had been pulled up and miserably destroyed, and that it 
must have been done by Satan himself, as there was not a 
trace either of oxen or horses. At these words my poor 
child screamed aloud and fainted. I would have run to help 
her, but could not reach her bed, and fell on the ground 
myself for bitter grief. The loud cries of the maid and old 
Paasch soon brought us both to our senses. But I could not 
rise from the ground alone, for the Lord had bruised all my 
bones. I besought them, therefore, when they would have 
helped me, to leave me where I was ; and when they would 
not, I cried out that I must again fall on the ground to pray, 
and begged them all save my daughter to depart out of the 
room. This they did, but the prayer would not come. I fell 
into heavy doubting and despair, and murmured against the 



256 THE AMBER WITCH 

Lord that He plagued me more sorely than Lazarus or Job. 
Wretch that I was, I cried, " Thou didst leave to Lazarus 
at least the crumbs and the pitiful dogs, but to me Thou hast 
left nothing, and I myself am less in Thy sight even than a 
dog ; and Job Thou didst not afflict until Thou hadst mercifully 
taken away his children, but to me Thou hast left my poor 
little daughter, that her torments may increase mine own a 
thousandfold. Behold, then, I can only pray that Thou wilt 
take her from the earth, so that my grey head may gladly 
follow her to the grave ! Woe is me, ruthless father, what 
have I done ? I have eaten bread, and suffered my child 
to hunger ! O Lord Jesu, who hast said, * What man is 
there of you, whom if his son ask bread will he give him a 
stone ? ' Behold, I am that man ! behold, I am that ruthless 
father ! I have eaten bread, and have given wood to my 
child ! Punish me ; I will bear it and lie still. O right- 
eous Jesu, I have eaten bread, and have given wood to my 
child ! " As I did not speak, but rather shrieked these 
words, wringing my hands the while, my child fell upon my 
neck, sobbing, and chid me for murmuring against the Lord, 
seeing that even she, a weak and frail woman, had never 
doubted His mercy ; so that with shame and repentance I pre- 
sently came to myself, and humbled myself before the Lord 
for such heavy sin. 

Meanwhile the maid had run into the village with loud 
cries to see if she could get anything for her poor young 
mistress, but the people had already eaten their noontide 
meal, and most of them were gone to sea to seek their 
blessed supper ; thus she could find nothing, seeing that old 
wife Seden, who alone had any victuals, would give her none, 
although she prayed her by Jesu's wounds. 

She was telling us this when we heard a noise in the 
chamber, and presently Lizzie her worthy old husband, who 
had got in at the window by stealth, brought us a pot of good 
broth, which he had taken off the fire whilst his wife was 



THE AMBER WITCH 257 

gone for a moment into the garden. He well knew that his 
wife would make him pay for it, but that he did not mind, so 
the young mistress would but drink it, and she would find it 
salted and all. He would make haste out of the window again, 
and see that he got home before his wife, that she might not 
find out where he had been. But my daughter would not 
touch the broth, which sorely vexed him, so that he set it 
down on the ground cursing, and ran out of the room. It 
was not long before his squint-eyed wife came in at the front 
door, and when she saw the pot still steaming on the ground, 
she cried out, " Thou thief, thou cursed thieving carcass ! " 
and would have flown at the face of my maid. But I 
threatened her, and told her all that had happened, and that 
if she would not believe me, she might go into the chamber 
and look out of the window, whence she might still, belike, 
see her goodman running home. This she did, and presently 
we heard her calling after him, " Wait, and the devil shall 
tear off thine arms, only wait till thou art home again ! " 
After this she came back, and, muttering something, took 
the pot off the ground. I begged her, for the love of God, 
to spare a little to my child ; but she mocked at me and said, 
"You can preach to her, as you did to me," and walked 
towards the door with the pot. My child indeed besought 
me to let her go, but I could not help calling after her, " For 
the love of God, one good sup, or my poor child must give 
up the ghost : wilt thou that at the day of judgment God 
should have mercy on thee, so show mercy this day to me 
and mine ! " But she scoffed at us again, and cried out, 
" Let her cook herself some bacon," and went out at the 
door. I then sent .the maid after her with the hour-glass 
which stood before me on the table, to offer it to her for 
a good sup out of the pot ; but the maid brought it back, 
saying that she would not have it. Alas, how I wept and 
sobbed, as my poor dying child with a loud sigh buried her 
head again in the moss ! Yet the merciful God was more 

VOL. II, R 



2^8 THE AMBER WITCH 

gracious to me than my unbelief had deserved ; for when the 
hard-hearted woman bestowed a little broth on her neighbour, 
old Paasch, he presently brought it to my child, having heard 
from the maid how it stood with her ; and I believe that this 
broth, under God, alone saved her life, for she raised her 
head as soon as she had supped it, and was able to go about 
the house again in an hour. May God reward the good 
fellow for it ! Thus I had some joy in the midst of my 
trouble. But while I sat by the fireside in the evening 
musing on my fate, my grief again broke forth, and I made 
up my mind to leave my house, and even my cure, and to 
wander through the wide world with my daughter as a beggar. 
God knows I had cause enough for it ; for now that all my 
hopes were dashed, seeing that my field was quite ruined, and 
that the sheriff had become my bitter enemy, moreover that 
it was five years since I had had a wedding, item, but two 
christenings during the past year, I saw my own and my 
daughter's death staring me in the face, and no prospect of 
better times at hand. Our want was increased by the great 
fears of the congregation ; for although by God's wondrous 
mercy they had already begun to take good draughts of fish 
both in the sea and the Achterwater, and many of the people 
in the other villages had already gotten bread, salt, oatmeal, 
&c., from the Pokers and Quatzners of Anklam and Lassan * 
in exchange for their fish ; nevertheless, they brought me 
nothing, fearing lest it might be told at Pudgla, and make 
his lordship ungracious to them. I therefore beckoned my 
daughter to me, and told her what was in my thoughts, saying 
that God, in His mercy, could any day bestow on me another 
cure if I was found worthy in His sight of such a favour, 
seeing that these terrible days of pestilence and war had called 
away many of the servants of His Word, and that I had not 

* These people still go about the Achterwater every day in small 
boats called Polten and Quatzen, and buy from the boors any fish they 
may have caught. 



THE AMBER WITCH 259 

fled like a hireling from His flock, but, on the contrary, 
till datum shared sorrow and death with it. Whether she 
were able to walk five or ten miles a day ; for that then we 
would beg our way to Hamburg, to my departed wife her 
stepbrother, Martin Behring, who is a great merchant in 
that city. 

This at first sounded strange to her, seeing that she had 
very seldom been out of our parish, and that her departed 
mother and her little brother lay in our churchyard. She 
asked, " Who was to make up their graves and plant flowers 
on them ? Item, as the Lord had given her a smooth face, 
what I should do if in these wild and cruel times she were 
attacked on the highways by marauding soldiers or other 
villains, seeing that I was a weak old man and unable to 
defend her ; item, wherewithal should we shield ourselves 
from the frost, as the winter was setting in, and the enemy 
had robbed us of our clothes, so that we had scarce enough 
left to cover our nakedness ? " All this I had not considered, 
and was forced to own that she was right ; so after much 
discussion we determined to leave it this night to the Lord, 
and to do whatever He should put into our hearts next 
morning. At any rate, we saw that we could in nowise keep 
the old maid any longer ; I therefore called her out of the 
kitchen, and told her she had better go early next morning 
to Liepe, as there still was food there, whereas here she must 
starve, seeing that perhaps we ourselves might leave the parish 
and the country to-morrow. I thanked her for the love and 
faith she had shown us, and begged her at last, amid the loud 
sobs of my poor daughter, to depart forthwith privately, and 
not to make our hearts still heavier by leave-taking ; that old 
Paasch was going a-fishing to-night on the Achterwater, as 
he had told me, and no doubt would readily set her on shore 
at Griissow, where she had friends, and could eat her fill 
even to-day. She could not say a word for weeping, but 
when she saw that I was really in earnest she went out of the 



260 THE AMBER WITCH 

room. Not long after we heard the house-door shut to, 
whereupon my daughter moaned, " She is gone already," 
and ran straight to the window to look after her. " Yes," 
cried she, as she saw her through the little panes, " she is 
really gone ; " and she wrung her hands and would not 
be comforted. At last, however, she was quieted when 
I spoke of the maid Hagar, whom Abraham had likewise 
cast off, but on whom the Lord had nevertheless shown 
mercy in the wilderness ; and hereupon we commended our- 
selves to the Lord, and stretched ourselves on our couches 
of moss. 



CHAPTER IX. 

How the old maid-servant humbled me by her faith, and the Lord 
yet blessed me His unworthy servant. 

" BLESS the Lord, O my soul ; and all that is within me, 
bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget 
not all His benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ; 
who healeth all thy diseases ; who redeemeth thy life from 
destruction ; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and 
tender mercies" (Ps. ciii.). 

Alas ! wretched man that I am, how shall I understand all 
the benefits and mercies which the Lord bestowed upon me 
the very next day ? I now wept for joy as of late I had 
done for sorrow ; and my child danced about the room like a 
young roe, and would not go to bed, but only cry and dance, 
and between whiles repeat the iO3rd Psalm, then dance and 
cry again until morning broke. But as she was still very weak, 
I rebuked her presumption, seeing that this was tempting the 
Lord ; and now mark what had happened. 

After we had both woke in the morning with deep sighs, 
and called upon the Lord to manifest to us, in our hearts, 



THE AMBER WITCH 261 

what we should do, we still could not make up our minds. 
I therefore called to my child, if she felt strong enough, to 
leave her bed and light a fire in the stove herself, as our maid 
was gone ; that we would then consider the matter further. 
She accordingly got up, but came back in an instant with 
cries of joy, because the maid had privately stolen back 
into the house, and had already made a fire. Hereupon I 
sent for her to my bedside, and wondered at her disobedience, 
and asked what she now wanted here, but to torment me 
and my daughter still more, and why she did not go yesterday 
with old Paasch ? But she lamented and wept so sore thdt 
she scarce could speak, and I understood only thus much : that 
she had eaten with us, and would likewise starve with us, for 
that she could never part from her young mistress, whom she 
had known from her cradle. Such faithful love moved me 
so, that I said almost with tears, " But hast thou not heard 
that my daughter and I have determined to wander as beggars 
about the country ; where, then, wilt thou remain ? " To 
this she answered that neither would she stay behind, seeing 
it was more fitting for her to beg than for us ; but that she 
could not yet see why I wished to go out into the wide world ; 
whether I had already forgotten that I had said, in my in- 
duction sermon, that I would abide with my flock in affliction 
and in death ? That I should stay yet a little longer where 
I was, and send her to Liepe, as she hoped to get something 
worth having for us there, from her friends and others. 
These words, especially those about my induction sermon, 
fell heavy on my conscience, and I was ashamed of my want 
of faith, since, not my daughter only, but yet more, even my 
maid, had stronger faith than I, who, nevertheless, professed 
to be a servant of God's Word. I believed that the Lord, to 
keep me, poor fearful hireling, and at the same time to humble 
me, had awakened the spirit of this poor maid-servant to 
prove me, as the maid in the palace of the high-priest had 
also proved the fearful St. Peter. Wherefore I turned my 



262 THE AMBER WITCH 

face towards the wall, like Hezekiah, and humbled myself 
before the Lord ; which scarce had I done before my child 
ran into the room again with a cry of joy. For behold some 
Christian heart had stolen quietly into the house in the night, 
and had laid in the chamber two loaves, a good piece of meat, 
a bag of oatmeal, item, a bag of salt, holding near a pint. Any 
one may guess what shouts of joy we all raised. Neither was 
I ashamed to confess my sins before my maid ; and in our 
common morning prayer, which we said on our knees, I made 
fresh vows to the Lord of obedience and faith. Thus we 
had that morning a grand breakfast, and sent something to old 
Paasch besides ; item, my daughter again sent for all the little 
children to come, and kindly fed them with our store, before 
they said their tasks ; and when in my heart of little faith I 
sighed thereat, although I said naught, she smiled, and said, 
" Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow 
shall take thought for the things of itself." * 

The Holy Ghost spoke by her, as I cannot but believe, 
nor thou either, beloved reader : for, mark what happened. 
In the afternoon, she (I mean my child) went up the Streckel- 
berg to seek for blackberries, as old Paasch had told her 
through the maid that a few bushes were still left. The maid 
was chopping wood in the yard, to which end she had 
borrowed old Paasch his axe, for the Imperialist thieves had 
thrown away mine, so that it could nowhere be found ; and I 
myself was pacing up and down in the room, meditating my 
sermon ; when my child, with her apron full, came quickly 
in at the door, quite red and with beaming eyes, and scarce 
able for joy to say more than " Father, father, what have I 
got ? " " Well," quoth I, " what hast thou got, my child ? " 
Whereupon she opened her apron, and I scarce trusted my 
eyes when I saw, instead of the blackberries which she had gone 
to seek, two shining pieces of amber, each nearly as big as a man's 
head, not to mention the small pieces, some of which were as 
* Matt. vi. 34. 



THE AMBER WITCH 263 

large as my hand, and that, God knows, is no small one. 
"Child of my heart," cried I, "how cam'st thou by this 
blessing from God ? " As soon as she could fetch her breath, 
she told me as follows : 

That while she was seeking for blackberries in a dell near 
the shore, she saw somewhat glistening in the sun, and on 
coming near, she found this wondrous godsend, seeing that 
the wind had blown the sand away from off a black vein of 
amber.* That she straightway had broken off these pieces 
with a stick, and that there was plenty more to be got, seeing 
that it rattled about under the stick when she thrust it into the 
sand, neither could she force it farther than, at most, a foot 
deep into the ground ; item, she told me that she had covered 
the place all over again with sand, and swept it smooth with 
her apron so as to leave no traces. 

Moreover, that no stranger was at all likely to go thither, 
seeing that no blackberries grew very near, and she had gone 
to the spot, moved by curiosity and a wish to look upon the 
sea, rather than from any need ; but that she could easily 
find the place again herself, inasmuch as she had marked it 
with three little stones. What was our first act after the 
all-merciful God had rescued us out of such misery, nay, 
even as it seemed, endowed us with great riches, any one 
may guess. When we at length got up off our knees my 
child would straightway have run to tell the maid our joyful 
news. But I forbade her, seeing that we could not be sure 
that the maid might not tell it again to her friends, albeit in 
all other things she was a faithful woman, and feared God ; 
but that if she did that, the sheriff would be sure to hear of 
it, and to seize upon our treasure for his princely Highness 

* This happens frequently even now 1 , and has occurred to the editor 
himself. The small dark vein held indeed a few pieces of amber, mixed 
with charcoal, a sure proof of its vegetable origin, of which we may 
observe in passing there is now scarce any doubt, since whole trees of 
amber have been found in Prussia, and are preserved in the museum at 
Konigsberg. 



264 THE AMBER WITCH 

the Duke, that is to say, for himself; and that naught would 
be left to us but the sight thereof, and our want would begin 
all over again ; that we therefore would say, when folks 
asked about the luck that had befallen us, that my deceased 
brother, who was a councillor at Rotterdam, had left us a 
good lump of money ; and indeed it was true that I had 
inherited near 200 florins from him a year ago, which, how- 
ever, the soldiery (as mentioned above) cruelly robbed me 
of; item, that I would go to Wolgast myself next day, and 
sell the little bits as best I might, saying that thou hadst 
picked them up by the seaside ; thou mayst tell the maid the 
same if thou wilt, but show the larger pieces to no one, and 
I will send them to thy uncle at Hamburg, to be turned into 
money for us ; perchance I may be able to sell one of them 
at Wolgast, if I find occasion, so as to buy clothes enough 
for the winter, for thee and for me, wherefore thou too 
mayst go with me. We will take the few farthings which 
the congregation have brought together to pay the ferry, and 
thou canst order the maid to wait for us till eventide at the 
water-side to carry home the victuals. She agreed to all 
this, but said we had better first break off some more amber, 
so that we might get a good round sum for it at Hamburg ; 
and I thought so too, wherefore we stopped at home next 
day, seeing that we did not want for food, and that my child, 
as well as myself, both wished to refresh ourselves a little 
before we set out on our journey ; item, we likewise bethought 
us that old Master Rothoog, of Loddin, who is a cabinet- 
maker, might knock together a little box for us, to put the 
amber in, wherefore I sent the maid to him in the afternoon. 
Meanwhile we ourselves went up the Streckelberg, where I 
cut a young fir-tree with my pocket knife, which I had saved 
from the enemy, and shaped it like a spade, so that I might 
be better able to dig deep therewith. First, however, we 
looked about us well on the mountain, and seeing nobody, 
my daughter walked on to the place, which she straightway 



THE AMBER WITCH 265 

found again. Great God ! what a mass of amber was there ! 
The vein was hard upon twenty feet long, as near as I could 
feel, and the depth of it I could not sound. Nevertheless, 
save four good-sized pieces, none, however, so big as those 
of yesterday, we this day only broke out little splinters, such 
as the apothecaries bruise for incense. After we had most 
carefully covered and smoothed over the place, a great mis- 
hap was very near befalling us ; for we met Witthan her 
little girl, who was seeking blackberries, and she asked what 
my daughter carried in her apron, whd straightway grew red, 
and stammered so that our secret would have been betrayed 
if I had not presently said, " What is that to thee ? she has 
got fir-apples, for firing," which the child believed. Where- 
fore we resolved in future only to go up the mountain at 
night by moonlight, and we went home and got there before 
the maid, and hid our treasure in the bedstead, so that she 
should not see it. 



CHAPTER X. 

How we journeyed to Wolgast, and made good barter there. 

Two days after, so says my daughter, but old Use thinks it 
was three (and I myself know not which is true), we at last 
went to the town, seeing that Master Rothoog had not got 
the box ready before. My daughter covered it over with a 
piece of my departed wife her wedding gown, which the Im- 
perialists had indeed torn to pieces, but as they had left it 
lying outside, the wind had blown it into the orchard, where 
we found it. It was very shabby before, otherwise I doubt 
not they would have carried it off with them. On account 
of the box we took old Use with us, who had to carry it, 
and as amber is very light ware, she readily believed that the 
box held nothing but eatables. At daybreak, then, we took 



266 THE AMBER WITCH 

our staves in our hands, and set out with God. Near Zitze,* 
a hare ran across the road before us, which they say bodes no 
good. Well-a-day ! When we came near Bannemin I 
asked a fellow if it was true that here a mother had slaughtered 
her own child, from hunger, as I had heard. He said it was, 
and that the old woman's name was Zisse ; but that God had 
been wroth at such a horrid deed, and she had got no good by 
it, seeing that she vomited so much upon eating it that she 
forthwith gave up the ghost. On the whole, he thought 
things were already going rather better with the parish, as 
Almighty God had richly blessed them with iish, both out of 
the sea and the Achterwater. Nevertheless a great number 
of people had died of hunger here also. He told us that 
their vicar, his reverence Johannes Lampius, -{- had had his 
house burnt down by the Imperialists, and was lying in a 
hovel near the church. I sent him my greeting, desiring that 
he would soon come to visit me (which the fellow promised 
he would take care to deliver to him), for the reverend 
Johannes is a pious and learned man, and has also composed 
sundry Latin Chronosticha on these wretched times, in metrum 
heroicum, which, I must say, pleased me greatly.^ When 
we had crossed the ferry we went in at Sehms his house, 
on the castle green, who keeps an ale-house ; he told us that 
the pestilence had not yet altogether ceased in the town ; 
whereat I was much afraid, more especially as he described 
to us so many other horrors and miseries of these fearful 

* A village half way between Coserow and Wolgast, now called 
Zinnowitz. 

f The present parish archives contain several short and incomplete 
notices of his sufferings during these dreadful wars. 

J The old vicar has introduced them among the still existing paro- 
chial accounts, and we will here give a specimen of them : 

For 1620. 
VsqVe qVo Do Mine IrasCerls, sis nobls pater ! 

For 1628. 
InqVe tVa DeXtra fer operaM tV Chrlste benlgne ! 



THE AMBER WITCH 267 

times, both here and in other places, e.g., of the great famine 
in the island of Riigen, where a number of people had grown 
as black as Moors from hunger ; a wondrous thing if it be 
true, and one might almost gather therefrom how the first 
blackamoors came about. -j- But be that as it may. Summa. 
When Master Sehms had told us all the news he had heard, 
and we had thus learnt to our great comfort that the Lord 
had not visited us only in these times of heavy need, I called 
him aside into a chamber and asked him whether I could not 
here find means to get money for a piece of amber, which my 
daughter had found by the sea. At first he said " No ; " 
but then recollecting, he began, " Stay, let me see, at 
Nicolas Graeke's, the inn at the castle, there are two 
great Dutch merchants, Dieterich von Pehnen and Jacob 
Kiekebusch, who are come to buy pitch and boards, item, 
timber for ships and beams ; perchance they may like to 
cheapen your amber too ; but you had better go up to the 
castle yourself, for I do not know for certain whether 
they still are there." This I did, although I had not yet 
eaten anything in the man's house, seeing that I wanted 
to know first what sort of bargain I might make, and to 
save the farthings belonging to the church until then. So 
I went into the castle yard. Gracious God ! what a desert 
had even his princely Highness' house become within a 
short time ! The Danes had ruined the stables and hunting- 
lodge, anno 1628 ; item, destroyed several rooms in the 
castle ; and in the locamentum of his princely Highness Duke 
Philippus, where, anno 22, he so graciously entertained me 
and my child, as will be told further on, now dwelt the inn- 
keeper Nicolas Graeke ; and all the fair tapestries, whereon 

t Micrcelius also, in his "Ancient Pomerania" (vol. Ixxi. 2), men- 
tions this circumstance, but only says: "Those who came over to 
Stralsund were quite black from the hunger they had suffered." This 
accounts for the strange exaggeration of mine host, and the still stranger 
conclusion of our author. 



268 THE AMBER WITCH 

was represented the pilgrimage to Jerusalem of his princely 
Highness Bogislaus X., were torn down, and the walls left 
grey and bare.* At this sight my heart was sorely grieved ; 
but I presently inquired for the merchants, who sat at the 
table drinking their parting cup, with their travelling equip- 
ments already lying by them, seeing that they were just going 
to set out on their way to Stettin ; straightway one of them 
jumped up from his liquor, a little fellow with a right noble 
paunch, and a black plaster on his nose, and asked me what 
I would of them ? I took him aside into a window, and 
told him I had some fine amber, if he had a mind to buy it 
of me, which he straightway agreed to do. And when he 
had whispered somewhat into the ear of his fellow, he began 
to look very pleasant, and reached me the pitcher before we 
went to my inn. I drank to him right heartily, seeing that, 
as I have already said, I was still fasting, so that I felt my 
very heart warmed by it in an instant. (Gracious God ! what 
can go beyond a good draught of wine taken within measure ! ) 
After this we went to my inn, and told the maid to carry 
the box on one side into a small chamber. I had scarce 
opened it and taken away the gown, when the man (whose 
name was Dieterich von Pehnen, as he had told me by the 
way), held up both hands for joy, and said he had never seen 
such wealth of amber, and how had I come by it ? I 
answered that my child had found it on the sea-shore; 
whereat he wondered greatly that we had so much amber 
here, and offered me 300 florins for the whole box. I was 
quite beside myself for joy at such an offer, but took care 
not to let him see it, and bargained with him till I got 500 



* Compare Heller's "Chronicle of the Town of Wolgast," p. 42, 
&c. The riots were caused by the successor of Philippus Julius (d. 6th 
Feb. 1625), who was also the last Duke of Pomerania, Bogislaus XIV., 
choosing to reside in Stettin. At the present time the castle is a mere 
ruin, and only several large vaulted cellars remain, wherein some of 
the tradesmen of the present day keep their shops. 



THE AMBER WITCH 269 

florins, and I was to go with him to the castle, and take the 
money forthwith. Hereupon I ordered mine host to make 
ready at once a mug of beer, and a good dinner for my child, 
and went back to the castle with the man, and the maid 
who carried the box, begging him, in order to avoid common 
talk, to say nothing of my good fortune to mine host, nor 
indeed to any one else in the town, and to count out the 
money to me privately, seeing that I could not be sure that 
the thieves might not lay in wait for me on the road home 
if they heard of it. And this the man did ; for he whispered 
something into the ear of his fellow, who straightway opened 
his leathern surcoat, item, his doublet and hose, and unbuckled 
from his paunch a well-filled purse which he gave to him. 
Summa. Before long I had my riches in my pocket, and, 
moreover, the man begged me to write to him at Amsterdam 
whenever I found any more amber, the which I promised to 
do. But the worthy fellow, as I have since heard, died of 
the plague at Stettin, together with his companion truly I 
wish it had happened otherwise.* Shortly after, I was very 
near getting into great trouble ; for, as I had an extreme 
longing to fall on my knees, so that I could not wait until 
such time as I should have got back to my inn, I went up 
three or four steps of the castle stairs, and entered into a 
small chamber, where I humbled myself before the Lord. 
But the host, Nicolas Graeke, followed me, thinking I was 
a thief, and would have stopped me, so that I knew not how 
to excuse myself but by saying that I had been made drunken 
by the wine which the strange merchants had given to me 
(for he had seen what a good pull I had made at it), seeing 
I had not broken my fast that morning, and that I was 

* Micraelius mentions these Dutch merchants, p. 171, but asserts 
that the cause of their death was doubtful, and that the town physician, 
Dr. Laurentius Eichstadius, in Stettin, had written a special medical 
paper on the subject. However, he calls one of them Kiekepost, 
instead of Kiekebusch. 



