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man 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 devilish 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 befel 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 twinkling of an eye; and when my daughter was called it grew no better, but also died under her hands; whereupon the poor woman made a great outcry and tore her hair for grief, so that my 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 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 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 (Oh, 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. Augustini on my birthday, which falls on the 28th mensis 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 befel that the young nobilis Rüdiger of Nienkerken came riding one day to gather news of the terrible witchcraft that went on in the village. When I had 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 * In Luther's version.
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,* who would hear 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 forgotten, 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. Hereupon a trooper fired his carabine at the bewitched horse, which fell in the midst of the road, and presently died. That he, Rüdiger, 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
* 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 Dæmonomia, 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 prestigiis
Dæmonum, taught the method of raising devils, and described the whole of Hell, with the names and surnames of its 572 princes.
horse was thoroughly sound; whereupon all the people cried out more than ever about witchcraft. Meanwhile he himself (I mean the young nobilis) saw a thin smoke coming out from the horse's nostrils, and on stooping down to look what it might bé, 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 himself 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 Gützkow, 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
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 any thing had happened, which she at first denied, but afterwards owned that he had said to her while I 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 !