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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 befel the Sheriff now for the second time; for when the worshipful court rose, throwing down tables, stools, and benches, a table, under 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 a-piece, 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, “Oh, 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, whereupon 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 herewith, and begged that she might sit in the cart without being bound, so that she should be able to hold her hymnbook, 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 pitchforks always to go with the carts wherein condemned criminals, 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 constable his wife were fighting for my child her bed, and her 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 Ilse !” 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 nought 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 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.
Of that which befel 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!” whereupon 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 wand; and that nought was better for the fever and the gout than the ashes of a witch. I motioned the Custos 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
* A lake near Pudgla.
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 memorum Non alternat luna vices, sol vel cursus syderum Agnus est foelicis urbis lumen inocciduum.”” By this Casus we gained that all the folk ran cursing away from the cart, and followed us at the distance of a good musketshot, 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 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 nought; 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 irae dies illa.f 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.
“Judex ergo cum sedebit
* Around them, bright with endless Spring, perpetual roses bloom,
# Day of wrath, that dreadful day; one of the most beautiful of the
Rex tremendae majestatis
Qui salvandos salvas gratis
Salva me, fons pietatis!” ”
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,t 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 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 ridingwhip, 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 ruthless 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. Moreover, 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 * The judge ascends his awful throne,
He makes each secret sin be known,
Thou mighty formidable king !
f A wash formed by the river Peene.