270 THE AMBER WITCH 

looking for a chamber wherein I might sleep a while, which 
lie he believed (if in truth it were a lie, for I was really 
drunken, though not with wine, but with love and gratitude 
to my Maker), and accordingly he let me go. 

But I must now tell my story of his princely Highness, 
as I promised above. Anno 22, as I chanced to walk with 
my daughter, who was then a child of about twelve years old, 
in the castle garden at Wolgast, and was showing her the 
beautiful flowers that grew there, it chanced that as we came 
round from behind some bushes we espied my gracious lord 
the Duke Philippus Julius, with his princely Highness the 
Duke BogislafF, who lay here on a visit, standing on a mount 
and conversing, wherefore we were about to return. But as my 
gracious lords presently walked on towards the drawbridge, we 
went to look at the mount where they had stood ; of a sudden 
my little girl shouted loudly for joy, seeing that she found on 
the earth a costly signet-ring, which one of their princely 
Highnesses doubtless had dropped. I therefore said, " Come, 
and we will follow our gracious lords with all speed, and thou 
shalt say to them in Latin: Serenissimi principes, quis vestrum 
hunc annulum deperdidit ? (for, as I have mentioned above, I 
had instructed her in the Latin tongue ever since her seventh 
year), and if one of them says Ego, give to him the ring. 
Item, should he ask thee in Latin to whom thou belongest, 
be not abashed, and say : Ego sum filia pastoris Coseroiviensis : 
for thou wilt thus find favour in the eyes of their princely 
Highnesses, for they are both gracious gentlemen, more 
especially the taller one, who is our gracious ruler Philippus 
Julius himself." This she promised to do ; but as she 
trembled sorely as she went, I encouraged her yet more and 
promised her a new gown if she did it, seeing that even as a 
little child she would have given a great deal for fine clothes. 
As soon, then, as we were come into the courtyard, I stood 
by the statue of -his princely Highness Ernest Ludewig,* 

* The father of Philippus Julius, died at Wolgast iyth June 1592. 



THE AMBER WITCH 271 

and whispered her to run boldly after them, as their princely 
Highnesses were only a few steps before us, and had already 
turned toward the great entrance. This she did, but of a 
sudden she stood still, and would have turned back, because 
she was frightened by the spurs of their princely Highnesses, 
as she afterwards told me, seeing that they rattled and jingled 
very loudly. 

But my gracious lady the Duchess Agnes saw her from 
the open window wherein she lay, and called to his princely 
Highness, " My lord, there is a little maiden behind you, 
who, it seems, would speak with you," whereupon his 
princely Highness straightway turned him round, smiling 
pleasantly, so that my little maid presently took courage, 
and, holding up the ring, spoke in Latin as I had told her. 
Hereat both the princes wondered beyond measure, and after 
my gracious Duke Philippus had felt his finger, he answered, 
" Dulcisslma puella^ ego perdldi ; " whereupon she gave it to 
him. Then he patted her cheek, and again asked, " Sed 
quanam es, et wide venis ? " whereupon she boldly gave her 
answer, and at the same time pointed with her finger to 
where I stood by the statue ; whereupon his princely High- 
ness motioned me to draw near. My gracious lady saw all 
that passed from the window, but all at once she left it. 
She, however, came back to it again before I had time even 
humbly to draw near to my gracious lord, and beckoned to 
my child, and held a cake out of the window for her. On 
my telling her she ran up to the window, but her princely 
Highness could not reach so low nor she so high above her as 
to take it, wherefore my gracious lady commanded her to come 
up into the castle, and as she looked anxiously round after 
me, motioned me also, as did my gracious lord himself, who 
presently took the timid little maid by the hand and went up 
with his princely Highness the Duke BogislarT. My gracious 
lady came to meet us at the door, and caressed and embraced 
my little daughter, so that she soon grew quite bold and ate 



273 THE AMBER WITCH 

the cake. When my gracious lord had asked me my name, 
item, why I had in so singular a manner taught my daughter 
the Latin tongue, I answered that I had heard much from a 
cousin at Cologne of Maria Schurman,* and as I had observed 
a very excellent mgeniwn in my child, and also had time enough 
in my lonely cure, I did not hesitate to take her in hand, and 
teach her from her youth up, seeing I had no boy alive. 
Hereat their princely Highnesses marvelled greatly, and put 
some more questions to her in Latin, which she answered 
without any prompting from me. Whereupon my gracious 
lord Duke Philippus said in the vulgar tongue, " When thou 
art grown up and art one day to be married, tell it to me, and 
thou shalt then have another ring from me, and whatsoever 
else pertains to a bride, for thou hast this day done me good 

* Anna Maria Schurman, born at Cologne on the 5th Nov. 1607, 
died at Wiewardin the 5th May 1678, was, according to the unanimous 
testimony of her contemporaries, a prodigy of learning, and perhaps 
the most learned woman that ever lived. The Frenchman Naud6 says 
of her, " You find in her alone all that the hand can fashion or the mind 
conceive. No one paints better, no one works better in brass, wax, and 
wood. In needlework she excels all women past or present. It is im- 
possible to say in what branch of knowledge she is most distinguished. 
Not content with the European languages, she understands Hebrew, 
Arabic, Syriac, and writes Latin so well that no one who has devoted 
his whole life to it can do it better." The celebrated Netherlander 
Spanheim calls her a teacher of the Graces and the Muses ; the still 
more celebrated Salmasius confesses that he knows not in which 
branch of learning to say she excels : and the Pole Rotyer calls her 
" The sole example of all wondrous works in one single learned person, 
and a perfect monstrum of her sex, yet without fault or blame." For, 
in truth, with all her extraordinary knowledge she was marvellously 
humble, although she herself confesses that the immoderate praises of 
the learned even yet at times blinded her to her own defects. In her 
later years she went over to the sect of the Labadists, which appears 
to have some points in common with that of the Muckers. She died 
unmarried, as an early love affair in her fifteenth year with the Dutch- 
man Caets had been broken off. It is related of her, as a strange 
fancy, that she liked to eat spiders. The celebrated Spanheim was the 
first to publish an edition of her works under the title of Annce Maries 
a Schurman. Opuscula. Leyden, 1648. 



THE AMBER WITCH 273 

service, seeing that this ring is a precious jewel to me, as I 
had it from my wife." Hereupon I whispered her to kiss 
his princely Highness' hand for such a promise, and so 
she did. 

(Bat alas, most gracious God, it is one thing to promise 
and quite another to hold ! Where is his princely Highness 
at this time ? Wherefore let me ever keep in mind that 
" Thou only art faithful, and that which Thou hast promised 
Thou wilt surely hold." Ps. xxxiii. 4. Amen.*) 

Item. When his princely Highness had also inquired con- 
cerning myself and my cure, and heard that I was of ancient 
and noble family, and my solarium very small, he called from 
the window to his chancellor, D. Rungius, who stood with- 
out, looking at the sun-dial, and told him that I was to have 
an addition from the convent at Pudgla, item, from the crown- 
lands at ErnsthofF, as I mentioned above; but, more's the 
pity, I never have received the same, although the instrumentum 
donationls was sent me soon after by his princely Highness' 
chancellor. 

Then cakes were brought for me also, item, a glass of 
foreign wine in a glass painted with armorial bearings, 
whereupon I humbly took my leave, together with my 
daughter. 

However, to come back to my bargain, anybody may guess 
what joy my child felt when I showed her the fair ducats 
and florins I had gotten for the amber. To the maid, how- 
ever, we said that we had inherited such riches from my 
brother in Holland, and after we had again given thanks to 
the Lord on our knees, and eaten our dinner, we bought in a 
great store of bread, salt, meat, and stock-fish : item, of 
clothes, seeing that I provided what was needful for us three 
throughout the winter from the cloth-merchant. Moreover, 
for my daughter I bought a hair-net and a scarlet silk bodice, 
with a black apron and white petticoat, item, a fine pair of ear- 

* Luther's version. 
VOL. II, S 



274 THE AMBER WITCH 

rings, as she begged hard for them ; and as soon as I had 
ordered the needful from the cordwainer we set out on our 
way homewards, as it began to grow very dark ; but we could 
not carry nearly all we had bought. Wherefore we were 
forced to get a peasant from Bannemin to help us, who like- 
wise was come into the town, and as I found out from him 
that the fellow who gave me the piece of bread was a poor 
cotter called Pantermehl, who dwelt in the village by the 
roadside, I shoved a couple of loaves in at his house-door 
without his knowing it, and we went on our way by the 
bright moonlight, so that by the help of God we got home 
about ten o'clock at night. I likewise gave a loaf to the 
other fellow, though truly he deserved it not, seeing that he 
would go with us no further than to Zitze. But I let him 
go, for I, too, had not deserved that the Lord should so 
greatly bless me. 



CHAPTER XL 

Ifoiv I fed all the congregation Item, ho<w I journeyed io the 
horse-fair at Gufokoiv, and 'what befell me there. 

NEXT morning my daughter cut up the blessed bread, and 
sent to every one in the village a good large piece. But as 
we saw that our store would soon run low, we sent the maid 
with a truck, which we bought of Adam Lempken, to Wol- 
gast, to buy more bread, which she did. Item, I gave notice 
throughout the parish that on Sunday next I should administer 
the Blessed Sacrament, and in the meantime I bought up all 
the large fish that the people of the village had caught. And 
when the blessed Sunday was come I first heard the con- 
fessions of the whole parish, and after that I preached a ser- 
mon on Matt. xv. 32, " I have compassion on the multitude 



THE AMBER WITCH 275 

... for they have nothing to eat." I first applied the same 
to spiritual food only, and there arose a great sighing from 
both the men and the women, when, at the end, I pointed to 
the altar whereon stood the blessed food for the soul, and 
repeated the words, " I have compassion on the multitude 
. . . for they have nothing to eat." (N.J3. The pewter 
cup I had borrowed at Wolgast, and bought there a little 
earthenware plate for a paten till such time as Master Bloom 
should have made ready the silver cup and paten I had 
bespoke. ) Thereupon as soon as I had consecrated and ad- 
ministered the Blessed Sacrament, item, led the closing hymn, 
and every one had silently prayed his " Our Father " before 
going out of church, I came* out of the confessional again, 
and motioned the people to stay yet awhile, as the blessed 
Saviour would feed not only their souls, but their bodies also, 
seeing that He still had the same compassion on His people as 
of old on the people at the Sea of Galilee, as they should 
presently see. Then I went into the tower and fetched out 
two baskets which the maid had bought at Wolgast, and 
which I had hidden there in good time ; set them down in 
front of the altar, and took off the napkins with which they 
were covered, whereupon a very loud shout arose, inasmuch 
as they saw one filled with broiled fish and the other with 
bread, which we had put into them privately. Hereupon, 
like our Saviour, I gave thanks and brake it, and gave it to 
the churchwarden, Hinrich Seden, that he might distribute it 
among the men, and to my daughter for the women. Where- 
upon I made application of the text, " I have compassion on 
the multitude, for they have nothing to eat," to the food of 
the body also ; and walking up and down in the church amid 
great outcries from all, I exhorted them alway to trust in 
God's mercy, to pray without ceasing, to work diligently, 
and to consent to no sin. What was left I made them 
gather up for their children and the old people who were 
left at home, 



276 THE AMBER WITCH 

After church, when I had scarce put off my surplice, 
Hinrich Seden his squint-eyed wife came and impudently 
asked for more for her husband's journey to Liepe ; neither 
had she had anything for herself, seeing she had not come to 
church. This angered me sore, and I said to her, "Why 
wast thou not at church ? Nevertheless, if thou hadst come 
humbly to me thou shouldst have gotten somewhat even now, 
but as thou comest impudently, I will give thee naught : 
think on what thou didst to me and to my child." But she 
stood at the door and glowered impudently about the room 
till my daughter took her by the arm and led her out, saying, 
" Hear'st thou, thou shalt come back humbly before thou 
gett'st anything, but when thou comest thus, thou also shalt 
have thy share, for we will no longer reckon with thee an 
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth ; let the Lord do that 
if such be His will, but we will gladly forgive thee ! " Here- 
upon she at last went out at the door, muttering to herself as 
she was wont ; but she spat several times in the street, as we 
saw from the window. 

Soon after I made up my mind to take into my service a 
lad, near upon twenty years of age, called Claus Neels, seeing 
that his father, old Neels of Loddin, begged hard that I 
would do so, besides which the lad pleased me well in 
manners and otherwise. Then, as we had a good harvest 
this year, I resolved to buy me a couple of horses forthwith, 
and to sow my field again ; for although it was now late in 
the year, I thought that the most merciful God might bless 
the crop with increase if it seemed good to Him. 

Neither did I feel much care with respect to food for them, 
inasmuch as there was a great plenty of hay in the neighbour- 
hood, seeing that all the cattle had been killed or driven 
away (as related above). I therefore made up my mind to 
go in God's name with my new ploughman to Giitzkow, 
whither a great many Mecklenburg horses were brought to 
the fair, seeing that times were not yet so bad there as with 



THE AMBER WITCH 277 

us.* Meanwhile I went a few more times up the Streckel- 
berg with my daughter at night, and by moonlight, but found 
very little ; so that we began to think our luck had come to 
an end, when, on the third night, we broke off some pieces of 
amber bigger even than those the two Dutchmen had bought. 
These I resolved to send to my wife's brother, Martin Beh- 
ring, at Hamburg, seeing that the schipper WulfF of Wolgast 
intends, as I am told, to sail thither this very autumn, with 
pitch and wood for shipbuilding. I accordingly packed it 
all up in a strong chest, which I carried with me to Wolgast 
when I started with my man on my journey to Giitzkow. 
Of this journey I will only relate thus much, that there were 
plenty of horses, and very few buyers in the market. Where- 
fore I bought a pair of fine black horses for twenty florins 
apiece ; item, a cart for five florins ; item, twenty-five bushels 
of rye, which also came from Mecklenburg, at one florin the 
bushel, whereas it is hardly to be had now at Wolgast for 
love or money, and cost three florins or more the bushel. I 
might therefore have made a good bargain in rye at Giitzkow 
if it had become my office, and had I not, moreover, been 
afraid lest the robbers, who swarm in these evil times, should 
take away my corn, and ill-use, and perchance murder me 
into the bargain, as has happened to sundry people already. 
For, at this time especially, such robberies were carried on 
after a strange and frightful fashion on Strellin heath at 
Giitzkow ; but by God's help it all came to light just as I 
journeyed thither with my man-servant to the fair, and I will 
here tell how it happened. Some months before a man had 
been broken on the wheel at Giitzkow, because, being 
tempted of Satan, he murdered a travelling workman. The 
man, however, straightway began to walk after so fearful a 
fashion, that in the evening and night-season he sprang down 
from the wheel in his gallows dress whenever a cart passed 

* The fief of Mecklenburg was given by the Emperor to Wallenstein, 
who spared the country as much as he could. 



278 THE AMBER WITCH 

by the gallows, which stands hard by the road to Wolgast, 
and jumped up behind the people, who in horror and dismay 
flogged on their horses, and thereby made a great rattling on 
the log embankment which leads beside the gallows into a 
little wood called the Kraulin. And it was a strange thing 
that on the same night the travellers were almost always 
robbed or murdered on Strellin heath. Hereupon the magis- 
trates had the man taken down from the wheel, and buried 
under the gallows, in hopes of laying his ghost. But it went 
on just as before, sitting at night snow-white on the wheel, 
so that none durst any longer travel the road to Wolgast. 
Until at last it happened that, at the time of the above-named 
fair, young Riidiger von Nienkerken of Mellenthin, in Use- 
dom, who had been studying at Wittenberg and elsewhere, 
and was now on his way home, came this road by night with 
his carriage. Just before, at the inn, I myself had tried to 
persuade him to stop the night at Giitzkow on account of the 
ghost, and to go on his journey with me next morning, but 
he would not. Now as soon as this young lord drove along 
the road, he also espied the apparition sitting on the wheel, 
and scarcely had he passed the gallows when the ghost 
jumped down and ran after him. The driver was horribly 
afraid, and lashed on the horses as everybody else had done 
before, and they, taking fright, galloped away over the log- 
road with a marvellous clatter. Meanwhile, however, the 
young nobleman saw by the light of the moon how that the 
apparition flattened a ball of horse-dung whereon it trod, 
and straightway felt sure within himself that it was no ghost. 
Whereupon he called to the driver to stop ; and as the man 
would not hearken to him, he sprung out of the carriage, 
drew his rapier, and hastened to attack the ghost. When 
the ghost saw this he would have turned and fled ; but the 
young nobleman gave him such a blow on the head with his 
fist that he fell upon the ground with a loud wailing. Summa : 
the young lord, having called back his driver, dragged the 



THE AMBER WITCH 279 

ghost into the town again, where he turned out to be a shoe- 
maker called Schwelm. 

I also, on seeing such a great crowd, ran thither with 
many others, to look at the fellow. He trembled like an 
aspen leaf; and when he was roughly told to make a clean 
breast, whereby he might peradventure save his own life, if it 
appeared that he had murdered no one, he confessed that he 
had got his wife to make him a gallows dress, which he had 
put on, and had sat on the wheel before the dead man, when, 
from the darkness and the distance, no one could see that the 
two were sitting there together ; and this he did more espe- 
cially when he knew that a cart was going from the town to 
Wolgast. When the cart came by, and he jumped down and 
ran after it, all the people were so affrighted that they no 
longer kept their eyes upon the gallows, but only on him, 
flogged the horses, and galloped with much noise and clatter 
over the log embankment. This was heard by his fellows 
in Strellin and Dammbecke (two villages which are about 
three-fourths on the way), who held themselves ready to 
unyoke the horses and to plunder the travellers when they 
came up with them. That after the dead man was buried he 
could play the ghost more easily still, &c. That this was 
the whole truth, and that he himself had never in his life 
robbed, still less murdered, any one ; wherefore he begged to 
be forgiven : that all the robberies and murders which had 
happened had been done by his fellows alone. Ah, thou 
cunning knave ! But I heard afterwards that he and his 
fellows were broken on the wheel together, as was but fair. 

And now to come back to my journey. The young 
nobleman abode that night with me at the inn, and early next 
morning we both set forth ; and as we had grown into good 
fellowship together, I got into his coach with him as he 
offered me, so as to talk by the way, and my Claus drove 
behind us. I soon found that he was a well-bred, honest, 
and learned gentleman, seeing that he despised the wild 



280 THE, AMBER WITCH 

student life, and was glad that he had now done with their 
scandalous drinking-bouts : moreover, he talked his Latin 
readily. I had therefore much pleasure with him in the 
coach. However, at Wolgast the rope of the ferry-boat 
broke, so that we were carried down the stream to Zeuzin,* 
and at length we only got ashore with great trouble. Mean- 
while it grew late, and we did not get into Coserow till nine, 
when I asked the young lord to abide the night with me, 
which he agreed to do. We found my child sitting in the 
chimney corner, making a petticoat for her little god -daughter 
out of her own old clothes. She was greatly frighted, and 
changed colour when she saw the young lord come in with 
me, and heard that he was to lie there that night, seeing that 
as yet we had no more beds than we had bought for our own 
need from old Zabel Nering the forest-ranger his widow, at 
Uekeritze. Wherefore she took me aside : What was to be 
done ? My bed was in an ill plight, her little godchild having 
lain on it that morning ; and she could no wise put the young 
nobleman into hers, although she would willingly creep in by 
the maid herself. And when I asked her why not? she 
blushed scarlet, and began to cry, and would not show her- 
self again the whole evening, so that the maid had to see to 
everything, even to the putting white sheets on my child's 
bed for the young lord, as she would not do it herself. I 
only tell this to show how maidens are. For next morning 
she came into the room with her red silk bodice, and the 
net on her hair, and the apron ; summa, dressed in all the 
things I had bought her at Wolgast, so that the young lord 
was amazed, and talked much with her over the morning 
meal. Whereupon he took his leave, and desired me to visit 
him at his castle. 

* Now Sauzin. 



THE AMBER WITCH 281 



CHAPTER XII. 

What further joy and sorrow befell us ; item, how Wittich 
Appelmann rode to Damerow to the wolf-hunt, and what 
he proposed to my daughter. 

THE Lord blessed my parish wonderfully this winter, inas- 
much as not only a great quantity of fish were caught and 
sold in all the villages, but in Coserow they even killed four 
seals ; item, the great storm of the 1 2th of December threw 
a goodly quantity of amber on the shore, so that many found 
amber, although no very large pieces, and they began to buy 
cows and sheep from Liepe and other places, as I myself 
also bought two cows ; item, my grain which I had sown, 
half on my own field and half on old Paasch's, sprung up 
bravely and gladly, as the Lord had till datum bestowed on 
us an open winter ; but so soon as it had shot up a finger's 
length, we found it one morning again torn up and ruined, 
and this time also by the devil's doings, since now, as 
before, not the smallest trace of oxen or of horses was to be 
seen in the field. May the righteous God, however, reward 
it, as indeed He already has done. Amen. 

Meanwhile, however, something uncommon happened. 
For one morning, as I have heard, when Lord Wittich 
saw out of the window that the daughter of his fisherman, 
a child of sixteen, whom he had diligently pursued, went 
into the coppice to gather dry sticks, he went thither too ; 
wherefore, I will not say, but every one may guess for him- 
self. When he had gone some way along the convent 
mound, and was come to the first bridge, where the moun- 
tain-ash stands, he saw two wolves coming towards him ; 
and as he had no weapon with him, save a staff, he climbed 
up into a tree ; whereupon the wolves trotted round it, 



282 THE AMBER WITCH 

blinked at him with their eyes, licked their lips, and at last 
jumped with their fore-paws up against the tree, snapping at 
him ; he then saw that one was a he- wolf, a great fat brute 
with only one eye. Hereupon in his fright h*e began to 
scream, and the long-suffering of God was again shown to 
him, without, however, making him wiser ; for the maiden, 
who had crept behind a juniper- bush in the field, when she 
saw the sheriff coming, ran back again to the castle and 
called together a number of people, who came and drove 
away the wolves, and rescued his lordship. He then ordered 
a great wolf-hunt to be held next day in the convent wood, 
and he who brought the one-eyed monster, dead or alive, 
was to have a barrel of beer for his pains. Still they could 
not catch him, albeit they that day took four wolves in their 
nets, and killed them. He therefore straightway ordered a 
wolf-hunt to be held in my parish. But when the fellow 
came to toll the bell for a wolf-hunt, he did not stop awhile, 
as is the wont for wolf-hunts, but loudly rang the bell on, 
sine mord, so that all the folk thought a fire had broken out, 
and ran screaming out of their houses. My child also came 
running out (I myself had driven to visit a sick person at 
Zempin, seeing that walking began to be wearisome to me, 
and that I could now afford to be more at mine ease) ; but 
she had not stood long, and was asking the reason of the 
ringing, when the sheriff himself, on his grey charger, with 
three cart-loads of toils and nets following him, galloped up 
and ordered the people straightway to go into the forest and 
to drive the wolves with rattles. Hereupon he, with his 
hunters and a few men whom he had picked out of the crowd, 
were to ride on and spread the nets behind Damerow, seeing 
that the island is wondrous narrow there,* and the wolf 
dreads the water. When he saw my daughter he turned his 
horse round, chucked her under the chin, and graciously 

* The space, which is constantly diminishing, now scarcely measures 
a bow-shot across. 



THE AMBER WITCH 283 

asked her who she was, and whence she came ? When he 
had heard it, he said she was as fair as an angel, and that 
he had not known till now that the parson here had so 
beauteous a girl. He then rode off, looking round at her 
two or three times. At the first beating they found the one- 
eyed wolf, who lay in the rushes near the water. Hereat 
his lordship rejoiced greatly, and made the grooms drag him 
out of the net with long iron hooks, and hold him there for 
near an hour, while my lord slowly and cruelly tortured him 
to death, laughing heartily the while, which is a prognosticon 
of what he afterwards did with my poor child, for wolf or 
lamb is all one to this villain. Just God ! But I will not 
be beforehand with my tale. 

Next day came old Seden his squint-eyed wife, limping 
like a lame dog, and put it to my daughter whether she would 
not go into the service of the sheriff; praised him as a good 
and pious man ; and vowed that all the world said of him 
were foul lies, as she herself could bear witness, seeing that 
she had lived in his service for above ten years. Item, she 
praised the good cheer they had there, and the handsome 
beer-money that the great lords who often lay there gave the 
servants which waited upon them ; that she herself had more 
than once received a rose-noble from his princely Highness 
Duke Ernest Ludewig ; moreover, many pretty fellows came 
there, which might make her fortune, inasmuch as she was a 
fair woman, and might take her choice of a husband ; whereas 
here in Coserow, where nobody ever came, she might wait 
till she was old and ugly before she got a curch on her head, 
&c. Hereat my daughter was beyond measure angered, and 
answered, " Ah ! thou old witch, and who has told thee 
that I wish to go into service, to get a curch on my head ? 
Go thy ways, and never enter the house again, for I have 
naught to do with thee." Whereupon she walked away again, 
muttering between her teeth. 

Scarce had a few days passed, and I was standing in the 



284 THE AMBER WITCH 

chamber with the glazier, who was putting in new windows, 
when I heard my daughter scream in the kitchen. Where- 
upon I straightway ran in thither, and was shocked and 
affrighted when I saw the sheriff himself standing in the 
corner with his arm round my child her neck ; he, however, 
presently let her go, and said, " Aha, reverend Abraham, 
what a coy little fool you have for a daughter ! I wanted 
to greet her with a kiss, as I always used to do, and she 
struggled and cried out as if I had been some young fellow 
who had stolen in upon her, whereas I might be her father 
twice over." As I answered naught, he went on to say that 
he had done it to encourage her, seeing that he desired to take 
her into his service, as indeed I knew, with more excuses of 
the same kind which I have forgot. Hereupon I pressed 
him to come into the room, seeing that after all he was the 
ruler set over me by God, and humbly asked what his lord- 
ship desired of me. Whereupon he answered me graciously, 
that it was true he had just cause for anger against me, seeing 
that I had preached at him before the whole congregation, 
but that he was ready to forgive me and to have the com- 
plaint he had sent in contra me to his princely Highness at 
Stettin, and which might easily cost me my place, returned to 
him if I would but do his will. And when I asked what his 
lordship's will might be, and excused myself as best I might 
with regard to the sermon, he answered that he stood in great 
need of a faithful housekeeper whom he could set over the 
other women folk ; and as he had learnt that my daughter 
was a faithful and trustworthy person, he would that I should 
send her into his service. " See there," said he to her, and 
pinched her cheek the while. " I want to lead you to honour, 
though you are such a young creature, and yet you cry out 
as if I were going to bring .you to dishonour. Fie upon 
you!" (My child still remembers all this verbotenus ; I 
myself should have forgot it a hundred times over in all the 
wretchedness I since underwent. ) But she was offended at 



THE AMBER WITCH 285 

his words, and, jumping up from her seat, she answered 
shortly, " I thank your lordship for the honour, but will only 
keep house for my papa, which is a better honour for me ; " 
whereupon he turned to me and asked what I said to that. 
I must own that I was not a little affrighted, inasmuch as I 
thought of the future and of the credit in which the sheriff 
stood with his princely Highness. I therefore answered 
with all humility, that I could not force my child, and that 
I loved to have her about me, seeing that my dear huswife 
had departed this life during the heavy pestilence, and I had 
no child but only her. That I hoped therefore his lordship 
would not be displeased with me that I could not send her 
into his lordship's service. This angered him sore, and after 
disputing some time longer in vain he took leave, not with- 
out threats that he would make me pay for it. Item, my 
man, who was standing in the stable, heard him say as he 
went round the corner, " I will have her yet, in spite of 
him ! " 

I was already quite disheartened by all this, when, on the 
Sunday following, there came his huntsman Johannes Kurt, a 
tall, handsome fellow, and smartly dressed. He brought a 
roebuck tied before him on his horse, and said that his lord- 
ship had sent it to me for a present, in hopes that I would 
think better of his offer, seeing that he had been ever since 
seeking on all sides for a housekeeper in vain. Moreover, 
that if I changed my mind about it his lordship would speak 
for me to his princely Highness, so that the dotation of 
Duke Philippus Julius should be paid to me out of the 
princely ararium, &c. But the young fellow got the same 
answer as his master had done, and I desired him to take the 
roebuck away with him again. But this he refused to do ; 
and as I had by chance told him at first that game was my 
favourite meat, he promised to supply me with it abundantly, 
seeing that there was plenty of game in the forest, and that 
he often went a-hunting on the Streckelberg ; moreover, that 



286 THE AMBER WITCH 

I (he meant my daughter) pleased him uncommonly, the 
more because I would not do his master's will, who, as he 
told me in confidence, would never leave any girl in peace, 
and certainly would not let my damsel alone. Although I 
had rejected his game, he brought it notwithstanding, and in 
the course of three weeks he was sure to come four or five 
times, and grew more and more sweet upon my daughter. 
He talked a vast deal about his good place, and how he was 
in search of a good huswife, whence we soon guessed what 
quarter the wind blew from. Ergo, my daughter told him 
that if he was seeking for a huswife she wondered that he 
lost his time in riding to Coserow to no purpose, for that she 
knew of no huswife for him there, which vexed him so sore 
that he never came again. 

And now any one would think that the grapes were sour 
even for the sheriff; nevertheless he came riding to us soon 
after, and without more ado asked my daughter in marriage 
for his huntsman. Moreover, he promised to build him a 
house of his own in the forest ; item, to give him pots and 
kettles, crockery, bedding, &c., seeing that he had stood 
godfather to the young fellow, who, moreover, had ever 
borne himself well during seven years he had been in his 
service. Hereupon my daughter answered that his lordship 
had already heard that she would keep house for nobody but 
her papa, and that she was still much too young to become a 
huswife. 

This, however, did not seem to anger him, but, after he 
had talked a long time to no purpose, he took leave quite 
kindly, like a cat which pretends to let a mouse go, and 
creeps behind the corners, but she is not in earnest, and 
presently springs out upon it again. For doubtless he saw 
that he had set to work stupidly ; wherefore he went away 
in order to begin his attack again after a better fashion, and 
Satan went with him, as whilom with Judas Iscariot. 



THE AMBER WITCH 287 



CHAPTER XIII. 

What more happened during the winter If em, how in the spring 
witchcraft began in the village. 

NOTHING else of note happened during the winter, save that 
the merciful God bestowed a great plenty of fish both from 
the Achterwater and the sea, and the parish again had good 
food ; so that it might be said of us, as it is written, " For 
a small moment have I forsaken thee ; but with great mercies 
will I gather thee." * Wherefore we were not weary of 
praising the Lord ; and the whole congregation did much 
for the church, buying new pulpit and altar cloths, seeing 
that the enemy had stolen the old ones. Item, they desired 
to make good to me the money I had paid for the new cups, 
which, however, I would not take. 

There were still, however, about ten peasants in the parish 
who had not been able to buy their seed-corn for the spring, 
inasmuch as they had spent all their earnings on cattle and 
corn for bread. I therefore made an agreement with them 
that I would lend them the money for it, and that if they 
could not repay me this year, they might the next, which 
offer they thankfully took ; and we sent seven waggons to 
Friedland, in Mecklenburg, to fetch seed-corn for us all. 
For my beloved brother-in-law, Martin Behring, in Hamburg, 
had already sent me by the schipper Wulf, who had sailed 
home by Christmas, 700 florins for the amber : may the 
Lord prosper it with him ! 

Old Thiemcke died this winter in Loddin, who used to 

be the midwife in the parish, and had also brought my child 

into the world. Of late, however, she had had but little to 

do, seeing that in this year I only baptized two children, 

* Isa. liv. 7. 



288 THE AMBER WITCH 

namely, Jung his son in Uekeritze, and Lene Hebers her 
little daughter, the same whom the Imperialists afterwards 
speared. Item, it was now full five years since I had 
married the last couple. Hence any one may guess that I 
might have starved to death, had not the righteous God so 
mercifully considered and blessed me in other ways. Where- 
fore to Him alone be all honour and glory. Amen. 

Meanwhile, however, it so happened that, not long after 
the sheriff had last been here, witchcraft began in the 
village. I sat reading with my child the second book of 
VirgiliuS) of the fearful destruction of the city of Troy, 
which was more terrible even than that of our own village, 
when a cry arose that our old neighbour Zabel his red cow, 
which he had bought only a few days before, had stretched 
out all fours, and seemed about to die ; and this was the 
more strange as she had fed heartily but half-an-hour before. 
My child was therefore begged to go and pluck three hairs 
from its tail and bury them under the threshold of the stall ; 
for it was well known that if this was done by a pure maid 
the cow would get better. My child then did as they would 
have her, seeing that she is the only maid in the whole village 
(for the others are still children) ; and the cow got better from 
that very hour, whereat all the folks were amazed. But it 
was not long before the same thing befell Witthahn her pig, 
whilst it was feeding heartily. She too came running to beg 
my child for God's sake to take compassion on her, and to 
do something for her pig, as ill men had bewitched it. 
Hereupon she had pity on her also ; and it did as much good 
as it had done before. But the woman, who was gravida, 
was straightway taken in labour from the fright ; and my 
child was scarce out of the pig-stye when the woman went 
into her cottage, wailing and holding by the wall, and called 
together all the women of the neighbourhood, seeing that the 
proper midwife was dead, as mentioned above ; and before 
long something shot to the ground from under her; and 



THE AMBER WITCH 289 

when the women stooped down to pick it up, the devil's imp, 
which had wings like a bat, flew up off the ground, whizzed 
and buzzed about the room, and then shot out of the window 
with a great noise, so that the glass clattered down into the 
street. When they looked after it, nothing was to be found. 
Any one may judge for himself what a great noise this made 
in all the neighbourhood. And the whole village believed 
that it was no one but old Seden his squint-eyed wife that 
had brought forth such a devil's brat. 

But the people soon knew not what to believe. For that 
woman her cow got the same thing as all the other cows ; 
wherefore she too came lamenting, and begged my daughter 
to take pity on her as on the rest, and to cure her poor cow 
for the love of God. That if she had taken it ill of her 
that she had said anything about going into service with the 
sheriff, she could only say she had done it for the best, &c. 
Summa, she talked over my unhappy child to go and cure 
her cow. 

Meanwhile I was on my knees every Sunday before the 
Lord with the whole congregation, praying that He would 
not allow the evil one to take from us that which His mercy 
had once more bestowed upon us after such extreme want ; 
item, that he would bring to light the auctor of such devi- 
lish works, so that he might receive the punishment he 
deserved. 

But all was of no avail. For a very few days had passed 
when the mischief befell Stoffer Zuter his spotted cow, and he, 
too, like all the rest, came running to fetch my daughter ; 
she accordingly went with him, but could do no good, and 
the beast died under her hands. 

Item, Katy Berow had bought a little pig with the money 
my daughter had paid her in the winter for spinning, and the 
poor woman kept it like a child, and let it run about her room. 
This little pig got the mischief, like all the rest, in the twink- 
ling of an eye ; and when my daughter was called it grew no 

VOL. II. T 



ipo THE AMBER WITCH 

better, but also died under her hands ; whereupon the poor 
woman made a great outcry and tore her hair for grief, so 
that my child was moved to pity her, and promised her 
another pig next time my sow should litter. Meantime 
another week passed over, during which I went on, together 
with the whole congregation, to call upon the Lord for His 
merciful help, but all in vain, when the same thing happened 
to old wife Seden her little pig. Whereupon she again came 
running for my daughter with loud outcries, and although my 
child told her that she must have seen herself that nothing she 
could do for the cattle cured them any longer, she ceased not 
to beg and pray her, and to lament, till she went forth to do 
what she could for her with the help of God. But it was all 
to no purpose, inasmuch as the little pig died before she left 
the stye. 

What think you this devil's whore then did ? After she 
had run screaming through the village she said that any 
one might see that my daughter was no longer a maid, else 
why could she now do no good to the cattle, whereas she had 
formerly cured them ? She supposed my child had lost her 
maiden honour on the Streckelberg, whither she went so often 
this spring, and that God only knew who had taken it ! But 
she said no more then, and we did not hear the whole until 
afterwards. And it is indeed true that my child had often 
walked on the Streckelberg this spring both with me and also 
alone, in order to seek for flowers and to look upon the 
blessed sea, while she recited aloud, as she was wont, such 
verses out of Virgilius as pleased her best (for whatever she 
read a few times that she remembered). 

Neither did I forbid her to take these walks, for there 
were no wolves now left on the Streckelberg, and even if 
there had been they always fly before a human creature in 
the summer season. Howbeit, I forbade her to dig for 
amber. For as it now lay deep, and we knew not what to 
do with the earth we threw up, I resolved to tempt the 



THE AMBER WITCH 291 

Lord no further, but to wait till my store of money grew 
very scant before we would dig any more. 

But my child did not do as I had bidden her, although 
she had promised she would, and of this her disobedience 
came all our misery. (O blessed Lord, how grave a matter 
is Thy holy fourth * commandment ! ) For as his reverence 
Johannes Lampius, of Crummin, who visited me this spring, 
had told me that the Cantor of Wolgast wanted to sell the 
Opp. St. Augustini, and I had said before her that I desired 
above all things to buy that book, but had not money enough 
left ; she got up in the night without my knowledge to dig 
for amber, meaning to sell it as best she might at Wolgast, 
in order secretly to present me with the Opp. St. Augustmi on 
my birthday, which falls on the 28th mentis Augusti. She 
had always covered over the earth she cast up with twigs of 
fir, whereof there were plenty in the forest, so that no one 
should perceive anything of it. 

Meanwhile, however, it befell that the young nobilis Riidiger 
of Nienkerken came riding one day to gather news of the 
terrible witchcraft that went on in the village. When I told 
him all about it he shook his head doubtingly, and said he 
believed that all witchcraft was nothing but lies and deceit ; 
whereat I was struck with great horror, inasmuch as I had 
hitherto held the young lord to be a wiser man, and now could 
not but see that he was an atheist. He guessed what my 
thoughts were, and with a smile he answered me by asking 
whether I had ever read Johannes Wierus,f who would hear 

* In Luther's version. 

f A Netherland physician, who, long before Spee or Thomasius, 
attacked the wicked follies of the belief in witchcraft prevalent in his 
time in the paper entitled Confutatio opinionum de magorum Dcemo- 
nomia, Frankfort, 1590, and was therefore denounced by Bodinus and 
others as one of the worst magicians. It is curious that this liberal man 
had in another book, De prcestigiis Dcemonum, taught the method of 
raising devils, and described the whole of hell, with the names and 
surnames of its 572 princes. 



292 THE AMBER WITCH 

nothing of witchcraft, and who argued that all witches were 
melancholy persons who only imagined to themselves that 
they had a pactum with the devil ; and that to him they 
seemed more worthy of pity than of punishment ? Hereupon 
I answered that I had not indeed read any such book (for say, 
who can read all that fools write ?), but that the appearances 
here and in all other places proved that it was a monstrous 
error to deny the reality of witchcraft, inasmuch as people 
might then likewise deny that there were such things as 
murder, adultery, and theft. 

But he called my argumentum a dilemma, and after he had 
discoursed a great deal of the devil, all of which I have for- 
gotten, seeing it savoured strangely of heresy, he said he 
would relate to me a piece of witchcraft which he himself 
had seen at Wittenberg. 

It seems that one morning, as an Imperial captain mounted 
his good charger at the Elstergate in order to review his 
company, the horse presently began to rage furiously, reared, 
tossed his head, snorted, kicked, and roared not as horses use 
to neigh, but with a sound as though the voice came from a 
human throat, so that all the folks were amazed, and thought 
the horse bewitched. It presently threw the captain and 
crushed his head with its hoof, so that he lay writhing 
on the ground, and straightway set off at full speed. Here- 
upon a trooper fired his carabine at the bewitched horse, 
which fell in the midst of the road, and presently died. 
That he, Riidiger, had then drawn near, together with many 
others, seeing that the colonel had forthwith given orders to 
the surgeon of the regiment to cut open the horse and see in 
what state it was inwardly. However, that everything was 
quite right, and both the surgeon and army physician testified 
that the horse was thoroughly sound ; whereupon all the 
people cried out more than ever about witchcraft. Mean- 
while he himself (I mean the young nouns') saw a thin smoke 
coming out from the horse's nostrils, and on stooping down 



THE AMBER WITCH 293 

to look what it might be, he drew out a match as long as my 
finger, which still smouldered, and which some wicked fellow 
had privately thrust into its nose with a pin. Hereupon all 
thoughts of witchcraft were at an end, and search was made 
for the culprit, who was presently found to be no other than 
the captain's own groom. For one day that his master 'had 
dusted his jacket for him he swore an oath that he would 
have his revenge, which indeed the provost-marshal himselt 
had heard as he chanced to be standing in the stable. Item, 
another soldier bore witness that he had seen the fellow 
cut a piece off the fuse not long before he led out his master's 
horse. And thus, thought the young lord, would it be with 
all witchcraft if it were sifted to the bottom ; like as I myself 
had seen at Giitzkow, where the devil's apparition turned out 
to be a cordwainer, and that one day I should own that it 
was the same sort of thing here in our village. By reason 
of this speech I liked not the young nobleman from that hour 
forward, believing him to be an atheist. Though, indeed, 
afterwards, I have had cause to see that he was in the right, 
more's the pity, for had it not been for him what would have 
become of my daughter ? 

But I will say nothing beforehand. Summa : I walked 
about the room in great displeasure at his words, while the 
young lord began to argue with my daughter upon witchcraft, 
now in Latin, and now in the vulgar tongue, as the words 
came into his mouth, and wanted to hear her mind about it. 
But she answered that she was a foolish thing, and could have 
no opinion on the matter ; but that, nevertheless, she believed 
that what happened in the village could not be by natural 
means. Hereupon the maid called me out of the room (I 
forget what she wanted of me) ; but when I came back again 
my daughter was as red as scarlet, and the nobleman stood 
close before her. I therefore asked her, as soon as he had 
ridden off, whether anything had happened, which she at first 
denied, but afterwards owned that he had said to her while I 



294 THE AMBER WITCH 

was gone, that he knew but one person who could bewitch ; 
and when she asked him who that person was, he caught 
hold of her hand and said, " It is yourself, sweet maid ; 
for you have thrown a spell upon my heart, as I feel 
right- well ! " But that he said nothing further, but only 
gazed on her face with eager eyes, and this it was that made 
her so red. 

But this is the way with maidens ; they ever have their 
secrets if one's back is turned but for a minute ; and the 
proverb 

' ' To drive a goose and watch a maid 
Needs the devil himself to aid," 

is but too true, as will be shown hereafter, more's the pity ! 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Hoiv old Seden disappeared all on a sudden Item, how the 
great Gustavus Adolphus came to Pomerania, and took the 
fort at Peeneniunde. 

WE were now left for some time in peace from witchcraft ; 
unless, indeed, I reckon the caterpillars, which miserably 
destroyed my orchard, and which truly were a strange thing. 
For the trees blossomed so fair and sweetly, that one day as 
we were walking under them, and praising the almighty power 
of the most merciful God, my child said, " If the Lord goes 
on to bless us so abundantly, it will be Christmas Eve with us 
every night of next winter ! " But things soon fell out far 
otherwise. For all in a moment the trees were covered with 
such swarms of caterpillars (great and small, and of every 
shape and colour), that one might have measured them by the 
bushel ; and before long my poor trees looked like brooms ; and 
the blessed fruit, which was so well set, all fell off, and was 



THE AMBER WITCH 295 

scarce good enough for the pigs. I do not choose to lay 
this to any one, though I had my own private thoughts upon 
the matter, and have them yet. However, my barley, whereof 
I had sown about three bushels out on the common, shot up 
bravely. On my field I had sown nothing, seeing that I 
dreaded the malice of Satan. Neither was corn at all plenti- 
ful throughout the parish, in part because they had sown no 
winter crops, and in part because the summer crops did not 
prosper. However, in all the villages a great supply of fish 
was caught by the mercy of God, especially herring ; but 
they were very low in price. Moreover, they killed many 
seals ; and at Whitsuntide I myself killed one as I walked 
by the sea with my daughter. The creature lay on a rock 
close to the water, snoring like a Christian. Thereupon I 
pulled off my shoes and drew near him softly, so that he 
heard me not, and then struck him over his nose with my 
staff (for a seal cannot bear much on his nose), so that he 
tumbled over into the water ; but he was quite stunned, and 
I could easily kill him outright. It was a fat beast, though 
not very large ; and we melted forty pots of train-oil out of 
his fat, which we put by for a winter store. 

Meanwhile, however, something seized old Seden all at 
once, so that he wished to receive the Holy Sacrament. 
When I went to him, he could give no reason for it ; or 
perhaps he would give none for fear of his old Lizzie, who 
was always watching him with her squinting eyes, and would 
not leave the room. However, Zuter his little girl, a child 
near twelve years old, said that a few days before, while she 
was plucking grass for the cattle under the garden hedge by 
the road, she heard the husband and wife quarrelling violently 
again, and that the goodman threw in her teeth that he now 
knew of a certainty that she had a familiar spirit, and that he 
would straightway go and tell it to the priest. Albeit this 
is only a child's tale, it may be true for all that, seeing that 
children and fools, they say, speak the truth. 



296 THE AMBER WITCH 

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

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

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

Not for all the world, however, would I have eaten the 
cock, but I turned it out to breed. I went to him once more 
and asked whether I should give thanks to the Lord next 
Sunday for his recovery; whereupon he answered that I 
might do as I pleased in the matter. Hereat I shook my 
head, and left the house, resolving to send for him as soon as 
ever I should hear that his old Lizzie was from home (for 



THE AMBER WITCH 297 

she often went to fetch flax to spin from the sheriff). But 
mark what befell within a few days ! We heard an outcry 
that old Seden was missing, and that no one could tell what 
had become of him. His wife thought he had gone up into 
the Streckelberg, whereupon the accursed witch ran howling 
to our house and asked my daughter whether she had not seen 
anything of her goodman, seeing that she went up the mountain 
every day. My daughter said she had not ; but, woe is me, 
she was soon to hear enough of him. For one morning, 
before sunrise, as she came down into the wood on her way 
back from her forbidden digging after amber, she heard a 
woodpecker (which, no doubt, was old Lizzie herself), cry- 
ing so dolefully, close beside her, that she went in among the 
bushes to see what was the matter. There was the wood- 
pecker, sitting on the ground before a bunch of hair, which 
was red, and just like what old Seden's had been, and as soon 
as it espied her it flew up with its beak full of the hair, and 
slipped into a hollow tree. While my daughter still stood 
looking at this devil's work, up came old Paasch, who also 
had heard the cries of the woodpecker, as he was cutting 
roofing shingles on the mountain, with his boy, and was like- 
wise struck with horror when he saw the hair on the ground. 
At first they thought a wolf must have eaten him, and searched 
all about, but could not find a single bone. On looking up 
they fancied they saw something red at the very top of the 
tree, so they made the boy climb up, and he forthwith cried 
out that here, too, there was a great bunch of red hair, stuck 
to some leaves as if with pitch, but that it was not pitch, but 
something speckled fed and white, like fish-guts ; item, that 
the leaves all around, even where there was no hair, were 
stained and spotted, and had a very ill smell. Hereupon the 
lad, at his master's bidding, threw down the clotted branch, 
and they two below straightway judged that this was the hair 
and brains of old Seden, and that the devil had carried him 
off bodily, because he would not pray nor give thanks to the 



298 THE AMBER WITCH 

Lord for his recovery. I myself believed the same, and told 
it on the Sunday as a warning to the congregation. But 
further on it will be seen that the Lord had yet greater cause 
for giving him into the hands of Satan, inasmuch as he had 
been talked over by his wicked wife to renounce his Maker, 
in the hopes of getting better. Now, however, this devil's 
whore did as if her heart was broken, tearing out her red hair 
by whole handfuls when she heard about the woodpecker from 
my child and old Paasch, and bewailing that she was now 
a poor widow, and who was to take care of her for the 
future, &c. 

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

* Ruden and Oie, two small islands between Usedom and Riigen. 
j- See also the Theatrum Europeum, p. 226 fl. 



THE AMBER WITCH 299 

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

Straightway I resolved in my joy to invent a carmen gratu- 
latorium to his Majesty, whom, by the grace of Almighty 
God, I was to see, the which my little daughter might pre- 
sent to him. 



300 THE AMBER WITCH 

I accordingly proposed it to her as soon as I got home, 
and she straightway fell on my neck for joy, and then began 
to dance about the room. But when she had considered a 
little, she thought her clothes were not good enough to wear 
before his Majesty, and that I should buy her a blue silk 
gown, with a yellow apron, seeing that these were the 
Swedish colours, and would please his Majesty right well. 
For a long time I would not, seeing that I hate this kind of 
pride ; but she teased me with her kisses and coaxing words, 
till I, like an old fool, said yes, and ordered my plough- 
man to drive her over to Wolgast to-day to buy the stuff. 
Wherefore I think that the just God, who hateth the proud 
and showeth mercy on the humble, did rightly chastise me 
for such pride. For I myself felt a sinful pleasure when she 
came back with two women who were to help her to sew, 
and laid the stuff before me. Next day she set to work at 
sunrise to sew, and I composed my carmen the while. I had 
not got very far in it when the young Lord Riidiger of 
Nienkerken came riding up, in order, as he said, to inquire 
whether his Majesty were indeed going to march through 
Coserow. And when I told him all I knew of the matter, 
item, informed him of our plan, he praised it exceedingly, and 
instructed my daughter (who looked more kindly upon him 
to-day than I altogether liked) how the Swedes use to pro- 
nounce the Latin, as ratscho pro ratio , uet pro ut, schis pro 
sets, &c., so that she might be able to answer his Majesty 
with all due readiness. He said, moreover, that he had held 
much converse with Swedes at Wittenberg, as well as at 
Griepswald, wherefore if she pleased they might act a short 
colloquium, wherein he would play the king. Hereupon he 
sat down on the bench before her, and they both began 
chattering together, which vexed me sore, especially when I 
saw that she made but small haste with her needle the while. 
But say, dear reader, what was I to do ? Wherefore I went 
my ways, and let them chatter till near noon, when the young 



THE AMBER WITCH ,301 

lord at last took leave. But he promised to come again on 
Tuesday when the king was here, and believed that the 
whole island would flock together at Coserow. As soon, as 
he was gone, seeing that my vena poetica (as may be easily 
guessed) was still stopped up, I had the horses put to and 
drove all over the parish, exhorting the people in every 
village to be at the Giant's Stone by Coserow at nine o'clock 
on Tuesday, and that they were all to fall on their knees as 
soon as they should see the king coming and that I knelt 
down ; item, to join at once in singing the Ambrosian hymn 
of praise, which I should lead off as soon as the bells began 
to ring. This they all promised to do ; and after I had 
again exhorted them to it on Sunday in church, and prayed 
to the Lord for his Majesty out of the fulness of my heart, 
we scarce could await the blessed Tuesday for joyful im- 
patience. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Of the arrival of the high and mighty King Gustavus Adolphus, 
and what befell thereat. 

MEANWHILE I finished my carmen in metrum elegiacum, which 
my daughter transcribed (seeing that her handwriting is fairer 
than mine) and diligently learned, so that she might say it to 
his Majesty. Item, her clothes were gotten ready, and be- 
came her purely ; and on Monday she went up to the Streck- 
elberg, although the heat was such that the crows gasped on 
the hedges : for she wanted to gather flowers for a garland 
she designed to wear, and which was also to be blue and 
yellow. Towards evening she came home with her apron 
filled with all manner of flowers ; but her hair was quite 
wet, and hung all matted about her shoulders. (My God, 
my God, was everything to come together to destroy me, 



302 THE AMBER WITCH 

wretched man that I am ! ) I asked, therefore, where she 
had been that her hair was so wet and matted; whereupon 
she answered that she had gathered flowers round the Kolpin,* 
and from thence she had gone down to the sea-shore, where 
she had bathed in the sea, seeing that it was very hot and no 
one could see her. Thus, said she, jesting, she should appear 
before his Majesty to-morrow doubly a clean maid. This 
displeased me at the time, and I looked grave, although I 
said naught. 

Next morning at six o'clock all the people were already 
at the Giant's Stone, men, women, and children. Summa, 
everybody that was able to walk was there. At eight 
o'clock my daughter was already dressed in all her bravery, 
namely, a blue silken gown, with a yellow apron and kerchief, 
and a yellow hair-net, with a garland of blue and yellow 
flowers round her head. It was not long before my young 
lord arrived, finely dressed as became a nobleman. He 
wanted to inquire, as he said, by which road I should go up 
to the Stone with my daughter, seeing that his father, Hans 
von Nienkerken, item, Wittich Appelmann, and the Lepels of 
Gnitze, were also going, and that there was much people on 
all the high roads, as though a fair was being held. But I 
straightway perceived that all he wanted was to see my 
daughter, inasmuch as he presently occupied himself about 
her, and began chattering with her in the Latin again. He 
made her repeat to him the carmen to his Majesty ; where- 
upon he, in the person of the king, answered her, " Dulcissima 
et venustissima puella, qu<e mihi in coloribus call, ut angelus 
Domini appares, utinam semper mecum esses, nunquam mihi male 
caderet ; " whereupon she grew red, as likewise did I, but 
from vexation, as may be easily guessed. I therefore begged 
that his lordship would but go forward toward the Stone, 
seeing that my daughter had yet to help me on with my 
surplice ; whereupon, however, he answered, that he would 
* A small lake near the sea. 



THE AMBER WITCH 303 

wait for us the while in the chamber, and that we might then 
go together. Summa : I blessed myself from this young lord ; 
but what could I do ? As he would not go, I was forced 
to wink at it all : and before long we went up to the Stone, 
where I straightway chose three sturdy fellows from the 
crowd, and sent them up the steeple that they might begin to 
ring the bells as soon as they should see me get up upon the 
Stone and wave my napkin. This they promised to do, 
and straightway departed ; whereupon I sat down on the 
Stone with my daughter, thinking that the young lord would 
surely stand apart, as became his dignity ; albeit he did not, 
but sat down with us on the Stone. And we three sat there 
all alone, and all the folk looked at us, but none drew near 
to see my child's fine clothes, not even the young lasses, as 
is their wont to do ; but this I did not observe till after- 
wards, when I heard how matters stood with us even then. 
Towards nine o'clock, Hans von Nienkerken and Wittich 
Appelmann galloped up, and old Nienkerken called to his 
son in an angry voice ; and seeing that the young lord heard 
him not, he rode up to the Stone, and cried out so loud that 
all the folk might hear, " Can'st thou not hearken, boy, when 
thy father calls thee ? " Whereupon Riidiger followed him 
in much displeasure, and we saw from a distance how the 
old lord seemed to threaten his son, and spat out before him ; 
but knew not what this might signify : we were to learn it 
soon enough, though, more's the pity ! Soon after the two 
Lepels of Gnitze * came from the Damerow ; and the noble- 
men saluted one another on the green sward close beside us, 
but without looking on us. And I heard the Lepels say that 
naught could yet be seen of his Majesty, but that the coast- 
guard fleet around Ruden was in motion, and that several 
hundred ships were sailing this way. As soon as this news 
was known, all the folk ran to the sea-shore (which is but a 
step from the Stone) ; and the noblemen rode thither too, 
* A peninsula in Usedom. 



304 THE AMBER WITCH 

all save Wittich, who had dismounted, and who, when he 
saw that I sent old Paasch his boy up into a tall oak-tree to 
look out for the king, straightway busied himself about my 
daughter again, who now sat all alone upon the Stone : 
" Why had she not taken his huntsman ? and whether she 
would not change her mind on the matter and have him now, 
or else come into service with him (the sheriff) himself? 
for that if she would not, he believed she might be sorry for 
it one day." Whereupon she answered him (as she told 
me), that there was but one thing she was sorry for, namely, 
that his lordship would take so much useless pains upon her ; 
whereupon she rose with all haste and came to where I stood 
under the tree, looking after the lad who was climbing up 
it. But our old Use said that he swore a great curse when 
my daughter turned her back upon him, and went straightway 
into the alder-grove close by the high road, where stood the 
old witch Lizzie Kolken. 

Meanwhile I went with my daughter to the sea- shore and 
found it quite true that the whole fleet was sailing over from 
Ruden and Oie towards Wollin, and several ships passed so 
close before us that we could see the soldiers standing upon 
them and the flashing of their arms. Item, we heard the horses 
neigh and the soldiery laugh. On one ship, too, they were 
drumming, and on another cattle lowed and sheep bleated. 
Whilst we yet gazed we saw smoke come out from one of the 
ships, followed by a great noise, and presently we were aware 
of the ball bounding over the water, which foamed and splashed 
on either side, and coming straight towards us. Hereupon the 
crowd ran away on every side with loud cries, and we plainly 
heard the soldiery in the ships laugh thereat. But the ball flew 
up and struck into the midst of an oak hard by Paasch his boy, 
so that nearly two cart-loads of boughs fell to the earth with 
a great crash, and covered all the road by which his Majesty 
was to come. Hereupon the boy would stop no longer in the 
tree, however much I exhorted him thereto, but cried out to 



THE AMBER WITCH 305 

us as he came down that a great troop of soldiers was marching 
out of the forest by Damerow, and that likely enough the king 
was among them. Hereupon the sheriff ordered the road to 
be cleared forthwith, and this was some time a-doing, seeing 
that the thick boughs were stuck fast in the trees all around ; 
the nobles, as soon as all was made ready, would have ridden 
to meet his Majesty, but stayed still on the little greensward, 
because we already heard the noise of horses, carriages, and 
voices close to us in the forest. 

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

Wherefore I narrowly watched the procession as it wound 
out of the forest. And next after the artillery came the 
Finnish and Lapland bowmen, who went clothed all in furs, 
although it was now the height of summer, whereat I greatly 
wondered. After these there came much people, but I know 
not what they were. Presently I espied over the hazel-tree 
which stood in my way, so that I could not see everything as 
soon as it came forth out of the coppice, the great flag with the 
lion on it, and, behind that, the head of a very dark man with 
a golden chain round his neck, whereupon straightway I judged 
this must be the king. I therefore waved my napkin toward 
the steeple, whereupon the bells forthwith rang out, and while 
the dark man rode nearer to us, I pulled off my skull-cap, fell 
upon my knees, and led the Ambrosian hymn of praise, and 
all the people plucked their hats from their heads and knelt 
down on the ground all around singing after me ; men, women, 

VOL. II. U 



3o6 THE AMBER WITCH 

and children, save only the nobles, who stood still on the 
greensward, and did not take off their hats and behave with 
attention until they saw that his Majesty drew in his horse. 
(It was a coal-black charger, and stopped with its two fore- 
feet right upon my field, which I took as a sign of good 
fortune. ) When we had finished, the sheriff quickly got off 
his horse, and would have approached the king with his three 
guides who followed after him ; item, I had taken my child 
by the hand, and would also have drawn near to the king. 
Howbeit, his Majesty motioned away the sheriff and beckoned 
us to approach, whereupon I wished his Majesty joy in the 
Latin tongue, and extolled his magnanimous heart, seeing that 
he had deigned to visit German ground for the protection and 
aid of poor persecuted Christendom ; and praised it as a sign 
from God that such had happened on this the highest festival 
of our poor Church, and I prayed his Majesty graciously to 
receive what my daughter desired to present to him ; where- 
upon his Majesty looked on her and smiled pleasantly. Such 
gracious bearing made her bold again, albeit she trembled 
visibly just before, and she reached him a blue and yellow 
wreath whereon lay the carmen, saying, " Acc'ipe hanc vilem 
coronam et h<ec" whereupon she began to recite the carmen. 
Meanwhile his Majesty grew more and more gracious, looking 
now on her and now on the carmen, and nodded with especial 
kindness towards the end, which was as follows : 



Tempus erit, quo tu reversus ab hostibus ultor 

Intrabis patriae libera regna meae ; 
Tune meliora student nostras tibi carmina musse, 

Tune tua, maxime rex, Martia facta canam. 
Tu modo versiculis ne spernas vilibus ausum 

Augur or et res est ista futura brevi ! 
Sis fbelix, fortisque diu, vive optime princeps, 

Omnia, et ut possis vincere, dura. Vale ! " * 

* Thou shalt return chastiser of the foe, 
To the freed kingdoms of my native land 1 



THE AMBER WITCH 307 

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

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

Then shall our song with loftier cadence flow, 

Boasting the deeds of thy heroic hand ! 

Scorn not, meanwhile, the feeble lines which thus 

Thy future glory and success foretell. 

Live, prince beloved ! be brave, be prosperous ; 

Conquer, howe'er opposed, and fare thee well ! 



308 THE AMBER WITCH 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Hoiu little Mary Paasch was sorely plagued of the devil, and 
the whole parish fell off from me. 

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

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

Such news vexed me sore, and after putting on my cassock 
I went to old Paasch his house, to exorcise the foul fiend, and 
to remove such disgrace from my child. I found the old 
man standing on the floor by the cockloft steps, weeping ; 
and after I had spoken "The peace of God," I asked him 



THE AMBER WITCH 309 

first of all, whether he really believed that his little Mary 
had been bewitched by means of the roll which my child 
had given her ? He said " Yes ! " And when I answered, 
That in that case I also must have been bewitched, item, Pagel 
his little girl, seeing that we both had eaten of the rolls, he 
was silent, and asked me with a sigh, whether I would not 
go into the room, and see for myself how matters stood. I 
then entered with " The peace of God," and found six people 
standing round little Mary her bed ; her eyes were shut, and 
she was as stiff as a board ; wherefore Kit Wels (who was a 
young and sturdy fellow) seized the little child by one leg, 
and held her out like a hedge-stake, so that I might see how 
the devil plagued her. I now said a prayer, and Satan, per- 
ceiving that a servant of Christ was come, began to tear the 
child so fearfully that it was pitiful to behold ; for she flung 
about her hands and feet, so that four strong men were scarce 
able to hold her ; item, she was afflicted with extraordinary 
risings and fallings of her belly, as if a living creature were 
therein, so that at last the old witch Lizzie Kolken sat herself 
upon her belly, whereupon the child seemed to be somewhat 
better, and I told her to repeat the Apostles' Creed, so as to 
see whether it really were the devil who possessed her.* She 
straightway grew worse than before, and began to gnash her 
teeth, to roll her eyes, and to strike so hard with her hands 
and feet that she flung her father, who held one of her legs, 
right into the middle of the room, and then struck her foot so 
hard against the bedstead that the blood flowed, and Lizzie 
Kolken was thrown about on her belly, as though she had 
been in a swing. And as I ceased not, but exorcised Satan 
that he should leave her, she began to howl and to bark like a 
dog, item, to laugh, and spoke at last, with a gruff bass voice 

* It was imagined in those fearful times that when the sick person 
could repeat the three articles of belief, and especially some passages 
from the Bible bearing particular reference to the work of redemption, 
he was not possessed, since "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, 
but by the Holy Ghost " (i Cor. xii. 3). 



310 THE AMBER WITCH 

like an old man's, " I will not depart." But he should soon 
have been forced to depart out of her, had not both father and 
mother besought me, by God's holy Sacrament, to leave their 
poor child in peace, seeing that nothing did her any good, but 
rather made her worse. I was therefore forced to desist, 
and only admonished the parents to seek for help like the 
Canaanitish woman, in true repentance and incessant prayer, 
and with her to sigh in constant faith, " Have mercy upon me, 
O Lord, thou son of David, my daughter is grievously vexed 
of a devil" (Matt, xv.) ; that the heart of our Lord would 
then melt, so that He would have mercy on their child, and 
command Satan to depart from her. Item, I promised to 
pray for the little child on the following Sunday with the 
whole congregation, and told them to bring her, if it were 
any ways possible, to the church, seeing that the ardent 
prayer of the whole congregation has power to rise beyond 
the clouds. This they promised to do, and I then went 
home sorely troubled, where I soon learned that she was 
somewhat better ; thus it still is sure that Satan hates nothing 
so much, after the Lord Jesus, as the servants of the Gospel. 
But wait, and I shall even yet " bruise thy head with my 
heel" (Gen. iii. ) ; naught shall avail thee. 

Howbeit, before the blessed Sunday came I perceived 
that many of my people went out of my way, both in the 
village and elsewhere in the parish, where I went to visit 
sundry sick folks. When I went to Uekeritze to see young 
Tittelwitz, there even befell me as follows. Glaus Pieper 
the peasant stood in his yard chopping wood, and on seeing 
me he flung the axe out of his hand so hastily that it stuck 
in the ground, and he ran towards the pig-stye, making the 
sign of the cross. I motioned him to stop, and asked why 
he thus ran from me his confessor ? Whether, peradventure, 
he also believed that my daughter had bewitched her little 
godchild ? Ille. Yes, he believed it, because the whole 
parish did. Ego. Why, then, had she been so kind to her 



THE AMBER WITCH 311 

formerly, and kept her like a sister, through the worst of the 
famine ? Hie. This was not the only mischief she had 
done. Ego. What, then, had she done besides ? Ille. 
That was all one to me. Ego. He should tell me, or I 
would complain to the magistrate. Ille. That I might do, 
if I pleased. Whereupon he went his way insolently. 
Any one may guess that I was not slow to inquire every- 
where, what people thought my daughter had done ; but no 
one would tell me anything, and I might have grieved to 
death at such evil reports. Moreover, not one child came 
during this whole week to school to my daughter ; and when 
I sent out the maid to ask the reason, she brought back word 
that the children were ill, or that the parents wanted them 
for their work. I thought and thought, but all to no pur- 
pose, until the blessed Sunday came round, when I meant to 
have held a great Sacrament, seeing that many people had 
made known their intention to come to the Lord's Table. It 
seemed strange to me that I saw no one standing, as was 
their wont, about the church door ; I thought, however, that 
they might have gone into the houses. But when I went 
into the church with my daughter, there were not more than 
six people assembled, among whom was old Lizzie Kolken ; 
and the accursed witch no sooner saw my daughter follow 
me, than she made the sign of the cross and ran out of the 
door under the steeple ; whereupon the five others, among 
them mine own churchwarden Claus Bulken (I had not 
appointed any one in the room of old Seden), followed her. 
I was so horror-struck that my blood curdled, and I began 
to tremble, so that I fell with my shoulder against the con- 
fessional. My child, to whom I had as yet told nothing, in 
order to spare her, then asked me, " Father, what is the 
matter with all the people ? are they, too, bewitched ? " 
Whereupon I came to myself again, and went into the 
churchyard to look after them. But all were gone save my 
churchwarden Claus Bulken, who stood under the lime-tree 



3ia THE AMBER WITCH 

whistling to himself. I stepped up to him, and asked what 
had come to the people ? whereupon he answered, he could 
not tell ; and when I asked him again, why, then, he himself 
had left the church, he said, What was he to do there alone, 
seeing that no collection could be made ? I then implored 
him to tell me the truth, and what horrid suspicion had 
arisen against me in the parish ? But he answered, I should 
very soon find it out for myself; and he jumped over the 
wall and went into old Lizzie her house, which stands close 
by the churchyard. 

My child had made ready some veal broth for dinner, for 
which I mostly use to leave everything else ; but I could 
not swallow one spoonful, but sat resting my head on my 
hand, and doubted whether I should tell her or no. Mean- 
while the old maid came in, ready for a journey, and with a 
bundle in her hand, and begged me with tears to give her 
leave to go. My poor child turned pale as a corpse, and 
asked in amaze what had come to her ? but she merely 
answered, " Nothing ! " and wiped her eyes with her apron. 
When I recovered my speech, which had well-nigh left me 
at seeing that this faithful old creature was also about to 
forsake me, I began to question her why she wished to go ; 
she who had dwelt with me so long, and who would not for- 
sake us even in the great famine, but had faithfully borne up 
against it, and indeed had humbled me by her faith, and had 
exhorted me to stand out gallantly to the last, for which I 
should be grateful to her as long as I lived. Hereupon she 
merely wept and sobbed yet more, and at length brought out 
that she still had an old mother of eighty, living in Liepe, 
and that she wished to go and nurse her till her end. Here- 
upon my daughter jumped up, and answered with tears, 
" Alas, old Use, why wilt thou leave us, for thy mother is 
with thy brother ! Do but tell me why thou wilt forsake 
me, and what harm have I done thee, that I may make 
it good to thee again." But she hid her face in her apron, 



THE AMBER WITCH 313 

and sobbed, and could not get out a single word ; whereupon 
my child drew away the apron from her face, and would 
have stroked her cheeks, to make her speak. But when Use 
saw this she struck my poor child's hand, and cried " Ugh! " 
spat out before her, and straightway went out at the door. 
Such a thing she had never done even when my child was a 
little girl, and we were both so shocked that we could neither 
of us say a word. 

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



314 THE AMBER WITCH 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Ho<w my poor child 'was taken up for a witch, and carried 
to Pudgla. 

THE next day, Monday, the I2th July, at about eight in the 
morning, while we sat in our grief, wondering who could have 
prepared such great sorrow for us, and speedily agreed that it 
could be none other than the accursed witch Lizzie Kolken, 
a coach with four horses drove quickly up to the door, wherein 
sat six fellows, who straightway all jumped out. Two went 
and stood at the front, two at the back door, and two more, 
one of whom was the constable Jacob Knake, came into the 
room, and handed me a warrant from the sheriff for the arrest 
of my daughter, as in common repute of being a wicked witch, 
and for her examination before the criminal court. Any one 
may guess how my heart sunk within me when I read this. 
I dropped to the earth like a felled tree, and when I came to 
myself my child had thrown herself upon me with loud cries, 
and her hot tears ran down over my face. When she saw 
that I came to myself, she began to praise God therefore with 
a loud voice, and essayed to comfort me, saying that she was 
innocent, and should appear with a clean conscience before 
her judges. Item, she repeated to me the beautiful text from 
Matthew, chap. v. : " Blessed are ye when men shall revile 
you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against 
you falsely for My sake." 

And she begged me to rise and to throw my cassock over 
my doublet, and go with her, for that without me she would 
not suffer herself to be carried before the sheriff. Meanwhile, 
however, all the village men, women, and children had 
thronged together before my door ; but they remained quiet, 
and only peeped in at the windows as though they would have 
looked right through the house. When we had both made 



THE AMBER WITCH 315 

us ready, and the constable, who at first would not take me 
with them, had thought better of it, by reason of a good fee 
which my daughter gave him, we walked to the coach ; but 
I was so helpless that I could not get up into it. 

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

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



3*$ THE AMBER WITCH 

thanked God when she came to life again, and we could 
leave the village. But at Uekeritze it was just the same, for 
all the people had flocked together, and were standing on the 
green before Labahn his house when we went by. 

Nevertheless, they were quiet enough as we drove past, 
albeit some few cried, " How can it be, how can it be ? " I 
heard nothing else. But in the forest near the watermill the 
miller and all his men ran out and shouted, laughing, " Look 
at the witch, look at the witch ! " Whereupon one of the 
men struck at my poor child with the sack which he held in 
his hand, so that she turned quite white, and the flour flew all 
about the coach like a cloud. When I rebuked him, the 
wicked rogue laughed and said, That if no other smoke than 
that ever came under her nose, so much the better for her. 
Item, it was worse in Pudgla than even at the mill. The 
people stood so thick on the hill, before the castle, that we 
could scarce force our way through, and the sheriff caused 
the death-bell in the castle tower to toll as an avisum. 
Whereupon more and more people came running out of the 
ale-houses and cottages. Some cried out, " Is that the 
witch ? " Others, again, " Look at the parson's witch ! the 
parson's witch ! " and much more, which for very shame I 
may not write. They scraped up the mud out of the gutter 
which ran from the castle kitchen and threw it upon us ; item, 
a great stone, the which struck one of the horses so that it 
shied, and belike would have upset the coach had not a man 
sprung forward and held it in. All this happened before the 
castle gates, where the sheriff stood smiling and looking on, 
with a heron's feather stuck in his grey hat. But so soon as 
the horse was quiet again he came to the coach and mocked 
at my child, saying, " See, young maid, thou wouldest not 
come to me, and here thou art nevertheless ! " Whereupon 
she answered, " Yea, I come ; and may you one day come 
before your Judge as I come before you ; " whereunto I said, 
Amen, and asked him how his lordship could answer before 



THE AMBER WITCH 317 

God and man for what he had done to a wretched man like 
myself and to my child ? But he answered, saying, Why 
had I come with her ? And when I told him of the rude 
people here, item, of the churlish miller's man, he said that 
it was not his fault, and threatened the people all around with 
his fist, for they were making a great noise. Thereupon he 
commanded my child to get down and to follow him, and 
went before her into the castle ; motioned the constable, who 
would have gone with them, to stay at the foot of the steps, 
and began to mount the winding staircase to the upper rooms 
alone with my child. 

But she whispered me privately, " Do not leave me, father ; " 
and I presently followed softly after them. Hearing by their 
voices in which chamber they were, I laid my ear against 
the door to listen. And the villain offered to her that if 
she would love him naught should harm her, saying he had 
power to save her from the people ; but that if she would not, 
she should go before the court next day, and she might guess 
herself how it would fare with her, seeing that he had many 
witnesses to prove that she had played the wanton with Satan, 
and had suffered him to kiss her. Hereupon she was silent, 
and only sobbed, which the arch rogue took as a good sign, 
and went on, " If you have had Satan himself for a sweet- 
heart, you surely may love me." And he went to her and 
would have taken her in his arms, as I perceived ; for she 
gave a loud scream, and flew to the door ; but he held her 
fast, and begged and threatened as the devil prompted him. 
I was about to go in when I heard her strike him in the face, 
saying, " Get thee behind me, Satan," so that he let her go. 
Whereupon she ran out at the door so suddenly that she 
threw me on the ground, and fell upon me with a loud cry. 
Hereat the sheriff, who had followed her, started, but 
presently cried out, " Wait, thou prying parson, I will teach 
thee to listen ! " and ran out and beckoned to the constable 
who stood on the steps below. He bade him first shut me 



3*8 THE AMBER WITCH 

up in one dungeon, seeing that I was an eavesdropper, and 
then return and thrust my child into another. But he 
thought better of it when he had come half way down the 
winding- stair, and said he would excuse me this time, and 
that the constable might let me go, and only lock up my child 
very fast, and bring the key to him, seeing she was a stubborn 
person, as he had seen at the very first hearing which he had 
given her. 

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



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Of thejirst trial, and what came thereof. 

NEXT morning, as I walked up and down in the court, seeing 
that I had many times asked the constable in vain to lead me 
to my child (he would not even tell me where she lay), and 
for very disquietude I had at last begun to wander about 
there ; about six o'clock there came a coach from Uzdom,* 
wherein sat his worship, Master Samuel Pieper, consul diri- 
gens, item, the camerarius Gebhard Wenzel, and a scriba, 
whose name, indeed, I heard, but have forgotten it again ; 
and my daughter forgot it too, albeit in other things she has 
an excellent memory, and, indeed, told me most of what 
follows, for my old head well-nigh burst, so that I myself 
could remember but little. I straightway went up to the 
coach, and begged that the worshipful court would suffer me 
to be present at the trial, seeing that my daughter was yet 
* Or Usedom, a small town which gives its name to the whole island. 



THE AMBER WITCH 319 

in her nonage, but which the sheriff, who meanwhile had 
stepped up to the coach from the terrace, whence he had 
seen all, had denied me. But his worship Master Samuel 
Pieper, who was a little round man, with a fat paunch, and a 
beard mingled with grey hanging down to his middle, reached 
me his hand, and condoled with me like a Christian in my 
trouble : I might come into court in God's name ; and he 
wished with all his heart that all whereof my daughter was 
fyled might prove to be foul lies. Nevertheless I had still to 
wait full two hours before their worships came down the 
winding stair again. At last towards nine o'clock I heard 
the constable moving about the chairs and benches in the 
judgment chamber ; and as I conceived that the time was 
now come, I went in and sat myself down on a bench. No 
one, however, was yet there, save the constable and his young 
daughter, who was wiping the table, and held a rosebud 
between her lips. I was fain to beg her to give it me, so that I 
might have it to smell to ; and I believe that I should have 
been carried dead out of the room that day if I had not had 
it. God is thus able to preserve our lives even by means of 
a poor flower, if so He wills it ! 

At length their worships came in and sat round the table, 
whereupon Dom. Consul motioned the constable to fetch in 
my child. Meanwhile he asked the sheriff whether he had 
put Rea in chains, and when he said No, he gave him such a 
reprimand that it went through my very marrow. But the 
sheriff excused himself, saying that he had not done so from 
regard to her quality, but had locked her up in so fast 
a dungeon, that she could not possibly escape therefrom. 
Whereupon Dom. Consul answered that much is possible to the 
devil, and that they would have to answer for it should Rea 
escape. This angered the sheriff, and he replied that if the 
devil could convey her through walls seven feet thick, and 
through three doors, he could very easily break her chains too. 
Whereupon Dom. Consul said that hereafter he would look at 



320 THE AMBER WITCH 

the prison himself ; and I think that the sheriff had been so 
kind only because he yet hoped (as, indeed, will hereafter be 
shown) to talk over my daughter to let him have his will of her. 
And now the door opened, and my poor child came in 
with the constable, but walking backwards,* and without her 
shoes, the which she was forced to leave without. The 
fellow had seized her by her long hair, and thus dragged her 
up to the table, when first she was to turn round and look 
upon her judges. He had a vast deal to say in the matter, 
and was in every way a bold and impudent rogue, as will 
soon be shown. After Dom. Consul had heaved a deep 
sigh, and gazed at her from head to foot, he first asked her 
her name, and how old she was ; item, if she knew why she 
was summoned before them ? On the last point she answered 
that the sheriff had already told her father the reason ; that 
she wished not to wrong any one, but thought that the sheriff 
himself had brought upon her the repute of a witch, in order 
to gain her to his wicked will. Hereupon she told all his ways 
with her, from the very first, and how he would by all means 
have had her for his housekeeper ; and that when she would 
not (although he had many times come himself to her father his 
house), one day, as he went out of the door, he had muttered 
in his beard, " I will have her, despite of all ! " which their 
servant Claus Neels had heard, as he stood in the stable ; and 
he had also sought to gain his ends by means of an ungodly 
woman, one Lizzie Kolken, who had formerly been in his 
service ; that this woman, belike, had contrived the spells 
which they laid to her charge : she herself knew nothing of 
witchcraft; item, she related what the sheriff had done to 
her the evening before, when she had just come, and when he 
for the first time spoke out plainly, thinking that she was then 
altogether in his power : nay, more, that he had come to her 

* This ridiculous proceeding always took place at the first examina- 
tion of a witch, as it was imagined that she would otherwise bewitch 
the judges with her looks. On this occasion indeed such an event was 
not unlikely. 



THE AMBER WITCH 321 

that very night again, in her dungeon, and had made her the 
same offers, saying that he would set her free if she would 
let him have his will of her ; and that when she denied 
him, he had struggled with her, whereupon she had screamed 
aloud, and had scratched him across the nose, as might yet be 
seen, whereupon he had left her ; wherefore she would not 
acknowledge the sheriff as her judge, and trusted in God to 
save her from the hand of her enemies, as of old He had saved 
the chaste Susannah. 

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

VOL. II. X 



322 THE AMBER WITCH 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile Dominus Camerarius Gebhard Wenzel sat biting 



THE AMBER WITCH 323 

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

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

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

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

Quastio. Whether she could bewitch ? Responsio. No ; 
she knew nothing of witchcraft. 

Q. Whether she could charm ? R. Of that she knew as 
little. 

Q. Whether she had ever been on the Blocksberg ? R. 
That was too far off for her ; she knew few hills save the 
Streckelberg, where she had been very often. 

Q. What had she done there ? R. She had looked out 
over the sea, or gathered flowers ; item, at times carried home 
an apronful of dry brushwood. 

Q. Whether she had ever called upon the devil there ? 
R. That had never come into her mind. 



324 THE AMBER WITCH 

Q. Whether, then, the devil had appeared to her there, un- 
called ? R. God defend her from such a thing. 

Q. So she could not bewitch ? R. No. 

Q. What, then, befell Kit Zuter his spotted cow, that it 
suddenly died in her presence ? R. She did not know ; and 
that was a strange question. 

Q. Then it would be as strange a question, why Katie 
Berow her little pig had died ? R. Assuredly ; she wondered 
what they would lay to her charge. 

Q. Then she had not bewitched them ? R. No ; God 
forbid it. 

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

Q. What cattle had she cured ? R. Zabel his red cow ; 
item, Witthan her pig, and old Lizzie's own cow. 

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

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



THE AMBER WITCH 325 

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

Q. It was in vain that she sought to shift the guilt from 
off herself ; had she not bewitched old Paasch his crop, nay, 
even her own father's, and caused it to be trodden down by 
the devil, if em, 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 wor- 
ship 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 ? 



3*6 THE AMBER WITCH 

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. Diete- 
rich 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 327 

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, white 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 



328 THE AMBER WITCH 

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

Q. Wilt thou even yet deny ? Reverend Abraham, how 
stubborn is your child ! See here, is this no witches' salve,* 
which the constable fetched out of thy coffer last night ? Is 
this no witches' salve, eh ? R. It was a salve for the skin, 
which would make it soft and white, as the apothecary at 
Wolgast had told her, of whom she bought it. 

Q. Hereupon he shook his head, and went on : How ! 
wilt thou then lastly deny that on this last Saturday the loth 
July, at twelve o'clock at night, thou didst on the Streckelberg 
call upon thy paramour the devil in dreadful words, where- 
upon 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. 

* 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. 



THE AMBER WITCH 329 

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 Riidiger 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 August'ini, which 
the Cantor at Wolgast wanted to sell. That it was not her 



330 THE AMBER WITCH 

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. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

How Satan, by the permission of the most righteous God, sought 
altogether to ruin us, and hoiv e 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 331 

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 main- 
tain 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 

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, saha venid, mocked at us with unseemly gestures in 
the midst of the road when he saw us coming. The con- 
stable 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 Streck- 
elberg ! 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 con- 
stable 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 333 

sheriff, Dom. Consul, and myself in my anguish did try 
everywhere with the stake. 

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

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

But the gown which she had worn at the arrival of the 
most illustrious king Gustavus Adolphus, as well as the 
golden chain with his effigy which he had given her, I had 
locked up as though it were a relic in the chest in the vestry, 
among the altar and pulpit cloths, and there we found them 
still ; and when I excused myself 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 



334 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 I Ubl libido dominatur, innocentia le*ue pra- 
sidium eft." * 

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, f 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 him- 
self, 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 con- 
stable and be tied behind the coach, to run after it, as we 

* These words are from Cicero, if I do not mistake, 
f 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. 



THE AMBER WITCH 335 

had no room for her elsewhere ; for that he had often been 
told that all old women who had red squinting eyes and sharp 
voices were witches, not to mention the suspicious things which 
Rea had declared against her. But he answered that he 
could not do this, seeing that old Lizzie was a woman in 
good repute, and fearing God, as Dom. Consul might learn 
for himself; but that, nevertheless, he had had her summoned 
for the morrow, together with the other witnesses. 

Yea, in truth, an excellently devout and worthy woman ! 
for scarcely were we out of the village, when so fearful 
a storm of thunder, lightning, wind, and hail burst over our 
heads, that the corn all around us was beaten down as with a 
flail, and the horses before the coach were quite maddened ; 
however, it did not last long. But my poor child had to 
bear all the blame again,* inasmuch as Dom. Consul thought 
that it was not old Lizzie, which, nevertheless, was as clear 
as the sun at 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, \ 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 

* Such sudden storms were attributed to witches. 

f It is so called to the present day, and is distant a mile from Cosero\\ . 



336 THE AMBER WITCH 

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." 



THE AMBER WITCH 337 

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 con- 
stable, 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, Riidiger, 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 ; inso- 
much that Master Seep had to undress me like a little child, 
and to help me into bed. 

VOL. n. Y 



338 THE AMBER WITCH 



CHAPTER XX. 

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 ; " * 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, Glaus 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 
* Gal. iv. 6. 



THE AMBER WITCH 339 

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 
StefTen of Zempin his daughter, not farmer Steffen, but the 
lame gouty StefTen), 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 : 

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

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

file. 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. 

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

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

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



340 THE AMBER WITCH 

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. 

Ilia (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. 

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

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

Ilia. 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. 

Ilia. 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 thaii I had seen 
her for a long time, and smiled at me with her sweet little 



THE AMBER WITCH 341 

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 protoc ollum which the young lord 
hath signed manu proprid ! " 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 



342 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 ; " * and 
that the faithlessness of the young lord had surely broken her 
poor heart if the all-merciful God had not graciously pre- 
vented 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 
* Jer. xvii. 5. 



THE AMBER WITCH 343 

Good Shepherd ! " Meanwhile Dom. Camerar'ws 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 med presented. 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. 



CHAPTER XXL 
De confrontatlone 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 Use 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 



344 THE AMBER WITCH 

of our Saviour, " He that eateth bread with Me hath lift up 
his heel against Me : " and she held fast by my chair. Old 
Use, too, could not walk straight for very grief, nor could 
she speak for tears, but she twisted and wound herself about 
before the court, like a woman in travail. But when Dom. 
Consul threatened that the constable should presently help her 
to her words, she testified that my child had very often got up 
in the night, and called aloud upon the foul fiend. 

Q. Whether she had ever heard Satan answer her ? 
R. She never had heard him at all. 

Q. Whether she had perceived that Rea had a familiar 
spirit, and in what shape ? She should think upon her oath, 
and speak the truth. R. She had never seen one. 

Q. Whether she had ever heard her fly up the chimney ? 
R. Nay, she had always gone softly out at the door. 

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

Q. Whether she had never heard Rea cast a spell, or wish 
harm to this or that person ? R. No, never ; she had always 
wished her neighbours nothing but good, and even in the time 
of bitter famine had taken the bread out of her own mouth to 
give it to others. 

Q. Whether she did not know the salve which had been 
found in Rea her 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 345 

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 



346 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 per- 
ceived 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 per- 
ceived 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 ; " where- 
upon Dom. Consul answered, "Yea, but not by us, but by 






THE AMBER WITCH 347 

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 Use. I, too, went in my sorrow, seeing that I 
knew not what the women might do to her. She wept bitterly 
as they undressed her, and held her hands over her eyes for 
very shame. 

Well-a-day, her body was just as white as my departed 
wife's ; although in her childhood, as I remember, she was 
very yellow, and I saw with amazement the mole between her 
breasts, whereof I had never heard aught before. But she 
suddenly screamed violently and started back, seeing that the 
constable his wife, when nobody watched her, had run a needle 
into the mole, so deep that the red blood ran down over her 
breasts. I was sorely angered thereat, but the woman said 
that she had done it by order of the judge,* which, indeed, 
was true ; for when we came back into court, and the sheriff 
asked how it was, she testified that there was a mark of the 
size of a silver penny, of a yellowish colour, but that it had 
feeling, seeing that Rea had screamed aloud, when she had, 
unperceived, driven a needle therein. Meanwhile, however, 
Dom. Camerarius suddenly rose, and stepping up to my child, 
drew her eyelids asunder and cried out, beginning to tremble, 
" Behold the sign which never fails : " f 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 

* 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. 

f See, among other authorities, Delrio, Disquisit. magiccs, lib. v. tit. 
xiv. No. 28. 



348 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 para- 
mour, and seen him appear in the likeness of a hairy giant, and 
kiss and caress thee ? " 

Hereupon old Paasch, good wife 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, notwith- 
standing 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 349 

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 Use 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. More- 
over, that I was so weakened by age and misery, that I needed 
help and support, which she would faithfully give me, and 
was ready to sleep in the stable, if needs must be ; that she 
wanted no wages for it, I was only not to turn her away. 
Such kindness made my daughter to weep, and she said to 
me, " Behold, father, the good folks come back to us again ; 
think you, then, that the good angels will forsake us for ever ? 
I thank thee, old Use ; thou 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 



3^0 THE AMBER WITCH 

day of judgment for what she then did for me and for my 
poor child ! 



CHAPTER XXII. 

ffotv 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 
Use had roasted for him, he would tarry no longer, but 
straightway went up to the castle, whence he did not return 
till the following afternoon. His manner was not more 
friendly now than at his first coming, and I followed him 
with sighs when he asked me to lead him to my daughter. 
As we went in with the constable, and I, for the first time, 
saw my child in chains before me she who in her whole 
life had never hurt a worm I again felt as though I should 
die for very grief. But she smiled and cried out to Dom. 
Syndicus, "Are you indeed the good angel who will cause 
my chains to fall from my hands, as was done of yore to 
St. Peter ? " * To which he replied, with a sigh, " May 
the Almighty God grant it ; " and as, save the chair whereon 
my child sat against the wall, there was none other in the 

* The Acts of the Apostles, xii. 7. 



THE AMBER WITCH 351 

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 tcr 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 prases thereof is a cousin of the sheriff, and ofttimes 
goes a hunting with him. Besides, thou being charged with 
a capital crime hast nojfckr, 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 
defcnsio" 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 



352 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 Use when she carried him 
his breakfast next day. 

At the above-named time, he sent the new constable for 
me, who, meanwhile, had been fetched from Uzdom at his 
desire. For the sheriff was exceeding wroth when he heard 
that the impudent fellow had attempted my child in the 
prison, and cried out in a rage, " S'death and 'ouns, I'll 
mend thy coaxing ' " Whereupon he gave him a sound 



THE AMBER WITCH 353 

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 Koppner, 
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 exa- 
mined, 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 

VOL. II. 2, 



354 THE AMBER WITCH 

that Rea, who had ever shown herself a dutiful child, would 
have bewitched her own father's corn, or made cater- 
pillars 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 Orel, asserts ; item, the Malleus Malejtcarum * 
proves beyond doubt, that the wicked children of Satan oft- 
times change themselves into all manner of beasts, as the foul 
fiend himself likewise seduced our first parents in the shape of 
a serpent (Gen. iii. ). 

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

6. That Rea was erroneously charged with that as a crimen 
which ought rather to serve as her justification, namely, her 
sudden riches. For the Malleus Maleficarum expressly says 
that a witch can never grow rich, seeing that Satan, to do 
dishonour to God, always buys them for a vile price, so that 
they should not betray themselves by their riches.-]' Where- 
fore 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 

* The celebrated " Hammer for Witches" of Innocent VIII., which 
appeared in 1489, and gave directions for the whole course of proceed- 
ing to be observed at trials for witchcraft. 

f The original words of the " Hammer for Witches," torn. i. quest. 
18, in answer to the question, Cur maleficce non ditentur ? are, Ut juxta 
complacenUam dcemonis in contumeliam Creatoris, quantum possibile 
est, pro vilissimo pretio emantur, et secundo, ne in divitis notentur. 



THE AMBER WITCH 

found amber on the mountain ; that the spells of old Lizzie 
might have been the cause why they could not find the vein 
of amber again, or that the sea might have washed away the 
cliff below, as often happens, whereupon the top had slipped 
down, so that only a miraculum naturale had taken place. 
The proof which he brought forward from Scripture we have 
quite forgotten, seeing it was but middling. 

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

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

9. With regard to the appearance of the foul fiend on the 
mountain in the shape of a hairy giant, that indeed was the 
heaviest gravamen, inasmuch as not only old Lizzie, but 



356 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 mis- 
taken 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 ; neverthe- 
less, Saul had taken it for Samuel. In like manner the old 
harlot might have conjured up the devil before Rea^ who did 
not perceive that it was not the young lord, but Satan, who 
had put on that shape in order to seduce her ; for as Rea was 
a fair woman, none could wonder that the devil gave himself 
more trouble for her than for an old withered hag, seeing he 
has ever sought after fair women to lie with them.* 

Lastly, he argued that Rea was in nowise marked as a 
witch, for that she neither had bleared and squinting eyes nor 
a hooked nose, whereas old Lizzie had both, which Theo- 
phrastus 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 defensw. 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. 

* Gen. vi. 2. 



THE AMBER WITCH 357 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

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 re- 
ceived. 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. Syndlcus 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 Use 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 



358 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 legit'ima, pragnantia et sufficientia ad torturam ipsam ; 
to wit 

1. Mala fama. 

2. Malefic'ium, publice commissum. 

3. Apparltlo damonis in monte. 

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

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

* The minister at Bentz, a village situated at a short distance from 
Pudgla. 






THE AMBER WITCH 359 

but that the Holy Ghost expressly saith in the New Testa- 
ment (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. ) ; ifem, 
* 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 



360 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 witch- 
craft, 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 tor- 
ment 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 Ben<zensis 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 there- 
fore went into the next room, and from thence down into a 
vault, where was the torture-chamber, wherein were no win- 
dows, 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 361 

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 triereby 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 



362 THE AMBER WITCH 

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." * 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 magistrates." 

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 

* It was believed that when witches endured the torture with unusual 
patience, or even slept during the operation, which, strange to say, fre- 
quently occurred, 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." 



THE AMBER WITCH 363 

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 dis- 
ciples J ( St. John xiii. ) ; yourselves will act the part of savage 
beasts, and tear with your own hands the body of an innocent 



364 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 follows : 

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 Ben%ensls 
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 ; where- 
upon, 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, 



THE AMBER WITCH 365 

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 ma!r.,i, 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 torture-bench. 

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 



366 THE AMBER WITCH 

only shook her poor blinded head, and sighed with her dying 
Saviour, " Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," and then in Greek, 
"Gee fiov, Gee p.ov, /a ri p-f e'yKare'Awres." * 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 
swound. 

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 c hail- 
to sit upon, although Dom. Camerarlus 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 
bewitch. 

Q. Who taught her to do so ? R. Satan himself. 

Q. How many devils had she ? R. One devil was enough 
for her. 

* " My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ? "Matt, xxvii. 46. 



THE AMBER WITCH 367 

Q. What was this devil called? Ilia (considering). His 
name was Disidamonia.* 

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 
follows : 

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. .f 

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 

* AetcnScu^ona Superstition. What an extraordinary woman ! 
t It was impossible to decipher this name in the MS, 



368 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 thumb- 
screw 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 
deny?" 

Hereupon the worshipful court at last were satisfied, and 
suffered her to be lifted off the torture-bench, especially as 
she confessed the artlculus 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 hedge- 
hog, 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. 



THE AMBER WITCH 369 

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 house- 
keeper, 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. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Ho*w 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 har- 
dened sinner. But the Lord had pity upon me, although I de- 
served 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 

VOL. II. 2 A 



370 THE AMBER WITCH 

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, saha venid, 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 371 

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,* 
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 com- 
forted 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 

* 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 (Alraun- 
wurzel) 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. 



372 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 * 
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 wood- 
pecker 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, 

* 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. 



THE AMBER WITCH 373 

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 



374 THE AMBER WITCH 

him there but just before the vermin crawled in, and straight- 
way 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 death- 
bed, 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 Camerarms 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, where- 
fore 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 375 

blessed Saturday and Sunday, talking all manner of allotrta. 
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. Ixxiii.). 



CHAPTER XXV. 

Ho<w Satan sifted me Tike 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; 



376 THE AMBER WITCH 

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." Mean- 
while 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 377 

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." Hie. " 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 ! " * 

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. 
* Tobit iii. 22, 23, Luther's Version. 



378 THE AMBER WITCH 

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 Abra- 
ham, must I teach you Scripture ? Did not our Lord 
Christ pardon Mary Magdalene, who lived in open whore- 
dom ? and did He not speak forgiveness to the poor adulteress 
who had committed a still greater cr'imen ? 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 



THE AMBER WITCH 379 

your daughter is still greater than that which this David felt 
for Bathsheba ; and I will gladly make it all up to you two- 
fold as soon as we are in my cottage/' 

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 paper." 

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 under- 
stood 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 



380 THE AMBER WITCH 

which I likewise place here, in order that all may see my 
folly, and the wisdom of my child. It was as follows :* 

IESVS ! 
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 communi- 
onem facias cum inimicis meis, et non intelligas : in tali vita 
esse mortem, et in tali morte vitam ? Scilicet si clementis- 

* It is evidently written by a female hand, and probably the original 
letter ; there are, however, no traces of sealing-wax or wax upon it, 
whence I infer that it was sent open, which, from its being written in a 
foreign language, would have been perfectly safe. I have purposely left 
the few grammatical errors it contains, as the smallest alteration of this 
gem would appear to me in the light of a treason against the character 
of this incomparable woman. 

Translation. 

JESUS ! 
Unhappy Father ! 

I shall not to-morrow grow more pale at sight of the pile, nor will 
the pile grow more red on receiving me, than I grew pale and then red 
while reading thy letter. How? and hath Satan so tempted thee, 
pious father, pious servant of the Lord, that thou hast made common 
cause with mine enemies, and that thou understandest not that in such 
life is death, and in such death is life? For if the all-merciful God 
forgave Mary Magdalene and other sinners, He forgave them because 
they repented of the weakness of their flesh, and sinned not again. 
And shall I sin with so great abhorrence of the flesh, and that not once 
but again and again without return even until death ? How could the 
all-merciful God forgive this to the vilest of women ? Unhappy father ! 
remember what thou hast told me of the holy martyrs, and of the 
virgins of the Lord, who all lost their lives rather than lose their chas- 
tity. These will I follow, hoping that my spouse Jesus Christ will also 
give to wretched me a crown of eternal glory, although, indeed, I have 
not less offended through the weakness of the flesh than Mary, declar- 
ing myself to be guilty, whereas I am innocent. Be strong, therefore, 
and pray for me unto God, and not unto the devil, so that I may soon 
pray for thee before the face of God. 

MARY S. , a Prisoner. 



THE AMBER WITCH 381 

simus Deus Marias Magdalense 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, quse omnes mallent vitam 
quam pudicitiam perdere. His et ego sequar, et sponsus 
meus, Jesus Christus, et mihi miserse, ut spero, coronam 
geternam 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. 

MARIA S., captiva. 

When the sheriff heard this he flung the pitcher which he 
held in his hand to the ground, so that it flew in pieces, and 
cried, "The cursed devil's whore ! the constable shall make 
her squeak for this a good hour longer ; " with many more 
such things beside, which he said in his malice, and which I 
have now forgotten ; but he soon became quite gracious again, 
and said, " She is foolish ; do you go to her and see whether 
you cannot persuade her to her own good as well as yours ; 
the huntsman shall let you in, and should the fellow listen, 
give him a good box on the ears in my name ; do you hear, 
reverend Abraham ? Go now forthwith and bring me back 
an answer as quickly as possible ! " I therefore followed 
the huntsman, who led me into a vault where was no light 
save what fell through a hole no bigger than a crown-piece ; 
and here my daughter sat upon her bed and wept. Any one 
may guess that I straightway began to weep too, and was no 
better able to speak than she. We thus lay mute in each 
other's arms for a long time, until I at last begged her to 
forgive me for my letter, but of the sheriff his message I 
said naught, although I had purposed so to do. But before 



382 THE AMBER WITCH 

long we heard the sheriff himself call down into the vault 
from above, "What (and here he gave me a heavy curse) 
are you doing there so long ? Come up this moment, reverend 
Johannes ! " Thus I had scarce time to give her one kiss 
before the huntsman came back with the keys and forced us 
to part; albeit we had as yet scarcely spoken, save that I 
had told her in a few words what had happened with old 
Lizzie. It would be hard to believe into what grievous 
anger the sheriff fell when I told him that my daughter 
remained firm and would not hearken unto him ; he struck 
me on the breast, and said, " Go to the devil then, thou in- 
famous parson ! " and when I turned myself away and would 
have gone, he pulled me back, and said, " If thou breathest 
but one word of all that has passed, I will have thee burnt 
too, thou grey-headed old father of a witch ; so look to it ! " 
Hereupon I plucked up a heart, and answered that that 
would be the greatest joy to me, especially if I could be 
burnt to-morrow with my child. Hereunto he made no 
answer, but clapped to the door behind me. Well, clap the 
door as thou wilt, I greatly fear that the just God will one 
day clap the doors of heaven in thy face ! 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

How I received the Holy Sacrament with my daughter and the 
old maid- servant, and how she was then led for the last 
time before the court, with the drawn sword and the 
outcry, to receive sentence. 

Now any one would think that during that heavy Tuesday 
night I should not have been able to close mine eyes ; but 
know, dear reader, that the Lord can do more than we can 
ask or understand, and that His mercy is new every morning. 
For toward daybreak I fell asleep as quietly as though I 



THE AMBER WITCH 383 

had had no care upon my heart ; and when I awoke I was 
able to pray more heartily than I had done for a long time ; 
so that, in the midst of my tribulation, I wept for joy at such 
great mercy from the Lord. But I prayed for naught save 
that He would endow my child with strength and courage to 
suffer the martyrdom He had laid upon her with Christian 
patience, and to send His angel to me, woeful man, so. to 
pierce my heart with grief when I should see my child burn, 
that it might straightway cease to beat, and I might presently 
follow her. And thus I still prayed when the maid came in 
all dressed in black, and with the silken raiment of my sweet 
lamb hanging over her arm ; and she told me, with many 
tears, that the dead-bell had already tolled from the castle 
tower, for the first time, and that my child had sent for her 
to dress her, seeing that the court was already come from 
Usedom, and that in about two hours she was to set out on 
her last journey. Moreover, she had sent her word that she 
was to take her some blue and yellow flowers for a garland ; 
wherefore she asked me what flowers she should take ; and 
seeing that a jar, filled with fine lilies and forget-me-nots, 
stood in my window, which she had placed there yesterday, 
I said, "Thou canst gather no better flowers for her than 
these, wherefore do thou carry them to her, and tell her that 
I will follow thee in about half-an-hour, in order to receive 
the sacrament with her." Hereupon the faithful old creature 
prayed me to suffer her to go to the sacrament with us, the 
which I promised her. And scarce had I dressed myself 
and put on my surplice when Pastor Benzensis came in at 
the door and fell upon my neck, weeping, and as mute as a 
fish. As soon as he came to his speech again he told me of 
the great miraculum (damonis I mean) which had befallen at 
the burial of old Lizzie. For that, just as the bearers were 
about to lower the coflin into the grave, a noise was heard 
therein as though of a carpenter boring through a deal board ; 
wherefore they thought the old hag must be come to life 



384 THE AMBER WITCH 

again, and opened the coffin. But there she lay as before, 
all black and blue in the face and as cold as ice ; but her 
eyes had started wide open, so that all were horror-stricken, 
and expected some devilish apparition ; and, indeed, a live 
rat presently jumped out of the coffin and ran into a skull 
which lay beside the grave. Thereupon they all ran away, 
seeing that old Lizzie had ever been in evil repute as a witch. 
Howbeit at last he himself went near the grave again, where- 
upon the rat disappeared, and all the others took courage and 
followed him. This the man told me, and any one may 
guess that this was in fact Satan, who had flown down the 
hag her throat as an insect, whereas his proper shape was 
that of a rat : albeit I wonder what he could so long have 
been about in the carrion ; unless indeed it were that the evil 
spirits are as fond of all that is loathsome as the angels of 
God are of all that is fair and lovely. Be that as it may. 
Summa : I was not a little shocked at what he told me, and 
asked him what he now thought of the sheriff? whereupon 
he shrugged his shoulders, and said, that he had indeed been 
a wicked fellow as long as he could remember him, and that 
it was full ten years since he had given him any first-fruits ; 
but that he did not believe that he was a warlock, as old 
Lizzie had said. For although he had indeed never been to 
the table of the Lord in his church, he had heard that he 
often went, at Stettin, with his princely Highness the Duke, 
and that the pastor at the castle church had shown him the 
entry in his communion-book. Wherefore he likewise could 
not believe that he had brought this misery upon my daughter, 
if she were innocent, as the hag had said ; besides, that my 
daughter had freely confessed herself a witch. Hereupon I 
answered, that she had done that for fear of the torture ; but 
that she was not afraid of death ; whereupon I told him, 
with many sighs, how the sheriff had yesterday tempted me, 
miserable and unfaithful servant, to evil, insomuch that I had 
been willing to sell my only child to him and to Satan, and 



THE AMBER WITCH 385 

was not worthy to receive the sacrament to-day. Likewise 
how much more steadfast a faith my daughter had than I, as 
he might see from her letter, which I c * :1> carried in my 
pocket ; herewith I gave it into his hand, and when he had 
read it, he sighed as though he had been himself a father, 
and said, " Were this true, I should sink into the earth for 
sorrow ; but come, brother, come, that I may prove her 
faith myself." 

Hereupon we went up to the castle, and on our way we 
found the greensward before the hunting-lodge, item, the whole 
space in front of the castle, already crowded with people, who, 
nevertheless, were quite quiet as we went by : we gave our 
names again to the huntsman. (I have never been able to 
remember his name, seeing that he was a Polak ; he was not, 
however, the same fellow who wooed my child, and whom 
the sheriff had therefore turned off.) The man presently 
ushered us into a fine large room, whither my child had been 
led when taken out of her prison. The maid had already 
dressed her, and she looked lovely as an angel. She wore 
the chain of gold with the effigy round her neck again, item, 
the garland in her hair, and she smiled as we entered, saying, 
" I am ready ! " Whereat the reverend Martinus was sorely 
angered and shocked, saying, " Ah, thou ungodly woman, 
let no one tell me further of thine innocence ! Thou art 
about to go to the Holy Sacrament, and from thence to death, 
and thou flauntest as a child of this world about to go to the 
dancing-room." Whereupon she answered and said, " Be 
not wroth with me, dear godfather, because that I would go 
into the presence of my good King of Heaven in the same 
garments wherein I appeared some time since before the good 
King of Sweden. For it strengthens my weak and trembling 
flesh, seeing I hope that my righteous Saviour will in like 
manner take me to His heart, and will also hang His effigy 
upon my neck when I stretch out my hands to Him in all 
humility, and recite my carmen, saying, * O Lamb of God, 

VOL. II. 2 B 



386 THE AMBER WITCH 

innocently slain upon the cross, give me Thy peace, O Jesu ! ' ' 
These words softened my dear gossip, and he spoke, saying, 
"Ah, child, child, I thought to have reproached thee, but 
thou hast constrained me to weep with thee : art thou 
then indeed innocent?" "Verily," said she, "to you, my 
honoured god-father, I may now own that I am innocent, as 
truly as I trust that God will aid me in my last hour through 
Jesus Christ. Amen." 

When the maid heard this, she made such outcries that I 
repented that I had suffered her to be present, and we all had 
enough to do to comfort her from the Word of God till she 
became somewhat more tranquil ; and when this was done my 
dear gossip thus spake to my child : " If, indeed, thou dost 
so steadfastly maintain thine innocence, it is my duty, accord- 
ing to my conscience as a priest, to inform the worshipful 
court thereof;" and he was about to leave the room. But 
she withheld him, and fell upon the ground and clasped his 
knees, saying, " I beseech you, by the wounds of Jesus, to be 
silent. They would stretch me on the rack again, and un- 
cover my nakedness, and I, wretched weak woman, would in 
such torture confess all that they would have me, especially if 
my father again be there, whereby both my soul and my body 
are tortured at once : wherefore stay, I pray you, stay ; is it 
then a misfortune to die innocent, and is it not better to die 
innocent than guilty ? " 

My good gossip at last gave way, and after standing awhile 
and praying to himself, he wiped away his tears, and then 
spake the exhortation to confession, in the words of Isa. xliii. 
i, 2 : "But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O 
Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not; for I have 
redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name : thou art 
Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be 
with thee ; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow 
thee : when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not 
be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For 



THE AMBER WITCH 387 

I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy 
Saviour." 

And when he had ended this comfortable address, and 
asked her whether she would willingly bear until her last 
hour that cross which the most merciful God, according to 
His unsearchable will, had laid upon her, she spake such beauti- 
ful words that my gossip afterwards said he should not forget 
them so long as he should live, seeing that he had never wit- 
nessed a bearing at once so full of faith and joy, and withal 
so deeply sorrowful. She spake after this manner : " Oh, 
holy cross, which my Jesus hath sanctified by His innocent 
suffering ; oh, dear cross, which is laid upon me by the hand 
of a merciful Father ; oh, blessed cross, whereby I am made 
like unto my Lord Jesus, and am called unto eternal glory 
and blessedness : how ! shall I not willingly bear thee, thou 
sweet cross of my bridegroom, of my brother ? " The 
reverend Johannes had scarce given us absolution, and after 
this, with many tears, the Holy Sacrament, when we heard a 
loud trampling upon the floor, and presently the impudent 
constable looked into the room and asked whether we were 
ready, seeing that the worshipful court was now waiting for 
us ; and when he had been told that we were ready, my 
child would have first taken leave of me, but I forbade her, 
saying, " Not so ; thou knowest that which thou hast promised 
me ; . . . ( and whither thou goest I will go, and where 
thou lodgest I will lodge : . . . where thou diest will I 
die . . . ' ; * if that the Lord, as I hope, will hear the 
ardent sighs of my poor soul." Hereupon she let me go, 
and embraced only the old maid- servant, thanking her for 
all the kindness she had shown her from her youth up, and 
begging her not to go with her to make her death yet more 
bitter by her cries. The faithful old creature was unable 
for a long time to say a word for tears. Howbeit at last she 
begged forgiveness of my child, for that she had unwittingly 
* Ruth i. 16, 



388 THE AMBER WITCH 

accused her, and said, that out of her wages she had bought 
five pounds' weight of flax to hasten her death ; that the 
shepherd of Pudgla had that very morning taken it with him 
to Coserow, and that she should wind it closely round her 
body ; for that she had seen how old wife Schurne, who was 
burnt in Liepe, had suffered great torments before she came 
to her death, by reason of the damp wood. 

But ere my child could thank her for this, the dreadful 
outcry of blood began in the judgment-chamber ; for a voice 
cried as loudly as might be, " Woe upon the accursed witch, 
Mary Schweidler, because that she hath fallen off from the 
living God ! " Then all the folk without cried, " Woe upon 
the accursed witch ! " When I heard this I fell back against 
the wall, but my sweet child stroked my cheeks with her 
darling hands, and said, "Father, father, do but remember 
that the people likewise cried out against the innocent Jesus, 
' Crucify Him, crucify Him ! ' Shall not we then drink of the 
cup which our heavenly Father hath prepared for us ? " 

Hereupon the door opened, and the constable walked in, 
amid a great tumult among the people, holding a drawn sword 
in his hand which he bowed thrice before my child and cried, 
" Woe upon the accursed witch, Mary Schweidler, because 
that she hath fallen off from the living God ! " and all the 
folks in the hall and without the castle cried as loud as they 
could, " Woe upon the accursed witch ! " 

Hereupon he said, " Mary Schweidler, come before the 
high and worshipful court, to hear sentence of death passed 
upon thee ! " Whereupon she followed him with us two 
miserable men (for Pastor Benzensis was no less cast down 
than myself). As for the old maid-servant, she lay on the 
ground for dead. 

After we had with great pains pushed our way through all 
the people, the constable stood still before the open judgment- 
chamber, and once more bowed his sword before my child, 
and cried for the third time, " Woe upon the accursed witch, 



THE AMBER WITCH 389 

Mary Schweidler, because that she hath fallen off from the 
living God ! " And all the people, as well as the cruel 
judges themselves, cried as loud as they could, " Woe upon 
the accursed witch ! " 

When we had entered the room, Dom. Consul first asked 
my worthy gossip whether the witch had abode by her free 
avowal in confession ; whereupon, after considering a short 
time, he answered, that he had best ask herself, for there she 
stood. Accordingly, taking up a paper which lay before him 
on the table, he spake as follows " Mary Schweidler, now 
that thou hast confessed, and received the holy and most 
honourable sacrament of the Lord's Supper, answer me once 
again these following questions : 

1. Is it true that thou hast fallen off from the living God 
and given thyself up to Satan ? 

2. Is it true that thou hadst a spirit called Disidamonia, 
who re-baptized thee and carnally knew thee ? 

3. Is it true that thou hast done all manner of mischief to 
the cattle ? 

4. Is it true that Satan appeared to thee on the Streckel- 
berg in the likeness of a hairy giant ? " 

When she had with many sighs said " Yes " to all these 
questions, he rose, took a wand in one hand and a second 
paper in the other, put his spectacles on his nose, and said, 
"Now, then, hear thy sentence." (This sentence I since 
copied : he would not let me see the other Act a, but pre- 
tended that they were at Wolgast. The sentence, however, 
was word for word as follows.) 

" We, the sheriff and the justices appointed to serve the 
high and worshipful criminal court. Inasmuch as Mary 
Schweidler, the daughter of Abraham Schweidlerus, the 
pastor of Coserow, hath, after the appointed inquisition, 
repeatedly made free confession, that she hath a devil named 
Disidamonia) the which did re-baptize her in the sea, and did 
also know her carnally ; item, that she by his help did mis- 



390 THE AMBER WITCH 

chief to the cattle; that he also appeared to her on the 
Streckelberg in the likeness of a hairy giant. We do there- 
fore by these presents make known and direct, that Rea be 
first duly torn four times on each breast with red-hot iron 
pincers, and after that be burned to death by fire, as a right- 
ful punishment to herself and a warning to others. Never- 
theless, we, in pity for her youth, are pleased of our mercy 
to spare her the tearing with red-hot pincers, so that she 
shall only suffer death by the simple punishment of fire. 
Wherefore she is hereby condemned and judged accordingly 
on the part of the criminal court. 

" Publication at the castle of Pudgla, the 3<Dth day mentis 
Augusti, anno Salutis 1630." ( 

As he spake the last word he brake his wand in two and 
threw the pieces before the feet of my innocent lamb, saying 
to the constable, " Now, do your duty ! " But so many 
folks, both men and women, threw themselves on the ground 
to seize the pieces of the wand (seeing they are said to be 
good for the gout in the joints, item, for cattle when troubled 
with lice), that the constable fell to the earth over a woman 
who was on her knees before him, and his approaching death 
was thus foreshadowed to him by the righteous God. 
Something of the same sort likewise befell the sheriff now 
for the second time ; for when the worshipful court rose, 
throwing down tables, stools, and benches, a table, under 

* Readers who are unacquainted with the atrocious administration of 
justice in those days, will be surprised at this rapid and arbitrary mode 
of proceeding. But I have seen authentic witch-trials wherein a mere 
notary condemned the accused to the torture and to death without the 
smallest hesitation ; and it may be considered as a mark of humanity 
whenever the acts on which judgment was given were sent to an univer- 
sity, or to some other tribunal. For the sentence of death appears to 
have been almost invariably passed by the inferior courts, and no 
appeal seems to have been possible ; indeed in these affairs their wor- 
ships, as in this case, usually made incredible haste, which, it must be 
admitted, is perhaps the only good quality which the modern courts of 
justice might borrow from the old ones. 



THE AMBER WITCH 391 

which two boys were fighting for the pieces of the wand, 
fell right upon his foot, whereupon he flew into a violent 
rage, and threatened the people with his fist, saying that they 
should have fifty right good lashes apiece, both men and 
women, if they were not quiet forthwith, and did not depart 
peaceably out of the room. This frighted them, and after 
the people were gone out into the street, the constable took 
a rope out of his pocket, wherewith he bound my lamb her 
hands so tightly behind her back that she cried aloud ; but 
when she saw how this wrung my heart, she straightway 
constrained herself and said, " O father, remember that it 
fared no better with the blessed Saviour ! " Howbeit, 
when my dear gossip, who stood behind her, saw that her 
little hands, and more especially her nails, had turned black 
and blue, he spoke for her to the worshipful court, where- 
upon the abominable sheriff only said, " Oh, let her be ; let 
her feel what it is to fall off from the living God." But 
Dom. Consul was more merciful, inasmuch as, after feeling 
the cords, he bade the constable bind her hands less cruelly 
and slacken the rope a little, which accordingly he was 
forced to do. But my dear gossip was not content here- 
with, and begged that she might sit in the cart without being 
bound, so that she should be able to hold her hymn-book, 
for he had summoned the school to sing a hymn by the 
way for her comfort, and he was ready to answer for it 
with his own head that she should not escape out of the 
cart. Moreover, it is the custom for fellows with pitch- 
forks always to go with the carts wherein condemned crimi- 
nals, and more especially witches, are carried to execution. 
But this the cruel sheriff would not suffer, and the rope was 
left upon her hands, and the impudent constable seized her 
by the arm and led her from the judgment-chamber. But in 
the hall we saw a great scandalum, which again pierced my 
very heart. For the housekeeper and the impudent con- 
stable his wife were fighting for my child her bed, and her 



392 THE AMBER WITCH 

linen, and wearing apparel, which the housekeeper had taken 
for herself, and which the other woman wanted to have. 
The latter now called to her husband to help her, whereupon 
he straightway let go my daughter and struck the housekeeper 
on her mouth with his fist, so that the blood ran out therefrom, 
and she shrieked and wailed fearfully to the sheriff, who 
followed us with the court. He threatened them both in 
vain, and said that when he came back he would inquire into 
the matter and give to each her due share. But they would not 
hearken to this, until my daughter asked Dom. Consul whether 
every dying person, even a condemned criminal, had power 
to leave his goods and chattels to whomsoever he would ? 
And when he answered, " Yes, all but the clothes, which 
belong of right to the executioner," she said, "Well, then, 
the constable may take my clothes, but none shall have my 
bed save my faithful old maid-servant Use ! " Hereupon 
the housekeeper began to curse and revile my child loudly, 
who heeded her not, but stepped out at the door toward the 
cart, where there stood so many people that naught could be 
seen save head against head. The folks crowded about us so 
tumultuously that the sheriff, who, meanwhile, had mounted 
his grey horse, constantly smote them right and left across 
their eyes with his riding- whip, but they nevertheless would 
scarce fall back. Howbeit, at length he cleared the way, 
and when about ten fellows with long pitchforks, who for the 
most part also had rapiers at their sides, had placed themselves 
round about our cart, the constable lifted my daughter up 
into it, and bound her fast to the rail. Old Paasch, who 
stood by, lifted me up, and my dear gossip was likewise 
forced to be lifted in, so weak had he become from all the 
distress. He motioned his sexton, Master Krekow, to walk 
before the cart with the school, and bade him from time to 
time lead a verse of the goodly hymn, " On God alone I 
rest my fate/' which he promised to do. And here I will 
also note, that I myself sat down upon the straw by my 



THE AMBER WITCH 393 

daughter, and that our dear confessor the reverend Martinus 
sat backwards. The constable was perched up behind with 
his drawn sword. When all this was done, item, the court 
mounted up into another carriage, the sheriff gave the order 
to set out. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

Of that 'which befell us by the <way Item, of the fearful death of 
the sheriff at the mill. 

WE met with many wonders by the way, and with great 
sorrow ; for hard by the bridge, over the brook which runs 
into the Schmolle,* stood the housekeeper her hateful boy, 
who beat a drum and cried aloud, " Come to the roast goose ! 
come to the roast goose ! " whereupon the crowd set up a loud 
laugh, and called out after him, " Yes, indeed, to the roast 
goose ! to the roast goose ! " Howbeit, when Master Krekow 
led the second verse the folks became somewhat quieter again, 
and most of them joined in singing it from their books, which 
they had brought with them. But when he ceased singing 
awhile the noise began again as bad as before. Some cried 
out, "The devil hath given her these clothes, and hath 
adorned her after that fashion ; " and seeing the sheriff had 
ridden on before, they came close round the cart, and felt 
her garments, more especially the women and young maidens. 
Others, again, called loudly, as the young varlet had done, 
" Come to the roast goose ! come to the roast goose ! " where- 
upon one fellow answered, " She will not let herself be roasted 
yet ; mind ye that : she will quench the fire ! " This, and 
much filthiness beside, which I may not for very shame write 
down, we were forced to hear, and it especially cut me to 
the heart to hear a fellow swear that he would have some of 
her ashes, seeing he had not been able to get any of the 
* A lake near Pudgla. 



394 THE AMBER WITCH 

wand ; and that naught was better for the fever and the gout 
than the ashes of a witch. I motioned the Gustos to begin 
singing again, whereupon the folks were once more quiet for 
a while i.e., for so long as the verse lasted ; but afterwards 
they rioted worse than before. But we were now come 
among the meadows, and when my child saw the beauteous 
flowers which grew along the sides of the ditches, she fell 
into deep thought, and began again to recite aloud the sweet 
song of St. Augustinus as follows : 

" Flos perpetuus rosarum ver agit perpetuum, 
Candent lilia, rubescit crocus, sudat balsamum, 
Virent prata, vernant sata, rivi mellis influunt, 
Pigmentorum spirat odor liquor et aromatum, 
Pendent poma floridorum non lapsura nemorum 
Non alternat luna vices, sol vel cursus syderum 
Agnus est foelicis urbis lumen inocciduum." * 

By this Cams we gained that all the folk ran cursing away 
from the cart, and followed us at the distance of a good 
musket-shot, thinking that my child was calling on Satan to 
help her. Only one lad, of about five-and-twenty, whom, 
however, I did not know, tarried a few paces behind the cart, 
until his father came, and seeing he would not go away 
willingly, pushed him into the ditch, so that he sank up to 
his loins in the water. Thereat even my poor child smiled, 
and asked me whether I did not know any more Latin 
hymns wherewith to keep the stupid and foul-mouthed people 
still further from us. But, dear reader, how could I then 
have been able to recite Latin hymns, even had I known 

* " Around them, bright with endless Spring, perpetual roses bloom, 
Warm balsams gratefully exude luxurious perfume ; 
Red crocuses, and lilies white, shine dazzling in the sun ; 
Green meadows yield them harvests green, and streams with honey 

run ; 

Unbroken droop the laden boughs, with heavy fruitage bent, 
Of incense and of odours strange the air is redolent : 
And neither sun, nor moon, nor stars dispense their changeful light, 
But the Lamb's eternal glory makes the happy city bright ! " 



THE AMBER WITCH 395 

any ? But my Confrater, the reverend Martinus, knew such 
an one ; albeit, it is indeed heretical ; nevertheless, seeing 
that it above measure pleased my child, and that she made 
him repeat to her sundry verses thereof three and four times, 
until she could say them after him, I said naught ; otherwise 
I have ever been very severe against aught that is heretical. 
Howbeit, I comforted myself therewith that our Lord God 
would forgive her in consideration of her ignorance. And 
the first line ran as follows : Dies tra, dies ilia.* But these 
two verses pleased her more than all the rest, and she recited 
them many times with great edification, wherefore I will insert 

them here : 

1 ' Judex ergo cum sedebit 
Quidquid latet apparebit 
Nil inultum remanebit : 

Item, 

Rex tremendae majestatis 
Qui salvandos salvas gratis 
Salva me, fons pietatis ! " f 

When the men with the pitchforks, who were round about 
the cart, heard this, and at the same time saw a heavy storm 
coming up from the Achterwater, J they straightway thought 
no other but that my child had made it ; and, moreover, the 
folk behind cried out, " The witch hath done this ; the 
damned witch hath done this ! " and all the ten, save one 
who stayed behind, jumped over the ditch, and ran away. 
But Dom. Consul, who, together with the worshipful court, 
drove behind us, no sooner saw this than he called to the 

* Day of wrath, that dreadful day ; one of the most beautiful of the 
Catholic hymns. 

f " The judge ascends his awful throne, 
He makes each secret sin be known, 
And all with shame confess their own. 

Thou mighty formidable king ! 
Thou mercy's unexhausted spring, 
Some comfortable pity bring." Old Version, 
J A wash formed by the river Peene, 



396 THE AMBER WITCH 

constable, " What is the meaning of all this ? " Whereupon 
the constable cried aloud to the sheriff, who was a little way 
on before us, but who straightway turned him about, and 
when he had heard the cause, called after the fellows that he 
would hang them all upon the first tree, and feed his falcons 
with their flesh, if they did not return forthwith. This 
threat had its effect ; and when they came back he gave each 
of them about half-a-dozen strokes with his riding-whip, 
whereupon they tarried in their places, but as far off from the 
cart as they could for the ditch. 

Meanwhile, however, the storm came up from the southward, 
with thunder, lightning, hail, and such a wind, as though the 
all-righteous God would manifest His wrath against these ruth- 
less murderers ; and the tops of the lofty beeches around us 
were beaten together like besoms, so that our cart was covered 
with leaves as with hail, and no one could hear his own voice 
for the noise. This happened just as we were entering the 
forest from the convent dam, and the sheriff now rode close 
behind us, beside the coach wherein was Dom. Consul. More- 
over, just as we were crossing the bridge over the mill-race, 
we were seized by the blast, which swept up a hollow from 
the Achterwater with such force that we conceived it must 
drive our cart down the abyss, which was at least forty feet 
deep or more ; and seeing that, at the same time, the horses did 
as though they were upon ice, and could not stand, the driver 
halted to let the storm pass over, the which the sheriff no 
sooner perceived, than he galloped up and bade him go on forth- 
with. Whereupon the man flogged on the horses, but they 
slipped about after so strange a fashion, that our guards with 
the pitchforks fell back, and my child cried aloud for fear ; 
and when we were come to the place where the great water- 
wheel turned just below us, the driver fell with his horse, which 
broke one of its legs. Then the constable jumped down from 
the cart, but straightway fell too, on the slippery ground ; 
item, the driver, after getting on his legs again, fell a second 



THE AMBER WITCH 397 

time. Hereupon the sheriff with a curse spurred on his grey 
charger, which likewise began to slip as our horses had also 
done. Nevertheless, he came sliding towards us, without, 
however, falling down ; and when he saw that the horse with 
the broken leg still tried to get up, but always straightway fell 
again on the slippery ground, he hallooed and beckoned the 
fellows with pitchforks to come and unharness the mare ; 
item, to push the cart over the bridge, lest it should be carried 
down the precipice. Presently a long flash of lightning shot 
into the water below us, followed by a clap of thunder so 
sudden and so awful that the whole bridge shook, and the 
sheriff his horse (our horses stood quite still) started back a 
few paces, lost its footing, and, together with its rider, shot 
headlong down upon the great mill-wheel below, whereupon 
a fearful cry arose from all those that stood behind us on the 
bridge. For a while naught could be seen for the white 
foam, until the sheriff his legs and body were borne up into 
the air by the wheel, his head being stuck fast between the 
fellies ; and thus, fearful to behold, he went round and round 
upon the wheel. Naught ailed the grey charger, which 
swam about in the mill-pond below. When I saw this, I 
seized the hand of my innocent lamb, and cried, " Behold, 
Mary, our Lord God yet liveth ! ' And he rode upon a 
cherub, and did fly ; yea, he did fly upon the wings of the 
wind. Then did he beat them small as the dust before the 
wind ; he did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.' * 
Look down, and see what the Almighty God hath done." 
While she hereupon raised her eyes toward heaven with a 
sigh, we heard Dom. Consul calling out behind us as loudly 
as he could : and, seeing that none could understand his 
words for the fearful storm and the tumult of the waters, he 
jumped down from the coach, and would have crossed the 
bridge on foot, but straightway he fell upon his nose, so that 
it bled, and he crept back again on his hands and feet, and 
* Ps. xviii. 10, 42. 



398 THE AMBER WITCH 

held a long talk with Dom. Camerarius, who, howbeit, did 
not stir out of the coach. Meanwhile, the driver and the 
constable had unyoked the maimed horse, bound it, and 
dragged it off the bridge, and now they came back to the 
cart, and bade us get down therefrom, and cross the bridge 
on foot, the which we did after that the constable had un- 
bound my child, with many curses and ill words, threatening 
that, in return for her malice, he would keep her roasting till 
late in the evening. (I could not blame him much there- 
fore ; for truly this was a strange thing ! ) But, albeit, my 
child herself got safe across ; we two I mean reverend 
Martinus and myself like all the others, fell two or three 
times to the ground. At length we all, by God His grace, 
got safe and sound to the miller's house, where the constable 
delivered my child into the miller his hands, to guard her on 
forfeit of his life, while he ran down to the mill-pond to save 
the sheriff his grey charger. The driver was bidden the 
while to get the cart and the other horses off the bewitched 
bridge. We had, however, stood but a short time with the 
miller, under the great oak before his door, when Dom. Consul 
with the worshipful court, and all the folks, came over the 
little bridge, which is but a couple of musket shots off from 
the first one, and he could scarce prevent the crowd from 
falling upon my child and tearing her in pieces, seeing that 
they all, as well as Dom. Consul himself, imagined that none 
other but she had brewed the storm, and bewitched the 
bridge (especially as she herself had not fallen thereon), and 
had likewise caused the sheriff his death ; all of which, 
nevertheless, were foul lies, as ye shall hereafter hear. He, 
therefore, railed at her for a cursed she-devil, who, even 
after having confessed and received the holy Sacrament, had 
not yet renounced Satan ; but that naught should save her, 
and she should, nevertheless, receive her reward. And, 
seeing that she kept silence, I hereupon answered, " Did he 
not see that the all-righteous God had so ordered it, that 



THE AMBER WITCH 399 

the sheriff, who would have robbed my innocent child of her 
honour and her life, had here forfeited his own life as a fear- 
ful example to others ? " But Dom. Consul would not see 
this, and said that a child might perceive that our Lord God 
had not made this storm, or did I peradventure believe that 
our Lord God had likewise bewitched the bridge ? I had 
better cease to justify my wicked child, and rather begin to 
exhort her to repent, seeing that this was the second time 
that she had brewed a storm, and that no man with a grain of 
sense could believe what I said, &c. 

Meanwhile the miller had already stopped the mill, item, 
turned off the water, and some four or five fellows had gone 
with the constable down to the great water-wheel, to take 
the sheriff out of the fellies, wherein he had till datum still 
been carried round and round. This they could not do until 
they had first sawn out one of the fellies ; and when at last 
they brought him to the bank, his neck was found to be broken, 
and he was as blue as a corn-flower. Moreover, his throat 
was frightfully torn, and the blood ran out of his nose and 
mouth. If the people had not reviled my child before, they 
reviled her doubly now, and would have thrown dirt and 
stones at her, had not the worshipful court interfered with 
might and main, saying that she would presently receive her 
well-deserved punishment. 

Also, my dear gossip, the reverend Martinus, climbed up 
into the cart again, and admonished the people not to forestall 
the law ; and seeing that the storm had somewhat abated, he 
could now be heard. And when they had become somewhat 
more quiet, Dom. Consul left the corpse of the sheriff in 
charge with the miller, until such time as, by God's help, he 
should return. Item, he caused the grey charger to be tied 
up to the oak-tree till the same time, seeing that the miller 
swore that he had no room in the mill, inasmuch as his stable 
was filled with straw ; but that he would give the grey horse 
some hay, and keep good watch over him. And now were 



400 THE AMBER WITCH 

we wretched creatures forced to get into the cart again, after 
that the unsearchable will of God had once more dashed all 
our hopes. The constable gnashed his teeth with rage, while 
he took the cords out of his pocket to bind my poor child to 
the rail withal. As I saw right well what he was about to 
do, I pulled a few groats out of my pocket, and whispered 
into his ear, " Be merciful, for she cannot possibly run away, 
and do you hereafter help her to die quickly, and you shall 
get ten groats more from me ! " This worked well, and 
albeit he pretended before the people to pull the ropes tight, 
seeing they all cried out with might and main, " Haul hard, 
haul hard," in truth, he bound her hands more gently than 
before, and even without making her fast to the rail ; but he 
sat up behind us again with the naked sword, and after that 
Dom. Consul had prayed aloud, " God the Father, dwell 
with us," likewise the Gustos had led another hymn (I know 
not what he sang, neither does my child), we went on our 
way, according to the unfathomable will of God, after this 
fashion : the worshipful court went before, whereas all the 
folks to our great joy fell back, and the fellows with the 
pitchforks lingered a good way behind us, now that the 
sheriff was dead. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

ffoiv my daughter was at length saved by the help of the all- 
merciful, yea, of the all-merciful God. 

MEANWHILE, by reason of my unbelief, wherewith Satan again 
tempted me, I had become so weak that I was forced to lean 
my back against the constable his knees, and expected not to 
live even till we should come to the mountain ; for the last 
hope I had cherished was now gone, and I saw that my 
innocent lamb was in the same plight. Moreover, the 



THE AMBER WITCH 401 

reverend Martinus began to upbraid her, saying that he, too, 
now saw that all her oaths were lies, and that she really 
could brew storms. Hereupon she answered, with a smile, 
although, indeed, she was as white as a sheet, "Alas, 
reverend godfather, do you then really believe that the 
weather and the storms no longer obey our Lord God ? 
Are storms, then, so rare at this season of the year, that 
none save the foul fiend can cause them ? Nay, I have 
never broken the baptismal vow you once made in my name, 
nor will I ever break it, as I hope that God will be merci- 
ful to me in my last hour, which is now at hand." But 
the reverend Martinus shook his head doubtingly, and said, 
" The evil one must have promised thee much, seeing thou 
remainest so stubborn even unto thy life's end, and blasphemest 
the Lord thy God ; but wait, and thou wilt soon learn with 
horror that the devil 'is a liar, and the father of it'" (St. 
John viii.). Whilst he yet spake this, and more of a like 
kind, we came to Uekeritze, where all the people, both great 
and small, rushed out of their doors, also Jacob Schwarten 
his wife, who, as we afterwards heard, had only been brought 
to bed the night before, and her goodman came running after 
her to fetch her back, in vain. She told him he was a fool, 
and had been one for many a weary day, and that if she had 
to crawl up the mountain on her bare knees, she would go to 
see the parson's witch burnt ; that she had reckoned upon it 
for so long, and if he did not let her go, she would give him 
a thump on the chaps, &c. 

Thus did the coarse and foul-mouthed people riot around 
the cart wherein we sat, and as they knew not what had be- 
fallen, they ran so near us that the wheel went over the foot 
of a boy. Nevertheless they all crowded up again, more 
especially the lasses, and felt my daughter her clothes, and 
would even see her shoes and stockings, and asked her how' 
she felt. Item, one fellow asked whether she would drink 
somewhat, with many more fooleries besides, till at last, when 

VOL. n. 2 c 



402 THE AMBER WITCH 

several came and asked her for her garland and her golden 
chain, she turned towards me and smiled, saying, " Father, 
I must begin to speak some Latin again, otherwise the folks 
will leave me no peace." But it was not wanted this time ; 
for our guards, with the pitchforks, had now reached the 
hindmost, and, doubtless, told them what had happened, as 
we presently heard a great shouting behind us, for the love of 
God to turn back before the witch did them a mischief; and 
as Jacob Schwarten his wife heeded it not, but still plagued 
my child to give her her apron to make a christening coat for 
her baby, for that it was pity to let it be burnt, her goodman 
gave her such a thump on her back with a knotted stick which 
he had pulled out of the hedge, that she fell down with loud 
shrieks ; and when he went to help her up she pulled him 
down by his hair, and, as reverend Martinus said, now exe- 
cuted what she had threatened ; inasmuch as she struck him 
on the nose with her fist with might and main, until the other 
people came running up to them, and held her back. Mean- 
while, however, the storm had almost passed over, and sank 
down toward the sea. 

And when we had gone through the little wood, we 
suddenly saw the Streckelberg before us, covered with 
people, and the pile and stake upon the top, upon the which 
the tall constable jumped up when he saw us coming, and 
beckoned with his cap with all his might. Thereat my 
senses left me, and my sweet lamb was not much better ; for 
she bent to and fro like a reed, and stretching her bound 
hands toward heaven, she once more cried out 

' ' Rex tremendse majestatis ! 
Qui salvandos salvas gratis, 
Salva me, fons pietatis ! " * 

And, behold, scarce had she spoken these words, when the 

sun came out and formed a rainbow right over the mountain 

most pleasant to behold ; and it is clear that this was a sign 

* Vide p. 395. 



THE AMBER WITCH 403 

from the merciful God, such as He often gives us, but which 
we blind and unbelieving men do not rightly mark. Neither 
did my child heed it ; for albeit she thought upon that first 
rainbow which shadowed forth our troubles, yet it seemed to 
her impossible that she could now be saved, wherefore she 
grew so faint, that she no longer heeded the blessed sign of 
mercy, and her head fell forwards (for she could no longer 
lean it upon me, seeing that I lay my length at the bottom of 
the cart), till her garland almost touched my worthy gossip 
his knees. Thereupon, he bade the driver stop for a moment 
and pulled out a small flask filled with wine, which he 
always carries in his pocket when witches are to be burnt,* 
in order to comfort them therewith in their terror. (Hence- 
forth, I myself will ever do the like, for this fashion of my 
dear gossip pleases me well. ) He first poured some of this 
wine down my throat, and afterwards down my child's ; and 
we had scarce come to ourselves again, when a fearful noise 
and tumult arose among the people behind us, and they not 
only cried out in deadly fear, " The sheriff is come back ! 
the sheriff is come again ! " but as they could neither run 
away forwards nor backwards (being afraid of the ghost behind 
and of my child before them), they ran on either side, some 
rushing into the coppice, and others wading into the Achter- 
water up to their necks. Jtem, as soon as Dom. Gamer arius 
saw the ghost come out of the coppice with a grey hat and a 
grey feather, such as the sheriff wore, riding on the grey 
charger, he crept under a bundle of straw in the cart : and 
Dom. Consul cursed my child again, and bade the coachmen 
drive on as madly as they could, even should all the horses 
die of it, when the impudent constable behind us called to 
him, " It is not the sheriff, but the young lord of Nienkerken, 
who will surely seek to save the witch : shall I, then, cut 

* Which so often happened at that time, that in many parishes of 
Pomerania six or seven of these unhappy women were brought to the 
stake every year. 



404 THE AMBER WITCH 

her throat with my sword ? " At these fearful words my 
child and I came to ourselves again, and the fellow had 
already lift up his naked sword to smite her, seeing Dom. 
Consul had made him a sign with his hand, when my dear 
gossip, who saw it, pulled my child with all his strength back 
into his lap. (May God reward him on the day of judgment, 
for I never can.) The villain would have stabbed her as 
she lay in his lap ; but the young lord was already there, and 
seeing what he was about to do, thrust the boar-spear, which 
he held in his hand, in between the constable's shoulders, so 
that he fell headlong on the earth, and his own sword, by 
the guidance of the most righteous God, went into his ribs 
on one side, and out again at the other. He lay there and 
bellowed, but the young lord heeded him not, but said to my 
child, " Sweet maid, God be praised that you are safe ! " 
When, however, he saw her bound hands, he gnashed his 
teeth, and, cursing her judges, he jumped off his horse, and 
cut the rope with his sword, which he held in his right hand, 
took her hand in his, and said, " Alas, sweet maid, how have 
I sorrowed for you ! but I could not save you, as I myself also 
lay in chains, which you may see from my looks." 

But my child could answer him never a word, and fell 
into a swound again for joy ; howbeit, she soon came to 
herself again, seeing my dear gossip still had a little wine 
by him. Meanwhile the dear young lord did me some in- 
justice, which, however, I freely forgive him ; for he railed 
at me and called me an old woman, who could do naught 
save weep and wail. Why had I not journeyed after the 
Swedish king, or why had I not gone to Mellenthin myself 
to fetch his testimony, as I knew right well what he thought 
about witchcraft? (But, blessed God, how could I do 
otherwise than believe the judge, who had been there ? 
Others besides old women would have done the same ; and I 
never once thought of the Swedish king; and say, dear 
reader, how could I have journeyed after him, and left my 



THE AMBER WITCH 405 

own child ? But young folks do not think of these things, 
seeing they know not what a father feels. ) 

Meanwhile, however, Dom. Camerarius, having heard 
that it was the young lord, had again crept out from beneath 
the straw ; item, Dom. Consul had jumped down from the 
coach and ran towards us, railing at him loudly, and asking 
him by what power and authority he acted thus, seeing 
that he himself had heretofore denounced the ungodly 
witch ? But the young lord pointed with his sword to 
his people, who now came riding out of the coppice, about 
eighteen strong, armed with sabres, pikes, and muskets, 
and said, "There is my authority, and I would let you 
feel it on your back if I did not know that you were but 
a stupid ass. When did you hear any testimony from me 
against this virtuous maiden ? You lie in your throat if you 
say you did." And as Dom. Consul stood and straightway 
forswore himself, the young lord, to the astonishment of all, 
related as follows : That as soon as he heard of the misfor- 
tune which had befallen me and my child, he ordered his horse 
to be saddled forthwith, in order to ride to Pudgla to bear 
witness to our innocence : this, however, his old father would 
nowise suffer, thinking that his nobility would receive a stain 
if it came to be known that his son had conversed with a re- 
puted witch by night on the Streckelberg. He had caused him 
therefore, as prayers and threats were of no avail, to be bound 
hand and foot, and confined in the donjon-keep, where till 
datum an old servant had watched him, who refused to let him 
escape, notwithstanding he offered him any sum of money ; 
whereupon he fell into the greatest anguish and despair at the 
thought that innocent blood would be shed on his account ; 
but that the all-righteous God had graciously spared him this 
sorrow ; for his father had fallen sick from vexation, and lay 
a-bed all this time, and it so happened that this very morning 
about prayer time, the huntsman, in shooting at a wild duck in 
the moat, had by chance sorely wounded his father's favourite 



406 THE AMBER WITCH 

dog, called Packan, which had crept howling to his father's 
bedside, and had died there ; whereupon the old man, who 
was weak, was so angered that he was presently seized with a 
fit and gave up the ghost too. Hereupon his people released 
him, and after he had closed his father's eyes and prayed an 
" Our Father " over him, he straightway set out with all the 
people he could find in the castle, in order to save the innocent 
maiden. For he testified here himself before all, on the word 
and honour of a knight, nay, more, by his hopes of salvation, 
that he himself was that devil which had appeared to the maiden 
on the mountain in the shape of a hairy giant ; for having heard 
by common report that she ofttimes went thither, he greatly 
desired to know what she did there, and that from fear of his 
hard father he disguised himself in a wolfs skin, so that none 
might know him, and he had already spent two nights there, 
when on the third the maiden came, and he then saw her dig 
for amber on the mountain, and that she did not call upon Satan, 
but recited a Latin carmen aloud to herself. This he would 
have testified at Pudgla, but, from the cause aforesaid, he had 
not been able : moreover, his father had laid his cousin, Claus 
von Nienkerken, who was there on a visit, in his bed and made 
him bear false witness ; for as Dom. Consul had not seen him 
(I mean the young lord) for many a long year, seeing he had 
studied in foreign parts, his father thought that he might easily 
be deceived, which accordingly happened. 

When the worthy young lord had stated this before Dom. 
Consul and all the people, which flocked together on hearing 
that the young lord was no ghost, I felt as though a millstone 
had been taken off my heart ; and seeing that the people (who 
had already pulled the constable from under the cart, and 
crowded round him, like a swarm of bees) cried to me that he 
was dying, but desired first to confess somewhat to me, I jumped 
from the cart as lightly as a young bachelor, and called to Dom. 
Consul and the young lord to go with me, seeing that I could 
easily guess what he had on his mind. He sat upon a stone, and 



THE AMBER WITCH 407 

the blood gushed from his side like a fountain (now that they 
had drawn out the sword); he whimpered on seeing me, and 
said that he had in truth hearkened behind the door to all that 
old Lizzie had confessed to me, namely, that she herself, to- 
gether with the sheriff, had worked all the witchcraft on man 
and beast, to frighten my poor child, and force her to play 
the wanton. That he had hidden this, seeing that the sheriff 
had promised him a great reward for so doing ; but that he 
would now confess it freely, since God had brought my child 
her innocence to light. Wherefore he besought my child and 
myself to forgive him. And when JDom. Consul shook his 
head, and asked whether he would live and die on the truth of 
this confession, he answered, " Yes ! " and straightway fell on 
his side to the earth and gave up the ghost. 

Meanwhile time hung heavy with the people on the moun- 
tain, who had come from Coserow, from Zitze, from Gnitze, 
&c., to see my child burnt, and they all came running down 
the hill in long rows like geese, one after the other, to see what 
had happened. And among them was my ploughman, Claus 
Neels. When the worthy fellow saw and heard what had 
befallen us, he began to weep aloud for joy ; and straightway he 
too told what he had heard the sheriff say to old Lizzie in the 
garden, and how he had promised her a pig in the room of her 
own little pig, which she had herself bewitched to death in 
order to bring my child into evil repute. Summa : All that 
I have noted above, and which till datum he had kept to him- 
self for fear of the question. Hereat all the people marvelled, 
and greatly bewailed her misfortunes : and many came, among 
them old Paasch, and would have kissed my daughter her hands 
and feet, as also mine own, and praised us now as much as they 
had before reviled us. But thus it ever is with the people. 
Wherefore my departed father used to say, 

" The people's hate is death, 
Their love, a passing breath ! " 

My dear gossip ceased not from fondling my child, holding 



408 THE AMBER WITCH 

her in his lap, and weeping over her like a father (for I could 
not have wept more myself than he wept). Howbeit she 
herself wept not, but begged the young lord to send one of 
his horsemen to her faithful old maid-servant at Pudgla, to 
tell her what had befallen us, which he straightway did to 
please her. But the worshipful court (for Dom. Gamer arms 
and the scriba had now plucked up a heart, and had come 
down from the coach ) was not yet satisfied, and Dom. Consul 
began to tell the young lord about the bewitched bridge, which 
none other save my daughter could have bewitched. Hereto 
the young lord gave answer that this was indeed a strange 
thing, inasmuch as his own horse had also broken a leg thereon, 
whereupon he had taken the sheriff his horse, which he saw 
tied up at the mill ; but he did not think that this could be 
laid to the charge of the maiden, but that it came about by 
natural means, as he had half discovered already, although he 
had not had time to search the matter thoroughly. Where- 
fore he besought the worshipful court and all the people, 
'together with my child herself, to return back thither, where, 
with God's help, he would clear her from this suspicion also, 
and prove her perfect innocence before them all. 

Thereunto the worshipful court agreed ; and the young lord, 
having given the sheriff his grey charger to my ploughman to 
carry the corpse, which had been laid across the horse's neck, 
to Coserow, the young lord got into the cart by us, but did 
not seat himself beside my child, but backward by my dear 
gossip : moreover, he bade one of his own people drive us 
instead of the old coachman, and thus we turned back in God 
His name. Gustos Benzensis, who, with the children, had 
run in among the vetches by the wayside (my defunct Gustos 
would not have done so, he had more courage), went on before 
again with the young folks, and by command of his reverence 
the pastor led the Ambrosian Te Deum, which deeply moved 
us all, more especially my child, insomuch that her book was 
wetted with her tears, and she at length laid it down and said, 



THE AMBER WITCH 409 

at the same time giving her hand to the young lord, " How 
can I thank God and you for that which you have done for 
me this day ? " Whereupon the young lord answered, saying, 
" I have greater cause to thank God than yourself, sweet maid, 
seeing that you have suffered in your dungeon unjustly, but I 
justly, inasmuch as by my thoughtlessness I brought this misery 
upon you. Believe me that this morning when, in my donjon 
keep, I first heard the sound of the dead-bell, I thought to have 
died ; and when it tolled for the third time, I should have 
gone distraught in my grief, had not the Almighty God at 
that moment taken the life of my strange father, so that your 
innocent life should be saved by me. Wherefore I have 
vowed a new tower, and whatsoe'er beside may be needful, to 
the blessed house of God ; for naught more bitter could have 
befallen me on earth than your death, sweet maid, and naught 
more sweet than your life ! " 

But at these words my child only wept and sighed ; and 
when he looked on her, she cast down her eyes and trembled, 
so that I straightway perceived that my sorrows were not yet 
come to an end, but that another barrel of tears was just tapped 
for me, and so indeed it was. Moreover, the ass of a Gustos, 
having finished the Te Deum before we were come to the 
bridge, straightway struck up the next following hymn 1 , which 
was a funeral one, beginning, " The body let us now inter." 
(God be praised that no harm has come of it till datum.'] My 
beloved gossip rated him not a little, and threatened him that 
for his stupidity he should not get the money for the shoes 
which he had promised him out of the church dues. But 
my child comforted him, and promised him a pair of shoes at 
her own charges, seeing that peradventure a funeral hymn was 
better for her than a song of gladness. 

And when this vexed the young lord, and he said, " How 
now, sweet maid, you know not how enough to thank God 
and me for your rescue, and yet you speak thus ? " she 
answered, smiling sadly, that she had only spoken thus to com- 



4io THE AMBER WITCH 

fort the poor Gustos. But I straightway saw that she was in 
earnest, for that she felt that although she had escaped one 
fire, she already burned in another. 

Meanwhile we were come to the bridge again, and all the 
folks stood still, and gazed open-mouthed, when the young 
lord jumped down from the cart, and after stabbing his horse, 
which still lay kicking on the bridge, went on his knees, and 
felt here and there with his hand. At length he called 
to the worshipful court to draw near, for that he had found 
out the witchcraft. But none save Dom. Consul and a few 
fellows out of the crowd, among whom was old Paasch, 
would follow him ; item, my dear gossip and myself. And the 
young lord showed us a lump of tallow about the size of a 
large walnut which lay on the ground, and wherewith the 
whole bridge had been smeared, so that it looked quite white, 
but which all the folks in their fright had taken for flour out 
of the mill ; item, with some other materia, which stunk like 
fitchock's dung, but what it was we could not find out. 
Soon after a fellow found another bit of tallow, and showed 
it to the people ; whereupon I cried, " Aha ! none hath 
done this but that ungodly miller's man, in revenge for the 
stripes which the sheriff gave him for reviling my child." 
Whereupon I told what he had done, and Dom. Consul, who 
also had heard thereof, straightway sent for the miller. 

He, however, did as though he knew naught of the matter, 
and only said that his man had left his service about an hour 
ago. But a young lass, the miller's maid- servant, said that 
that very morning, before daybreak, when she had got up to 
let out the cattle, she had seen the man scouring the bridge. 
But that she had given it no further heed, and had gone to 
sleep for another hour : and she pretended to know no more 
than the miller whither the rascal was gone. When the 
young lord had heard this news, he got up into the cart, and 
began to address the people, seeking to persuade them no 
longer to believe in witchcraft, now that they had seen what 



THE AMBER WITCH 411 

it really was. When I heard this, I was horror-stricken (as 
was but right) in my conscience, as a priest, and I got upon 
the cart-wheel, and whispered into his ear, for God His sake, 
to leave this materia, seeing that if the people no longer feared 
the devil, neither would they fear our Lord God.* 

The dear young lord forthwith did as I would have him, 
and only asked the people whether they now held my child 
to be perfectly innocent ? And when they had answered, Yes ! 
he begged them to go quietly home, and to thank God that 
he had saved innocent blood. That he, too, would now re- 
turn home, and that he hoped that none would molest me and 
my child if he let us return to Coserow alone. Hereupon he 
turned hastily towards her, took her hand, and said, " Fare- 
well, sweet maid ; I trust that I shall soon clear your honour 
before the world, but do you thank God therefore, not me." 
He then did the like to me and to my dear gossip, where- 
upon he jumped down from the cart, and went and sat beside 
Dom. Consul in his coach. The latter also spake a few 
words to the people, and likewise begged my child and me to 
forgive him (and I must say it to his honour, that the tears 
ran down his cheeks the while), but he was so hurried by the 
young lord that he brake short his discourse, and they drove 
off over the little bridge, without so much as looking back. 
Only Dom. Consul looked round once, and called out to me, 
that in his hurry he had forgotten to tell the executioner that 
no one was to be burned to-day : I was therefore to send the 
churchwarden of Uekeritze up the mountain, to say so in his 
name ; the which I did. And the bloodhound was still on 
the mountain, albeit he had long since heard what had be- 
fallen ; and when the bailiff gave him the orders of the 
worshipful court, he began to curse so fearfully that it might 
have awakened the dead ; moreover, he plucked off his cap 
and trampled it under foot, so that any one might have 
guessed what he felt. 

* Maybe a profound truth. 



4i2 THE AMBER WITCH 

But to return to ourselves : my child sat as still and 
as white as a pillar of salt, after the young lord had left 
her so suddenly and so unawares, but she was somewhat 
comforted when the old maid-servant came running with her 
coats tucked up to her knees, and carrying her shoes and 
stockings in her hand. We heard her afar off, as the mill 
had stopped, blubbering for joy, and she fell at least three 
times on the bridge, but at last she got over safe, and kissed 
now mine and now my child her hands and feet ; begging us 
only not to turn her away, but to keep her until her life's 
end ; the which we promised to do. She had to climb up 
behind where the impudent constable had sat, seeing that my 
dear gossip would not leave me until I should be back in mine 
own manse. And as the young lord his servant had got up 
behind the coach, old Paasch drove us home, and all the folks 
who had waited till datum ran beside the cart, praising and 
pitying as much as they had before scorned and reviled us. 
Scarce, however, had we passed through Uekeritze, when we 
again heard cries of " Here comes the young lord, here comes 
the young lord ! " so that my child started up for joy, and 
became as red as a rose, but some of the folks ran into the 
buckwheat by the road, again thinking it was another ghost. 
It was, however, in truth the young lord, who galloped up 
on a black horse, calling out as he drew near us, "Not- 
withstanding the haste I am in, sweet maid, I must return 
and give you safe conduct home, seeing that I have just 
heard that the filthy people reviled you by the way, and I 
know not whether you are yet safe." Hereupon he urged old 
Paasch to mend his pace, and as his kicking and trampling 
did not even make the horses trot, the young lord struck the 
saddle horse from time to time with the flat of his sword, so 
that we soon reached the village and the manse. Howbeit, 
when I prayed him to dismount awhile, he would not, but 
excused himself, saying that he must still ride through 
Uzedom to Anclam, but charged old Paasch, who was our 



THE AMBER WITCH 413 

bailiff, to watch over my child as the apple of his eye, and 
should anything unusual happen, he was straightway to inform 
the town clerk at Pudgla or Dom. Consul at Uzedom thereof, 
and when Paasch had promised to do this, he waved his hand 
to us, and galloped off as fast as he could. 

But before he got round the corner by Pagel his house, he 
turned back for the third time : and when we wondered 
thereat he said we must forgive him, seeing his thoughts 
wandered to-day. 

That I had formerly told him that I still had my patent 
of nobility, the which he begged me to lend him for a time. 
Hereupon I answered that I must first seek for it, and that 
he had best dismount the while. But he would not, and 
again excused himself, saying he had no time. He therefore 
stayed without the door, until I brought him the patent, 
whereupon he thanked me and said, " Do not wonder hereat, 
you will soon see what my purpose is." Whereupon he 
struck his spurs into his horse's sides, and did not come back 
again. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Of our next great sorrow, andjinaljoy. 

AND now might we have been at rest, and have thanked God 
on our knees by day and night. For, besides mercifully 
saving us out of such great tribulation, He turned the hearts of 
my beloved flock, so that they knew not how to do enough 
for us. Every day they brought us fish, meat, eggs, sausages, 
and whatsoe'er besides they could give me, and which I have 
since forgotten. Moreover, they, every one of them, came 
to church the next Sunday, great and small (except good- 
wife Kliene of Zempin, who had just got a boy, and still 
kept her bed), and I preached a thanksgiving sermon on Job 



414 THE AMBER WITCH 

v., iyth, 1 8th, and I9th verses, "Behold, happy is the man 
whom God correcteth : therefore despise not thou the chas- 
tening of the Almighty : for He maketh sore, and bindeth 
up ; and His hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in 
six troubles, yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee." 
And during my sermon I was ofttimes forced to stop by 
reason of all the weeping, and to let them blow their noses. 
And I might truly have compared myself to Job, after that 
the Lord had mercifully released him from his troubles, 
had it not been for my child, who prepared much fresh grief 
for me. 

She had wept when the young lord would not dismount, 
and now that he came not again, she grew more uneasy from 
day to day. She sat and read first the Bible, then the hymn- 
book, item, the history of Dido in Virgil'ius, or she climbed 
up the mountain to fetch flowers (likewise sought after the 
vein of amber there, but found it not, which shows the 
cunning and malice of Satan). I saw this for awhile with 
many sighs, but spake not a word (for, dear reader, what 
could I say ?) until it grew worse and worse ; and as she now 
recited her carmina more than ever both at home and abroad, 
I feared lest the people should again repute her a witch, and 
one day I followed her up the mountain. Well-a-day, she 
sat on the pile which still stood there, but with her face turned 
towards the sea, reciting the versus where Dido mounts the 
funeral pile in order to stab herself for love of ./Eneas 

' ' At trepida et coeptis immanibus effera Dido 
Sanguineam volvens aciem, maculisque trementes 
Interfusa genas, et pallida morte futura 
Interiora domus irrumpit limina et altos 
Conscendit furibunda rogos ... " * 



" But furious Dido, with dark thoughts involv'd, 
Shook at the mighty mischief she resolv'd. 
With livid spots distinguish'd was her face, 
Red were her rolling eyes, and discompos'd her pace ; 



THE AMBER WITCH 415 

When I saw this, and heard how things really stood with 
her, I was affrighted beyond measure, and cried, ** Mary, my 
child, what art thou doing ? " She started when she heard 
my voice, but sat still on the pile, and answered, as she 
covered her face with her apron, " Father, I am burning my 
heart." I drew near to her and pulled the apron from her 
face, saying, "Wilt thou then again kill me with grief?" 
Whereupon she covered her face with her hands, and moaned, 
" Alas, father, wherefore was I not burned here ? My tor- 
ment would then have endured but for a moment, but now it 
will last as long as I live ? " I still did as though I had 
seen naught, and said, " Wherefore, dear child, dost thou 
suffer such torment ? " Whereupon she answered, " I have 
long been ashamed to tell you ; for the young lord, the 
young lord, my father, do I suffer this torment ! He no 
longer thinks of me ; and albeit he saved my life he scorns 
me, or he would surely have dismounted and come in awhile ; 
but we are of far too low degree for him ! " Hereupon I 
indeed began to comfort her and to persuade her to think no 
more of the young lord, but the more I comforted her the 
worse she grew. Nevertheless I saw that she did yet in 
secret cherish a strong hope by reason of the patent of nobility 
which he had made me give him. I would not take this 
hope from her, seeing that I felt the same myself, and to 
comfort her I flattered her hopes, whereupon she was more 
quiet for some days, and did not go up the mountain, the 
which I had forbidden her. Moreover, she began again to 
teach little Paasch, her god-daughter, out of whom, by the 
help of the all-righteous God, Satan was now altogether 
departed. But she still pined, and was as white as a sheet ; 

Ghastly she gazed, with pain she drew her breath, 
And nature shiver'd at approaching death. 
Then swiftly to the fatal place she pass'd, 
And mounts the funeral pile with furious haste." 

DRYDEN'S Virgil. 



4i<5 THE AMBER WITCH 

and when soon after a report came that none in the castle at 
Mellenthin knew what was become of the young lord, and 
that they thought he had been killed, her grief became so 
great that I had to send my ploughman on horseback to 
Mellenthin to gain tidings of him. And she looked at least 
twenty times out of the door and over the paling to watch 
for his return ; and when she saw him coming she ran out to 
meet him as far as the corner by Pagels. But, blessed God ! 
he brought us even worse news than we had heard before, 
saying, that the people at the castle had told him that their 
young master had ridden away the self- same day whereon he 
had rescued the maiden. That he had, indeed, returned 
after three days to his father's funeral, but had straight- 
way ridden off again, and that for five weeks they had 
heard nothing further of him, and knew not whither he 
was gone, but supposed that some wicked ruffians had 
killed him. 

And now my grief was greater than ever it had been be- 
fore ; so patient and resigned to the will of God as my child 
had shown herself heretofore, and no martyr could have met 
her last hour stronger in God and Christ, so impatient and 
despairing was she now. She gave up all hope, and took it 
into her head that in these heavy times of war the young lord 
had been killed by robbers. Naught availed with her, not 
even prayer, for when I called upon God with her, on my 
knees, she straightway began so grievously to bewail that the 
Lord had cast her off, and that she was condemned to naught 
save misfortunes in this world ; that it pierced through my 
heart like a knife, and my thoughts forsook me at her words. 
She lay also at night, and " like a crane or a swallow so did 
she chatter ; she did mourn like a dove ; her eyes did fail 
with looking upward," * because no sleep came upon her eye- 
lids. I called to her from my bed, " Dear child, wilt thou 
then * never cease ? sleep, I pray thee ! " and she answered and 
* Isa. xxxviii. 14. 



THE AMBER WITCH 417 

said, " Do you sleep, dearest father ; I cannot sleep until 1 
sleep the sleep of death. Alas, my father ; that I was not 
burned ! " But how could I sleep when she could not ? I, 
indeed, said each morning that I had slept awhile in order 
to content her ; but it was not so ; but, like David, "all the 
night made I my bed to swim ; I watered my couch with 
my tears." ' Moreover, I again fell into heavy unbelief, so 
that I neither could nor would pray. Nevertheless the Lord 
" did not deal with me after my sins, nor reward me accord- 
ing to mine iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the 
earth, so great was His mercy toward" me, miserable 



snner 

For mark what happened on the very next Saturday ! 
Behold, our old maid-servant came running in at the door 
quite out of breath, saying that a horseman was coming over 
the Master's Mount, with a tall plume waving on his hat ; 
and that she believed it was the young lord. When my 
child, who sat upon the bench combing her hair, heard this, 
she gave a shriek of joy, which would have moved a stone 
under the earth, and straightway ran out of the room to look 
over the paling. She presently came running in again, fell 
upon my neck, and cried without ceasing, " The young lord ! 
the young lord ! " whereupon she would have run out to 
meet him, but I forbade her, saying she had better first bind 
up her hair, which she then remembered, and laughing, 
weeping, and praying, all at once, she bound up her long 
hair. And now the young lord came galloping round the 
corner, attired in a green velvet doublet with red silk sleeves, 
and a grey hat with a heron's feather therein ; summa, gaily 
dressed as beseems a wooer. And when we now ran out at 
the door, he called aloud to my child in the Latin, from afar 
off, " Quomodo stat dulcisslma virgo ? " Whereupon she 
gave answer, saying, " Bene, te aspecto" He then sprang 

* Ps. vi. 6. t Ps. ciii. 10, n. 

VOL. II. 2 D 



418 THE AMBER WITCH 

smiling off his horse and gave it into the charge of my 
ploughman, who meanwhile had come up together with the 
maid ; but he was affrighted when he saw my child so pale, 
and taking her hand spake in the vulgar tongue, " My God ! 
what is it ails you, sweet maid ? you look more pale than 
when about to go to the stake." Whereupon she answered, 
" I have been at the stake daily since you left us, good my 
lord, without coming into our house, or so much as sending 
us tidings of whither you were gone." 

This pleased him well, and he said, " Let us first of all go 
into the chamber, and you shall hear all." And when he 
had wiped the sweat from his brow, and sat down on the 
bench beside my child, he spake as follows : " That he 
had straightway promised her that he would clear her honour 
before the whole world, and the self-same day whereon he 
left us he made the worshipful court draw up an authentic 
record of all that had taken place, more especially the con- 
fession of the impudent constable, item, that of my ploughboy 
Claus Neels ; wherewith he rode throughout the same night, 
as he had promised, to Anclam, and next day to Stettin, to 
our gracious sovereign Duke Bogislaw : who marvelled 
greatly when he heard of the wickedness of his sheriff, and 
of that which he had done to my child : moreover, he asked 
whether she were the pastor's daughter who once upon a 
time had found the signet -ring of his princely Highness 
Philippus Julius of most Christian memory in the castle 
garden at Wolgast? and as he did not know thereof, the 
Duke asked, whether she knew Latin ? And he, the young 
lord, answered yes, that she knew the Latin better than he 
did himself. His princely Highness said, " Then indeed, it 
must be the same," and straightway he put on his spectacles, 
and read the Acta himself. Hereupon, and after his princely 
Highness had read the record of the worshipful court, 
shaking his head the while, the young lord humbly besought 
his princely Highness to give him an amende honorable for 



THE AMBER WITCH 419 

my child, item, literas commendatitias for himself to our 
most gracious Emperor at Vienna, to beg for a renewal of 
my patent of nobility, seeing that he was determined to 
marry none other maiden than my daughter so long as he 
lived. 

When my child heard this, she gave a cry of joy, and fell 
back in a swound with her head against the wall. But the 
young lord caught her in his arms, and gave her three kisses 
(which I could not then deny him, seeing, as I did with joy, 
how matters went), and when she came to herself again, he 
asked her whether she would not have him, seeing that she 
had given such a cry at his words ? Whereupon she said, 
" Whether I will not have you, my lord ! Alas ! I love you 
as dearly as my God and my Saviour ! You first saved 
my life, and now you have snatched my heart from the 
stake whereon, without you, it would have burned all the 
days of my life! " Hereupon I wept for joy, when he 
drew her into his lap, and she clasped his neck with her little 
hands. 

They thus sat and toyed awhile, till the young lord again 
perceived me, and said, " What say you thereto ? I trust it 
is also your will, reverend Abraham/' Now, dear reader, 
what could I say, save my hearty good- will ? seeing that I 
wept for very joy, as did my child, and I answered, how 
should it not be my will, seeing that it was the will of God ? 
But whether the worthy, good young lord had likewise con- 
sidered that he would stain his noble name if he took to wife 
my child, who had been habit and repute a witch, and had 
been well-nigh bound to the stake ? 

Hereupon he said, By no means ; for that he had long since 
prevented this, and he proceeded to tell us how he had done 
it, namely, his princely Highness had promised him to make 
ready all the scrlpta which he required, within four days, when 
he hoped to be back from his father's burial. He therefore 
rode straightway back to Mellenthin, and after paying the last 



420 THE AMBER WITCH 

honour to my lord his father, he presently set forth on his way 
again, and found that his princely Highness had kept his 
word meanwhile. With these scripta he rode to Vienna, and 
albeit he met with many pains, troubles, and dangers by the 
way (which he would relate .to us at some other time), he 
nevertheless reached the city safely. There he by chance 
met with a Jesuit with whom he had once upon a time had 
his locamentum for a few days at Prague, while he was yet a 
studiosus, and this man having heard his business, bade him 
be of good cheer, seeing that his Imperial Majesty stood 
sorely in need of money in these hard times of war, and 
that he, the Jesuit, would manage it all for him. This he 
really did, and his Imperial Majesty not only renewed 
my patent of nobility, but likewise confirmed the amende 
honorable to my child granted by his princely Highness the 
Duke, so that he might now maintain the honour of his be- 
trothed bride against all the world, as also hereafter that of 
his wife. 

Hereupon he drew forth the Acta from his bosom and put 
them into my hand, saying, " And now, reverend Abraham, 
you must also do me a pleasure ; to wit, to-morrow morning, 
when I hope to go with my betrothed bride to the Lord's 
table, you must publish the banns between me and your 
daughter, and on the day after you must marry us. Do not 
say nay thereto, for my pastor the reverend Philippus says 
that this is no uncommon custom among the nobles in Pome- 
rania, and I have already given notice of the wedding for 
Monday at mine own castle, whither .we will then go, and 
where I purpose to bed my bride." I should have found 
much to say against this request, more especially that in 
honour of the holy Trinity he should suffer himself to be 
called three times in church according to custom, and that 
he should delay awhile the espousals ; but when I perceived 
that my child would gladly have the marriage held right 
soon, for she sighed and grew red as scarlet, I had not the 



THE AMBER WITCH 421 

heart to refuse them, but promised all they asked. Where- 
upon I exhorted them both to prayer, and when I had laid 
my hands upon their heads, I thanked the Lord more 
deeply than I had ever yet thanked Him, so that at last I 
could no longer speak for tears, seeing that they drowned my 
voice. 

Meanwhile the young lord his coach had driven up to the 
door, filled with chests and coffers : and he said, ".Now, 
sweet maid, you shall see what I have brought you," and he 
bade them bring all the things into the room. Dear reader, 
what fine things were there, such as I had never seen in all 
my life ! all that women can use was there, especially of 
clothes, to wit, bodices, plaited gowns, long robes, some of 
them bordered with fur, veils, aprons, item, the bridal shift 
with gold fringes, whereon the merry lord had laid some six 
or seven bunches of myrtle to make herself a wreath withal. 
Item, there was no end to the rings, neck-chains, ear-drops, 
&c., the which I have in part forgotten. Neither did the 
young lord leave me without a gift, seeing he had brought me 
a new surplice (the enemy had robbed me of my old one), 
also doublets, hosen, and shoes, summa, whatsoever appertains 
to a man's attire ; wherefore I secretly besought the Lord 
not to punish us again in His sore displeasure for such pomps 
and vanities. When my child beheld all these things she 
was grieved that she could bestow upon him naught save her 
heart alone, and the chain of the Swedish king, the which 
she hung round his neck, and begged him, weeping the 
while, to take it as a bridal gift. This he at length promised 
to do, and likewise to carry it with him into the grave : 
but that my child must first wear it at her wedding, as 
well as the blue silken gown, for that this and no other 
should be her bridal dress, and this he made her promise 
to do. 

And now a merry chance befell with the old maid, the which 
I will here note. For when the faithful old soul had heard 



422 THE AMBER WITCH 

what had taken place, she was beside herself for joy, danced 
and clapped her hands, and at last said to my child, " Now 
to be sure you will not weep when the young lord is to lie in 
your bed," whereat my child blushed scarlet for shame, and 
ran out of the room ; and when the young lord would know 
what she meant therewith she told him that he had already once 
slept in my child her bed when he came from Giitzkow with 
me, whereupon he bantered her all the evening after that she 
was come back again. Moreover, he promised the maid that 
as she had once made my child her bed for him, she should 
make it again, and that on the day after to-morrow, she and 
the ploughman too should go with us to Mellenthin, so that 
masters and servants should all rejoice together after such 
great distress. 

And seeing that the dear young lord would stop the night 
under my roof, I made him lie in the small closet together 
with me (for I could not know what might happen). He 
soon slept like a top, but no sleep came into my eyes for very 
joy, and I prayed the livelong blessed night, or thought over 
my sermon. Only near morning I dosed a little ; and when 
I rose the young lord already sat in the next room with my 
child, who wore the black silken gown which he had brought 
her, and, strange to say, she looked fresher than even when 
the Swedish king came, so that I never in all my life saw her 
look fresher or fairer. Item, the young lord wore his black 
doublet, and picked out for her the best bits of myrtle for the 
wreath she was twisting. But when she saw me, she straight- 
way laid the wreath beside her on the bench, folded her little 
hands, and said the morning prayer, as she was ever wont to 
do, which humility pleased the young lord right well, and he 
begged her that in future she would ever do the like with him, 
the which she promised. 

Soon after we went to the blessed church to confession, and 
all the folk stood gaping open-mouthed because the young 
lord led my child on his arm. But they wondered far more 



THE AMBER WITCH 423 

when, after the sermon, I first read to them in the vulgar 
tongue the amende honorable to my child from his princely 
Highness, together with the confirmation of the same by his 
Imperial Majesty, and after that my patent of nobility ; and, 
lastly, began to publish the banns between my child and the 
young lord. Dear reader, there arose a murmur throughout 
the church like the buzzing of a swarm of bees. (N.B. These 
scrtpta were burnt in the fire which broke out in the castle a 
year ago, as I shall hereafter relate, wherefore I cannot insert 
them here in origine.} 

Hereupon my dear children went together with much people 
to the Lord's table, and after church nearly all the folks 
crowded round them and wished them joy. Item, old Paasch 
came to our house again that afternoon, and once more 
besought my daughter's forgiveness because that he had 
unwittingly offended her ; that he would gladly give her a 
marriage-gift, but that he now had nothing at all ; howbeit 
that his wife should set one of her hens in the spring, and he 
would take the chickens to her at Mellenthin himself. This 
made us all to laugh, more especially the young lord, who at 
last said, " As thou wilt bring me a marriage-gift, thou must 
also be asked to the wedding, wherefore thou mayest come 
to-morrow with the rest." 

Whereupon my child said, "And your little Mary, my 
god-child, shall come too, and be my bridemaiden, if my lord 
allows it." Whereupon she began to tell the young lord all 
that had befallen the child by the malice of Satan, and how 
they laid it to her charge until such time as the all-righteous 
God brought her innocence to light ; and she begged that 
since her dear lord had commanded her to wear the same 
garments at her wedding which she had worn to salute the 
Swedish king, and afterwards to go to the stake, he would 
likewise suffer her to take for her bridemaiden her little god- 
child, as indicium secundum of her sorrows. 

And when he had promised her this, she told old Paasch 



424 THE AMBER WITCH 

to send hither his child to her, that she might fit a new gown 
upon her which she had cut out for her a week ago, and 
which the maid would finish sewing this very day. This so 
went to the heart of the good old fellow that he began to 
weep aloud, and at last said, she should not do all this for 
nothing, for instead of the one hen his wife should set three 
for her in the spring. 

When he was gone, and the young lord did naught save 
talk with his betrothed bride both in the vulgar and in the 
Latin tongue, I did better namely, went up the mountain to 
pray, wherein, moreover, I followed my child's example, and 
clomb up upon the pile, there in loneliness to offer up my 
whole heart to the Lord as an offering of thanksgiving, seeing 
that with this sacrifice He is well pleased, as in Ps. li. 19, 
" The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit ; a broken and 
contrite heart, O God, shalt Thou not despise." 

That night the young lord again lay in my room, but next 
morning, when the sun had scarce risen 



Here end these interesting communications, which I do 
not intend to dilute with any additions of my own. My 
readers, more especially those of the fair sex, can picture to 
themselves at pleasure the future happiness of this excellent 
pair. 

All further historical traces of their existence, as well as 
that of the pastor, have disappeared, and nothing remains but 
a tablet fixed in the wall of the church at Mellenthin, on 
which the incomparable lord, and his yet more incomparable 
wife, are represented. On his faithful breast still hangs " the 
golden chain, with the effigy of the Swedish king." They 
both seem to have died within a short time of each other, 
and to have been buried in the same coffin. For in the vault 
under the church there is still a large double coffin, in which, 



THE AMBER WITCH 425 

according to tradition, lies a chain of gold of incalculable 
value. Some twenty years ago, the owner of Mellenthin, 
whose unequalled extravagance had reduced him to the verge 
of beggary, attempted to open the coffin in order to take out 
this precious relic, but he was not able. It appeared as if 
some powerful spell held it firmly together ; and it has re- 
mained unopened down to the present time. May it remain 
so until the last awful day, and may the impious hand of 
avarice or curiosity never desecrate these holy ashes of holy 
beings ! 



THE END. 



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